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Little Coffee Bean

I have been wanting to share some of the little numbers out of the ‘Knitted by Mommy’ collection that our baby boy has waiting for him.  I’ve shared pictures with friends so far but haven’t kept up on the blog… so thought it would be fun to post a picture a day of what I have made thus far.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I had thought I’d have a heaping pile of these cute little baby knits made by now.  But sadly, that is not the case.  I hope to still whip out a few more and catch up a little with my heaping pile of patterns.

Earlier this summer I made this Little Coffee Bean Cardigan.  I just love how little and boyish it is.  Made out of Berroco Vintage, which is a machine-washable worsted weight that I got at my LYS, the cardigan is so practical to keep him warm this winter.  The top-down, raglan style pattern is super easy and fun.

If you click on the picture you can see the cute little polkadot buttons that I think are great with the stripes.

I just love how small and precious it looks in my husband’s hands.

And the cute little baby hat to go with it…

The pattern is Bobbles for the Whole Family, and it’s a great one for a quick, cute hat in all sizes.  I’m going to have to make a few more in some other colors and yarns to keep him warm this winter.  =)

Sweater and hat on Ravelry here, and here.

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An Overdue Update

Wow I can’t believe how much I have abandoned my blog during this pregnancy.  I haven’t visited or posted on here in the last 2 1/2 months!  I guess we’ll just call it an unannounced maternity leave.  Time has been going by so quickly this summer, and I guess I have somewhat lost interest and had my mind on other things.  And I must say that since the beginning of the pregnancy, I have sort of lost my creative spark in the kitchen.  I know, it is sad.  In the beginning I had a very picky appetite, although no problems with nausea or morning sickness.  Then my appetite and taste for food got more normal but cooking has just seemed like more work than it ever did before.  Other than my creative spunk in the kitchen, or lack of, there has been plenty of other fun things to post on so I think I have some catching up to do.

I know, enough excuses already, but I also must say that I always heard about ‘pregnancy brain’ before and thought it was sort of just a joke.  I’m telling you, it is real.  It is very REAL!  I won’t have my husband get on here to tell stories and examples, but will just say it is real, it’s not really funny, and maybe has something to do with neglecting the blog.  =)

I should start with a little update on this season’s gardening.  Honestly, my energy and effort in the garden has been much the same as in the kitchen.  Again, sad.  This summer we have had 90 degree weather all day every day for a while now so I tend to stay out of the heat and go in the garden right when the mosquitos want to come out and run me out of there.

My sunflowers are probably my favorite thing in the garden this year.  They now stand tall and make me happy.  I’ll definitely have to plant a bunch of them from now on!

And then of course the berries!  Processing of them has so far consisted of eating them fresh and sticking the rest in the freezer. =)

Had plenty of strawberries to enjoy too…

Our tomato bed sort of exploded with all the sunny hot days we’ve had, and is now full of green tomatoes..

And we are still enjoying some Chioggia Beets and some carrots.  I don’t think they did as great as we got them the last couple summers, I’m thinking it’s because every day this spring was rainy and then it seemed to switch overnight to being 90 degrees and hot everyday…

The peas did pretty well too.  Oh and my lavender from last year came back, and blew up…

So the garden has not got all the TLC this year that it has deserved and needed, I suppose I should get out there and pick more raspberries and pull some weeds.

I will be back soon to post updates on the progress in the baby’s room.  It’s a work in progress, and slow going, but I have a lovely vision for it and I’ll soon share pictures of the improvements along the way.  =)

Will-Built DIY Shelving

Our mud room/laundry room has been getting  a lot of attention lately.  We all of a sudden came up with a bunch of ideas on how we want to improve it.  First of all, we got rid of the old baby blue color, that I thought made the mud room look dingy and it just didn’t flow or blend with the rest of the house.  So we painted the room a nice cheery, pale yellow Benjamin Moore paint called Soleil.  We painted our guest room that color last year, and absolutely love it.  Its pale, soft, cheery, and sunshiny.  And it’s not too dark and not too light.  Perfect.  So we thought this room needed a little cheering up too and the Soleil color did just that.

And, the bigger news is that my hubby just finished building, staining, and installing some awesome custom shelving units.  I LOVE these, they are a great use of the space, and they give me so much more storage and pantry space.

He built them with good quality pine, and we used wood conditioner and then a natural stain.  We got the idea from my Aunt Connie who has shelves just like this in her mud room, then found these Williams-Sonoma shelves.  I printed off the picture for Will, we took some measurements and he got to work!

He has turned our garage into a wood-working shop, and he’s pretty happy out there in his man room/work space.  In fact, he’s out there now working on another project we have for the laundry/mud room.  I’ll be showing some more upcoming DIY improvements later.  But for now, I’ll be enjoying the new shelves! 🙂

Oh Weekend, How I Love Thee

This last weekend I enjoyed a relaxing but semi-productive couple of days full of some baking, cooking, going walking with the dog, a little knitting, and celebrating my husband’s birthday with some friends and family.  (And him too, of course.)

While my man was out snowmobiling for his day I was in my comfy lounge pants making his favorite, fifth annual, Chocolate Birthday Cake.

He loves this cake.  Like REALLY loves it.  So do I of course.  I have made this amazing and oh so perfect Chocolate Cake every year for his birthday since we met, and he always makes sure to hint around the week or two prior to his day to make sure I’ll be making it.  =)  I’m kinda proud that he likes loves it so much and I’ve made it for him every year so far.

I can’t begin to try and tell you how perfect this cake is through my writing, but can just tell you that it is not your ordinary chocolate cake.  It is made with hot coffee and Kahlua, has just the perfect rich chocolate flavor, is perfectly moist, and has just the perfect crumb, structure, and density to hold up to shaping and sculpting (if you want to get that fancy), and velvety texture.  It’s not too heavy or dense, and it is not too light.  This Chocolate Cake is covered in Ganache and Italian Cocoa-Kahlua Buttercream.  The oh-so-wonderful recipe will be up and shared soon.

I also made a pot of my Potato Leek Soup.  This time just simplified it by not roasting the potatoes and leeks.  I really have a thing for soups and stews in the winter.

Also have a thing for knitted hats.  So my brother’s (late) Christmas gift was worked on a little bit…

This is my last of the hats for gifts.  After this is finished, there is a super cute one I’ve found and must make for myself before I’m done with my hat kick.  The Off Piste, pattern and design from the owner of my LYS (local yarn shop), is so cute with the cables and brim.

I thought that for my 2012 knitting goals I would plan and share my next two to three monthly projects ahead of time.  So January’s project is the Off Piste hat for me.

February is going to be the Annie’s Woolens Christmas Stocking.  For the last two years now I have really wanted to make Christmas Stockings for hubby and I, but it keeps getting bumped down the to-do list.  So I’m finally going to make one for myself in February, then make Will’s stocking.  I’m excited about these two projects and about the knitting goal I made for the year.  =)

Also got to enjoy a nice long walk with my two guys over the weekend…

Oh how I love weekends.  =)

A Misplaced Elf, Perhaps

I’ve been thinking, maybe Santa has misplaced one of his elves from his wood working shop.  One of those handy guys must have made his way down here to live in our garage and help Will build some furniture.  I’m not saying that because I think that he needs the help and guidance from a wood-working expert, but because he built all this in just the last week…

I love finding furniture plans on Ana White‘s site, and we’ve been wanting to build this Coffee Table for a while now.  So Will got busy and built it, along with a couple End Tables and a Sofa Console to go with it.

A lot of Ana White’s furniture plans are made to mimic Pottery Barn furniture, which I why I love them.  This set looks just like their Hyde Coffee Table, the Hyde Side Tables, and their Sofa Console.  $1296 for these four pieces, PB??  Thanks anyway!  =)

I love that they’re solid wood (Pine) and so sturdy.  Also love that Will modified the plans a little to add on a shelf at the bottom of the end tables and the sofa table.

I’m pretty excited about our new furniture!  I’m going to help him with all the sanding and staining this week.  We should be able to put it all to use soon! =)

New Digs for Jack

I love the weekends where my hubby and I can just be home and eat, watch movies, and work on projects around the house.  We just had one of those lovely weekends.  I worked on super-cleaning the house, laundry, knitting a hat, made a big pot of Chicken Noodle Soup, and baked some more Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  And Will built a dog house for Jack.  He loves getting into a good wood-working project in the garage and he really got into this one, making it nice and cozy, complete with insulation, windows, and shingles on the roof.

Running away with daddy’s wood scraps.  (He probably did ingest about that much wood over the weekend)…


The finished house turned out pretty cute!  Now this guy has a comfy bed and a shelter when he gets all frosty-faced…


Of course he would rather be inside with us, but we think he likes his new pad for when he has to be outside.  =)

Half of a Beef In the Freezer!

Well our half of a Beef made it to our freezer this weekend.  My husband has a buddy that is a rancher down in SW Montana, and this year he had a few Angus yearlings that he wanted to unload so he asked us if we’d like one.  Of course we would!  My parents split it with us and got the other half.  He gave us a great deal, butchered it, and brought it to the meat processing shop for us.  I’m pretty excited about having over 200 lbs of local Montana-raised, grass-fed Angus Beef!  Our freezer is looking pretty happy.  =)  There will be a lot of fun dinners to make with all of this, so you’ll be seeing some yummy recipes and dishes on here for a while.

Earlier this weekend I sorted out the upright freezer and made room for all the meat.  I stuffed all of my frozen summer vegetables, berries, and fruit on the top, and my containers of homemade chicken stock and some soup in the door.  A couple shelves are stuffed with a lot of elk meat, and the rest is the beef!

And Will has a fun DIY project keeping him busy this weekend, here’s just a preview…


A house for Jackson!  I’m loving it, he started it yesterday and today is almost done with it.  I’m pretty sure it will be the coziest, cutest dog house on the block, complete with a window, trim, and a shingled roof that will never get leaky.  =)