Friday, February 25, 2011

Knitting in Action!

Miss Braelyn sent me a video of her opening her birthday present!
Can't figure out how to embed the video, but I think the screenshots cover it pretty well.




"Dad, now you wear it."

"Say 'thank you' to the camera!"

Happy Birthday!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Encyclopedia of Mollie: D

The Encyclopedia of Mollie
Volume D

Daily Show, The:

When The Daily Show is on hiatus, I seriously don't know what's going on in the world. I'm surprised I knew about the whole Egypt thing last week, with John Stewart being on vacation. Watching the Daily Show has become part of my daily routine -- not at 11 at night though. Please, I can barely get through The Office at 9p. No, I usually get to it online around 1pm, sometimes during lunch. I tend to miss a few jokes since I'm sometimes working while "watching" -- I listen with my headphones and don't actually see it, so some of the subtler expression-based humor is lost on me.
There have been a few segments recently, however, that were NOT funny. They were actually infuriating, not because I was offended or insulted, but because I was so angry at how our government works.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rape Victim Abortion Funding
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook
"I don't think hard-earned tax dollars should go to women who have only been rape-'ished'."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook
"You won't find a single New York City firefighter who considers it a sign of disrespect to work in a New York City firehouse of Christmas Eve or Christmas Day."

Dark Chocolate:

Not sure this really needs an explanation. Anyone who doesn't like Dark Chocolate is a Vampire . . . and not a sexy, sparkley one either.


Ok, if you've never seen it . . . well, you're missing out. If you're a fan of shows like One Tree Hill or The OC, this is the show for you . . . and I'm not just saying that because I work for TeenNick. Degrassi: The Next generation is a spin-off of Degrassi High, a Canadian show from the late 80s. About 10 years after the wrap of Degrassi High, the writers realized that the daughter of one of the main characters would be about 11 years old and ready to start at "Degrassi Community School" (where her mom went and around which the show is centered).   This summer will premiere the 11th season of the the series, and you'll never believe how far it's gone! Some of the tag lines for the different seasons have been "It goes there" and "100% Intense." Of course I can't tell you what's going to happen this season (Oh I WISH I could, cause it's AMAZING!!!), so you'll just have to watch. And don't worry if you're not caught up on past seasons -- we always run a "Get Ready for Degrassi" marathon in the weeks leading up to a season premiere, so set your DVRs!

Diners/Diner Food:

When 2011 rolled around, my husband and I were preparing the all-important 2011 Budget. Reviewing our 2010 expenses proved just how much I love diner food . . . I won't say the number, but it's probably more than a just-married couple should spend on French Fries and Reubens. BUT I CAN'T HELP IT!!! Another issue is that the diner up the road from our new apartment 1) has amazing food, 2) will deliver in about 10-15 minutes, and 3) you can order and pay online. It's our go-to for when we have people over -- just pass around the laptop, people pick the stuff they want, we hit go, and someone delivers it to our door. (Whenever a delivery guy comes to the door, the dog goes a little nuts -- the only time she really ever barks. We always say "Don't worry, she's harmless." And I swear, the last time the diner delivered, I overheard him say, "Yeah, I remember.")

My favorite diner-type food is definitely a good BLT, then Chicken Fingers, then Mozzarella Sticks. Potato skins are good, but can be hit or miss depending where you go. I don't think my husband likes diner food as much as I do, but I think it's because he's always ordering weird things like casseroles and baked pasta, which can be hit or miss in the BEST of places. My goal in life is to find a diner with the best of both the BLT and the Penne Vodka, cause that would be our place. The "diner" near our old apartment (not really a diner, but a cheap family grill-type restaurant) came close. The pasta at the online-order place was a fail, but there is a pizza place down the road that makes a Penne Vodka Pizza, which may just be the best thing ever. I can make my own BLT, but I can't make that!

I also love the Diner Decor. My dream is to have my kitchen look like a diner, complete with vinyl stools at a counter (I already have an island in my new kitchen, so I'm on my way). I've started my collection of diner-esque kitchen ware with the help of and TableCraft, which sells things like these:


(I don't have this cake stand, but now that I've seen it, I NEED IT!!!)


Doula is a word given to a woman who provides non-medical support to another woman during labor, birth, and during the postpartum period. I first heard of a Doula when I was in college; she was one of a few speakers at a panel about the over-medicalization of childbirth. At first I was all, "Honey, that's not a thing. Get a real job." But the more I learned about it, the more fascinated I became with it. Studies show that woman who are supported by a Doula have shorter labors, require fewer medical interventions and less pain medication, lower their chances of having a C-section, have more success breastfeeding, have lower incidents of Postpartum Depression, and report better overall satisfaction with their birth.

Last month I completed a 4-day training workshop, the first step to becoming a certified Doula. I'm not sure if I'm going to pursue it completely, but I have a while to figure it out (the class is good for 4 years). I'm actually getting really passionate about Childbirth Ed, because I feel like everything starts with being well-informed. There was a moment in my own class last week where a 37-week pregnant Mom had just found out that her hospital required her to be on continuous monitoring and to labor on her back the whole time. If you've taken a modern childbirth class, you may know how upsetting that news was for her, especially if she is trying to avoid paid medication and interventions. I couldn't help but think that if she had known to ask the question six months ago, she would have had more options; at 37 weeks, it may be too late.

That being said, I'm going to try to get my baby out successfully, and then I can evaluate how I can help others. Selfish, I know.

Volume E -->

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I want . . .

hand knitted cream aran armchair slip cover
hand knitted cream aran armchair slip cover

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Abby Cadabby Hat

Abby Cadaby Hat

I think the likeness is pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies!

I will still patronize any Girl Scout who pushes a box of cookies under my nose (or the mom in my office who just sends a mass email to the entire company), but this will help during the "off-season".

Homemade Samoas Recipe

Homemade Samoas Recipe


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snow crafts

The snow this year has been bananas. The fact that I've heard the terms Snow-pocalypse, Snow-mageddon, and Thunder Snow several times this winter leads me to believe a little more in Global Climate Change (no more calling it Global Warming, people, because dammit it's been cold).

But if it's snowball snow . . . I can handle it.


That's me, probably about 10 years old, and my snow cat.

Can you see the resemblance to my first cat, Tawney?


Years later, I still like to snow-sculpt

Snow Angel

Even in the big city, I do what I can . . .

Columbus Circle

grumble grumble grumble FOOTBALL!!!!!

I do enjoy the football. Not completely of my own choosing, but after about 10 years with the Notre Dame alum husband, it's rubbed off on me. But to be honest, I could not have cared less about the teams playing in the Super Bowl this year -- if it's not my boo Tom Brady, I'm not interested. This year, it was more about the food.




Menu highlights:
Bacon-Wrapped Tater Tots
"Loaded Baked Potato" Tater Tots (sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon)
Plain Tater Tots (for the vegetarians in the room)
Baked JalapeƱo Poppers
Popcorn Chicken with three dipping sauces (including BBQ sauce all the way from Texas)

There were other, more healthy, choices as well, but these were the ones I was most excited about.

and of course . . . .


Football Cake Pops

They were SO GOOD!!! A big coma-inducing, but totally worth it!

The How-To:

First I made the obb-long balls (I smoothed out the lines after they had firmed up a little).
Football Cake Pops

Football Cake Pops

Dipped in Dark Chocolate candy:
Football Cake Pops
This was actually pretty tricky. The balls were heavy (enough cake for about 24 balls stuffed into 11 footballs!) and oddly shaped.

White decorating gel for the laces:
Football Cake Pops

I also made a few bonus pops . . . I had extra candy, and some Oreos lying around . . . I didn't want to waste any!
Football Cake Pops

Friday, February 4, 2011

Encyclopedia of Mollie: C

The Encyclopedia of Mollie
Volume C


I do love a good calendar. I've gone back and forth between many calendars in a given year because it wasn't quite working out. Lately it's been going back and forth between my Outlook calendar at work and a Google Calendar, trying to figure out the best way to sync them so I can see both at the same time. The Goggle calendar is working well for archiving (when I need to look back to last year to figure out when I last saw my eye doctor, for example) and also coordinating with Chris -- I'll send him an invite so it shows up on both our calendars, at work and on our phones. We'll do it for errands too -- he'll send me an invite for "Groceries", and in the description it has the grocery list. We can both edit it, and whoever ends up going knows exactly what we need.

I've also been playing with "Theme" calendars for other parts of my life. I printed out a blank "Baby" calendar, so I could put into writing all the things that I feel I need to do before the end of April, and spread it out appropriately.

I also put together a knitting calendar before Christmas, because I was having trouble timing out all the projects I wanted to do. This has little picture icons for each project, and which days I think I'll have time to work on them.

One calendar I do NOT enjoy right now is the stupid pregnancy due date calculator wheel that doctors pull out every time I see them.

I won't get into it, but if you're ever interested in learning way more about ovulation than you every thought possible, pick up Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. If you're like me, this wheel is crap. It lies, and it creates a fight with the doctor at every visit. At one point, I may have said to the ultrasound tech, "Um, were YOU there when this baby was conceived? No. I was. I know when it's due, thank you very much."


Much like my post about my birthday, this will mostly be a tirade about how much I love Christmas. It's probably the 2nd-best day of the year (after my birthday, of course). My love for Christmas can be broken down into several distinct categories:

TV Specials/Movies:

"Nice touch."

My fondest memories are of watching Christmas specials on TV. Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, Garfield, and especially The Muppets. We had them all on VHS, taped off the TV in the early 80's. As I got older, the best part was the commercials. Those tapes are long-gone, unfortunately, and I've begun rebuilding my library (taping the classic ones off ABC Family actually -- so someday my kid will look back on commercials from the late "ought's" and wonder about things like Snuggies and why that guy was on a horse).
Luckily my husband had a similar, if not identical, upbringing as myself (not to mention the exact same tape of "A Muppet Family Christmas", taped off the TV in 1987, on the same night, so therefore the same commercials . . . weird), so he loves to sit down and watch a good Christmas movie. His favorite is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. My favorite thing about that is that he'll start laughing before they get to the punch line . . . 

. . . sometimes long before they get to the punch-line. My less-than-favorite part is when he explains to the room why it was funny . . .

(Aunt Bethenny doesn't say "under god", because she's old, and wouldn't have learned that line when she was in school)

. . . but I guess I take what I can get.

Now, I don't normally celebrate Christmas in the church-y sense, but I can belt out a Jesus song with the best of them. Some of my favorites are actually the most "Jesus-y", and ones you might only hear a church choir sing. I especially love The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album.

Christmas is a great excuse for trying new food. We have a tradition in my house where for big dinners like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, everyone gets assigned a dish. Mom takes care of the turkey, and everyone else picks out of the hat either Vegetable, Potato, or Dessert, and you get to choose and make the dish. When we were kids it was pretty funny, because "Potato" would be things like Tater Tots or French Fries, and "Dessert" would be things like cookies and birthday cake. Lately though, it's become a competition. It started with Dad making Creme Brulee; since then we've had such dishes as Twice-Baked Potato Cups with Caramelized Shallots, Kavenau's Carrots and Cream, and Clean Apple Strudel. 

The Tree is a big part of my Christmas ritual. When I was a kid, we would have a HUGE tree, and it took DAYS AND DAYS to decorate. So we'd get home from school every day and spend some time putting on ornaments. It made it last a long time. And my mom has a treasure trove of decorations in the crawl space in our house, so the whole house is (tastefully) decked out! I've tried to recreate that in my various homes over the past few years:

Christmas Tree
My first apartment out of college 
(notice the lack of, um, anything on this tree and the use of a garbage bag as a tree skirt)


Mini Christmas

Mini Tree
My apartment in grad school. 

Funny story: my roommate had a friend over on Dec 1 (the first day of the "decorating season", as I call it). He and the friend are both Jewish. I was in my room, decorating my little tree, putting up lights, and listing to Christmas music. The two guys walk past my room, and the friend stops and backs up, staring at me. "Merry Christmas!" I shout. "Wow," says the friend. "That looks like fun." He turns to my roommate and says, "I never new Christmas could be so fun. I'm a little jealous."



Our first married apartment.

Christmas Cards (1)Christmas Cards (2)
Christmas Cards (3)Christmas Cards (4)
Christmas Cards as Decoration

Gipper's First Christmas (7) Gipper's First Christmas (5)

Finished Christmas Tree (2)  109

I actually don't like shopping, especially around the Holidays. So I usually end up either ordering everything on, or making it. This year was a lot of making things, just to save money.

Jack and Barney Ornaments


Snowflake Wreath (blue)

Knitted Bride and Groom

On the list of things I don't like about Christmas: 
Shopping: I avoid all stores, even grocery stores, around the Holidays. Too many people, too much crap. 

Extended Family: Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my family. But again, you get too many people in a room, and it's a little crazy. And there are the things you're not allowed to say/ask, such as "Why does Uncle R look drunk and/or senile?" or "Wait, J's baby-daddy is HOW OLD?!" Luckily we had a good excuse this year to cut out early or just plain not go. I redeemed myself by introducing Nana to Skype.
Skyping with Nana  

Skyping with Nana! (1)

Other People's Stress: Nothing is more annoying than "Oh my god I haven't finished my shopping yet!" or "I don't have enough money for Christmas this year!" or "I just don't have time for all the cooking and cleaning and parties and fun!" Boo hoo. You're fine.


Ok, I'm not as bad as some people. I can completely function without it, it's just not as fun. I only ever make coffee at home on the weekends, and Chris has learned that an easy way to make me happy is to make coffee without being asked. I get one Starbucks a week, Monday morning, and one Dunkin Donuts or one McCafe per week. Most days I have a decaf iced coffee with Hershey's Syrup (we have a Flavia in the office, which makes single-serving cups, and can do fancy things like iced coffee and cappuccinos and stuff). I wish there were more coffee houses around here where I could sit on a big couch and get a big ceramic mug of something, instead of a paper cup. And I very much enjoy the combination of knitting and a good cup of coffee:


three little snugglers, all in a row

Knitted Bear (7)Not sure if this needs saying, but I love crafts. I specialize in knitting; crocheting (as a beginner); sewing (very much a novice); some scrapbooking (mostly just gluing stuff into my Life Bible ... I'll get to posting about that some day); digital imaging; and baking. I'm what they call a "hurts so good" crafter, wherein I attempt to make things way more complicated than they need to be. I see a pattern and go, "Ok, how can I steal this and make it more ornate?" I keep almost nothing that I make, so looking at my home you might not know that I am a crafter (except the bookcase full of yarn). I always give them away. I also insist on knitting gifts for children, even though they probably don't appreciate it. (For example, I made this amazing knitted Teddy Bear for my god-daughter last year, and I believe she first tried to pull the seams apart, and then was more interested in the scarf I had put on it than in the bear itself. Go figure.)

<-- Volume B
Volume D -->