August 24, 2009

A fun new crochet book

Pop Goes Crochet by: Vickie Howell.
What a cool crochet book! All the patterns are named after different pop culture icons. I have a feeling that this book will be riddled with different colored post it tabs, some patterns are over my head as of yet, but there are a lot that I plan on making soon.

It seems like lately I have been collecting crochet books, online patterns, and yarn, and have done very little crocheting. My goal this week is to get a list going as to what I am making for who for Christmas.

August 17, 2009

Reusable Lunch Containers

What an awesome idea for reusing milk jugs & juice cartons. I will have to make some of these for us, and I was just thinking, you could also use these for storage of office supplies, craft supplies, you name it!
Go to Family Fun to get the pattern for these great resuable containers!

August 16, 2009

Gluten Free Bagels

I am just cooking up a storm today. Besides the pancakes, and these yummy bagels, I also have a loaf of gluten free bread baking in the bread maker! I guess that's what the nasty, rainy weather does to me, makes me want to cook.

I have been wanting to make this recipe off of Pamela's bread mix bag, and finally got around to doing it today. Here is the recipe if you would like to try it, we can't wait to cut into these tomorrow morning for breakfast!

Gluten Free Bagels

1 bag Pamela's Bread Mix
1 Yeast Packet (enclosed in bread mix)
1 1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup oil
1 egg white

Makes Approximately 6 to 7 bagels

1. Combine dry mix, yeast, oil & water (egg white is used to brush bagels before baking)
2. Mix on medium for 3 minutes (I just mixed in until the ingredients were mixed up, then I kneaded for about 2 minutes).
3. Use 1/2 cup of dough for each bagel. Oil hands and place on greased baking sheet, in the form of a bagel. Don't worry about the hole just yet, we will get to that later.
4. Let rise for 1 hour, then poke hole in the center of each bagel
5. In boiling water, boil bagels for 25 seconds.
6. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on greased baking sheet. Brush with egg white, and top with seeds of your choice or sea salt.
7. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yummy Gluten Free Pancakes!

We love having pancakes and waffles on the weekends. I have a tried and true basic waffle recipe that came in the cookbook with our waffle maker, so light and fluffy, they always turn out yummy. So when my son and I had to become gluten free the first thing we thought of was, no more of those yummy waffles! After several trials with using alternative flours and such for the recipe, and trying ready made mixes, I finally have our favorite waffle recipe perfect, and gluten free. This morning I decided to try it as pancakes, and of course they turned out fluffy and awesome. So here is my recipe, hope you enjoy it.

Gluten Free Waffles Or Pancakes

2 C. Gluten Free Mama's Almond Blend
2 TBSP Cane Sugar
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Zanthan Gum
1 3/4 C. Milk
1/3 C. Oil
2 Eggs

Combine Almond Blend, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zanthan gum in bowl, set aside.
In separate bowl, combine milk, oil & eggs. Gradually add milk mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until just blended.
Bake in waffle maker, or spoon onto med high griddle for pancakes. If making pancakes, flip when bubbles start to form on top.

Julie Fox

August 15, 2009

Great gifts for girlfriends

I love getting up early on the weekend. The teenager and hubby are still asleep, and I get to enjoy my coffee and read some really awesome blogs.
This morning I was reading "A Journey to a Simple Happy Life" and came across her post on "Great gifts for girlfriends."
So I was thinking, and decided to make up my favorites that I love to get and give....

1. A crocheted coffee cup cozy with a starbucks gift card inside. My Mom gave me this idea, she knitted some really pretty cozies, and then felted them. She said that she thought it would be great to stick a gift card inside. I love to personalize the cozy in my friends favorite colors too, and crochet relaxes me.

2. Fingerless gloves. It gets pretty cold here in North Idaho, and a lot of my friends are walkers. So I started making fingerless gloves for them to use when they are walking, so far they have been a big hit.

3. Hat and scarf set in our High School colors. Almost all of my friends have kids the same age as I do, and they are all going into high school this year. So I have started making hat and scarf sets, for the ones that wear them that is, in our school colors of red & white.

4. Books. I love books, and if I find one that I truly love, I always end up buying it for my closest friends. It's hard to give books to everyone, but I have 3 close friends that read and enjoy the same books I do. This year I am going to add a crocheted bookmark to their books.

5. I love to scrapbook, so I also love making 6 x 6 albums to give to my friends. Sometimes I will put pictures in them of all of us together, and sometimes I just leave them blank for them to add their own pictures. If they have recently went on a vacation, or their kids play sports, I usually do a themed album for them. This is a pretty cheap gift if you use a paper bag album, then all you maybe need is $5 to $10 in supplies to finish it. I have so many supplies I could start my own store, so I usually only make these if I have everything I need.

So there you have it, my top five favorite gifts to give my girlfriends. If you have any ideas, or you have a favorite not on the list, please share it with me!

Upromise Coupons and Deals

Upromise Coupons and Deals

Shared via AddThis

August 11, 2009

Great Article in Real Simple, and a crocheted beanie for the new freshman!

I thought I would start out with a picture of the beanie I just made for our son. He will be a freshman this year, and wanted a red beaning for school. Their colors are red and white, so I'm sure I will make another one in those colors! This was a very simple pattern that I found on Ravelry. It's a cotton skull cap, or makes a great chemo cap as well. Go to: yarnsandmusings For this awesome pattern! On this particular beanie I didn't do the crab stitch, but I have made these in the past and the crab stitch makes it so cool! I'm thinking that since I have SOOOO much Sugar & Cream and also Peaches & Cream yarn, I will make some as chemo caps to take to our local Cancer services.

O.K. So now onto this great article! I am way behind on reading my magazines, have no idea how that happened, maybe because my life has been so hectic this last month! More on that later. So last night I figured that I had better organize my magazines and start reading all the august issues, since I was already getting Septembers! I found this great article in Real Simple titled "10 ways to enjoy doing nothing". I was so excited to see it! 10 ways to do nothing, and enjoy it? That is so for me right now! Tom Hodgkinson has devoted his career to the art of being idle, I so love this idea, don't you? So here are a few of the ten ideas he has for having idle time...

1. Banish guilt.. He mentions that the great monks in the middle ages spent a lot of time just praying and chanting all day. He says not to feel guilty about just lolling around.

2. This one I really liked... Choose the right role models. He tells us that most of the great poets were idlers. To name a few, Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, Keats. For therapy, he says to carry around some works of Keats to look at from time to time. Keats wrote of "Evenings steep'd in honied indolence", doesn't that just sound like heaven?! He also mentions that Wordsworth is also a good poet to check out. "Read a few lines, then stare out the window and ponder their meaning", that sounds like some awesome idle time to me!

3. Take a nap, and he's not talking a "Power Nap", He's talking a real nap! When I can, I actually do this, power naps just make me more tired, why try to sleep for just 15 minutes?

4. Gaze at the clouds or lay in the backyard and do nothing. He mentions that this is great way to take a break from "doing". Listen to the birds and smell the different smells of summer.

So, I thought of another thing to do, crochet! If you can just crochet something so simple that you don't really need to think about it, isn't that idle time as well?

I think today I am going to take him up on some of his idle time ideas, I'm sure I will feel a world of less stress if I just take a few minutes to think about "nothing".

August 7, 2009

HELP! We have TONS of ripe bananas!

I have a ton of organic bananas that are too ripe to eat now. We had been eating bananas like crazy, so I bought more than I usually do, so of course then we stopped eating them so much!
I peeled them and put them in the freezer, but am now wondering what to do with them. We have 2 gallon ziploc bags in the freezer full of bananas, and we are really sick of smoothies. I just got done using 2 of them for banana cupcakes using the yellow Betty Crocker gluten free cake mix, but need more gluten free ideas.

SO, your challenge, if you choose to except it, is to send me some awesome ideas for using up these bananas. Thanks so much!

On the crochet front, I am still struggling with trying to find a project that gets me excited to crochet again. Not sure if I'm going through crochet pattern overload or what, but I really want to break out of this slump. I did make some boobie beer cozies for my hubby and his friends, that was fun, but don't want to post the picture being it is more of adult content. I found the idea on Ravelry, but made the pattern up on my own to make it without a bottom, this also made it easier and faster to make. Let me know if you want to see a picture, I'm thinking of making another one, less racy, and sell the pattern on etsy. I have some other ideas for different themed cozies, so we'll see what I can come up with and not get frustrated and quit before I begin! lol.

Thanks so much to everyone for reading my blog. I really want to be posting every day about all the cool things to make my home and yours cozy, so keep coming back to see what's new.

August 5, 2009

Eating Mindfully is very frugal!!!

I was reading this morning, and found this post about eating mindfully for your mental and physical health. My first thought was, wow, what a great way to be frugal too, like killing 2 birds with 1 stone!

Eat Mindfully

I have found that the key component to adhering to a proper eating plan and getting in exercise is: planning. I know, not very exciting. But it works! If I have meals planned ahead, then I am less likely to mindlessly nosh. It also helps to have meals prepared ahead--to the extent possible. Also, regular meals tends to reduce the temptation to stray from eating plan. This takes some time to do, but if you are wanting to improve your overall health, it's worth the time to do this.