Friday, March 1, 2013

I Suck At This

So it has literally been almost 2 years since I last posted anything on here. Part of me really wants to design and create a legit, aesthetically pleasing non-canned blog. Another part of me feels like I will fail at keeping it up regularly. Yet another part of me feels like no one will about the things I post. It usually ends up being a random potpourri of crafts, recipes, rants, reviews, inspiration etc...I have a serial mentality and can never stick to one subject.

That being said, I really want to give it a go again. What are some of your favorite blogs? Hosting sites? I am super computer illiterate when it comes to any kind of coding - pretty much anything other than design software. Do you have any tips on dedication/commitment to blogging? I'd love to hear about 'em.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crocheted Bow Headbands

This is going to be just a quickie post.

I was super pumped a couple weeks ago when I got my biggest etsy custom order to date. Charlene, a really great customer ordered 5 crocheted bow headbands in a variety of colors. She got a few for herself and a couple for her sister. It's always cool to think that someone else in a different state is not only sporting something you made but also helping to get the word out!

I made the pattern for these about a year ago. If you are interested, just let me know. I'd be happy to share :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ava's Cupcake Hat

As soon as we found out that or next little one was going to be a girl, so many ideas came rushing in for things to make. Being that I am still heavily into crochet at the moment, I started looking for fun and easy projects. I came across lots of cute baby hats on different sites. I especially liked the cupcake hats that I found on However, I did not want to purchase a pattern.

I looked at the general parts - the frosting, toppings and base. Then I just sort of winged it on my own without a pattern. I crocheted all of the elements separately and then used yarn to stitch them all together in the end.

these were my two basic pieces.

this is the finished product with sprinkles and a cherry on top.

it was so easy, I decided to start another.

I didn't have a reference as to head size, so my only hope is that the hat fits! If not, I'm sure Ava will have some doll that can wear it eventually. ;)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grandma's Alfredo (recipe)

Last night we decided to mix up pasta night again. This time we used a recipe that my grandma told me about for an Alfredo sauce. The traditional stuff usually makes me feel pretty sick, because I have a very hard time with cream-based foods. However, some dairy is tolerable to my system in smaller doses. This sauce was no exception.

Grandma's Alfredo

1/4 butter
4 oz. cream cheese/ neufchatel
1 cup milk
3-4 oz. parmesan cheese (the shaker worked just fine)
1 tsp. garlic (I used the wet minced kind)
salt and pepper to taste (I omitted the salt)

Set burner to low heat. (I was using it at the 2-4 level).

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small sauce pan.

Whisk in the cream cheese until smooth.

Add in the garlic and stir.

Pour in the milk gradually and continue whisking.

Whisk in the parm gradually - making sure to break up all the little bits.

Add the salt and pepper. (I also added some basil flakes for flavor at this point).

Turn off burner, and remove from heat to let set for a few minutes.

After a few minutes I poured the cream over our drained rigatoni pasta.

We really liked this recipe a lot. It was simple to make, and we already had all of the ingredients on hand. I didn't know how it would sit with the milk AND the cream cheese, but there weren't any problems.

This would also be great over a side dish like broccoli or a protein like chicken. It's always nice to have another recipe in the arsenal. Thanks, Grandma!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Curtains

The other day I had noticed while cleaning that my dear, sweet husband had somehow managed to get the previous night's cheeseburger on our curtains. My best guess is that it came from the grill spatula and when he was coming in it rubbed up against them. Either way, I took them down and put them in the laundry. I didn't notice any special care instructions, so I tossed them into the dryer. After they came out literally every square inch was wrinkled. I tried 'fluffing' them in there again, and there was no change. I ironed one two foot section for about twenty minutes, and they were still as wrinkled as before.

This wasn't so horrible, because it gave me the idea to make some new curtains. We put our orange ones up when we moved in three years ago, so I was looking forward to the change. I searched the fabric and home stores online, but nothing was really jumping out at me. We had a little money, so I decided to run to Ikea and look at their selection. I ended up finding this pill-like looking fabric. It's a white background with colored half circles. At $6.99/yard I was able to get all 5 yards for under $40.

Ikea 'Edholm' fabric

curtains before: plain orange with white sheers

curtains after

I also found a great new lime green sheer at Target for $1.94

I'm really pumped with the final results. The new curtains are so fun and colorful. I also think that they mesh really well with our retro themed kitchen. I just asked Phil to please promise me that he wouldn't get and burger or any other food on these. ;)

I also actually ended up with a little extra fabric, because I opted to not to do the tabs at the curtain tops. Just this morning, our lovely dog Paisley destroyed our cute little couch pillow. Since I already had the machine out and threaded I whipped up a new one from the same fabric.

Needless to say, it was a good productive day and I'm happy that I got some sewing done again. I used to take classes downtown at the Singer factory every Monday (and had done so for almost three years). With my health and our finances I had to let them go this past December. It was a bummer, but at least I have the skills and the equipment to continue sewing at home. 

I cannot wait for spring when we repaint/ redo the living room and I get to make more custom curtains for our picture window!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scalloped Cowl

As you may know by now, I love to crochet. Yesterday I finished my most recent project - a scalloped cowl. It was made in the round from a pattern on Lion Brand Yarn's website: ( However, I only half used it. I needed a jumping off point, and I really liked the look of the stitches from the first three rows. Instead of following all of the instructions, I just repeated rows 1-3 throughout the entire project. I also used a much thinner yarn then they recommended for a lacier effect.

The finished results do not look like the original pattern, but I am very happy with the outcome. It's a very feminine piece and can easily dress up any outfit. This cowl is also a great scarf alternative and perfect for the spring weather that is hopefully on its way!

^ close up neck view 

I do plan on adding a few to my etsy shop in some nice spring colors as quickly as I can get them done!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Love Lamb (not lamp) - recipe

This Valentine's Day was definitely our tightest ever budget wise. But honestly it has never been about gifts with us anyway. Phil had the day off work, and we got to spend it together at home which was amazing. Nonetheless, I wanted to do something special for him. I decided to make a new-to-us meal that we've never had before. We had both been really interested in trying lamb at home.

I bought some beautiful lamb loin chops from my local produce market. They basically looked like little t - bone steaks. Since I had never cooked them before I researched online various ways of cooking them. In the end, it seemed like the grill was the best way to go. There were so many variations on time and temperature for oven and stove top preparations. The result was actually quite delicious (after BOTH grillings, because it was a complete learning curve. Our chops were quite thick so we kept them on longer than the average 3 minutes per side for medium rare doneness).

lamb chop loin with basil/mint pesto, orzo and oven roasted potatoes

Here's what I did for the lamb:

Three hours before dinner I made a marinade of olive oil, minced garlic, rosemary, basil, salt and pepper.
Twenty minutes before cooking the lamb, I took it out and out it on the counter to come closer to room temp before grilling. We initially grilled it for 3 minutes on each side, and it was dead rare. (Like I said, these were monster chops). We re-fired them for another 3 minutes, and they were a perfect medium rare. Sometimes a little trial and error is necessary.

The pesto:

I used equal amounts of fresh basil and mint, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, a good helping of minced garlic, olive, pignolis (pine nuts), salt and pepper. I just loaded everything into the Vitamix and pulsed until I got the desired consistency. Phil used his pesto as a dipper, and I went for more of a glaze effect - as shown above. (This stuff was also delicious mixed into the potatoes and orzo). 

The potatoes:

I always roast my potatoes in a 13 x 9 glass baking dish. (It is really easy to remove them). I preheat my oven to 350. Then I chop whatever potatoes I have on hand to bite size. I throw them in a bowl and mix with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. 30 - 35 minutes in the oven is usually just right for a nice crispy outside and a tender inside. 

The orzo:

I had never cooked orzo, before but the directions for timing were right on the box. After draining it, I returned it to the pot and added butter and parsley. I stirred it for a minute to make sure everything was well incorporated. I have to say, this is my new favorite pasta. It eats like a rice but tastes like a noodle.

Even though we had a hiccup along the way, I would still call the night's romantic dinner a success. We now know that we can cook lamb at home, and we got to try some new flavors that we really enjoyed!