Sent by Sarah

I have made a bunch of beer cozies for other people and finally took the time to make one for myself. This pattern is great in that is uses just the right amount of leftover sock yarn to clear out my stash after knitting a pair of socks. I used the scrap yarn from a pair of socks that I knit my mom (project coming soon!)

I used the same free pattern that I followed for this cozy (using leftover yarn from these socks.) 

I tried sock knitting for the first time last year with these socks for Carter. I made another pair in the spring and this fall I did yet another pair. While most of the knitting for a sock is straight-forward, I always feel pretty accomplished when it comes to undertaking the heel of the sock. I knit these up using Paton's Kroy sock yarn in Spring Leaf Stripes. I ended up getting some more of this yarn in black for the heel and toe. I'm glad that I did because I like the contrast of the solid toe and heel to the rest of the striped sock. 

I got the yarn last summer on clearance from Joann's for a few bucks each. I wasn't super happy with the outcome of these socks...hence finishing them in December but not snapping a picture of them until May. It's not a pattern that I plan to revisit. 

The pattern was very simple and repetitive...almost entirely stockinette. I chose it because I wanted the stripes to really stand out but I decided that I prefer a bit more going on in a sock pattern for two reasons. 1) It's a little more fun to knit that way and 2) I think that patterns can add a better fit. I did modify the heel but otherwise I left the pattern the same. I'm just happy that I was able to use up some yarn and knock a pattern off my queue. 

Pattern: Free Self-Striping Knit Socks by Red Heart Design Team
Yarn: Paton's Kroy sock yarn, 2 skeins in Spring Leaf Stripes, 1 skein black 
Needle: US 2 DPNs

I would like to consider myself to be a fairly active person and for awhile I dismissed the idea of investing in a daily tracker. A few years ago, the idea of a Fitbit started to grow on me but I held off because I didn't like how large the Charge was but I didn't like how the smaller version, the Flex, wouldn't display time or steps on it. So I patiently waited until Fitbit released the Alta this spring. It's slim like the Flex but it will show the time, steps, calories burned, active minutes, and battery life among other things. I wish it had heart rate like the new Charge but I am pretty content with this investment. 

I went back and forth once the Alta was released because I am a pretty conservative spender. I considered using my graduation money, asking for one for my birthday in July, or waiting until Black Friday for a good deal. I decided it would be worth asking for it for my birthday and thus not getting it on sale as it would be used literally every single day. I changed my mind when I realized I could buy it for myself now (using graduation money) and still save a good chunk of change. Read on to see how I saved $40 on my new Fitbit. 

The Alta retails at $129.95 across the board no matter where you look (Fitbit site, Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.) and then you need to consider sales tax. In Indiana, I had an extra $9.10 in sales tax, bringing my grand total to $139.05. Through shopkick and Ibotta, I only ended up paying $99.05. I have had the shopkick app on my phone for awhile but hadn't tried out Ibotta until a few weeks ago. I had seen Ibotta adds on Pinterest but didn't try it out until reading this post on Carter's aunt's blog. 

I saved $40 with a $10 Best Buy gift card earned from redeeming shopkick kicks, a $20 Best Buy gift card from Ibotta, and a $10 back for $100 spent at Best Buy from Ibotta. I explained how I earned these cards below:

Shopkick and Ibotta are both apps where you can earn money through your shopping.

You don't have to buy anything to earn rewards through shopkick, you just need to have the free app opened when you walk in the store. You can earn kicks (points) for free through walking into eligible stores and earn more kicks by scanning select items. You are able to get more kicks through certain stores that will do x amount of kicks per dollars spent (i.e. 2 kicks per $1 spent.) You can also get a lot of kicks if you buy eligible items and upload an image of your receipt.

Once you have earned enough kicks, you can trade your kicks for gift cards to a bunch of different places such as Starbucks, Amazon, Best Buy, or Target. You can get gift cards in different amounts such as $2, 5, 10, 25, or more depending on the store.

If you are interested in trying out shopkick, use THIS LINK (You will get some bonus points and I will too; one step closer to some free money!)

Ibotta is more of an instate rebate program. You have to spend money in order to get money back with this app. You sort through the free app by category and unlock rebates that you are interested in. Then you go and buy those items and take a picture of the receipt (some items need to have the barcode scanned too) and they will give your money back as a credit in the app. Certain stores will also give you money back if you spend enough. For example, Joann's will do a deal where you get $5 back on purchase of $35 or more and Best Buy did a deal for $10 back from every $100 spent.

Once you have enough in Ibotta credit, you can withdraw this money to your PayPal or Venmo account or trade it in for gift cards.

If you are interested in trying out Ibotta, use THIS LINK or this referral code: kuyurmp (You will get a $10 bonus after redeeming your first rebate and I will get $5)

I am a huge fan of smoothies in the morning. In the past, I was limited to having smoothies on mornings when I wasn't in class because A) making smoothies is noisy and I didn't want to be using a blender super early in the morning and B) making a smoothie takes longer than pouring a bowl of cereal. This all changed when I saw this article on Buzzfeed about making a week's worth of smoothies all at once. Basically, you blend up a bunch of smoothies, pour them into glass (or other freezer safe) jars, freeze them, and then put one in the fridge the night before you want it. Come morning, the fridge has softened the frozen smoothie back to smoothie consistency. 

I was skeptical. I wasn't sure how these would freeze and then thaw. I was also a little worried that come morning the smoothie would still be too frozen or too melted. So I tested it one night making a single smoothie. Results? It works! I am sold. As you can see below, the smoothie looks the same before and after. 

When I make my smoothies, I just wing it. I have seen lots of tasty looking smoothie recipes on Pinterest but I haven't taken the time to follow a recipe because that usually requires going out and buying extra stuff. I usually use strawberries, a banana depending on my base liquid, spinach, and chia seeds. My base liquid is usually almost always orange juice or green tea. Sometimes coconut or almond milk. I don't like yogurt so never yogurt. Gross. 

What's in this particular smoothie you ask?
- 1 banana frozen and cut into slices
- 1-1.5 cups frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen shredded spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 package stevia
- 2 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1-1.5 cups orange juice

I blend my juice, chia seeds, lemon juice, and stevia first. Then add spinach. Next the banana. And end with strawberries. 

I am planning to try making the week's worth of smoothies this summer for breakfast on the go to work.
I recently shared my DIY Washi Tape Bookmarks with you and today I am going to share another, quick and easy DIY bookmark. This one takes a little more time than the washi tape ones but it is still done in under 15 minutes and again using supplies that you (probably) already have on hand. You could easily sub the embroidery floss out for yarn but it would be a little bit thicker for a bookmark.

- embroidery floss in assorted colors
- button
- scissors, safety pin

You can check these out on Kollabora too!

- Cut 5 strands of embroidery floss that are around 24 inches long.
- Cut a 6th strand of embroidery floss that is around 30 inches long.
- Fold the 5 shorter strands in half.
- With the 6th strand, make a knot at the halfway point of the 5 strands.
- Make 25 overhand knots around the 5 shorter strands with one end of your 6th piece of string
Make a "4" shape
Pull the string around the 5 other strings and through the loop you made. 
- Repeat the last step using the other end of your 6th piece of string.
- You should now have a knotted section that is around 2 inches long.
- Fold all the strings in half so that the knotted section is centered and forms a loop. Secure by making a forward knot with one of the longer strands around all of the other strands.
- Insert your safety pin through the loop and pin to your pant leg. (This is my preferred way of holding onto embroidery floss braiding/bracelet projects.)
- Divide the strands into 3 groups of 4 strands and braid until the piece is 21 inches long or your desired length.
- Tie a knot securing the braid.
- With a few of the pieces of string, thread through the holes of a button.
- Tie another knot to keep the button in place.
- Cut the ends of the string leaving an small tail.
Slightly modified from this source: Little Worlds

Growing up, each of my grandmothers had some signature desserts that my siblings and I always saved a little extra room for. I am lucky to have had two amazing grandmothers who also happened to be wonderful cooks and bakers too! My Grandma Joan is turning 80 this weekend so today I am sharing one of my favorite desserts that she makes.

It's easy to put together which is a nice contrast to a lot of other desserts that I like making (looking at you ice cream and cupcakes.) You can have this prepped, baked, and dishes done in under an hour. I am a huge fan of frozen desserts because not only are they delicious but they are also incredibly refreshing after a meal. This dessert is the perfect way to end a warm summer day and a great dessert to bring to parties.

- 2 tubes of Ritz Crackers
- 2 sticks melted butter/margarine
- 2 packages of instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
- 16 ounces cool whip, divided in half
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 cup crushed heath bars, or enough to cover top of dessert



- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Crush crackers via your method of choice. I used a food processor. 
- Combine cracker crumbs and melted butter. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

- Mix pudding, milk, one half of cool whip, and ice cream together
- Pour over cooled crust
- Freeze for 30 minutes

- Remove pan from freezer and top with remaining half of cool whip
- Sprinkle the crushed Heath over the top
- Return to freezer until ready to eat

Remove from freezer 10-20 minutes before serving to make cutting easier.

Source: Family Recipe

I think that everyone can appreciate living with less. We live in a world that encourages one time convenience instead of looking towards sustainable options. Investing in things that are reusable may require a little extra effort but the long term savings and elimination of wastes can be tremendous.

Yes, you will need to wash these Swiffer covers instead of tossing them in the trash once they've been use but you will also always have a Swiffer cover on hand from here on out. You won't be forgetting to pick them up from the store or spending any more money on them. This is something I think we can all appreciate and is far worth having to toss these in the washer after use. 

I would recommend making two or three of these because you might want to change them out during your cleaning. I will admit, I never owned a Swiffer because I didn't want to deal with having to buy new pads for it all the time. Then I saw a pattern for making your own covers on Revelry and decided to queue it. My roommate brought a Swiffer with her to our apartment and I finally had a reason to make these.

You might have noticed that the title of this post mentioned a fail. For some reason while I was making the first one, I failed to test the size of the pad against the base of the Swiffer and it ended up too large. Also the bobbles in the pattern didn't match the where you snapped the pad to the Swiffer nor were they necessary. The stockinette stitch held it in place just fine. I easily could have lived with this ill-fitting cover but I decided to undo it all and try again, tweaking the pattern for a better fit. Herein lying the fix. I decreased the number of stitches from the original pattern and eliminated the bobbles. I also avoided increasing the stitches for the seed stitch body. 
This is a picture of the original cover following the pattern exactly.
The bottom was fine but you can see how there is a lot of excess on each side and the bobbles were all wrong.
And the fix. As you can see, SO. MUCH. BETTER. Worth tearing it out and making some modifications.
What you need
- Cotton yarn
- US needles
- Tapestry needle

- Cast on 39 stitches
- Row 1: Slip 1 purlwise, purl until 1 stitch remains, knit 1
- Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to end
- Row 3: Repeat row 1
- Row 4: Repeat row 2
- Row 5: Repeat row 1
- Row 6: Repeat row 2
- Row 7: Repeat row 1
- Row 8: Repeat row 2
- Row 9: Repeat row 1
- Row 10: Repeat row 2
- Rows 11-44: Slip 1 purlwise, purl 1, knit 1
- Row 45: Repeat row 1
- Row 46: Repeat row 2
- Row 47: Repeat row 1
- Row 48: Repeat row 2
- Row 49: Repeat row 1
- Row 50: Repeat row 2
- Row 51: Repeat row 1
- Row 52: Repeat row 2
- Row 53: Repeat row 1
- Bind off and weave in ends.

Modified from this free pattern by Birdy Evans
You can check out my project here on Revelry
There are also a bunch of other free knit and crochet Swiffer cover patterns on Ravelry!