All things Fall

Hello friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but there has been a lot going on these last couple months.  I’ll start with the MOST exciting news – I passed the PMP Exam (Project Management Professional) early September!  It was a professional milestone I was working on for ~9 months and it finally happened!  You may recall my post in June about “treating myself” – that was attempt #1.  It didn’t work out.  It sucked.  I was pretty down, disappointed, and after a week of wallowing, I was more determined than ever to get it done.  Thousands of hours, practice tests, bailing on fun, and discipline I never knew I had went into round 2, and seeing this beautiful sight when clicking ‘submit’ made it all worth it:

After passing that MONSTER, I had an overwhelming sense of relief, and more time available to doing things I love – without the black PMP cloud in the back of my mind.  100% of my summer was spent with my head in the books, and it wasn’t until September 4th until my summer officially started. Below is my attempt to make up for an anti-social summer spent indoors:
1. Time with friends – I just love these peeps:
2. A weekend in NYC – Aside from stuffing my face and walking 15 miles per day, I finally visited the Lion Brand flagship store.  I try to go to NYC at least 1-2 times a year since it’s a short(ish) ride from Boston.  Every time I’m there, the store is closed (their hours are wack, they’re closed on Saturdays – what!?) –  but this time, the stars aligned.  I was in heaven, obvi – and treated myself to a Two of Wands crochet velvet sweater, which is currently in the works:
3. A weekend in Austin – GIRLS TRIP!  Austin rocks. The people are nice, the food is delish, scooters are the preferred mode of transportation, and the music scene is captivating (especially after day drinking).  I loved everything about it, but I mostly loved being with these girls, my friends are the best:
4. A weekend in Buffalo – I can’t get enough of the BUF.  My Dad’s side of the family lives here and I go at least 3-4 times a year. Feels so good to be with family, they’re the best too:
5. A weekend apple picking!  How have I lived in Boston 6 years and never done this? Between my husband and I we probably ate 10 apples each, you know..to get our money’s worth. I love all things fall and will gladly pay a premium for apples that aren’t Honey Crisp.  It was also a perfect opportunity to wear my crochet cardi from OTH Crochet. I LOVE it, and want one in every color.  It took ~ a week to finish, which is nothing.  Check out her site for the pattern 🙂 >click here<
This week, I’m meeting my Mom in Sarasota.  We meet every October for her birthday and stay on the beach for half the time, and with my Aunt and Uncle the back half.  Warm weather and beach time that I never got this summer – check!  Time with my fam – check!
I’m checking all the boxes that I wasn’t able to get around to this summer and it feels so good to be back.
I’m relived the test is done. I’m grateful my hard work paid off.  I’m appreciative of my friends/family for being so wonderful.  I’m ready to start a new season with time to focus on enjoying all the things – fall things!..and Netflix, can’t forget that.

Wrinkles

I have wrinkles. 

Not a lot, but enough to be noticeable. Small ones. Mostly around the eyes. They’re starting to intersect each other. Like the road map of a city that has started to expand and grow its own suburbs. 

Wrinkles and the garter stitch- slow and steady. Their progress sneaks up on you…

It’s possible they came from my job, which is an endless cycle of massive deadlines. Just as I’m about to get through a particularly brutal one, another one pops up for the next week. Rinse and repeat. 

It’s possible they came from my husband. By marrying him, I’ve set myself up for an entire lifetime of heckling about my driving and the constant annoyance of dishes piling in the sink. 

It’s possible they came from my son, who has meltdowns over things like his piece of toast tearing into two pieces and me not being able to magically fuse it back together even if IT STILL TASTES THE SAME AND THE END GOAL IS TO EAT IT ALL SO IT WON’T EVEN MATTER.

Sorry guys. Lost myself for a second. We get really passionate about toast around these parts. 

Our issues with toast may be directly related to my coffee consumption. #serenitynow

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. And since I haven’t quite come around to the idea of botox, the wrinkles are seemingly here to stay. 

So instead I have to find a way to embrace them. Perhaps connect good things that come from the decades of stress. 

With each work deadline comes a sense of accomplishment after I’m done. The wrinkles also represent the promotions I’ve received from hard work and dedication to a company I love. 

I’m now basically too anxious to drive with anyone ever because of the endless jabs, but I also have had 7 years of support and love and a few thank yous for when I decide enough is enough and load the dishwasher myself. 😏

And sure, there are terrible two meltdowns on the regular, but I’ve also got a toddler who grabs my wrinkly face and plants kisses on it *almost* daily (he was really upset with me over the toast thing). 

So yeah. My wrinkles are what they are. I guess I’ll own up to them and accept them as a fact of  life. Same as my upcoming, inevitable dive into the mid-30’s scene happening this summer. 

Or…

Or I’ll continue to assault them with every single serum and treatment I can get my hands on at Sephora for the rest of my life. 

Yeah, I’ll probably do that. 

– Amy 

Cross Country Poncho for a Cross Country Friend

I love making garments, accessories, or anything handmade for the people I love.  Not only does it keep me busy for weeks (in this case, months), but once it’s finished and put it in the mail, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.  Patiently waiting for it to arrive to its destination and envisioning the recipient’s face when they open it is the best part..Assuming it fits, and that it’s what they hoped it would be.

Making things for others guarantees that my finished product will not be sitting in my apt somewhere unused, and taking up precious space.  My stash is already closing in on me.  The more things I can gift, the better.  Plus, it makes both parties happy 😊.

I started this poncho in January and it took me ~4.5 months to finish.  Each row took ~15-20 minutes to complete.  I actually timed myself, and could never break my 15-20min row speed, that seems really slow.  It’s usually because I stop, crack my wrists/fingers, change the channel on my show, or do the downward facing dog stretch because all I do is hunch over in concentration, and these old bones are feelin’ it.

There is nothing too complicated about this poncho, it’s double crochet, with a few skipped stitches for the design.  It’s essentially a massive blanket with a hole for the head – I love it. Pattern here.  I can’t love it too much, or otherwise I’d become emotionally attached – IT’S NOT FOR ME, and I reminded myself that every time I picked it up. 

My Mom’s bestie requested this back in December, and when I agreed to give it a shot, I wasn’t anticipating how long it would take.  A whole season has passed us by but luckily this poncho will live in Chicago, so I’m sure it will get a lot of use no matter what.  

I got started on this NYE…

One size fits all should hold true – that is the best project to make for people without overthinking the whole “I hope this fits” question that haunts me with every garment I make.  Thankfully, this is meant to be oversized and cozy and there is nothing better than that. 

What do ya think?

Marathon Monday

Marathon Monday in Boston is one of my favorite days of the year.  In the 5 years I have been here I have been able to either watch it from the finish line, Fenway Park or on TV in the background of the bar. This year I watched it from my couch like a total slug. 

It is the most inspiring day of the year for me, and it felt wrong to be napping sporadically while watching all these incredible people cross the finish line and cry tears of joy from their accomplishment.  Hey, I had an 11-hour layover, missed my connection and got 2 hours of sleep on the Atlanta airport floor, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Excuses, I know.

It was the first time I got to watch it in the comfort of my own home, and it had it’s perks.  Sure, the news anchors were running out of small talk (no pun intended) but watching all the runners running for their causes gave me all the feels. 

Parents who’s children are sick, or passed away. 

Veterans running for their friends who couldn’t.  

Husbands and wives running finishing the race together (and at the same time) – THE SAME TIME?  I love my hubs, but I just know that I would probably sprint at the last minute just to say I won (ha, he would do the same).

It was so uplifting, and that is why I love Patriot’s Day (Marathon Monday) in Boston.

I am not a runner, never have been.  That would be Amy’s department. However, I have always TRIED to get into it.  A handful of 5k’s, pathetic attempts of running around the park/bay near my apartment, ‘fun runs’ with random people to mingle – I never loved it.  I loved the feeling afterward, but it was never enough for me to keep it going.  What is this ‘runner’s high’ I kept hearing so much about?

There was one particular woman who’s friend was interviewed.  She had been hit by a car and had a rough road of rehab ahead.  When she was able to, she started running again – she ran at least 1 mile a day, every day.  It’s been ~ 3 years and she has stuck to that goal and it seems attainable – and she ran the marathon this year.

I was moved by all the beautiful reasons people run that I decided I need to get my butt off the couch and get into it.  People overcome so much more than we realize, and I have no excuse.  I really loved the 1-mile/day idea – and now that it’s getting warmer out, that should be feasible for me.  Or…7 miles a week, in case I feel extra ambitious on the weekend.  Hold me accountable, people.  I need motivation.

I should probably go back and DVR the Marathon to give me a little boost when I need it, but it’s typically enough to get me through to next year.

What is your motivation?  I have a lot, but a top contender would be food.  More running = more food.  Right?

Old Lady Status Confirmed, St. Patrick’s Weekend Edition:

St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I’m Irish, I love day-drinking, I love parades, and I love green things. With each passing year, I find myself starting earlier and ending earlier, because hey, I must work the next day and I cannot deal with the Monday fuzzies that come after a long day of raging as if I still have the stamina.

The weekend began on Friday night, casting on a new green beanie that I tasked myself to finish before Sunday’s parade. It was that moment I was reminded just how old lady I am.

Ten reasons why I feel 90:

#1: My Friday night was a rager, I spent it frogging my knit beanie because I was practicing the dandelion stitch – the struggle.

Saturday, we went skiing with some friends at Pats Peak – It was a 40-degree day and the runs were a little slushy, but it will likely be our last trip of the season, so it had to be done. I don’t typically challenge myself on the slopes, until I’ve had at least 3 beers. Guinness’ is just what I needed. Post-lunch ski run was a short one, and my last. No one was hurt, and I was quite impressed with my form as I bolted down the mountain at 30 mph – swerving every which way screaming “yikes” on my way down.

Saturday night we went out to dinner/drinks with some friends at a restaurant in the neighborhood. It was a great time, with great peeps, and it’s when my old lady tendencies really kicked in.

#2 – I made the mistake of laying down to watch Friday. The hubs had to scrape me off the couch to go to dinner. I can’t help it, I love Ice Cube.

#3 – I cannot tolerate lines or waiting in them, especially at 7pm. Luckily, we had a reservation and walking by 40+ people standing in line was so rewarding. Suckers. Reservations, always.

After dinner we scoped out a spot by the bar that would hold 14ish people – victory! I was monitoring the waves of people coming in and out, and plotted our take-over.

#4 – I was scoping out a spot to stand by the bar where people would not bump into me for at least an hour. Give me my space or SOS to you.

#5 – Bathrooms at bars these days are like a mini soap opera. Has it always been that way? I do not remember being so open with my problems to strangers. Carissa, (if you are reading this), I agree with Ashley…Jonathan really isn’t worth it. I know it was his birthday, but you shouldn’t have texted him – he’s a total jerk and you deserve better.

#6 – Every guy in that bar looked like a member of One Direction, but shorter.

#7 – Sunday, we woke up at 9am and went to brunch at a bar down the street. They opened at 10am and you better believe we were there at 9:55 to secure a seat at the bar. I’m always prompt.

#8 – The perfect seat is the one on the end (by the waitress station), where there is only one person who has the option to sit next to you – hubs. The fewer people reaching over me to order their espresso martinis, the better.

Of course, I stuffed my face with a heavy breakfast that was way too much for 10am. I was trying to get a good base that would last. I could have sat there all day sipping bloody marys, I wish I could have.

#9 – (received the bar bill) <inner monologue>: “OMG. What have we done? Was it worth it? No. I should have stayed in, I’m too poor for this. How do people do this every weekend? I could have bought 8 large pizzas, or groceries for the week. It’s okay, it’s only money, I can always make more. It’s not okay.”

Connor McGregor was in the parade and that was the ONE thing we wanted to see. That, and the people watching, which never disappoints. We didn’t see him (apparently, he didn’t do the whole parade), but we did see lots of shenanigans on the streets afterward. Jabroniville.

#10 – Before returning to our apt, I insisted that we walk through the carnage, and to appreciate the fact of “thank God that’s not me” – “oh that poor girl” “did you see that girl’s pants..did she just? Omg!” – “I hope no one gets hit by a car” – “is that guy peeing or puking?”

It’s you’re** get it together meme makers.

Some key takeaways and highlights:

  • Fire department rescued a guy off the roof. He jumped from the roof next door and couldn’t get back.
  • Always bring an extra pair of jeans for your friend – because even adults have accidents (yes, it was gross).
  • People were literally hanging of their windows and no one died, and that is what matters.

How did you spend your St. Pat’s day weekend?

~Bailey

Pasta, Bagels, Pizza, Yarn Stores, and more Pizza

This past weekend I had a bachelorette party in NYC so naturally, I had to plan out what to see and do in my short amount of time there. Like any place I visit, my priorities are food, snacks, yarn stores and more food.  Carbs, mostly. I can’t shock my system with greens while I’m gallivanting the streets.

Bagels, pizza and pasta, is there really anything else you need in life?  Probably.  But not when you’re in NY.  My carb-o-loaded diet started Friday afternoon, with a couple cold beers to cool me down on the Amtrak.  I had to, that train was stuffy AF.

Friday evening, we indulged in some apps, homemade pasta, a bottle of wine and were in bed early because Saturday’s festivities were sure to be a 20+ hour day.  Avocado toast with fried artichokes and homemade Tagliatelle – I am still dreaming about it, Aunt Jakes, I love you.  Do you ever wish you had multiple stomachs, so you could eat more without getting full?  I think that to myself after every good meal.

Saturday we were up by 7:30am, and bolted to “Best Bagel & Coffee” by 8.  Yes, it’s considered ‘touristy” but whatever. It’s good..and we were there early enough to NOT have to wait outside in line. 

After a successful binge, we roamed the streets for a couple hours to burn some calories.  Note to self – if you REALLY want to burn out the calories, step in a pile of s**t, or look at the street curbs to see the gritty details of what was NOT thrown out properly the night before – it’ll make you puke.

We did both.  I won’t go into the graphic details, but we walked by some Indian restaurant that apparently ran out of garbage bags, so they just dumped their trash in the streets instead.  It looked like a war zone.  I don’t even know if it was food – gross.  Also, I stepped in s**t in the middle of the sidewalk, I think it was from a dog, but who knows.  I skidded my shoe for 4 blocks in search of some grass to clean my precious sneaker.  Good luck finding grass, by the way.

In the afternoon, I was on the hunt for yarn stores and ended up going to School Products Yarn (oldest yarn store in NYC), because it was the only one within walking distance that was OPEN on a Saturday.  Lion Brand was CLOSED.  How is that even possible?  Why would any store in NYC be closed on a Saturday?  Tragic.

Saturday late afternoon and into Sunday morning (4am) was focused around the Bachelorette party for a friend of mine.  Wine fests, bar hopping, comedy shows, more bar hopping, and late night pizza runs before bed – it was glorious.  You really can’t go wrong with anything you do – but you must be mentally prepped.  

Mentally preppy in my cozy black scarf

It was day-light savings time, so when 2am (3am) struck we were hurried out of the bar which was a bummer.  Luckily, the Uber driver (or whoever that guy was that gave us a ride) pulled over for us to pick up a couple of slices on the way back to the hotel.  We stuffed our faces and were passed out ~4:30am. 

We walked over 25k steps that day – THAT is why I was tired, not because It was 6 hours past my bed time, or because I started drinking at 3pm.  I’m so young (old) and vibrant (lazy) that I slept in a ‘question mark’ pose against the window for the 4-hour train ride home. 

What a trip.  I loved it and need to go back ASAP.  What is your favorite thing to do when you visit NYC?  Why are stores closed on Saturdays (Lion Brand, FAO Schwartz – I’m looking at YOU!)?

WIP on the Slopes

For those of you who are hunkered down this week trying to keep warm and out of the -30 something temps, I feel for you (I’m looking at you, Midwest fam).  I’m mostly jealous though, because I could use a couple days to hide out (as if I don’t already do that every weekend).  Boston is always late to the winter misery.  One day it’s 50 degrees, the next day its 0.  One day we get snow, the next we get rain and it all melts away. Nothing sticks enough to be considered “inconvenient”.

This past weekend we took advantage of the snow we got a couple weeks ago and went to Pat’s Peak to go skiing.  Yes, I skied..after I said I was done for the 100th time.  I can’t escape it, I need to keep trying until I don’t suck, I’ll forever be a “work in progress” on the mountain, and I’m okay with that.  This time was different because Pat’s Peak is known to be a bit more “beginner friendly.”

Instead of bringing my skis, I rented a shorter pair, they were more suitable for my novice skills (or lack thereof).  It was just me and the hubs, so I didn’t feel guilty about holding him back.  I found my green trails and was perfectly content cruising down at a reasonable speed, with little to no risk of colliding into others.  Who knew that shorter skis would give me more control?  I knew that, actually, and I am haunted by the fact I bought skis that are WAY too big.  Wa$te.

I only fell once, and toward the end of the day my ski app tracked me going 32.5 mph, which is a little scary.  I guess I can see the hype and why people like to escape to the mountains on the weekends.  It really is a perk, and the small light at the end of the very cold, dreary, wintery tunnel.  Making the best of the horrid winters is the only way New Englanders stay semi-sane.

It was an enjoyable weekend, which was a perfect prep for this upcoming weekend, which will be borderline intolerable for me since the Pats are in the Superbowl.

I love Superbowl for the commercials, but when the Pats are in it, like they usually are – I just want to hide.  The fans are crazy, especially when they lose, and when they win.  Hopefully it works out for them on Sunday.  If it doesn’t I’ll stay home from work and hide from the outside world, for my own safety, of course.  Go Rams!