Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Recipe Inspirations:

I am a fan of enchiladas, period. So these Enchiladas Verdes sound yummy!

I have been on a huge Mexican kick and have been going to Chipotle about once a week. I would like to be able to make something similar at home, so I am going to try this Cilantro Lime Rice and try making my own burrito bowls!

The blog site for the Cilantro Lime Rice is a new one to me, called Skinny Taste. She has some interesting recipes and I recommend giving her site a try, the following are some recipes of hers that I thought sounded worth trying:

~Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing - - seriously? Gotta try it!

~Shrimp Salsa - - I seem to be on a seafood kick lately too

~Texas Cheese Fries - - who doesn't love these?! I think it might be worth trying these with Sweet Potatoes too.

~Crust Free Spinach and Feta Pie - - I have been trying more spinach recipes and think this is worth trying.

~Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms - - this actually sounds like a good version of it!

~Sweet and Fiery Pork Tenderloin - - This sounds yummy, I need to get one of those racks to put on my cookie sheets though!

~Coconut Shrimp - - ah, I would love to try a gluten-free version of these!

~Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini - - this sounds yummy and makes another way I can incorporate zucchini!

~Flaugnarde of Mixed Berries (Clagoutis) - - This sounds delicious!

~Sesame Encrusted Baked Chicken Tenders - - I need to try a gluten free version of these.

~Chewy Granola Bars - - I have decided to try a version of these, will hopefully be posting about them soon!

Anyways, as you can see, plenty of good recipes and I only had time to look back through a fraction of her archives, only back to Jun 2011. I recommend you having a look if you are interesting in some good recipes.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pesto Eggplant Rollatine

So I finally tried the Pesto Eggplant Rollatine from Perry's Plate.

I forgot to take a picture before I started dishing up the husband's part for his lunch.

Here is a pic of the rest of it in the dish, I sprinkled some extra garlic on the top. DSC04883

Here is a picture of the husband's portion.



Honestly, I didn't know how this would go. We both like eggplant for the most part. I am here and there on spinach, but love pesto. The husband is here and there on pesto, but loves spinach. Overall, we both really liked it! I would probably put in more spinach and a little more pesto into each roll, but they were quite delicious.

I will admit that because I only purchased one eggplant, I did slice mine thinner than the recipe calls for, I slice about 1/3 of an inch. I wouldn't recommend this thin or thinner as making the rolls then becomes very difficult as the eggplant is too thin to stay in one pieces. I will probably slice them 1/2 thick next time and will try to get a longer/taller eggplant.

Stars : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Monday, April 23, 2012

3KCBWDAY1 - Color Lovers

This week is the 3rd annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week. Today's topic is:

Color is one of our greatest expressions of ourselves when we choose to knit or crochet, so how do you choose what colors you buy and crochet or knit with. Have a look through your stash and see if there is a predominance of one color. Do the same with your finished projects - do they match? Do you love a rainbow of bright hues, or more subdued tones. How much attention do you pay to the original color that a garment is knit in when you see a pattern? Tell readers about your love or confusion over color.

I love color and a wide variety of it. In fact, I took my Pi Shawl to work because I knew the office would be cold as our heat takes forever to kick on and it was cold enough to snow throughout the day! I got repeated comments and how "bright" it is! :) My color choices are usually based on who I am knitting for as I have some very picky people in my family! For myself it depends on my mood at the time . . . I am likely to pick anything . . . except a pink, but I find it slowly growing on me.

With pooling, I do not mind if things do not match. Although when giving gifts I make a big effort as I know others might dislike it.

Often, the color of a pattern can say a lot, but mostly because some shapes look better in certain colors. One of the wonders of Ravelry and looking at other people's color choices.

I do wish that "baby" yarn, especially acrylics came in a wider variety of colors. It's a little sexist to have to knit pastel pink or pastel blue and the additional color choices of pastel purple, pastel yellow, and pastel green really don't help much. It needs to be more exciting!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


No post today, am very disappointed with Photobucket and may be moving all of my photos to a different service. I am not in the mood to deal with their new editing software tonight.

Friday, April 20, 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.

Here is the start of the second sock, I am only a few rows away from starting the heel. I haven't had as much time on these, since the shawl was some bus knitting too, but the socks are back to my bus knitting again.



Still loving the pattern, the saving grace really is how easy it is to memorize!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Justice's Desert Socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Multi
Color: Sunset Multi
Content: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Care: Machine wash and dry
Needles: US 0 / 2mm Circulars

I finished one of the socks and let me tell you how small a size 7ish in womens looks so small after working on a man's size 13!

This has the Yo-Yo Heel that I am trying.


I just love the look of a round toe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Words of Wednesday - Tormay Trilogy

The Hawk and His Boy, The Shadow at the Gate, and The Wicked Day

Types: Kindle

Premise: Steal a box without opening it . . . easy enough right? Not when nothing in Jute’s life seems to go right. Going from being an orphan of the streets, which was scary and violent enough, to being constantly hunted by dangers he never even dreamed. Jute’s life will never be the same, not only does his life become increasingly dangerous, but it also becomes so much more with his odd companions.

Characters: Jute starts out as an orphan and a thief. His friends can also be his worst enemy, a kid on the street would give up anything including their best friend for a bigger slice of the pie. One mistake on the biggest heist of his life and he will never be just a thief anymore. Ronan is a bad guy, with a twisted and hidden past, but can he kill a child and live with it? The worst and best day of Declan’s life is when he finds out Jute didn’t actually die, after all, no one should have survived that. As the main characters, they evolve so much.

Story Development: Jute has no say on his big mission nor does he know that the payoff is supposed to be so good that his life is no longer of any value once the job is done. They repeat to him so many times “do not open the box”, one mistake saves his life and sends him on a journey of learning who the bad guys really are and what friendship really means. Unfortunately it also means making some very hard decisions sometimes as good must outweigh bad, even if some have to be lost along the way. The land hasn’t seen the elemental people in a long time, but now they are returning to fight alongside Jute or against Jute?

A lot of the story is hindered or propelled by the fact that as wise as Jute is, he’s also still a little kid and behaves like it some of the time. Now sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad.

Couldn’t put it down/Could walk away at any time: I did love this series and may reread it.

Overall: There are some slow parts but overall, definitely worth reading.

Star Rating: 4.5

Words of Wednesday - Mageborn 1 & 2

Mageborn: The Blacksmith’s Son & Mageborn: The Line of Illeniel

Types: Kindle & Paperback

Premise: Mordecai has always known he was adopted, but what he didn’t know is the he comes from a long line of powerful mages that were slaughtered when he was only a few months old. As he hits his teenage years, he comes into his powers awkwardly and quickly. His life changes over a couple of days and is led down a path so very different than that of a blacksmith’s son. However, with so much power can he reign himself in to be a force of good or will his temper and vengeance get the best of him while he destroys those in his way?

Characters: In the first book, the lists of characters that most of the plot revolves around are a little more than a handful. Each character is unique and will draw you into their perspective. He has his love interest/childhood friend and his two best friends as the most predominant characters throughout the two books so far. Each has their special part to play in the advancement of the story. I love both Rose and Penny’s characters as they are both strong woman in different ways.

Story Development: Not only does Mordecai have to deal with his new powers, but learning he has many enemies, some not expected. Mordecai’s parents broke mage rules to insure he lived even as they died. He also has to handle many issues of loss, whether it be of the village people or of those closer to him, which is something he is unaccustomed to . Most of the advancement in the story is done by forces out of Mordecai’s control, but it is more about how he handles the situation. His sense of humor is nice and repeatedly his defense for certain actions is how hard it is to understand a woman. A lot of it deals with Mordecai’s inner struggles of the kind of person he wants to be and if his death is imminent, does it even matter?

Mordecai struggles so hard to be a good person, but he has difficulty figuring out what a “good” person would do as so many of his situations seem to fall into gray areas.

The second book has Mordecai making more serious decious that involve numerous lives and threats of treason, but also hold hopes of finding out more about his birth parents and just how much power he has. The second book hints that maybe his biological father didn’t actually die, but maybe I am reading too much into some things.

Couldn’t put it down/Could walk away at any time: I liked the story for this one, but the way it is written was a little bothersome in the first book, but by the time I read the second one, I had mostly gotten use to the style of writing. The main character, Mordecai, is written in the first person, with everything being I or me. However, there are at many times perspectives from other characters which are written from a third person perspective. Going back and forth between these was a little confusing at times. Due to this there was some serious consideration as to whether I was going to read the second book. I am glad I did though, as it was worth it.

Overall: They were good books and I will look out for the next one to read. If you have issue with the 1st and then 3rd person writing style, flipping back and forth, these are not the books for you. But otherwise they are definitely worth giving a try.

Star Rating: 4

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spiral Shawl Test-Knit

This shawl has been some bus knitting, but the rows are getting long enough now that it is home knitting.  I am only like 5 rows away from the next increase section.  Loving it.  It appears that I will be using a little over 3 skeins

Yarn: Beehive Scotch Fingering
Color: Beige, Yellow(dyed with Wiltons), and Orange(dyed with Wiltons)
Content: 100% Wool

Needles: US 2


The shawl is too big now to stretch out on my cable needles. I am still enjoying the color transitions and think I will save my last little bits of color for the last row and bind-off row.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Comforted by Pi

Ah, about a year and a half ago, I started my Shetland Pi Shawl. I stopped knitting on it when the rows became so long it took an hour to only do a couple of rows. I just felt like I was getting no where. Well all old project are either getting frogged or finished so for the last few weeks I have been working a row or two each night on this before I went to bed. I ran out of yarn to do it correct. The fourth section only has four repeats instead of 6 and I was only able to do about 6 rows of the edging before I had to bind off or order another skein.

I forgot to take a picture before it started soaking, but here it is soaking in conditioner:



Then blocking, as you can see I didn't have anywhere large enough to block it out.  So I had to make do with only blocking the middle section out and letting the rest just be stretched a little while it dried.  Maybe one day when I have carpets I will block it out to its full potential.



So it's not quite even, but isn't it lovely?  It reminds me of those giant jawbreakers they had in the early/mid 90's that were the size of baseballs and you stupidly licked them until your tongue bled.


  Ignoremy red face and disheveled look.  The shawl drapes nicely.




Yarn: Kauni (2 Skeins)
Color: Rainbow
Content: 100% Wool
Care: Hand Wash and Lay Flat
Needless: US 6 / 4mm
Pattern: Shetland Pi Shawl

I love how it turned out. The hubby thinks it's too bright, but I love it and will probably take it to work to wear when it gets a little chilly there.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Inspirations & A Tangent

First, lets have a tangent . . . I know I have been pretty absent this week, but I wanted you guys know that it was worth it. I have always been the type of person to approach exercise as "I need to be super cautious and take it slow to start" like as a fat chick I am incapable of doing too much. Part of me will admit that honestly, I have issues with the thought of being skinny, I associate it with negative things and some negative people. So part of me fights it and something just clicked last week, I think mostly in part to the willpower books I have been reading. I decided that if I want to be fit and healthy, I need to drown in it. It's the only way I am going to succeed.

So this week my goal has been to do 15 minutes stationary bike before work and 20-40 minutes of strength training/aerobic in the evening. I did miss a couple exercises due to being exhausted or tired, but otherwise, I did well. I did not restrict my diet in any way, just made sure that at work, I had plenty of clean, fresh veggies and fruits to snack on. This helped a lot, because honestly, I think I wasn't eating enough during the work part of my day and then would be tired and cranky after work due to being hungry. I have also started taking a very small iron supplement which has helped with my alertness.

Any who, I lost 5 pounds this week, which I know is mostly due to my body going from lame attempts at exercise, to really working hard for it and this is not normal, nor should it be. But it definitely helps me see that my hard work definitely is paying off.

I will talk more about my focus on adjusting my outlook in a few weeks when I discuss the books I am reading on willpower, motivation, and focus.

And now onto the inspirations . . .

Knitting Inspirations:

Chan's post about head bands really made me think that I need a couple myself, although I have a big issue with my gigantic head and headbands staying on it very well, so I have decided to try this unique method that uses a rubber band to help keep the size tight.

Sewing Inspirations:

Absolutely loving this block! Ah, I so have a sewing desire lately, but I am holding myself back!

Recipe Inspirations:

Anyone who looks at this Scalloped Potatoes and Ham and doesn't want to just dive into this dish must be crazy! I am making this today, already got the ingredients yesterday! P.S. Anyone who wants to get me a mandolin for my birthday can be my new BFF! :)

Another version of the stuffed biscuit thing that I am hoping to make, except gluten free instead.

I get on kicks, where I prefer certain kinds of foods and I am definitely on a Mexican kick lately, these Tomatillo Chicken Fajitas sound delicious!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th!

I know it's a little late at night and I don't have anything else put together for a blog post today, but just wanted to say Happy Friday the 13th!  Every day is only what you make of it and nothing more!  :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Words of Wednesday - Part of Covenant Series

Daimon: A prequel to Half-Blood, Half Blood, Pure

Types: paperback, kindle

Premise: Sometimes I think the more successful books use the current world in conjunction with their alternate world, as it leaves less to explain, get lost in. I guess technically that means they fall into the Urban Fantasy theory. In comparison to the Iron King, this is a good teenage story with a strong female character. She is a teenager, so she has all the indecision and such that goes with being young, but she also knows what she wants, who she is, and what she thinks is right. Sometimes she makes good decisions and sometimes not.

Alex lives in a world where she is considered a lesser class of being, there are only two main choices in life, go into servitude or fight to protect those who are considered her betters. For Alex it is an easy choice, but even as a fighter, many rules govern acceptable behavior. Unfortunately and fortunately, depending on the situation, Alex is stubborn, strong-willed, and sometimes just foolish. This behavior is seemingly her greatest weakness and most valuable asset, but the question seems to be, will it be her downfall or her rise to greatness?

Characters: Character development is done well in this book, since there are only a few characters play dominant roles it is easy to keep them separate and their personalities are distinct. The main character Alex is at conflict with herself often as she questions and defends her actions. The main character I think is intentionally made to be likable. She tries, but just as any of us, she has flaws and makes mistakes. Due to the storyline of the book, the other characters motives are kept quiet until the time arises.

Story Development: The story development seems to revolve around Alex and whether or not she will be a force of change within a society that treats her kind like they are varying degrees of nothing to an absolute abomination. Alex propels the story forward with each decision she makes, whether they are good or bad ones. The story revolves around class levels in society and what it means to be equal and have opportunities in life.

The biggest “perceived” evil are diamons, which are similar to a drug addicted vampire. However, the world is changing and the half-blood and pures are learning that diamons are more than they thought and it isn’t a good thing.

It is nothing complex, but it is compelling to read as the main class of pures are descendents of the gods, while Alex’s kind are only half-blood (the offspring of pures and mortals), and humans are considered a world apart. It makes an interesting position the half-bloods and pures are in, because society seems to be deemed by the will of the Gods and fear that they will be struck down if they do otherwise, however, there is also the concern that the Gods will not actually interfere and the pures continue this way of life to keep the half-bloods fighting their fights and scrubbing their toilets.

Couldn’t put it down/Could walk away at any time: I have definitely enjoyed this series so far. I will be waiting for the next installment. The only difficulty I had with this series was completely my fault, as I mentioned before most of the books I “read” are actually read to me by the Kindle’s Text to Speech option . . . these books are a lot of dialogue to push the story through and I had some trouble getting a little lost with the Kindle reading it to me.

Overall: Really liked this series so far. I think the concept is interesting and fairly believable. My favorite character so far is Seth, he’s a bit of an arrogant show off who has his own inner demons to wrestle with . . . I am hoping he does not end up being a bad guy!

These are a little more pricey than my usual books, but not too much.

Star Rating
: 4.5

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Knitting Inspirations:

As Spring comes in with a bang, I think cleaning . . . and I am not a person who turns to cleaning easily . . . I love homemade dishcloths and these simple patters look just right to make . . . Double Bump Dishcloth and Knitted Lacy Round Cloth - I love how the colors she used worked in this.

Sewing Inspirations:

This sewn piece is for the element fire. It's very straight forward, not any abstraction . . . it is beautiful though. I love the whimsical nature of the smoke and bits of fire!

Recipe Inspirations:

Homemade Ice Cream Cake need I say more?

I desperately want to make a gluten-free version of these Paneer Stuffed Buns. I am thinking of using Bisquick and making the insides similar to the insides of a chicken pot pie.

Not sure I would make this, since the hubby doesn't like mushrooms all that much, but this Over The Top Mushroom Quiche looks delicious.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken! Yes, why didn't I think of this on my own? Cannot wait to try a version of this.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April Goals

Well, I have realized that writing my goals on the first of the month just doesn't happen, so within the first week are okay with me too. I had goals for the month of March, but a shift in priorities changed that a bit. In ways, I have accomplished more than I expected to, in others less. My crafty goals will begin to become less achieved as I am pushing more exercise and health. Once I can ride my bike to work and back, there will be no more bus knitting time. As it gets nicer, I go for more and longer walks with Wookie - boy did he get exhausted from the dog park today.

I haven't been going in for much overtime the last few weeks, to kind of get a break from the four-five months before that, but now I will be going in early again, about 1.5 hours each day.  Not much, but it'll cut into available crafting time.  We are getting more serious about saving money for the house, so we are working hard to achieve those goals, we already have a saving account and are putting money in every month for our down payment.

Pattern Writing Goals:

Honestly, got no where with the goals set for last month, as the month moved along my goals shifted craft-wise and I am working on finishing up some older projects so they can be cleared out of the way. I still do want to do my design stuff, it's just taking a bit of a back table right now.  Before I was feeling guilty about this, but I am okay with it now, as it is needed.

Project Goals:
These are a continuation of last months goals.

~Finish up Vera's blanket, Ellie's blanket, Jacobus, and any socks on the needles for Justice - I am working on Vera's blanket on my breaks at work and am almost half way done with the squares, Ellie's blanket is still a bit of a conundrum while I work out exactly how I want to sew the blocks together, Jacobus has been in time out since Wookie got a hold of it and I have way too much yarn to untangle before I can start working on him again, and Justice's socks are still being worked on.

~A new project cannot be started unless one that is on the needles is finished. - So I have pretty much stuck to this and this is still a goal.

~Start Justice's blanket and blanket for the new baby - honestly haven't started these, but this is still in the goals. I was going to wait and have Justice pick the fabrics for it, but I have a wonderful idea and think I might go fabric shopping tomorrow. I have an idea for Liam's blanket, just haven't started it yet.

Health Goals:
Also continuations.

~Exercise for 20 minutes a day, 1 hour on the weekend.

~Get bike tuned up and take one bike ride a week when weather is nice enough - hasn't been consistently nice, lets face it, it's still quite early in Spring, but am going to try this week if it stays decent.

~Try riding bike to work one day.

~Continue eating more veggies and cut down on sugar intake - have actually been doing well on the eating more veggies, I make sure I have plenty cleaned, cut, and handy for when I want a snack. Cutting down on the sugar intake has been so/so.

This month is really a focus on will-power, happiness and achieving. I am trying to get my life into more things that make me happy and healthy . . . at least in the areas of my life where that is feasible! :) So I am trying to focus more and achieve.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Dark Side

So, I don't consider myself girly, in fact, I will avoid doing certain things that I associate with being girly, just because I don't want to classify myself as that.  Which always meant I didn't have a purse, if it came close it was usually a messenger bag, backpack, etc.

But I have crossed over:


I like that it has a zipper on the top, so if need be, the whole purse can be closed.

It even has a laptop/electronics padded insert.  Which works perfectly for the Netbook and/or the Kindle.

Lot of little pockets, which is perfect.

I love the purse. Do I still sometimes wish I had something bigger again? Yes, but it makes me try harder to only carry what I need. When the weather consistently stays a little warmer though, it will go to the side as I start riding my bike to work. But I am enjoying it for now!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

John's Socks - One Finished!

Let me just say, one doesn't realize how much bigger a size 13 is until they actually knit one! :)

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.

Huge sock!  Everytime I thought "I am almost there" I'd measure and I wouldn't be close!  :)  The markers are still in it because I haven't written down all my numbers for it yet.


The diamond detail just does not show well in flash, but weather has been too crappy to take pictures outside.  We had snow last Friday for heaven's sake!

This patterning worked even better than I expected.  I might end up making myself a pair!

I took my own method for decreasing down for the toe, kind of a backwards spiral toe using the patterning as a base.

It looks odd, like most toes on knitted socks, but it fits well.


These are definitely something I am proud of and look so much more difficult to knit than they are. They really make great bus knitting. I have started the second one, but am only just past the ribbing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Words of Wednesday - Iron King

Iron King

I read this book based on a couple things. The first being a review by Chan(I suggest you read her review also, as her opinion of the book is very different from mine), I then read reviews and the description on Amazon, and lastly, I read the first chapter before purchasing it. Not all books do I do this in-depth of a search on, but e-books that cost more than a couple dollars are researched into because I do not believe in the high cost of a lot of e-books, but that is a discussion for another time.

I enjoyed the first chapter and the author’s style of writing. But once in the world of the Fae, her writing style changes into an author who is obviously in love with the world she has for her character, but I think for me, she describes too much of it and does so too quickly. These otherworldly environment and creatures really take the forefront and the story/plot becomes a distant second. This also occurs when they visit New Orleans, too much information is provided that isn’t necessary to the story, and it’s kind of just filler.

Types: Kindle, paperback, audiobook

Premise: The whole premise of this story seems to be that of the Tinkerbell theory, if you believe then it gives these fantastical things the ability to exist, even bad ones. If you don’t believe, you essentially wipe them out. I understand theories like this, but for me it’s a little egotistical on the human side, that we can give and take the life of another creature just by our belief in them.

Characters: I also have issue, with the main character, she is rather weak. I know she is only just 16 and in a world very different from her own. But supposedly she had enough courage to choose to go into this world to save her brother, yet spends time not looking for him due to her fear of this new world. I understand that it is made clear that this world is dangerous to her because of her heritage, but her character is written like that of a stereo-typical teenager, defiant yet whiney. It’s just not attractive for a main character. She repeatedly says how she has no choice, how she’s helpless, etc. and she pretty much doesn’t have the ability to make a choice for herself and lets everyone around her constantly make the choices, it just really gets old. The author has even a couple characters further point out her weak and whiney character flaws and yet nothing is really done towards character development to make her evolve into something stronger. I suppose this may or may not happen in later books, but I am not interested in the series enough to find out.

Along the same lines, she seems too weak to even withstand existing in the Fairy world, where supposedly she falls in and out of slumber at different points. Which it doesn’t make sense if she is actually falling asleep; on the other hand, it could also be suggesting that she is so weak she cannot even mentally handle the things she runs into.

All in all for the main character, she was not someone I liked. She falls perfectly into the whiney, damsel in distress role, even though, that doesn’t seem to be the goal of the story line.

As an overall for the individual characters, little character development or exploration takes place. The characters are rather flat and not very developed, which is really too bad as I think this book has plenty of potential.

Story Development
: Ugh, not very good either. There are plenty of tangents that help introduce different aspects of the world, but none of them really move the story along, explain, or advance the character development. Such as her time spent in the kitchen . . . what was even the purpose of that?

Slight contradiction in that they elder fae seem to think of her as some sort of savior, but they are only a distant concern to her. Her brother is her main concern and I would presume by her behavior that she would bring down the entire fairy realm if it meant she could save her brother instead. That is, when she’s remembering to actually look for him.

A lot of the story line seems to fall into the lap of the main character. She doesn’t work for anything, explore, or push.

Couldn’t put it down/Could walk away at any time: So, I could’ve put this book down at any time and it wouldn’t have been any great loss. I continued to read it hoping it would get better, but honestly, it just didn’t. Personally would not recommend this book.

Overall: It’s kind of like broken pieces of many other stories Alice in Wonderland, The Labyrinth, The Neverending Story II, mind control zombies, etc. I think the author put too much into the world and not enough into the story line or characters. This book all at one time has way too much happen without deeper explanation and the addition of too many other things that add nothing.

I understand that this review may seem harsh, especially to those who enjoyed the book, but it’s just my opinion. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I can’t say for certain, but I may have not disliked the book so much if I didn’t hate books with weak female characters, honestly, they do nothing but peeve me off. I dislike females who love to play up the victim role.

Star Rating
: No stars

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Contest Winner

Congrats to Rhoni for winning the $10 Amazon giftcard! It's already been emailed to you! Enjoy!

Pamela's Simplebites

I'm still trying Gluten-free prepackaged food, but not with as much vigor as before. There are just too many that my taste buds cannot adjust to. One of my disappointments with gluten-free food are the cookies, it's hard to make or buy good gluten-free cookies if you lived most of your life with the wheat version. I try hard not to compare gluten-free products to gluten products, but it's hard when you grew up on wheat.

These Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies which are part of Pamela's Simplebites, are good. I will admit they don't taste like wheat cookies . . . although, not sure after two years that I would remember what a wheat cookie actually tastes like . . . but they are very similar and quite yummy.

I have given up on trying to make my own chocolate chip cookies anymore and I just buy these.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spiral Shawl Test Knitting

I am test knitting the Spiral Shawl for Erica. I am doing a couple version of it because I think it will make a nice shawl, but to also get additional data because I cannot get the gauge required. Which isn't abnormal and one of the things that causes me problems when trying to test knit, so unfortunately I am not as much good to Erica as I could be.

As you'll be able to see, desired gauge is 8sts/1" and 9.25rows/1".

Version 1:
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Lace
Color: Basalt Heather
Content: 100% Merino

Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Shadow Lace
Color: Bare and Purple-Blue that I dyed previously
Content: 100% Merino

Needles: US 0

Gauge: 11sts/1" and 14rows/1" (too many stitches all directions)

I am doing 20 rows gray, 2 rows white, 6 rows purple/blue, and then 2 rows white.

I like the way it is working, since it is at such a smaller gauge and I am doing a second one, I am going by the measurement goals with this one instead of the numbered rows.

And it feels so lovely soft.

Version 2:

Yarn: Beehive Scotch Fingering
Color: Beige, Yellow(dyed with Wiltons), and Orange(dyed with Wiltons)
Content: 100% Wool

Needles: US 2

Gauge: 7.75sts/1" and 11rows/1" (too few stitches and too many rows) This equals out to my shawl being 1" longer than the pattern estimates for row 70.

I am loving the color on this, I originally was going to use more colors, but liked the way these were working too much to add more to them.

In this one each section equals 20 rows.  1st section is 20 rows beige, 2nd is 4 rows yellow, 4 rows orange, and 12 rows beige, 3rd is 6 rows yellow, 6 rows orange, and 8 rows beige and will be so on throughout the actual sections of the pattern.

Love the vintage look that the colors create.

The double increase used in this pattern is one I have never used before and I love the way it works, it doesn't pull the fabric oddly.  I think I am going to try this increase when I try my next top with the contiguous method.

I am at the end of the first section right now and am ready to start Section A.

As you can see, I am enjoying these as I am making decent progress on both of them.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Other Crafts:

Oh, how I love the idea of this Burlap Scrubber!! I love my crocheted scrubbers, but it so hard to find yarn that has the right composition for it. Burlap I can find. I won't make it a snappy compartmental thing though. I will most likely add a few layers of cotton batting between the burlap and call it done!

Recipe Inspirations:

Can you deny that Chicken and Zucchini Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce sound awesome?! These sound wonderful and I am going to have to try them.

Cauliflower Steak with Olive Relish sound interesting. I love cauliflower in the oven and this sounds like a unique twist on it.

I think this Island BBQ Sauce might be the first barbeque sauce I make from scratch. Doesn't it just sound yummy?