#crochet, Recipes

Crochet Mama and Baby Manatee

I recently tried crochet stuffed animals for a friend who’s expecting in August. I know one of the popular homemade gifts at a baby shower is a crochet or knit blanket so I wanted to stick with homemade but go a different route. I thought about asking my friend what her favorite animal is but once I saw the pattern for a mama and baby manatee it was decided. It did take me three tries to get the pattern started right but from then on it was so simple! This was definitely one of my favorite crochet projects. :)

What do you think?





We’re still cooking and baking all the time and some of our favorite recipes so far have been:

Oatmeal blueberry breakfast bars (Iowa Girl Eats)
Simple Marinara sauce (The Chef Next Door cookbook)
Oatmeal creme pies (Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Homemade sloppy joes- sans sweet potato (Skinnytaste)
Sweet potato, onion and cappicola pizza (Delish)
Cauliflower Rice (Cook Eat Paleo)

Recipes, Souper Bowl Sunday, winter

Lentil Soup

Last week Mike and I made lentil soup and it was one of our favorites as of now! One of my favorite things to do is make a big pot of soup on Sunday’s and enjoy it for the rest of the week. Now that I have Sunday’s off it’s easy to start making soup and then finish the evening with a delicious dinner. The lentil soup is hearty and full of vegetables without any cream. There’s carrots, celery, onion, kale, lentils and sweet potatoes. It won’t leave you hungry but it will make you excited for your next bowl! The soup recipe is in Amanda Freitag’s cookbook, The Chef Next Door, are you surprised? We froze half the soup to thaw for another week when we can get excited for the soup all over again!




Warm and Cozy Blankets

After I finished my granny square blanket for myself Mike asked for his own blanket. (He was jealous ;)) So I made him one with a ripple effect throughout, it’s peacock blue with a gray border, and he loves it. The pattern was from Red Heart Yarn.


After I made Mike’s blanket my mother in law asked for a blanket! She wanted a thick blanket so I used a bulky weight yarn and the pattern works in the back loop for each row. Her blanket was very warm because the purple is Lion Brand wool yarn and the gray is Lion Brand wool and acrylic blend. The great thing is the blanket is machine washable! The other great thing is I stay warm when making the blankets! This blanket wasn’t much of a pattern, you chain until you have your length and then do half double crochet stitches in the back look. I did 4 rows for each color until I ran out of yarn and reached my desired width.


Weekend Fun, winter

Christmas 2016 in Photos

Just a few photos to recap our Christmas Day spent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this year:


Coconut macaroons from one of my two favorite cookbooks: The Chef Next Door (Amanda Freitag) which I drizzled with dark chocolate once cooled.


We make ornaments every year and this year was snowmen made out of bottle caps and pipe cleaners for arms. The Santa paint brush on the tree was a previous DIY ornament!


We were happy and excited to watch a Steelers victory against the Ravens this year! Playoffs, here we come! Here we go Steelers!


I asked for more coloring pencils and I got them plus a cool new coloring book! Bring more snow because I’m ready to relax and color. :)

Weekend Fun, winter

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve! May your holiday be filled with cheer, enjoying company with your loved ones near and far, and blessed with happiness! Home is not always a physical location but with someone you love and I’m always happy to spend holidays with Mike. It’s even better when spent with more family but if not, that’s when other times spent together are even more special. :)

I love decorating our place right after Thanksgiving and the lights from the Christmas tree always put a smile on my face. (Notice  two (but not all) of our Steelers ornaments.)


We had so much snow last weekend and it was awesome! I love watching the snow fall especially when I wake up from a nap to snow! After the snow there were wind chill temperatures in the negative, then we had some snow freeze, icicles form, melting snow, and then a bit more snow last night. One of the Pilates studios where I teach has crazy big icicles, look out below!


I participated in a Secret Santa exchange at Colectivo and I made homemade bath salts using the Young Living essential oils I recently purchased. The bath salts couldn’t be easier to make- 1 cup of Epsom salts and 10 drops of Lavender oil. My Secret Santa loved the gift! I love seeing people get excited about the gifts they receive, it makes me so happy.


Mike and I will be having fun making delicious food while home together, making this year’s ornaments, and watching some movies. Yesterday Mike smoked a brisket and we had creamed spinach and roasted sweet potatoes for dinner with the brisket! I made coconut macaroons drizzled with chocolate and for Christmas Eve we’re having French toast casserole for breakfast and then king crab legs and lobster tail, smashed potatoes, and carrots. :) Yesterday’s movie was White Christmas and today’s is Star Wars as a follow up to the new movie, Rogue One.

Have a wonderful weekend!