11–18 of 18 entries from the month of: March 2010

Cupcake!

March 15th

Cupcake baby hat

There was a knitting frenzy underway the last couple of days. A knitting frenzy that makes me blush a bit with confusion. I simply don’t understand why people stare like I’m crazy for knitting in public. It’s KNITTING. Not porn. Not flossing my teeth. Not clipping my toe nails. We are talking about two innocent needles and a ball of yarn. It’s a silly hobby and certainly not that archaic. I’m not carving wood, staining glass or weaving a basket. (Although, to be honest, those do sound fun.) Knitting in a bowling alley, at a stop light, waiting between yoga classes, before church starts? This makes as much social sense as everyone on a smart phone in the same settings. But I end up with a cute hat.

I went to a fun baby shower yesterday and have several more I’m looking forward to. I mentioned a few days ago that I wanted to replicate a cupcake hat I’d seen online. Here is my take — complete with a cherry on top. (Cupcake Baby Hat pattern pdf, for those interested.)

knitting/crocheted bell cap for Tiff

And this adult bell hat is another reproduction from an REI find for my friend Tiffany. She found a hat at the store she really liked, but it was stupidly priced. She took a camera photo and asked if I could make something similar. I don’t know how to crochet, so I called my mom in Texas and we agreed to work on it together. I knit the cap, mailed it to my mama and she added the crochet edge. It is one of my favorite colors and I hope it will serve Tiff well in the cold Midwest. I’m hoping she sends a photo!

~K

Tagged
Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Handmade goods
Comments (11)

Glam

March 12th

I’m working on a super secret project with my grandmothers that includes scanning a lot of family photos. I’ve planned on it taking several months and am glad I have the time; I love this kind of chronicling.

In the process, I ran across some pretty fabulous photos:

My mom and Dad

My parents are so damn cute in this photo! My mom says it was taken at the state fair when they were in high school. I love how soft focus glam my she is and how long my dad’s hair is.

My mama

Speaking of hair — mama mia! This is her high school graduation photo. Meow! So pretty!

Back to my secrets,

K

Posted in
Journal
Comments (13)

Cluck!

March 11th

Chilaquiles Verdes

Talked some friends into joining me for dinner this week at Gallo Blanco. If you live in Phoenix and haven’t made it in for a meal yet, andale! The food is great, the staff is kind and the atmosphere is eclectic.   The fish tacos, in particular, are my favorite. Also, the guacamole is so, so good — rivals that of the locally famous guac at Barrio Cafe.

These chilaquiles were gone before I could come up for a breath. Yum.

~K

Tagged
Posted in
Arizona, Community, Kitchen Talk
Comments (6)

Tweet

March 10th

Tweet!

I’m hosting a small brunch in a couple weeks to celebrate Easter. These invitations are what spurred the idea.

SPRING!

My take is less colorful, but inspired. I’ve had my eye on the bird stamp for a while. Now, to hunt down some champagne glasses, table cloths and cake stands. Ebay? Borrow? Any great sources or suggestions?

If I’ve learned anything from the community dinners of the last few years, it’s not to be intimidated by hosting small gatherings. As long as there is is food and good music, nearly everyone will be happy. (And those who aren’t? They may not ever be, under any circumstance.) The extra details — like those above — are simply icing on the cake. In truth, most just want to come, relax and not think about whatever chores they have waiting at them home and work.

I’ll be putting together a tutorial for how to host a fun, practical and memorable gathering; apologies to those who find this pretentious, but I’ve had many inquiries in how to throw a party on a budget. Really, having others over doesn’t require a lot of money, but the creativity to buy, borrow and improvise as necessary.

Now, someone talk me out of buying this. And this. And these!

Choking on my own words,

Kelli

Posted in
Celebrate!, Community, Domestic Art
Comments (25)

Compassion

March 8th

Devil's Basketball

Yesterday, our sermon was focused on compassion. The minister — Jeff — said compassion is often confused for charity or pity. Really, compassion is trying to understand the other side and find similarities, not providing platitudes or feeling superior by providing for someone less fortunate.

My weekend included a blur of work and fun. The choreography of my schedule lately has left me running from one thing to another and not paying enough attention to what I’m saying or how I’m acting. (Yes, I’m my biggest critic.) After having fun with friends at the ASU basketball game Saturday afternoon, we ended up at our friend’s sports bar drinking wine and eating nachos.

Bec cheers for ASU

Come on, who wouldn’t want to drink with that adorable face? Bec and I sat outside on the patio enjoying our time while the boys went back to the game for the second half. We hadn’t caught up in a while and it was so nice to enjoy the weather and just have girl time. Then I looked at my watch and realized I was to be at a debate about a mile away in 10 minutes. Of course, I’m wearing heels and jeans. Saying a quick goodbye, I raced (teeter tottered) through campus to Gammage Theater to hear Karl Rove debate Howard Dean.

Rove/Dean Debate

(Cameras weren’t allowed and this is the best I could do without a flash.)

When Karl Rove took the stage, I joined in the frenzy and booed. I’m not proud of it, but in the moment, with a couple glasses of wine under my belt and a lot of anger about the war brimming in my heart — I screamed along with the rude masses. My friend Juliann sat next to me with disgust. It was fairly immediate that I realized I was acting like an idiot and should have given the man a chance to speak.

In fact, the debate brought out the ugliest in the crowd. While I then limited my reactions to appropriate clapping, there were dozens of interruptions from people shouting from the balconies. It made me sad that Tempe portrayed itself in such a crass way.

It wasn’t until Sunday morning, still confused and angered by a lot that was said at the debate, that I realized finding a common ground politically in our country is going to take heaps of compassion. I should have been merciful. I should have been kind. I should have listened more clearly for the similarities, rather than clapping at each of the differences I thought made me superior.

So, I don’t like a lot of Rove’s policy decisions. I remain steadfast that war isn’t the answer and that there must have been another way to handle our conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan. I also think the amount of money we are spending on warfare is criminal and could be the final straw for our economy’s back. But, there were things he said that I did agree with too. I am a big believer in personal responsibility first and foremost. I think government should be smaller and community should be strengthened to help citizens in need. I think our immigration policy is failing wildly.

I look forward to having lunch with my friend Dena this week; she was at the debate and our political views couldn’t be more different. I plan on speaking less and listening more. There has to be a middle ground.

~K

Posted in
Faith, Good to Great
Comments (12)

Sweet

March 3rd

2040

2043

Angel food cake for the golfer in the guest room*; Matty starts a new tournament today. Go Pink Golfer Go!

Current Mind Candy List:

~A friend of a friend has a book coming out this week that looks pretty fantastic. I’m all for supporting new novelists, and hope to get my hands on a copy of this soon. Doesn’t it look great?

~I have a whopping total of 10 billion friends having babies this Fall. In all seriousness, I anticipate making/buying a least a dozen gifts between now and Thanksgiving. Watching my girlfriends transform into mothers is magical. I marvel at their maturity and selflessness. Plus, all these little ones mean more tiny toes to kiss and wee ones to rock. I’m hoping to create my own pattern for a baby hat that will look a little something like this.

~The garden is growing like mad. The recent rains we’ve had have pushed the chiles, planted by seed, and the tomatoes, transplanted, into awkward pre-pubescent teenagers, with limbs arching one way or the other and maturity right around the corner. Once upon a January, I thought a nursery of 23 tomato plants was a smart idea. We are soon to have an overgrown dormatory — a teeming tomato hedge. I think an Italian dinner party or two is in store.

~And finally, I’ve been wildly disappointed in myself because of the dozen Lent-related habits I planned to change, I’ve kept with only a few. I know I’m not super-human, but I never cease to push myself to cape-worthy behavior. Then this morning, during another drippy yoga session, the solution dawned on me. Rather than spend time beating myself up (a hobby I’d really rather abandon all together), I could simply start over. If Christianity is about anything, it’s about your choice to start fresh. So today, I reset. And you know what? I feel remarkably less unencumbered. Reminds me of a brilliant bumper sticker I saw in traffic last week: “Faith is a journey, not a guilt trip.”

Giddy up!

~K

* The Golfer in the Guest Room sounds like a torrid Jackie Collins’ book, right?

Posted in
Journal
Comments (16)

An Indian Love Affair

March 1st

I’ve been spending a lot of steamy time lately with a certain hot Indian. Not to be too politically correct, but the way my heart races! The fluttering in my stomach! The sweat pouring off my shaking frame!

Not quite there

That Bikram yoga challenge* is, in all seriousness, doing some good. Today was class 38 of 60. I’m down a couple pounds, have newly discovered muscles in my stomach and an empowered state of mind that I can imagine is highly annoying to those who spend time with me outside of the sweat lodge yoga studio.

Recent observations:

1. If there is an instructor you truly dislike, it is probably because he/she pushes you to be better. Give in. Suck it up. Keep taking his/her class.

2. Figure out where the scapula is on your body and keep this in mind. I’ve taken plenty of science classes and had no idea . It’s pointed out as an area you should be thinking of about 10,000 times per class. Scapula = shoulder blade. Got it.

3. If you are taking an afternoon class, eat at least 4 hours prior. (Better yet, just take the morning class.) Otherwise, the first Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana** — Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose — will result in revisiting your lunch. I haven’t yet figured out the best timing, which means I’m eating less; nothing is worse than vomiting in public.

4. My car smells like yoga. My closet smells like yoga. The workout clothes I wore last week and have since washed twice smell like yoga. It is a particularly distinct combination of sweat, feet and incense. Sounds disgusting, but in a very weird way you begin to love it.

5. Coco water is just about the most refreshingly powerful thing I’ve ever drank. After class, I sip one of these 60 calorie containers and it’s like someone plugged my battery back in. The potassium is high so you don’t cramp and it is all natural.

Stickers!

6. Aside from the physical and flexibility stuff I can do all of a sudden, the mental side of this challenge has been a bit of a roller coaster. There are weeks where I am so fired up. I race in the door, throw my sticker on the 60-day challenge chart and burst into class ready to namaste it like the best of the spandex-clad monkeys. And there has been one week in particular where it took sheer grace to get my completely exhausted frame to class each day, pushing through one sore pose to the next. Thankfully, I didn’t give up.

I couldn’t.

There are stickers.

And a chart.

And if there is one thing this type A spandex-clad monkey loves, it’s public accountability and a challenge that seems pretty insane. Even if I have nightmares where people randomly shout “LOCK YOUR KNEE!”

yogi in training,

k

* I almost titled this post, “Namaste that, Bitches!”

** Trying saying that three times fast. Jeez, Bikram. I bet you rock at Scrabble.

Tagged
Posted in
Good to Great, Journal, yoga
Comments (16)

OYW — March

March 1st

Okay Finny, the winner for the February project has to be KraftyKraut’s bat bag. Love the way she made it from a t-shirt and what in the world is the prop that’s holding it? KK — shoot me an email and I’ll send off your prize! Although a close runner up is Sue, who inspired February’s selection only to create an entirely different bag that finds the balance between practicality and stylish design.

The March recipe is Irish Soda Bread — to celebrate St. Patrick’s command that all snakes be banished from Ireland. (Any man who hates snakes as much as I do is worthy of homemade carbs.)

(Modified) Cook’s Illustrated Irish Soda Bread:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour , plus more for work surface
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 tablespoons softened + 1 tablespoon melted)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup of dried fruit (cranberries and cherries are the best)

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk flours, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in large bowl.

Work softened butter into dry ingredients with fork or fingertips until texture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add buttermilk and stir with a fork just until dough begins to come together. Add dried fruit.

Turn out onto flour-coated work surface; knead until dough just becomes cohesive and bumpy, 12 to 14 turns. (Do not knead until dough is smooth, or bread will be tough.)

Pat dough into a round about 6 inches in diameter and 2 inches high; place on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet or in cast-iron pot, if using.

Place the loaf on a cookie sheet and cut a cross shape into the top.

Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into center of loaf comes out clean or internal temperature reaches 180 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush with melted butter; cool to room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes

I look forward to hearing about your baking and sewing adventures. Don’t forget to post to the One Yard Wonders photo pool!

Fin, let us know what the sewing project is!

~ K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Recipes, Sew Along
Comments (4)