February Resolutions: A list of things to accomplish in February 2011

amethysts,birthdays,birthstones,February,gems,gemstones,nature,precious stones,signs,special occasions,symbols
February 2011
Crafts
  1. Complete the baby blanket started for donation back in November before Valentine’s day
  2. Finish at least 1 of the two bridesmaid scarves by January 12th, in hopes my friend Jen can teach me how to block it
  3. Make my make-up roll!

Writing

  1. Write in this blog (cleverknots.wordpress.com) every single day – no exceptions
  2. Submit 1 ezine article per a week
  3. Write a minimum of 6 articles a week on homemadefit.com as follows: 1 exercise, 2 woman’s heath, 2 nutrition, 1 lifestyle
  4. Write and publish 2 patterns this month: 1 scarf, 1 other
  5. Write and distribute a newsletter every other week to all of the people I coach on beachbody! (sign up is free – just click here )
Health
  1. Continue to follow the Turbo Fire workout schedule explicitly – working out 6 days a week
  2. Goal: graduate from light to medium resistance bands for use in Turbo Fire
  3. Reduce amount of candy consumption to five days a week or less
  4. Cook dinner from scratch a minimum of 4 days a week
  5. Continue to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables a day
What are YOUR goals for February? (leave a comment!)

A “Delightful” hat knitted for my husband

At long last, I have completed knitting the hat for my husband, first referred to here. Aaron, though, does not want to model for my blog, so instead it is on my head. and it is a bit big on my head. (i have a child size head – i have even been known to wear little kid’s sunglasses – particularly if they have Tigger on them).

My first hat ever knitted, and my third knitting project completed. The first being a sock (yes – one sock – I have yet to complete the second sock). The second being my husband’s scarf. and this being the third.

This hat uses the 0-600 Hat in Stockinette st by DROPS design. Technically it needed “delight” yarn, also by DROPS but I bought Berroco Ultra Alpaca in “salt and pepper” color from a local store, called Loopy Yarns. I  really liked the way it turned out.

As for the pattern itself? I will definately do another pattern by DROPS design. It was very easy to read and turned out just as the picture suggested. My only complaint is that the “large” and “small” measurements were not quite what I had expected. Measuring my husbands head, I though I would use the “large” counts specified in the pattern. I started with size 2 double pointed needles and 170 sts. About 1 cm into the project I realized it was HUGE and thus started over. I ended up starting with 134 sts (smaller even the the “small” recommendations in the pattern). and it seems to have been a good choice. when it came time to decrease and switch to a larger needle size I decreased to 124.

I used five double pointed needles and am excited that despite the potential for four seams there is actually only one. And I kinda like the way there is a spiral made by the eight seams on the top during the decrease.

Overall I give this pattern a 2/5 for difficulty (probably a 1 if I hadn’t had problems with the measurements). Ultimately I give the final result a 5/5 and would highly recommend it to anyone.

A Foundation for Children with HIV and AIDS

ballerinas,ballets,children,dancers,dances,dancing,entertainment,girls,personsI am such a sucker for children. Whenever I see the kids fundraising by selling candy or cookies or whatever , I can’t possibly say no. Though recently I have gotten better at just giving them the 2 dollars without taking the candy bar. Better for me AND them.

And it also must be noted that one of my absolute favorite things in the world to do is dance. I am always dancing and singing while I do dishes, clean the living room, dust, get ready for work etc. yes, I AM that girl.

So when one of my coworkers told me of the University of Chicago’s dance marathon to raise money for an organization that supports children with HIV and AIDS in the greater Chicago area, how could I possibly say no?!

Earning money for a good cause, my coworker Regina, is busting her butt to stay on her feet for an entire 12 hours and DANCE. I hope you take a moment to read about her and the organization and possibly donate a bit. Doesn’t have to be much. Every little bit counts!

https://ssl.charityweb.net/childrensplace/challenge/ReginaDances.htm

In the hebrew language, letters also represent numbers and the letters that make up the number 18 spell out the word “life.” So it is customary in the Jewish religion to donate in increments of 18. to life!

Computers and other devices, how to decide what is worthwhile

I currently use a cheap two year old cell phone and a previous wonderful, but currently dying, XPS m1330 laptop. The time has come for me to get a new laptop and with that comes an abundance of choices.

I have used Macs at work and although I find them useful for data analysis, I can’t get used to the interface and find it frustrating that many programs (ie microsoft publisher and lord of the rings online) are not available for Mac computers, thus it was pretty easy for me to rule that one out. (that and the fact that there are only 3 options for laptops and I dont like any of them for reasons that may become apparent below).

But the world of PCs is MASSIVE! There are so many companies and computers and sizes. As of now, the only laptops I have ever owned are Dell laptops (I have owned two of them, the one I own and an old 12 inch one that I think was an inspiron), thus it is not surprising that I would start there. My requirements were as follows:

  • Under 14 inches
  • Under 5 lbs
  • icore 5 processor or greater
  • 300 GB hardrive or greater
  • 2 GB of ram (though preferably 4)
  • and a fairly solid video card (for a laptop)

Who knew that was so much to ask for?!

*yes I know that desktops make better gaming computers, but I really like my mobility – I like to lay on the floor or the couch or the bed or spread out at the table etc. I have never been very good at staying in one place or in one position for very long.

My biggest problem is I want so much of everything. I want a little device that I can carry in a purse and pull on a whim to better organize effectively via electronic calendars and to-do lists. But I also want to be able to continue playing online MMO games with my husband, brother, and other friends.

Ever since the ipad came out, I have been obsessed with it, but to really get the most use out of it I would need to actively be using spreadsheets and word processing (as I currently utilize my laptop alongside the desktop at work) and I have heard that it is not quite as useful for those things. Not to mention it certainly can NOT play video games. So how can I possible justify buying BOTH an ipad (despite its aesthetic appeal) AND a laptop.

But I believe I may have found the solution in an ipod touch. It is of course, unfortunate that the cost of an ipod touch ($299) is the same as that of an iphone (with a 2 year contract) but with the iphone I have to commit to a contract AND pay a monthly data plan. Having never had internet on my phone, I don’t think I would miss the unlimited access to internet that a data plan provides. I think, instead, I will get myself a small laptop cabaple of playing video games (likely the alienware m11x) and save up to get the ipod touch to serve as my electronic peacekeeper that will fit in my purse. As the new laptop was meant to be a hanukkah present from my parents, you can see that the struggle of decision making has taken us all the way through to nearly February.

But by golly, I think we have reached a decision 🙂

Project Linus: making donation easy

On my blog post, on January 13th, Kristen wrote:

Have you heard of Project Linus? It’s very similar, but I think they just do blankets. I’ve been wanting to do something like that but just haven’t yet – good reminder! I love that you’re doing something good for strangers with your talents. http://www.projectlinus.org/

What a wonderful reminder!

Not only have I heard of project linus but in the past have made several donations to project linus. I used to run a rosh chodesh (monthly jewish women’s group) when I was in college and I would try to coordinate a blanking making day at least once a year.

These blankets are especially easy to make. They require two pieces of fleece, cut to the desired length and width of the blanket. Purchasing fabric at walmart, we were always able to make multiple blankets at very low costs. It makes for a good social gathering because several people can gather around a single blanket and visit while they cut strips and tie knots.

Making blankets without sewing! It’s a wonderful, quick fast solution to make blankets for donation to a great cause!

Thank you Kristen, for bringing those memories to the forefront of my mind.



Sparkly online Images

Free Orkut and My Space Hello & Hi Graphics Glitters
Look what I found! coolfreeimages.net has lots of fun flashy photos that are all free! I am certain I will be using many of these in my blog entries to come. I really happen to love everything that sparkles. And as my husbands favorite color is blue, these roses make me think of him and smile. Do you know of other cool websites with free to use photos?

New Year Resolutions and Getting Fit!

Before I go to bed tonight.

Today I got to spend time with a friend here in chicago that I hadn’t seen in over a month. so that was fun. but the attempt at dying my hair blonde out of a box failed miserable. which means i will probably have to bleach my hair if i really want it blonde and I just do not know if I am that motivated. (or willing to fry my hair like that). But it was nice to hang out with that friend of mine. I get lonely here in Chicago. Before I go to bed tonight, I just wanted to share this with you. and I promise, I will not make a habit of this, but the deal is up in 6 days!

Dont forget to post your new year resolutions in my comments! I would LOVE to see them!

Was your new year resolution to get fit? It makes me sad to see so many people in the gym right after the new year, only to see the numbers drop back to “normal” within a few weeks. I really honestly care that you meet your fitness goals. Please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to help you find the right fitness program for you and your lifestyle.

Complement your cardio (I do Turbo Fire) with some resistance training!

I want to share with all of my friends and loyal readers, the following fitness program. I hope that you all choose some kind of fitness, whatever that might be, but this program is 30 dollars off through January 31st, DONT MISS OUT!

The program, at 89.95 comes with 90 DAYS worth of workouts. which averages out to only about a dollar a day. one dollar. that is all that it takes to get your body into shape. But hear it from the people who have done it and see their real results by following this link. And then make your own decisions.

And just think, for that 1 dollar a day, you don’t have to go to the gym or leave your home, you have workouts everyday for 90 days AND at the end you can repeat the entire program at high intensity and further increase the value of each dollar! Watch a video and READ MORE HERE!