Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Theme for 2012

Wow, 2011 went by super fast!  I know a lot of people who have had a really tough year, so I hope everyone has a spectacular 2012.  I am planning on it.  =)

Like a lot of people, I make New Year's Resolutions.  And like almost as many people, I don't really keep them.  But every year, and this year is no different, I try again.

This year I realized most of the things I was thinking about had a common theme, so I'm declaring that 2012 will be the year of Discipline.

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

I need to be much, much more disciplined in several areas of my life.  It seems like lately I'm just in constant La-La-Land.  I need to get things organized, get things into a routine, crack down a little more on the hyper smart-mouths developing over here, make healthier choices for the family....

Here are a few of my goals for the year:

  • Work on organizing the house bit by bit
  • Get a cleaning routine in place
  • Eliminate unhealthy foods in the house one by one
  • Get the girls on a good chore system
  • Get the girls in a routine to make sure homework and chores are done
  • Be more active
  • Stay on top of the budget
I have been seriously considering something over here, too.  I have posted a few free patterns here on my blog, and they seem to be pretty well received.  I have quite a few more ideas rattling around in my head, and while I do enjoy sharing my patterns, it would be nice to fund my yarn addiction.  So I'm thinking of writing up some new patterns and starting an Etsy shop.  I know there are a ton of crochet pattern sellers out there, but I hope I can come up with some fresh ideas.  It will take some time to get everything in place, but hopefully by mid-year I'll be ready.  I'll probably ask for pattern testers in the near future.

Well, I'm off to celebrate the New Year a few hours early with my 3 little girlfriends and some sparkling grape juice.  The champagne will come later ;)

They say the way you ring in the New Year will be how you spend the rest of your year.... which would mean a lot of people would be drunk all year, but anyway... so make sure you ring in the New Year with a smile.  Be safe and see you next year!

The Dodo is 4!

Four years ago today, our family added it's 5th member... Little Miss Zoe Blain. 

It doesn't seem that long ago.  I found out I was pregnant with her because I had whooping cough and my husband suspected I was and wouldn't go get my prescriptions without me taking a test.  The complications I had with Olivia's pregnancy combined with the complications I had with Isabelle to make it a pretty difficult pregnancy, but I think it was worth it.  Just look at that chubby cheeked cherub.  =)

And now she's 4 but still the baby.  Always trying to keep up, always the short one, and still willing to cuddle a little bit with Mommy.

Yesterday I took her to get her big birthday present.  It was supposed to be her present last year, but I totally chickened out. 


She got her ears pierced.

You would not believe how amazing this child was.  She didn't even flinch.  They were wonderful, and pierced both ears at once.  I was sure she'd jump off of the stool and fly to me to bawl her little head off, but not a single tear was shed over it. 

I couldn't let her birthday get here without making her something, though.  I wasn't sure I would get it done, but I did.  I had planned on going to bed early last night, but I turned on some dumb movie and got to work instead.

Her favorite animal is a giraffe (pronounced "jrap" in Zoe-speak).  That's what she got for Christmas.  So, for her birthday, I went with her second-favorite animal.  A zebra ("zeebwa"... of course).


I saw a zebra hat very similar on Pinterest and thought... I can figure that out.  And I totally did.  It's not an exact replica, but I'm understandably partial to this one ;)


I can't wait to see it on her.

Happy Birthday to my sweet little Dodo.  I love you!

**I've had a few requests for an ear flap tutorial, so when I made this hat, I took pictures and will work on getting that up in the next few days!**

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where has the week gone?

Tomorrow cannot be Friday.  I mean, normally I look forward to Friday so I have no idea how it could have crept up on me like that.

Saturday is my baby's birthday.  She's going to be 4.  I can't believe that either.  And I have made her NOTHING.  I'm hoping to knock something out tomorrow night and something else Saturday night before her "party" on Sunday.  It's really just people (family) coming over here and eating cake (oh, man, I have to make a cake!).  If you think I'm decorating and having some fantastic theme and all that... sorry.  It's so hard to do anything for a New Year's Eve birthday... it's so soon after Christmas.  She always gets the short end of the stick, poor thing.  Maybe this year I'll actually get her ears pierced this year (that was supposed to be her present last year and I chickened out). 

The good news is that after that, I have no more deadlines!  I can craft at leisure again.  Kind of... I do have a few things I want to do before my cruise (1 month away now!!!), but at least if I don't do it I'm only letting myself down.

This week I have been working feverishly on another South Park set.  Plus this little guy...

His name is Towelie and I really don't know much more about him since I don't watch South Park.  He's a towel.

 And here is a picture of my kids in their new shirts that I totally geeked out over.  Poor Dodo is so short compared to her sisters.  I love the "Nerdy But Cute" shirt....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Creamy Fruit Salad

Yes, another recipe from the self-proclaimed Kitchen Disaster!

Sometime around Thanksgiving (and I'm too lazy to see when or why), I mentioned our family's tradition of having fruit salad with our meal at holidays and that it's probably one of the most unhealthy fruit salads ever.

But it's really good.  And I was charge of making it this time.  Scary thought.

I called my mother, who was spending some time with my grandpa on his 89th birthday (Happy Birthday, Grandpa!!), and she gave me the recipe so I thought I'd share it with you.  Because, unhealthy or not,  it's really good fruit salad.

Well, she gave me her method.... "recipe" is usually a stretch for my mom on most of our traditional recipes.  It's like "a heaping serving spoon" or "a shake or two."  I'll try to decode as much as possible.  ;)  It's super simple and I shouldn't have to call and ask her about it, but I have a mental block on recipes, for real.

Want to make some fruit salad?  Let's go...

You need:

1 large or 2 regular cans of fruit cocktail, preferrably chunky-style.  (drained)
2 apples, diced
2 bananas, sliced
2 oranges
a few handfuls of miniature marshmallows
2-3 "heaping serving spoons"** of mayonnaise (about 1 cup)

Cut one of the oranges in half and squeeze the juice over the apples and bananas to prevent browning.  Section and cut the other half and the other orange and add to the apples and bananas.  Drain and add the fruit cocktail and the marshmallows.  Add the mayonnaise a little at a time until it's a creamy texture.  Chill for about an hour and serve with your dinner, not as a dessert. ;)

Trust me, I know mayo in fruit salad sounds gross.  But I promise, if you let it chill for about an hour, you don't even taste mayonnaise. 

My brother-in-law doesn't like it, so we make him a slightly different version where we leave out the marshmallows and mayonnaise and mix everything with Cool Whip. 

**heaping serving spoon = the big spoon in the table setting here...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stick a fork in me.

I declare the Christmas Crochet Marathon 2011 over.  (wild applause)

I'd like to say I got everything accomplished, but I did not.  My beard beanie for my brother-in-law is just a beanie.  The peg people (although not crocheted, were on the list) are not finished.  A Hello Kitty for my friends' daughter didn't make it, but I had warned them I may not finish it by Christmas.  I'm still very proud.  And very tired.  I still have a few projects to finish up, but then I'm going to kiss my hooks goodbye for a few weeks. 

Here are some of my last-minute finishes:


This is Olivia's cat.  She actually has seen this picture of it and asked me where it came from.  I plead ignorance.  Why is it that my kids can figure out my phone 500 times faster than I can?  She's supposed to have a big bow around her neck, but I figured I can just find some ribbon to substitute.  I had to sacrifice a few details.  I'm sure Olivia won't care.


This is Zoe's giraffe. 


He's not very spotty, but I'm kind of sick of him right now so that's all the spots he's gonna get.  His neck is also kind of floppy.  The head is pretty heavy for such a long neck... I even stuffed a stick in there to help and it wasn't quite long enough.  Now there's a stick lost inside of him.  Oh well.  He's also supposed to have a diaper, binky, and teddy bear, but since he's lucky to have spots, we all know that's not happening.

Both of the patterns are by Paola Navarro.  I really adore all her patterns, but I have to confess that I hated the legs on both patterns.  It's just a personal preference and the absolute adorableness of her designs overpower that detail anyway.  Just look at that floppy giraffe's face. 

I don't have a good picture of my mom's Granny Shrug, but it's finished.  I don't like how it looks on me, but I think it will be beautiful on my mom.

I'm so relieved to be finished.  I was really worried I wouldn't make it and have stuffed animal parts under the tree with a promise to finish them ASAP.  Tomorrow I must make myself concentrate on laundry or else we will have a Merry Naked Christmas.  And that just won't do. 

I wish each an every one of you a Christmas full of love and happiness and amazing memories.  =)

Help me, Santa...

Do your kids buy into the whole Naughty/Nice list?  Do they really think Santa will only bring them presents if they are on their best behavior?

Mine do not.

Or maybe this is their best behavior...  God help me.

I've tried to hold Santa over their head all season and it's not helping.

I'm totally at a loss this morning.  Because they're definitely on the Naughty List.  So on the Naughty List.

We all know my kids are insane.  Their antics are a constant source of amusement to friends and family everywhere. And I know that this morning is actually pretty funny.  I almost took a picture of it, but it involved a naked child.  It was one of those situations where I would have laughed myself into hysterics, but I was too mad.

The girls woke me up at 3:30am.  They were all amazed that I was still home.  Well, I am always home and asleep at 3:30am, and told them I was not happy to be awake so early especially since I didn't have to even be up at my normal 4:30am today.  I gave them a lecture on getting out of bed before the sun comes up and put them back in bed.  I went back to bed.

I woke up again at 6:30am to a lot of giggling.  I was really irritated and was all geared up to scare the daylights out of three insomniacs.  Then I saw the kitchen. 

I found myself standing in something really gritty... kitty litter.  Thankfully the cat hardly ever uses the litter box so I'm fairly sure it was clean.  I see Olivia standing on a step stool at the sink. 

I see Isabelle.  Naked.  In the sink.  Having her hair washed.

Water everywhere.  Paper towels everywhere.  Chocolate milk and chocolate syrup.  Everywhere.

I was just speechless.  Once I regained some composure, I instructed them to get out of the kitchen and get dressed.  I cleaned up as best as I can half-asleep and lectured them until 7:00 when I had to start getting ready for work. 

Part of me wants to make sure none of the presents under the tree are from Santa.  Part of me wants to take half their presents back to the store.  Part of me feels like I'd scar them for life if I did that.

I don't know what I'll do.  I told them they had to have the living room and their playroom cleaned up by the time I get home today and I better hear that they were  little angels for their Daddy or I'll take the tree down.  Of course, Bill's 2012 Snap On calendar was soaked in chocolate milk, so I guarantee a bad day for them once he sees that.  You don't mess with the Snap On merchandise.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Moving on up and facing the facts.

So... 6 sleeps until Christmas, huh?  How's it going?  I'm pretty frazzled over here.  I'm not gonna lie.  I am stressed out.

I knew when I kept piling things on my plate that it would be this way.  But I never really listen to myself.  I should try it sometime.

I think I'm OK in the non-kid department.  I decided to leave the beard off of the beard hat and throw in a gift card.  I tried the beard, but it wasn't working out right and I don't have time to fiddle with making it work.  My mom's shrug is 75% complete.  I need to try to squeeze a Hello Kitty hat in there if possible, but I'm not going to kill myself over it.  I haven't done serious laundry in 2 weeks.  Hello Kitty may take a backseat to some housework.

The girls' amis.... well, Hobbes is finished =)  The thing with Zoe and Olivia's amis is that the pattern writer used DK weight yarn and came out with a fairly good size ami.  I'm usuing worsted weight, so that good size ami is pretty big now.  Zoe's giraffe is over 12" tall.  Olivia's cat's head is big enough that Bill thought I was making a hat at first.  This is my plan.... get the giraffe's body made (I'm short a leg and tail) and worry about the spots, mane, and accessories (he's supposed to have a binky and diaper) if I have time.  I can always add them after Christmas.  Then concentrate on the cat.   It doesn't have nearly the amount of details as the giraffe, but it's huge.


Let's talk about some technology here...

I am not really big on tech.  I love it, but I'm never that big on rushing out to get the newest gadget or anything.  In fact, I'm usually one of the last.  This month looks to be a huge month for us catching up with the rest of the world in terms of technology.

I have a smartphone.  A very stupid smartphone.  It runs on a Windows operating system, and if you know anything about smartphones, this means I don't get any good apps.  My kids are stuck playing dice and popping bubbles on my phone.  No Angry Birds.  No Words With Friends.  My phone sucks.  And lately, it's decided it's all out of memory.  No amount of deleting has fixed it either.  I've removed as much as I can find to remove.  It's to the point that I can't even send a text.  Now my Swype is screwing up.  I just can't handle this.  So I ordered a Droid.  Nothing fancy, it was even a free upgrade, so wahoo for free!  My kids are going to be so excited.

I also got something techie for my hubby, but he occasionally reads this, so we'll just wait on that ;)

We got a Wii for "the girls" for Christmas.  I think Daddy will get quite a bit of use out of it, too.  We've never owned a video game system.  Never.  I'm not into video games and I resisted letting one into the house because I've seen so many friends fight with their boyfriends or husbands over the amount of time they spend on their games.  But the girls are getting old enough to be a nuisance wanting to play on now, so I thought we'd give them another option.  Plus, we got a dance game so maybe we can wear them out with it.  =)

Aaaand... I got a Kindle for Christmas.  Early.  Because he figured since I knew what it was anyway.  I held out on getting an ereader for a long time.  I just like having a book.  But my sister got one and after talking to her, I caved.  I think my biggest reason is my upcoming cruise.  I'm sure I can read two or three books in my downtime, and that takes up too much space.  Need to leave some room for yarn in my bag. =)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spicy Pretzels... two ways.

Once upon a time, I would block off a night or two to make all sorts of happy Holiday treats before Christmas.  But this year, besides being crazy busy, I am trying to stay away from all the sweets.  Oh, I am sure I'll get to sample some fudge and chocolate covered cherries at some point, but I'm not making them and I'm not keeping a stash in the house.

However, there is one thing I have to make.  Spicy pretzels.  I gave some to Isabelle's teacher last Christmas (when she was Olivia's teacher) and she requested that I send some for their Christmas party at school this year. 

My boss also makes spicy pretzels, but uses a different recipe, so I thought I'd share both of them with you.  They're addicting either way.

For either recipe you will need a bag of mini pretzel twists.  The larger ones will work as well and probably the thin pretzel sticks, but I don't think the thicker rod type will work well.  Dump the whole bag into a large roasting pan or split it into two smaller pans.  Set the oven to 200* or the lowest your oven will go (my lowest setting is 240* and it works fine).

In a small bowl, mix one of these two sets of ingredients:

1 cup of vegetable oil
1 packet of dry Ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

My boss'
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 packet of dry Italian dressing mix
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp garlic

Pour the oil mixture over the pretzels and toss to coat.

Bake for 2 hours, stirring the pretzels every half hour or so.  Allow to cool (but they do taste really good warm) before storing.

I made two batches and filled up six 2lb treat tins (not that it's 2lbs of pretzels.... but I'm sure they hold 2lbs of something....). 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So sleepy...

My kids' sleeping patterns suck.

About a year ago, I had to start locking my bedroom door at night to keep the heathens out of my bed.  We only have a full-size bed and it's just not big enough for more than 2 people.  And, to be honest, my husband has been working nights so long that I'm so used to sleeping alone that it doesn't seem big enough for 2 people when he's home.  I'm not sure why we stopped locking the door, but the visitors have been coming again.  And my kids are the most obnoxious sleepers.  How can a 5 year old take up the entire bed?  She literally pushes me out.  Zoe likes to sleep on top of my covers, which means I wake up without any.  And I do the whole "one leg bent, one leg straight" position and sometimes she likes to make a nest in my legs. 

Needless to say, I find my way to the couch quite often.

Zoe has been sick again.  Strep.  They said the first time they felt she had strep, but didn't test her, but if she did, this is the second time in less than a month.  Add that to her normally enormous tonsils, and I'm thinking an ENT visit is in our future. 

But, with her being sick, she's sleeping even worse than usual.  She gets up after a few hours of sleep and it's a struggle to get her to go back to bed.  It's either when I'm about to go to bed myself or when I'm working on her Christmas present.  Of course.

So, I'm just a sleep-deprived bozo lately. 

And I'm starting to stress out over my list of things I need to make.  I think I can still get it all done, but it seems like there's always something popping up (like Zoe) to slow things down.  Of course, there is the problem that I can't say "no."  I had to work in three more sock monkey hats last week and someone else is asking for a Hello Kitty beanie.  I'm only about halfway done with Zoe's present, halfway done with my mom's present, halfway with my brother-in-law's, almost done with my second set of South Park guys, haven't even started Olivia's present.....

And Christmas is less than 2 weeks away.

Plus I am in the middle of a really good, but really long book that is due back Thursday (late fees, here I come...).  Plus Christmas parties for the girls at school and I haven't even gotten everything I need to send for that or finished up teacher's gifts.  Plus Pokeno Thursday night (hello store-bought ornament because I don't have time to make anything). 

It's no wonder my shoulders and neck are bunched up.

But I'll get it done.  Yes I will.  I may not sleep at all next week, but by golly, I'll get it all done.  I'll catch up on my sleep on my cruise next month.  ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Birthday Winner!

Drumroll please!

The winner is Amy!

Thank you so much to everyone!  I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings and see what kind of nonsense I've been up to.  I wish I could give everyone something. This has been a blast and I promise to do more in the not too distant future!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A History Lesson

Today was a fairly mild day after having a couple of pretty chilly days.  I decided it was the perfect day to take the girls to go see the Arkansas State Capitol in all it's holiday decorations. 


Not only is it just a gorgeous building (even when it's not decorated), but it's where my husband and I got married.  So it was really neat to be able to take the girls to see where their parents tied the knot.

Right on those steps =)

I was worried that the girls would be totally bored with it, but they were just in awe of everything.  They loved all the marble and all the decorations were oversized, so they just thought it was magical.


Their patience with my camera wore out very quickly.  They just wanted to explore.  After we climbed all the staircases, we started to leave but the security guard stopped us and told us that if we went down to the basement, they had a little holiday scene set up for pictures down there.  I think that was the girls favorite part... a setting with a tree complete with presents, a little rocking chair with a doll, fake milk and cookies, and a rocking horse.  I didn't think I'd ever get them away.


Before we actually went into the Capitol, the girls saw a group of statues and went to explore them.  It's a memorial for The Little Rock Nine


As we left, the girls started asking me who they were, so we had a little history lesson when we got back to the van.

Now, I've never heard the girls ever talk about any of their friends being black or white.  It's just not an issue.  So it took me a minute to really think of how to explain it to them.  I told them that years ago, people used to have to go to different schools based on how dark their skin was.  Then they decided that people with dark skin could go to school with people with light skin and these statues are the first people who got to do that.  I didn't really feel that they'd understand the conflict surrounding the event, so we didn't go into that. 

Isabelle asked me what color skin we have.  I told you, it's just not an issue with them... they don't even know "black" and "white."

Olivia said, "That's stupid.  Elanea's hair isn't the same color as mine and we're still friends."  I loved that.  Skin color should have no more importance to people as hair color should.  Out of the mouths of babes....

If only we all had such a simple view on life.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

If I had a swear jar tonight, I'd go broke.

Why did I say, "hey, I'll bake cookies!"

Because I have a bad memory.  Maybe even early-onset dementia.  That's what I'm thinking anyway.

I get tomorrow night off.  Yes, you heard me.  I am leaving my children with their Uncalee and pretending like I have a social life for a few hours. Thank goodness for a brother-in-law who takes pity on my poor soul once a year so I can go to Christmas Pokeno!

Ooooh, I just remembered, I have to go finish my ornament.  Hang on a minute, will you?

OK.  That's done.  Wanna see? 

Thank heavens for wired ribbon.  I can't tie a pretty bow to save my life with regular ribbon. 

So, anyway....

Our Christmas Pokeno is always a potluck kind of thing and everything had been assigned by the time I found out I could go.  So I just offered to make cookies.

Seemed like a good idea.  Until I realized that making cookies takes time and I just don't have much to spare.  But let's do it anyway, OK?

I measure out my sugar and dump it on the butter.... measure out my flour into another bowl.  Add the baking powder.  And the baking soda.... where's the baking soda?  I used it all up last time I made cookies. 


OK, no problem, I have some self-rising flour.  Take that baking soda.  I don't need you after all.  =P

Add eggs.  Add vanilla... oh, come on... don't tell me I don't have any vanilla either....


Fine.  We'll just pretend I "forgot" to add the vanilla.  It's just a flavor thing and not really vital to it actually becoming a cookie, right?

So let's stir it all together.


Flour everywhere.  Of course. 

I hate cooking.  I should volunteer to bring paper plates.

I'm making 2 dozen and putting the rest of the dough away for later.  Stupid cookies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aww, you guys...

Your birthday memories are great!  Thank you so much for sharing. 

My day has been fairly quiet.  Spent a little time with my little sister today and she brought me a surprise cake for my birthday.  She was inspired to make a variation of a dump cake.  Our mom always made dump cake with cherry pie filling, canned peaches, and yellow cake mix.  Yummy.  My sister made this one with apple pie filling, canned pears, and a carrot cake mix (because they didn't have a spice cake, but that's all carrot cake is really).  It was so good

I ordered a pizza for dinner.  Pizza is kind of a birthday tradition for me, and I'll tell you the story behind it since I asked you to share a birthday memory and it's only fair for me to do the same.  This one is funny now, but at the time it really wasn't.  It's a good thing we can always look back and things and find the humor in them.

When I turned 31, things were not all that great in our little family.  We had a really rough year or so.... we tried moving to Massachusetts and it was a failure, we had a surprise Isabelle and that was a miserable pregnancy, and my husband and I just really weren't getting along all that well.  (Obviously, we got through it and things are better now... )  Poor Bill had actually forgotten my 30th birthday the year before, and pretty much had forgotten about this birthday as well until one of my friends called him up to remind him.  I think he was really frustrated about forgetting it (again).  I didn't hear from him all day and when I got home from work, he said, "Your birthday present is on the stove."  No "Happy Birthday" or anything.  So I went to see what was one the stove and it was half of a pizza.  It didn't really go over all that well.

And he has yet to live it down.  Every year since then, when my birthday rolls around, jokes about half-eaten pizzas abound.  He even tried to get half a pizza delivered to me at work last year, but the pizza place wouldn't do it.  Like I said, it's funny now....

Now, in my husband's defense... He's not so good at remembering what day it is, so holidays and anniversaries and birthdays kind of get lost in the mix.  He's gotten Valentine's Day and Presidents Day confused.... he thought today was Dec. 3 for the first part of the day... it's not that he doesn't want to show his appreciation for me on special days, he just can't remember when they are.  But he is excellent at just showing up out of the blue with flowers and doing little small things to let me know he appreciates me on just plain normal days.  That's what really counts, to me anyway. 

Guess what day it is!

Do you know who this cutie pie is?

That's me.  36 years ago.

Yay!  It's my birthday!

Man, I was a cute baby.  =)

So... I was thinking.  I've never done a giveaway.  And I know that it being my birthday and all that I'm supposed to be getting presents, but I want to give a present to someone else.  Maybe you....

Since I seem to be known for sock monkey hats, and I happen to have a few homeless hats, I'll give the winner a choice of:

Punky Monkey

A Mohawk Monkey... child-sized with a loopy mohawk.


Zoe's sock monkey hat

A Sassy Monkey... child-sized


If you are willing to wait for me to make it, an adult or child-sized version of any sock monkey hat in my repertoire.  That includes a regular ol' earlfap version, Pirate Monkey, Mowhawk Monkey, Sassy Monkey, or challenge me and give me something new to try!  The Mohawk and Sassy child-sized versions above are already made and ready to go.  They were also made before we added a cat to our household and have been in sealed plastic bags (in case you have pet allergies).  Just remember that little fact if you pick the option for me to make you a hat and remember that it might take me a few weeks to make your prize, what with all my holiday projects going on presently.  

To enter:

Leave me a comment with one of YOUR favorite birthday memory.  And leave your email address.

I will pick a random winner sometime after midnight on Friday.

Good luck and where's my cake?

Monday, December 5, 2011

We've been adopted.

Remember a while back when I introduced you to Serial Killer Kitty?

Well, she comes around every few days.  Last week, she was at the back door just meowing like mad, and ran inside the house when I opened the door.  I lured her back out with a can of tuna, which she devoured in no time.  My husband was concerned about it being cold outside, so he got a box and a torn up pillow and old bathrobe and made her a little bed outside.  I've found her outside a few times in it.  She just looks at me like, "Thanks, but I bet it's warmer inside."

When we got home today, she was across the street and ran across the road to us as soon as she saw us.  She parked herself by the door and wouldn't budge.  I managed to get us all inside without her getting in and went about my business.  The next thing I know, the girls are squealing and freaking out.

Killer Kitty was inside.

My husband said he didn't let her in, but he's a big fat liar.  I know he did.

Olivia had a bowl of goldfish crackers, and the cat started following her around, so I gave her some more tuna and we tried to keep the girls from freaking her out.


She ate a little and then went exploring.  The girls have been all up in her face, but she hasn't even hissed.


I went and bought her a littler box and some real cat food.  She's already housebroken, which just confirms my suspicions all along that she's been an indoor pet and was either dumped or put out.  She doesn't look skinny, but she's a long-haired cat, so it's hard to tell.  I don't believe in having an outdoor cat, so if someone around here put her out, I guess that's their loss now.  She has shown no desire to go back outside.

The girls want to name her Sophia, but I think we're sticking with Killer Kitty.  I'm not one for "normal" pet names.  It's my only opportunity to have odd names since my husband wouldn't let me name Isabelle "Serendipity".  =)


She's beautiful, isn't she?

I'm going to have a very special post tomorrow in honor of a very special day (to me), so be sure to check it out!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crafty night!

It's probably pretty ridiculous how excited I was all day thinking about all the fun I was going to have once I put the girls to bed tonight.  I had to go to Hobby Lobby at lunch to get yarn to make more sock monkey hats, so I finally bought the stuff to make alcohol ink ornaments.  I planned on also working on some peg people for the girls' Christmas and making some cinnamon ornaments. 

They are lucky I didn't put them to bed early.

I started with the cinnamon ornaments, because why wouldn't I want my house to smell like cinnamon all night?  This is the recipe I used. 


This is the first time I've actually dried them in the oven.  Normally I just set them out to dry for a few days, but I have serious space issues in my kitchen and didn't want to deal with it.  I'll put a few on the tree, save a few to give away and I am thinking about putting one in the vehicles.  A Christmas tree that smells like cinnamon beats a pine tree any day. 

I worked on the peg people a little bit.  They're looking a little creepy at this stage:


I'm not much of a painter, to be honest.  These won't be super detailed.  I will work on them here and there until I'm done. 

I was most excited about the alcohol ink ornaments, though.  I've been just dying to try it since I saw this on Pinterest:

Alcohol ink is kind of expensive... about $10 for 3 little bottles (that will probably last me forever, but I'm a cheapskate sometimes).  Let me just tell you a few things in case you get the urge to try this.  1)  Be prepared for inky fingers.  2)  Don't be stingy with the ink.  I was barely putting a drop on the felt pad and was getting pretty frustrated with the results.  3)  The ink dries darker than it goes on.  4)  You'll probably go over each ornament several times.

The package I bought had three colors:  Oregano, Mushroom, and some red color.  Oregano is a muddy green.  Mushroom is just mud.  Red overpowers everything.  I finally figured out how to make them look the way I wanted, but at first I thought I just wasted my money.  It definitely is a trial and error kind of thing, but the good thing is that it's hard to mess it up.  And they make a solution to remove the ink.. it's a blending solution or something.  I didn't buy it, but I know they make it.

Here is what I have so far (I may work on them more later)



I finally stopped using red altogether.  I liked the muddy green better, and you didn't really get it if you had even a drop of red.

In other news.... I got a picture of my latest finished crochet project:


The pattern was super easy (and free).  It would be a great beginner amigurumi project.  And he's just too cute.  I think if I ever make another one, I'll make his belly out of felt instead of crocheting it.... it bugs me a little, but not enough to do anything about it.  ;)

I began my mother's Christmas present... I hope she likes the colors.  She's always struck me as a neutral kind of person, but then she goes out and buys turquoise and pink blouses, so I just don't know about her anymore.


Sorry for the blur.  It's a Granny Shrug.  It should be a fairly quick project...

Last but not least, my favorite ornament of the day.... which I did not even make.  I had to drag my girls to half the stores in town in search of a white kids' sweatshirt for Zoe's Christmas program (never did find one, either) and I ran across this at Target...


Dude.... can you get much better than a lime green glittered rubber duck?  Actually, he's plastic, but you know what I mean.


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