A blog about, well, anything really!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

It is that dreaded day of the year...BLACK FRIDAY! The second largest shopping day of the year (the day before christmas is now the first.) I don't usually like shopping, it just frustrates me, but we need a new set of pots and pans. I had decided I either wanted a cheapo set to last just a year or two (that's about how long non-stick is suppose to last), or I wanted an amazing set that was WAY too expensive. The obvious choice for right now was to pick the cheap set and wait on the good set. I found a really great deal at Linen-N-Things for a decent set of pots and pans (not bottom of the line, but not name brand either,) so decided I'd get up at the butt crack of dawn and see if I could nab a set for $50!

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Talk about crazy! The store opened at 6 am, and by 5:45 am there was a line all the way down the sidewalk to get in. Luckily I brought my ipod, so jumped in line and turned on a little Pottercast to bide the time. When I finally got in, I fought my way to the back of the store where these pots and pans were being displayed, and grabbed a set. Then I back tracked to get in the checkout line, which is already wrapped double around the store. (Thank God for my ipod!) Two and half hours later I have arrived at home with a brand new set of pots and pans.

Eager to wash them and get rid of the old ones, I start pulling them out of the box. I get to the last pot and find, when I put the lid on, that the pot is dented. I call over to the store to find out if they have any extras that I could come and exchange them for, but they are all out...already! The lady tells me that I should just wait and call back in a week or so when the rush has died down and they have gotten a replenishment order in. Grrrr, so now I have an opened box of pots and pans (which I can't use, not get all of them back in the stinking box) sitting around the house waiting to be exchanged. At least they said I could return them!

Tomorrow I will brave the crowds again, but just to hit JoAnn's to see if I can get my mom some scrapbooking stuff for Christmas real cheap. Ugh, the crowds... I hate them, yet, I add to them.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Chris and I plan on staying home and having a nice quiet turkey day together for once. (Usually he's out of town or something.) We will be having turkey and all the fixings with a healthy side of football! :o) Happy feasting...and napping!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEE!!!

Today is my birthday!!! Aren't those flowers beautiful...Chris got them for me! Since he had to work most of the day we couldn't do anything too exciting. So, I planned to go to knit group and showing off my newly finished felt bag and then we went to a CC hockey game in the evening.

We found out that the Black Forest Community Center was holding a Llama festival this morning and decided we'd go check it out. So after saying hanging around for a bit and chatting, a few of us piled in cars and headed down the street. There were a couple llama's hanging around outside that were very fuzzy looking. I especially loved the golden brown one and the baby. Inside they had a bunch of tables set up to display merchants and they're llamalicious goodies. I couldn't stay long because I was expecting a package that I needed to be home for, so I looked around and said goodbye to my knit pals.

I really didn't have much planned for the afternoon, so I just hung out and watched tv until it was time to head to the hockey game. Of course we had yummy sports food, and watched a TERRIBLE game... Yah CC clobbered the other team. It was really too bad, but Chris said it was typical of Minnesota State to suck.

We had a good time at the game, and though it wasn't an action packed birthday, we have plans to go out to dinner tomorrow night and then Chris has Monday off. We'll probably go do something fun on Monday but for now I'm off to bed. Another year gone by... they just seem to slip away these days.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Felted Bag Finale

Well, I finally finished it. I decided to go with multi-colored handles and it looks great! :o) I felted it four times this morning with a big load of jeans. The first time, hardly anything changed with the bag, it just got a little fuzzier. The second time is started to shrink some, but was still pretty big. The third time the stitch patter was starting to just blend together and it was almost the size I wanted. In fact, I was worried that if I put it in again (since I couldn't pull it out half way through) that it would be too small. But I went for it and it came out the perfect size. It's a great size for a knitting bag, just big enough to carry the project that I'm working on right that moment. Although, I think that in the future I will sew the handles on a little differently so that they don't pull so much on one row of stitches. (Oh well, its all a learning process.) Anyway, I love how it turned out and Chris was shocked at how much it shrank. :o) That's wool for yah. Oh Oh! I have to say that the yarn I used was Lambs Pride wool with mohair so it's got this lovely soft fuzziness to it now.

As for other stuff that went on today, in honor of my birthday tomorrow, I have decided to use Chris' thoughtful Christmas present (from last year of course) and take myself to the spa for a La Stone Massage and facial. It was my first time visiting a real spa. Though I've had massages before (at sports medicine of course,) this was a very different kind of massage. As Chris says, it was a "Feel Good" Massage, not a "Good For You" Massage. It was relaxing and all, but I guess because I'm used to the GFY Massages, the FG just don't cut it. Don't get me wrong though, it felt good, but it didn't seem like she pushed hard enough. Anyway, I was nice a relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. If you have the chance, definitely give it a try some time.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sticky Chicken

Yesterday I decided to give this Sticky Chicken recipe off the Grocery Game forums a try. It's basically a rotisserie chicken recipe, minus the rotisserie. I made it in the crockpot, and finished it under the broiler to crispify the skin. It was amazing. I couldn't get it out of the crockpot in once piece because it was so tender. I served it with some mashed potatoes and the carrots that were in the pot. The really cool part that I figured out (after doing it once) is that you could practically use whatever seasonings you wanted on the bird.... Then just cook it the same way in the crockpot and WAH-LAH! Magic Rotisserie Chicken in the crockpot sooo tender that you won't need a knife to cut it.

Sticky Chicken
4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, quartered
1 cup baby carrots
1 (4 lb.) whole chicken

1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder.
2. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with a paper towel.
3. Rub chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place onion and carrots into the cavity of the chicken. Place chicken in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.
4. OVEN: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.
CROCKPOT: Place 3-4 foil balls on the bottom of the crockpot, then place the chicken on top of foil balls and cook on low all day. (It's probably best to cook the chicken with the breast side down to keep the juices in the chicken. However, even if you put it in breast side up, the breasts still won't be dried out.)

*HINT: Instead of mixing all the spices, you could also use any chicken rub like Emeril's Essence, or Lawry's rub, etc.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Well, I FINALLY did it... I frogged the bag and actually started, and almost finished it. (Which is truly my lifes story...starting and not finishing half the crafty projects I set out to do...but that's for another post.) After finding out a week or two ago that the yarn I was using would not felt, I was glad that I had not tried to complete this project on my own in the year since I ambitiously started knitting. After frogging and balling the yarn-that-would-not-felt, I went home and pulled out some beautiful country colors that my Knit Group pal Christy bought for me this time LAST YEAR for my birthday! I set out to design a bag that was both colorful, easy, and well, used equal amounts of all the colors (since I only had the exact amount needed.) :o) I started with a pattern that Christy found for me online "The Skull Knitting Tote" and then modified it to my needs. I like the size, dimensions, and look of the bag, but didn't exactly care for the artistic design. Then I just knit, knit, knit away and finally found myself at the end. All that's left now is to make icord for the handles and felt it. But first I must decide if I want to make each handle one solid color, each a different color, each stripey of all three, if so, like the bag, or even chunks... Anyway, I will experiment further. I can't wait to finish this, it'll be the first thing I've actually knit for myself, and how fitting since the yarn was given to me for my birthday! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dye Day

I had SOOOOO much fun today! I met up with one of my Knit Group buddies, Christy, to learn how to hand dye yarn. I thought it would be so much more personal to include this hand dyed (by me) yarn in my Secret Knit Pals box, than to just find something online to send her. Not to mention a fair bit cheaper doing the work myself. :o) So, we had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays (I love, Love, LOVE their mini burgers!) then we went over to her house and she taught me how to dye yarn! She has this great basement that's set up for dying and sewing and all sorts of other crafty things. It's so cool that she can have a little haven like that in her basement! I WANT ONE! :o)

We started off by picking which yarns we wanted to dye. I picked out a really great yarn that has a different kind of fiber in it that twists around the main yarn. When it's dyed, this extra bit picks up the color differently for a candy cane-ish stripe to finish....you'll see. And she picked out a couple of different yarn types to show me how each fiber and wash pick up colors differently.

Next step was to soak the yarn in preparation for the dyes. But while they were soaking, we got to think about all the wonderful color combinations we could make up. Then the yarn is rung out and placed on a plastic wrapped cookie sheet. (I don't have any pictures of this part because I got way too excited and totally forgot!) Anyway, you bunch up the yarn in different ways, (I did mine in a clover kind of shape) then pour on the dyes for each section and smoosh (yes, that's a technical term) it into the yarn until its soaked all the way through. From there, the yarn is sprayed with a bit of white vinegar to set the colors and wrapped up in the plastic wrap; then put in a steaming pot for about 20 minutes. While the yarn was steaming, Christy and I played some Mario Party, and totally unlocked a handful of new games for her!

(Notice all the great dye bottles Christy has at the sink!) When the yarn in the steam pot has cooled a bit, it is taken out and gently rinsed in the sink. You might not be able to see in the picture, but the dye doesn't color your hands at this point, so you don't need the gloves as we did during the dying process. You also have to be careful that you don't smoosh it around too much and too vigorously or else it might felt. After most of the dye is rinse, each hank gets to soak for a bit with some of its buddies.

Once we had our fill of video games, we finished it all off, with a quick spin in the washer to get rid of as much water with as little smooshing as possible, and then are hung out to dry. It's really hard to tell with this picture because of the greenish/yellowy background, but I was hoping that mine would end up with a deep red, a golden yellow, a pumpkiny orange, and a rich chocolate brown. It didn't exactly end up like that, but it still turned out gorgeous. If you look really closely at the picture, you can sort of see the candy cane-ish stripes inthe brown (like and dark striping.) I can't wait to see what sorts of sockies she makes out of them. I really will have to tell her to send a picture! :o)

So, again, I must give a huge shout out to Christy for letting me come over and teaching me how to do this. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! I really can't wait to do it again with my IOU yarn! :o)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

In Loving Memory...

Today I woke to find my poor frog Robin dead! I found this wonderfully tiny frog at the shooting range one day this summer, and have been keeping it in a froggy habitat ever since. Robin had recently graduated from flightless flies to crickets for dinner, but will never again know the joy of hopping along to catch her food. She was a quiet little frog, that never gave me much trouble. She was even getting the hang of feeding time. (I'd put my hand in, she'd hop on, I'd put her in the cricket box, she'd eat some yummy crickets, I'd pick her up and put her back in her cage.) Unfortunately, it was this ritual and my stupid forgetfulness that brought about her untimely death. Last night, like every Friday night, I put her in the cricket box to have a bite. Problem is, I forgot that she was in there and didn't put her back into her cage with the water. My poor dear little Robin died of dehydration sometime last night and its all MY FAULT! This makes me so sad because it was totally unnecessary.

Robin, you will be missed!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy BELATED Halloween!

I hope everyone had an amazing halloween. Chris arrived home on the evening of the 30th, just in time for some halloween fun. I decided I'd let him sleep in, but not too late because I had lots of things planned for the day. We got up and headed out for a couple errands, one of which included getting a couple pumpkins to carve. After hitting the bank, walgreens, and a couple other places, we headed to a nearby church that was selling pumpkins. We picked out a couple, and they gave us some extra tiny table pumpkins, and then headed home for some lunch and pumpkin carving.

Once we were done carving (or should I say after I was done,) it was time to head out to the special movie I've been dying to see. We made it just in time for the start of a perfectly Halloween movie...The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D!!! OOOOoooooohhhh! :o) It was interesting because this movie has such a cult following, I figured it would be sold out on Halloween. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were very few people in the theater. No matter what, we would have watched this movie (since I own it,) but to see it on the big screen, AND in 3D was really cool.

By the time we got home, it was too late to even hope for any trick-or-treaters, so I just made dinner of the usual halloween fare (ghostly shepards pie, see last years halloween post for a recipe). It was really great to have Chris home, finally, and to share yet another boring old halloween together. One of these days we'll actually dress up and go to a party, but for now, we're pretty satisfied with just spending time together!