It’s that time of the month again! Blog Links time! Happy reading!

Cooking Related:

DIY Enchilada Sauce http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=280

8 Healthy Pantry Staples that will Help You Save Money http://www.cheatsheet.com/culture/supermarket-strategies-budget-friendly-pantry-staples.html/?ref=YF&yptr=yahoo

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=2117

M&M Cookie Dip http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=1226

Oatmeal for Breakfast for a Month http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/oatmeal-every-morning-for-a-month

Refrigerator Cucumber Salad http://www.candysfarmhousepantry.com/?p=472

Knitting Related:

Knitting Love: 14 reasons why knitters make the BEST partners http://www.womansweekly.com/knitting/knitting-love-reasons-why-knitters-make-the-best-partners-15973/

Planner Related:

The Best Pocket Notebooks for EDC http://everydaycarry.com/posts/20551/the-best-pocket-notebooks-for-edc?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

Productivity Posts:

3 Ways You’re Multitasking without Even Realizing It http://www.blog.daydesigner.com/multitasking-without-realizing/

My Pocket Notebook Basics series http://www.mylifeallinoneplace.com/2017/03/my-pocket-notebooks-basics-series.html

Reflective Posts:

What if all I want is a Mediocre Life? https://nosidebar.com/mediocre-life/

Copper Water Bottle https://www.copperh2o.com/products/copper-water-bottle?variant=26818464903

7 Reasons the Blunt Friend is the best friend you’ll ever have http://redhotawesome.com/7-reasons-the-blunt-friend-is-the-best-friend-youll-ever-have/

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I recently bought a Webster’s Pages Traveler’s Notebook. I thought my Chic Sparrow Dr. Jones B6 would be my last TN. Famous last words right?

In the video, I got over this TN in more depth.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgyBteBmq30%5B/embedyt%5D

Pros: 

  • Listed as a standard size traveler’s notebook.
  • Comes with a plan, blank notebook with a craft paper cover, in the standard/narrow size.
  • BUT it fits but standard/narrow and wide traveler’s notebook inserts. So you have choices!!!
  • Comes with pockets, card slots, and a stitched pen loop. The slit pocket along the back would be perfect for those refrigerator notepads.
  • Sturdy construction for being imitation leather. Perfect for Vegans or those opposed/sensitive to leather products.
  • Loved that I could get a TN with lots of pockets for under $50. Yes, it being imitation leather does make it cheaper, but I also loved being able to use a coupon on it at a Super Joann’s.

Cons:

  • Not easy to find in Joann’s stores. The bigger Joann’s may have them, but the smaller stores do not. You can get them off the Webster’s website and possibly Amazon.
  • Not a fan of the little tag thing on the closing elastic. And because it has a rivet, it can’t removed easily.

Not too many cons to be honest. I don’t know what I’m going to use this TN for yet. It is not set up or anything.

Has anyone else thought that they were done buying a particular type of thing, and then you fooled yourself and bought another one? Let me know in the comments!

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Where did the week go? Episode 8 March Finished Objects is here! It seems like only yesterday, not a week ago, that I was sharing my knitting plans for my Spring Break.

Now, I did get a lot of knitting done, as well as a bunch of house projects, but I’m not ready for Spring Break to be over. Is anyone really?

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBusZ_EwwpE%5B/embedyt%5D

So what did I get done this past week and what did I finish this month?

Finished Objects

Bernat Mango Madness Dishcloths: 10.

(I have a the rest of the week to finish out the cone, so I’m confident that I will get all of this yarn knit up in March. This was also part of my March Goals for the month.)

Pieces Afghan Squares: 7

Since my little brother moved into his new house, I’m considering taking all the pieces I have so far and sewing them together to make a blanket for him. Haven’t fully decided on this yet.

Scrappy Wrap

After a month-long break from my Scrappy 10 Stitch Wrap, I got it back out for Spring Break. I managed to add 100 rows to my wrap! It equaled out to almost two and a half feet added on the stripe. I still have so much more to go on this side before I reach the corner.

Mini Skein 10 Stitch Blanket

I’m officially done with knitting up Ann’s samples! Not gonna lie. Those samples were tough at times. I’ve opened up my first package of Lion Brand Bon Bons, Beach colors. The blue, OMG y’all, the first Bon Bon of that blue! I love this color soooooo much! I’ve knitted almost all the blue, and have tied in the next Bon Bon (orange).

I was shocked when I took out the first Bon Bon. It’s so DENSE! I don’t know what I was expecting exactly. The label does say each Bon Bon is 28 yards, but that doesn’t really mean much for me.

Other Stuff I’ve Been Working On

I’ve make some necklaces: fall leaf necklace and cooking charmed necklace.

I attempted to fix my mom’s favorite necklace that broke. I made it too short, so I need to redo it.

I’ve spoken about in my Goals blog posts and videos my Bobbin Lace workbook. I actually got to work on it this month. If there’s any interest, I’d love to show off my pillow and current project on the podcast.

What has everyone else been working on?

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This post series: What’s Your Why Not, was inspired by the lovely Carie Harling. She began this series a few years ago, and when I first watched her video about it, I started to think about all the things I’ve chosen to do because I wanted to do them.

Carie recommends answering the question of What’s Your Why Not by thinking about something you want to do because you WANT to do it. Not because you have to or you should.

Some of the Why Not’s I’ll be writing about are: writing a book with the intent to publish; starting a business; my planner collection; taking a Nutritional Anthropology class; going on an archaeological dig; knitting certain things vs. knitting other things.

You can read all about Carie’s WYWN series here.

So…what’s your why not?

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When I discovered regular flex binders came with bigger rings, I had an idea for a DIY mini flex.

I’ve been using Mini Flex binders since I first discovered them. I wished the rings were a bit bigger. You can only fit so much in one of these. I purchased a 5-subject flex binder, that had rings 2 inches wide. DOUBLE that of a regular Mead OrganizHer Shopping Companion (aka the Mini Flex).

While the bigger rings does make the whole notebook a little more awkward, I’m finding myself using it more because I have so much paper in it. If I want to make a new list, or brainstorm an article, or writing blogging notes, I’m not worried about running out of paper!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eVRaI2SVOU%5B/embedyt%5D

I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it works for me.

To make your own mini flex, if you don’t want to buy one off Amazon, or if you want bigger rings:

  1. Measure and draw lines on a regular size flex binder to mark 6 inches wide (include the ring mechanism) and 9 inches long.
  2. Using scissors, cut the back and front cover plastic and the fabric spine along the marked lines.
  3. When it comes it to ring mechanism, this is where it gets tricky. I used my poultry scissors to cut through this thicker plastic. Pruning shears may work as well. Just be VERY CAREFUL when trying to cut through this part.
  4. If you have a corner rounder punch, you can round the corners off.
  5. And voila! You not have a mini flex, in whatever color you wish, and in whatever ring size you prefer!

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It’s Spring Break and I’ve got a plan.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU_Bzgrh3Rg%5B/embedyt%5D

In this knitting podcast, I’m showing off:

Mini Skein 10 Stitch Blanket progress & Brainstorming what order I’ll be knitting minis in

I decided to knit them in my original order. After Ann’s samples, I’ll tie in the two original BonBon packages, THEN Ann’s Rainbow Rambo minis, then the two Brew City Yarns themed sets. Once all the minis from the Yarn Hoarder Ravelry Group Swapless Swap come in, I’ll play with alternating the remaining BonBon packages and those minis.

Picked the Scrappy 10 stitch wrap again

Knitting 10 rows at a time. Progress keeper will be added and I will be showing it off next week.

 Acquisitions

Four Purls clearance rack find; I have no idea what I’m going to do with this yet. It was calling to me.

Casual Fashion Queen Mermaid bulky; another yarn in the long line of headbands/ear warmers like all my special yarns.

Spring Break Plan

Since I have the week off, I’m going to work on all my projects a little bit every day. 1/2 a dishcloth; Portion of mini skein blanket; 10 rows on the scrappy wrap. I’m also planning on making some yarn candy corns from leftover cardboard cones and yarn I have for fall decor. These will be shown off next week if I get to them.

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My husband and I have managed to pay off debt (except for the house) over the course of our short marriage, and I’d like to share with you how we did it.

Our non-residential debt included two car loans ($9k and $26K) and student loans ($42k). We still have a mortgage and are working to pay that down as well.

I’ve briefly written about our debt pay off journey before, and I know I’ve mentioned Dave Ramsey on this blog before.

We followed Dave’s Debt Snow Ball method for the most part, but did make a slight change. We are blessed to be able to live on one of our incomes, while banking the other. Not everyone has this luxury, and we understand that. However, if you think you can make living on one income and banking the other work, try it!

The way we paid off debt was to make the minimum payments to stay current AND save up our second paycheck for the balance or $5000, which ever was lower. Now for those who are familiar with the Dave Ramsey Debt Snow Ball method, y’all maybe wondering why I’m advocating minimums instead of doing the actual method.

There is a method to my madness I promise. For us, being able to save up $5000 and be able to throw that at one of the debts all at once was more motivating to us than the “quick wins” mindset that Dave talks about. I understand the premise of “quick wins,” but it’s not working for us.

This method also has gotten us into the habit of saving for home improvement projects and traveling, as well as paying down our mortgage.

If you’ve been paying off debt, what method are you using? Debt Snow Ball? Double payments? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

 

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My planner collection! I’ve been asked in comment of previous blog posts, just how many planners do I have. This post, I’m going to go through my entire planner collection and what’s on my planner shelf.

Warning: this is a LONG post!

My planner collection is a mix of Traveler’s Notebooks, ringed binders, Flex Binders, etc.

Starting from the left side of the shelf, I’m going to go through the whole shelf and show&share these planners.

  1. Black planner cover that I eventually plan on turning into a Traveler’s Notebook…eventually!
  2. Filofax A5 Finsbury: this one belong to my husband’s cousin. When my inlaws were visiting her, MIL shared my planner obsessed with her, she pulled her old Filofax off the shelf and said to give it to me. It does have dividers and paper in it.
  3. My first ringed planner: ah memories. My mom gave me her old planner when she bought a new one. I used this thing for years!
  4. DayTimer Classic size Malibu in Aqua: a Christmas gift from hubby. Whenever we went to Staples, I’d take it off the shelf and look at it. I love the Malibu layout.
  5. Mini Flex collection: there are two here. My original pink one and another brand new pink one.
  6. Wide size TN from Michaels: I bought this one on a whim. It hold my wide size inserts. Nothing special really.
  7. DayTimer Personal size Malibu in Rose Gold: aw my RG! There are quite a few blog posts written about this planner. To date, if I had to purge my planner collection to the bare minimum, this is one that would stay. But alas! I still love rings, but I wish it just bent back like a spiral notebook (see my Mini Flex obsession!). I’ve also toyed with the idea of removing the rings and turning it into a Traveler’s Notebook, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
  8. Coil bound notebook: a potential contender for #onebookJuly if I decide to go Bullet Journal style
  9. Bound notebook: another contender for #onebookJuly if I decide to go Bullet Journal style
  10. Chic Sparrow Standard/Narrow size Maverick TN: birthday present from Hubby. This is a workhorse! The water buffalo leather is tough! Which I’m glad for, because I do not baby my stuff. I’m rough and throw my notebooks into bags. They need to be able to survive. Hence why I do not own a Mr. Darcy.
  11. Fabric fauxdori that I made: experimenting with the B6 size. Couldn’t justify spending money on one, but I fell in love with the size as soon as I made it.
  12. Teal fauxdori that I made: more experimenting. The stickers keep coming off. I may have to decopage (spelling?) them on.
  13. ZLYC Standard/Narrow TN in its bag: this one was my first traveler’s notebook ever! As awkward as the narrow size can be, I do like this one. It’s also one of my loaners when I have friends who want to try out TNs.
  14. Foxy Fix Marina B6 TN in its bag: My first official B6! Used her for 6 months straight, which is saying something with the way I move planners around. Currently resting, while I break in my Dr. Jones B6.
  15. Unknown maker personal size ringed notebook: this one’s story has already been told. You can read about it here.
  16. Travel Mini Flex: another experiment for a friend who liked the idea of the Mini Flex, but wanted something a little smaller. I wrote about that one here.
  17. Cut down binder rings: another experiment. I was trying to make my teal fauxdori into a combo TN and rings planner. It didn’t work.
  18. Personal Size binder ring insert: Bought this off eBay or ETSY to attempt another DIY planner. It didn’t work either.
  19. Mini 3 ring binder: honestly bought this because it was pretty. Hardly use it.
  20. Engagement themed coil notebook: gift from my cousin when Hubby and I got engaged. Contains the lists of who gave what at the wedding shower and wedding gifts so I could write thank you’s.
  21. DIY Mini Flexes I made from placemats: in a fit of brillance (or insanity), I decided that I could make Mini Flexes out of vinyl placemats, duck cloth, and those metal rings some people put index cards on. Mostly successful. Thought I wish I had been more mindful of where I punched the holes….
  22. Chic Sparrow Dr. Jones B6 Regular: my latest and possibly last TN. I’ve already written a post about my Dr. Jones TN, so I won’t repeat myself here. But you can read about it here if you’d like.

These are 99% of my planner collection. Not shown in the photo, but shown in the video are the following: full size Flex binder that contains my Passion Planner, purple Mini Flex as my brain dump notebook, and my ZLYC Passport size TN.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBtyDI__5GU%5B/embedyt%5D

You know, I didn’t think my collection was that bad, until I wrote this post!

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Well, I officially started it. The Mini Skein 10 Stitch Blanket it underway. The video below has more information about it.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oj90giJi9YI%5B/embedyt%5D

Mini Skein 10 Stitch

I started out with US 3 / 3.25 mm double pointed needles (DPNs). I will be adjusting and changing needle sizes if necessary.

The first bit of yarn I used was all the samples from Ann, TwinMommyCreations, had given me over the years. Those were not easy to knit up if I’m honest. I don’t normally use needles that small.

Mini Skein Unwinder

I do not own a swift. My plan to go over to my friend Ann’s studio and use her’s hasn’t happened yet. But I was getting impatient and wanted to get Ann’s Rainbow Mini Skeins balled or caked up. My husband made me this:

It’s a piece a scrap PT wood with some concrete anchor screws in it. I’m able to loop a mini skein around it so I can then cake it up or ball it up myself. It’s not perfect, but it works.

Lion Brand Bon Bons

(This part I actually forgot to mention in the video. Oops!)

I had mentioned in last week’s podcast, that I would be exchanging a duplicate package of the Lion Brand Bon Bons for a different color set. I had had two packages of the Nature color. When I went to Joann’s on Tuesday to exchange them, I wasn’t allowed a flat exchange. I was able to return the second package, but because the 50% of coupon I had used on Sunday was now expired, I wasn’t getting the new package at half price.

Needless to say, I was not happy about this and ended up leaving without a new package of Bon Bons. Oh well. I’ll just have to wait for the next time I have some 50% off coupons.

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To maintain my sanity, I came up with a list of things to do when my CTS is flaring up. During the last couple of weeks, I had to take a break from knitting, let my wrist rest.

My 10 Recommendations for when your Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is flaring up:

  1. Read a book
  2. Do a jigsaw puzzle
  3. Organize something (craft room, freezer, pantry…)
  4. Type up manuscript (I’m working on a manuscript for publication at the moment.)
  5. Work on Bobbin Lace (or learn bobbin lace)
  6. Do eBay write ups for stuff to sell on eBay
  7. Clean out your closet
  8. Journal…well, this could depend on which had is hurting
  9. Color in an adult coloring book (I have the Lisa Frank adult coloring book.)
  10. Watch YouTube videos

I did work on some of these while my wrist was resting. Though I have a theory that I was so tense from not knitting, despite all the other “relaxation techniques,” that my wrist and hand hurt more out of frustration.

I kid you not, once I was “allowed” to knit again (that sounds bad, but I do have a very caring husband), all the tension in my wrist and hand went away. I’ve been taking it slow, taking more breaking, and stretching.

If you suffer from occasional or chronic CTS, what are some other techniques you keep you sanity what you take breaks? Please share in the comments.

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