Resolution #31 & #9: Learn or Create a New Craft + Something I Can Wear and Oreos on Steroids

Let me tell you a secret.

I’m half grandma.

I already had my suspicions when I learned that I loved baking from scratch, scrapbooking and starting sentences with “Back in my day.” But, now… I also crochet.  It’s official. I’m a grandma minus the age and the grandchildren part.

Before I get all excited about needle craft, let’s talk about this baking from scratch thing, because I had a girls night the other night and was introduced to the most glorious creation I think has ever come from an oven.  These:

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Can you see that? Oreos. Peanut butter. Brownie. Now go ahead and try to think of something more brilliant and amazing. You can’t, I know. So, since I had to forego alcoholic libations at this girls get-together because of a medical study I’m participating in (more on that later), my night was full of…these.  In fact, I didn’t feel like I was missing a thing.  Of course, like any attempt on anything I’ve ever made that looks beautiful on a food blog, ours came out ugly. No, really. Really ugly.

Our Version

Note the ones in the pan that have fallen apart, oozed peanut butter, or otherwise. But, hey, they all just get chewed up anyway and they were to die for, so what’s it matter?  You want to make these at home, you say?  Well it’s easy.

Just grab a pack of Oreos, a jar of peanut butter, and a box of brownie mix (confession time: there is nothing ‘scratch’ about these). Dig out a muffin tin. Then either line it with papers or go heavy on the Pam, we did the latter and they still stuck a bit but it was okay.

Then, proceed thusly: Oreo, peanut butter on top of Oreo, another Oreo, more peanut butter on top, drop into muffin tin, cover in brownie batter.  Repeat x12. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Voila!  You’ll thank me later. Also, if you try this at home, send me your pictures? I want to see if anyone can make them as pretty as the picture perfect food blogger original. Go on, try it.

Anyway, on to the crafting. I’ve been doing this medical study for the last couple of weeks to fulfill resolution #40: Pay off at least one credit card. But, here’s the thing about medical studies: They are BORING. And you can’t do ANYTHING. No exercise, no snacking, no leaving the building. Basically, you are left to whatever entertainment you can fit in a suitcase and of course, whatever companionship you find with other subjects. So, week one I was pretty content with Netflix, mindless social media and catching up on work and writing. By the end of the week, though, my eyes were aching from screen time and if I saw one more hashtag I swear I’d have lost it.

I did notice a woman while I was in there who seemed perfectly content with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook. Why didn’t I think of that? So, as soon as they set us free for a few days I high-tailed it straight to the craft store (okay, I went and got pancakes first, because there isn’t real food in there either), picked up some yarn and a hook and set to google to teach myself how to create something wearable.

I got a little ambitious and wanted to try for this, for my roomates’ new baby:

SockMonkeyHat_1

But then I started reading through the pattern and seeing abbreviations I didn’t know and realizing I should probably start small so I settled for…these:

photo (3)Those are mine!  I made those!  Essentially it’s a tube with thumb holes, but I call it… A GLOVE. Resolutions accomplished!

I even had enough yarn to make another pair and Dru thought they were so warm-looking and fashionable that he wanted some too. Grandma powers activate!  (I think that face means he’s happy, but I can’t be sure.)

Gloves

If you’re interested in some of your own, check out http://crochet.about.com/. I learned everything I had to know there and found the pattern for these gloves. It even came with patterns for a matching hat and scarf, but we’ll see about that. I’m now on the path to learning how to make elf hats. …What, you thought I’d be making average stuff? No way. Elf hats. Then maybe I’ll revisit the sock monkeys once I get some experience under my belt.

[Resolution] #50 & #73 Eat a Multi-Course Dinner and Throw a Themed Party

Well this post is about a week late, but things have been just non-stop for almost 2 weeks now!  But, better late than never.

For my birthday this year I got to accomplish 2 resolutions: Eating a Multi-Course Dinner and Throwing a Themed Party. Let me take a moment to thank my friends for being so amazing.  I really was worried for a moment than despite setting a theme, that no one would actually follow suit.  But oh, did they. Continue reading

Let’s Go Look at Things We Can’t Afford: Living the High Life on a Budget

Today was a day of mishaps, but I did take away one big important lesson.  The “high life” really isn’t that far out of reach. Depending on your outlook, of course.  Look, I’ll show you.

Nick and I both had the day off so we set out to fill it with fun and games.  First on the agenda:

We’d heard of the ice skating on the roof of Whole Foods for the past few years and never made it out.  It’s the giant world headquarters of Whole Foods in the middle of downtown Austin.  Put an ice rink on top?  Instant winter fun.

But, when we actually showed up it was not quite as grand as we’d hoped.  Though the building is huge, the ice rink was constrained to a very small corner of the roof and it was overrun with small children and highschool girls. Yikes.  Not quite the movie-ready moment we were hoping for.

So we popped inside.  “Let’s just go and look at things we can’t afford.”

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Whole Foods is a grocery chain that sells only natural and organic foods.  They aren’t outrageously expensive but on our measly post-grad salaries, it’s a bit of a stretch to say we could afford to feed ourselves for a week by shopping in there. One day… One day…

But all was not lost. We did happen upon a case of delicious bite-size desserts that we couldn’t pass up.  $2 cake balls?  We’ll take them. Plus, anything is instantly made fancier by shrinking the portion size and putting it in fluted paper. There you go, living the high life!

Continue reading