Monday, October 29, 2012

First Two Etsy Sales!

To my great pleasure and suprise The Sutton has become quite the hit. After creating it at the request of Sutton's mama, two orders were placed for it in color variations.

Here is my very first order!  The Sutton in Purple and Yellow for the Vikings now belongs to Joey in Minnesota.  She got a bonus headband with flower! 

And here's Carter rocking the Orange and Navy in the pumpkin patch!  I think I need to add this photo to Etsy! 

 It look's like we're in business!! 

Works In Progress: Hurricane Edition

Just wanted to let you all in on what's in the works. 
  • A giveaway using rafflecopter! Hoping this will be up in the next week.  I need to get a good picture of the giveaway hat. 
  • I just finished posting a listing for my Rutgers Inspired Little Fans Earflap Hat, but I should really list the girls version as well, but I don't yet have a picture of the beautful little owner wearing it, but here it is. Black, red, and white are such an awesome combo!

  • Here's another variation of that hat which I have yet to list because I am hoping for some pictures from the owner. Introducing, the Lulu!
  • Oh and another. Here's The Kaylynn!
  • And this cute little headband

  • I'll be doing a Yarn Review post focusing on best uses for different brands
  • Since I had some extra time off this week I created (that means I used no patterns) these two hats for Erma's Inspirations holiday collection.  They aren't listed yet because I don't have GREAT pictures.  I am going to make a traditional rednosed reindeer as well and a girlier penguin--think eyelases and maybe some purple or pink bows.  There will also be a gingerbread man.  Any other suggestions?

      Non-crochet Related Up-Coming Posts
  • Homemade Organic Lip Scrub Recipe
  • Rave over Lush Products with Pics of the difference it made in my skin
  • Cloth Diapering

Friday, October 19, 2012

Healthy Husband Approved Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Chip Muffins

At our house, we're always looking for ways to
A.  Save money
B. Eat Healthy
C. Eat Chocolate for breakfast
D. Save time
E.  All of the Above
If you are a decent test taker, you went straight for option E.  All of the Above, and you are correct!  In this house we are always rushing out the door--which can lead to some pretty poor choices in food, most often at breakfast.  So when this school year began, I set a goal to stop buying breakfast at Dunkin Donuts  eat healthier breakfasts.  With a one year old, everything needs to be simple, fast, portable, and delicious. 
I was inspired by  this pin from Pinterest. Every morning in September I enjoyed these muffins and my cup of coffee in the car on the way to work (because you know there is no way I'd be able to squeeze in breakfast before I left--and really what else is there to do during a 30 minute commute?).   Adding about a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 of a teaspoon of nutmeg made these muffins  absolutely delicious.  My baby would actually ask for them!  I also tried them with chocolate cake mix which was pretty good, but not quite rich enough to satisfy my chocoholic tendencies. 
Although this was a good start, my tastebuds were demanding some variety.  This Sunday night I had a stroke of genius when I spied the mini chocolate chips in my pantry.  The only complaint I really had about the recipe above is that when you make 24 muffins from them, they don't really fill up the tins.  Right as the overripe banana was on it way to the trash, I realized I could give it one more chance so I threw it in the mixer with the other three ingredients to bulk up my muffins. 
  • One Box Devil's food cake mix (I used Pillsbury because it was on sale for $1.00)
  • 15-16 ounces of Libby's Pure Pumpkin.  It's very important to buy Libby's.  I know the store brands are cheaper, but take a look at the nutrion info and you will see why immediately!  Libby's has far more fiber and less water than any other brand.  Also, a money saving tip is to buy the 30 ounce can, split it in half and freeze the rest to use in the future. 
  • One banana
  • One Cup (about 1/2 a package) of Mini Chocolate Chips
Put the pumpkin, banana, and cake mix in your mixer and mix on medium for 3 minutes or until well blended.  Then add the chocolate chips and mix for another minute.  Spoon the mix into greased or lined cupcake tins.  Bake at 350'F for 20-22 minutes.  Voila! 
Here is some nutritional information--not bad for a chocolate treat in the morning! 
Column1 Calories Calories From Fat Grams of Fat Grams of Fiber Grams of Sugar Grams of Carbohydrates Grams of Protein
Cake Mix 55.00 10.00 2.50 1.00 7.00 14.00 1.00
Banana 4.38 0.13 0.02 0.13 0.60 1.12 0.05
Pumpkin 5.83 1.00 0.08 0.75 0.58 1.33 0.29
Chocolate Chips 46.90 23.45 2.68 0.00 5.36 6.03 0.00
Total 112.11 34.58 5.28 1.88 13.54 22.49 1.35
And here is a terrible picture of the last surviving muffin.  I thought a few more would survive the day so I could make a nice little picture for my blog.  This is my proof of their deliciousness! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Sutton

Sutton's mommy is an internet pal of mine.  We met on a support forum for women who've suffered miscarriage. We were both blessed with take home babies in summer of 2011. 

She loved this hat from another etsy shop but we both agreed it was a bit pricy so we worked out a deal.  After all that's what friends are for! 

The keen eye will notice that this NOT a croched hat, it's knit.  It's a simple stockinette stitch with relatively big needles.  I can knit, heck I could even write the pattern for this hat from the little knitting experience I have. Alas, I'd rather not.  I can achieve the same look with crochet, so of course that's what I chose to do.  I have a ton of pom pom makers.  My grandma (yes, Erma) tried to tell me how to make them by manipulating cardboard, but I found these plastic tools to be totally worth the investment.

Sutton wanted a gray and white hat, I chose Impeccable Yarn because the texture reminded me of the texture of the yarn in the  picture.  Soft enough for a baby, yet sturdy enough to achieve the standing pom poms look. 
Gray and white is adorable and coordinates with so much for the autumn and winter months!  We decided on one additional alteration, and that was to add earflaps!  Who can resist them, and honestly at this point I am such pro at making them not why not?
Here is J-man modeling the prototype. This one had 12 rows before the earflaps which gave a bit too much room at the top for my taste--especially because Sutton's head is a tad bit smaller than my boy's.    Yes, I could have torn some rows out, but instead, I just made another hat for Sutton and let Josh keep this one. 

The only problem, as I am sure you can tell from my pictures, my son does not keep ANYTHING on his head.  Go figure.....

And here is the gorgeous Miss Sutton in her very own hat.  I am considering selling the pattern on Etsy since I created it all myself (no ravelry searches involved).  The Sutton available at Erma's Inspiration

And here is what we got in exchange.  So cute!!  How talented is Sutton's mommy!!!  I can't wait till she opens and Etsy shop too!!. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The First Six Weeks

I wish I had an Erma-ism to use for a title here, however, the best I can do right now is that she always encourages us to make positive changes in our lives. 

The Back Story

If I were a superhero, cookies would be my kryptonite. 

I did an awesome job of not gaining too much weight while pregnant.  When I came home from the hospital I was already 18 lbs down.  By 3 weeks post partum, I had 4 more pounds to go and I'd be back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  And then I started grocery shopping. 

I did a horrible job of feeding myself during the 6 months I stayed home with my son.  It was survival.  Meals consisted of anything I could prepare and eat with one hand.

I ate a lot of cookies.  When exhaustion set in I'd drink a soda to keep going. 

The weight just crept back on.  I was ashamed and embarassed.  I've always had body image issues, heck what American woman doesn't (stupid anorexic models and photshop).  Then there was a picture of me with my son in a bathsuit.  Tears were shed.

I fear the scale.  It's been over 9 months since I've weighed myself because I just don't want to know.  I'm a size bigger than I was before J was born.  Some of the size bigger clothes were getting tight. 

My Problem

Dieting--I suck at it.  I hate the thought of never having another (fill in the blank) again,  I don't stick to diets.  I love baking and consuming baked goods. 

My Solution

I had an epiphany.  Though I'm not very good with long term goal diets, I definitely could manage short term diets (I guess I have commitment issues).  Six week spans were definitley doable.  A bonus is that it takes about 3 weeks to make or break a habit. 

This was the strategy, give up two bad eating habits, and pick up one good new eating habit. Soda and store bought cookies were given up (I only had one or two of grandma's homemade cookies, because it's just insulting not to eat what she makes).  A green and a bright colored veggie or fruit were added to my lunch each day. 

The Results

Let's be honest I wouldn't be writing this post if I hadn't succeeded.  I've gone 6 weeks without OD'ing on refined sugary goodness.   I don't miss it.  I feel healthier.  I won't go into details but my body has been much more predictable cooperative. 

Soon I will have to choose another mission for the next 6 weeks. 

Although I feel heathier, the scale still strikes fear in my heart like a Friday the 13th movie.  Soon I will overcome it though. 

For six weeks I have not eaten a cookie or drank a soda. Little by little, I will get back to healthy!