Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Reading Wednesday - 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Standford

This book gets a four out of fives stars. I love being able to create so many different flowers and leaves, and I'm excited to see what projects I can do with them in the future. The patterns were sometimes hard to follow, which is why the book doesn't get a five out of five. The projects were super quick and colorful.

To see the projects I did from this book, click on the pictures below.

I recently found a project that uses this book that I looove. It's an Autumn wreath! You can see my pin here. It's totally adorable. :)

Has anyone tried the knit patterns in this book? How did they turn out? And does anyone have great project suggestions from this book?

Monday, March 27, 2017

S'mores Bar

One of my best friends holds S'mores nights at her house when the weather is nice. We've had a lot of fun experimenting with different ways to eat S'mores. Here are some ideas for you:

Graham Substitutions:
Wafer cookies (see picture above)
Just use chocolate and put the marshmallow in the middle

Chocolate Substitutions:
Dark chocolate
Fancy chocolates
Reeses (this one gets a five out of five stars - its amaaaazing)
Cookie Butter

Any other fabulous suggestions we must try?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sippin' Satruday - Tazo Giant Peach Tea

This drink is very refreshing and great for a hot summer day. Or in Arizona's case, a hot February day? It isn't overly sweet or overly peachy. I liked the flavor for a first couple of sips, but it got less peachy as I kept drinking. Still refreshing, but not what I expected. This drink would probably be great if you're not into super sugary drinks and/or like the taste of tea. (Not that I don't like the taste of tea, the drink just wasn't what I expected it to be.)

What Tazo tea should I try next?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Crocheted Tradescantia from 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet

I had to do this pattern twice because I sorta screwed it up the first time. So here are a couple of tips/tricks so you can learn from my mistakes. :)

1. This is the first pattern I've done from this book where the timing of the color change actually made sense. It's hard to tell in the below picture (the first one), but ending the color at the end of the round does cause a weird color overlap into the next round.

2. Part of the pattern says to "1sc in top of cluster". Turns out, this doesn't mean to crochet in the stitch made by the cluster - it means to crochet at the top of the cluster, where there's not quite a stitch. As you can see in the first photo (by first attempt at this flower), single crocheting in the cluster stitch causes a weird twist around texture to the flower.

And just in case you don't remember how to do it, or in case you've never learned, here's how you do the treble-stitch cluster for this flower:

Yarn over twice, insert hook into chain (or chain space in this case) and pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook. At this point you should have two loops still on the hook. Yarn over twice, insert hook into chain and pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook.Yarn over twice, insert hook into chain and pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook, yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.

Phew! Thankfully, it's easier said than written out. :) And thank goodness for abbreviations - in the book, this is just written as "3-st tr cluster". A lot shorter, don't you think?

The first attempt

The second attempt - after I figured things out :)

My growing collection of crochet flowers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Forever in Love by Leeanna Morgan

This book gets three out of five stars. Which is my rating for "meh". It's not so much that this book was bad so much as it was... boring. It didn't really have a "hook" and I'm not sure why I even kept reading past the first couple of chapters.

This book follows Amy, a woman returning to her country home-town in Montana after her baby half-sister is left in her care. It also follows Nathan, a Montana cowboy who is recovering from injuries from a catastrophic barn fire.

This year so far I'm working to finish off series' that I've started, but this series is one I don't think I'll pursue. Life is too short for mediocre books. :)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Crocheted Clover Leaf from 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet

Just in time for St. Patrick's day, I have another crocheted plant for you! This one is from 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield.

To be honest, I didn't really like this pattern. I did it twice, just to make sure I was reading/crocheting it right. I matched the pattern and diagram exactly, but my clover came out very... floppy? It has to be twisted and positioned just right to look like the actual plant. Otherwise, the leaves all face different directions, and not in a realistic-actual-plant-like way.

Have any of you tried this pattern and gotten better results than I did? What are your tips/tricks?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Sister of the Bride by Susan Mallery

This book gets three out of five stars. The writing was great, as with all of Susan Mallery's stories, but the novella format was simply too short to convey a realistic story.

This novella follows Katie, who's spending the week at a hotel in preparation for her sister's wedding. In order to avoid the awkward questions from relatives regarding why she's not in a relationship, her mother sets her up with the son of a friend. Who she remembers as a dorky teenager is now anything but.

The thing that bothered me most about the book was it's abruptness. While it contained many twists and turns (as much as you would expect for a romance anyways), the characters go from relationship level 0 to relationship level 10 in a span of three days. If spread out over months it would have been charming, but in such a condensed period it just felt forced. That being said, I look forward to reading the next full-length book in this series.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Musicmicetro Pinterest Board Feature - Bible

Some day, I would love to have a ton of bible verses printed out and pasted everywhere around my home, as a constant reminder of my faith. Here is a collection of very artistic bible verses from my board titled "Bible".

This reminds me actually of a sermon a priest once gave. He had us close our eyes and picture ourselves walking into our living room. "Take a look around," he said, "What do you see that reminds you of your faith?" He encouraged us to have something in each room that reminds us that God comes first. As simple as a bible verse or a palm branch or a small statue in the corner.

As per usual, if you choose to link to any of these, please do so via Pinterest or via the original website so the original creator/poster, etc., can be credited.

Normally, I try to narrow my Pinterest features down to my top ten. But I just couldn't get it down past twelve. But hey - twelve's a pretty Biblical number, so here are all twelve of my favorites. :)

Hopefully these brightened your day! I know they brighten mine. :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Crochet Lazy Daisy from 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet

I love this pattern! It is super quick - it took me less than five minutes to make this super cute flower. :) Plus, it's easy enough that you could create a bunch of different flowers with different petal sizes and different petal colors. There's not much else to say about this pattern except that it's awesome, so here are some pictures of it:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

Since the last book I read was Bang by Lisa McMann (five out of five stars, by the way), I wasn't expecting to be blown away. But this book did not disappoint. It's the fourth book in the Finishing School series.

The book continues to follow Sophronia, who attends a spy/etiquette school in a flying dirigible in 19th century steampunk London. I don't want to give too much away, but it was an epic and perfect ending and it made such a great concluding book for the series. This book involved an exploding wicker chicken, a flamboyantly gay vampire, multiple werewolves (the proper, British kind, not the Edward vs. Jacob kind), old enemies, and (finally) romance. I give this book six stars out of five. :)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Musicmicetro Pinterest Board Feature - Adorable Stuff

I have 162 Pinterest boards. Yes, that's right 162 boards! (And that's not including secret boards. o.o) Today I'm going to share with you my favorites from one of those boards, titled "Adorable Stuff". It's pretty much just that - a collection of Adorable Stuff. One of the great things about Pinterest is that I get to "collect" things without spending any money or taking up any non-digital space. Hooray!

If you chose to link to any of these, please do so via Pinterest or via the original website so the original creator/poster, etc., can be credited.

To start, here's an itty bitty adorable train track!

A plush narwhal!!! 💗

The most adorable dinosaur ever

A pug so adorable, I pinned him twice

A teeny tiny pitcher of lemonade. This just screams "summer!"

Teapot and tea cup, complete with very creative bead tea.

A taco keychain! (This would go great with my dumpling keychain :D :D)

Another tea themed one, I know. But they're adorable!

This is a stuffed version of the marshmallows from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. There really should be more of these in the world.

S'more earrings. Brings me back to the days when I worked at a Girl Scout camp.

What are your favorite adorable things? I'd love you for you to share. :)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sippin' Saturday - Arizona Iced Tea with Peach Flavor

I do enjoy a good Arizona iced tea - and not just because it's namesake resembles my home. They're actually very refreshing. I caught this flavor in the cooler in the cafeteria. It is sweet and fruity and has some caffeine, which all adds up to make a super yummy drink.

What's your favorite flavor of Arizona iced tea?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Crocheted Hellebore from 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet

This flower turned out adorably. :) The pattern was a little bit hard to follow, but if you're a more experienced crocheter, it should be fine to follow. This author has a habit of changing colors before you end a round, which for me was weird (and shows up strange in my crochet), so I just finished each round and then switched color.

I don't quite have three different shades of yellow, like the book uses, so I used what I have. The three colors I used are pictured below. They're all Red Heart worsted weight yarns.

Here's the flower halfway through making it.

And... the finished product! Yay!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Gasp by Lisa McMann

This book is the third and final book in the Visions series by Lisa McMann. This was another book I read in one sitting. It wrapped up all loose ends perfectly and it did a great job of pulling in details I hadn't really noticed (but still remembered) from the other books. I definitely recommend picking up this series!

I (again) don't want to give away too much, but this book continues to follow Jules as she works to figure out visions. We still get to see glimpses into the life of her loud Italian family who owns their own restaurant (and a meatball truck). This book seemed to have more ups and downs than the first two - multiple climax points instead of just one larger arc. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

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