Monday, February 4, 2013

Manly Fingerless Mitts Crochet Pattern

Manly Mitts Crochet Pattern

My hubby was in sore need of a new pair of fingerless mitts to ward off the chilly weather we have been having. The last pair I made him was rather obnoxiously made out of his favorite super bulky yarn, which made them end up looking like a pair of boxing gloves! After looking around for a manly mitt pattern, I decided to just make one up. Here is the result. I have to admit, I love the ribbing texture on these. It is so nice that I might have to make me a pair as well. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on the pattern.

Supplies Needed:
Yarn – Knit Picks, Chroma in Worsted (I used the Paperback color-way)
Size I crochet hook
Tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends

Stitches Used:
SL ST – Slip Stitch
CH – Chain
SC – Single Crochet
SCBL – Single Crochet Back Loop
SC2TOG - Single Crochet Two Together (or decrease)

 Body of Mitt:

CH 32, join with SL ST, do not twist chain when joining.
Round 1 – CH 1, SC in joining CH, mark with stitch marker. SC in each CH around. 
Round 2 – SC in first SC of round 1, mark with stitch marker. SC in each SC around.
*From this point on, work in continuous rounds, moving stitch marker each round.
Round 3 to 19 – SCBL in each SC around.
Round 20 - Work 11 SCBL, 9 CH, skip 9 SC, continue SCBL around.
Round 21 – 11 SCBL, SC in each of 9 CH from previous round, continue SCBL around.
Round 22 to 33 – SCBL in each SC around.


* Work through both loops of stitch
Round 1 – Join yarn in thumb opening, SC around (22 SC)
Round 2 – SC around (22 SC)
Round 3 – SC2TOG, 2 SC [repeat 5 times]
Round 4 – SC2TOG, 2 SC [repeat 3 times] (12 SC)
Round 5 to 9 – SC around (12 SC)

Weave in ends with tapestry needle.

Pattern by: Amanda Sanders @
Feel free to use this pattern to create gifts or sell as merchandise, but please give credit where credit is due. Links back to my blog would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Big Juice Cleanse

As you may already know one of my goals for this year was to do a juice cleanse. I have happy to report that I have met this goal!

My hubby has a friend that started off his weight loss kick with a juice cleanse. Since both me and Mike were wanting to start 2013 off with our annual BATTLE OF THE BULGE, we thought a juice cleanse might just be the way to start as well.

I did a bunch of research online and after talking it over we decided to do a 3-day cleanse, and make all the juices ourselves. Let me warn you if you are planning to do this for yourself, make sure you pick three consecutive days where you have nothing planned in the evening! Why? Because it will take you about one to two hours to prepare the six juices you need each day. We went with doing it ourselves, because to use a cleanse company it would cost us around $500 shipped for a three day program for both of us. By buying the ingredients and doing our own juicing it was only around $125 for the three day stint. Almost a $400 dollars savings!

There are some detailed instructions including grocery shopping lists, recipes, and bottle labels at Juices 101. These basically imitate the Blue Print Cleanse juices. Of the juices she lists we did all of them except the Parsnips, Pear & Celery juice. We substituted a different green juice in for it.

Here is my review of the recipes, and some notes:
  • Green Apple Juice - 3 out of 5 stars - We left out the parsley the second day, & put in less celery
  • Pineapple, Apple, Mint Juice - 5 out of 5 stars - So yummy! I add ice and shake it up, added some Cuties to give it a more tropical taste.
  • Spicy Lemonade - 1 out of 5 stars - So spicy I couldn't drink more than 1/2 a bottle and that took an hour
  • Carrot Apple Beet Lemon Ginger Juice - 4 out of 5 stars - Pretty good stuff
  • Cashew Nut Milk - 5 out of 5 stars - Delicious, add nutmeg, mix with some ice in the blender for a yummy milkshake like dessert

My confession - I didn't make it all three days, but lasted only two! I feel slightly guilty, but not totally. When I don't eat I get cranky, and by the end of the 2nd day I was super cranky. My kids were begging me to not do day three. It was a good first effort and I'm happy that I stuck with it for the second day.

Results - I now have a couple of good recipes for juicing my breakfasts and snacks. I use half  a recipe of the Cashew Nut Milk frequently in the evening to satisfy my urge to eat dessert. I lost 4.4 pounds in 2 days, some of which I'm sure was probably water weight. I am happy with the kick start that it gave me into making my healthy goals.

Tips for your success - 
  • Prepare to bottle your juices by buying/saving bottles. We used 20 oz. Gatorade bottles that I bought in a large pack at Costco.
  • Clean your fridge out before you buy all your fruit and veggies. They will take up a huge amount of space!
  • Do lots of research. There are tons of blogs and informational pages related to this topic, take a couple days to peruse them to find the cleanse that is right for you.
  • Eat lighter than usual for a couple days before you do your cleanse.  
  • Check out some juice cleanse companies. It might be easier to buy your juices for your first cleanse. My sister used CoolerCleanse when she did her cleanse. They were very helpful and substituted out several juices due to dietary restrictions, when Blue Print Cleanse was unwilling to do so. Plus it was less expensive.

Pineapple, Apple, Mint Juice!

Good luck and Happy Juicing!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Plans - 35 in 2013

Happy New Year everyone! As most people do, I started thinking about resolutions for 2013 a couple of weeks ago. I was inspired by Jennifer who writes the It's Just Jennifer blog and her idea of doing 37 things during her 37th year. So I sat down, and starting writing up some goals of my own, or as I am preferring to think of them, action points! Here they are... my list of 35 things to do for the year that I am 35.

35 Things to Do in 2013

Health/Fitness Related
1. Buy an elliptical workout machine - Done!
2. Work out on elliptical 2 times per week
3. Take 2 hikes per month
4. Walk/slow jog a 5k event
5. Do a Mud Run!!! This has been on my to-do list for a couple of years
6. Lose 15 pounds, and keep it off
7. Do a juice cleanse

Crochet Related
8. Finish my sister April's blanket... it's been in the works for over a year now.
9. Finish cute little amigurumi turtle... not sure why it's still sitting there undone!
10. Make crochet items to sell at work art & craft show (10-20 items)
11. Finish flower afghan I started last year

Personal/Spiritual Growth
12. Go to church at least 1 time per month
13. Graduate from Chabot College with AA
14. Apply to Cal State East Bay for college transfer
15.  Do 1 blog post per month
16. Post pictures to Flickr once a month (You can see my Flickr photostream HERE)

17. Take one mini-vacation with my hubby Mike (without kids)
18. Go see a comedy show 3 times
19. Clean the garage with Mike

20. Let Zoie & Lexie sign-up for 1 paid activity/sport each
21. Take a family vacation
22. Plant veggie & flower gardens
23. Take Zoie & Lexie whitewater rafting

24. Go on a birthday trip for my friend Terri's 50th birthday
25. Have a huge campout with friends
26. New Brighton State Beach camping trip
27. Snow trip with friends
28. Host 2 game nights

29. Make 3 types or batches of preserves
30. Try a new preserving recipe
31. Make candied citrus peels (so yummy!!!)
32. See 6 movies in movie theater - with or without kids
33. Rent my grandmothers house
34. Go bowling 4 times - one down on New Years Day
35. Practice stressing less (Take baths, walks, do yoga, etc... as needed for stress reduction)

So, there you have it. My to-do list for 2013. I have already knocked one thing off the list completely and started on another. It's been a good start so far. I will update about them on here.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Years and all the luck in keeping to your personal resolutions, action points, or to-do lists.

Friday, December 21, 2012

20 Minute Christmas Card Ornaments

I was looking for a quick and easy crochet pattern to make up some little gifts to give to my friends, co-workers and family last weekend. While on Ravelry I came across this pattern: Crochet-Christmas-Card-Ornament The pattern looked easy, and better than that, quick to make up!

Mike and I drove down to the local dollar store and picked up four packages of cute Christmas cards. I had some scrap cotton yarn (Lily Sugar n' Cream) leftover from other projects. So the whole project cost me around $4 to $8 dollars if you include the cost of the yarn I used. Nice to have an inexpensive option for homemade Christmas gifts!

The original pattern is pretty good, but I have some suggestions you might want to consider if you make some of these up. I usually cut the card in half, and used half for the front of the ornament, then flipped the second piece over and used it for the back of the card. If I wanted to make a larger ornament I just used two card fronts of the same card and put them back to back.
  • I used a size G hook instead of an I hook to make it easier to get the hook through hole punches.
  • For the square/rectangle ornaments you will want to round the corners to create a smooth edge.
  • For the square/rectangle ornaments I did 3 sets of sc, ch in each corner instead of 2 sets as suggested in the pattern. When I used only 2 sets the edging curled in and created a frame like effect, which was neat, but not what I was going for.
  • On the oval/circle ornaments you may need to use 2 ch between each sc to avoid the edges curling. It probably depends on how close you put your hole punches together, and what size hook you use.
  • If you do a 2nd round of edging, I really like the effect of doing a stitch (hdc or dc, your choice), ch, skip a stitch and repeat.

Happy Crafting and Merry Christmas! I hope your families and friends enjoy all of your homemade goodies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Big Sur Mini Vacation

My sis and I took our awesome mom on a belated birthday trip to the coast. On the way we stopped in Monterey, drove the 17 Mile Drive (worth the $10 road toll!), and explored the mighty Big Sur coast.

It had been awhile since my last trip to the beach, maybe since May. I always forget how much I love the ocean until I see it again!

The waves almost got us a couple times at Pebble Beach!

My mom got a huge kick out of getting to see the famed Pebble Beach Golf Course, and of course the beach that the golf course was named after too.
Dried seaweed ball at Pebble Beach. 

We had lots of good food. I think the favorite all around was the freshly made Pumpkin Cheesecake we had at Redwood Grill in Big Sur. It was so good, we had to go back the next day for a second slice before driving home! We also enjoyed a late lunch at Nepenthe Cafe. The view from the cafe guarantee's that you won't complain about the food being slightly over priced.

View from our table at Nepenthe Cafe
 It was so nice to spend some real quality time with both my mom and sister.

Left: My mom Center: Me Right: Sissy

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Candy Corn Bunting - Crochet Pattern

Candy corn is my absolute favorite Halloween candy and has been since I was a kid. It was my momma's birthday today and I thought I would make her up a new bunting to decorate her fireplace mantle for the month of October. Here is the pattern that I created for it. Let me know if you make one and if you liked it!

Candy Corn Bunting Crochet Pattern

Supplies Needed:
Yarn - Sugar n'Cream (worsted weight) in Orange, Yellow, and White
Size H crochet hook
Tapestry needle for weaving in yarn ends
Stitches Used:
CH – Chain
SC – Single Crochet
SC2TOG - Single Crochet Two Together (or decrease)
DC – Double Crochet

Pattern - Candy Corn: Make as many individual candy corn as you like, I did seven candy corns.

CH 21 in Orange yarn
Row 1 - SC in 2nd CH from hook, SC across. CH 1, turn. (20 SC)
Row 2 - Insert hook into first SC from Row 1, pull up loop, insert hook into second SC from Row 1, pull up loop (should be three loops on hook now), yarn over and pull through all three loops - SC2TOG made, 16 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (18 SC)
Row 3 - SC across. CH 1, turn (18 SC)
Row 4 - SC2TOG, 14 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (16 SC)
Row 5 - SC across. CH 1, turn (16 SC)
Row 6 - SC2TOG, 12 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (14 SC)
Row 7 - SC across, changing color to Yellow yarn during yarn over of last SC. CH 1, turn (14 SC)
Row 8 - SC2TOG, 10 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (12 SC)
Row 9 - SC across. CH 1, turn (12 SC)
Row 10 - SC2TOG, 8 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (10 SC)
Row 11 - SC across. CH 1, turn (10 SC)
Row 12 - SC2TOG, 6 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (8 SC)
Row 13 - SC across, changing color to White yarn during yarn over of last SC. CH 1, turn (8 SC)
Row 14 - SC2TOG, 4 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (6 SC)
Row 15 - SC across. CH 1, turn (6 SC)
Row 16 - SC across. CH 1, turn (6 SC)
Row 17 - SC2TOG, 2 SC, SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (4 SC)
Row 18 - SC across. CH 1, turn (4 SC)
Row 19 - 2 SC2TOG. CH 1, turn (2 SC)
Row 20 - SC2TOG. (1 SC)
Weave in ends with tapestry needle.

Pattern - Bunting:

CH 40 in Orange yarn. *SC in top right corner of candy corn, CH 20 to 22 (depending on how big you want the gap between the string and the candy corn), SC in top left corner of the candy corn. CH 15.* Repeat from * to * as many times necessary to attach all individual candy corns. CH 41. SC in second CH from hook. SC across all CH's making sure to not twist the chain while crocheting across (Untwist if necessary to keep SC's lined up neatly). Weave in ends.  

Pattern by: Amanda Sanders @
Feel free to use this pattern to create gifts or sell as merchandise, but please give credit where credit is due. Links back to my blog would be greatly appreciated. - Hooking on Hump Day - Creative Friday

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Summer's End

This summer has flown by! It has been almost 4 months since I wrote a blog post and I figured I should do one today. Our summer was filled with so many fun and exciting things. We finished up making our chicken coop and enclosure for our chicks.

My lovely hubby Mike scaled down a plan from book The Art of the Chicken Coop by Chris Gleason for our coop. I think it turned out wonderful. We made the enclosure a 8' square with chicken wire enclosing it on all sides. There is plenty of room in there for our cute chickens.

I love the ramp that leads up into the coop. We had a brooder light inside the coop at first to keep them warm at night, but took it out once they got more feathers!

Unfortunately, my little chicken turned out too be a little rooster. Pixie went to live with my sister out in the country where roosters are welcome.

He didn't last there too long due to an animal attack one night. My poor little Pixie. We are hoping to get another hen sometime soon to fill the hole in our little flock that his passing left.

Our "flying saucer" squash, as we call them, grew wonderfully in our garden this summer. Lexie Lou found a new favorite veggie, as we cooked these up in a variety of ways. I think sauteed in olive oil with zucchini was the tastiest.

We planted a new nectarine tree in our front yard last fall. I was waiting hopefully to see if it would live. We have lost several fruit trees the first year we planted them. Good news for us, it lived! Yippee :) Here are the first little fruits it presented us with. They were very tiny, about 1" across, but oh so delicious.

We ended up with around 15-20 baby nectarines but the wind and birds got to a few of them before we did. I'm usually a peach girl, but these nectarines might just make me change my mind.

Out of the three packets of sunflower seeds that my daughter Lexie and I planted, we lucked out with 6 good sized sunflowers this summer. There were also a couple mini sunflowers that looked more like daisies.

Here is a picture of Zoie holding Colbert, with Fluffaz showing off her pretty wings. I love the expression on Zoie's face as she tries to smile, but is worried that she might get attacked at the same time. Fluffaz is the brashest of our three hens and always the first to come up and peck you.

I hope your summer was as exciting and filled with love and joy as ours was.