From MIA to Back Again

Okay, okay, I know. I suck at posting frequently. I’m working on doing better. I promise. I really am!

It’s summer time here in the heart of Texas, and man is it hhhhooooooottttttttttttttttttt!

I mean, I don’t even want to be outside most days unless I’m lounging in a pool. However, about a month ago, a friend and I decided we were going to sign up for a 5k. I’ve been sweating it up in the heat with my dog just trying to get back into shape where I could even do a 5k.

I average about 4 miles a workout now, but I would love to cut my time in half. Why? Well, if I’m going to be in a 5k, I sure as heck don’t want to be last to cross the finish. I’d much rather be first and get some type of award…even if it’s just a stupid ribbon!

What can I say? I love to win!

I had a whole day of it on Sunday when my best friend came to town. All we do is play games. Board games. Computer games. Video games. Card games. Anything and everything. I think the score of the day ended up being ME: 30  HER: 2

It’s pretty awesome! I’m very competitive and hate to lose…which is why I win…or I won’t do something ’til I know I can win.

I’m not a very experienced runner though and could use any and all help I can get.

Any suggestions/secrets/tips/helpful hints? What works for you when you’re running? Or what keeps you motivated? I kind of lack in the motivation since I hate running and I hate sweating. Bleh!

For those of you who run with iPhones: I use the iMapmyfitness app. It tracks your mileage, pace, time, calories, and trail. Amazing!

Not a necessity, but it is fun to use and it motivates me to pick up my speed every time I look at my pace.

Maybe with enough motivation I won’t hate running or sweating.

But I doubt it!

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New Year means New Experiences!

Long time, no blog. I know I’ve been MIA. There was a bit of vacationing going on and this past week I was sick. But I am back now!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s! I spent mine with my sister (not really related, but so close we’re family) and we had an absolute blast!! I got to wear my lovely dress that I bought way back in summer along with a beautiful chunky necklace that I also bought last summer, neither of which I have ever gotten to wear. Unfortunately, we were enjoying the night so much we forgot to take pictures, so I have no pictures of us dressed up ūüė¶

A few new things in my life:

1)  I did manage to score a job this January. I have a guaranteed position at a tax firm for the next 3 months. After that, my life is back to up in the air. Anyone want to hire me?

I’m a great worker, I learn fast ( I did teach myself to crochet in just a few hours), I multitask (yes, I can talk on the phone and listen to music while I work and still hand in great results), and well, I’m just awesome (definitely not lacking confidence, huh?).

2)¬† I’ll be upgrading to a smart phone (finally!) in a few weeks and get to experience what life is like for all of those space phone users.

3)¬† Just recently, I got to reconnect with one of my best friends from high school. Her phone number changed a lot, so it was hard to keep up with and we eventually lost touch. I constantly looked for her on Facebook and MySpace, and just a few days ago we found each other on Facebook. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to go see her sometime in the next few months!

4)¬† A new boyfriend. Okay, so I don’t have one yet, but I’m open to one. The last one broke my heart and it sucked. On the plus side, ignoring my feelings and staying busy because of the breakup was the whole reason I learned to crochet (yay for that. Just wish it didn’t have to happen that way for me to learn an awesome craft).

5)  I foresee a new computer in my future too. Or at least, getting mine fixed so I can stay connected to the internet for more than 2 minutes.

6)¬† A new and real job in one of three places in Texas that I have been looking at. I will also accept owning my own business in place of “a new and real job”.¬† Any business ideas? I’m down for most things that don’t require me to have a lot of programming knowledge because all I know is basic html.

7)¬† The final new experience that I will get to experience this year won’t happen for quite a few months, but I am so excited for when it does. Unfortunately, due to a promise I made someone, I cannot reveal what this exciting secret is until a few months from now.

So that concludes the NEW things in my life right now. I hope to add more to my list as the year goes on, but I will settle for numbers 6 and 7.

Now that I’m back, there will be more up to date posts and I promise they won’t be as long and picture-less as this one has been.

Cheers!

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My new scarf’s first trip!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I know I did. Texas finally had a cold front move through and it is now freezing outside. I love it!!

I had to venture out once tonight to return some Redbox movies and was actually really excited to do it. Why? Well, I’ve been crocheting scarves since October, but it hasn’t been cold enough to wear any. The friends/family that I gave scarves to for Christmas all live in places cold enough for scarves and were able to break in my creations already.

However, I live further South than everyone else and have been craving to wear my new hobby outside. Tonight, I got to do just that!!! ūüôā

I have to say I am very pleased with my blue scarf. I used a basic shell stitch on it and used one of the “made for baby” yarns, so it is super soft. (I used this to learn the stitch: Shell stitch. Theresa is a great crochet teacher). It felt so good to wear my own creation in front of the world. I can’t wait to do it again!! I’m also really excited to tell anyone that compliments it, that I made it. Obviously, I’m a bragger, but that’s fine with me!

I also just finished the scarf shown below tonight. I think I’m going to be putting this one in my Etsy shop (when I get one). I love the pattern on this scarf and I don’t think that pictures do it justice. I’ve used this pattern on quite a few different scarves; adjusting it for various size yarns. I have never added the single crochet edging/trim on it as the creator suggests. **There is a correction that needs to be made if you do use it. Instead of chaining 21, you need to chain 23 or your work will be off.**¬†Also, in the beginning,¬†add 4 chains or subtract 4¬† to make the scarf skinnier or wider.

If you have trouble with that pattern, the creator is very responsive and helpful, or you can ask me. I’m pretty much a pro with this pattern now.

Sorry, these are the best pictures I could get in my current lighting situation. The scarf is a deep purple color and is 5″ wide and 76″ long. I made it with Caron Simply Soft and it lives up to the name….so soft!!

I’m always looking for pretty and creative scarves (especially fast ones, as I have a few requests from family right now), so if you know of any or have any favorites, please share!!

On a sidenote,¬†if anyone knows any good dog sweater tutorial, I would be very thankful as I’m having trouble understanding even the “beginner” ones.

Again, I hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas! I enjoyed my family time and can’t wait for New Year’s Eve!

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Annual Christmas Cookies from Scratch

About a week ago I made some delicious iced butter cookies. I do this every year as part of a holiday tradition. It started when I was little and¬†used to visit my grandparents every Christmas, they always made these cookies and everyone participated in the decorating of the cookies. Well, my grandpa has since passed and my grandma doesn’t cook much anymore, so I have picked up the tradition.

Though I love chocolate and chocolate chip cookies, these are by far my favorite cookies. They taste great, are fun to decorate, and bring back memories of past Christmases.

I can’t share the recipe for the cookies with you, but I’m sure there are lots of butter cookie or sugar cookie recipes available online that you could use. I would go with a less sweet recipe like butter cookies because the icing is pretty sweet.

Just a fyi for those of you that like to eat cookie dough: the cookie dough still tastes really good even without a lot of sugar. ‘Tis yummy!

My favorite part (other than eating leftover cookie dough) is decorating. I don’t get too detailed or pretty with my decorating. It’s pretty hard to do really nice stuff when all I decorate with is a spoon and toothpick.

The icing I use is just powdered sugar mixed with water and food coloring for different colors.

This is as creative as I get when it comes to cooking. Everything else I do in the kitchen isn’t nearly as cute or pretty, but I make sure everything I cook tastes good ūüôā

I had to use my mom’s cookie cutters since mine are packed away and she had this one gingerbread man that I was excited to use. However, when it actually cuts out the cookie, the cookies end up looking like stick men. Since they were too little to decorate and put faces on, I kept it simple. I¬†even made one a ninja¬†(see below)¬†since his legs were all crooked and it looked like he was kind of kicking.

I love the ninja! He may appear in some random places in the house soon. For obvious fun reasons, he will be the last cookie to be eaten.

Enjoy the holiday cheer and I hope I inspired some of you to make some fun cookies! Good luck on your endeavors!

Feel free to leave some great recipes, your family traditions, pictures, links, etc in the comments.

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Crochet for a Cure

As you know, I’m looking to start my own business. While trying to come up with some fun and unique ideas, I came across this site: Crochet for a Cure¬†. They sell¬†their handmade crochet items and donate 50% to the American Cancer Society.¬†They are doing this in memory and support of a loved one lost to cancer.

I like the concept of their company and the reason behind it, but they haven’t had many people visit the site. I don’t know why, but I’m thinking it might not be a popular subject or just lack of SEO.

What got me interested in their site was a search for the actual title of their page. I wanted to see if someone had already started a company like that because I was interested in it. While their website is small scale and involves only their handmade items, I have some bigger ideas.

If there is an interest, I want to create a non-profit Crochet for the Cure company where anyone can give handmade crochet items to the company and 100% of the proceeds are donated. They can send the items or drop them off at local dropbox locations (mostly in metroplexes, until/unless this gets big enough to include smaller cities and towns).¬†Naturally, I say crochet because it’s what I know, but knit work would be just as welcome.

I’m not sure what cancer society the money would be donated to, but I’m thinking that a note from the maker could be attached to the item if there is a specified organization(from a predetermined list) they would like the proceeds from their craft to go to.¬† Also, I think it might be neat if any of the crocheters that are cancer patients or survivors attached a note to the item about themselves or with words of encouragement.

I know that I would include breast cancer among the top that I would like to donate to as I have had friends and coworkers affected by it. Other than that, I am open to suggestions.

Also, if there is quite a bit of interest in this, I think it would be neat to host a day where everyone gets together in their own metroplex and Crochets for a Cure.

I don’t know how popular this would be or if there is even any interest in it. If there is, please let me know because I am seriously interested in doing this or something like it.

Have any ideas/concerns/thoughts/ on this? Any and all would be appreciated!

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I finally started a blog!

I’ve been thinking of starting a blog for a really long time now… okay, the past 5 days, but with all my free time it feels¬†like much longer. There are a few reasons I wanted to start keeping up with a blog. They are:

  • too much going on in my head to keep everything up there
  • some of my friends are doing it and it looks interesting
  • I want to hear the thoughts of others to get new perspectives on things
  • to share new ideas, cool sites, interesting information with others
  • to feel just a little bit more free

I’m sure there’s more reasons, but I can’t think of them.

So if you haven’t read my “about me” page, I’ll tell ya a little something. I’m 23, living with my parents, looking for a full-time job that I can be happy doing, trying to plan a business of my own (if you have any fun ideas, let me know!), and doing a lot of other stuff too. Through my blog, I’ll try to keep you posted on my journey through life while providing you with cool ways (tried and true!) to earn extra cash, fun crochet patterns, cool sites, and anything random that I happen to enjoy and think you will too!

Anyway, I don’t want to overload you with my first post, so I’ll save some for later.

Signing off from south Texas,

Brookey¬†ūüôā

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