23

Well this past Thursday  the 19th I turned 23, I don’t really feel like I’m 23, but to be honest I really don’t know how old I feel.  Anyways enough about my age, so for my Birthday this year I made the decision to make my birthday cake. I know most of you are thinking why would she do that, well my mom had been really busy that week and I really wanted to make a strawberry cake. As you may recall earlier this summer I wrote about making strawberry cupcakes so I decided to just turn that recipe into a cake recipe and well it worked. It tasted so good and everyone really enjoyed.

I ended up breaking the cake making up into two days because making it takes so long so I made the batter and part of the icing the night before my party and made finished it up the day of the party which worked out a lot better than trying to make it all in one day.

The batter.

The batter.

The icing in the process of becoming icing.

The icing in the process of becoming icing.

My cake :)

My cake 🙂

And me blowing out the candles.

And me blowing out the candles.

If you would like to make the cake here is the blog I got the recipe from and if you want to read about my adventures with the cupcakes you can click here.

Well besides all of the cake making excitement I got some great gifts like these knitpicks double points that I am incredibly excited for and can’t wait to get some socks started on them.

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Sorry about the glare.

I also got a few new shirts, jamberry nails, and I decided to get myself a gift because well, my family isn’t really keen to using etsy and I figured they would have difficulty finding it so yeah.

I got myself this awesome notions case and stitch markers.

I got myself this awesome notions case and stitch markers. From this etsy shop.

Here's a close up of the stitch markers, they were appropriately named confetti.

Here’s a close up of the stitch markers, they were appropriately named confetti.

Also this past weekend I went to the Harvest Moon Festival in Parkersburg, WV and got a new yarn bowl, a ring holder, adorable ceramic buttons, and a pendant. I am super excited about all of the my finds and all of it was make locally which makes it even better! Plus very reasonably priced, like the ring holder was 4 dollars, the bowl 24, the pendant 16, and the most shocking price was the buttons. I got all of those buttons for 5.50, now talk about a steal.

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I just love craft festivals, I’m hoping to go to another one in a few weeks.

Well all in all it was a great Birthday/weekend!

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Real life

Well I’m alive. Sorry for being away for so long, but this time I actually have a good reason for being gone for so long. On June 11 I started working 8 hour days 5 days a week, my nephew has had ball games almost every night and tournaments on the weekends, family has come in to visit and I took a mini vacation to Cedar Point with my family, then when I got back from Cedar Point I got sick and I am actually still recovering. Tonight is actually my first free night in I don’t know how long. I have been nothing, but exhausted and have gotten very little knitting done, especially since on top of all that I has been going on I am still taking grad classes. So far classes have been going well though.

I don’t have any pictures of my finished fingerless gloves or gemini to show you because I haven’t found a time where I actually look decent to take them, but here are some pictures of my on going new works in progress, some pictures from Cedar Point, and my new favorite kitchen appliance.

Different Lines shawl from Veera Välimäki. I am using my luna grey ripe peach and charcoal.

Different Lines shawl from Veera Välimäki. I am using my Luna Grey ripe peach and charcoal.

Here:s the Abate that I am making for my niece Olivia, the designer is Alicia Plum from Plum Dandi Designs. I am a big fan of almost all of her designs, but not until recently have I purchased anything of hers, but expect to see a lot more projects from her designs soon. This will essentially be Olivia's Christmas gift.

Here:s the Abate that I am making for my niece Olivia, the designer is Alicia Plummer from Two Little Plums Designs. I am a big fan of almost all of her designs, but not until recently have I purchased anything of hers, but expect to see a lot more projects from her designs soon. This will essentially be Olivia’s Christmas gift.

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Here’s the sunset from the shore of the lake at Cedar Point.

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The Ferris Wheel during the day at Cedar Point.

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The Ferris Wheel, Swings, and Wicked Twister at night at Cedar Point.

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The new Kitchenaid mixer that my mom bought because I burnt up her crappy little hand one. I love this mixer and have big plans for it. I have already made about 3 to 4 dozen cookies with it!

Strawberries

Growing up I have always loved strawberries, but I never knew I could love strawberries so much until last week. Last Thursday my Mom, Aunt, and I woke up and went strawberry picking at a local farm called Stacy’s at 7 in the morning. The only reason I was okay with getting up that early was the thought of fresh strawberries and the fact my Mom told me I could make the fresh strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream icing. So as soon as we got to the farm and opened the doors you could already smell the strawberries, I was in love. We ended up picking berries for about an hour and a half, the results of an hour and a half picking was my mom and I coming away with roughly 66 lbs of strawberries and my aunt had roughly 33 lbs of strawberries.

The back of my Aunt's car right before we left.

The back of my Aunt’s car right before we left.

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After we got home my friend Marissa and I cleaned some strawberries and put them in our cereal. We were both pretty sure that was the best cereal we had ever had.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds and fresh picked strawberries.

Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds and fresh picked strawberries.

After we ate breakfast we got cleaned up to go out and get some ingredients so we could make the fresh strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream icing. While we were gone my mom went to work removing the caps to all the strawberries because we got most of the strawberries to make jam with. Some of the strawberries were saved to eat fresh, for the cupcakes, for two pies, and to make some smoothies.

So about the cupcakes. They were amazing! This was the first time I have ever made cupcakes and icing from scratch. Marissa and I were in heaven and everyone who tried them said they were amazing. One friend of mine said “it’s like a party in my mouth.” Needless to say there were a hit and will totally become a strawberry season tradition. Making the cupcakes though made me really wish I had a kitchenaid mixer. It would have been ideal, I ended up blowing out my moms little cheap mixer and having to run up to my aunts to finish the icing with her kitchenaid mixer.

The amazing batter.

The amazing batter.

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Marissa with all of the cupcakes.

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The pretty finished product. It was so good!

I would recommend that recipe to anyone. After all of the cupcakes were gone, either from us eating them, family get together, or me giving them away to friends my mom made a homemade strawberry pie. The pie filling recipe came from my grandma and boy was it good.

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The pretty pie.

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This is my nephew. He decided to eat the pie like it was a piece of pizza.

All the strawberries are either gone or in the freezer already mashed waiting to be turned into jam, which though the jam is good I am totally missing the fresh strawberries, but I over heard my mom saying that she may go picking again before the season is over to make some more pies. I can only hope.

Do you have any good strawberry recipes? Have you ever had fresh hand picked strawberries?

Long time coming

Well my friend Ashley came over and as I hoped I got some good finished objects pictures and we made some yummy desserts. We also watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower (I would highly recommend the book and the movie. I enjoyed both) and talked about what was going on in our lives so a good time was had by all.

So here are the pictures that I have been saying I would post for about a month now.

Well I have decided that I love the cowl the colors are perfect. They are just a nice pop of color in the dreary winter months. And again, it was wonderful to knit up. Such an easy and fun project.

Well I have decided that I love the cowl the colors are perfect. They are just a nice pop of color in the dreary winter months. And again, it was wonderful to knit up. Such an easy and fun project.

Here is my deja vu cowl.

Here is my deja vu cowl. I love it!

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Now here is my beautiful blue sweater. This is the one that gave me such a hard time with size. It ended up that the second time around modifications work perfectly.

Now here is my beautiful blue sweater. This is the one that gave me such a hard time with size. It ended up that the second time around modifications work perfectly.

I absolutely love the color of this sweater and though it caused me a lot of grief and I hated having to rip it out and start over the knit picks city tweed dk yarn is just lovely.

I absolutely love the color of this sweater and though it caused me a lot of grief and I hated having to rip it out and start over the knit picks city tweed dk yarn is just lovely, so it made ripping it out and starting over easier.

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Mainly what I did was follow the Emily Raglan Henley pattern the raglan equaled 9 in from the back of the neck, then I cast on 10 stitches under each underarm, placed a stitch marker in the middle of the 10 stitches and then the five that it called for in the front and then joined it in the round. After that I decreased on either side of the stitch maker under the center of each arm every 5 rows until it measured 16.25 in. Then I increased every 5 rows 3 times. Then I worked even until the in measured 23.5 in from the top to bottom and did a 2 in 1×1 rib. Then I followed the rest of the pattern except of the arm ribbing I only did a 2 in 1×1 rib.

Here's the hoarfrost test knit that I did for IvoryEve.

Here’s the hoarfrost test knit that I did for IvoryEve.

It was a super fun and easy knit and I really happy with the color of the hat. It was by far my favorite dye job.

It was a super fun and easy knit and I really happy with the color of the hat. It was by far my favorite dye job.

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Now that I got all of that out of the way now on to the yummy stuff. The first thing we made was this Berry Cobbler thing. It was super easy, only required 3 ingredients and the prep time was only 5 min. I liked it, it wasn’t my favorite thing that I have ever made, but I’m not a big cobbler person. Everyone else in my house liked it so it was a success.

 

The Berry Cobbler.

The Berry Cobbler.

The second thing we made was Golden Grahams S’mores. They were so yummy, I took them to work and gave it to the office staff  at the school, a coworker, and a friend of mine and they absolutely loved it. One person said it was like crack, overall it got a great reaction. It too is easy to make and has minimal ingredients, the other great thing about it is all you need to do is let it chill in the fridge for like 15 min. so it can get set and then you can devour it.

The Golden Graham S'mores.

The Golden Graham S’mores. We made these Thursday morning and this is all that’s left Friday night.

 

 

 

 

Caramel, Creamsicles, and Pasta

Well this past week has been pretty crazy due to going back to work and squeezing in hangouts before people go back to school so I haven’t got to post about my most recent baking adventures and knitting completions. Back on New Years Eve I babysat so there really wasn’t any crazy shenanigans that night but earlier that day I had a blast.  My friend Ashley come over and well, the one thing you need to know about Ashley and I’s friendship is that are hangout’s about 75% of the time involve diy stuff, baking, and pinteresting. Now you may ask what the other 25% is, in case you were curious it is eating, watching movies, and talking.

So on this visit we decided to make Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark and Orange Creamsicle Truffles. If you would like to try either recipe you can click on the name of the desserts and follow the hyperlink to the blogs that the recipes were posted on.

The salted caramel pretzel bark came out really great. We did run into a few hiccups along the way though. First off we struggled making the caramel. I account that problem to the fact that we were using low fat butter, but I really don’t know. We finally got the caramel finished though it didn’t quite look like the picture and took forever so the second time around we just melted the caramel candies. The second hiccup was that we didn’t grease the foil in any way the caramel stuck to it. But over all it turned out really great. Here are some pictures:

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The orange creamsicle truffles turned out equally as good, but we didn’t have any problems. We were very excited they turned out well and felt very fancy because we had to use orange zest. Yes we are nerds. The only thing was that making the truffles you had to roll them into little balls and that became messy. Recently everything I choose to make seems to end up getting messy.

Messy hands!

Messy hands!

Yummy orange creamsicle truffles.

Yummy orange creamsicle truffles.

While we were waiting for all of the dessert ingredients to chill for various reasons we made this pasta, it was very yummy. We had to improvise on the ingredients though and used dried herbs because we didn’t have fresh. Next time I make it I will use fresh herbs, like I said it was good with the dried, but fresh herbs I’m sure will make it even better.IMG_4351

Selfish knitting

It feels so good to be able to do some selfish knitting again, at least for awhile (I do have some orders but those I’m not going to start for another week or so).

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Here’s my Rae!

On the topic of selfish knitting I have finally finished the scarf called the Rae that I have been in love with for a while. I first fell in love with the scarf when I saw it on Jane Richmond’s ravelry design page. I started this project somewhere around the end of October, on some sock yarn I had lying around and realized that I wouldn’t have enough yarn so I ripped it out. Plus I didn’t really like it that much, it was a true sock

yarn, not something that you would want around your neck. Then I fell in love all over again after I bought the new yarn and started knitting it. The yarn is called Heritage silk by Cascade Yarn (one of my go to yarn brands), the yarn is a luscious 85% merino wool and 15% mulberry silk blend that is a beautiful navy blue color.

About midway through this project it started popping up in my dreams, I’m not joking. I was wearing it with one of my favorite shirts and ever since I had that dream that is all I can think about when I wear that shirt. That made Christmas knitting even harder because I really wanted to finish it, but I knew I needed to be good and get my Christmas knitting done because I was cutting it close anyway. But I finished the scarf Saturday night, I cut it close and had to improvise in the end. That was another hiccup. I technically ran out of yarn, but I finagled it to work. All in all with this hiccup  and all of the hiccups during my Christmas knitting I have definitely learned my lesson and from now on I will gauge. At least right now I can declare it.

So needless to say I was very excited to finish the project Saturday night because that meant I could finally wear the outfit that I have been dreaming/thinking about forever. So here it is my Rae of blue!

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Marissa came today! We had a fabulous time!

Marissa came over today! We had a fabulous time!

So besides the fact of me wearing my favorite new go to outfit as I said about my friend Marissa came over and she modeled some of my jewelry, but we also did some baking! We searched Pinterst for recipes and this is what we chose: Nutella stuffed cookies. You can find the recipe at the blog I just linked to in the name of the cookie.

The cookies were delicious, but super messy to make. They didn’t look as messy in the pictures on the blog, but I feel we were to impatient to let the cookie dough chill long enough to not be sticky. Here are some of the pictures my mom took as we were making them.

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We made one big cookie with all of the left over dough! It spread and made it look like Mickey Mouse. We made one big cookie with all of the left over dough! It spread and made it look like Mickey Mouse.

Overall it was a successful fun day!