Thursday, October 6, 2011

Did I get anything done today?

Do you ever lie in your bed and wonder, "Did I get anything done today?"  That's me, right now.  9:50pm and I can't put my finger on any productivity.

This morning was strictly catching-up.  I was scheduled to be at a fundraiser committee meeting, immediately following school drop-offs.  But, yesterday, we decided to forgo the meeting and update the committee via e-mail.  That should mean more time this morning, right?  No, it really meant that yesterday, I watched two weeks of NCIS and NCIS:LA episodes with my husband, visited blogs on the Blogtoberfest list, checked all of the pages of my FB friends and enjoyed looking through family photos on my flashdrive.  So, this morning was consumed by updating my fundraising files, returning phone calls, photographing my committee show-and-tell items, and then, finally e-mailing everthing that I would have had ready for that 8:30am meeting.  I finished my e-mails around noon.  "I'm Michelle and I'm a procrastinator."  "Hi, Michelle."

I did set-up my account to view my kids' grades and attendance records, drove my kids to their afternoon activities and fed my family.  Is that enough?  Why is it that I need to place my finger on something to feel a sense of accomplishment?  Will typing a blog count? 

What make you feel like you've had a productive day?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a blog a day didn't last

Wow, I thought it would take longer before I skipped a day during Blogtoberfest.  Of course, I'm going to justifiy the skip - last night was CHICKEN night! 

Last week, we indulged in beef, t-bones and bulcogi.  Since my daughter is swimming in a meet this week, we're all eating chicken this week.  So, I roasted 15 pounds of chicken.  OK, it sounds like more than it is.  They were half-breasts with ribs in.  I weighed the bones and meat I left on, and determined the eatable meat to be only 12 pounds.  Why was I "screaming" chicken in CHICKEN night?  We ate roast chicken for dinner.  I took the waste and made chicken stock in the crock pot, while we slept.  I made chicken salad sandwiches for the kids lunches.I'm looking forward to matzo balls in homemade soup for lunch today;  the kids will eat the same for after-school snack.  We'll probably have chicken pasta for dinner. 

This was a quick entry.  It was all about guilt for hopping off the Blogtoberfest wagon so soon.  Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I'm a hoarder.  Once I get my hands on something, it's hard for me to let it go.  My office has been a giant inbox, which periodically gets de-cluttered.  But, most of the time, it's an eyesore and I close the door rather than deal with it.  

About five years ago, my daughter and I learned how to knit and weave.  We spent a few weeks with my grandmother and she taught us both, on her needles and looms (can you believe someone would have 3 looms in their house).  My grandmother knit sweaters for me and my sister when we were kids.  Weaving was the craft she shared with my aunt and seemed to be the activity she was most proud of.

So, my daughter and I learned to knit and purl that summer.  We made scarves a couple of times and then the needles and yarn went into a basket on one of the top shelves in my office. 

A couple of weeks ago, I began to think about knitting again.  What brought this on?  I had crocheted some beanies for my nieces and wanted to make something to match.  But, I began to realize that it has been a really long time since I last knitted.  And, this time I will be doing it solo (grandma passed away almost 2 years ago).  I felt a bit overwhelmed, but I remembered that I have a bunch of yarn stashed away.   I put it out of sight because I don't like the color or the feel (it was given to me by a family friend when she was cleaning out her mother-in-law's house, and remember that I can't throw away anything, even stuff that isn't really mine).  The lightbulb turned on - I don't need to warehouse this yucky stuff if I use it to practice my stitches and tension. 

Here are some of the needles from Grandma:

Grandma kept her needles in the original packages.

Can you believe these prices?

And here's what I've been practicing:
It looks like I have a lot of practicing to do before beginning those sweaters.  I'm glad that the yarn I used for the beanies is chunky and forgiving.

So, hoarding the hand-me-downs has proved functional - I have plenty of needles and a bunch of yarn to practice.  But, will put it away and take another 5-year hiatus.   I hope not - I am finding knitting to be quite relaxing. 

Now, where will one of Grandma's looms live in my home?  That is my next hand-me-down I'm looking forward to be-friending.  Maybe, I'll clean out my office and find a place to showcase it.  Maybe, I'll keep my office tidy and enjoy weaving in there with my daughter. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Snippets

I've decided to try a type of post suggested by Tinniegirl - Sunday Snippets.  She lets the photos do the talking and doesn't bother with many words.  Here are photos of a couple of my Sunday actvities.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. 

More Sunday Snippets...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chicken Coconut Soup with Kale and Curry

3 c. chicken broth (homemade is less salty)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. curry powder (I like to use oriental type)
1 tsp. minced lemongrass
1 1/2 - 2 inches peeled fresh ginger (leave in large pieces for easy removal)
1 1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
10 oz. bag of kale, chopped
1 c. frozen, roasted corn (TJ's)
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

Add first 8 ingredients to crockpot.  Cook on high for 3 hours.  Remove ginger chunks.  Stir in lime juice and green onions, right before serving.  Serve over rice and sprinkle cilantro.

(this is GREAT for hungry kids, especially after swim practice)

Friday, September 30, 2011


I joined the Blogtoberfest challenge - the goal of a daily blog, during the month of October.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

thanks to Tanya

This week, I received a package from Australia.  What a treat!  I had entered a blog giveaway and received this:

Tanya has a great blog, which has lovely sewing, crocheting, screening and crafty tips and tutorials.  Check her out at  She has a tutorial for the screening and a pattern for this apron on her blog.  Thanks, Tanya.  I'm not sure who will use this apron more, me or my daughter (she said, "oooh, I really like that apron" when I opened the package).

Thinking about the Holidays

Yesterday marked 100 days until Christmas and I started to think about the holidays.  Which gifts do I need to start making?  How will we decorate our home this year?  What supplies will I need so we can craft during the Thanksgiving break?  Will I get my act together so my husband can help me light the outside of our house?  I knew it was time to get started on some holiday projects.
I crocheted these for my nieces (soon to turn 4 and 1). 
I'm thinking these will also have some crocheted flowers attached, perhaps lavendar or teal.  I would also like to knit them sweaters to match, but that may be too ambitious (I've only knitted a couple of scarves).  Hmm, more thought needed.

Another project was starting the seeds for Christmas trees.  I have the help of a kit.

The seeds and peat moss are soaking now and will get transfered into the fridge for a month-long nap.  I hope we will have sun after that and see a little seedling by the holidays. 

Have you begun your holiday planning?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Moon Festival

Today, I awoke to the brightest and fullest moon of the year.

Although it's listed on our calendar as beginning today, I think the Moon Festival festivities began last night.  If we had not had such a busy weekend, I would have baked mooncakes yesterday with my kids and enjoyed family picnic under this beautiful moon.

This morning, I brought out some of my mooncake molds (they're really for cookies, but I don't bake the large mooncakes)
and "wacked" out some treats for my family. 
Traditionally, these are filled with red bean paste, but I used dried pineapple, coconut flakes and sugar as my filling.

So, what is the Moon Festival?  It is a celebration of the mid-Autumn harvest.  Like Thanksgiving, we gather our family to reflect our gratitude and enjoy the yummy recently harvested crops.  The mooncakes remind us of the folkstory of the Emperor, the Jade Rabbit and Chang'e, the Moon Goddess of Immortality.

I wish you a happy Moon Festival.  Give your loved ones an extra special hug under the moon tonight!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Hello, blogging world!  After a year of reading others' blogs, I am excited to dabble in blogging myself. 

I'm a stay-at-home mom of two, who loves to cook and craft.  So, I'm thinking that will be my blogging focus as well.  I hope you enjoy what I have to write and please leave me lots of feedback.