Sunday, September 25, 2011

Girls Weekend! Well... The Prequel!

Hey Y'all!

My best friend, Marie, came for a visit this weekend. And trust me, it was much needed!  I'll let you check out the photo below so you can see what we were up to this weekend! :)

We started off on Saturday at the Atalaya Craft Festival at the Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park. It is an awesome craft show with lots of vendors. I think one of my favorite finds from this weekend was at the craft festival. I found a tea bag holder! It is just a tiny thing, but perfect for my cuppa every night before I go to bed. It makes me happy!

After we left the craft show we hit some other stores in the area. After grabbing a quick lunch, we made our way to The Knit and Purl, my local yarn store. Susan B. Anderson has a precious baby hat knit out of Chuncky Mochi Baby yarn and I wanted to pick some up. Marie and I had a great time chatting with the owners and marveling over a "new" knitter in the store. Knitting is good for the soul I say! As you can see from the picture, I casted on for the baby hat last night during the Carolina football game. It is almost finished!

After our trip to the yarn store, we headed up north to the Tanger Outlets on 17. Marie got some Christmas shopping done and I picked up a precious book on wacky baby knits. It's a cute book and it was only $3!
We walked and shopped and eventually made our way back to my house. After resting for a bit, we decided to run to AC Moore. I had a 50 percent off coupon and needed to make a forgotten purchase. While I was there, I spied some Tweed Stripes yarn by Lion Brand. I love the look of tweed and stripes and this yarn is soft. I am not sure what it will become.... a hat? Fingerless gloves? We'll see! It's hibernating in my yarn basket right now. Isn't it nice to see something on my needles? Maybe I will have a finished project by tomorrow to post!

The last thing I want to mention is the yummy Pumpkin coffee. My Mom sent that to me last week in a care package. Although it is still 80 degrees here most days, the coffee in the early morning hits the fall spot. Is it cold where you are yet? It doesn't get cold here until January.

Alrighty, I am off to make supper! I am making Tamale Black Bean Pie! If all goes well, look for a recipe soon!

p.s. Pitty Pat wanted me to mention that he "helped" style the photo today! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Hey Y'all!

Well. I miss you. I miss blogging everyday. I miss crafting. And I certainly miss cooking. Things have been a bit overwhelming over on this front for the past few weeks. Last week I got hit with a tummy bug and just when I thought I was on the mend... The Horry County Crud hit me. This includes chronic coughing, loss of voice and the occasional gasping for air. Good times! I have thought of the blog fondly through all of this!

I am going to have to find a way..... for my sanity at least.... to balance the demands of teaching this year with the crafty, cooking, blogging side of myself. This past weekend I had grand plans. But. I ended up spending the entire weekend on the sofa due to a vertigo episode and then sheer exhaustion. I am still dealing with the exhaustion, but somehow today I found the energy to do a couple of loads of laundry, time to unload the dishwasher and time to take out the trash. Good thing. My best friend Marie is coming for a visit on Friday and I think it is just what I need!

I am dreaming of future knitting projects and my "knit for" list for Christmas is getting quite long! I have been catching up on my knitting blogs that I follow and such neat holiday ideas are coming out! I finally scored a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts  2011 and I can't wait to cast on Susan B. Anderson's puppy hat. If you don't follow her blog, you should. She has such a sweet heart and she is so creative. Whenever you knit one of her designs, you can't help but feel happy. One of her daughters has turned into quite the knitter this past year. It is fun to see what she has been knitting up too.

Well, I thought I would just pop in and say hi. Pitty Pat is doing great and has finally started to pitch in with the household chores. When I roll out of bed in the morning, I am so tired, I just don't make it up anymore. Everyday this week when I have gotten home from school, Pitty Pat has rolled the sheets and the blankets up to the top of the bed. Yes. My dog now makes my bed. I am one lucky girl!

:) JKP

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wee Bit of Knitting and Movie Monday to Boot!

Hey Y'all!

Well, Pitty Pat and I just came in from a wonderful walk. We had a horrible thunderstorm this afternoon and afterwards, everything just cooled off. It feels like fall outside right now. When we got back in I had to open all of the windows just to feel the chill. won't last, but it was a nice taste!

Since we are entering cooler weather, I have pulled out my knitting needles again. I bought several cute patterns over the summer and I have started a few of them. A few weekends ago I picked up some of my almost finished projects and added the buttons and other things that they needed to finally be a finished project. One of these was a baby shrug called "Shrug Bug." It is actually a shrug for a baby! It is knit up on size 13 and 11 needles. You could probably use a 15 needle, but since I am a loose knitter, I went down a size. I used some Lion Brand Jiffy Thick and Quick  in the colorway of Rocky Mountains that I had in my stash closet. I think that it turned out adorable!

I bought the pattern here if you are interested! I casted on one evening around 6 and was finished the next day by 12. That included a long sleeping break and walking breaks for Mr. P. It took me longer to find a button that I liked than to knit the sweater!

There is a sweater to that is similar to this one that I can't wait to cast on for. It is called Bitty Bump. So cute! There is also an adult size that I would love to make for myself!

This is also the time of year when all of the knitting magazines come out with their holiday editions. While I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday I picked up a copy of Knitting Today. It has such cute patterns for Halloween, Turkey Day and even Christmas. I can't wait to get my needles on several of these projects. It would be nice to lock myself away in a log cabin with a fire, hot cocoa and Pitty Pat and spend the day knitting! Ahhh......a girl can dream!

Finally yesterday, I made it to the movies to see Contagion. Wow. It was very similar to Outbreak, but it was less action/adventure. It really makes you think about how many things you touch in a day and how many times you touch your face. I went out immediately after the movie and bought several bottles of Purell for me and my classroom. Hey, you may laugh at me, but the teachers always get things first!

That's about all that is going on here! I am off to get ready for the season finale of The Closer and
Rizzoli and Isles.  Although, I am kind of sleepy... so the DVR is set!!!!!! I am so sad that my summer tv shows are ending! But, next week I will have Castle back!

:) JKP

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today being the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 there will be lots of commentary and play by play specials. I am proud to be an American. I think on that day, many American Heroes were made. These two videos seem to say what I want to say, but I just can't get the words right. Hug your loved ones today. Remember. Give a prayer of grattitude.

:) JKP

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spaghetti Casserole... Get in My Belly!

Hey Y'all!

Wow. I have missed the blog! School has been keeping me very busy and on top of it, I am exhausted. My iron level is really low, so I have started on some super duper vitamins and supplements. I have a condition that causes my iron to run really low anyway, but the Crohn's doesn't help. It should take a few weeks, but hopefully I will have lots of energy soon! Most days I make it home from school, walk and play with Pitty Pat and then it is to the sofa I go.

Also, Mom came and visited me last weekend! It was the first time she has visited us since February when I had to get Mitzi Mazda. We had a great weekend of shopping, playing with Pitty Pat and eating out! We even (well, I say we... Mom and her friend Tom) worked some magic on my yard too! Bushes were cut back, the grass was edged and my flower beds were filled with mulch and they are now even surrounded by fancy bricks! My yard looks SO good! I know my neighbors are relieved. I just haven't had much energy to get out and do those kinds of things. So YAY for a nice yard and not being the sketchy yard of the neighborhood!

I also finally started cooking again this week! While Mom was here, she picked up Taste of Home's new cookbook... Fall Freezer Meals. Y'all. I want to cook and eat every recipe in this booklet! You should be able to find it at your grocery store or bookstore. It is worth it! This week I made a Spaghetti Casserole that I have literally eaten off of all week. And. Some of it was SUPPOSED to make it into the freezer. It didn't.
So here ya go!

And let me just say before I get into this recipe.... I am a child of the 70's. That was when everything my Mom seemed to cook had cream of mushroom soup in it. I was not a fan of the cream of mushroom soup. In fact, until this recipe, I actually avoided it in foods  if I could help it. But, after eating this casserole.... cream of mushroom is now yummy. In my tummy!

To make this spaghetti casserole you will need..
1/2 package of angel hair pasta
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 of a jar of spaghetti sauce
1 can of tomato sauce
1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cup of shredded Colby-Monterrey Jack Cheese
*All ingredients can be doubled to make two casseroles at once. One can be baked and the other frozen to bake later. I only made one because I wasn't sure how I would like the cream of mushroom soup.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
To start, fix noodles as directed on the package. Also, brown meat and drain.

Here's a tip... once the noodles are finished cooking... leave them in the water and drain them right before you start your noodle layers. It will make them easier to use and they won't clump on you!

After the meat is browned, add 1/2 a jar of spaghetti sauce and 1 can of tomato sauce to the meat. Mix well.

Then combine 1/2 cup of sour cream to 1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup.

Next, it is time to start you layers. Using an 8 by 8 dish, start with a layer half of the meat sauce on the bottom. Then follow with half of the pasta, half of the soup and sour cream mixture and then finally a layer of cheese. Repeat the layers once more topping with cheese.

Cover the dish with tinfoil and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. I took the tinfoil off for the last 10 minutes to make it golden and bubbly.

I served mine with a salad. If you added some garlic bread it would be extra yummy!

Enjoy! I am off to a back to school party. See y'all tomorrow!
:) JKP