Thursday, January 31, 2013

~End of the Month~

Wow, it seems like I just put my new calendar on the fridge and tomorrow I'm already turning ahead one month.

For the past few years I've bought Susan Branch calendars. I like the artwork and I look forward to turning to a new month and reading all the little things on the calendar. I embraced "Be a Homebody" this month, I think. I haven't been out much at all, and I've been focusing on keeping my home neat and orderly. Something that is helping is The Confident Mom planner which I purchased after we got back from California.

Today I was browsing through my Pinterest "Recipes to Try" board, and came across Cardamom Lassi. I have never tried it till today. I cut the recipe in half, for one serving. I'll definitely be making this again! In looking through my board, I realized I need to create several more recipe boards by category. I have 360 recipes pinned - it takes a while to look through!

A little project I completed recently:

My sister and her new husband gave me a gift card to Hobby Lobby for Christmas. I wanted to do something fun, and something new to me. I bought a canvas, paint, and Collage Pauge (cheaper than Mod Podge but no less corny in name).

I used a hymn that is dear to my heart and added two stickers. For the hymn, I just cut it out of an old hymnal I had. I wanted to do a bird silhouette or cut-out, but I couldn't find any at Hobby Lobby (and I didn't feel like cutting one out myself!)

I brushed the Collage Pauge over the stickers, you can't really tell they are stickers unless you are looking very closely, like so:

I hung it in my kitchen by the kitchen sink, and I can reflect on the words each time I do dishes!

After reading Six Ways to Keep the "Little"in Your Girl, I've been trying to play more with my daughter. It's something I'm not very good at, but I'm working on it. Today, the princesses went to the farm:

What I'm learning is that it really doesn't take much imagination on my part to make my daughter happy. Today, I set the farm up, and she brought the princesses to visit. They were ecstatic to see the cows and horse. ;-)

Looking ahead to February - more snow, more cold, and more knitting and sewing. :-) I have several projects planned for Valentine's, now I just need to do them!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


No, not the office store. And not the medical kind either, thank goodness!

The kitchen kind. *smiles*

Over the last year or so, I have learned to enjoy puttering about in the kitchen. I have always cooked more or less from scratch, but I am loving making even more from scratch. Like bread. With my KitchenAid Mixer, it is so easy to make up a loaf of bread! And I can ensure that the ingredients in it are so much better than the store loaves!

Today some plans fell through with a friend, and I found myself with a clean house, dinner in the crockpot, and a lot of extra time on my hands.

So...I set to making my kitchen a mess again making staples.

The first thing was to mix up a container of chocolate oatmeal. I have the recipe written right on the container. Easy peasy.
To warm up the kitchen, I made granola using my basic recipe (with coconut oil rather than butter, and honey for sweetener), added some hazelnuts toward the end, and mixed in chocolate chips while the granola was still warm.
Followed by two loaves of wheat bread (the warm kitchen helped the bread rise beautifully).
Tested out a bagel recipe (meh). I need to come up with a different recipe if I want to continue making bagels.
And then I completed my afternoon in the kitchen by making some elderberry syrup. My daughter is coming down with the sniffles so hopefully this will ward off the worst of her cold.

And lest you think every day is this marvelous for me in the kitchen, just know that the other night we had Little Caesar's pizza for dinner.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


As I mentioned in a previous post, we went to California after Christmas. The primary reason we went was to attend (and be in) my sister's wedding.

We had a lovely visit in California!

One of the things we did was to make a brief trip to the coast. We visited our very favorite beach at Carmel-by-the Sea. The day was perfect for a coastal visit. It was warm and sunny. We took along my youngest sister, and she played with our daughter while we went for a little walk, and then Kevin took our daughter, and my sister and I went for a walk. All our daughter was interested in doing was getting wet. Walking? That's for the birds! LOL

The view was, as always, fantastic!

Otherwise, the rest of our trip was spent with family. My mom and I played several games of Boggle. One time we played with one of my sisters and my brother. It was hilarious because my dad found a Boggle cheater site and so he was rushing over looking at the letters, and then trying to surreptitiously give my brother a long list of words . Only thing, it wasn't very sneaky-like and instead we all ended up laughing.

The wedding was beautiful. I was a bridesmaid and my daughter was the flower girl. She did a tremendous job sprinkling flower petals down the aisle, and then stood at the front for the entire wedding. I thought my shoes were comfortable but by the time the wedding was over and it was time to walk back down the aisle I was starting to worry about falling over!

We stayed with my aunt and uncle, and they were so hospitable. We were so grateful they opened their home to us - with the number of married siblings and guests, my parent's house was packed full already!

We spent some time with my grandparents as well. My grandpa (Mom's dad) is doing pretty well. We went out to lunch with him (just Kevin and me). We also visited my dad's parents. Visiting my grandpa is always so very hard for me. He has dementia and every time I see him it has progressed so much further. This time he didn't really remember me or interact with me. The one thing he can do is play the piano - it really is amazing how your brain can remember things for you even when your memory has failed you. But even though it was hard to see him, I was so glad we got to see him.

Weddings are always such a busy time to visit family, but in the end we had some great moments of quality time. Next time we visit I do hope it is less busy, but I'm so glad that we were able to go!

Friday, January 25, 2013

~Sleeping Monkeys~

As soon as I cast off my Jaywalkers, I started another sock project (Ravelry link), Sleeping named because the colorway of the yarn is "Lullaby" and the pattern is "Monkey".

This pair is very promising. The yarn is a bit thicker, the needles are a size bigger, and the knitting is going very fast.

By fast, I mean, really, really fast (at least for me!). The photo above was taken Tuesday afternoon, and the one below just yesterday afternoon:

I've seen this pattern done up with all knit stitches and I love how fast it makes the pattern repeats. Here's a close up of the pattern:

Compared to the pattern worked as written:

I'm hoping to have a new pair of socks very soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

~"Fancy" Breakfast~

Recently I saw a post over at Simple Kids titled 5 Healthier Breakfast Options, and I decided to give the parfaits a try.

As soon as my daughter saw what I was doing, it changed from "Breakfast" to "Party" and we had to eat our parfaits in the living room at the coffee table (because that's the happening party place, don't you know).

We enjoyed our parfaits (vanilla yogurt, blueberry fruit spread from last summer, and granola I had made the day before). While breakfast isn't typically a struggle, it was nice to have something fun and easy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


FFO = Finally Finished Object (my own acronym)

We went to California after Christmas (more on that in another post), and I took along my Oatmeal and Brown Sugar socks (Ravelry link) to work on. On one flight, Kevin was with our daughter and I sat in the row behind.  I blissfully knit while he changed DVD's, helped with the juice and snacks, and dressed her dolls. It was quite relaxing, I must say.

At the start of the trip, I had one sock finished and the second sock worked up to the heel. It was my goal to get the sock finished during our trip. It didn't quite happen, but I had it nearly completed by the time we returned.

I've been "knitting" these socks for ages - my start date was May, 2010. I didn't get SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), I got SS (Sock Syndrome - again, my own acronym! LOL).

At the start of this new year I didn't sit down and write a list of resolutions, but I did do a little thinking. I realized that I need to do more of the things that I enjoy. I love knitting but it's really been put on hold over the last few years. So this year I hope to accomplish more projects that are just for me.

These socks do not fit perfectly. Honestly I am just glad they are done! After taking nearly 3 years to finish, I was not going to rip them back so that I could take 1/4" off the length! They are what they are, and I'm moving forward with new projects!