Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finished Object Roll Call: May 2015


The Second Completed, Third Started, Project Linus Blanket: Entirely from Stash


John kept stealing my UT fleece blanket, so he got a super hero one of his own. This was the ONLY non stash project completed this month!  

Some owls for a swap. They WILL be part of the shop in a few weeks though! 

Some comfy, lightweight pj pants for myself. These might make an appearance in the shop too. 

My first paper piecing AND first mug rug. 

And a second mug rug. With close up of quilting below. 

If you'd like to see the FO's in progress, as they are completed, and some other random bits and pieces of life, follow me on Instagram!I also do GIVEAWAYS on Facebook.  You should go 'like' the page, be sure to be following it too! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Caesious: Curls Project Update

For those of you who don't know, I have embarked on a journey. I am knitting every single pattern in the book "Curls", in order. I have no idea how long this will take and if it will even actually be seen through to the end, but it was a great idea so I'm going for it.

As I started out on Caesious, I quickly came to the realization that I had to make a rule about the approach to this project. I'm not allowed to flip through the book or look at any project in it other than the one I am working on. I think this will help me not get antsy, help mitigate the temptation to skip to another shawl later in the book because I really want to do it. At this point, all I remember is that Shawl #3 is one for me, I have the yarn and everything. Knowing this is a motivating factor, sort of.

This is an old picture... more has been done on it!
Caesious was interesting for about 2 repeats of the pattern, now it's a bit annoying. I feel like I haven't memorized the pattern enough yet to let it be mindless, but it is mindless enough that my mind wanders and next thing I know I've messed up something.

I just have so many other dang projects I'm trying to get done right now that this one is slow going. I've got blankets, and socks, and a sweater vest that just isn't progressing (at least it feels that way right now). I've been stashbusting like a madwoman, and yet the stash isn't getting used up as quickly as I would like it to be used up. My thesis is taking a lot of my time and all my play gets pushed aside. Sigh.

Monday, May 18, 2015

My First Month Trying Out Hustling : Does it really pay to Hustle?

Yes. It does. However for me, I can't claim you can live off of your hustling income quite yet. I mean, I just wanted to see what would happen is all. (Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.)

First off, I need to tell you one of the major components of making as much as I did hustling was PRAYER. I kid you not.

My husband and I are basically living paycheck to paycheck right now, and I've been scrimping and scrabbling to save and get some debt paid off. (My student loan is still in it's 'grace' period, so the more I pay off now, the less interest I have to pay later.) We got our emergency fund set up a couple months ago using the tax return, and it has not and will not be touched until an actual emergency occurs.

I pray almost constantly that we will be able to save money. That we will be smart with the money we have. And that opportunities to make some extra money will present themselves and that we will recognize them and take those opportunities. I feel like all of this extra income from April is a direct result of the prayers I've been making about finances.

Mind you, I don't want to get rich quick. I don't want this extra money to go buy a lot of yarn or a puppy or a motorcycle. I want to be able to live providently, get our debts paid off, and be able to live without the worry of finances always looming over our heads.

So; here it is, the Hustling Income Total for April was $200. And that is a lot for us. It's half of our monthly rent, three months of credit card payments, a month of groceries!

How did I do it? One word: fiverr.

Ok, not all of it came from fiverr, but a decent amount of it did. I heard rumors about fiverr and decided I might as well give it a go. See if it's the real deal and what not. So, I signed up, created a gig and didn't give it much thought. Less than 24 hours later I had not one, but two gigs. And they just kept coming. In all, I completed 9 gigs in the three weeks that were left in April. Totaling $88. I got paid to read! Serious dream come true for me.

Besides fiverr, I sold things on Craigslist, eBay, and even on Ravelry. Little items here and there that weren't being used (like extra yarn and a hair straightener), but they all added up.

Finally, I babysat. Just once, but it was enough to make up a good 25% of the months hustling income.

What about swagbucks and eBates ? While I use those regularly (daily in the case of swagbucks), I don't count that money yet because it's not in my bank account. It really bothers me that a lot of bloggers will make posts about how to make extra money, but they don't mention that sites like Swagbucks make you wait until you reach a certain level to cash out. So if you're hard up for money to make rent, and you sign up with one of those sites, wouldn't you be frustrated with the blogger who said you could make cash quick with them? I would be. So I'm not going to be that blogger. I'll count that money when it makes it to my account, thank you very much.

Grand total for April: $200.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Last month I did the whole30 diet. And it was rough. I had to come down off of it, and process before I decided to write an update. I didn't lose weight, or inches, but I did gain some energy towards the end of the diet and I really liked that. But, it came at the expense of being on perma-PMS for a month. I was horrifically grumpy and unreasonable most of the time. It seemed even worse since I work with young children and have to act like I'm patient and happy all the time. My husband got the end-of-the-day-I-can't-take-it-anymore me. Poor guy.

The whole30 is really whole45 because of the reintro phase. However, I'm not that patient. I went a freakin' month without eating hushpuppies. And tortillas. So on day 31 we went to Cook-Out. I reintroduced 3 out of 4 food groups all at once.

And I got sick. Not like puking and stuff, just a really upset stomach like I would get before I did whole30. That still happens on occasion too. Mostly when I get Cook-Out (It's just so delicious though!).

About 3 days after stopping, my energy plummeted again. And my stomach had been off for the entire time. I can't truly say that it's all because of the food I was eating because I happened to time everything perfectly. I had cramps all week due to the wonders of being a woman, so the upset stomach and energy slumps could have been the food but it could have been the confounding factor of being of child bearing age. ;)

Update to now, my energy is still suffering and I still have occasional upset stomach, but nothing like it was before the diet.  I am very close to going back on the diet just to get my energy levels back up to where they were the last week or so of the diet. But when I said that out loud, the look on my husbands face said I shouldn't. So I'm compromising and will integrate more vegetables and fruits into my diet, and still cook at home as much as I can. This also means avoiding pre-processed meals like frozen pizza and such as much as possible.

In all I think it was a good thing to try, and the principles in the diet are a good idea to incorporate into everyday life. However, it let me know that dieting is all I thought it would be: horrible.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WEN Haircare Products: A Non-Sponsored, Honest Review

I recently received an offer for a free trial version of WEN hair care products. The whole deal was you sign up to be automatically billed and sent full size versions after the trial size has run out. They do this in the hopes that you use their super pricey product and decide that you love it enough to keep paying for it. Or that you'll forget about the hassle it is to call them and cancel if you don't love it, and they'll keep billing and sending you the product.

I saw a lot of infomercials for WEN and wondered if it really was as wonderful and miraculous as they say it is. But, once I saw the price I obviously did not pursue it. Until this offer came along. I've done a lot of these things on Swagbucks (I've made over $300 there, in addition to getting to try out products for free, fyi), and it really isn't that hard to put a reminder on my calendar and in my phone of when I need to call and cancel a membership.

So, WEN. What is WEN? It's a 'cleansing conditioner'. Basically an alternate to traditional shampoo. They have a lot of interesting claims that made me curious. They claim after 3 weeks of using WEN:
97% of customers had more shine
90% had more volume
and 90% had more moisture 

Still skeptical, I read the instructions and dove in. First off, the instructions are that you apply the product, rinse it out, and then reapply "leaving it in for the rest of your shower".  I don't know about the majority of the population, but I am a no-nonsense kind of girl. When it comes to showering I get the job done as efficiently as possible while still being thorough. Washing my hair literally doubles the amount of time I spend in the shower.

Using WEN pretty much quadrupled it. I don't have that kind of time. I'm writing a freakin' thesis while trying to keep a business running and not flake out completely at my day job. And I am the type of person who NEEDS MY SLEEP. I refuse to wake up 20 minutes early just to 'wash' my hair.

Then the label tells me to use some of the same product as a leave in conditioner. What?

I had committed to giving it a try so I went forward with it. The first day my hair seemed really soft and nice. But flat as all heck. Day two looked like it was wash day again. I have spent nearly a year extending the time between washes because of how thick my hair is and the amount of time it takes not only to wash it, but also to dry it (another 15 minutes, and it still isn't completely dry). So for it to look like it needed washing on day 2 was not acceptable.
Can you tell I washed it? That morning? I couldn't... 

Day three and I used dry shampoo for the first time in months. I had no other choice, my hair looked like it just got back from Girl's Camp with no showers, or creeks, or lakes, or water at all. Flat, greasy/oily, weighed down. Gross.

On my regular wash day I scrubbed away with the WEN. Scrubbed hard core. When I dried my hair? Well, it looked like it hadn't even been cleaned.

This happened for the duration. I am back on to my regular shampoo, and my normal washing schedule. I don't have to use dry shampoo again, it only took my hair a week to recover from the WEN debacle.

My Conclusions:
97% of customers had more shine- From Oily hair 
90% had more volume- They Lied. Or it was actually oil build up or build up from the dry shampoo they had to use.
and 90% had more moisture - Again, fro m Oily hair. 

Don't Do It! I sold the mousse and serum on eBay. Really quickly, so I hope that person has tried and likes WEN. So, I ended up making money off of this free offer. But I will never again buy WEN.

P.S.  When I called to cancel the subscription, the guy who answered sounded really defeated. I felt bad, but honestly if the product is so bad that your employees sound like they want to give up you should probably stop making it.