31 May 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 5/31 - 6/2

Craft a bit, read a bit and watch some of my favorite movies.  I think that sounds like a plan!
This is my last weekend of the school year.  The last time to feel a pause in the momentum of days.  It's bittersweet.  One the one hand, I'm very excited to have summer vacation finally here but on the other... well, that other hand is something that parents will understand.  12 weeks of blank time that needs filled with fun, inspiring, educational and exciting things.  Not all of it mind you but a large portion of it... and it doesn't matter how well prepared and planned out you are - those two little words will sneak in and slap you silly and they will do it faster than you think possible.  What two little words?
...I'm bored.

30 May 2013

Nibbles and Narratives

Yeah, I've fallen off my "Narrative" band wagon but I've already promised myself that I will pick back up where I left off this coming week.  In the meantime, I made something super delicious for Pokey's birthday yesterday... with a bit of help from Hobbit.  You see, Pokey doesn't like cake or sweets really so this year, we made him some Birthday Bread instead.  It was most delicious Sparkly Streusel bread and I'm here to share it with you.
We used purple on our bread and it was fabulous!


For Streusel -
  1. 2 Tbsp sugar
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  4. 2 Tbsp softened butter
  5. 3 Tbsp edible glitter
For Bread -
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 cups flour (all purpose is what I use)
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 4 tsp baking powder
  5. 2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1/3 cup oil
  10. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease the bottom of your loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together all the bread ingredients.  Be sure to get out all the lumps. I prefer to add the flour last and do it a little at a time to ensure that it's all mixed well.  Set it to the side
  3. Take all your streusel ingredients and mash them together with a fork in a separate small bowl.  This should make a since crumbly consistency - like if you were making a graham cracker crust.
  4. Pour half of your batter into the loaf pan and even out.
  5. Sprinkle and gently spread half of the streusel crumble on top of the batter.
  6. Add remaining batter and top with remaining streusel.
  7. Sprinkle your edible glitter on top - use a generous amount to cover the entire top of the bread.
  8. Bake in the oven for 40 - 50 minutes or until your toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  9. Let it cool for 15 minutes in the pan and the pop the loaf out to complete cooling on your wire rack.
Enjoy this tasty treat for breakfast, snack or dessert.  It's sure to be a family favorite and it's a ton of fun!

Wednesday Wound-Up... sort of

I know it's Thursday technically but I had the post idea and I thought I had done it but with Pokey's birthday being yesterday, I was a tad preoccupied... though I do have a delicious recipe for you!

So... here is what I've been working on this week -

My OWL reached it's proposed 50% mark yesterday so I am thrilled about that!

My Mission is plugging right along as well.  This photo is now 'out dated' as I have worked up to row 15.
I'm going to spend the rest of this month flipping between these two projects so that I can get a nice cushion on them - because I got a job!  Yep, it's a work from home position as a Concierge for a major credit card and it looks like it will be a blast.  For me, I'm just happy that it will give us a nice addition to our income so we might be able to loosen our belts by one notch, maybe two, and then once the economy turns around we will be able to put my paycheck into our savings entirely. 

It's a part-time night gig so with the exception of training in mid-June, it won't really interfere with regular life around here - not that Hobbit is complaining about being able to spend two weeks with her grandparents.

So that's the Wound-Up and now I'm going to work on the regularly scheduled post...

26 May 2013

Sunday Snaps

Red Heart shared my image on their Facebook page and it got a lot of positive feedback!

I created an amazing pasta dish and added it to my Recipe Magic collection.

I get to start on my shawl today and I'm super excited and equally nervous!

23 May 2013

Nibbles and Narratives

No narratives this week - it's all nibbles because I wanted to share the most amazing creation that took place in my kitchen on Monday night.  Even my idol, Gordon Ramsay, would approve of this one.  It's that good!

You're going to need these ingredients -

I worked it out and with the six servings, it worked out to about $1.25 a serving.. can't beat that!
  • 1 lbs of ground beef
  • 8 ozs of angel hair pasta, broken into thirds
  • 15.25 ozs of corn, drained
  • 10 3/4 ozs of tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of minced onions
  • 1/4 cup of rough cut parsley
  • 3 tbsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
It's super simple to make and tastes like a million bucks.  Even Hobbit ate it so that's saying something!
  1. Set water on to boil and cook your noodles per the package directions.
  2. Toss onions, crushed red peppers and corn into a hot skillet and saute.
  3. Add Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and half of the parsley.
  4. Add in your ground beef in chunks to help brown it quicker and easier so you don't break or burn your corn and spices.  Drain once your ground beef is cooked through.
  5. Replace mixture on low heat.  Add in the tomato soup and water, mixing thoroughly.  Let simmer for about five minutes or so to marry the flavors.
  6. Drain your pasta and add to the meat mixture, combine so all the noodles are wet with sauce.
  7. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and add the rest of the parsley to the top for color.
This stuff was so good, I swear! I got six servings total so in our house, that's two complete meals. I think a nice cool salad would compliment this dish really well and if I had had the fixin' in house, I would have made one to go with it. Enjoy - and let me know what y'all think!

22 May 2013

Wednesday Wound Up

I know I haven't done one of these in a while but that was mostly because everything I was working on was a present for someone.  I would hate to ruin the surprise if they stumbled on my post so I just kept it all under wraps.  I think everything has been distributed now so I'll give you a recap of what I've been doing.
I made Hobbit a shawl, a couple of bows and my mama got a grocery bag holder...

This is the one I'm most proud of though - a Hello Kitty scoodie that I made in a weekend!
The project my mama volunteered me for is coming along - this yarn hurts my hands but I'm hoping it's just the brown version.

Third time lucky - going to use my Three Irish Girls for my Mission, which starts on Sunday.  I can't wait!
My larger blankets have been put on hold because I've just not been feeling it at the moment.  I'm sure I'll pick them up again soon but that's the beauty of a blanket - you can pick it up and put down at your leisure because the project is so mammoth to begin with, a little down time from it won't hurt anything in the big scheme of things.

20 May 2013

Motivational Mondays

Embarking on new adventures takes just one thing - belief that you will succeed.  Even if you fail, you succeed because you took the time to even try.  Leaving the comfort of  your world to do what needs to be done should always be rewarded.

This is the week for believing in yourself - seeing yourself as others see you - because you're beautiful.

19 May 2013

Sunday Snaps

I got to spend the first Mother's Day in two years with both of my girls.  It was too short but I was thankful of the time.

I made my mama a present and attempted two new techniques in the process. She seemed tickled with it.

I made some serious progress on my OWL.  It doesn't look like much but it was hard on my hands!

I learned a new trick about meatloaf if you don't have any eggs on hand and was asked to join a new adventure.

We had a lovely picnic out at the park on Friday night and the weather was absolutely perfect for it.

We heard some bands play during a free concert.

We watched a beautiful sunset.

I shot the moon - something I've not for a long time and it was a lot of fun.

I was asked to write a tutorial series on HubPages for crochet so I figured why not and dove in.

I spent a beautiful day in the park with my beautiful little girl.  This child keeps me on my toes, I swear.

17 May 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 17 May - 19 May

  1. Working on my Hello Kitty scoodie for Hobbit.  Started it last night so I'm rather pleased with how far I got actually.
  2. I need to finish that one side right there and hopefully get the other one done too while I've got this new found time.
  3. I need to make 5 charity squares for Quidditch.
  4. I've started writing on HubPages - my first installment was done today.  I plan on adding content every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so if you are wanting to learn how to crochet then might I suggest checking it out.
  5. Tonight we're going to "Rock the Park" and tomorrow, Hobbit and I are going to "Family Movie Event" over at the local library.  Just trying to check what all is happening around our town.

16 May 2013

Nibbles and Narratives

It's an interesting idea and it worked, mostly, which surprised me.
I am so close to being done with my book, I can taste it!  It's been delicious so far and I want to see how it all plays out in the finale.  Truthfully, I was concerned that I was not going to enjoy this title but my love of all things Bennett won out and thank goodness it did.  Has anyone else picked up "Death Comes to Pemberley"?  What did you think?

This week I was in need of comfort food so I was in a bit of a panic when I went to make my meatloaf on Tuesday, only to discover that I had not one egg in the house!  I did some quick thinking learned a nifty new trick... would you like me to share?  Potato flakes.  Yep, that's right.  To substitute the binding agent that I lacked, I used 1 tablespoon of potato flakes and 2 tablespoons of water.  Again, a nervous nelly was I while it was baking because I can stand a lot of things but ruined/wasted food is not one of them.

Not only did this work, you couldn't tell the difference.  There was no change in texture or flavor really which surprised me.  I was afraid that it would be somehow creamy instead of meaty.  Silly, but it's the truth.  So here you go - my recipe for smashing meatloaf...


1 lb of lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten (or substitute 1tbsp potato flakes and 2 tbsp water)
2/3 cups breadcrumbs or oats
1 small onion, minced
2 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup ketchup (or bbq sauce is also good)
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tsp ground mustard (spicy brown is also good)

  1. Mix all ingredients by hand, making sure everything is evenly distributed.
  2. Scoop up the mixture and roll into a huge ball.  Slap it down into a baking dish (I use my 5x7 most often but you could use your loaf pan as well).  Form the mixture into a loaf by squishing together the sides and then patting down the top.  Repeat this process until you have a loaf that is roughly as high as your baking dish, with rounded ends.
  3. Take your ketchup (or bbq sauce) and make a nice zig-zag pattern across the top and sprinkle some parsley or chives on top.
  4. Bake in a 350* oven for about an hour or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is at or above 160.  Let it rest for a few minutes and then transfer to a serving plate.
  5. Enjoy!  This should yield you about 8 to 10 slices, depending on how thick you cut it.

15 May 2013

Just curious...

I posted a photo to a community that I have been a part of for three years.  It's a photography community where you take a photo every day and post it.  Three years I've been doing this and today is the first day anyone has ever said anything nasty... but my question is simple - what was the point?

I wonder if Mr. Ben Whitley suddenly felt joyful and elated with life because he said something hateful and cruel to a complete stranger.  It doesn't matter how you look at it, it's just pathetic and sad.  I feel sorry for Mr. Ben Whitley because it is apparent that he does not have enough good things in his life.  Initially I was shocked that someone whom I've never interacted with before would randomly pop up and say something like that, then I was sad because I was allowing it to hurt my feelings, and now I'm just wishing that Mr. Ben Whitley is able to find one good thing today to make him smile.

I'm guessing that wasn't his intention.  Oh well, wonder what was... just curious.

14 May 2013

Tuesday Tunes

I've been singing this a lot this week... and crying along.

13 May 2013

Motivational Monday

Monday Inspiration Board 11
I think this is the perfect attitude and way to face a Monday, don't you?

12 May 2013

Sunday Snaps

This has been my week.. full of yarnie goodness, tasty treats and a silly little girl.  Here's to another fabulous week ahead!

10 May 2013

Weekend Wonderment

I'm going to be doing a good bit of stashbusting this weekend.  I may be addicted to that bow headband pattern!

09 May 2013

Nibbles and Narratives

This is my most favorite of comfort foods.
Last week, I shared that I made something awesome and never got back to y'all with the recipe... and it's going to have to be a bit longer because I forgot to pick up eggs this week with the groceries.  I promise, I will have it for you soon but today I have a different recipe for y'all.  One that my family loves and is my ultimate favorite comfort food.  It can be done in a poncey fashion, which I love, and it can be done on the cheap, which I do more often than not.  It's my Cottage Pie recipe and I thought I'd share.

I first learned how to make Cottage Pie from Gordon Ramsay and his recipe is delicious in it's own right but this one is a touch different.  My husband despises carrots, so I don't use them, and I rarely have wine in the house so that gets omitted as well.  Over the years, I just grab from my cupboard and it's all automatic.  So here is how I make Cottage Pie and it costs less than $1.50 per serving.

  • 1 lbs of ground beef (hence the term Cottage and not Shepherd's)
  • 1 can of corn, drained (15.25 ounces)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 pkg of Instant potatoes (I'm using Idahoan 4 Cheese)
  • Worcestershire sauce (to taste, roughly 3 good splashes)
  • Allspice (to taste, roughly 3 shakes or so)
  • Minced onion (about half a cup)
  • Ground mustard (to taste, light dusting over mixture)
  • Garlic salt (to taste, roughly 3 shakes or so)
  • Pepper (to taste, about 2 shakes)
  1. Heat your oven to 350 and have your dish ready - I use an old oval one that I've had for years but any 2 or 3 quart baking dish will work.
  2. Brown your meat with the Worcestershire sauce, allspice, minced onion, ground mustard, garlic salt and pepper.  Drain and return to heat.
  3. Add in the corn and the tomato sauce and let it simmer down.
  4. Make up the instant potatoes in the microwave and have them ready.
  5. Now, pour your meat mixture in the baking dish and lay it out even.  Put your mash on top, covering all the meat mixture.  Sometimes I add a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top but I always add some beautiful chives to give it some color.
  6. Cook it in the oven for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are golden.
  7. Let it stand for five minutes before serving.  Enjoy! 
As far as the narratives go, I'm on the cusp of finishing my current book but I'm taking a moment to brag on my Hobbit.  She just turned 8 not two weeks ago and she finished her first chapter book on a 5.3 level - that's fifth grade reading level and she's only in second grade.  This week she completed reading "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" so I did what any other mother would do... I ran out and bought her "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", which she is devouring as well.

A child who loves to read never will be alone or bored... and Hobbit found her love of reading.

08 May 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

Supposed to be working on my OWL... but I much prefer my Potions homework instead - it's an original design!

07 May 2013

Tuesday Tunes

This fits my mood today... it kinda stinks to be stood up by your own family.

06 May 2013

Motivational Monday

Monday Inspiration Board 10

I'm thinking this says it all for this week... actually, I think it says it all for forever.

I love making these little pieces of art to get me through the week - focused and motivated. It's a lot of fun for me to play around with graphics and make what many would figure was a trivial little doodle. Welp, maybe it is a trivial little doodle but that doesn't take away the creative outlet or aspect... so whenever you feel stuck or unmotivated, doodle.

You just might surprise yourself.

05 May 2013

Sunday Snaps

Hobbit made her first ever official granny square and she is already working on her second!

I was curious if a pattern would be big enough if done in DK instead of double held worsted - short answer is no.

I'm designing a scarf.. oh yeah.. I'm excited!

Almost done with my wrap - and the story about how it depicts the duality of a werewolf.
On much bigger and way better news, Peanut is back in Florida and life is back to being close to wonderful again.. awesome finish to the week!

03 May 2013

Weekend Wonderment

And the most heartbreaking two years of my life is now over - my baby is coming home!!
Yep, you read that right - she has spent her last day in South Dakota and she will be home oh so very soon.  I've taken the next week off from all my other duties so that I can spend time with her, catching up on the last two years that I've missed.  She's asked for a photo walk in this one cemetery that has some really amazing angel statues so I'm sure I'll share that adventure.

It's no secret, I did not handle the first year very well at all... the second was only marginally better.  This coming school year, well let's just say that it will be just as I imagined this entire experience would be - visits, calls and back to being a family again instead always feeling broken.

Oh yeah - happy days ahead!!

02 May 2013

Nibbles and Narratives

Death Comes to Pemberley.. I highly recommend it!
Oh my goodness, the poor Darcy and Bingley families!  I just am gobsmacked at the turn of events.  Not what I expected at all, honestly, but it's delicious that it has taken the turn that it has... I truly think this one character is capable of what transpired though I hold out hope that I am wrong... for his wife's sake if nothing else.

My heart breaks for Elizabeth and Jane though because they bare it all with such grace and stoicism as I have never seen in the real world.  If only something or someone would come and help ease their silent suffering.  This book has been absolutely wonderful thus far and I'm just at the halfway point.  If luck is on my side, I should hopefully find time to finish it this weekend.

As far as the nibbles go - I will apologize up front for forgetting to snap a photo of it but it was so delicious that it wasn't around long enough!  We were all having a blah food day and nothing sounded good so I decided that we were going to do breakfast for supper the other night.  I ended up making the best egg and tater tot casserole ever.  I am going to do it again - with camera at the ready - and write it up proper for y'all later this weekend.  Let me just say, you're gonna flip because it is so good.  Make sure you've got some tater tots at the ready for later this week...

You'll thank me for it!

01 May 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

Inside these three bags are the projects that will be in rotation for my time for this first day of May.. and Spring Term!

I started a wrap for me, will continue on my bedspread for future Detention and I have submitted my swatched OWL.
Happy May Day, First Day of Spring Term and the week that brings Peanut back home!
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