Friday, April 29, 2011

Contest Prize

I finally finished the contest prize that Noel won. She had said to make anything. So... it took me a little while to figure out what to make and what yarn to use.

I had picked up this fiber last May at the MA sheep and wool I believe.

...and then over the summer I had spun it into this yarn.

Then it was just sitting in my yarn bucket, waiting for its turn to be made into something - it is now a scarf:

...and it now belongs to Noel.

...stay tuned for the next contest (not immediately, but soon... ish)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Goals: Books, books, and more books

Let's talk a bit about books... and lists.

Over this past month I've finished about 20 books. At the same time I keep adding interesting books onto my 'To-Read' list. So, unfortunately the number on my list has only crept down by a couple.

One of my goals for this year was "Read a majority (average a book a week) of my goodreads list" Since the beginning of the year I have definitely surpassed that goal. My real goal, in spirit, through was to read down my list... for two purposes. First, was to read the books that have been on my list the longest. I had a number of books on my list that I originally put on during the Summer of 2009. That's almost two years. I now only have two books from 2009. Second, kindof connected to it, was to have a shorter list so it's not a monkey on my back - so when I see a book I want to read, it feels ok to just start it.

The other part of that goal is that I had originally figured out what my running total should be to get down to a handful by the end of the year. April was supposed to be 45-50, and I was at 52 at the beginning of this week.

If you are really interested in seeing what I've been reading you should join goodreads and then add me as a friend. I don't normally put reviews into that, but you can feel free to ask me about any specific book.

Here's a quick snap-shot:

I finally got to read 'The Help' which was an interesting story of families and the people they depend on. I read 'The Other Wes Moore' which was a man comparing his life with someone who had the same name but a very different life. 'The Pioneer Woman: Black heels to tractor wheels' a modern love story, which was so much fun to read. 'The Beyonders: A World Without Heroes' is book one of three - only one is out right now. It's the new series by the author of Fablehaven and Candy Shop Wars, which my kids all love. 'The name of the wind' was SO good and enjoyable reading - I'm hoping book two, which is out, will be equally good. 'Heroes for my son' is 30 second biographical sketches of 52 different people the author wanted his kids to know about. 'Till we have faces' by C.S. Lewis is the book club book this month.

This is just a picking of the last while and I really enjoyed so many of the books I've read this month. I have 9 more library books, 10 more books requested (6 of those are currently in transit), and at least 6 that I own that I'm planning to read. So if I don't get to anything else during the month of May you now know why....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Hat and some Yarn

I had a hat I wanted to make, and some yarn I wanted to use. They actually worked together too.

The only problem is that it was a crochet pattern. I can crochet fine, that wasn't the problem. The problem was that I can knit while I watch tv or movies. I can only crochet if it's a tv show or movie that has a lot of dialogue - not one where I have to keep looking up to see what's happening. So, I started.

I even thought about making this hat the contest prize, but then I realized it was becoming child sized, as the yarn was just a bit on the thin side.

Eventually I did finish the hat.

...and then I had someone almost immediately claim it.

(That's the hat on Curly's head)

I had also been working on some spinning. I had a batt I was gifted, and a spindle I had bought back in November. I finally used the spindle and the batt is now gone. I still need to measure this yarn though.

(It's only one skein - two pictures so I could see both the front and the back)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Ways to Save

Ten ways to save at the grocery store:

1. Keep staples on hand (you can buy them when they are on sale and you won't need to buy them every time)

2. Look at your freezer, fridge, pantry, and then the sales, then plan your menu based on those.

3. Make a menu and a shopping list

4. Stick to the shopping list (I usually allow myself one treat/non-list item each time)

5. Specialize to each store if you can spare the time (produce is cheaper at a produce store, meat is cheaper at a butcher, paper goods and cleaning supplies might be cheaper elsewhere)

6. Buy in bulk - when it makes sense.

7. Sometimes it makes sense to buy in bulk, if you can split it with someone else right away.

8. Go shopping when you aren't hungry or tired. If you can go without grabby kids that's even better.

9. I've never had great success with couponing... but if it's something you are planning to buy anyway, cutting the price is a nice thing.

10. Check out subscription services - right now we're getting some household items from amazon - if you subscribe you can save more and they'll ship you more on a schedule - which you can edit and adjust.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Why I love my Family

Ten Reasons I love my family:

1. We all work together

2. Bike Rides

3. Movie Nights (with or without popcorn)

4. Rollerblading

5. We all craft

6. We can laugh together

7. We're all geeks - my kids can discuss star trek and star wars with us

8. We try to help each other through our different strengths

9. Books, books, and more books

10. Our monthly family adventures (Jan - Family game day. Feb - Garden/Seed shopping. March - planting seeds and buying and using rollerblades together. April - does an easter trip to family count or do we need to squeeze another one in this week?)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Favorite Snacks

Top 10 snacks:

1. Granny Smith Apple and Natural Peanut Butter

2. Popcorn - buttered and salted just right

3. Almonds

4. Chocolate/Pistachio Bark

5. Breyers Carb Smart Fudge Bars (100 calories - tastes like soft serve on a stick)

6. Cheese

7. Celery with some Laughing Cow cheese in the middle of it

8. Ohh... speaking of cheese, a wheat bagel, toasted, with cream cheese

9. some yummy granola from BJ's wholesale club

10. Some small candies - chocolate :)

You might be able to tell from the list that I'm mostly still trying to stick to south beach (perhaps a break soon and then try again in the summer?).

I do have some craft stuff to blog about - hopefully I'll get to it this week!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: One hit Wonders

The top ten one hit wonders...

(I gathered this from different lists online, so this might not be my actual top ten, but the first ten that I recognized and liked - I did end up looking through the top 100.)

1. Cab Calloway - I Wanna Be Rich - 1990
2. Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky - 1970
3. The Penguins - Earth Angel - 1955
4. The Vapors - Turning Japanese - 1980
5. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2U - 1990
6. Timmy T - One More Try - 1991
7. Deep Blue Something - Breakfast At Tiffanys - 1995
8. Nena - 99 Luftballons - 1984
9. Chumbawamba - Tubthumping - 1997
10. Joey Scarbury - Believe It or Not - 1981

Fun stuff. I don't necessarily know the lyrics to all of these, but what fun it's been hearing a snippet of each again!

What's your favorite random song?