Productive Chicago Weekend

Gosh you would think I was sitting on top of some hot-burning fire this weekend because I got a lot done. (Does that even make sense? I feel like that was my attempt at some Depression era ‘talk’) I had to go to my local USPS office to find a missing package with some very special cargo in it. Thankfully, my post office is actually super close to my house and the people who work there are actually pleasant… I know right?

that's a whole summer's worth of HK sun protection.
that’s a whole summer’s worth of HK sun protection.

I also took another practice exam for the GMAT and did an astounding 60 points better in just two weeks! I’m very pleased with this progress and know it is just an affirmation that the studying I am doing is really paying off in a big way. After my CAT, I went ahead and ventured into my craft room for some wonderful sewing projects! I just used a basic bias skirt pattern from McCall’s similar to THIS ONE. I did however use french seams and wish I had known about those sooner – I LOVE their finish.

my new gray denim skirt.
my new gray denim skirt.
adorable fox skirt for lovie.
adorable fox skirt for lovie.

I also tried to make a little tepee for the cats, but they were no feeling it. I think I need to make it bigger, they just didn’t seem to think it was very cool. Cats… they love the ‘sack’ of cloth I made for them a few weeks ago, but don’t understand this has potential for the best photoshoot ever!

abandoned tepee.
abandoned tepee.

In pursuit of the cheapskates lifestyle, I decided to price compare Wal-Mart to Aldi on a few items that I consume a LOT of. Basically, I wanted to find an alternative egg/meat source aside from Aldi. Wal-Mart does have organic Eggland’s Best Eggs for $4.98 and a very very limited non-antibiotic/steroid chicken selection. Aldi rotates organic selections based on consumer buying patterns with a ‘features’ program so two weeks ago when they had the Organic Grassfed beef I was so happy but should have bought more to freeze and use later. Anyways, I’m thinking more about the antibiotics thing because my GMAT prep test actually had an article about how the EU has banned antibiotic use, but the USA hasn’t and well….. here we go. Also in my Wal-Mart escapade today I found some awesome products that made me proud to say ‘EASTHHHER IN AMMMERICCHHHAA.’

walmart is a great place.
walmart is a great place.
vanilla creme peep - limited edition. limited lifespan - CHOMP.
vanilla creme peep – limited edition. limited lifespan – CHOMP.

Sunday, I colored my hair, and while that was processing made that fox skirt up above! Then I went to finish my Dunwich Horror with Mister Josh Howard at Pioneer Tattoo. I love it.

josh howard monster
josh howard monster

There was also a Katy Puggy siting… I keep tweeting the real Katy Perry – maybe one day she’ll see.

katy puggy!
katy puggy!

Le sigh Monday….

xxx
GFK

Denver April 2014

Home Sweet Home. Well sweet old home. I flew into Denver for a quick visit Friday through Monday and boy was it fun! I got to see my family, go for a wonderful hike, eat some delicious food, finish my fantasy sleeve, hung with my badass super babe crew, visited Allegro Coffee headquarters, and attended a Game of Thrones premiere party! I will do a separate post on the Allegro visit and the Game of Thrones party in the next few days. Let’s roll the footage!

first stop!  The Curve for some effing good green chili.
first stop! The Curve for some effing good green chili.
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it's time to work on something else!
Alisha Rice finished my sleeve! Guess it’s time to work on something else!
my homie TWINKIELOVE24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo
my homie TWINKIELOVE 24/7 painted this super super adorable portrait of me and my ugly tribe. xoxoxo

CHECK OUT HER WORK HERE 🙂

the artist known at twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
the artist known as twinkielove24/7 and I hiked dinosaur ridge in morrison.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
it was pretty muddy on the downslope.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
but worth it. gorgeous view of red rocks/the hogback. le sigh i miss mountains.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
i made this amigurume dragon for out GoT party hostess Alisha Rice.
the Allegro Cafe - super amazing there.
the Allegro Cafe – super amazing there.
BEST VISIT EVER.
BEST VISIT EVER.

Snap. Crackle. Pop. My Visit to the Chiropractor!

my office.

Well I’ve had my job for exactly 1 year today. I can’t believe SO MUCH has happened since then – wouldn’t change a moment of it. EXCEPT maybe for all the slouching and even more horrific posture habits I’ve developed. It’s true, sitting at a desk all day and then coming home to crouch over knitting/sewing/crochet/GMAT studying has finally resulted in me feeling HORRIBLE about my posture. In the last month I just felt like I needed to stretch my back constantly and I was increasingly worried I was heading for some sort of back/neck injury. I’m really into preventative action so after talking to a few friends I decided I would go to the chiropractor. My only other experience with a chiro was dealing with some insanely painful/emergency stiff necks when I was a young kid so I didn’t really have a basis for what to expect. I decided to ask some of the more particular athletes at my office for Dr. recommendations and boy did I luck out!

first day 2013!

I found a chiro who is a tri-athlete and genuinely cares about his patients. His name is Dr. Roy Settergren and he is located at Midwest Sport & Spine if any of you Chicago readers are curious. He listened to my ‘ailments’ and wasn’t aggressive in his practice. Basically, he had me lie down on the table and started working out the insanely tight muscles in my front shoulders. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to sit up straight, but my shoulders could not be moved from a concave position. Seriously, it was so bad when I would lie down flat on my back I could not make my shoulders touch the ground/surface. Then he worked out my ‘glued’ shoulder blades and boy when those started cracking/popping it was wonderful. Nothing ever hurt and he really didn’t do any ‘adjusting’ aside from working out my tight muscles. When I sat up afterwards it was like I had had my chest opened up so greatly. I seriously feel like I’m a new person! But, I know that I have to keep it up. Obviously, I would love to go in as often as I can, but that’s not realistic. I have to practice making my posture better in all my daily activities. So every 45 minutes I stop and stretch at my desk or while I’m studying/crafting. I’m also being mindful of my shoulders rounding forward. I certainly don’t want to have a humpback or look like Quasimodo at any point in my life.

stretching it out with my foam pool noodle and baby Boris.

Anyways if you’ve been looking for some helpful stretches at home/work:

Here is some from Dr. Settergren.

Here are some for workplace stretching at your desk

Here’s some more low key ones – so people don’t think you’re insane/one of them yoga freaks (jk I love yoga freaks)

I might have the hobbies and interests of an 80 year old, but I don’t need the spine curvature of one.

XXX
GFK

Life Around Here.

the hipsters are restless in Logan Square.

Life has been so busy lately. I’ve been studying for the GMAT, knitting the Heliopath KAL, running/working out, and taking care of my tribe.

First things first, the GMAT. I have to say I’m enjoying working through the workbooks for this exam. I have never studied for a standardized test before so all the strategies and methodologies are fascinating. However, the testing material is intense. Nothing is ‘complicated’, but the way the exam is designed is to make sure you know the basics in-and-out. So I’m re-memorizing my geometry proofs, my algebra rules, basic grammar skills, and reasoning strategies. I have faith I’ll get the score I’ve set as my goal, but these next 9 weeks will be full of practice problems, practice exams, and workbooks.

The Heliopath KAL is coming along – I’m about to start the arm shape-ing. Honestly, I’m pretty tired of the cables so I took a few days break from working on it. Tonight I’ll get one side done and hopefully start on the back-piece/make head way on that. I did however rearrange my entire house/address my clay cat-litter ‘situation’ I ended up switching to World’s Best (again) so fingers crossed my asthma/Boris’ allergies are improved.

DIY face mask I made to clean/rearrange my space. Asthma, suck it.

The gym has been great. I got an outdoor run in on Sunday since the weather was lovely. I also ‘splurged’ and bought new running shoes, which I desperately needed. These New Balances are great. I honestly feel like my momentum and speed are soaring in them!

My new New Balance Carnival 574s
Logan Square. 5K Sunday Run.

The Ugly Tribe. I spend so much time at home, these guys really make me so happy. Although during my first full length practice exam on Saturday, Vladimir would not leave me alone and would not stop fussing with stuff in the kitchen. I don’t think the GMAT people had a pesky sphynx in mind when they designed the exam. I may start going to the library to take those exams since I had to get up three separate times to sternly warn my eldest cat to GET THE EFF OUT OF THE SINK / QUIT KNOCKING OVER CLEAN BUT DRYING DISHES. Anyways here’s some photos of my weekend with them.

Boris waiting for some string cheese.
dont’ go run mom, just stay here and hold me.
you gonna share that mom?
pug – spooning.
lay with me you little sh%t.
I take nap here. zzzz.

ONWARDS.
xxx
GFK.

The Crochet Virus

Last month I contracted the crochet virus. Sigh. It has been getting in the way of my knitting and aside from the Harry Potter Heliopath KAL I’m co-hosting, I haven’t touched my knitting needles in three weeks! (GASP) Anyways, here are a few pictures of the crochet things I’ve been working on. Overall, I think crochet is just so easy. I don’t wanna discredit it as a craft because I’m not into craft shame-ing, but it’s just mindless for me. Single, Double, Triple crochet is like the best/easiest way to make something so pretty and as long as you’re in the groove it’s way hard to mess up like knitting. PLUS my knitting projects have become quite complex in terms of patterning, so crochet in the round has been the jimmy jam for me lately too.

boris wearing a cowl as a robe dressed as mrs horowitz.
ghost face cowboy bandana single crochet cowl.
double crochet cowl in the round with phydeaux design yarn from the FEB 2014 yarbox
ghostfacecrocheter? nah.
first cowl. single crochet in the round.
the craft cult.

Ghostfacing March Goals

Well it’s the first Monday of the month! Can you believe that it’s March? It seems like I was just back home in Denver eating green chili, nut bread, and getting tattooed for Christmas! Time flies when you’re having fun! That being said, I think every beginning of the month I’ll do a new ‘monthly goals’ challenge. That way I can measure, record, and obtain short term and long term goals for accountability.

My short list for March to-do’s:

1. Go to the Dentist – for many this is a simple chore, for me (someone who has had EXTENSIVE dental work over my short lifetime) it is a living nightmare. No joke. I had a great dentist in Denver who did my “laser gum surgery” (say it like Dr. Evil) and I haven’t found one here that I’m comfortable with. I specifically need to find an office that respects that I am terrified and not just ‘being a baby’ or ‘high maintenance.’ Okay now that I’ve thrown that out there I can wait until the end of the month to resolve it.

fact: chewing on your hand makes your teeth super strong.

2. Cheapskates are the best skates – I’m tired of spending money I don’t need to. I stopped shopping at the regular grocery store at the start of the year, and it’s cut my grocery bill in half. Plus I eat more (+1600 calories a day) and eat out WAY less (once a week out of pocket / 3 chipotle visits with gift cards). I’m going to only buy my clothes from thrift store from here on out, because I’m just sick of spending money on things. I’m not ‘broke’ by any means, but why spend the dough if I don’t have to? I’d rather have a GIANT savings account and some new tattoos than ground beef from whole foods or a new cardy from Target.

massages are not consumption.

3. Lent – Sigh. I’ve been a ‘terrible’ Catholic lately. In the sense I haven’t been to mass since last Easter, but as a person I think I’ve been more ‘faithful’ than ever. I digress, Lent, whether you believe in the tales or not is a good time for restraint and reflection in general. PLUS, it’s easy to commiserate with other ‘lent-giver uppers’ during this time. So my plan is to give up snacking completely after dinner. I’m a huge fan of the rolling dinner from meal to bed and it’s got to stop. It just makes me feel bad and gross. I need to eat more during the morning/afternoon, not at 10pm. ALSO this one is HUGE. I’m restricting frozen yogurt to once a week on the weekends. TEARS. But froyo doesn’t really fit with my whole lifestyle change and cheapskates regime.

a family out of control

4. I’ll save the best for last. This month is about positive energy. I’m really focused with surrounding myself with inspiring people. Everyday, I meet new folks either in real life or the interwebs that make me think that this world and life is so awe inspiring – this month of March I’m going to continue to surround myself with PMA and people with enthusiasm. Believe me I’m so happy with my family and friends and to add to that stellar roster is exciting as hell.

Okay I think that’s a great start. Dentist, cheapskates, Lent promises, and PMA. March, I’ll do right by you!

XXX
GFK

Together

Well it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always a day full of such great expectations. If you have a typical Valentine good for you. I’m flying solo, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have awesome family, friends, and the tribe to send me love all year long. Plus…. Motley Crue.

Happy V Day. Whatever it means to you.

12520220434_e392e71f25_z

Love yourself the most.

xxxx
GFK

February Health Challenge

I’ve decided to do something a wee bit different in terms of challenges this month because obviously I NEED to get back into the flow with writing daily blogs – I was doing so so well before the holidays. Life just gets so busy! I’ve done several things this past month that I have been proud of. I started running again which I love. It’s nice to run for mental well-being and fitness/stamina than just ‘to lose weight.’ I’m making HUGE progress on my vintage patterned sweater. I taught myself how to fair isle. Also I learned to crochet and have been having a blast learning the ins-and-outs of that art.

crochet mummy
crochet mummy

Oh and Lois visited over the weekend and we had a blast!

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Anyways this challenge. It’s just a daily reminder about health. This picture I found on Google Images for “February Blog Challenge” is old and I’m not guessing the correct blog for this is even working, but I hyperlinked the photo to the address on there despite it seeming like that domain has changed owners. I thought it would be a great way to get back in touch with some mental/physical well being.

Old Feb Challenge I'm Hi-jacking.
Old Feb Challenge I’m Hi-jacking.

So I’ll just jump right in at #4: Relaxation. This one is always tough for me, because I operate at high energy and anxiety levels 24/7. However, I do relax by knitting and embroidering. Most projects I work on become pretty therapeutic. Especially embroidery, the ‘risk’ of messing up or ‘ruining’ the project with a simple mistake does not exist.

embroidered tea-towel for my Grandma's birthday.
embroidered tea-towel for my Grandma’s birthday.

I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed learning to crochet as well – the ‘ripping out’ is so simple and not as scary/severe as when a small mistake is made in knitting. Sometimes, like last night I just crocheted a little ‘doo-dad’ and watched TV all evening. It was so relaxing and just what I needed after a jam packed weekend with Lois.

just a shriner fez for the tribe.
just a shriner fez for the tribe.

I can’t believe it’s already February. Time flies!

xxx
GFK

Fair Isle Goat Pillow DONE

Well, it’s done. It only took total 10-11 hours which is not that bad considering it was my first real Fair Isle project. I’m really pleased that I did NOT try this as the glove. I think it would have turned into a AMF knitting project (angry mofo), if I had tried DPNs with my first time Fair Isle. Anyways, there’s a few mistakes – it happens. I really dig this as a pillow and will be doing more pillow/tapestry designs in the future. I will however go a step further and knit in the round next time. All my mistakes were on the purl side (WS) so being able to see the knit side the entire time would aid in banishing those little flubs.

Finished pillow front being 'blocked' it's acrylic so it's not like that did anything.
Finished pillow front being ‘blocked’ it’s acrylic so it’s not like that did anything.
added some 'french knots' to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
added some ‘french knots’ to cover up a missed black perrie. oops.
i really like the split in the goat.
i really like the split in the goat.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
finished pillow. pug mildly impressed.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
shhh mom, just shut your mouth.
new sweater blaster - embroidered 'B" for the baby boris.
new sweater blaster – embroidered ‘B” for the baby boris.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.
one half of hall and oates. this is what i do on saturday nights people.

Adventures in Fair Isle

Before the holidays, we had a secret santa at my work. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Mastering Colored Knitting book for my gift. I still in fact have no idea who gave this book to me! They won’t fess up, but when I finish my more intricate pattern I’ll send an email thanking/inquiring again. Anyways, I’ve been just practicing a few little projects and I love it. Just like most knitting techniques, I’m mad I didn’t learn this sooner. SO FUN.

Just a simple one peeries for practice.
Just a simple one peeries for practice.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
First heart project on modified sweater (no cable obviously) for Boris.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Baby B likes his sweater.
Gloves have inspired a pillow 'flat/larger' project.
Gloves have inspired a pillow ‘flat/larger’ project.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Slowed down by headache/cat kisses.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go - adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too.
Almost done. Still have 15 rows to go – adding inverted cross to top right design panel. Red to left crisscross pattern as french knots too. I’m hoping some of the gathering goes away with blocking/pressing. Damn you tension.
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
Valentines Cards? Can I Fair Isle this?
This is for a child. I'm thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves - especially for my ape like arms)
This is for a child. I’m thinking it would look awesome as vest. (no one wants to knit sleeves – especially for my ape like arms)