Here’s my personal feelings blog about my move. I am so happy to be in Colorado I’m so happy to have a wonderful job that I absolutely already just love so much and I’m so thankful to be here with the dude and my family. All that being said I don’t know what to do about not being alone anymore. The hardest challenge for me is not having 85% of my time alone right now. At work in Chicago even there wasn’t that much social interaction and that was the only social interaction that I was having. Occasionally I would meet up with my good friends and we would go to dinner but we all have busy lives and even though I had all that alone time I was busy with crafting or lifting. Now being in Colorado I feel like it’s a Catch-22 because I have all the people that I always wanted to be around when I was in Chicago, but now it is not instinctive to hang out with people. I do everything alone even though I’m living back here because it’s like my mind hasn’t adjusted. Also I now work at a place where I have meetings for almost half my day and then am able to complete things with a lot of peoples collaboration and input and guidance and constantly touching base with people. I hope that I’m able to find that balance of feeling like I’m giving enough to my friends and giving enough to myself and being in a healthy relationship with the dude and currently living at my moms. There’s a lot of adjustment in my life and I feel good. But I know that I need to realize that I’m not alone anymore I don’t have to do everything by myself anymore.I guess it sounds like a silly problems to complain about but I definitely am trying to overcome this transition from being basically secluded in a giant city to being surrounded by all the people that I constantly talked to you in my alone time. Anyways my codependency has made me feel obligated to write this post because I feel like I am leaving a lot of people out of my life and it’s not on purpose I just don’t know how to manage my time yet. I guess if you’re a friend and you’re really want to make plans with me in advance (like a week in advance) that’s best, then I can better handle and fit things into my life. I don’t know how to do spur of the moment hang outs anymore and I don’t know how to on a whim call somebody up and go do something because for the past 2 1/2 years I have had no one to do these things with aside from the dude and we had totally opposite schedules in Chicago because of our work. So moral of the story,bbottom line blah blah – I’m sorry that I am not reaching out to more people and making more things happen right now socially, but with your help hopefully I will figure out this balance of actually having my friends and family in the same city.
Two weeks ago (how has it already been that long?) I went to Des Moines to see my favorite knitters. My family linked up and ta-da! It was the best knitxmidwest ever (and also the 2nd annual). heyjenrenee was there and the lovies from hill vintage & knits plus the now internet famous shemakeshats! Here are a bunch of photos of the weekend!
With fall here and the holidays right around the corner, let me make your custom items/gifts! Pretty much anything you see knit/sewn/crochet I can make for you! My pricing is very affordable and I work hard to get you exactly what you dreamed!
I have done custom embroidery orders, scarf/cowl, baby bibs, kleenex coozies, crochet people/objects, dresses, skirts, blouses! Don’t forget about the pets either – I can make any costume idea or fun accessory for them too!
It’s no surprise that I LOVE my bike. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in a relationship with my bike. I commute to work everyday on it, choose to ride long distances because it’s just so fun, and prefer to take a ride on my bike rather than use the car. From Memorial Day to Labor Day I managed to hit 1000 miles, despite one nasty crash (sprained the membrane between my ulna and radius), a car wreck, and three flats. Here are some funny/nice/awesome moments of my first summer cycling in Chicago.
Me and Yoshi right after reaching 1000 miles on 8/29/2014.
That time I wore this white Nike top and there was a surprise downpour on the way home….. AWKWARD.
Giant Bike Packs. Gotta be prepared I guess.
One Year exactly. 8.26.2013 vs 8.26.2014. HUZZAH.
On the ride air pumps. This was the first of 3 flats I encountered – all within the same week too!
Gorgeous view from my long University of Chicago Campus rides – total distance that day 35 miles.
Work is nice enough to have an indoor bike rack. Yoshi never has to brave the elements without me.
The aftermath of Yoshi vs. Car. Twisted handlebars… thank goodness no other damage was done.
Sorry for my butt… about a week after my first crash. It took two months for that bruise to totally disappear.
On the road with Yoshi and Leopold. If only that squirrelly little pug would sit in a basket… sigh.
Here’s to many more 1ks on Yoshi!
During my trip in Denver my babes of friends threw me a little birthday tea party. I just still can’t get over how much fun it was and how amazing these girls are to me. We played an awesome game called Munchkin, ate, laughed hysterically, ate more, and just had a damn good time. Plus tea! It was just so thoughtful and wonderful and I’m smiling wide just thinking about it again.
Here are pictures of the decorations, the games, and the amazing desserts. That coconut macaroon! 😍
Wow. It has been one entire year since I stopped drinking. I remember on day 4 looking at my ‘quitter app’ thinking ‘gosh four days is not very long… but soon this will say 1 month, then 6 months, and then 1 year – you can do it.’ I had no idea I would grow and change so much. I had no idea I wouldn’t have to endure my life anymore. I had no idea how fucking happy and awesome I would become during these 365 days. I shouldn’t act like I can’t believe it, because I can – I made all the choices to stay sober and did all the work. I guess if anything I just can’t believe how amazing life is sober and I am in awe everyday at how much more awesome life gets.
On July 24, 2013, I knew I was done with alcohol indefinitely. It had been a long time coming and after years of saying I could control my intake and my drunk behavior, I reached a point where I knew I was not in charge of my drinking anymore. Drinking just was not fun. I would lose important things, spend money I barely had, looked terrible, felt terrible, and emotionally was just a vacant person with no self esteem. I wasn’t drinking round the clock or taking nips here and there, but I was not able to separate drinking and priorities anymore. That sounds sad, and honestly it was. I would try to do things and ultimately I would psych myself out or not be reliable or consistent about anything. Then, I think of all the drama and the anxiety I have caused for family and friends. The erratic and inconsistent behavior was just a drag for me and for everyone around me. Living paycheck to paycheck because of uncontrolled spending sucked too. Drinks? Sure! Dinner out? Sure! Random crap because drinking makes preplanning impossible? Sure! Plus don’t forget I was supporting a household!
The first few months I felt firm in my decision and very nervous around drinkers, like I had something to hide or be ashamed of. I can laugh at that now because I’ve come to find being sober is a characteristic almost all people envy. Heavy drinkers always commend me on my sobriety and ‘wish’ they could do it. I’ve had people be critical and worried that I chose to get sober without AA or a formal support group, but honestly it’s been incredibly easy to be sober. I don’t put myself in situations that would illicit me not being sober. That means emotionally and psychically. I can very easily go to bars/clubs/events and have a blast – the best part is that I don’t spend hundreds of dollars, talk out of my ass to strangers/friends, and then I remember everything and truly enjoy it.
Probably the reason I made it past my birthday (July 30) and remained sober for those first few critical weeks was my dearest friend Tannith. Our friendship, her support, and her own sober journey allowed for me to have someone I trusted to turn to when I had questions or just observations about this new sober world. Her support and enthusiasm for sobriety showed me that it entails a world without ‘missing’ because her life is so much more full in sobriety too. Tannith, you were my rays of sunshine in the dark and lonely storm. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you and your family sharing this journey with me. I am especially glad that we have a true friendship and can experience it all sober. I love you and am so grateful for you.
While I’m thanking people I should also commend my family. Mom, you were always right – booze is lame. Thank you for supporting me and dealing with the old Brianna. Thank you for not ever saying ‘I TOLD YOU SO!’ and especially thank you for being my friend. Words can’t even express my gratitude for your love. Dad, thanks for reminding me to not be so hard on myself and taking me to the edge of my thoughts and comfort zones. You are able to transform the way I see things and I’m so grateful for you.
Honestly, I think back to the person I was a year ago, and I don’t even know her. I am so happy. Truly happy to be sober and to be enjoying my beautiful life. The more removed I get from my old life, the more wonderful I become. I cannot stress that enough, sober living is so marvelous. This world is stunning and for me, alcohol makes everything fuzzy. I will never be sad that I cannot drink or rather will not drink, because I am in love with reality.
I am so fucking proud that one year ago today I finally let go of alcohol. I gave myself the opportunity to grow and to become this person I truly love. Goddamn, life is good.
Happy Wednesday! I’m quite excited today, because later tonight is my monthly craft night with my favorite ladies in StitchCraft! I found these lovely ladies on MeetUp.com which is a great social planner for people new to a city or just looking for new social events to attend. For a solo-crafter like myself I have so enjoyed meeting so many crafters, whether they are knitters, crocheters, wool spinners/dyers, seamstresses, quilters, paper artisans… the list literally could go on, because there are so many wonderful people doing AMAZING things out there now. I wanted to share briefly the things I have come across lately/am in LOVE with in the world of crafting.
1. American-Made / Organic Fabrics
Let me just go ahead and inform you that cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide filled crops that we come into contact with on a daily basis. Seriously, now think about your sheets, your clothes, your lady products, your toilet paper, paper towels….. AHHHHH. I am SO ELATED to see Joann’s jump on board with an Organic Fabric line and boy is it pretty. The patterns are just so unique and visually marvelous. They are $10.99-14.99/yard though, so definitely wait for a 50% off coupon to purchase. I have only seen these in a few Joann’s stores though, I can’t seem to locate them on the website.
I’m seriously getting that panicky feeling only other crafters know right now looking at those bolts. The ‘oh man, maybe I need to leave work right now and go buy them all because what if it sells out and what if I can’t add it to the already ENORMOUS pile of WIP fabrics I have at home… ANGST.” Joann’s is also offering an “American-made” fabric line that is stunning as well. With 27 different designs and patterns it is great to see such a large chain offer something that is important to the spirit of ‘locally-made’ and responsible crafting.
I know not everyone supports shopping at a large chain like Joann’s so please check out your local fabric and sewing stores, often the smaller local shops have the best quality and respond to consumer desires faster than a giant store. My local sewing spot is The Needle Shop on Addison and Lincoln in Chicago. They offer so many different styles of rotating apparel and upholstery fabrics. Every time I go in there I think I touch and look at each bolt for 5 minutes.
2. Yarn/Crochet/Fiber Arts
I mean, I can’t even begin to share all the wonders I see daily regarding fiber arts. I’m continually inspired and awed at how crafters are able to dye/spin/manipulate and then create a gorgeous fiber item. A few of my favorite people/shops/stuff/events are:
knitxmidwest 2 – they are having a second one this year! you betchyer ass i already reserved 5 spots!
heyjenrenee – equal parts rad mom and epical knitter (plus rowan ambassador, GAPTASTIC Cowl Designer, knitxmidwest founder, the list goes on)
YarnBox – a monthly yarn delivery service that lets you sample and knit with 1/2 skeins of indie and small batch yarn producers. I seriously have LOVED being a YarnBox member. There is a wait list now, but it is worth it. Last month I got gorgeous yarn from Switzerland for christ’s sake!
Susan Crawford – the retro knit goddess.
Plus, because fiber arts are booming – so many people are creating top-notch patterns and even giving them away. Check out Ravelry before you ever buy a pattern chances are it is on there. But, if you into supporting indie pattern designers, there is no bad karma in donating or purchasing patterns from their websites/etsy.com stores/ravelry. Pay it forward my crafters!
What kind of things are inspiring you with the season change? Do you find that you change your craft entirely or just augment what you work on? Further, if anyone would like to share their thoughts and opinion about organic fabrics and/or large chain consumption I would love to hear you thoughts.
At the beginning of March I made a little ‘to-do’ list and I just wanted to revisit that and set some new intentions for Spring now that we are really getting into some wonderful weather.
1. Go to the dentist. I did it! After what seemed like decades of bad news at the dentist, I finally received an ‘outstanding’ review and found out more about my options for dealing with my 15 year old root canals. Since the integrity of my teeth is really great, the dentist told me I would have these ‘dead-teeth’ for a long time and could go with a ‘less invasive’ method of crowns for fixing the color issue I have going on. CUTE! I know right!? Anyways, maybe prepare yourself for the panic stricken dental posts that will begin to show up as I embark on this endeavor in the next six months.
2. Cheapskates are the BEST skates! Well my cheapskate lifestyle is really gaining momentum. I’ve managed to stop consuming new clothing and housewares items. I’ve cut my shopping bill to reflect a sustainable, yet low amount each week. I’ve even gone so far as to price compare at several store and online for the items I consume regularly. I signed up on Amazon’s FREE Subscribe and Save plan for several reoccurring items that I use such as face wipes, wet ones for the cats, allergy medicine, floss, toothpaste, vitamins, Vega protein powder, and lotions. The great thing about the subscription plan is that you can save up to 15% off each item and you can choose the frequency of how often you’d like to receive the item. Then you receive all your monthly subscriptions on the same day depending on your frequency selection. PLUS you can cancel or opt out of it at any time. It’s really a great program and there are quite a few discounts/coupons floating around that take 30% off your first Subscribe and Save enrollment. I even called up my current satellite and internet providers and negotiated new cheaper plans – and somehow got SHOWTIME and STARZ for FREE!!! (for three months). Cut my monthly bill by $30 calling on both! 🙂
3. Lent. Going strong with my GIANT reduction in froyo. Thank goodness. Adios frozen yogurt. I’ve only had it twice all of Lent. However, now is probably not a good time to ask me about all the Easter Candy and limited edition sugar I’ve consumed in place. SAY SUMTHING!
4. Positive Energy. In this goal I have made the most improvement. I really did kick the negativity to the curb. Both in my personal and professional life I’ve made immense efforts to be positive. Don’t get me wrong I’m still emo as hell sometimes and will readily drop a UGH MY LIFE IS OVER in jest (well mostly jest), but I’m not focusing on the negative. Life is wonderful right now and the fact that I am rocking it, is just glorious. I worked really hard to get here – I’m healthy, I’m sober, I’m busy, I’m creative, I’m excited and most of all I’m able to love myself and the great family and friends that have my back. I owe a lot to PMA and to my support group. I’d also just like to give a huge kudos and squeeze to my ‘heterolife mate’ and life-seester Tannith – she has been my sounding board and a great friend in all these changes despite being such a stupendous wife and mother to her own family!
For some new intentions I really want to find a balance in fitness. I love working out – for the physical results, but also for the mental benefits. I rejoined an online Yoga site to practice some things at home and so far I’m loving it. There is deep twisting for detoxification and wonderful work for tight shoulder (because the chiropractor visits are few and far between) and hamstrings. I think keeping with my existing cardio regimine but adding yoga to the mix will be splendid. Further, I really want to focus on being a leader and student in my health, crafts, and relationships. I’m so grateful I have this moment to be proud and look at all the gifts I’ve given myself.
See I told you I’m all squishee.
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!