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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Podcast

I know.  I still need to do a post on the Ravellenic wrap up, and I probably won’t be able to do that this week since my folks are coming on Wednesday to stay for a week.  I am super excited about this since I haven’t seen them for a year!  Granted, we see each other through google hangout, but it just isn’t the same.

Speak of visiting, Sheryl and dad came visit this weekend.  We had a great time and the Little Lady is very happy to finally see her GG in person!  We will see them again in November!

Now back to the topic, Podcast.  I had come to the realization how behind I am on this podcast thing. I consider myself pretty tech savvy and into computer stuff, but I am like a dinosaur when it comes to podcast. I got a quick lesson at SnB on Thursday, but both NutmegKnitter and Wife”Mom”Knitter have iphone/ipod, and I own no such devices.  I am a android base person and I had no clue on how to find the episodes!  So I did some research.  Come to find out, there are such thing called the podcatchers.  They are basically software that gather all the different podcast that I wish to subscribe and updates as time goes.  It’s kinda like google reader for all the blog post you subscribes.

Now my questions to you, my readers – if there are any of you left, are these:

  1. Which android podcatcher do you recommend?  is it worth the money you paid for?
  2. What podcasts do you like?  So far I only know of Craft Lit, which I have yet to start listening to since I want to get a good podcatcher loaded onto my phone.  Plus I haven’t had time to listen lately, but want to have everything lined up when I do have some time!

Yarn Along: May 9, 2012

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?

Project I worked on this past week:  Oatmeal.

Book just finished:  Weeknights with Giada, New Haven Chef’s Table, Made-Ahead Meals Make Healthy

Currently reading:  The girl’s guide to being a boss (without being a bitch)

How funny that the last Yarn Along post I’ve done, which is before Christmas, I also listed Oatmeal as my project?  Well, this time I used the yarn it called for and it is a much bigger size snowman than before.  This is a long overdue project for Ali-san.  I’m hoping to have it finished this week so I can mail it out to her.

So I’ve been MIA on the blog for awhile now.  Partly due to no motivation after work to post something, but partly due to a change.  A looooong while ago, I had mentioned it briefly here that there may be some changes happening and decisions will have to be made.  Well, that change has finally happened.   I got a new job working in Program Management instead of Quality.  It is a promotion and requires some travel.  The job itself is much more demanding than my previous ones, and with increase job scope.  I am no longer an Engineer, but a Manager.  It is very strange to say, but I am getting used to the title change.  And this change didn’t come easy.  There were some work politics that happened and truth be told, it was rather ugly and uncomfortable.  Without going too much into details, my previous boss took my leaving personally and thought that I betrayed her, even though she knew this job was coming eventually, at least I had let her know ahead of time, actually, when she first started to be my boss.

I think that was the reason why I picked up the book above to read.  I had saw it on a swap awhile ago, so I requested from my library.  So far it gave some good advice, but I haven’t read enough to really give it a good review.

The three books I returned to the library prior to me leaving for Maryland were really great though.  I wish I get more time with them so I can actually make a few recipes to try.  Maybe next time.   I especially enjoyed the Make-Ahead Meal one.  I think I’m gonna borrow that book again in the near future and get the ingredients the same day!  That way I can make the food and freeze them so when I do travel or work late, David and the Little Lady can still eat healthy home cooked meals!  Maybe I can convince my brother to come and make the meals with me so he can take some home with him, and that way we can make a larger varieties of things to try…  Yeah, I like that idea.  Continue reading

Yarn Along & Schools

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?

 

Project I worked on this past week:   Autumn.

Book just finished:  Magnet Schools brochures

Currently reading:  Daddy’s Little Girl

Currently listening:  Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I’m slowly knitting the hat.  But I have a lot of knitting time coming up soon so I’m excited to get knitting more.  And I decided that I need to frog anything that I haven’t finished by now.  Especially if the item was for the Little Lady.  I’m sure it won’t fit by now.

I still haven’t finish reading the first book of Narnia.  I haven’t have a lot of time to just sit, knit and listen, so it is on the back burner.  In the mean time, I listed a bunch of my books on paperbackswap.com .  I decided before Christmas that I no longer need them, since I can easily borrow them from the library.  I do have a few books that remains on my bookshelf.  They either have the autographs to me or I especially like the books, such as my collection of Harry Potter series, Narnia series, Lord of the Rings series, along with a few books from my favorite authors.  When I listed the books, I realized that some of them I bought when I was collecting the author, but never read!  So I decided to pick one up to read it while someone haven’t requested it.  “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Mary Higgins Clark is very captivating.  I had a hard time putting it down the first night I started reading.  But now that I’m back to work, it’s a little tough to read a whole chapter before my eyes get tired.  I’m hoping to finish it before Saturday though.

So, the Little Lady being 2 years and 2 months old, you would think that you still have time to think about schools, right?  WRONG.  Tonight, we went to the magnet schools fair, which you can see from the picture the massive amount of information we had to sort through tonight as open houses are coming real soon!  One of them is this Saturday!  And the application deadline is Feb. 17!!!!!

HOLY CRAP!

Sometimes, I wish my Little Lady stays little.

Yarn Along

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?

Project I worked on this past week:  Oatmeal,  Star Trek Shirty and Autumn.

Book just finished:  Things I learned from Knitting and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Currently listening:  Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I have been inspired by my fellow knitters, and after a little encouragement, I decided to join in on the small thing bandwagon.  You already know my rant on Comcast (which I have yet to call to discontinue it), and the fact that I can’t really read and knit at the same time as well as others that I know, so I decided that I need to listen to more audiobooks.  Being the cheap ass frugal person that I am, I decided to look up free audiobooks online, since I wasn’t able to get to the library the day I wanted to start.  I found this site with some really great books!  Did you know F. Scott Fitgerald wrote The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?  I’ve never watched the movie, but the story was really interesting and it was a very quick listen!    Since it was so quick, I’ve decided to start listening to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  I’ve  seen the movie for this book, and also Prince Caspian.  I do want to see the third movie, but I’m debating if I should listen to the book first then go see the movie.

On another note, I went into work today to cover.  It was super quiet, so quiet I almost considered pulling out my knitting!  But I didn’t.  I’m off until next Tuesday, so I’m really looking forward to the next few days until the new year.  I’ll be super busy the next few days – cleaning, knitting with the girls, have a party with my knitting girls, and hosting a swap on Rav and enjoying my birthday! New Year will be here before you know it!

So what are you doing to celebrate the arrival of 2012?

Week 5

And mama is playing Susie Homemaker, with our little lady hanging out!

Yup.  She’s just hanging out in the wrap.  She loves that thing once she’s in it.  She will sleep like 3 or 4 hours in the thing!  Although the trick is getting her in it!

Since I got my hands back with the usage of the wrap, I decided to try out something I’ve been wanting to do for the past year:  Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day!

I first heard about them through Gale.  All of us went to Ann and Mike’s Holiday Party and she brought a loaf of bread.  Then she told us she didn’t knead it and it really take like 2 minutes to put together.  I was curious.  I love bread, but I really hate paying a lot of money for a good loaf of bread because I can’t eat it all myself, and it gets rock hard the next day and gets thrown away.  I checked the book out from the library this past summer, but we were moving so I didn’t get to bake anything from it.  Finally, couple of weeks ago, I bite the bullet and bought the books.  Of course, baking bread require good equipment, so David and I went up to William Sonoma and bought a baking stone.  (William Sonoma has a lifetime guarantee on baking stones.  If it breaks, just bring it to any William Sonoma, no questions asked!)  But of course, our lovely european oven is small and the stone sticks out an inch because of the way the racks are set up!!!  DOH!  But no fear, the engineer is thinking!  And here is my new contraption for baking breads in our extra small oven:

I took the racks out and put in a pizza stand, and put the stone on top!  HA!  And I even purchased a thermometer to make sure the oven temp.  To my surprise, our oven is RIGHT ON TARGET!  Most of home ovens varies up to 75 degrees, and mine is right on!  I guess I can’t really make fun of my extra small oven anymore.  (It turned out the oven we got costs like 1000 bucks retail – I looked it up on google.  Who knew?)

It took me a minute to get the bread out and shape it.  Rest, then stick it in the oven for half an hour, out comes this:

Nice hard crust on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside – just how I like my bread!  Although, I have to say, this first batch of dough didn’t rise much when baked.  I later noticed a hole on my saran wrap for my makeshift container.  So I fixed it buy purchasing real food storage containers:

One is regular boule dough from the original book, and the other container has gluten free boule dough from the second book.

Besides baking bread, I had been cooking up a storm.  But no photos!!!  I know!!!!  Weird, huh?  I made these awesome cheese filled chicken, based on this recipe, but instead of blue cheese, pecan and scallions, I stuffed it with asiago, Mexican blend and Parmesan cheese, and I wrap each breast with two slices of bacon.  It is YUMMY!  Even David, who DOES NOT like chicken, comment how good it is and that I can make it again, which I did, but added cream cheese to the mix as well.  (cream cheese was a good addition, in case you want to make it)

I’ve also saw the maple cookies recipe while going through my long list of blogs, and couldn’t resist trying them out.  And let me tell ya, they are AMAZING!

I didn’t have Grade B maple syrup, so I used what I had on hand, which is VT Grade A.  I also skipped the walnuts, since Paul is allergic to them, and I just dislike nuts (or fruit) in my cookies.  The cookies has just a little crunch on the outside by the edge, and soft and chewy with every bite.  SOOO GOOOOOOD!

So on the knitting front, I got nothing.  But!  I’ve sewn a diaper!!!  LOOKIE!!

Christmas Ooga Booga!!!  Ooga Boogas are just little monsters. Samantha from Little Comet Tail was looking for pattern testers and since I needed some more diapers, I volunteered for the new born size.  And they are quite fun to sew actually!

Oh, all the talk of food…  Our little lady is hungry NOW.  Time to go!

The Harlot

Was at Northampton! I drove up with Archiknist and Costumchick up to Webs to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to give a talk. She was hilarious and did not disappoint.

This was my attempt of taking a picture of the Harlot from far away in the dark in the Calvin Theater.

After the talk, we went back to WEBS to do a little shopping. After a very long line, I finally got to talk to Stephanie, and had her signed couple of the books.

I had my sock picture taken, and you will have to go over to her blog to see the picture when she posts it later.

And after another very long line, I left WEBS with these:

I had “At Knit’s End”, I just brought it along with me for the signing. I bought couple of the “Thins I Learned from Knitting”. One for me, and one is a gift. Of course, with 25% off all sock yarn, I couldn’t stop myself and bought a skein of Franklin, and a skein of Playful Weekend, which will be part of another scarf I made, but only needed some ribbon threading to be completed!!! One less ZZZ project on my Ravelry notebook!!! Speaking of Ravelry, guess who I saw at WEBS?????

Jess, the co-creater of the Ravelry!!! She also gave me my new “Where are my stitches at?” pin :). I will be seeing her next weekend when I go to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, so I can complete my collection.

Overall, it was a great trip and we had fun, despite the massive amount of people.

So on a complete different note, I want to show off a little something I made for Anphoe awhile ago:

I saw something similar on a jewelry magazine few weeks ago and wanted to give it a try, and Anphoe had said she needed a pin so her Sunshine top won’t keep falling off her shoulder. Few days after, viola! I had fun making it, and I hope she likes it.

Well, I’m exhausted after much excitement from today. Off to rest and read some Harlot-ism before I fall asleep!!! And if you have a chance to see Steph, I suggest you to go to the talk, even if you don’t read her blog, or are a follower of the Yarn Harlot, because she will make you laugh, until tears come out of your eyes!

Mystery? Suspence?

But they weren’t either of those! Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, the dynamic mother/daughter team, who were at the Pine Orchard Club in Branford speaking for their new books: Where Are You Now? and Zapped!, sponsored by RJ Julia.

I’m so excited I got to meet them. You see, A Cry In The Night by Mary is the first English book I’ve ever completed reading and understood, so Mary holds a special part of my heart. And I have to say, despite the fact they both write mystery and suspense novel, they are actually both very funny in person! I had a really good time listening to them talk. I hope they come back when they tour for their next book!

And on the way home, I captured this image:

Isn’t that a great picture?

I’m off reading the new book.

Some Progress

So I suppose I should update the knitting first –

Let me present you… The Kiri blob! I figure I should keep going on the lace thing so I can keep up with 2klace! It’s getting longer and longer to complete each row, but I suppose that’s the trade back with an easy start right?

Next up, some knitting books!

I pre-ordered Shear Spirit awhile ago and it finally came on the day of the release. Gale and Joan did an awesome job with this book and I can’t wait to see Gale to congratulate her! And in order to get the free shipping, I ordered the 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I already flipped through this one before, but I really liked it so I couldn’t live without it. The third book is Knitting from the British Islands by Alice Starmore and Anne Matheson. I swapped this book with three pair of sock yarn from Ravelry. It’s an older book so it has some very interesting garment (if you can even call it that).

So now I’m done updating the knitting related topics, on to FOOD! 🙂 I saw this recipe on Barefoot Contessa so I decided to try it:

I got the fresh noodles from the farmer’s market. I also got a pint of chocolate milk, a parsley plant, and some bread. All I can say is YUM.

I started reading a new blog – Vanilla Garlic. I know, it’s not knitting related. But who can say no to food? I found him in my search of cupcakes, and this one captured me. The only thing I needed was an orange to make it!!!! Tada!

I haven’t try it yet, but I should go now to try it… I’ll let you know in the next post!

Dumplings, Anyone? And More!

This past Saturday, CostumeChick, WifeMomKnitter and I went to Anphoe‘s for some knitting and chatting, and also for some dumplings!

Anphoe made the pork filling and I made the tofu one. They were YUMMY! After that, we knitted and played some Wii. Well, let me just put this out there first – I’m not big about playing video games, because 1) I’m not very good, 2) I’m not a good sport about losing. But this Wii thing… It’s addicting! And so much fun! You can see pictures and video on Anphoe’s blog.

So besides playing video games and eat, I did make some progress on the MoonDance:

Chart B is almost done!!! Which means this stole is almost done! 🙂 You can’t see the edging in the pictures, but I can assure you they are all there.

On the other news, I bought a scratch ticket and the result:

I won $25.00!!!!!!! The biggest one I’ve ever got!!! I think before that, the most money I won was ten bucks! Well, I’m one step towards winning big, right? 😉 A lady I worked with won $200,000 on a scratch ticket not too long ago. Yeah, you read that right. Then shortly after, she won over $8,000 at Mohegan Sun… Only if I have her luck! But I think my risk taking level is too small to win that level. I guess that’s why I’m an engineer.

So I bought couple of Alice Starmore books from amazon not too long ago and they finally arrived, along with Beyond Wool with a trade from Ravelry.

Only if I can find a copy of Aran Knitting, there are so many patterns I want to knit but I just can’t afford the book! Too rare. ::sigh::

Speaking of books, I have a duplicate copy of this one:

I posted this on Destash book forum on Ravelry, but I figure I will offer this to my friends as well – I”m willing to part with it for $8.00 + actual shipping (if required).

Well, I’m off to go over the new books and complaint about no progress made on MoonDance to the dogs.