Yarn Along: June 19, 2014

From small things:

Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

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Project I’m working on: A wedding shawl

Books just finished: Dark Season, The complete First Series

Currently Reading: Practical Paleo, Eat Like a Dinosaur, It Starts With Food, and Wicked Appetite

I’m not a fan of vampires novels, period.  I yet to read Dracula and I heard that would totally change my mind, but I just don’t have any desire to read it.  Well, while at SnB two weeks ago, we were talking about the Kindle First program.  I pulled up my Kindle app and was looking, when Val exclaimed, “Oh Look!  This book looks awesomely horrible!  Let’s read it!”  I should note, we often discuss books that we read that were awesome and recommend the group to read, and of course, when we come across some horribly written books, we also discuss.  So I read it, and Val didn’t even finish!  Yes, it’s that exciting…  The book was written in a way that it’s like someone read a book and is summarizing it.  There is no depth to the characters and there isn’t any character building at all.  On top of that, it’s about vampires.  UGH.  Needless to say, I will not be paying and reading the complete second or third season of the books, even though there were a lot of unanswered questions.

To combat that horrible writing, my bitches told me that Janet Evanovich is a great writer who is also pretty funny.  I can’t wait to start that!

As for the Paleo books, well, recently I noticed that I haven’t been able to get up.  I know that having a infant/toddler is exhausting, and I’m not getting younger, so my body needs more rest.  However, we are talking going to bed at 10 and can’t wake up at 7 here!  Even though I am not an early riser, I usually only need about 8 hours of sleep and it is alarming that I couldn’t get up.  And just a few weeks ago, I went to a Holistic Moms Network group meet up at the Y.  I met a health coach there who is planning a seasonal detox in July.  I started reading more about detox, which led to a website called Balanced Bites by Diane Sanfilipo, who created the 21 day sugar detox, designed to kick the sugar habits to the curb.  She wrote the book Practical Paleo and it is an amazing book!  It explained things simply and I was ready to change my eating habits and lifestyle right then and there.

I got talking with a co-worker, who recommended the “It Starts With Foods”, which talks about the Whole30 Program.  She’s been on it and she lost 12 lbs and reduced a bunch of her chronic health issues just by changing the way she eats and cut out dairy, sugar, grains and legumes!  So I decided to give it a shot but modify it, since I’m not sure I want to go cold turkey in it.  I ended up having whole milk yogurt with fresh fruit in the morning, salad with spinach, lettuce, mushroom, chicken or sausage, quinoa, hard boiled eggs, olive oil and vinegar.  I did this for a whole week, and I magically was waking up at 5:30am without alarm!!!  I felt better, I noticed that I’m not hungry between meals so I’m not constantly looking for snacks, and I even picked up walking during lunch!

Needless to say, I am sold about this type of eating and lifestyle.  I borrowed Eat like a Dinasour so I can figure out how to get the Little Lady to eat this way.  So far, so good!  I’m sure there will be experimenting on the recipes later here!

As for my project, I am slowly working on the wedding shawl for a friend’s future wife. I’m really hoping it comes along quick, fater and easier!

So what are you reading or what are you working on?

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Weekending

From “Pumpkin Sunrise“:

“Weekends are for memory making, relaxing and enjoying quiet moments of our days.”

My friend WifeMomKnitter has been doing the weekending post for quite awhile now.  I really enjoy blogging and would love to start again, so I figure I start here.

This weekend started out with a sick baby who couldn’t go to her last swim lesson for this session.  Poor Little Miss had the Hand-Foot-Mouth disease last weekend and is still fighting with whatever else is in her system that’s causing her to be super congested.  None of us have slept all that well because of the constant waking and crying.

Little Lady on the other hand is strong and healthy as an ox (she was born the year of ox, I wonder if that has something to do with it?) and I’m hoping she stays like this even with her baby sister being sick.  We went to soccer reluctantly – she was okay for the most part, but towards the end, she was tired of playing, again.  She loves watching the big kids play soccer every time we drove by them, and always says she would like to play, but when it’s the actual soccer lesson time, she lost interest rather quickly.  I think we will be sticking to swim from now on.  Speaking of swim, she will probably be in her last Ray class this next session and move on to Starfish, that means she can swim 15 feet with her face in the water and flotation device!!!!  So proud of her!  I still remember when I first took her to the pool and she was all scared and wouldn’t let go!  Oh, did I mention that she now swims to the deeper side of the pool and jumps right into the super deep end???  I wish Little Miss will be the same when the time comes…  Right now she cries instantly once her toes are in the water!

Then we have a nice visit with Grandma!  While the girls are hanging out with her, I was able to get away to the library to borrow a few books!  We also got a Tinker Bell movie that we haven’t seen.  I love my library!

Sunday started out a little rocky, since Little Miss didn’t sleep very well, which means none of us slept well either.  But I made breakfast for everyone and after relaxing a bit at home, we piled in the car and went to the local farm to pick some strawberries.

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The Little Lady and I did most of the picking, and it only took a little time since there are still lots of strawberries left to pick from.  I think next year, I’m gonna try to do a little strawberries planter with her since she loves strawberries so much!

We end this weekend by cooking up some specialty sausages from Whole Foods and big bowls of salads with beets, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, red bell peppers, spinach and lettuce.  It was beautiful to look at and just as yummy to eat!

So, how was your weekend?

A Weekend In Autumn

I love the fall. I love it so much I chose an beautiful autumn day for my wedding. Alright, alright, technically my wedding day was just a couple of days prior, but still, you get my drift.

But seriously, what’s not to love? The weather finally getting cooler with the sun still shining. They day isn’t completely too short yet, so when I’m driving to and from work it is still light out. But most importantly, the activities involving with apples and pumpkins are just fun for all ages.

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We went apple picking at Lymans on Sunday since the day was gorgeous and perfect. When we got there, we ended up picking asian pear and peaches instead of apples, since the Little Lady had just recently went to an orchard as part of her school field trip and brought home some apples.

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And since we were already there, why not get a pumpkin?

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We took home five peaches, six asian pear, a sugar pumpkin, and a carving pumpkin. And I’m sure we’ll be back to get some apples down the road.

While at the Orchard, my budding photographer asked me to show her how to use my camera, so she can take pictures. Well, I have to say she didn’t do too badly!

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Five Years… At The Place

I think I say this EVERY YEAR. But the time real DOES fly!0330

To celebrate, we decided to try “The Place“. 

We’ve never been to it before, but drove by many times.  It always looked very interesting, and we had heard good things about it.  So why not?

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The food was good, but I wouldn’t classify it as to die for.  We are definitely paying more for the ambiance and experience.  We had fun, and it reminds us camping, except someone else is doing all the cooking and serving us food.  And yes, the Little Lady tried clams and like it, and it looks like the Little Miss would love to get in on some of that steak herself.  Would I come back?  Hard to say.  I guess we’ll see.

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Happy Five Years, Babe.

Baking

I’ve always enjoyed baking, more than cooking, i think.  So after one of the forum I belong to started a get healthy thread, I’ve been trying to eat healthier and bake more.

Last week, I received a home grown zucchini from a co-worker who had too many in his garden.  It was perfect timing, because one of the ladies in the forum posted the mini zucchini quiche as a quick breakfast/appertizer.  I had all the ingredients, so why not?

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Let me tell you, these are mini decadent nom nom you do not want to miss!  The Little Lady ate FIVE of them in one sitting, Yes, I said FIVE.  One batch made 48 of these mini quiches, and they stay in the fridge very well, and I’m sure it freezes well too, but they didn’t last long enough for me to find out.

Another lady had suggested baked pumpkin pie oatmeal for quick breakfast.  I happen to have all the ingredients on hand, although I modified it to use quick oats, since that’s what I have, and also I used the suggested Greek yogurt.  Oh, and I made a mistake in measuring.  I put in more oatmeals than what it called for.  The result made my house smell like Thanksgiving.  It was delicious and satisfying.  Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of it.  When I have it for breakfast, I pour some milk and maple syrup on top, mix well.  YUM.

Since I already had my oven going, I made a batch of brownies for the party we were going to the next day.  But then I ended up making another batch for trading.  I didn’t make the icing, and frankly, I don’t think it needs it.  It is moist and fudgey.  No pictures either.  Those things don’t last at all!

Fast forward to this weekend.  Autumn has shown its face around this part of the world.  It was chilly in the morning.  So after taking the Little Lady from her swim and soccer class, I rolled up my sleeves and turned on my oven again.  This time, I went with scones.  I found this recipe while tooling around on budgetbytes.com.  I didn’t have ground cardomom or cloves, so I changed it up and used 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice instead of the spices listed on the recipe.  And I was lazy, so I made the whole thing in my food processor, so besides measuring, I spent a grand total of 1 minutes on mixing. When they were baked up, well, let’s just say that my house smells like autumn.

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It was sweet but not overwhelming, the slight crumbly texture is perfect for a cup of tea or coffee.

Making the scones wasn’t enough, as proven by the two lonely scones left in the tupperware (the recipe made 16 mini scones).  I decided to make the honey oatmeal sandwich bread.  Now, I have two teaspoons of expired yeast left in fridge, so I left it to proof a little longer than usual.  It was super cool to see the yeast in action!  I showed it to the Little Lady and she thought it was the weirdest and coolest thing all at the same time.

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I think waiting for this to cool down was the hardest thing I did all day.  But I resisted, and man, the flavor is superb.  And it wasn’t too much work at all!  Although, I think the next time I’ll employ my KitchenAid dough hook to help with the initial kneading.

I am so excited to get back in the groove of baking.  And finding budgetbytes totally helped.  I also made the sesame chicken, twice, from there.  So good.

I start school tomorrow.  I’m hoping I will be able to keep the baking up on weekends, and keep the blogging going as well.  I miss it.  And if you are still reading here, please comment and say hello!

A New Life… Second Time Around

I’m probably officially the worst blogger. EVER.  I didn’t even announce my second daughter’s birth!  (BTW, I’m totally dating this back to Mother’s Day when she was born so I don’t feel sooooooooooo bad.)

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Victoria Genevieve

7 lbs. 13 oz.

20.5 inches

Born 5/12/13 at 9:44

Our Little Miss was born on Mother’s Day – and two weeks late!  She was due April 26th!!!!  Oh well!  Good thing she came the day she did, otherwise, I would have to be induced the next day!

Oh, and yes, I have prefected human cloning.  Now where is my Nobel Prize?