Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nothing ever goes as planned, but you have to be thankful anyway.

Thanksgiving. Where to start?

Dad and his wife weren't able to make it. I cried. It was the right choice, given weather, but we were so disappointed. No Dad meant no boat trip. And really, it would have been a silly attempt.

Why you ask? Who the heck asked for snow! That's what I want to know. I like looking at snow. I don't like having snow. This is why I continue to live in Western Washington. I don't hate rain, we get plenty of sun, it never gets too cold and I can wear flip flops almost year round. I don't like snow. I don't appreciate the temperatures that come with it and I absolutely refuse to drive in it.

So thank you snow for ruining part of my Thanksgiving. Moving on.

I was pretty excited about hosting at our place. The problem every Thanksgiving is that I'm a crazy control freak that tends to throw fits. This in turn, I'm sure, makes no one thankful for me. I'm the queen of awkward moments with my family. I got off work at 1:00am Thanksgiving day and began additional prep.

Around 4:00am I went to bed, setting my alarm for 9:00am. Excitement woke me at 8:00am and I got right to work. Made stuffing. Stuffed the bird.

Put together my centerpiece. I thought these flowers were too pretty not to incorporate.

I had help making the rolls that weren't ready in time. The rising time took way longer than the directions stated and we ended up with store bought rolls. We also tried making non dairy mashed potatoes and they turned out HORRIBLY. My dad made a second trip to the grocery store ( thank you Safeway for being open all day) and picked up mashed potatoes from the deli.

I've been dying for a set of white dishes and I picked up this set just for the occasion. They're white ceramic with an adorable beaded edge.

They turkey ended up done almost two hours before everything else. Holy crap, what a crazy day. In the end, the food was amazing in spite of the screw ups. I've learned a lot about time management this year and what can be done ahead of time next year. I'll absolutely be writing a how-to guide for myself that includes a cooking schedule. This is serious business folks!

I'll be sharing all of the recipes we used throughout the next week. They're delicious and can be made for just about any special occasion. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! We ended our day by laying around on the couch in front of the fire and enjoying pie. I sure love my family. I hope every enjoyed their weekend and happy Monday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Busy, busy & Thanksgiving prep.

Holy crap. Thanksgiving is coming! It is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Christmas is great and all, but there's just something about Thanksgiving that I love! Are you as excited as I am?

I figured I'd take this opportunity to update my poorly neglected blog to fill everyone in on the happenings around here.

1. I noticed I've gained several new followers and I'm tickled pink! It makes me so thankful that people want to take the time to read my entries and enjoy my little contribution to this world. Hello and welcome! I'm so happy to have you! Please leave me a comment and say hello, and a link to your blog if you have one so I can follow you back :)

2. My husband's father and his wife will be making a very long and snowy trip up from southern Oregon to our beautiful island for Thanksgiving. I'm so damn excited I could just have a fit. This will be the first time they will be meeting my parents in the years we've been together and the first time they'll be to our home. This will also be our very first Thanksgiving combining members of his family and mine. Thrilled I tell you!

3. Work around the house has been in full swing. My awesome husband has been such a huge help. After the great flood of our downstairs, projects have been moving a long at a better pace. Motivation maybe? Perhaps. I have totally finished my dining room makeover. I have no wall decor, but the meat and potatoes of it is finished and I'm so happy. Today I'm putting the final touches on the cabinet doors in the kitchen and they'll get new knobs. Then the cabinets are DONE! Holy cow, big project. They do look fabulous though. We'll also be trimming out the rest of the kitchen and the last bit of the living room we didn't get to in 2008. Visiting parents make for wonderful motivation!

4. The master bedroom flood: At this time we're waiting on the last step from the insurance company. We are working with a local flooring company to finish replacing the damaged vinyl in the laundry and bathroom. Once that happens (hopefully next week, hopefully), I have touch up painting to do, we can install the new toilet, vanity and mirror, and purchase our new washer and dryer. We'll then install the two interior doors and trim out the rooms. Then I go to work on decorating and moving in. Yay! So close, yet so far away. And the best part? The room is like brand new. It smells brand new. No more musty basement smell and I absolutely love it.

5. I don't really like to show off unless it's some cool project I've done, like my cabinets or painted candle sticks, but I did want to share a couple of things we've accquired over this last year that make us very happy. This is because we're taking Dad and his wife on a very special trip while they're here this weekend and I'm so excited to share the experience with them.

We bought this beauty over the summer. Husband bought it for his birthday in July. He'd wanted a boat forever and I told him to buy one, be quiet and leave me alone. So he did. It's an '85 21 foot Bayliner Trophy in immaculate condition. He bought it from it's second owner and they took wonderful care of it.

It has a beautiful canvas top and all the fittings for a full enclosure. It has a great heater, sink and fridge right on the deck. The cuddy cabin sleeps 3 and has a head. We will eventually give a weekend on the boat a shot. Just have to get the cushions for the cuddy reupholstered. Those were the only thing on the boat that needed a little help.

This is why he wanted a boat so badly. Living on beautiful Whidbey Island is a dream. It's so beautiful out here. I lived on the mainland just 45 minutes away from here growing up and always said I'd never live on this strange island. Then I got a job here as an adult and never left. It's beautiful and there are few places I'd choose over here.

The deal was sealed the first time I went under that bridge in the background. The beautiful Deception pass bridge is almost 1/3 of a mile long, 185 feet above the water. It connects us to Fidalgo Island. Fidalo has a bridge about 1/4 mile long connecting them to the main land. Stunning.

I can't wait to take Dad and his wife out on the water. It will be a chilly trip, but we'll be sure to bring lots of cozy goodies for the tour. I pray for a fogless day (though my first trip was in the fog and it was still amazing) with calm waters. I can't wait to take them out on the beautiful Pacific Ocean!

6. The craft fair is starting to overwhelm me. I'm so nervous we're going to be two silly girls sitting with a bunch of crocheted goods. I've got some great cowl neck scarves I've designed and love. I'd rather just keep them all for myself so I have one in every color. After the craft fair I'm going to host a giveaway of some of my favorite things! I think we're about two weeks out and I need to get working faster!

7. Thanksgiving menu is planned and this afternoon is shopping for the food with Mom. Looking forward to it! I absolutely love cooking big extravagent meals and this is no exception. I can't wait to share my whole Thanksgiving menu and I have a few ideas up my sleeve! If any of you have a fabulous Thanksgiving dish you can't live without and would like to share, please, please share! I'd love to feature your recipe and photos and if you feel so compelled, I'd love to see your table scape! Email me if your interested!

Happy Monday to all of my wonderful blog friends and I hope you have a wonderful week of family and friends!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blogging BFF's

I mentioned sending gifts to my dearest blog friend, Ashley from The Thing About Daisies last week. I was so excited putting the package together, I didn't snap any photos for myself.

However! Ashley snapped a few of her own to share on her blog and I can't tell you how dang excited I was to see the stuff in her home. So fun to know that just a few weeks ago I was putting it all together by hand and here they are gracing her home!

I sent a few glossy black refurbished candlesticks, just like my white ones I made earlier in the summer. I ended up liking the black much better so she's lucky I still sent them!

Here are my handmade cozies and the scarf I put together for her. If only she knew that I crocheted and tore out this scarf twice before I got the final product done. It had to be perfect! The little notpads came from my stash in my bill drawer. I have a thing for notepads on Etsy.

Like Ashley mentions in her post, we are truly blogging BFF's. She's fun, sweet and inspirational. She's absolutely worth following and I sure hope you'll give her a visit!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

why didn't I think of that?

Too many ideas. There are just too many. They're the ideas that keep me up until 4:00am while my husband has been fast asleep for hours.

Well, not really. I mean, I did sleep until 2:30pm. I got off work at 3:00am, ok? Ok.

I follow this blog through Bloglovin. I love it. She's now started this blog, where I found this post with this idea. It's a mad world I tell you.

(And Mom, this is how I find blogs)

Can I ask why I didn't think of this already? Genious. Here I've been wanting an all white set of dishes because I just can't find the set I really love. And it turns out I love this! Service for 12 will be easy. Probably time consuming, but easy.

But please, take a look at the blogs I've linked, I think you'll like them too! Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Monday, November 15, 2010

35. Alfredo a la Husband

This alfredo recipe is the brain child of my husband. This happens to be the first dish he ever cooked for me when we started dating. I was super impressed. Of course, once he bagged the lady, he pretty much stopped cooking.

That is unless it's being smoked on his Traeger, but that just came about this year. Anyway.

I've been sick and was in no mood to leave the house. Cooking gets me excited and I love having something to do, so I made mention of this long lost recipe and asked if he'd let me give it a try. A trip to the grocery store later (by him, not me), I had everything I needed to make us a wonderful dinner.

And damnit, if I didn't forget the bread! We had bread to eat with it and it's still sitting up in the cupboard. I always forget something.

This recipe is a quickie. What took me so long was setting it all out for this first photo. The things I do to myself.

Grab yourself 2 jars of alfredo sauce, 1 box of linguine (or any noodles you'd like to use for that matter), olive oil, 4 roma tomatoes, 1lb (ish) chicken breasts, 4 cloves of garlic, a small can of sliced olives, cheese (this is Italian blend, feel free to use parmesan), and the trusty salt & pepper.

All 3 pans were set out. Water is salted & oiled and put on to boil for the noodles. Sauce is simmering away with a little salt & pepper on top. Chicken has been salt & peppered and placed in a pan with a little olive oil to cook over medium-high heat.

I'm feeling so efficient right now. And maybe even organized (this is the only place in my life I'm remotely organized. Oh, and my yarn bin).

While these little things are cooking away, dice your tomatoes. Cut them in half, squeeze out the seeds and goopy middles (let's avoid watering down the alfredo peeps), and dice 'em up. Then please open your can of olives and drain them.

Brown the chicken on each side, throw on to a cutting board and slice it up.

Add the chicken, 4 pressed cloves of garlic, the diced tomatoes and as many olives as you'd like. I only used half the can because I wanted to eat some of them. Then I realized I would have liked the whole can in there. Cook over medium heat to warm everything through again.

And now I should just learn to wait for dinner to be done, but I'm an instant gratification kind of girl.

When your water boils, add your noodles and cook for the amount of time instructed on the package. All this time your alfredo sauce has been cooking on medium-low heat and is ready for it's job. Drain your pasta, place it back in the pot and pour about 1/3 of the sauce over the noodles just enough to coat them. Then combine.

In a bowl, add your noodles and top with MORE sauce. The noodles soak up the sauce folks, and what fun is that? It means it's sticky and not creamy. Then top with your delicious chicken mixture and sprinkle liberally with cheese.


Absolutely delicious. I can't believe my husband thought of this himself.

And honey, if you didn't, don't tell me. Ok? Thanks.

Chicken Alfredo

2 jars alfredo sauce
1 box linguine
4 roma tomatoes
1 small can sliced black olives
4 garlic cloves
1lb chicken breasts
salt & pepper
olive oil
parmesan or italian blend cheese

Salt & pepper chicken on both sides and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Remove from pan and slice.

Cut tomatoes in half, squeeze out seeds and dice. Drain olives. Press 4 cloves of garlic in to the pan the chicken was cooked in. Add chicken, tomatoes and olives, stirring to combine. Cook over medium heat to warm throughly.

Cook sauce and pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and add about 1/3 of the sauce, tossing to coat noodles. Layer noodles, more sauce, chicken mixture and cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Project Heaven!

With the craft fair nearing in about a month, I've been hard at work on my projects. The hard thing? I keep coming up with new ideas. What do I do about this? I need some sort of plan written out, don't I? I've never done this before so I'd love input.

This is literally only half the bags of yarn I've collected since September. Mind you, these are half yarn, half completed or almost completed projects. I'm running out of storage space. I need a craft room, stat!

I absolutely love these. Cotton wash cloth sets. I don't think I'll ever buy wash cloths or dishtowels again when I can make such beautiful pieces that are completely functional.

Coffee cozies have been a HUGE hit at work. I've already sold my first cozy, which I was totally excited about, and I have a ton of these to put together still. I even sent a few to Ashley in her gift box last week.

I couldn't find my "demo" cup from Starbucks I'd kept, so I slipped it on my travel mug for the picture. When I went to Portland for sis-in-laws baby shower, my mom and I used our cozies on our Starbucks cups throughout our trip. People stared. I'll take that as a compliment!

This all started with the dream to have a baby blanket making business. If you really just try saying that on a whim, it usually comes out baby making business... Yikes. They're beautiful, plush and soft. My sis-in-law loved hers.

Yellow! So cute! I really hope these find good homes. Should I make a few more blankets? Or would the smaller stuff be a better eye catcher? I'm not sure.

Scarves galore. I found a killer pattern for neck warmers (on the left). Just trying to find the perfect buttons to adorn them. And the ruffled scarf (on the right). Oh my. I also sent one of these to Ashley in her gift box, but her's is way cuter than this one!

I would absolutely love feedback on what works, what doesn't work for these things. I'm new to the world of craft fairs and selling handy work.

Today is a house day. We've got a garage to clean out and organize. Looking forward to a full day of work and a nice relaxing evening to work on my projects. Wish me luck!

A Crafty Soiree
I've also linked up with the lovely Malia!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I've turned in to an old lady.

My husband said something the other day to a friend of ours, something along the lines of 'married a good looking girl almost 10 years younger than myself... she wants a hobby... and takes up crocheting'.

I've turned in to an old lady.

I have to admit, we find this really humorous. It was something my grandmother taught me as a child. My mom-in-law helped me revive the skill last year over our Thanksgiving visit and here I am a year later, picking the hook back up and crocheting my head off.

I've decided to venture in to the  possibility of a mini side business and a coworker jumped on board. we've been crocheting like crazy getting ready for our first craft fair in December. Today we're headed off island to search for more inspiration.

Not that I need more inspiration. You should see how many skeins of yarn I managed to collect over the last month. Makes for a lot of adorable things I can't wait to share :)