Jul 31, 2007

Ten years already

I had my ten year reunion this weekend, but I'm sad to say the highlight of my weekend was not the reunion, but buying this lampshade at Ikea.

We made an impromptu visit to Ikea Saturday to scope out the bookshelves/rugs/couches. We didn't have room to bring anything big home, but I absolutely had to have this lampshade for our future nursery. My favorite part is the blue bird. Buying the lampshade doesn't necessarily speak as much to the reunion as it does towards my current obsession with all things baby.

So anyway, back to the reunion. We had about 40 or so people there, including spouses. It was amazing to see all of these old familiar faces again, but I really didn't reconnect in a strong way with anyone. I was impressed to here the successes of different people and enjoyed looking at baby pics. Everyone was very nice and all clique - lines seemed to have dissolved. I was also surprised by how many of my classmates have left Michigan. I hope more people will decide to make the trip back for the 25th reunion.

I don't have any great reunion pictures - I was a little too shy and sober to get cheesey with the camera.

Jul 26, 2007

Pick of the Week

Inspired by Fivecoat of Action-Squad, I'd like to try a new weekly feature. (Well, weekly until I get sick of it that is.) I don't know that I'll try all new products, like he challenges with his project "What's the Big Deal?", but I'd like to encourage others to try the products that I particularly enjoy.

My feature this week:

The Stratton Family introduced us to this product several weeks ago. Those that know us well, know we always have a Coke Zero nearby. Sometimes I feel like switching it up a little, and when I do, Fanta Zero will be my go to. Fanta Zero is a delicious orange soda treat with none of the guilt associated with calories or caffeine! It's the perfect dinner beverage because you're not lying in bed three hours later staring at the ceiling and cursing yourself for that everlasting burst of caffeine. And did I mention it's delicious?! Good luck finding it at your local grocer, though. We have yet to find it in Holland....but we won't give up soon. Let me know if you find it!

Jul 24, 2007

Clever Ewe

I have heard of the infamous Clever Ewe from many of my knitting friends. Today I finally had the proper excuse to visit - a Junior League meeting in Ada. I tell you what, it's a good thing I don't live closer to this store because I would be in big trouble on a weekly basis.

This shop is adorable. They've been in their new location for about three months now. The shop is a general store built in the 1800s. The yarn is shelved on the original woodwork.

There is even an old nail bin that stores yarn in it's many wooden compartments. They are currently trying to make room for fall stock, so any yarn with cotton in it is 40% off. You heard me right, any cotton yarn! I made out like a fiend. I have sort of given up on my yarn diet. Even the girls of the Stash and Burn podcast still buy lots of new yarn. I'm now going to consider it more of a "collection" than a stash. Maybe I should even display it....Brian might not like that.

I bought all of this:

Anyone have any ideas for the Mission Falls Cotton? I found a cute child's hat in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I'm also considering a baby wash mitt and/or some bibs.

And I can't wait to get started on this.

The pattern calls for Debbie Bliss cashmerino - but I think I can pull this off as a substitute. I never thought I would want to knit a teddybear - but I have such the baby bug lately!

I highly recommend anyone within an hour of this store drive there at their earliest opportunity. That means you Linda! It's near the Frederik Meijer Gardens, so you can make a day of it. The sale goes until the end of this month.

Jul 22, 2007


We don't have the opportunity to take a long camping trip this summer, but this weekend we were able to get away from chores/responsibilities and head down to Covert, MI for a relaxing two nights of camping. We joined up with Carrie and Matt. Anyone who knows Carrie knows that a weekend with her can never be boring.

Carrie and her dune grass headress

Country bumpkin

We weren't able to get a site at a state park since this was a semi-last-minute trip. We found this private campground, Covert Park, and were pleasantly surprised. They had some excellent primitive sights up on a bluff. We were seconds away from the beach...and fortunately equidistant to the bathrooms.

We enjoyed some fantastic food, including Carrie's famous banana boats, kabobs roasted over the open fire, Sherman's ice cream, and blueberry pancakes. The weather was comfortable - warm enough to go to the beach but cool enough to knit.

We tried geocaching, but had little success this year. Nope, no cache in there!

We will surely visit this park again.

Jul 17, 2007

Case of the missing cucumbers

Although our vegetable garden bears fruit, it seems to be on the slow bus to China in it's production. Sunday I was overjoyed to find near 10 cucumbers. They seemingly popped up overnight. They were about pickle size when I found them. I even have photographic proof.

This afternoon I went out to check on them and found only two. There was no sign of tampering. So one has to wonder where they went.
Did a:
a) neighbor make off with them?
b) stray cat take them for his tossed salad?
c) strapping squirrel scale the fence with one strapped to his back?

Since we don't have zucchini yet, a friend was kind enough to share from his surplus.

I'm having fun trying new baking recipes from the Junior League cookbook. A chocolate zucchini cake just came out of the oven.

Sunday I made some delicious (and somewhat healthy) Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread. I'd like to share the recipe with you.

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated peeled zucchini
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until light and foamy. Add the sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla and mix well. Sift ttogether the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to the zucchini mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts.

Pour into 2 lightly greased 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 60 minutes (I recommend you check it at 45 minutes, because mine was done a lot earlier than the recipe calls for). Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 1 week.

I'd love to have you send me your favorite zucchini recipe!

Jul 15, 2007


This weekend we voyaged to TC for our 5K run and the Cherry Festival. Here is our trek (courtesy of the iPhone).

I finished with my best time yet, 30:29. Despite this being my own personal best, I was let down when I saw my score on-line, because the stop watch on my iPod gave me the impression that I had finished in under 26 minutes. Oh well. I'm proud of myself, and feel I could have done even better had it not been for a relatively cramped race course. The top girl came in at just over 19 minutes - you go girl! My sister did fantastic at 24:22, as did Brian at 26:19. Meagan's friend Jill joined us again. We're becoming the four racing Musketeers.

It was quite overcast and poured just prior to the race, but it was dry and cool for the actual run. We had a great time.

After racing, we headed out for some wine tasting on the Mission Peninsula. We hit Peninsula Cellars, Chateau Grand Traverse, Brys Estate, Bowers Harbor, and Chateau Chantel. Brys Estate was probably my favorite due to excellent tasting wine and a classy tasting room. The server was also very informative. Here we are at the front entrance.

I made it to one yarn shop of two. I strolled past the yarn shop, Lost Art, downtown on Friday night. I was very upset to find a sign stating they would be closed Saturday due to the parade.

Can't you see the disappointment on my face? Despite that, I did make it to Yarn Quest Saturday afternoon. I found a couple balls of a fun cotton yarn in a cherry color. This will be (yet another) yarn for a baby project.

I also picked out a souvenir sock yarn that reminds me of Lake Michigan and the beautiful sandy shores.

See the likeness? And yes, the water level is sadly quite low.

Well, I'm off to do some relaxing and knitting for now. You can see the rest of our favorite pics at Flickr.
We're headed to an outdoor concert this evening. The weather is perfect.

Jul 12, 2007

Off and runnin'

Brian, Meagan and I are off to the races. We had so much fun at the River Bank Run, we signed for the Traverse City 5K this weekend. This is the final weekend of the Cherry Festival, as well. Patty, Chris and Ben are also joining us for the weekend. I foresee fun times, including wine tasting, yarn shopping, and possibly some cherry pit spitting. We're so high class.

Wish us luck!

Jul 10, 2007

Whitefish Lake and the weekend

Since nobody posted about Christmas projects, I'll gues I'm going to have a very easy crafting season this year! Don't worry, I'm sure I'll still think of some crafy goodness- whether you want it or not.

I didn't get the chance to post pics of my "yarn porn" from Hello Yarn yet. This is the yarn I bought with my gift certificate, so it doesn't count as breaking my yarn diet.

I have a shawl in mind for this beautiful turquiose. It shines like a jewel and has a little color variance with a small amount of green peaking through.

This is sock yarn - but I think it would look very smart as a scarf. The color is Waxwing.

A little photo montage from the weekend at my Flickr account. We had a nice relaxing weekend. Brian's highschool friends, Carl, Jessie and Kyle made it up for some beanbag toss and pizza Friday night. Saturday we basically vegged out with Brian's family while enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. I had a nice zen moment while rocking on the porch, drinking wine, and listening to my favorite album, the soundtrack to "The Last Kiss."

I also (almost) finished the Pea Pod Baby Sweater.

The sleeves worked out fine once I picked up stitches from the body and knit outward. I couldn't do the cuffs in the same rib pattern as the neckline and hem, but the seed stitch matches nicely with the button band.

Now I just need to find some fitting buttons. I have yet to decide if I will make the matching hat. My dilemma is that I don't know what size to make it. The sweater is obviously much larger than originally intended.

BTW - there is a great book sale at Knit Picks right now - 40% off in stock books!

Jul 5, 2007

We are not friends

The Pea Pod Baby set and I are at odds right now. I thought that I was done. The only task I had left was to attach the sleeves to the body. As Brian and I watched "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" I realized I must not be, because simple math had evaded me. The sleeves were about 1/3 smaller than the sleeve hole opening on the body. I mean really, the body of the sweater looks like it will fit an 18 month old, and the sleeves were probably right for a 6 month old. I'm such a doofus. So, I have ripped the sleeves apart and I am now attempting to pick up my stitches off of the body and knit the sleeves from there. The trick is going to be making them proportional. Seeing as how I don't have a baby to measure, this will really just be winging it.

I've also been thinking lately about Christmas knitting. I don't know how much I'll commit to this year - but I'm sure I'll squeak out a few projects. I may even teach myself to crochet (I even surprised myself with that statement). Does anyone have any special Christmas requests - if you do, please state the project and color preferences. This Santa doesn't have any helpers, so she has to get to work early.

Jul 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

We're enjoying a relaxing 4th. I hope you are too.

Our friends Carrie and Matt made a pit stop at our place last night on their way up to their family's lakehouse.

We enjoyed a lakeside grill with steak from a local butcher (so good!) and the basic corn on the cob/baked potato/salad (with greens from the garden!). We also enjoyed the fireworks - but quickly lost our buzz in the traffic jam on the way home.

Since it was quite dreary this morning, we had time to complete a few odds and ends around the house. I was especially proud of myself for finally making the curtain for the upstairs bathroom. A little privacy is always appreciated. Brian hung a new bamboo blind in the office.

We spent some time in the yard. Low and behold, while I was weeding the veggie garden, I found these....

They were just dangling under the leaves - so coy. I totally looked past them for the last week. Fortunately, the squirrels seem to be looking past them too. Maybe squirrels don't appreciate their vitamins and minerals. I can't wait to eat my first bunch. I bet I won't be saying that in a few weeks.

Lastly, a few pics Brian shot around the house. Just a little eye candy to enjoy the day with.

Jul 3, 2007

They're all taken

All of my close friends are now married - and all to terrific guys. So ends the era of being a bridesmaid....
Meredith's wedding was beautiful. She has never looked happier or more graceful.

This picture seemed to be right out of a bridal magazine! Her dress had tiers of silver lace and a bejeweled bust line. The veil mimicked the dress with tiny beads along the edge. The bridesmaids had their pick of the Alfred Angelo dress line as long as the color remained the same - "tealness." I loved the look of my dress, but quickly realized on the day of the wedding that it was not conducive to dancing. I could not lift my arms above 200 degrees!

My favorite memories from the wedding:

1) How beautiful Meredith was - inside and out.
2) The bagpipes bringing the bride in at the ceremony.
3) Spending time with my long distance friends - David and Amber.
4) Our "choreographed" dance to "I Would Walk 500 Miles"
5) Her stepfather, Ron, singing "The Prayer"

Here's a few of my favorite pics - I'll let you know when we get them on our Flickr account.

The gang's all here!

My former maid honor, Kim

No pics allowed during the ceremony - but this one is nice from the dismissal.

A Few Good Men

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!

I'm on vacation right now - just chilling out with no big plans. Yesterday Brian and I spent time (forever) at AT&T activating his iPhone. Until then, he was just fondling an inactive machine. He is in love with his phone - but says it second in coolness to me.

And for everyone thinking "I thought they were on the Dave Ramsey plan"....We are! This was months and months of Brian's allowance saved up. He was quite disciplined in saving his money after he heard the Apple announcement last year. The only time he broke his focus was when the Nintendo Wii came out. I, on the other hand, run out of allowance every month. All it takes is one good ball of yarn or sale at the Gap and I'm done for.

I hope you all have a nice 4th of July! Let's cross our fingers for sunshine.

P.S. Kim has posted an exhaustive recap of the wedding at her own blog.