Monthly Archives

June 2017

Finished Object Lifestyle Seasonal

DIY Crochet Yoga Strap

June 22, 2017
DIY Crochet Yoga Strap

Do you ever wake up with the attitude, “I’m going to be healthy today”? Like, you’re ready to work out and hydrate and eat healthy and use soap made out of goat’s milk and stuff. Last weekend we had one of those days. We woke up early-ish and proceeded to go to the McKinney Farmers Market in Chestnut Square. If you’re in the area and you’ve never been to the McKinney Farmers Market, you should go! It’s in a little old historical section of town among all these cute old buildings and a wedding chapel. It is also where The Hubs and I got engaged (Though not during the farmers market, that would have been way to much of an audience!).

DIY Crochet Yoga Strap 1

After a long morning at the Farmers Market, at which we bought some excellent okra, The Hubs and I went to check out the local Yoga Fest near our apartment. Admission was free if you registered in advance, so we figured that we would check it out. The registration specified, however, that you must bring your own yoga mat.

While The Hubs and I have our own yoga mats, they’ve never…umm…been to yoga. They sit in a basket looking healthy while we do yoga on the carpet. We’ve never taken a yoga class, thanks to youtube, so they never really seemed worth it. However, it seemed the we were going to have to take them for a spin at the Yoga Fest. That meant I had to think about how to carry them.

Enter the crochet yoga strap!

DIY Crochet Yoga Strap

There are several very helpful and quick patterns for crocheted yoga straps on Pinterest and Ravelry. I ended up using this one. I used a worsted weight yarn held double and each strap took me maybe 10 – 20 minutes total. I braided the ends of the yarn instead of weaving them in because I’m lazy and I hate finishing. I may add some more tassels and beads later on to spruce them up. Then I tried them on our mats and they worked beautifully!

I was afraid that the straps would slip off the yoga mats and be hard to use but they were great. I even got a few compliments on how clever they were, though that may have been because some women wanted to sell me some doTerra…

We didn’t end up staying a the Yoga Fest very long, but I have my eye on a few other yoga events in the future. There’s a yoga studio in downtown McKinney that offers free community yoga on Saturdays at Tupps Brewery. There’s also Saturday morning yoga available at Klyde Warren Park! I don’t know if I’ll have any more healthy feeling Saturdays up my sleeve, but if I do, I’ll be ready thanks to my new yoga strap!

Finished Object Knitting

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

June 15, 2017
Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The first project of my Summer Knitting List is complete! Meet Elijah! Elijah is made following the pattern by the same name by the great Ysolda Teague! Seriously, she is one of my favorite designers. Everything she makes is so whimsical and elegant. And yes, an elephant can be elegant.

Elijah was made to be a baby warming gift for my new niece, who will be born this summer. I am throwing a baby shower and I couldn’t resist a good pink elephant theme. I can’t help it! Elephants are simultaneously cute and smart and kind, which is what I hope this new baby will be.

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The Pattern

Ysolda’s methods are so clever that I’m always wonderfully surprised at how her patterns turn out. I’m not a very visual thinker, so I don’t always see where she’s going with her instructions. But then, a turn or a flip or something and it all comes together and I’m like, “oooooh, that’s what she was doing!”

Elijah, as a stuffed animal, is a little more complex than your typical hat or shawl, but it’s really more labor intensive than it is difficult. It does feature short rows in the ears, so if those bother you, beware! There’s also a lot of pick up stitches, which I don’t always enjoy. The diagrams on this pattern are very clear however, and let you know exactly what to do. That being said, I think I picked up the stitches for the ears about 6 times, because I didn’t like the angle. That was user error though, not the pattern.

The other thing to note about this pattern is that it does rely on double pointed needles, which are…not my favorite. I ended up switching to circular needles as soon as possible on the arms and legs. This may also have been due to the fact that I could not find a whole set of my DPNs at once…

The finishing on this pattern is where things have the tendency to look wonky. I still may redo my french knot eyes. I’m not super experienced in embroidery, so one of the eyes looks a little funny to me. Also, when stuffing, be careful not to stuff TOO firmly. The head and body can be stuffed pretty tight, but the arms and legs should be looser to flop around, otherwise your elephant won’t be able to sit down!

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The Yarn

The yarn I used to this was a heavier weight than what was called for in the pattern (which calls for DK). I used Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Hand Dyed in my favorite color: Liptstick! Because speckles are a thing right now and I love them. The yarn stood up pretty well to the pattern, but did get a little splitty when using the smaller DPNs. Nothing to cause major issues, though. I just had to slow down and pay attention. I also appreciate that this yarn is superwash, because this is going to be a gift for a baby, and you know it’s going to need a bath at least once in it’s life!

Overall, this was a very satisfactory knit. It was made with a pattern I love, from a designer that I love, using a yarn that I love. Can’t get any better than that! Have you ever knit a toy before? How did your experience go?

Holidays Lifestyle Seasonal

The Best Birthday Deals (You’ll Actually Use!)

June 8, 2017
Best Birthday Deals (You'll Actually Use)

I turned 25 this week. Quarter of a century! My first birthday as a married woman! It was fun. The Hubs and I both took the day off work and celebrated. We went to the Dallas World Aquarium and took time to snap up all the best birthday deals and freebies I had. If you’re like me, you’re on every store email list imaginable. This usually means you rack up a lot of good birthday coupons, some worth your time, others…not.

I’m here to tell you which deals are the best birthday deals. These birthday deals are the ones that you’ll actually use and enjoy.

The Best Birthday Deals

Grimaldi’s

The Deal : A free large(18″) pizza with one topping!

This is a birthday freebie that we use every year without fail. We already love Grimaldi’s (if you’re a think crust pizza person, you’ll love them too!), but a whole pizza! We’re all over that! It comes with one topping already, though you can pay to add additional toppings if you want. I genuinely prefer cheese pizza, but we get half toppings for The Hubs. Very few birthday deals are this generous, so we make sure to always take advantage of Grimaldi’s birthday pizza.

The Best Birthday Deals (You'll Actually Use!)

Sephora

The Deal: Free Beauty Products, No purchase required! (if picking up in store)

If you’re signed up on Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, they’ll send you a coupon for a free mini gift in the month of your birthday! This year, the choice was between a Tarte mini gift (which had a little Amazonian Clay 12 hour Blush and a mini Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint) or Caudali (which included a Vinosource Moisurizing Sorbet and a Radiance Serum). I love Tarte, so that’s the gift that I chose. The colors are pretty current and definitely something that I would use and I didn’t even have to buy anything to get it! If you claim the gift online, you’ll have to order something,  but in store you just go up to the register and they confirm that you’re in the system and give it to you. Neat, huh?

Starbucks

The Deal: Free beverage or food item!

Is this like stating the obvious here? You can get a free drink or food item loaded onto your Starbucks app for your birthday. It’s only good for a few days, but honestly, I’ve never had a hard time making it to Starbucks. 

Nothing Bundt Cakes

The Deal: Free Bundtlet!

I’m not sure if Nothing Bundt Cakes is a thing everywhere else, but it’s definitely a thing in Texas. We love Nothing Bundt Cakes so much that we catered them for dessert at our wedding. If you’re on their email list, they’ll send you a coupon for a free Bundlet on your birthday. The coupon is good for about a week after your birthday, which is useful in case you need to space out your birthday sugar consumption err freebies!

 

Best Birthday Deals (You'll Actually Use)

Kendra Scott

The Deal: 50% off one item during your birthday month

Like Nothing Bundt Cakes, Kendra Scott is a thing in Texas. Like, I’m pretty sure they don’t let you call yourself a Texas woman if you don’t own any Kendra Scott. It seems like everywhere I look, there’s a woman wearing Kendra Scott. Even my little middle school girls at church have Kendra Scott. I did not own Kendra Scott because 1. It’s not cheap and 2. I’m not hip and with it. I was starting to feel a little left out. Enter the birthday deals. Kendra Scott will give you 50% off one item in the month of your birthday. You’ll need to sign up on their website and show your ID at the register to get the deal. That what I did and guess what? This girl got herself some Kendra Scott for her birthday! 

CVS

The Deal: $3 Free Extracare Bucks

If you’re not using CVS to get good deals on makeup, you need to get on that bandwagon, stat! Seriously, just search “cvs makeup deals” and some very smart, very thrifty ladies have done almost all the work for you. If you’re part of CVS’s Extracare program, they will send you $3 free extracare buck on your birthday. Free money. For your birthday. Combine that with any other coupons you have and bam! Super cheap makeup!

Einstein Bagels

The Deal: Free Egg Sandwich with Any Drink Purchase

I love Einstein’s. I didn’t know about them until I moved to Texas, but boy I’m glad I know about them now! It used to be so bad that my local Einstein’s knew my order the moment I walked in the door! This deal is for a free egg sandwich with any drink purchase, which sounds like a nice birthday breakfast to me.

So there is my collection of the best birthday deals. Did I skip any of your favorite birthday deals? How do you like to celebrate? Let me know!