Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yarn Along

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

Unfortunately, this picture is a few days old, but it's all I have of this project so far. This is the Halstead Shawl, and while it looks like a scandalous bikini in this photo, it's actually a good bit along in real life. What I'm loving about this project though is this yarn. It's specialty yarn from a yarn store just outside Chicago called Mia Bella, and I swoon every time I look at the blush colored bits. It's so gorgeous. It was also incredibly expensive, so it was probably a one-time splurge, but I'd love to work with it again.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Five Years in Heaven // A Blogging for Books Review

Five Years in Heaven is John Schlimm's true story about meeting a Catholic nun at her ceramics shop and the five years of wisdom that follow as a result of Sister Augustine's everyday teachings. Taking simple circumstances, Sister Augustine molds amazing life lessons, and while her words aren't necessarily groundbreaking, they're said in a loving, unassuming way that gives them new meanings and relevance.

Although this book does contain nuggets of wisdom, this book is best classified in my opinion as a memoir. And not necessarily the author's memoir either. To me, it is really the story of a humble nun whose life deserved to be chronicled. And to that extent, although the book only covers five years of her life, it is well-recorded and is a beautiful tribute to who she was as a person. I found myself tearing-up towards the last few pages, feeling that my life has now been touched in some small way by her life.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yarn Along

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

I'm so excited that this top is finally done! It is Purl Soho's Cap Sleeve Lattice Top, and I seriously want to knit a dozen more of these. I fits really well, and although I never want to use this yarn again (a stitch broke after I had already knitted it resulting in some terrifying unraveling that was pretty catastrophic), I do want to do some experimenting with this pattern. That and wear this top all summer :)

You can find my Ravelry notes here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


I was struck by a cleaning frenzy earlier today when the realtor of my apartment building called and asked if she could show another person my apartment, saying that the apartment that they are renting is going to be identical to mine but needs to undergo some renovations first. I obliged, thinking it would be no big deal, but my overactive, self-judging mind took over, and I felt like I needed to clean everything. I essentially saw this visit as a time for total strangers to judge me, and I started stressing out about it.

"The trash stinks and really needs taken out."

"The ring around the tub is unsightly."

"There's piles of opened but unfiled mail everywhere."

"The closet. Is. A. Hot. Mess."

And while I was busy wandering what chaos to tackle first, I also realized something: no place is loved unless it's lived in, and I don't necessarily want to live in a place that is always picture perfect because I would spend all my time trying to maintain that quality. So I tried to squash the images of other people's staged homes, and while I did do some picking up (that I've really been meaning to do anyway), I didn't do a deep cleaning of the place that a stranger would be in for maybe ten minutes.

And the funny thing was, the woman raved about the space. Hot mess closet and all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yarn Along

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

I am glad I can finally share this project in its entirety! This table runner was a gift for my mom for Mother's Day this past Sunday, so because I never know who's reading my blog and when, so I like to keep gifts on the down-low :)

The pattern that I used is technically for a scarf. It's called the Smoky Mountain Scarf (purchased on Etsy), and I actually planned to use the pattern as a shawl. So I widen the center panel by adding two extra repeats of the pattern, but about half-way through, I realized I wouldn't have enough yarn to make it a decent length. Thus it became re-purposed to be a table runner, and it ended up being just over three feet long--the perfect length to drape over a nightstand or put on top of a dresser.  

This pattern was relatively simple, but a few of the rows definitely required concentration. I am planning on using this pattern again though. Maybe next time around I'll actually make the scarf the pattern is written for :)

You can find my Ravelry notes here.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sugar Ponderings

Hi, my name is Kerry, and I'm a sugar-aholic. Seriously. I have the biggest sweet-tooth of anyone that I know. I have read articles and watched documentaries (look up Fed Up on Netflix if you haven't already seen it), and I know that the newest research supports that it's not fat and calories that are the main culprit of why America is largely overweight; it's sugar. And while I am not on a mission to lose weight, I do want to make healthier decisions in what I eat.

I've been really intrigued by people who cut sugar from their diet for a certain number of days, 7-10 or even an entire month. And while these people say that the first few days are terrible, they also say that by the end of it, they have trained their bodies to crave sugar less, which is what I think I need.

I really want to try it out because I think I am way too dependent on sugars. While it isn't sugary drinks that I'm dependent on (I don't drink soda and almost never keep juices in the apartment), I can't go without cookies and ice cream. I think the real challenge though would be avoiding the foods that hide added sugar, like ketchup, some breads, etc.

This isn't my declaration that I'm starting this new regimen right now because I want to keep doing some research and find some "okay" food lists, but I am serious about this and want to start it soon. There's something about emerging from the hibernation of winter that makes me want to take control of my life in new ways. Maybe the next step (other than getting this sugar purge underway) will be to kick start a new exercise routine :)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Room // A Blogging for Books Review

The Room by Jonas Karlsson is the story of an office worker, Bjorn, who is extremely ambitious and plans to work to the top of the ladder at his new job in a government sector called 'The Authority.' However, his plans to rapidly become the best in the office are hindered when he discovers 'the room.' From Bjorn's point of view, the room is a place where he can go to work that helps him concentrate and do his best work. But his other co-workers can't see the room and think he is going crazy.

This book is described as Kafkaesque, and I certainly agree. It is a book that would work really well in an education environment because it is extremely well-written, and it explores a new level of existentialism that deserves to be contextualized and dissected.

What I loved best about this short novel? Karlsson's writing is unlike any other that I have experienced. Every sentence is itself a work of art, and the way he formulates ideas through his words had me highlighting bits of every chapter. One sentence that really stood out to me:

"I suddenly felt how lonely it is, constantly finding yourself the only person who can see the truth in this gullible world."

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yarn Along

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

This is about 14 inches of the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top from Purl Soho. I'm about to quit working in the round and start the lace top which I'm really eager for because that means it will be almost done! Now that warmer weather seems to be here to stay, I'm excited to wear it. Which of course includes the most nerve-wracking part of trying it on for the first time. Please fit, please fit, please fit!

You can find my Ravelry notes here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tuesday Tea

I've been in a bit of a blogging funk recently. Which actually happens to me a lot given that I regularly go through periods of time where I don't write much of anything. But I really want to start writing more, and you few lucky readers will essentially be my victims of all the random thoughts that pass through my head. I've been journaling more regularly as well, so I'm hoping that all this writing will keep flowing because I honestly feel more grounded when I express myself through the written word.

There's just so much going on in life, and as fast as it moves, I want to remember all of it because this current season of life has been so immense.

I don't think I've directly mentioned it on here, but I moved to Chicago in January, and I have been so blessed. It hasn't always been easy, but I've been loving every minute. I cannot get enough of the city, and finally not being in a long distance relationship has been the greatest gift of moving. For two and a half years, David and I only saw each other about every six weeks for a weekend at a time, but now he has to put up with me every day ;) I feel so lucky to have watched our relationship grow even deeper these past four months, and I thank God every day for the opportunity to grow outside my comfort zone in a new city.

So for the foreseeable future, if you find yourself in the Windy City, drop me a line because I would love to host you in this amazing city!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

On My Bookshelf: May

I got some books recently on sale that I'm really excited to read this month. I subscribed to a site called BookBub that essentially sends you emails every day to tell you what electronic books are discounted that day on Amazon or other e-book sites. Every morning I look at the email, and even though there isn't always a book that I'm interested in, over the past month, there have been about three books that I've really wanted that have shown up on the list, so I have purchased a couple books for about $2 instead of the $10ish that they usually cost. And being a penny-pinching, recent college grad, I like to save all the money I can.

I'm a little behind on my goal to read 30 books this year, so hopefully this month's three books will help.

Dear Girls Above Me by Charlie McDowell
This book, inspired by real events in the author's life, is a hilarious story about a guy who can hear every word that his two female neighbors living above him say. What started as just a Twitter feed, turned into a book, and it is the story of how the funny, somewhat ditzy, wisdom of the two girls changes his life.

Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong
I'd be lying if I said that I don't love books that center around knitting. I think knitting figuratively binds people together, and reading about the awakening of the female soul through knitting really speaks to me. Gosh, I'm such a yarn dork.

The Room by Jonas Karlsson
The Room is the newest book that I have received on behalf of the Blogging for Books, and it is a Kafka-esque book about an office worker, Bjorn, who discovers a secret room that is unacknowledged by anyone else in the office. Just from the few pages I have read, I suspect that this will be a slightly surreal read and will certainly be thought-provoking.

I've been struggling to come up with books to read each month, so suggestions are welcome! What are you reading right now and loving?