Knitting and Quilting Mash!

A new addition to our ever expanding family arrived (early) last week, my newest nephew, Teddy, III. He shares a name with his Dad and my Dad. It has been such a joy to watch my brother, Ted, become a doting father.

Obviously, the kid needs something hand-made from his Auntie. And whenever I make something as the Auntie, I picture in my head the scene in a Christmas Story when Ralphie has to put on the pink fur bunny costume from his Aunt. The kid looks miserable.

Luckily for everyone, I don’t make animal costumes.

Back to the blanket: I used a pattern called the log cabin. The blanket should resemble a log cabin…good thing it’s not a pink bunny. The yarn is soft and washable, ideal for a burping baby Teddy. Anyway, here is the photo, I enjoyed making it.


Filed under Knitting

Alternatives to floral bouquets

Everyone loves to have fresh flowers; I’m not disputing that. I just prefer fresh flowers outside and not in a vase where they inevitably die. So when I was invited to a housewarming party, I wanted to bring something for the hostess. Rather than bringing a bouquet of flowers, I brought a bouquet of kale fresh from my garden. Wrapped this bundle of nutrition with some yarn from my stash and voila an edible gift! I love that I can grow something I can also eat.

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Filed under gardening

Best “wheat free” cookies.

Lately, I’ve seen people gravitate to gluten free diets. Gluten has been the culprit of many upset GI systems and general malaise. Taking this to the next level is going totally wheat free. Our house has officially done the wheat free food dance, sometimes it wasn’t pretty, but we did it. Wheat free means no rice, no spelt, no soy, no wheat, no couscous, and no corn. It’s much harder than people think, only slightly easier if you stick to your kitchen. I was shocked how many of our foods have wheat in them. Any time you see “natural flavoring”, it’s probably wheat. That puts salad dressings, soy sauce, and really a lot of packaged foods on the no list. As the cook in the house, I had to search for new and creative ways to skirt around the wheat. One of them is now a household favorite. I only get invited to parties if I promise to bring “the cookies”. So I thought I better share the recipe with the world.

1 stick of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 large egg
whip these three together then add:
1/2 cup peanut butter (I am very liberal)
1.5 cups of flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal (key ingredient to being wheat free)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
optional to add chocolate chips and flax seed.

Set the oven to 350 and bake for about 18-20 minutes

If I make drop cookies, I drop a little salt on the top of each little cookie.

Watch your socializing expand!

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Filed under Cooking. Bam!, Deep thoughts by Merry

Simple cleaning

Today we cleaned our upstairs. Bam! Weston and I tag teamed the place and gave it a good “mom” cleaning, as I like to call it. A “mom” cleaning is one that is thorough, not just sweeping. It took us no time.
I should note, we’ve been looking at houses. We’re one of those couples that loves to look and is willing to wait for the right place to come along and wait until I’m done with school so we have two incomes. We have an idea of where we want to live already, and one of the search criteria is that the home is small. And one of the reasons for a small house: easier to clean!
I also don’t see myself needing a house with hoards of space, that would just need loads of things to fill in the spaces. I like small houses, they’re economical, easy to clean, practical, and keeps things simple. We like to keep things simple in the Hopkins/Werner house.
Until next time mes amis!

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Filed under Deep thoughts by Merry

Bacon makes everything better.

Tonight I made split pea soup. Weston gave his stamp of approval, that means it’s delicious and should be made again.
I always say “o I’ll remember the recipe in my head.” I don’t really, and when I go to make it again, it comes out different. So rather than writing it down in some arbitrary location that I’ll forget about, I’ll blog it for all to see!

List of ingredients:
1. 3/4 lb of bacon
2. one yellow onion
3. bundle of kale.
4. lentils, amount depends on your personal taste
5. green onion
6. mushrooms
7. 16 oz of vegetable stock.
Spices I used: slap yo mama, pepper, pinch of salt, coriander, curry, red pepper, chili pepper, fennel seed, caraway seed, ground mustard, garlic powder, chives, bay leaves, turmeric, cumin, and marjoram. No particular order. I can’t remember their quantities.

First, I sautéed 1/2 a chopped onion in my cast iron with pepper and salt and olive oil. Then I took 3/4 lb of peppered bacon, chopped up, and threw them into the caramelizing onions. While this was happening, I boiled green lentils in water.

Once the bacon was done cooking, I put that aside in a bowl. I did NOT wash out that pan! I put a tad more oil and threw in the other half of my chopped onion. Then I rinsed and threw in my bundle of kale until it was soft. I turned my attention back to the lentils. Once they were down cooking, I strained them, and put them back in the stock pot with a can of diced tomatoes. I spiced these. I threw in my bacon, 16oz of vegetable stock, kale/onion sauté, freshly chopped mushrooms and green onions.

Then I spiced some more. Added some water and voila! Done!


Filed under Cooking. Bam!

Owl hats galore

Even with my nursing school, I still find time to knit, certainly not as much. I fit it in over the weekends or when we watch netflix. There has to be a balance. One can’t live on bread alone, right? So I can’t do school all the time. I have my part time work, full time school, my homelife and knitting. Things are simple. That man of mine helps to keep things simple as well.

At the urging of my mother, I started letting people pay for my yarn. I kind of see this as one step closer to people paying for me to knit or make things. I’m very much hesitant to do so, I don’t have factory written on my forehead, but I do enjoy making things for people I know. I like to think about them wearing my hats and laughing and being warm. It’s very gratifying.

Below is where I got my pattern for the owl hat.

Here are some pics of my hats, I think I’ve made 4 now. Yikes. My sister and I have basically matching oat colors and the blue one is for my boss’ wife, a delightful mother of 4.

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Filed under Craftiness, Knitting

Bachelorette Invites

When your best friend asks you to help coordinate the bach party, you do it.

For years now, my sister and I have been stationary makers extraordinaire. We share a love of making things yourselves and thriftyness. Sorry, but hallmark is expensive. When you have a lot of family members with birthdays, it adds up.

I wanted to mass produce my own invites without having to draw the same picture 20 times. Can anyone say “Michaels!”?? Away I went. Fact, Micheals does NOT sell stamp making kits. I bought a piece of balsa wood and foam piece. Cut to the chase, foam piece doesn’t work. Balsa wood does.
I drew out my picture, traced it and then used an exacto knife to trace the drawing. Then I took some carving knives and carefully indented over the drawing. Then I stamped and dropped it on a card. Done.
See below, post crafty.

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Filed under Party ideas, Stationary