It\’s my world, join me, won\’t you?

A little bit about knitting, a little bit about my family and anything else I feel like writing about :-)

Virtual Vacation Swap Package arrives and other lifely stuff

FUNDRAISER REMINDER:   Fundraising for my local Children’s library is now underway.  Please visit my website at www.marykay.com/kyue 25% of the total will go directly to the library, please use event code 276577 when ordering.  For all you knitters, the satin hands pampering set is the best thing for dry hands!!!!!

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Well, before I go into anything else, I wanted to post a pic of all my goodies my Virtual Vacation Swap pal sent me from Cali.  Somehow I knew she was from CA, just from the time she said she was going to take short trips all over her state to pick up some things for me–I just knew.  Anyway, here’s the loot (conspicuously missing are the Jelly Belly jelly beans which DD believed to be her’s and she decided to share them with daddy only–that’s ok, I think it’s not on my WW plan, anyway, lol):

So a big thank you to my pal, who can be found at: www.pointbreezedesignsblog.blogspot.com   Keep warm and sunny by the beach–you lucky dawg, you!

Speaking of WW, I lost a whopping 5 pounds this past week!  Yippee!  I am fast approaching my first goal of 25 pounds, which I am hoping to meet this week.   I spent the past few days trying on old clothes and thinning out (no pun intended) my closet.  I actually like looking in there and seeing less clothes to deal with.  Anything that is too big and unreasonable to belt or not good enough to have altered is going in a nice pile for donation or the garage sale.  It is quite a nice feeling to be doing that!  Wish me luck this week!

Book update:  I just finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards.  It was just ok for me.  Good premise to the story, had the making for a great book, but I just wasn’t invested in the charachters at all–couldn’t feel for them.  I also recently finished The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.  Wow, a quick read, simple writing, but so powerful.  It is not often a book will get me to cry (I didn’t cry when Dumbledore died even!), but at the end of this book I was sobbing.  Moving, truly moving.  ‘Nuff said.  I also finished up Dry by Augusten Burroughs, this was  a sequel to his Running with Scissors.  To sum it up, it’s like a soap opera on drugs.  It was a quick read, moved from one thing to another, but it didn’t do much for me–I didn’t particularly enjoy his first book either.  Oh well.  Not sure if I wrote about Water for Elephants, but I finished that a bit ago as well.  I would say that Water for Elephants and Middlesex by Jefferey Eugenides are two of my all time favorite books I have ever read.  Almost as soon as I put down Memory Keeper’s Daughter, I picked up The Alchemist by Paul Coellho.  I don’t know much about this book at all except it was featured in the NYT bestsellers email newsletter and I immediatly put it up on my www.paperbackswap.com wish list  (if you decide to join, please use my email addy as your referral  princesspeanutsmommy at gmail dot com–thanks!).  Within a week I had gotten a copy and I’m going to give it a try.  It’s relatively short (<200 pages), so I should be able to let you know what I think of it pretty soon.  I also picked up Night by Elie Wiesel at a garage sale last week.  I remembered it was an Oprah book club pick, so I thought I would check this out as well.  It is also less than 200 pages, so I will post about that asap.

I must be super-duper sleep-deprived the past few weeks (which I kind of am, trying to work at night while DD is sleeping–she is giving up her naps of late–can you hear my screaming and ripping out my hair as we speak?), and I am really hoping to make my fundraiser for the library a great success, so I have been working extra hard on that, too.  But for the life of me, I am having such a time knitting DD’s sweaters sleeves–it’s ridiculous!  It’s a 10 row pattern repeat, simple increases and I am doing both sleeves at the same time so I only need to figure this out once, but for the life of me, I have had more mistakes on these stupid sleeves than almost anything else I have ever knitted.  It is making me want to put it on hold for a bit and pick up some Christmas knitting for a while, but I really want to finish this off.   Speaking of Christmas knitting, the winner of my contest should be getting her package shortly and I apologize for the delay in mailing it.  I completely forgot to grab the box with all your goodies when I left the house for the post office last week–sorry!  It’s in the proverbial mail now–enjoy!

Well, DD has finally started to seek out the potty.  It’s an exciting time here with lots of potty DVD’s and books, running around half naked all the time and doing the potty dance.  Good luck little peanut, enjoy your new freedom–but don’t grow up too fast!  Her new question of the week is whether she is big enough to do something, and if she isn’t old enough, she asks if someday she will be big enough to do it.  That’s usually followed by her stating that she wants to “be big like you, mommy” and it breaks my heart a little bit every time she says it.  Life goes by so fast!!  I tell her not to grow up too fast, stay little for me, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen.  Sigh…

TTFN, blog at ya later!

October 2, 2007 Posted by | Book Club, Family and Life, knitting, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | 1 Comment

Contest reminder and a whole lot of other stuff!

CONTEST REMINDER:  You have until 9/15/07 to send me links or reference me to your favorite quick knit and/or felt patterns for my Christmas gifts this year.  The prize package is coming along nicely and one person will be randomly drawn to receive it.  I only have one entrant in the contest so far, so let’s give her some competition! (Although I am most grateful for her suggestions and will be trying out a few–thanks! 🙂  )

As you have read me mention, I have been on a little cleaning frenzy of late.  Now I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, this is not the dusting, scrubbing, house-a-sparklin’ kind of cleaning, this is the let-me-organize-my-craft-room-so-I-can-enjoy-myself-and-my-crafts-more kind of cleaning.  Oh sure, I have vaccumed and attempt to keep the kitchen cleaned up, but there is no dusting or waxing going on over here–not to worry, lol.  When it comes to cleaning, Martha Stewart, I ain’t!  But maybe this is also giving you the wrong impression, it’s not a pigsty over here, either.  Just not all parts of the house are clean at the same time, this week I’ll concentrate on this room, next week another room.  And you know, when you have a toddler and a husband, that by the time you are on to the next room cleaning, the previous room is already messed up–it’s a losing battle!  So this is my quest to find the floor in my crafting room/home office.  This is the room where everything that doesn’t have a home gets dumped, our bookshelves are in there, my desk and stock of Mary Kay items (which is very organized in a 4 drawer cabinet), my drafting table, a bureau (stuffed with yarn), my daughter’s easel for fingerpainting and a nice big closet that my dad put shelves in earlier this year.  I’m happy to say I see some floor space now and my drafting table is clear.  My yarn stash is condensed to 2 very large rubbermaid totes and the bureau.  All my magazines and knitting books have made it onto the closet shelves along with my scrapbooking supplies and pictures, the totes are in the bottom of the closet along with a tote filled with future gifts (I’m big on buying stuff when I see it and then putting it away until needed–wish I could say I was nearly done with Christmas shopping, but that hasn’t seemed to happen), and a tote filled with some of DH’s “stuff” (not sure what is in there, but it’s his). 

The other day, during DD’s nap, I was on a ball-winding kick and I took out all my yarn in hanks and wound them up into nice little pancakes.  Then organized them by potential project in my totes.  One entire tote is filled with just “felting” yarns that I have acquired throughout my knitting life and don’t actually have a specific project attached to them.  The other tote is filled with specific projects, as is the bureau.  During my yarn organization, I came across a stash of sock yarns.  A rather lot of sock yarns.  So I decided to count them.  I have 17 pairs’ worth of sock yarns.  I don’t even knit socks–I know, that’s usually heresy to say in the knitting world, but I don’t see the attraction.  Maybe if I could finish the first sock I ever tried to knit, I would like it, but it just doesn’t grab me, don’t know why.  So now I have a lot of sock yarns.  I should sell them, but I don’t really want to, they’re pretty yarns.  Guess I’m gonna have to figure out a way to like to knit socks 🙂

While I’m already talking about knitting, I might as well update you on DD’s sweater.  The back is completed and I will be casting on the front today.  I will add picture of the back of the sweater to this post later today–forgot to bring the camera upstairs to download picture.  I’m rather pleased with how it looks and it’s nice and soft.  I hope she won’t be swimming in it and I can get some pictures right away in her new sweater.  When it’s all done, we’ll have to go shopping for just the right pants or skirt to match.

So those of you with toddlers or babies, kids in general, I gotta a question for you.  Is there some kind of phenomena that goes like this?  When DD takes a nap, I run around the house straightening, reading email, cleaning up messes, doing a bunch of chores and then, just when I get a nice hot cup of tea, settle onto the couch with either a book, knitting and my IPOD or start a movie/TiVo’s program that I can’t watch with a toddler around ;-), she wakes up!  This happens every time!  It’s so frustrating!  Literally the moment I get settled and am about to enjoy a free minute, she starts crying.  Do they have some kind of relaxation-detection system?  It’s not fair, I’m going to just have to not clean today so I can get a few minutes to myself, lol.

Wednesday we went out to the grocery store, just a quick drop in for 3 items and I checked out using the self-checkout–much faster and DD likes to “help” me scan the items.  DD was sitting in the shopping cart, scanning her soup cans and her Bear (her constant companion, goes with her everywhere, she sleeps, eats and breathes with it, Bear) falls on the floor and neither of us notices as we are scanning our items and trying to keep the line moving.  A “gentleman”, and I do use that term loosely, tries to push his cart past us to leave.  His shopping cart snags and won’t go, something is caught under his cart, he stops and looks under the wheels of the cart and out of the corner of my eye, I see it’s Bear under one of the wheels and he sees it, too.  So what does he do?  Backs the cart up and pushes over it with  greater force and runs right over her Bear.  Of course, DD shreiks when she realizes this and the guy doesn’t even stop, offer to pick it up or apologizes, just moves on.  What an asshole!  I’m torn between feeling sorry for DD and horrified that she wants to hold and clutch it after it was just ground into the dirty floor of a grocery store and wheel of a shopping cart.  Thankfully, I keep a spare Bear in the glove compartment and I pretended to give Bear a bandaid and switched them when she wasn’t looking.  What is wrong with people–are we really that self-centered that we can’t help a fellow stranger any more?  It reminds me of the day when the Harry Potter book was released.  I took DD to B&N during the day because they have a story time there and we were going to meet my SIL’s and nieces and nephew for lunch right next to it.  Well, it being the day of the book release there was a line of people outside the store waiting for B&N to hand out the wrist bands to come back later for the party and to purchase their book.  Now this was at 11 am and there was already a short line of older teenagers and one older lady.  Because they took up so much of the sidewalk and there was a lot of traffic that day, I had to walk very close to the curb, while trying to keep DD on the sidewalk so as not to get run over.  Well, long story short, I stepped on the curb, twisted my ankle and fell, taking DD down with me and my entire purse scattered over the road of the shopping mall.  Do you know, not one person, not one single person even bothered to look up or get out of their lawn chair and come over to help us, mind you DD was crying at this point, not b/c she was injured, but she was scared and I was scraped up and she didn’t like that.  Finally after I got up and picked up all my things from the road while trying to keep DD safe and consoling her, finally the older lady called from her chair “Are you all right?”  A little late to be asking that, if you ask me, but at least she pretended to care.  Give me a break–boo hiss HP fans at the B&N in Holmdel, most certainly NOT worthy of Gryffindor or Hufflepuff OR Ravenclaw, it was decidely Slytherin!

Well, I have two more updates for you.  I’m sorry this was such a long post, I guess I have a lot to say today, lol.  The first is last night at WW I weighed in another 2.6 pounds lighter!!  Whopppeee!  That makes the grand total 17.4 pounds in 8 weeks, totally psyched about that.  The next is a book club update.  I’m sorry to say I never got the book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson for September’s book club and I hear it’s a little dry, so it wouldn’t be something I could fly through in a week’s time, so I think I will not be reading this book for this month’s book club meeting.  October’s book is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, which I suggested and loved!  November’s book I am a little worried about.  It’s called Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.  If anyone out there has read it, please leave me a comment and tell me it gets better!!  This has been so boring, I would honestly rather clean the dishes than read it.  Now that is a bad thing, lol.  I put it on the back burner and picked up the December book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.  I won’t tell you what it is about since they make such a big deal about keeping it a secret, but honestly, I had a pretty good guess what it was going to be and all my hunches were confirmed in the first chapter, so I’m not sure why the big secrecy.  But anyway, at least this is reading along quickly and I assume I will be done with it sometime next week.  I have been getting books right and left from www.Paperbackswap.com and I am thoroughly pleased with this group!  I got rid of a ton of my old books that noone wanted to buy and picked up a lot for me and half a dozen or so for DD.  She gets so excited when I get the mail, she thinks she’s getting a new book every day, lol. 

Well, I think I have blogged at you enough for one post.  I will be back soon with more picks of sweater, I hope.  TTFN!

September 7, 2007 Posted by | Book Club, Family and Life, knitting, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | 3 Comments

A jumble of stuff

Wow it’s been busy here, the end of summer is approaching and I always feel a little frantic at this point.  I want to spend as much time with my nieces and nephew as possible before they go back to school.  They participate in so many activities and carry such a load of schoolwork and then work on top of it, I feel like I barely get any time with them 😦  We had dinner with them all last night and went to the beach with my nephew on Monday and shopping with him at Target yesterday–he plays so nicely with DD, I feel like she is going to be missing her friend next week when he returns to school…Our new favorite game to play is guitar hero on playstation–totally rad and awesome, dude!  And they have 80’s music–the stuff I grew up on–can you say hair metal bands?  Funny, I still love listening to it…

I’ve been on a cleaning binge around here and freecycled a TON of stuff!!  I got rid of a bag of Plymouth Encore yarns and some various others to a very nice new knitter that I hope joins our local knitting group.  She’s such a newbie and so nice, I felt compelled to look for any gadgets and patterns that I no longer wanted and she ended up with a nice large bag of knitterly stuff.  And I felt great about it!  And, this cleared more room on my shelves to provide for better visualization of the stash–of most importance!  I also parted with, gulp, a large assortment of scrapbooking magazines.  This was very hard for me–I don’t know why.  I subscribed to so many and I never got to look through them and I never go back to those that I did, so I don’t know why I feel bad or why I kept them, but I would say about 100 magazines along with an old craft tote have also left the premises.  I feel good about it,  I really do, I actually have a path to my closet now.  I also organized stuff to bring to my MOMS club benefit garage sale and stowed some things away for my parent’s garage sale next year.  Watch out, hubby, your closet is next!!  HA ha ha!

On the creative front, I finally redid my mom’s double stranded Swarovski bracelet, one strand says MOM and the other says NANA, I replaced the claps with a heart-shaped toggle that we found in San Juan, of all places, and she can put it on and off better now.  I also added some “owl eyes”, double strand spacers, to stabilize the two strands better.  I am much pleased with the results.  I also made a gaggle of stitch markers for my KVVS pal–DD helped to pick out the colors for me–hope she likes purple a lot!  LOL   I even got to spend some time with my fellow knitters this past Tuesday at B&N–I brought with me the beaded scarf, frogged it and restarted it.  I know this is premature in saying this, but since I have been doing pretty well at WW and have lost close to 15 pounds now (!!!!!), I’m hesitant to continue on the first and only cardigan I have ever started to knit for myself.  I started it last year and have been plugging away at it whenever I can, I would say it’s about 6 or 8 inches high at this point, but it’s the entire circumference of the cardigan, remember, the Cabin Fever pattern is knit in one piece to the arm holes and then splits apart.  Would you stop and wait and see and later frog what you did and start over?  That would so bite to have to frog it all, but if it’s too big it would look silly.  I guess I should stick to knitting accessories for myself for now….

And since I eluded to it, today was weigh in day at WW and I lost another 2.4 pounds bringing the grand total to 14.8!!  Yippee!!  Several of my pants are already feeling too big and I have a belt for those I can try to make last longer.  I’m quite proud and hope this week will be another banner one–despite Labor Day picnics….I better get to the beach again–I think all that walking on the sand and carrying tons of stuff back and forth to get to the perfect beach spot really helped me this past week…and it doesn’t hurt my tan, either 😉

My package went out today to my KVVS pal, and my pal said my package went out yesterday.  Watch for pics soon….

August 30, 2007 Posted by | Beading, Family and Life, knitting, Scrapbooking, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | Leave a comment

Did ya miss me?

Hello one and all!  I’m back from a very much enjoyed (and needed) 9 night cruise to the caribbean aboard the Crown Princess (aka the Tipper ship–I’m happy to report, there was no excessive tipping while I was onboard).  It seems like forever since I last posted.  So many bizarre bad things happened the day before we left–I think I had meant to post that evening, but alas, the forces of evil were upon me.  The day before we left for the cruise, I #1 lost my main credit card, #2 couldn’t find my formal gown–you know the little black dress that we all have hidden in our closets for just such occasions–gone!  missing! and #3 my washing machine died on me, mid-cycle during an intensive last minute effort to wash my clothes before packing–I mean we’re talking 9PM and I was still trying to wash clothes to pack.  I’m not ordinarily that unorganized and planned on having the wash done earlier that day, but most of my day was wasted trying to find my credit card (we’re pretty sure it was just lost and not stolen) then cancelling the credit card.  It was the trifecta of bad things, but all turned out ok in the end.

There were 13 of us family members on the trip, my husband’s siblings and families, his mom and my parents.  We had adjoining balconies and I must say, most everyone behaved rather well.  Well, DD had some attitude in the beginning of the trip and barely ate a thing all week, but after we asked everyone to lay off the sweets and treats, things got a lot better in that department, lol.  The food was fabulous, wish I could say the weather was equally so 😦  The torrential rains, however, did not stop us from shopping for jewelry in St Thomas or Coach and Dooney & Burke purses in San Juan 😉   I did not even pack knitting with me–I know, I know, that sounds horrible.  But experience told me travelling with a toddler and that much family would not leave an ounce of “relaxation” time, it’s always go go go.  I did purchase a book light and brought two books with me on the trip, I finished The Secret Life of Bees and started The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.  (My swaps thru www.paperbackswap.com have really been coming thru for me and I have a stack of books I am dying to read.  I was even able to get one of my MOMS Club book club books thru it and it arrived while I was away.  If you check out the website and decide to join, please tell them I referred you–my email addy is princesspeanutsmommy at gmail dot com–thank!)

I need to start gathering items for my Virtual Vacation Swap pal.  She’s very interesting and can’t wait to post her identity on my blog to share with you.  She’ll be famous soon, too…After I finish my gazillion loads of laundry (our new washer arrived this evening and I have already done 3 loads, but 9 days away in the hot caribbean with dresses and a couple of outfit changes a day makes for a ton of laundry!!  I don’t think I will be done for a day or two!)  I will have to start trolling around for local trinkets and souvenirs.  I already have her yarn for her simple project ready to go, just need to add the other fun stuff 🙂

Also, super happy to report that even though I was not careful AT ALL on vacation, and it was 10 days, 9 nights of amazing food, I only gained 0.2 pounds!  I think I am the happiest person that gained weight ever, lol.  I was really worrying that I would gain a ton on the cruise and throw away those few pounds that I already lost while on WW, but this was pretty insignificant.  It must have been all that walking and carrying DD everywhere!  Hooray for me, lol!

August 13, 2007 Posted by | Babywearing, Book Club, Family and Life, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | 2 Comments

Virtual Vacation Swap Questionnaire

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?  I would LOVE to go back to Hawaii.  We went there for our honeymoon and it just seems so magical to me.  I have some amazing memories and a ton of pictures to prove it.  I feel warm and happy just thinking about our time there.  And the smells of the flowers….I could just go on and on….

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?   That would be a toss up between Ireland and Germany.  I’m half of each in ancestry and I would love to see the roots, ya know?

3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?  Oh yes, my parents were famous for these type of vacations.  I’ve driven up and down the Eastern seaboard of the USA from Maine to Key West, we’ve even driven through parts of Canada.

 4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?  I’ve been on several carribbean cruises and I find all those islands exotic, but I prefer Hawaii still…

5. What was your favorite “travel” vacation? Why?  When I was in high school, I traveled with a choral group and band called Honors Choir and Honors Band of America.  We toured through England and Scotland for over two weeks and stayed with host families.  It was not touristy, I really felt immersed in their culture and I was immediately in love with the countryside and simpler life there.  I would go back in a heartbeat!

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.  I guess, a little bit.  There’s Atlantic City and the shore to visit here….I’ve been to both, many times.

7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?   I would have to say a little of all three.  Although, now that I have a toddler, our idea of amusement seeking has changed to Sesame Place instead of Great Adventure, lol

8. What’s your favorite type of yarn?  I love textures and color!  I prefer wools and wool blends.

9. What’s your least favorite type of yarn?  Not a huge fan of acrylics or novelty yarns (unless I’m including them in a felted project).  Cottons tend to hurt my wrists to knit with, although I have found some stretchy cotton blends that work…

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?  I really enjoy knitting sweaters and I’m all into garment construction and how to piece it together–I even like the finishing, but honestly, with a toddler running around, I find I like to get in and out with a quick knitted project lately.  Felting is always good around here–I just love the magic of shrinking it!  I have been wanting to knit something else for my daughter (possibly for this winter), but she’s growing so fast, I’m a little afraid to invest too much time in it…

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?  When I travel or go for long car rides, I try to pack a current WIP that is on the small side, with a simple pattern–nothing too fussy, such as a scarf or a felting project.  If I was better committed to finishing my socks, I would bring those, but I know I wouldn’t want to be stuck just knitting socks for my trip, so I usually bring something else.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?  I love to take pictures of my daughter and family (I have thousands of pics on my hard drive as we speak!) and to go along with that, I love to scrapbook.  I don’t get a lot of time to do it, but someday I hope to…

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)  Shellfish and really itchy mohairs

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?  I love purples, blues, greens, pinks, teals, jewel tones and pastels are good.  Not a huge fan of earth tones, I love how they look, but not on me!

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?  sweet, I love the darkest of chocolates (no semi-sweet or sweet chocolates for me, please!  LOL)

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?  I love being a mom and love teaching my 2 year old daughter new things.  She’s like a sponge and wants to learn anything and everything.  I love reading and reading to my DD–she has a book collection to be marvelled at as well–my mom helps with that–hooray for weekly reader!  I’m very much about family and heritage, and want to teach my daughter her many cultures (irish/english, german and chinese).  I love celtic music and listen to it a lot on my IPOD.  That’s all I can think of–can’t wait to get this trip underway!

June 7, 2007 Posted by | Virtual Vacation Swap | Leave a comment