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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

when I started the blog...

and now...

3pumpkinslittle on Instagram 

  
Sunday
Dec162012

A shiny nose.

Oh boy did I get behind this year--can't even think about it else I'll stress.  

But it is what it is and luckily I think I can pull everything off.  Of course I may be kidding myself.  I just need to stay off of Pinterest.

Last night was the last of the work parties--no complaints, we've had a ball.  It's just hard to keep all those balls in the air.  Especially as the timing of my work conference was not ideal.  

The last party had an over-the-top photo booth with crazy props.  There were also reindeer games.  I was a facilitator, not a contestant.  This pained me greatly (some might say I'm a wee competitive).  

Hope everyone is surviving and actually enjoying the season.  If you need a break, I highly recommend donning a Rudolph nose.  Works like a charm.

Sandra

Tuesday
Dec042012

Ramblings.

Another outtake from the weekend holiday card shoot.  It makes me laugh.  My camera remote doesn't have the best range so I'd have to scoot close to the tripod, then dash back.  The picture also makes me realize how lucky I am to have these fellas standing by me, indulging me with so much.  (I am impossible, you know).

family shot

I am headed to a quick conference.  Only three days away from the crew.  And yet it feels like so much more.  I know some folks would welcome a break, and I was probably one of them a week ago.  But now?  As in right now when I should be packing?  I don’t want to leave them or miss a single goodnight kiss.  See?  Crazy impossible I tell you.

Monday
Dec032012

Serenity now.

Why on earth would we try to squeeze in our Christmas card pictures on a weekend already jammed with: a birthday party, chorus event, PTO fundraiser, back to back swim practices, car maintenance appointment, board meeting for Charlie, impromptu evening out for me, and of course teaching my weekly aerobic class (a student reminded me it’s been sixteen years together—whaaat?).

I lost my keys during the photo session.  Charlie found them later, by flashlight.

All I can say is, if it’s true that all’s well that ends well, then we’re officially well.  But whoa.  Happy Monday.

p.s.  here’s an outtake.  Max’s face pretty much sums it up. 

Max Leo Will photo outtake

Thursday
Nov292012

Staying neutral.

I am doing things other than dyeing (no, really Charlie, I am)--it's just that for the past few days I've tried to sort through my craft room as I pull out the holiday decorations from storage. 

I keep my undyed yarn in my craft room.  And the storage room is adjacent to the craft room—and I just can’t avoid them any longer.  That's why my recent dye-a-thon makes sense.  Or at least--and more likely--why it all makes sense to me.  That, or I just can't help but start a project during the holiday season.  It’s my thing, it seems.  And since we haven’t found a piece of abandoned furniture for me to rescue this year, I suppose addressing my shelved dyeing projects when I really don’t have time will have to do.

So.

The other day I tackled neutrals.  The thing is, neutrals can be tricky.  No one wants boring beige yarn, right?  So you need some subtle shading.  But with a color value this light, it’s hard to keep things from getting splotchy (not always a bad thing, just not what I was going for this time). 

After a couple of failed attempts with mini skein samples, I finally mixed a neutral that stole my heart. 

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I am calling the colorway Sandcastle—it reminds me of wet sand and favorite beach memories.  It’s shown here on 100% superwash merino sport. 

These skeins are headed to the very knitter who inspired me to be one, too.  Happy (belated) birthday Jenn!

Sandcastle 3

I cannot wait to see what they become via your gifted hands!

Sandcastle 2

Wednesday
Nov282012

Think pink.

I have been working, ever so slowly, on a list of colors that I would like to dye up myself.  One color I’ve had in mind for a long time is a certain pink.  I have lots of “sophisticated” pink in my accessories and wardrobe.  But a certain shade of pink is strikingly absent around here.  A girly pink--some would say--so I suppose it’s no wonder in this house of boys.

In my mind’s eye it is a sweet pink.  I might shy away from it in a sweater quantity because, as I said, I feel pretty uninitiated to pink.  But for a cowl to throw on in February?  I think it’s perfect.

I’m calling the color Princess Cake.

Princess Cake

This is on BFL Aran and its squish factor is incredible. 

Tuesday
Nov272012

Chocolate chip cookie thoughts.

It is impossible to say how many batches of chocolate chip cookies I’ve made in my lifetime.  It’s a pretty big number, that’s for sure. 

Cookie PicRecently, I’ve found myself relying on the New York Time’s recipe—in large part because it makes a huge batch and we’ve entertained a lot this year.  But also because it consistently yields a yummy cookie that hits the right notes:  crisp, buttery outer edge; soft and chewy but cooked center.

My only mods are to add a bit more bread flour—anywhere between a couple tablespoons to a 1/4 cup.  I suspect this is because I don’t put in as many chocolate chips as suggested, thus I lose some bulk .  (My kids are not crazy for chocolate so I can go light with the chippers).  Also, I don’t go fancy on the chocolate, other than to mix in some dark chocolate with the semi-sweet.

If you haven’t yet tried this recipe, I think you should.  It’s definitely a keeper.  As for my own recipe, I hope to finalize it soon.  I wrote it for volume measurements and it turned out consistent results all summer.  But when I tried it in cooler weather, it was off.  I think it’s apparent I need to write it for weighed ingredients and so onto my to-do list it goes. 

Here are a few other favored chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Why more than one?  They each serve a purpose.

When I don’t have  have time to let the dough rest and/or just feel like using all purpose flour:  Savory Sweet Life’s Chocolate Chip Cookie.

When I’m in the mood for a browned butter version and using a saucepan:  America’s Test Kitchen’s chocolate chip recipe.

When I don’t want to use my stand mixer and am out of parchment paper:  Alice Medrich’s “My Chocolate Chip Cookies” via DedeWilson.com.

I’ll add to this list through the comment section, as should anyone else who has a favorite (I can’t resist trying out a chocolate chip cookie recipe!).

Sunday
Nov252012

Thanksgiving 2012.

So, how was it?  Ours was really lovely.  A plentiful table with lots of plates to fill—a cook’s dream, right?  I think so.  Especially as this cook might have cooked a bit much.  Plus, we were lucky enough to have Charlie’s folks visiting us over the holidays.  It was a good week.

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Some new recipes turned out to be keepers (looking at you, Clementine Chess Pie).  And chocolate dipped Oreo turkeys made an appearance.

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And the next day?  Three sleepy knitters braved the Black Friday line at a crazy hour to score some deals at our local yarn store.  One knitter, who shall not be named but is notoriously NOT a morning person, was even pleasant during the wee hours (though her two former roommies were  scared to death slightly nervous to meet her at that hour).

BlackFridayCarynJennSanI don’t think there are many who would understand the lure of hand dyed wool on sale.  Unless you’re a knitter, that is.  Because if you are, well, then you understand completely.  And I daresay, if you live in the DC area, you were in that line, too!

Here is my haul.  

IMG_7200 Worth it?  Totally.

Tuesday
Nov202012

Flower fancy.

I assume I am not the only one that feels as if Thanksgiving is a big ole sneak this year.  I mean, honestly.  How can it possibly be here?

But early school dismissals and long lines at the grocery stores don't lie so I guess I better snap in and prepare for hosting duties.  It will be a bigger group than in recent years and promises to be a great gathering so I'm excited.  

I'm hoping I'll have time to pop into the wholesale floral warehouse for blooms for an arrangement.  Several weeks ago Caryn and I did a flower gig for a wedding and it was fabulous.  Definitely one of my favorites, all romance and ruffles and vintage-y, just like the sweet bride wanted.

The flowers I pick up this week will likely be in seasonal tones of pumpkin and scarlet--which is good and feels appropriate.  But then again, maybe I'll pick up something a little more unexpected.  No matter what the calendar tells me, I still feel like filling my vases with something pink.  

Sandra

Wednesday
Oct312012

Little Avengers.

Cap, Iron, and Fury headed out tonight...

And if this momma keeps eating the Halloween candy and wears green tomorrow, she'll make a fine Hulk.

Happy Halloween!!! 

Sandra

p.s.   I think I've finally found the time to make my way back to this space.  And there is much to share!

Monday
Sep102012

A heart grows fonder.

I know I won’t sleep well tonight, if at all.  There are a few reasons.  First, I’ve evidently hit a phase in my life where I can’t shut off my mind when it’s bedtime (and my mind is awful noisy).  Second, Charlie is away on an assignment and, well, I just miss him.  Last, and I’m dreading this one, I usually dream about 9/11 around the anniversary.

So I’ll be thinking of my sweetie, remembering, and wishing I could squeeze him tight.

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I might also have a cocktail before bedtime (don’t judge). 

Be good to those Marines, honey.  You know what I mean.  And if you don’t-- what I mean is, don’t scare the junior ones (think of the stories I’ve shared of me shaking in my shoes in court!). 

We can’t wait until you’re home. 

Love,

me and these three

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