Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

easy Thanksgiving place settings

With glue gun on hand, these were made tonight. Super easy! Here's the tutorial. Tomorrow, Mr. P. will write out every one's name. 

We moved all our furniture around (switched the living room with the dining room to accommodate a big table.) It left space for an impromptu dance party. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

juice cleanse

Pre-Thanksgiving stuff-your-face-silly three day preventative juice cleanse plan in effect:

These are from Pressed Juicery. I'm currently sipping on a "greens 5" which consists of spinach, romaine, fennel, orange, pineapple and cilantro. Yum!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving ideas

How is it that with each passing year the holidays get even crazier?? I don't know about you, but I like to get my holiday shopping out of the way as soon as possible. Last year, I finished by Halloween. This year, I am already light years behind. But it's hard to do Thanksgiving, Chanukah's, Mr. P.'s birthday and Christmas all in one fell swoop! 

We are hosting 15 friends and family this Thanksgiving (I'm more excited to serve the roasted brussel sprouts and pear salad than anything else). I thought I might compile a helpful roundup of Thanksgiving ideas and activities. 

I love these pine cone place settings!

A roundup of activities and ideas for the kiddos!

More kids ideas

vegan mini pumpkin pies

I'm going to keep plugging this roasted brussel sprout and pear salad until you make it!

Here's a link to last year's round up!

And I think this one is from three years ago (Doodle was SO small! my hair was SO dark!)

Phew!! Is it too early to start cooking????

Friday, November 15, 2013

brushed jersey tee

Recently I made this brushed jersey tee out of this super soft (and reversible) material. The pattern comes from Burda Style, which is a great resource for sewing, no matter what your level. 

Since the fabric was reversible, I wanted to make the shirt black and then the sleeve cuffs teal. I thought about adding more teal to the tee, but figured that since it was my first time sewing this pattern, that the black fabric would be the best choice to conceal any mistakes. 

I did not follow the directions regarding the neckline. Instead of hemming it, I left it raw so the reversible blue color pops through. 

Um…somehow when I went to adjust the fit of the tee (I cinched it in the back) Betty (my dress form) looks like she's pregnant?!?! Congratulations, Betty!

I would definitely make this tee again! It's really comfortable and loungy and fits nicely!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

what i ate #16

Fall eats are my favorite. They're hearty and colorful. Head over to my Pinterest page to follow my recipe collections. I have them organized by meal (soup, salad, appetizers, baking, breakfast, lunch/dinner, smoothies and protein.)

This has been my standout fall favorites: roasted brussel sprouts and pear salad over arugula. I'm adding this one to the Thanksgiving menu. 

Repurposed brussel sprouts and pear salad for breakfast with a poached egg and avocado toast (I really cannot get enough of that brussel sprout salad.)

Grilled salmon with kale, two ways: baked and raw with mango:

These mango cashew sunshine bites were not a family favorite, but I liked them!

This was another winner: grilled salmon with zucchini "pasta" with a walnut and chili pesto. The original recipe also calls for figs and Serrano ham, but I had neither of those things on hand. It was still delicious without them. 

What are your favorite fall eats??

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gunther the Guinea Pig

We adopted a new pet two weeks ago, a guinea pig we named Gunther:

(mom, close your eyes!)  She hates rodents.

Here's how it all went down. Mr. Meremade was mucking it up in Mexico (when the cat's away, the guinea pigs will play) and we had to do a Petco run for our kitchen fish tank. 

Right when we walked in there was an adoption table filled with cute fuzzy animals up for adoption. Doodle fell in love with these pygmy hamsters that were popping their heads up from their bedding like prairie dogs. They were really cute. We thought about adopting two of them. A saleswoman assured us they were easy to take care of. 

Cut to me in the fish aisle picking out this crab named Penelope. I asked the fish man what the real deal was with the pygmy hamsters. His response was "worst pet ever." When I asked why he explained that they bite and they're smelly and they're really small so if you take them out they can disappear in your house which meant that my mom really would never step foot in this place again. 

I asked him, "if one were to get an animal of the fuzzy variety, which kind would you recommend?" He immediately said, "guinea pigs. They're the best."The kids and I came home and I scoured the Internet for information about guinea pigs. Everyone had positive things to say. They are apparently the least smelly rodent around. Apparently they can be potty trained and they love being held. 

So back to the store we went the next day. I felt weird about purchasing a guinea pig as I'm a big proponent of adoption. Apparently, it was out lucky day because it turns out this 7 month old cavy (another name for guinea pig) was currently up for adoption. 

So now I can introduce you to Gunther! He's a brindle pig (you don't see too many of those) and has a guinea pig mohawk that I love! He loves to munch of fresh fruit and veggies and timothy hay. He seems content in his cage. 

and I also got a puppy run for him so we take him out for an hour a day and let him run around and hide food for him. 

He LOVES his cuddle time and even makes a guinea pig purr when he's curled up in your lap getting stroked.

Welcome to our wacky family, Gunther!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

a new blog

A few years ago, I never thought I'd be the person who ran a blog, but three years and 493 followers and 292,970 page views later, it appears that I am that sort of person. 

Well, as if one blog weren't enough, I wanted to announce that I have officially launched a second blog!


I know, I really have become that person who blogs, but I wanted to have a separate space of all of my writing endeavors. In the past year, I have published four stories and I wanted to keep people abreast of my writing projects as well as other tidbits on creative writing and literature. Not that those things won't pop up on this blog, but if you are interested in all things writing related, come over and visit me at 

So, come visit and see what's new in the world of creative writing and book reading! 

Don't worry, the crafts and cooking will continue! But now, you'll have an extra place to visit me online. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


"was that an auto correct?" my friend recently asked me when I texted her to see if she was participating in NaNoWriMo. I explained that it's National Novel Writing Month and participants celebrate by spending the month of November hammering out an original novel. In thirty days!!! 

In the past, it's taken me over a year to write, edit and revise a project. And while a month seems like a crazy deadline, I also know that I work much better with a finish line in sight! So I am joining over 180,000 (and counting) of my closest novel-writing friends from around the globe and hitting the keyboard each and every day, hopefully to reach my daily goal of 2,500 words (that's about ten pages a day). In order to be considered a "winner" (which really just means you've completed the month) I'll need to log in 50,000 words - minimum. 

My project? Well, all I can say about that now is that it's young adult, dystopic fiction. 

And if you want to read more about NaNoWriMo, click here! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!

So my family informed me that I wasn't MIA on my blog for one week, but for two! Yikes! Trying to be better about time management over here. 

How was your Halloween? Ours was pretty mellow this year. Doodle, who loves the movie Dumbo, was inspired to be a baby elephant. 

This was the first time I sewed without a patten. (Instead, I used one a t-shirt and pants to make an outline and just sort of winged it from there.)

I know that elephants are really fuzzy! But I wasn't about to sew him a leather outfit! And let me tell you about fuzzy material! It is messy! Each time I worked with it (cutting it was the worst!) I emerged from my sewing table looking like I had gotten into a fight with a woodland creature and lost. There was hair EVERYWHERE!

For the mask I used a batman mask as a model and then gathered some gray felt. 

Here are the pieces before I sewed them together. I also added some purple around the eyes just to give the elephant a bit more character. This method could be applied to make any animal! (I doubled each piece of felt so that it was sturdier and also so I could sandwich the elastic between the pieces of felt.

Mr. P. was Hero Brian from Minecraft (anyone else's kids obsessed?) I called him Hero Bob for about a month before finally getting it right. I sewed the shirt and the pixilated pick ax and cardboard head were store bought. 

Here's Doodle with the whole outfit on:

For Halloween Eve, Mr. P. wanted to be a yellow ninja. Mr. Meremade purchased a white karate outfit and dyed it yellow. 

Then Mr. Meremade transformed into a gladiator (he is Greek after all)

I was a minion from Despicable Me (number one costume this year, after a fox) yeah...totally original. 

The kids spent a little over an hour trick or treating, then we all came home and watched Jumanji after eating pumpkin pizza.