Weekend links 1.31.15

Jan 31, 2015

After moaning and groaning last week about January, this week took a complete 360 degree turn. We got our first snow (that lasted all of four hours and then disappeared), I was able to wrap up some major projects at work, and we ended the week with sushi and American Sniper. Now I'm looking forward to two more days that will hopefully be filled with lots of reading time, maybe a nap or two, and some general all-around laziness.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Living the life you want to live vs. simply buying things that represent that life. This was one of the best posts I read this week.

Four ways to keep your home organized while still working full-time.

In honor of Super Bowl XLIX, I had to include this commercial from last year. Probably my all-time favorite Super Bowl ad.

How to make your own blogging planner.

I just noticed this week that Elsie Larson, one of the powerhouse bloggers behind A Beautiful Mess, color coordinates her Instagram feed. Majorly impressed.

Three popular wavy hair tutorials put to the test.

Hashtag Favorites, v. 3

Jan 28, 2015

Artist Josh Hara draws the most amazing doodles on the back of his Starbucks coffee cups and documents them on Instagram and Twitter under the hashtag #100coffeecups. Not only are his drawing skills admirable, but his wit and humor never fail to make me laugh!

How to follow along: @yoyoha

This hashtag series was created by the writer of Design Crush blog. Last year, she chronicled #365quotes and this year she's moved on to #365lyrics. There's a new one posted every day on her Instagram account. Although she writes down some pretty great lyrics, I think I'm a fan of this one mostly because of her awesome handwriting.

How to follow along: @designcrush

I can totally get behind a hashtag that promotes the simplicity of weekends.

How to follow along: @protectingweekends or @alexandratranson

See more favorite hashtags here and here.

10 happy things worth mentioning

Jan 27, 2015

1. Re-watching The Help - "Minnie don't burn fried chicken!"

2. Easy one-pan dinners that turn out great.

3. Two-hour mid-day naps.

4. A fresh manicure (with a little lot of help from my sister).

5. Reading in bed before going to sleep instead of Instagram-scrollin'.

6. Casual work-from-home Fridays.

7. The anticipation of a snow day.

8. Early morning coffee dates with Mark before work.

9. A birthday discount to Loft.

10. Planning for the future.

Learning to Crochet

Jan 26, 2015

Sometime in early November last year, I got the crazy idea to teach myself how to crochet. I was having dreamy thoughts of snowy winter days, Christmas baking, and the gentle repetitiveness of weaving skeins of yarn with a crochet hook.

I made a special trip to Hobby Lobby to pick out a yellow skein of yarn and a red crochet hook. I spent that evening squinting angrily at my loose chains while watching YouTube video after YouTube video.

The simple act of chaining came back to me quickly. I remembered my grandmother teaching me how when I was little. I didn't know how to do anything other than twist and pull the yarn to create a long chain, but I remember being oh so proud of that chain of yarn. Heaven help the person who unraveled it.

Proud of myself for actually remembering something, I found another video that taught me how to make my first row of stitches. I ended up with a small curling bit of stitched yarn. It looked hideous. But I kept going. And after staying up way too late that night, I finally had something that resembled a crochet project.

Once I learned more stitches than the basic single stitch, things started to move faster. I whipped out a scarf, then another, then another, and another after that. (I'm set on chunky yarn scarves for the next 10 winters).

After seeing photos of knit blankets all over Pinterest, I decided to try my hand at something bigger than a scarf. I initially started with Premier Mega Tweed Super Bulky yarn, but I made a rookie mistake and only bought 3 skeins. Ha! I whipped those skeins together that evening and quickly realized it was going to take a whole lot more yarn to finish this project. That's when my brain started calculating numbers and price tags and I saw lots of $$$ floating in my mind. Who knew crafts were so darn expensive?? To make matters worse, the yarn was discontinued until the end of February. I spent several nights pouting over my sad little foot-long blanket before starting over with a different yarn. It wasn't quite as soft and chunky as the other, but it turned out a lot better than I expected. Of course, it ended up with a whole lot of mistakes (Seriously though, how do you hide the strings when you finish?!) but I was super proud of it because GOSH DARN IT I MADE SOMETHING.

It's safe to say that the yarn bug has bit me good after finishing this project. My heart skips a little beat when I happen upon a decent yarn sale and I've been a project-pinning fiend over on Pinterest.

Next up: learning how to knit!

Weekend links 1.23.15

Jan 23, 2015

It's hard to believe that the first month of the year is almost over. Normally, I'm all about slowing down time and bemoaning its passing, but this month I'm glad. January has been one tough month. I'm choosing to believe that it is not an indication of how the rest of the year is going to go.

My mantra for January has been "I can do hard things." Over and over, I've repeated that simple phrase to myself, but now I'm ready to have a break from doing hard things. I'm looking forward to this last week of January and a new month right around the corner. A fresh new month with no mistakes in it yet (to paraphrase Anne Shirley). Here's to a lovely weekend and a great end to a hard month. Have a good one!

This was the best post I read all week: Anne Shirley navigating life in 2015.

Loved this post about finding your sweet spot in order to be as productive as possible.

Make your own blanket scarf. No sewing involved.

And then, read this article for tips on how to style them.

Today is not tomorrow.

Some natural ways to de-stress.

A super cute Valentine's Day gift.

A fun (free) editorial calendar for your blog.

Made me laugh: Head shots of hand models and their bios.

This post had some great plant care tips. I'm going to try putting pebbles in the bottom of my pots.

Life after Serial. Everything on this list is so true.
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