Saturday, November 30, 2013

Super Simple Pumpkin Spice Latte

I love going out for fancy coffee drinks.  They're just so expensive!
So, I try to make them at home as much as I can.
I've figured out some easy versions of several hot and iced lattes.
A couple of weeks ago, I figured out a simple way to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I simply mix about eight ounces (one cup) of hot milk (I use coconut milk) with two tablespoons of vanilla simple syrup (I'll post this recipe below), two shots (about four tablespoons) of espresso or very strong coffee, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.  Super simple and super yummy!

To make your own vanilla simple syrup, boil one cup of water with one cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved completely.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I love the Trader Joe's brand) and stir.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks in a covered jar and used as needed.
The drink recipe above can be a vanilla latte with by leaving out the pumpkin pie spice.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cookin' Up Some Color

I sewed some window treatments for the kitchen a few weeks ago.
I bought the fabric a while back for $3 per yard.
So, this whole project was very inexpensive.  The rods were the most costly part.

It's hard to get good photos because there's a covered patio outside that keeps
a lot of light from coming in the kitchen window.  And, it's a cloudy day.  

I also sewed a panel almost 9' long to add a little softness and color over the sliding glass door.
It's wide enough to cover the vertical blind when it's all the way open.

The fabric is a woven plaid with orange, reds, brown, white and a bit of yellow.
The color is actually closer to the two photos above.  But, here's a close up to show the plaid.

It looks great with the tablecloth I'm using right now.  It has a lot of the same colors.
The colors in this photo are more accurate...

We have a cinnamon red KitchenAid stand mixer on our Island.
The floor tile is a terra cotta like color.  And, I've been adding some more things that tie in 
with the colors of the window this antique metal tray with painted roses...

A pretty plate I saw at Macy's and just had to have.
It sits on a plate stand on the counter.

And, for a little contrast and fun, I have an antique typewriter sitting on the kitchen desk.
I grew up with an Underwood typewriter like this.  I've been keeping an eye out for one.
I was excited to find this one in a local antique shop this summer for a good price.

I guess you could say I've been cookin' up some color and fun in our kitchen.
These small touches sure did a lot to transform the space.  We love it!
I'll post more photos when I get it all put together the way I like.
And, if I can figure out how to get good photos in this not-so-bright space.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I haven't forgotten about my blog.  In fact, I visit blogger often and visit blogs.  I've even been wanting to post.  But, I just haven't been into it.  I've been feeling down lately which is unusual for me.  And, I just can't seem to get focused and find a direction for anything.  I guess you could say I'm waffling between ideas and goals, things to do, places to go, how to handle certain things...and on and on.  I guess that makes this accomplishment's called the "Waffle Hat".

It was a free pattern on Ravelry.  It was super easy, quick, fun and I love the results.
It's super soft and squishy because of the waffly texture.  
And, I love how the colors in the yarn spiraled up from bottom to top.

I made one change to the pattern.  The pattern says to cast on 76 but 
I felt that would make it way too small.  I ended up knitting it with a cast on of 88 
and it's perfect.  It fits great on me or my husband and it's super comfy.  I love it!

I followed the rest of the pattern exactly and couldn't be happier.  The 12 rows of ribbing 
are perfect for turning up.  The length of the hat is perfect as a slouchy hat when the ribbing is left down.  And, I love how the waffle pattern continued all the way up to the top through the decreases.

I had a hard time capturing the colors accurately in photos. 
 The photos above were taken outside on a cloudy day.  The photo below is taken inside.  
The actual colors are somewhere in between.

The yarn is Beroco Vintage Colors in color 5222.  So pretty!
I used a size 8, 16" circular needle and size 8 double point needles to make this hat.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Knitted Necklace

I was inspired earlier this year by some I-cord scarves on display at a yarn shop.  I found some beautiful brown, cotton yarn at the same shop and immediately had an idea for knitted jewelry.

My idea had a western look with brown I-cord, silver beads, turquouise beads and red coral beads.
I searched for months to find silver beads with holes large enough for one strand of the yarn so I could knit them into the necklace.  I had no luck.  I gave up for a bit and started looking again about a week ago.  I found some with holes even bigger than that.  They fit over the entire I-cord!

Once I had the I-cords made and started to put it all together, the turquoise and coral
didn't look right.  So, I decided to make it with just the I-cords and silver beads.

I think it turned out pretty nice.  I'm excited to wear it.

I found these little silver cones to cover the ends.  It works nice to conceal the not-so-pretty
bind-off I-cords and give it a polished look.  The design on them looks a little like knit stitches.
I used jump rings and a simple lobster clasp on the back to open and close it.

Here's the yarn I used, Rowan Cotton Glace...

I have some more ideas swimming around in my head to try
to incorporate the turquoise and coral beads.  And, to use some silver beads
I found with even larger holes.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Instagram and the Alphabet Photo Challenge

I love Instagram!  I shared a few photos on it during our trip to Utah.
I thought it would be fun to share some of them on here.

Here's one from our day in Yankee Doodle Canyon.
That's our instructor/guide coming down after we did.  Spectacular scenery!

I noticed these daisies in town.  I'd never seen any like it.  Daisies are usually one per stem.
However, on these, they're in clusters with many on each stem.  Beautiful!

I made a soft, fluffy, comfy place for Penelope to hang out on one of the bunks in our RV.
It's right in front of a window that she had all to herself.  Such a cutie!

She was interested in our card game.  We joked that she wanted to play a game of "Go Fish".

We discovered these unique lights on the outside of a coffee shop.  Very cool!

We ate at Oscar's Cafe in Springdale a couple of times to celebrate our canyoneering accomplishments.  Their food is yummy and a frosty, cold glass of beer hit the spot.
We ate out on their patio where they had metal Kokopelli figures all around.
There's an awesome view across the street of massive Zion Sandstone that glows as the sun sets.

We can't wait to go back to South West Utah!

P.S.  I think I'm going to cheat on my Alphabet Photo Challenge.  I'm a week late for the letter "U" but I've posted lots of photos of Utah lately.  That counts, right?  And, now we're up to the letter "V".  I'm at a total loss of what to post for that.  I think I'm a little burned out on the challenge too.  So, I'm just going to say that we had a Very fun, Very challenging, Very amazing time when we were in Utah.
I think "W" shouldn't be too much of a challenge.  I'm sure not looking forward to X, Y and Z!