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Well Spent {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is spending.

Spending week is off to a good start, three day weekend and all. (OK, there was a Columbus Day sale at GAP Maternity, but it was needed items and I chose the jeans that were already marked down. We're still underbudget on clothes for the month.) It's poured rain and been pretty cool all weekend (oh, glorious fall!) which has kept us at home for the most part. Adam and I spent Brooklyn's nap this afternoon alternately beating each other at Monopoly (they were both brief, one-sided games).

Sunday we spent going to church, getting necessary groceries for the week, making food ahead, and we were able to have our after-church meal out, thanks to generous relatives, two of whom gave us gift cards to the same restaurant for our anniversary.

There was also enough of a break in the rain for us to photoshoot that hat I was working on last week: Big Orange. I guess when I stay home more in an effort to not eat out, I have more time (what?!) We even managed to get its namesake Maker of Delicious Burgers in the background while resisting the temptation to eat there.

I'm happy to have the hat finished several weeks ahead of schedule (and just in time for cooler weather!) and I have enough yarn left for a little pair of legwarmers. Hopefully I can finish those up before the end of the month, and then I'll have two Socktober designs.

Brooklyn was adorable and patient during our photoshoot, offering commentary in the language of Babies and Angels (her English is improving, but we still have a ways to go), and she'll probably end up with the legwarmers, since her legs are so slender and it's hard to find pants that are long enough but have a small enough waist.

Between Food last week, Spending this week, and Waste all month, I haven't had chips, candy, or cookies in two weeks. So when a friend posted a chip-like recipe on Facebook that used things we already had, I got up immediately and tried it. It's a thinly sliced (but not all the way through) potato, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and baked on 425 for 45 minutes. Since it requires planning an hour in advance, I'm not concerned about having it too often - but I do think that it would be a lovely addition to a sandwich.

On that delicious note (you're welcome), I'll conclude today's post. Tomorrow is Butterfly Day (don't worry, you've never heard of it because it's one I made up as a kid) which should present some great opportunities for free fun, and I'm looking forward to it!

The expense of time is just as important to keep track of as the expense of money - perhaps more so. How do you make sure that your moments count?
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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…