February 27, 2012

A Brief Update

Have I mentioned that I love this girl? I do. She lights up my days. Recently we've been working on getting good naps in the day and still being able to sleep well at night. And things went well over the weekend but then we woke up this morning to discover that the chimney of the house we rent (we rent the basement) is being torn down and rebuilt this week. YAY. So in an attempt to avoid to all the hammering and sawing and pounding of feet (it's crazy that from three floors down you can *still* hear people walking) we're taking a mini-vacation at my dear Mother-In-Law's home today. (Maybe tomorrow it will be my mother's turn? *hint hint*)

 In other news, I've been reading like a mad woman whenever I have a few moments. I have such a hard time making myself be selective with getting books for our Kindle. Whenever I'm out browsing and I see something that looks good I download it! Just like that! (If it's free.) And now I have at least a dozen books on the Dear Reading Apparatus that are calling my name. The one I'm most excited about is "American Woman's Home" by Harriet Beecher Stowe and her sister. The table of contents itself is *awesome* and I can't wait to read the actual book. But I have some books from the library ("Management In The Home" by Lillian Gilbreth being one) that I have to read first since they have a due date and the books on my D.R.A. do not. Arg.

 Also, I recently decided (I must have been in some sort of sleep deprived psychotic episode) to go through all my foodie magazines and cut out the recipes I want to keep in case I *ever* have time to try them, and put them into binders according to dish type (Main, Sides, and Dessert, with sub-categories for stuff like beef, chicken, salads, etc. ((HA!))). So far I have cut out the recipes from two magazines (maybe three? I can't remember last night very well and I'm not at home to verify...) and I have sorted and binder-ized the recipes from one of those.

 "Dear Rachael Ray,
    Please stop printing so many yummy looking recipes.
 A Very Tired Recipe Addict"

(Seriously, I'm a sucker for a good food photo.)

And there you have it; that is my life in a nutshell right now.  Have a blessed Monday!


February 26, 2012

Brain Over-load
...Shutting Down

Lately, I've had so much to think about and do, my brain seemed to go into a jumbled mess. You know the times when you can't figure out your left from your right, 2+3, and what it was you were supposed to be doing before you were standing in the middle of the room wondering what is was you were doing...
We all have our moments. My goal for this week is to to make those moments, more like days or weeks which then turn into months, which then...ok, so I do have some hours of lucidity. Anywho, my goal is to make those amnesia plagued days few and far between. As I am a devout schemer/list maker (I love lists), I've created a list of things I mean to get in the habit of:

N. 1. Not staying up so late! I am terrible about going to bed when my body says it's ready to conk.

N. 2. Drinking minimal amounts of caffeine; this will ensure that I am able to go to sleep when I want to.

N.3. Tut tut to sugar and irregular meals. Keeping to regular meal times should help my body recognize patterns in my day and not binging on sugar will make wanting to eat normal meals easier and it's better for me all the way around.

N. 4. Not taking on more than I can handle. It's easy for me to say "yes" but it tends to pile up like unread mail.

N. 5. Lastly, prioritizing; doing what needs to be done before it becomes last minute (I'm really bad at this).

I was going to say something inspirational here but it ended up sounding like The Little Engine That Could, so I erased it.
Any of you have something you've been meaning to get into the habit of?


February 23, 2012


Ok, so this is a little different...
And it's not a band that I recommend unreservedly (not at all!).

But this is what I've been listening to this week. Blaze loves it, too. :-D

Stereo Hearts

(the music video is pretty fun, too)

February 21, 2012

Everyday French Onion Soup

Ryan *loves* French Onion Soup, so yesterday when he was feeling a little bit sick I wanted to make him some to cheer him up. But I didn't want to wait three hours for the onions to slow-sautee, and I needed it to be a full dinner, not just an appetizer. So I made up this recipe (or mashed it together out of several other recipes :)), and he liked it! It has meat, which is a plus for him, and pasta, which is a plus for me.

The whole thing only took me about half an hour, and it's pretty flexible (so you can use whatever kind of pasta you want, and change out the meatballs for a different recipe if you have a favorite, etc.). The actual soup recipe is based loosely on the French Onion Soup recipe from Nourishing Traditions, and the meatballs at this point are out of my head.

Everyday French Onion Soup (serves two very hungry people)


8 oz pasta (I had some brown rice shells on hand -- yummy)

For the meatballs
 1/4 lb hamburger
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tbsp milk (I just splash it in)
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Some ground black pepper

For the soup
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 cups stock or broth (chicken or beef, both taste good)
1 tsp arrowroot powder, or 1/2 tsp cornstarch, mixed with the same amount of water
Salt to taste
A handful of your favorite cheese (we used a vintage cheddar that we got as a present)

1. Start the pasta water to boiling, and then cook your pasta. When it is done, drain, and toss with a bit of butter, and a little bit of the cheese that you're going to use as a garnish.
2. While you're waiting for the pasta water to boil, put the hamburger, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, basil, salt, garlic, and pepper into a mid-size bowl, and mix it all up well with your hands. This is a little wetter than my usual meatball mixture...you can fix it if you want, but it really turns out fine. :)
3. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium heat, until the oil shimmers. Form your meatball mixture into the size of meatballs that you like, and drop them into the saute pan. Let brown on all sides, and then remove them to a dish to wait for the rest of the soup.
4. If your pan needs more oil, add a little more. Then saute the onion slices in the same pan you used for the meatballs, until they're soft and golden (still over medium heat, so it shouldn't take too long!).
5. Add the stock and the arrowroot mix to the onions, and turn the burner up to medium high. Once the stock boils, add the meatballs back to the pan and let them simmer in the broth for a minute or two.
6. By this time, your pasta really should be done! I hope you've kept an eye on it.
7. Serve the soup over the pasta, with a little bit of cheese on top.

If you make this, leave a comment, because I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

February 20, 2012

Watch this space...

I created a yummy recipe for dinner tonight, so I will type it up for you tomorrow in case you'd like to try it, too. :) Second ever recipe that I've created!

February 19, 2012

Craft Book Love

I LOVE my library. Anybody who knows me well, knows that I think my library is the best library in the country....because it is. One of my favorite things to do is watch the "what's new" list and check out the latest craft books that the library has purchased. And all the wonderful hand-crafters out there are cranking out some pretty fantastic stuff. Here are some of the incredible books I have found lately.

Crochet Adorned by Linda Permann is not really new (published in 2009) but is new to me and wowsa! So many cute, fresh ideas. Linda has a blog at http://www.lindamade.com/wordpress/

Signature Styles by Jenny Doh takes an in depth look at 20 stitchers and what defines their look. Lots to look at and inspire...Find it at www.larkcrafts.com

Amy Barickman's Vintage Notions is chock full of vintage fun...I may have to own this book! Or at least check it out often to get it all read and accomplish some of the ideas inside. This book is full of vintage reprints of publications from The Women's Institue of Domestic Arts and Sciences published between 1916 and 1934Amy's blog is http://amybarickman.com/blog/

Threads Sewing Guide
And the last book on my coffee table that I have checked out several times already because I love it...I really should just buy it...is Threads Sewing Guide. This is now my favorite sewing book. Great photos, clear instructions. This book is sold everywhere. 

Now for a book my library doesn't have but I check often, hoping they get it soon! Spud and Chloe at the Farm by Susan B. Anderson. Susan has another book which I have checked out many times, Itty-Bitty Toys, and I am anxious to see her new book. And here is Susan's blog http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/

Spud & ChloĆ« at the Farm 

What new books have you discovered lately?

Friendship Friday

     "Putting your friend’s welfare before your own: that was Austen’s idea of true friendship. That means admitting when you’re wrong, but even more importantly, it means being willing to tell your friend when they are. It took me a long time to wrap my head around that notion, because it flew so strongly in the face of what we believe about friendship today. True friendship, we think, means unconditional acceptance and support. The true friend validates your feelings, takes your side in every argument, helps you feel good about yourself at all times, and never, ever judges you. But Austen didn’t believe that. For her being happy means becoming a better person, and becoming a better person means having your mistakes pointed out to you in a way that you can’t ignore. Yes, the true friend wants you to be happy, but being happy and feeling good about yourself are not the same things. In fact, they can sometimes be diametrically opposed. True friends do not shield you from your mistakes, they tell you about them: even at the risk of losing your friendship—which means, even at the risk of being unhappy themselves."

 A Jane Austen Education – William Deresiewicz

     (This was supposed to be Friday's food-for-thought post. Oops! ~Noble)


February 15, 2012

A quiet song for a snowy day

We had a little snow last night, and now there is a perfectly blue sky over my perfectly white little yard. It's very beautiful, and if I could find the camera, I would show it to you. But this song is kind of what it feels like. :)

C'est La Mort by The Civil Wars

Much love to you all!

February 13, 2012

Granny Square for Adelaide

          My hands have been on a journey with a little afghan for Adelaide. For my birthday 11 months ago I received two skeins of pretty multi-colored yarn. I wasn't in need of a hat or scarf so I racked my brain for an idea to use these two skeins and I hit upon the idea to make an afghan for my first granddaughter-to-be, Adelaide. I scoured ravelry.com for an afghan pattern that only used two skeins of yarn and found a pretty one. So I knitted away on it all fall (I am a slow knitter ;-) and got to the end of my pattern (which was turning out lovely, by the way) but strangely I wasn't to the end of my yarn...HUH. I had no idea what calculation I had wrong...but I knew my brain wasn't big enough to figure out how to expand the pattern. So I took a little hiatus from the project and baby Adelaide was born. And after the holiday flurry, I picked that afghan back up again and set to ripping it out. I searched my stash for some more yarn to go with it and picked out a super easy granny square pattern. And set to work again. When I got to the end of my pretty yarn and the extra purple I had picked out to go with it I was surprised to find it wasn't big enough! It was about this time that I paid attention to the label on my two skeins and discovered the they were DK weight, not worsted weight like I had assumed. (In my defense I did think they were a little thin for worsted weight....duh) What to do now...rip it out again...start over....add yarn? So I sought counsel and asked Courtney, Noble and Kait what they all thought. And they all thought it would be ok to just add some more colors...very avant garde of them. So I did and here it is...the first finished project of 2012.

February 11, 2012

A Grateful Saturday

1. Adelaide's morning-person-ness. It is so much easier to get up at ridiculous hours when she smiles when she sees me.

2. Noel's superb husbanding. Seriously y'all, I got the best one. (He does stuff like, all the dishes, grocery shopping, and letting me run out for a few minutes to get some fresh air!)

3. Nursing and bouncing Adelaide; I am getting in such good shape! (My shoulders are especially nifty right now.)

4. My sisters. Kaitlin runs errands for me all the time and comes over to keep me company, and Courtney has been invaluable with her knowledge of all things baby!

5. My Dad. He just had his 51st birthday today!

February 6, 2012


We have been in our new house for over a week! I almost have everything unpacked, so we have gone from looking like the aftermath of a hurricane to looking like the aftermath of a small windstorm. Blaze is very glad. :) I'm still not sure where everything is, including the camera. But when I find it, you can bet that I will have lots of great pictures! We love this house so much, even in its craziness. Blaze has a little playroom, with a twin mattress in it for nap times (and for me to lounge on while he plays -- trying to ward off sickness by getting a little extra rest!). We bravely carried out our master-bedroom-as-study plan, which means that I have a permanently claimed sewing table for when I finish unpacking and have time to sew! Love it! Especially considering how many boxes of fabric I tucked into the closet. I have a lot of material to work with here!

We are also hunting around for a couch, since our current living room furniture will seat 3 people. It feels like a couch is kind of a commitment as far as decorating style, though, so it is taking a while to make up our minds about what we want. Something like this (haha, maybe without the price tag and the octopus)? Or maybe this? I was really considering that last one, except then they went and put it on a billboard in the middle of town....everyone will recognize it! :)