Saturday, July 30, 2011

Knit along part 4

I finished off the mystery Knit along this week - it was a monkey! It was a lot of fun to participate in. I've never done a KAL before. Here is the finished product.

His mouth is a little wonky but considering this is only the second toy I've knitted I am happy. Especially since he required more shaping that the android. I also learned quite a few new skills - make one right and left, knitted cast on, French knots, kitchner, plus the designer's neat trick for making ears.

I'm also finishing up the latest android. As of this evening he needs ears, one arm (knitted but not sown on yet), a mouth and eyes. I should have a picture of him this week. My next project is going to be the bear from Itty Bitty Toys done in the grape colored yarn I received for my birthday.

On the gardening side, I have even more little plants! Once they get a little bigger I may prune some of them to give he others room to thrive.

Like my watering can? :)

And in other exciting news, J got his first haircut today. My baby is growing up! He didn't even cry, just looked at the lady funny and then went back to observing everything around him.

Isn't he handsome?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Year New Resolutions Part 8

Today I crossed another thing off of my 2011 resolution list - I cleaned out my closet. It ended up being quite the epic project. I decided the best way to go about it was to take everything out and start from scratch. That way I couldn't just skim over what I had or ignore things back in the corners.

I started things off by going through my shoes on Saturday. I had shelves but wasn't really good about using them so I got rid of them and got a cute basket. This freed up space too.

Then today I went through the clothes. It's hard to get rid of things - I seem to have quite the sentimental attachment to some items. But today I was firm with myself. After all it's just stuff. And the finished result is nice!

On the knitting side of things, I just about finished the mystery toy. He just needs his arms, legs and tail sewn on. I'll post a pic of the cutie this weekend.

And on the gardening side of things, the sunflowers are beginning to sprout. I have three little buds in one bucket and two in the other. Yay!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm blessed

It's Monday and that means it's time to remember all of the things I have been blessed with. Gretchen at He Sows and She Sews started a blog party on Mondays as a day to remember the blessings in our lives. Mondays can get a lot of people down, so it's a good day to focus on the bright side. So this is what stood out to me this week:
- A loving and affectionate husband. I love him more than I could ever express
- A very intelligent four year old. The chats we have as we are going through the bedtime routine melt my heart. Plus lately he has been into reading Bible stories before bed, which is cool.
- An energetic one year old. He's very into exploring the world around him. It's fun seeing the world through his eyes, since it's all so new. There is a pure joy that we all seem to lose as we get older.
- My parents. I didn't realize this as I was growing up but they are actually Superman and Superwoman. They manage to balance taking care of my grandparents and still giving their kids and grandkids attention, in addition to the normal everyday grind of life. If I'm half as good of a parent as they are, then I'm doing a good job.
- Rain. It's been ridiculously hot (I know - July, Phoenix, big shock) but yesterday we got a very refreshing rain! Plus my sunflowers also got a nice soaking.

Check out He Sows and She Sews for more blessings!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's raining!

I can tell that I'm truly an Arizonan. I'm thrilled that it's raining right now. It's very peaceful - I'm listening to the rain beat against the window while cuddling with a sleeping toddler on my lap. I wish moments like this would last forever!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Knit along Part 3

I finished the third clue of the mystery knit along today. The designer was right - this week definitely took the longest. This week was all about making the arms and legs. I also learned a new cast on method, the knit cast on. So now I know two ways of doing it (still want to learn the long tail method). Here are my animal's arms and legs:

The last step will be the finishing details. I still have to sew the pieces and stuff the critter. I can't wait until he is done!

C and I also started the garden today. We are beginning with sunflowers - they are supposed to be pretty hardy. We went to Home Depot yesterday and got our pots and soil. I need to go back and get more soil; I only had enough for two pots. C was so funny the store. He kept asking me about the oil we would need for the flowers. Also to him every yellow flower is a sunflower. Hopefully ours go well and we can try more challenging plants.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Books!

My new knitting books finally came in the mail today. I ordered them last week from Amazon and have been stalking their website ever since to see when they would ship. This proved mildly frustrating for a few reasons. The first being that my total came to $24.99 - a mere penny short of free shipping. So I looked for something else order that would cost less than paying for shipping. C has been wanting to grow sunflowers so I ended up getting some seeds. This is where frustration number two kicked in - the seeds shipped first. Don't get me wrong, it will be fun to start on our garden but they weren't the point of my order. Frustration part three was the books originated from my hometown but took the longest to arrive. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things this is definitely not important!

My newest knitting obsession is with toys so I ordered The Big Book of Knitted Monsters and Itty Bitty Toys.

I'm really excited about some of the patterns in here. I'd love to make the stacked boxes for J (he still gets a kick out of things being knocked over). I'm also planning on making the bear for my niece and the puppets for my mom's classroom. I 'd like to make the hippo too, even though I do not have a recipient in mind.

I haven't decided what I'm making out of here yet, but I figured it would be a good book to make things for the boys. I'm leaning towards the mommy and baby monsters and the garden monster but I plan to make them all eventually.

The bad thing about getting the books is now I have a major case of startitis! Hmmmm what should I pick?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Well the Sunny Side of the Street isn't an accurate title for my blog today! Tonight we had another haboob blow through the region. A haboob is basically a storm that collapses on itself sending up a massive wall of dust. The first one that blew through missed us completely. We weren't so fortunate this time but luckily it wasn't as bad as the first one - that one made national news! (EDIT: Nevermind, this one was mentioned on the Today Show too)

I was at work and saw this one coming so I rather hastily scooted out the door to head home. It was strange - in my rearview mirror the sky was brown but out my front windshield it was a blue sky with a few clouds. I managed to beat the storm home by about two minutes. Racing a storm is probably not the smartest thing I've ever done.

I didn't get pictures as the worst was blowing through but did manage to catch some pictures as it was leaving.

These three pictures were taken a the same time but from different directions. This is a picture of the dust heading west.

The rain following the haboob - coming in from the south. Unfortunately we got about five sprinkles and that was it.

A view facing north. Some darker clouds but plenty of blue sky too.

It's strange how they all seem different even though I was in the same spot. Then as the sun began to set, the sky turned a beautiful yellow and orange. This picture doesn't come close to doing it justice.

Of course my little amateur photographer wanted to take pictures too! He was pointing his block towards the sky and saying "cheese" (don't worry - it wasn't storming by this time)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's my Blogversary!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my blog. It's given me an opportunity to express myself that I didn't have before. Hopefully my writing skills have become better too! There have been some changes in the past year too:

-I had a six month old who was just showing the first signs of crawling and had barely started eating baby food. Now he is an 18 month old who runs and will try any food.
-I had a three year old who was right in the middle of the terrible threes. Now he has outgrown that and also finished a year of preschool. He's so tall too!
-E and I celebrated our ten year anniversary.
-I took my knitting to another level. I could knit, purl, yo and k2tog. This year I learned to knit in the round (and discovered my love of making toys), m1r, m1L and ssk. I'm about to go teach myself a new cast on when I'm done here. I also joined Ravelry this year (it's almost my one year Ravelversary!)
-I started baking more - I made brownies from scratch for the first time this year.

Nothing too monumental happened (with the exception of my 10 year anniversary) but sometimes it's better that way. Hopefully I'll have another good year to recap on my two year Blogversary!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mystery KAL Part 2

I finished the second clue of the the mystery Knit along and I'm baffled as to what it could be. I had originally thought Kangaroo but I'm almost positive it's incorrect. Now I'm leaning towards a monkey. This week went much better for me - no epic screw ups causing me to frog the whole thing. However I did forget to take a picture of it! I'll try to get one up soon.

I started on another project since I actually had some extra time this week. It's another Android. C gave me a guilt trip on it, pointing out that since he and E each have one, J really should have one too. And really, with logic like that who am I to argue? Plus I really like the pattern (if you're on Ravelry you can find it here.) I'm making it with Simply Soft in a fun electric blue (the yarn that matched my awesome birthday cake.)

I also completed the finishing on the slippers and wore them around. Unfortunately they wouldn't stay on. I think I deviated from the pattern too much. My next dilemma is do I try them again following the pattern more closely, try a new pattern or give up on the idea of slippers?

And in other non knitting news, I had a pair of Superheroes visit yesterday.

The boys have a bin full of costumes for to play with. C loves to play pretend and J is starting to join in. It is hilarious to see what they come up with!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Blessed

It's Monday (okay technically it's Sunday night but no one will read this until Monday); it's time for the weekly blessing party at

Right now my blessing is a healthy child. Poor J became ill on Wednesday afternoon and was sick all the way through yesterday. It was hard for him to keep anything down and the poor baby just didn't want to be sick. He was trying so hard to act normally, which in a way is almost sadder since he wasn't well.

Thankfully today it was like a switch had flipped and he was back to normal. His infamous appetite was back (the kid has a reputation in the family for being the most adventurous eater). He seems perkier and was even able to go out this afternoon to his cousin's birthday.

It's hard to watch my baby suffer. I'm sure 99% of moms and dads would trade places with a sick child in an instant, just to have them feel better. I'm so glad he is well again!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Knit Along Part 1

I finished the first part of the Knitted toy mystery KAL. Just in time too - the second clue goes up tomorrow morning. I had some problems with this section. I was making good progress on it earlier this week and was on row 42 of 47 when i realized I made a mistake and had to frog it. Boo!

So I started over but I wasn't getting a whole lot of knitting time in. Luckily tonight J cooperated and I was able to focus and finish it.

I'm trying to figure out what it could be. I know that it's a mammal - I think this may be a monkey's body. Or possibly a kangaroo, with a pouch to be added later. I'm anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning to see what happens next.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I'm blessed

I'm joining the blog party over at again. This week I'm being a bit cliche since it's the 4th of July but one of the biggest blessings that I have is my freedom. It's wonderful to live in a country where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mean something. I have the freedom to say what I think and worship how I want. Many others in this world do not have the same opportunity. It's so easy for us to forget how blessed we are in this regard.

Today also provided many small blessings:
My children are having fun (they are wearing the T-shirts I mentioned in a previous post.)

I have always enjoyed the 4th of July and have yet to outgrow my love of fireworks.

And I got to spend some quality time with my parents and sister. Happy Independence Day!

Peanut butter chocolate rice crispy treats

I wanted to make some dessert for the Fourth of July - it just seems like a day that needs dessert. I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do so E suggested a peanut butter and chocolate dessert. Originally I was going to go with brownies but decided to do rice crispy treats instead. (Yay for not having to turn on the oven - although it is only 105 today).

I found a recipe for peanut butter treats on the Rice Krispies website. It's the standard recipe with half a cup of peanut butter mixed in at the end. To make them even yummier I melted chocolate chips to go on top.

Here's the butter marshmallow mixture.

And now for the peanut butter...this looks good enough to eat even without the cereal mixed in.

Then the cereal is mixed in and the mixture is pressed in the plan.

After they firmed up a little I melted the chocolate with just a tiny bit of vegetable shortening added to make it spread easier. And since it's not a very patriotic looking dessert, I put blue sprinkles on to spruce it up! (They don't show up very well in the photo)

Mmmm. It's amazing that chocolate an peanut butter are so good by themselves but when you mix them together they reach a whole new level of deliciousness.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Busy day

Today was an exhausting day! E unfortunately had to work most of the day, so I was trying to figure out how to keep C and J entertained. Shouldn't be too hard - I mean it was only 118 outside today. Yeah, so I pretty much had to scrap any ideas of playing outside. Lately we've been letting them play outside for the last hour before bed, once the sun has started to set and the heat subsides a bit. Not even a possibility today.

I decided to put together my new end tables. I'm very weird in the fact that I like to put together furniture so E usually lets me have free reign over these projects and I call him in for backup when I can't lift something. Since they were just end tables I figured I could manage them on my own. I let the boys use their imaginations with the styrofoam packaging while I assembled the end tables. Wow did they make a mess in my living room but at least the tables looked nice.

Here's J investigating the drawers

The boys also got to go over to grandma's today and make t-shirts for the 4th of July. The idea behind them is really cool. The kids put star stickers and masking tape all over the shirts and then blotted them with fabric paint. When they dry the stickers and tape are pulled off to make the designs.

We also went out for Frozen yogurt today. I think that was my favorite part of the day. We went to one of those places where they charge you by weight and you can add whatever topping you like. I love to mix two or three different flavors with lots of toppings. Yum!

Hopefully tomorrow won't be as nuts and I really hope it cools off soon!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A finished object

I finished my washcloth today!

This is the M&M washcloth I mentioned in my previous post. It was a quick knit, although if I had to do many more rows of seed stitch I might have had to tear my hair out. It does make a cute border though.

My next project is going to be a mystery KAL that I found out about in Ravelry's knitted toy group. Gotta say I'm really excited. I've never one a KAL before! (Plus I can check another thing off my list) The first clue was released today and I plan on casting on tomorrow - I misplaced my dpns for a little while so I couldn't start today. It'll be fun!