Thursday, June 19

Around Here // June 2014

Life is weird lately. I got home from my BIG, EPIC TRIP almost a month ago now, which is nuts. I still feel like I'm readjusting to normalcy. Life tasks like cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes seem especially tiresome, and all I want to do is seek out small adventures. On the one hand, it feels like summer is this magical time when all my friends are home and want to play, while on the other hand it feels like adulthood is gaining on me fast. I've been feeling some serious financial stresses this month, and I've been avoiding them like my life depends on it... Which is dumb, because in fact my life partially depends on FACING those stresses, right? Oops. 

I want to tell you all about my trip. I want to answer questions like how I managed to snag 8 plane tickets and 4 bus tickets for about $1.2k and how I packed for a 6.5 week trip to varying climates with a tiny carry-on. I want to craft exciting things and revamp my lifestyle so that I am more fulfilled on a daily basis. I want to do all those things, but mostly I'm just overwhelmed by all those things. I read this post about balance at The Thinking Closet today, and remembered how insightful Lauren is -- I totally relate to the challenges she talks about. Right now, I need to catch my breath. 

More than anything, I think I'm in denial about my own feelings, and I'm desperately afraid of the future. I'm finding my day job miserably boring, I know I need to spread my wings and job-hunt, and I have the reality of student loans breathing down my neck. It's a stressful time. To avoid those stresses, I've been socializing a lot, spending time in the sunshine and generally ignoring them altogether. Maybe not the wisest choice, but I'm working on it. Sometimes, it's hard not to think that growing up is overrated. 

How do you deal with stresses? Gimmie yo insights! Please? 

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Sunday, May 4

Guest Post: Daisy Garland Crochet Pattern

Alright, alright... I'm writing you from Denver today. Since I last posted, I visited both LA and Vegas, and now here I am in Colorado, drinking in the mountainous views and open spaces. LA and Vegas were both pretty whirlwind-y and unfortunately I just haven't been able to post here or on my Instagram as much as I'd hoped. I just think that all too often, pinning yourself behind a camera/phone really detracts from your actual experience of a place or thing. 

This post is extra special because it comes to you from one of my favorite crocheters & bloggy friends, Tanya! Tanya is amazing and wonderful and takes the loveliest photos and crafts the cutest projects. JUST LOOK AT THIS GARLAND. You know how I feel about garlands right? Cause like, I can't get enough of them. I want to string them everywhere for every occasion and also no occasion at all. Enjoy! 


Hey everyone! It’s Tanya from Little Things Blogged! I am so excited to be sharing a totally spring pattern with you today! When Monica got in touch with me I was so thrilled and immediately decided to crochet a daisy garland! After all spring is all about flowers!:)

You will need:
  • Yellow, white & red 100% cotton yarn ( I used Catania)
  • 4 mm (G) crochet hook
To make the daisies (make 5):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and yellow yarn:
Ch6 sl st to form a ring
R1: 12 sc in ring, join to first sc with sl st
Change to white yarn
R2: 1 ch, * 1 sc, in first sc of previous round, 15 ch, join with sl st to base of sc* repeat from * to *11 more times. (12 petals in total)
Fasten off.

To make the red flowers (make 2):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and red yarn:
Ch6 sl st to form a ring
R1: *ch 3(counts as first dc), dc in ring, ch 3 sl st in ring,* repeat from * to * 5 more times to form petals (6 petals in total)
Fasten off.

To make the yellow/red flowers (make 4):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and red yarn:
Repeat the red flower pattern but change color for petals
Fasten off.

To make the yellow bows (make 4):
Using 4 mm (G) crochet hook and yellow yarn:
Ch 32 and sl st to first ch to form a ring.
R1: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next st, hdc in next two sts, 2 dc in next two sts, 3 dc in next st (forms the first corner) dc in next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st ( next corner), dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next two sts, sc in next 4 sts, hdc in next two sts, dc in next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st ( next corner), dc in next 2 sts, 3 dc in next st (next corner), dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next two sts.
Fasten off and tie center together using yellow yarn.
For bow tie:
Ch 20 + 3 (counts as first dc)
Dc in next two sts, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 10 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 3 sts
Fasten off.
Attach to center of basic bow body by tying a knot with yellow yarn.

To make the garland:
You will always ch 25 in between the flowers and bows.
The sequence is: bow, daisy, yellow/red flower, daisy, yellow/red flower, bow, red flower, daisy (this is the center daisy of your garland). Repeat by following the exact sequence reversely.
Fasten off and admire your garland!

Thanks for having me and happy crocheting!:)

------ cute, right?! I'm obsessed with those daisies, and can't wait to whip some up once I get my hook back in hand! I'm off for more mountain climbing, but y'all enjoy this pattern, and be sure to swing by Tanya's blog Instagram feed for more uber cute crochet goodness!

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Saturday, April 26

Washi Tape Heart Pins

You guys, I am looking SOOO hip right now as I type this. I am actively upping my hipster cred. I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Seattle, sipping a latte, typing on my iPad, wearing a leather jacket... My trip is still going well. Hawaii was beautiful and wonderful and now I want to live there for a brief time. Just until the island fever gets me, or I grow tired of the never-changing weather. Seattle is also gorgeous so far, and I've decided that I need to live somewhere mountainous. 

This is a craft I actually did quite a while ago, when I helped a friend with a baby shower board. I actually made these little hearts really quickly and kind of on a whim, but I'm really happy with how they turned out. So friggin' cute. Check out the details on ThinkCrafts, and leave some love over there. I check for comments on my posts there, really! 

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Sunday, April 13

March Maven Box Reveiw

Yes, this is a review from March. Yes, it's well into April at this point. Time just keeps getting away from me, okay? ;) I'm officially a week into my trip, but it feels like I've been gone forever... I really don't consider myself a "needy" kind of girlfriend, and I really didn't think that not seeing boyfriend for 3+ weeks would be THAT hard, but holy crap, I am feeling so needy. It's not as bad when I'm out with friends or keeping busy, but sleeping alone is so sad! I hate it, and I'm officially that needy girl... I put a countdown on my phone for when we reunite in Vegas -- ha!  

I'm typing this on part one of my flight(s) to Hawaii (we have a layover in Seattle), and I'm hoping that I miss boyfriend less when I'm soaking up the Hawaiian sun and sipping an endless stream of mai tais. On a semi-related note, I got a spray tan yesterday to avoid being the palest person on Oahu, and now my hands are orange. Cuuuute... ;)

But let's talk about my latest obsession, Julep Maven, for a minute. I wrote up a post a while ago giving the run down of the whole Maven program, how amazing it is to get new, exclusive nail polishes in the mail each month, and how much I love the products. Now I want to show you one of my latest boxes: the March Maven box. The month's collection centered on bright, spring time shades and new lip products to smooth and soften your winter-ravaged pout. Yet again I couldn't decided which style to chose, so I ordered the "ultimate upgrade," which included all 9 new polishes, the luxe lip gloss, and the lip scrub. I also added on Julep's other two new shades: Tania and Rae. 

I will say, that while I really do love all the colors, it felt a touch early for a spring palette up in Michigan. Michigan is only now seeing a little warmth and sunshine, so painting my nails bright, poppy colors felt strange at the beginning of March. I was surprised that one of my favorite colors from the collection was Soraphine, a sheer white polish. I used it as a base and top coat for a pastel tips mani that I shared on my Instagram a while back. (Speaking of which, I am obsessed with Instagram; are we friends?!) I also love Tania, the "mermaid teal glitter," and Rae, one of the "colors of the year." 

I'm looking forward to getting more wear out of the polishes this summer, and the lip scrub is okay, but the real rock star of this box is the luxe lip gloss... This stuff is AMAZING. It's made with pumpkin oil and all kinds of other good-for-your-lips stuff, is a perfectly subtle shade of peachy-nude, has a metal tip applicator that cools as it applies, and most importantly, makes your lips feel like buttah'. I'm telling you, if your lips get dry or rough, you need this balm/gloss in your arsenal! It is the one lip product I opted to include in my 1-quart bag of liquids for my trip. 

I'm still obsessed with Julep Maven. I still tell all my friends about it. My collection is getting ridiculous. 

Get a free box when you sign up to be a Maven here --> Sign Up! <-- and="" at="" checkout.="" code="" enter="" nbsp="" p="">

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Monday, April 7

Ombre Chevron Embroidery

I'm posting this from Chicago, the first leg of my big giant trip. It hasn't really set in yet that this is it, I'm on my trip. I'm catching a bus to St. Louis in just over an hour where I'll be visiting some family I haven't seen in ages. The good news is that my first bus here was nowhere near sketchty, which is what I had feared. Two lessons I've learned so far: for jeans to be truly mutli-purpose they must be a good, unfaded dark wash, and that to secure a good, non-motion-sickness-inducing seat on the bus, you must show up plenty early. 

Anyway, a while back, I posted a chevron embroidery project I stitched up, and I'm still pretty smitten with how it turned out. I bought the pattern on Etsy and switched up the thread colors, and then it sat on a shelf for months because I wanted to "finish" the back and never bothered to look up how. Do you ever do that to your projects? Neglect them because you're waiting to make them "perfect?"

Regardless, that cross-stich project gave me the stitchin' bug, and as with most projects I wanted to come up with my own version. I did some searching and ended up downloading the "StitchSketchLE" app on my iPad and messing around with designs. I wanted something simple, because I'm a simple kind of girl, but you can also use a stylus pen to freehand draw something! You can save and email the pattern file to yourself for printing, and then voila, you've got an original cross-stitch design! 

So I used three shades of green thread, though the difference between the last two does not look terribly obvious in these photos. I also gave up on "finishing" the hoops and just cut the cloth in a sloppy circle and called it good. I'm trying to really embrace imperfections. Tell me I'm not alone in that struggle... Do you have a hard time calling a project "finished?"

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