Saturday, December 29, 2012

These times are a changin'......

is that a good thing? I think so. We had a wonderful Christmas around our house, I would say it was pretty relaxed and it was a few days of lots of food and goodies and good company. Our girls have gone back home to their lives and jobs but our son is here for another week. He will spend his week eating and sleeping and going home heavier and well rested for his next training session. We were talking that next year there isn't going to be a big family get together, as our son won't be here at home, so we may just have our first beachy Christmas. Which at this point in our lives could be kinda fun! There's no little ones around and a week in the sun might be just the ticket.

So I am ready to ring in the New Year with only one resolution......get back runniing at least 3-4 days a week. Not sure if I will run too many half marathons this year but you never know! In the meantime, I need to get rid of these headaches and even though it may not sound like a solution, running does help, must be the fresh air and the adrenalin rush. So that's my plan.

Here is our family and some of the festivites of the past week.

Some of the antics that went on.............
all about making memories......

Family together in 2012
for the week of Christmas
So now comes the cleaning up and packing away and purging some of the decorations, it feels so cleansing when the house is all cleaned up and de-cluttered but sad at the same time. But when Christmas is over Spring is just around the corner! If we had a week of sun then we could get the lawned mowed because it certainly needs it.

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and you have a safe and prosperous New Year and that 2013 finds you happy, healthy and ready for adventure. Have a great day!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things that make you go "hmmmm"

We are taught from the time we are born to conform. To conform to current and conventional views. We are discouraged from taking risks and encouraged to follow the proven path. In many ways we have been taught to follow, rather than lead. We've been encouraged to look at the stars rather than reach for them. Yet inside each of us there exists a unique and authentic light, a set of beliefs that when us a sense of purpose and ignites the human spirit. We are all free spirits but at times we get so caught up in our everyday lives, we forget that each and everyone of us are unique in our own way. So as you go about your holiday preparations, take time to reflect and make memories that you will cherish in years to come. Whether its playing games with your children or reading their favourite stories or making a batch of cookies together. You can never get these days back........ so enjoy your time with family and remember to be thankful for your time together.......

I know a little deep but hey tomorrow is suppose to be the end of the world, and not that I think it is going to happen, but there's always a chance that something could happen that will change our lives take care of yourselves.

I've been better the last couple of days, so I did some major cooking yesterday.....tiring for sure, but the smells coming from the kitchen were incredible.

I have been making these boot cuffs and finished one pair and my model thinks they are very cute.

These are quite simple........ once I figured out the pattern of sorts, because well conforming isn't my strong point. But they are fairly similar to the original pattern. Lol! So out of one ball..... I should get 2 pairs of boots cuffs. Nice little stocking my next  project after the New Years is going to be buttons. That's right, you heard right.......don't you find its really hard to find funky buttons? I like ones that are a little out of the ordinary, so I think I will try making my own out of clay. I have a stash of Fimo and Sculpey clay from days gone by, so if it is any good I will do a few test runs and see what happens. This is what I have in my mind.... least.

Well yesterday was our day for a wintery blast but its been raining now quite steadily, so for the most part, the snow is gone. Phew! Thought I was going to have to break down and get out a shovel! Well onward with the day! Have a great day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Good morning Monday........

Well what a weekend it has been around this household! I went to the city on Friday to pick up my son from the airport and on our way back, we were in a minor fender bender, except fenders these days don't bend then crack and break! Yes, we were rear-ended and my poor little car now has a very broken bumper, and I have a case of whiplash. This is my first ever accident, so I was a bit in shock but we took pictures and exchanged names and seeing as the car was still drivable, we continued on our destination and both of us were pretty quiet, not feeling all that well. My sons back was starting to feel sore and I was feeling a headache and nausea creeping up.

But basically, we are fine and laid pretty low all weekend, I can't believe we hadn't seen our son in a year. So many things have changed since he was here last year, he arrived a week after we moved in so things were pretty much still in an upheaval, so there many changes he hasn't seen.  We couldn't believe that he has grown taller and filled out. He's a pretty big guy now! But I think he is done now and him and his dad are the same height. There will be no arm wrestling this year, because someone would loose! I am officially the midget of the family! My dad used to say "good things come in small packages"..........and well so does "dynamite"! He wasn't wrong!

I finished up quite a few projects this weekend in spite of being out of whack, sewing was the hardest because for some reason my eyes were really bothering me but I completed the aprons and they are pretty cute, and two infinity scarves......The girls will arrive next weekend so the last of the baking will get done this week. In the meantime, trying to fill up this boy could be a challenge! He's not much into the sweets, so no point in making a bunch of cookies, he's a meat and potato guy.

This apron is for my sister-in-law
a little big for me but
it is pretty cute
This BBQ apron is for my brother,
we'll see how that goes over!

Black and red infinity scarves in a couple of new stitches
I like trying new stitches just to see how they make something so basic look a little more unique. Most scarves use a single crochet or double crochet but I like it when they are mixed up, only problem being I don't write things down so each piece is unique unto itself! One day I may just follow a pattern and try to repeat it! But I don't hold out much hope for that since I get bored quite easily..........Well I need to roll here and get to the doctor this morning and have my head checked out and wait for the insurance guy to call and give me the ninth degree and tell me where to go and get my car fixed.......and that should be interesting since there aren't a lot of choices! Have a great day, count your blessings and be thankful for the little things...............take nothing for is precious.........

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One more sleep.......

till our son comes home tomorrow! Not that I've been counting...... just seemed to take forever and then before I knew it, tomorrow has come. The spare room has been purged of all the gifts and I spent most of the afternoon trying to get everything wrapped but mmmmmm.......didn't quite get it all done......That darn Santa, I wished he wrapped his own prezzies!

That's my boy!
Today was the perfect day to stay home and get things done, I whipped out this morning to do a few errands and then managed to be back home by noon and set the wheels in motion to get a few more things baked. I have to have theeee worst luck when it comes to making peanut brittle......totally wasted a few pounds of peanuts and energy! The whole batch straight into the garbage. Sooo disappointing but that's happened the last two times when I've tried to make it. So I guess I won't be attempting it again anytime soon! So I made more Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark......besides............its easier on the teeth!

My next project is just
about finished!

So all I need to do is gather up the animals and we are all set to go! Yes it rained pretty much all day and I just poked my head outside and its still coming down. But on the upside, the snow shovel hasn't showed its face! Which is just fine by me.....:))))) I finished off one of the aprons I am making and so now all I need to do is the finishing touches to my sister-in-laws......back to work tomorrow for a few days and give my son time to sleep in and chill out with his dad for a few days. Next week I will do the last of my baking and get ready to just enjoy having our kids around. Now it would be nice if the weather would cooperate and dry up!

Just about time to pick up the hooks and get started on those boot cuffs, one pair is just about finished. Maybe I will have to go visit my lady with the shop and see if she is interested. Well time for a cup of tea, not much sleep last night, so here's hoping for a good couple of hours tonight. Hope your week has been going well, and your lists are getting smaller.....good night!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oh I am bad................

I spent the day baking and sewing.....oooooh and the things I baked should be illegal! Nothing but calories but tis' the season! I finished off the Nanaimo Bars that I started last night, this morning, and debated sewing or baking.....sewing won for a few hours and once my back started aching it was time to do some baking..............
OM Goodness!!!!! I wanted to try the Caramel Chocolate Pretzel bark, and Shortbread Bites, both recipes were new and just the comments  enticed me into making them and they weren't lying! Terrible! Illegal! and Immoral!

Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark

Shortbread Crack Bites!
That's right because betcha can't eat just one!
We did a 5km race on Sunday in aid of the high school band doing a fundraiser for a trip to Hawaii. It was called the Holiday Hustle, there was also a food donation for the Elves Club and I think they did really well in the inaugural holiday race. Sue and I ran together for the most part and did a respectable 28 minutes in the rain no less.......we were soaking wet when we were finished. We waited around after the race as they had a whole whack of door prizes, I didn't win anything but Sue won the grand prize of a spa package! And who is she taking with her for an afternoon of pampering? Moi!!! What a good friend she is! Course if I had won, I would have taken her with me too......:))))))) Running twice a week isn't ideal but we are still going to our half hour boot camp workout twice a week also........January we will get back on track.

Our son is coming home on Friday! Yippeee! We haven't seen him since last Christmas, sure I talk to him lots and text back and forth but its not the same as a good old hug....I'm sure I will get to cook lots of meals for him and mother him to death! But that's what mom's of boys do.......our girls will be home the following weekend and the whole house will be turned upside down for a week....but we wouldn't have it any other way, now would we!

So if you're up to some delicious goodies check out Pinterest for these two won't regret it and either will the recipients of this morsels! Have a good evening!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wow, what a day!

I spent a good day in the city getting groceries and hitting a few stores that I don't normally get time to wander around and just look......So a day by myself was quite a treat, although I probably could have spent another few hours no problem! But to tell you the truth, I was tuckered out and my feet were starting to hurt. The main thing was I got everything done that I set out to do. The weather somewhat cooperated and only rained for a few minutes as I ran between stores!

I love this picture, and then the miserable creation
pooped on my car!

My new snowman, made from grapevine wreaths, a topper
hat painted black, now I need to add some
Christmas balls.....hee....hee....hee!!
You'll see!

There's something about a stormy sky

Churning sea, & driftwood
Stairs down to the tumultuous ocean

I added lights and greenery to the mantel,
it was bugging me not having lights,
 but with such a narrow ledge,
 it was a little tedious trying to get it all to
stay put.
Boot Cuffs my new project.......thanks Trace!
Well its back to work tomorrow, just for a few days and then some more baking needs to get done. The Chocolate Confetti, and Butterscotch Confetti, is done, next on the menu is Nanaimo Bars! Oh and Pretzel Bark! I hope you had a great day! What special recipes do you have on your list to make for the holidays? See you soon. Christmas Party tomorrow night!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 is........

I don't know where November went or how December came upon me so fast. But its here and it is what it is! Between working, shopping, crafting, baking and general what have you, the days are flying by and before I know it the kids are going to be walking through the door. Yikes! My son comes home in 9 days and then the girls filter in the following week. My shopping hasn't been too bad because I discovered online shopping! Thank heavens! Now the baking begins.....I did a few recipes yesterday, so I am finally in the mood......its hard to bake gluten free when there is only one in the house who can't tolerate gluten and one that could eat and eat and barely gain an ounce. But I am on a mission to have a variety, so far so good!

I've discovered my sewing machine again and after the holidays I want to do a few things that I have been saving, not to mention painting a room and changing the decor. I love Pinterest for inspiration but some days I tell you it can be pretty over whelming! Between Pinterest and Ravelry, I have enough projects to keep me busy for a hundred years!

My best news of the week is I have finally found a place to market my many crochet projects. Then today, my co-worker/friend put me onto yet another little item that she is sure to be a hit! OMGoodness! It just goes on and on!

Tomorrow I am heading to the city to get some groceries and pick up a few extras. I sure hope its not going to pour down again.

Today I did something different, it was a odd day for weather, one minute it was sunny and the next a storm was rolling in. That's the westcoast weather for you. So when I was on my way to see my mom, I thought I would stop and smell the flowers and take a few photos along the way.

A little different, not crafting or decorating but something I do enjoy, if I actually had more time I would probably spend more time wandering around, just taking photos of this and that. Something I would really like to do is take photos of peoples faces. I guess I could sit on a bench and just click away but then I need a better camera so in the New Year that will be my goal. So on a crafting note......................I made Mr. Snowman today.......but today I guess blogger is not going to let me upload anymore photos! Grrrrrrrr! Soooooooo frustrating some days! Anyway, I will try again tomorrow.

I hope you  have a wonderful evening and hump day tomorrow! Do you have your baking done? Have fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I love Sundays.......

Sunday is probably my favorite day of the need to hurry anywhere just putter about and do whatever, my day to bake and venture out to my studio. I have  bread dough making for the pizza roll, the house is vaccumed and the laundry is done. Lazy me did not go running this morning, just wasn't into it. It's been a few weeks now so another day isn't going to make a difference one way or another. So I managed to get a few photos of the house and still working on getting some others straightened out. May have to start from scratch........

The picture in the background is now wrapped
in gold paper and cream ribbons and bows
And magically its wrapped, the glare from the paper
is apparently something I will just have to live with
in the photos, plays havoc with the white balance and
all that technical word mumbo jumbo.... I totally get it
but I don't think my camera will allow me to get too technical.
mmmm......maybe its time to get a more advanced one Santa!
Red Charger plates from the $ Tree make for a colorful table,
 either Christmas dishes or the cream and gold china.
My PB version of the Poinsettia pillow, and
it turned out so nice, I made one for my Mom too.
The large picture over the fireplace,
was gifted wrapped to go with the color theme
My new skinny I say, the jury is still out
on this small of a tree, but I have put a skirt around the bottom now
so that does help, but I may have to get a little bit fluffier one next time.
Well thats about it for now, I may have better ones to post later but for now, I'm liking the colors and that's the main thing. Well bread dough is done, time to make the pizza roll. Ciao for now. Enjoy your Sunday! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let the decorating begin.....

December is fast approaching and our American friends are finished with the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas season can begin. But to be honest, I started at the beginning of the week, as I knew by the weekend I wouldn't have time. I have most of it done on the inside and now I just have to put some greenery and lights outside. The rain has quit for a few days, so its perfect timing.

I haven't been happy with my camera lately because my shots inside have not been turning out right. Something to do with the white balance and exposure....I don't know why, all of a sudden this happened, so I've been trying to figure it out, but really all I want to do is point and shoot! Is that too much to ask? It all looks good to my eye and then it all goes array when I download them and photoshop isn't helping but hopefully this weekend I will get the kinks worked out.

I have a few projects lined up for my next days off, a couple of infinity scarves, an owl pillow and some little baking ideas that I ran across on Pinterest, of course. I wanted to try a few new recipes out before the kids come home at Christmas, so the Hubs has been through a few experiments this week. So far he's still eating and breathing!

Here are just a couple I've tried:

Chicken Strognaoff
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs or a combination of both, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon sweet paprika or regular paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces white button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaf
1/4 cup sour cream
Hot, cooked egg noodles, for serving (about 12 ounces to 1 pound)
Fresh, chopped parsley for garnish

In a medium bowl or shallow pie plate, toss the cubed chicken with the paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top of the chicken and toss to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on each side, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes. The chicken will finish cooking fully a bit later so it doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through. Scrape the chicken onto a plate and set aside.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir in the onions and mushrooms. Saute the mixture, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits from the chicken, until the onion is translucent and the onions and mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
Pour in about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits from the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste, whisking to combine. Add the rest of the chicken broth and the bay leaf, stirring well.
Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer the mixture over medium-low to medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the yogurt (or creme fraiche or sour cream) and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer. If you would like the sauce to be a bit thicker, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons cold water. Add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering mixture in the skillet, whisking quickly to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Serve over hot noodles and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

It was very tasty and a nice change from the regular beef version, so this is a definite alternative. then tomorrow I am going to try make a Pizza Roll.......

Pizza Roll
Now I am going to make pizza dough in my breadmaker, but I know there are lots of alternatives out there and then all you do is spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, some pepperoni, and some grated cheese, bake and serve with a salad. It should be good cold for lunch the next day. I'll let you know how it goes!

Well with any luck I will put some photos up tomorrow of some of my Christmas decor and the mini-skinny trees. Not sure if I like having a skinny tree, but it doesn't take up a lot of the livingroom, that's for sure! And all those decorations I have, certainly go a long way in decking those have a great weekend, and let the decorating and baking begin! Did you get all your shopping done on Black Friday?

Whooooooo's this for? Cute isn't he?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Catching up.................

I have to say this week has gotten away on me and here it is Thursday and back to work.......goodness me I don't know what I would do if I had a real job.....maybe be more organized, I don't know but I do know there isn't enough of me to go around these days! And to think I want to start my Christmas decorating , so I started by clearing away all the Fall decor and putting things away and finishing off some projects. My daughter was on my case about posting some crafts so here there are honey..........

My daughter's rag quilt.....bigger than
originally planned but will fit nicely
on top of a double bed
 When I was making Jane's quilt, it was getting bigger, and bigger because I didn't count the squares off quite right so instead of a lap quilt it turned into something a tad bigger, but its a beauty and very cozy.

Kitchen gadget pedestal plate......why you say?

Just because it looks pretty
and I hate things around the sink
and this way they are up and away

A pair of cozy slippers, the easiest pattern ever!
An evening of your favourite shows and

This is a one large skein scarf that works up very quickly,
I love the shell pattern......

Matching slouchy hat

A pair of "little guys" slippers
So now that I am caught up on a few things, time to start Christmasizing the house. My first room is going to be the the front porch, all cleaned up, but I am missing a few things from the move last year, so I've had to re-think my orginal plan, and after much preusing of blogs around the web, I have kinda sorta figured it time to get this show on the road........did I mention how out of shape I am?  Sue and I started a 30 minute workout twice a week.......OMGoodness! What a muscle burner! As a runner, I am about as flexible as a 2x12! So this is going to be good for me, and as I found out last night, there are "ab" muscles in there and they are screaming in agony! But that's a "good thing"......right? So Sue and I are doing this workout and trying to pump up the activity by cross training! Well wish me luck....I'm beginning to think growing old graciously is the way to go! But then I say "heck no''! I'm going to fight it the whole way! I hope you have a wonderful day and you're starting to think about how you're decorating for the season! Catch you later......................

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tell it all Tuesday................

Hmmmmm.......well I just don't know where to begin..................seriously the time goes by soooooo quickly I don't know which day it is anymore! I do know that I have been busy, and a little out of whack. Must be the barometric pressure taking hold of my brain......but no fear its coming back around.............I spent a few days last week, doing some hand sewing, I made a couple of those cute little strawberry pin cushions which we quite enjoyable to just sit and mindlessly sew........Sue's daughters gifts are finished, hat, scarf and a pair of slippers, so she can take those with her when she goes to visit. All the felt petals are cut out for two of the Poinsettia pillows and today I am picking up the pillow forms and can get started sewing them together. We just had a Dollar Tree open and its "awesome" so clean and bright.

I managed to get in 40km of running last week but I am afraid with my buddy taking off this week I won't accomplish that much this week. But hopefully close to it. Janet will still be around for a few of those days and we can head out bright and early. The rain has been incredible the last couple of nights, and amazingly come morning its quite nice.......

I picked up a few Christmas baking supplies and containers and I would like to get started on some of those goodies on my next days off. Thanks to Pinterest, I have many are just a few.

Chewy Caramels

Hot Chocolate Dippers

Ritz Minty Chocolates

Ritz Chocolate Cookie Bars
All these recipes are readily available on Pinterest and I've made the Chocolate Mint Ritz and they are a big hit. Martha's website has this recipe....Yummy!

Well that's my Tuesday.......I am off to see my Mom and do some running around so that I can sit and sew tomorrow in my studio. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you were able to take some time out of your Remembrance Day and give a few minutes of silence in honor of our veterans in Canada and for all the vets and serving members of the military. Lest we forget...........................

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Its not my fault........

that I have the attention span of a gnat! There are just too many things to do. I think I have too much space in my head and that requires me to always go looking for something to fill in the empty as it nears the Christmas season, I feel its my obligation to go full board for a few months and then peter out come January (then go lay on a beach somewhere and recooperate).........I really should learn to space my projects through out the year and then I wouldn't get such a head rush....... like eating ice cream! Or is that a brain freeze? Either way, I am my own worst enemy.....but boy do I luuuuuvvvve crafting!

So as I said, these are a few things that are teasing my brain right now. I would like to blame Pinterest but I've seen these before and just haven't gotten around to making any of them.................yet!

PB Poinsettia Pillow....I'm sure you've seen them and thought "yikes" I
can make that!

I was going to make this last year and then "poof" we were moving and didn't seeing as I have a few weeks till the festive got it........I will start today! Then I saw this one today..................

Another PB holiday pillow......
could be a little more finicky but oh what the heck!
I've kind of gotten into a sewing jag lately and it's a nice change, as the carpal tunnel from crocheting has taken its toll but that's neither here nor there.....I will these are in progress at the moment............

These were on Martha's website years ago
but they are just so darn cute I couldn't resist

These are of late on Martha's site and
I know someone that loves tomatoes
So I am thinking there is going to be many hours spent out in the studio for the next few weeks.....a good thing the Hubs bought me a heater that makes it toasty warm, and with my tunes playing it is quite a peaceful place to be. Well must run and organize my ideas into a hard copy version before the ol'timers sets in and I forget what I was going to do! Enjoy your day and happy crafting!