Archives for the month of: October, 2012

Alternate title: I’m growing up…

Some people at work had a big Halloween party last night. Kegs, a deadly drink called “Purple Jesus”, costumes – the whole deal. Corey owed me a night out, and I even got out of work early just by chance.

And I really really wanted to go and have fun. Then at the last minute, I just decided to go home.

‘Cause I’m an old lady now, and I need my sleep! I just don’t recover from that stuff like I used to. And, I have a little cutie to play with in the mornings. And, if I’m groggy and half-asleep, I miss things. Like snuggling on the couch watching boxing with Corey, big Sunday-morning breakfasts, and the beautiful scenery on the way to work.
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Just call me Granny. I’m ready to own it!

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You really can’t go wrong with a recipe from Ghirardelli.  The thing I like most about these muffins is that they have lots of chocolate and cocoa in them, but they are not overly sweet like the behemoths they sell in the grocery store.  Basically, a chocoholic could eat one for breakfast and still feel like a fairly respectable adult.

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

makes 12 regular muffins or 24+ mini muffins

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (mini chips for mini muffins)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup butter, softened

 

Mix dry ingredients together.

Beat butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.  Stir in sour cream and 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Add dry mixture, stirring as little as possible.

Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake 20-25 minutes til firm to the touch (around 8-10 minutes for mini muffins, watch closely so they don’t get too dry).

Let stand in pan for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

 

My library doesn’t have the biggest selection, or the most up-to-date books (hello 1970’s crochet book!).

BUT.

They do have zombies on their windows.

And that is awesome.

Here’s a mish mash of whats been going on this past week or so:

Last Friday afternoon:  My neighbor lets me know she’s having a yard sale in the morning.  I proceed to tear through the house and attic gathering crap lovely things to sell.  Sorting and pricing goes past midnight…

Saturday:  I sleep through my 6 am alarm, jump out of bed at 8, and immediately run out of the house to see what I’m missing at the yard sale.  Luckily I wasn’t missing much – no one was there at the moment, so no yard sale customers were subjected to my bed-head, pj’s and crazy eyes.  All in all, it was not a very successful sale – we made a whopping $37.  But we had fun hanging out with the neighbors, and now that the work is done, we’re gonna throw it all back out there next time we have a nice sunny Saturday.

Monday:  Corey and I celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary!  He took the day off and we did super-romantic things like taking the baby to the doctor for a check up, eating cheapo Mexican food, napping and watching Anthony Bourdain and Ridiculousness.  If you didn’t know, we’re super classy!  But seriously, we had an awesome day, and I love the fact that we can do anything or nothing together and still have a blast.

 

A snapshot towards the end of our wedding reception/bonfire. 10/15/05

I also made some double chocolate chip muffins for him to take to a breakfast potluck at work.  They were yummy – more about them later…

Tuesday:  Recovery from all those shenanigans – or rather, complete and utter laziness.  Also – I’ve been completely engrossed in this book.

Today (Wednesday):  Back on the OCD organizing train and working on more Halloween fox hats.  I also went legit and bought my own website domain! Hurray for  vixenandkit.com !!

So now we’re all caught up, but you can all still look forward to an Ali update and a choco-licious muffin recipe soon!

I took a break from my organizing rampage to do a little crafting today.  I finished my first real crochet project!!

I bought the pattern from Bowtykes on Etsy after doing a Google search – she’s got cute patterns and great customer service!  This will be part of Al’s Halloween costume, but now Corey and I both want one too!

I was on such a roll, I learned how to do this too:

You can learn anything from Youtube…   Sayonara yarn scraps!

 

We’ve been loving the cooler temps in the past week or so, and I’ve been inspired to clear out the cobwebs both in the house and in my head.  For me, those two are pretty closely linked – if things get too out of control in my surroundings, my brain tends to get overwhelmed and shut down.  So to create some white space in my life I’ve been organizing/decluttering for the past few days.  I love getting rid of stuff I don’t need or finding new uses for items I just can’t bear to let go.  Plus, with less stuff sitting around, I can keep up with cleaning much more easily.

I’m trying to take care of unfinished projects, both crafty and otherwise, so I can have more calm and focused days, instead of the creative whirlwind mindset that gets so out of control.

Well, time to get back to work!  Here’s a gratuitous baby pic:

So, I just realized I’m a hoarder.

No – not THAT kind of hoarder!  I’m constantly getting rid of physical things, and *trying* to simplify my home environment, but now I’ve apparently stumbled upon a new form of stockpiling.  I’m now a rabid collector of ideas.

I’ve always collected recipes, and snipped images out of magazines.  I have hundreds of bookmarked links that I hardly ever go back to utilize.  And in the year and a half I’ve been using Pinterest, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having a way to visually organize my hoard (!!)

Wellll….

Yesterday I was reading a homeschooling blog post about how children learn really well through project-based teaching methods, but sometimes need to be taught how to follow through and persevere til they are finished.  The author, Lori Pickert, has this to say:

“Many adults, let alone children, stall in the information gathering stage of a project.  They keep collecting inspiration and ideas without ever moving forward to the point of making something of their own.  Forget about finishing – they can’t start.

Finishing is a key skill.  The beginning part of a project is the least difficult and often the most fun.  There are materials to buy and inspirational photos to look at.  The middle is when things get harder.  And sometimes we never make it past the middle.  Everything gets shoved back into a bag, and then into the back of a closet, and we move on to another fun beginning.”

Oh man, my cheeks are burning!  She totally just called me out!!

Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar circumstance in my crafting life.  And Pinterest provides the proof:

Just one pin shy of 1,500 bookmarks.  And how many things have I made?  Well, I think its only fair to separate recipes from crafty/DIY projects, but either way, it’s dismal…

I have tested 19 recipes out of 275 —  roughly 7%

I’ve used 18 crafty/DIY links out of probably 800 – a little over 2%

Overall, I’ve only used 2.5% of my pins.  BAH!  The numbers don’t lie.  I’ve become a hoarder and a non-starter instead of the prolific craftsgirl I envision myself to be.  I need to focus on actually making things again.  Looks like I have a thing or two to learn about starting and finishing.

So I’m cracking down on myself.  I’m going to make a list of a few priority projects (most likely things that need to get done between now and Christmas).  Everything else will be put on hold.  And I’m giving myself rules for internet and Pinterest usage so I don’t get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of new ideas.  No more random browsing and repinning.  Searching for and pinning info related to priority projects is allowed, and naturally I can browse things I’ve already pinned.  But thats it!!

Big-picture-wise this is not really just about crafting – its more importantly about being a more disciplined person and a good role model for Al.

(Let’s not even talk about the fact that my daughter isn’t even a year old, and I’m researching homeschool.  I’m eternally getting ahead of myself…  sigh.)

I envision this blog as a place to keep track of all my various projects, my Pinterest obsession, and my cooking successes and failures.  Not just Mama stuff.  But it has been surprisingly cathartic to put some of my thoughts and feelings out into the universe.

My inner Snark says “Nobody cares!  This is so self-centered!  Just shut your face and go finish that laundry…”

But it feels good!  And I don’t really care if anybody reads it or not!  After 30 years of people-pleasing and perfection, can’t I just do something for ME?

I think so.

I, I, I!  Me, me, me!

My little posts here are helping me work through my mini-identity-crisis in this transition from working wife to stay-at-home mom/wife.  It’s keeping me more focused on the present moment and the good things in the day-to-day, instead of constantly planning and focusing on the future.

If thats selfish, so be it.

My little sis turned 28 last week.  Funny, because I haven’t aged a day!

Anyway, I was inspired by this link I found on Pinterest, and I made her these earrings:

I used my old alcohol-based markers from design school to color the paper, then punched out the circles with a hole puncher!  Would have been much easier if I had some scrapbook paper hanging around, but I do like how the colors came together.  (And yes, I know I’m a lunatic for punching out a million tiny circles, but it was fun!)

… getting my act together after migraine week and working the weekend

… doing a crap-load of dishes

… listening to the rain through the open windows

… watching Little Boo crawl around in her footie pajamas

… blog-hopping and catching up on my Newsify reader

… trying to decide which of my million ideas will be my next project

… looking scornfully at all the unfinished projects I already have

… making pork chops for dinner!

I also found this article while I was reading my way through blog land.  I’m glad to know we’re not the only family in this situation… ” Moms: ‘I can’t afford to work.’

image credit: Mastering Light

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