Saturday, December 29, 2012


Happy weekend everyone! I wanted to apologize to anyone who might have subscribed to the comments on the last post, I've been getting hit with tons of spam comments. I think I have it fixed now by turning the word verification back on, I know it's a pain, but I prefer it to spam! Thanks for understanding, enjoy the day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

{Christmas Moments}

So, so, so, much good life happening in this little spot. Lots of lazy sleepy mornings, cocoa sipping, family visits, cozy days watching it snow (!!!) and lots of wondering how such little people can stand to be out in such bitter, windy cold. The kids really, really loved their farm mat. It's almost finished...I just ran out of secret time and secret spaces...but it has already been put to very good use. I'll get pictures soon, I can't recommend this project enough! Today we are having one last lazy day before that post-holiday-cleaning frenzy kicks in... The only goals for today involve knitting with my Christmas yarn, getting a shower, and making burgers and fries for dinner. Of course there will be lots of nose wiping, toe warming, book reading, and chocolate sneaking too. The most wonderful time of the year indeed. 

{Thank you all for your sweet comments! Joe made it home safe and sound and we have been loving every minute of our time with him. We have him for about two and a half more weeks!! I'm not thinking about after that yet.}

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!!

Linking up with SouleMama

Monday, December 17, 2012

{waiting, waiting, waiting}

{working on Daddy's gift}

I just wanted to say that I'm going to be away from this space for a few days while I go pick up a certain someone from the airport!! He's going to be home for four whole weeks this time visit...pure bliss. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

{Yarn Along}

In between blocks for the farm mat (that I still have no pictures of) I managed to crank out these cowls. The top one is a gift my swap partner in my little homeschooling mom's group. She also happens to be one of my new neighbors so it's been fun putting together a small pile of goodies for her. The cowl was quick and easy and I will be making more for sure! I'm sad to see this one go, but I certainly have more yarn -I can always make one for myself! The yarn is some delicious Brambleberry Organic Merino Bulky, always such a joy to work with! {Details at Ravelry}

The second cowl is a family gift although I wont say who, just in case she stops by here! It is knit in Malabrigo Rasta on size *19* needles!! It took practically no time and is like a cloud. {Details on Ravelry} I have another skein of rasta waiting for a few spare minutes for myself...! I'm currently reading "The Introvert's Way" by Sophia Dembling. It's a quick read, and she has a light and engaging writing style and I would definitely recommend it. I've found myself laughing several times and I'm going to make my oh-so-not-introverted hubby read it while he's home (NEXT WEEK!!)...I think it might give him some insight...and perhaps convince him that I'm not the only one of my kind. *wink* 

I'm joining the lovely Ginny for the Yarn Along today, for lots more inspiration go check out the link up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{Crafting On}

Finally we have some sunshine! Most of my crafting time around here is going to my frantic knitting of the farm mat. I'm making good progress on it, I have one final square to knit this evening, then all of the road/path pieces, sewing, and embellishing. I'm really hoping to have all of the knitting and sewing done in the next few days so I can block it over the weekend. I'm going to borrow my mom's laundry room table for that because there is no way I could sneak something that large in this house! Of course there are a few other projects here and there. A new obsession are these window stars. I have made two of the rainbow stars {tutorial found here}, and I'm starting to work my way through {this} book. That book has an absurdly wide price range, if you want it, do hunt around a little bit! I found a used copy for just a few dollars. There are tons of free tutorials though, so you don't really have to have the book. If you've made them and have a favorite tutorial please share!

Mostly today though, we are snuggling little boys with a tummy bug. Jenny had it over the weekend, and it seems to be a very short "active" period, but feeling generally crummy for a few days. Since we also have colds they just need lots of rest and love, but we should be better by the weekend!...I hope. I'm linking up with my friend Nicole today for {Keep Calm Craft On}, head over there for more crafty goodness!

Monday, December 10, 2012

{Nothing much}

It's been another week of no posts...certainly not my intention! I haven't been able to compete with the dark, rainy weather we've been having, it's hard (if not impossible) to get pictures and I just never feel quite like posting without pictures. Today looks sunny though, so maybe I'll try to get a little ahead in that area. I wanted to share two things this morning, first that I am once again sharing over at Rhythm of the Home. Second that in just one short week my man will be homeward bound!! Needless to say we are seriously excited about that. Hopefully I will be around more this week, but we are busy with preparing for Christmas, enjoying Advent, and fighting off the plague. Wishing you a happy second week of Advent!

P.S.} This post on Rockin' Granola is a must read!

Monday, December 3, 2012

{Rice Warmers}

Happy December! We are settling back into normal life after our two week trip. Is it really possible that we have only been home since Friday night? It's been a blur of sick kids, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning and decorating. We had a wonderful time with our family, but it always feels so good to be HOME! 

I am thrilled to say that I am guest posting over at the wonderful Rhythm of the Home blog this month! Today is my first post, as part of their "Being" series, and I will be sharing every Monday!  To go along with my post over there, I wanted to share a tutorial for these simple rice bags that we make. We use them heated up for sore muscles, or from the freezer for bumps, and we all take one to bed with us to help us stay toasty while we fall asleep. They also make wonderful gifts! Now I do also have to say that my camera and I were having a bit of a fight this evening and nothing I did would fix the dreadful lighting I hope the black and white images work alright for everyone! 

  • two pieces of flannel about 7.5"x7.5" although you can adjust this. We like smaller ones for the freezer, but this size is good for heating pads and bed warmers! I like to use old receiving blankets (which is why the edges of this one are rounded).
  • one pound of rice
  • a few tablespoons of dried lavender *or two-three herbal tea bags to scent your warmer
  • sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, thread, needle if you are sewing the opening shut by hand)
  • a funnel -I use a canning jar funnel and it slides into the opening perfectly, although in a pinch you could roll paper into a cone and that will certainly get the job done!

Step 1: Cut out your flannel pieces. Squared edges are fine, and what I normally do, two of these edges were already rounded so I just traced the curve onto the other corners.

Step 2: Place right sides together and stitch around your edges, leaving a 4" opening. Be sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of this seam! Do a narrow zig-zag around the edges to ensure everything stays nice and tidy.

Step 3: Turn rightside out and smooth seam along curves by running your finger along the seam inside of the warmer. Iron everything nice and flat, and press the seam allowance in 1/4" at the opening.

{See how nicely the funnel fits in the opening? This happened by accident one time I was winging it and I was clever enough to measure it.}

Step 4: Fill the bag 2/3 full with the rice. It might not seem like enough at first, but any more and it gets tricky to sew shut, and once you lay the warmer down and everything redistributes there really isn't room for anything more than this. This bag used an entire one pound bag of rice. Add in your dried lavender, or if you're using herbal tea bags, simply cut the bags open and sprinkle the contents into the warmer.

Step 5: Either stitch the opening shut by hand, or carefully zig-zag shut with your machine. The machine is obviously faster, but is also tricky since you have to be careful to not dump the rice! I've done it both ways, it's really up to you.

Step 6: Enjoy! Like I mention in the picture, we heat ours for 2 minutes, but every microwave heats differently so check it. With kids, err on the side of cooler, I always heat my own a bit more. You can just shake it around to cool it quickly. However, don't over heat it! You just think burnt popcorn smells bad.... *ahem* I have found that a smaller size of about 3"x3" is also quite handy. We store them in the freezer for bumps, and they are great heated up (it takes much less time for the small size!) for pocket warmers. If you want to make these a bit fancier, (or are giving them as gifts) you might like to make a cover for them. Simply make a slip cover like a pillow case, about 1/2" larger than the finished warmer.

I hope that helps you out a bit, let me know if you make them! 

Monday, November 26, 2012


*whew* What a fabulous week we have had. Lots of family, coffee, food, coffee, doing seemingly endless miles of french braids on my nieces' gorgeous hair (while my brother played with my boys),  and lots more coffee. Nomi just didn't want to sleep, and wouldn't be put down *at.all*...He weighs just under 30 pounds so that adds up to a lot of sore arms and a tired back! We enjoyed our drive down to Georgia and are now comfortably settled in with my sister and her hubby. I am enjoying peppermint mochas (Nomi still isn't sleeping as much as he might be at night!), long girly talks and helping my Eliza settle into their adorable new house. I'm going to be trying to get back into the swing of posting more regularly this week. December is a busy month for us and I have lots to share! 

xoxo ~Mackenzie

Sunday, November 18, 2012


{washing little boy wool}

This week is very busy...we've been in a flurry of cleaning and packing; trying to prepare for a (nearly) two week trip! I have been knitting like a mad woman every spare second I can squeeze in. My sister came over for a much needed extra pair of hands, and it was only a matter of time before I sat her down and made her knit offered her some knitting since she hadn't brought any. She was kind enough to knit the second sleeve of Bobby's sweater for me! I hate knitting sleeves. I think next time I will try knitting them separately  since the problem lies in the whole heavy sweater making everything cumbersome. I love top down sweaters, but I think that in the interest of finishing them quickly I need to explore other options. I am going to attempt to keep up the posting while I'm on my trip, lots of knitting updates and short posts I'm sure, but that is the goal. I thought I would try to do a color of the day, just so that I could focus on something...we shall see if anything comes of that! I'm off to snuggle babies into their beds so that I can finish up a bit of cleaning and then curl up with Numb3rs (on netflix) and....what else? My knitting! I have three projects actively moving right now, {side note: they are very different projects, on sizes 7, 10.5 and *19* needles!!} and several more waiting in the year I vow to divide my Christmas list between knitting, sewing, and something simple like baking!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

{Christmas Knitting ~ for the boys}

 {let me apologize in advance for the phone pictures, I can't make a big deal about photographing these!}

I've been so busy the past week moving our house around to prepare for the use of our base board heaters, and painting, and trying to get the windshield replaced so our car can pass inspection (ugh, hello tomorrow's job) and on and on and on. In the midst of those must-do things I've found a bit of time to work on this delightful little project for the boys' Christmas gift. I'm knitting them a farm mat you see...the green up there will be embellished with some grey "boulders", the brown is the "freshly plowed field", that fabulously loopy business is the wheat field, and of course, what would a farm be without a pond? Oh my goodness this thing is cute! In theory there are to be twelve blocks, but I'm determined to just work from my stash for this project, so we will see what I can manage. I'm hoping for at least nine squares. Once they are all finished, they will be knit together with dirt roads paths and gravel roads and streams. The textures are dreamy...some people have felted theirs slightly, which was my original plan...but I'm afraid I will loose too much of the texture if I do that will likely be a very last minute decision. I'm also determined to not worry about where I will block it when it's finished...this tiny house does not have much space for surprises! Okay, everyone is asleep now, I must go knit another block! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. For more moments head on over to Soulemama.

P.S.} Please stop by Wednesday's "Cold Season" post to share any ideas you might have! There are already some great comments, please keep them coming!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{turtle friend}

{turtle pictures by Jenny}

On a recent visit, my younger brother snagged a box turtle out of the middle of the road (something everyone in my family does) and brought it up for my kids to see. They have {possible} never been more excited about anything! I wasn't really interested in a long term pet, but told them they could have the afternoon to watch him and play with him and see what they could learn. They carefully set him down in a much deliberated over spot of grass (with just enough leaves and not too much shade *wink*) and they pulled their chairs up and sat to watch him come out. And sat, and sat and sat. They took turns coming inside for potty breaks, and snacks, and art supplies, and insisted on keeping my phone for pictures. There are even (several) videos that are hilarious and nauseating to watch. All in all they spent at least an hour with their "turtle friend"! (And yes, my children name every wild thing that they like "species-friend", birdie friend, turtle friend, froggy friend etc.)

It was so encouraging to see them show such interest in something, and to see that (when inspired enough on their own!) they can really focus on something and exist in a peaceful state. It makes days like today seem less eternal... it is most certainly one of the worst days we have had in a long time. My sister is coming over tonight though, and although she is coming to help me paint, I'm hoping it proves to be the change in situation that we all need to get out of this terrible-horrible-no good-very bad-day! There never seems to be any rhyme or reason for these days...but my goodness they certainly can derail all previous plans, can't they? 

Wishing you peace and harmony (or at least a good cup of tea)! 

{And I do want to say, that despite the total lack of consistent timing on my end, I'm really enjoying NaBloPoMo!}
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