Sunday, October 31, 2010

Not for the "Faint of Heart"...

I thought I'd do a little experimenting in the kitchen this afternoon...

I have a recipe for a Pumpkin Cake, that is really good and also happens to be low fat.  So with this recipe as the base, I decided to try an Almond Iced Spice Cake.  The "faint of heart" may cringe at my "special ingredient".  Hee hee. 

Almond Iced Spice Cake

  • 1 package spice cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed tomato soup (undiluted)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites (large)
  • 1/3 C water
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 1/2 C confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (more or less to your taste)
  • 1 to 2 T water (enough to get a good drizzle consistency)

  1. In large bowl combine all ingredients (except those for the glaze).  Beat on low for 30 seconds and then on high for two minutes.  Pour into a fluted "bundt" pan coated with cooking spray and lightly floured.
  2. Bake on 350 degrees for approximately 65 - 75 minutes (or until a toothpick or knife inserted near center comes out clean).  
  3. Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  4. In small bowl combine ingredients for glaze.  Drizzle over cooled cake.
Yield:  14 Servings

This cake contains no added oil.  Keep in mind, while this is a low FAT recipe, that doesn't mean it's low SUGAR!


Joy in a little experimental cooking.  And, it tastes good too!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

One Of The Things I Love About Fall... the crisp cool weather......

...where a walk through the neighborhood is a delight to the body, mind and soul......

And upon return, walking through the door to the aroma of soup, chili, or stew is a warm embrace saying, "welcome home"...

This morning I made Taco Soup.  This is one of those recipes that has been around for a long time and most people have some version of it.  I don't know where it originated, but my recipe below is the one that was passed around my office when I was working.  It is very tasty and hearty.  I'm hoping it will be ready for lunch!  I've got the crock pot on "high".

Taco Soup
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 large onions diced
  • 1 qt canned diced tomatoes*
  • 1 can great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 package dry taco seasoning
  • 1 package dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (I used generic)
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 C water*

  1. Chop onion (I used my food processor - so much easier!)
  2. Brown beef/turkey w/onion until fully cooked (drain grease)
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in large pot (or crock pot)
  4. Cook until hot and boiling (in crock pot 4 hrs on high or 8 hours on low)
  5. Let simmer approximately 30 minutes (cook top only; add additional water if necessary)

*Note:  I can't find the 32 oz cans of diced tomatoes any longer so I added a 28 oz can and a 14.5 oz can and reduced the amount of water to 1 cup.

Weight Watcher Points:  1.5 C = 3 points

Wishing you a beautiful Fall day!  Can you believe Monday starts November?!?


Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Bread...

One of the first things I did this morning was to make pumpkin bread.  I really love baked goods and I like them even better when they taste great and happen to be low fat!  You can find the recipe HERE.  This is one I make regularly and it is consistently good.

Today I used fresh pumpkin though instead of canned.  I had a few small pumpkins around from some of our different visits to pumpkin farms and I'd read in one of my slow cooker cookbooks* about steaming them in the crock I gave it a try.  It turned out great!  Below are a few simple steps to making your own fresh pumpkin. 

Wash your pumpkin(s) and place in the crock pot with just enough water in the bottom so your pumpkins won't burn.  I added approximately 1/4 cup.  Check on them periodically and add more hot water if necessary.  Steam until you can easily insert a fork into pumpkin to test.  (I let mine cook on low for about 4.5 hours).

Once cooked to your satisfaction, remove from the crock pot and slice down the middle.  Scoop out all the yucky stuff (seeds and stringy gook) and discard.  Scoop out the meat of the pumpkin and put in a food processor.  Discard the hard shell (or put in your compost pile if you have one).  

Process until smooth...

I packaged mine in Ziploc freezer bags and labeled them.  The two little pumpkins I did made 3 cups.  Enough for a pie and a pumpkin bread.  Today was the pumpkin bread day!

Joy in fall treats!  Happy Friday!


*Note:  You can read more about steaming pumpkins and squash in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook; page 130-131.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warm Glow of the Fireplace...

This afternoon was the perfect opportunity to use our new gas fireplace logs. 

We have a wood burning fireplace, but the flue has never vented properly.  We've had "the experts" out trying to fix the problem to no avail.  So, we finally "bit the bullet" so to speak and had gas logs installed this summer.  Our thought on timing was perhaps it would be a little less expensive in the summer vs. waiting until everyone was getting their fireplaces ready for winter.  Not sure if it saved us anything, but it's been nice to have the gas logs available to use now that we've had some cooler weather. 

When I went to bed last night, I knew I wanted to be able to enjoy a little down time today.  So, I planned accordingly, getting most of my chores and responsibilities squeezed in by early afternoon.  By 2:00 p.m., I was sitting in my crochet chair with my feet propped up on my footstool working on my latest afghan project.  I had Michael W. Smith softly playing on the CD player and my son entertained himself with writing and drawing......peace.

It was a very pleasant way to spend a little snippet of time this afternoon.  Crocheting in front of the warming glow of the hearth. 

Joy in quiet moments.   


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too Many Irons....

(or crochet hooks) in the fire.....

I'm usually a one project gal, but lately I've started juggling my crochet projects.

Currently, I have four projects "on the hook" so to speak.

I know that isn't a lot for many of you, but for a single minded/focused girl like me, it's a bunch!   

My first and biggest project right now is the Fireside Cheer that I've written about a couple of times.  I promised to have it  shipped by the end of November.  So far, I'm on track...

I'm also working on a scarf and hat set for a friend......

And, when I get tired of repeats, I head for a doily I'm working on as part of a CAL with some friends from "Country Crochet"....

As if that weren't enough, today I started another scarf.  An idea I'm playing around with.  I need to get my stitch count all worked out, but I think it is going to be pretty. (If it turns out, I'll post some pics and the pattern.)

Whew!  So, on the crochet front, things are hopping a little faster than I can keep up with.......but it's all good.  I mean, it's crochet!

Joy in it all!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Craisin and Sunflower Salad

I'm pleased with my first day of the big diet.  I exercised like I wanted to and ate healthy - good start.   

The simple salad I made last night for dinner turned out really well, so I thought I'd share it with you.  The measurements are for an individual serving. 

  • 5 oz boneless/skinless chicken breast broiled and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 C (approx.) Spring Mix lettuce 
  • 2 T Craisins 
  • 1 T Sunflower Kernels 
  • 1/4 C Seasoned Croutons 
  • 2 T Kraft Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette

(My dinner salad had a total of 9 Weight Watcher points)

I just layered everything on individual plates and served with blueberry muffins.  

When I make this again, I'll add some grape or cherry tomatoes and maybe a little red onion. 

Joy in a successful first day!


Monday, October 25, 2010

It's "D" Day!

As in Diet with a capital "D".  The "battle" of the bulge starts today.
This isn't a new fight.  It's a war I've waged for most of my life....

As a teen, I opted not to eat.....much.  Then in my 20's, I was successful (a couple of times) with Weight Watchers.  In my 30's, while in the business world, The South Beach Diet was all the "rage" and I was able to be successful with it.

In my 40's now, I've been resting on my "laurels" so to speak and the weight has really "crept" up on me.  I don't exercise like I used to and I have to confess, I eat way more ice cream than any adult woman should!

So, the big day has arrived.  And, I have a plan, although it isn't a formal one.

I'm going to start walking on my treadmill (at a slow pace, I'll build myself up), and I've dug out my old Weight Watchers materials that I'll use to (hopefully) get myself back on track.

Joy in day one.


Friday, October 22, 2010

29 Stitches...

I needed a little break from my afghan today and I also needed a couple of dish cloths.  So, with this thought in mind, I started digging through our downstairs hall closet looking for some cotton yarn.  One of the instantly gratifying things in crochet is having yarn on hand to make what you want to make!

So I whipped up a couple of dish cloths......I'm calling it 29 Stitches......the number of stitches in the 1st row and throughout.  It's a simple pattern for a very utilitarian item.  But it was fun to make.  So without further adieu, I give you....

29 Stitches

100% Cotton yarn - worsted weight (estimating 1.5 oz; I just used what I had on hand)
Size "H" hook

ch 30
  1. sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, ch 2, turn.  (29 stitches)
  2. sc in 1st sc, *sk 1 sc, (dc and sc) in next sc, repeat from * across, ch 2, turn. 
  3. sc in 1st sc, *sk next dc, (dc and sc) in next sc, repeat from * across, ch 2, turn.  
  4. Repeat row 3 until desired length.  (Mine measures 8 1/2 inches.)
  1. sc evenly around cloth, (3 sc) in each corner, sl st to beg sc, ch 1, do not turn work. 
  2. rev sc evenly around cloth, sl st to beg rev sc, fasten off.  
  3. Weave in ends. 

Joy in creativity!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cheerful Update

I'm making good progress on my Fireside Cheer afghan project.  I'm just below the halfway point.  I'm hoping to be working on the second half come Monday.  

Maybe I'll get in a little crochet time this afternoon; here's hoping and fingers crossed!  :-)

Joy in a beautiful day.  


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Go Into All The World...

"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15 (NKJV)

My church is having their annual missions conference this week.  I had the honor of hearing four of the missionary wives speak at a ladies luncheon yesterday.  Each woman stood up and gave their testimony.  They spoke to a time in their lives when they were saved, how God has worked in their lives, and how God is using them to help the lives of others around the globe. It was both humbling and inspirational.

Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, "I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."  
John 8:12 (NKJV)

The food was good too.  :-)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things That Make You Go......


Something keeps getting into our trash.  We have two (very) large trash bins that we "rent" from our trash removal company.  Periodically, for the past month, my husband will go out to head to work and find the trash cans knocked over and the garbage ransacked. 

The first time it happened, I thought it might be some local teens playing some shenanigans.  But, when hubby was picking up the mess, he said it looked more like an animal had ripped open the bags and was looking for something to eat. 

Now we don't live in the, I don't think it's a bear.
And, I know some of the smaller scavengers just wouldn't have the size or strength to tip over the bins......

We do live in a wooded area, so perhaps it's a deer.....
Whatever it is, the mystery continues.  And, there is a mess in the drive this morning to pick up. 

Joy in knowing it's not a bear.  :-)


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Clothes Hamper...


Caution, the following story may not be suitable for young children......or those who don't believe in conspiracy theories...
Do you ever wonder what happens in the dark of the closet, after you've closed the lid on the dirty clothes hamper, and switched out the light?  I've wondered this at different times in my married life, but my senses have become more in-tune to the "goings-on" since I've started doing laundry on a daily basis. 

Quite simply, the dirty clothes are bunnies.  It's a theory.

OK, I'm really going to date myself, but do you remember the shampoo commercial on TV where they told two friends (about the wonderful product, I think it was Agree), and then she told two friends, and so on, and so on?

That's what's going on!  They are having a bash, a party of sorts, inviting their friends to my dirty clothes hamper and feasting on spaghetti sauce spills, popsicle drips, and orange Doritos dust.

I hope they know I'm onto them......and, I'm armed.......

Joy in a washing machine........I could be doing this by hand.

This has been a public service announcement........beep.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fair Isle Update

Yesterday, I got to a point on my Fair Isle project to update the lady for whom I'm making the blanket.  I wanted to be sure she was happy with the direction I was going.....

Originally, we had decided on this pattern, but as I started to make it, I really wasn't happy with the way the design within the blanket was forming.  The yarn I'm using has a very definite stitch definition and the long double crochet "X" that you make was looking really "hokey".  I think that pattern would look good in a more "fuzzy" yarn or perhaps a sport weight.

So I headed to another fair isle style pattern that I've made before.  It's called Fireside Cheer (pictured below)...
This is a blanket pattern I'm very fond of and I think is quite pretty.  I made the above for myself several years ago. 

If you remember, the colors we chose for this project were turquoise, mauve/pink and an aran.  I started the blanket using the turquoise as the main color, as this is the recipients favorite color.  I'm using the aran and mauve as the accents.  

I sent her an e-mail last night to show her my progress.  I also wanted to see if she would like the aran as the master color instead of the blue.  I felt I was at a good point, and had enough time, to start over and do the pattern with the color switches.   She replied to my e-mail not to change a thing.  So, with that being said, I'm moving forward!

I hope this will be something the receiver will like and enjoy using.  This blanket will evolve as the additional bands are formed, the ends woven into the fabric, and a pretty border crocheted all around it.

Joy in a day full of crochet!  :-)


Friday, October 15, 2010

It was a good evening for...

Mexi-Mac Skillet!

Yesterday's cooler weather left me with a "hankering" for something in the chili family.  I had taken some ground beef out of the freezer in order to make meat balls, but decided to go with this instead.  I really enjoy this recipe, it's quick, easy, and I usually have the ingredients on hand.

Mexi-Mac Skillet comes from one of my favorite recipe sites; 

Mexi-Mac Skillet

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup water
1 - 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I only use 1/2 a teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (I use 2%)

Note:  I usually add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin in with the other spices

  1. Brown beef and onion; drain.
  2. Stir in everything (except cheese and macaroni), bring to a boil; add macaroni.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 18-22 minutes (or until macaroni is tender).
  4. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

I made corn bread to go with this (Jiffy Mix; but don't tell anyone).  :-)

From, Mexi-Mac Skillet Recipe


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to Wake Up!

I'm so tired this morning.  I'm on my second cup of java and the legally addictive stimulant has yet to "kick in". 

My dusty treadmill has been beckoning me with lusty promises of more energy and a slender body.  But, I've been turning a deaf ear to the bothersome contraption.  "Come to me weary woman, I will bring you vitality, youth and a rosy complexion."  The hypnotic whisper is somewhat enticing......Maybe tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. 

And the battle of the wills continue........the puffy and weak vs. the call of the machine.  So far, the puff is winning. 

Joy in knowing that machines really don't talk. 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He's Reading!

I can't believe little boy is reading! 

And, I taught him! 

The sentences are simple, "Sit here Dad."  Or, "Mom is in here."  Most of the words are from the "it" and "in" family so far.  But so exciting!  Today we learned about a "period" and that it tells the reader that the sentence has ended.  He got it. 

I really like the curriculum I'm using.  It's from Bob Jones University and it is what a lot of Christian schools use in their private schools.  It is very detailed and it gives sample conversations (with the answers) all written out.  It was a hard decision, but in the end, I kept being led back to the one I chose. 

We are heading into the end of week three and so far, this has been very rewarding. 

Joy in education!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First Daybook Entry...


Outside my window...the sun is shinning in this early afternoon and there is a soft breeze blowing through the windows.  

I am thankful little family and especially my husband who works hard to provide for us.  

From the learning rooms...we are in the "it" and "in" reading/phonics family and learning about more than and fewer than in math.  Traffic safety and police awareness are also topics for the week.  

From the kitchen...easy dinner tonight of chicken salads and dinner rolls.  

I am reading...The Heart of Home Schooling by Christopher Klicka, The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson, and Meet The Bible a daily devotional walk through the bible by Philip Yancey and Brenda Quinn.  

I am hoping...for "Indian Summer" to pass and looking forward to the cool weather associated with fall.

I am hearing..."Hi-5" sing songs for my son and the birds chirping outside my window.

Around the house...feeling like I'm getting into a good groove with the things that need to get done now that I'm homeschooling.

One of my favorite things...pie ala mode.  :-)

A few plans for the rest of the week...Hope to have a quiet week this week.

 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.  
Psalm 19:1
(From Our Daily Bread today's verse)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Beautiful Autumn Afternoon

This afternoon was beautiful.  So, once we had lunch, the little guy and I headed out to the backyard to see what kind of fun we could get into.

My son enjoyed his sandbox and dragged his trucks out from the garage.  He also added some "trophies" to his "stick collection" (he collects everything)

I relaxed and worked on my current crochet project and oversaw all the busy activity.  I also took some photos of the pretty fall day.

Our backyard has finally started to look like autumn...

The trees are proudly displaying their fall foliage.....

And the sun shone beautifully through the trees.....

Joy in the day!


Monday Morning...

Monday has rolled her way around again.....

I was up with the birds this morning and have accomplished quite a bit for this early morn.  First load of laundry folded and the next load is in the dryer.  I have our dinner casserole all made and chilling in the fridge.  And, most importantly, I've spent some quite time with the Lord before the busyness of the day takes over. 

Today, I made one of my Mom's casseroles for dinner.  I don't know where she obtained the recipe, I imagine she snipped it out of a magazine many years ago.  I like to serve it with rice.  I'll either make dinner rolls or a salad to go with it also depending on how the day progresses.

Mom's Chicken Casserole

  • 2   Whole Chicken Breasts cooked and coarsely diced (I used 4 lrg chicken thighs)
  • 2   10.5 oz cans of cream of mushroom (or celery) soup
  • 2   4 oz cans whole mushrooms (drained)
  • 2   6 oz cans whole water chestnuts (drained)
  • 1   12 oz pkg frozen peas
  • 1   Cup slivered almonds (I've never used these in the casserole)
  • 2   Cups crushed potato chips (I usually sprinkle with bread crumbs or I'll use Panko in place of the chips)

  1. Mix all ingredients (except potato chips) together and pour into casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray
  2. Bake at 350 for 30 min., give casserole a good stir, add topping of your choosing and cook for another 30 minutes for a total of 1 hour.  Serves approx. 8 people.

Joy in the quite productivity of the early morn.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Tweed Stripe Finished!

I finished my Tweed Stripe Ripple blanket last night.  I waited to take pictures until today in order to take them outside and I'm so glad I did! 

It's a beautiful fall day with pretty blue skies.  

This afghan is made from a free Lion Brand pattern and can be found HERE.  
It's a simple pattern, and lets the yarn take center stage.  
I used Tweed Stripes, which is a newer yarn;I really like the earthy effect these colors make.  

I just need to give it a wash on gentle, package it up and get it off in the mail to the recipient.  Hopefully, they will enjoy using it, now that cooler weather is upon us. 

Joy in a completed project AND, a gloriously beautiful day!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hold My Hand...

Do you ever read something and it doesn't really sink in until you leave it or put it down?  And then you think about it and are drawn back to it again? 

This morning, I was reading in "Our Daily Bread" and today's little message was on Hold My Hand.  It speaks to how God is there for us in the "scary parts" of life.  But, we don't need to be in a crisis or "scary part" for God to be there with us.  Each day He is there to lead us and guide us; if we allow. 

I'm in my second week of homeschooling.  The first week was a breeze; enjoyable, rewarding, a happy time spent with my son.  This week isn't the same.  He is struggling with some new material and I'm trying to figure out the best way to teach it to him. 

This morning's little reading was a reminder to me that I'm not doing this alone.  God is there to "hold my hand".  I just need to seek Him.  He will hold my hand through this and I know "with God all things are possible". 

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, 
Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'
Isaiah 41:13

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Joy in Fish Sticks...

Ever have one of those days where nothing goes according to plan?

Today, was one of those days in my household.  Thankfully, I had some fish sticks and tater tots in the freezer.  As Scarlett O"Hara said, in the closing lines of Gone with the Wind, "Tomorrow is another day."

Here's hoping my best laid plans, play out a little better, tomorrow.  And......

Joy in fish sticks!


Tweed Stripe Ripple Update...

Well, I'm happy to say that I'm finished with the body of the Tweed Stripe Ripple I've been working on.  I did however, run out of yarn.  So I'll need to hop on over to Wally World in the next day or two so I can purchase an additional skein and crochet the border.  Weaving in the ends will keep me occupied until I can get to the store.  I'll post a few pictures once the project is complete.  :-)

Joy in an "almost" complete project!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Easy Monday Dinner

Now that I'm homeschooling, I've been trying to get more organized with my household tasks.  I've been getting up 1/2 hour earlier in the mornings and you'd be surprised how much can get done in the quiet stillness of the morn. 

I fixed London Broil yesterday for dinner.  This is another one of those dishes you can fix in the morning and refrigerate until you are ready to grill or broil the meat. 

Heather's Easy London Broil
  • London Broil (size appropriate for your family)
  • Olive Oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Kosher salt

Rub meat with 1 - 2 T olive oil (I use a baggie for this part).  Put 1 tsp of minced garlic, fresh ground pepper to lightly cover, and sprinkle kosher salt on one side; rub it all into the meat (again I use a baggie over my hand).  Repeat for the other side.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
About an hour before you are ready to cook your meat remove from the fridge to take some of the chill off the meat.  Place on a broiler pan pretreated with cooking spray, or grill outdoors for approximately 5 - 6 minutes each side.  You want your meat to be red (medium rare) in the middle so that is stays tender.  The longer you cook the meat, the tougher it is going to be.  Slice your meat thinly at an angle.

I served our London Broil with a fresh garden salad and my homemade dinner rolls.  There is plenty leftover for dear hubby to carry to work tomorrow.

 Joy in an easy dinner that has a festive feel. 


Monday, October 4, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

This past Saturday, my little family trucked our way to Iron's Fruit Farm, an old fashioned working farm.  It's about a 30 minute drive from our house, and so worth the trip!

There was a festival atmosphere with with bbq and hot dogs for sale.  Across the drive were Revolutionary war soldiers in a reenactment camp set up with tents, camps fires, and period uniforms.  Next to the soldiers, were friendly farm animals for the kids to pet and feed. 

But, the main attraction was the hayride!  They offer a free hayride out to their pumpkin fields where you walk along, at your pace, and select one, two, or more pumpkins.  There are also gourds of various shapes and sizes to pick, if you so desire.

Rain threatened most of the day, but it held off while we were on our adventure.  And, while it wasn't a traditionally pretty day, with blue skies and fluffy white clouds, it was still an awesome wonder to take in God's spendor.

There were a lot of pumpkin flowers that frost will likely kill before any pumpkin will develop...

The grass, weeds and wild flowers were taller than my son and made the search for the perfect pumpkin all the more exciting...

In the end, we accomplished our mission and found our perfect pumpkin.  And, our son found a treasure to take home with him.

Joy in a wonderful Fall family day!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Let the earth bring forth grass...

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:11 


Saturday, October 2, 2010

On the Horizon...

...a new project!

I had a nice lady contact me recently about making an afghan or blanket for her mother for Christmas.  After many e-mails about patterns and yarn colors, we have finalized a decision.  I'll be making this beautiful afghan pictured above.  The pattern is from Mosaic Magic Afghans Made Easy by Lily M. Chin; one of my favorite afghan designers I might add!   

The colors we chose are very feminine and pretty.  The mother's favorite color is turquoise and we decided to pair it with mauve, using aran, a soft white, as an accent color.  It's a winning combination and I hope both the giver and receiver will be thrilled with the blanket.

I always enjoy the planning stages of a project.  Getting out the calculator, figuring out how much yarn will be needed in each color, finding a good buy on the yarn, and looking for coupons.  It's all part of the fun.  In this case, I was excited to see that Michael's is having a Family and Friends Sale and has a coupon out for 20% off your entire purchase; good through today.  Yipee!

My current project is about two weeks from completion and then I hope to get started on this.  My goal is to have the fair isle completed by the end of November so I can ship it to the giver in plenty of time for Christmas.

Joy in the planning!