Thursday, April 16, 2015

getting there

Some weeks just call for these brownies.
Especially when you are trying to finish the body of this sweater.

Happy weekend friends!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

lily + libby

 These two have been long distance friends for about 8 years.
And, we owe it all to knitting.  After all, I met Amanda through our knitting blogs and shortly after, we realized that we each had a daughter the same age.  (Actually, only 5 days apart!) So, we started them out as pen pals and with social media, they have kept their friendship growing.
We are filled with gratitude that the France family drove 3.5 hours to meet us.  Meeting Amanda was one of the highlights of my trip to England.  And I owe it all to this passion that we both share.  Knitting.  Isn't it amazing.  Lives woven together just like our projects.  I will never underestimate the power of knitting.
Lily started knitting when she was young and is amazing.  Not only does she knit, but she also designs and publishes her patterns.   (Of course, she knit her fabulous sweater!)
The rest of this post will be in Libby's words.  As I asked her to write a little something just like she did when she was 9.
 At the end of our United Kingdom journey, my stepdad asked us all what was the most life changing thing we experienced that week. I, without a doubt in my mind, said finally meeting Lily! Lily and I first started to get to know each other when we were only 9 through writing letters back and forth; we were pen pals. And after eight years of being in touch over letters and social media, we got the perfect opportunity to meet. I was beyond excited when I found out Amanda and Lily we're going to make a visit to where we were staying in the UK. Lily and I instantly clicked and it felt like we had been best friends for years. She has such a sweet disposition and I felt like we could talk about anything together. My mom, Amanda, Lily, and I sat for three hours just talking about absolutely anything, and it was SO fun! We also had to take some pictures, of course. 
By the end of the day, Lily and I were already planning our next visit to each other! We were both so sad when we had to say goodbye, because it truly felt like saying goodbye to a longtime best friend. BUT, not goodbye for long because we are definitely going to visit each other within this next year! I think it's so amazing for both Lily and I to be able to say that we have a bestie in another country. So, to say the least, finally meeting Lily was my absolute favorite part of the trip, and more than I even imagined! She and her mother are such wonderful people and Im so glad my mom and I could finally get to know them. Never would have thought pen pals would come this far! 

xoxoxo Libby

Thursday, April 09, 2015

spring break 2015

My mother took my sister's and me to London when we were young.  I couldn't wait to dig out the photos when we returned from our trip last week.  I have 9 photos.  They each were so special and brought back a flood of memories.  I hold those photos so dear to my heart.  It was a such special time.  And a wonderful trip.
I also couldn't wait to download the photos from our trip last week.  We had a fabulous time and I think my children will hold it and the photos close to their hearts.  But they will have about 600 photos.  Ha!
 We arrived in the Fizrovia neighborhood feeling a little woozy from our travels but totally excited to explore.
And, these 10 feet took us around town feeling very grateful.


******************************************************************************
Excerpts from Andrews journal (That he dictated for me! )
 Notting Hill.  Beautiful.  Portobello Market.  Take more cash next time.  Fabulous flee market finds.  Bought: nothing.  Pizza for lunch at a corner Pub. 
Some of us were very tired.  (Too tired to even smile.) 
Just want to head back to the flat to go to sleep.  Libby and I slept so hard we never heard when mom set off the fire alarm.  Ya, she pushed the button thinking it was the light switch and it went off for 5 minutes until Steve could figure out how to turn it off.  
We went on the London Eye.  A must to see all of London.  
 Big Ben looked, well, Big.  
 We went on a tour through the tower of London.  It was really cool.  The Ravens were cool, too. We went to mass at Westminster Abbey.  It was so much fun to see where Kate and Prince William were married.  (I made my mom wake me up in when I was in fifth grade to see the entire wedding.)
We went to a Pub for fish and chips.  I was bummed the drinking age was 18.  Steve took us to the Grenadier.  It was so cool.  There was money attached all over the ceiling to pay off a man's debt that was killed because he apparently cheated at a game of cards.  They say it is haunted.  I didn't feel any ghosts.
We went to the Natural History Museum.  There was a Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit. It was amazing.  I liked the photo of the scorpion that the 8 year old took.  Liesl, Libby and mom went to the V & A to see the Alexander McQueen Exhibit and then to have tea.  While, Steve and I went to the Imperial War Museum.  I felt like I was traveling through time and proud to be an American. 
We went to Duck and Waffle to eat lunch.  The lift took us 40 stories up and is on the outside of the building.  Libby was afraid.  She doesn't like heights.  Mom took us to Wool and The Gang where we met Ali.  Mom really loves her yarn.  And then we went to see Abbey Road and try to reenact the Beatles album cover.  I was totally embarrassed.  We had dinner and then went to the theater to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.    It was awesome!
Mom, Libby and I went to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards and then met Steve at the British Museum.  Libby and I were tired, so we sat most of the time in the lobby, while mom and Steve looked at the Lewis Chessmen, the Mummies and they really liked the Big Marbles.  We then went to get Liesl after her classes and took a train to Taplow then to the Taplow House.  We had dinner in the hotel restaurant and then played a game with Belinda and Samir.  Two other hotel guests who asked if we wanted to play.  It was really great laughing and listening to them talk.
 We were told the queen was in the Castle which was fun to know.  I loved that old Windsor Castle.  


The last day was spent with the France family.  (Mom is going to tell you all about that in her next post. ) And then to the Hinds Head for dinner.  Yumm!

I loved England.  And can't wait to go back.  

-Andrew 

Friday, March 27, 2015

spring break is finally here

Well, in about 1 hour we are headed to the airport.  London here we come!
We have plenty of things on our list.  I'm a little overwhelmed that I won't get to do half of what I want us to do and see. (And then there is my own separate list which includes Liberty London and Wool and the Gang!)
I made Libby and Andrew a little journal this morning.   Well, actually, I printed British Flags and glued them to the front of moleskine journals. I have been trying to use a journal a little more.  So, I thought maybe they could get into a habit of it also.   I added some lines to get them started.  I'm bringing a glue stick and some Japanese tape so that they can add memorabilia to them.  Let's see how that goes for Andrew.  I can just see myself with the glue stick at night.  Ha!
I put my sweater on hold and packed toasty.  Much easier to transport.  I know I mentioned my new thumb technique.  I promise to share when I soon.  Airplane knitting is my f a v o r i t e!
 My sweet neighbor made chocolate chip cookies for us when we moved in and shared the recipe.  Have you ever tried Tate's cookies? Well, if you are a fan of thin and crunchy, you have to try these.  We think they taste just like them!  Packing a few of those in our carry on.  As well as these bars.  

See you soon, friends!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

the perfect love

It truly is a match made in heaven.  And this cookie may be one of our new favorites.  I had Andrew search for our cookie this week.  And this is what he came up with.  
 I read the reviews and followed some of the comments to freeze the peanut butter balls before assembling.  I definitely recommend that step.
 Then make the chocolate cookie dough and form into balls.
 Flatten and fill with one of the peanut butter balls.
Wrap the chocolate around the peanut butter (hello, love).  
 Surround the entire peanut butter ball and roll back into a ball.
Roll ball in sugar and bake.  
You then have the perfect, most delicious ball of goodness.  
See how some of the cookies are smooth and some are cracked.  The cracked cookies are the ones where I followed the recipe.  But then before I baked the second cookie sheet, I decided that perhaps my dough was too dry and I added 1/8 cup of softened butter.  (By the way, I only ever use butter.  Never margarine.)  They definitely contained the peanut butter better, but they were also a little crisper.  Both were amazing.  Honestly, amazing.   I was able to make 28 cookies today.  We have 8 left.

I'm thinking you should remove your butter from the fridge now.  So it will be soft for your weekend of knitting.  And baking.

Friday, March 13, 2015

progress

I think that was one of the fastest weeks I ever had.  With absolutely no time to bake.  
However, knitting happened.  I'm starting to see some progress on my Princess Fiona.  The front and back are joined and the lace pattern is started.  Although, it did gave me a little trouble, as I was knitting it along the right side, not the left.  Ugh.  Ripped it out and ready to start again.  
Into my second skein of chickadee.  Love to see the pile dwindle.  

Happy Friday the 13th!  

Thursday, March 05, 2015

fig newtons

I have been waiting to make these cookies.  But something was always happening to the ingredients.  First, I accidentally grabbed dates at the store instead of figs.  Then, someone (Andrew) drank the apple juice.  Hey, who ate the orange!

Homemade Fig Newtons. Libby and Andrew both scrunched their noses.  But the adults in the house made "mmmmm" noises.  Time consuming, yes.  Something to try if you like fig newtons?  Heck yes.

I'm making a little progress on my sweater.  If only I would have noticed that I was knitting the neck increases out of the armhole.  Just ripped it back.  I'm not going to sleep until I join the fronts.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

the cookie + the project

 I was in a hurry this week because of our Chicago trip, so I used the recipe box in my brain.  We never tire of this bite of deliciousness.
And finally I have cast on once again for a sweater.  It feels so good to be working on smaller needles and a bigger project.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 27, 2015

spotted

We took an overnight trip to Chicago.  And while shopping on Michigan Avenue (who am I kidding... b-lined straight for Crate and Barrel) spotted B. A. Friend chalkboard place mats.  To say I was thrilled is an understatement.  They have been carrying them for a few years, but this was the first time I saw them in the store. You can always still purchase them here and here.

P. S.  My bag is a Kelly Moore Bag.  And I LOVE it.  It's a camera bag that fits everything! The bag is only 2 pounds which makes it PERFECT for traveling. I didn't take my camera with me on this trip but still carried the bag.  Cause it just so happens, to fit all the yarn you need.  What could be better!

Happy Friday!

Monday, February 23, 2015

change

May 8, 2009
February 1, 2015

The Only Thing That is Constant is Change.  -Heraclitus

Different window, different house, same girl.  I just can't believe how the time goes.   So grateful for the photos.  Going to recreate some for the boys, too.