Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Knitting Goals for 2010

I think that knitting goals are about as close to New Years resolutions as I get. :) I am *so* enjoying this week between Christmas and New Year; Joe has been home every day, and we have had lots of fun family time. I look forward to picking this blog back up once the new year rolls in, but for now I just wanted to share my annual knitting goals. Of course I will very from the list a bit, but I mostly want to try a few new techniques. :)

  1. Knit socks--this has been on my list for the last two years, and while I started a pair, I didn't get very far before Anthony pulled all of those tiny needles out. So I will be starting fresh, first with a pair for my Jenny in a pretty purple yarn that she chose herself.
  2. Something with some color work in it. I have lots of pretty things in my favorites on Ravelry, so I know I'll have an easy time choosing something. The trick will be getting my mom to drop everything and walk me through the process over and over and over and over....
  3. Knit for Joseph-- I have been working on a scarf for him for ages, and he has put in a request for half finger gloves and a hat as well. I'm going to try to make them for his birthday but we'll see. I figure I can at least get two of the three things done,with a promise for the third!
  4. Knit for myself! Okay, I realize this isn't a technique, but of all of the things I have knit, I've never made anything that I've kept as my own. My mother in law gave me some beautiful yarn for Christmas and I can't wait to make myself a hat and scarf. (The colors are bright raspberry pink, and a soft dove grey; one of my favorite, girly combinations!)
  5. Knit for charity-- There are so many cool knitting and crocheting based charities that I really would love to contribute too. This one in particular has always stood out to me as a cool thing to be a part of.'s to knitting in 2010! :) Do you have any goals?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

*~* Merry Christmas! *~*

I'm sorry to have been so absent lately! The auto posting didn't work as I had hoped, and things have just been to busy here to figure it all out. :) I look forward to resuming my blogging once things settle back down though! I hope all of you have a wonderful, love filled Christmas season!

An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God's peace to you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just popping in...

I just wanted to say hello, so you know I haven't dropped off of the face of the earth. We've just been busy around here getting ready for the Christmas season. Lots of knitting, cleaning and every day life. :) I'm going to be gone all of next week to my grandmother's house for the famous cookie week, but I'm planning on setting up a series of auto posts for while I'm gone. Sort of a tour of our Advent. :) I will spend the weekend taking pictures and setting everything up for you all...I hope you will enjoy it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A New Favorite

(picture from here)
I made this for dinner last night while on the phone with my very best friend. :) This means two things, 1) I got to talk to Anne for 1-1/2 hours! -and 2) This is so easy that you can do it while paying no attention at all. ;) This is definitely one of my favorite recipes now!

Chicken and Rice Pot Pie

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (you buy it pre-made, and I just defrosted one sheet in the microwave for about 1.5-2 minutes at 50% power, just until it unfolds without breaking)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I had them pre-baked in the freezer, so I just cut those up into cubes) cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces
salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup instant rice (they say white, but I used brown and really loved it)
1 3/4 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 cup frozen veggie mix
(They say 3 scallions, but I forgot them and liked it without)

Okay, here is the actual recipe, and I'll just add what I changed in parenthesis.

1) Cut puff pastry sheet into 6 evenly sized pieces, and bake on lined (parchment or a non stick mat etc.) baking sheet until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of chicken until no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side; cut into cubes and transfer to medium bowl. Repeat with additional 1 Tablespoon butter and remaining chicken. (I already had cooked chicken, so I just cubed and and set it aside.)

3) Add flour and remaining butter to (now) empty skillet and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. (I just used a bit over 2 Tblsp. of the butter since I didn't need to cook the chicken). Stir in rice, broth and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until rice is nearly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in frozen veggies (and scallions), and chicken along with any accumulated juices. Simmer until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with puff pastry and serve.

So quick and easy! I really loved it. ALLOT. I might try tossing in an egg or two, for more of a stir-fried rice feel, because, well, I just love it! I like this so much in fact that I might just make up a double recipe on the weekend and eat if for lunch all week. Love it!! Funny fact: I used to hate rice, like, I just couldn't eat it. E.V.E.R. Then, when I was pregnant with Jenny I started having this weird craving for pork fried rice...which turned into anything involving rice. Now it is my side dish of choice and I can't stop eating it! Weird, huh?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Something to share

Today I wanted to share a bit about a book I'm reading, I'm not very far into it yet, but I can already tell that it is one I will be rereading and referencing all through my parenting journey. It is "Simplicity Parenting ~Using the Extrordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids" by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross. (You can find it on amazon, but I got mine from half). First I heard about it on Grace's blog, then Kyrie's and I decided I needed to read it for myself. I can't say enough good things about this book, and I'm only into the second chapter! I think this might become my new parent gift it's so good. I'll give a proper review, along with the changes and their effects that we will be making as soon as I finish this book, but I just had to share about it...check your libraries, splurge a bit on half or amazon...this book is a must read! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Christmas Corners

This afternoon Jenny and I set up our nativity set. The "cave" is just a cardboard box covered with one of our play silks, and the star is one from my ornament collection. We will put baby Jesus away until Christmas, and the three kings will wander around the house until Epiphany, but we wanted to see what it will look like all set up. :)

ps) Now that we are home I should be back to blogging as normal!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I didn't stop blogging, I'm just knitting!

Nothing quite ready for pictures yet, but I'm hoping in the next few days to have completed a few things to share. Lots of business going on here, but due to a major lack of sleep, not much thinking about blogging. :) But I did want to share my is such fun to do this! I'm thinking of doing a series of posts on the follow through of the menu. With pictures of the food each day along with recipes, what do you think?

Well, for now, here's what's coming up on our plates.....

Breakfasts: Oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins and milk
Lunch: PB&J or leftovers
Snacks: Yogurt, string cheese, cookies, crackers (Mommy- trail mix, yogurt)

Mac'n'cheese with green beans
Creamy garlic chicken pizza
Chili & cornbread
Sweet and sour meatballs (new make ahead recipe)
Crock pot roast, roasted vegetables, rolls, broccoli "Wellesley Fudge Cake" (new recipe)
Spaghetti & meat sauce, garlic bread, green beans
Chicken & rice pot pie (new recipe)
Oven baked Chicken Chimichangas (new recipe)
I'm doing more new recipes than usual, but I am feeling the need for some fresh inspiration, and my latest "Cooks Country" magazine arrived just in time! :) Also, since we will be gone for a few days over Thanksgiving, there are a few days planned simply as "left overs" so that we can clean out the fridge before we go. I hate coming home to nasty food!

As for special Thanksgiving things, I'm planning on making two loaves of THIS Cranberry Orange Bread, and a batch of spiced nuts (new recipe). I'll be sure to share recipes and details for the good new things! Saturday will be a busy day of cleaning, cooking and crafting, (and Joe's going to put our Christmas lights up, because we like to turn them on the first Sunday of Advent) then Sunday Joe and I have a date to finish up the last of our Christmas shopping. After that I will just have to get busy with my crafting! I can't wait to pull out our Christmas bins! I have some new plans for Advent this year, and I am so excited to share!

What yummy things are you making??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Hi- I know I'm supposed to be posting, but due to some strange technical difficulties, my camera will not upload pictures for me...... so I need to have Joe look at it and make it work for me. :) Sounds easy enough, but of the last 8 days, he's only been home before 9 twice, and I haven't wanted to pester him with it that late. So...either tonight or tomorrow you will have some good picture-filled posts!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Rest

The only place where housework comes before needlework is in the dictionary. ~Mary Kurtz

(P.S. I will be back this week! Last week was very long and very tired, but I have lots for this week! Thanks for understanding.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WIP Wednesday:: A Variation...

The weather here is dark grey and rainy....and I don't have any good pictures for today. I've moved all over the house, turned lights on, turned lights off, flash on, flash off...on and on and on, and not one good picture. :( So, I thought I would just share some of the things that are on my to do list. I have some fun crafting plans for Christmas (aside from gifts) that I can't wait to get started on!

I found this super cute mini mitten ornament pattern (free) that I really want to make...they are super super tiny, I've seen pictures that compare them to a quarter and I'd say that they're probably only twice as big! I'm thinking I might up the yarn and needle size so that they're a wee bit bigger. Or maybe make a little family of them?

I also have a few more gnomes to make, I want to do one with a "light" theme for our nature table, and Bitty wants one just like this one that I made a few weeks ago.

While I was growing up we had a really fun Advent calender that was my mom's growing up. It was a big felt tree and each day you added a new felt ornament, placing the star on the top on the last day. Well, I was thinking of doing something like that, and was looking for free tutorials online when I found this one. I *love* the idea of a garland, and I could fill it with all sorts of tiny things... I really really Really want to make a small nativity set out of my horde of scraps, and I would love to put one piece into each pouch. Nothing too fancy, just something small and friendly to little hands... I think it will be fun! Oh, and I want to make the garland out of fabric on hand too, as wonderful as wool felt would be, I don't think it's in the budget this year.

I collect star ornaments. I love them. I think they are the most beautiful kind of ornaments. Each year I pick out two or three to add to my collection, and our tree just looks so happy! :) When I saw this tutorial, I knew I had to make some! (Although I'll probably use flannel scraps instead of felt.)

I just saw these beautiful mason jar candle holders this morning over at Frontier Dreams, and I can't wait to make them! I'm considering doing three purple and one pink instead of the more traditional taper candles for our Advent wreath this year... I foresee making many of them in different color combinations...they looks so pretty!!

And last but not least, are these Waldorf star lanterns. I really love just about everything Waldorf related, but I really love these lanterns. I'm so excited to make them!

Thanks for looking! What special crafts are on your to do list?

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Fall/Winter Collection:: Part One

I've been working on a little project that I thought I'd share with you all. (And yes, I know how late it is, but it is still Monday!) So, I've been re-inspired recently to work on some sewing for myself. I haven't been doing much sewing lately, so I'm really excited to get to work on this. I've come up with my plan, and I believe, chosen my patterns. Next I will fit mock ups and then I can start! So today I thought I'd share the outline and patterns, and over the next few weeks I will continue to share updates as things develop.

Colors: Browns, pinks/berries (I will firm this up once I find the fabric!), blues, and white/grey

Item list: (everyday clothing)
4 skirts: 1 long khaki skirt, 1 long navy skirt, dk brown print tiered skirt, pink/berry print skirt
3 dresses: 1 brown w/ pink floral, 1 blue floral, 1 pink/berry
4 blouses: 1 white, 1 chocolate brown, 1 navy, 1 pink/berry
4 knit tops: 1 white, 1 chocolate brown, 1 navy, 1 pink/berry
3 cardigans: 1 chocolate brown, 1 berry, 1 navy

Sunday: khaki plaid skirt, white blouse, navy cardigan

Okay, for the patterns...
Skirts- I'm going to see how far I can go with Simplicity 5914, probably views A and D. For the tiered skirt I'm going to copy a favorite one that is worn out.
Dresses- for the dresses, I'm going to be using McCalls 4769 view F. I think the seams will let me alter it easily, and I might tweak the sleeves a bit, depending on the fit of the mock up.
Blouses- The Sense & Sensibility romantic blouse

I think I will probably purchase the knit tops since those are easy to find in lots of colors and styles. Then for the cardigans I have the chocolate brown one, and haven't decided where exactly I'll be getting the other two.

Well that's what I've come up with, I'd love to hear what you think!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Rest

(photo taken by Bitty)

- Elsie N. Brady

How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Family Night

So coming up with brilliant things to blog about today proved to be somewhat difficult. Joe spent the day working on a rather huge project (more on that in another post soon), so the kids and I had the day free to go play. We spent a few hours at my mom's; now that everyone is healthy again we can finally start visiting again. :) After that we went down to WalMart to look at fabric. I'm working on a fall/winter wardrobe "collection" (again, more on that soon!) and I was looking for some pretty see the only problem is that WalMart has several lines of fabric that they stock and rarely do they get anything new. So, since I've been buying fabric from them for the last oh, 10 years, I feel like at some point I have worn every version of calico they sell. :) So in order to not completely let the kids down, I started talking about the new and exciting concept of "Family Night" that we were going to start this evening. Of course Jenny wanted to know all about it, so I told her that she and Daddy would be making pizza and that after we could watch a special movie or play a game or something else fun. She really liked the game idea and asked what we would that point I quickly realized that I had miscalculated one thing... we only had big people games. So after a quick browsing of of the game isle, we found that there is a line of games by one of their favorite illustrators, Eric Carle. They just had one of them (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), but it looks like Target has several more that I think we might start "collecting"...maybe a few as family Christmas gifts? We really had fun with the Caterpillar game, Jenny especially. :)

Here are links for anyone interested...

Other Games (not Eric Carle)

And this pizza dough is really good, really easy, and doesn't need any time to rise!

Pizza Crust

1 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast (one package)
2 1/2-3 cups of flour

Preheat oven to 425*. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Pat out onto a greased pizza pan and add your toppings of choice. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Yield 1 large pizza. Enjoy!!

ps) A blog I love, Sew Liberated (side bar link) will be hosting an exchange that looks like lots of fun, so go over and take a look!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Jenny's hands
Anthony's hands

This week I am grateful for...

~ A husband who will take the day off so I can have a sick day
~ Beautiful fall weather
~ My dear friend Sommer who celebrates her birthday today!
~ A successful first week of my new blogging routine!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Menu Plan:: November 6-19

I'm trying to use what we have in the freezer and pantry this time so that I can do a bit of fabric shopping. (Those of you have seen my sewing room please stop laughing, I need a few things for my wardrobe!!) So without further ado...

All breakfasts: Fried egg sandwiches (two pieces toast, 1 fried egg, 1 piece bacon)
Morning snack: Doodles- "mix up", Mommy- yogurt
Lunches: Vegetable soup with pepperoni rolls (the Doodles might just eat the rolls)
After nap snack: Doodles- Applesauce and muffin, Mommy- Trail mix
Friday- Homemade mac'n'cheese, green beans
Saturday- Homemade pizza (family night)
Sunday- Crockpot roast, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and pie for dessert (have to choose a kind!)
Monday- Lasagna, salad, and garlic bread
Tuesday- Chicken pot pie
Wednesday- Pancake night (at my sister-in-law's--I bring eggs and or bacon)
Thursday- Leftover night/or PB&J (Joe almost always works late Thursday, so I like to keep it easy)

This time I'm trying a new way of writing this out. I normally just put it in my notebook, but this week I'm also trying writing each day out and posting it on my fridge. I think it will help things go smoother to have it right there in front of me! What's on your menu?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP Wednesday: A few firsts

I could probably split this into two posts, but I figured you wouldn't mind me showing off my finished project too? It just so happens to by my first felting project...

Jenny's slippers
At first they looked nothing like slippers and I really had my doubts, despite all of the cute finished project pictures on Ravelry...
But I continued on and after lots of (bad) seaming, I was rewarded with two BIG slippers. I made the children's size, and they were much bigger than my hand before felting. Then came three or four trips through the washer and dryer....
and *poof* they were slippers! :-D I'm not sure who loves them more, Jenny or myself. :)
Her toes go right up to the start of the pointy bit, so there is still some growing room, but they fit her nicely around, and honestly, now that she has them I'm not sure I could get them away for any more felting. :)
I used this pattern: Felted Slippers child sized
With Cascade 220 wool (pink is 7802 and grey is 8400)
They are raveled here

Jenny's Mittens
Now for the WIP's, first up are my first mittens! The pattern is a vintage one my mom found that is like the one her mom used to use. A nice, basic two needle mitten. They are to go with Jenny's hat. The lighting isn't great in this shot, but the yarn is the same as her hat. I am not thrilled with this first thumb, but I'm not sure what I did wrong...if I don't figure it out soon I'll just leave it wonky and fix it for the next one. I d like the pattern over all though, but I think I'll try the version that is knit in the round next time. After I finish this pair, I will be making these brilliant ones for Anthony (maybe with this hat?).

I'm using this pattern: Classic Mittens (two needle version)
With yarn from See Jayne Knit Yarns (Apple of My Sky)
and Knit Picks Shine Shine Worsted in Harbor (discontinued color)
They are raveled here

My 1st Shawl
I'm So excited about this project! I first saw it back in February when SouleMama made hers, and I thought "that looks easy enough for me to do!" I finally got the yarn a few weeks ago, but just got the chance to start it yesterday. The pattern says to split the yarn in to two balls and then you alternate between them for stripes, but I just adore the gradual color changes, so I left mine as one ball. I. Love. It. It is SO easy, and the colors are so magical that it's hard to work on anything else. :) The yarn changes from pinks to browns, to greens, to oranges... <3

I'm using this pattern (rav. link): Simple Yet Effective Shawl (fingering weight)
With this yarn- (not purchased from this link): Noro Silk Garden Sock (color S84)
And it's raveled here

Thank you all for looking! I have a few other things going, but I think that's good for today. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A give away!

I was just over at one of the blogs I read (Blessed Femina), and Jenny has reached her 1 year bloggiversary! In celebration, she is hosting a give away for a beautiful apron, as well as a woven pot holder set. Her work is so lovely, you should go look! You just have to comment on This Post (link) for a chance- the drawing is November 23.

My favorite chili

This morning I woke up feeling more than a wee bit under the weather. Not at all what I had been planning on, but I guess with everyone else in the world being sick right now, we were bound to get our turn at some point. There are two kinds of flu, and rumors of strep in our area...I hope it's none of those, but if it is, I find myself hoping for flu instead of strep... I guess we'll know in a few days! Maybe it's just a fluke. So anyway, I wanted to share my favorite chili recipe with you all today. It is my fall back meal, because it is so easy and fast. If you brown hamburger and freeze it ahead of time then it is also one of those one pan meals. :) Between the grocery store, and taking advantage of a food co-op sale, I can find most of these things organically, so don't see cans and despair (if you eat organically that is!).

My Mom's Chili

2 cans dark red kidney beans
2 cans black beans
2 cans corn
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 (small) can green chilies (I think they come diced?)
2-3 Tbsp chili powder
1-2 tsp cumin
1 lb. cooked ground beef

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down and allow to simmer for an hour or two. I always serve this over cornbread. I haven't found a very good recipe yet, so I use my favorite mix, the blue Jiffy box. If you have a good recipe let me know!! This is also really good with sour cream or shredded cheese on top.

I'm off to go pull together the coffee before Bitty gets up (btw, Bitty is Joe's sister who is currently living with us while she goes to school). Then I think the day will be one of those days when you have to just go into survival mode before breakfast. :) Fresh sheets, tidy a room or two to be sick in, read lots of stories (especially those new ones, Thank you Grammie!! Bob hasn't put his new dog book down!) and try to get healthy before we get sicker.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A bit of brainstorming

So, with this being my main blog now, first let me say welcome!! I'm super excited to "set up shop" here. I have some fun things in the works, so do please keep an eye out!

I'm working on building some structure in our days right
now...nothing super rigid or "busy", but just some nice, solid routines and rhythms. I have always done really well when I have the good foundation of routines, so I'm wanting to lay a few down for my blog as well. It's nice for you readers, because you can look forward to certain things on certain days, and it's nice for me, because it takes some of the creative guess work out of posting. Please remember that this is a work in progress, so I will most likely change this up a bit at some point; but for now, here's what I'm thinking....

Sunday~ Quotable Sunday -I've noticed several blogs doing some version of "quotable Sunday", whether it's a Bible verse, or just an inspirational quote, so I'd like to try that.

Monday~ Monday is my cleaning day, so I'm thinking of doing a "corners of my home" series, where I can share nice spots of my home, once they're nice and clean :D

Tuesday~ General blogging

Wednesday~ W-I-P Wednesday -A day to show off any of my current works in progress

Thursday~ General blogging

Friday~ Gratitude Friday -Like last Friday, just a day to quiet
down and be grateful

Saturday~ General blogging

Okay? Thoughts? I think it will be fun. :) I really must chug t
he rest of my coffee and get going now, but I wanted to start with this post today. So please let me know what you think! I will leave you with Miss Jenny's new hat (mittens are in the works!).

I used This free pattern (pdf link), and the wool is from See Jayne Knit. It went really fast, you just knit a rectangle, sew it up the sides and *viola* you have a hat. :) I learned a New Way (go down to "Finishing" and look at the mattress stitch) of sewing up my seams that looks So Much Better, and I am really super excited about it!

on my Mom and Dad's porch...we just got out of the car, so you can't really see Anthony's belt...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gratitude Friday

One of the blogs I'm really loving these days is Shelley's Waldorf Mama. Every Friday she does a post that I just love, called "Gratitude Friday", so I thought I would give it a try for the month of November. I wont be able to post the day after Thanksgiving, so I thought I would go ahead and get started today. Please feel free to join me!

This week I am grateful for...

~ Good health
~ Autumn clolors
~ My sister Olivia who turns 16 tomorrow!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I really really wanted to get to do WIP (work in progress) Wednesday this week, but since I had to wait until so late to take the pictures, it has turned into WIP Thursday...which, while not as catchy, will just have to do. :) While I was waiting, one of the WIP's turned into a finished project to share! Anyway, the WIP for the day is pictured above, and is one of two crowns for the prince and princess-ing that will be happening on Saturday. It is a really fun little knit, so I hope the work well! Jenny picked the costume concept this year, which worked perfectly with the supplies I had on hand. Yay for free! :)

And second is my favorite project, um, ever. Please meet our autumn nature table gnome. His name is still to be decided. :) He is SO MUCH FUN! I can't wait to make lots more. :) He is from a fantastic book called All Year Round. I can't wait to do more of their projects now!

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Finished Projects...

October is my favorite month. I just love it! So, why is it almost gone? I have been knitting up a storm lately, which does eat up a good bit of time. :) This hat was made *very*quickly* right before this little man's birthday. His age might be 7 (gasp!!), but his head is man sized...big man sized! He is big into everything outdoors, so I thought a nice wool hat would be just the thing. I used cascade 22o, and this pattern. It is "raveled" HERE. I made the BIGGEST size and it fits him perfectly. :) And as a synesthete, being able to make my "red" brother the perfect shade of red hat makes me very happy!

Next off the needles were these gloves for Bitty (the photo was her way of saying thank-you). I modified this pattern, and you can see them on ravelry here. I used Knit Picks' City Tweed yarn, I really love everything I've gotten from them! (I'm actually working on a cardigan for each of my kids in their Wool of the Andes bulky yarn!)
Then just for good measure, here is Mr. Anthony with my sister Eliza (visiting home from college)
And my Jenny and my sister Zelie...or as they prefer, "Dora and Diego" respectively. ;)

The dinner timer just beeped, so that's all for today!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Tuesday we celebrated Michaelmas. It was our first year to do so, so I'm sure our traditions will vary a bit as they get established, but we had so much fun, I'm already looking forward to future years. :) We combined some Catholic, and Waldorf traditions, as well as a few we found in blogland. I'm still finding my footing for this holiday, but here is what we did...
Lots of capes were worn, because all of the art of St. Michael shows him wearing a cape, the kids loved running around in the wind in capes!
Little boys capes are very hard to photograph...

Jenny and I made the dragon bread. Although is is the feast of the Archangels, there seems to be allot of St. George and the dragon thrown into everyone's traditions. Hence the dragon bread. When we ate it we dipped it in marinara sauce for "blood"...the girls didn't really get it, and the boys loved it!

This really is 98% Jenny's creation. That's the head over there on the left (with both eyes and nostrils, lest you be confused, lol), legs, tail, spikes etc. We just used our regular pizza dough recipe and it worked great! We joined my family for dinner of harvesty minestrone soup and dragon food, followed with blackberries and angel food cake trifle, and devils food chocolate cake. :) You see, it is the traditional day that St. Michael threw the devil out of Heaven, and tradition has it that he landed in a blackberry bush. So Michaelmas is the last day of the year to eat fresh blackberries. We had so much fun! We will definitely celebrate it again next year. I'm really looking forward to Martinmas on November 11th now! It's a bit of a bigger celebration (well, in the areas that celebrate these days!), and we will do more for it, but that's probably better to save for a post closer to the day.


When I turned the camera on to show Joseph the pictures from the day (he had to work late), I found that Jenny and Anthony had gotten a hold of the camera (!!!) and done a little photo shoot. There was a hysterical series, but most of them were really out of focus. Jenny clearly had Anthony sit on the sofa and then took many, many pictures of him. Then (I guess she's been watching me to closely!) she had walked around the room taking pictures of "interesting" things. ;) This was the very first one...taken right next to where the camera was. I love the "accomplice" grin on his face!
So yeah, it's a good thing I discovered this after they were in bed already or else there would have been really bad positive re-enforcement! Joe and I laughed until we were crying. Oh those Doodles...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Top Ten

These are the top ten things on my sewing list:
  1. Flannel lined overalls for Anthony (three or four pair, plus at least one pair for church)
  2. Shopping cart cover
  3. Winter skirts for me!!
  4. Picnic blanket/basket set for my friend's wedding
  5. Flannel pajamas for both of my boys
  6. Flannel sheets for Jenny and Anthony
  7. Binding on Anthony's quilt
  8. Church dresses for Jenny and my nieces
  9. Winter tops for me
  10. Aprons!!
And these are the top ten on my knitting/crocheting list:
  1. Felted slippers for Jenny and Anthony (1 slipper down, 3 to go, then felting!!)
  2. Finish scarf for Joseph
  3. Scarf and hat set for Jenny
  4. Hat & arm warmers set for Rose
  5. Arm warmers for Bitty
  6. Winter hat for me
  7. Finish Anthony's teddy bear
  8. Make sweaters for our Martinmas celebration (gifts for the Doodles)
  9. Sweater for me--not 100% on the pattern yet, but something cozy and very wearable/mommy friendly :)
  10. Hat for Joseph
What's on your crafting lists?

Monday, September 28, 2009


I'm so excited! I have finally made a really good soup without any recipe! :D I've been trying to do this for about 4.5 years. ;) It is still simmering away in the crock pot, so hasn't had the official tasting by the crowd that it will get at dinner time, but I keep tasting it and it is really yummy! I am also pleased to say that it is mostly organic! Almost all of the veggies are from our CSA share, and the hamburger is from a cow that we got from a local family as well. Neither of which are certified organic places, but if they aren't organic they are 99% better than Wal*Mart, and really they mostly just lack the certification.
I also thought I would share my current knitting project. Although it certainly doesn't look like it yet, this is the first of a pair of slippers for Jenny. :) Once I finish all the knitting, it gets folded all up and seamed to make a cute boot slipper, then you felt it to make it nice and warm and sturdy. I really can't wait to share the finished product with you! As soon as I finish these I have yarn for a pair for Anthony; the same grey and navy.
I am also about to take a big leap in my knitting/mothering adventure and knit my first pair of longies! For those who don't know, they are the out most layer for some styles of cloth diapering
. Made out of wonderful wool, they are supposed to be amazing. And the fact that they are absurdly cute doesn't hurt either. ;) I just have to locate the proper needles and then I will be starting those! My Anthony is very sensitive to man-made fibers, which makes my desire to dress us all in only natural fibers even more important. It has been a challenge to find diaper soakers (the cloth part that looks like a diaper) that do not at any point use micro-fleece. I have found a few Etsy shops that sell BEAUTIFUL diapers made from organic bamboo/cotton fleece (!!!!!!), and I have splurged on one to try, but think that if it all works for us like I hope, I will start making my own. I am excited to start this next step, and will keep you all posted as I learn about it! :)

I don't know if I will be able to post tomorrow, since it is a busy day for us. It is our first year celebrating Michaelmas, (not only a fun Catholic feast day, but also a way to incorporate the Waldorf that I love so much!)and in the evening it will be my first yoga class! I am taking it with my mom and possible my sister, so even if we aren't crazy with the class we will have fun together, and it will be a nice break from the littles! This is our first class, so we will be able to decide if we will be making it a weekly thing or not. I know that some avoid yoga because of the religious background, but I really feel this is something my body needs (I have really messed up joints), and I am taking a "glean what works" approach to it. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Fresh Start

I would like to start by saying that I am writing this while wearing not only socks, but a sweatshirt! And my fingers are still cold! Yes, fall is finally here. :) I am so excited to start our new schedule and routines on Monday! I know that we wont hit 100% the first day, or maybe even the first week, but I am excited to have a goal to be working toward. :) My big goal is to make sure that my bedtime is firmly in place so that *hopefully* by the end of the week I'll be getting up at 5:30, and getting some coffee/prayer/quiet time before the day starts! I know it sounds super early, and it might be pushed back to 6:00, but Anthony is up by 6:30 most days, so in order to beat him out of bed I have to really get up early... I am hoping to have lights out by about 9:30 though, so that is still a good night's sleep. Well, there will be more to come on all of our schedules later, tonight I just wanted to share some recent finished projects. :) Oh, and also, please notice that I added the subscription option over in the right hand side bar, as well as a "search" feature. I hope that makes your blog reading a bit easier!

This is just a little pocket-sized heart. The pattern is available Here, if any of you would like to knit one. I simply love it! This one is for a friend of mine, for those days when you just need something small to hold. I think we all know those days sometimes. (Raveled HERE)

This is a flannel blanket I made for my sister-in-law Heather, who's baby shower I hosted this afternoon. It is two sides of flannel, with a satin binding. (I hope to make a tutorial for these soon, they are just the best blankets, and are SO super easy!) I also made a matching boppy (nursing pillow) cover, out of the ladybug flannel, with red piping, but I didn't get a very good picture of that.

This little love is my gift for my soon-to-arrive niece, Noelle. I had so much fun knitting him (he is my first knit toy!) and I think he turned out rather well. The variegated yarn is a lovely wool, and the pink arms and head are an acrylic/bamboo blend. He feels SO good to squeeze!

A close up of the face. I embroidered the face in the same yarn I used for his bow; it's Debbie Bliss baby alpaca in a lovely cranberry color. :) For the eyes I just used brown felt.
(Raveled HERE but you do have to have a Ravelry account to see it)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Less is More

Go take a peak at my family blog for an update on what's to come!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I love this hat!

Incase you too would like this pattern, it is available Here. I think I'm ging to try to "wing it", no pun intendid!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shopping Day ~Menu

I'm pleased t report that we did pretty well last time, but I hope to stick to the menu even better this time. I'm also hoping to get some chili made up to freeze to have on hand for back up dinners. :)

Breakfasts- Bagels and/or cereal
Snack- Animal crackers and or yogurt
Lunches- Sandwiches- pb&j or grilled cheese
Snack- "finger cookies", raisins etc.
Cheeseburgers and F.F.
Joseph's chicken, salad, rolls
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegies
Spaghetti w/ meat sauce, garlic bread, salad (brownies for desert)
Pizza and sundaes (family night)
Left overs or chili and cornbread (depending on left overs quantities)

Off to the store!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Speaking of Food...

This is a pizza I made last week. Just a simple pizza crust, covered with bbq chicken (I baked the breasts, then chopped them and tossed them with bbq sauce), zucchini, summer squash, tiny red onions and fiesta blend cheese. On the very top I added orange cherry tomatoes (my favorite!) and baked the whole thing. It was SO good! Very summer-time-y. :)


Inspired by Emily's post on menu planning, I thought I would start sharing our menus. They are nothing fancy, and I am always learning on this front, but I like seeing such things on other blogs, so I thought I'd share. :) I have a few things that I try to keep in mind when menu planning...
What do I already have?
What sorts of local produce will we be getting in our CSA share?
Add least two new recipes

The other important things to mention are that I plan for two weeks at a time, sometimes 10-12 different dinners, sometimes 5 or 6 that get rotated twice. I try to factor in snacks so that we keep everyone's blood sugar levels up and friendly, and try to balance frugality, healthiness and yumminess. :) We've just started doing family night on Saturday, and we try to fit in a date night or two over the two weeks. This is probably the lamest one we've had in a while, in terms of healthiness, but I felt the early stages of a fever/cold while making it and I needed simple things

Menu~ August 15-28

Breakfasts~ Bagels or oatmeal, OJ (coffee!!)
Snack~ pretzel sticks
Lunch~ pb&j/grilled cheese/turkey & cheese, milk, "finger cookies" maybe raisins etc.
Snack~ animal crackers & raisins
Spicy Spaghetti Pie
Cheeseburgers & french fries
Fried Rice
Stuffed Peppers, flavored rice
Chili & cornbread
Pizza (family night), Banana splits/Sundaes
Date night or leftover night (in a pinch we'll do eggs and pancakes)
Desert/Snack~ (mostly for grown ups after babies are in bed!) Ice cream/Oreos/Chips

So there it is! My new recipe this week is spaghetti sauce, I'm starting with whole tomatoes, so we'll see what happens! So how do you menu plan? What's on your menus right now?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Works in Progress...

The simple fact is that I have to many projects on my needles. So I'm picking two that I want to get done first and those are my priorities until they're done. I don't mind having multiple things going, but I think that 3 or 4 would suffice, all available needles might be a bit much. ;) Here's a peak at those two projects...
"Toast" for Eliza...
Ribbed scarf for Joseph

Oh, and for any readers who are on Ravelry (the very best resource for knitters and crocheters) you can look me up under MackenzieH.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to Zelie....

My baby sister turned 3 yesterday! She's pretty convinced that she is Dora (the explorer) so I thought this would sort of capture her last year and be fun for the next one. :) I used an o.o.p. pattern that I really like. I took the pictures before I had sewn the ribbon on around the waist...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coming Soon...

My first tutorial! I just have to pull together a few more pictures and then I'll show you how I made these fun not-so-little bibs...

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