pooples

Sad

It's been 2 weeks since Lily has died. I'm trying to stay strong. Some days I'm good. But tonight, I just straight up feel sad. I miss the never ending love, affection, and companionship I got from that kitty. I had pets and such growing up, but none that lovely me quite like Lily did.

I've been through animal death before. It's never easy. When Onyx died, it was tough. I missed her. But I also had Lily to help me through it. Lily changed after Onyx died. She became the cuddly, lap cat, I always wanted. She rarely left my side. My bond to Lily grew way more in those 4 short years.

Cavey, my other cat, is sweet. But it's not the same.
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pooples

Rosemary Spiced Nuts

You're gonna love my nuts. *snicker* No seriously, these roasted and spiced nuts are amazingly tasting. And also quasi-healthy for you too.





I love this recipe. It's very simple and quick. I like making these nuts when I need to bring an appetizer or munchie of some sort to a party, but don't feel like doing anything too elaborate. Heck, these nuts would even make good Christmas gifts. Especially if you packaged them in tiny mason jars with cute labels and ribbons. This recipe can also be easily doubled if necessary.


The spice blend could also be modified too. I personally love the combination of the fresh Rosemary, mixed with a bit of sweet and salty, and the heat from the Cayenne Pepper. But I could see myself also trying basic Cinnamon & Sugar, or perhaps even an exotic Curry spice.





Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Ingredients:

1 pound Unsalted Nuts (I used Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Cashews, and Brazil Nuts - but feel free to use whatever blend of nuts you like)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Rosemary (fresh Rosemary is key here!)
3/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Butter, melted
Honey, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 8-10 minutes, until nuts are starting to brown.
3. While the nuts are roasting, chop the Rosemary and blend with the remaining ingredients, except for the Honey. This should make a thick paste of happiness.
4. Dump the roasted nuts into a large bowl and add the your spice paste. I like to add a little bit of the paste at a time, then stir, to make sure the nuts get evenly coated.
5. Taste your nuts. If you desire them to be a bit sweeter and sticky (like I do), drizzle the nuts with a bit of Honey and stir to combine. Continue to add Honey until the desired level of sweetness is achieved.
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pooples

Get Your Booze On: Bacon Bourbon Manhattan

Despite living in the South aka Baptist country, we do like to get our drink on. There's even talk of having liquor sales on Sunday's of all things!. Anyways, I do rather enjoy my libations, in moderation of course. Typically, I'm too lazy to mix up a drink at home, so I typically just stick with beer or wine. As for beers, there's always my tried and true Pabst Blue Ribbon. But as of late, I've been trying a lot of craft beers and micro-brews. Two of my recent favorites have been Dale's Pale Ale and Southern Tier Brewing's Creme Brulee Stout. As for wines, I'm a fan of red wines, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon or Grenache. But I only try to drink the cheap shit, stuff that's under $10 a bottle.


As for mixed drinks, I've found that I'm no longer a fan of the uber-sweet, popsicle flavored crap I used to drink in my college days. Actually, I'm not a fan of sweet drinks anymore really. I will consume a finally crafted fruity tiki drink or a mojito from time to time, but overall no sweet stuff for me. As of late, I've noticed that Bourbon and Whiskey has become all of the rage in hipstery restaurants. I used to think that stuff was gross, but now I'm starting to become fond of it's subtle flavors. Sometimes I'll just drink Bourbon or Whiskey, straight up on the rocks or mixed with a bit of Soda Water, which makes for a great sippin' drink in the evening.


Awhile back I saw this tutorial on how to make Bacon Bourbon. Needless to say, I was intrigued and gave it a try. It's rather simple to make and a great way to use up leftover bacon fat. Not that I cook a whole lot of bacon, but I do save the drippings. It's cooking gold! Basically, you just pour the liquid fat into your bourbon in a container than can be sealed. You then place the bourbon and bacon fat concoction in the fridge for a few days to let the booze absorb all of the lovely bacon flavors without the fat! After a few days, you filter out the fat. I used one of those tea bags for loose leaf tea, but a coffee filter would work too. I used Knob Creek bourbon which is one of the higher end bourbons. It tastes good with the infused bacon but I think next time, I might go with a lower end bourbon just because the bacon flavor does over-power some other flavors of the bourbon. I would imagine you could do the same think with Vodka and make Bacon Vodka, which would probably make for some kick ass Bloody Mary's.


Now what to do with your Bacon Bourbon? Make a Manhattan of course! It's a classic drink and it really shows off the flavor of Bourbon nicely. I prefer my Manhattans on the rocks.

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Bacon Bourbon Manhattan

1/2 ounce Sweet Vermouth
2 ounces Bacon Bourbon
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir the Sweet Vermouth, Bacon Bourbon, and Bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass with ice. Garnish with a cherry.


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pooples

Asian Chex Mix (aka the most addictive thing you'll ever eat)

I'll be honest. I'm a HUGE fan of Asian cuisine. Thai, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, I love it all. Luckily, I live right down the street from some of the best Asian restaurants Atlanta has to offer. I adore the sweet / salty / sour / savory tastes of Asian food and I can never seem to get enough.

Awhile back, I was introduced to Rice Seasoning at my beloved Buford Highway Farmers Market. They give out free samples of various stuff on the weekends. Sometimes if I'm feeling at tad bit hungry, I'll stop by the market just to have a worldly snack. One day, they were having a special on Rice Seasoning and giving out samples of it sprinkled on clumpy, white rice. It was heavenly. I bought a jar of the stuff right then and there.

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I don't cook too much rice. But I do find that the Rice Seasoning is very tasty when sprinkled on plain old microwave popcorn. If you don't have an Asian market nearby, you can order this stuff on-line. My favorite is the Nori Komi Furikake 'flavor'. It's basically bits of Nori seaweed, sesame seeds, and a little bit of salt and sugar. Some of the other 'flavors' contained dried fish flakes. They are tasty - but the dried fish smell may be off putting to some.

Anyways, I've seen several recipes on the internets for Asian Chex Mix made with the Nori Komi Furikake Rice Seasoning. I've made it a few times for parties and it's been a huge hit. I refer to this mix as 'Godzilla Mix' but it is extremely addictive. It has this wonderful sweet and salty flavor mixed with crunchy with a bit of umami. This mix would also be great if you're hosting a party and need something a bit more exciting that chips and dip for guests to munch on.


Ingredients:

3 cups Crispix Cereal
3 cups Rice Chex Cereal
1 bag Bugles (they are my favorite part!)
1 bag Goldfish pretzels
1 - 6 oz. container of Roasted Almonds
(Or depending on your taste you could sub out some of these ingredients with regular pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, wasabi peas, or any other crunchy snack food or cereal)
3/4 cup Butter
3/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Hot Sauce
1 bottle Nori Komi Furikake

1. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
2. If desired line a roasting pan with tin foil or parchment paper to make clean up easier. (I can never seem to line pans right so I opt out and just spend the extra time cleaning.)
3. Mix the Cereals, Bugles, Pretzels, and Almonds in the roasting pan.
4. In a sauce pan, melt the Butter over medium heat.
5. Add the Corn Syrup, Sugar, and Vegetable Oil. Stir until the sugars are dissolved.
6. Add the Soy Sauce, Worcestershire, and Hot Sauce. Stir until combined.
7. Pour the sauce over the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. (I like to add the sauce gradually to ensure that everything is evenly coated)
8. Place the roasting pan, uncovered in the oven for 15 minutes.
9. Take the roasting pan out of the oven and sprinkle on the Nori Komi Furikake. (I like to add the Nori Komi Furikake gradually to make sure I don't end up with a big glob of it)
10. Continue baking the mix and stirring every 15 minutes or so until it reaches a golden brown color and it's no longer goopey looking. This took about 1.75 hours for me.
11. Let the mix cool before serving. It will keep for several days in a sealed container.


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Chopsticks aren't necessary when eating this. But it's so damn addictive, the chopsticks prevent me for shoveling this stuff into my mouth by the handful.
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pooples

When It's Just Too Damn Hot to Turn on the Oven or I'm Just Too Lazy to Bake

As I've mentioned before, I have joined the neighborhood Bunco group. If you don't know what Bunco is, it's a stupid, little dice game. It really takes no skill or strategy to play, which allows for easy conversation and plenty of drinking. It's been a great way to meet all of the wonderful ladies, young and old, in my 'hood. And did I mention we play for money? My winnings typically = yarn money.


The Bunco group meets up once a month. The hostess just provides the booze and other beverages, where as everyone else usually brings some sort of appetizer to share. I know I could just bring Salsa & Chips or grocery store bakery cookies, and no one would judge me any less. But for some reason I always feel compelled to make something homemade to bring. Depending on my mood or energy, I'll bake some sort of yumminess. But other times, especially if it's been a busy week at work, I don't feel like putting too much effort into what I make.


Last month, I tried some sort Cookies n' Creme bars (think Rice Crispy Treats but made with ground up Oreo cookies!), thinking it would be an easy, simple, yet tasty dish to bring. It was easy, simple, and tasty, but my bars ended up coming out looking like these dark brown logs. They tasted great but literally looked like crap. I think I may have ground up the Oreos too much. Because of their appearance, I didn't dare bring them to Bunco so I whipped together a Pesto Pasta Salad last minute.


This month was a busy month and I didn't feel like doing anything too elaborate. Thankfully my bestie, Kari, had recently posted a recipe for Sugar Shock Bars on her craft blog, The Craftinomicon. I highly suggest checking out her blog for all sorts of amazing craftiness and tasty recipes. Anyways, the Sugar Shock Bars were super simple and quick to put together, plus they were a huge hit at Bunco. Peanut Butter and Chocolate is just an amazing combination.


I'm surprised I was able to get the melted chocolate to be smooth. It probably helps that I did buy a Cake Icing Spatula awhile back for such things. And check out my newly finished knitted dishcloth.





Bars ready to be devoured by the Bunco Babes:


pooples

Baby Knits

No, I'm not trying to announce anything on here. I am NOT with child. But I will say I am slowly defrosting to the idea of having kids. I don't see myself having any in the immediate future. But that could change if that biological clock ever goes off.

Anyways, whenever I find out that a friend or relative is having a baby, I can't help but feel compelled to make something for the baby. For closer friends and family, I usually invest the time in making a baby blanket. Despite their smaller size, baby blankets can still be quite a lot of work! For smaller objects, I usually stick with things like hats and booties. But one of my favorite things to make are burp cloths and bibs. As you know, babies can be rather messy.

When choosing the yarns for baby items, I try to stick with something that will be low maintenance, such as acrylic or cotton, or a blend of the two. I figure most parents won't have time to hand wash a 100% wool baby blanket, not to mention some babies could be allergic to the wool. But in the knitting world, there are concerns with using acrylic yarns. Since it is plastic, it can melt onto the child. But I figure by the time the baby is in a situation where whatever acrylic item is melting, there are probably bigger things going on that would be detrimental to the baby's life.

As for color of said baby items, I try not to usually stick with the traditional pink or blue, or icky pastel colors, that most baby yarns seem to come in. I try to shake things up by using bright colors or something with a modern color palette. Depending on the recipient, I may try to make the colors gender neutral but sometimes I do opt for the traditional pink or blue.

I recently finished up this rainbow colored baby blanket for a cousin who just had a baby girl. I love how it came out, but I don't think I'll be making any baby blankets out of fingering weight yarn for quite some time. This blanket took quite some time to do and by the time I got to the last row, I think it contained at least 600 stitches.

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Keeping with the rainbow theme, I made some cheery bibs for a sweet neighbor who just had the cutest girl ever. I really liked how these bibs came out. You can't tell in this photo, but I found some equally bright colored buttons, to fasten the bibs shut.

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The bib pattern is from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book, which I have unexpectedly learned to adore. Maybe I am becoming a Southerner? But what I love about the bib pattern, and the burp cloth pattern, featured in the book, is that they can be customized in lots of fun and simple ways, such as adding an interesting button or patch.

The following bibs and burp cloths were made for a friend in FL who just had a baby girl awhile back. I opted to go girly here, but the addition of the cupcake patch definitely takes the cuteness up a notch.

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I had a lot of fun customizing the following set up bibs and burp cloths with a punk rock theme. I used skull buttons for the bibs and a skull patch on the burp cloth. I didn't feature this in these photos, but I was able to locate some diaper pins and used those to attach the patch vs. regular safety pins. You would never believe how difficult it is to find diaper pins. I searched every craft and baby store, but somehow managed to find them at this variety store in town.

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pooples

Brunswick Stew + Cornbread

If you had asked me 10 years ago when I was 20, where I thought I'd be living once I graduated from college, I probably would have told you Chicago or Indianapolis or some other big city in the Midwest. I would have never thought that I'd be living in the South. It's crazy where life takes you. Anyways, Atlanta is officially home for me now and I don't plan on moving anywhere else anytime soon.


Living in the South for 3+ years has definitely rubbed off on me. I have yet to speak with a drawl, but I have developed a taste for Southern comfort foods. Some of my favorite Southern delicacies include Fried Green Tomatoes, Pimento Cheese, Grits (mixed with lots of cheese & butter), Banana Pudding, Squash Casserole, and Mac N' Cheese (which is actually considered a vegetable in some restaurants).


You also can't live in the South without having a whole bunch of BBQ restaurants nearby. I had BBQ growing up in the Midwest, but nothing like the stuff you find down South. I've even ventured out to a few BBQ competitions such as the Big Pig Jig and Memphis in May. Needless to say, I'm a BBQ lover. Out of the numerous BBQ joints I've eaten at in Metro Atlanta, Williamson Bros BBQ and Swallow at the Hollow have to be my 2 favorite BBQ joints. One side dish you'll find at a lot of BBQ places is Brunswick Stew and it varies widely from restaurant to restaurant. Sometimes it's filled with veggies and big chunks of BBQ. Or sometimes it's finely shredded BBQ in a tomato broth. I think the stew is a way for restaurants to use up leftover BBQ and veggies. Anytime I venture out to a new BBQ joint, I always have to try their Brunswick Stew.


After trying many different versions of Brunswick Stew, I decided to try it making it myself. I've made a few batches over the past year or so, but I think I've finally come up with a decent blend of veggies and spices. But much like when I make chili, it comes out different each time, for better or for worse. Anyways, here's my take on Brunswick Stew. I do cheat a bit and get pulled pork from a local BBQ restaurant. But I've seen versions with just shredded chicken or beef (or if you really want to be adventurous use venison, squirrel, rabbit, as that's supposedly what Brunswick Stew was traditionally made with). This recipe would also be super easy to modify too, depending on your veggie preferences. I could see okra, lima beans, carrots, and other veggies added to the mix.





Brunswick Stew

Ingredients:
1 - large Vidalia Onion, diced
2 - Poblano Peppers, diced
1 pound Red Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 small package Frozen Corn
1.5 pounds smoked Pulled Pork
1 - 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
1 - small jar Roasted Red Peppers, diced
1 - 14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
2 - Garlic cloves, finely minced
48 oz. Chicken Broth
2 - Bay Leaves
Olive Oil
Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Your Favorite BBQ Sauce, to taste

1. Saute the Onion, Green Peppers, and Garlic in a little bit of Olive Oil in your stew pot on Medium Heat, until the onions start to become slightly caramelized.
2. Add the Chicken Broth, Crushed Tomatoes, Diced Tomatoes (plus juice), Pulled Pork, Bay Leaves, Frozen Corn, Roasted Red Peppers, and Red Potatoes to the stew pot. Stir to combine.
3. Add BBQ Sauce, Black Pepper, and Salt to taste.
4. Allow the stew to cook on low heat, covered, for at least 1 - 2 hours or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the stew from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
5. Remove the Bay Leaves.
6. Serve with a slice of Cornbread.





As for the Cornbread, I followed this Skillet Cornbread recipe. This was actually the first time I used my cast iron skillet for baking. It allowed for the edges of the cornbread to come out nice and crunchy, while leaving the inside moist and chewy. Normally, I prefer my cornbread a bit on the sweeter side. This version was a bit salty and savory, due to the bacon fat called for in the recipe. But it paired perfectly with the Brunswick Stew. Bacon fat is cooking gold. Seriously. Save that shit.


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pooples

Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

To be honest with you, I used to loath vegetables. I'd pitch a fit as a kid if I had to eat one. From time to time, I would eat corn or the occasional green bean. But for the most part, I hated veggies. Sad but true. Part of it was the stigma that vegetables have. The other part was how they were prepared for me growing up. Nothing against my mom's cooking. But usually if veggies were made as a side, they often came from the freezer or a can. Frozen or canned veggies are appropriate for cooking depending on what you are making. But when the veggie is the prominent star of the dish, having some limp, mushy, icky thing is not good eats. That's why, when I now eat veggies, I prefer them to be fresh and prepared properly.

Unfortunately, I probably don't eat as many veggies as I should. I try to incorporate them into my daily diet when I can, but it's difficult when you prefer them fresh and having to go to the grocery store constantly is a pain in the ass. Part of that has been resolved by me growing some veggies in the garden this year. My red bell pepper plants seem to be doing well (when the critters don't get to my peppers first!). Maybe next year, I'll try to grow even more yummy things.

Anyways, I happened upon this Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti recipe awhile back and I finally got around to making it about a week ago. At this point in time in my cooking hobby, I'm not quite ready for coming up with my own recipes just yet. Frankly, I just don't have the time nor energy. But I'll modify the heck out a recipe to suit my tastes. I'll include my mods below. This recipe is definitely a winner in my opinion. Normally, I like my ziti loaded with meat, sauce, and cheese. But with this version, I didn't miss the meat at all. In my head, I like to pretend that this dish is quasi-healthy given the veggie content. If my mom had prepared dishes like this, I know I would have loved eating vegetables as a kid.

Look at all of the colorful veggies! I used squash, onion, red bell pepper, and asparagus. But the veggie mix could definitely be mixed up depending on your tastes. I could see myself trying out a version with mushrooms or eggplant. Or perhaps even a Mexican version with Poblano peppers, salsa, beans, and corn!



And here's my new instrument of destruction. It makes me kinda feel like a semi-professional chef.



And here's the final result. I like my ziti's to be loaded with cheese so that they are all types of ooey and gooey.




Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and cut into 1-inch wide strips
12 -16 thin asparagus, cut into 1-inch strips
2 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 lb. ziti
3 cups marinara sauce (I used Publix Garden Style sauce from a jar to up the veggie content)
2 cups fresh mozzarella, grated
1 /4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated and extra for the topping

1. Preheat oven to 450 F
2. Coat the vegetables with the olive oil and salt in a large bowl
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toss on the peppers, asparagus, squash and onion. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until tender enough that a fork spears them
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook ziti for approximately 10 minutes. You don’t want them too overcooked since they will be put in the oven.
4. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and place in a large bowl.
5. Add the vegetables, marinara, Parmesan, and 1 cup of the mozzarella along with a pinch of Kosher salt and a crank of pepper. Mix with a spatula until everything is completely combined.
6. Pour into a oiled 9×13 baking dish and lightly sprinkle with Parmesan and the remaining mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 F or until crispy and the cheese has melted.
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pooples

I Like Food, Food Tastes Good

So in addition to knitting, crocheting, and gardening, I somehow also have time to cook. How I manage to find time for this on top of working a full time job, I don't know. But I figured it was about time to start showcasing some of my culinary adventures and share some tasty recipes on here.


I've always been able to cook or at least follow a recipe. To me, it's no different then following some sort of chemistry test procedure. You mix a few things together and apply heat, and you typically have some sort of chemical reaction. But up until a year or so ago, I didn't do much cooking. Mostly due to laziness and not having the space. When I cook, I have to have fresh ingredients, especially when it comes to fruits and veggies. Which means a trip to the grocery store, waiting in line, and dealing with people. Ugh. Sometimes, I just don't have the patience for that on top of taking the time to prepare the food. Sometimes, I'd just rather have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and call it a day.


When I did cook in the past, it would either be making cookies or boiling some noodles and adding sauce from a jar. If I had a cold, I'd sometimes make myself a big pot of chicken noodle soup. But now that I have a spacious kitchen and the most amazing farmers market is right down the street, I've found myself getting the urge to cook more and more. I get a lot of my inspiration from foodgawker. There's some amazing food pr0n on that website. But one of my favorite things to make are soups and stews. I usually only have to dirty one dish and it makes for a complete meal in a bowl. No need to multi-task and make several dishes at once for a complete meal - which usually stresses me out by the way. Plus, when I make soup or stew, I make enough for 8 - 10 people. Thankfully the leftovers freeze well and make for some very tasty lunches.


I've recently joined the neighborhood Bunco group, or Drunko as we call it. But with each monthly game, I get to try out a new recipe on the neighborhood ladies. My most recent triumph was Caprese Salad Skewers. Super tasty and refreshing, yet super simple to make! No cooking or chopping necessary!




Caprese Salad Skewers

Ingredients:

Olive Oil
Salt
Black Pepper
1 pound Cherry or other small Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
1 tub Bocconcini Mozzarella
Short bamboo skewers (longish toothpicks could also be used)

1. Rinse the tomatoes and basil with water and dry. Depending on the size of the Boccocini, cut into small, bite size pieces.

2. Place one tomato, then a whole basil leaf, then a Boccocini piece onto a skewer. Repeat until you've made enough skewers.

3. Align the skewers onto a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. This should make about 25 - 30 skewers.


Not knowing exactly how many skewers I'd make, I ended up overestimating on my ingredients, leaving me with excess Basil and Mozzarella. I hate seeing food go to waste so I decided to come up with way to use up the excess ingredients. Immediately my mind went to Pesto! I followed this recipe for the pesto.





But I also needed to find a use for the mozzarella balls, so I figured a Pesto Pizza was in order. Not being in the mood to make my own pizza dough, I did cheat and buy one of those pre-made pizza crusts. It's not the best pizza crust in the world, but it'll make do in a pinch.


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pooples

Busy as a Bee

You would think that with working less than 40 hours a week, I'd feel like I have more free, leisure time. Sadly that isn't the case. Somehow I feel even busier. It seems like there's always something happening in Amanda-ville. And with the recent stretch of spring and now summer weather in Atlanta, I've been finding myself much more active. It's a good thing I suppose and it keeps me out of trouble.

One of newest obsessions is gardening and I have fallen in love with growing succulents and cacti. I adore the architectural beauty and just all around crazy look of these plants. Plus having a few potted plants, indoors and outside, has given the house a certain feel of lushness. I still have somewhat of a black thumb, but I've been doing pretty well with growing succulents and cacti. They seem to thrive on neglect. But I still always fear that I may be over or underwatering them. If for some reason Chemistry doesn't work out for me, I'd love to become a succulent planter designer. They look so awesome in my handmade concrete planters!

Here's my stone plant planter with a cactus. These plants look alien in my opinion.



Succulent / cacti triptych:



Retro planter that I scored for $5 at an antique market.



Pencil cactus. Another alien looking plant.



Succulents in my bullet planter.



Somehow I've managed to keep the mother-in-law tongues that came with the house alive. But then again they're supposedly impossible to kill. However, this planter has recently become infested with menehune.



I found this great cat vintage cat planter on eBay. I find it amusing that you're basically planting something in a cat's butthole. I've been trying to get a cactus in there. But the cacti at the stores are too large for the opening and trying to go cactus from seed hasn't been working out so much. Any suggestions on what to do?



I found this super awesome dino planter at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PlaidPigeon's etsy shop. True, I probably could have made one myself. But I do like supporting fellow crafty folks. He lives in my bathroom.



Another succulent arrangement.



Succulent planter with mini Mondo grass. All of these plants came from the ground cover section at Home Depot, oddly enough.



My vegetable container garden. I'm attempting to grow Red Peppers, Green Peppers, Poblano Peppers, and Tomatoes. If the critters or my black thumb don't get to these plants first, I'm going ot be eating a shit ton of vegetables this summer.



My pathetic looking herb garden. I originally had these herbs inside in my bullet planter, but they just weren't getting enough sunlight so I transplanted them outside. We'll see how long they last. I've already managed to kill a rosemary and lavender plant.



Now I'm trying to liven up my new front steps with some potted flowers. I think I need anothe pot or two. Thoughts?



And of course one of these potted plants on the steps has to be a succulent Ice Plant. So pretty!





And despite all of this gardening and all around business, I've somehow managed to finish a few knitting projects.

I finally finished the blanket (5 months later) that was supposed to be a Christmas present for my parents. But the finished result is well worth it I hope.



And last but not least, some knitting for myself!

High Line Wrap



I absolutely adore the colors in this scarf. So pretty!

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