March 31, 2010

Taking Control

 I told you I would post it, so here it is - finally. Over the last few months I've come to realize I was really being lazy about the budget. I always made sure all the bills were covered, but we've never really been careful about what to do with the rest of the money. It's all just kind of floated in and out. So I came up with this sheet. I looked over our Quicken accounts for the last six months and picked the ones that occur on a regular basis and added them to the list. Here's how it works.

You start a new one at the beginning of each month. You have a general master plan for the whole year, but things change so having a new one for each month will be the best. This way you can tailor it to any upcoming events or needs.

The first column lists each expense, grouped by category. These change for each family, but the ones in the screenshot are our general ones. In the second column is the "expected" amounts. At the top you put in your expected income, then your expected or budgeted expenses. In the third column you place what you actually made, as well as what you actually spent. If you're just starting out, going over budget by a little is alright (as long as it's not causing serious financial hardship), you'll get the hang of keeping track and staying in the set amount. Obviously though, what you budget to spend should not exceed what you expect to get. If you're over then you need to cut something (or multiple things). It's important to not just blow it off as "oh, I'll do better/make up for it next month." I've been bad about doing that with groceries (see previous posts of guilt).

At the bottom are places to put totals and differences. I total up the budgeted expenses and subtract them from the expected income. This is what amount we have projected as leftover for savings or debt repayment. I will do the same with the "actual" totals, and that amount will be used as decided. If you would like, you could roll any "extra" money into the next month. For example, if we didn't spend our $150 allotted for home improvement, we might roll it over to next month and the month after to save up for a new floor. The best outcome though, would be to have extra money to throw at any debt. 

The last section is for yearly expenses like car registration and gifts, as well as account balances as of the beginning of the month (like whatever debts you have, and checking and savings accounts if you'd like to have those available). For the yearly expenses I divide the total amount by 12 and put that amount in the budget for each month, then put it into the savings. For example, our car registrations for the year come out $526/12 = $44 a month (rounded up). This way, by the time that bill rolls around we will have it sitting in savings ready to go (and collecting interest) rather than scrambling to come up with the money. Same for gifting. Saving a little bit each month is easier than trying to squeeze out a birthday or Christmas present if you don't have any money left. Just total up any gifts you plan to give over the whole year and go from there.

If you want to get ahead at all you have to have a budget and tell your money where to go. I think this will work for us quite nicely.

I would be happy to send my blank version for you to fill in to anyone who wants it. Just drop me an email at I'll zip it over to you as soon as I can. Or, just grab a piece of paper and write one out. It doesn't matter what method you use, it's just important to do it.

PS. On a slightly different note, but still related to money - by using my "Keep The Change" System I have put $94 into savings since the end of December. WOOHOO!

March 29, 2010

The Grocery Budget Rework - A Tale of Enlightment and Woe

(I know, you see this picture a lot. Sorry. It just works for so many things!)

Over the last couple of days I've done a lot of pondering about groceries and decided to change things around. I realized that things like diapers and toothpaste, although can be bought at a grocery store, shouldn't count. Toilet paper doesn't get eaten (except by super models, apparently). I also realized that I wasn't counting things like our Arrowhead delivery (which I'm hoping we can get rid of soon) and whatever miscellaneous food we might get while we're out. While I counted large fast food purchases for the whole family, I wasn't counting the little things like snacks from 7-11.

So, "Groceries" to me will now include any edible solid or liquid that is consumed. And it won't include zip bags, trash bags, Clorox wipes, toilet paper, paper plates, paper towels, toothpaste, diapers... etc. These are now being tossed into the "Household" category. I think this will give me a better budget to spend on just food, and help keep us in check as far as the "extras" we get somewhere other than the grocery store without thinking about it.

So by reworking the last few months (taking out household, and adding in extra stuff) here's what we've done on groceries (brace yourselves).

November: $510.83 ouch! To be fair, this was the first month we decided to keep track of things and change our routine.
December: $442.60
January: $396.28 close, but this was the month I wanted to eat from the pantry/freezer.
February: $441.40
March: $436.50
Wow. We're really not doing as well as I thought we were. Kind of depressing really. But now that I've got a better handle on it, we can do better. Now I'll remember to count the little things and add it to the tally. 

We still have 3 days left in March, but I think we're pretty much done. So I sat down and put everything into my sexy spread sheet and I see that Meats, Junk (crap that really has no nutritional value, and fast food), and Drinks (not including soda, they have their own category) are our highest expenses this month. I even added some fancy data charts so I can see at a glance what highest ones were for each month. 

So that put's us at an average of $446 over the last 5 months. A far cry from my noble $300 a month budget. Guess I better roll up my sleeves and get to work.

March 27, 2010

What's Cookin': Lentils & Rice Casserole

I don't have a picture for this because honestly it does not look that appealing. Ben said it looked like... Well. He said it looked disgusting. But it is quite delicious and works perfectly for a cheap, filling meal. I got this from one of the Tightwad Gazette books.

Lentils & Rice Casserole - Makes 6-8 servings
3 1/2 C water (or chicken stock)
3 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon (omit if using stock)
3/4 C lentils
1/2 C brown rice
3/4 C chopped onion OR 1 Tbs + 1/4 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix together in a casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes at 300 degrees. During last 20 minutes top with 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

I'm too tired and lazy to figure out pricing. But I know it's cheap. ;)

Notes & Variations: I made this the first time for lunch the other day as a test run and used the 3 cups of liquid the original recipe called for. I'm not sure if it was the amount of liquid or the pan I used (9 X 13), but it turned out a little raw and crunchy still. But I had Ben try it and he thought it was delicious, despite the crunchy. So I added a 1/2 cup liquid and put it in my 8 X 8 pan and it turned out perfect.

Tonight, I made it with beef stock and threw in some left over pot roast I needed to use. It was quite tasty, but it's just as good without it. It would probably be good with some leftover chicken in it as well. But the point of the dish is to be cheap.

I had the idea of making this as easy as possible for future meals so I used the bouillon and minced onions and threw everything into a pint jar. I got 3 meals out of a one pound bag of lentils. Stick on a label that says "Add 3 1/2 cups of water. Bake 1.5 hours @ 300", and you have a stupid easy dinner to just pull out of your pantry!

Ben Rating: 4! SCORE!

March 25, 2010

You Are What You Eat

We all know that cooking from scratch is better for you in a lot of ways. It saves on groceries since pre-made and pre-packaged foods tend to cost more. And you can know what's in your food and avoid things like corn syrups and extra sodium. It allows you to tailor your consumption to dietary needs. Not to mention that home cooking just plain tastes better.

But have you ever wondered just what you're getting from your recipes? Sometimes it's hard to figure out if you're getting your daily needs. Trying to add up all the nutrition information from each package can drive you crazy. But it's ok, I'm here to help!

Awhile ago my mom shared this site with me called You have to register to use it, but it's well worth it. It offers a multitude of tools and resources, but the main one is recipe analysis. To create a new recipe you use a search function to find your ingredients. It will give you a list of options and you just have to select the closest match. Sometimes being specific will help (such as "granulated sugar" rather than just "sugar").Then you put in the amount of each ingredient. If you would like to save the recipe as a whole, you can add the cooking instructions. Once you are done adding ingredients all you have to do is click "Save & Analyze", which will take you to a page with the full recipe and all the nutritional data you could ever want. It even comes in one of those spiffy nutrition facts labels.By clicking on the ingredient names you can find the nutritional data for that ingredient by itself.

As an example, I filled in the info for my Red Beans & Rice recipe. Based on a 12 serving yield, one serving is 187 calories, 3 grams of fat, 15 mg of cholesterol, and 14 grams of protein. It also provides 3% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 6% calcium, and 20% iron.

In addition to that you can find a daily needs calculator, a BMI calculator, and unit converter, recipes, and a multitude of articles and other tools. They even have a section to see what that burger from the Golden Arches is doing for your heart - as well as tons of foods from other fast food restaurants. If you want to learn about food and what you're eating, this is the place to go.

March 24, 2010

Wednesday Randomness

I felt like posting today, but don't have a topic in specific, so you get random today! And for a random picture you have this one of my munchkins playing with their new birthday present. It's a stomp rocket. I thought about showing you the one that includes Ben's really nice butt, but figured he would be opposed. ;)

Work on the Scrap blanket is almost done. I probably won't use up all the yarn, but I don't want it to be too big and unmanageable. So I will work just a bit more and call it good. I think I'll use any leftover yarn to make a baby blanket, if there's enough. Ben called it the most interestingly ugly blanket the other day and I said, yes but that's the point.

I'm about half-way through the second chart of the mystery shawl. I think there's 6 charts total, so I still have a ways to go. But I love lace deeply. I was thinking the other day that it is kind of sad that I'm not buying yarn this year and I hope I don't see any lace weight yarn sales.

I'm completely hooked on Dave Ramsey. While I've generally heard and know most of the things he says/suggests, it's so much fun to listen to him. My favorite part is when people call in to tell them they are debt free and it feels so good. I've been trying to finish the books I have so I can go back to the library and get some of his. I could practically survive on financial books.

I've created a new monthly budget sheet and I think I like it muchly. I'll post about that later, possibly with a version for you all to use if you'd like.

Along the lines of budget, I've decided to rework our groceries as far as what counts and what doesn't. We decided awhile ago that diapers don't count in the grocery budget, and now I'm deciding that household things like cleaning supplies and personal care won't count either. Not sure why I had always rolled these together, but I did and now I would prefer not to.

And along the lines of groceries I realized I'm getting really bored with what I've been cooking lately. I've gotten to where I cook the same things over and over. Which is cool for the most part since I can keep the prices down, but starting next week I'll be implementing at least one new recipe a week for awhile. I seem to go through phases of all known food, or all new food. I'll try to spice it up while still sticking to the budget. 

My green beans are sprouting! I have two little sprouts peaking through. I think I am excited about the green beans the most. I just love the way the plants look and how they climb all over everything. Over half of our bulbs are coming up as well. I'm still waiting on the lettuce though and am beginning to give up hope. I still have seeds left so I'm going to plant another batch and see what happens.

Today is "Mommy Sanity" day at Gma K's. I love Wednesdays to be able to get out of the house, let the kids play with the uncles, and get some girl time with my mom- and sis-in-law.

March 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It's Menu Plan Monday! Or rather, Menu List, I suppose. Since we plan on Sundays. But I digress.

Before I get any farther I want to share a new site with you I found the other day. All Home Cooking, All Year Long. I've just scrolled through the first page and I can already tell you I plan on making the English Muffins, Cheesy Pasta with Bacon and Peas, and possibly the Sweet Potato Sandwich Rolls. Her food looks delicious. That cheesy pasta one makes my mouth water.

I try not to go to the store on the last Thursday of the month just so we eat up what we have, so the list is pretty boring this week.

Monday: Carbonara
Tuesday: Beans from the freezer
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Roast and Taters
Thursday: Shredded beef tacos
Friday: Hot Dogs
Saturday & Sunday: TBD (I'll figure something out when we get there)

I have a recipe for lentil & rice casserole that I want to try but I am going to make it for lunch first as a test run so that I don't ruin dinner if it bombs. This way I can have Ben try the leftovers rather than have to eat it for dinner.

March 20, 2010

Mmmm Spring, How I Have Missed You

This is our Wisteria plant and it started budding a few weeks ago. Then all of a sudden, the other day, BAM! There's a truck load of flowers. It is the one plant that was alive when we bought the house. It was not this gorgeous though. Ben babied it last year with pruning and now it is thriving. And it smells deliciously amazing.I have a clothesline set up around our pergola now and I keep hoping that the clothes will be infused with this incredible scent.

I have missed spring so much. We've had gorgeous weather for the past week and I have spent just about every day outside reading, knitting, hanging clothes, or just sitting and enjoying it. Our bulbs are coming up nicely with their little green shoots. I got half of the tomato plants that sprouted into different containers now and I saw the other day that my bell peppers are starting to come up. I got the green beans planted and they should hopefully start sprouting next week. I'm am so very, very excited to have veggies from our own garden. I can't wait for harvest time.

March 19, 2010

Favorite Thing / Fiber Friday!

This week's favorite thing is knitting. I suppose I should have had this as a favorite from the beginning since it really is my most favorite thing next to Ben. But I guess I hadn't thought of it because it's just such a normal part of my life. I knit every day, even if it's just a few stitches so I don't think about it. It's just there. Like my arms.

The picture above is my current progress on the Scrap Quilt blanket. The stripes are in the order the yarn came out of the bag without looking. It goes against my nature to just let things happen and see what color comes out. But it has been very fun and freeing to not have to think too hard about it. Just knit, then reach in and grab another ball. I have to admit that not putting it back and picking a different color has been hard.

Today though, for Fiber Friday, is this lace shawl. I haven't had an actual Fiber Friday to do what I want in awhile now, so I am excited to sit outside and knit. It's the Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl from last spring that I never got around to really working on. It's a mystery shawl, so I am working from charts without a picture of the final item. I love mystery shawls. They're so... mysterious (ha!). I hadn't gotten very far on this when I started - probably 20 or so rows - so I decided to frog it all and start over. That way I knew exactly where I was at (the beginning) and I could have the whole thing as my mileage total when I was done. I'm knitting out of some lace weight merino from KnitPicks that I dyed up using Kool-Aid. I just hope I have enough....

March 17, 2010

Wouldn't I Save More if I Didn't Pay You in the First Place?

I love books and podcasts and websites and just about anything else about saving money and people getting out of debt and what not. I think it's from being a bookkeeper. I've realized that accounting in general is what I'm really passionate about (next to knitting). I love doing our house financials, and I loved my job doing it for my dad. I've even considered doing it for others as a home business, and maybe going back to school for some official papers. Playing with numbers gets me high. (Seriously, I go a little crazy. Just ask Ben.)

Since I do spend a lot of time listening and reading about saving money I've seen lots and lots of ideas and systems to help you do so. Things like a pre-made cash envelope system. Or coupon binders. Or books on how to get out of debt. I've started listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast lately and I have to admit I love it deeply. It's so fun to listen to and he just sounds like nice Christian man. There are others who are out there to help you save money but they all seem to offer you something you have to buy (even Dave).

Which leads me to the question - Why would I PAY you to save me money? It just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe it's because I've always been pretty self sufficient and I don't really need anyone to hold my hand. Some people do. Some people need that push in the right direction. But I'm just having a hard time understanding how spending $30 on a book (that you can get at the library) or $29.95 on a binder system (that you can make yourself for a 1/4 of the price) is supposed to help anyone. Wouldn't that money be better spent in a savings account or going toward a debt payment?

You also have to consider how long it would take you to actually "save" by using such an item. Let's say, for example, you buy a coupon organization system for $30 and you got about $5 a month in coupon savings. It would take 6 months for that coupon organizer to pay for itself and for you to actually start saving by using it. Or you can ignore coupons for the most part since most of the time you can get store brand cheaper than name-brand-with-coupon anyways and keep that $30, plus some.

I understand the need/want to make money. And if you have a legitimate system/idea to sell that really works then more power to you. But I think that if these people really wanted to save you money then they would be offering their advice, or telling you how to make your own binder, for free. Which would really save you money.

March 13, 2010

A Birth Day To Remember

I'm going to try fill in some space to hopefully give you some warning before the pictures start up. Grandmas especially, you've been warned.

On this day three years ago, at 10:45 pm, Ben and I were blessed with our twin boys. When you're pregnant with your first child no one can possibly even try to explain to you and prepare you for what you will feel when you finally meet your new person (or persons, in this case). It was especially true for us - No one could have possibly prepared us for the trial that gave us our baby boys.

I don't know if anyone reading this is something other than family. So most of you will already know this story and have seen these pictures. But for anyone reading this that doesn't know our family, here is a little back story.

I was diagnosed with early preeclampsia when I was 6 months pregnant. My exciting, joyful pregnancy turned very scary, very quickly. I was blessed with a doctor that knew how to handle the situation, and we were able to catch it early enough. I spent 2 weeks on bedrest with medication and a low sodium diet before becoming very ill, rushed to the hospital, and being told that I was dieing - the babies would have to be taken and there was no guarentee that them, or I would survive

They were 27 weeks. It was the most terrifying thing Ben and I have ever been through. I have never prayed that hard in my life.

God is good, and He gave us an amazing NICU staff, the support of a truck load of friends and family, and two very strong fighter babies.
It was a very long three months and 5 days, but in what I can only explain as a miracle, our baby boys finally came home with no problems other than being small (they still wear 18 month clothing.)
No one can explain to you what you feel when you go through something like that. And no amount of hugs from people who love you can make it better. There were many nights of pain and crying, but so many more of pride and excitement with each ounce they gained or each wire and tube that wasn't needed anymore.
(Goofy still makes that face.)

I love my baby boys. We don't really talk much about that very short yet incredibly long time in our lives. We don't often look at the pictures of them strapped up to machines, with barely any skin. It reminds us too much of the fear and pain. But I remember every minute and to be honest... I wouldn't trade it. That experience brought me closer to my husband as we stood by each other through it all. It was very stressful, but it made me stronger.

 And it gave me the most gorgeous, dorkiest, hilarious, mischievous children I could  every possibly want. Happy Birthday Munchkins!

Our story is a rare one. Very often the mother, the baby(ies), or neither survive preeclampsia and eclampsia. If you would like more information about this very real and dangerous disease, or would like to find out how you can help find a prevention/cure, please visit the Preeclampsia Foundation.

March 11, 2010

Things I've Learned in My Quest for Cheap Eats

I've been doing the grocery shopping by myself (well, I drag my brother along for kid-wranglin') for almost 2 months solid now. I have to say, while I love having Ben with me, it's much easier to do it without him. I can focus better, and stick to my list since I won't tell him no if he wants something. He works hard for us and I won't keep him from things that make him happy. But even he has admitted it's better I go by myself because it's too easy for him to veer off the list. He's on board with keeping our groceries in check, it's just hard to do when you're in the store and it all looks so good. I've learned to not let my eyes and stomach lead me astray.

So, along with "Shop by yourself whenever possible", here are some other things I've learned.

Store Brand is your Friend - I know a lot of people are hooked on brand names - I used to be one of them. But when it got to the point that I was tired of paying $3+ more for something that I could get cheaper, I jumped the Brand Name ship. And you know what I found? Store brand is just as good, and sometimes better. I've found I like store brand mozzarella, green-can-parmesan, peanut butter, and breakfast sausage much better than the Brand Name counter parts we used to get. I prefer the cheapy store brand toilet paper and paper towels. And if it doesn't taste better it at least tastes the same. I tend to save 2 - 3 dollars or more per item just by buying store brand.

Pay Attention While at Checkout - Today was a good example of this. I found corned beef at Foodmaxx for $0.99 a pound, according to the sign. Since the next cheapest price I had seen was $1.38 a pound, I decided I would stock up while I was there. The package labels said 2.99/lb but I figured they knew that and would fix it at the register since meat is often marked down without changing the label. While the very-nice-checker was ringing me up I watched the screen and asked "That's at 99 cents a pound, right? That's what the sign said." He checked and no, it was ringing up at $2.99/lb. So he called up the meat department and had it taken back to be relabeled, while I stood up front and he rang up the other customers while we waited. That paying attention, speaking up and the extra 3 minutes of waiting saved me over $25. It might have been a little bit of a hassle, but I decided I wasn't going to pay $2.99 if it was clearly advertised at $0.99. Paying attention and being nice will save you lots when mistakes are made.

Know Your Prices - If you've tried at all to save money on groceries I'm sure you've heard to "use a price book". I can't agree more. I used to know the price of pasta at one store and that was about it. Once I started paying attention I realized I didn't like paying more for something I could get cheaper else where. I keep a small notebook in my purse in which I have listed the usual items we buy, with their price and size, per store. As I buy things or walk through the store I fill it out so I get a general idea of who has the better prices, and when a sale is a really good one. For example, I know that I can get flour and cheese cheaper at Foodmaxx, and milk and eggs are cheaper at Foodsco. Since I have one day that I plan each week for grocery shopping, I don't mind going to different stores. Although I won't go to a different store just to get one or two items cheaper. My rule is "3 items or more". Otherwise the gas it takes to get there will usually negate anything I saved on food.

Watch for Sale Schedules and Stock Up - I have been saving my grocery slips since November. I am now taking my price book one step further and plan to mark down the prices I've payed on each date I've shopped. This will allow me to track how the prices swing and see any pattern in when prices drop. I'm still waiting for whole chickens at $.67 a pound again. When I see a really good sale I can stock up enough (money permitting) to last us to the next sale.

Being Picky Will Save You Money - Since I know I can get cheaper, I try not to pay more than $2/pound and I refuse to pay over $3/pound for meat, and generally try not to pay over $1/pound for produce. This still leaves us with plenty of options for chicken and pork and a variety of fruits and veggies. What tends to be over $3/pound is beef, which I will wait to go on sale. Today I got a beef roast because it was $1.48 /lb. I saved just by being patient.

A few other short things are "Don't Shop When Hungry", because you will try to buy everything in the store. And, "Buy Less Meat" has been hard for me, but I'm forcing myself to stretch it by combining it with cheap items like rice, bread and potatoes.

By using these tricks and rules I've set for myself, and not giving in to laziness, we've done very well at cutting our grocery bill over the past few months. I still haven't had a month under $300, but I now range around $350 -400 rather than $600. And that makes me happy.

March 9, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

These are my recent seed/bulb acquisitions. I went a little crazy when I went to the store last Friday. I had gone out to get formula for Duder and decided to stop by the 99 Cent Store because I had seen bulbs the last time I was in there.

Yep. The 99 Cent Store. All that in the picture you see up there? Under $30. The bulb were 99 cents per pack and they contained anywhere from 1 to 8 bulbs depending on the flower. The flower seed packs were 6/$.99 and the veggies were 9/$.99. Ben and I figure that even if we don't get many to sprout, or any at all, we won't mind as much since we paid so little. We got most of the bulbs planted Friday night and I will start seeds this week (hopefully).

Our tomatoes are coming up nicely. About half of what we planted has sprouted, with a few more stragglers coming in.

The jalepenos are even more happy. There was a few days there where we forgot to water our garage plants. The tomatoes were wilted and sickly looking, but the jalepenos were still going strong. A good dousing in water made them all very happy though.

And if you can see, our cilantro is starting to look like cilantro now. I'm super excited for this because what I'm looking forward to the most is fresh garden salsa. I also got my seeds going for Romain lettuce and bell peppers 2 weeks ago. I have yet to see sprouts, but it's still pretty cold here so it will probably be another week or two still. The tomatoes took awhile as well. I can't wait to have fresh produce this year. It will severely reduce our grocery bill.

On a side note: Eggs cooked in the microwave will get you by if the gas company turns off your gas to fix a leak. But they the don't taste that great. Just so you know.

March 5, 2010

Favorite Thing Friday: Baking


This week's favorite thing is baking. I greatly enjoy baking. I love the smell and taste of fresh bread. I love how I can nourish my family with things I create. And there's something so very stress relieving about kneading and shaping a loaf of bread. I think baking is good for the soul.

Today would be Fiber Friday, but I think I will bake some bread as well. Ben is home sick today with a cold/flu/something he caught from work. When he actually comes home, instead of sticking it out at work, I know he is really sick. So I think baking some nice warm bread to go with some soup would be good. Plus I am making pizza for dinner so I need dough for that as well. And I might make some more granola while I'm at it....

March 3, 2010

Knit Fix

Nothing like knitting to pull you out of a blog funk.

Last night I realized that since the baby blanket has been finished for three days I have no mindless "stupid knitting" to keep my hands busy while we're watching "TV" at night. (By the way, the little guy was born Monday around 4 and he is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!) I put TV in quotes because we watch shows via Hulu and Netflix - we don't have cable. Right now we're on Farscape, in between Stargate Atlantis dvds in the mail, and actiony enough that I need to actually watch it rather than listen-while-looking-up-occasionally. Thus the need for "stupid knitting". 

Usually for me that means doing a garter or stockinette blanket. Unfortunately, I don't have enough of any one yarn to make anything large. But then it hit me and got a BRILLIANT idea.

I have a TON of various colors of Lion Brand Homespun (which I love for blankets). All together, I probably have enough for a decent sized afghan. I have some full balls, and some partials, and some small remnants. So my idea is that I would make a "Knitted Scrap Quilt Blanket". Based off of quilts that use whatever scraps of fabric you have left.

How it works: I started winding up balls last night of all my various colors of Homespun. I would wind for awhile, cut the yarn, then make another ball of a different size, cut the yarn and so forth until I ran out of yarn and moved to the next color. I tried to vary the quantity of yarn in each ball. 


Then, I put all the balls into a large bag. To start, I reached into the bag and pulled out the first ball my fingers touched - no looking! I cast on with this. I will knit until this ball runs out, then I will get another one (again without looking), attach it, and keep going. So I will be completely surprised with each color that comes out and I will get a completely random blanket. This will use up all my extra Homespun, give me TONS of knitting mileage, and gives me the mindless knitting I need for show watching. So stay tuned for knitted quilt updates.

March 2, 2010

Momentary Hiatus

 I'm going to be taking a break for awhile. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now and all my creative juices have been drained out of my body. I feel a bit like this ridiculously hilarious and adorable picture of my son. I'm not sure how long - could be a day, could be a week, could be longer. But I'll be back when I start to have things to talk about again.

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