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Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day


Ever wonder what you would do with an extra day?

Well, it is here.

Enjoy it!


*photo from flickr images.

Gems of the Sea--a Pay Per Post

Oysters are the gems of the sea. Not only are they incredibly delicious, they make beautiful pearls. Have you ever thought how cool it would be if oysters could produce whatever you wanted? You could open an oyster and find diamonds, a new watch, or even Thin Mints! Yum.

There is a website that talks all about Gulf oysters and how to be "oyster aware". There are articles about how to avoid the transmission of vibrio vulnificus. Most healthy individuals can eat raw oysters with no problem but this website gives some advice on how to avoid getting sick from enjoying the gems of the sea.

As you can imagine, I don't get a lot of opportunities here in Nebraska to eat raw oysters. But, whenever I am visiting a coastal state---you will know that I am finding a seafood restaurant and eating as much seafood as I can handle!

This website also includes a section of recipes on how to prepare oysters (provided by the Mississippi State University researchers and Mississippi State Department of Marine Resources). They all look really yummy but I think my favorite (just from reading the recipes) would be Oysters Alfredo. They also have an entire recipe book available for download.

Bon Appetit!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Almost Gone

My Thin Mints are almost gone. But, look what I found? A recipe.

HERE IS THE LINK.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

Two years ago, Hollie and I had a garage sale. She gave me a Ralph Lauren sweater (100% wool) that I think belonged to her mom at one time. It sat in my closet until a few weeks ago when I decided that I needed this sweater to become a bag. Julie is the master of all things felted bags so I commissioned this one. I picked it up tonight and it turned out better than I had even imagined it in my head! It is one of a kind so you can't get one just like it but I'm sure you have some sweater lying around that would make a beautiful bag. You can check out this link to see more pictures of the bag and the small bag to go inside (made from the zipped yoke of the sweater). Hollie---thanks for the sweater! ;)

Insert Title Here

I was going to write a blog post about what's been going on around here but I'm pretty sure none of you care to here me whine about how the kids are driving me nuts.

Instead I'll tell you that I didn't order enough Thin Mints.

Or, maybe it is a good thing they are almost gone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Talk About Tuesday


Do you watch Project Runway? Do you knit? Did you enter this contest?

This was one contest I was willing to bow out of but I'm having a hard time figuring out who to vote for.

You can check out the gallery of entries here. One of my favorites is this one. The felted sandals put me over the edge. I think this one has my vote.

You can vote over at Mason Dixon Knitting. Who will you choose?

Got something to talk about today? Do it here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Peter Cottontail

Just in time for Easter. I made Kenny a little bunny hat last night. I think he likes it.I tied the ears with some spare blue yarn but I'm going to switch it out with some blue gingham ribbon. He's ready to go Easter egg hunting!
I made another one today to put in my etsy shop. It should be there later today.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Project 365

02/18/08

Bon Jovi Concert

02/19/08
Library time with Eva and Leslie.

02/20/08
Eva and Spongebob.

02/21/08
More sweater pics w/ Eva.

02/22/08
Today I met my nephew, Kenny.

02/23/08
Mommy in training.
02/24/08
Kenny's blessing day.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kissing Cousins

I think you can tell from the pictures that the kids are excited to have their new cousin here for a visit.
Eskimo kisses are okay.

We're having lots of fun today.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pay It Forward

I've seen so many different bloggers participate in "Pay It Forward" and I wasn't ever quite ready to throw my hat in the ring and participate. Then a couple of months ago, Marie from All About the Make and Takes decided to do it and I had no excuse not to comment. I wish my pictures were cooperating this morning--maybe I'll be able to add them to this post later. She made me a really cute fleece scarf with a flower button closure (I wore it all day yesterday) and she made Eva an apron! Now I'll have to think of something else to give Eva for her birthday because that is EXACTLY what I was going to get for her.

It is now my turn to pay it forward by sending handmade goodies to 3 people. All you have to do is be willing to do the same. Actually, I don't even think it needs to be crafty stuff you use to pay it forward. If I remember right, Cjane paid it forward by interviewing people on her blog. Anyone up for the challenge? The first 3 people that accept the challenge by commenting on this post, can expect some lovely stuff from me in the mail sometime soon! If you'd like to comment but not participate---I guess that's okay, too!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blog Tag

1. Once you've been tagged, you have to write a blog with ten weird, random things, facts, or habits about yourself.
2. At the end, you choose five people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them to be tagged.
3. Don't forget to leave them a comment "You're It!" and to read your blog.
4. You can't tag the person who tagged you. Since you can't tag me back, let me know when you've posted your blog so I can see your answers.

I was tagged by Jennifer. I can't remember how we found blogs (maybe through Talk about Tuesday) but she lives in Oklahoma and you know I have a soft spot for all things "Okie".

She specifically asked that I post about how I find time to do my crafty stuff. Here goes:

1. My kids rarely wear pants. Think of the time saved every day!
2. I never make my bed.
3. I taught my kids how to make their own toast and chicken nuggets.
4. I never watch TV without a project.
5. I watch a lot of TV.
6. I have some kind of project going for almost every room of the house. That way I can always be working on something no matter where I am.
7. I will knit almost anywhere.
8. My husband thinks I'm being thrifty...I don't know if he realizes exactly how much yarn costs. Shhhh.
9. I think almost everything is better homemade.
10. When I'm not knitting or doing some other craft, I'm thinking about it. I'm sure it is a bit of an unhealthy obsession, but it is working for me.

I'd like to tag:
1. Julie. She needs some blog traffic so her Payperpost rating can go up!
2. Audra. She's been blogging everyday this year and I know sometimes it is hard to come up with topics.
3. Deb. Deb just had a baby so I thought it would be cute if she posted 10 random things she's learned in the past week of being a mother.
Anyone else want to do it?

Teletubbie Sweater


I finished the Teletubbie leftover sweater. It was a quick and easy knit. I knit from sleeve to sleeve so I could get those vertical stripes on the front and all I had to do when I was finished knitting was seam up the sides and the sleeves. I made the neck a little too big but it is perfect to go over a turtleneck or another shirt. I used Caron Simply Soft (it is really soft and cheap) and the bamboo yarn from a swap. This sweater cost me $0. Pretty darn good! Even Carl was muy impressed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Surrender

I'm fighting a losing battle around here. I purged a huge trash bag worth of toys this morning and got the floor clean enough to vacuum. This afternoon, the floor is back to "normal" (where do all these toys come from????) and Caleb and Eva thought a food fight with graham crackers was a good idea. Carl hasn't taken the recycling out for a couple of weeks so I'm fighting with an endless supply of cardboard and I have bags and bags full of stuff to be donated that is just cluttering up the house.

By the time Carl gets home from work, I'm pooped and the last thing I want to do is clean up...again. I'm afraid I'm going to have to suck it up and get it done because this evening is my last chance before my mom, stepdad, sister, and nephew come to visit this weekend.

Minor victory: Eva's been going potty pretty regularly for the past couple of days. She still has several accidents a day but she's trying. That is good news.

*I have a couch that needs a new home. It is my plaid one that is in our upstairs living room. One of the cushions has a rip in it but otherwise it is a good couch. My mom is bringing a different one to us (that matches the chaise) so I've got to find a new home for the other one. If you know of anyone local that needs a couch, let me know. If I don't have any takers, I'll freecycle it.

Lovely Day

Currently in Lincoln
-2F (Feels like -23F)
Clear
Wind: N17

I think it is cold today. I better finish my mittens!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Renaldo

Oh, proof that I probably should get off the internet and do something a little more productive with my time right now.



My mom bought William Hung's CD. She wasn't even forced. Maybe she'll get this one as soon as this guy gets his record deal.

Talk About Tuesday--BON JOVI Edition!


Last night I went with my favorite concert-going pal, Wendy, to see Daughtry and Bon Jovi at the Qwest Center.

It probably won't surprise you when I say it was really, really good.

We got to our seats as Daughtry was starting. He has such a great voice and I really enjoyed the songs he played. He was gracious and put on a good pre-show.

As much as I love me some Daughtry, I was waiting for the main attraction! Bon Jovi came out and got the night started with Lost Highway. Wendy and I realized pretty quickly into the concert that Jon Bon Jovi isn't the greatest dancer. He had some crazy swimming moves and some jazz hands to rival any of the cast of Bring it On. Some of the best moves were found in the crowd. There were a couple of guys (mid 40's, I'd guess) that were seated in the section behind the stage that were rocking out to air drums, keyboard, and guitar. There was a lady in the 2nd row that kept swaying and running her fingers through her hair. Good stuff.

Bon Jovi has been producing hits for over 25 years so it was hit, after hit, after hit. I LOVED IT! Their second song was You Give Love a Bad Name. After the concert as we were leaving, there were some young kids (early 20's--if that) that were being loud and obnoxious and one of the girls shouted something like, "I WAS ARRESTED FOR GIVING LOVE A BAD NAME!".

The highlights of the evening for me were: Bad Medicine and Livin' on a Prayer.

Random things:
1. Richie Sambora--still rocking the 80's look with some crazy purple pants and a long colorful jacket.
2. The screens they used were really cool. There were four panels that could come together into one big screen and then they could stretch out to reach almost the whole height of the arena. The back of the stage was also an LED screen so it could raise up and down and project pictures on it.
3. Screaming for 3 hours doesn't do your voice any favors.

During the concert we talked a little bit about trying to get tickets to see The Police. They are coming to the Qwest Center in May. We talked about how much we were willing to spend even for nose bleed seats. As soon as I came home (around 1am) I did an internet search and found out that presale tickets went on sale for Citicard holders (which we are!) that day so I decided to buy some (they were the same price as Bon Jovi tickets and we were willing to pay more than that). I now have 4 tickets to see The Police on May 14th! Fan club presale starts tomorrow and the general public can get tickets (maybe) on Saturday. I can get 4 more tickets with my presale so if anybody wants me to hook them up, let me know soon!

Have something to talk about today? Do it here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Night Plans

Tonight is the night!


Enough said.

Weekend Update

Here is the list I made on Friday:
1. Prime the walls in the bathroom.
2. Buy paint.
3. Buy new vanity light fixture.
4. Knitting Group (the highlight!)
5. Purge toys. It is time...again!
6. Finish the Teletubbie sweater.
7. Make root beer pulled pork. Yum.
8. More potty training. Yuk.
9. Make Eva some eggs...RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!! (so she says)
10. Take a nap? I have a feeling that is wishful thinking for sure.

Here is what I actually accomplished.
3. Buy new vanity light fixture.
4. Knitting Group (the highlight!)
7. Make root beer pulled pork. Yum.
10. Take a nap? I have a feeling that is wishful thinking for sure.

I got some other things accomplished that didn't make the list but I really didn't do as much as I had hoped. Oh well.

Theme of 2008: LOWER THE BAR!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Project 365

02/11/08

Lizard Ridge progress.

02/12/08
Teletubbie Sweater progress.

02/13/08Smocked rib bag progress.

02/14/08Happy Valentine's Day from Caleb! Yes, he's wearing my skirt. He loves to twirl.

02/15/08

My new computer. I love it!

02/16/08
The view out my bay window.

02/17/08


Baking bread. Yum. My secret? Rhodes frozen loaves.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

SMART Habit Saturday

I have been doing a darn tootin' job with my habit this month. I've been making menu plans. Making a weekly menu plan and sticking to it has made my grocery shopping more enjoyable and my afternoons stress-free. Well, at least I'm not stressing about what to make for dinner.

Since my menu plans are going well, I'm starting to work on getting my magazines under control. I've torn out most of what I want to keep and have a binder to put them in. I've also cleaned out my mail station so I have room for a "filing" section. I'm feeling really good about what I've accomplished so far and have big dreams of an organized home. Could it be possible?

Have a SMART habit you want to work on? Do it here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pulled Pork and Purging

Root Beer Pulled Pork

1 two-three pound pork sirloin roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1-2 cans root beer (NOT DIET!)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bottled chili sauce

Stick the meat into a crock pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add onion, 1 cup root beer, and garlic. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

For the sauce, stir 3 cups root beer and chili sauce in a saucepan. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer about 30 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.

We take the pork out of the crockpot, drizzle on the sauce (sometimes I even put the sauce in the crockpot) and then eat it on hamburger buns with lettuce...or we just eat it right out of the crockpot whenever we pass by. It is delicious!


Purging Toys

When I purge toys I find it best if I do it when Carl isn't around. He grows attached to toys and thinks the kids actually play with them. I'm around all day and I know that they haven't seen any kid action for months. I'm really ready to get down to the bare minimum of toys. The kids each have 4 bins in their rooms (the canvas totes from Target) and there is one toybox in the family room. I'm going to have each tote be a designated toy type (trains, cars, dolls, etc...) and put a picture on the bin. That way the kids can clean up after themselves better. If they haven't played with the toys in a while, they are gone. If they are worthy of donation, I'll do that (or save them for my sister). Otherwise, they are going in the trash. Good fun if I can get around to it. I've been working on getting out from under a pile of mail and magazines.

Weekend Plans

1. Prime the walls in the bathroom.
2. Buy paint.
3. Buy new vanity light fixture.
4. Knitting Group (the highlight!)
5. Purge toys. It is time...again!
6. Finish the Teletubbie sweater.
7. Make root beer pulled pork. Yum.
8. More potty training. Yuk.
9. Make Eva some eggs...RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!! (so she says)
10. Take a nap? I have a feeling that is wishful thinking for sure.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chinese New Year

First off, let me say that I am LOVING my new computer. I kind of like having a fresh start. We're still working on recovering my files (PICTURES!!!) but I can't be too sad because I know that I have most everything documented on my blog.

These are the first pictures I've uploaded on my laptop. The good news: I can use Flickr with Firefox! On my old computer I could only see flickr photos by using IE (which I don't like). There was some component that was keeping me from being able to do it. So, now I'm able to see them and use them. Because I'm addicted to ravelry and they only use Flickr, I'm going to be sending my pictures that way from now on.

And now, here is my report on Chinese New Year.

We were invited to the festivities by one of Carl's grad students. She is on the planning committee and I'm hoping she had some free tickets to offer us (otherwise she had to pay for us to get in). I was worried how Caleb and Eva would act with all the excitement but they did really well.

The ticket said that dinner would be starting at 6pm so we got there just before. It ended up being an hour later. We tried to keep the kids occupied as best as we could. I had a flashlight in my purse that Eva played with for a while. I don't really have a good shot of Caleb--he was sitting right next to me.

When it was our turn for food, we were hungry! Eva cleaned her plate. Even Caleb ate his fair share. The food was so delicious. It was the best Chinese food we've ever had.
Even though we had to wait a long time for our food, the rest of the event was so well planned and organized. I was so impressed with the sheer magnitude of the event. There were hundreds of people there and it was extremely well managed. Kudos to the students that worked so hard on this activity!

The first thing on the program was the lion dance. The kids LOVED this! Caleb had me cover his ears the whole time (typical--when the music is loud and not expected) and Eva wanted to stand on the table to see the "monsters". There were 4 lions in all even though I only managed to capture two in this photo.
I can't say enough good things about this event. It was so much fun and I'm glad we went.

Happy Year of the Rat!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm BACK!!!!

Carl didn't fix my computer and I technically don't have internet at the house (I'm poaching right now so I don't want to stay on too long). We have to get our old computer working well enough to run our wireless.

I bought a laptop this morning. Now I can't be mad that my computer crashed. This is pretty sweet. I got a Compaq Presario F750US. So far, so good. It will take me a while to get all of my stuff loaded and recovered. I'm also getting Adobe Photoshop soon which is something I've wanted for at least a year (Tiffany- I made sure to ask him last night).

I have so much to blog about--especially Chinese New Year! I've also been able to get lots of stuff done in the past couple of days. It is amazing what I can do when I don't have the internet to entice me away. Lots of knitting and even some cleaning and potty training. Weird. Maybe I'll be ready to do those posts tomorrow.

I better not tempt the fates any longer and get off this internet connection. Until later, my friends!

The blog fog

I'm still unable to blog. I miss you all; my life seems in disarray. I am living in a thick fog...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oops, I crashed it again...

Hello faithful readers. This is Carl. I have been a naughty boy and crashed our computer this morning. So it falls upon me to inform you that Christy is unable to blog today and hopes to return to her public very shortly. (I will be working toward this end tonight after work. May the great Windows spirit look favorably upon me.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Music Monday

I don't have my menu plan prepared for the week. I'm going to the store tonight after the kids are in bed. Caleb will be home in about 30 minutes so I wanted to hurry up and get my blogging done for today while I know I can.

You guys were NO HELP at all in helping me with my decision. Now I'm even more confused than BEFORE! Anyone else care to weigh in? I still have those half price items. I'd hate for them to not be used (but apparently not enough to use them myself).

I thought I'd fill my little blog space today with ten songs I get when I shuffle my iPod.

1. Le Tango de Roxanne from Moulin Rouge. I love that movie.
2. Too Much Time on My Hands by Styx. I rarely feel that way.
3. I Will Survive by Enrique Iglesias. True. So true.
4. Rockit by Herbie Hancock. Interesting that this should come up today. Did you see that Herbie Hancock won album of the year last night at the Grammys?
5. Living on my Own by Freddie Mercury. Not quite.
6. I'll do Anything by Jason Mraz. I love him.
7. You Should Be Dancing by the BeeGees. Should I? Really?
8. Song 2 by Blur. WOO HOO!
9. (You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney Spears. Interesting how this song has new meaning now.
10. Runaway by Bon Jovi. I am going to see them in ONE WEEK!!!!!!!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Project 365 (366)

My week in pictures.

02/04/08

Fabulous, by Caleb.

02/05/08Eva's BFF.

02/06/08

Bird in Hand...almost.

02/07/08

My distraction.

02/08/08

Chill Out.

02/09/08

Worn out!

02/10/08

Wearing Japanese Cherry Blossom body cream to the Chinese New Year Celebration tonight at UNL.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Decision '08

There is democratic caucus in Nebraska today. Obama has called me a couple of times this week to try to persuade me to vote for him. I wonder if he knows that I'm not even a registered democrat? I've thought about going tonight (they'll register me as a democrat at the door) but decided that I'll let others hash that out and I'll vote in the May primary for Republicans. Besides, I have other decisions to make.

I'm closing my Lia Sophia party* and I can get anything out of the catalog for $15. I have it narrowed down to these 3 necklace choices. Got an opinion? Which one should I get?

*I have 2 half price items that I'm not going to use--anybody want to buy something from the catalog for 1/2 price? Email me at sra_nelson AT yahoo DOT com.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Distracted

Yesterday I decided I needed to clear out my stash and get it organized. I have way too much yarn for the space I'd like to use so I thought it was time to pare it down. There are certainly some things in there that I can part with.

Last night I went in my yarn/craft room (don't you all have rooms for your yarn?) and I was choosing some things to sell.

Then, I got distracted.


I found a bag of yarn that I had used for the Teletubbie hats. It also had some turquoise that I used to make a gift for my aunt Sharon.

Then I remembered some really cute bamboo boucle yarn that I picked up last October during our knitting guild's trick or treat swap. It would match perfectly.

It didn't take long before I had a design in my head and I started knitting.

Never mind that I had a mitten to finish, more stash to go through or laundry to do. I had to knit up that yarn right then and there.

The beginnings of a sleeve.


I'm making this a girls size five (or so) so Eva will be able to wear it next year and beyond. I got quite a bit done while watching Survivor Fan vs. Favorites and the Celebrity Apprentice.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Kenneth

Anxiously Engaged

Yesterday early in the morning I got the call that my sister was at the hospital in labor. All day I waited. And waited. I was pretty good and only called three times. All day. Ken didn't get here until after 7pm. I'm so glad I didn't have to go through any of that! I'm such a wimp.

So, what did I do all day?

1. Kept the kids busy--there was no school due to snow. Carl, however, had to go to work. They didn't cancel the classes at UNL.

2. One measly load of laundry. I could have/should have done more. Oh well. It isn't going anywhere and we don't have to go naked yet.

3. At lunchtime I got a call from a kid in our neighborhood (yes, the one that used to always come over and the one I paid $1 to get a dead rabbit out of our yard). He wanted to come over. YIPPEE! He ran the kids ragged all afternoon. Seriously. All afternoon. I paid him with pizza and some headphones we didn't use but he wanted. Well worth it. The kids had so much fun.

4. While the kids were running around the house like little crazies, I knit this.

The front view of my Bird in Hand mitten. I just need to knit the thumb and it will be finished. I even whip stitched the picot-edge. I also did my finest kitchener stitch ever. I didn't think to take a picture of that, though. Maybe when they are finished. Here is the view of the palm side of the mitten. I hope to finish the thumb today and then I can show you the little birdie that will magically appear!

These mittens are going to win a blue ribbon, I know it! Oh yeah, and keep my hands warm. They fit so perfectly.

5. I also made dinner. It was pizza day for the kids and soup was on my meal plan but I wasn't up for it. I had some extra time so I cooked up a flank steak (that was supposed to be for yesterday's sirloin salad that we didn't make) and had some steak tacos. Muy delicioso. I've been eating so well lately and drinking lots of water. This n-lighten nebraska program is really keeping me on track. I can't let my team down!

And that, my friends, was my day of waiting!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Baby Ken

My very first nephew ever was born today. You can bet I'll post some pictures as soon as I have them.

What I know so far (my mom can fill in the blanks in the comments if she is able to get online sometime):

Kenneth Greer Charlton
7 lbs 1 oz
Super-cute
chubby cheeks
lots of hair

I'm pretty sure he is named after our Grandpa Jacox. But, our horse-shoer and first pony when we were kids were also named Kenny so you never know. ;)

Tomorrow I should have some pictures and also an update of what I was working on while I was waiting for the news.

Black Bean & Jicama Salad


I made this salad for my Lia Sophia party last night. We had a ton of snow and a lot of people bailed out (understandably so). For those of us that were there, we had good food and a fun time.

I served the recipe with garlic pita chips and we ate it mainly as a salsa. It was so yummy, I could hardly stand it! I'll certainly be making this again!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Talk About Tuesday


The girls (I've got Whitney here this morning) are coloring so I've got a few moments to talk about this super cute sweater (modesty at no extra charge) I made for Eva. It is the Pinwheel Sweater found here. I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. The Columbine colorway (the purple-ish blue) was my most used and it didn't even take up a whole skein. I think she likes it. I don't know if I'm going to do anything to the front to make it stay closed. I could use a ribbon or a clip of some kind. Eva just likes scrunching it up with her hands and saying, "I so cute!". I think she's right!

Have something to talk about today? Do it here.