Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memorium

For all who gave their lives to make or keep us free and safe.  Thank you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stoplight Stir Fry

My son nicknamed this "Stoplight Stir Fry" because it has bright red, green, and yellow in it.  Much more creative name than just "Mango Stir Fry," which is what we originally called it.

Stoplight Stir Fry


1 lb spaghetti -- cooked
2 tsp. oil
1 red pepper -- julienned
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 bunch broccoli -- cut into florets
1 mango -- peeled and chunked
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup pineapple juice
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add peppers, mushrooms, and garlic.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add broccoli and mango and saute 4 minutes.  Stir in broth, juice, and soy sauce.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in peanut butter.  Serve over spaghetti.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Progress Report #3

Thanks to being gone a week, then my hubby being sick for a week, my efforts at transforming my big mess into a cozy crafting zone have been somewhat derailed.  I'm back on track at last, though -- my husband and the kids finished putting together my new cubby last night, and I reorganized where things are situated so the table can be by the light and the cubby can be by my plastic storage tubs.  Here's how it's looking:

Still a sad, sad mess, isn't it?  But I haven't gotten anything put in the cubby yet.  Hoping that makes a big difference!

And yes, I was hoping for a white cubby, but Target was out of the white cubes, so I went with this wood look instead.  Matches the table better anyway.  I'm working on knitting sides for a storage basket to go into a backless cube, though because I'm a very slow knitter, I only have one side done and another started.  I'm using that cheery green/blue yarn you can see in one of the cubes because it precisely matches something crazy I hope to store lots of yarn in (instead of that stack of four cardboard boxes to the left).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Crochet Pattern, a Stitch Idea, and a Sleep Breakthrough

It's done!  My new pattern for a flower embellishment:

I had this idea for a kind of retro, almost cartoon-like flower a while ago, based on the kinds we tend to associate with the 1960s and '70s, flower power, hippies, etc.  But I could not for the life of me get the petals to be rounded like this without either curling up or running into each other.  I finally got it all figured out on Friday and made up a couple demos to show off in my listings for the pattern.  (It's listed on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy, as usual.)

These would be so cute decorating a hat or purse, or a bunch of them sewn all over a vest or skirt!  I think they lend themselves to children's clothing really well, but adults with a fun fashion sense could totally wear them too.  Here's how one looks on my adult sun hat:

And just this morning, while I was lying in bed snuggling my baby, I dreamed up my very first crochet stitch!  I went to Yarn Cloud yesterday for new yarn to make a blanket for the new niece we'll be getting in a few months, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for this blanket, when bam!  A new crochet stitch! It's probably been done before, but I've never used it or seen it in a book (as far as I know -- I do like reading books of different stitches).  If the blanket turns out well, maybe I'll sell the pattern for it!

Speaking of snuggling my baby, last night was a Big Night.  She slept in her own bed for half the night!  She's almost 5 months old now, and I had started putting my other two kids in their own beds at night when they were about 4 months old, but timing just has not been working out with this one -- we were gone two weeks ago, we've got another trip coming up soon, and then next month we're going on vacation.  I tried starting her in her own bed a few times, but she wasn't going for it, and I figured with all that upheaval, it just was going to have to wait.

But last night she kept waking up every half an hour, and I got fed up.  The fourth time she woke up, I said, "That's it!  Little girl, you're going in your own bed.  If you cry, so be it -- Mommy needs sleep!"  I nursed her back to sleep, put her down in the little travel bed next to our bed, which is where I've been trying to get her to sleep at nights (she naps in her own room during the day), and she stayed asleep!  So I lay back down, figuring I'd get maybe half an hour before she woke up and yowled.  But lo and behold, when she woke up again, she'd been asleep for two hours!!  I put her back in her own bed, and then she slept for almost three hours!!!  What an amazing relief!  This morning, for the first time in weeks, my back hasn't complained when I got up (sleeping around a baby this size is not comfy after the first few minutes), and she's actually been in a pretty good mood too.  Here's hoping this continues!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Have a Brown Thumb

My brown thumb

See?  Brown thumb.  That's what you get when you spend the weekend planting flowers!  Not a green thumb -- whoever came up with that silly idea?

Anyway, here is my new container garden!

View from the door to my kitchen!

It was going to be just the big white one and the two off on the ends, but I overestimated how much dirt and how many flowers would fit in those, so yesterday I ran back to the store for the two pots flanking the big one.  The little pots are an unexpected addition as well -- the largest little pot (oxymoron much?) is the lavender I started inside, and the two smaller ones are leftover snapdragon seeds, one for my son and one for my oldest daughter.  Up at the top are two pots of mint -- I bought the mint plants at the grocery store and just repotted them to match my color scheme.  They're held up by a wire railing planter thingie I used at our old apartment last year.

Here's a closer look at the pots, tagged with what's inside them:


French marigolds, dwarf celosia, and calibrachoa

Four o'clocks (seeds planted) and dwarf celosia

Snapdragons (seedlings) and nasturtiums (seeds planted)

Five lavender seedlings -- all that came up of the 24 I started

Snapdragon seeds the kids planted

And at the corner of the house, my hubby dug this little plot for more lavender:

Four square feet of lavender?  I hope so!

Um, do bunnies like lavender?  Just realized they may nibble on anything that happens to come up here.  Might end up buying lavender plants instead of using seeds, and putting in a fence... or forgetting the lavender patch, but I hope not!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

We're home :-)  And exhausted.  We had a nice visit, but I think it may take several weeks to get the two older kids to settle down again.

Anyway, happy May Day!  My hubby had these for me when I got home yesterday.  Aren't they cheerful?