Monday, January 24, 2011


I have not done any cross stitching in about 4 weeks, but I did do some knitting before Christmas.  As I promised a few weeks ago, here are the photos of the scarves I knitted.  I have to say they are not too bad for a beginner.  I am missing a photo of my favorite scarf, it was a wonderfully rich dark red color and soooo soft and it had a wonderful weight/thickness and felt so warm and cuddly - but I gave it away before taking a photo.  It was part of a box of goodies we brought for a pre-Christmas visit to a local nursing home.

Here are the photos of that I did remember to take . . .

Wonderfully cozy in shades of red and pink.

Gotta love a tweedy gray

A vivid blend of purple, teal and blue

This is actually a beautiful icy blue.

This is a dark apple green in real life

True blue

A sneak peek of two future scarves

Media Monday #6

I have not had any time to do stitching lately . . . and I am suffering withdrawal symptoms.  Here is what I have been reading and watching lately . . .

Father Tim (of Mitford) and Cynthia finally make their long awaited trip to Ireland, but nothing goes as planned.  Another wonderful story from Jan Karon.

DVD - A wonderful grown-up love story.

I am enjoying exploring these recipes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Media Monday #5

Knitting Board Basics:  A Beginner's Guide to Using a Knitting Board with Over 30 Easy Projects
by Pat Novak

In the Green Kitchen:  Techniques to Learn by Heart
by Alice Waters

The Art and Soul of Baking
by Cindy Mushet

Kneadlessly Simple:  Fabulous, Fuss Free, No-Knead Breads
by Nancy Baggett

Albert's Memorial
To keep a promise to their dying friend, Harry and Frank  "steal" Albert's body to bury him on the hill in Germany where the three fought side-by-side in World War II.  Unprepared for the task and feeling their age in this younger and fasterpaced world, they set off across Europe in Harry's black cab.  After becoming lost in France, they pick up a young German hitchhiker who helps them find their way, accept their own mortality and put to rest the ghost that has haunted them all.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

King Me!

It is the start of Carnival season (beginning with the celebration of Epiphany on January 6th).  This will be the longest carnival season since 1943. 

Want to order your own king cake?  Here are links to a  few of my favorite king cake bakers that ship around the country.  Prices (including overnight shipping) are in the $40 - $60 range.  It is expensive (at least $20 goes toward the shipping), but well worth it and a medium king cake will feed a crowd.  The packages also include a little Mardi Gras lagniappe like beads, doubloons and cups.
King Cake Facts
  • The original king cakes were simply cinnamon laced (traditional), the additions of fruit, nuts and cream cheese fillings were introduced about 30 years ago.  I prefer the traditional, but enjoy the praline and lemon (DS loves the apple).  Many love the cream cheese, but it is too rich for my taste.
  • Early king cakes had a bean or ceramic baby/figure instead of today's plastic baby.  A popular tradition, if you find the baby in your slice, you must host the next party.  (Always check under your slice to check for the baby before you take your first big bite.)
  • In September 2010, Haydel's Bakery set the Guinness record for the world's largest king cake by building a king cake that circled the Superdome (of course it was done in black and gold sugar).
  • The Randazzo family bakery was a major local bakery, when the Randazzo parents passed, the children, grandchildren, cousins, etc. all opened their own competing bakeries with their "version" of the original king cake recipe.  They are all very similar, but in a side by side tasting they are subtlety different - but all delicious.)
Did I whet your appetite for more New Orleans food?  Planning a trip to New Orleans and want to know where to eat?  Check out local food critic, Tom Fitzmorris' blog

Skechers Moonrock Sandals
Photo from Skechers website
 Guess I will have to purchase some new toning shoes and clothes to help offset all those king cake calories. ; )  

I purchased the Sketchers toning sandals last summer and they really did work - I recaptured a little of the tone in my calves, thighs and butt without any additional effort other than wearing them during my ordinary daily activity - they were also very comfortable for running errands or working at home.  It gives you an extra boost even if you make no extra effort.  I am planning to buy a pair of the walking shoes and begin walking with DS while he begins his cross country conditioning.  I am currently researching various brands, including Reebok, Avia and New Balance.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Media Monday #4

Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni - So many yummy recipes, where do I start?

Candleford to Lark Rise Season 3 - I love this series. 


The Sandbaggers:  Set 1 - The First Principles - An old Cold War spy series with a cast of old favorites.

Andy Williams Christmas Special - This was a wonderful opportunity to share one of my childhood Christmas memories with my DS.

The Bells of St. Mary's - What is not to love?!?! A MUST SEE!!

How to Train Your Dragon - Cute, but NOTHING like the book.  In the book, the dragons and Vikings are not out to destroy each other, catching and training your own dragon is a rite of passage.  Don't let the movie keep your kids from reading the book, the book is far superior.

Touch of Frost:  Season 15 - The final season, I will miss it.  The three alternate endings are heartbreaking.

Letters to Juliet - A light, sweet romance proving it is never too late to be the person you have always wanted to be.

Johnny Tremain - Classic Disney Americana.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year's Stitching Challenge

It is a brand new year.  We are full to the brim of black-eyed peas and cabbage (smothered and coleslaw).  Unlike the rest of the country, the holiday season is not over for us.  We will be celebrating Epiphany on January 6th with the start of king cake season.  The season will be long this year since Mardi Gras is not until March 8th (although parades begin the first weekend of February).

In two days, I will have completed my first year of blogging.  I did not make the progress I had hoped for with my stitching (I did set my sights a little too high), but I made more progress than I have in past years and was inspired to try my hand at knitting and other creative endeavors.  Thanks to all the blogging stitchers for your support, encouragement and a little case of stitching envy (but in a good motivational way).

I am looking forward to another year of stitching and sharing with all my blogging buddies.

Several other stitchers have taken on the Flip'n Crazy January Challenge to complete 15 already existing WIPs this year.  I plan to join them with the seven (7) WIPs below.

Floral Initial "A"
Stoney Creek "Pear"

Fleur de Lis 2
(I do not have a posted progress photo)

"At Home with Jane Austen"
The Sampler Girl

"Home of a Needleworker, Too"
Little House Needlework

"Gingerbread Trio"
Little House Needleworks

Anyone else up for the challenge?