Monday, December 29, 2008

~Baby Knitting~

Several months ago, I knitted a Lacy Baby Bonnet (link directs to free pattern). It was a fun knit that took me only an afternoon to complete. This is the newborn size. I would like to make it again with thicker yarn, for a bigger size.

This afternoon I finished a small Petal Bib, found in the book One Skein. This took only a few hours as well. I started it last night, and would have gotten it finished much, much sooner, but I think I spent as much time unknitting as I did knitting! I've done short rows before, but for some reason I had trouble getting the hang of this pattern. However, now that I've got it done, I think it would be fun to make another one or two. This bib turned out smaller than the pattern because I used a lighter weight yarn than the pattern called for. But that's ok. =) I learned several new techniques on this project, which is where the unknitting came into play!

As always, more details on Ravelry.

Sorry for the picture quality - it is a yucky day for pictures!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

~Orange Muffins~

Can you stand another food post? I suppose after months of not being able to even think about food, I am eager to share the few recipes that I'm actually enjoying now. Oranges were on sale, so we had quite a few, and I searched for a recipe that would help me use some up.

Fresh Orange Muffins
1 orange, quartered and seeds removed (with peel)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400F; spray a muffin tin (12) with non-stick cooking spray like Pam and set aside.
2. Put orange quarters in food processor (or blender) along with orange juice and process or blend until pureed.
3. Add egg and butter to food processor and combine; pour into large bowl.
4. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add all at once to orange mixture.
5. Stir to combine.
6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let stand in tin for five minutes before removing muffins.

Recipe and picture from

I have made these twice now. They are very good! It took 2 oranges for the 1/2 cup of orange juice, though if you have orange juice on hand, it would certainly be easier. The last batch I made with 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. Very yummy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I have a friend who sells Uppercase Living, and with part of my birthday money, I bought two expressions. Kevin put one of them up for me today, and I love the way it looks!

This wall is in our living room. I've never known quite what to do to decorate this wall. Do I pretend the stain glass window doesn't exist, and put decorations on either side of it? (Before we redid the living room that is what I did, and I wasn't happy with the look.) Or do I accept the window as a piece of artwork and put low-key decorations around it? Well, I chose the latter this go-around. I am quite happy with the look! I also used birthday money to buy the candle sconces.


Last weekend and the early part of this week we got dumped with snow! I'm not sure what the total amount was, but it was between 2-3 feet. Kevin's truck is parked in our back yard, off the side of our driveway, and the snow blower attacked it:


Today it has been raining and it is quite warm. Balmy, in fact. I went to the library and people were out and about with no jackets, and in their shorts. Oh, "balmy" is relative - in our case the high for today was 55*. LOL The snow is coming back tomorrow though!


I really wasn't thinking when I posted last - because, yes, we did have a very cozy, quiet Christmas Eve and morning, but then we were invited for dinner to a friend's house Christmas afternoon. We enjoyed a nice dinner, and then played games afterwards (and there was nothing quiet about that! LOL). One of the games we played was a complicated card game called Rage. I do not enjoy learning new games, especially complicated games, but I persevered and guess who won? Yes, I won! I was quite surprised. =)


Hoping the rest of your year is wonderful!!! Can you believe 2008 is almost over?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

~Merry Christmas!~

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

This year is our first year to have a WHITE Christmas! We have had quite a few snow storms move through our area and we have mountains of snow in our yard! It is also our first year to celebrate Christmas with just the two of us....we're having a much quieter Christmas than normal.=)

May you have a wonderful day, God bless!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

~Christmas Memories~

I was inspired by Susan's post, to share my own Christmas memories!

When we lived in Illinois/Ohio, we always spent Christmas with my mom's parents, who lived in Ohio. One particular year, when I was 5 or so, we had gotten a big box of presents from my other grandparents and aunts and uncles. I couldn't wait to open them! However, we had to wait, because my mom didn't think it would be fair for us to open twice the number of gifts that my cousins had. I was just dying to open those gifts, I couldn't wait till my cousins left! I kept asking, "When are they going to leave?" and when they were finally walking out the door, I was running down the hall shouting excitedly about opening our gifts (note: the door didn't have time shut behind them before I started shouting!). Kids just don't have tact, do they? ;-)

Another Christmas memory is sleeping on the hide-away couch in my grandparent's living room. We got to go to sleep with the Christmas tree still lit, and it was so fun to lay there in the dark with just the Christmas tree shining. Of course, it sounds peaceful, but the other half of the time, my sister and I (who didn't share a bed at home) were fighting over the covers. It's amazing that we didn't rip the sheets to shreds, the way we pulled and tugged those covers!

After my family and my grandparents moved to California, we split Christmas Day with my mom's parents and my dad's parents. We started the fun tradition of bringing all our gifts over to my mom's parents and opening everything there. It has always been a controlled mad house with wrapping paper flying everywhere, punctuated with shouts of "OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE IT!" (That would be from my dramatic, younger sisters!)

One year, when I was about 11 or 12, my grandpa gave me $10 before Christmas, and helped me shop for my sisters. That was tremendously fun! I couldn't wait for them to open my gifts on Christmas Day!

One last memory - the year that Kevin and I got engaged! His mom flew us to Washington the week before Christmas. The evening after our arrival, we went on a ferry across the Puget Sound. As the Seattle skyline faded in the distance, Kevin worked up the courage to ask me to be his wife! :-) And of course, I said yes! Well, actually I nodded yes, until Kevin prompted me to say yes. LOL For some reason, I think because our tickets were purchased at different times, I flew home a day before Kevin did. The ticket agent asked Kevin if I was flying as an unaccompanied minor! Haha...her face got so red when she found out that I was 23 and newly engaged, not under the age of 12! When I got off the plane, my siblings bombarded me with hugs and everyone was tugging at my hand trying to see my ring! Kevin was also included in our family Christmas, and he proposed to me several times in front of the family. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008


“No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasent. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.” — Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910) Scottish Preacher

Thursday, December 18, 2008

~Christmas Candy~

One of the things I've enjoyed doing in the past is making Christmas candy for gifts. It is fun to give a plate of goodies to neighbors and friends. I haven't done it the past two years, but this year I decided to make my treats again.

Peanut Butter Balls
1 lb. butter or margarine
2 lb. peanut butter (smooth)
3 lb. powdered sugar

Mix butter and peanut butter together. Add powdered sugar. If need be, use spoon when it gets thick. If using real butter, use all powdered sugar. If using margarine you probably won't use all powdered sugar. Make into 1" balls. Dip in almond bark or coating chocolate (2 - 1 1/2 lb. packages). Makes 200. If you cut down the recipe, cut it down by weight, not measurement.

--from a friend

This year, I cut the recipe in half. I didn't want to stand and roll peanut butter balls forever. :-)

Pretzel Sticks
I bought pretzel rods, dipped them in white almond bark and rolled them in crushed candy canes. I did let them harden too long, so I ended up having to recoat them with more almond bark before the candy canes would stick.

Easy Toffee Candy
1 1/4 cups butter, divided
35-40 saltine-style crackers
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts

1. Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into foil-lined jelly roll pan.
2. Arrange crackers over butter, evenly spaced.
3. Melt remaining butter; add sugar and boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and add condensed mil. Spread over crackers.
5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, until bubbly and slightly darkened.
6. Remove from oven, cool 1 minute and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes until chocolate is soft and melty, and spread chocolate out.
Sprinkle with nuts; press lightly into chocolate.
7. Cool; refrigerate until chocolate is set.
8. Remove foil and cut candy.

This tastes a lot like Almond Roca. Makes 50 pieces.

This recipe is from a blog I used to read, and I'm drawing a blank as to what the name of the blog is. I just have it printed out, with no source listed.

Edited to add: recipe can be found here, at Life in a Shoe.

I also made some orange fudge. It turned out ok...I had a terrible time cutting it, and I'm not very impressed with it. I won't be making it again, so I didn't want to post the recipe. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We live in an interesting society. It all started with a cup of spilt coffee and a law suit to McDonald's, and now, 14 years later, lawsuits against companies are rampant. Instead of people taking personal responsibility (oops, I spilled my cup of coffee - I need to be more careful) it becomes the problem of the company (you gave me coffee that was too hot). A little side note - who wants lukewarm coffee anyhow???

So last night we were in a meeting, and one of the guys sat on a chair. But he didn't stay in the chair long - he was soon on the floor. He had straddled the chair backwards, and the chair tipped over. All of a sudden, the chair was a "terrible" design, and why did the facilities have these ridiculous chairs? And since his back was terribly hurt, he insisted on filling out an accident form. But interestingly enough he didn't want medical treatment.

Why was it the chair's fault? The manufacturer of the chair did not design the chair to be straddled backward. (And I must add that my own husband and many others throughout the 5-week class were able to sit on the chair backwards, without falling from it). Why was it the fault of the company who bought the chairs?

I hope he doesn't sue. But people bring forth more ridiculous lawsuits on a daily basis, and win, or settle out of court.

Whatever happened to personal accountability?

Friday, December 12, 2008

~A Bowlful of Memories~

At a recent doctor visit, I learned that my iron is a little low, and the nurse gave me a sheet that lists iron amounts of various foods. The food on this list that is highest in iron is Cream of Wheat. So, I switched from my morning bowl of oatmeal to Cream of Wheat.

It brought back a flood of memories! The summer I was between 1st and 2nd grade, my family had an extended visit in California, where we stayed with my great-grandparents. When my great-grandma would make Cream of Wheat for breakfast, my great-grandpa would pour his orange juice over the cereal.

I remember begging to be allowed to do the same. My mom eventually let me do it, warning me that once I did it I still had to eat it. =P Well, I loved it, and continued to copy my great-grandpa each morning we had Cream of Wheat.

I haven't been pouring orange juice over my cereal, just remembering that it was done. And I don't make the cereal lumpy (it is, after all, called Cream of Wheat for a reason), even though as a child I thought the lumps were great. LOL

It is amazing how a simple bowl of cereal can bring back so many memories!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

~Cinnamon Rolls~

I think a new tradition for our family is cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. It makes a quick, yummy breakfast if you make them the night before. And we've done it two years in a row now so it is a tradition, right? :-)

This year my sister helped me make them. They were devoured too fast to get a picture. Trust me, they're delicious! They take a lot of work and lot of butter! So obviously these are a treat!

Cinnamon Rolls

These taste like the famous cinnamon rolls sold in malls. [I would assume the author meant Cinnabon, and having had Cinnabons, they do come close!]

1 T. dry yeast
1 C. warm milk
1/3 C. white sugar
1/2 C. soft butter
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 C. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Knead into a ball or put in a bread machine on the dough setting. Let rise until double in size. When ready, roll out to about 1/4-inch thick. Spread with filling.

1/4 C. soft butter
1 C. brown sugar
3 T. cinnamon

Spread butter evenly on dough. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon evenly over buttered dough. Roll up dough. Slice roll into 1-inch slices. Place on a greased pan. Let rise until double in size. Bake 10 minutes at 400*. [Our rolls needed longer than 10 minutes.]

1/2 C. soft butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 oz. cream cheese
2 T. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Beat until fluffy. When rolls are hot, spread lots of icing on them.

--Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

These were equally good hot or cold. We just stuck them one at a time in the microwave for 20 seconds. Or ate them cold. However we felt like!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

~Christmas Cards~

This year, I am not sending out a slew of Christmas cards. I just don't have the energy for it. Instead, I have purchased 5 cards from Susan's Etsy shop, and I am sending them to close family members. Pictured to the left is one of Susan's pretty cards (I snagged the picture without asking her, but since I'm giving free advertising I hope she doesn't mind. ;-) ). I was pleasantly surprised at how fast my cards came in the mail! Since they are mailed from Canada, I wasn't sure how long it would take, but it was only a few days.

I'm in my third trimester now, and any energy I had before has depleted. So I'm saving my energy for important things. :-) Christmas this year will be a quiet holiday for Kevin and me, and I'm carefully choosing the things that I am doing to prepare for it so I don't get overly tired. I'm glad that I was able to purchase these beautiful handmade cards to send to my loved ones.