Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am excited for the new year and what it may bring. This year will be a big year for my family and I because my sister's wedding is in September and I will be looking for a job at the start of the year. I have been thinking of what my resolutions will be and I have about five written out, but will share them with you in another blog post when I have them all. Before the new year, I like to reflect on the year that I have just had and then think of things I would like to improve on or try in the new year. I think 2017 was a great year of self discovery, knitting, and blogging. I hope that in the year 2018, I make just as much time, if not more towards working on knitting and the blog.

I received a new Happy Planner for Christmas and I am so excited to use it and start writing my plans in the year 2018. I might also write down my goals on one of the first pages so I could use it as a guide for 2018 to see if I am on track with my resolutions. My mom also bought me a home planner insert, a fitness insert, some more stickers, and washi tape. I am excited to use the home planner to keep track of my to do lists, meal plans, cleaning schedule, and budget. I am looking forward to using the fitness insert again this year to keep track of what I eat daily and my exercise.

Happy planner and inserts
I also have a couple of books which will be fun to read and work on in the new year. The first is this  book I bought for myself called Change Your Life One Day at a Time: The Ultimate Manual for Living a Long, Healthy and Happy Life by Dr Patricia Macnair and Dr Ilona Boniwell. I bought this at Indigo around the holidays because I was drawn to the idea of reading a little paragraph each day and hopefully learning something new in the process. The book is divided into the four seasons so the simple and practical pieces of advice will be appropriate for the time of year. I also mentioned that I got the Q&A a day book from Indigo so I am looking forward to answering a question each day this year. When I think about answering a question everyday for five years it sounds like a lot, but it will be so worth it in the end to see how I have changed or stayed the same in my views and ideas. I will have to pick a time to answer the questions, such as with my morning coffee to make it a habit.

Q&A a day and Change your life One Day at a Time

This year I will focus on knitting the Wool and the Gang Farrah Billie Jean top as one of my larger knitting projects. I will also be choosing another one to work on as well. I bought some green bulky yarn by Patons that my mom selected yesterday to knit her a hat for her birthday,  so I will be focusing on knitting the hat in then new year in time for her birthday in February. I had also purchased some lovely purple alpaca sock yarn (that I still need to detangle) to knit socks with and the speckle happy yarn from Romni Wools that I have sitting on my shelf ready to work with. Last year I decided that in the year 2017 I would be knitting a sweater and I am so happy that I accomplished that resolution. This year I am excited to see how the Wool and the Gang top looks and what other projects I take on.

Patons Bulky green yarn and the Allegria Grande "happy" speckle yarn
Thank you for visiting my blog this year! I really enjoyed visiting your blogs too and being a part of this wonderful, caring, and supportive community of knitters and crocheters. I hope that you all have a wonderful new year's celebration today and I am looking forward to reading all that you post about in 2018!

Moo and I during the holidays
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I hope you have a great day, and all the best in 2018! x

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Blogmas: Christmas Eve and Christmas

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well and hope you enjoyed your Christmas and holidays. Today was the last of the Christmas celebrations for me for this year. It has been busy and now I can have some time to reflect,blog, knit, and read. On Christmas Eve I drove to my parent's place and we went to church, then drove around to look at lights in a neighborhood close by. Then we had dinner, I had a vegetable lasagna which was delicious. After dinner we open crackers and we ate treats and opened pajamas. I got a waffle pajama set from Joe Fresh and some pajama bottoms with cats on them from Old Navy below. I love the cats, they are so cute playing with the lights and stockings.

Love these Pj bottoms!

My dad and I wearing our crowns from the crackers

Christmas day was fun, we each opened our stockings and gifts. We do a lot of rounds of opening gifts. It was probably a few hours of gift opening to go through five of us each opening tons of gifts. My sister's Fiance joined us again this year which was nice to have him with us.

I gave our cats a couple rubber balls with bells on the inside and they did not really play with them too much. They picked up the balls in their mouths and batted them a bit, but then moved on to the next gift.

Moo and Roo investigating my gift bag

Which they loved! My parents bought them a new enclosed pet bed from IKEA. They enjoyed sitting inside the enclosure and getting cozy. Moo (the black and white one) first jumped right on top of it from the coffee table. Then we propped it back up and he went inside. He was the first one to explore it and then got out and then Roo (the ginger cat) got his turn to sit inside.

New gifts for the cats, the ball I got for them and the cat bed

Moo in the cat bed

Roo's turn in the cat bed
On Christmas evening, I went for dinner at my boyfriend's dad and step mom's home and celebrated there with their family and her children. It was very nice to spend time with them. I received a project bag from Fringe Supply Co. from them for Christmas. I love this bag and I am so excited to use it! It will make bringing projects with me travelling a lot easier and I will enjoy knitting with this bag.

Waxed canvas field bag - Fringe Supply Co.

I finished knitting a hat as a gift for my boyfriend on boxing day. I was really trying to finish it to give it to him on Christmas day but did not finish in time. I used the pattern "Man Hat" by Haven Ashley that I found on Ravelry. I enjoyed the repetition of the two rows K1,P1 and knit the second row. Knitting that pattern for 7" then decreasing makes it a simple and quick hat to knit up.

Finished "man hat"
"Man hat" finished

I received a lot of wonderful reading material from my family and boyfriend for Christmas and thought it would be fun to share what they got for me. I got the book Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and a book of poetry called The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. Both of these books won best books in their categories of fiction and poetry for the year 2017 on Goodreads. I also got books on vegetarian living and cooking which I am excited to read. I got Stuff Every Vegetarian Should Know by Katherine McGuire from my sister which looks so fun to read. My boyfriend got me a cookbook called Vegetarian Any Day: Over 100 Simple, Healthy, Satisfying Meatless Recipes by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming which offer more great recipes to try out in the new year. I had asked for the Q&A a day notebook from Indigo and so excited I got it from my family. I am looking forward to answering questions every day and seeing how my answers change from year to year over a period of five years. I love reading the magazine Psychology Today, there are always interesting articles in there on self-help, relationships, and the mind. I am looking forward to flipping through it.

All the gifted books/magazines/notebooks that will keep me busy
I have still been reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I am really enjoying reading about her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. I have also started reading the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur. I am really enjoying it so far. The poems have been about break ups and the heartbreak of ending relationships. They are so well written and beautiful.

This Christmas was so busy and went by really fast. I am looking forward to the next few days being somewhat relaxing and hopefully having more time to look over my gifts, read my books, knit, and do some much needed tidying. I will also be catching up on reading what you all did for Christmas and the holidays.

Joining along with As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesdays.

What gifts did you receive this Christmas, I would love to know!

Thank you for visiting my blog today and I hope you come back soon. If you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can also subscribe by email at the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Blogmas: Christmas Market Trip and Happy Planner Christmas Layout

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have been busy getting ready for Christmas, finishing knitting the stockings, knitting gifts, going to the holiday market, and buying gifts. There are only three days left until Christmas now and time is running out to get all the things done. I went to the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District last night with my boyfriend and my family and my sister's fiance. It was so  nice to see all the lights, look around in the stores, and get good food and drink mulled wine. It was my first time drinking mulled wine last night and I really enjoyed it.

There were so many lit up words around the market this year. They had joy, love, and there was also family which were all very popular spots for photos. I saw a big family huddle under the word for a group picture.

I feel so much joy for this time of year and spending time with those I love

All you need is love

Christmas countdown!

The beautiful tree that is in the center of the market. It was THE selfie spot last night

Liam and I joining along with the many people taking selfies last night

beautiful lights above the market

Naughty or Nice lights display by the bar
Under a giant mistletoe and with my mulled wine!
 We had such a great time going to the market with my family and having dinner at Mill Street Brewery. We always have such a nice time at the market with so much to see and I enjoyed the Christmas lights most of all this year. I can't wait to go back next year!

I planned out my spread in my Happy Planner for this week and the beginning of next week for the around Christmas and to keep organized with the busy schedules. I was excited to use the Christmas and holiday themed stickers from the seasonal Create 365 Happy Planner sticker pack. The photos below are mostly "before the pen" photos, which means they are photos of the sticker layouts before I write in my plans. I will add the details now that I have finished placing the stickers.

December 19th-20th
As you can see from the photo below, I left the remainder of my Christmas shopping to today. I had been planning on finishing earlier but of course that never happens! I still have one or two gifts to buy tomorrow.

December 21st-24th
I really love all of these stickers, the girl and the dog on the sled sticker is so cute. I love the "have yourself a merry little Christmas" sticker as well.
December 25th-27th
I will be getting a new planner for 2018 and I am looking forward to another year of planning in my Happy Planner. I really had a lot of fun this year using the planner. I love the vertical layout because I like the way I can organize my days using the squares in the planner and plan morning, afternoon and evening. 

Tonight I was working on knitting a gift for my boyfriend and got a lot of it done. I am keeping it a secret on the blog since he reads it. I am excited to share the finished project with you after Christmas and share the pattern I used as well. I hope all of your knitting and crochet projects are coming together nicely too! 

Thank you for visiting my blog today. If you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can also subscribe by email at the top right corner of the blog. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Blogmas: Knitted Stockings Hung Up, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am getting very excited for Christmas to come now, which is only FIVE days away! I still feel like I have a lot to do before that day comes. I need to buy some more gifts,  wrap the gifts, and finish knitting a gift. I have a feeling in the next few days I will be doing a lot of knitting and wrapping while watching Christmas movies. On Monday, I finished my final exam for my courses towards my certificate in Office Administration. I will be job searching after the holidays and into the new year. I am happy to be done and can move on to this next stage in my life.

I finished knitting the second Christmas stocking a couple of days ago and have added the loop to hang it up and sewing in some ends and getting them ready to be hung. I also sewed the cuffed down in four points on each cuff so they were still stretchy but stayed cuffed. I originally sewed the whole cuff down but then it was too stiff and I couldn't stretch the cuff out too much. I thought this wouldn't be great if we wanted to put in some larger gifts into the stocking. I was happy that my second attempt worked out better just sewing parts of the cuff. To knit the stockings, I used the pattern Jumbo Christmas Stockings in a Jiffy- Striped by Jennifer Jackson from Ravelry. I am looking forward to filling my boyfriend's up soon with all the goodies I bought him.

 I used Command hooks on the windowsill to hang them up. I used the larger hooks which are more sturdy to hold the stockings. Which is needed especially once they are filled with gifts. The stockings are so big and cozy and I found another way to make them even more festive by putting this plush Clarice inside at the top of the stocking. She looks so cute peeking out the top!

 Here is a view from entering our living room. I love the way the stockings look from this angle and make the room look even more festive and cozy.

My boyfriend bought me this festive bouquet of pine and holly. I love how it smells! I added it to the corner of our living room beside the couch. 

I finished reading My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella last Thursday. I really enjoyed reading this book because there were funny parts and sad and serious parts of the book. I really liked that the story line took place in both the city and country. I liked the protagonist Katie, she was funny, creative, and sassy. I would definitely recommend reading this book if you are looking for a quick and fun read. I am currently reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I am really enjoying reading this one too. I have a feeling it will be a very inspirational and reflective book to read. I am at the point in the book where she has just started her hike along the Pacific Crest Trail and I am interested to see where it takes her emotionally. My progress is 8/10 books read to complete my goal of 10 books read by the end of the year. Once I finish reading Wild, I will be at nine books read. I have decided that I will also be finishing the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and that will be my tenth book read. I am almost done reading it. I had been reading it as I was moving through the steps and organizing, but I will work on finishing it up before the new year begins and also finish organizing and decluttering my apartment.

What are you working on and reading this week?

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday

Thank you for visiting my blog and if you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can also subscribe through email at the top right corner of my blog.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It Finally Snowed! Knitting Progress & Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. We had our first big snowfall here in Toronto yesterday. I was out driving to get groceries and it was coming down a bit, but by the time I was leaving the store there was a lot more snow coming down and snow on the ground. I think it is finally time to get out my winter boots! I have managed to wear my sneakers outside until now because it hasn't even been that cold. Today I went for a walk and enjoyed walking through the snow and taking some photos. Below are some photos I took today of trees in the neighborhood that show the amount of snow we got.

Lately, I have been mostly trying to get my school work done. This morning I was working on some Excel training and just have an exam and some projects left for that course. I am currently entering exam week so I am excited for my exams to be done, then I have completed the courses for my certificate. I will be applying to get the certificate once exam week is done. I can't believe I will be done soon, then I will be finished school for a long time. I kept going back to school for certificates and my degree last year a couple of years ago. Now I am hoping to be done at the age of 29 haha. I know people go to school at any age. I might go back to do certificates or upgrading of skills.

I bought this picture of the quote "It always seems impossible until it is done" from IKEA a couple of weeks ago. I love it because this year I have felt like this whole plan of finishing this certificate and getting a job in a new field was impossible, but now I am almost done and things always seem so hard or impossible but then before you know it, it is done and you have accomplished what you set out to do. I am happy to have this picture up in the office now to remind myself of this every day. To keep persevering even when things seem impossible and they will never be done, one day you will accomplish it. This could also apply to difficult knitting projects! :)

It always seems impossible until it is done - Nelson Mandela
In knitting, I have been working on finishing up the second jumbo Christmas stocking. I have a large portion of it finished now and just working on those last few rows now and the toe shaping. I have been using the pattern Jumbo Christmas Stocking in a Jiffy- Striped  by Jennifer Jackson on Ravelry. These stockings really are what they say in the name JUMBO. We can sure fit a lot of stocking stuffers in there. My boyfriend and I are expecting a lot of stocking stuffers from each other now. I am looking forward to being able to hang them up soon once they are both done.

I started knitting the Wool and the Gang Farrah Billie Jean top and it is coming along nicely. I did have to frog quite a bit of it because I realized an error in my tension quite a ways back so I had to take it apart unfortunately. But I'm not in a rush right now to finish it and I have some gifts I am working on now so it won't be a huge priority right now to finish the front piece. I will be focusing more on this project in the new year.

I have still been reading the two books: My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella and Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. I have been focusing more on reading My Not So Perfect Life because there is a long hold list on this book on Overdrive, since it just came out this year. When my loan is up I have to wait quite awhile to get it back. So this time, I have been trying to read it a lot more before I lose it again. I have been working on my goal to finish 10 books this year so I need to start reading a lot more and pick up some books I had stopped reading earlier in the year in order to get to my goal. I am currently at 7/10. Three more to go!

What are you reading and working on this week?

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, if you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can also subscribe through email at the top right corner of the blog.

Have a great day!

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