After a month away from blogging, I thought I’d do a little catch up in this post. Some knitting, some cooking, some new purchases, etc. And I’ll even throw in a home improvement project along the way.
Before going any further, I feel I must comment on three new books I have acquired this past month. I think it goes without saying that I love books…and these three are just spectacular. After reading about Apples for Jam in the blogosphere for the past couple of months I decided I needed to see what it was all about. This book is gorgeous – I think I would have bought it for the photography alone even if I wasn’t really interested in any of the recipes. But the recipes do sound fabulous and I am anxious to try some of them. I love the fact that the spaghetti and meatballs recipe calls for cinnamon.
I also picked up a copy of Susan B. Anderson‘s Itty-Bitty Nursery. There are so many great projects in here, I especially love the cupcake hat and matching scarf as well as the pacifier holders. Too cute for words. It seems someone I know is always pregnant – I think I will get a lot of use out of this book.
I finally managed to locate a copy of Jo Sharp’s Knit Issue 1 pattern book at a semi-local yarn shop. I had seen it a while ago and liked a lot of the patterns but for some reason never bought it. I had been kicking myself since then as there are so many basic, wearable patterns in this book that I know I would enjoy knitting and enjoy wearing. I am happy to finally be in possession of it. If you can still find a copy of this one, I recommend it.
A friend of mine introduced me to Southern Living cookbooks recently and I have to say I have made some of the most delicious and easy recipes from these books. I got Easy Weeknight Favorites out of the library which I now think I might buy from my local Southern Living consultant after successfully testing several of the recipes and thoroughly enjoying them. One recipe I tried was the sweet and savory sloppy joes. I had never had sloppy joes before and found myself intrigued. Well, I am glad I picked this recipe as they were outstanding and paired perfectly with the sweet potato fries my husband and I like to make.
I also made the tortilla pie you see on the cover of this book – again super easy and very tasty!
But of course, nothing really compares to the out of this world risotto my husband made last weekend. Complete with chunks of carrots, celery, sundried tomatoes, and garlic – I sat down to a most perfect meal with a bowl of this and the latest copy of Runner’s World after an exhilirating 5 mile run.
And now a word of advice…for any of you thinking about changing a chandelier that is hanging off of a pitched ceiling that is much taller than you and you don’t own a ladder, think twice before you attempt this. I didn’t think twice and ended up standing on the kitchen table for a couple of hours while I tried to balance the heavy weight of the new chandelier while I reattached the wires and screwed in the stabilizer box thingy with the other hand (my husband was at work otherwise he would have helped…I think :)) – only to realize that the new chandelier hung WAY too high above the table. So it was on to Lowes for extra chain that I could attach to the new chandelier, getting it to drop more. After lengthening the chain, installing new bulbs and testing everything, the dimmer shorted out. So then it was back to Lowes AGAIN for a new dimmer which I had to replace by flashlight because by then there was no natural light left in the house and I had to of course cut the power so as not to electrocute myself. But FINALLY the project was completed and I was very proud of myself for having done it on my own. I don’t think I will be installing any more chandeliers anytime soon though. The “new” chandelier is actually a hand-me down from my in-laws, but I think it fits the room much better than our old rust colored stained glass lamp that I think dated back to the 60’s or 70’s.
As promised last time, I am posting a photo of my most recently finished Gretel. I love this pattern. This is the second one I made, the first one was a gift for my sister, this one is for me, and I am thinking of making a third for my mother. I used Cascade 220 yarn for the first two and found I had just enough yarn from one skein to complete each.
Before I go, I also wanted to share with all of those other curly-haired blog readers, that this creme from Bumble & Bumble (click Curl Conscious under Products) is incredible. My hairdresser convinced me to buy it last time I was in for a color and cut. I balked at the price a bit first (I am used to buying Suave from Target), but after using this stuff for a week, I am a true convert. It really is wonderful and I have gotten several hair compliments since I have started using it. And the packaging is lovely too! I love pretty packaging.