Pushing through

laceyarn winter_baking winter_baking2 youaremysunshine sleepover34 degrees and yet it feels almost spring-like after all those days of bitter below-zero cold. We were fortunate to not have pipes freeze, though so many I know in our neighborhood were not so lucky. This house is old, and a bit drafty, and it needs a lot of work… but it’s been good to us.

I haven’t felt very chatty, and have mostly been just occupying myself this winter. Pushing through. I’ve been playing with my new lace flyer for my spinning wheel and I’m completely in love with it. Banana bread was made, and some new art hung, and my niece stayed the evening with us, too. Not a lot going on around here, and we’re starting to get a serious case of cabin fever. It seems every time we have a free weekend it snows, and it snows a LOT. Which means no trips to Half Price Books or a nice dinner out for the first time in months.

On the bright side of it all, today marks the first day of February. Which means I get to reclaim my Mondays from my “regular” job and go back to being a 4-day-a-week employee. I can’t lie, the extra money has been really nice. But the extra work has really been a huge drain on me, mentally and creatively, and there’s really something to be said about choosing to earn less and therefore work less to live the life you want. And these last few months have really been a great reminder to me on that. The money may be nice, but long-term an extra day of pay is not worth ruining the balance I need in my life between work and my creative ‘play.’

 

I know.

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Happy Love Day, loves! I’ve been couchbound yesterday and today as it appears I’ve managed to catch some sort of virus. Fever, sore throat, aching all over… you know the kind. So laziness abounds around here, of course. Knitting, copious amounts of tea, marathon Netflix watching (World Without End), furry snuggles, etc.

Apparently being home means I’ve ruined the Mr’s plan for today – which was to surprise me and take me out to lunch at work – but instead he brought home lunch along with some dark chocolate, some cute knee-high socks, and some Doctor Who valentines that he turned into a card for me. The other one is the card I ordered for him from Sarah. She even added in two little stickers to the package: one red heart, and one red Rebel Alliance symbol. How cute is that?! \

(And, yes, I have finished the shawl and moved on to a pair of socks!)

More Cakery

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I hope everyone who was hit with that nasty snowstorm is safe and warm! I know I’ve seen a few friends online without power and several feet of snow drifts to dig themselves out of.

It’s another cake day. I’m trying to work out a recipe for the perfect amount of batter for my 4″ pans. So far I’m ending up with far too much batter. Oh well. The niece and nephew will eat it up all the same tonight when they stay the night tonight.

With Cupcakes.

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It seems I’m suffering from a bit of cabin fever lately. Those strawberries, though out of season, were on sale 3 pounds for $5, and it seemed like a perfect remedy for the winter blues. Dried strawberries are so good. I always wondered how anyone ever decided “strawberry” scented things actually smelled like strawberries, because they always smelled fake to me. Until I dried some strawberries and the whole downstairs smelled like fake strawberries. I have a quart canning jar full of them, now, and like to eat them plain.

Also, cupcakes. Two, to be exact. A while back I stumbled across this recipe for two cupcakes, and I finally gave it a shot. Since, as you might know, I’m not big on cake that lingers. That recipe? A+++++++ WOULD MAKE AGAIN. Except for the icing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good icing. But it’s a little darker than what I wanted so next time I’ll figure out some other icing. But the cake? It was moist and delicious and easy peasy and, in case you missed it, it makes only two cupcakes. In one bowl. So you can easily whip them up and throw them in the oven while you’re making dinner and have dessert afterward.

I want to experiment with the recipe a bit and see how it bakes up in my little 4″ pans. I might have to double it, but I’m picturing a single layer 4″ chocolate cake to share with the husband for Valentine’s day instead of two cupcakes.

Yarn Day

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My knit group girls had our 3rd annual yarn day this morning. We started our day with wonderful breakfast and coffee at First Watch, then a trip to the nearest yarn shop. In snow. Apparently it doesn’t matter if we do it on MLK day or President’s day, we’re just going to have snow on yarn day. It’s actually pretty fitting, really. Anyway. I told myself I wouldn’t buy yarn, and I even packed my Multnomah shawl to work on while the other girls shopped, thinking that sitting and knitting would help me avoid temptation.

I think we all can guess what actually happened here. Which is how this skein of Malabrigo Sock came to be in my possession. I was *thisclose* to buying some of the Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, but I didn’t already have a project in mind for it and I’m trying to be good about not buying yarn without a plan.

So sock yarn it is. I think I’ll knit Dona’s By The Seine River with this skein. I’ve been doing a lot of plain stockinette socks lately, and my go-to textured pattern is the Hermoine’s Everyday Socks. But I splurged on the Malabrigo and it deserves something fancier than plain ol’ socks.

I wish I had brought my camera with me to share pictures of us girls together. I’ve been forced to trade down to this teeny tiny purse that holds barely anything and now I’m always forgetting to grab my camera before I head out the door.