Friday, November 28, 2014

Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries // The Pioneer Woman Cooks

This month, unlike last month, I actually got around to making a Pioneer Woman recipe. I love Brussels sprouts, and I thought Thanksgiving was the perfect opportunity to make some, especially since Thanksgiving dinner is oftentimes devoid of green vegetables.

These sprouts were roasted in the oven with some oil, salt, and pepper, and then tossed in a sweet balsamic glaze. I've had this recipe before, so I knew how it was supposed to taste, but unfortunately it didn't turn out quite right. I think the glaze burned a little bit, and it didn't taste as good unfortunately. I was quite disappointed, especially since it was a big meal, and especially since the sprouts pre-glaze were really good. I kept sneaking a few off of the baking sheet, and they were really yummy. Oh well. I guess all cooking endeavors can't be successes.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


This year, I have so much to be thankful for. As I sit around the thanksgiving table with my family this afternoon, I will be counting my blessings and hoping to keep the spirit of thankfulness all throughout the holidays.

I am thankful for...

my sweet family.
David and our love.
my grandpa, who passed away a year ago today.
hot tea and blankets.
me time.
a paying job.
yarn :)
public transportation and two working legs.
living within my means.
the Thanksgiving feast that is going to be consumed this afternoon.
my health (nothing like being really sick in bed for a week to make you appreciate something you usually take for granted).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I snapped this latest knitting picture on my daily commute to work. It's the starts of the Purl Bee's Lovely Ribbed Cowl, and it's great for bus/train knitting because it requires minimal thought while I keep my eye peeled for my stop. Hopefully I will have enough yarn to finish this up though. I have about a skein and a half of KnitPicks Simply Cotton Worsted that I'm using, and hopefully I won't regret not have 2 full skeins.

What are you knitting right now? I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving tomorrow :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blogging for Books // The Daughter of Highland Hall

I've been sick all week, so in picking out a book to read, I wanted something quick and easy that would require little effort on my part as I wasted away most of my day in bed.

I was correct in my pick in two of the three regards. Yes, the book required no effort to read or understand, and yes, the book could be denoted a quick read, but no, it was not easy. The book is marketed as Jane Austen meets Downton Abbey, and as a huge fan of both of these, I thought this book would be right up my alley. Unfortunately I was wrong, and although I can understand where the comparisons came from, I could barely make it through this book. I found it to be contrived and cliché, and a little too much like bad fan fiction, just with some names changed.

I can imagine many people liking this novel, but I was just not one of them. This book felt like something I would have enjoyed a lot more in high school.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The American, Catholic Almanac // Blogging for Books

The American, Catholic Almanac by Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson is "a daily reader of patriots, saints, rouges, and ordinary people who changed the United States." It's a compilation of short stories, one for each day of the year, about influential Catholic Americans and the lives they lived.

Although this book would be more fun to start reading at the beginning of the year and read it entry by entry, I was too excited to start reading it as soon as I got it even though that meant starting it in November instead of January. Nonetheless, I've thoroughly enjoyed the days I have read thus far, and I plan to continue reading one a day until the end.

This book isn't overly inspirational, but rather it's an unforced account of some pretty cool people. Personally, I can't wait for the entry about Jack Kerouac.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

The problem with Christmas being so close is that I have all of these works-in-progress that I want to share, but I don't want to inadvertently give away any gifts. I'm never quite sure who is reading my blog when, and although I'm dying to share one of my current projects with all you Yarn Along-ers, I don't want to spoil the surprise of what I am knitting or crocheting, and for whom.

Hence the lame shot of just the current yarn I am using. It is Wool of the Andes Bulky in the color Porcini, and this yarn is a dream. So warm but still so soft. It's a winner that I'm sure to keep coming back to.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

Just a quick post today so that I can get back to studying for my test this afternoon...

This picture is probably the most un-beautiful way to showcase a finished product, but I figured I would snap a photo of this crocheted hand towel in its new home--my bathroom towel rack! Hahaha :)

I crocheted it in KnitPicks Dishie yarn, and the color is Aster.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blogging for Books: A Kitchen in France

This time around, I received a cookbook to review for Blogging for Books. It's called A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson. I'll confess that I was initially attracted to this cookbook based upon its lovely images. The front cover is gorgeous, and I thought it was particularly attractive that all the photographs in the book were taken by Thorisson's husband.

Beyond the photographs though, I am amazed by the range of recipes in this book. I've spent a great deal of time looking at every single one, and although I am slightly overwhelmed by the skill that some of these recipes require (can you say lobster?), Mimi writes cooking instructions thoroughly in both American and metric measurements that breaks down everything to the basics.

Another appealing aspect of the cookbook: it is broken down into four sections, one for each of the four seasons. This makes it easy to craft a seasonal meal and to ensure that all the ingredients are freshest and at the peak of ripeness. Beyond the four sections, each section is then sub-divided into appetizers/sides, entrees, and desserts. Everything looks heavenly.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On My Bookshelf: November

This month, I've got some books lined up that I'm really looking forward to. I'm pretty sure I'm going to surpass my goal of reading 30 books in 2014, but it's not like I'm going to stop reading for the rest of the year.

Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
Last month, my niece lent me her copy of the best selling young adult novel, If I Stay. I devoured it whole in about a day, and now I'm excited to read the sequel. I'm sure it will also take no time at all. And I'm sure, like the first one, I will find myself crying pretty much through the whole thing.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This is the last of Gillian Flynn's novels that I have to read, and I'm already itching for her to publish a new book because I get so wrapped up in everything she writes. I'm expecting another shocker ending, and I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

Tallying Up

Making: Christmas gifts, woohoo!
Drinking: Earl's Garden from DavidsTea
Waiting: very patiently for David's flight time, i.e., please don't come, time, because I want him here forever.
Watching: shadows on my wall.
Reading: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Hearing: birds outside on my porch.
Understanding: that it's important for David to fly back to Chicago this evening.
Knitting: (crocheting) a special something. (How vague.)
Wishing: That weekends could last forever.
Enjoying: Halloween candy.
Liking: work perks.
Disliking: goodbyes.
Loving: time with David. My heart is full :)
Hoping: that I actually make time for a Pioneer Woman recipe this month :P
Planning: my November reading list.
Wondering: about my math test on Wednesday and hoping for a great grade.
Needing: to get my winter clothes out of storage.
Wearing: leggings, cat socks, and an over-sized PJ shirt.
Listening: to "Take Me Home Tonight"
Eating: breakfast.
Thinking: about the great weekend I had!
Writing: a test study guide.
Feeling: lugubrious and sad.