Monday, 29 June 2009

one more thing

awww thanks Alicia :) An award from The Knitty Gritty recognising all my hard work! I'll try to blog a bit more about my crochet adventures, I've got tons of projects queued up at the moment.


Oh man, I'm knackered. My friend from work, Hannah, texted me this weekend to see if I'd be interested in playing 5-a-side football (soccer) with some folks on Monday. I didn't really know what to expect, but thought it would be fun to change up my work outs a bit and have some fun. We actually played down at the beach, on dry sand and barefoot. It was really fun! But I haven't played soccer since I was about 10, so it really tired me out. It was only 3x12 minute sessions, but we didn't have any subs, so we played the whole match. It was 3 blokes (who knew how to play) and me and Hannah (who didn't), so we were a bit crap, but it was nice to run around at the beach having a laugh! I'll definitely go again to play, and hopefully R will come along next time.

They also do beach volleyball at this place, so I think I'll drop in for a Saturday session. I actually used to play beach volleyball a bit during my swimming/lifeguarding days, so it would be nice to play something I'm actually good at! Here's to summer and summer sports, yippee!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

summer days

I've really been enjoying the weather recently. It actuallys feels like a proper summer! *fingers crossed I don't jinx the rest of the summer*

Everyday for lunch, we've headed out with sandwiches in tow to the lawns on the square outside our building. I've even had the chance to work on a tan for the wedding coming in a couple weeks!

My big project at the moment is a shawl I'm making for my soon to be sister-in-law, Marga. It's from my fave crochet book, Stitch'n Bitch: Happy Hooker, and it's the Sweet Pea shawl, which luckily, Alicia has already made:

I'm doing it in a lovely taupe cotton DK yarn, togged with silver sparkly. I'll add fringe on to the one I'm making, but I love the colour Alicia used above! I've done 8/20 rows, but as they're tapering down, I'm about 2/3 done. It looks fabuloso!

On the tri front, I'm not doing quite as well...I blame it on the nice weather! Who wants to go to the gym when it's gorgeous out? And there's cider to be drunk??? I'm trying to get back into it, though, so discipline thoughts please!

I want to try and finish making a bag for the wedding, too, and another bag for my friend's birthday next month, but I don't think I will have time for all these projects. But as long as I finish this shawl I will be happy! I have until 4th of July - I've arranged lunch plans for my sister-in-laws on the Saturday before the wedding here in Brighton. I'd like to give it to Marga then. Then, it's wedding time!!!!!!!!! (I <3 weddings, by the way)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

teensy weensy itty bitty hangover

Blurg, feeling ever so slightly rough this morning. But well worth it, I had a great time last night! As an old married lady, who lives far away from all of her lady friends, I just tend not to go out as much. So it was fun getting ready last night, putting on cute dresses and doing my makeup, having a few drinks. R and I met Laura from work on the way down to the Great Eastern pub near the station, where we met up with some more co-workers, Natasha and Tom (Tash n' Tom, so cute!). Super cool pub, by the way, with all sorts of American whiskeys and bourbons available, and different rockibilly and bluegrass music nights on. I'll definitely go back!

Then we were off to Born Bad which is billed as:

A wild and sexy night of delinquent rhythms.
Red hot rockabilly, 50s rock'n'roll, 6Ts garage and girl groups,
surf, sleaze, bop and exotica for discerning hep cats and kittens.

Very fun! Ran into a few more peeps from work, Lottie, Chris and Ruth, and danced the night away. My feet are very sore indeed! And with £2.50 pints, my head's feeling slightly tender. The robe is on, the crochet is out, and the tea has been poured. Ready to nothing at all today!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

crochet ttm

I first learned to crochet when I was about 10. I made a little square for my mom (a pot holder, I'm sure I called it), and that was the end of my crochet career for the next decade. I picked up a crochet hook again during my first year at college, and made a few scarves for my mom and grandma (the only people interested in handmade knitwear). This went on for a few years, with random scarves for people (all in the same heavy chenille yarn from Michael's - I'm not one for messing with a good thing!).

Then last year, we found out our friends Glenda and Dave were having a baby boy. I decided to get cracking and make a nice blanket for him. It took me months, and while I'd probably have done it slightly differently, all in all, I was pretty happy with the results:

cute patootie blanket

and apparently James still sleeps with it everynight :) Glenda even said they have a little song for it, sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon: James' Special Blanket - knitted by the sea (*sniff*, so sweet!).

I also practiced some hat making skills and made this cutie (isn't he SOOO CUTE???):

James in his wee hat

It was so much fun making stuff that wasn't just scarves! There is such a great sense of satisfaction for making something yourself, and seeing other people enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Then, last month, we found out our friends Stephen and Donna (who went through some serious tough times last year) had a baby girl, Grace, in secret! No one even knew they were pregnant (they live in Northern Ireland so we don't see them that often). So I knew what I had to do and jumped on making another blanket. I worked at record speed and finished it in a week! (the other blanket took me at least two months). But boy oh boy and I proud of it, it is so soft and so sweet and looks like neopolitan ice cream, yum yum!

zig zags galore!

close up of yummy blanket

With my leftover pink yarn I decided to make a little cardigan, too. Let me tell you, our house has become overfilled with cuteness. I can't stand it! (yes I can, please can I make some more??)

even the little wooden button is unbelievably cute!

So now that those are out of the way, it's time for me to move on to 'big girl' projects. I need to finish my fat bottom bag for my brother-in-law's wedding coming up. I also want to make a shawl in a lovely lacey/sparkly yarn for my sister-in-law to be. Their wedding is outdoors, so I thought it would be nice to have a shawl to cover up as we dance into the night. I'll definitely post my finished projects!

Alicia has been trying to convince me to move into the medium of knitting, but I'd rather get better at my crocheting. I'm starting to get properly into it, and want to see what kind of stuff I can make with my hook before I start moving on to needles! BTW, Ravelry is my new love affair. (I'm solstice930, look for me!)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Trip the 'burgh

Last weekend, R and I headed up to Edinburgh for my friend Zonko's birthday. It worked out really well, we took the first flight up (7am) and the last flight back on Monday 8th (9.30pm). So we had three full days to enjoy Scotland! I've been to Edinburgh a couple times since the wedding last year, but R hadn't been back since, so it was nice to go together again.

We were really lucky, the weather in Edinburgh was nicer than down south in Brighton (never ever happens). After we arrived on Saturday morning we had breakfast with Leashie at Two Thin Laddies and then went our old haunt, The Cameo, for a few sunny drinks. That evening, we went to North Berwick for Zonko's birthday BBQ. So so yum! We had burgers and chicken and sausages and cupcakes and potato salad and much much more!

birthday cupcakes!

Leashie and Zonko
Zonko and me

Then on Sunday, we enjoyed the sunshine and went to Hailes Castle by a little river. We went for a little double date meal at the Curry buffet (classy!). So delish! I haven't had Indian in forever!

Leashie, Zonko and me, in the 'window'
enjoying the view of the river

Then on Monday, we had a lovely posh breakfast for Zonko's birthday with AMAZING sausages, eggs, toast and champagne! Yum yum. Afterwards, we left North Berkwick and headed back to Edinburgh to do a picnic on the Meadows with Claire and other Cameo folk. It was so great being back. Even though we left Edinburgh 2 years ago, it still really feels like home. We haven't seen a lot of Cameo folk since the wedding last year, but it's just so great to to slip back into it. I really miss all those folk, and I really miss Edinburgh!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

cross training: pros & cons

Part of the reason I decided to train for the London triathlon was to start doing a bit of cross-training for my workouts. Well, maybe just to start working out. Same difference. Anyhow, cross-training seemed like a good idea for fitness and weight loss. But overall, I'm not sure if it's the way forward for me. Like any good libra, I've decided to weigh up the pros and cons of multi-faceted training.

-Enjoying a little bit of everything: it's great to have variety in my workouts
-Less wear and tear as you use different muscles
-When I feel like blowing off a run, that's okay! I can swim or cycle instead!
-When I feel like blowing off a run, that's okay! (I think this point needs to be stated again, as it's a biggie)
-I've enjoyed cycling, and I wouldn't have gotten into it at all if I didn't have the triathlon as an excuse

-Limited weight loss: running is really what I need to be doing to lose pounds, and as good as swimming and cycling are, they just don't cut it
-I feel like I'm not able to focus on anything. By swimming once or twice a week, I feel like I'm just maintaining my fitness, rather than improving it. The same goes for running - I don't feel like I'm improving as I can't focus on it.
-Sometimes, I just want to do something different, like the cross trainer or the rower, but I feel like I'm spreading things too far anyway, and there is no benefit to it if it won't improve my triathlon training

Overall, this has been a really good experience, and it's pushed me to exercise 4-5 times a week. I'll have a better impression once I've completed it, but as things stand, I'm pretty sure I'll continue to try and do more triathlons. I'm really looking forward to doing a sprint event, too. But I have to admit, it will be good not having to stick to a precise schedule, and have a bit more freedom with my fitness.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

tatty devine

One of my favourite shops in Brighton is Pussy (there are two of them in the Laines). They stock a brand of jewelrey I absolutely love, called Tatty Devine. They make necklaces, bracelets, brooches, cuff links, you name it, all with a twist. Feast your eyes below!

This is my all time fave necklace ever. It's magnificent. It's also £96. Yikes! So, while it remains high on my wish list, alas, my wish list is where it must remain. But isn't it fantastic???

I got this necklace for Lauren for her birthday last year. I secretly wanted to wear it before I gave it to her. But don't worry, I didn't! (how rude!) But it's seriously cool, and wearable as an actual mustache (see Facebook pictures for reference).

This little guy is part of the new Spring/Summer 09 collection, and boy is he cute. A little brooch, perfect for summer cardigans. At £44, he's perhaps slightly out of my price range, but I love it!

Check out their current collection, as well as their Best Of to be majorly awed and inspired!