Sunday, February 26, 2012

I started to...but then...

So...I did not finish any of the projects from last week.

I started to, but I wasn't paying attention on Laurel's sleeve and had to unravel it.

Then I started again, but the sun was shining and Luke and I went to Ward Lake instead.

I started again, but then I started reading The Dharma Bums.

I started one more time, but then I got sidetracked with Pinterest (a lot...a lot A LOT).

Then I decided to try something new to shake it up. I opened up my new woodburning kit from my birthday and played around a little bit. At least I did something, right?

I guess those other projects will just have to wait...until the end of time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dear Ketchikan, thanks for the sun

The sun poked it's head out today (albeit in spurts) so we took the sun by the horns and went to the beach.

We climbed rocks

and found some creatures

PS-On the way home it snowed, oh Ketchikan you sly fox.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finishing Week

I just got 6 new crafting books for my birthday and my mind is literally swimming with ideas. I can't wait to start a new project! But...I have so many unfinished projects before me.

1) Mittens for Laurel (I stopped at the last thumb)
2) Sweater for Laurel (I stopped on the last sleeve)
3) Boot socks with striped knitted cuffs (finished the cuffs, need to make socks)
4) Sweater for me (finished front)
5) Knitted pillow cover (finished the front)
6) Embroidered Laurel (no idea what to do with it)

That isn't like me, usually I ignore all other duties and do the bare minimum of the basic tasks (not even the bare minimum) until the project is done. It's a strange obsession that overtakes me when I'm designing, sewing, knitting or reading a great book.

So how did I end up with so many unfinished projects? Truth is...I don't know. I have finished others in between, but for some reason or other these all fell through the cracks. So...this is my week of finishing projects. Even if it means I have to hold off guitar learning for one more week. Even if it means not starting a new project that I so badly want to. (one of my books was a quilting book and I have so many quilts floating around in my head!!) And most importantly I can't start using my new woodburning equipment until these are done. (though I think 4&5 will be unravelled and sent back to the drawing that will help)

So...keep me accountable people...I must finish these and move on with my life.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Free Stuff!

After I ordered my birthday stuff weeks passed by and no shipment...I waited and waited. Finally after 3 weeks Amazon wrote and said they couldn't send me the book I wanted (which incidentally was ok since I found it at the library).

I was really irritated so I wrote to Amazon, and within 30 minutes they offered me free shipping on a replacement book AND a $30 gift card for my trouble. WHAT?!?!?! (that was my response...though it was even less coherent I think)

So within 5 minutes I was back on the website getting 3 new books...for free!!!

I got this one

(already flipped through the whole thing and all I can say is wow)

and this one

(I don't love them all, but there are plenty to choose from)

and this one

(this one hasn't arrived yet so I have no opinion)

Seriously it's like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one!!! Free stuff rocks, thanks Amazon.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vegetarian Burgers

I've made veggie burgers before, I typically make them with some combination of beans and grains with an egg to bind them. This week I got a recipe from Vegetarian Times on how to use oatmeal in new ways and this recipe was one of them. Since I never buy ground meat, but my kiddos like burgers, I thought I'd give it a try.

The reviews weren't good (shockingly not good in fact) but I still found myself wanting to try it. So I took what some of the reviewers said and changed up the process a little. This is what I came up with...

(picture from Vegetarian Times website)

Oatmeal Mushroom Burgers

4 cups water
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell peppers, diced
3 cups old fashioned oats (not the quick kind)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
12 oz mushrooms, diced finely
1 egg

Season the water up and bring to a boil (I used a combo of concentrated stock and spices), add the onion and peppers and boil for 5 minutes, lower heat to med. high and add the oats, flour and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 more minutes and remove from fire. Let it cool. At this point it should be the consistency of raw ground meat (or at least like raw meatloaf) I treated it as such...and I seasoned it until it tasted good. I used 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/8 cup of cocktail sauce and season salt. The great part is you can taste the mixture since it isn't raw meat! Season it the way you like until it tastes good. I added an egg at this point to bind it together (bc some of the reviews mentioned the burgers falling apart on them)

Make patties and place them on a greased cookie sheet. (The recipe says it makes 8, but my mixture made 12 pretty large patties) Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then flip them and cook an additional 10 minutes. You can eat them as-is, or let them cool and then grill them for a smoky flavor. I let them cool while I prepared other things and then put them on a hot skillet to reheat them and give them a nice crust. They came out great, a little softer than a regular burger...but I like that.

I was able to freeze the other 8 for 2 more future 3 dinners for like $3 total. Now that fits in my budget, and the kids thought they were in heaven.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


All in all I made about ZERO v-day crafts. We had so many plans...and none of them worked out!! We were supposed to make our Valentine's Cards and we ended up buying them at the store, we were going to make crochet heart bobby pins for the girl scouts (seen on Pinterest), but we never got past the first step. (we actually made the hearts, but then didn't have the time to do anything with them)

We were supposed to make these (also from Pinterest), we even collected the stones on the beach.

Sometime the best of intentions just don't make it in our house.
In fact, Valentine's rolled around and I wasn't ready. We had to make cookies for the class party, I promised Laurel the dessert she wanted, and I had to work the party and then run home and clean and cook dinner. In the end I was in the middle of cooking dinner and trying to get the kids to clean up when I realized they were having fun doing what they were my Valentine's gift was to stay in a good mood and clean the Living Room the next day. So we sat down and had a great dinner and enjoyed eachothers company. No one noticed that I hadn't done any Valentine's crafts. They only noticed the good parts...hmmm....

We did manage to make these cookies,

have some fun at the school party

eat a great meal

and make this garland we found on pinterest.

It was a perfect Valentine's Day after all.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beach Bonfire

We were invited to our first official beach bonfire this weekend. It's pretty common here; but between dark nights, rainy days and the schedule of a 4 member family we just hadn't had the opportunity to do one ourselves.

(It's nice sometimes to have people who can push you into new things) Plus these guys are AVID fisherman and crabbers (and shrimpers) we can't wait for pointers to get us going this summer. (I could seriously eat crab and shrimp everyday for the rest of my life)

In the cold of February standing out on the beach looking out at all there is to explore I sure am looking forward to summer weather and kayaks...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Guilty Pleasure Birthday

Happy Birhday to Me. I am 34 years old. And I know this is strange, but somehow I find 34 to be the scariest age I've been at yet. (try and follow the logic) 30 didn't bother me, nor 31, 32 was fine and hell 33 seemed like I was at the top of my game...but 34 is so close to 35 which rounds up to 40 which means my 30s are over. My 20s already ended, once my 30s are gone I have to be an established accomplished 40 year old. Right?!?!

I do realize that this is all crazy and 40 is the new 30, blah blah blah. Please allow me the tiniest bit of crazy. I am generally a stable, sane and objective individual...I don't think it's too much to ask for this TINY BIT OF CRAZY!!!

With that out of the way, last years birthday in Savannah is hard to top. We swam in the hotel pool, ordered in food at night and watched cable (this was a big thing then since we hadn't had cable in years). We went to the beach, to the aquarium, we ate at an outdoor restaurant surrounded by alligators. We had whoopie pies and window shopped and bought candy and just had an incredible time. Because of that trip my birthday seems really magical to the kids, so they started talking about it weeks ago. Unfortunately for them we have no big plans this year; just staying in, eating well and enjoying eachothers company...and of course...PRESENTS!! The older I get the better presents get. I seem to understand myself more and really know what I like and what I want. This year I got to pick my own gifts from my mom...which seems like a drag because there is no surprise, but instead was SO much fun. I finally got my woodburning equipment...posts soon to come. Then I bought this knitting book

this quilting book

and these movies

This birthday was definitely about what I love, hence the guilty pleasure b-day.

I also wanted woodcarving tools and watercolor supplies, but I can really only handle one major new skill at a time. (because I get incredibly obsessed, and it's nearly impossible to become obsessed with two things unless you just want to go plum crazy)

My kiddos bought me Ray Troll graphic magnets from my favorite local shop and gorgeous roses, my hubby bought me my Xtratuffs (woo-hoo) and a learn to play guitar set of DVDs and books (WOO-HOO). Plus they made me dinner and a cheesecake, can you tell that it says "We "heart" Mom"? So cute.

It was a good the weather is clear so we are off to enjoy some beautiful Alaskan scenery. (and I've been given an hour to go to the library all by myself to look at magazines and books...BY about a good present!)
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