Monday, January 21, 2008

Hubby won his race

DH (dear husband) won his race in Charlotte this past weekend. He doesn't usually race down there but he decided to give it a try after they invited him. He was very happy he won and of course Will was excited that his dad brought home a trophy. I'm not sure how much longer DH will race, but he enjoys it, and at our age its hard to find thing you really enjoy. When you find it - you should enjoy every minute of it. I know he does - I do try to relate - but its just not something I enjoy. I've told him to keep racing his cars for as long as he wants. Besides, it gives me a great excuse to keep knitting and buying yarn without guilt!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cocoa Swap update

Now that we're in the thick of 'Winter'... has your knitting changed to match the season? Are you moving on from dishcloths, and tank tops to afghans, hats and mittens? Has your yarn changed from silk or cotton to wool, superwash or heavier cottons?
I don't think I'm a slow knitter - my time is just limited with a 1yr old, a high stress job that requires a lot of hours, and a need for 8 hours of sleep each night. So while most other people are looking ahead to spring and summer, I'm still working on finishing my winter projects! I've not found the right cotton yarn yet that gives enough not to hurt my hands (any suggestions?) but I do very much like cotton yarns. I got my shipment from WEBS from their year end sale. I must admit, I'm a little disappointed with the yarn choices I made. I guess the pictures looked better online than what I selected. I know I took a chance - but I wanted to try something different since I always seem to buy the same type of yarn.

This is Lains Du Nord - Cashsilk. I bought it in a creamy off white, a light grey, and a deep chocolate brown. It was simply such a good deal - I wasn't sure what I'd make with it - perhaps a nice layette or something for my sister's baby to be.

I also bought this - Bazic Wool superwash - I liked the colors - teal blue, nice apple green and pink. The yarn is a little nubby - neat texture - and very soft. I took a few pictures of LuLu in the cream bolero I made for her. She's walking around playing with my Blackberry - pretending to talk on the phone. She loves to push the buttons, of course, goodness knows who she has called! Can you see I didn't sew on the left sleeve yet? Hee Hee. It fits her nicely - 3/4 sleeves and all....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cupcake ice cream cones (say THAT fast!)

So this is the Nordic ware cupcake pan I bought from Willams-Sonoma at Christmas. I know many people make cupcakes right in the cone itself -but I thouht this would be really cool. Well, it is and it isn't. I wasnt sure how much to fill the pan with batter - I used pinapple supreme! Yum! Notice the lovely mounding on top? Perfect shape for icing just like a real ice cream cone, no? No.

Just in case you wanted to see what the inside of the pan looked like - to get the 3D idea of the cone shape it makes.

So I popped 'em out. Perfect. Well, not so.....they're TOP HEAVY. ugh! so as you can see, I had to CUT OFF the lovely roundness perfect for icing just like a real ice cream cone. Also, notice the extra cupcakes on the side. A box of duncan hines cake mix made enough to fill (overfill I realized now) the pan mold and have enough left for 4 traditional cupcakes.

Et Voila! Ze perfect ice cream cone cup-a-cake-ah, no? Well, actually no again. Its still so freakin frackin top heavy guess what happened after I took this picture? (oh and notice the back up cupcake in the background - that little worker cupcake is holding up the star of the show there!)

The cake is so heavy (read - deliciously moist) that it can't stand up!?! An ice cream cone you can't stand up! Grrr. My dear husband, always supportive replied, well maybe you're just supposed to hold them........its honestly too much cake to eat and the proportion of frosting to cake just isn't right. Darn it!

So, here's some calorie free cupcake goodness for your viewing pleasure! mmm. Pinapple supreme cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. *oh! and replace the water in the batter with pinapple juice. wow.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Susan B. Anderson's 2nd book, Itty Bitty Knits, I bought it online and got in the mail a few days ago. I'm especially interested b/c I had made my own knitted cupcake hat, and wanted to take a look at hers. Not to mention I have her other book and have made a few hats from it. I also like her cupcake 'tea set' - its very cute. I may just make it for Lainey. I just wish I could find more of that yarn I used for Lainey's original cupcake hat. I can't find it anywhere and I don't know the name/manuf. I got it as an oddball leftover from my sister.
Anyway, dh is racing in Charlotte, NC this weekend so I'm a single parent for Fri and Sat. He left early on Friday, and after racing all day Saturday, he will drive home and be home in the wee hours of Sunday morning while we are all fast asleep. It should be interesting and I hope the kids and I will have a lot fun. I've got some things planned for Sat to help the hours go by and keep them occupied. We may make a pizza together - they both like to be part of it. Maybe do a movie night with popcorn and all of us lined up on the couch eating popcorn. I'll light the german smoker for them to ooh and ahh over and I'll try to enjoy a glass of velvety red merlot.

Lainey is spending most of her day antagonizing the puppy - she hugs him so hard he yelps in pain. She doesn't understand why he runs from her when all she wants to do is love him. She looks hurt everytime we check to make sure the dog is still breathing. I think he does enjoy it - just a little bit.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hot cocoa swap questionairre:

Here's my answers for the Cocoa Swap!
1. What is your favorite way to drink cocoa? I don't have a preference - sometimes I don't have time to prepare the milk - but I honestly like both. I've never made home made cocoa - so I wouldn't know - but it sounds fun! I definitely make it in an oversized, heavy MUG. I love mugs.

2. Marshmallows or whipped cream? I love both. Whipped cream is a standby for my coffee too, and I just tried Williams Sonoma chocolate marshmallows - OMG. what a dream!

1. What is your favorite type of yarn? Worsted - I live varigated yarns and like solids too. The colors I like currently are varigated pink/brown/cream, greys, dark blue, chocolate browns, greens, but I also like those colors when they're varigated with brights like light blue, fuschia, apple green. I also love pinks, dusty lavendars, apple greens, duck egg blue.

2. Do you knit or crochet (or both)? I knit exclusively.

3. What are your favorite type of needles, would you like to try something new? I love my addi turbos, my bamboo and birch for baby yarn/projects. And always willing to try something new!

4. Do you have a healthy supply of notions? I don't have a ton of notions - I'm personally trying to find the perfect row counter. Kids always steal mine. I like the ka-ching. don't have a tape measure, don't have many needle protectors, have a few stitch markers, so no - don't really have a lot of notions.

5. What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit (outside of yarn)? those interchangable needles or the knit picks needles - but still not sure.

6. What is your favorite 'quick knit/crochet' pattern (quick gratification) I like making baby hats - the strawberries, watemelons, pumpkins, the quick circular needle baby cap.

1. What is your favorite thing to do in the Winter? Cook, knit, read magazines, watch movies, all by a nice fire.

2. What is your favorite animal? don't have a favorite but I like- bunnies, cats, marine animals (I live on the coast), you know - the basics. I don't like octopus (wow - what's the plural version of that? octopi? lol) , jelly fish, eels, nothing creepy crawly. ewww.

3. Do you get the 'winter blahs'? Definitely.

4. What is your favorite way to beat the blahs? Cook and knit by the fire with a hot cup of anything.

5. What is the thing you are most looking forward to this spring? Planting flowers, planting tomatos and basil in my garden, sitting outside by the pool.

6. What are your favorite treat? I love dark chocolate.

7. What is your favorite board game?

8. Do you have any children (furry or human)? Yes - have 2 children, boy 6, girl 1. Son has a new puppy - miniature dachsund named "Luke." I think I prefer cats - not used to the potty training thing for dogs. Cats just handle it themselves.

9. Do you have any allergies or special considerations you partner should know about? No allergies, no special considerations!

Favorite Things CONTEST!

Just wanted to share I'm running a quick little contest!
I wonder sometimes who is reading this blog and I want to get to know who is! I look around a lot but I need some feedback! My comments are lonely! I also just think contests are fun so I'm really looking forward to this! The contest will run for the rest of January. On Jan 31st, I'll randomly draw one winner.

To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment with your name - share your blog if you have one - and I'd love to know what YOUR favorite things are! Refer someone to the contest and if they mention your name in their comments, you'll get an additional entry. Now, I know I'm not Oprah, but I do like her favorite things show - simply b/c its nice to know what things are really great things! My sisters and I do a much cheaper version of this at Christmas. So do my girlfriends. We get each other very little things - stuff that costs less than $30 on average, and just just buy each other our favorite things so the others know what's a good buy, good color, good product!
For example, my sister Moosie bought all of us this:
-A handmade cosmetics bag (she made herself) great color, perfect size.
-Trader Joe's "Shave" in Honey Mango. Its shave balm (she says its great-and we don't have Trader Joe's here yet in Va Beach)
-Bisous Provance Green Tea triple milled soap also from Trader Joe's. And it does smell amazing - not so much green tea - but its reeeally nice.
My sister Shelly bought us:
-the perfect shade of burgandy red OPI nail polish for our pedicures in "an affair in red square."
-Yankee candle votive to share her favorite new Xmas scent "Red Apple Wreath."

And what was one of my favorite things this year? I bought them big 'ol hot chocolate mugs with Lindt hot chocolate and another favorite - from Target - they have a toffee almond hot chocolate that is simply the BEST I've ever had! Its seasonal, but oh my gosh, so wonderful! Some of my other favorite things this year:
1. Karabella Aurora 8 Bulky - what an awesome yarn! My favorite yarn is Karabella aurora 8, and they also make it in bulky. Took something perfect and made it bulky. Love it. I'm making this Elan wrap (free pattern) out of an lusterous charcoal grey right now...
2. I-cord maker - "Embelish-knit" was a favorite thing from my sister. Now I make i-cord trim, ties for baby hats, all kinds of things. Love it. buy one.
3. Williams Sonoma Chocolate marshmallows - I had no idea how those things handmade marshmallows melt and have that amazingly, creamy, thick, chocolate topping for your hot chocolate. simply wow. I've now learned that's only a christmas seasonal thing too. They carry vanilla and chocolate only at christmas like these.
4. Benefit Bad Gal Lash. Need I say more? right consistency, no clumping, big brush. worth the $$.
5. Benefit High Brow. This pencil is really cool. You draw a quick line under your eyebrow and you look like you have an instant eye brow lift. I bought this for my sister too and she couldn't believe it and is now in love with it too.
6. Schick Intuition. The cartridges are expensive and they go fast, but so worth it when you want a perfect shave. Seriously, my legs are never smoother than when I use this.
7. RockBand bundle/game set. We got this for my son for Christmas. Oh my gosh, what a fun family thing to do. Son is the singer, I am the drummer, dad is the guitar player. We have so much fun playing this together.
8. Need I say more - I'm obsessed and well organized there. Just can't say enough good things.

So get posting and the winner will get some of my favorite things: An EmbellishKnit I-cord maker and some yarn to go with it! Can't wait to hear what you all come up with! Please try to say where you got something if its not going to be easy to Google - ok? Cool!

Lainey's Lily Pie birthday tracker

Lilypie 2nd Birthday Ticker Lilypie 6th to 18th Ticker