Monday, December 31, 2012

33 Things for the year I turn 33

So, I read someone's blog where she listed 29 things to do before she turned 29, since she had just turned 28 . . . or something to that effect.  I wanted to do something similar.  This year I turn 33, I do not intend to necessarily do these things before I turn 33 in October, but in 2013 in general.

We have decided for financial reasons not to look for a house until 2014, which I am bummed about, but we will be in a better place for a house then.

As something that also fits into this, my husband a few weeks ago said something that at first insulted me, but the more I thought about it, it was true.  He said that I don't necessarily enjoy certain things, such as cooking, I like experimenting.  Which insulted me at first because you hold certain things as part of your personality and even though I know I don't love cooking, I did think of myself as beginning to enjoy it.  But the more I thought about it, he is right,  I often don't stick with hobbies, because once there is less to learn or experiment with, I often grow board with it.  Now, it may take years for that to happen, but it's one of the reason I don't draw so much anymore.  I do love to learn, experiment, etc. and am realizing that I need to embrace more of that aspect of my personality where applicable.

So here is my list of things to try/work on/accomplish in no specific order:

1. Spin a sweaters worth of yarn. - I purchased 12oz so far of a lovely roving that I would love to spin and knit into a sweater for myself.

2. Start knitting a sweater with handspun yarn.

3. Take 30 minutes a day to either exercise/meditate.

4. Attend the church next door at least twice. - I am missing lately the feeling of community and the church is a Unitarian Church, so they accept people of any belief, so I want to go and see if it's somewhere I might feel like I belong.

5. Have an allowance, no more that $50 per month, while saving for a house.

6. Try making my own triangle shawl design. - I am finding that this winter season I am really preferring shawls over scarves due to bulk issues.

7. Design a sweater for Eleanor based on the Bobba Hat.

8. Knit a sweater/top for Justice. - thinking about a cabled smooshy sweater

9. Knit a sweater/top for Vera. - thinking about a lovely summery top

10. Knit a sweater/top for Liam. - vest or dressy/nerdy looking sweater for a classy little young man

11. Sew Rhoni and Eleanor's birthday gifts. - special request from Rhoni, have I mentioned how much I love requests.

12. Sew Echo, Justice, and Vera a version of these also for a Mother's Day gift for Echo.

13. Sew myself a version of this also, as I think it would be nifty.

14 - 17. Knit double-knit Seahawks/Mariners cowls for Echo, Justice, Vera, and Rhoni.

18. Knit Eleanor some nifty socks.

19. Knit Jacob's socks by Valentine's Day.

20. Fix loom so I can actually use it.
21. I want 2013 to be the Year of Swatching for me. - I would like to knit more swatches just for the sake of swatching to create ideas, to try new stitch designs, etc.

22. Take the time to eat healthy.  - I haven't been doing so well this end of the year and have gained some of my weight back and in general felt blah.

23. Try more variety for Wookie's homemade food and make batches big enough to freeze. - We have gone to homemade food supplemented with some kibble.

24. Knit Dark and Stormy sweater along with Knitting Samurai Plus 1 Group. - Another attempt to bring myself into more "community" type activities.  Plus it just looks like a nifty sweater.

25. Try more experimenting in cooking, especially Paleo cooking and Gluten-Free baking.

26. Try dyeing the cotton/linen yarn I have so that I will actually use it.

27. Knit John a pair of Birthday Socks in the Alda Road Socks pattern with the Stellar colorway from Apothecary Yarns.

28. This summer try taking Wookie out with the bicycle. - I purchased last summer one of the kids buggies that go behind the bike for him, so I could ride my bike to the dog park with him, but never did it this year.

29. Buy one of the Petite Turkish Spindles from Riley Wood and Fiber Art. - Love the look of his Petite Spindles and I don't have to have it Internationally Shipped!

30. Finish Eleanor's Blanket that I started before she was born.  - Yes, it has sat 80% finished for the last almost 2 years.

31. Finish Vera's Blanket that I started before she was born. - Yes, I started it 4 years ago . . . I would like to finish it, it's about 70% complete.  I have a harder time finishing things when they are no longer travel size!

32. Accept that knitting or crafting does not always have to have a recipient, sometimes it's just nice to make something.

33.  Experiment with life more.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Body Inspirations:

Doesn't this Cinnamon Vanilla Spice Body Scrub sound wonderful? Who doesn't want to smell like that deliciousness?

Recipe Inspirations:

I am a roulade/pinwheel fan in general, so it's no wonder I find these Beef Roulade with Walnut Parsley Pesto. I am usually not a fan of walnuts, but it might be worth trying in a pesto.

I love Shrimp Cocktail and am exited to find a recipe that seems simple.

This recipe is going to be the perfect "see I love you husband of mine" type recipe. Jacob loves German Chocolate Cake and I think he will devour these German Chocolate Cake Sandwich Cookies, especially since the cookies are crunchy, his favourite kind of cookies. Plus, I'll get to use the new Kitchen Aid mixer that my sister and brother-in-law got me for Christmas! :) The thing is so industrial like it makes me feel like a real cook!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Smallish Update

Well I kind of disappeared this week.  Wednesday at work I fell down some stairs, tweaked my ankle and twisted/dislocated my knee.  So I haven't been as mobile as I'd like.  Friday afternoon my knee popped back into place and healing has gone much better since then.  I'm still a little sore and a little swollen, but I can walk much better, which Wookie very much appreciates.

 I have stuff to show you and promise I will get pictures and make some posts soon.  Also, Blogger/Outlook has messed with me and I don't know how long it has been going on.  For posts, it always comes up with the persons email in the past, so I just hit reply, I have very recently noticed that "" is coming up instead with many people and I don't know how long this has been going on.  If you haven't been receiving replies from me, know that I tried, I just didn't notice this change and don't know how long it has been happening.

On the other side of the United States my sister and brother-in-law have a very sick puppy right now and things are up in the air as to how they will go, but it's not looking good.  Please keep Zero in your thoughts and hope things go well.  He is definitely one of the best puppies and deserves to be around a long time.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Steusel Coffee Cake

So when I talked about the Cranberry Upside Down Cake, I had referred back to the Apple Coffee Cake I had made before. Which got me thinking that it sounded good to have again, when I went to the link though, that blogger had deleted their blog! Ugh, I kicked myself for not writing the recipe down. My ignorance of assuming it would always be there.

So I decided to search and try a new one, I used this Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake recipe from Betty Crocker, but I added apple to the mix.



I recommend this recipe as a base. I added peeled and chopped McIntosh Apples. Add more than you think you need too. I thought I added plenty, which was a bit over a cup. I would suggest 3 cups worth, or at least that is what I will be trying next time.

I know this sounds kind of odd, but I definitely think that Gluten-Free Bisquick is far better than the regular Bisquick.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Not many inspirations this time, but not a whole lot of computer time this week/weekend.  I will try to do better next week.

Recipe Inspirations:

These are the most Paleo friendly Homemade Marshmallows you will probably ever find. The look lovely and I will have to try them sometime.

Cheesecake Cookies, don't these sound yummy . . . maybe with some minty flavor too?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

So remember a couple weeks ago on a Sunday, I listed this Cranberry Upside Down Cake as an inspiration.

Well, I tried it:


It was delicious! A couple changes I would make, a little less sugar, and I would probably use this amount of dough to make 2 since I don't have a bundt pan, plus I like more fruit compared to cake.

Here is my gluten free adaptation:

2 cups dried whole cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour (I used Arrowhead Mills, personally this is one of the most "all-purpose" gluten free flours I have found)
1 tsp xanthan gum (needed in gluten-free recipes for flour to rise more)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 1/4 cup sugar, divided (didn't lower sugar, to see how it worked, but would most likely cut some next time)
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Rub the bottom and sides pan with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon.  Next sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. (I ended up throwing out half of this mixture because it was just too much . . .in the end, I still think it might be excessive to do this step at all). Arrange the cranberries in a single layer on top of the sugar mixture.
3. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Set aside.
4. Cream butter with fork.  Next slowly add 1 3/4 cup sugar.  Beat until mixture is fluffy.
5. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and then add them to the butter/sugar mixture one at a time.
6. Add the vanilla to the milk.
7. Next alternating between the flour and milk, starting with the flour, mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.  Followed by 1/2 of the milk.  Alternating until everything is thoroughly mixed together.
8. Put the batter into the pan.  (Like I mentioned above, this is really enough cake batter to make two thin cakes and really get a better fruit to cake ratio).  Bake the cake for approx. 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wookie's Elation

We've had little bits of snow in the past couple weeks and Wookie has been elated!



On a side note, I love it when the wet leaves dye the sidewalk with leaf prints!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Can you guess?

Can you guess what Garren requested for Christmas?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eleanor's Hat

This hat was knit to match Eleanor's Seahawks Scarf. Unfortunately her scarf isn't long enough, so it is back with me for some added length, so you guys will be seeing that again. But in the mean time, I finished her hat.

I honestly think the design worked well right side and inside out. I almost prefer how the decreases look on the inside. I wanted the decreases to still match in ribbing and in stripes.

Right side:



Inside out:


Yarn: Baby Bee Sweet Delight Baby
Color: Limeade and Baby Red
Content: 60% Acrylic / 40% Polyamide
Care: Machine Wash and Dry

Needles: US 3
Pattern: Made up
Size: Adult size, as that is her head size now

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Liam's Christmas Socks

I know, I know, you guys are tired of seeing socks, but this isn't the last of them. I would love to admit my sock kick is done, but it's still going, even if a little slower at some times. Too many ideas, thoughts, etc.

So here are Liam's Christmas socks. The coloring was not done intentionally, they were knit two-at-a-time on circulars, so I just started one sock from the inside of the skein and the other from the outside.

I did do an afterthought heel and used only white sections, since those sections are so small, the heel had like 8 ends to weave in!




Yarn:Lion Brand's Jamie
Color: Caribbean Stripes
Content: 100% Acrylic
Care: Machine Wash and Dry

Needles: US 1.5 / 2.5mm
Pattern: Made it up
Size: 4-5 Baby

Aren't they just adorable? Love how they ended up working out. Might have to knit the girls some in this colorway too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Justice's Christmas Socks

More socks!  I didn't want them all to have the same pattern, but I did want to stick with the ribbing theme.  The basic theory to Justice's rib is K1, P1 on the top of the foot for 5 rows, knit one row, then P1, K1 on the top for 5 rows, then knit one row and start with the K1,P1 rib again.  I love how stretchy they turned out.

I had remembered to take a picture of it in the ball.

I started these sock over three times, until I found a pattern I thought the color variation looked good in.

In the end, I think the ribbing and colors worked well together and it almost looks like it stripes.


There was really only pooling on the gusset/heel turn.

Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Blank
Content: 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon
Color: Dyed by Justice with Blue, Red, Yellow and Orange Wilton's Icing Dye
Care: Machine Wash and Dry

Needles: US 1
Size: US 7 Womens

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Inspirations

Not a wide variety, but it's been a bit of a busy week. :)

Recipe Inspirations:

Well, these Peppermint Meringues were something I was looking at last week, but was wondering how I would do it without a mixer. Well, my Christmas present arrived . . . a Kitchen Aid mixer so I will be trying these sometime this week!

Ah, this Slow Cooker Apple Butter sounds delicious.

I want to try these or something close to these Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls in a gluten-free version.

I cannot remember if I mentioned these before, it seems like I did, but these Chicken Rollatinis sound so good, how could they not be mentioned again.

I'll have to try this Paleo Nugget recipe.

Hmm, this Hungarian Pork Stew sounds delicious . . . just have to do something other than pasta.

Even though adaptations are needed to make this Chicken and Sausage Stew paleo, it sounds delicious and worth it.