Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yarn Along - Lila's Tallulah, Weeks 1, 2, 3

Greetings! Obviously one of my favorite things is reading, but I'm also very fond of knitting. Ginny over at Small Things hosts a lovely little weekly link-up where we showcase what we're working on and what we're reading. Once you're done here, head on over and see what everyone else is up to!

 
I started working on the second Tallulah about a week after I finished the first one. Then I let it sit on row 2 for a week and a half. Now I've picked it up in earnest and I'm chipping away at it. I'm not marathon-knitting but my goal is to be done with it before Halloween. Shouldn't be overly strenuous. I still adore working with this yarn and the pattern is still very friendly and interesting without being too hard. I like having a small project to work on when it's this hot.

Reading:
I finally finished reading To the Field of Stars by Fr. Kevin Codd last week. Basically I just sat on the couch one evening while my roommate was out and just finished the last 1/3 of it. It was lovely and I'm almost done with my review of it. Hopefully I'll have that up either this weekend or early next week.


I began reading Sense & Sensibility by the inimitable Jane Austen last week while on "vacation" (it was not what one hopes or imagines a vacation might be like, believe me) and while I like it, at this point I almost prefer the movie. I feel like most of this is because in the first dozen pages of this particular novel there's a great deal of talk about money and inheritance and it's all a lot of waffle. If I can't get to enjoying it in the next 20 pages or so (I'm on page 84) I may put it away and try it again in December. Jane Austen is so well suited to long, dark nights - not so much endless summer afternoons.


That's it for me today. You can also find notes and detailed specs on this project on my Ravelry Page. For more of what I'm reading, find me on Goodreads.What have you been reading and knitting lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!
Love,

Willow






*Author's Note: The Yarn Along button in this post is property of Ginny Sheller and is used with permission. All other images used in the post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with express permission. See the About Page for details.*


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Answer Me This, Vol. 22 - My Tongue Is Red, Shut Up & Dance!

Summer is here and Kendra over at Catholic All Year has done the entire internet a huge favor by bringing back probably my favorite link-up in the history of ever: Answer Me This! This is the last time for the foreseeable future we will answer 6 questions as asked by Kendra and link-up to share our answers. It's the internet's favorite cocktail party and I'm so happy it's back and so so sad that it's leaving.



1. What's your favorite grocery store splurge?
Hmmm... I don't really "splurge" at the grocery store but my most common impulse buys are donuts or ice cream - two things I'm generally not allowed to eat anymore because I have zero self-control. Seriously, Little Debbie's donettes are like kryptonite.


2. How's your penmanship?  

 
Superb, thankyouverymuch. I spent 2 years of high school Spanish perfecting my cursive because I hated my printing and admired my mom's handwriting. Since my Spanish teacher never actually "read" our homework - just checked to see that there was something written down - I filled my notebook with stories and artfully spaced my sentences to look like I was answering homework questions. My cursive has adapted a bit since then but I think it's very pretty to look at. The downside is that so many people can't read cursive anymore



Blurry picture is blurry. Sorry.


3. Do you have a "Summer Bucket List?"  
Meh, not really. I thought I would do a bunch of stuff this summer, like go to the beach and read 10 books and go on more dates but instead this summer has been a lot of late nights and crying and having no money and dealing with vehicular drama and daydreaming about Spain and not getting to go on vacation. The short version is: I started out in June with plans which were wrecked by the start of July. July has been rather unkind to me since.

4. What's the best thing on the radio right now?  
The "off" button. I hate the radio. Too much talking, too many commercials, too much playing the same 5 songs over and over again. I'd much rather listen to a CD.

If I must choose, it's this: Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance With Me." It's a song I actually get excited to hear and it is so fun! I love how 80s it is and if you watch the video it's clear they had a ton of fun making it. I love it.
 

Also, "House Party" by Sam Hunt. He's had a bunch of hits on country radio and this is the latest. I think it's really sweet of a guy to throw a party for 2 in your living room when you want to have fun but don't want to go out. That's how I feel anyway. The music video isn't great but I dig the song.



5. Ice cream or frozen yogurt?  
 They are very, very different and cannot possibly be compared. I like ice cream when I want something really sweet and reliable and in a cone. I like froyo when I want something a little tart and in a bowl with tons of toppings and in exotic flavors. If I had to choose right this second, I'd say give me a Hawaiian shaved ice.


A Hawaiian shave ice place opened up the street from my house and oh sweet Saint James is it gooooood. You can have it the traditional Hawaiian way, with sweetened condensed milk and ice cream (YUCK!) or heathen-American style: ice and sugar syrup -  YUM. My fave flavors (so far) are definitely the watermelon, strawberry, Passion Orange Guava (POG) trio.



Photo credit: Jeff Barnhouse

 
My friend Karen has a husband named Jeff. We like Jeff. Jeff likes Hawaiian shaved ice. A lot. 


Jeff got mango, melon, and passion fruit but couldn't figure out which was which until, "I can feel the passion of the passion fruit." He may have said something after that but Karen and I were too busy laughing hysterically and trying to breathe to hear it. If you don't think it's quite that funny, clearly you weren't there.


That's it for this round of Answer Me This!  If you have a blog, answer the questions and link up with us over at Kendra's in this post. Don't have a blog but still want to play? That's okay because the whole thing is made up and the posts don't matter - leave your answers in the comments either at Kendra's post or right here! I'd love to hear from you!



love,

Willow




*Note: The Answer Me This logo image belongs to Kendra Tierney over at Catholic All Year and is used as part of a link-up only. All other images in this post are property of Whitney Miller.* 
 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yarn Along - Tali's Tallulah, Week 9

Greetings! Obviously one of my favorite things is reading, but I'm also very fond of knitting. Ginny over at Small Things hosts a lovely little weekly link-up where we showcase what we're working on and what we're reading. Once you're done here, head on over and see what everyone else is up to!


So, so close to finished! I have to finish weaving in all these pesky ends and then decide on buttons. I think I might also hand stitch around the buttonholes to reinforce them a bit for little fingers. Does anybody out there have any suggestions on that? Also, I tried the sweater on Talia on Saturday and it fit her perfectly. Just enough room for her to grow into it which is exactly what I intended. She was very excited which gives me hope that she'll insist on wearing it a lot.

Terrible picture is terrible. Sorry.

I've been really, really edgy this week so I haven't done a lot of reading or sitting still of any kind. Thankfully I've been doing a lot of walking even though hiking this past weekend didn't work out. Southern California does not get freak summer rain and thunderstorms! Yet we did. It was crazy. In any case I'm no further in my book and these pesky ends are not high up on my list of things I want to work on. 

I've been working on gauge squares for our next big project (link is to the pattern on Ravelry) which is a good thing. I'll either have a finished Tallulah to show you or more details on that project next week. We'll see how the weekend goes. 


That's it for me today. You can also find notes and detailed specs on this project on my Ravelry Page. For more of what I'm reading, find me on Goodreads.What have you been reading and knitting lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!
Love,

Willow






*Author's Note: The Yarn Along button in this post is property of Ginny Sheller and is used with permission. All other images used in the post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with express permission. See the About Page for details.*






Sunday, July 19, 2015

Answer Me This, Vol. 21 - Books, Babies, and New Cars

Summer is here and Kendra over at Catholic All Year has done the entire internet a huge favor by bringing back probably my favorite link-up in the history of ever: Answer Me This! Every Sunday from now until August we will answer 6 questions as asked by Kendra and link-up to share our answers. It's the internet's favorite cocktail party and I'm so happy it's back.



1. What's currently on your To Do list?
All the things!
- get the AC in my new car fixed

- go shopping for new yoga pants/capris
- figure out Quickbooks at work
- deep clean the kitchen and bathroom this weekend while the Roommate is gone
- order new vacuum bags (???)
- get old textbooks listed online for sale or donate to library
- make a decision regarding the young man in Philadelphia (I hate making decisions)

Gratuitous picture of my "new" car... Internets, please meet Fiona, the 2009 Focus:


Poor darling Stefano finally met his end and will be reincarnated as somebody's race car. He will be missed. However, I must admit that Fiona gets much better mileage and is generally much more reliable. She's definitely got some cute factor going for her, as well.

2. Better type of superhero: magic/radioactive powers? Or trauma/gadgets/hard work?
Trauma that leads to cool powers, like Daredevil or even Captain America. I like Tony Stark/Ironman a lot, but I despise Batman (I know, it's strange) but I feel like Ironman is a lot more interesting and entertaining whereas Batman seems incapable of having a good time - so serious. I'm not too wild about heroes like Superman or even Thor with their magic/otherworldly powers because that feels a bit like they have cheat codes, but I don't like Spiderman either because he's whiny and a radioactive spider bite? Really? Laaaaaaame. (Can you tell I have weird, double-standard-riddled taste in superheroes? Can we talk about villains next time? There I have opinions!)

3. Finding out if baby is a boy or a girl before birth: Good idea? Bad idea?
I'm a planner, so I feel like I would want to know but at the same time... I know for my first babe I don't want to know - full on surprise there. For the subsequent ones I may want to know and keep it a secret from everyone else just for fun (and to make my mother crazy). Truthfully I feel like this is one of those "to each their own" situations, but I think it's way more interesting to not know. (Also, for the record: I'm betting Kendra's having another girl!)

4. Have you ever appeared on a stadium jumbotron?
Nope! I actually got really lucky that I was on an awkward date at a college volleyball game and got up to go get a bottle of water when they turned on the Kiss Cam. At a volleyball game! Who does that???

5. Are you more book smart or more street smart?
I am definitely book smart. I can quote Herodotus and Thucydides and tell you all about the Neoclassical painting and sculpture that swept through France in the 1800s; I can carry on a brilliant conversation about just about any literature pre-1900 and I'm well-versed in Catholic Catechism and apologetics, but none of that would help me much if I wound up stranded in Queens, NY.

See my most pretentious books (not all of them by far, just the most "intellectual" ones that are currently shelved): 

 Can you tell I studied the Classics?

If "street smart" means "good with streets" then I'm good, because as we've discussed before, I'm pretty good with directions.


That's it for this round of Answer Me This!  If you have a blog, answer the questions and link up with us over at Kendra's in this post Don't have a blog but still want to play? That's okay because the whole thing is made up and the posts don't matter - leave your answers in the comments either at Kendra's post or right here! I'd love to hear from you!



love,

Willow




*Note: The Answer Me This logo image belongs to Kendra Tierney over at Catholic All Year and is used as part of a link-up only. All other images in this post are property of Whitney Miller.* 
 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yarn Along - Tali's Tallulah, Week 8

Greetings! Obviously one of my favorite things is reading, but I'm also very fond of knitting. Ginny over at Small Things hosts a lovely little weekly link-up where we showcase what we're working on and what we're reading. Once you're done here, head on over and see what everyone else is up to!


Y'all, thank the good Lord for my knitting friends because if we hadn't met up last night I would not have knit a stitch this week. I was stuck on the last few stitches for the neck band because I had to count them. We all know how much I hate counting... It would be so much easier to say that I've been busy with babysitting and all the hiking I've done (!!!) in the last two weeks but truly, it was the counting bit. Anywho, I got the button band/neck band/buttonhole band business almost all the way to done! Just a couple more rows and then I weave in all the ends. I also began swatching for our next group project, which is very exciting.



Reading:
I finally picked up To The Field of Stars again after taking a break by reading a couple of fluffy romance novels. It's summer and I've been lounging poolside. I don't mind if these old paperbooks that don't pass for literature get splashed but my copy of Field of Stars is really really pretty and I didn't want it getting wet. I'm back on the horse, though, and reading it before bed. There was also an issue of finishing up two TV shows on Netflix that I was binge watching so now that's done I can focus on meeting my summer reading goals.  

Pathetically dismal progress made... Hoping to do better!

That's it for me today. You can also find notes and detailed specs on this project on my Ravelry Page. For more of what I'm reading, fidn me on Goodreads.What have you been reading and knitting lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!
Love,

Willow






*Author's Note: The Yarn Along button in this post is property of Ginny Sheller and is used with permission. All other images used in the post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with express permission. See the About Page for details.*




Monday, July 13, 2015

Answer Me This, Vol. 20 - Ice, Ice, Slushie

Summer is here and Kendra over at Catholic All Year has done the entire internet a huge favor by bringing back probably my favorite link-up in the history of ever: Answer Me This! Every Sunday from now until August we will answer 6 questions as asked by Kendra and link-up to share our answers. It's the internet's favorite cocktail party and I'm so happy it's back.


1. At what temperature do you keep the thermostat set? Summer, winter, day, night?
I try to be conservative with energy but I have a very small house so it doesn't take a lot to change the temperature. In the winter I'll usually only turn the heater on at night to about 68F since heat rises and bedrooms are upstairs. In the summer when the temperatures get above 88 we turn the AC on and leave it at 76. The nice thing is that since during the day our house is mostly shady it doesn't kick on until the afternoon when my roommate and I are getting home and then when it shuts off in the cool of the evening we open up the windows. The heat wave that was killing us for a few weeks has finally abated and we can start doing that because we've had the AC on nonstop since it's been hovering in the 90s.



2. What is your favorite frozen beverage?

ICEEs, no question. I looooove ICEES. I cannot go to a movie without one in my hand, and I like it to be mixed red and blue. Note that it doesn't need to be an "ICEE" in particular; any slushie-type drink is fabulous as long as it isn't Coca-Cola flavored. Soft drink flavors and crushed ice in a blender don't mix.

I'm also a big fan of a frozen strawberry daquiri. Because delicious and rum. 

Efforts were made to secure a photo of me with a delicious ICEE. No such luck was had since Saturday was "Free Slurpee Day" at 7-11 and mine turned out to be awful. Never again, 7-11. Never. Again.


3. Where do you keep your keys?
In a basket by the front door. I put this pretty little end table to good use as kind of an "entry way/landing zone" so I have a basket for my keys (I have multiple sets for various things - it's nutty) and a basket for my glasses (too much eyewear!) as well as Gatsby's leash (yes, I walk my cat). Sometimes I have to clear away the clutter but it's been highly effective in preventing loss of keys and glasses, both necessary for driving. My purse and shoes get stashed underneath it with the cat carrier. 

 



4. Have you ever really been lost?
In life? Absolutely. Please refer to 3-4 years ago when I was a total hot mess of "lost."
Directionally? I have a pretty good sense of direction and don't get lost easily. I have, however, been lost at Target (mom almost left me there!) and I once got spectacularly lost on the other side of my hometown when I was 16 trying to find a gas station. I ran out of gas on the side of the road and had to call my dad in tears while my mother berated me for being stupid on the other end of the line. It was wholly unpleasant and I have since been really really contentious about having the directions for places in my head before setting out and having directions printed. I hate being lost and like knowing where I'm headed.



5. What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?
Ummmm...... I really don't want to say that it was The Fault in Our Stars last June but... I'm pretty sure it's officially been over a year since I sat in a movie theater with my ubiquitous Icee (it's become a ritual - can't see a movie without one anymore). I know my roommate really wants to see Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, an indie film that won some pretty big awards at Sundance (it looks like a good story, too) and I definitely plan on seeing Paper Towns when it comes out in about 2 weeks. Maybe I'll go see a movie when my Roommate is gone this weekend...
 
That's it for this round of Answer Me This!  If you have a blog, answer the questions and link up with us over at Kendra's in this post. Don't have a blog but still want to play? That's okay because the whole thing is made up and the posts don't matter - leave your answers in the comments either at Kendra's post or right here! I'd love to hear from you!



love,

Willow




*Note: The Answer Me This logo image belongs to Kendra Tierney over at Catholic All Year and is used as part of a link-up only. All other images in this post are property of Whitney Miller.* 
 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Yarn Along - Tali's Tallulah, Weeks 5, 6 & 7

Greetings! Obviously one of my favorite things is reading, but I'm also very fond of knitting. Ginny over at Small Things hosts a lovely little weekly link-up where we showcase what we're working on and what we're reading. Once you're done here, head on over and see what everyone else is up to!

Hooooooome stretch! I can't believe how fast this little sweater is going despite how much I've ignored it. I've picked up for the neck band and button bands and after I finish that there's just weaving in the ends and picking out the buttons. Talia has told me over and over that she wants purple buttons, though I may hold out on buying said buttons for a while longer since 3 year olds aren't known for their decision-making skills.


 

Reading:
I'm still chipping away To the Field of Stars, though I admit I've been neglecting it. I actually left it at home when I was dragged off to Ely, NV so the 12 hour drive there and 10 hour drive back were both incredibly boring and extra painful for me. Sad sad. Then I wound up reading a couple of really fluffy novels just to give my brain something to do but I'm trying to get back to it!

 My trusty assistant...

That's it for me today. You can also find notes and detailed specs on this project on my Ravelry Page. What have you been reading and knitting lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!

 He doesn't understand how this isn't helpful...


Love,

Willow






*Author's Note: The Yarn Along button in this post is property of Ginny Sheller and is used with permission. All other images used in the post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with express permission. See the About Page for details.*