Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Love You Take Is Equal To The Love You Make

I thought about doing a FO round up like I have in years past, but it wasn't a good year for knitted things.

They were all small and the bigger things turned out craptacular.

There were a lot of sewing FOs. Whodda thunk?

There were way too many cookies to count.


Instead of leaving you with sweet sentimentalities about the year that was and the year to come I'll do you one better.

I'll leave you with the recipe for these sweet little lovies.

Pecan Sesame Shortbread
1 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 teasp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground pecans(I used a foodprocessor--but some creative blungeoning with a rolling pin and some repeated mincing with a knife might work too)
2 ozs. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together your butter and sugar.
Add vanilla, sesame and pecans and mix.
Finally add in flour.

Dough might be sticky. If it's too sticky to work with pop it in the fridge for an hour.

Roll dough out to about 1/2 an inch on a floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters.

Bake for 8 minutes.

Optional: Once the cookies cool, melt the chocolate chips and drizzle chocolate over them.

It had been a while since I had made these--probably because the sesame seeds make them so expensive--but they add such a great dimension to the cookie.



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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's nearly New Year's Day!

You know what that means!

AA Cookiepalooza!


You'll remember last year I baked, boy, I don't even remember how many types of cookies--at least six--for Dr. Mad Scientist's big New Year's Eve AA meeting.

It's basically a 24 hour meeting. Well it's broken up by 1/2 hour breaks every hour or so.

And during those breaks they munch on snacks or guzzle coffee.

Last year was actually much easier to bake 6 types of cookies with a week and a half old infant.


Two reasons:

1. Moochie slept all the time (infants are low maintenance like that); and
2. I was on maternity leave. This whole having a job thing really interferes with my free time!!!

Knowing that it was going to be a bigger pain in the butt this year, I got smart.


On Sunday I mixed up a couple of the doughs and tossed 'em in the fridge so all I had to do was bake them yesterday.

I also scored these awesome exhibit tab boxes from work.


Add a cute little label and they make great cookie boxes!


Little do the AAers know that they are also Cookie Testers Anonymous.

I'm trying out my first Knitcircus cookie recipe on them!!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Do You Think?*

Half a score, or one decade ago today, two people came forth to form a new union, conceived in happiness and dedicated to the proposition that we both loved each other.

June 1999--the weekend we were engaged we went on the Portage Glacier Cruise. Like the cheapass couple we were destined to become--they were freebie tickets from his Mom's boss!

That's right. Ten years ago today, Dr. Mad Scientist and I tied the noose knot!

He took me on a hike up to his favorite falls in Crow Pass. He planned to pop the question there, but the pass to the falls was snowed over with too much snow. Instead he proposed while I was sitting on this rock while we were deciding whether to press on thru the snow or not.

Without sounding like a cheesy Senior high school yearbook epitaph or a Grateful Dead song--what a decade!!!!

We hit the ground running as newlyweds living in Colorado while Dr. Mad Scientist finished up his bachelor's degree.

That dust-sign got us more comments at rest stops and gas stations that you would imagine!

Eight months later--it was off to Michigan to chase the PhD.

A little less than two years into it--we welcomed Chunky to planet earth.

Things got tumultous as grad school wore on, but we tried our best to weather the storm the best we each knew how to at the time.

Six years into the fun, we had the Great Texass Debacle.

After our reunion, we packed it up and headed north to New Jersey.

The aforementioned storm that tested us in Michigan roared back and nearly ripped us apart our second year in New Jersey...but we perservered.

At the end of that year, we welcomed Moochie into the fold.

And here we are today.

Would I do it all again? Yup.

I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful man who laughs with me, puts up with me, and is an amazing daddy to our boys!!


I know the next 10 years won't be hearts and flowers...but I've never been a hearts and flowers girl!

Happy Anniversary sweetie!!!!!!

*This is what I answered with when he asked me to marry him.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

That's a Wrap!

We had a great Christmas here at Casa De Los Bezzes!

As predicted, Moochie had more fun with the wrapping paper and boxes than the actual gifts.



Even though it was a smaller Christmas than last year--thankfully kids don't really pay attention to that stuff--Chunky still managed to get a new lego set and a skateboard.



I also managed to finish my Elf Knock Off Hat!

It's the Reverse Bathroom Mirror Self Portrait! (Where I put the camera on the shelf in the medicine cabinet behind the bathroom mirror, set the timer, and strike a pose!)

The deets:

Pattern: My own. Based on the hat Jovie wore in the Central Park public caroling scene in the movie "Elf."

Yarn: Louet Riverstone Chunky in white.

Needles: US9

Notes: While this is far from perfect, I think it was a good attempt to recreate this hat.


I messed up in a few places as you can see in this picture.


You can see where I missed a cable row on this panel of honeycomb. By the time I realized it, it was too far to rip back. Ripping cables back is a pain in the butt if you ask me. And the mistake doesn't give me as much grief as ripping back would have.

If you look really close you can also see where I got over eager and crossed my 8-stitch cable a little too early the first time, and a little too late up top. Ah well. At least my mistakes are parenthetical to the good part of the cables!

Overall, this was a fun knit and I had a good time copying it.

I'm also very proud of myself for decreasing these cables without messing them up to high hell! I've never been able to do this--even when I am following a pattern!

And the pom-pom? Nailed it!

Pardon the damp hair.

I used the cardboard-donut sandwich method--thanks for the tips!

I can't wait til it gets cold again--or better yet, snows!! I've been wearing it all day!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May your holiday is filled with cheesey smiles.


May your dorkalicious jammies be warm Christmas morning.


May your Christmas music be cheery.


May your Christmas tree (or ceiling) be free of squirrels.


May you not have to share many of your new Christmas toys.


And remember kids...don't drink too much!



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Close But No Cigar

I don't normally do WIP Wednesdays.

But today I will. Only because it doesn't feel like a Wednesday. Today is technically my Thursday. Tomorrow I have to work--so it will technically be my Friday.

Now that the Christmas presents are all done I can knit for me.

So I took my Tittie Scarf Money (I didn't want the recipient to pay me--but she did...she's such a nut. I might have to send it back to her as bail money when she gets arrested for indecent exposure wearing her scarf around town!) and I bought two skeins of yarn so I could knit this hat:

Untitled-1 1.psd

I've had my eye on this hat ever since "Elf" came out (and yeah yeah, I know there are a lot of Will Ferrel haters, but I LOVE him and his stupid movie roles and I LOVE this movie).

I thought I recreated it pretty close until I started clipping Youtube screenshots for this blog post.

Here's the back of the hat:

Untitled-1 1.psd

That's a lot more stockinette than I thought it had. Hm.

Here's what I've been working on:


Two panels of honeycomb cables flanked by two simple left-twist 8 stitch cables.

I might have gone overboard with the cables.

Ah well. It's close and the yarn I'm using is so wonderfully soft and warm.

Not to mention I've been carrying it around in my Christmas Knitting Bag that everyone's favorite blog mom made me a year or so ago.

Now the next challenge is going to be making that big fluffy pom pom. Anyone have a good recommendation for a pom pom tutorial? I suck HARD at making pom poms.


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Season Doth Descend Upon Us

Happy Solstice!

Yeah I'm not really into blessed yule logs and yadda yadda, but being an Alaskan, one innately longs for December 21. Just like I get a twinge depressed on June 21 because the daylight is all downhill from there, I get a twinge excited on December 21.

Sunday, while we were "snowed in,"

Four inches or so there--but then I realized, after I went out to shovel it (Chunky tries his hardest to shovel but a 3 car-wide driveway is a lot of child-labor for one 8 year old) it was easily more like 6 inches. This picture is from our back porch rail, which is partially covered.

I worked on my scrapbooking.

No, no, I haven't gone all cutesy-cutesy gluing Moochie's dried belly button stump to a fancy page embossed with ribbons, custom diecuts and locks of hair from his first haircut (although ahem, such things might have been made when a certain chunky baby was born...).

It is a true scrapbook.


It's a little fabric counting book.


Using my ghetto sewing skills, I just sewed scraps of fabric onto fabric "pages" of the book. The lettering is some leftover t-shirt transfer printer paper I had and some white scrap fabric.

Yeah I don't know if he'll really like it and the execution leaves a lot to be desired--it's very um, "rustic?" But that's OK. I couldn't make Chunky mittens and not make Moochie anything.

While we were "snowed in" I practiced my cookie baking.


I made cheapass cookie gifts for Chunky's Aftercare Counselors and my quad o'bosses.


I found those little holiday takeout boxes for 50 cents at Rite Aid. I cleaned out their stock!

I say "practicing" my cookie baking for two reasons: New Year's Eve is just around the corner and I'll be baking a ton o'cookies for the AA all night meeting marathon Dr. Mad Scientist is helping coordinate.

And the second reason is this. Swoon! I feel so honored!!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Post Birthday Wrap Up

Since the snow here (sofar--it's Saturday night at 8pm as I type this) is pretty pussyrific* (but hey, at least it SNOWED, last year they'd issue the French Toast Alert and nothing would ever happen), I will give you some post-Moochie birthday wrap up.

First up, the cake.

Dr. Mad Scientist actually came up with the idea to make it in the shape of the number 1.


I splurged and used some funfetti fudge frosting to give it a little pizzaz. Frosting is one of those things I can make, but I prefer the taste of storebought. The cake though was made from scratch.

Then there was some blowing out of the candle.


Some presents.


And my favorite--the consumption of the cake!

First Bite:

Last Bite:

Hee hee!!! I think he had a pretty good day!

*In more ways than one--the 3/4" of an inch and promise of non-stop snow throughout the night actually shut the Boobie Bar down at 6:00 p.m!!!

ETA: Ok, so it's Sunday morning about 8:00 a.m. All told we have about 4" and it's still slightly coming down. Better than nothing!!!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Year Ago Today

The snow was falling--really hard.

We got DUMPED on.

Today, exactly one year later, the weather is shaping up the same.

I remember last year clearly because it was the day a certain little Mooch decided to join the rest of his crazy ass family.


One year old already! Can you believe it?


I can't!

I'll leave you with a picture that I had Chunky snap for me this morning (my hair this morning matched the post-partum 'do I was sporting a year ago).

I have this exact same pose with Chunky 7 years ago doing the same thing underneath this same sign.

There's a story to the sign, but I'll save that for a different post!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

One of Those Circle of Life Things

I took today off from work.

A year ago today I was also off from work.

The weather was exactly the same. Cold, sunny, a bit breezey.

I spent the morning at the laundromat doing laundry one last time.

In the afternoon I went to Chunky's holiday concert.

In a few hours I will be attending Chunky's holiday concert again this year.

However this morning, I wasn't doing laundry.

Is it pathetic that I see this prayer and I automatically wonder if he was an alcoholic? It's kind of like the red scarf thing. I know not everyone with a red scarf is an orphan, just like I know this prayer isn't exclusive to AAers... it's just reflexive assumption.

I was at a coworker's visitation.

It wasn't too unexpected. Well, sort of. He was 80 and a heavy smoker with no intention to quit. When he got sick three weeks ago, he never really recovered.

This is the third coworker related funeral I've been to.

The first one was for a coworker's mother. That was sad. So sad. Her mother was only 60 and died of an anyerisum while she was on the phone with my coworker. Ugh.

The second one was for a coworker's sister who was brutally murdered. Surprisingly enough, that was a wonderful funeral. So uplifting and damn near joyous. Especially considering she left behind two pre-teen kids.

I didn't go to the official funeral for this one--just the visitation which was kind of weird.

I'm taking notes for my own funeral services. There will be nametags.

I want people to know who the relatives are. Maybe the nametags will read:


Mr. Coworker will be missed. I didn't know him particularly well, but he always opened the door for me if I was coming inside and he was outside the building smoking and he always had a friendly smile and a nod for me.

Sometimes when you feel like you're working in the pit of hell, it's the little things like that that help you get through the day.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


For those playing along at home, you'll note that I earlier said I had three knitted gifts I was doing this year.

Two coffee cozies and these.


Who says you can't take a picture of yourself wearing both mittens? With a self timer and a stack of library books and a bad camera angle--anything is possible!!

Yeah I still suck at colorwork.

But these are for Chunky. His hands have gotten too big for his Poops mittens so it was time for a new pair.

Pattern: Easy Mitten Pattern from 101 One Skein Wonders. Skull pattern stolen from some scarf off of The Place That Shall Not Be Named.

Yarn: Cascade 220 (black) and some leftover baby llama (white)

Needles: US 3

Notes: Eh, they're mittens. I didn't particularly enjoy knitting the first one because I had to think hard about the placement of the skulls. And you'll note that I effed up the crossbone placement due to me reading the chart wrong. But these mittens will get trashed by Chunky if it ever decides to snow here. I'm not too worried about it.

The sad part is, I made these to fit my hand, and they do--a bit snuggly. My little Chunky is closing in on having hands and feet as big as mine!


Hooray for the completion of Christmas knitting!!!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Turd Nugget

Remember this turd?


Yeah, that's the massively failed vine and leaf beret from the Fall 2009.

But it wasn't all for not.

Even though the hat turned out looking like a massive furry purple scrotum, I recycled the stitch pattern and made a pair of socks out of it!


It's been too long since I've knit a pair of socks!


Pattern: Vine and Leaf socks based on the beret of the same name from Fall 2009 Vogue Knitting

Yarn: Trekking Pro Natura (75% wool/25% bamboo). Color 1607.

Needles: US 2

Notes: What a great pattern for a SOCK! Ha ha! It was an easy to memorize 10 round repeat. I love knitting lace socks because they seem to go so much faster. Or maybe that's just because they're more interesting. Regardless, much more fun to knit than that hat!


Squeaky approves.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Check Minus

I didn't plan on knitting any Christmas gifts this year.

But in the end there are three that I've knitted (or will be finishing very soon).

Two of them I knit this weekend.

They were the boys' teachers' gifts.

First up, a coffee cozy for Moochie's teacher.


Ehhh, yeaaaah. Believe it or not, that's actually and improvement over the first one.

But I know she likes coffee--she'll snuggle with a Moochie on her lap in the morning while she waits for the other baby/toddlers to arrive and drink her coffee.

The cozy is knit from some of my early handspun.

I'm not sure I like it. It looks very, um, crude.

Inside the cup (that I may or may not have stolen from a certain place of employment--call it my Christmas bonus!) I put a single-serving of gourmet coffee and some Hershey kisses.

Next up we have a "hot chocolate cozy" for Chunky's teacher Miss Trojan. I don't know if she likes coffee or not, so she's got some gourmet hot chocolate in her cup along with Hershey kisses.


Can you tell what that is on the side?

She loves the Yankees. I took the pattern from a baseball sock pattern (that I can't remember the name of now!!).

But I'm not sure if I'm going to give it to her.


Yeah, my colorwork leaves a lot to be desired. Check out that check minus worthy work.


My problem is clearly my tension. But here's the deal, I don't wrap the yarn around my fingers when I knit. I let it sit there slack. Which makes stranded/colorwork a pain in the ass.

We'll see what grade the teachers give their presents!