Sunday, June 30, 2013

RIP Google Reader

The reign Google Reader is officially coming to an end tomorrow, and while David is convinced that there will be something else to replace it soon (like how Google Docs essentially became Google Drive), I am still mourning its loss.

I've been looking awhile for another means of compiling all my favorite blogs in one place for easy reading, and I found something that I think will be great.  I stumbled upon a couple weeks ago, and despite my initial hesitation about it, I really like it.  The perks: you can directly import your Google Reader websites into it, and it has a really awesome phone app (something I always wished that Google Reader had but didn't).

Also, if you're really into strictly reading blogs, this blog is also connected to bloglovin'.  Just click the button on the right hand side bar, and you'll be automatically subscribed to my blog that way.  Ya know, in case you'd like to stick around :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Love Song

"However far away, I will always love you."

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

Does anyone else suffer from the problem of planning a new yarn project and buying too much or too little yarn? In the case of my camisole, I spent so much time calculating precisely how much yarn I would need and wound up with exactly two skeins of 123 yards each leftover. For my most recent adventure, I've already found myself buying more yarn to make my blanket big enough. 

I also got about seven or so inches into it before I made the spur of the moment decision to rip all of my progress out and make the blanket wider. Of course, I blame it all on my lack of crochet experience, but let's be real, most of my knitting projects start out this way too. My perfectionist tendencies have a habit of coming out in my yarn work. Not a bad thing, I suppose.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Crossing Off 2013 Goals

One of the things on my list of 13 things to do in 2013 is to make a blanket. Because I have absolutely zero experience with sewing, my course of action was to either knit or crochet it. Because I want to get better at the latter, I decided that I would crochet the blanket to put a little bit more experience under my belt. By the time I finish a whole blanket though, I'm sure to be a beast at this particular stitch. David suggested that I do zigzags, so a chevron pattern it is!

I'm drinking Teavana's Lavender Dreams tea in anticipation of going to bed soon. Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

As was the story with last week as well, I don't have much to report on the yarn front.  I did however just buy some yarn for a new project.  I've decided to undertake a blanket, and I'm really excited.  I made three different color schemes and asked a lot of people which color combination row they preferred the best.

Ultimately, the final score was 1-4-3, so the second row won which I was quite happy with.  I can't wait for the yarn to come in so I can get started!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Tea: George Orwell's 11 Golden Rules

I have two midterms on Thursday, so in lieu of my own Tuesday Tea post, I will let George Orwell do the talking as he discusses how to make the perfect cup of tea.

Now this is advice I would follow.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chicago, Illinois is Like a Shiny Toy

This post inspired by this gem:

Lesley Ann Warren sums up Chicago pretty well in saying that it's basically the best city.  Sure, I'm a little biased ;) but there really is so much about Chicago that makes it such a tremendous place.  Two weekends ago, I went to visit David in Chi Town, and I think it was the best weekend that David and I have spent together since we started long distance.

I flew into Chicago at about 5:15 central time, and I was in David's arms within the hour as he was awesome enough to pick me up from the train station.  After parking his car back at his apartment, we walked to a bar a few blocks from his place to go to one of his company's events.  It was great because I got to meet some of the people that David works with, and it was pretty funny at times because people kept asking what my job was.  After, David and I went to go eat with two of his coworkers at a Japanese BBQ restaurant called Gyu-Kaku where we drank sake, snacked on edamame, and got to cook our own meat for dinner.  Later, we were invited out by more of David's coworkers to a karaoke bar called Friar Tuck's.  I told David that I would sing a song only if he joined me, so we sang "Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good."  David sang some other songs throughout the night, but I was just content to watch and cheer other people on.  Karaoke ended up being a pretty good experience.  Completely whooped because I was still on Atlanta time, David and I wandered back to his apartment and went to sleep.

On Friday, we planned to have a picnic for lunch and went to the store to pick everything up.  We had hummus, veggies, cheese, crackers, summer sausage, and wine, and it was pretty much perfect.  It was so beautiful outside and we ate in the grass in the courtyard on the second floor of the apartment building.  After we had stuffed ourselves, we just laid in the grass and talked and relaxed under the sun.

A few hours later, we took a walk in search of some ice cream or frozen yogurt.  We settled on Pink Berry and made the right choice.  We piled it high with fruit and ate it walking back to the apartment.  On our way back, we walked by The Melting Pot and decided it would be the perfect place to go for a dinner date out.  Once dinner time rolled around and we were hungry again, we got all dressed up and headed back out.  Dinner was so delicious.  It was David's first time having fondue, and it was a great experience.  Needless to say though, you could have practically rolled us out of the restaurant (I had to loosen my belt twice before the meal was over).  Afterwards, we took the train to a fancy schmancy bar, The Violet Hour, for specialty cocktails.  We had to wait outside for a few minutes to get seats, but it was worth it.  The ambiance is amazing, and I love that they don't permit cell phones.  It was wonderful to just sip our drinks and talk to David.  My drink was called Scarlet Ribbons, and it was yummy and grapefruity.

Caught in the rain but happy to be together :)
Saturday morning we slept in some before booking it to the Bank of America Theater where the musical The Book of Mormon was playing.  We arrived just in time to enter our names into the drawing that they hold two hours before every show to win front row seats.  Even though we had a really good chance of winning, I was still nervous, but they eventually pulled my name and scored two seats to the matinee.  The tickets weren't completely free, but the $25 price tag was much more bearable than the $125 they would have regularly cost.  We had two hours to kill before the show, so we walked to the Berghoff restaurant for some yummy German cuisine.  Afterwards, we wandered into an Argo Tea to get some much needed caffeine before the show, and we made our way back to the theater.  The show was amazing!  We laughed pretty much the entire time, especially the second act, and it was such an awesome way to spend an afternoon.  Afterwards, it was raining some, so we popped into this cool store that we ran into on the way home.  It's called The 3D Printer Experience, and well, it's kind of just what it sounds like.  They have a bunch of 3D printers with a bunch of really impressive sculptures that they've designed and "printed."  They even had computers where you could design your own pendant to be printed.  Pretty wild.

That night, we sat around and watched some TV before making dinner.  We cooked sherry vinegar chicken with a side of salad, green beans, and potato salad.

Sunday morning, we woke up and made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast--one of my favorites!

Afterwards, we hopped on the train to go to Maifest.  There was good food, good music, and lots of German to go around, and we had so much fun!

I got flowers for my hair :)

Unfortunately, Monday came all too quickly.  My flight back to Atlanta wasn't until late afternoon, so after packing up my things and loading up the car, David and I drove to the Chicago History Museum.  We learned about a lot of really awesome things (like how the Indians named Chicago and it means "stinky onions!"), and it was also a nice way to spend my last few hours with David.  We when were done, we shared some frozen yogurt and drove me to the airport.

A.A. Milne said it best: "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :) 

There has been an abundant lack of yarn in my life since I finished my camisole last week. Instead, I've been working mostly on this enormous cross-stitch that I am trying to get done over the next couple of months, and even though this is a yarn along, I couldn't help but share some progress on this too.

In yarn news though, I am in search of the perfect blanket pattern (either for knitting or crochet). Any recommendations on tried and true patterns?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Book Suggestions Please!

Last night, in the wee hours of the morning, tears streaming down my face, I finished reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  It was a fast, easy read that had me crying from start to finish, and I was so grateful that it was recommended to me.

But now I am currently bookless and hoping for more recommendations. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I did it!  I finally finished working on the lovely Hashtag Camisole, and I am so thrilled.  Seriously, such an awesome feeling.  

I loved this pattern.  It was simple enough that I didn't get lost reading the pattern (although I did have to start completely over at one point), but it was intricate enough to look really beautiful on.  Huge sigh of relief that it fits pretty darn perfectly.

If you'd like to look back on my progress on this camisole, you can find the posts here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Summer Room Tour

I'm of the belief that external environments affect internal conditions. As a result, I took a lot of time putting my room together this semester even though I'm going to be moving back to my old apartment come August. I wanted to create a space that I would find inviting, colorful, and organized so as to provide myself with a place of rest after a long day, a place where I would feel creatively stimulated, and a place where I could get work done.

I read somewhere that making your bed in the morning is a great way to start the day. It helps me to get in the mindset of staying organized, it helps me to focus so that I'm not constantly thinking about how badly I want to take a nap, and it just flat out makes the room look better. 

I wanted a way to display some of the memorable cards and pictures that I have accumulated over the years, and hanging them with clothespins seemed like a cute way to do so.  Now I smile whenever I see them :)

My friend, Alex, had a poster of this hanging in her freshman year dorm room, and I loved it so much that I took a box of crayons and replicated it onto just some printing paper.  It has such a great message.

I wanted my desk to remain a relatively clutter free area where I would be able to work but still be surrounded by things I love.

This is hanging by my door.  It's the last thing I see before turning off the light at night or heading out for class.

I love to be inspired by artwork.  These are always some of the first decorations I always add to my room.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Long Distance Love Art

I had been wanting to make something like this for a while, and I knew that giving it to David to celebrate being together for a year and a half would be perfect.  I'm always looking for excuses to give David little presents, and I thought this was a good excuse, especially since all of my gift giving dates fall within just over two months of each other (our anniversary, Christmas, David's birthday, and Valentine's Day).  I don't want those Spring and Summer dates to get neglected after all!

I've seen a lot of arts and crafts ideas that incorporate states floating around Pinterest, but I wanted to do something that revolved around the theme of long distance, so I merged a lot of ideas to together, and this is what I came up with!

David and I have been in a long distance relationship for just over nine months, and I am more in love with him than ever.  I spent this past weekend with him in Chicago, and it was the perfect time to surprise David with a little gift.

I started out by printing off images of the states from offline (I used this website).  After carefully cutting them out, I traced them onto heavy card-stock that would look great framed.

After tracing the states, I outlined them again in black marker before I drew hearts over my cities of choice.  Add a dotted line connecting them and add a verse, and I had a finished product!  All I had left to do was to buy a frame and give it to David :)