Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Words of Wednesday - Contest

So, no review this week, because unfortunately I haven't had time to prepare one, but I will have one next week.

I have decided for the book contest, to do something a little different. Instead of giving a book away free, especially because you all may or may not have the same interests as me, I will be giving away a giftcard to at random times for $10. And since I never heard back from the winner of the last contest and time is just up for that, it is time for this one.

So leave a comment on this post and you will be entered for the $10 giftcard. The winner will be announced Tuesday, April 3rd and the winner has one week to contact me. Giftcard will be emailed to the winner.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Inspirations


Absolutely love this simple Gauzy Swaddle Blankets.

The making of this doll quilt, In Progress and Finished is just too nifty. Love it, makes me think of the Road to Eldorado.

Other Inspirations:

I love the Cape Town, South Africa pictures that June from PlanetJune posts.

Recipe Inspirations:

This Colcannon Cakes sound interesting and yummy.

I always want to try Cabbage Rolls but just never get around to it. I need to try to make this a priority to try!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not So Little Liam!

My sister, Echo, after many months of being told her third baby would be a girl, like her first two was very surprised last Friday to bring into this world a little baby boy! He has no idea what he is in for with so many girls in his family!

I have to admit, it's quite weird in the fact that I was there for each of the births of Echo's daughters and this if the first one I haven't been able to make it out to. Instead I won't get to meet him until he's almost 3.5 months old at the end of June!

Meet Liam:

Birth Info - Not only was he a surprise, he was a big baby!

Liam with the proud Mommy!

Doesn't he look like a little gnome baby?  He's just too adorable!

I will admit, this is my favorite picture of him so far.  I love his "Little Man" clothes and he looks like he's thinking "Who they heck are you?"

Sleepy hospital picture.

Sleepy hospital picture.

Here Liam is with his wonderful big sisters, Justice and Vera!  As Echo pointed out, it looks like he's scratching his head and thinking "My god, what have I gotten myself into?"  I love it!

I now have 3 nieces and 2 nephews(one through marriage), it is quite the little clan!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shed that Winter Coat!

Hey everyone! The nice weather is back . . . we shall see how long it stays. We have had 70-80 degree weather for like the last week and half. I love it, but it was just too warm so we had to get rid of that Winter Coat!

I have so much more energy now that it's warmer and I am shaved!  This is my new favorite place to lay, the bin holds the exercise toys and is right in front of the window!  Who knew that these weights would make such a wonderful arm rest?

This is my favorite place to steal!  Every time Mommy or Daddy bring out their yoga mats to workout on, I have to lay on them.  Especially Daddy's, his mat is much stinkier . . . which is better, right?

If you promise not to tell anyone, I will tell you a secret. . .my tail is about twice as fluffy as last year and I keep thinking it's something that is attacking me.  Every once in a while I have to bark at it and chase it, which is hard because it is very good at getting away from me.

Anyway, I have too much energy for too much posing, gotta get back to teaching my squeaky puppy a lesson!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words on Wednesday : The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

Types: This come in Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audible Audio.

Impression: This was an interesting book. I purchased it based on a review I had quickly scanned on one of the blogs I read. It was different than I expected, mostly because the author was quite honest about her experiences through the whole process of trying to make her life happier. She freely admits that it’s not like she has a bad life or anything, but she feels she should appreciate and be happier with the things she does have, because she does consider herself to have a good life. Which I think is an important point . . . to assume people are especially happy just because their lives are “good” is foolish. I think with most people, we don’t appreciate the good things we have, nor are most people happy. Complacent is quite different than happy.

Method: She approached this project with small steps and for the most part what seem to be realistic goals. One of the best things she reiterates is you can only change yourself, you cannot change others. Others behavior may change based on how differently you treat them, but you cannot force them to change. This was something I learned a long time ago and completely agree with. Each month she tackles a different area that she would like to improve her happiness level in. Within each month are a few different ways/goals to tackle the larger goal. The small things she takes into consideration will make you question your own behaviors in different situations.

The author recognizes that not everyone is the same, that her happiness project will not be the same as the readers. Her goal isn’t to tell you the reasons why you are not happy or why you aren’t as happy as you could be, instead, she lets you look into the insight she has gained about herself. She looked at her own life and evaluated the areas of her life that she thought could change to make herself happier. Her insights into her own life may make you look at areas of your life that you may not have considered otherwise in your own happiness project.

Story: Granted this isn’t a “story” like that, but it does have its own story. The author seems honest in her evaluation of whether or not her tactics work, how she behaves in certain situations, and her feelings toward her project. Her honest evaluation of the process is part of this book that makes it more valuable. This is not written like a self-help book in the way that everything will work, if only you give enough effort or time. The author freely admits that some of her tactics didn’t work, for a variety of reasons from her ability to remember to do them, to their adverse effect on her goal.

She includes examples of research and studies about happiness, but honestly, I think her experience was more valuable to read about than what some expert says.  Experiences always rack up more points in my opinion.

Overall: Well, I would recommend this book even if you don’t have intentions of creating your own happiness plan, this is a book that is worth reading just for the heck of it. I am sure you will find thought provoking moments.

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The author also has a blog that she had simultaneously and still continues with The Happiness Project Blog.

There is a chance you may hear more about this as I am contemplating doing my own Happiness Project.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Knitting Inspiration:

I did not join Romi's which is so disappointing after seeing this version of Palelehua or Butterfly. I really like this and think it a little varied it would make a wonderful circular shawl/blanket.

Sewing Inspiration:

Loving these little Cathedral Window Pincushions, so much in fact so, that I want to make some potholders using this.

Recipe Inspirations:

I love Boston Cream Pie and this Boston Cream Poke Cake seems like a lovely variation on it! I am going to have to make this sometime this week!

I keep saying I am going to make my own granola bars and darn it, I am going to, these Chocolate Granola Bars just remind me how much I miss granola bars!

Friday, March 16, 2012

John's Socks

Yarn : JoAnn's Sensations Bamboo and Ewe
Color : Turquoise
Content : 40% Wool, 30% Nylon, 15% Rayon
Care : Machine Wash
Needles : US 1 / 2.25mm (KnitPicks 47" Circular)
Pattern : Modified version of Kellswater Socks, Rav Link
Modifications: Top down, heel flap, modified version of diamond/cable chart to fit 76 stitches, and no anchor chart used.

I have made these socks my bus knitting, which means I get plenty of time, if the bus is not so packed that everyone is squished together!

This one isn't color correct, but it shows the texture wonderfully.  I have to say that I really love the texture in these socks, because the chart is so easily memorized I have not trouble zooming through it and it is easy to do on the bus.

This one is a little more color correct and shows the front of the sock.

Here is the heel flap, just a simple slip stitch heel, was going to use the cable down the heel, but it's too much of a difference in fabric and I think it would feel weird with shoes on.

I am really liking these socks, still into the cable thing. If he likes these, I might knit him a more colorful pair in the future!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Words of Wednesday - A Modern Witch Series

First, the giveaway for last week, DogMommy4, I need you to contact me since you did not leave your email.  Please email me at

- - - - - - - -Onto the review - - - - - - - - - 

Ah, this one is a series. Often, if I like the first book, I will buy all the rest and then read them. Sometimes this bites me in the butt, but sometimes, like this time it was definitely worth it. The three books are : A Modern Witch, A Hidden Witch, and A Reckless Witch by Debora Geary.

Now I purchased these books more for the supernatural aspect of them. These were a recommendation in one of my Amazon emails.  I will admit that in a review on Amazon someone mentioned that they books will wrap you up and make you cry.  I usually don't believe people when they say things like this, because a book almost never has this effect on me . . .lets just say I cried, a few times, out of joy and sadness.

Impressions : These books are really well written and the author either writes about things she knows well or she does research.  She gives good details and interesting facts about different topics as they apply to the characters or story.  It can be very annoying when authors talk about subjects they actually know very little about or are not willing to do the research, but this was definitely not a problem with these books.  Topics: writing gaming code, yoga, real estate, weather patterns and how storms are created . . . basically what I am saying here, is I actually felt like I learned somethings to in a non-direct way, which was nice.  This series, and her companion series, Witchlight, which I will review after the third book is released, all have a very strong sense of family.  Good family, friends, and relationships were my favorite thing about these books, honestly, they ended up surpassing the fantasy aspect of it all for me.  This author is worth reading.

Characters:  Wonderful cast of characters in these books, whether you like them in the beginning or not.  Just as real people, they all make bad decisions at time and good.  They all end up tying into each other in wonderful ways, creating an even larger community/family unit in different ways.  I love the fact that in the first one, the one who unsuspectingly finds out she is a witch, with powers is the one who least wants it, fights it the most.  Each books takes a person or two to be the main story line, but there are so many other characters involved.  The author does a good job of not only introducing them to you slowly, throughout the series, but each has such a wonderfully unique personality, just as if they existed, that you don't have any problem remember who is who.  They easily feel like the family/friend/community you would want to be in.

Story Development:Through each book, they move at a good pace.  There are times when the story moves quickly and where it moves slower, but it all works with what is going on in the story.  You really get to see the characters evolve as individuals and how that affects the other characters and where they story ends up taking you.  They deal with a witch who doesn't want to be a witch, a witch who has yearned all her life to be a witch and suddenly finds out she is one - but not in the way she had hoped, and a witch who grew up not understanding the effects her magic could have if not done safely. 

Couldn't put it down/Could walk away at any time: Definitely could not put them down.  Usually I only listen to the Kindle at work, since I am allowed to wear headphones.  That is 8-10 hours with headphones in, which is long enough for me, but I found myself listening to these at home to, wanting to know what was going to happen, wanting to be pulled into their supportive/loving world.

Overall: I recommend these books, not for it's fantasy aspect, which is good in its own right, but for the community aspect of this book.  Even if you do not believe in the concept of witchcraft and/or do not care for fantasy books, these books are so much more than that.  They are wonderful books about learning the concepts of trust, love, friendship, and community.

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

There is a fourth book set to come out in the series and I cannot wait!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekend of Just Hanging Out

Hey interwebs, this is the Wookie.  This weekend was so much fun! Daddy had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off so Mommy took Friday off so we could spend those three days together. We went to the dog park, lots of walks, played, and just hung out. Sometimes I think my favorite part is just the hanging out.

Did you know that snuggling and The Colbert Show are an essential part of hanging out?

Here is me and Daddy hanging out, I may be a small dog, but I prefer it if I can have half of the bed!

There are few shows I will actually look at and watch and Stephen Colbert is one of them . . . I think it's mostly cause I am trying to figure out why Mommy is so in love with him.

When you know life is good, you just have to give someone a high-five!

Yes, I do like my pillows also, in fact, Mommy and Daddy may have lost a few to me.  Sometimes I take them off the bed and into the living room when I want to sleep out there.

I was so into just hanging out, I just noticed Mommy was actually taking pictures.

I love pictures, so like a dutiful puppy, I had to come pose, even if I look a little sleepy.

Here is my outtake, Mommy caught me mid yawn and the red eye thing happened too!  She says I look like a demon puppy!

Hope all of you guys had a wonderful weekend like I did. Look forward to posts about next weekend . . . if it's nice enough, we might go on a bike trip!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Irish Shell Bag

Love this bag! I test knitted the small, but am going to knit up some of the large for re-usable shopping bags.

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver
Color: BonBon Print
Content: 100% Acrylic
Care: Machine wash and dry
Pattern: Irish Shell in worsted weight.
Needles: US 6 / 4mm
Mods: No mods since it was a test-knit.
Measurements: 11" wide x 7.5" tall (not being stretched)

The V-stitch at the top was a new stitch to me and I love it!

The Brioche Stitch was new to me to, I had heard of it, but never actually done it and it was easier than I thought.

Detail of the V-Stitch and the Brioche Stitch.

Love how it stays open like a bucket!

Short rows are used to created the wide bottom.  Which sounds complicated in the pattern, but if you just do exactly what the pattern says, it is easy and works out fine.


I put like 10 pears in here and there is still plenty of room.

There are like 10 oranges in here too, love it!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Business Inspirations:

This post from June of Planet June talks about how some of the best business successes are the ones you do to please yourself, not necessarily looking for sales.

Blogging Inspirations:

Hopefully I will remember this year to do the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week this year.

Recipe Inspiration:

Pizza is one of those things that is limited in Gluten Free, some crust are okay, some are just plain gross . . . so this Cauliflower Pizza Crust sounds like something interesting to try.

Sometimes you just want some PIE!!

Not only a recipe for Vanilla Animal Crackers, but also Chocolate Animal Crackers

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Words of Wednesday - Frankenfine

So, instead of the theory of Wordless Wednesday, I am deciding to do Words of Wednesday, which is basically reviews of books I have read - -  pretty much only on my Kindle, since that seems to be the only reading I do any more.  If you have any recommendations for my format of reviewing, please let me know.  Every once in a while I plan on having a giveaway, like this time. (See bottom of post)

So the book I am going to review to is : Frankenfine : Fine As Hell by Preita Salyer

Available as Digital Download only on Amazon.

Impressions:  This book reminded me of Laurel K Hamilton's early work, before her stories seemed to center around sex, sex, and more sex.  (not that their is a problem with sex, but sometimes I'd like a little more plot)  Lots of other worldly / fantasy creatures in an urban setting.  I like that Preita gave her own twist to what defines a vampire, were, god, troll, etc. but still kept it within the realm of standing mythology. I also enjoyed the fact that even though the main character is a "creature" of Dr. Frankenstein, that really wasn't the main focus of the story, it was just part of her background.

Characters: Character development was good in this story.  There aren't any of those moments where you feel like tons of info is being heaped onto you about a character because the writer doesn't know where to actually place them in the story.  Information about the characters and their personalities are well spread out through the story and feel like the characters could be real people.  She did a good job of creating characters that you either liked or you didn't . . . but a bit of it trickles in that either the character or the author truly believes that no matter what . . . there is good in all people/creatures.

Story Development:I thought the story development was good, a nice pace where the story didn't feel rushed or drawn out.  Some stories have the problem that you can tell the book was written to tell one specific event and everything leads up or only holds meaning because of this.  But Preita's book was more about the character, Kate, and her life.  Yes, as any story, her life has a bunch of changes happen in this story, but a lot of things in her life stay consistent and when you are as old as Kate, her life has had many changes before, so it's not like it's anything out of the ordinary in some ways.

The story left room for another book in the series, there are still unanswered questions and it leaves you wanting to know more about these characters and what will happen next in their lives.

Couldn't put it down/Could walk away at any time: This book was definitely one of those books where you wanted to keep reading to know what happened, with the characters and the story line.  Sometimes a book can be walked away from, even a decent book. . .  it's story easily forgotten; not to be picked up again, but this wasn't one of those.  Honestly, when I finished with this story, I found myself disappointed that there wasn't another book in the series already. 

Overall: In the end, I would recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy, werewolves, vampires, etc.  In fact, if you like those things, I would consider this a must read.

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Giveaway: So, if you would like to win a copy of Preita's book Frankenfine, please leave a comment on this post, saying you would like a copy by Tuesday, the 13th, at midnight.  Unless I personally know how to contact you, you must enter your email for me to be able to contact you. Next Wednesday, I will use the random generator to select a winner!  If you would like to read it, but don't have a Kindle, don't worry, you can also read the book with one of Amazon's Reading Apps!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Sewing Inspirations:

For someone reason I am very into the sewing inspirations lately. . . these Octagonal Orb Blocks look super nifty and I want to try them.

Recipe Inspirations:

These Gluten Free Doughnuts look delicious and don't sound too complicated to make.

Hmmm, Smoked Salmon Chowder sounds super yummy.

I love breakfast food and this Huevos Motulenos look freakin delicious! Complex, but delicious. I have never had fried plantains, but still want to try it.

I really want to try these Tropical Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, but not so sure the husband would care for them. We shall see.

Sometimes there are things that are just so simple, you wonder why you didn't think of them yourself. . . Egg Crepes, which are basically just very thin omelet shells. Which you could make some lovely breakfast burritos or Asian wraps . . . going to have to try something. Do you actually need a crepe pan to make crepe like things?

You know that if the world ended tomorrow, you would be sad you hadn't tried these Chocolate Topped Gingerbread Cupcakes with Marshmallow Creme Filling. Do they not look absolutely sinful and delicious?

Here are two different, but similar recipes for Caramel Corn . . . love that stuff. . . Recipe 1 and Recipe 2.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Goals, Addictions, and Ideas

Ah, it's a new month already and I missed posting on the 1st!  The weather around here really cannot decide what season it wants to be in so my sinus allergies have been wreaking havoc on my head.

Also I have had some severe Cast-on-itis and that does not make for good blogging if you have half a gazillion projects and only a smidgen being accomplished on each since you working on too many at a time.

On the positive or negative, whichever you'd like to consider it . . . all of this casting on and attempts at writing up some patterns have really got the wheels and cogs in my mind going and I have ideas like crazy . . . hopefully they will go somewhere and not die on a page or in my head.

Any who, onto the goals.  Goals for February only went so-so. . . so lets just move onto how we are adjusting them for March!

I did start some Pattern Writing, but didn't get quite as far as I had hoped.  So new goals for that:
  1. Wrap up cowl and hat pattern and either get it test knitted or have it ready to be test knitted in April.
  2. Finish up John's simple hat pattern and post as free pattern.
  3. Start writing up the pattern for the "Vetter Baby Sweater" and have it ready to test knit it April.

 Project Goals:
  1. Finish up Vera's blanket, Ellie's blanket, Jacobus, and any socks on the needles for Justice.
  2. A new project cannot be started unless one that is on the needles is finished.
  3. Start Justice's blanket and blanket for the new baby.

Health Goals:
  1. Exercise for 20 minutes a day.
  2. Get bike tuned up and take one bike ride a week when weather is nice enough.
  3. Try riding bike to work one day.
  4. Continue eating more veggies and cut down on sugar intake.

On a side note, I recently won a contest and got to pick three of Preita's(blog) Patterns(Rav) for free. Doesn't help my issue with wanting to cast numerous things on right now, but anywho.

 I chose Weave It, Ternion Shawl and Outlaw. As soon as I can cast on another project, I am casting on Weave It, I simply love how it looks. Ternion Shawl I want to take advantage of the design and use multiple colors, and Outlaw was chosen because I am so into hoods right now . . . speaking of hoods, I cannot wait until Preita's Assassin's Creed Cloak comes out!

I love it when people are multi-talented and roll with it, so I also purchased Preita's first e-book Frankenfine: Fine As Hell. She recently said in one of her blog posts that being rejected and failing are two different things and I completely agree, this is kind of my motto for this month.

Here is to March being the kick-off of a more positive attitude for the year of 2012!