Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's New Resolutions (Part 1)

So I know it is not the new year yet, but I completed one of the things on my list and I'm going to go ahead and count it. I tried Sushi yesterday! They were sampling sushi at Costco when I went there to pick up a few things. I walked by it the first time and didn't stop; I was a little intimidated (okay don't laugh). I circled back around and grabbed a piece. It was pretty good! I would still like to go to a restaurant for an authentic experience but at least I can say I've tried it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Year New Resolutions

I was hanging out on Ravelry tonight and heard the best idea in one of the forums. Somebody suggested instead of one or two big resolutions doing a bunch of little ones. So I am going to come up with 100 new ideas and my goal is to do at least 75 of them by December 31st, 2011. I'm hoping to make some simple, like cooking something new once a month, but also having ones that challenge me more. This post will be my master list but I will have new posts for everything I have accomplished. Here we go...
1. January new dish (1/31/11)
2. February new dish (2/13/11)
3. March new dish
4. April new dish (4/18/11)
5. May new dish
6. June new dish
7. July new dish
8. August new dish (8/7/11)
9. September new dish (9/4/11)
10. October new dish (11/1/11)
11. November new dish
12. December new dish
13. Try sushi (12/29/10) (6/17/11)
14. Try a new veggie(9/23/11)
15. Visit a new museum (6/6/11)
16. Learn to knit in the round (4/15/11)
17. Go without electronics for a day
18. Lose 10 lbs
19. Clean out my closet and get rid of clothes I don't wear (7/27/11)
20. Clean out the videos/Dvds
21. Make scones
22. Make fresh homemade bread
23. Learn how to cable knit
24. Have a girls night out (1/7/11)
25. Floss - and no I'm not kidding. I take my dental health very seriously and this is one area I've been lacking
26. Swim in the ocean (6/5/11)
27. Give up caffeine for a week
28. Give up chocolate for a week (9/7/11)
29. Join a KAL (7/1/11)

Monday, December 20, 2010

They like me, they really like me!

...or at least they like my baking. I did my Christmas baking this week and made peanut butter balls and two different types of cake balls (french vanilla and milk chocolate with half dipped in chocolate and half dipped in vanilla). I had a lot of trouble with my baking this year; I'm not quite sure where I left my brain.

First the peanut butter balls. Simple recipe:
-1 1/2 cups of peanut butter
-1 stick of butter
-1 tsp of vanilla
-1 lb of powdered sugar
Heat the butter and peanut butter together over medium heat until melted. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Here's where my first problem began. I forgot to check that I had vanilla before I started - which I did not. Okay so skip the vanilla; it won't mess up the flavor too much. Next pour the mixture over the powdered sugar in a bowl. And this is the big screw up. I had what I thought was half of a two pound bag of powdered sugar. I added it without properly measuring - total rookie mistake. Yeah there was way too much powdered sugar! So I mixed up another partial batch of the peanut butter/butter mixture and dumped it in...and had to do it again...and again. At this point I was out of peanut butter too but I was finally happy with the ratio. I did, however, have a lot more dough than I planned for. Now the instructions call for rolling the mixture into balls. Fortunately that was successful. I had to use more chocolate than expected but everything was dipped.

Next was the first set of cake balls. Made a German Chocolate cake but over stirred or something. I ended up with pieces of hard boiled egg whites in my cake. I had to toss that batch. I moved onto the next set of cake balls - french vanilla. Cake turned out okay but I had to revive it with extra frosting since I didn't get around to balling them right away and the cake started to dry out. The third was finally successful - chocolate cake. Then I moved on to dipping. The chocolate went fine, but I had clumpy vanilla for my first batch. Finally got it to stir smoothly on the second batch. Baking done!

I took everything I made and divided them up for my parents, E's parents, the office and a few for us to enjoy at home. I brought the office ones in today. I had an entire container full and an office of 25 people has managed to devour all but five of them! Hopefully the families like them that much.

Monday, December 6, 2010

So tired

I am so tired. I feel like I have been going nonstop. The amount of things I have to do has been relentless. Part of it is due to it being the Christmas season, part of it is due to work and part of it is day to day busyness. (I can tell I'm tired - I tried to spell this word as business four times before I finally got it right) It also doesn't help that J has not been sleeping well lately. Between teething and two back to back colds, he has been miserable. Unfortunately this means waking up multiple times per night crying. Which means I wake up multiple times per night - also wanting to cry. I have to keep telling myself "this too shall pass". C was a horrible sleeper - worse than J and he eventually slept through the night in his own bed. For now I just need to focus on enjoying the good parts of this age.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Carmel Apples

The boys and I went over to my mom's house and dipped carmel apples yesterday. So delicious! Last year we tried using the carmel wrappers that you find in the grocery store. Those did not work so well...This year we just used melted carmel instead. Much better! Then we had a variety of toppings to go on them - M&Ms, marshmallows, oreo crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, sprinkles and chocolate chips. I'm definitely planning on doing it this way again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I'm a little late getting this post up (and frankly have been quite lazy in posting lately). Halloween was this past Sunday and I took the boys trick or treating. It was J's first Halloween so it was a lot of fun. We met up with three of his cousins so I got to see everyone's cute costumes. J was a firefighter - he wouldn't leave his hat on most of the time. He was content to just sit in the stroller and watch the action around him. C had a good time too. He has been obsessed lately with motorcycles, bicycles and things like that, so he was a BMX racer. I'm beginning to think I should have dressed him as Mario; he kept going to the other boys he saw as Mario and talking to them and asking questions. All in all it was a good night!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cake Balls

I made some very yummy cake balls for my grandpa's birthday this weekend. It's hard to know what to get him each year, but I know he likes German Chocolate Cake. So I made cake balls out of a German Chocolate cake mix with coconut pecan icing dipped in chocolate. Cake Balls are a wonderful invention! I'd never heard of them before someone on mentioned a website called She has a website full of a million of these things!
Here are the balls before they were dipped:
I found some very cute packaging at Michaels. The label is just construction paper but at this point I was improvising.

They ended up being a big hit. I gave quite a few to my grandpa and split the leftovers between my parents, the babysitter and the office. Might have to remember this in the future.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Biting off more than I can chew

I have this awful habit of taking on too much. The word "no" is not my friend. This time I think I may be taking on too much in terms of crafts. I have already thought of presents that I can make for four people. Luckily its only August so I should have time but there still must be time for hubby, kids, work and church stuff. Someday I will learn the word "no"...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Adventures in cooking

I am not a good cook by any stretch of the imagination. But occasionally I get the crazy idea to try something new. Hubby was home this morning so I was able to cook a real breakfast, which isn't something we get to do very often. I decided to use a recipe from my cast iron skillet cookbook - the dutch baby. In theory it sounded good, kind of like a giant puffy pancake. This was the result (the picture doesn't do it justice):

Hubby is a huge sweetheart and suggested we try it anyway. Luckily it tasted better than it looks. Hubby even asked for seconds! I love that man! But maybe I should give up on being domestic.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yarn Fun

I signed up for Ravelry yesterday. I've been getting into knitting (and blogging) more and more and noticed that many knitting blogs reference patterns on Ravelry. So I decided to check it out. How fun! They even have forums dedicated to different yarns. I feel my inner knitting geek coming out!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation time

Woohoo, vacation time is here! I'm not actually doing anything interesting, just taking time off of work. I'm hoping that I can get some knitting done. Lately I just feel this need to create things or organize things or basically do something productive. It's hard right now since the kids are so young. I try to keep that in perspective and remember to enjoy the moments with them, since the knitting projects will always be there, the messes will always be there, but the kids will grow up. Still it's hard to balance mommyhood with everything. I think vacation will be a good time to find the balance in both.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Basket fun

When I am giving people a present, I like to give baskets. They are a good way to do something unique and fun. I was able to give a couple of baskets recently - my sister got married and had a baby! For her wedding I gave her and her husband a coffee and tea basket. I included two of the reusable cups, one for hot drinks and one for cold drinks. I also included chai tea, black tea, fruit tea, coffee packets and creamer.

I also made a basket filled with baby stuff for her. I included a blanket, two sets of booties and two burp cloths. I still want to add a little something for mom and big sister, but this is almost everything that will go in the basket.

The last thing is a diaper cake. While not a basket, it is still a neat way to give a creative gift! It was used as the centerpiece for the baby shower.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Funny Coincidences

Sometimes I think I share a brainwave with my husband. The renewal on tags for our car was due today and I had asked him to buy stamps yesterday because we were completely out. Well I left for work this morning without getting the stamps from him and putting the renewal in the mail. Ten minutes into the drive I remembered and picked up my cell to call him (yes I know - shame on me for talking and driving). At the very moment I started dialing, he called me. And what makes it even funnier is that he was calling me to see if he should take care of them. Too Funny!