Monthly Archives: October 2011

I’m making a blanket.

Yes, yet another blanket – but this one is different. This one is for me.

It is definitely a stash-busting blanket. I didn’t buy any new yarn for it – I’m using only yarn that I already had.

I have just short of a metric ton of these squares made, although inexplicably I have many of some colors and only a few of other colors, so I have to stop and make a few squares before I can complete the next square row. I mentioned last time that it was going to be made entirely of the squares in some sort of random-but-organized fashion.

When I learned that it would take 362,402* squares to make the blanket in the desired size, I decided to add the striping rows that reflect the colors used in the squares. I think this will make the process much less painless. The stripe rows are single crochet, so the blanket is going to be very dense, heavy, and warm. There’s a little bit of math required to make sure you are going to have the right number of stitches to match what you need to attach your granny square rows. If anyone wants a tutorial of the construction, I can make one – let me know in the comments (and be patient!).

*Not an exact figure.

I am getting healthy.

For the past few days I have been down for the count. The sick stuff is going around already, and I got it bad. So my weekend (plus a couple of days) was spent nursing a pint of Purely Decadent Cookie Dough, popping Sudafed, drinking green tea, and watching mediocre shows on Netflix. Today was my first full day back at work in a week, and I had lots of catching up to do.

But that’s not the only thing that happened over the weekend. Ryan’s shop Spielen opened bright and early on Saturday morning! I am so proud of him for taking a big risk and doing something he’s wanted to do for quite some time. The Hays Daily had a great article on it tonight — on the front page, no less!

Yesterday I did feel well enough to work on a bit of crocheting — a stash-busting blanket, no less. I thought it would be a granny square blanket, but then I realized it would take over 1000 squares to make it the size I wanted. So now I am doing rows of granny squares separated by rows of single crochet in matching colors. To be honest, I have no idea how the thing will turn out. I might finish it and decide I don’t like it. At least I haven’t spent any (new) money on it, since all the yarn is what I’ve had on hand for the last five years. And if anything — it will be warm! I promise pictures in the next post, ok?

I took some photos.

Recently I upgraded to a digital SLR camera, a Canon Rebel T3. I love taking photos, and I wanted a bit more clarity and control than my Canon Powershot gave me.

There is a lot to learn regarding the more advanced modes of shooting, but the great thing is there are plenty of modes that allow for great shots without a lot of knowledge required.

I am even considering doing another Project 365, which involves taking a photo every day for a year. It was tough to do that the first time, and I didn’t ever know if I wanted to make another attempt – but I think I might.

Until then, I’m just going to keep snapping pictures and learn what I can.

I have a new planner.

Those who know me well know that my planner is never far away. I’m always on the hunt for a planner that will work well for what I need, and sometimes those needs are different. And before you ask – no, I’m not a consistent user of online calendars. They just do not feel right to me, and I’m inconsistent about updating them. When I was an undergrad, I used an academic planner (Mon-Fri) and had a to-do list. During grad school, I needed something for every day, so I got a daily Moleskine. Then when I started my second round of graduate school virtually, a weekly view was more beneficial.

Which brings me to my current iteration of planning. I no longer have two jobs that I run back and forth between, and most of the things on my work agenda — well, I want to keep them at work. I don’t do homework anymore, so I don’t need that kind of to-do list. Instead, I want to track things like personal appointments, what my blog post should be about and when to post it, and what I make.

Inspiration struck when I stumbled upon an old planning book, intended for a teacher’s use in the classroom.

The two-page spread has a column for each weekday, then one column for “notes”, which I use for my weekend plans.

I added a category to each row for what I want to track. I have to transfer these each week, but that’s nice if I want to change one of the categories.

This is the second week I’ve used it, and so far it’s working out pretty well. If something doesn’t get done on that day, I circle it (note that my “plan book” blog post was scheduled for Monday).

How do you keep track of your life? I love seeing how other people plan!

I made tofu scramble.

Last weekend (I’m feeling a little delayed) I made one of our favorite weekend breakfasts, tofu scramble — but I made it for dinner, which I suppose makes it a favorite dinner too. It changes depending on what veggies we have in the fridge — this one had asparagus, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper, plus the tofu, of course. [Also, I did not edit these photos AT ALL so they suck.]

For this type of dish, it’s best if you freeze the tofu the day before, then thaw it in the fridge (or by setting the package in hot water) before you use it. Once it’s thawed, press as much of the water out of the tofu as you can (we even specifically purchased a press for this but you can use towels and a stack of cookbooks like we used to) — and then it’s ready to be put in the pan!

To make things a little more exciting this time, we used a soy version of chorizo sausage that Ryan had picked up. This added a bit of spice to it, and it turned out really great. [And you can see my amoxicillin bottle on the counter as well.]

Once the veggies were tender and everything was heated through, we wrapped it up in tortillas and it was delicious.

Do you have favorite weekend breakfasts? And do you eat breakfast for dinner too?

I joined Pinterest.

I actually did this a few days ago, but I think I’m hooked – even though I’m a little late to the Pinterest game. I’m pretty sure everyone is on Pinterest – two days after I had actually registered, the lady who cuts my hair asked me if I knew about it!
(I am so making those apple rings in the screenshot this weekend.)

Basically you create boards for any particular interest you have – I have ones for craft ideas, home decor, photography, food, and a few other different things. Then you go through the pages and pages (just keep scrolling – things will keep coming!) of ideas “pinned” onto other people’s boards and repin the things you like to your own boards. You can comment and like things that people have posted too, which makes it a little social if that’s what you like.

You can also add a button to your web browser so that if you are out surfing the Internet and you find something you want to keep on your Pinterest boards, you can pin it from that site directly. This is handy so you don’t just sink hours of your time into Pinterest all the time (which I confess to doing this past weekend).

Are you on Pinterest? I’d love to follow you! I am mjaugustine there, if you want to look me up and follow me.

I made black bean quinoa.

This was quite a delicious addition to our weekend: black bean quinoa.

Quinoa is a super easy grain to cook with, but one that also makes you look fancy. It doesn’t take as long as regular rice, although it’s not quite as quick as Uncle Ben’s 10-minute rice which we are accustomed to.

We already had the black beans prepared from dry beans, which we had done earlier in the week (and was easier than I expected in the crockpot). We prepped the quinoa, added the beans and a can of corn (and a generous helping of seasonings like cumin and even a little cayenne), and that was it! The meal was delicious and hearty, especially when wrapped with a flour tortilla like we did for our leftovers the next day.

Have you ever used quinoa?