Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blueberry Layer Cake

1 heaping cup of Jiffy mix
1/2 heaping cup of sour cream
3/4-1 c sugar (your preference)
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag of frozen blueberries 
(rinsed, thawed, & drained)
Greek yogurt or vanilla yogurt 
(if desired)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Hand mix everything except the berries and yogurt until moistened.
  3. Fold berries into the mix. 
  4. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan.
  5. Lightly dust with cinnamon and sugar. (I used 1 packet of raw sugar)
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

Cake will be thin and slightly spongy. I like to cut it into rectangles and then layer it 2 or 3 times alternating the cake with Greek honey yogurt. The Greek Gods brand (in a gold tub at Kroger) is my personal favorite, but I also like the Yoplait Lactose Free Vanilla. Either way, it mimics clotted cream, but in a healthier version. 

Now for a good book and a hot cuppa!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sophy's Sleep Sack

Believe it or not, this is the same pattern as Saturday's cocoon post. Amazing what a thicker, fluffier yarn and a larger hook can do! I did try something new on this one. I used a reverse single crochet (aka crab stitch) around the top to give it a more finished edge along the rim. This is going to become my new standard  for finishing. That one extra step truly made a world of difference in the overall appearance and quality of the finished piece.

Halfway through a very busy week of Parent/Teacher Conferences (last round for this school year :-) and teaching an evening class for a local university. Spring break commences this Friday evening. Oh the delicious thrills I am all ready anticipating for next week - a trip to Amish Country, thrifting, organizing, baking, gardening, painting, reading, crocheting, trying my hand at my new rotary cutter set, and sleeping in! I think I shall have to pinch myself every single day just to make sure I am not just having a reverie. 

Next week shall also mark 9 months of marriage. In some ways, it seems like a blink, yet in other ways, it is hard to remember the feeling of not being married. We are a couple of old souls who are very much enjoying our journey together. Neither one of us are much for going and doing, content to play a game of cards at our kitchen table, take a walk through our neighborhood, or sit on the back porch and listen as evening settles over our world. 

May this coming week bring you rest from your stresses,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dinner in Paris

 A few weeks ago, our church hosted a Sweethearts Banquet. I loved the ambiance the myriad of twinkle lights brought into our normally drab gymnasium. The replica of the Eiffel Tower actually went all the way to the ceiling! Amid the backdrop of French music, we laughed together at the antics of the youth group who were both our servers and our entertainment. They each wore a combination of black and white Parisian stripes with accents of red. Two of the girls even dressed up as mimes and went from table to table greeting us in silent hilarity. On a more romantic note, each couple was presented with a blank canvas and a set of paints as an opportunity to create something together that would commemorate the very special evening. All in all, it was by far the best church dinner I have ever attended. A big thank you to our event coordinator who truly outdid herself!

Dreaming of Paris,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springtime Round Up

I found these crafts, recipes, and decorating ideas to be wonderful sources of delight for mind and eye. The Pinterest Weekly Round-up was not forgotten last week. I just decided to move it to Mondays, because don't we all need a little extra inspiration to start our work week? 

Happy Monday to you!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Scripture

Thank God for his great and precious mercies!
I am always on the lookout for resources that can add a little extra "oomph" to my devotional time. I am not talking about the feel-good, warm-and-fuzzies type of thing that you read in a second, feel good for a second, and pretty well forget in a second. I mean some meat that I can chew on in my daily walk with Christ. The articles found on the More to Life website are perfect for just this sort of thing. There are articles on a wide range of topics that women can relate directly to their own personal lives. The Bible studies are current and directly applicable to everyday living. I highly recommend checking out an article or two.

Have a blessed week! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Is that a Lucy Cat I see?

Why, yes! I do believe it is! 

Our furry baby loves to be cuddled and snuggled by her mommy and daddy, but we thought we would be pushing our luck when we enveloped her in this sleep sack. At first, she squirmed, but then she popped her two front paws out and threw herself back in her daddy's arms for a royal belly rubbing. Isn't she just adorable? Maybe mommy will have to crochet her one of her own someday soon....

 I have recently begun trying my hand at crocheting baby cocoons (aka sleep sacks). Since this past June, I have had 23 friends and family who have had or announced they are having a baby. Normally, there are only 2 or 3 babies being born in any given year, thus my long-time tradition of crocheting an afghan for each new little life was never in danger of extinction. With this bumper crop of babies, though, I knew I had to find some new and quicker patterns to make! 

There has been some trial and error. Not all cocoon patterns are equal. I tried 3 different ones before I found the one above. I have decided to stick with using it, but just vary the yarns and embellishments from now on. Nothing is as disheartening as tired fingers yanking out nearly a whole skein of yarn after your stubborn brain finally admits the pattern is not working up the way it should. 

One of the features that first drew me to this particular pattern was the little cowl top, but I have yet to attempt that part of the pattern. (Guess those 3 previous errors are still messing with my head).  For now, I simply crochet the pattern until it is the length and width I want finishing it off rather than stitching the cowl. If you should try the full pattern, let me know how it works out for you. Maybe I will brave up and try it, too. 

This particular baby pod was made for a new little guy named Teyton. As I finished weaving in the last yarn tail, Hubby queried, "So does that make this a Tater Sack?" 
Good thing we both have a corny sense of humor.

Till next time,

P.S. I fully laundered the baby sack before gifting it to the actual baby for whom it was intended. Lucy was barely in it for 2 minutes ;-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Peacock Prayer Shawl

This shawl is the loving work of roughly fifty pairs of hands ranging in age from third graders to the soon-to-retire. 

A co-worker found out over this past Christmas break that she has breast cancer. She has been off work since early January fighting a valiant battle. So far, treatments are going well. This co-worker is a type-A kinda gal like myself and being stuck in bed so much is really starting to drive her buggy. We all wanted to show this special individual how much we care in a personal way, but were not sure how. One day, our special education team supervisor approached me with a plan. Why not make our comrade a prayer shawl? 

Crochet?? At work??? Teach my co-workers and students???? I did not have to be asked twice. I could think of no better way to bring comfort and support to our friend. 

Oh, to have had my camera on hand as each of my third and fourth grade students carefully placed their stitches. The hook wobbling in and out of the fluffy yarn as it was guided by unsteady hands. The at first self-conscious giggles of trying a new task before peers slowly transforming into proud grins of accomplishment. So much love and joy was put into this endeavor. 

My fellow special education team members all took turns adding several rows over a weekend or while we gathered round the table at one of our weekly team meetings. Last Sunday afternoon afforded me the sweet task of adding a scallop edging all around the soft, rectangular form.

This project was truly a collaboration of love. 

Sending best wishes and prayers for a full recovery 
to a missed co-worker!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012