Thursday, January 31, 2013

Surrounded by prettiness....

:::: Enjoy this magazine, it's always filled with cute projects for the home


::::  surrounded myself with pretty yarns and started a new project.  I have quite a few crochet bags but this Cath Kidston brings me so much joy, I love the colors, the pattern, everything


::::  new dishcloth using Sugar N Cream Cotton yarn


::::  made it in about an hour while I watched my Portuguese soap and waited on laundry to wash and dry


::::  will start on new color variations tomorrow, can't wait to see them all done and in my kitchen


::::  pulled out these recipe books which I love, I have been collecting them for a few years and don't have all of them in the collection yet, but the few I have are a true treasure.  Filled with recipes both sweet and savoury and cute little photos of old villages in England, Scotland, Ireland etc.


::::  One of my favorite spots in my bedroom.

I've had a pretty normal day, the usual housework, homeschooling, cooking of meals and so forth.

I have found that now that I've removed myself from Facebook, I  am using my time more wisely, and so I have been searching and jotting down a number of projects to work on.

If I showed you my bookmarks and notes on projects that I have saved, whether crochet, knit, sewing or painting or woodworking etc, you would be either shocked or think I've lost my mind.

I don't know if I'll ever have the time to get them all done, and then often I wonder if I do make them all what will I do with them, I don't have room for everything that I want to make.  Truth be told, I would need a mansion of crazy size to have a few rooms just to fill with all the things that my mind conjures up.

I can't help it though, as the ideas come to mind, I tend to add them to the ever growing pile.  It's pretty much the same when it comes to books and shows.

Here's an example of my to do lists as far as crafty stuff:


Hexagon Boots
Turn my granny square into a bag
Make a heart garland for Valentine's day
Patch work crochet blanket
Log Cabin blanket
Daisy Flowers
Finish granny blanket
Finish African Flowers blanket


Finish Pug Quilts
Start a new big size quilt
Quilts for both kids
Quilted placemats
Dresden Plate placemats
Fabric covered journal
Leather covered journal

Random projects/homemade products

Paint two bookshelves white
Paint kitchen table white
Cinnamon Spread
Homemade Nesquick
Homemade Cheese

Shows waiting to be watched/halfway through watching

The Spies of Warsaw
Pride and Prejudice Regency Ball
Servants:  The true story of life below stairs
Murdoch Mysteries
The Mary Berry Story
The Doctor Blake Mysteries

See what I mean?!?!?!?!   I need way more than 24 hours in a day and a lot of room if I'm ever to finish or even start half of these, and this is not the full list, it's but a very small percentage.

Truth is, my mind is constantly working, thinking about the next thing to make.  It's never boring in this brain of mine.

Some of you asked about the swiffer crochet cover.  I didn't follow a pattern, I winged it.  But I did a quick search and I found a pattern that is very similar to what I did.  You can find it here.  Matter of fact, I'm going to make my next one using the pattern so I don't have to make it up as I go, will be easier to just follow :)

I love mine, it cleans well, it looks cute as a button and I can throw it in the wash and not worry about any kind of nasty bacteria growing on it like a usual mop.

Off to check out the Cooking Thursday participants, then have to finish my grocery list as grocery shopping is on the agenda for some time tomorrow.

Cooking Thursday - A Husband's Delight

Good morning everyone :)

The recipe I'm sharing today is for the Husband's Delight, and it comes from one of my Amish Cookbooks.  Family loved this one, but then it's not surprising since we do love pasta in this house :)

A Husband's Delight

A Husband's Delight

1 lb. ground beef
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
1 1/2 to 3 tbsp. minced onion or 1 onion, chopped
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. egg noodles  (I used spaghetti noodles this time)
1 (4 oz.) pkg. cheddar cheese, grated  (I used mozzarella)

Brown hamburger; drain. Add sauce, seasoning, and onion; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions. In small bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream, mixing well. In 2 quart casserole dish, layer noodles, meat mixture, and sour cream mixture alternately - twice. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot.

A Husband's Delight

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For the love of cookbooks.....

First, I wanted to start by thanking you all for the kind comments left on my previous post.  I appreciate them and I'm glad that you all understand the reasons why I have to do what I have to do.  :)

Being away from the unnecessary things in my life, has done wonders for my soul already.  I feel free, and as if this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I am ever so thankful for the Lord's influence in my life and the way that he constantly shows me when I'm going in the wrong path.

Funny how you never think it's the wrong path but you don't feel happy, and you don't feel comfortable....and then you decided to follow your instincts and suddenly it's like a whole new outlook on life.  Night and day, that's what it feels like to me :)


Today I had to write my new menu plan, but instead of relying on online recipe searching, I decided to forgo that and make use of my vast collection of cookbooks. I have so many, and they just sit there on the shelves, so, I snatched a few off the shelf and sat down to some planning.

I started with Secrets of Better Cooking, first published in 1973.  This gem of a book is filled with amazing information, tips, recipes, illustrations and everything you need to know to cook meals for your family.


This table of measurement conversions is so helpful to me.  Having grown up with the metric system, I still get a little confused when it comes to the way things are measured here in the USA.

Give me grams, centimeters and liters any day, but throw pounds, inches and gallons my way and I'm a mess.

A lot of my old recipes are also in grams and milliliters so this helps me convert them.


It's also helped me with pastry making and knowing how to roll it out and transfer it to the pan etc.


I ended up not writing down any recipes because I spent most of the time enthralled in it's pages of information.  It's such an interesting book.

The next book I pulled out is one that I purchased back in South Africa, when I was a teenager, and I've had it all these years.  Truth be told, I forgot about it, it sort of got lost in my shelf of cookbooks and I recently came across it again.


Lemon Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce, THAT went straight into the menu plan for next week.


This cookbook takes me back home, meals I hadn't even thought of in so long, like bobotie, biryani, milk tart....*sigh*

I wrote down a few to make and I'll share them with you too.


Finished with this one which I love, wrote down quite a few from there.  So menu plans and grocery list compiled and it was time to move on to normal day to day stuff.


Have another giveaway coming up for you guys next week, so had to get my items all sorted out and ready.

Trying out some recipes and cleaning the kitchen while watching The Mary Berry story on BBC2.


It was so fascinating. I love Mary Berry, she is such an inspiration to me when it comes to cooking and baking.


Buttermilk bread thawing on the counter.


Starting some sweeper covers using my summery colors cotton yarn


Making dinner...I love the heat coming from the wooden spoon.

It's usually a busy time in the kitchen, and there's always a pug under my feet which finds me tripping and jumping all over the place.


Finally sitting down to a home cooked meal, we love dinner time because we get to sit and chat about our day.


My poor husband had a dentist appointment this afternoon, ended up with 3 fillings so he's not feeling all that well, so I'll be sitting down with him to watch some of our shows on DVR.

Have a wonderful night,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Feeling slightly frazzled

I'm feeling a tiny bit discombobulated, a little on the frazzled side.

There is just so much going on, so many decisions to make that will forever affect our future as a family and I'm honestly feeling overwhelmed and tired.

I often get the feeling that I just want to crawl into a corner and stay there until the decisions have all been made for me and I don't have to think about anything.

A lot of changes are coming, and this year I'm forcing myself to think of my needs and wants, which means doing things and making certain choices that may not be pleasing to others. 

Truth be told, it's not the first time I've chosen to do things a certain way, only to cave in and not do it when others have made me feel that what I was doing was wrong, or an inconvenience to them.

I can't please everyone, and I've long stopped trying to.

My biggest need and want at the moment is to deactive my facebook account completely, and the reason I haven't yet done it is because I do play one game on there with my husband, so I've gone for the next best thing which is to just use it for the game and nothing more.  I haven't yet decided if I want to completely deactivate it or just leave it there, lingering, hanging in cyber space doing nothing.

My other biggest need in an attempt to gain some normalcy and control back in my life, is to look at my blogs like I did when I first started them, and that is just as an online journal for ME.  My place to jot down memories, to chat, to talk, to post whatever strikes my fancy. 

I've tried to fit in with the crowds when it comes to the food blog and it's become very apparent to me that I'm just not into the "new blogging" concept.  I'm an old fashioned blogger.....I'm not into achieving the most comments, getting the most recipes pinned to pinterest, forcing myself to cook something new just to have something to show on the blog.   

Not me, not happening.

Going back to basics.....that's what I'm doing.  I have been blogging since 2006 and never needed Facebook or Pinterest, and am not going to start now.

I've unpublished both Facebook pages for the blogs, and I have also removed the little sidebar gadgets that link you to those pages.

From now on, if you want to stay up to date with what I'm posting, I guess you'll just have to do it the old fashioned way.  :)  Either through Google Reader, or bookmarked etc. 

I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to any of my blog readers, but I have to for once do what is right for me, and right now with so much going on in my life, this is best. 

Yes, I know all about Networked Blogs....yes I know I don't need to deactivate the pages, yes I know many things, but like I said, this is what I NEED to do.

I hope everyone understands.  I feel better already for having made the few small changes this morning. :) off to catch up on some shows and do a little crochet before bed. 

God Bless,

Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/28/2013

Quite a busy weekend for me, and I've slacked on the housework so today is catch up day. 

The Weather:::
57 degrees right now, windy and raining.  We've actually had rain since Thursday and I for one really am enjoying it.  Looks like it's another rainy day ahead and then clearing up the rest of the week with Thursday and Friday reaching well into their 70's. 

Right now I am:

I am listening to the rain outside, hearing the wreath on my front door bang against the door because of the winds, and enjoying my cup of coffee while I try to wake up. 


Why am up so early and why can't I just stay in bed in the warmth sleeping?  Kinda dumb thing to wonder since I know WHY and can't change it  Hahahaha         

On my reading pile:::
Reading An Amish Kitchen, and about finished with it.
Started Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini and LOVING it.

On my tv:::
Ripper Street, Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge
The Great British Bake Off
Portuguese Soaps

Favorite Blog post this week (mine or other):::
Knitting and Me by Silverpebble

Something fun to share:::
Barbara Brackman is a Quilt Historian, and she has a gorgeous blog filled with beautiful quilts and the story behind them.  Well worth the read if you love quilting :)   

On the menu for this week:::
Have to work on the new menu plan today, so don't have it ready to show here. Only know the meal for tonight.

Monday - Best Chili Ever
Tuesday -
Wednesday -
Thursday -  
Friday -

On my to do list:::
Food blog review and giveaway
Change bed linens

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Granny stripe blanket, quilts for the pugs, started some dresden placemats.  

Homemaking Tips:::
Drawing a complete blank today, maybe I need more coffee to get my brain working.

Looking around the house:::
It's pitiful.  It needs help today, lots of help.  There are dishes in the sink, the kitchen counters have random items spread across.  The living room has toys and video game controllers laying on the floor.  It's going to be a long day of good homemaking to get everything back on track :) 

From the camera:::


On my prayer list:::
Lots of people, family and friends needing help in many areas of their lives. 

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Take hours, minutes and moments as they come, one at a time.  Don't run ahead.  Do what you can now....and at the end of the day, let it go.  Put all that is left undone in God's hands, God is at work in ways you cannot see.  Trust Him. in His arms.  - Ellyn Sanna

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Arizona Comic Convention

We are total geeks here at home.   We love comic books, super heroes, science fiction and often our dinner conversations center around the cosmos, physics, time travel and all that fun stuff.

Purely by accident, on Friday afternoon I found out that the Amazing Arizona Comic Convention was happening this weekend.  Yay!

Being that today was Kid's day, we decided it would be the perfect time to go.  A day out, all together, surrounded by a gazillion comic books, fun costumes, some famous faces and fun.

First thing we saw right as we entered the main room was this blow up Tardis.  Adorable!


Stan Lee was supposed to be there, but unfortunately had to cancel last minute due to sickness.


Costumes, costume and more costumes



Amazing artists showing their artwork, it was truly out of this world, if I could I would have bought every single one in there.


Jasmine loves Loki, and she got that Loki drawing and the artist Val Hochberg signed it for her :)


Nicholas loves Halo so he was super excited to see one of the Spartans walking around


Jim Lee, amazing comic book artist


Writer of Moriarty, comic book series based on Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, he was signing two comic books for Jasmine :)


Highlight of the day for me and especially for Jasmine, was meeting Nichole Chilleli who was the winner of Season 3 of Face Off on SyFy. We LOVE that show and always watch as a family and we cheered Nichole on, voted for her, and really loved her on the show.

She is just as sweet in person as she is on the show. Watching her and Jasmine was so cute, they both kept telling each other "You are so cute, I just love you" LOL

Jasmine LOVES her so much.  She was just beside herself meeting her, and couldn't believe it when Nichole hugged her for the picture.  It was just adorable.

Such a sweet girl, and gorgeous too :)


Mat Nastos works for Phineas and Pherb and he was doing free sketches for the kids.  Nicholas loves Perry and was thrilled to meet him :)



It was loads if fun and we hope to catch another one when we can.

As always I took tons of photos, so if you want to see them all you can take a look at the Amazing Arizona Comic Convention Album on my Flickr.

I'm tired, walking around without sitting down for 4 or 5 hours just kills my lower back.  Think I'll call it an early night, but first, I need to go watch the new Ripper Street and the new Call the Midwife and THEN get to bed and fall asleep to the sound of rain.

It's been raining here now for 4 days and I'm loving every second of it, will surely miss it when it's over and we're back to high temps for the rest of the year.