Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FINISHED PROJECT: Christmas Lights

Merry Christmas! I'm definitely in the holiday spirit and have finished my first decoration of the season: Christmas lights! Okay, okay, they are a little silly, but I think they are kitschy-cute. If Markie gets sick of them above the sink, I think they would look mighty sweet strung up in my cubicle. We'll see, though! I think that they'd make doing dishes just a little cheerier.

Crochet Christmas Ornaments
Look at that piggy!
How cute, right?! I used this pattern and it really took about two night's worth of work. I could make about two bulbs an hour once I got used to the pattern. After that I just made a really long chain, turned and single crocheted back and then tied each ornament in the cord. Mark says it should've been green, but... I picked grey. 

Crochet Christmas Decorations

The yellow yarn I used was a little funny - too thin and shiny, which made the bulbs smaller than the others - but it was such a pretty color. (I got it label-less in a yarn swap.) I used all scraps of what I already had, so the colors weren't exactly what I would choose (I would've liked a blue and a brighter green), BUT I like it! I know the red was Red Heart, but besides that it was all Lion Brand. The purple was Vanna's Choice eggplant. The green was missing it's label, but I know it was a Vanna's Choice of some type. Oh, and the grey was Lion Brand's Wool-Ease. I used an F hook for the bulbs and an H for the chain.

Crocheted Christmas Lights

Yay! I love it! Next, I would like to make some Christmas-colored scalloped bunting to go above the huge door frame between the living room and the sitting room. For that project, though, I will most likely go pick out the perfect colors instead of stash-busting. Have you started decorating yet? What are you planning on making this year? I'm so excited; we're getting our tree on Saturday. I can't wait to take out all of my favorite ornaments and put them in the perfect spots on the tree! Soon, soon, soon!
Me! MaDonna!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bloglovin'


After being unhappy with Google Reader for a while (it kept not saving blogs that I subscribed to and marking items read that I hadn't even looked at), I finally started Bloglovin' -- sooo, if you have one, follow me! If you haven't already, that is. Ummm.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What I Wore: Thanksgiving Edition

Hi! How is everyone's weekend? Like I said, I had to work yesterday to make up some time from being sick on Tuesday/Wednesday, so my weekend is pretty short, but I'm making the most of it! I stayed up too late crocheting and watching the Friends marathon on Nick at Nite (I think!). I've been baking up a storm this morning and have been crocheting since. I decided to give my hooking hands a break to do a little outfit post!

H&M Kitty Print Dress
Special Guest Star: Lydia, one of my baby sisters!
(Funny how she's taller than me, hm?)

Dress: My new H&M kitty dress
Scarf: Maurices
Cardigan: Delia*s
Tights & Legwarmers: Hm! I would say Target and Pennies? I don't remember!
Shoes: (Not shown, obv!) These bow ones from Charlotte Russe

It was a fun day! I love my kitty dress; it's so comfy and cute and it can be casual or dressed up a little, perfect for holiday family gatherings. I was unhappy, though, because my tights got a little run in the toe at my parents and by the end of the night, the run was up underneath my knee. Hidden by the legwarmers, at least! It was so warm that day, too - almost 60 degrees! - so that is all I wore, no coat or anything else.

What have I been up to today?
Like I said, baking and crochet! I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough last night and let it sit in the fridge while we slept. It was so nice to wake up to already made, homemade cookie dough, ready to be put in the oven! And that's what I did. 50+ cookies later, Markie and I were set. I also put together a green bean hotdish really quick. I've been craving it so much lately for some reason, and all the grocery stores have a ton of displays with all the ingredients all put together, so I picked that up at Cub on my way home from work Saturday. (So cheap, two cans of cream of mushroom, two cans of green beans, fried onions, and milk.) As for crochet... as you probably know, I've been more-than-itchy to make a full-size afghan since I finished Coley's baby blanket. So, of course, I had to crochet a bag to put all the granny square stuff in, right?! (It makes no sense to me either.) I am in love with Lucy from Attic24 and am in the middle of this bag from the pattern on her blog. Very easy, just time consuming. It's taking a little longer than I thought, but not too bad.

Baking, Crochet, Coffee, and Cookies
Top Row: My cookies cooling | The base of my bag (huge!)
Bottom Row: Coffee with a candy cane | Green bean hot dish!

Well, I hope everyone had a lovely Sunday! (We will just ignore the Vikings game.) I'm back to crochet and to heat up some leftover pasta with mushrooms that I made last night. Bye! ♥
Me! MaDonna!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My (Little) Black Friday Haul

Hello! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I, of course, took about a million photos of food from yesterday, so next time I get a second to breathe, I will make sure to share with all of you. I finally felt mostly better by the time I went to sleep on Wednesday night, so Thursday I could enjoy all the yumminess. Today, though, I had to rush straight back into work with a 7-noon Black Friday shift at the mall (my 8th Black Friday in a row!) and then to my office job from 1 to 7. I should've worked longer there, but I was so tired. I'm going to have to go in tomorrow, unfortunately, to make up some time from being out Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday.

I did have a little time to do some (minimal) shopping in between the two jobs. Here's what I picked up:

Hot Topic Headband
All the jewelry and hair stuff are BOGO 1/2 off, so Channa & I both bought one!
Originally $10.50. Saved $5.50.


American Eagle Hoodie

Every year I like to buy a hoodie from AE, since they are so cheap! This one is so soft, I think it's my new favorite! There were some seriously cute winter-patterned sweaters, too, just a little more expensive.
Originally $39.50. Saved $15.80.


JC Penney Thermal

Comfy and I'm wearing it now! I love the thumb holes.It's funny - Channa came back from her break with this same exact thermal and a black version of the pants below, so after work I had to go see what the fuss was about. I got the same things! Our wardrobes have so many double items.
Originally $22. Saved $15.12.


JC Penney Yoga Pants

You can never have enough dance pants. I like that they are charcoal, not black, too.
Originally $20. Saved $10.

All in all, I spent $45.58 on four items, but all together, they were marked down by $46.42 in total. Wow! It was over half off everything. Fine by me. What did you pick up today? I have been looking around online - last year on Black Friday I bought my first Sugarpill eye shadow, and I see she is having another sale... I also am in the market for some new candles... Just kidding! I need to save money and start buying presents for everyone! Have you started your "to buy" lists yet? I'm going to break out my Christmas notebook tomorrow and start planning. I'm so excited for the holidays!


Me! MaDonna!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Instagram Roundup

Hey everyone! I'm sick! I'm not sure what is wrong .. could be food poisoning or could be a little bug. Either way, I hope I get better by tomorrow. I left work early yesterday and didn't go in today. My stomach is more than iffy, but now I'm finally feeling hungry. Markie is out on a trip to town to get me Gatorade and chickie noodle soup, how sweet. That said, I'm not feeling the most inspired to do much of anything but lay around and do nothing. I went to bed at 10 last night after sleeping on and off since three. I was feeling so unwell that I could barely watch TV, let alone sit up and look at my computer. I turn to such a baby when I'm sick! Hopefully this soup makes me feel better -- until then, here are some snapshots of what I've been up to for the past couple of weeks!

Minneapolis Skyline
MINNEAPOLIS: On our way to our belly dance performance last week.

Target sushi cat toy
Sushi cat nip toys at Target!

Crochet Motifs
This crochet motif takes SO much yarn and SO much time, but it is so cute.

red Kitchenaid
I made peanut butter cookies on Sunday night. :9

Cute Cat
My cat, with the robot hatch mouth.

Christmas Travel Mug

Target dessert cat toys
More cat nip toys!

Belly dance hoodie
I'm wearing my new, RakStar-exclusive hoodie! With my dance name: Moitie.

Cute Cat and Cute girl

Strobe Light Nail Polish

And I'm off for soup! I'm torturing myself by watching Food Network's Thanksgiving specials ... I so hope that I'm better for tomorrow; Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. My fingers are crossed!
Me! MaDonna!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snowy Saturday

Saturday was the first real snowy day of the year! It started as rain, then sleet, then thick fluffy snow! I was so excited, minus the fact that I had to take the half-hour country drive to town. BUT, I was driving to Coley's baby shower, so it was all for a good reason. As I headed out, I snapped a few photos of how pretty the white snow looked against the farm background.


And thus begins the season of my non-sensible winter shoes.




It was very pretty, but I didn't have fun driving. The snow was coming down pretty thick and the first snow of the season always brings out the worst in drivers.But, I made it safe and sound to my destination and by the end of the night, the roads were melty enough that my drive home was just fine.


...so, what are you excited for?

Baking cookies ♥ The first time to light the Christmas tree ♥ Cuddling and watching Christmas movies at night ♥ The quiet of the snow in the country, with nowhere to go ♥ Red wine and blogging (right now!) ♥ Putting together Christmas lists ♥ Buying gifts for everyone ♥ Crocheting new things; I want to try Tunisian crochet ♥ Making new pies ♥ Bringing Thanksgiving leftovers to work on Friday ♥ Only working 7-12 on Black Friday! (Only five hours?!) ♥ Buying new mittens ♥ Cinnamon Tea ♥ Putting together my first Christmas mix of the season ♥ Making a DIY lamp with a clear cookie jar & white twinkle lights ♥ New ornaments from Crate & Barrel ♥ Wrapping presents ♥ Secret Salame at belly dance ♥ Sales! Sales on yarn, more specifically ♥ Spending time with family ♥ Mashed potatos ♥ Gingerbread ♥ Tom & Jerry egg nog mix ♥ Browsing Etsy for the perfect gift for everyone ♥ Fa La Lattes ♥ Cheesy Christmas jewelry and hair clips at Claire's and Gymboree ♥ Oi to the World ♥ Red and white nails ♥ The unopened box of candy canes I bought tonight at Menards

Red wine, white snow, and new matryoshka stacking glasses. ♥

Let me know what you are looking forward to! I'm ready to be festive, of course! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FINISHED PROJECT: Striped Baby Blanket

This has to be one of my biggest projects! A striped baby blankie for one of my best friends, Coley, who had her baby shower last night. I started late Friday night, Nov 11, and finished early afternoon Saturday, Nov 19. (It was especially cosy finishing it yesterday with the very first snow falling outside!)


Crochet Baby Blanket

I forgot to measure it, but here is some information:
  • Each row was 105 stitches across. Each color had twelve rows and each white stripe had four rows. I worked on it for seven days over a span of nine. And I made up the pattern! (Which is why the border is kind of funny.)
  • I used all Vanna's Choice Baby in Lamb (one and a half skeins), Cherry Cherry, Goldfish, Pink Poodle, Sweet Pea, and Duckie (all the colors took not quite a full skein.) I used a J-hook for the whole thing.


I was so happy that it turned out, that I got it done in time, and that Coley loved it! I knew I wanted it to be extra-specially made because she's an amazing crocheter.

Chester inspecting the yarn.


It was really fun doing such a large project. It wasn't difficult and I didn't have to count, so it was perfect to sit and relax and stitch away. Each row took me about ten minutes, depending if I crocheted straight through or not. The best part about making this project was that eventually I got to cuddle under a blanket while working. It has totally inspired me to make my own MaDonna-sized afghan someday - I think if this one took me a week or so to make, and if I want to make my blanket four times bigger (does that sound right?), it'll only take a little over a month! That's not so bad! As long as I can stay dedicated to working on it and not starting anything new..







The yarn is so soft and cosy! I love it.

So that is something that I've been working on! My other long-term project is all boxed up to send out on Monday to Miss Twinkie, and I will post about that once she does. WINK! Today's plan? Doing dishes, watching my Vikings lose again, baking peanut butter cookies, and crocheting up some Game Boy gloves.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

RakStar at the Festival of Oriental Dance Juried Show

Back in early October, RakStar got a little note on our Facebook about dancing at the Festival of Oriental Dance in Minneapolis. I emailed the woman in charge and it turns out it was a juried performance, and we were invited to dance in it! At first, we were all nervous by the sound of "juried" - was it judged? A competition? But, I asked and juried meant that a panel at the dance studio, Jawaahir, saw us and chose us to be a part of the show. How flattering and awesome! We went and danced on Thursday night and it was so amazing.

A few of us got to go up early in the day to see some free lectures and take a free dance class during the festival, but the rest of us came up together once we all go off of work. When the second group of us got up there, the rest of the girls were still in a lecture, so we walked down Hennepin to go to Tao, an organic cafe and restaurant that is so incredibly yummy.



It was healthy happy hour! My veggies & rice, with mint tea.

Erika and I shared a delicious wheat grass shot. 2-4-1s during happy hour!

We finally met up with everyone around six and started getting ready for the quick tech rehearsal and the show! We were second to last out of twelve performers in two acts, so we had a little time to get ready and to go see the vendors that were at the festival.

I found a new coin belt and hair flower at Dahlah's section in the vendor area. I can't say no!



Another group that performed. They were two before us, though, so we couldn't watch. Bummer!

Cat, Me, Channa, Lyra, Dani, Erika, Liz - The RakStars that could make it! (Sadly, missing three!)

Dreaming about her greasy green veil's last performance.

Time to go home! It was late for a Thursday in the cities! We left a little after 10.

"Here, eat a cold french fry!"

It was a great show.  It was so fun to watch all the other performers that were selected to dance in the show, as well as to dance for them! We did our skirt dance, choreographed by Coley, to a Rodrigo y Gabriella song, and then our veil dance, choreographed by Channa, to Jimmy by M.I.A. I'm excited now because I get to go to Coley's baby shower in a few hours and see all the girls, even the ones missing from Thursday night, and hang out!