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:
..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix).
There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process. PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?
Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific). Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May.
~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done. I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.
There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have.
“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future, or at least through the end of June.
How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity. #SOS
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.
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.
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 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.
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?”
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?
Hello friends! The other half of our blog/insta has done her meet the maker post earlier this week, so in efforts to copy her fun facts, I thought I would share a little bit about myself:
I’m Bailey and I live in Boston with the hubs – I’ve been here ~5.5 years now – Whew. I used to live in Illinois (grew up in a small town, moved to Chicago after college and lived there for 3 years). I have been knitting for ~3 years and have been crocheting for 2. I taught myself to crochet on YouTube – it’s much less intimidating than knitting, in my opinion – either way, they both complete me, and keep me sane.
Few fun facts:
- I grew up in a town of ~30k people and couldn’t wait to get out – After living the city for almost 9 years, I can now say that I appreciate the small-town lifestyle. I wish it didn’t take me so long.
- I read 100 books/year for 2 years in a row. My favorite book is The Nightingale – WW2 historical fiction novels are my weakness.
- I think Maui is the most beautiful place in the world – I still have a lot to see, but Maui will always be my favorite trip, Italy is my #2.
- Hygge – I strive for it every day (see below)
- If I could only bring 5 things with me on a deserted island, one of them would be Chapstick. I cannot live without it – I’m an addict, and therefore, their perfect customer.
- If I ever go missing in a store, I can most likely be found in the blanket section (per above pic, I can never have enough).
- I love furniture stores and have been scoping out the perfect la-z-boy for my future woman-cave. I want a rocking one with arm rest compartments for my knits, and snacks.
- I once watched Shawshank Redemption on repeat for 8-hours straight because I couldn’t find the remote – and I was okay with that – I’m that lazy.
- I used to love embroidery, sewing and cross stitch when I was younger, I need to pick that back up again.
We would love to hear more about you in the comments!
What is your favorite thing about starting a new hobby? Is it the excitement of learning something knew? Exercising your mind? The self-fulfillment of overcoming challenges? It could be one or all of these things. For me, it’s the accessories that come with starting a new hobby.
I go overboard with all my hobbies. For example, when I first ‘learned to ski’ I remember my favorite part of the sport was buying the outfit. The pants, coat, undershirts, cozy leggings, gloves, goggles with blacked out lenses, and of course, the helmet (who gets excited over a helmet)? Weirdo.
It wasn’t the mountain, or the thought of scaling down it with grace and ease…it was the accessories. All those outfits and ski gear that once pumped me up are now sitting in storage – guilty. The only thing that would (maybe) get me back on the mountain is the thought of them laying in the basement, alone and unused. I need to try to sell them to someone who will love and appreciate the accessories in ways that I never will.
Because accessories have feelings.
Then there is knitting. A hobby I was sure wouldn’t be as much of an investment as ski gear. It’s less of a commitment, more fun, and I’m less likely to be injured. In the beginning, all this was true.
It didn’t take long for me to be 100% over the top so in love with it that I had to have the prettiest interchangeable needle set, double pointed needles, straight needles, and stitch markers I could get my paws on. Yarn, oh the yarn. I could write 10 posts on my yarn obsession alone, but will save that for another day.
The main point:
There are A LOT of knitting accessories, more than I ever imagined – and Instagram doesn’t help. Below are the most recent indulgences I’ve treated myself to – NO REGRETS:
- Knitting apparel (this cozy sweatshirt that encompasses everything I believe in):
- This adorable pin that goes on my project bag:
- This “project” bag that I need to replace ASAP. I have my eye on another..I told myself if I’m still dreaming about it after a couple week’s I’m buying it – Twig & Horn – look at how beautiful
- The perfect knit chair, if you will. This helps with posture and sits perfectly right in front of the fire, which is my fav spot – it even folds up and can be pushed under my couch when unused
- For consideration: glasses with lights on them, so I can see my knits in the dark, without having to turn on the main light in the room.
It’s gotten out of control, people. Does anyone else get overly obsessed with accessories of the craft vs. the craft itself? It adds to the excitement, in my opinion. I can’t stop, won’t stop – So if you have a favorite knit accessory, please let me know what is it so I can buy it.
Happy 2019, everyone! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am relieved that the holidays have come and gone. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with family, friends, back-to-back weekend road trips, and most def the break from work. The holidays landing on a Tuesday this year made me realize that all work weeks should be 3-days long. Because everyone is more productive in a time-crunch, right?
We need more life, and less work. #Team3DayWorkWeek
This New Years weekend was spent in Killington, Vermont with a group of friends for skiing. The Air B&B was right on Lake Bomoseen about 30-min away from the resort. It’s got to be one of my favorite rentals so far. I should keep in touch with the owner in the event I hit the jackpot and never need to work again – I can retreat to VT and hide from reality.
Seriously though, the people are so nice/laid back, the pace is slow, the mountains are beautiful and so.many. trees. Why can’t every day be that way?
Look at how perfect this set up was. That fireplace, that couch – whew. Who needs to ski? Not me – and I didn’t. I opted to stay in, harness my JOMO (joy of missing out) moments and do what I do best. Chill with knits – and be cozy AF.
In effort not to miss out on the ski-fun – I did get the mountain experience by treating myself to a massage, meeting up for drinks, and staring at everyone go down the mountain. I’m not great on the slopes. Après ski is where I excel.
So many bloody marys…aka breakfast replacements. There were 10 olives in that bad boy.
I also stopped by the Green Mountain Yarn & Fiber, because I always scope out the yarn stores. It’s a must stop if you’re ever in the area.
Anyway, the break was great overall – I spent time reflecting on the “New Year, New Me” motto, that I attempt every year. It lasts about a week before reverting back to my usual self – which I’m 100% okay with.
This year I’m going to write goals down and hold myself accountable. It’s worth a try, and if I only follow through on one of these it’ll improve my life, and/or wallet.
- Order less pizza. We order in maybe 2x a week..sometimes more depending on the laziness. I’m putting the delivery driver’s kid through college.
- Care less between the hours of 7-8am and 5-6pm (commuting time). If I could be more patient, it will likely have a ripple effect of greatness for the rest of the day. It’s unnatural to have steam coming out of your ears by 7am, but it’s a daily occurrence.
- Deplete my yarn stash. I’m addicted to buying yarn with no project goals. My apartment is closing in on me with containers. Someone stop me – SOS.
- Stop eating so much pasta! It’s cheap, it’s easy and…it’s easy. However, I’m eating like I’m training for a marathon and I never run.
- Start running.
Do you ever make New Year’s goals that you never end up attaining? For me, it’s going to be #3, 4 or maybe 5..I can already sense that I’m aiming too high.
Last weekend was jammed packed with activities.
Activity #1 – The Fiber Festival of New England.
Activity #2 – Packers v. Patriots game @ Gillette Stadium.
Two opposite ends of the entertainment spectrum, but that is how I roll.
I’ll start with the fiber fest. I realize I just went to one the weekend before in Asheville, but I couldn’t resist. This one was about 2 hrs West of Boston in Springfield, MA. It took some convincing to get the hubs to take me on this road trip. I promised cool animals, a free lunch, and a pit stop to the new casino for his troubles.
Thank goodness for that casino, it sealed the deal. He got to play craps for about an hour, and he ended up winning enough money for me to even out on my yarn splurge. What’s yours is mine, amiright? – and that includes gambling earnings.
Anyway, this fiber fest was glorious, and seemed a bit larger than SAFF. Hubs was such a great sport through it all. He was on board with my plan to walk down every aisle and focus on one side at a time so I didn’t miss ANYTHING. I have a system. He was half paying attention, but that is 50% more than I thought. He was a great photographer of all knitty things, and that is all I could ask for:
He thoroughly enjoyed the alpacas, who wouldn’t? Just look at their cute furry heads. They’re my favorite.
I also overheard him talking to the owner of some super cute Angora rabbits. Apparently, those (not so) little cuties shed enough fur to make ~1 sweater worth of yarn per year. Don’t quote me on that, I’m a bad listener. (I googled it though, they produce 2 lbs of fur per year – that seems about right).
The animals were precious, they had beer at the concession stands, and I made it out with a couple very pretty skeins (neutral, obviously). I’m quite proud of how well I controlled my spending in yarn paradise. There were ladies there who brought their own carts for their loot. I was jealous – I will be them in years to come, I hope.
4-hour round-trip road trip for a fest…what did I do with my time? Make a Green Bay Packers beanie for Sunday night football of course.
I had some buddies in town for the Packers v. Patriots game at Gillette Stadium and we pulled the trigger on going with them about 2 days in advance. This took some convincing. I have my Sunday routine – which is to catch up on everything that I procrastinated on the week before. If I went to the game, nothing would get done. But then I realized nothing would probably get done anyway. #FOMO
It’s Rogers v. Brady, I am a Packers fan, hubs is a Pats fan, how could we not go? I decided to push off my responsibilities for another day (or week), and just do it.
Door-to-door from start to finish was ~10 hours, I’m not kidding (including game duration and tailgating). If you know anything about Gillette Stadium, you know to plan your trip to take at least 1.5 hours each way. Even longer for us since we took the train. It’s brutal. Just imagine: an overcrowded train at 12:45am full of medium to highly drunk fans. I won’t bore you with the logistics, but just know that it was a great ONE time experience.
I will not be going to a Sunday night game there again. Not because I had a terrible time, but because I was trapped in between train cars for over 1.5 hours, standing way too close to strangers past 1am. I should have hitchhiked.
We had a blast even though the good guys (Packers) lost. I’m grateful to have gone, but from now on I’ll just watch it from my couch, in the comfort of my own home, far, far away from people. At least from home I can see the replays and not stand in long lines for beer and bathrooms.
My office is in downtown Chicago. Every day I take a metra train to and from work. Every day. For the past five years. For four of those years, I’ve been on the same train.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
Same repetitive pattern. Back and forth. Back and forth. Almost like crochet, in a way… #justgowithmeonthis
So I often walk to and from the train in a trance. Listening to music. Talking on the phone. Not really a big deal as long as I’m on time.
And on the right train. Because sometimes… just sometimes… weird things happen and they switch the track my train is on.
Like last week. When I was on the phone. And got on the train.
My call ended. I browsed some headlines. Rummaged through my bag for a book. And finally, popped my head up to look out the window.
I did not recognize a thing. And immediately realized my huge, HUGE mistake. And even though I was perfectly safe, surrounded by people, the idea of not having any idea where I was going was absolutely terrifying.
So I casually turned to my seat partner. “Excuse me, I don’t normally take this specific train (to be fair, that wasn’t a lie). Can you tell me what the first stop is for this one?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s Lombard.”
“Perfect. Thank you!”
As you can guess, I did not want to go to Lombard, which is 35 minutes due west of the city. I do not live west of the city. I live north of the city. And I was heading the wrong way. During rush hour.
After explaining where I was heading to my husband, he quickly replies, “GET OFF AT THE NEXT STOP!”
“THAT IS THE NEXT STOP!”
And so I expressed to Lombard. The train quickly taking me further and further away from home.
Total Cost of my mistake: 45 minutes, $35 in uber fees, an unbathed child and a cold dinner.
Luckily, that did give my husband enough time to get some wine chilled to the ideal temperature.
And then back and forth, back and forth I went with my current baby blanket project. Because routine is comforting. And mindless busy work is a great after a stressful day.
Although it never hurts to double check your work from time to time. Or in other cases, the sign for your train.
Hello! This is Bailey and Amy. We like yarn stuff.
Is that enough to go off of? No? Ok, let’s try again…
Hi! We used to live together as roommates in the city of Chicago. Nowadays, Amy is living the crazy Chicago suburban life and Bailey has made Boston her home. We’re still close friends, but the one thing that has really solidified that?
That sounds ridiculous.
But weirdly, it’s true. Amy’s known how to knit for a while, and even tried to teach Bailey once, but rarely ever spent time on the hobby she learned as a kid. She picked it back up again when her husband asked her if she could make him a hat. She responded, “I think so”. And did (it was her first hat, and terribly ugly but he did wear it, maybe twice, to be nice).
Bailey, on the other hand, decided to have another go at knitting (after Amy’s sub par attempt) and took some classes after she moved her life to Boston. She then graduated to crochet and forced Amy to learn it, as well.
Fast forward a few years later, and here we are. Texting each other what we’re working on, exchanging pretty Instagram knit pics and joking about their “grandma” hobby as we pass along info on yarn sales.
And we just really want to keep talking about it with whoever wants to listen. And how we weave (knit?) our little hobby into our lives.
Perhaps you’ll see our latest creations. Or be told a story. Or laugh at a play-by-play of how to not cry when security forces you to throw away your entire crochet hook set in the airport (Bailey is promising that tale soon).
We’re not really sure. But hey, this could be fun, right?
-Bailey & Amy