Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy Friday the 13th!

  Tomorrow is the big Japanese Cherry Blossom festival in Washington DC.  I went once many years ago and while it was fun, I also felt it was too crowded to want to do again.  In previous years I usually had to work on Saturday, so it didn't really matter, but this year I have it off.  I know a few people who are going and I hope they have fun.
  Another good thing about this year is that it looks like the trees will still have flowers on them.  Most years the blossoms have come and gone before the festival and a few times they don't bloom until after it.  I always feel bad for people who plan their trip around the big weekend since they rarely get to see them.

  I also don't have to go all the way into DC to even see some cherry blossoms.  A few of my neighbors have some white blossom trees.  I personally like the pink ones better, but if I really want to see those then I just have to hop onto the Metro.

  I had planned on knitting all day, but Bill's cousin was coming into town and was going to stay with us for the weekend.  Instead of getting closer to the end of the blue sweater I spent some time cleaning the house.  The guest bed room got new sheets and vacuumed.  I also mopped the guest bathroom with my Swiffer.  I didn't read the back of the all-purpose cleaner I recently picked up and so I didn't know I had to rinse it off the area I cleaned.  I just happened to glance at the back later and notice this fact.  I wondered what would happen if I didn't rinse it but found out that on tile it leaves a tacky feel.  It was also showing all my footprints, so I had to rinse it.  It was really weird when I was going back over it and the residue started to foam up again.

  Later in the day Krissy came over because she was nervous about something I wanted to do with her.  I wanted to do the Grub for Good Fun-Run 5k, but I didn't want to do it alone.  She was nervous that she wouldn't be able to finish it.  The website says that all fitness levels are welcome and that it is untimed.
  We decided it would be a good idea to do a trail run of our walk.  We laced up our sneakers and headed out.  I set a timer so we could see how long it took us.  I had it in my purse so I couldn't see the time, I figured we would just walk and see how we do.  We walked, we took water breaks, and even smelled some good food smells.  We got back and felt pretty good about how we did.
  I had figured that we had about two hours as our max time if we wanted to finish the 5K and still get to have some snacks.  When I looked at the time, we had finished in 1 hour 21 minutes.  That means we could have walked even slower or taken more breaks and still be within the time.  She is a lot less worried and a lot more pumped about it now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Never Ending Blue Sweater.

  I had been knitting along on the blue sweater and had gotten to the point where I should be dividing for the under arms and finally deciding what I wanted to do about the sleeves.  I took a look at it and realized that since I used stockinette that there was a good chance that the off the shoulder design would want to just fall off the shoulders and keep going.  I then took all the stockinette out on March 28th and was pretty much back to where it was when I first found it.  Since it also seemed a bit short I also decided to do two plain rows between my increase rows instead of the one I went with on the first round.
  It then became my main project because I wanted to get past most of the increases before our trip because I didn't want to have to worry about keeping track of what row I was on in the car when I was also trying to navigate.
  I got enough done to be able to see where I needed to be, but I didn't get all the way to the under arm area.  It took me until March 2nd until I was able to bind off for the cap sleeves and cast back on for the under arm area.  I decided to do a cap sleeve because one of my friends recently posted a sweater she finished with cap sleeves and I thought it was really cute.  I'm also getting more and more anxious for this project to be done.
  I wanted to do some ribbing so it won't fall off the person trying to wear it, and I wanted to keep using the ribbing on the body so it has a good chance of fitting someone without having to try and find the perfect person for it.  The gauge is a bit tight and it didn't have the same stretch most knits have.  This means that it is boring enough that I want it to be finished, but I have to pay some attention to it so I don't accidentally start just doing stockinette.
  I've kept it as my main project everywhere because I really want to get to the green leafy project.  I'm really excited to start that, even though I haven't done all the math needed quite yet.

  My friends know that I both like makeup and donating things to various charities.  I've been linked to the chicken sweaters before and things like this.  It was really interesting when I got linked to Wands for Wildlife.  This was also amusing because I had recently recorded a video for YouTube on items I have that still have product in them, but are too old to be used any more.  Now I have something to do with all those mascara tubes I was holding on to for no good reason.

  I've gone back to cleaning my house.  I took a bit of a break because I was trying to power though the sweater.  Don't worry, I didn't neglect anything, I just didn't go through any of my random bags of craft items that need to be put away.  I'm now back on it and found these.  They were donated from the Monday-Group and I really liked the pattern.

  Does it count as cleaning if I eat these?  A packet of Scottish Shortbread Fingers by Brake Brothers Ldt, and a Belgian Biscuit by Speculoos.  I keep finding my bag of goodies from Scotland and then misplacing it.  I am not overly picky about how shortbread tastes and I like this one.  The Belgian Biscuit is pretty gingery and nice and crisp.  I like both of these and I'm glad I snagged them from the various hotels.  I also like how European nutrition labels had any allergens in bold and tell you at the bottom if the food can be eaten by vegetarians or vegans without the person having to look at every ingredient.


Project Pan List:

Regular Items:
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Eye Refresh Eye Cream
  • NYX HD Eye Primer
  • Kat von D Lock-It Primer (sample size)
  • Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer
  • Pur Minerals Correcting Primer
  • Dr. Brandt Pore No More Primer
  • Milani Moisture Lock Lip Treatment
  • NYC City Proof 24HR Eyeliner in Dark Brown
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Shimmering Sea
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Enchanted
  • Elizabeth Mott Whatup Beaches Matte Bronzer (sample size)
  • Pond's Luminous Finish BB+ in Light
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan
  • NYC Ultra Last Lipwear in 416 Berry Rich 
  • Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Body Mist (travel size) 

Gimme Items:
  • Origins Grapefruit Body Souffle (sample size)
  • Origins Mega Defense SPF 45 (sample size)
  • Origins mystery moisturizer (sample size)
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Eye Primer
  • Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus in Espresso - 3/15
  • Benefit They're Real Mascara (sample size)
  • Revlon PhotoReady Powder in Fair/Light - 4/9
  • Skin 79 Gold BB Cream (sample size)
  • YSL Black Opium Perfume (sample size) - 3/5
  • Balenciaga Floraboranica Perfume (sample size) - 3/17 (given away)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Day 3: Some Time At The Zoo

  Check-out wasn't until noon, so we planned on sleeping in.  For some reason, our fire alarm went off twice at nine, so that didn't work out for us.  The beds and pillows were so soft though, so the sleep we did get was really good.

  This place is right next to the amusement park.  You can even buy a ticket that will let you go to both.  I wonder what the animals think of all the screaming they hear from the roller-coasters.

  These roseate spoonbills were the first animals I saw when we walked in.  The one on the left kept stopping what it was in the middle of when I walked over and watched me as I took pictures of it both times I walked over.  It didn't do that for anyone else.  They were so cute, I wanted to take one home with me.

  I didn't know that armadillos like snuggling so much.  Soon after I took this picture the one on the left needed to get more comfortable.  First he rolled onto his stomach and then started scooting forward while digging some.  It was really cute to watch and made me wish I could take one home with me.

  Most of the prairie dogs were probably asleep, but two were on watch.  This one was the first to sound an alarm if one of the vultures would glide a bit too low.  There were also some moments with a staring contest or two between him and a zoo goer.

  I've always thought that turkeys are both really pretty and kind of scary.  They are just so large and menacing looking.  Their feathers are also amazing colors for mostly just looking black.  One of the males even puffed up a few times so we could see that typical turkey shape we think of when we think of turkeys.

  They didn't have an enclosure for squirrels, but they were everywhere.  This little guy was hamming it up when I finished taking pictures of the turkeys and noticed him.  He was even within five feet of me when I took this picture.  He even adjusted once so I could get a picture of his good side.

  The first time we walked through the nocturnal enclosure almost everyone was asleep.  We wanted to see if we could get a better view of the ocelot so we circled back before we left.  Everyone but the ocelot was awake and moving around.  The ringtail melted my heart.  Look at those giant eyes and fluffy tail.  She was another one I wanted to take home with me.

  While we were there a little girl was getting her own private egg hunt.  Mom would duck into one of the enclosed areas, put an egg or two and then they would let her look.  The found eggs would go into Dad's hoodie until they were snuck out to be found again.

  What is this?  It looks like one animal has snuck home with me in my bag!  Krissy saw me eyeing the last grey bunny in the gift shop when we first walked in.  She then bought me my little Easter Bunny.  I'm so happy!  I'm thinking of naming her Freya since it is also April Fool's Day today.  If you don't get the correlation, the name Freya is tied with the number one in numerology.
  I got more knitting done on the way back, but not as much as I thought I would be.  It was nice and sunny out, so I kept getting distracted by the sites along the way.  I'm at the point where I will be casting off for the cap sleeves and then casting on for the under arm area.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Day 2: All Day in PA

  Our choice of Motel might not have been the best. I didn’t want to go with the cheapest one we could find because I was afraid that they would have paper thin walls and it would be hard to sleep. We ended up with that and even more fun things. We were joking that we would have to go bang on the door next to us and tell them to stop having conversations at reasonable levels because we were trying to sleep. The mini-fridge in our room also liked to make wurring sounds when it was trying to keep cold and I’m pretty sure the clock on the microwave could double as a neon sign. You also couldn’t sneak into the bathroom while the other person was asleep because the fan sounded like a plane engine starting. Now we know for next time.
  There was an Ollie’s Outlet in the strip-mall next to our Motel and I introduced Krissy to the joys of shopping there. We were good and only got a few things each.

  We were headed back to Vegan treats when we stumbled upon Monocacy Park and Illick’s Mill. It was so pretty that we had to stop in and walk around.  They had a fishing catch and release program and so many people were enjoying the fishing. We also did a bit of Geocaching, it felt good to find one again.

  The line was out the door! I’m so glad for them!  It means there is a good chance we will be able to come back and spend more money.  I got two ‘chicken’ and waffle donuts, the coconut rice pudding, a traditional carrot cake, and a croissant.  At first the girl helping me forgot to put my two donuts on my tab, but laughed at herself and fix it once I pointed it out.  I think she was a bit shocked at how much I was getting.
  Some people wondered if they were so busy because of the fact that Easter was tomorrow, but one of the locals says it is always this busy when she comes.  They were impressed we drove so far just to come get some goodie.

  We went back to Monocacy Park to eat our goodies. It was no nice to sit in the sun and watch the river go by as we ate.  If I lived closer I would bring picnics there all the time when it is nice out.
  I don't know what magic they use, but look how amazing the croissant is.  It is super flaky on the outside while being light and fluffy on the inside.  They remind me of the one I got at the airport in Scotland.  I also turned my 'chicken' and waffle donut into a donut sandwich, and that was easier to eat than as they present it.

  We had a great debate if we should go to the local zoo or not.   There was a ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park farther away, but we were worried that by the time we got there we wouldn’t have enough time to really enjoy it.
  We decided to stop at a Wegmans to get some Kombucha before figuring out what to do next.  While trying to look where it would normally be at home, we ran into a guy offering beer samples.  We decided to try some before going back to our kombucha search.
  We got to talking to him and he was impressed we came all the way up here for Vegan Treats, which he lives near. We then asked him for things to do.   He said he liked going on the tour for the Troegs Independent brewery.   He said we even get a pint glass to take home at the end.
  Spring Gate Vineyard was something he had heard about from one of the other vender representatives. He said that she told him that Spring Gate had events almost every weekend. We did a quick search on their website and found out that they were having a mead event. We both like mead so it looked like we had our plans for the rest of the day.

  We had seen the signs for Crystal Caves on our way up and we saw it again so we decided to stop by.  There were only a few small signs and we managed to get lost on the way.  Once we got GPS going we got to drive through a covered bridge and managed to find it.  Tours were only $16 and we got on the last one for the day.
  The tour was really fun and there were a lot of amazing bad jokes. At one point we even got to see a bear eating chicken nuggets. You also get 1 year good luck if you get dripped on your head, 5 years if you get dripped on the nose, and anywhere else you are just getting wet.
  Unlike Luray caverns, there was an informative video. It started out and felt really cheesy, but then they give you the history of how the cave was found and how it became a tourist trap.

  We had planned on going to Spring Gate Vineyard, try some of the mead, and then move on to the brewery.  This did not happen.
  We first tried a wine flight because we didn't see anything about the mead.  After asking we got a sample of that too.  All that wine was making us feel fuzzy so we know we needed some food.  This place is doing something really smart.  They are working with some food trucks.  You can go get some food from them and have a few to choose from so you don't have to worry about bringing your own.
  We ate around a fire in our table and went back inside once it got dark and we started getting cold.  Before leaving we tried their cider flight because Krissy really likes hard cider.

  The nice guy at Wegman's had suggested a hotel for us to stay at, but it was a bit out of our price range.  There was another one nearby that looked better for us.  It was only a bit more than our Motel room had been, but was a ton better.
  We wanted one more drink before bed so we walked over to Angie's Brookside Diner and Bar.  The diner was closed, so we had to make a quick food run, but then we walked back to the bar.  The bar tender was really fun and we talked about funny 90s dancing with some people at the bar.  It was a lot of fun, but we stayed way too late for how little sleep we got the night before.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Day 1: Road Tripping for Donuts.


  We had two stops in mind for this trip, one in Maryland and one in Pennsylvania. Both were places that sold sweets but one also sold regular food.  I made sure to bring something easy enough to work on in the car while also doubling as a navigator and having a conversation.  Before we left I had to pull out almost everything I have done to it since I re-found it, I was worried that with stockinette it wouldn't hold itself up on the body.

  It wasn’t hard spot them after walking along a row of cute houses. I had stumbled upon them on Instagram some how and have been drooling over their pictures for quite some time now. They didn't have the special I was hoping for, the Nacho Breakfast Burrito, but that is okay.

  We tried to get there before it was too late but they had already sold out of a few flavors and they even sold out of strawberry while we waited in line.

  I got the Rye Whisky donut and Krissy got the Cold Brew donut. We needed some appetizers before our food arrived.  We got a later start than we wanted and didn't want to eat anything before we got there so we would be able to eat as much as we wanted.

  I got huevos rancheros that had tofu scramble and chipotle mayo. There were roasted potatoes under there too. It was so good. Krissy got the special of the day and got two pancakes that were bigger than her head. I’m pretty sure they could have doubled as car hub-caps, or have kept you dry in the rain.

  It was still early in the day, and we had eaten a lot of food, so we decided to take a walk. First we were going to try and find an antiques shop we saw when we first drove in, but then we got distracted by the Carroll Creek Park. The water was pretty to look at, but the shallower parts were a bit dirty.

  They were renovating this whole row of buildings but I saw knitting and had to stop by.

  This door on the inside was just so cool looking. I have a soft spot for really old things like doors like that or some of the buildings in this town.

  We then saw the McCutcheon’s Apple Products Krissy got excited because her workplace works with them. We decided to do any buying on our way back because we didn’t know how much farther we were going to walk and didn’t want to have to carry it for too long.

  I first just wanted a picture of the Attaboy Brewing but then we decided to go inside to look at the menu. That lead to getting two tasting flights. I really liked their beers especially the Creek Life Ekuanot.

  These were the beers they had on tap at the time.  I like their set-up with the magnetic letters.

  It had started to rain so we decided to make our apple themed purchases before heading back to the car.  I loved the little shop and had to try to not buy too many things. I did get some apple tea, peach cider, beer cheese soup mix, and some rose lip balm.  It had finished raining by the time we got out.

  We checked on the car and decided that we hadn’t seen enough of the town.  We fed the meter and headed out again. We decided to head down the road the other way since we had seen a place called “Homespun” and wanted to see what that was.
  On one of the maps it showed that most of the stores were located on a different street from us, a few blocks down. We debated on it for a minute but then we saw this tea place and had to go.

  It is really neat how they have used the small space to fit everything they needed in. I don’t think I would have ever thought of using sliding book-case casters to fit more tea into a room.
  The girl working there was the nicest and we started talking about ghost encounters. She was disappointed that more didn’t happen in the tea shop since it was so old.

  We kept hearing foot steps above us and found out that up there was where the tea room was located.  I know we will be heading back here for a tea party at some point.  You could get the tea in leaf form, or they made you a to-go cup.

  We then spotted the Primitive Homespuns and decided to check it out. It is an interesting little shop that had a lot of options for wool fabric and also taught classes. We might come back to take a class on rug hooking.  They had some sunflowers that looked adorable.
  The lady we talked to suggested we check out the antiques shop next door and the hand-made gift shop behind her building. The antiques guy had a fun surprise on his second floor that you should check out if you are ever in the area.

  After a quick stop in the local coffee shop for a bathroom break and we headed back to the car to keep heading north. This stretch was long but we did have an exciting moment. We went past a police officer on a maintenance road who was keeping an eye on the road. He then pulled out and we were worried it was for us since we hadn’t seen a speed limit sign in a while. We then saw a sign and saw we were doing the speed limit so we tried not to worry. The Officer was putting the petal to the metal so we still worried he was after us. He then slid in behind the person tailgating us and flipped on the lights. We then high-fived because we’re silly.

  On the way we spotted this riverboat off the main road. We had to get a closer look so we turned off and found it. The Riverboat Saloon sounds like it was a pretty awesome place. It also looked like they might have had parties on the boat back in the day. It was so cool and creepy. I felt sad for the boat because it was so cool looking and has become so neglected, though their website hints that they might have been open only a month ago.

  We stopped in at the gaming and comic book store before we stopped in at our second destination for the day. Vegan Treats was the place we waited in line for at the DC Veg Fest for over an hour.
  I thought these little Easter themed dice sets were really cute.

  They were also sold out of some items, but the one I saw on Instagram was still there.  We also learned that the whole third row of their display case is gluten free.

  It is so cute!  I love the colors and the little eggs in a nest on the top.

  I also decided that I needed the key lime mini-cake. It is a good thing that they aren’t closer to me, I would be stopping in every day.
  We picked a motel nearby with pretty good reviews and turned in for the night after we found some dinner to go with our desserts.  I got a bit more knitting done, but not a lot.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Let The Festivities Continue!

  It is really interesting comparing how I celebrate my birthday now compared to how it was celebrated when I was a kid.  When I was a kid I would get one big lunch with a bunch of people, but that was because it is a lot easier to try and get people together when your schedules are fairly similar.  Now I have friends that work a standard desk job week and also people who work retail and have no standard week.  This means that I get lots of little celebrations so I get to see everyone at some point.  I definitely like the second method better.

  I was going through a bag of yarn and found this.  I have no idea who made it, but it is cute.  It looks like the person who made it might have had some gauge problems, but that won't change how well it will work as either a face cloth or dish cloth.  It feels like a very soft cotton yarn and I love the color.

  This was my couch project.  It definitely went a lot faster than I had thought it would.  I'm sure some people might not like the color combination, but I like it.  Hopefully someone else will like it and claim the cowl.
  The pattern turned out just how I pictured it.  I had planned on making it look the same on the top and bottom, but I ran out of the purple.  I'm actually really happy with that.  I feel like this would be good for team colors or something.

  I'm thinking of my swirl scarf becoming my new couch project.  The metal board I have the chat on doesn't have any way to cover it, so the markers can move around if it rubs against something in a bag.  I won't have to worry about that happening if it is sitting on or near the couch.

  Now I have to get ready for a birthday dinner tonight and there is also going to be a shared birthday lunch on Monday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Birthday to Me! (yesterday)

  It was my birthday yesterday, and though it wasn't horrible, it was not spent the way I wanted.  It was a Membership Meeting day at work, so I knew I was going to be there late.  I would have rather been at home snuggling with Tank, drinking tea, and knitting.
  No new members were getting voted in, so I only got snacks for people to munch on during the meeting.  I also made sure to get cheesecake since it is one of my favorite desserts.  I also had Chipotle for lunch, which is another favorite.  I had meant to write this post yesterday, but most of the day was spent training the new hire.
  Getting the food wasn't too great because it was raining and sleeting, but I braved the elements.  It was then up for debate on if we should even have a meeting at all, since it had switched to snow.  A quick check of the local weather radar showed that we were going to get a break and the meeting happened.  Since only a few people braved the cold, it was a very short meeting.
  My mom got me some Monster High Dolls as a present.  Tank gave me extra snuggles and purred at me a while.  Mother nature got me a snow day today, so while he is being boring and doing work in the background, it means I get a weekday with Bill at home.
  So far today has been my lounge and knit day.  I started a new couch project.  I'm hoping it will be as cool as I picture it.  Yes, this means that I will have three active projects going, but I am okay with that for right now.  I have my bigger project to bring with me to knit-gatherings, my small project for my purse, and something that will hang out on the couch.


Project Pan List:

Regular Items:
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Eye Refresh Eye Cream
  • NYX HD Eye Primer
  • Kat von D Lock-It Primer (sample size)
  • Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer
  • Pur Minerals Correcting Primer
  • Dr. Brandt Pore No More Primer
  • Milani Moisture Lock Lip Treatment
  • NYC City Proof 24HR Eyeliner in Dark Brown
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Shimmering Sea
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Enchanted
  • Elizabeth Mott Whatup Beaches Matte Bronzer (sample size)
  • Pond's Luminous Finish BB+ in Light
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan
  • NYC Ultra Last Lipwear in 416 Berry Rich 
  • Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Body Mist (travel size) 

Gimme Items:
  • Origins Grapefruit Body Souffle (sample size)
  • Origins Mega Defense SPF 45 (sample size)
  • Origins mystery moisturizer (sample size)
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Eye Primer
  •  Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus in Espresso - 3/15
  •  Benefit They're Real Mascara (sample size)
  • Revlon PhotoReady Powder in Fair/Light
  •  Skin 79 Gold BB Cream (sample size)
  • YSL Black Opium Perfume (sample size) - 3/5
  •  Balenciaga Floraboranica Perfume (sample size) - 3/17 (given away)