Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simple Chunky Crochet Scarf



I wanted to crochet something for myself, but it had to be quick and easy since I really don't have much time to take on a big project. I found this chunky scarf pattern from Prudent Baby and it couldn't have been more simple! I didn't have a size N hook so I used a K hook (6.5MM) which made the scarf a little smaller and tighter but it still fits nicely without being too bulky. I used almost one whole ball of Cozy Wool Loops and Threads yarn in charcoal. Here is the pattern:

Chain it to the length you want (I chained 135). Slip stitch to join into the first stitch.
Row 1: *Ch 3, dc into fourth chain from the hook, dc 134 (or each additional stitch in your length), slip stitch into first stitch to join
Row 2&3: Repeat from *
Weave in ends
Done!




I couldn't have a scarf without matching gloves. And I noticed that fingerless gloves have been pretty popular this year. I saw my friend Heather over the Thanksgiving holiday and she had a super cute pair of crocheted fingerless gloves from H&M. They looked like something I could easily make! Well, These aren't exactly what she had, but this pattern from Craftbits.com was too easy not to try. I used the same chunky charcoal yarn. These gloves were done in a matter of minutes. Someday when I have more quiet time I will crochet some real gloves. Its very difficult to count and stitch with a 2 year old and 8 month old by your side.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crockpot Lasagne



This recipe from Food.com is called "Easy Crock Pot Lasagne" although I wouldn't exactly call it "easy" but it definitely wasn't hard and it turned out delicious so I would make it again. The reason I wouldn't call this easy is because before layering your lasagne in the crockpot you have to make the meat sauce and combine the cheese which means extra work, time and dirty pans. But I love being able to leave the crockpot running while I run errands and go about my day. And everything always turns out so good in the crockpot. No burnt edges or dry food. Perfection every time! So here is the recipe if you want to try it! We are looking forward to having the leftovers tomorrow :o)



  • Ingredients:
  • lb ground beef
  • medium onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • cup water
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon dried oregano
  • ounces lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:


  1. 1. Brown beef, add onion and garlic - cook until onion is softened.
  2. 2. Stir in tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt and oregano - mix well.
  3. 3. Spread one fourth of the meat sauce in an ungreased slow cooker. Arrange one third of the noodles over the sauce.
  4. 4. Combine the cheeses.
  5. 5. Spoon one third of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
  6. 6. Repeat layers twice.
  7. 7. Top with remaining meat sauce.
8. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

My sons Preschool is having a Pre-Thanksgiving dinner and I volunteered to help coordinate. When it came time to divvy up jobs, I immediately raised my hand for the craftier portion: Centerpieces!

I found this idea on Parents.com and loved that the kids would be able to write what they are thankful for. It will be fun for the parents to read their child's "leaf."


This next idea is a modification of a chalkboard turkey place card I found on Pinterest via I Can Teach My Child. I loved the idea of having little chalkboard turkeys for the kids to draw and scribble on at the table. If they hadn't already written what they were thankful for on the centerpiece above, this would be a perfect way to do it.


How to make a Chalkboard Turkey:

I used:
- 6.5" plywood circles (.79 each at Michaels) or you could cut circles from foam core or cardboard but I liked that these were pre-cut and sturdier.
- 1 piece of brown stiffened felt (.99 at Michaels), 1 piece orange and red felt (.20 each)
- Chalkboard paint (or spray paint)
- googly eyes
- multi-colored goose feathers

Paint the plywood circles with 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint. I let the paint dry overnight. Cut little circles out of the brown stiffened felt. Create face using orange and red felt and googly eyes. I used a hot glue gun to glue everything together. Glue feathers on the backside. I used approx. 6 feathers for each turkey.


For the adult tables I made these pumpkin flower arrangements with the school's logo painted on one side. My mom had the pumpkins left over from halloween and I thought they would make good centerpieces if I hollowed them out and added flowers. Unfortunately my floristry skills aren't so good. I could have used my sister-in-laws help with this (she used to work as a florist), but I think they turned out ok. 
I recently came across this tutorial for painting perfect letters and thought, if I perfect letters can be painted on wood, then why not try on pumpkin. I printed out the logo on a sheet of paper and taped it on the pumpkin. Using a ball point pen, I traced the logo (don't be afraid to press hard while tracing). This will make an indent of the logo in the pumpkin. Using paint pens, I painted over the indents. It would have turned out even better if I had used the skinny tip paint pens.


I can't wait to see how everything looks on the dinner tables!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dig Pit (Sensory Tub)



Now that it is officially too cold and rainy to be playing outside (at least for me), I needed some fun things we could do indoors to keep my 2-year-old occupied. I have been wanting to make him a sensory tub for awhile and finally got the supplies to put it all together.



Here is what I used:
- 27 quart clear latch lid bin from Target
- 16 lbs dry pinto beans (I've been buying them when I see them on sale at Fred Meyer and Albertsons)
- toys from around the house including plastic shovel, rack, sifter and cup

I took a picture of the toys I hid in the dig pit, labeled them and printed them out on a sheet of paper. Now its a treasure hunt!

He was very excited when he found the ball :o)



Tips for keeping the beans from spilling:
- use a deep bin (the deeper and wider the better)
- place a towel under the bin to keep spilled bean from rolling around the floor. Its also an easy way to clean up - just gather up the towel and dump beans back in.


Have Fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Hats

Here are a bunch of holiday hats I've been working on. I have a couple more that I didn't take pictures of, but all in all I was hoping to have a lot more done. Hopefully I will have some time to work on them this week. I still would like to open an Etsy shop but don't feel comfortable doing that unless I have a bunch that are ready to ship. But if you are interested in purchasing any of these send me a message!


These boy and girl "Santa Baby" Hats are newborn size. I thought the ribbon would be a nice touch for the girl hat. The pattern is from Girl In Air.


"I Have a Little Driedel" Hat is a newborn size cluster hat, again with white satin ribbon woven in on the bottom and a dreidel button. Pattern is from AlliCrafts.


Snowman and Pointsettia button hats are also a pattern from Allicrafts ( I love her stuff!!) I just added a little holiday flare.

This sweet little christmas flower cluster hat is a pattern from guess who... yep! Allicrafts! I just added on the buttons and chose christmas colors.



I love this "Let it Snow" beanie with pompoms and earflaps :o) It makes me want a snow day! This is a pattern I've used before from Easy Makes Me Happy.


The snowflake buttons on the beanie above are glittery, so I created a more gender neutral version for my son using white buttons.


This "Winter Flower" Headband should fit a 5-6 month old girl. I can't remember where I saw this pattern, but when I find it again, I will post it.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creamy Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Unless I have just gone to the store, I rarely have defrosted, fresh meat sitting in my fridge. I am ultra paranoid about food born illness so I will either buy meat and cook it the same day or will freeze it. So when I saw this recipe from Food.com for Creamy Salsa Chicken that used frozen chicken breasts, I was excited. And even better, I had all the ingredients on hand.




  • Here is the recipe:
  • 4 -5 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar salsa, any kind
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1) Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot. 2) Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained. 3) Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. 4) Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.
  • I served it over rice with corn bread and salad on the side.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Buddy the Elf Crochet Hat

It's less than two months till Christmas which means I have already busted out my Christmas movies and have been watching one every night! Elf is one of my all time favorite Christmas movies so I thought it would be cute to crochet a Buddy the Elf hat for my little guy! I followed THIS free candy corn crochet hat pattern by Taraduff. Instead of the classic candy corn colors I used Vanna's Choice yarn in fern green and yellow for the middle stripe. Stick in a red craft feather to complete the look!

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Washington Huskies Beanie

When we moved to Portland I knew I was going to be surrounded by Duck and Beaver fans, but I underestimated how much school pride they actually have. Every other house on my block is waiving either an Oregon or Oregon State flag, not to mention the millions of bumper sticks, window decals, signs, and apparel. One house even has an Oregon Duck face carved into the tree in their front yard. I miss my fellow Husky fans and was desperate to see some purple and gold! I crocheted this little Washington Huskies beanie yesterday. The "W" is made of felt.


I've also been working hard on a bunch of holiday hats. I hope to show you pictures soon and possibly open an Etsy shop!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crockpot Pot Roast and Cinnamon Swirl Cake

I had both of my crockpots cooking yesterday and boy oh boy did my house smell yummy! I made a very simple pot roast that turned out delicious! I have used this recipe many times before. You can't screw it up and the meat always turns out so tender and tasty. (If you are wondering, on the left side of the plate are potato bourekas, found in your kosher freezer section)


  • The Recipe:

  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 5 1/2 pounds pot roast

Note: You can add carrots (as I did) as well as celery and potatoes.

  • In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

My other crockpot was cooking the Crock Pot Recipe Exchange's Cinnamon Swirl Cake. I followed the directions pretty closely, but for some reason my cake didn't come out with a swirl in the middle. The cinnamon ended up close to the top and bottom. But it still tasted good. It was very dense and moist. If anyone tries this recipe and it turns out, let me know!