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Happiness

Life has a way of getting in the way of blogging. I’ve been decidedly absent from the computer since moving to Austin. I suppose that could have to do with all the fun changes and goings-on in my life here.

To recap:

I moved to Austin in June 2009

Bought a house in November 2009

Got my first puppy in December 2009

Planted my first garden in February 2010

Got my second puppy in October 2010

Planted my second garden in February 2011

I recently read Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project  and was totally inspired.  She focuses on making small changes each month, with each month being devoted to a particular theme.  It struck a chord with me, because I do my own version of this.  3 times a year, I map out the upcoming 4 months and set goals to accomplish each trimester. Some goals continue all year and some are one time wishes. For instance- my continuing goals are: work out 4 times a week, read a book every two weeks, try one new recipe per week, clean the house once a week, treat myself once a week, do something social once a week. Then specific type goals are take a spanish class, get new tires for the car, plan a weekend trip, etc.

So I wanted to check back into word press and make sure my account was still active.  I’m not sure how much I’ll still talk about crafting, cooking, and reading probably a lot, since those are my passions, but I hope to keep track of my own happiness and goals and wishes and interests, so I can look back every so often and remember what matters and what I love.

onward my friends

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Multi

I may turn this into more than one post because there’s a lot to add/update. I’ve been on spring break for the last week and a half and before that I was so busy getting ready for break that it’s been a while.

Books:

I finished Finn by John Clinch for my book club. It was dark and not what I expected. Confusing in parts, but pretty interesting.

I also finished The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and New Moon and Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer.

I started reading Catcher in the Rye. I’m also in the middle of Lonesome Dove (and by in the middle of I mean about 100 pages in) and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (for my book club).

Crafts:

Went to my sewing class. It was great. I made this bag:

I tried to make an apron,but I don’t really understand darting and all that complicated stuff.  I signed up for a PJ Pants class next weekend.

My garden is growing.  My radishes should be ready next weekend

Food:

Lots of different casseroles have been made!

Broccoli and mushroom:

Vegetable “bread pudding”:

Tortilla Casserole:

Black bean stew:

and Mabo Tofu:

We’ve been working on the bathroom renovation project.  New flooring is in, paint is on, and most new fixtures are in place.  Next stop – living room.

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Homeward Bound

It’s been months…months! I’ve done a lot of reading, not so much crafting, a fair amount of cooking/baking, and become a homeowner/renovator.

Books (without fancy pictures/descriptions) I’ve read since October:
Censoring an Iranian Love Story
Number 9 Dream
Scarpetta
206 Bones
Twilight

Cooking- My New Years resolution was to try making one new dinner each week. It’s actually been pretty fun trying new things. In my spacious new kitchen I’ve baked/cooked (this is new stuff only):

Pumpkin chocolate chip bread (thanks Maggie for the idea!)
Pumpkin brownies
Hot Dish (known as chicken wild rice casserole in my neck of the woods)
Tamale Pie
Fiesta Mac and Cheese

Crafting:

Umm… it’s all in boxes. I did get a sewing machine, I still haven’t hemmed my curtains. I did sign up for a sewing class in February- you’ll likely see some projects beginning then! I’m also going to a stitch’n’b*tch next weekend- so maybe some crafting. A colleague and his wife are expecting and I promised them a blanket, so I need to get working on that.

Current home projects:

Painting the main bathroom, so flooring can go in.
Yard work
Spring planting

This week’s projects:
Book- Finn, by John Clinch
Food- Something with lentils
Craft- begin that baby blanket
Home- rake the yard

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Finished!

A skull potholder. It’s not completely done, I have to weave in the ends, and sew a backing on it. This was my first try at making designs with crochet. I love the colors- hot pink and lime green! The pattern is from the Happy Hooker book.

The top scarf is the first one I made in my crochet class. It’s a pattern of single, double, half-double, and triple stitches. I love the color. The bottom scarf I made one Sunday afternoon- it’s double crochet in alternating spaces- super easy. The variegated yarn makes it look more complicated than it is.

Hats! The top one is my first try at a hat. I found a simple pattern and taught myself to crochet in the round. It’s totally lopsided, and pointy in the back. The bottom hat also comes from the Happy Hooker. It has ear flaps! I used cheap cheap yarn and made it to see if I could follow the pattern in the round. I actually really like this hat. Sorry the pics are sideways, I keep saving them correctly, and yet they don’t show up rotated here.

Here’s my yoga bag. I loved this project! It’s a pretty sea green and cream, which are so calming. I got the basic pattern from the Joyful Abode website, which is great (everything from tomato pie recipes to yoga bag crochet patterns!). I alternated front and back loop stitches, so there’s some texture.

I also made a beautiful blue-green purse with circular bamboo handles. I lined it with a soft, thin dark brown sweater that I was going to get rid of because it had a snag. I’ll post a picture later. It’s at school right now.

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