The Tonic of Self-Care

We live in a success-driven society, and I find myself falling right in line with its expectations.  I work hard at my job; I exercise; I try to cook healthy dinners at night with my husband (I don’t like cooking, but my craving for home-cooked meals wins); I have a multitude of crafty projects I want to complete at all times; and I want to PASS MY TEST DAMN IT.  Usually I can stick to my routine without a problem, but every several months, my body protests. I used to ignore signs of burnout until it was too late, but  I’ve learned to read these signs more carefully than I used to.  When I start dreading my morning workouts and make simple but careless mistakes at work, I know it’s time for a physical and mental recharge.

It happened to me this week – I was doing ALL the things until I noticed I was feeling listless in the mornings.  I wasn’t focused at work. So I took it easy – I skipped my morning workout on Thursday and did very easy, restorative yoga Friday morning.  I went on a leisurely run Thursday evening, not worrying about pace or distance.  I felt really good at the end of it.  And instead of studying at night, I curled up on the couch with Husband to watch Parks and Rec and work on this baby blanket:

Baby blanket.jpg

I’ve been a little extra on social media about reminding everyone that this baby blanket is NOT FOR ME.  I only say this because Husband and I were married for two hours before well-meaning friends were asking us about our future children at our wedding.  I mean – I definitely want kids, but one major life change at a time, please.

This baby blanket is for some friends of ours who are currently expecting.  We got the little shark toy from a cute shop we visited in Maui.  I can’t wait to send them this package! I just need to wash the blanket first (since Apollo decided this blanket was his), and block it.  I used Loops & Threads “Snuggly Wuggly Big!” yarn for this blanket, in the colorway “Petal Dots.” I used the Sonoma Baby Afghan pattern that came with the yarn.  This pattern took exactly a month to complete!

Several days of self-care was just the tonic I needed. I feel recharged and ready to tackle my to-do list.




Easing into the New Year

I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t just dive right into my New Year’s resolutions.  Some people can, and that’s great! Go you. But I find myself getting easily discouraged if I try to do ALL THE THINGS week 1.  It’s just a recipe to burn out by week 2.  Building habits takes time, and breaking a bad habit takes even longer. What I find works best for me is to build on a habit slowly.

For example, last year I started a morning routine that I really enjoy. It consists of doing yoga right when I wake up, then making coffee and writing a little in my journal.  It didn’t start off that way though.  First, it was just coffee.  Then it was coffee and writing a little in my journal.  Then it was coffee, writing, and stretching off last night’s run.  Finally, it turned into the routine that I now really enjoy.  If I had tried doing that routine right after New Year’s, though, I don’t think I would have stuck with it at all.

So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve already slipped on your resolutions.  It’s not time to give up yet! Just give yourself time to incorporate your routine into your daily life.

Exhibit A:


So I kind of reneged on my vow to craft from my stash, but guys.  We just discussed that it’s a process, riiiiiiight? So here’s how this downward spiral happened:  I bought the Mollie Makes Crochet book at Half Price on Saturday.  Looking through it, I found a blanket pattern I really liked. I dragged Boyfriend Fiancé to Jo-Ann on Sunday and bought all the yarn with the gift card he’d gotten me for Christmas.  I warned him that it would probably be a year until this blanket is finished.  Let’s just set those expectations real low.

I am really excited about the color palette though!  And Fiancé helped select the colors, since I figured it’d be a blanket we’d both be enjoying.

I’m at least making progress on my other makes.  Exhibit B, Pussyhat:


I am a slow knitter so it unfortunately will be too late to ship to DC. But I’ll wear it this Saturday for the March here in Austin (if I finish it in time, etc).

And Exhibit C, the Mollie Makes Apollo dachshund:


Have a great week everyone!  I’ll be back Wednesday with all the details on a crochet class I’m taking!

Three Things for 2017

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/whatever you celebrate.

I’ve been having a pretty relaxing mini-vacation.  Boyfriend and I traveled home to see our families (we’re from the same hometown, which is pretty convenient).  I’ve been relaxing with family and friends, crafting, gorging on food my mom has been making, running with my dad, and taking lots of naps.

My mom and I made struffoli together, which is an Italian holiday tradition.  It’s been at least several years since I helped make it, so I had a lot of fun helping this year.


It was pre-tty yummy.

And for Christmas, Boyfriend’s Mom made me a set of owl coasters since she knows I love owls.  I think they are really pretty!  Thank you, Boyfriend’s Mom!


Now that it’s the last week of the year, I’ve been thinking about 2017 and what resolutions I want to make.  It’s always exciting to make a fresh start.  While I don’t have a list of resolutions complete just yet, I AM excited about the following little treats.

Flow Diary 2017
I discovered Flow back in 2013 and it’s one of my favorite indulgences.  It’s a quarterly magazine packed with tips on mindfulness, creativity, and embracing life’s imperfections.  Each issue is comes with little paper goodies as well.  I really attribute this magazine to helping me find a happier and more mindful path in my life.  They also have special issues, such as mindfulness workbooks, coloring books, and sketchbooks.

One of their specials is a diary for 2017.  Besides the conventional planner pages, it’s filled with prompts for each week (example – “What did you daydream about?”), notes, poems, stickers, and postcards.  The diary is designed by Lotta Jansdotter, and it’s a gorgeous little book. I’m so excited about filling in its pages.


Free Youtube Yoga Programs

I started doing yoga this year and it’s really been amazing.  I’ve been taking a little break the past several weeks to tend to stupid little injuries and to recover from a six-month daily streak that I got a little burned out from.  I’m really pumped to return to yoga during the new year with two of my favorite Youtube yogis – Yoga With Adriene and Lesley Fightmaster.  Yoga With Adriene is doing a 31-day series called “Yoga Revolution” and Lesley Fightmaster’s 30-day program is called “Hatha Yoga Happiness.”  I don’t know which I’ll do first!

Beautiful Embroidery Books

I love embroidery but I really want to step my skills.  I found this book at the Half Price Books sale today.


It’s called Painting With a Needle – Learning the Art of Silk Embroidery with Young Yang Chung. The projects are way above my skill level, but they are so beautiful and definitely something I’d like to try!

What treats are you looking forward to trying in 2017?