28 February 2013

Nothing but nibbles

Instant family favorite right here - so good!
Mainly because I haven't had a chance to pick up my book this week... but this recipe is well worth it's own post, trust me.

On Tuesday I was wondering what to do with my leftover chicken meat from the other night when we roasted the bird.  I initially was thinking of Chicken and Dumplins but I haven't found my old recipe and all the ones online are wrong - the dumplins are more like noodles, not like these blobs that I keep finding.  So I went searching for something different... and I found it!

I went to The Pioneer Woman's archives and found her recipe for Chicken Spaghetti - but I tweaked to fit our family.  Angel hair instead of thin spaghetti, mozzarella instead of sharp cheddar, no peppers, add garlic and ground mustard plus a bit of parsley on top for color.  Other than that, it's just the same... oh, and I used Cream of Chicken soup instead of Mushroom.

This is an awesome recipe and it yielded me two complete meals - well worth it!

27 February 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

Just proving that it does pay to block your items... in case you were wondering.
I made this hat the other day.. well, three days is what it took me but I finished it yesterday.  I love it.  I dyed the yarn myself so it's extra special to me because this is the first thing that I'm keeping that is something unique like this - the last time I ended up giving it away because the person gushed over it so much I just couldn't keep it.  It's okay though, I know it's being loved... just like I'm loving this hat.

Peanut got her slippers and she said she loves them... and then posted this on my Facebook!
This yarn is being redistributed to another project because my original design needs tweaking before moving forward.
I'm jumping on the bandwagon - something I never do - and I'm going to be making The Crochet Crowd's Octagons & Squares Throw.  I love this color palette too much to just let it sit and wait.  This blanket is going to be amazing!  I'm going to start it on Friday so that it will count for a March homework over at HPKCHC.  It's a smaller throw but the yardage is there for some serious bonus points if I can get it done.  I'm going to be crocheting like the wind, let me tell you!

I am still learning my sock loom but I haven't made enough progress to bother with a photo this week... maybe next time.  I think it's been a pretty good week though.  Lots of things that were hanging around got completed and some new things were on and off the needles rather quickly.

26 February 2013

Tuesday Tunes

Someone showed me this last week and I had to share - she is amazing and so inspirational.

25 February 2013

New love for an old friend

Monday Inspiration Board 4
My motivational board for this week - soft watercolors and an old friend.  It's going to be an amazing week!
I have fallen in love with knitting again.  This past year or so, I've done mostly crochet because it was exciting and new.  I wanted to do everything and anything with a hook - and all of that exuberance has left with me with carpal tunnel in both of my hands... but knitting, knitting doesn't hurt at all!  It's like being given a new lease on my crafting life.

I started two projects over the weekend and I have to have one finished by Wednesday night in order for it to qualify for the current Quidditch challenge.  My partner has completed her's so I've got to get mine done and posted too.  I'm loving working on it too because it's yarn that I dyed myself!  The other thing I started is a completely new craft and I'm doing my best to get the hang of it.  So far, what little I have accomplished, I've really enjoyed.  I plan on sharing both on this week's Wednesday Wound-Up, along with one other thing I have noodling around.

You'll love it, I promise.

24 February 2013

Have I ever...

The bigger the mug the better - at least for me!
shared with y'all how to make the greatest Peppermint Mocha ever without stepping a foot inside Starbucks?  I don't think I have and this thought crossed my mind while I was sharing the recipe with the girls over at Knitspot, which made me feel awful that I would share with them and not with y'all so here goes - the recipe which makes me live up to my name on a daily basis...

  • 1 cup milk, steamed
  • 1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, done in a French press or drip machine)
  •  1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons peppermint syrup (I get the huge bottle from Starbucks - either in the store or online - for $7 and it lasts forever)
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Candy cane or crushed peppermints

  1. Prepare your coffee however you choose.
  2. Grab a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk – you can just whisk it into submission or toss it in a blender.
  3. In your favorite mug, mix together the coffee you just made, cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. I take the back of my spoon and smoosh the lumps against the side of the cup – works like a charm. Now you pour the foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture. Stir it up and finish it off with whipped cream, a wonderful drizzle of chocolate syrup. You can a bit of fun by added a candy cane to the cup or crushed peppermints to the top.

Sunday Snaps

I started this slipper on Sunday and got it done rather quickly, the mate took forever to start though.

I've picked up my mama's cats and will have them for 3 weeks.  This is Smudge and she loves me, though my allergies don't.

On Thursday night I was bit by the graphics bug and made two pieces. This is "Death of a Clown"...

and this one is "Radar Love".  I'm rather tickled with how they both came out.

23 February 2013

Nothing like a little motivation

I need a bit of a push to finish the last slipper so I did this on Friday morning...
which turned into this by Friday afternoon.  Now where is that sock loom...

22 February 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/22 - 2/24

You know the saddest part of it all - my sofa still looks just like this from Wednesday!
I have not done diddly squat on the crafting front since Tuesday.  Mostly because I have not been feeling up to snuff with the cats in the house.  My allergies are through the roof but I'm sure they'll even out here soon.  The plan is to finish that other slipper today so I can put the package in the mail tomorrow - I'm actually going to write the slip out so I have no other choice but to finish - and then I'm going to start in on the temperature shawl... might figure out that sock loom too, if I'm feeling up to it.

Pokey is currently at the pharmacy to see what all I can do to get things under control because he worries about me.  I'm thinking my next project should be something for him - he's not had anything made from me in a while... I'm leaning towards those socks I promised him 2 years ago when he took me to A Good Yarn over in Sarasota.  I have the yarn tucked away in my "good yarn" shelf so nothing could happen to it.  Yep, socks it is then.

I hope everyone else is having a happy and healthy weekend!

21 February 2013

Whoda Thunk

Get up to get Hobbit ready for school and I come back to two sneaky little mice reading ahead!
Pokey finally finished "The Hobbit" the other day so I'm looking forward to rereading it this week.  I'm in a very Tolkien mood as of late so this should be a wonderful, and unfortunately quick, read.

I'm at a loss at to what make that is new.  I had some really great Oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate chips in them but the same evening I broke out in hives so I'm not sure if they are linked or not - I hope not because they were some pretty awesome cookies... I think I'll risk it and recreate the recipe because what's an itchy lip when you can have such tasty goodness.

20 February 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

This is my current project bag...
It's holding my current WIP and my future project...
I can't wait to get started playing with all these colors!  But first, the mate must be finished.
In other news - Smudge has come out from under the chair in the office!  Bella is still working on it...

19 February 2013

Tuesday Tunes

For my Hobbit who is home sick with a sinus and upper respiratory infection.

18 February 2013

New adventures

These are some of my most favorite sayings that always motivate me.
 Sometimes, when I need a little pick-me-up or push, one of these little quotes comes to mind.  I don't sit around and try to recall one, they just seem to pop up just when I need to hear it.  These were rushing to me today and I'm sharing them y'all so that they can help you through the week too.

Chin up, my friends - you can't see the sun but it's coming around the bend.  I promise.

17 February 2013

Sunday Snaps

I did a guest blog post on the subject of project photography which was very well received...

Along with slippers above for my mama, I made Hobbit this hat for V Day...

I am about to embark on a new and exciting adventure - sock loom knitting!
And during my quiet weekend alone, I managed to turn in two more classes...
I have another pair of slippers in the works that are purple variegated which will make three sets off of this pattern that was introduced to me by a very sweet fellow Hufflepuff.  I absolutely love it.  The pattern calls for a Mary Jane type strap but I really love the ballet criss-cross.  It just feels more secure that way... and I should have the final slipper done this afternoon.

I'm planning on starting my temperature shawl this week as well.  I think between the sock loom and the shawl, I will have enough to break up the monotony of one with the other.  Who knows, they may not be monotonous at all and I'll whiz through both, leaving me searching for another project.  I could work on that blanket but I have to be honest, while I love the color palette with all my heart, I am not loving the huge holes that are being left with it.  I think I'm going to figure out something different to do with the yarn... still a blanket but something different.  Actually, while writing that sentence I did make up my mind - I will be moving in a different direction but it will be wonderful.  I guess I should let my OWL adviser know of my decision too.

It's been a most productive week and I know this one coming up will be equally so.

16 February 2013

I couldn't wait...

Lookie at what I got yesterday! I can't wait to try it out... just need to finish a few WIPs first!
I am so jazzed about this, you have no idea!  I want to make socks, I really do, but I hate fiddly yarn and needles... this solves that issues for me because it's just a square french knitting nob really.  I let out an audible squeal of delight in the store when I saw it and another when my mama found the book.  To make it even better, I actually remembered my mailer when I went to the store (I've taken to keeping it in my bag as soon as it comes in the mail, just in case) so I what would have cost me close to $50 only ended up being $20 with the discounts in store and my coupons.

Happy day for me, let me tell ya!  That yarn next to it will be my first pair of socks.  It came in a kit a year or so ago but I didn't like the pattern (fiddly needles, fiddly yarn issue again) so I hung on to the yarn because it was pretty.  Now, as soon as I finish the promised sets of slippers for Peanut's Valentine's Day box and her birthday present, I'll figure out how to make some fabulous socks.  Who knows, that colorway suits her perfectly so she may get them as well.

Yay for happy finds, great deals and a wonderful day with my mama yesterday!

15 February 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/15 - 2/18

Three day weekend and a kidless three day weekend... that calls for crafting and movie marathons!
We've got a three day weekend so my mama is coming down to spend the day with me and then she will be heading back tonight with her favorite bit of company.  This is mostly because she will be gone for most of a month soon and they're stockpiling their time together.  I love that my kids have such wonderful relationships with my parents.  My one set of grandparents died when I was very young and my other set was always so far away - I never had what my girls do with their grandparents and I do my best to honor and nurture it as much as possible.  It's a precious connection.

So this weekend I am going to finish Peanut's roommate's slippers and make a set for her as well.  During all this crafting I will be visiting Pemberley and some of my other favorite destinations.  There is only one way to watch BBC's "Pride and Prejudice" and that is in one six hour sitting... oh how I can't wait for Saturday!

14 February 2013

I did it again

I put down a book that I just could not get in to... although I did request that my husband please read it since my mama asked us to tell her if she would like it.  I figured that if I can't get into it that's one thing but if he can't get into it then my mama definitely won't enjoy it.  Between the two of us, we have her taste in literature completely covered.

In the meantime, I'm waiting for his book that he is currently reading so I am currently without a novel.  I know I will have one before the weekend is up so I'm not fretting over a few days without a book.

This past week I did something that I never thought I would - I put cinnamon in my meatloaf.  Yep, you read that right.  I have been watching "Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course" and in one of the episodes he was making 'real' fast food or street food, and I noticed that he added a teaspoon of cinnamon.  This got me thinking so when I went to make my meatloaf the other night, I played with my spices.  I added ground mustard, garlic, oregano, cinnamon and chili powder along with my standards of salt, pepper and minced onions.  Let me tell you, it was amazing!  Everyone cleaned their plate and commented on how good it was which made me very happy.  So remember, you can jazz up anything with just a bit of spice and creativity.

Oh, last night I finished Hobbit's Valentine's Day present and I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.  I also find it funny that the first thing that she and Pokey said when they saw it was "Can you turn it in for homework at Hogwarts".  Ah yes, I have trained them well.  Here is her hat, which she has donned for school today -

And yes, I turned it in for my Muggle Studies homework, thanks for asking.

13 February 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

Mama, if you are reading this post, please kindly close your browser or you'll ruin your surprise.  I know you read along but I promised some new photos of new projects this week.  I'll wait...
Okay, that should have given her enough time to scoot and not peek - I'll know on Friday if she peeked or not by her face when she opens her Valentine's Day present.  So without further ado, here are my current projects -

I need to finish it's mate and make a purple pair to send off to Peanut.

This is for Hobbit - it will be a hat once I'm done.  I'm using my Wallace pattern for it.

These are for someone who better not have peeked and skipped down to the bottom!

Okay, the last one really isn't "in progress" any more but it was for so long because of the error in the pattern that I just had to share the fact it was finally complete.  As soon as I get those other two finished, I'm going to start on the shawl/scarf that I'm making for Peanut's birthday - I can't wait for that!!

12 February 2013

Tuesday Tunes

I chose this song in honor of their well deserved Grammy win this weekend - I absolutely adore Mumford & Sons and it's about time the rest of the world learn who they are as well.  Trust me, you won't be disappointed - they are fabulous!!

Oh, I did a guest piece over on the Huffleblog this morning about photography tips and tricks... just thought I would share in case anyone was interested.

11 February 2013

Sunshine and daisies

Monday Inspiration Board 3
I love my motivation board for this upcoming week.  It suits my mood perfectly!
Oh my goodness, I am loving my board for this week! It is one of those things where it all just came together perfectly and makes you feel like the world is full of nothing but sunshine and daisies.

I can already feel my crafting being kicked into high gear because of this board.  Several projects have come to mind and a few current ones are going to be finished.  Oh yes, this is going to be one amazing week - I just know it!!

10 February 2013

Sunday Snaps

This is the first weekend that I'm not seeing my mama... it's kinda weird.
Hobbit won a medal during her school's Matholympics this past week.
The yarn I ordered for the temperature shawl finally arrived...
I was shown a ton of Hufflelove from my fellow Hufflepuffs.
Even though I was anything but productive on the crafting front, it has been a really lovely week.  It was weird to not see my mama today but I know she'll be here on Friday so it's okay.  Since Hobbit doesn't have school on Monday, the two of them are going to have a nice long weekend together because she's going to be unavailable for a few weeks.

I didn't get Peanut's Valentine's Day box out to her yet but I know she'll understand.  She will get it, just a few days late is all.  I guess I could send what I have now and then mail the rest later but it needs to be together - it's a packaged deal, so to speak.  It's all fabulous stuff so it's well worth the wait.  I know she's going to love it!

Time to get off here and get in some serious crafting time.  I've been wasting a lot of time at the computer lately - playing games, fiddle farting around.  I need to get back into a better routine again... seems I've slipped and I don't like it very much.  I'll work out a schedule, that always helps.  Amazingly, it's my crafts that have been neglected this time around instead of the house... I should get bonus points for that at least.

09 February 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/9 - 2/10

Tale as old as time...
I have been fighting with the red pair for two weeks - this is it's third incarnation that came to life last Friday.  I have a dear friend who worked it out and found out that the pattern was at fault, not me - their stitch count and center markings are off which was the entire issue that I was having!  It's much easier to believe that it was my problem since I'm still a new crocheter so now that I am armed with her notes, I feel confident that I will be able to finish these this weekend.

I did start a back up pair the other day, just in case.  I'm hoping, fingers crossed, that I can get both of these AND another pair finished this weekend because they were supposed to have been in the mail yesterday.  Their future owners will understand but still, I have a bit of guilt over not having them done.

Time to get cracking - have a great weekend!

07 February 2013

Ehhh, it's alright

This is an awesome and inspiring show!
I'm still reading that book about Abe Lincoln being a vampire hunter.  I can't decided if it is just too weird to get my head around or if I don't like it.  It's written like an official documentary and I think that is the conflict that I'm having - I know it's bogus so some of the things written make me take a pause to digest.  It isn't badly written, the actual dialogued character interactions section at the beginning was rather engaging, it's just... odd.  That's the best way I can describe it.

I have had an incredible attack from my sweet tooth yesterday and knowing that I have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer makes the decision to make these beauties a lot easier... plus, Gordon has never steered me wrong.

06 February 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

I promise, I'll have new stuff next week!
The mum blanket I'm designing, yeah, still haven't touched it.  It's waiting patiently while I fight with what was supposed to be a simple slipper project but has instead turned into the bane of my existence.

I am giving these slippers one more chance but if I can't get the upper to work proper today, I'm frogging the entire thing and going with a different pattern.  One of my sweet Hufflepuff housemates told me of another pattern that works up quickly and looks super cute so I've got a backup.

I'm hoping this new pattern is as fabulous as she says - I could make a set for Peanut and her roommate too.  I think that will be just the thing to lift their spirits.

05 February 2013

Tuesday Tunes

It's been wonderful seeing my mama (practically) whenever I want this past month. I knew I missed my folks but I didn't know how much until I actually got to see them again. I also know that Hobbit has been enjoying spending weekends with them too. Slowly we're getting away from the business of settling in and into the business of living - sewing lessons (for me) will be beginning soon too!

04 February 2013

Motivational Monday ~ 4 Feb

Monday Inspiration Board 2
Some of the events of last week are spilling into the inspiration for this one.

Lots of little things need to get done so that bigger things can go into the mail by Friday.  A few additional items are going to be added because of recent events in hopes that it will cheer up the beautiful little girls they are intended for on Valentine's Day.  I've had a rotten time staying focused but hopefully I will be able to shake the cobwebs and buckle down. 

I really want to get things out in time so fingers crossed that it all comes together!

03 February 2013

Sunday Snaps

I haven't done much in the way of photographable things this week - I've been ill and mojoless...

I made a chicken and then some soup which helped me feel good enough to start these on Friday...

and I joined a group to help spur me out of a photography lull I fell into.
Currently I am on my way to get Hobbit from my mama's.  I like to go up early so I can spend the day with my mama.  Her new location is equally wonderfully close and inconveniently far away all at the same time... at least the drive is easy.  Today, after we hang a few pictures and move a few heavy things, we're going to just hang out and enjoy being each other's company.

I have a new project idea that I can't wait to get started - those who wander around my Facebook page may have heard me talking about and those who wander around my Ravelry groups may have even helped me plan.  All I have right now is a pattern and color palette - the yarn has to arrive from KnitPicks.com first and then I can start turning my plan into action. 

I absolutely love how this played out and I can't wait to make it a reality.

It's been a while since I've been this excited about a project.  It feels really good.

01 February 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 2/1 - 2/3

Quiet weekend alone to finish up some WIPs, create with my hand-dyed yarns and warm a dorm.
Hobbit has gone to spend the weekend with my mama.  Last weekend was all about the serious business of moving - this weekend is all about the serious business of relaxing... and I'm going to do the same here.

I need to finish my mama's slippers and make some serious progress on my blanket that I'm designing.  I am also going to break down and use some of the hand-dyed yarns that I made over the summer.  I think they are both going to turn into hats but I'm not 100% certain yet.  I'm also going to make a little thing or two to put in Peanut's Valentine's Day package.  I've already gathered up some pretty stellar things so I'm thinking if I make a set for her and a set for her roommate, that should round out her box very nicely.

Basically there is nothing but crafting going on tomorrow... and it's going to be wonderful.
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