Monday, February 28, 2011

It's My Birthday!

I'm officially 36 years old today. Hooray for me! My birthday has gone pretty well. I woke up this morning and Boris, my Great Dane, hadn't left me any presents in the house. (He's been leaving me presents in the house all winter long, but today he refrained.) Then, when I got to work this morning, the computers were all down.
Heh heh heh. Birthday wishes -- granted.

Now this afternoon, I'm going to continue to work on my afghan. I've become addicted to crocheting lately and I'm currently working on an afghan. I got inspired by the colors in a quilt that my mom made for Savannah.

Very pretty! I had started out with the turquoise, thinking I was going to make it all one color. But, while I was working on it, I noticed that the turquoise matched the quilt's coloring and it would be better and brighter if I added on some green and orange. Today I bought some purple, but I don't like it and it's going back. I think I'll judge the size after the orange to determine if I'm going to add another color or not.

I'm working in a sideways shell stitch that is perfectly mindless for me. I think the thing I love about crocheting is that I can sit down and work on it without having to think too much. It's very relaxing.

Now, the fun part is changing colors. And today, on my birthday, I finally get to start the orange! Yay!
(Ok, I realize that I may need to get a life if the highlight of my birthday is changing colors in my crochet, but hey -- I take my excitement where I can get it.)

I'll post pictures as this project progresses. And, if I'm really lucky, I'll get a rocking chair for my birthday and then my granny-ness will be complete.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Crafting Up Some Luck!

It's been a very gloomy weekend here. It snowed on Friday. Was gray and gloomy yesterday and that gloom is hanging on today. What does that mean? It means I needs me some crafty fun. So, yesterday I taught myself (with a little help from YouTube) how to crochet a shamrock. I made several out of several different types of yarn. But, I liked the lime green shamrocks I made from Sugar and Cream yarn the best. So, I made a few more. Now, what to do with them?

Well, I made a cute little Lucky Shamrock wall hanging. And they were very easy.

The first thing to do is crochet up some shamrocks. Go to the web or YouTube, there are lots of tutorials out there. Find one you like and can make sense of and crochet away.

Then I took squares of fleece, cut to a good size to fit around your shamrock. (The shamrock's will vary in size depending on your choice in yarn.) You will need 2 squares of the fleece for each wall hanging.
Next, find a button that you like that is larger than the hold in the center of your shamrock. Then, just sew on the button. As long as the button is larger than the shamrock's hole, it will hold the shamrock on. I sewed mine on with green embroidery floss.

Now, it's on to the sewing machine. I cut some lengths of matching lime green grosgrain ribbon and sewed a loop onto the back square of fleece. I'm sure this could be made to look prettier, but I prefer simplicity and quickness so, I just stitched straight across the ribbon and back. It'll be against the wall, so who's going to see it anyway? Right?
Oh, and I did go back and cut those ends at an angle so they wouldn't fray.

Using a 6/8" seam allowance, and with some lucky green thread, sewed the outer outline with just a straight stitch.

Then, I came back and sewed another outline just inside of the first one. Be sure when you are sewing the outlines that you keep in mind where your ribbon loop is so that you don't catch it while you are sewing your outlines.
The last step is just to snip some fringes into the outer edge all the way around. And. Viola. You have stitched up some cute lucky Irish decorations!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oh so tired....

Savannah came home this morning from a birthday slumber party last night. Her eyes were glassy. She had a sniffle.

"How much sleep did you get?" I asked her.
"Only 30 minutes," she told me, proudly.

She stumbled into the living room and sat down at her computer and played online for about 5 minutes. Then, she got hungry. So, I fed her some Eggo waffles. She scarfed them down, which likely used up her final amount of reserved energy.

She sat next to me on the couch and quickly crumpled up into a sleepy ball. I put her pillow under her head and covered her with a blanket. And here she lies several hours later, while Myles is not so patiently waiting for her to wake up so we can go to Gamestop.

By the way, if anyone tells Savannah that I posted another picture of her sleeping online, I'm dead. So mum's the word. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Bad End of the Week

The stomach flu hit our house this week. It was horrible, as it always is. And, to add to the horror of it all, it ended a 4 year long vomit-free streak for Savannah. That's right folks, she hadn't puked since she was 5! Dang it.

Savannah and I were feeling pretty miserable on Wednesday night and for a good portion of Thursday. But, by Thursday afternoon, I was really starting to feel a lot better. So much so, that I thought making the homemade granola that I've been dying to make all week should be done immediately. I'll add the recipe at the end of this story.

I mixed up all of the ingredients (it makes a lot) and spread it out on 2 rimmed cookie sheets, just as instructed. It then has to roast in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me that baking granola in the oven for 2 hours while there are still people in the house that would rather not be smelling delicious baking. Oops. I was given tortured looks for the entire time and Savannah eventually gave up her spot on the couch to retreat to her room and watch a movie just to avoid the smell.

Well, after the granola came out, I had to let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. So, I mounded up the contents of both sheets onto one and left it on the counter in the kitchen to cool. Then, I went upstairs to sit with Savannah and watch Curious George.

I came downstairs a short while later and could hear a strange rustling sound coming from the kitchen.

What could that be?

I walk into the kitchen only to discover my great dane, Boris, with both of his feet up on the counter and his face deep in the tray of granola.

"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?" I screamed at him.

He quickly dropped to the ground and high-tailed it out of the kitchen, licking his lips the whole way.

This is the remains of my delicious granola. I only got to sample just a tiny little bit. :(

This is the mess he left me to clean up off of the floor:
And this is the bad dog laying on his bed with a belly full of granola. (and, honestly, he's not looking guilty enough for my liking)

To top off my not great day, I got Savannah to sleep that night, and right around midnight, Myles got the barfs, too.
Woe is me.

However, today I remade the granola. I put a baby gate up to block Boris from entering the kitchen. He was watching me intently as I mixed up the granola and put it on the cookie sheets. I know his dumb great dane brain was thinking I was making him another batch of yumminess. So far, I've kept him out of it. Ha. (I do get a sense of satisfactions when I am able to outsmart a dumb dog.)

Here is the recipe if anyone wants to make their own granola or a delicious treat for their dog.

Homemade Granola

1 lb rolled oats
1/2 c slivered almonds
1 c coconut
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c safflower oil
1/2 c honey
1/3 c water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss together oats, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, wheat germ and salt. Separately whisk together the oil, honey, water, and vanilla. Stir it into the oat mixture.

Spread onto 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stir after 10 minutes and then again 30 minutes later. Cool completely and store in airtight container. Be sure to monitor the location of your pets while the cooling process is happening.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Guess where we went last night?

The show was so incredible. We especially loved the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious number (I can now spell and sing that song, much to the dismay of the kids) and the Step In Time number. In the Step In Time number, Bert actually tap dances his way up the wall and across the ceiling (way up at the top of the stage) . It was incredible. The whole play was really magical. When Mary Poppins first enters the children's room and sets her bag down, she starts pulling things out of that bag and even I couldn't figure out how she was doing it. I think Mary Poppins had some real magic going on.
Savannah got her Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious shirt, which she will be wearing on Wednesday to the spelling bee, and promptly put it on in the theater. Myles got a cool chimney sweep pen that I'm a little jealous of.
It was a late night, but definitely worth it. If you get the chance to go see Mary Poppins, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some Big Exciting News...

This has been a very exciting end of the week for us. Savannah had won the 4th grade spelling bee at her elementary school a couple of weeks ago. Then, on Thursday she participated in her elementary school's spelling bee competing against the winners of the 5th and 6th grade bees. Guess what? She came in as runner up. So, that means she goes on to the Washington County Spelling Bee in a couple of weeks. This is super exciting and I'm a very proud mama.
To make that Thursday even more perfect, I had bought myself a Schlotzsky's sandwich for lunch after work. I am partial to the original sandwich and rarely get one, so it was a delightful treat.

Of course, when I got off work, I had to race over there and then race back to Arlington to pick up the kids, all the while attempting to eat my sandwich and drive at the same time. This was the result:
Slight lap disaster.

This weekend has been a bit of a crafty one for us. Savannah was browsing the Michaels website and found this project for making a paper wreath. I really liked it and looked to see what materials would be needed. We were heading to Michaels anyway, so why not pick up stuff for one extra project.

Materials needed: a 36 page book of double-sided scrapbooking paper, staples, tape, hot glue gun, and half of a styrofoam ball. The only thing I didn't already have was the scrapbooking paper. Lucky for us, we found a book of Amy Butler papers on clearance for only $3.99!

To make this wreath, you have to tear each sheet out of the booklet and trim off the top edge so that you are left with a square piece of paper. Then, you roll the paper into a cone, use tape to secure, and put a staple in the bottom to create a flattened surface to glue onto the wreath circle.

After making about 10 of these cones, Savannah comes into the rooms and declares, "That is going to be HUGE!"

Hmmm. It does seem rather large now that I look at it. So, I go back to the website, and guess what? The papers are supposed to be 8.5 inch squares. I'm using 12 inch squares. Oh, well.

So, I continue on and finally completed the project last night. I glued all the cones into a circle, finished it off with the half styrofoam ball covered in buttons, and VIOLA...

One Huge Paper Wreath.

Even though it turned out gigantic, I still think it's cool. I hung it up in her room and it takes up one entire wall, but it's still one of the most awesome wreaths I have ever made.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Days...

I guess almost everyone is having them right now. The kids were out of school for the past 2 days and I even got to stay home yesterday. I wanted to stay home today as well, but work won out and I had to go in. Stupid almighty dollar.

Even though it was the day after the storm, I still had to drive through these kinds of conditions.

I got home this afternoon and was showing Myles the pictures. He says, "Great, Mom. So, when the driving gets scary, you rummage through your purse for your camera?"

Um, yes. So, watch out everybody.
Yesterday, however, was completely glorious. The kids and I never got out of our jammies. Myles spent most of the day playing on his xbox. There were some new maps for his Black Ops game that became available yesterday so those monopolized all of his time. Long gone are the days of him asking me to help him get to the next level of a Mario game. Now we don't even like the same games. Boo.
Savannah was having fun playing online and chatting with her pal, Shoo Rayner. He is an illustrator and is so kind to the kids on YouTube. Savannah will ask him to draw something and he will post a video on how it's done. Very cool.
I, however, spent most of the day with my butt firmly planted on the couch. It was a day full of crocheting and crappy TV watching.
A small burst of energy hit around dinner time, so instead of cooking something up for us all to eat, I made my lining for my Starling Bag. It turned out SO AWESOME.

If you want to try making one of these, go to