Link Roundup

It’s turned cold (like, really cold … and snowy) here, so this week has been filled with snuggles and fleece pajamas. (Can’t really complain there!)

Photos - Week of Nov. 16, 2014 // Life In Beta

My favorite blogging, business, and design posts this week…
My favorite homesteading posts this week…
And some other fun and interesting links…

Instagram Photos This Week…

Follow me on Instagram: mandi224

Instagram Photos - Week of Nov. 16, 2014 // Life In Beta

1. Myles tries his hand at knitting // 2. Empty milk bottles ready to return and get some more! // 3. Visiting Miss Amelia — she’s too funny! // 4. Snuggles while knitting. // 5. Zonked OUT. // 6. Playing with the (much nicer) front facing camera on my new iPhone. // 7. Naptime with Stuart the cat. // 8. Someone is REALLY excited about having yogurt for breakfast! // 9. Watching “Daniel TIger” and snacking on some goldfish.

Back to Knitting

I’m sure it has a lot to do with the change of seasons. We’ve had over a foot of snow here and the temperatures are bitter-cold with below-zero wind chills. It’s pretty much the perfect time to knit.

Knitting & Reading Nov. 2014 // Life In Beta

Reading // The Natural Homestead by Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead

Knitting // Alcea Cowl in Yarn Love Juliet sock yarn (“Schoolhouse” colorway) and Short-Row Toe and Heel Socks by Wendy D. Johnson in The Loopy Ewe Solid Series sock yarn  (“Orange” and “Coffee” colorways).

The socks are going to be a Christmas gift for a Cleveland Browns fan in the family, and the cowl is to match my new winter peacoat. The book was part of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle I purchased about a month ago. I’m excited to finally have a chance to read it!

shared on Ginny’s Yarn Along

Currently

Myles in his bath towel (18mo) // Life In Beta

Myles, fresh from the bath, toy shark still in hand…

Watching // I just started watching Scandal on Netflix because so many people had recommended it. I’m only a couple of episodes in, but I’m a big fan so far! I’ve also somehow gotten re-addicted to watching Dancing with the Stars this season. I think Janel and Val are my favorites, I think, but there are SO many good dancers this season that it’s really hard to pick!

Reading // I just finished You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes, which I received as a perk on Klout. It was disturbing and creepy and fantastic! I’m in the mood for more good fiction but haven’t decided on what to read next. (Suggestions?) In nonfiction, I started reading Jill Winger’s Natural Homestead: 40+ Recipes for Natural Critters & Crops and I’d also like to read her other book, Your Custom Homestead: Awakening a Fresh Vision of Homesteading. (In case you couldn’t guess, she’s kind of my super hero right now. Have you read her blog?) I just got Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl from Audble to listen to, hopefully in time to participate in the book club discussion on A Beautiful Mess.

Listening To // I recently got a vinyl copy of You + Me’s Rose Ave.. I’ve only listened to it a couple times, but I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m also excited that both Butch Walker and She & Him have new albums coming out soon! My vinyl collection is growing…

Currently: Nov 2014 (Week 1) // Life In Beta

1. Loving my new winter coat // 2. New quilt my mother made and gifted to us. // 3. Naptime in the car. // 4. Trees in our back yard have been trimmed – now the cleanup begins (ugh.)

Happy About // I called an old family friend last night to wish her happy birthday (her birthday is today, technically — happy birthday, Mitzi!). She lives on the opposite coast now, near Olympia, Washington, and we don’t talk very often at all. (It’s probably been over a year since our last phone call to be honset.) I always get anxiety about phone calls, even to friends and family, but I made myself pick up the phone — and in the end, I was SO GLAD that I did. We chatted for over an hour and a half. She’s the most vibrant, energetic 82 year old I’ve ever known. (Seriously.) She was telling me about going snowshoeing in a little town called Leavenworth last winter. I want to be her when I grow up.

Feeling // Yucky. We spent almost the whole month of October packing and moving and generally living in chaos, so I gave up on making time to run, and we ate a LOT of takeout, and as a result, I’m feeling pretty terrible. I haven’t dared to step on a scale, but judging by how I’m feeling, the number would probably be pretty upsetting. I’m looking forward to more home-cooked meals and if/when I can get Myles back on a better sleep schedule, I’m hoping to start running again too.

Doing // Unpacking and cleaning. Downsizing has been challenging and we have a spare room and garage FULL of boxes to go through. There’s only space for a handful of things, so I have to be really choosy as I unpack and decide whether to keep, donate, toss, or put in storage. Unfortunately because Mike has been working double shifts (basically 8am to 11pm) I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I had hoped because I have Myles demanding my full attention most of the evening. But that’s okay … he’s only little once, and the boxes will wait.

Thinking About // I’ve been researching and planning how to build my chicken coop (hopefully this spring). I’ve been daydreaming about the garden I want to plant, and the other animals I’d like to raise … basically planning my fantasy homestead in my head. It’s my favorite daydream these days, especially because it’s becoming more of an achievable reality (finally). I’ve also been thinking a lot about a plan to work toward being totally debt-free. Of course that’s not a FUN thing to think about (I do love me some shopping!), but it’s something that’s important to me.

Weekend: Halloween, Snow, and Chocolate Beer…

After so much packing and moving for the past month, it was such a nice change to have a more relaxed, enjoyable weekend. That’s not to say we didn’t get some work done — but we took a lot more time to just have fun too.

Daniel Tiger eating Reeses // Life In Beta

I feel like I really dropped the ball on Halloween this year. I didn’t dress up at all (*sadface* – I LOVE Halloween and dressing up!), but Myles had a pretty great costume! He dressed as his hero-of-the-moment, Daniel Tiger! My mom sewed the adorable flannel tiger suit (Simplicity #1767) and I added a red hoodie, red Chuck Taylors and a wristwatch that I whipped together with some felt, velcro, and embroidery floss.

We did Trail of Treats with his half-brother last week at the mall, and we trick-or-treated with his best little buddy Amelia on Halloween. Myles did really well walking and holding my hand while trick-or-treating. We just went around the block at “Aunt” Erica’s house; fussy toddlers were getting too squirmy and heavy to drag them any further!

Myles and Amelia // Life In Beta

Myles as Daniel Tiger, with Mommy // Life In Beta

Saturday we had rain mixed with our first snowfall of the year. I would have been happy staying at home, snuggled all warm, but I needed to make a trip to Duran’s farm store to pick up our milk order, so we ended up out and about in it. I showed Myles the little ice pellets collecting on the windshield and told him, “snow”. He responded with, “OH?” I think that was him trying to say “snow” without the “sn” in the front. Then Myles informed me the snow was “cole!” — Yes, definitely cold!

First Snow of Fall 2014 // Life In Beta

I finally had the opportunity to go explore the new Field and Stream store that opened a few months back. (I’m always behind the times.) Myles LOVED all the taxidermy animals and seemed to enjoy gawking at everything. I got to try out a bow (a Diamond Infinite Edge) on their archery range, and now I have it in my head I’d like to get one. Someday. (Christmas is coming, right!? – Ha!)

I’m actually considering doing some small game hunting next year, if I can find someone to teach me. (Can’t you just picture me outside with my iPad, knife in hand, trying to watch a YouTube video on cleaning game? … Ya, the neighbors would get a nice laugh out of that, I’m sure!)

Myles as Daniel Tiger, with Grammy // Life In Beta

Other weekend randomness…

  • I accidentally put a (clean, unused) diaper and two of Myles’ favorite board books through the washing machine on Saturday. THAT was quite a mess. You see, toddlers throw the most interesting things into their hampers, and you really SHOULD look through them before blindly dumping them into the washer. Lesson learned. (Amazon made a few bucks off me replacing books too.)
  • Two words: Chocolate. Beer. Mike thought it was gross, but I kinda loved it. They had it on tap at Buffalo Wild Wings when we had dinner Sunday, and I totally indulged. A pint is plenty though.
  • Myles had his 18 month photos taken (a bit late) on Sunday. I’m lucky to now have my favorite photographer living nearby, but I didn’t want to pester her, so we went the JCP portrait studios route. As is always the case when I take him to a portrait studio, Myles was in SUPER SERIOUS mode. The photographers must think I’m the worst mother ever because he NEVER smiles. Of course ten minutes after we left he was all smiles and giggles. *Sigh*
Post trick-or-treat playtime // Life In Beta

Post trick-or-treat playtime!

How was YOUR weekend? Is it getting colder where you’re at? Did you have any snow yet this autumn?

Happy Halloween Link Roundup

Happy Halloween! I hope you all are enjoying this spooky-fun holiday with friends and family. Myles is enjoying his new Daniel Tiger Halloween book that his Grammy gave him this morning!

Myles with his Halloween Book // Life In Beta

He’s dressing up tonight as Daniel Tiger too — basically Daniel Tiger is a total rockstar in Myles’ world right now. We’re having a low-key night.

My favorite blogging, business, and design posts this week…

My favorite homesteading posts this week…

  • How to start living a simple life – THIS is my goal in life. Slow down, take it all in.
  • I’m going to attempt to make pumpkin puree for the first time this weekend. Wish me luck!
  • I’m not a doomsday prepper or anything (not at ALL!) but I do love having my freezer and pantry stocked with lots of homemade and preserved foods — this article made me feel a lot less of a crazy person for taking pride in my stash of foods!

And some other fun and interesting links…