31 January 2013

Mission 25% accomplished

The things we do for our mamas!
I have a goal to find time to read at least four books this year.  When you break it down, that means three months for each book - a super colossally slow moving book could be read in that amount of time.  I have accomplished 1/4 of my goal, as I finished my book the night before last.

The characters were wonderful and engaging - even the nasty ones because you honestly didn't like them which makes for a good villain-type character.  My only complaint was that the last 20 pages or so felt rushed.  I know the scene was supposed to be dramatic and make you feel anxious but after the rise of it all, the gentle flow back down didn't happen.  It felt more like being plopped on a mattress and told you're done.  That being said, I would recommend it and now I get to watch the movie!

My next book, which I have already started, was one my mama asked me to read to see if it "was worth reading".  I know what she means so I picked it up yesterday and started.  The beginning was engaging and now I'm in to the 'meat' of it which has shifted focus into more of a strange documentary.  I can't pass judgement on it yet but I am hoping that it flips back to more of a character driven tale instead because the author has a nice gift for that avenue.

As far as the nibbles go, I did not make the recipe from last week because I forgot to pick up crescent rolls.  This week, however, there has been a request by my beautiful mama to make some of her favorite soup.  Naturally, I roasted a chicken last night and will get down to the business of making soup today so she will have some to take home with her tomorrow.  After 40 years of putting up with me and all she has ever asked for is some soup, I think I can do my best to oblige.

30 January 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up ~ 30 Jan 13

This is the best chair in the world when you don't feel well.  It's like being snuggled by your mama.
I have been down a lot lately with some type of illness - bronchitis, tummy bug or head cold.  This past week it was the latter two so I plopped myself down in my most favorite chair and worked on something for my mama.  I'm hoping to have it done before I go see her on Sunday - she's coming to pick up Hobbit again for a fun oriented weekend this Friday so I'll head back up on Sunday to help her finish some of the bigger things that she promised to wait on doing and get Hobbit back home.

I hope she likes it - red is her favorite color so I'm set there.  I'll share what I've made once I give them to her because she's been known to pop in here on occasion.  I've also got a flower blanket languishing in the living room but we aren't going to talk about that...

29 January 2013

28 January 2013

Well hello there!

That was a bit of an unplanned break, wasn't it!  It was all such a whirlwind - Thursday afternoon we surprised Hobbit by taking her the 2 hours up the road to my folks' new house so she could spend the weekend with them.  She thought they were coming to get her on Friday but since my daddy had to go back to Texas on Saturday, we dropped her off Thursday instead so she could spend a day with him too.

On Friday, Pokey ran into work for a 30 minute training session and when he got home, we drove to the coolest theatre and watched the first day's showing of "The Hobbit".  There are so many bits and bobs for the super nerd like us that we loved every minute of it.  It definitely didn't feel like three hours in those fancy seats either!  After the movie, we popped over to Target to get the kids' Valentine's Day things and went out to an early supper at Chili's.  The food was pretty good but I have to say, the server left a lot to be desired.  Once we were done, we came home and played our Lord of the Rings Online game until late into the evening... and then spent all day Saturday in our pjs doing the exact same thing!  We even ordered in Chinese for supper.  It was wonderful.

Then Sunday came around.  I was actually looking forward to helping my mama get settled but as soon as I woke up, I got sick.  I mean literal sick - praying to the porcelain gods kind of sick.  I still go dressed, grabbed a Coke to sip on and headed out at 6:15 a.m. because I promised.  I got there just after 8 a.m. and only a handful of minutes before the big truck.  While they were taking things off, I was doing my best to unpack.  We managed to finish setting up her kitchen and we got about 90% of the living room done.  Her bedroom was also about 75% done as well.  She promised not to move anything heavy until I get back this coming Sunday but this is also the same woman who gave me my stubborn streak so I know how that will go.

My poor Pokey was worried about me all day yesterday and used two vacation days for today and tomorrow so that I could rest.  Initially I was wishing he hadn't but since I woke up with a full blown cold this morning, I'm glad he did.  I also heard from my mama last night and she's bringing my great Aunt Mary with her when she picks Hobbit up on Friday (this coming weekend is for fun, unlike this past one which was more about the business of moving).  My Aunt Mary has never been to any place I have lived as an adult so needless to say, Pokey and I will be scrubbing on Thursday.  She's my favorite aunt because she has no filter - she will tell it like it is and simply qualify it with "I'm old, life is too short to pussy foot around it all."  This holds true for everyone and everything - and I'd like her filter to not mention the Buddy Bunnies that constantly attempt to infiltrate our home.

So that is where I have been.  I'm sorry I didn't say anything before but I honestly didn't think things were going to be as crazy as they were - but it was all wonderful, just the same.

24 January 2013

Twice over and then some

All rights to "realmomkitchen.com"
That's how much I have gotten through on this new book - the page count of what I've read this week is equal to practically the entirety of the first book I had chosen.  The story is so wonderful and the characters are all endearing.  Nicholas Sparks certainly has a gift, no doubt about it.

I made the recipe from last week but instead of cupcakes, I made a cake and it was delicious!  We have a bit left but I'm sure it will be gone by the end of the week.  I think I will be trying a new recipe for supper this week.  I have been eyeballing this one for a while now so perhaps it's time to make it.

Hobbit is headed to her grandparents this weekend - they just moved back and are only 2 hours up the road from us now!  We are all over the moon excited and by May, even Peanut will be home to Florida for good.  Things are certainly shaping up to be pretty stinking good for a year with the most unlucky number of them all in it.

23 January 2013

Back to the drawing board

I was working on a "welcome home" present to give to my mama this weekend but after I finished the first one (a highly modified pattern), I realized that I had started it too big.  Not a huge deal but still a tad frustrating all the same.  Three whole days worth of crafting time was 'wasted' - at least, until Hobbit came home...

It appears as though I wasn't working on a slipper at all but instead, it was a snowman sleeping bag.  Who knew!

Now I can get started on those slippers for my mama...

22 January 2013

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood...

This morning I have already straightened up the house a bit, cut my bangs and started the laundry.  I've got my coffee in hand because Pokey woke me up before he headed out the door for work... still the best alarm clock ever after all these years.  I'll be honest though, I feel a severe case of the 'dontwanna's coming on and I just might give in.  I've got leftovers planned for supper so that helps a lot.

I want to finish these slippers that I'm working on because I want to give them to my mama when my folks come over on Friday.  My mama taught me how to do a granny square back in 2011 when they came down for Peanut's high school graduation.  They stayed with us for a week and I sat at her feet and she showed me all of her crochet knowledge - how to make a granny square.  Since then, I have been bitten hard by the crochet bug - mastering the granny and then some.  My mama is always commenting on how she would love to learn to do some of the things I've been making and I thought that some sweet slippers for her new home (which is all carpeted so I don't have to worry about her slipping) would be a great "Welcome home" present.

On Friday, after my folks have picked up Hobbit for the weekend, I have an honest to goodness date!  Pokey and I are going to see "The Hobbit" because we haven't been on a date in almost three years so we're excited.  He's looking into taking Saturday off so we can have a full day together alone.  Yep, I'm am tickled my folks have moved back from Texas!!

Here is the most perfect song for today - it fits my mood perfectly...

21 January 2013

A different approach

While I have been revamping my posting schedules and design on this space, I've learned that my original thought for Monday wasn't fully developed until today.  I had the idea that I wanted a creative central point for the week.  Something to inspire me and be the foundation for my adventures.  I think I've finally got it noodled out... it isn't about "Heart and Hearth", it's about basic inspiration.  Inspiration comes from so many avenues in my life - people, places, art, literature.  If it's out in the world, it's able to inspire me and therefore, we've come full circle.  I wasn't wrong in my original idea of "Motivational Mondays", I just needed to revamp it a bit, give it a tweak and a dusting off... to become a new way of looking at them.  So I'm keeping the tag of "Motivational Mondays" and we're just going with our new inspiration approach.

This week - this is my Inspiration board.

Monday Inspiration Board

Yeah... this is more of what I was wanting. Sometimes, you have to noodle the idea until you get it just right - and sometimes, it takes a bit longer than you think.

20 January 2013

Sunday Snaps

My OWL was proposed and approved this week!  It's an original design blanket.

I made the first of three blankets for Hobbit's birthday presents.

and I figured out how to join my blanket squares.  It's been a great week!

18 January 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 1/18 - 1/21

These three things will be working in harmony during this beautiful three day weekend.  I can't wait!
Lots of television shows, DVD movies and crafting is what is on tap for this weekend.  It's going to be wonderful because we have a much needed three day weekend this week.  I've got a scrumptious Orange Creamsicle cake cooling and after I get Hobbit from school, we'll make the icing/filling and finish it up for after supper tonight.  Thank goodness we're having Southern Chicken Salad for dinner - I know she'll eat it so she'll be able to have some cake too.

Hobbit and I will be crocheting all weekend long while Pokey goes to work.  Here's to a nice calm, quiet couple of days with no one getting in trouble - please, dear Lord. 

Okay?  Thank you!

16 January 2013

A few firsts

One can never go wrong with a book from Nicholas Sparks.
I have done something this week that I have never done in my entire life.  It is a simple thing but I just could never bring myself to do it before.  It felt wrong somehow in the past but last night, I did it - I gave up on a book. 

It's true.  I have always trudged through stories that never quite grabbed me in hopes that it would get better - the recent agony of reading "The Hunger Games" proves that point. 

Last night, Pokey looked at me in earnest and said "Why continue reading it if you aren't enjoying it?  It's not like you are going to be graded on it for school or anything.  Reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable so if the book is neither for you, find a new one." 

I pondered his position for a few minutes and decided he was right.  I don't have to read it and I gave it a good honest go - 1/3 of the book was complete - so I removed my bookmark and placed the little novel on a pile to be donated to my folks when they get here.  I went to my bookshelf and there, sitting ever so patiently, was the book I was supposed to be reading.  A tale that would move me and captivate me from the first chapter - "The Lucky One" by Nicholas Sparks.  He has never let me down and I needed to have my faith in popular literature restored - Mr. Sparks is definitely the man to do it.

I must say, within the first three pages, I was hooked.  I am going to curl up on the sofa as soon as I'm done here and continue reading where I left off last night... and isn't that how you are supposed to feel about the book you are reading - so captivated that you don't want to put it down.  It's nice to be sucked into a story again, I've missed it so very much.

On a different note, I'm wanting to make something sweet today.  I've got a hankering for a light, sweet citrus 'thing' and I'm not sure what it is that I want.  I am leaning towards some orange creamsicle cupcakes.  It's simple but very delicious.  That just may be what is called for to satiate the monster that is my sweet tooth.

15 January 2013

Tuesday Tunes

It's time to say goodbye to those people, places and things which are not positive forces in our lives. A beautiful song to bid adieu to those things in this world which don't lift us up...  now is the time for a new chapter to begin.

14 January 2013

Inspiration Piece

This painting (source unknown) is the inspiration piece for my new blanket design!
Creativity and inspiration were running wild around here last week.  I made several white snowflake squares and when I stumbled upon this painting of some beautiful springtime mums, it totally inspired me to design a new 'square' for a blanket piece I'm working on.  It's going to be amazing!

13 January 2013

Sunday Snaps

I have spent the week hunting for a great pattern for a special project and I still have yet to find it.

I did continue on my abstract photo journey though which is a lot of fun.

I made Hobbit a shawl for her doll - it's a great way to learn new stitches, like the wavy chevron.

I'm still plugging away on my squares for Knitters for Newtown - not sure I like this one though.

I am hoping to have a nice bag full to send to them by the end of the month.

11 January 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 1/11 -1/13

  1. Continue to work on my snowflake squares to donate to Knitters for Newtown.
  2. Catch up with Peanut and my folks now that lives have calmed down.
  3. Figure out some cute patterns for doll blankets for Hobbit's birthday presents.
  4. Daydream and gather inspiration for upcoming Disney Adventure challenges.
  5. Do my best to get rid of this flippin' bronchitis.

10 January 2013

Nibbles & Narratives

I'm still plugging along with my book.  I have been attempting to read before I slip into these medicine induced drooling snorefests and from the little bit more I've gotten done, I'm still rather enjoying it though I am not sure I'm enjoying it enough to continue with the series.  It's cute but nothing has really grabbed me and made me really connect with the story.

I've got ground beef thawing for supper and I've been looking for new recipes because there is only so many times you can have the same thing before going a bit bonkers.  I've been thinking of making this for a while now.  Tonight, after I get Hobbit from school, I'll pick up the missing items and we'll see how it goes.  I think everyone should enjoy it but with this group, one never knows for sure.

09 January 2013

It's been a most excellent day

I have some wonderful things to share with you today.  I finished my white inspiration piece last night.  It took several false starts and admittedly a few tears too but in the end, I really love how it turned out.  This snowflake square will be sent off to join the others from Knitters for Newtown in making blankets.  I have twenty-six more to do so that each blanket will hopefully have one of these squares.

In other news, a dear friend and I have started our own little group devoted to all things Disney.  It is going to be a lot of fun and it has had a most promising first day.  If you are interested in joining in, come visit us at Disney Adventures and take a look around.  Our challenges will go up on February 1st before noon.

In other crafting news, this past week I have made the following items for my HPKCHC homework ~

Crochet case for Hobbit

A hound finger puppet

A chocolate frog purse
I'd say I had a rather productive week for someone who has been beaten down with a "nasty and raging case of bronchitis" according to her fabulous new doctor.  Yep, I found a new doctor and she's awesome.  She's kind, compassionate, listens and actually cares.  After seeing her, I started to feel better within 24 hours so that let me know that I made the right choice in leaving my old practice.  Sure the medicine makes me loopy but it works and that is way more important in my book.

What all have you wound up this week?

08 January 2013

Tuesday Tunes

I just got off the phone after spending a glorious two hours of uninterrupted time talking to a dear friend. It's moments like these that recharge a soul.  I am so very blessed to know some very incredible people - creative, positive, joyful people - and that energy is more powerful than any medicine from any doctor.

07 January 2013

Heart and Hearth

I don't know if this name will stick for this idea I have but I do know a lot of people have heard this phrase at some point in their life.  There are  a lot of fancy, flowery explanations for it - but I like things simple so I'm going to define it here, simply.

The heart is in the center of chest, it is what keeps everything going.  Many people think it's the brain but I tend to favor the heart.  Every other "important organ" can go in your body but if your heart stops beating, that's the end.  The hearth is the center of most homes.  It's where the life of the family resides... and it's also known as the creative center.

The creative center... and that is what this series is going to be focusing on - creativity.  Inspiration, in all forms, and ideas - dreams and desires - something creative or inspiring to focus on during the week.  This week, I've been struck by the color white.  Mostly because of all the snow from my friends' photographs.  We don't have snow here but we do have white sand, not really the same thing though.  Then I got to thinking about all the things that I have loved over the years that were that beautiful shade of white - my mother's nursing uniform, my Poppaw's dog Holly, my favorite sweatshirt.  These things are all widely different but they all did the same thing, they all brought me comfort.

So since I find comfort in this color, I've decided that I am going to make a project this week using white as the primary color.  Perhaps I can capture some of that comfort and save it for a rainy day.  Wish me luck!

06 January 2013

Sunday Snaps ~ 5 Jan 13

Hobbit started the week by beginning her life as a crafter.

She made Penny a scarf with her French Knitting Knob.

Then we rang in the new year with some sparkling apple juice - it was so gross.

Hobbit started 2013 by learning how to single crochet.  She made a blanket for her toy unicorn.

She also finished her other finger knit scarf!

Seeing how well she was doing, I made her a present, a crochet hook case...

It even had a complete set of my old aluminum hooks in it for her.  I think she liked it.
I turned in my Quidditch - he is an epically failed badger that resembles a cute cartoon puppy.

I even found time to do some artsy fartsy photography and graphic work this weekend.

04 January 2013

Weekend Wonderment ~ 1/4 - 1/6

  1. I'm hoping to get a good portion of this little doll blanket done.  It's a lot of stitches for something so small.
  2. I'm going to make this little armrest pocket because it looks rather handy to have around.  Plus, it will be a good test for making one for my daddy's birthday.
  3. I am going to do my best to get rid of this stupid Bronchitis. It's really interfering with stuff now and I just want to feel better.

03 January 2013

Nibbles & Narratives

The second of my new segments starts today!  I've decided that I have let my pleasure reading slip by the wayside for far too long so in an effort to give it more priority, I've decided to write about what I'm currently reading.  I also wanted to step away from "convenience cooking" and get back to basics and to hold myself accountable I wanted to share at least one fabulous recipe a week.

Y'all know that I play in a couple of tournament knitting/crochet groups, well that is were I learned about this one author.  His name is Terry Pratchett and he has written a beloved series of books called "Discworld".  I decided that after two years of seeing project submissions associated with it, I would dip my baby toe into their waters and pick up the first book, "The Color of Magic".  Granted, I really just picked it up last night but so far, I adore Twoflower.  I can't give any type of proper recommendation on it but it's always a good sign when I love a character after less than fifty pages.

Oh my goodness, I don't think there can there be anything finer than a warm chocolate chip cookie.
While becoming submersed in this new book, I have been nibbling on our Christmas cookies.  I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to be purchasing any more treats from the grocers when I was perfectly capable of making them at home - and for far less money.  My first cookie adventure had to my childhood favorite, chocolate chip.  Now, this recipe isn't earth shattering or new - it's a classic.  All I do is follow what is written on the back of semi-sweet morsel bag and in less than 10 minutes, I have perfection on a plate.

So might I suggest you whip up some delicious treats and join me for a bit of light, humorous reading - you won't be disappointed.

02 January 2013

Wednesday Wound-Up

I can't sleep (stupid bronchitis) so I thought I would go ahead do the first ever post under the new theme of "Wednesday Wound-Up", where I share my current projects and their progress.

Yesterday, the Winter term class assignments were released over at HPKCHC!  I was so very super excited that I used the time I was up last night to get started on my first homework assignment - Screaming Meemie for Herbology.

I think that colorway totally fits the bill, don't you!
In other crafting news, Hobbit has completed her first ever homework assignment this afternoon!  We had a few false starts, a few breaks for tears too, but then later this afternoon, it seemed to have clicked for her and she created a Unicorn Blanket for her Care of Magical Creatures class.  I think she did a wonderful job -

She even stitched on a heart at the bottom.  Not bad for her first lesson!
I am plotting a few more classes but haven't started them yet.  My goals is to get this little blanket done before the weekend.  I haven't decided if I'm working it horizontally or vertically either but I'm sure it will all sort itself out in the end.  I opted for the baby doll blanket size to try out the stitch because I have been toying with making a full size one but the massive beginning chain always has me rethinking it.  I just might do it now that I've been rather successful with this smaller one.

01 January 2013

New year, new beginnings

I think I'm going to change things up a bit in the new year - get rid of some things that I've outgrown or no longer find interesting and spice things up with some new items.

Motivational Mondays were fun but I think they've run their course and have morphed into something quite different than how they started out.  I have decided to let them rest for a while and will be introducing a new series, Heart and Hearth.  I'll save more for that on Monday when it debuts.

Tuesday Tunes is always fun and I do enjoy it so much therefore it will live on for 2013, as will Sunday Snaps.  Even though the latter was to be a single photograph to wrap up the day, I rather enjoy that it has become more of a reflection of the week that has past.

I've decided that I want to start doing larger projects this year and so as a way to keep me motivated, I'm starting a new segment called "Wednesday Wound-Up".  In my head it was 'round-up' but that 'w' kept getting in the way so I'm running with it.  This is where I am going to share project updates and events - everything from sewing to baking to yarnie goodness... if it's creative, I'll wind it up here.

I also want to get back into reading more and cooking better foods for my family so I've got a great line up for Thursdays - Nibbles and Narratives.  I'm hoping that this will get me back into reading more regularly so each week I'll update my progress on whatever book I'm tackling, along with a really great recipe that I made.

I know I've fallen off the bandwagon with my "Weekend Wonderment" segment but I do love it so I will be resurrecting it for this upcoming year.  Generally speaking, I'm going to try to take Saturdays off from the computer so I can spend them with Hobbit and Pokey but you know me, if something just can't wait then I'll be telling you about it.

There you have it - a fresh new year with a wonderful new feel... and since it's Tuesday -

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