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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

when I started the blog...

and now...

3pumpkinslittle on Instagram 

  
Monday
Apr022012

Littlest one still loves rainbows.

We are headed to visit family for spring break.  I believe there will be cake to celebrate our spring birthday boys.  Did I mention I made rainbow cupcakes again?  They were requested.  I can't believe he remembered from last year.  (I just clicked to see that post.  My goodness he looks young.)

I'm not sure how I'll ever catch up on all that's happened recently.  But as they are growing so fast--much too fast--I'd best try harder. 

Happy spring break.  Take pictures!  And try to eat a rainbow, if at all possible.

Sandra

Friday
Mar302012

My color affection.

Isn't it funny how tastes change?  Especially with fashion?  I remember doing a double-take when jeans tucked into boots came back on the scene several years ago.  And now?  I went to a charity event a few weeks ago and 85% of the ladies were sporting riding boots over skinny jeans.  

I am not one of those types who likes to push a trend, especially ones that are, you know, trendy.  But I do enjoy appraising a look that's of the moment and settling into it, if it catches my fancy.  I am a girl, after all.  And I think most of us are hard-wired to care about that sort of stuff.

And this is relevant to what, exactly?  Well, shawls.  Because even though it was less than a year ago that I proclaimed I favor shawlettes--not shawls--to wear as scarves, it seems I've done an about-face.  You see, I am now firmly, and unapologetically, in the shawl camp.

Here is what I wrote on my Ravelry page:

When I re-learned to knit a year and a half ago, to be honest, I didn't "get" shawls.  But then I knit a few small shawlettes and started feeling some twinges.  Still, those were worn like scarves and I've always been a scarf girl.

But now?  Sigh.  I can't help but wonder if Color Affection will be the gateway to a shawl-y path I never expected to travel.  

That said, I'm still not a hundred percent convinced I will actually *wear* a shawl as a shawl.  I know that I want to knit them.  And that I'll daydream about wearing them--this knit in particular--looking all stylish and fabulous like so many beautiful Ravelers.  I will also undoubtedly cocoon up in it on the couch while knitting.  *But.*  Will I actually reach for it to drape around my shoulders when I leave the house?  Hmmm. 

Well, now that I've knit one (specifically, a Color Affection by Veera Välimäki in Plucky Primo), I can tell you this:  I will wear it.  And I love it to bits.  Because I can wrap it around any and all outfits--even when I'm a wreck--and leave the house looking pulled together.  It's like lipgloss for my wardrobe.  I should note that it helps greatly if I'm wearing my skinny jeans and boots.

Sandra

p.s.  Max took these shots.  Isn't that something?

Wednesday
Mar212012

Be back soon.

Someone around here had a birthday.  And he made a special request for his birthday breakfast (donuts are usually a beach week treat only).

He wasn't thrilled about blowing out the candle, though.

He finally came around.  Grudgingly.

After a few salty bites, we were good.

The rest of his day was spent having fun with friends at his bowling party. 

I'll be back to share more about that soon...but first I need to get ready for a certain 8-year-old's birthday tomorrow.  He would like crepes for his birthday breakfast.

I can't believe he's turning 9.  

I'll be back in this space soon.  Because I should have a little time before Leo's birthday in a month.

So if anyone's wondered where I've been, it's nothing fancy.  Just staying busy with my boys and celebrating how long I've been lucky enough to be their momma.

Sandra

Wednesday
Feb292012

Low-fat chocolate chip oatmeal cookie (yes, I said low-fat).

I know I'm not known for low-fat creations.  I blame it on a lot of things, mostly The Pioneer Woman, Smitten Kitchen, and the hereditary gift of a high-metabolism that allows me to test decadent recipes with abandon.  I keep hearing, however, that  my body has all sorts of surprises in store for me this decade.  I am warned that things will shift--both with my metabolism as well as my energy level.  And I hear that the shift will not be in my favor.  This is not happy news.

In preparation, I've come up with a two part plan as I head into the second half of my first year of my fourth decade. (didya follow that?  Because I'm also all about keeping those neurons firing...)

Part 1:  I've signed up to run the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon again.  I didn't run a race last year and often found myself adrift, running-wise, without a goal in front of me.  Charlie is running it as well, as are several good friends.  We're also putting together a group to run the Run Amuck.  Running in mud and tackling obstacles?  Oh yes.  Yes, please.

Part 2:  Testing out some cooking blogs with a low-fat focus.  My favorite thus far is Skinny Taste.  The first recipe I tried was her low-fat chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.  I could not believe that a recipe calling for merely two tablespoons of butter could yield a satisfying cookie.  But it certainly did.

I also tried several main meal recipes from Skinny Taste and they were delicious, too.  Hopefully this will keep me focused on healthy eating.  And by the way, the fact that I ordered and recently received XX* boxes of Girl Scout Cookies is neither here nor there.  As far as I'm concerned, it simply establishes that my friends have ridiculously cute daughters.

*I will not go on record providing an actual number

Low-fat (yes low-fat) Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb232012

Blue.

Dear Caryn. 

I know I had you on blue yarn watch.  I know I asked you to intervene and steer me away when I try to beeline for skeins with bluesy names like chambray, denim, midnight, wedgewood, cobalt, nantucket, azure, ultramarine, cornflower, and cerulean.  I could go on, and often do, but that's enough for now, right?  Because you know and I know that there is not a solitary shade of blue yarn that, once created, I won't feel compelled to stash.  I love blue yarn beyond reason. 

But guess what?  I picked up some skeins recently that weren't blue.  They were devoid of blue, in fact.  They were white.  Too white it turns out.  So they...and I...and my dyepots...well, we intersected.  And now, you guessed it, they are blue.  We blue addicts are sneaky. 

Sandra 

Tuesday
Feb142012

Valentine's Day, 2012.

Hope you are having the sweetest day.

Are you wondering if we did the cards again?  Well of course we did.  I think three years in a row makes it a tradition.  The boys are becoming quite adept at their assembly line duties.  And I am getting better at letting go and letting them do it their way.  I didn't even obsess about punching the holes just so.  I mean, who cares if they are not perfectly lined up with little fists to best play up the "here's your lollipop" effect?  Nope, not me.  Didn't care one little bit.  Packed up those levitating lollipops without regret, thankyouverymuch.

But I admittedly found some inner peace having control over the pop placement on Will's cards (used an Xacto knife on his).

I also enjoyed the creative turn of tweaking Max's a bit for a no candy rule...the phrase "Write On!" cracked him up.  He appreciates a good homophone joke.

The boys also delivered balloons to their teachers.  We continue to luck out with having the most amazing teachers.  The tag is hard to read in the picture, I know.  It says You Lift Me Up.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sandra

Monday
Feb132012

Cream of Portobello Mushroom and Leek Soup.

My sister-in-law gave me this recipe and we just love it.  I originally planned to insert a picture of the soup.  But honestly, I think that would deter you from trying it.  How does one take an appetizing picture of brown, splotchy soup anyway?  I have no clue.

Plan B:  cue the leeks.

Cream of Portobello Mushroom and Leek Soup (my mods are in italics)

  • 2.5 tbsp butter (I use olive oil)
  • 4 portobello mushrooms stems removed and cleaned and chopped (I like to remove the gills)
  • 2 leeks while and light part only, cleaned well to remove sand and grit
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (chicken broth works well too)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups of half and half (a cup of milk + some cream worked well, too)
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine (I usually skip this)
  • Chopped chives for topping (optional)


Melt the butter/oil in a soup pot over med heat.  Add the mushrooms, leeks, and onion and sauté until tender, 5-6 minutes.  Add the stock, salt and pepper and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are soft, 10-15 minutes.

Transfer to blender in batches.  My SIL uses an an immersion blender--I use my pro Blendtec blender.  If you don't have a pro blender and plan to blend it, do it in small batches.  Return to pot and add half and half and sherry and mix well.  Simmer, uncovered, until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chives, if using.

Serves 4-6.

This week I'm going to try a mushroom blend to see how using non-Portobellos affect the flavor.  Oh, and last time I added a few pieces of bacon when cooking the veggies.  Yum!

Sandra

Tuesday
Feb072012

Chambord.

Well, it looks like I could have waited a day for yesterday's post and skipped the sneak peek.  Babycocktails released the Chambord pattern today and I can't say enough good things about it.  It's such a clever little number, shaped to disguise some extra holiday squish if you know what I mean. 

And if you do not know what I mean, I'm not sure we can be friends.

Project notes here.

Sandra

Monday
Feb062012

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

I say that a lot around here.  I have three boys you see...and am spectacularly unoriginal at times.  But this time when I said it, I was talking about a freshly blocked new knit.  And yes I was rubbing my hands together like a child about to get a treat because this is my kind of confection.  I can only reveal a bit for now because it's a test knit for this pattern

A test knit, you ask?  Why yes.  For Thea Colman.  You know,  Babycocktails

What's that?  Oh sorry.  I did indeed drop that.  Here, let me pick up that name. 

Can you tell I'm giddy that I got to test knit one of her knits?  I sort of have a crush on Thea's designs.  They make me appear to be a far more skilled knitter than I actually am.   I'm knitting her Drambuie next. 

I had a bit of a panic attack that the color (MadelineTosh DK in Nectar) was all wrong.  But then I received some positive feedback on Ravelry so I'm good.  Plus, my knitting guru Jenn commented on the project page that pink is a necessity in February.  And one should always listen to their knitting guru. 

Sandra   

Tuesday
Jan172012

Knitterly Resolutions.

I am still working on my full 2012 NY Resolutions.  But I'm ready to share my Knitting category.  It is the second half of January after all.

Projects Wish List (need to still select patterns for each)

  • Winter hats for the boys
  • Matching mittens
  • Charlie's hat
  • Charlie's sweaters (at least two)
  • Toy knitting!
  • At least one knit bag
  • At least one pair of slippers
  • Three pairs of socks
  • Mitts for myself
  • Create a handknit gift stash (thinking hats, cowls, coffee cozies, etc.)
  • I'm thinking 6 sweaters for myself.  Last year I did 9 but that didn't leave much time to knit sweaters for others.  And by others, I mostly mean Charlie because I keep bumping his sweater off the top of the list.

Get organized:

  • Organize my Ravelry queue
  • Organize my stash
  • Photograph and post stash on Ravelry
  • Destash any yarn I do not love

Techniques to conquer in 2012:

Click to read more ...