Author Archives: Marinren

About Marinren

Crafty by nature. I love creating and imagining.

The List – Half Way Mark!

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Happy New Year!! I know I’ve been a little silent for a while, but I’m hoping to change that this year! I’m planning on getting organized which will hopefully make it easier for me to be back involved with this blog I love!

In the mean time, I’m officially 30 and a half, which means my 30 things to do while I’m 30 list is at the half way mark! Let’s see how I’m doing!

1. Finish my “in progress” knitting projects -  Nope. haha, still need to focus in on this!

2. Create a family year book – Finally chose my site, now to un-bury my desk so I can get on the computer and get to work!

3. Owen’s baby book - Started the scrapbook version. And finally found a store bought one I loved and started to fill it in.

4. Create a sugar flower for a cake - Still haven’t done this!

5. Drop my weight by 5lbs. -Hmm, now I don’t remember where my weight started. But, I do know I want to drop another 5 from where I am today!

6. Save another $5k for my house fund - Work in progress

7. Do five unexpected random acts of kindness for friends - Work in progress

8. Repaint/mini redecorate the master bedroom - no progress yet
9. Take Owen to the zoo - Excited that we got a $100 gift certificate to the zoo!
10. Have a “kidless” weekend getaway with my husband
11. No more pop! - Still going pretty strong on this!
12. Get movin’, walk, run or bike a total of 300 miles. - October through December I only recorded 12.48 miles! Bringing my total to 79.74, or 26% of my goal. I need to do 36 miles/month to stay on track!
13. Get a massage/facial once a month -Definitely pushed this to the way side as we got into the holiday season.
14. Take Owen to the beach -
15. Clean and organize the office/guest room - Back to chaos :(
16. Take a “art” class. (baking, decorating, photography, anything!) - Have a fun outing planned this month with my mama!
17. Write a business plan
18. Shoot a gun  
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And it was a big one! We went to the shooting range over our Thanksgiving vacation with my parents. Turns out, I’m kinda good at it!
19. Teach Owen to swim
20. Donate 12 boxes/bags of things to goodwill. - Two more BIG bags and a box full of stuff went off to Goodwill in September, which officially completes this goal!
21. Take Owen to The Playdate Cafe with a friend
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Owen and Brooke had a ball!! hehe. Owen loved all the different play areas, but especially the ball pit!
22. Take Owen to KidsQuest with a friend
23. Figure out “Freezer Cooking”
24. Continue Owen’s monthly pictures. Figure out a back drop for standing shots - After he learned how to walk – this is near impossible. So I try to just get a good pic of him every month. Hopefully he’ll learn how to pose soon so we can go back to good comparison shots!
25. Go on a hike with a view -
26. Do a family picture in a photo booth
27. Go sailing with my family
28. Organize all my knitting patterns into one note book 
29. Not buy any greeting cards - Still haven’t purchased any new ones!
30. Be more positive - I’ve been working on this just through my attitude primarily. However last month, I confronted an old “issue” that had been weighing on my life in a negative way. Nothing about this drastically changed my day to day life, just provide some healthy and positive resolution.
(31. bonus – make this list cute with something off my FREEBIES board!)

The List – September Progress

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Yup – more than half way through October and I’m just getting to this post! ACK! Suddenly my life has become crazy busy. Oh ya, because the baby learned how to walk. ha! So, even though I haven’t had a moment to test any Pins, I thought I should at least update you on my goals!

 

1. Finish my “in progress” knitting projects -  I can’t stop starting new projects. It’s kind of ridiculous. I did get done another baby blanket which I already gifted to the friend ♥

2. Create a family year book

3. Owen’s baby book

4. Create a sugar flower for a cake

5. Drop my weight by 5lbs. - Got a new scale. My weight hasn’t moved – but I’m feeling more squishy. I’d like to rein this back in.

6. Save another $5k for my house fund

7. Do five unexpected random acts of kindness for friends

8. Repaint/mini redecorate the master bedroom
9. Take Owen to the zoo
10. Have a “kidless” weekend getaway with my husband
11. No more pop! - This month I had 2 sodas. They were both the morning of a hangover. ha. For some reason that’s what my body wants when it’s feeling it’s worst!
12. Get movin’, walk, run or bike a total of 300 miles. - September I only recorded 5.5 miles. Bringing my total to 67.26, or 22% of my goal. I’m almost half way through my year and only a quarter of the way through this goal!
13. Get a massage/facial once a month - Success! In September I got a 90 minute massage and a facial!
14. Take Owen to the beach -
15. Clean and organize the office/guest room - It’s getting better! We continue to purge, and I’m using up supplies whenever I get a chance. The bed has managed to stay cleaned off too!
16. Take a “art” class. (baking, decorating, photography, anything!)
17. Write a business plan
18. Shoot a gun 
19. Teach Owen to swim
20. Donate 12 boxes/bags of things to goodwill. - Two more BIG bags and a box full of stuff went off to Goodwill in September, which officially completes this goal!
21. Take Owen to The Playdate Cafe with a friend
22. Take Owen to KidsQuest with a friend
23. Figure out “Freezer Cooking”
24. Continue Owen’s monthly pictures. Figure out a back drop for standing shots - 12 months complete!! I will post the chain of pics soon ♥
25. Go on a hike with a view -
26. Do a family picture in a photo booth
27. Go sailing with my family
28. Organize all my knitting patterns into one note book 
29. Not buy any greeting cards - None bought in September, and a few more used from the stash!
30. Be more positive 
(31. bonus – make this list cute with something off my FREEBIES board!)

The List – August Progress

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1. Finish my “in progress” knitting projects -  I finished one project that was previously started! WOOHOO! But, forgot a picture! It was one of those plastic bag sleeves for my mother in law. I also started AND finished two projects! But, then started and left two more. Yarn and I have a tricky relationship.
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3. Owen’s baby book - I started! Thanks to my sister for “forcing” me to drag out all my supplies! I got three 2 page spreads complete! I also finally hooked up my Silhouette Cameo last night so I can use that to keep me going!

4. Create a sugar flower for a cake

5. Drop my weight by 5lbs. - Scale is still broken. I’m trying to eat more veggies and walk more, but I don’t think the number has gone anywhere.

6. Save another $5k for my house fund 

7. Do five unexpected random acts of kindness for friends

8. Repaint/mini redecorate the master bedroom
9. Take Owen to the zoo
10. Have a “kidless” weekend getaway with my husband - Well, it wasn’t a full weekend, and it wasn’t a getaway – but baby did go to Grandma’s house for a night while we had my husbands annual birthday BBQ at our house! Grandma also came down to babysit while we spent the evening at the Snoop Dogg concert!image

11. No more pop! - Last official soda was 6/2. We did go see World War Z over the last weekend and I had a few sips of cherry coke. I had to! I was parched from movie snacks and there were no other options! But, it was just a few sips, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself over that one!
12. Get movin’, walk, run or bike a total of 300 miles. - This was a good month! I recorded 36.39 miles in my Run Keeper app/ add that to my previous total of 25.37 and I’ve gone 61.76 miles! That’s 20% of my goal.  I’m excited for our temperatures to get out of the 80′s so I can some more after work walking.
13. Get a massage/facial once a month - FAIL. I was a day short of making my goal for the month and got one on September 1! It was glorious! I need to get another one soon since this barely scratched the surface of back issues from lugging around a 25lb baby.
14. Take Owen to the beach -
15. Clean and organize the office/guest room - Back to chaos. But, I am getting rid of and finishing up a lot of things! Thankfully none of the mess is new mess.
16. Take a “art” class. (baking, decorating, photography, anything!)
17. Write a business plan
18. Shoot a gun 
19. Teach Owen to swim
20. Donate 12 boxes/bags of things to goodwill. - Took another carload down to the Goodwill this weekend! Did the hard thing of getting rid of brand new things that I’ve never used and have been sitting around. I have the hoarder mentality of they’re useful so I’ll use them someday. Even though I won’t. That brings the grand total to 10 boxes/bags!
21. Take Owen to The Playdate Cafe with a friend 
22. Take Owen to KidsQuest with a friend
23. Figure out “Freezer Cooking” - I started out in June with 12 or so bagged frozen dinners. I have three left! It’s been great, but still could be much better! We’re almost coming to an end of breast feeding, so that will make more room in my freezer and more room for freezer cooking!
24. Continue Owen’s monthly pictures. Figure out a back drop for standing shots - 11 months and counting! Still behind on editing
25. Go on a hike with a view - Went on a hike through some beautiful mountains with streams and a lake at the end!

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26. Do a family picture in a photo booth
27. Go sailing with my family 
28. Organize all my knitting patterns into one note book 
29. Not buy any greeting cards - Bought none in August!
30. Be more positive 
(31. bonus – make this list cute with something off my FREEBIES board!)

Baby Landon’s Blanket (and free pattern!)

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The first real craft that I fell head over heels in love with was knitting. I taught myself how to do it from a little knitting manual my roommate had in college. Soon, I started selling my wares in craft shows, which led to wholesale sized orders of yarn. Well, one order. One very large order. Which I’m still working through three years later. Thankfully, it gives me lots of yarn to go to when a soon to be born baby needs a blanket!

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Baby Landon will make his way into this world next month, so I’ve been working diligently to get this finished up in time for the baby shower! Of course, Owen had to test it out too and make sure it was baby approved.

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Striped Knit Baby Blanket

5 Skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Oatmeal (color A)
1 Skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Cabernet (color B)
13mm long knitting needles
K Crochet hook

Cast on 88 stitches.
Row 1: (A) Knit full row
Row 2: (A) Purl full row
Row 3-14: (A) Repeat Rows 1-2
Row 15: (B) Knit full row
Row 16: (B) Purl full row

Repeat Rows 1-16, 7 times

Finish with repeating rows 1-14

Bind off loosely.

Pick up in the corner with your K hook. Single crochet around the perimeter of the blanket twice using color A. Stitch 3 SC in each corner.

SC once around using color B, with 3 SC in each corner.

SC twice around using color A and finish.

Weave in loose ends.

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Homemade Hummus

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I know I’ve been a bit quiet lately. But, I discovered how EASY it is to make homemade hummus and I’ve been sitting in a corner with a bowl of hummus and a bag of pretzel chips for the last week stuffing my face. No joke.

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Homemade Hummus

2 cans of garbanzo beans
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Drain one can of garbanzo beans and add to Vita Mix (or food processor)

2. Dump the second can in with all the juice, and add the rest of the ingredients.

3. Blend til smooth. In the Vitamix, this was a quick jump up to 10 and a little help from the tamper as needed, for about 45 seconds.

 

See? Easy. I like my hummus cold, so I still had to wait a bit to enjoy mine. I also sectioned it off into small snack size gladwares so it’s easy to grab and go for my lunch every day!

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Five Friday Favorites

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It’s Friday Friday gotta get down on Friday….you’re welcome!

{1. Spray Painted Magnet Letters} Adorable way to update the look when the babies get older.

Update those colorful alphabet magnets with metallic spray paint. DIY

{2. Chocolate Butterfinger Cheesecake} THIS is going to be my husbands birthday cake in about 3 weeks!

Sprinkle Bakes: Chocolate-Butterfinger Overflow Cheesecake and Some News!

{3. Elephant Tattoo} So so cute! I don’t have the guts for a wrist tat though.

74 Of The Tiniest, Most Tasteful Tattoos Ever. I love this little elephant!

{4. Beautiful knit sweater}

Ravelry: Rock Rose Cardigan pattern by schneckenstrick

{5. Freebie Frames and Graphics} Mustaches…chalkboard…free downloads? Yes please!

Free Frames and Graphics. LOVE these! { lilluna.com }

Happy Friday!

Happy Pinning!!

Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Black Beans

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The other day my parents treated us to lunch at a trendy Mexican fusion place down town. I had butternut squash enchiladas that were to die for! I had to figure out something to recreate them.

I have also been dying to try making black beans from scratch – as in not from a can. I was getting a little discouraged making dinner thinking it wasn’t really going to be all I had thought of. But, OMG. Me and the hubs ate and ate until we were both beyond full. I don’t think we even spoke, we were so engrossed in our food.

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Homemade Black Beans

1 lb of dried black beans
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Wash and Rinse your beans. I dumped mine in a bowl and swished them around with water until the water ran clear. Let them sit in water for about five minutes and rinsed again until water ran clear.

2. Cover the beans in water and let soak 24 hours. I put a towel over the top to keep the fruit flies away.

3. Drain and rinse the beans

4. Put the beans, diced onion, chicken broth, S&P, and water into a stock pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 1-2 hours until beans are soft.

5. Once the beans are soft, remove the lid and let the excess liquid cook down. Stirring occasionally.

 

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

2T Olive Oil
1 Medium sized butternut squash
1/2 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 can of enchilada sauce
Homemade black beans
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
Tortillas

1. Peel and cube your squash into 1″ or smaller cubes.

2. Heat up 2T of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until shimmery, add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant (about 3-4 minutes)

3. Add the cubed squash. Toss squash with onions and garlic and olive oil until coated, then cover pan. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft

4. Stir in the enchilada sauce (I only used about half the can, but you could use more for a stronger flavor). Cook until sauce has cooked down a bit a coated the squash. You’ll want to continue to cook until squash is soft, but not completely falling apart mushy.

5. Serve in corn tortillas with black beans, sour cream and shredded cheese.

 

The Verdict

So. Freaking. Delicious. There’s so much you could do with this. You could wrap em up and bake em, you could add slaw, you could serve over rice instead of tortillas. Or, just eat the beans and squash together on their own!

I think this could be easily translated to a freezer meal as well. You could freeze portions of the completed meal, or just freeze the extra raw cubed squash.

This recipe is definitely going into our favorites list.

 

Happy Pinning!

Happy Cooking!!

 

The List – July Progress

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1. Finish my “in progress” knitting projects -  In June I unraveled those that I knew I wouldn’t finish. July I started 2 new projects. I know I know. But, they are for baby gifts. At least I’m busting through some of my yarn stash!

 

3. Owen’s baby book - I’ve been thinking more and more about this. The more organized the house gets, the closer I get to actually starting, lol

4. Create a sugar flower for a cake - I did a few fondant cut out flowers for my bone cake, but not the kind of flowers I really had in mind for my goal.

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5. Drop my weight by 5lbs. - I haven’t done any work on this. I had a pretty bad cold that gave my abs a nice little workout. And Owen banged on the scale and now it doesn’t read right, so it looks like I’ve dropped 25 lbs, but no actual idea.

6. Save another $5k for my house fund - This is going to be a tough one. We’re still learning how to manage our money together even after 6 years of living together. And – Kids are expensive. I’m hoping that at some point in the year I’m able to focus again on this goal.

7. Do five unexpected random acts of kindness for friends - I keep forgetting about this goal! Which is kinda sad, but kind of inspiring to keep it!

8. Repaint/mini redecorate the master bedroom - Did I mention having a kid is time consuming and expensive?! I’d be happy if I just got it “perfectly” clean for a day.
9. Take Owen to the zoo - This is tentatively on the calendar for the end of the August!!
10. Have a “kidless” weekend getaway with my husband - I think we’re still a ways out from a full weekend. But, I’ve got a first night possibly planned!
11. No more pop! - Woohoo! My last soda was 6/2 and I’m still going strong!
12. Get movin’, walk, run or bike a total of 300 miles. - Ready for some excuses? July was the best summer month that the Seattle area has seen in a long time! We literally had a full month without rain. AND it was 80+ pretty much every day. I only managed to get in 4.78 recorded miles.  That brings me to a total of 25.37 recorded. 8.4% of my goal.
13. Get a massage/facial once a month - FAIL. I seriously NEED to do this. They’re paid for and waiting for me.
14. Take Owen to the beach - First item crossed off!! We actually went THREE times in July!
15. Clean and organize the office/guest room - This is slowly but surely coming along! I’m at the point that I could actually facilitate a last minute guest!
16. Take a “art” class. (baking, decorating, photography, anything!) - nothing yet
17. Write a business plan - I actually hopped on the small business site for WA state, did some reading, and started their template plan!
18. Shoot a gun - nothing yet.
19. Teach Owen to swim - a few dips in a few lakes, but no actual swimming yet.
20. Donate 12 boxes/bags of things to goodwill. - Between June and July there were 8 boxes. (How did we accumulate so much crap?!)
21. Take Owen to The Playdate Cafe with a friend - not yet! As soon as he’s walking I think I’ll be ready for this :)
22. Take Owen to KidsQuest with a friend - again, when walking
23. Figure out “Freezer Cooking” - I did one big batch and it was a success! We’re still eating the results. I’m not going to cross this off until I have a few more successful cooking sessions.
24. Continue Owen’s monthly pictures. Figure out a back drop for standing shots - Took his July picture! I still need to edit months 3-10 though.
25. Go on a hike with a view - None in July, but we have one planned in August!
26. Do a family picture in a photo booth - nothing yet
27. Go sailing with my family - Nothing yet, and with them heading back to AZ for the winter and the boat being on the market, I’d better get moving on this one!
28. Organize all my knitting patterns into one note book - Got a notebook, and grabbed every pattern I could see without digging. punched holes, Put em’ in the book.
29. Not buy any greeting cards - Bought none in July!
30. Be more positive - This goes up and down. It’s really hard when you’re constantly not getting enough sleep/alone time/exercise/proper nutrition. But, I just try to remember not to get too stressed out with what I can’t accomplish, and focus positively on the things I am accomplishing!
(31. bonus – make this list cute with something off my FREEBIES board!)

Watermelon Margaritas: Take 3

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And Watermelon Margarita Week continues!! Today’s came from a Pin that I cannot for the life of me find again. I swore I pinned it, the others are still there, this one is not.

Before you get all cray cray, I know that a margarita is tequila, and that this recipe calls for vodka. But, I wanted to try a variety of recipes, so this one made the cut!

Vodka Watermelon Margaritas

5 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup lemon/citrus vodka

1/3 cup lime juice

1 can of lemon lime sparkling water

Ice

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This blended up pretty good. The texture was a lot like Monday’s recipe.

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Here they are served up and lookin’ all frosty and inviting!

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The Verdict

Allow me to cut right to the chase. This was my least favorite so far. Hubs took a sip and said “hmm, give me a minute”. He eventually decided that he liked them because they were subtle and refreshing. I thought they lacked flavor. There was not enough lime and the sparkling water added a dryness.  After the intense sulshiness and sweetness of Tuesdays recipe, this one just left me wanting something else.

Happy Pinning!

Cheers!!!