Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 2016: Month in Review

I have had QUITE the struggle with keeping up with my blogging this month - I only posted 4... including this one! I'm not really sure why... I planned out my posts and even wrote up a bunch of them.  I just didn't type and publish them. -___-  Meh. I'll do better in April! 

March Highlights
3/4: Brianna and I dyed yarn together.  It was a lot of fun!  She went for an orange and I went for green (surprise surprise ^.^)  We used food coloring and easter egg dye. BTW: I'm totally going to raid the easter section at walmart for all the dyes!

hand dyed, yarn, wool, easter egg dye, diy, green yarn

3/9:  I walked around and photographed Downtown Mt. Dora.  I was down there just before sunset.  The light was very pretty and made for some great photos.  I also met a couple musicians playing on the corner and took some pics of them... that I still need to send them *oops*

3/11:  Lamar and I had a dinner-out-at-home date night.  We got Olive Garden to go and set it up on the table at home.  Very nice to do something different.

date night, black love, black family

3/13:  Lamar, Brianna, and I went to Universal for Mardi Gras.  It was really fun to see Brianna, who is the ultimate Disney Head, be totally lost at Universal ^.^

universal studios florida mardi gras 2016

universal studios florida mardi gras 2016

3/17:  6 YEARS since Lamar and my first date *.*

3/19:  I found a 4-Leaf Clover!  How appropriate to find on St. Patrick's Week.

st. patrick's day, irish, 4 leaf clover, lucky, good luck

3/20:  Lamar got two tickets to Universal Mardi Gras from one of his coworkers, so Sheree and I were able to go see 3DoorsDown in concert.  It was awesome!  When they started Kryptonite, everyone went crazy ^.^

universal studios florida mardi gras 2016, 3 Doors Down Band

universal studios florida mardi gras 2016

3/21:  I thrifted a pair of binoculars that are in great condition!  I have since looked at the moon in awe.

3/26:  My mother in law put together a program where she tells select people what she appreciates about them and I was one of the people this time.  It was so sweet :)

3/28:  My phone was stolen.  In a round-about way this became a lesson in casting my cares on God.  I get really anxious about a lot of things and within this situation I prayed that if God was trying to teach me something, to make it super plain to see.  And the day after my phone was taken, my morning prayer (in the Abide App) was about casting my cares, worries, and anxieties on God.  Then on the radio I was hearing and singing along with all the praise songs and it made me feel more at peace with everything.  I now understand, more than before, the importance of praising in all situations.

3/30:  I was able to replace my phone through upgrading.

Throughout the Month
- I knit my first pair of socks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I started them on the 3rd and finished them on the 29th.  Now I feel like I can knit all the things!

ravenclaw house socks, knitting, diy, handmade, Inside Number 23 Podcast KAL

- Because of the series of unfortunate events that have occurred with my electronics, I am vowing to backup my devices at least twice a month if not once a week!!!  I am tired of losing photos!

March Goals Review
1. Design a shawl - I started crocheting a shawl from the hand-dyed yarn I created.  I'm still working out the size, and I think it's almost done!
2. At least 2 date nights with Lamar - We had our dinner-out-at-home night and on the 18th we went to IHOP as is our dating anniversary tradition :)
3. Yoga once a week - nope...
4. Do a downtown shoot - Shot Mt. Dora
5. Read at least one book - I haven't finished it but I recently started reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  So far its quite good.  I've checked it out from the library, but I think I'll buy it.

April Goals
1.  Finish reading Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
2. Crochet something Hufflepuff themed for the #23HarryPotterKAL
3. Volunteer at an animal shelter
4. Back up devices at least twice/month or at most once/week
5. Finish reading Big Magic

Thursday, March 17, 2016

WIP Wednesday... on Thursday: Ravenclaw Socks!

Over the last couple months, I've gotten very much into watching knitting podcasts on youtube.  (I keep hoping that I'll stumble upon a crochet one soon, but it really might be up to me...)  Anywho, one of the podcasts that I've been enjoying quite a lot is Inside Number 23 hosted by Katie (click -here- for her Ravelry).  I like her vintage/handmade style, she's funny and she seems like she'd be fun to talk to or hang out with.  Towards the end of last month, she announced her first knit-a-long which would be Harry Potter themed (#23HarryPotterKAL)  Now, I'm not the biggest HP head, but I did enjoy reading the books when I was younger until my mom made me stop lest I try to become a wizard... lol!  So I decided to join in on her KAL.  And not only did I join a KAL, I decided to knit socks.  I chose to knit socks because I figured it would be a great challenge especially since the only thing I ever knitted was a very short scarf with super bulky yarn.  Bring on the teeny tiny needles!!! 

I cast the first sock on exactly 2 weeks ago and I finished the toe last night ^.^ I will also confess that I totally slept in the one sock because I was so proud of myself! So yeah, check out my progress pics!

knitting, knitted socks, new knitter, Katie Inside Number 23, #23HarryPotterKAL, Ravenclaw house, harry potter

1. The yarn I'm using is Patons Kroy - Cadet colors.  It's shades of navy with grey and I chose it because when I went to Universal for my birthday, I was sorted into Ravenclaw :)  This Patons Kroy colorway is perfect for Ravenclaw socks.
2. I did 2x2 ribbing, and that little half inch of rib took me like 2 hours to work!  Figuring out how to hold the yarn and knit was quite fiddly because I'm so use to crochet.
3. I got bored of the ribbing so I just went on to the leg after that half inch, lol.  In the future, I will def make my cuff considerably longer so it will actually fit to my leg.
4. More progress down the leg. I have learned that I knit continental and in the back loop which should be creating twisted stitches but for some reason doesn't.  I tried to follow a tutorial on youtube for continental knitting, but then my stitches started twisting... so I went back to what I was originally doing and it seems to work right.
5.  I TURNED A FLIPPING HEEL!!!!  This was the part of sock making that had me shaking in my boots! But I did it and I was so excited I wanted to do a victory dance around the room lol!
6. Working the gusset decreases.  This is the part where my funky knitting really made things hard.  I regularly knit into the back loop, but when you decrease you can't do it that way, so the decreases are a bit harder for me to do but I got it.  Also, I need to practice picking up stitches because I couldn't figure out how to do it with the needles, so I got my crochet hook out and used it.  Gotta make it work :)
7. Gusset done!  Progressing down the foot.  Round and round she goes!
8.  I did a wedge toe (??) I think that's what it's called.  It was def a good amount of practice on my decreases.  I decreased down to 12 stitches and when I finished stitching the sock closed, I realized I could've stopped decreasing at like 20... oh well, more practice.
9.  My first finished sock!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm excited to cast the next one on and wear them everywhere!  lol! 

knitting, knitted socks, new knitter, Katie Inside Number 23, #23HarryPotterKAL, Ravenclaw house, harry potter

Here's more shots of the finished sock.  The kitchener stitch for closing the toe was quite fiddly also.  But I think it being after midnight, poor lighting, and a dark section of the yarn contributed to the fiddly-ness.  As you can see, Miss Tootie approves of my work too ^.^

So yeah... I made a sock... that is just so cool!  I'm glad that Katie started the KAL and provided the idea for make these.  In all honesty though, all the way through this sock I wanted to frog it out and crochet instead.  I'm very proud of myself for sticking in there with the knitting.  Especially when my fingers got crampy and the stitches got frustrating.  Hopefully the next sock goes smoother.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Welcome Back Saturn: Caleisha Turns 30!

My THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY was on Feb 24th!  EEEP!!!  Sorry for yelling but it's pretty cool to hit such a major milestone.  Honestly, I think that a few of my friends had a harder time accepting the fact that my 20s were over than I did lol ^.^  I really enjoyed all the celebrations we had from the Sabbath lunch with friends and family to amusement parking with friends to spending quiet time hiking in the woods by myself. 

I (in true Caleisha form) made it a goal to document as much of my birthday celebration as possible.  So needless to say, I have an abundance of photos and video clips to share.  The video clips are of my hike through Wekiwa Springs State Park and will be edited together so you can experience what happens when one decides to go hiking without first checking the weather -___-  *shrug* Anywho, right now I'm going to share some of my favorite photos from the #caleishaturns30 festivities!  Oh! And I am so glad that hashtagging is a thing :)  Not only do I have a record of the things I posted on social media, but I can also see what my friends were posting as well.  Is it crazy to have a hashtag for every milestone in my future... I don't think so ^.^

A bunch of my friends and family came together for Sabbath Lunch before my birthday.  It was awesome. The weather was beautiful so we spent a lot of time outside chatting.  The kids were playing in the yard and Tootie only chased them once lol.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Islands of Adventure 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return

Sunday, we went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  It has been a very long time since I went to an amusement park with a large group of friends.  It's pretty cool to have the opportunity to go since Lamar works there.

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Islands of Adventure 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Islands of Adventure 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return Dr Suess Thing 1 Thing 2

We wore our Thing shirts he got us for Christmas.  Thumbs up for cuteness ^.^

Universal Studios Orlando Florida Islands of Adventure 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return

The award says 'Worlds Greatest Sweetheart' and that's so true. He planned all the activities and really made my birthday celebration awesome!

Wekiwa Springs State Park Apopka Florida 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return Orion Constellation Stars DIY Clothing

I went hiking solo in Wekiwa Springs State Park on my actual birthday since I was the only person off work, lol.  To celebrate my first Saturn Return, I wore my Orion shirt.  I need to make more space/star themed clothing... I love this shirt!

Wekiwa Springs State Park Apopka Florida 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return Hiking Nature Trail

Wekiwa Springs State Park Apopka Florida 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return Hiking Nature Trail

Yep... I went hiking in white tennis shoes... because I'm a grown up... and I do what I want! hehe

Wekiwa Springs State Park Apopka Florida 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return Hiking Nature Trail

While I was out in the middle of the woods, it started raining... I had no umbrella or anything so I ended up spending quite a bit of time huddled under these big leaves.  Not as dry as I could have been but I got soaked... slower... -___-

Cheesecake Factory Winter Park Florida 30th Birthday 30before30 Saturn Return

I ended the night with dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with Lamar.  We talked about our days and just spent time together.  It was a great ending to my #CaleishaTurns30 extravaganza ^.^

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

February 2016: Month in Review

I am actually a bit sad that my birthday month is over... it was a good one though!  Lots of memories made and good times with friends/family spent.  So here are the highlights!

2/5: Delaware got a bunch of snow near the end of January and beginning of February and my dad kept sending me pictures.  So I asked him to build me a snowman, and he did!  Little things like that are why he's such a cool dude :)

2/14:  Even though Lamar said we weren't going to do anything for Valentine's since we were having a few big things for my birthday, I couldn't let the day pass without doing something for him.  I surprised him with a few balloons and handmade cards when he got home from work.

 valentine's day simple gift diy easy gift balloons handmade cards

2/16: I did aerial yoga for the first time (at Altamonte Springs Yoga) and loved it!  Post and photos coming soon!

2/18: I finally finished the yellow cup cozies!!!!  I feel like those were everlasting!

2/20: We had a Frimily (Friends and Family) Sabbath lunch for my birthday!  It felt really good to have a house full of people that love me come together to hang out and spend time.  And Brianna and I baked cupcakes.  They were delish.  I may have eaten cupcakes, I mean... sugar muffins... for breakfast the next day... lol!

2/21: We went to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure!

universal studios islands of adventure orlando florida
 universal studios islands of adventure orlando florida 

2/24:  I. Turned. Thirty!  Since I was the only person off work on that day, I decided to go hiking in Wekiwa Springs and eat at a few random restaurants.

2/25: One night about a month ago I helped one of the librarians straighten a bunch of paintings in the library and asked her about showing my photography in the library.  I found out, on this day, that I will be showing my downtown photography series in the library during July ^.^

2/26:  I ventured into the magical world of Ikea with Brianna o.O It was pretty awesome.  I could definitely see myself shopping there more if only the traffic around it wasn't so crazy.

ikea orlando florida

2/28:  A couple friends of ours had their baby shower and I was their photographer. It was a beautiful set up and they had a lot of fun.

2/29:  Leap Day!  Last leap day I started this blog ^.^ It's been an interesting four years between "blog birthdays."  Sometimes I kind of lose sight of what I want this blog to be, but it's really taken me on an adventure.

Throughout the Month
I have been really enjoying using my Bible app and Abide prayer app this month.  If you are interested in a really good prayer app, Abide is one.  It gives you a daily prayer each morning and you can browse through the prayers topically as well.  I've been loving the social aspect of the Bible app.  I have been creating images using verses I like as I've been reading.  Both apps let me share things to facebook which is kinda like a bit of ministry for me :)

February Goals Review
1.  Finish up all outstanding crafty projects. (I finished the cup cozies, but I'm still working on the hooded cowl... still... working)
2.  Document my birthday #caleishaturns30 (I took soo many pictures! I'm so glad I hashtagged because I can see the pictures that my friends took at Universal too.)
3.  Revisit Kwanzaa (I didn't do this one.  I considered it but then just decided against it.)
4.  Work on Mom's scrapbook (I made the cover page.  She and I had a great facetime conversation wherein she told me all the memories behind a lot of the photos she sent me.)
5.  Do one photo story (I didn't exactly plan for this to be a photo story, but all the photos I shot while hiking in Wekiwa Springs Park made a nice "Walk with Me" story.  Which I will show soon.)

March Goals
1.  Design a shawl
2.  At least 2 date nights with Lamar
3.  Yoga once per week
4.  Do a downtown shoot (Orlando or Mt. Dora)
5.  Read at least 1 book

Well peeps ^.^ That was my February!  What were your February highlights?  Share with me please and have a wonderful day!