Saturday, January 29, 2011

Crochet a Rainbow's not just for grandmothers, regardless of what my brother might say (:P).  

Do you or someone you know crochets and would like to help someone else out?  Put your hooks towards a good cause and join in on the "Crochet a Rainbow" movement!  All the cool kids are doing it...meaning...I'm doing it!  Here's the link to sign up:

Traipsing through the blogs: Craft Blogs

Welcome back to the segment "Traipsing Through the Blogs"!  For those of you who didn't read my previous post, here's the deal;  in an effort to figure out what direction to take this blog in, I'm attempting to narrow it down based on my variety of passions in my Google reader.  I've already written about the food blogs that I follow.  Today, I will be writing about my favorite craft blogs.

Now, I've listed before the categories in my reader and you are probably wondering why there is a DIY category and a Craft category.  Really, the DIY category should be melded into the decorating category because that's what the majority of the DIY blogs are about.  Crafts are more focused on knitting, sewing, crocheting, etc.  Since I've been doing a lot more of these since we moved, you can imagine how much I enjoy reading up on these hobbies and to see what other people are doing.

Sidenote: if you are a crocheter, perhaps you may be interested in donating to Crochet a RainbowI'll be working on this tomorrow with a couple of fellow crocheters in the area.

Moving on...

So, as promised, here is a snippet of my favorite craft blogs:
 I'm a new(er) follower of "The Idea Room" but I am in love.  The crafts that pour out of this blog are so impressive and, the majority of the time, easy to an extent (I classify time input as part of the difficulty level).  Recently, she participated in the DIY Dare Blogger and what she came up with is beautiful! Check out the project here.
 Ahhh...Crochet Spot.  Sometimes, reading the postings make me feel like I've found the heaven of yarn stores and I'm curled up in the corner with my hooks and yarn.  The tips and patterns that come out of this website are so great and useful!  Who knew there were so many different stitches in crochet?  I've been happy playing with my treble crochets and half doubles but wow!  If you are into crocheting, this is something you should add to your daily wanderings when you need inspiration or tips...or if you are just wandering.
Want a one-stop shop for your crafting?  This is the place!  Be prepared.  There are typically three responses to this website:
  1. Losing yourself in the website for all eternity (so you may want to warn loved ones).
  2. Becoming so overwhelmed that you get frustrated and curse the gods of crafting for their genius.
  3. Getting confused and calling me to ask random questions about crafting and where to find things.
I almost feel like the Pied Piper introducing craft junkies to this website.  Good luck and goodbye, my friends.
Please excuse the ad in the upper right hand corner. I couldn't figure out how to cut it out.
Craft Gossip=SUPER FUN!  The crafts covered on this website range far and wide, from cross stitching patterns to how to create a new insole for your heels with pretty patterns (go here ).  This website pulls inspiration and patterns from all over the web.  It's a great way to get linked to other blogs/sites quickly with inspiration.  And if you are like me, and end up loving those blogs, then you will probably add them to your Google Reader and increase the madness that it already is.  You can think of it as the Google of Craft sites.  

That's all for today.  If this isn't enough for you, or you want more food blogs to drool over, drop me a line and I'll send on some more of my favorites!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Traipsing through the blogs: Food Blogs

While considering what direction I would like to take this blog in, I thought that, perhaps, going through my reader and figuring out what my favorite types of blogs were would help.  The assumption here is that if I have a numerous amount of, say, food blogs that I follow (which I do), then that would indicate a clear passion for that topic (which, again, I do).  For the next few updates, I'll be focusing on introducing you, my dear reader(s), to the passions determined by the blogs that I follow again.  Here is the breakdown of my reader
  • 236 234 Blogs currently being followed
  • Categories:
    •  Career
    • Crafts
    • Decorating
    • DIY
    • Fashionista
    • Finance
    • Food
    • Gossip
    • Health
    • Healthcare
    • Leadership
    • News
    • Psychology
    • Religion
    • Self 
  • There are also 38 blogs that have not been put into categories.  I'm still trying to figure out the appropriate spot for them and/or if I should create a new category for them.
Excessive?  Perhaps.  I think if a psychologist were to take a look at my reader, they would probably classify me as a stage 3 hoarder of blogs.  That's not terrible considering that the scale goes up to 5.  Let's just all be grateful that I don't hoard things in the home.  Then again, let's face it, the reason why I don't is because mi marido is a bit anal and he would have a conniption.  My yarn stash is getting a little out of control but has yet to take over my closet.  Moving on...

So the first category of blogs that I'll be sharing with you is a taste of my food blogs (haha pun).  I say a taste because there are over 40 that I follow; 40 is just a rough estimate.  I don't know how many I actually follow (I'm fairly certain that a few of the blogs that are not in categories should be food blogs).  Here are my favorites:
So technically, the Pioneer Woman's website is about A LOT more than just food.  Seriously.  It is a fountain of information into this woman's life and then she has other bloggers who chip in and add depth to the website as well.  The design is flawless and beautifully constructed.  But we're here to talk about food.  And boy does Ree know how to cook!  She has a cookbook out that I've heard only amazing things about (however, have not had a chance to purchase one myself).  But, if you are like me and don't have the cookbook, her website is overflowing with recipes.  Take for example:  
 Let's start with the photo.  Ree takes her own photos.  Seriously.  Impressive, I know.  Then, there's the presentation.  My mouth is watering just looking at this picture and I just finished eating dinner.  That mushroom sticking out of the corner of the slice is teasing me.  Yummm...  Her explanation of her recipes is great and she does breakdown shots throughout the recipe so that you can see her make the recipe.  It's great and she makes it look so easy!
Taste Spotting has done the most damage to my reader.  There are, on average, 500+ posts a week.  A WEEK.  I currently have 103 posts from this blog in my reader.  And it's not because I neglected my reader today.  I have 511 posts in my reader at the moment.  One fifth of that is Taste Spotting.  I realize at this point you are probably overwhelmed and may be having a slight panic attack.  Allow me to explain: Taste Spotting pulls recipes from various other blogs.  The only thing that is in the posts in my reader is the picture of the recipe, the blog it's from and then a small caption about the recipe.  Go ahead...just look at the glimpse that I gave you above.  Tell me you don't want to just go peruse their homepage and the latest recipes posted.
 Okay so I'm new to this blog but the pictures alone of their recipes makes me want to have dinner with them nightly.  Preferably with me on a couch, a drink in hand, just laying back and enjoying the smells wafting from the kitchen.  Whether it's the Tortellini Soup or the Pear Galette, who cares?!  It all looks amazing!

I hope that you'll take a look at these blogs.  I absolutely love what they have to offer.  I'll post again soon with another look at a different category of blogs!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thoughts for the Day

I had about five different things that I wanted to write full posts about this week and of course, I didn't write them down.  I'm hoping that now that things have finally started to calm down, I can get back into the groove and put more focus into the blog.  I make no promises though.  

For now, here are my random thoughts for the day.
  • Mini Lee is 17 weeks today.  He (yes I think the baby is a boy and rather than refer to him as "it", I'm going to refer to him as...he...him...whatever you get it) can now hear loud noises and may respond to them as well.  
  • I was disturbed to hear this week that a group of politicians think that the abortion issue is their main priority for 2011.  Regardless of where you may be on the fence on that issue, doesn't it seem odd that with all of the struggles our country is facing at this moment that abortion is their top priority?  Shouldn't unemployment, the constantly struggling economy, the increasing number of Americans who are suffering from obesity (and how the agriculture industry plays a part in it), or the growing number of teen pregnancies (there is a school in Tennessee that has roughly 90 students who are currently pregnant or have given birth this year) be considered a priority?  Then again, I will bow to the fact that it is an opinion that determines what a person considers to be a priority...and alas, my opinions are different from those particular politicians.
  • I added "Taste Spotting" to my Google Reader.  What does that mean?  I added a blog that posts roughly 500+ posts a week.  My head may explode.
  • As I was driving home to other day from work, the sun was glinting off the mountains.  I could see the mountains that were even in the background.  They were covered in snow but because of the sunset, they looked purple, blue and green.  In that moment, I was reminded of how happy I am here.
 That's all for now.  Hopefully, this will become more organized.  Soon. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thoughts for the Day

Do you sit back at the end of the day and think about what's passed through your mind, hands, mouth, etc during the course of that day?  I typically marinate on my days just to see what I've come up with.  So, here are the thoughts on today:
  • Queenie and I have decided that iceburg lettuce is the "white trash" of lettuce.  It is.  Seriously.  Taste a piece of crisp iceburg lettuce.  It's 96% water.  You can look that up and I may be wrong but I'm not off by much.  And if I am, don't tell me.  It's not that important to me to know I'm wrong.  Now, taste a piece of crisp romaine, or arugula.  Tell me that those aren't better.  Let's face it.  Iceburg barely even has a flavor if any.  And very little nutritional value.
  • I'm very happy.  And part of that is because it's really the little things that make me do a dance.  For instance, I did a happy dance earlier because I get to eat at the Cherry Cricket twice in four day.  TWICE IN FOUR DAYS!?!  and if you don't know what the Cherry Cricket is and haven't had their burgers than you have not had one of the most amazing burgers EVER and your life is incomplete (sorry...I realize that is a harsh truth but it is a truth).  Mi marido says it's one of his favorite things about me, that simple things absolutely make my day.  Can you imagine what I'll be like as a mom?  I'll be on a fricking baby high 24/7.  Screw meth.  Just let me hang with my baby!
  • I LOVE FOOD.  Seriously.  I LOVE FOOD.  There is no way around it and considering this entire post thus far (and will continue) to kind of run around the topic of food, it's fairly obvious that I LOVE FOOD.
  • My project this weekend: make homemade croissants from scratch.  That's right.  I'm taking on the devil of pastries.  Okay it may not be the devil but I'm told it's a fairly hard baking project to take on.  So pumped!
  • My belly is starting to look like I swallowed a bowling ball.  It's entertaining me.
  • Kaya has become a cat.  She sits on our sofa/loveseat like a cat, such as on the armrest or the back of the sofa.
I hope that this week has been lovely and happy for each of you!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

I believe I mention the book Eat, Pray, Love on my books galore list.  

I decided today to watch the movie based off of this book.  I'm not going to dwell on it because Julia Roberts does a great job again.

The problem I have with this book being turned into a movie is exactly what I thought I would have a problem with (lost my train of thought trying to verbalize that).  I found this book to be inspiring and uplifting, insightful and touching.  I think the task of attempting to translate what is in this book into a movie is far beyond the comprehension of what the movie industry is currently capable of.  I'll be the first to admit that I prefer books to movies any day.  I find that they leave a lasting mark whereas movies...not so much.  So why watch the movie if I was pretty sure that it wouldn't live up to my standards?
Good question.  One that I don't really have an answer for.

However, the movie did do the one thing that I wanted/needed it to do.  It was a reminder of the main pieces that touched me about the book.  Granted, there were many aspects of the book that touched me and many were lost in translation to the screen.  But the basics were what I was looking for.  The main one that I want to mention is the lesson in Italy. 

In her time spent in Italy, Gilbert learned the importance of pleasure.  I, personally, think that, as a whole, Americans are out of touch with this (and to spare any of you that want to argue, "as a whole" is another word for saying "majority" so yes, I acknowledge there are exceptions to this).  Many will argue and say that we know too much about pleasure.  I disagree.  What Americans are great at is instant gratification and in fact, I think we are addicted to it.  Whereas for Gilbert, in Italy, she learned to appreciate the pleasures in life.  We take them for granted.  One of the Italian men (and I'm taking this from the movie because I don't feel like digging through the book to find this part so I'm hoping that it's true to the book..either way, it supports my point) points out to Gilbert that Americans spend too much time working and then when they want to enjoy themselves, or indulge in "pleasure", their idea is to lay around in their pajamas all weekend, or have a "Miller" time with a six pack.  So rather than really lavish the pleasure of experiences, we rush through them because we are so glad to have that moment. 

I find it interesting that the majority of Americans rush through their food.  We barely take time to really enjoy the flavors and lavish in the meal that is before us.  Who cares if it's just a grilled cheese sandwich?  If you are going to eat it, shouldn't you actually take the time to enjoy that food?  It's nourishment that your body needs and you should let your tongue take the time to do a happy dance.  It's no wonder to me that Americans are struggling with a sordid amount of health issues that are related to diet and self care.  If we (as a whole) are in fact addicted the instant gratification drug, then what we are faced with is that immediate high that throws us down on our asses.  So we reach for the next instant gratification.  Rather than enjoy pleasures as an adult, we get stuck in the mindset of a four year old: "I want it NOW" (throw in a foot stomp and fist pump if you like).  I have read articles of other country's mocking Americans because we rush through things and it's hard to argue with that point.  We want it all and we want it NOW.  I could go into a whole theoretical rant right now about how the instant gratification drug ties in with the health issues which tie in with the theory that really, a lot of Americans don't take care of themselves because of a low self esteem issue, but I feel like a lot of people would quit reading this and I think I'll just save that for my thesis paper in grad school.

So, what does that long dribble which probably doesn't make much sense to you have to do with me?  I've felt myself going through a period of growth lately (and I'm not talking about the baby belly which is in indeed growing) and rather than rush myself through it, I'm allowing the time to savor it and figure out the direction that my character is going in.  Perhaps it is just motherhood kicking in.  In order to truly learn the lessons that are coming into my life right now, I'm taking the time to dwell on them and figure out what they mean for me and my future.  

It may just mean that in six months from now, it'll take me 15 minutes to eat a single grilled cheese because I'll be allowing my tongue to do a bit of a happy dance around the melted cheddar cheese.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Pioneer Woman

I know some of my readers follow The Pioneer Woman, and if you don't, allow me to recommend her.

Rather, I demand that you follow her.
Queenie introduced me to the blog roughly two years ago and now that I have my google reader (come on, you haven't jumped on that bandwagon?  Then you are seriously missing out, especially on all of the wonderful things that I share), it is so easy to follow her.  Whether you are interested in photography, country life, cooking (who isn't?), animals, homeschooling, or just other people's lives (again, who isn't?), surely there is something on Ree's blog that will tickle your fancy.

For instance, here's a link to one of her recent posts:
In it, she sends you off to to check out the fun happenings going on there.  You can play a variety of games and each time you get an answer right, the website donates ten grains of rice through the World Food Programme.
Ten grains of rice doesn't sound like much right?

Trust me, addiction ensues quickly.  And who doesn't want to take five minutes out of their day to do a good deed?
Feeling smart?  Go test your vocabulary and see if you can donate 500 grains of rice one day.

I Dare You.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It Flu Thru Me

Monday afternoon I was driving home from work.
It was like any other day.
Until about five minutes into the drive.
I started feeling congested and my head started hurting.
Within an hour and a half, I was on the couch and ready to cry I felt so sick.
It's three days later and I'm still on the couch.
I haven't been back to work.

I hate being sick.  With a severe and deep passion.
I don't get sick often and when I do, it's typically for a day.
And of course, all I can think about is the pile of work on my desk.

Good news though: in my downtime, I've completed one baby blanket and should finish the second by the end of today.
I should also finish Chapter 4 of my psych class.

Oh and I've figured out the master's program that I want to go into.
So perhaps I haven't been such a lazy bum.
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