Hello everyone! Since last week, I've been to the Southern Women's Show in Charlotte, North Carolina. I spent time in the Bijou Basin Ranch booth signing books, and demonstrating some knitting techniques. It was a long, four day show and we met some wonderful people along the way. Charlotte is often my connecting city when I travel, so I've been to the Charlotte airport dozens of times, but this is the first time I've ever left the airport! It was really pretty, lots of lush green trees, and more elevation changes than where I live. Those of you in mountainous areas will not agree with me, but Florida is flat! The food was not very impressive at the show itself, but uptown Charlotte had some excellent restaurants. The best meal I had at the convention was a hotdog with sauerkraut and mustard (which was pretty tasty). It far exceeded the spam chef salad with american shredded cheese and iceburg lettuce. BUT, the restaurants were outstanding. One of the highlights was an amazing, homemade caesar salad with anchovies. YUM!
Inspired by Bijou Basin Ranch's Seraphim (angora laceweight yarn) I decided to knit a top down raglan sweater with a gorgeous lace stitch pattern during our downtime at the show. I am probably 80% finished with the sample, and will need to write up the pattern, get it tech edited and photographed, but look for the pattern in the coming months :) Bijou Basin Ranch won a prize for best looking booth at the show. Congratulations!
My deadline work is coming along nicely. I have a knit pullover I am 70% complete, crochet dress 50% complete, crochet pullover 0% complete, and the Petals Wrap Cardigan CAL is on schedule for next week's CAL (Crochet Along). If you didn't read the last blog post, I announced a new crochet along, for the cover design on Crochet So Fine, the Petals Wrap Cardigan. I changed the yarn, though, and am really excited to see how it changes the project. My yarn choice is Suri Elegance by Alpaca Yarn Company (100% Suri alpaca laceweight). My gauge remainded the same after blocking, so I'm certain it will be fine. Next week, I will begin the CAL so please check back early in the week. If you aren't ready to begin, that's ok! The beauty of a CAL on my website is that it remains archived long after I complete it so you can come back and refer to it whenever you are ready to join me. Also, as we get to the more complicated steps further along the project, I will include supplemental youtube videos for additional tutorials.
I'm having terrible luck with purses this year. Each time I research a good sale, a good quality, functional bag, SOMETHING goes wrong and it falls apart on me. I am so frustrated with bags I cannot begin to tell you. Sooooo, yesterday I decided maybe it's time to MAKE my own bag? Duh! So stay tuned for more info, but I'm considering a small and large version of a particular design in my head. One for every day, and the other for going out. Looking for the perfect handles/hardwear, too. I may have everything I need, albeit in storage, but this is definitely going on the top of my list. I am carrying my wallet in my hand with my phone and keys, people. This is ridiculous! LOL
On the menu:
Yes, I was gone for part of the week, and obviously didn't cook in my hotel room. But I always hit the ground running on my return! I made tilapia a couple times this week. Once with scampi sauce, broccoli and brown rice, and the other time I baked it and served it over a salad. I also roasted chicken thighs (the cheapest protein I can ever find at the grocery store: $1.69/lb). I cooked them with the skin on this week, and removed the skin after it was cooled. It certainly gave the chicken more flavor and moisture, not sure about the additional fat content. Today I am putting a pork shoulder in the slow cooker ($2.29/lb) so I can make BBQ pulled pork sandwiches later this week and weekend. I think they make awesome picnic sandwiches for the beach :) This photo is halfway through the 12 hour slow roasting process on 250 degrees in the oven. I ground fennel seeds with fresh garlic, lemon zest and a little bbq sauce and rubbed over the entire roast, then covered it with foil. One failure in the kitchen this week: I cooked dried beans with a left over ham hock I had in the freezer. I thought I would mix 2 different beans in the pot so I added black and great northern. Ummm, never again. I have black and GREY beans now. They taste delicious but look disgusting. SharkHunter would never eat them, and I wouldn't dream of serving them to company. Oh, remember how I'm inspired by a friend needing to lower their cholesterol? Well I have continued to think of ways to clean up my food, too. I bought Mrs. Dash this week (no salt seasoning). Not because I want to be salt-free, but I want to CHOOSE how much salt I add to things so I add Mrs. Dash FIRST, then add salt sparingly. It is working! I love the results so far. I did it on the beans, chicken and baked tilapia. I also made a large frittata because I can get 6 - 8 slices out of it and its the perfect 'no brainer' food to heat up while I'm working throughout the day. I took a half pound of fresh spinach and wilted it down with Mrs. Dash seasoning and garlic, then mixed 6 eggs and the equivalent of egg whites and poured them over the spinach. Through the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees until it solidified and sprinkled 2 oz oz crumbled goat cheese over the top. After it melts down for 2 minutes, I use an offset spatula to evenly spread the cheese like icing. You get far more cheese flavor with less quantity by putting it on top. Here is a 3-step process photo of adding the cheese:
I always find great quotes on Facebook and Twitter. It definitely takes some sifting through of not so inspiring stuff, but always worth it in the end to me. Uplifting quotes have a way of giving me a boost of energy when I read them. Hope you enjoy them, too :)
"The greatest discovery of all time is: a person can change his future by changing his attitude." ~Oprah Winfrey
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde
"Spread happy enthusiastic loving energy... the world will give u what u give it." ~ @UncleRush
"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose." ~ Tom Krause
"What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others." ~ Confucius
"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." ~ Salvador Dali
"That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well." ~ Abraham Lincoln
On a personal note:
SharkHunter asks me over and over and over again to move to a house and get a puppy. This stresses me out on so many levels. We live in a tiny, old apartment now, and it's cute & cozy, but we are seriously lacking space. And because we are an upstairs flat, we don't really have a yard. Because of the nature of my business, not knowing when I'm getting paid, or how much it will be, it is very hard to budget rent, especially budget an increase in rent! Nevertheless, I am the person who preaches positive thinking and the laws of attraction, so maybe I need to just begin.
Anyway, this week I began looking for small houses with backyards for rent in our area on CraigsList, that are pet friendly. I know, you may say I travel too much right now for a puppy, but I'm revisiting my travel schedule next year, too. At some point, it's time for us to finally get settled in our area. I haven't found the right house for us yet, but will you cross your fingers for us? Thank you :)
Oh, and if you are curious, we are hoping for a white labrador (like the one we had in Israel) or a german shephard (like I had as a kid) puppy one day.
Leave me a message below. Tell me something on your wishlist this year. Something that you will accomplish with positive thinking and an optimistic attitude. Mine is finding a small house with a backyard for my family :) I'll randomly choose a winner next week.
Have a great weekend everyone! xoxo, K