Retro Old Fashioned Christmas Dress ModCloth

ModCloth Monday: Get Yer Nog On

What dress will you spill rum and eggnog on this year? It’s never too soon to decide, especially if we’re talking about shopping on ye olde internets. What would take Santa-upon-Sleigh approximately .0003 seconds to deliver will most likely take four weeks when using the “mere mortal” postal system.

Here are a few pretty picks that could help you get kissed with NO MISTLETOE REQUIRED – imagine that!

1. Picture Perfection Dress

2. Going Glam Dress

3. Shimmer in the Candlelight Dress

Jane Richmond Oatmeal Pullover Sweater Pattern Easy beginner knitting

Knitted: Oatmeal Pullover

Ummm… your oatmeal turns out charcoal grey, too, right?

The knitting adventure continues! This time I’ve made the Oatmeal Pullover by Jane Richmond. Actually I made it a few months ago but I’ve just gotten around to taking some snaps. I have the good fortune of being able to say that the talented Ms. Jane is in my very own knitting group, which is neat-o.

Jane Richmond Oatmeal Pullover Knitting pattern sweater

Because the yarn it calls for (Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky) is very fat, this is a good pattern for losing your sweater virginity. It knits ultra fast, so if your first sweater does end up at the Sally Ann (mine did, and it’s probably still there unless someone dressed as a bag lady for Halloween and scooped it up) you won’t have invested an ungodly number of hours and tears in it.

Jane Richmond Oatmeal Pullover Knitting pattern sweater

To summarize: the Oatmeal Pullover is great, modern sweater and is beginner-friendly.

Also, I might have hit on my photographer. So unprofessional!

Oatmeal Pullover Jane Richmond  Knitting Pattern Sweater

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100 Miles on Foot: The South Downs Way

 

I became addicted to long distance walking when I lived in the UK in 2007. The simple paths carved through farmers’ fields and ancient forests have been used by locals for millennia, and they provided a tranquil escape from my worries. Out there, amidst the sheep and kissing gates, I could feel both safe and adventurous (no bears there, you see). And perhaps it sounds silly, but whenever I set out on a long walk through the English countryside, I perceived that I transformed into my true self.

So, naturally, ever since I learned about the South Downs Way, a 100-mile (160 km) trail that stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne across miles and miles of rolling hills, it’s been a bucket list item.

Life’s been throwing me some curve balls lately (as it does), and to refresh my state of mind I decided I needed to do something epic last summer. At first, I toyed with the idea of walking the Camino in Spain, but quickly assessed that the Camino would take about a month. So after a reality check, I chose to complete the South Downs Way  with my good friend Sarah instead.

It was wonderful, painful, invigorating and impossible all at once. I nursed the worst blisters of my life. At times, I felt I couldn’t take another step and then continued to walk for another four hours. I was reduced to an animal with only basic needs: water, food, shelter and getting from A to B.

Here are a few of the key points:

  • We carried everything on our backs and stayed overnight at B&B’s. Stops included Winchester, Exton, Burriton, Cocking, Amberley, Steyning, Lewes and Alfriston.
  • We ate packed lunches and dined in pubs – my food budget was £30 a day.
  • There was little to no time for shopping, so demanding were the miles.
  • The longest day was 17 miles and it was harder than I ever imagined.
  • I wore proper hiking boots and murdered my feet; Sarah wore runners and was fine!
  • We visited a Vintage Fair in Firle and we were the least vintage-y people in attendance but it was great.
  • Amberley might be the prettiest village in the whole world.
  • We had eight full days of walking, but we wedged in two rest days (thank GAWD), bringing the total amount of time on the South Downs Way to 10 days.

Was I glad to hobble across the finish line? Hell yes. But just as soon as the walk was over, I missed the walk.

In fact, I still miss the walk. What’s next? Now that I’ve got my boots broken in I’m ready to go!

South Downs Way Reb Stevenson England East Sussex UK