Chicken Pot Pie, YUM YUM!

We have been super busy up here in MA, so I’m a bit behind with the blogging. I actually made this a few weeks ago, but finally sharing! I made my first ever Chicken Pot Pie using Pillsbury’s SUPER easy recipe!

It was so so so easy. I had never made any kind of pie before (well, except the instant kind with the crust already in the pan and you just dump the filling in! I’m not counting that) but it came out so good. Seriously, fool-proof! Check out the results and go make your own!

PS Forgive the runny gravy awesomeness on top. Evidently I sealed the edges really good and it bubbled out the top a bit!

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Bella’s Mittens #2

A while back I started a pair of Bella’s Mittens. They were navy blue and ended up being a present for a good friend. For my first pair of mittens I was quite happy with how they came out! I decided I still needed a pair. But what color? I have a gray coat and a black coat. I wear brown a lot. Nothing else matches, so why care? But I thought about it anyway, and decided I needed a good neutral, that could go with black or brown.

** Total aside: This makes no sense. Black and brown are both considered neutral and therefore go with anything (according to Stacey and Clinton….and I trust them). So really, I could pick any color……so is it extra boring that I wanted yet another neutral. If you combine multiple neutrals does that become its own color palette, or are you just one big blah neutral. This is suffering I go through when picking yarn colors. Crazy over (for now)**

What’s the perfect neutral for my mittens? Greige. You know, that perfect not gray, not beige color….greige (I first learned about greige here. Go. Be educated in the ways of the greige.) I picked the Squirrel Heather colorway in KnitPicks Swish Bulky:

A couple weeks later and here I am, with warm squishy mittens. I can’t wait to give them a go in the morning waiting for the train!

2010 Block-a-month CAL

In reaching my goals of growing my creativity, I’ve joined the Ravelry 2010 Block-a-month Crochet-a-long (CAL)

There are a few different flavors to this CAL: the main 12″ block CAL, the 6″ block CAL and the Craftster 12″ block CAL. I think this CAL is great for me for many reasons.

  1. Most blocks work up pretty quickly, so it’s almost like instant crochetification!!! As block is easy…it’s when you think of how many blocks you need for a blanket that it gets tricky!!!
  2. At the end of the year, I’ll have 12 finished blocks to sew into an afghan/blankie, YAY! In fact, if I do all three squares every month, I’ll have enough to make 3!!
  3. I’ll learn new techniques and blocks I’ve never done before.
  4. I’ll meet new online friends to discuss crochet and knitting with!
  5. I’ll use some of my stash yarn!

WooHoo! I couldn’t wait, so I already got my hooks out and worked up two blocks over the weekend. I choose to go with a color-combo-of-the-month strategy. Kinda like:

  • JANUARY – white/blue; inspiration = snow
  • FEBRUARY – red, pink, white; inspiration = Valentine’s Day
  • MARCH – green; inspiration = St. Patrick’s Day
  • APRIL – blues and grays; inspiration = April showers
  • MAY – purple or bright colors! inspiration = May flowers
  • JUNE – yellow; inspiration = sunny days!
  • JULY – red, white and blue; inspiration = Independence Day
  • AUGUST – yellow-green; inspiration = my birthstone, Peridot!
  • SEPTEMBER –
  • OCTOBER – orange; inspiration = Halloween
  • NOVEMBER – harvest colors; inspiration….um, harvest?
  • DECEMBER – red, green, white; inspiration = Christmas!

So there is my intended color combos to make an afghan of my year. Any ideas for September? I can’t think of anything…

With the January color combo in mind, I hit my quite significant yarn stash and came up with these:

January 2010 12" Ravelry Block
January 2010 6" Ravelry Block

So far, so good, I like it! I still need to work up the Craftster block, but will use the same yarn as these.

Please suggest a September color/inspiration for me!

2010 Goals

Like many do this time of year, I’ve thought a lot recently about what I want to accomplish. After all, it’s January 1st, a fresh start!! I have to admit, this year is different for me. There is SO much I want to do!! I think a lot of it has to do with owning our house and having our little furry family, it’s like I’ve finally grown up. Well, at least a teeny tiny bit…..

I’ve thought and thought, and I almost hate to make a goal list for the year. There’s just too much and I hate starting out knowing that I won’t be able to do it all!! So instead, once again inspired by fellow blogger Kim,  I made up a mantra to summarize my goals. I even decided to make up copy her idea of making a little visual button to remind myself of my goals:

Here’s the breakdown!

Live Simply – I want to simplify and organize everything….my life, my house, all of it! I want to cook more and eat healthy instead of eating fast food and ‘instant’ meals.

Live Fully – I want to go new places and see new things. I want to embrace life as it comes and smile everyday and never back down from a challenge or doubt myself!

Love Simply & Fully – mostly self-explanatory. I want to demonstrate my appreciation and gratitude in unique, thought-out and practical ways. For example, I don’t want to give the typical gifts…I want to craft special & useful things with meaning for my family and friends. One effect of the recent economy is that I’ve learned to appreciate the simple things and appreciate what I have 🙂 I want to really listen to my friends and family when I talk to them, instead of half-listening while running through the ‘to do’ list in my head. (If you’re a family-member or friend I’ve done this to….sorry!)

Grow Fully – This goes back to challenging myself. I want to master a second language, learn to quilt, continue to increase my skills of knitting and crochet, etc. I want to go to art shows and museums. Most of all, I want to turn my house into a home by doing the projects I’ve dreamed about (this should certainly ‘grow’ my DIY skills!).

So, even though I listed examples, I’m not making a goal list for this year. I’m just keeping this mantra in mind in all I do and we’ll see how it goes 🙂

52-in-52 wrap up!

So for 2009, I joined in the 52-in-52 challenge, to read 52 books in 52 weeks. How did I do? Well consulting my reading list I see that I read 49 novels. Not bad at all!!!! I’m declaring this effort a total success!!!! That’s because I know a few boring grown-up books that didn’t make the list, like:

Home Buying for Dummies

This Old House Guide to Renovation and Remodel

That’s 51…..and there’s another book on Home Organization I read whose title escapes me at the moment (it’s on my bookshelf, I bet you’ll hear about it in future blogs). That makes 52!! Not bad at all for having bought a house, moved, gotten 2 puppies, etc. YIPPEE, goal accomplished!

For 2010 I will be keep up my reading list but will not challenge myself for the 52-in-52 again. I’m hoping to to spend a lot more time knitting, crocheting and turning my house into a ‘home.’ Stay tuned for the adventures!

I’m Back! Happy 2010!!!

After a bit of a break, I’m back in action! Christmas turned out to be just as crazy as expected, but we had a lovely trip down south. How lovely you may ask? Let’s just say we left Boston on a 17 degree post-2009 blizzard morning and arrived in New Orleans to a 70 degree sunny day. AWESOME!!

We had loads of fun visiting everyone, especially:

A few friends from college (we did not all plan to wear purple, I swear!):

My homegirl, Amy. Before my entry into DH’s family, she was the only girl with a LOT of boys. This chica is one tough cookie!

And most importantly, my super cutie-patootie 4 year old nephew:

Without even consulting my December ‘goal’ list, which was basically a social calendar, I’m declaring it all a success!

Now I have some SUPER exciting new plans for 2010 that I can’t wait to share. But first…I have to brainstorm, list and organize it all! Yes, I’m a geek, don’t hate me for it! Stay tuned for the fun & have a happy and safe New Year!!!!!