Dandilion Girl Designs

Timber Bay Hat you can find the pattern here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/timber-bay

If you are a knitter then you really should look over the wonderful designs from Dandilion Girl Designs. Melissa is the creative mind behind Dandilion and man that women can make some stunning things. Her first pattern to hit Ravelry was some cute leg warmers in 2009. Since then she gotten a total of 188 designs on her Ravelry pattern page that can be seen by clicking the graphic bellow of her design name.
{This graphic was linked from her pattern page on Ravelry and is not my own}
I can not remember who brought me to her designs but I do remember which one it was. I was looking for a cute cardi to add to my one day make queue and came across the Chateau . I admit when I went to grab the link for this post I noticed it was not actually in my queue anymore but quickly fixed that. Chateau is the bulky cardi with wide sleeves and this amazing cable down the back. While writing this it just hit me where I heard about it. It was from Stacie from Must Stash Yarns. It was on the podcast with her and Super Steph ... man I loved their podcast. Stacie made it in a red color, I can not remember the yarn brand she used. It wasn't hers though. This may have even been before she began dying yarn. I am going to look up and link her project here

I actually own a few of Melissa's designs and just recently bought and cast on the Timber Bay hat. The Timber Bay hat is a very easy and fast knit. I only worked on it about 30 mins or so a day and finished it in less than a few days. I have no doubt it would easily be done in a day or so. The hat has been made 766 times including mine and some chose to make theirs short by omitting the last repeat of a section but I choose to do the complete hat just as the pattern is written. I love the way it turned out. I could see me making this again for a gift because of the finished product and not a lot of work that has to go into it. 
{Not my photo, this was linked from the project.}

She does have 6 free patterns on Ravelry and those can be found here. The hat on the left is one of her free patterns. You can straight to the pattern by clicking the photo. It is an adorable cabled hat. I highly recommend trying out one of her paid for patterns but a free pattern is a great way to "try" a designer out. I am almost positive once you try one of her patterns you will see she writes them so they are easy to follow and explains things well.

For my hat (Timber Bay) I followed the pattern exactly as it was written, I did not omit the last repeat of Fisherma's rib like many suggested. I even used the recommended needle sizes. I used Malabrigo Rios and had 9 grams left from the project. I know many were worried reading over the project notes that they would run out of yarn which is what lead them to omit the last repeat. As I completed the hat I made notes of the amount of yarn I had left. Before starting the last Fisherman's rib I had 24 grams of yarn left and before starting the crown decreases I had 17 grams left. 

Time to plan


I am such a planner which can be a great asset and can be a hindrance at the same time. Often we get caught up in the plans and never take action. I however, get so drawn into a task I forget to do other things like eating lunch, resting even drinking enough water throughout the day. I am going to write how I do my big clean out in case someone wants to join in. I look at it from a step by step view point. I promise it will not seem to overwhelming or even unattainable. Maybe the way I do things will help you in some way if you wish to join in. I am not a professional organizer but I do love to organize and everything have its own place.

1. Hands full out, hands full in. In high school and college I was a server to make some money. I made some good money and it was because I was always moving. When I left the kitchen I had either food in my hand for a table or refills for drinks and when I went back towards the kitchen I had empty plates from either my tables or those around me. I still view my daily life the same way, every step is with intention. This can easily be done in the home. When you walk by a room and see something that needs to go another room take it. On the way back see something that needs straighten then do it. It takes a few minutes but then during the week when you are cleaning is less to clean and takes less time. 

2. It did not get to be chaos overnight and will not resolve itself overnight. Even with me cleaning out all the things every 6 months it never stays clean. That is 6 months of stuff that has been brought in. I do clean out a little in between those months. We usually have a 33 gallon bag for donation every few months but the reality is stuff accumulates. Thank about every Happy Meal your kid gets, or every impulse buy you make... it just adds up. 

When I wrote my last post I talked about how you have to have a plan. Writing things out seems like a waste of time. However I can guarantee you its not, seeing progress is very self motivating. I want you to go to each room with a notebook sit in the middle of it and then write down what you see. Yes I promise I do this and the funny thing is I was watching this show the other day and the professional organizer said to do the same thing! I started with the room of necessity, my youngest. He has gotten so tall that his pants were to short. Which is fine because I have saved all the clothes the older one has grown out of and sorted them by size in totes. This just meant I needed to remove the small stuff and get out and hang the new to him sizes. Guess what that takes care of part of his closet. However for this exercise his plan looks like this and to save space I went ahead and did the oldest Aiden's as well :

I did this for every room. Even the bathrooms, the laundry room, the living rooms, den and kitchen! The kitchen was a tad bit different as it is one of the biggest rooms in the house and with the most cabinets so I broke its sections up. For the kitchen I made the island one section, the cabinets on the wall with the fridge one section, the cabinets with the oven/sink one section and the stand alone cabinet/party its own. This will make it more attainable and keep me from rushing through and doing a good clean out. 

The reason why I do this is because I clean out when I get a chance. I know I do not have a day where I can set aside a whole day to focus on cleaning out. I wish I did but I do not. So you do not want to set yourself up for failure. One of my favorite quotes that I have at the top of this post. "Plans are worthless but planning is everything." You can make plans to do something all day long but until you start planning out the steps to get you there and starting doing them you will never reach your destination or goal.

My Weekly TO DO's: 
~Mondays: groceries, kitchen counters, laundry 
~Tuesdays: bathrooms, dust 
~Wednesdays: clean mother in law, big vacuum, laundry
~Thursday:  laundry, errands if there are any
~Friday:  laundry, all glass
~Saturday: Big Vacuum
~Sunday: meal planning/ weekly planning, grocery list making

Daily: spot clean hamster tank, spot vacuum, wipe counters, pick up stuff at night and dishes. I am sure I missing something but I can not think lol. 

A Step Towards My 2019 Goal

Simplicity is not depriving yourself but creating a space for living.

Simplicity seems like a easy thing to do right? Until you begin to trying to achieve it. I thank many of us want to live a life of simplicity but maybe are lost how to get there. Maybe you are looking around wondering where to even begin. Maybe you have a plan but time is your hindrance. I think it is easy to get to those points but we are going to get through this. I admit it is hard letting go of things. However they are just that things. These things take time to keep dusted, they take time to clean and they take up space for living. I am not talking about completely letting everything go and moving to a small space. OH NO I love my stuff don't get me wrong but I do not want my stuff to own me. So maybe you are sitting here reading this and feel the same way and want to join me on this journey... then please do. I am going to write out my process... my thoughts and how I do this. 

Typically I do a clean out every 6 months that corresponds to a local consignment sale. If you have kids and want to make some extra cash then maybe seek out local consignment sales in your area. They all have different requirements on what has to be done. There is a ton of place to sale your things online and even brick and mortar locations in your area. So keep that in mind as you begin sorting. I like to create two piles one to sale and one to donate. 

Now to get started. 
**Do not try to just going through one room without a plan especially if this is something you have not done in a while. There is nothing worse than getting started and loosing hope. 

First you have to have a general idea of what your goals are. For me its to purge as much as possible, get ready for a consignment sale, possible gather stuff to rent a booth in a local pickers brick and mortar store and to clean out the old craft room. The old craft room is bad. It has become a dumping ground for everything. 

Now that you have a purpose you need to sit down and mentally think what order will best suit you. For me I still had Christmas stuff up. During the beginning of the season I had 14 totes of Christmas decorations, that is a lot! That took me about 2-3 days to decorate including the trees. That is not counting the stuff I do at my mother in laws. I felt like this past Christmas I was spending too much time preparing for it that I did not live in it and I wanted that to change! As I took down my Christmas I decided that 6 totes was enough. Those 6 totes do not include ornaments. Each of the big trees have their own totes of ornaments ans well as each child has their own tote of decor/ornament combo. That means we would keep 6 totes of decor for the house, 2 totes of ornaments for the living room/den tree and 2 totes for each kid for a total of 10 totes from the 18 we had. That is still a lot I know but again this doesn't have to be dramatic. A lot of my decor is still in their original boxes in the totes which takes up space. We also have a lot of vintage pieces that require extra padding. However that meant tough choices had to be made and things had to go. 

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
1. Do I LOVE it?  - you have to be honest with yourself. Love is a strong word, I am talking about love like "Do I see this being in my home and being put up in 5 years? Passed down? 

2. Does it have an emotional pull at my heart? I know as a parent its hard to let go of every cute thing your kid makes but the reality is that it is the memory that we need and not the object. If you are having a hard time letting go of artwork or creations then take a photo of them. Save them to a file on your computer to look back on. The reality is you will not pull that actual piece out in 5 years, it will get lost and damaged so preserve the memory not the object. 

3. Do you use it? I was not using all my decorations. There was things that I hadn't put out in years so why was I hanging onto them. Why allow them to take up space, to be moved that is just extra work I was creating for myself and taking time away from living... 

4. Is it broken/missing parts? Seems simple right, yea this is a hard one especially for my children. 

So asking myself those questions it either went into a keep, sale or donate box. It was hard I am not going to lie but I know next year when I get out those 6 totes of decor and can get it everything decorated in a day it will be worth it! That will allow for more memories of crafts and fun time spent with what matters my family. 

Next week I began tackling the rest of the house... 

Kicking off 2019 with a BANG!

We are a few days into the new year and already we have had chaos at our house. I have had this cold virus thing since the 28th and it has been one of those wiping you out, walking snot headed, no voice, glass shards in the throat and fever type of colds. It has not been a highlight to the new year that is for sure. However I am on the mend, it ran its course and I had to devour about 8-10 oranges a day and drank ample amounts of hot tea to get me here.

We stayed in doors New Years Eve because we had a lot of rain here in Alabama. The next day we cooked our traditional New Years Day meal which was a Rib-eye Roast, black eyed peas, greens and corn bread. We went with a simple Rosemary Roast this year and used the rosemary that has been growing on my front porch. Its so nice to be able to walk out the front door to fresh herbs. The recipe was a freebie on the Internet and you can find it right here:

So now lets get down to the chaos. This morning I got to clean my fridge and kitchen floor. It was not because I wanted too or because it was dirty because I just had cleaned it when I bought groceries last.  Oh No, today it all got cleaned because as we were getting ready to go out the door to my in laws to clean I told the boys to go make a sandwich to take to Mamaws and Papaws. I am in my room writing some things in my planner and then I hear it. There was screams, glass shattering and things banging. I ran to the kitchen to see my boys standing in front of the fridge with the door open and who knows what on the floor around them. Glass jars were busted and salsa was every where, steak sauce busted, pepper sauce pour on the floor as little peppers lay here and there, blue berries rolling and the Yorkie eating them like a hungry hippo and my two boys standing in the midst of it all. I blinked and took a deep breath. By the grace of God I remained calm.
Its funny really, I really have been focusing on this whole live a simple 2019, to live one with meaning, one with cherished moments and one without regret. I had gotten up that morning and said my prayer to begin my day and knowing it was going to be a harder one because of having to clean the in-laws had asked for patience. God granted me that prayer. It wasn't in the form of a blissful easy going day I was hoping for, it was one in a "you can get through this, just breathe and use this as a teaching moment".

My kids stood there and the wee one spoke first. "I am sorry momma". I looked at the oldest, "Umm what happened?" The oldest was quick to turn on the wee red head. Apparently he was "doing what he was supposed to do" or so he says and the wee one got impatient and decided to SWING and climb on the fridge door while he waited. The red headed one though would not really say what happened. All we could get was "I don't know".

               **** OK lets take a moment to pause right here and sit on this for a moment****
The wee one who will be 8 in February made the choice to grab the fridge door and try to swing on it and climb it. He in that split second thought to himself "hey that seems like a great idea even though I know better and I have never tried something so audacious in my younger years".

So back to the chaos that was unfolding before me:
The red head knew he was in trouble. He finally came clean regarding his actions. The oldest asked to go shower as he was covered in last night dinner and salsa and the red head just stood there like a deer stuck in the headlights of a car. My children are actually pretty good, we have never had anything like this happen before and I knew they knew they made some horrible choices that morning. When he had swung on the door the fridge began to tilt forward or fridge is in a cubby in the wall. I do not think it would have came all the way over. I think it just tipped enough that some things started sliding. I will say they are both lucky they did not get cut with glass from the jars. So for punishment the redhead lost all of his video games for the week. Now being the reasonable parents that we are we did offer another option. He could write 100 times "I will not swing or climb on the fridge". 

Its Friday now and lets just saw he has only written 10 sentences. The amount of times he has asked for his games has been countless. However he has still not gotten back his games. After I got the mess cleaned, the fridge back in order we sat down and looked up a few verses. We talked about how God wants us to obey our parents and why parents must discipline their children. About how God has a plan for us to live the lives he wants us to we have to have self control when it comes to things that can get us in trouble. We finished up with confessing when we do wrong so we can get forgiveness.

I do not see this ever happening again. I am pretty sure the next few days of missed video games is going to be really hard for him as Christmas just brought us a new Pokemon game to play as a family. I hate that the whole thing happened but I am grateful that no one was hurt and that I remained calm and was able to use this as a moment to learn a valuable lesson about why we have rules, why parents have to discipline and what love and forgiveness is.

Bible Verses we covered:
Proverbs 25:28
1 John 1:6 - 1 John 2:8
James 3:2
Ephesians 6:1-4
Nehemiah 9-17