Spring Break

Yet again… more time passes between blog posts than I’d like. What on earth is it about this year? I feel like there just isn’t anywhere near enough time to get everything done.

Sigh… Anyway! We are on spring  break this week and I could not be happier! At this time of year I am just burned out. Tired of driving around. Tired of activities. Tired of that face you have to put on when you see other parents from school. (Don’t laugh — you all know what I mean. Sure, there are parents you are friends with and hang out with and love to see. But then there’s everyone else, LOL…) So yes. I am happy to have a week without obligations.

The kids and I went up to my parents’ last weekend. Poor Drew was sick with a horrible cold, so we left him home to rest. It was great seeing my family, and the kids all loved spending time playing with their cousins. We had an early Easter of sorts, complete with a delicious turkey dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Needless to say, the kids all had a blast!

Monday morning we got home and I worked in the afteronon. Yesterday a ton of library books came in for me — yay! I always feel like I won the lottery when there’s a big stack waiting for me.

library books

I was desprately craving Polish food. The craving was partially brought on by being in WMass for the weekend and partially by a conversation about kielbasa that I had at work Monday afternoon. It wasn’t the greatest, but as the saying goes, I did the best I could with what I had. For something different, I sauteed onions and topped the pierogis with onions and sour cream as I’d seen many other people do. Meh. It was OK but in the future I will stick to melted butter and breadcrumbs like my Babci always did. For me, that is traditional. And it certainly is tastier.

polish food

Today I’ve just been puttering around the house. Of course, we also woke up to this scene:

snowy april morning

Yes… snow! It poured all day yesterday and I am surprised any stuck. There was a huge temperature drop, though. I ran to the grocery store yesterday afternoon and it was 62 when I went in and 47 when I came out an hour later! Of course, it’s all melted away now. But it is still chilly enough to have one last fire going in the wood stove.

I have also been excitedly waiting for the arrival of my UBP14 prize! I won the Magic Bullet system from Jen over at PoorPaleo! Guys, I remember nursing Noah in the fall of 2005, watching this infomercial in the wee hours of the morning. I was riveted. I wanted a Magic Bullet so bad. But I had a blender. I had a food processor. It was a want, not a need. But to win one? Oh, this was the universe’s way of telling me that one really belongs in my kitchen. And look how excited I was to get it!

new magic bullet

The kids were psyched too. They are always asking me for smoothies, but I hate dragging out the blender. I think this is going to work out great!

I guess that’s about it. I’m trying to get out of my blog funk. I’m constant fighting with myself internally over how much is oversharing… should I try to blog more recipes or craft ideas (sticking to a niche)… or should I just write what I want? I know. There’s no right answer. And really, it’s my space I should do with it as I please. I don’t know why I find this to be such a struggle. It shouldn’t be.

Well, I’m off to finish up some laundry and get dinner started. Nothing fancy tonight, just some Creamy Turkey & Wild Rice Soup and sandwiches or salad (letting everyone choose). Hope you all are having a wonderful week! And I think I’ve finally got my  mojo back, so my ramblings here shouldn’t be so few and far between.

Sleepy Saturday

There’s nothing like a solid three hours of sleep to get you refreshed and ready for the day, right? Sigh, of course I’m being sarcastic. Laura had a later bedtime than usual last night, which naturally resulted in a very poor night’s sleep. I’ve always laughed at people who suggest letting kids stay up later in order to get them to sleep in later. Sure, at Jake’s age this works. But not for the wee little ones. At any rate, after two hours of going in an out of her room, consoling, pleading to go back to sleep, I gave in at about 3:45 a.m. and took her downstairs.

I’d hoped that some TV might relax her back to sleep but nope… it wasn’t until I was vacuuming (yay for white noise!) after lunchtime that she started snoozing on the couch. So yes. I’m tired.

I got lots done this week, though, and it flew by. One of the projects on my list was sketching out my stash-buster blanket idea. Quite a while ago, I was inspired by this gorgeous quilt from Pippa Patchwork that I originally saw on Pinterest:


As I am hardly a quilter, I thought this would be a great solution to my growing stash of odds and ends from various crochet projects. I thought of doing a granny square blanket or a stripey blanket, but this design really “wow’ed” me. Simple enough to work on while watching TV, but I think it has a nice, modern feel.

I whipped out the graph paper to figure out how many squares I’ll need.

stash-buster blanket 2013

And I played around with various colors, picking out 10 that I loved best for the largest squares.

stash-buster blanket 2013

stash-buster blanket 2013

This project is hugely different for me because I don’t think I’ve ever combined so many different colors all at once. I suppose all those years of following Lucy from Attic24 are finally having an effect on me!

So I am slowly (oh, so very slowly) plugging away at my first single-crochet purple square. I need to keep up the momentum 🙂

Well, I think it’s time to get up and bake a dish of brownies for dessert tonight and make my house smell even better than it already does. I’ve got two crock pots going: one simmering a pot of chicken stock, and the other cooking up a delicious pot roast for dinner tonight. Drew and Jake have been at the Eskimo Run for Cub Scouts all day and I know when they get home they’ll be cold and hungry.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Christmas Home Stretch

holiday scents

OK, are you guys all ready for Christmas? I am about as ready as I’ll ever be. The pillow I’m working on for Noah might not be done in time, though 🙁 If that’s the case, I’ll give the boys their handmade gifts on New Year’s Eve — I just need a couple more days. But maybe I’ll rally tonight and get it done, who knows?

Anyway, today I’ve just been puttering around the house. I folded and put away a few baskets of laundry, made homemade pizzas for lunch (Hawaiian for the kids and Chicken Cordon Blue for Drew and myself), and finished up some last-minute gifts.


secret sewing

piles of yarn

The kittens had the right idea, I think 🙂

sleepy kitty

Drew took the boys to the comic store for a while this afternoon and brought home dinner, which meant no cooking for me! So I think I’m going to indulge in a cup of tea and a cannoli and see how far I get on that pillow.

sweet dreams

Sweet dreams!

A Fantastic Birthday Weekend!

I know everyone is focussed on Hurricane Sandy right now, but I’m distracting myself with other pursuits (creamy chicken noodle soup, poached chicken, brownies… you know, the important stuff). What a way to wind up my birthday weekend. That’s right — I turned 37 on Friday! I had a great weekend filled with friends and family.

My parents came down on Friday and we always have a great time. For dinner I got my favorite veggie pizza and made a salad. I also had a ginormous chocolate mousse cake (so good!) Then Drew lit off a few fireworks in my honor, LOL…

my birthday :-)

The kids made me very sweet homemade cards and picked out thoughtful presents, including nail polish, chai tea, and prosecco. (I think that maybe Daddy helped them with that last one!)

Saturday was a trick-or-treat extravaganza! I’ll talk about that more on Halloween, though. And yesterday Drew’s mom and aunt came down for lunch. His aunt made me the coolest scarf! I want to look up how to make it before I blog about it though. But it’s lovely and I can’t wait to show it off.

And now I’m waiting to see what this storm brings! School is closed today (as is most of the Northeast in general, it seems), so I think that after lunch I’ll pull out some crafts for the munchkins and try to get in some crochet, myself. Which reminds me — I need to print off a few patterns before the power inevitably goes out!

To all in Sandy’s path, be safe! Here’s hoping for the best!


What a Week

Well, I had every intention of writing a few blog posts this week, but… it just didn’t happen. So instead I’ll give you a quick recap. It was such a weird week here. Hopefully things will get back on track next week.

I’d planned to tell you all about the Lewis Black show Drew took me to for an early birthday present. It was so great! His mom watched the kids and we went into the city last Saturday night. Times Square was ridiculous. I know that it’s the place most tourists like to see, and I try to keep that in mind, but I don’t have the patience for it anymore, LOL… Nevertheless, it makes for a cool picture.


Then it was over to the Richard Rogers Theatre!


I loved the eclectic mix that comprises Lewis Black’s fan base. From young to old, it ran the gamut! The show itself was very funny and included topical bits (including spouting off about the VP debate) that were just right on target. Love him!


But when we got back home Sunday night, after the trip to the Botanical Garden and ComicCon, we quickly realized that something wasn’t right with our cat. To make a long, heartbreaking story short, we made the difficult decision to put her to sleep on Tuesday. Her bloodwork came back with very bad news, and considering her age… well, she was just not well at all. I do love this photo I took of her, not long before we talked again to the vet. I’d spread out a tablecloth to take photos of a recipe I plan on posting, and as soon as I carried the bowl back to the counter, she plopped down to watch the world outside.


Drew had her for 15 years, and I’ve been with him for 14 of those. She definitely had personality, and she is missed. I keep thinking that I hear her coming through the cat door. So sad!

It was a hard week.

But the weekend is here. We don’t really have anything going on, so that’s nice. After all our driving around last weekend, I’m looking forward to just hanging out at home.

Happy October!

Oh, I just can’t believe it’s October already! I love this month… the mostly cool days, the Indian Summer that always seems to happen in the northeast, pumpkins, Halloween, my birthday (ahem). It’s just a wonderful time of year in the most wonderful part of the country!

Since I’ve got lots of bits and pieces to write about today, I thought I’d join on in with Happy Homemaker Monday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

The Weather::: It’s currently sunny and 61 degrees. It doesn’t get better than that, if you ask me! Later this week it’s supposed to get up into the mid-70s, and that’s not really anything to complain about either. Before you know it, winter will be here, so I’ll soak up the mild temps while I can.

Right now I am::: Sitting at the kitchen island waiting for the boys to come home from school.

Thinking::: Lots of different things racing through my mind (all good things, incidentally): craft projects, Thanksgiving menu (yes I really am already thinking about it), my “to-do” list for the week…

On my reading pile::: Nothing at the moment, though I am sure my stack will be overflowing soon because I just started working part-time at our local library! I am so super excited about it! I love my library, loved working at a library in high school, and at one point wanted to make it my career. Right now it is very (VERY) part time, but who knows? Anyway, I get to see so many great books come in and out. I’m going to have to start reading faster.

On my tv:::
~ Weeds, Season 7
~ Walking Dead, Season 2
(We don’t have cable or satellite, just Netflix). Neither of these are “wowing” me. Weeds has just gotten dumb, and the inconsistancies in the Walking Dead make me crazy! But they’re still entertaining enough.

On the menu for this week:::
M: Omelettes & salad
T: Lemon chicken, steamed broccoli, quinoa
W: Turkey tacos
Th: Root beer pulled pork (Crock Pot), mac & cheese, green beans, salad
F: Soup and sandwiches/salad
S: Pizza Night! Not sure if it will be homemade or take-out…

On my to do list:::
~ Organize all of my Cub Scout paperwork in a binder
~ Wash the floors
~ Drop off donations at Goodwill
(You will notice that for once laundry is NOT on this list – yay!)

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: I’m making a checkerboard cushion for Noah’s bed right now. I will immediately follow that up with a similar cushion for Jake’s bed! And I’m working on some 4-panel welding beanies for my dad.

Homemaking Tips::: Use Dawn as a pre-treater to help remove just about any stain. If you get it right away, it almost always comes out!

Looking around the house:::  Lunch boxes and school notes on the counter, a stuffed animal “party” in the den, lazy late afternoon sunlight through my kitchen window.

From the camera:::
Iron Man fingerless mitts I made for Drew. I don’t think I shared this here! (PS, are you on Instagram? My username is carolbee26 if you want to follow me!)

Finished up my husband's Iron Man mitts. He can't wait to wear them to the comic book store :-)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

well hello, 2012!

Ah, the boys are back at school today and I am easing into my regular routine. I had such grand plans to redesign my blog header, update my sidebar, etc. etc. in time for the new year, but… sometimes things just don’t work out, LOL!

Yesterday morning Laura was feeling under the weather, then since she seemed to feel more like herself as the morning went on we went out to Chili’s for lunch and I ran to Joann’s while D. hit the comic book store. Then I tried to make sense of a diaper cover pattern for some photography prop sets I’m working on, and before you know it — bed time.

But it’s a new day! And I have so, so, so much to do. The laundry piles are ridiculous, I have to go through everyone’s closets and figure out what to keep and what to donate, and I need to finish up the previously mentioned infant set and get the sample mailed out to make sure the sizing is correct. (Don’t worry, I’ll post a pic when it’s done — these are so ridiculously cute!)

I feel this urge to clean, to reorganize, to do like a million different craft projects, to plow through my stack of “to be read” books. But I know I can only tackle one thing at a time, so I’ve written up my to-do list for the week, including the projects in the free calendar from My Simpler Life. Instead of printing it out and creating yet another pile of paper for myself, I’m hoping that having the tasks written down in my planner will help me get them done.

And with that, I really should get off the computer! Here’s to an excellent new year!!!