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2015 – Welcome to a New Year

So I am sitting here with the comforting smell of dinner in the oven wafting through the house as the kitty sits at my feet on the ottoman and I have a glass of sparkling apple cider (we had more that we could drink last night) whilst I think of the things I want to accomplish this year.

  • One special pair of knitted socks a month (patterns that aren’t just stockinette)
  • Lose the weight I gained from the knee surgery/get in shape again
  • Save extra money for a year just so I can give my kids an extra special Christmas
  • Start reading a book (at least one) a month – because I spend no time relaxing/reading
  • Finish my WIPS (blankets I started up to 3 years ago)
  • Read my entire Bible (I still haven’t done that since I started to believe in 2009)
  • Finish two quilts I started last year (for Christmas 2015 – for the kids)
  • Keep my hands and dye off of my hair (oh and no more shaving of my head)

I have a few pictures to share as well:

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Kool Aid dyed wool
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Kool Aid dyed wool
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Perler Beads
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At Jewel Caves
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Christmas 2014
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Broken Ball Winder
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christmas gifts!
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Latest finished socks
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I have bagged up sock yarn and patterns for every month of 2015

 

baking, cooking

Cleaning, cooking and crafting

This weekend I’ve spent time staying in, aside from the weekly doctor’s office visit for the kids’  allergy shots and a quick run to the market for essentials (milk, cheese, avocado, and a few things I forgot for dinners this weekend). I set aside Saturday morning (late morning) to make another batch of laundry detergent. I don’t like how much I’ve had to pay, in the past, for store bought detergent and the fact that my kids were always itchy (bless their hearts, all those allergies they suffer from). I went back to my Pinterest to find the recipe for the last detergent I made, and realized the last batch wasn’t right! Oops! The tutorial tells you 2 bars of Zote (they are 14.1 oz) but I was using Fels Naptha in the 5.5 oz size (only used two) I guess I should have paid more attention when I made it. This time, I had enough of the Fels Naptha and still struggled… 2 bars were fresh and slick, so they were easy to grate like cheese…. the other bars were drier and very difficult so I tried the microwaving tip on the tutorial…. it worked but was a pain in the backside. Once cooled, I was able to crumble the soap between my fingers (gloved hands) and mix in with everything else. I filled a JUMBO Ziploc bag (the 5gallon sized) plus a large Oxy Clean powder container and a slightly smaller Oxy Clean container! You literally only need 2T of detergent and it’s amazing! No additives, colors, etc. I don’t remember when I made my last batch, but I will remember when I made this batch, so I can see how long it lasts.

This is the direct link to the laundry detergent recipe: Laundry detergent DIY
I also made some Chicken Pozole in the slow cooker for dinner tonight (it’s still cooking as we speak) and here is the recipe! It smells delicious!  The kids helped me pick up the living room, as it was needed with our busy week, and I then brushed the cat, dusted, and vacuumed the room. It feels fresher now! I also got the kitchen cleaned, it’s closer to my standard (with my surgery and our busy schedules, the housework has been slipping – which drives me mad) so it’s nice to catch up with things. I have to also redo my closet, which is mostly craft supplies and hung up clothes, as the kitty decided it was going to be fun to get into everything and knocked stuff over! It’s difficult to move items and get it all organized with my knee still screwed up, it ends up hurting/getting tired/swelling, and that causes me to stop enjoying it.

We are also going to have some yummy Lemon cake later, thanks to Lucy over at the Attic. I adore her recipes, they always look delish, and they are easy to make. I made it in the food processor, as she did, and I’m glad. It was so simple and my fingers still smell of lemon. Believe me, I am happy about that, as I love lemons!

The cake is out of the oven and cooling… I can’t wait!!! But I am sad to report the cake fell in the middle (I did open the oven during cooking, because I wanted to show the family) so that may have been why AND I didn’t think about high altitude! Darn it! The No Knead bread recipe doesn’t need altitude adjustment, so I just forgot (I live at nearly 5K feet) oh well, it should be tasty anyway! But, I am the weird person that wants a lemon cake with chocolate frosting for my birthday (which means it’s homemade since nobody makes them in bakeries around here) but that’s okay. I can add lemon juice AND zest to make it just the way I like.

The kids are currently playing with a rainy day box I quickly put together (Thanks to Deborah for the idea) and I’ll be stocking it up the next time I do shopping at a craft store. They are gluing, cutting, coloring, writing and using stickers…. my daughter already wrote me a letter! They are so sweet.

I also have been keeping busy with knitting, slowly working on this summer dress for my daughter (obviously no rush as we’ve been having cooler weather and it has been raining since 7am today! – it’s now 120pm!!) but it’s coming along well. This weather makes me want to make a cup of tea, have a slice of that lemon cake and snuggle on the couch next to the cat, as she’s having another cat nap. I think that’s a great idea, so I’m off to put the kettle on and check on the aromatic lemon cake that is teasing me with it’s delicious-ness!

 

crafting, Crochet

Attic24: Mandala Wheels for Yarndale

Attic24: Mandala Wheels for Yarndale.

I have done it… I really have done it! I have decided (after saying I wouldn’t) to make Lucy a mandala for Yarndale. I would love to go one day (of course, having to actually be in the UK would be helpful for a start!) but I didn’t get to find out about the triangles for last year’s Yarndale until it was too late.

I went on the “We Love Lucy II” page on Facebook BEFORE I picked up my socks that I’ve been knitting a while (surgery really put a damper on my yarny projects) and read Lucy’s blog…. I’m hooked (not even trying to be cheeky this time) and I MUST make a mandala!!!

So, off I go to find a pattern…. the hardest part of nearly every project it seems.

 

knee, physical therapy, recovery, surgery

Post Op (Knee Surgery – MPFL) Day 3

Good evening! I’m excited because in less than 12 hours, I’ll be done with my first post op appointment at physical therapy.

I wanted to show WHY you should NOT get those small band-aids. I did take a shower tonight and then took them off to replace with the big pads. The steri strips did get pulled a bit….

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Small band-aids before shower
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After shower and removal of small bandaids – see how everything is winging up? Still very little blood.
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Now with the larger and better band-aids…. all covered and waterproof!

 

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Weekend update

This afternoon has been fun and relaxing. 

After their allergy shots, L and A sat down at the kitchen table with empty toilet paper rolls, and empty cereal box, origami paper, wrapping paper pieces, glue, pens, crayons, scissors and little fuzzy balls, not to mention a bunch of imagination. 
I took to cutting the box so they could fit a few of the empty rolls into it. Then I let them go wild and decorate their tubes anyway they wanted. Of course, they went straight away to Doctor Who and created Daleks! My son, A, made one that is supposed to be me… So flattering. I made an owl (of course…. What else!?) 
We glued them with Elmers school glue to the inside of the box and let it dry. Now it stores their colored pencils and school pencils for homework. They are quite proud of their creation. 
After some cleaning up, I tried out a recipe for ‘No Bake Chewy Granola Bars’ and they are so yummy!!! 

Here is the link to the recipe, which I found when browsing Pinterest (which is a great time waster!) http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/2013/06/no-bake-chewy-granola-bars_23.html?spref=pi&m=1
Then we went out for dinner, the best pizza place around…. And I grew up in a pizzaria (my bestie’s parents were Sicilian pizza gods) they made the best New York Style pizza around…. But this place I have found in South Dakota is even better with a less greasy pizza and even offers whole wheat crust, and it’s amazing. It was a nice treat…. Alas, no pictures…. I have a one track mind when it comes to pizza…. EAT! 
Last night I started a new cardigan: ‘Peggy Sue’ by Linda Wilgus. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/peggy-sue
I am using some basic DK weight acrylic, Stylecraft Special DK in Silver. I figured the color is neutral enough to get a lot of use. I want to make a red one eventually, to go perfectly with my new red and white dress I created.  
Here is a close up of the back. I don’t have a good picture of the full dress (they are all cell phone bathroom mirror photos) 

But I will show you how far I’ve gotten on my cardigan in silver: 

 

I figure I better get busy with knitting because we are supposed to get some nasty weather tonight (8-15″ of snow) and snow until Thursday?! I can tell you I won’t be going out much, though I MUST go grocery shopping (which means I have to drive 35miles to the closest grocery store).  

Eeekkk! 
Have a great week and I’ll catch up with you later. 
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Two years gone… and I’m back

Oh boy, there is so much to update.

There are so many things to update and I don’t know if I’ll remember it all, but I’ll make it quick and short (or at least as much as I can):

  • Both of my kids are in school now (K and 2nd grade) and I’ve finally become accustomed to being home alone.
  • We have a kitty, her name is Lena and she’s nearly 2.
  • I have finished the Granny Stripe and started MANY other blankets (only finished a few, others are hibernating)
  • I knit more than I crochet now…
  • AND I KNIT SOCKS! (finally)
  • My weight loss went very well until I got hurt (torn/ripped my MPFL during patella dislocation) and I’m still in physical therapy (I’ve gained some weight back because I was laid up for weeks…. and ate a lot of take out)
  • I shaved ½ of my head last summer…. and 6 months before that I had bright purple and neon pink in the front of my hair
  • I’ve been experimenting with Polymer clay crafts
  • I made my FIRST DRESS sewing!
  • I cut down my first Christmas tree all by myself in the woods…. and my last (which leads to the next bullet point)
  • No more real Christmas trees…. the kids were allergy tested and little “L” is severely allergic (two shots every week for 3 years!!!)
  • I’ve completely switched to Mac (I finally got rid of my crappy Windows computer last year)
  • I’ve made wonderful friends through a granny square swap that I did in 2012, people that I’m closer to than childhood friends and some family members
That’s about the best I can break it all down to… And I know I’m missing things, but I’m not remembering them right now.  A good way to catch up on my projects (knit/crochet) is to check out my project list on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/HookzAndNeedlez   (remember, if you aren’t a member, you won’t see them all)
I’m back and I’ll write more (yeah I have said that before, I’m sorry) but I’ll see what I can do to make a better effort.
Have a great night, and enjoy the first day of spring (it’s 20:40 here and it’s snowing…. stupid spring)
-Reneé
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Lucy Pack!

I just received my Stylecraft Special DK Colour Pack from Deramores today. 17 balls(100grams each) for $41.00 w/ free shipping and no taxes! I am not quite sure what I am going to make with it, probably a blanket for myself since my kids have claimed the hexagon blanket I made in the fall of 2011.
Here is my package of goodies all laid out!!!

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Long time, no blog!

I have been super busy with my family and life in general. I was just reminded that I need to keep this blog up, by my aunt whom asks for my recipes of the food I make, and post tons of pictures on my Facebook. Friends ask too, but not many of them! 🙂

So this morning, I posted a picture of breakfast…. fresh spinach, sautéed purple onions and portabello mushroom omelet with an english muffin. It was so good. I have been trying to eat much healthier as of late.

This is easy:

I lightly sauté mushrooms that I have sliced then cut in half, adding fine diced purple(red) onions in olive oil. Once the onions are becoming translucent, and the mushrooms get soft, I cool them on paper towel. I lightly beat one egg with about 2 tsp milk in a bowl with a wisk. I add white pepper (you can use whatever you want or nothing) and cook in a small nonstick skillet on the largest burner on low… make sure it’s completely heated. I put in 1 tsp salted butter and let it melt… don’t let it brown (burn) though. Then I add the egg and use my wisk (silicon covered) and move the eggs around to get air in them…. then when it’s set, I flip it over (I hate wiggly eggs!) Then I add the spinach, and the sautéed things. Let it cook on the bottom a bit, then slide onto plate folding as you plate it. Voilà!