Day 6 – Garlicky Shrimp

You might remember that not too long ago when my husband was in depot, I tried Chef’s Plate, a Canadian version of Blue Apron. Well, I since learned that Hello Fresh is a thing here in Canada, and unlike Chef’s Plate, they deliver here to Saskatchewan. With a 60% off coupon I decided why not try it for three meals and see if it’s something that we want to pursue going forward for healthy portioned meals. Fresh produce this far North is expensive, and I could use a break from all the meal planning from time to time.

I’m counting it as a creative endeavor because I think meals and meal preparation IS a creative task.

First up was garlicky shrimp.

It was amazing. The portion size was perfect, they offered lots of protein and I had zero complaints. I found the meal superior to the meals I had eaten at Chef’s Plate, and well worth the cost. My husband also enjoyed the meal which is great because I wasn’t sure if it was something he would be fond of. The potatoes filled us up, the baby arugula was a unique taste that neither of us would have thought to pair with everything else.

I’m looking forward to the next two meals.

Day 5 (hey, waffles are creative!)

For christmas last year my parents bought me one of those 5-in-1 griddle / panini press things and until yesterday it sat in the box collecting dust under my desk (blocking power cords from llama bean, actually). Then I had an incident with my oven preventing me from using it, so I dug it out so I could make some kabobs and noticed that it had a waffle attachment.

I’ve never made waffles before, I didn’t even know what the difference in recipe would be between waffles and pancakes (turns out not that much, waffles are a bit richer) but heck I was feeling creative so I decided to go for it.

They were pretty good. A bit thicker than I am used to (I’ve never had fresh waffles before, only frozen, so lets be honest here I have nothing to compare them to) but they seemed to turn out pretty well and they were really simple to make. I’d like to try my hand at some savory ones too, eventually. Have waffle recipes you want to share? Let me know in comments.

Day 4 – Mitered Memory Blanket

So I completed the first ‘goal’ of my mitered memory blanket – a 3×3 square. 9 squares total. Then I had to make a decision. I could continue adding to it, making it larger and larger until it’s the size I want – or – I could start on a second 3×3 piece, and then crochet them together with a border around it.

I decided to go with the second choice for a few reasons. Number one, I don’t have a ton of different colours of sock yarn scraps, and I’m bound to repeat colours each 3×3 block. If I break those blocks up into chunks with a black border separating each section I think this will help combat the repetitiveness.

I also just think it will look neat. So instead of being one giant blanket of smaller squares, it will be small squares within squares within a square blanket… teehee. Next step is to begin a second 3×3 – then I can practice crocheting the two together and see how it looks.

Day 3 – Mitered Memory Blanket

I love the yellow swatch in the blanket – and the whole thing is starting to feel so soft and comfortable! I am hoping to complete at least one tile a day, but I know that’s a pretty optimistic goal. Still, I’m not doing too shabby!

Day 2 – Fingerless Gloves

I’m beta testing some amazing yarn which I’ll get into in another post – but I wanted to show off how awesome the cables look, neat and defined. I’m knitting a pair of fingerless gloves (my first) and have learned a few new terms.

LC (left cross) and RC (right cross)

These are cable terms, at least for this pattern here at Purl soho (which happens to be free if someone else wants to give them a knit). They’re not particularly complicated terms, but I’m used to doing cables with a simple C6F or C6B and I’ve never encountered these stitches before. Once I’m done 2 rounds of cables it’ll be onto the thumbs – sigh. Gussets. The bane of my existence. We shall see how that goes.

I also had a quick refresher course in M1L and M1R (make one left, make one right) but seemed to pick it up without too much issue. Hopefully these gloves turn out, because the yarn is just yummy and I can’t wait to wear them!

Inspired – Day 1

I love inspiration. It motivates me to be a better person, to try harder, and to not give up when things get difficult (which they always do). My inspiration this week comes from a very special blog where the writer has been posting just about every single day for a year about her creative endeavors. I am pretty sure I won’t be able to post every day or even do something creative every day (especially since Wednesday I’m expecting my daughter to arrive) BUT that doesn’t mean I’m not still motivated, and that I wouldn’t love to at least try.

I figured it was fitting since this ends her first year that it marks the beginning of my first one. So let’s consider this day one, and see where we end up. Hopefully we get some neat creative things done along the way – but if not, that’s OK too. Remember the goal here is to challenge myself and to inspire and motivate myself to keep up, not to berate myself if I fall behind or have a few days where the creative juices are just not flowing.

For today I’m starting off with a square on my mitered memory blanket. I’m up to 7 now and it’s starting to feel more like a piece of cloth rather than just weird squares of yarn. It’s soft and squishy, and as I knit it I imagine Llama Bean or Nugette taking it to college with them to keep warm and remind them of home. It doesn’t LOOK like much right now, it will require blocking and a boarder (and to be much larger, of course) but I can see it in my mind. Each square tells a story. Not all of the yarn came from my stash, either. A lot was donated through a christmas exchange (if you’ve got spare fingering yarn you want to donate it takes less than 25 grams to make a square, just drop me a message here or on twitter and we can see about an exchange!) that I’m very grateful for. Some squares tell my story of learning to knit socks, staying up late working on baby clothes, or just trying to de-stress from the day. Other squares tell the stories from other people. That’s what I love about projects like this. Plus you can never have too many home made blankets…

Getting Organized

One of my favourite things to do in real life, is clean and organize things. I know, how odd is that, right? It’s something I take pride in and something I do very well. When I’m stressed I clean. When I’m happy I organize. I just like things being neat and tidy. A messy desk (my work station) will bother me to no end.

Gaming is the same way. This week I took some time to organize my sellers, and split them into 4 different merchants. I have one selling nothing but pets, one selling nothing but recipes, and two selling everything else (a lot of transmog items that I know will be around for a while). I also have my tailor selling bags. There is a practical reason behind this besides my personal OCD, too. One reason is that if you have more than 1k items on the auction house and you happen to use tradeskillmaster it can cause a hit in performance. It’s a known issue that the developers of TSM caution against – as lovely is it may be to see your name up in the stars on sites like the undermine journal for having the most value posted.

It can also take a long time to scan your auctions when it comes to posting, so I like them split for that reason. Then there are my personal reasons. I like to run a cancel scan on pets and bags (and drums) but I leave transmog items up for the full 48h instead of looking for people undercutting. I would just lose too much money if I was checking them multiple times a day to see if any were below mine. I know some people swear by this method and they log in every few hours and cancel all their undercut items but I don’t have the patience for that and I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to be the cheapest for your items to sell. The quick fast sales will go, leaving yours next in line.

All in all, I have about 10-14 million gold worth of items up on the auction house, 600-700 items total, spread between four characters (two accounts), and two servers. That’s just right for me and my gameplay. I know some of the bigger goblins out there are on 20+ servers and making a killing, but I’m just a small fish and I’m content with the way my gold making has been progressing.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Blaugust – It’s Coming!

An event that I have looked forward to in the past is once again getting kicked off starting August 1st, but if you want to participate you don’t have to wait until August to sign up!

The jist is 31 days of blog posts, whether you’re an old veteran or someone new just starting out. There’s a discord, mentors, and some really neat things happening this time around, so I highly suggest you go check out the post written by Belghast over here. Even though I will be slightly MIA next week (eep, it’s so soon) I am hoping to be back in top form for August, with a post every single day for the few lovely readers who have managed to stick around.

I’m always in a small state of conflict when it comes to these events. I eagerly sign up and try to become a part of the community that surrounds it, but I feel very much on the outside of things. Sometimes it’s because there are others who tend to monopolise every single conversation so that there’s no real way to edge into things, and other times it’s just because I feel like I’m in some other world compared to those taking part. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had my site for 12 years now and it’s just a matter of “git offa ma lawn!” (ie: I’m just cranky) but I’ve never felt like I really fit in. Still, I make the attempt and sign up and at least it motivates me to keep writing and posting every day (for the single month, and typically into the following months leading up to NaNoWriMo) which is always a good thing. If you’re looking for advice, or help (especially if you’re considering changing your brand name) I have a lot of experience with that, so please don’t hesitate to give me a nudge. I’ll try to post a few informative pieces throughout the month and hopefully others will feel motivated and inspired. Sign up, see what a great community it is, maybe find a new site or two that you can relate to. It doesn’t have to be about gaming (though most of the participants are gamers, just as a heads up).

Remember it’s something YOU should enjoy, first and foremost. <3

Gold commeth, and gold goeth away..

Well, my dreams of amassing 4 million gold by the release of BfA have all but flown out the window, but I sort of knew they would. At the beginning of July I decided that I wanted to have my horde and alliance characters each on their own servers, and I wanted them to be different servers in terms of population. My horde characters are comfortably sitting on a high population server now, and that’s why there’s a dip in my money – I bought 6 WoW tokens to complete the various faction / server transfers while I got set up. My alliance characters are together on a low / medium population server (my main server as it were).

Why the two different servers? A lot of reasons, one of which being I wanted to be able to have one of every class for each faction. I have the alliance side taken care of, along with 8 of those characters sitting at level 110. The horde side isn’t nearly as fleshed out. I only have two characters (a third I’m still waiting to transfer) and only one of those is 110. Will I play them all? Probably not. Does it matter if I separate them? No. It’s just one of my weird OCD quirks. I like the idea of having 1 of everything, and then getting professions etc. all set up on them. Plus if there’s another garrison / order hall type mechanic in BfA I’d like to be able to take advantage of that. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

I did at least manage to stay above a million liquid, and that’s my smaller goal in the meantime. The AH mount or any other big expenses will just have to wait. It’s really not that big of a deal to me, but I hope sales pick up because they’ve been pretty slow. I still see lots of goblins making some really good coin, but I am not one of them. Plus, Nugette is due in a week, so I know my play time will be greatly reduced for the next few weeks while we get adjusted to another newbie in the family, and work on our schedule.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Memory Blanket

In keeping with my goals of learning new techniques and at least getting SOME knitting done in 2018 even if it wasn’t a lot of knitting, I picked up my mitered memory blanket from a few months back and added a few more squares to it. I’m not sure why I initially found the project difficult but my last two squares turned out much better and I’m finding it a simple relaxing knit (which is something I need right about now). As you can tell by the picture, my 2nd square (the blue and white one) is actually backwards. Long term that may bug me, it’s facing wrong side and it’s pointed the opposite way from the three other squares – but I decided to embrace this mistake. When the blanket is done, it will be a reminder of my learning, and getting better at something like this. It will be proof that I have improved.

Same can be said about the very first square, the black one. It’s not sized properly as I miss counted some rows and made some very simple mistakes. The two most recent squares (the gold/grey and the pink) are much nicer, show off the stitches, and are done ‘properly’ – but I think that even heirloom items need mistakes in them, it’s what makes us human.

Originally I had grand ideas of knitting one square a day and completing a year-long project (that resulted in a nice blanket) but I think I’ll continue to just work at it here and there when I have time between other projects, or the urge strikes me. It doesn’t take long to complete a square, and this is a fantastic way to stash bust those little ends of yarn that I’ve been collecting for absolutely zero reason (well, now they have a reason). Eventually once I find the blanket is as large as I want I’ll trim it with a black crochet boarder to complete the ‘look’ and to give it a cleaner appearance. I’ll also block it which should help make it look more uniform.

Remember, you shouldn’t be afraid to try new projects, even if they don’t turn out perfect the first time. There’s nothing wrong with growing from your mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with showing your human side and even embracing those mistakes you’ve made. We all started from somewhere.

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