Learn to Crochet

The first time I crocheted was in 3rd grade.  We had a bad winter so the class had to stay indoors for recess time far too often that year so my poor teacher, Mrs. Campbell, brought yarn and crochet hooks and taught a group of girls some basic crochet.  Looking back, she was brilliant – at least part off the class was sitting quietly!

My Pintrest board of my work!

I loved being able to turn yarn into something and my great-Aunt Hazel took up teaching me more.   She started me on doilies – which will definitely give away my age!  But the first doily I made earned me a ribbon in the county fair so I kept going.  Now, I’m not sure my family would know me without a ball of yarn and a hook!  I have a whole Pintrest board devoted to my work (My Work) if you’re interested in seeing how far I’ve come since my doily days.

I find crocheting very soothing – and as a bonus, you have something great when you’re finished!  I’ve made everything from bags to blankets to sweaters.  If you’d like to try your hand at creating something crocheted, I recommend buying a Learn to Crochet kit like this – Boyle Kit.  I love the Boyle book for crochet (or knitting) and you get a variety of hooks, stitch markers and yarn needles to experiment with.

Then get yourself a skein of worsted weight yarn and practice, practice, practice!  Your stitches might not be even at first, but practice makes perfect – you’ll get there.  And if you need advice or help along the way send me a message!  I’d love to help you!

Traveler’s Checks

So I was cleaning out some papers in my desk this week and I found a $20 Traveler’s Check!  If that isn’t a throwback, I don’t know what is.  It has no date on it so I have no clue how long I’ve had it but Traveler’s Checks used to be a must have when you went on vacation to avoid trouble trying to use personal checks or to keep from carrying large amounts of cash in the days before ATMs were everywhere.   Talk about a blast from the past!

So I got curious and started Googling to see if banks even issue Traveler’s Checks anymore – and I was shocked to learn they are still available.  American Express and Visa are the big names affiliated with them but after reading more, good luck with actually using them if you buy them.

First, you’ll pay a fee of 1-2% of the face value of the Traveler’s Check to buy it – and then you need to find a merchant that actually knows how to redeem it in order to spend it.  Your best bet if you want to use one is to find a bank that accepts them and redeem them for cash there.  Makes me glad we’ve moved on to gift cards, credit/debit cards and Apple Pay these days!

Here’s my old Traveler’s Check – yes, I covered the numbers on it just to make sure one of you enterprising readers doesn’t try to steal my $20!  Now I’m off to Fifth Third Bank to see if they’ll cash it!  Wish me luck!



Office Snacks

I just read an article on Shape.com that said on average, if you work in an office you’re probably eating an extra 1,300 calories each week in snacks.  You know, the cookie tray in the break room, the candy dish on a co-worker’s desk, the random birthday celebration.  I had no idea how fast those calories could add up!

snickersBut consider this – a regular size Snickers bar is 215 calories.  A fun size Snickers bar is 80 calories.  A Snickers Mini is 42 calories.  If you eat a full size candy bar, it probably isn’t a mindless thing – you made the decision to go to the candy machine and bought it.  But the smaller the candy, the easier it is just to pop it in your mouth and not even think about it.  So 5 Minis in, you might as well have just eaten the full size bar.

On average, if a person consumes 3,000 calories without a corresponding increase in activity to burn them – they gain 1 pound.  That 1,300 weekly calorie addition the article spoke about could translate into 22 pounds by the end of a year.  UGH!!!!  Nobody wants that!

So the next time you’re tempted by the “free food” in the office, it might be good to stop and think about the calorie count – and whether it’s worth it!