Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How to make your own ugly christmas sweater

As you can see here, we hosted our ugly sweater party the saturday before christmas. 
As the tradition of ugly christmas sweaters becomes more popular it is harder to find ugly sweaters at the last minute. So I decided to make my own ugly sweater vest. 

I searched Ravelry for vest patterns. I tried one, but I didn't like it. So I tried this one

This is what I came up with

I bought the trim on clearance at Michael's, the ornaments and pom poms are from the idea store and the yarn I already had. 

I paired the sweater vest with a goodwill skirt and sunglasses without lenses, a walmart turtleneck and target socks. 

The final product with P.

What do you think? 
I love dressing up.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ugly Christmas sweater party 2012

 This years party was pretty epic in my mind.. If you miss the ugly christmas sweater of the past you can take a look here

Our winners
Best outfit on the top and best sweater on the bottom

Our winners
Best outfit on the left and best sweater on the right
If you remember my trophies here

So, what do you think of our sweater ugliness? I think i am in love with this party.


The evolution of ugly christmas sweater parties

  It started in the December of 2007, We went to (perhaps our first) ugly christmas sweater party.
We waited till the last minute and couldn't really find anything.. 
This is what we came up with

too cute? I know.

After we got our own house we decided we wanted to throw our own annual ugly christmas sweater party.
It started in 2010 with a limited amount of people

This party has evolved from there to an annual tradition. 
This is a recap of 2011

This year was a whole new world of awsomeness, I will post later with pictures of that party and how I made my own sweater vest this year. 

Did you go to any ugly christmas sweater parties this year?


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A new era

In the summer of 2008, I elected to have my second left knee surgery. It didn't go according to plan with doctor LOA, etc. What did happen though I (or my knee rather) became an experiment, which hopefully is for the better. What that meant was that I had to be on short term medical leave and not able to walk or work for 3 months. (It might have been different if I had a different job, but at the time I worked at Starbucks. 

Anyways, thats just the prologue of my story. 
In July, P decided to go to a fast paced course for a month that would allow him to get his pilots teaching license. It was intense and I did my best to help him out since I felt like an old person on retirement with not a lot to do but go to the pool in the morning and swim laps and than watch TV, sounds exciting right? Well, a friend of mine wanted to new Iphone and she LOVES apple products and probably got me started on them. I told her I would wait in line with her and probably buy P one, just because his phone at the time was a POS. We waited in line for close to 8 hours ( i think), I was on crutches and it was hot. Well, after the system had crashed multiple times it was our turn. I found out that I couldn't buy P a phone because he was not present, so the solution was to buy him a gift card for the $200 + tax and go get the iphone. 

Well, he came home that night and I surprised him with the gift card. I know.. so exciting. NOT!
We went to the closest apple store and in my pathetic state I may have lied but told the people that I had waited in line earlier for 8 hours (not a lie) and that I purchased this gift card and they said I could come to any apple store and redeem it right away. So we got in an hour later (not to bad, if I say so myself). Well, we were all lined up ready to check out AND the system crashed again. The lady said come back tomorrow and ask for me so that we can get you all set up and P doesn't need to be there. The next day I hobbled back and got the phone a few hours later. I had to put everything in by hand, but P got his new shiny Iphone. 

Fast forward, I have had Verizon pretty much since 2001 and the iphone just recently became an option. Well, yesterday I went to best buy, didn't have to wait in some long atrocious line,  come back 3x or feel utterly exhausted. I am probably the las of my friends that doesn't have an iphone and that ok.  All of this build up for all of these years makes me feel like a little kid. I have to remind myself it is just a phone and more people aren't just going to magically going to call or text you just so you can play with it. It's funny how material things, even as adult make you feel that way. 

And.. that's the end of my iphone story. 
We are currently living happily ever after.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

ugly sweater party: the awards

So, for the 3rd year now we are throwing an ugly sweater party
I wanted to do something special for the awards

If you rewind,
I have been on a trophy kick lately 

If you remember these guys from halloween found here

I have also been working on roller derby end of year awards, which I can't share yet (soon though)

But, back to the point.

Ugly sweater party awards
We give an award for best sweater and best outfit 

So I have been looking on pinterest for some inspiration
I found this pin

From this website

So, this is what I came up with ..

The main body is an upside down dollar store wine glass that is glued on top of a wood piece from Michael's that I covered in washi tape

 In side the globe created from the wine glass is a small ornament glued on the wood with a tag for the award type

The sweater/hat combo was purchased from Peir one (a little expensive, $9), the neck was made from a cork and head from another small ornament 

What do you think of my ugly sweater party award for only $10?

This post is linking up this week here


Things change

On a regular basis, I move things or change them up. 
Pretty much since we lived in this home our living rom has looked like this. 

Not bad I know, but something just wasn't right. 
We went to a friends house up in chicago a couple weeks ago and we liked the minimalist airy feel of there apt, so I decided we needed a change. 

This is what I came up with
I moved the couch on the west wall and the chairs on the south wall where the couch use to be

I made the curtains from muslin 

Super easy, sew the top and bottom hem and slide through the curtain rod
I pain less then $10 for both panels with a coupon at hobby lobby

This is the table/lamp between the chairs

The table was purchased at salvation army for $10 and the lamp was a splurge at target for $40

This pillow was made from a coffee sack for $2 fro a local art thrift store

The front counter has a gold frame behind the lamp, I like how the lamp is kinda framed
The frame was purchased at goodwill awhile ago

On the bookshelf, I wanted to proudly display our metal objects. I think it sums us up.

What do you think of the changes? We like it. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Butternut squash and kale risotto

This recipe was requested on facebook and by the mother in law, so you all benefit. 

My mouth is even watering even though I am eating it as I write this.. 
yeah that good.

So lets back up a couple weeks we went to a newish restaurant in our area called Big Grove Tavern that serves local good food. I had the butternut squash risotto. 
So I decided to try to recreate it.. 

(Disclosure: I don't usually write recipes so please forgive me if I miss something, also I recreated this so I don't have exact amounts/most things are approximations, use your best judgement .. sorry)

Small cubed butternut squash
1/2 c. brown sugar
Extra virgin olive oil
maple bacon
2 tsp. unsalted butter
1 chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 c. (one container) chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 c. of heavy cream
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese 
Walnuts (my cheap version for pine nuts)

So, first start with the squash (it takes the longest)
Preheat oven to 450
Chop up your squash in 1/4in cubes
put in a pyrex
coat with olive oil and add brown sugar
Cook for 25-30 mins or when soft

While your squash is in oven start the risotto
Put broth in saucepan on med to low heat

In a larger pot, melt your butter
add onions and garlic until fragrant
Add your risotto to your onions and garlic, coat with butter
(if you have never made risotto before, you want to keep it moist and stir continuously)
Add scoops (I do a 1/4- 1/2 c. at a time) of broth to your risotto
continue til your risotto is soft with a bite or your run out of broth

While your risotto is cooking add olive oil to frying pan 
add kale, use a lid and cook down to bright green and spinach looking

Once your risotto is done..
This is where I add the cream, cheese, walnuts, squash and cooked kale
Stir up and serve warm

I hope your enjoy and if you have any questions please let me know.

I am linking up this week here