Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hat of the Month: March Blonde Braids

For March, I decided to channel my inner princess.

I'm so happy to have this hat finished! Not because I didn't have fun making it, but because of the mental block I had surrounding it. As I said before, I started making one hat, and just when I thought I was finished I decided to change what I was doing. I was just going to make a basic hat then fold up the brim and sew on a button (ala Blossom). But when I was almost done I spotted my yellow yarn and decided to try for the braided look. Voila!

Here's what I ended up doing...
For the hat:
- Approx. 2.5oz of yarn, any color (I started with a new skein of Red Heart Candy Print and used about half of the skein)
- J-hook

Round 1. Ch 3, work 7 hdc into the first chain. (8 hdc)
Round 2. Ch 2, hdc in same st. 2 hdc in each st around (16 hdc)
Round 3. Ch 2, hdc in same st. *1 hdc in next 1 st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from * to * around (24 hdc)
Round 4. Ch 2, hdc in same st. *1 hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from * to * around (32 hdc)
Round 5. Ch 2, hdc in same st. *1 hdc in next 3 st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from * to * around (40 hdc)
Round 6. Ch 2, hdc in same st. *1 hdc in next 4 st, 2 hdc in next st* repeat from * to * around (48 hdc)
Round 7. Ch 2, hdc in next st. hdc around (48 hdc)
Round 8-18. Repeat row 7.
Round 19. Ch 2. Working in back loops only, hdc in st around. (48 hdc)
Round 20. Repeat row 7.
Weave ends.

For the braids:
Cut 52 pieces of yarn, each approx. 4 feet long (or twice the length you want your "hair" to be).
I used a combination of 3 yellows to give it a "natural highlights" feel, but you could use whatever color(s) you choose. I didn't really count how many strands I cut of each color, but I probably had about 8 light yellow, 18 medium yellow, and the rest the darker yellow. Since I had them on hand, I have no idea what the color names are, but if I had to guess, my light yellow was Red Heart Super Saver Light Yellow, my medium yellow was Red Heart Super Saver Bright Yellow, and my dark was Red Heart Sport Yellow... I like Red Heart :-)
Go back up to Round 19. Starting from the center (I used the ch 2 as my guide, but you can really start from anywhere), count over 5 stitches each way and mark the 5th stitch on each side. Take 2 pieces of yarn, fold them in half, and pull the middle of the folded yarn through the front loop of the 6th stitch, just enough to have a loop. Pull the other ends of the yarn through the folded-yarn loop. Repeat in the next 25 stitches, and again on the opposite side.
The blue yarn was marking my stitch.

Separate the hair in to 3 even sections and braid. Finish off by wrapping the end of each braid with a piece of yarn and tie to secure.

I finished the hat with a simple flower, and called it done!

Hope you like it! Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Diet Bet

Today was Day 3 of the Diet Bet. Technically I weighed in on Saturday, but the game didn't start until Monday. It's been good so far. I've been pretty well with my eating. I went a little over yesterday, but not too badly. And I still logged everything I ate (which I've been bad about lately). I'm not mad at myself for it.

I made it a goal for this week to hit 10,000 steps on my pedometer each day. I knew it was going to be difficult, but the only day I didn't make it was yesterday (noticing a theme?). Greg and I went for a nice little hike on Sunday. We were going to take a walk at a local park, but the trail was closed for construction. We ended up taking a hike around the property behind his house. His family has a lot of farm land behind his house, and I'd never really explored it. Plus there's a wooded area that we wondered through. It ended up being about a 3.5 mile trip. Monday and today I did a walk-at-home video to hit my goal. 

Amy and I were talking about how we didn't realize how much weight we had gained until we started losing weight. We were looking at pictures from our trip to New England, and then it was obvious. Today she made me this to keep me inspired in my progress...
I remember I was trying to sit up straight and draw in my stomach. I was so self-conscious, and I still didn't realize how big I'd gotten. It's nice to see that I have made progress towards my goal.  The only down side is that I have remained pretty stagnant since the after picture which was taken almost 9 months ago! But the diet bet should help me head more towards my goal. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A-Weigh We Go

Welp, it's official. I've submitted my weight for Hannah and Olivia's Diet Bet Challenge. My official starting weight was 210.8 pounds...
Everyone is given a word that has to be in the scale picture.
That means I need to lose 8.4 pounds by April 14. It's a little over 2 pounds a week, which I think is totally doable. I'm a little bummed at myself that my weight is back up (I had been down to 201 at one point), but hopefully this challenge will help me refocus my goals.

Mom and I have spent some time going through all of our healthier cookbooks. We have quite a few! I would say at least 12 that are just low calorie, low fat, healthier cooking... Let's not even talk about my "regular" cookbooks.  My name is Jen and I'm a cookbook hoarder.  Anyway, we're really just trying to get some ideas. I love healthier foods, I just get in the habit of making the same ones and get burned out.

My phone is acting up again. It had been charging without a problem for the past few weeks, so I was thinking the ghost was out of the machine. But I woke up this morning to a completely dead phone, and now I can't even get it to register that it's plugged in. I'm going to order a wall charger and spare battery from Amazon, but I have to wait until I get paid on Thursday. Hopefully I can get it to charge, at least a little, between now and then. July's upgrade cannot come fast enough! Although, I'm kind of tempted to see what I can make work until November and leave for Straight Talk. Anthony and Amy both have it and like it. And I could still get the phone I want I'd just have to pay full price for it. We'll have to see.

I guess I need to run to the store! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Losing Bets

Oy. I am worn out. I feel like this has been my theme song for the past few days.
Side note, PicMonkey is so fun!
I started to say that I'm not sure what is wearing me out, but that's a lie. I need a day off. I have gone in early almost every day this week so I can train on the managerial side of my new position. Plus, I've had to work the past 3 Saturdays and my few days off have been full. I just feel exhausted from the time I get up in the morning.

Luckily, it's not combined with another low period or I probably wouldn't be able to get out of the house. My mood is fine, I'm just exhausted! I was thinking about going in on Saturday to help organize the stock closet, but I don't think I'm going to now. I'm just going to try to enjoy my day off and get some stuff done around the house. I know, really restful. ;-)

Today I registered for a bet. I follow MyFitspiration, and last week they made a post about a diet bet.
After talking to Amy (she also follows the blog), we decided we would both register for the game. Even our moms are getting in on it! That will definitely help me since my mom and I live together lol. And shucking out $25 will make sure I stay on track! I'm going to try to spend some time tomorrow looking through my cookbooks and making menu plans for the next few weeks. I'm not sure if I'm more excited about the competition or the chance to try new recipes.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Moving On Up!

While my promotion was official over a week ago, and I finally got my managerial login for work last Thursday, today it became legit when I got my promotion present from Amy!
Birds of a feather tweet together!
I posted a picture of a similar necklace on my Instagram account a few weeks ago, and she found this one on eBay. I heart it bunches!

I worked on my cousin's hat yesterday. I've been struggling with this lately, mostly because I've been annoyed with her. She's done and said a few things that I really don't appreciate. She called me the other night, and I was so aggravated when I hung up the phone I thought I would scream. But I decided to do this as a way of praying for her, and I'm not going to let my annoyance stop me. I know this may sound like one of those crazy holy rollers, but I feel like satan is trying to use my negative feelings to stop me from doing something positive.

So I changed tactics. While I was at the store yesterday I decided to look for a yarn that I really liked instead of trying to find one that I thought she would appreciate. And when I got home, I looked for a pattern I wanted to make instead of one I thought she would appreciate. I started one pattern, and it slowly morphed into something different. You might be able to tell from this preview...

Any guesses?
I'm actually kind of excited about it. I still have a few more details to finish, but hopefully I'll have the pattern posted by next week. I'm also hoping that I can get Greg to take some pictures of it with his fancy-smancy camera. He said he would, but he has a pretty busy week ahead so we'll have to see. Regardless, I'm glad I found a way around my mental block. I hope you like what I did!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pity Party

This weekend was a little rough. I didn't really sleep well through most of last week, so by the time Saturday rolled around I felt worn out. Especially since I had to work at 6am Saturday morning. Although, I was kind of glad I had to got up that early. It snowed Friday night/Saturday morning, and when I left for work there was this cool snow and mist thing going on. I tried to take a picture of it, but seeing as it was pre-dawn I didn't get what I wanted. It did turn out pretty cool though.
The circle is from Instagram, but that's pretty much how it looked on my camera. I had never seen mist and snow before. Anyway, the snow didn't last long. Most of it was gone by the time the sun came up. We kept having little snow showers off and on all day, but it never stuck.

Greg and I went to dinner and to see Jack the Giant Slayer that night. I was an emotional wreck (I think because of the lack of sleep) and somehow started feeling like Greg was only taking me out to dinner so I would shut up about my promotion. That in itself is a dumb thought because we go out to dinner and a movie almost every single weekend, some times more than once in a weekend. 

Sunday was a hard day. I don't really know why exactly, but I felt like everyone was mad at me and thought I was a hateful hag. I had decided I was going to spend my entire day in bed watching Netflix and Hulu. I even passed on going to see Hannah and Olivia at the Women's Today Expo with Amy! I was in total pity party mode. Luckily, Amy is my best friend and got me this:
Jen! Sorry we missed you! xo Olivia Ward
Hi Jen! Hannah Curlee
I spent most of the day crying and hashing things out with Greg (not in a bad way). I was feeling better that evening. Sometimes I think I just need to cry it out.

I get in these moods where I'm convinced that no one likes me or wants to be around me. I think I'm useless, unwanted, and unneeded. Have I ever mentioned I have deep seeded abandonment issues? Every once in a while they come rear their ugly head. Usually when things aren't going right (broken TV and phone) or life is not living up to my expectations (my promotion not being computer official at work). I feel like that's how the devil tries to get at me. He knows I'm talented, smart, and fun to be around, but if he can make me think I'm not then he has me.

Have I ever mentioned that I think Satan is a loser? Actually, if you've read the book, you know he is. ;-) Anyway, when he starts trying to get under my skin, I start singing. This is one of my favorites at the moment...

I heard this song at Winter Jam and fell in love with it. I need to memorize it so I can sing it all the time. It's hard to throw a pity party when you're rocking out!

Friday, March 1, 2013

In Like a Lion

Happy March, y'all! Today was my first day as Front Desk Lead. I had the nails to celebrate!
Sally Hansen Emerald City and Kiss Nail Dress Gown
Shannon bought the sticker things when she got promoted, and told me I should wear them on my first day as lead. They did make me feel festive!

Other than that, there wasn't much different about today. They haven't updated my login yet, so not even that changed. It probably won't really sink in until I start training in the office responsibilities. That should be soon, I hope!

I'm hoping March turns out to be a better month than February. February wasn't all bad, I suppose. It just wasn't as awesome as it could have been. But I will take the blame for that. My days are only as awesome as I make them, right? So I am going to make March more awesome. We'll see how.

March pretty much came in like a lion. It was snowing and windy this morning. I'll be happy when we're regularly in the 60+ degree weather. Although I'm not looking forward to allergy season. I made the mistake Wednesday of saying I hadn't had a bad allergy day in quite a few months. I woke up yesterday sneezing my head off! Sneezing and sniffling and watery eyes. Ech! But if that's as bad as it gets, I'm not going to complain. Wheezing and coughing I can do without!

I did 2 classes tonight and I have to be at work at 6am tomorrow. I guess I should try to settle down!
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