Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coffee break

I love a good cup of coffee. For me that always includes cream and sugar. The easiest, quickest and consistently delicious way to get that great cup of joe every morning is with my personal sized mr coffee machine.

It is a whole process and over years of little tweaks just this week I have finally perfected my system.

-personal sized mr coffee maker
-coffee filters (I like the unbleached)
-grinder (when I get whole beans)

-filtered water
-Costco brand medium roast world coffee blend (I like a lot of brands and blends so this changes regularly. I have tried the full gamut of coffee brands from the expensive to the generic Walmart brand. This Costco one is really good. Generally I tend to favor the medium roasts. If money were no issue I would drink Hawaiian coffee - the Kona is awesome. )
-organic sugar
-clover honey
-half and half

With the addition of this new mug, my system has finally reached completion. This mug may be kind of boring and industrial looking but when i saw it at the gift shop i knew i had to get it. It is the perfect size. It fits the whole pot of coffee with just enough room for cream. No more tweaking amounts of sugar and cream when I add the rest of the coffee. Just once and it is done. Awesome!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


It is well established that I am *not* in need of new projects, but this blog post, has inspired me to try my hand at socks (the heading picture of fun crazy colorful socks with clogs is just about my idea of feet heaven).  I have a sock already on some needles, but as with any good UFO (unfinished object), the pattern and the project have long parted ways.  So I think I will just frog it and use Susan's basic sock recipe.  

Also, I love merino wool socks - there is nothing better in the winter.  Perhaps socks will become my new portable go-to project.   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sweet seven

Seven is an awesome age. Audrey is helpful and curious and independent but still likes her parents. Here is my sweet seven year old showing off her poster on Scotland.

This morning we were going through some of her papers and i was telling her how much i like her artwork. So she wrote me a sweet while i was upstairs taking care of Meredith.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Baby laundry

When Meredith was born we used cloth diapers and I loved buying them - we took several trips to Abby's Lane just to look around and feel the new stuff.  I loved figuring out what system worked for us and what didn't.  I love using them with the cute patterns and colors.  I love washing them, but most of all I love hanging them on the line to dry - seeing those cute little diapers all lined up - happy.  

With me back at work full-time, we mostly use disposable diapers now.  Honestly, I am barely keeping up with our regular laundry, let alone adding in an extra load.  They work just fine, but they are not great overnight.  If she wakes up in the night, I always have to change her before I feed her or else she will be wet in the morning.  

This past weekend, Ryan got the flu and all of our plans to get errands done flew out the window, so I switched back to cloth in order to conserve the few disposables that we have until I made it to the store.  Today as I hung the cloth diapers out to dry I couldn't help but smile at the cute diapers all lined up again.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013 goals

Every year I like to pick a few goals and projects to try to accomplish over the course of the year.  This year I would like to:
  • Finish my afghan.  I am just excited to do that.  I love the colors and I love the way it is already coming together.
  • Exercise - I would like to also exercise more - since I get nearly no exercise now, I am aiming for once a week - no need to rush into things.
  • Photo project.  This is the *big* project that I would like to do this year is to get my family photos in order.  I would love to put them into scrapbooks, but I know I don't have the time to do that for real, so I am going to try to scrapbook digitally.  I have seen a few peoples blogs that give good instructions and I am hoping that once I get the hang of it, the pages can come together quickly.  I am not aiming for fancy -just finished.
    • Step one is to gather photos:  I already scheduled an appointment for our old eMac at the genius bar for tomorrow in the hope that we will be able to retrieve the old photos from that computer.  I am also going to ask others who may have photos of the girls to send them to me if they can.  I am also going to take some of our regular photos to Costco to be scanned.
    • Step two will be to organize them:  I think I will probably sort them by year first and then see what I have from there.  
    • Step three will be to actually put pages together.  I am going to try to keep them simple.  This will likely take me many hours and most of the year. 
    • Step four will be printing the pages - I know there are several good options out there.  I can't wait to see the finished product.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

New crochet project

Right after Christmas I felt the urge to purge my yarn stash.  I have quite a bit of yarn and much of it is in halfway finished projects.  One crochet project in particular was calling my name.  My mom has a beautiful old afghan in a scrappy (colorful) pattern that I absolutely love.  I looked to find the pattern for years and when I saw it in a magazine I bought the magazine right away.  Then I bought a whole bunch of yarn and began to crochet the afghan in no particular color order.  I got about 1/3 of the way finished and realized I did not really like the way the colors were all looking together.  And if there is one thing that I have learned from years of projects - if you don't like it while it is in progress, you won't like it when it is finished.  So I frogged (pulled it apart) the whole thing to rearrange the colors and start over.  And there it sat in nice balls of yarn for a long time (maybe years - I can't remember).

This time I cut a sample of each of the colors and ordered them several ways until I found the way I liked best.  This time the afghan is going to be loosely rainbow ordered.  It is bright and cheery and really a great winter project because the yarn is a big soft wool and acrylic blend and keeps me warm as I crochet.  I finished one repeat of the pattern before we left for Disney.

I don't know if it shows, but this is going to be a big afghan.  I love it already.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Finished objects

In order to finish the shawl, I ordered wool soak, fancy stretching wires, blocking mats and pins.  The whole process was fun to try.  And it worked really well.  The soak softened the wool just a touch and the wires made the pattern bloom.

Multi-colored shawl
I also finished the water bottle cozy for Claire.  Funny story with this one.  I have this strange sense of humor about Christmas.  I love for there to be some sort of funny present.  When I found this pattern, I immediately thought of Claire because she is always cold in the winter and so I thought it would be a nice way to warm up.  I also knew that she didn't have an old fashioned hot water bottle, so I started looking at the local stores for one.  The only one I found happened to also include a "personal hygene and enema system" with it (basically a bunch of tubes that attach to the water bottle part).  I laughed so hard when she opened it and was totally perplexed.  Of course, I wrapped the homemade cozy in a separate bag.