Monday, December 30, 2013

Ringing Out the Year... With A Cowl and a Recipe!

Hey Y'all!

Well. Luckily the dentist was able to see me at 11 this morning. After a few x-rays it was determined that I have some nerve issues going on from clenching and grinding my teeth at night. I also have some Crohns issues going on with my gums. So the good news is that it is not a tooth, but something that is not easily fixable. Today I went and purchased a new night guard (since I chewed through my last one) and I have a few tricks up my sleeve from my dentist to help with  my gum issues. I also visited the natural health food store and stocked up on sulfate free, everything else free toothpaste as well. Drastic times call for drastic measures! So. There we are!

Today I wanted to share a quick recipe and an easy to make cowl accessory with y'all just in case you had big New Year's Eve plans! I have never been a big NYE party gal, but I do like to go out to dinner and then get home before all of the crazy folks get on the roads. NYE is one of those nights where I like to be in my house still admiring my Christmas tree lights.

First up... a Yummy Recipe! I don't know about y'all... but here in South Carolina we take our New Year's Day meal very seriously. You must have black eyed peas and some sort of greens. You also have a few other sides as well. With the peanut/nut allergy that I have had to face over the past few years, I have to be very careful about what I make. One of my favorite things to eat is a fruit salad or fruit ambrosia. But some folks put nuts in that and then I can't eat it! I found this great fruit salad recipe on Pinterest right before Christmas and Mom and I took it to a brunch we were invited to on Christmas day. It. Was. So. Good! Also. I didn't take any pictures when I made this!

For Cherry Fruit Salad you will need...
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (Bonus points if you use the Extra Creamy version!)
1 (16 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
2/3 bag of  miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional.. obviously I DID NOT INCLUDE THIS!)
First, completely drain the pineapple.Really get all of the juice out. You can save it and drink it later or add to New Year's Day drinks!

Then,  combine all the ingredients except the cool whip and the cherry pie filling. Make sure to mix well. Finally, fold in the cherry pie filling and then fold in the Cool Whip. Be careful not to over mix so the Cool Whip will not fall. Place in the fridge and let the Cherry Fruit Salad chill overnight.
Trust me, it will be hard not to taste this before it is chilled.... but OMG if you wait it is so DELICIOUS!

Note.. this is not my picture... it is from Pinterest. I had my spoon so deep in this concoction that I did not get any pictures!

And... finally a quick cowl for a night out on the town! As I mentioned in my last post, I was very, ahem, creative this Christmas and found a lot of quick to make, great looking presents for friends and family. And this one I promise, even if you are not crafty, you can make!

You will need one ball of Starbella Strata yarn. I found mine at AC Moore. It runs about $6.99 and I had a 50% off coupon and a 15% off teacher discount. This is the Raspberry Jam colorway.

Remove the wrapper from the yarn and pull out three lengths from your nose to the end of your arm extended all the way out. Cut the yarn tube.

Put your hand through the end of the tube like you are stretching out socks or a pair of panty hose.

Stretch the yarn fabric long wise and width wise. Place over your head. INSTANT COWL!

You can make the lengths you measure longer and get a longer cowl. You can get at least 2 to 3 cowls out of one skein of this yarn tube. Nifty!

If you need more help making this cowl... because trust me, I didn't get it at first either... check out this nifty two minute video!

This yarn comes in a few different colorways. I made another one out of the Shipwreck colorway and gave it to my Mom for Christmas.

My Mom promptly went online and ordered ALL of the colors to make cowls for all of her friends!

So that's it for tonight. Go forth and craft and cook! I might hop on tomorrow to do a best of 2013... we'll see!
:) JKP

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Belated Merry, Merry and Almost New Year!

Hey Y'all!

Well, the last time I hopped on the ol' blog it was right before Thanksgiving. And. What I like to call the 2013 time warp. It seemed like right after Turkey Day everything was on warped speed and things had to be done, done, done! Before I knew it, Girls Weekend Christmas Palooza was over and Christmas was a mere 14 days away. Whew. I was busy with school and then right before we got out for winter break, I was hit with the good old sinus infection, plus double ear infection. So. That is how I spent my time through Christmas, getting better! I have also had to go back on some prednisone for various issues, so that has added to the fun too. One of the things that triggered from my sinus infection was a tooth issue that I have been dealing with for a few months. It really hasn't been that bad over the months, but with my sinuses going crazy it has kicked my tooth "issue" and pain into high gear. I am hoping the dentist can fit me in sometime this week because this has not been fun. Tummy pain I can handle any day, tooth pain NOT!

Anyhoo. I am still enjoying my Christmas decorations. Y'all know how I just love the lights! I guess I will take everything down around the first. One nice thing about winter break this year is that we don't have to go back to school until January 6th! So I am able to really enjoy this next week. Except for being in pain, I have quite enjoyed the past few days of watching tv, napping (when I can) and piddling around the house. Here's a pic of the entertainment center with this year's decorations!

I also have a new addiction... no crochet/crochet scarves!

This year was a "pinching the pennies" Christmas. I have had a few expensive months! Mitzi Mazda had to have some service and then my heat went out over Girls Weekend Christmas Palooza. So I had to be really creative with my gifts this year. Since I am a "maker" I came across some really neat crafts on You Tube! I am sure you are well aware of the "ruffle scarves" that have been very popular with knitters and crocheter's over the past year. I think they are so cute, but LAWDY it takes forever and a day to knit one. One night while on Pinterest, I came across an easy way to make them and y'all... I had some great gifts!

I made a silver, gold and white one for my Mom...

This one for my Mom's friend Jean.... She hosted a great Christmas Day Brunch and I had to take something to her!

And a red sparkly one for my Mom's friend Pat... She loves the red and the sparkly!

I have some more colorways to work on this week. Would you like to make one for yourself or someone else? I promise, if you can hold a crochet hook, you can make this scarf! I started out by watching this tutorial on You Tube. I vary the stitches I pick up just a bit, depending on how flouncy I want the scarf to be. If I want it really flouncy I will pick up 12 stitches, less flouncy and I will do 9. I can make a scarf in about 20 minutes. Not bad for a new accessory. The yarn runs about $4.99.. but AC Moore and Michael's usually have it on sale for $3.99. Check out the video to get going on your own scarf!

This is a second video that I watched that really helped with beginning and ending the scarves. This video is very thorough with the demonstration and shows you what the scarves look like with different loops added.

I'll be back tomorrow with hopefully a tooth update (keep your fingers REALLY crossed) and another easy craft and recipe for New Year's!
Tootles y'all!
:) JKP