Monday, December 29, 2008

Things That Made Me Happy Today

1. By midnight I will have 2 more FO's. These will get shared with you later in the week.

2. Christmas is over. Don't get me wrong, the holidays are great but it's also exhausting. I worked all weekend and today was just a day to get my life back in order. No Christmas parties or shopping or baking for other people. Trust me, the laundry HAD to get done!

3. Today is the last Monday of the year. I work a wacky schedule so Monday isn't that big of a deal anymore. But still...

That's it for now. I gotta go finish those FO's!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Making Plans

With all the babies coming this year, (especially my nephew!) I've been making big knitting plans. And these plans are making me VERY HAPPY. As does the shipment of Blue Moon yarn I received from their barn sale. Note- all the pattern links are ravelry to protect the surprises from those-who-should-not-be-snooping!

BMFA- STR Medium Algae

1. STR Medium Weight for this

BMFA- STR Medium Quilla

2. STR Mediumweight in Quilla for another one of these.


3. STR Heavyweight in KMBFLA for her.

BMFA- STR Medium Moirae

4. STR Mediumweight in Moirae for him.

BMFA- STR Heavy Bleck

5. STR Heavyweight in Black for another one of these.

BMFA- STR Medium Nyame

6. STR Mediumweight in Nyame for this.

Lots of plans with hopefully plenty of time!

Finally, here's the latest from the Yarn Pirate Booty Club. Unfortunately, I can't continue this sock club for awhile. Need to save money and knit what I have. Boo! Luckily, I have a lovely stash to knit from. But it's sad to give up a spot in such a great sock club. I wish Georgia continued luck in her dyeing business. With talent like hers, I have no doubt she'll be around a long time!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas at my mother-in-law's house.

Christmas- Opening Gifts

We sat around opening presents, drinking wine, and just enjoying each other's company.

Christmas- Aaron's New PJ's

Aaron got new PJ's.

Christmas- Diane's New Scarf

Aunt Diane loves her new scarf.

Christmas- Llama

I love my new llama. (And all my other gifts!)

Package from Dawn

Especially this package from KnittinWolf. That's a washcloth and homemade soap that smells AMAZING!!!! Thank you so much, Dawn.

Brian and I exchanged gifts on Christmas morning. Well, I gave him the books I bought him. And he reminded me that my gift is going to be late. Oh well! I like having many days of gifts.

Then I worked from 3-11 on Christmas Day. It was actually nice. Not too busy and there were lots of visitors. Lately I've been taking care of really cute patients with lovely families. Plus there's holiday pay. So no complaints here.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Night Before, The Night Before

Since my in-laws do everything Christmas on Christmas Eve and I just got home from work, it's still the night before the night before for me. I'm not sure if anyone else has heard this but in college we were always told the important night for sleep was actually NOT the night before the competition but the night before, the night before. I guess that's more fun to say than 2 days before. Anyway...

Things that made me happy on this penultimate night before Christmas Eve. (that's right, penultimate!)

1. The 1984 Coke Commercial that my mom LOVED. Bear with the pre-PC iterations of different ethnic groups. Mostly it just made me smile at my mom's love of this song.

2. Work went really well tonight. I even made the suicidal patient laugh. Score!

3. I was uninjured in a parking lot scuffle at Borders today. Trust me, there was a CRAZY lady in an SUV that looked dangerous. Procrastinators, beware!

4. My Blue Moon barn sale package arrived. (Downside- it's in the apartment office building.)

5. I'm getting a pedi tomorrow. Or that's the plan if I can get motivated in the morning!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Things that made me happy today.

1. Knowing when I'm stretched too thin and being OK with not being everything to everyone.

2. Only 1 Christmas gift left to figure out.

3. I'm not in the Midwest. My Dad called from Michigan. Apparently it's really, really cold there. (Note to self- No more complaining about the rain and NEAR freezing weather here.)

4. We aren't traveling this year. (Of course, I'm sad not to be with my family at Christmas. And I will miss them very much.) But when the lead story on the local news is all about people stranded at airports, I'm glad not to be one of them; unlike last year.

5. Taylor Swift and Def Leopard together on Crossroads. It's genius.

Happy Solstice and Stay warm!!!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

C'mon Get Happy

Day Two of happy things...

1. Sleeping late with a two kitty heating system.

2. Pushing Daisies. Why'd they cancel it????

3. It's a Yarntini Christmas

Yarntini Sock

That's for TapMouse who chided me for the lack of yarny goodness lately.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tagged- The Sequel

Then, Katie tagged me post things that make me happy for 8 days. This'll take us all the way through Christmas. So I can't promise it'll be consecutive days. But I'll absolutely make it to 8.

What made be happy today...
1. Getting done what needed to get done without spending extra money and without losing my patience. (I'm probably the least patient person you've ever met.)

2. Orange Clove scented candles from Old Navy. Smells like mulled cider and warmth.

3. The DVR- Working pm shift shouldn't make you miss your shows!

And the big one... My sister is pregnant!!!!!! I can finally tell you all I'm getting a nephew in May!

Now that I've shilled for Old Navy and Comcast... We'll get more happy things tomorrow!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tagged- Part 1

Sarah tagged me to do this meme. And since I'm a joiner, I'm in!

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was in my senior year at Amherst. (not UMASS) And I'd just gotten my first job offer with Abercrombie & Fitch. It was a great time. Just had to graduate and then I was employed close but not too close to home. I was surrounded by friends. And there was the familiarity of being in a place for 4 years combined with the excitement of getting ready to move on.

2)What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

1. Sleep in- Hear that kitties?!?!?!?!
2. Get stuff for more brownies
3. Plan Brian's family's gifts
4. Cuddle with kitties to stay warm. (Heat's still not on in our house!)
5. Ship presents to Michigan!!!!
And then, go to work.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
There's not much I don't like... nachos, hummus, grilled cheese, artichoke dip... there's so much to love.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off all my student loans. Buy a big house in Napa. Pay off our families' debt. Then, travel. Travel. Travel. There are so many places I haven't been and so many I'd love to see again.

5) Places I have lived

Hamilton, MI- Home
Amherst, MA- College
Columbus, OH- First job
Dublin, CA- Last 7 years. (So many already!)

I'm not gonna tag anyone. But jump in if you want to!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dragging Ass at the Mall

I'm sick. I have a killa cold which allows me to speak in a Kathleen Turner voice and smell like Halls. I know, supa sexy! But Christmas waits for no cold. (and since I heard yesterday on the radio that the mailing deadline had passed) I really had to start the shopping. I managed to start and finish shopping for and wrapping my family's presents today. All that without killing anyone at the mall. They'll get shipped tomorrow. (for an extra "dawdler's" fee, I'm sure.) Now I just have Brian's family. That's a little easier since it doesn't HAVE to be done THIS SECOND!!!

But since I obviously can't talk about anything I got today, I'll show you pictures of the cookie exchange I went to on Sunday.

Cookie Exchange- Around the Tree

It was organized by some ladies from the Stitch and Bitch I regularly attend. It was just the thing I needed to get into the holiday spirit.

Cookie Exchange- Cookies!

How can anyone be grinchy with all these cookies around?!?!?!

Cookie Exchange- New Friends

And the babies had fun too.

I made these caramel brownies.

Cookie Exchange- Caramel Brownies

This batch is before the top was added. They are gooey and seriously delicious. But SO EASY!!!! Recipe here.

I finished the Baby Mine sweater but it was determined to be too small for the baby born in October. Since there are eleventy million babies coming, it definitely won't do to waste. Just needs buttons, then I can show it off.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What I've Been Up To

It's suddenly busy, busy, busy around here. Yesterday I graduated from my new grad program. So as of tomorrow, I'm unleashed on the public on my own. It's a little scary but I do think 18 weeks of training has made me ready. Plus, there will always be people around me to help and answer questions.

Other than that, I have a deep case of Christmas denial. I haven't started shopping at all. Oops! Hopefully I'll get into the spirit soon. In general, I'm just annoyed at the crowds and traffic. Yup, I'm the grinch this year. Hopefully my heart will grow three sizes in the next week or so. ;)

What I do have it new hair...

New Hair

It's short! And red! (Try to ignore my acne. It's just another thing to make me feel festive!) I got it cut today and I wasn't planning on going this short. Hopefully I can still pin it back for work. If not, oh well. My whole life can't revolve around work, right?

I have new shoes too... Check 'em out!

I've been knitting too.

Super Secret Project

The Super Secret Project is coming along. Still lots of garter stitch to go but maybe it'll be ready for Christmas. Although, this is NOT a Christmas gift. Therefore, there is no pressure to finish. But it would be nice...

Because there are other things I'm enjoying knitting.

Baby Mine

This is for Brian's cousin's baby, Grace. I'm actually almost done. Just gotta graft the underarms, weave in the ends, and block. So 95% there. 1 baby gift down. About 1 million to go! (See, I'm so cranky!)

Although, there is a little holiday spirit around here.

Sheepie Ornaments

I picked up these ornaments at Bath and Body Works. They are so soft! And I love how they look so sleepy.

I'm off to look for some holiday cheer!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Things I've Done

I'm kind of a lazy blogger lately. So here's a meme to keep you occupied while I try to come up with something with more zing!

Things I've Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the star
s (I'm not a camper. But this was on a beach in the Caribbean with a bunch of friends and a bonfire. How bad can that be?)
3. Played in a band (I was drum major but played the saxophone. I think those balance out in terms of coolness.)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis (at least probably)
10. Sung a solo (no one wants to hear that!)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (Drove through on the way back to Frankfurt from Normandy. But I guess that counts.)
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables (Herbs count, right?)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (I call them mental health days!)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon (just a 1/2)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (McDonald's Drive through counts, right?)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (etsy)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I still sleep with my teddy bear.)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper (High School sports)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Deer hunting with Dad.)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (maybe...)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
(My friend from college has a famous mom)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby (Much to the dismay of my mother-in-law)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit (I witnessed a car accident in Ohio and they tracked me to California to testify.)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

I have to travel more!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nuts for Nuts

You can take that title any way you want! But there's a lot on the web lately about nuts. Maybe it's a holiday thing. Anyway, here's a video about how they harvest nuts. It reminds me of how they pick up golf balls at the driving range.

By popular demand, here's the recipe for my nuts. I can't remember where I found it. So I fail miserably at giving credit where credit is due. I apologize. I'm sure it was on one of the food blogs I read. If I find it, I'll amend the post.

Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts

1 cup dark brown sugar
1-2/3 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 pinches of cayenne pepper (you could leave this out if you want.)
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pound walnut halves
1 pound pecan halves
1 pound hazelnuts
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix together sugars, salt, cayenne and cinnamon; set aside. Beat egg whites until frothy but not stiff, add water and stir until combined. Add nuts and stir to coat evenly with the egg white foam. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with a Silpat or parchment paper--you may need to put mixture on two cookie sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally as needed. Remove from oven and separate nuts as they cool. Let cool for at least hour before storing in tightly closed container.

Makes 3 pounds

Note: This recipe was first created using only walnuts. But (the author) quickly found that you can mix or match the nuts to your liking. The mixture of walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts is the author's current favorite. If you only want to make 1 pound of nuts, divide the egg white and water by half and use a combined I cup of sugar--1/3 dark and 2/3 white, a pinch of cayenne, and only 1 teaspoon of salt and cinnamon.