December 16, 2012

Celebrate with those you love.

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday.  No matter what religion (or lack of one) you choose to believe or practice I hope you find time in these next few weeks to spend time with those you love and show them some appreciation for what they add to your life.

By showing appreciation I don't mean going to the mall and hunting down some new fancy whatever.  Give them your time, or your empathy.  Bake a cake, knit a shawl, or just sit and really listen.

If you haven't read The Christmas Box by Richard Paul before, you should try it.  It's a beautiful story that I try to read each year to put this season in perspective.

I wish you love and peace.

December 11, 2012


My wonderful boyfriend Joe is jewish and I am very excitable about holidays, so I decided to go all out this September and make a fancy Rosh Hashanah dinner!  I had never made bread before (or anything with yeast) but that is no reason to hold back.

I found this recipe on allrecipes, and followed it for the most part:

A word to the wise:  this takes a LONG TIME.  Three hours according to my source, longer for me in practice.  That whole waiting for it to rise part is annoying, and if you get impatient and hungry like me you should start an hour earlier than you think is necessary.

Football Baby Cocoon

Holy Moly it's been a long time.  School picked up and I have many a project to post!

This is a project I did in early fall for a friend of our who just had a baby. I had seen an etsy listing for a similar hat and baby sack combo and being an inventive (read: cheap) person I have a hard time paying for patterns and an even harder time paying for something I think I could make myself.  So I made it up!  And all-in-all I think it came out pretty well.  It's on the small side- especially for our little one month old chubster- but it's a pretty dang good first try. All of the white stitching was added after with a crochet hook.

Unfortunately, I didn't write down my pattern, but I do have pictures!
(Please forgive the very dirty-looking ottoman underneath)

October 23, 2012

Gluten-free Pumpkin Bundt Cake

As a student I have a massive procrastinating habit.  I've come to terms with it, and still getting everything in on time, so it doesn't bother me in the slightest.  When I'm in group projects, it's a whole different story- especially when my group members are friends.  So for this assignment everyone else spent 2-3 weeks on, I obviously devoted two solid days to, and got it in a whopping two hours before it was due. I felt bad about everyone else spending hours dutifully hunting down data that I just used without having to yell at the internet so I solved this problem with baking! As one of our members has the very sad condition of Celiac Disease (I would mourn the loss of bread/bagels daily), this baking project is gluten-free.  She also LOVES pumpkin- so this is right up her alley.

That said, I want to be clear that I RARELY bake without gluten and am not in any way an expert on this matter.  According to the World Wide Web, some people can't even have their food cooked with utensils that used flour in a previous life, so check with your food recipients on the seriousness of their condition before you give them a bad case of bowel grumpiness.

October 20, 2012

The first.

Well there's a first for everything, right?

Once upon a time I moved all the way from my home in a little known place in New York state to just outside the big city of Chicago.  I moved in with my very-long-time boyfriend, and soon together we got a dog. His name's Oy and he's some kind of pit mutt and about the most adorable thing in the world.  I started up nursing school, and that's where about 70% of my time and sanity goes.  My version of self care involves knitting, crocheting, sewing, do-it-yourself projects, baking, and whatever else I pick.  In looking for projects I kept coming across these blogs of everyday people making wonderful things and posting them online to give others like me inspiration.  And that's when I started thinking why not me?  I love to make up/ modify patterns, and people seem to like my ideas (or they are very kind liars), so why not start one of my own?!

So that's where Charm Hour came from.  What is charm hour, you ask?  Charm Hour has been around in my household longer than I've been alive, and it wasn't until my senior year of college that I realized not everyone did this.  It's that time when everyone is back from work/school, and you gather in the kitchen for a glass of wine (or drink of choice), some food, and good conversation.  It's actually such a staple in my house that we as kids used to be called away from impending homework deadlines and other daunting projects just because it was Charm Hour.  What it took me a long time to realize is that Charm Hour is actually the most important time of day.  It's when everyone comes together and sets everything else aside, has a sip of something lovely to take the edge off, and just sits down to talk.  Talk about your day, the weather, your friends- anything but politics (my mother's guideline).

There is only one rule:  you must be charming.

So welcome to Charm Hour!  Just stop by, or stay for a while, but either way I hope you enjoy.

(For historical accuracy, I must mention that long before our family picked up Charm Hour, it was actually brought to us by our good friend Pinky, who got it from her grandmother if my memory serves me well-  thank you Pinky for your wonderful tradition!)