November 27, 2013

Weekend of Parties Recap.

So!  It's Thanksgiving Eve!  I spent most of the day hanging out with a good friend who's in town, the kids got to play in the snow, I have pumpkin muffins cooling on my counter, and the filling for tomorrow's pumpkin pie is chillaxing in the 'fridge.*  Life is good.

Someone wakes up a whole lot happier when I don't snatch them out of bed for preschool drop off. #babysmiles #latergram
I got to take a morning nap like a real baby!  I didn't have to get dragged anywhere for my siblings!  BEST DAY EVER!
How about a weekend recap?

Friday night I went to the Tidal Cool Creations Spa Day.

It was in this awesome artist space:


I had a really nice time hanging out with other Cleveland bloggers learning about all sorts of fun products:

cupcake shots.  seriously.
Then when I got home I had just enough time to throw some food at the kids before my girlfriends came over for a girls night.  The guys were playing poker so the ladies gathered at my place.  No babysitting required.  It worked out really well - kids watched a movie** while we chatted and drank wine.

Also this happened?  I don't even know.
I had to take a brief hiatus from funtimes to put the kids to bed but that was no big deal.  Will definitely have to do it again!

Saturday was a day of recovery and woe.  Bright lights were my sworn enemy.  So of course I had to take my daughter to a 5 year old's birthday party.  At a pool.  Parenting through a hangover at a kids party Achievement Unlocked!  WOE.

At her preschool Thanksgiving feast. #latergram #thegirl #thanksgiving
At her preschool Thanksgiving party.  Not the pool party that was so very loud and bright.
I got home from that and had just enough time to shower the chlorine off of me before heading to a games night for my sister in law's 30th birthday.

DQ Ice cream cake.  Not just for kid's parties anymore.
We had a ball.

Andy's bar is open.
Andy's bar is open.
What you don't play CLUE as an adult?  You should b/c it's awesome.

Taboo.  A game I have never seen a team of guys win.
It wasn't even close.
 Then Sunday was spent in the best way possible to spend a Sunday:

Football naps.  #gobrowns #sunday

Football naps.  Although a player substitution was required:

Player substitution. #football #sunday

And meanwhile on the other side of the couch:

Meanwhile on the other side of the couch...
The only thing that would have made it better was if the Browns had showed up.  Meh.  There's always next year, right?


*My great-grandfather was a pastry chef and according to him (via my mom) the key to really good pumpkin pie is to mix it all up the day beforehand.  That way the flavors have a chance to really mix together.  Then actually bake the day of.  I am not usually in charge of something as important as the pumpkin pie so I take any and all tips on how to make it good SERIOUSLY.  I also might bring sangria just in case my pie sucks.  I may be nervous about the pie but my sangria is awesome.

**Beauty and the Beast.  And of course we had to start pulling threads.  Never pull a thread on a Disney movie or the whole thing comes unraveled and you can't unsee it.  WHO IS THIS GUY?  ISN'T MRS. POTTS TOO OLD TO BE CHIP'S MOM?  ARE THOSE HIS SIBLINGS?  HOW DO THE VILLAGERS NOT KNOW HE'S THERE?  AAAAARUGH.   Luckily Buzzfeed has this covered.  Gah.

November 19, 2013

Apple Raspberry Sauce & Bacon Sage Porkroast.

So last weekend we owned Fall.

Leaf Jumping 2013
Pictured.  Fall.
 Seriously.  I"m pretty sure it snowed because we owned fall so hard it took it's ball and went home.  I started the day by making pumpkin bread from My Baking Addiction's Recipe.  Then we played in the leaves with the kids who were wearing beautiful handknits (which you can see a million pictures of here).  And while that was happening I made a huge batch of Apple Raspberry Sauce to freeze.  Which meant our entire house smelled like apples and cinnamon all day.

Sometimes when I'm a frazzled mess a few min by the lake makes things a lot better. #lakeerie #sniw #greatlake
Fall on Lake Erie b/c applesauce is not very photogenic.
Then I finished off the knitting portion my Tomtem sweater:

The knitting is done!  Still need to seam, block, and add a zipper but the knitting is done! #knit #knitting #tomtem #garterstitch

Which is going to be so, so adorable on this little guy:

Apple Raspberry Sauce

It's blocking now while I figure out how to seam garter stitch.

Seaming this was going TERRIBLY. until I remembered the whole block BEFORE seaming thing... #doh #knit #knitting #tomtem #garterstitch
Then I made bacon and sage pork roast to go with the apple sauce.  Which was holyshit good.  So I figured I'd share some recipes.  You know... in case anyone else wants to make fall their bitch.

Crockpot Apple Raspberry Sauce

Apple Raspberry Sauce

12ish apples.  A crockpot full once they are peeled, cored, and sliced.
12 oz of raspberries (2 - 6oz containers)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup water

So you put fill the crockpot with apples:

Apple Raspberry Sauce

add in the Raspberries:

Apple Raspberry Sauce

And then the spices:

Apple Raspberry Sauce

Mix together:

Apple Raspberry Sauce

And cook on low for 6ish hours. I took the lid off for the last hour b/c it seemed a bit runny.  But that's a personal preference thing.  Also I like my applesauce chunky so I just mashed it all up with a fork when it was done.  If you like a more smooth sauce you could throw the whole thing in the blender but that seemed like a lot of work:

Apple Raspberry Sauce
Yum.  But not photogenic at all.
It made enough to eat for dinner and then freeze 2 big containers for future meals.  Yay!

Bacon and Sage Pork Roast.

Apple Raspberry Sauce

This is one of those looks crazy hard/impressive but is really super easy meals that is perfect for holiday entertaining.  Also it's super delicious - I mean seriously, It's wrapped in bacon.

Pork Roast (this one was around 2lbs)
1lb of thick cut bacon
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Sage
Fresh Thyme

So this recipe is stupid easy. Season your pork roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Then lay out overlapping strips of bacon on a plate.  Throw on some fresh thyme and sage:

There's thyme and sage underneath the roast, too.
And wrap that bad boy up:

I added pieces of bacon on top lengthwise b/c I had a few more in the package and I didn't see the point in saving 3 strips of bacon.  Also it looks really pretty that way.  Then you bake the whole thing on a baking rack (so it's up off of its juices.  you can ghetto one with a cookie cooling rack on top of a baking sheet), at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Cooking time depends on the size of your roast.  Check the package it came in for specific times.  I used a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temp hit 145.  Let the whole thing rest a few min after you take it out of the oven before you slice it up.  DELICIOUS!

Yay Fall!

As a footnote:  I started this post last week after our wonderful fall weekend.  Then I never finished it b/c all of us came down with colds.  Our entire family was miserable.  We're starting to come out of it now but so much for claiming we owned fall.  Seems like fall actually won this round.  Boo.

November 16, 2013

ArtScape at MOCA Cleveland.

So Cleveland has a pretty awesome, new, modern art building:

ArtScape Cleveland
Mmmmm... architecture.
And last night I went to an awesome event there - ArtScape Cleveland.  The event blurb:
Cleveland’s hippest design gift event is back! ArtScape includes a curated selection of artists and vendors selling the best jewelry, accessories, and gifts for your holiday shopping. To complement these special items, the MOCA Store offers contemporary design for everyone.
ArtScape is happening today from 11-5.  So if you're looking for something fun to do today - or some local gifts - I'd recommend it.

Some of the artists you'll find there:

ArtScape Cleveland
Studiokmr photography.  Really cool woodblock prints of Cleveland awesome.  Also he just joined twitter and that's always fun.
ArtScape Cleveland
B Fatica Jewelry - lovely gemstone creations.

ArtScape Cleveland
purlygirl knits - really cool handknit items.

ArtScape Cleveland
erika originals - map pendants

ArtScape Cleveland
bacabuche - contemporary baby clothing and accessories.  I loved this line.  Really sharp clothing and items and Valerie and Dana were great.  It's wonderful to see something like this clothing line happening in Cleveland!

Speaking of Aaaaart and Aaaaarchitecture (what up freshmen History of Art reference) the whole Uptown Development Project is really coming together:

ArtScape Cleveland
I know that the building will eventually be clad but I kindof wish that it could stay that bright green color.  

And I always love me a well designed plaza.

ArtScape Cleveland
ArtScape Cleveland

 Especially one with Ice Cream:

ArtScape Cleveland
I brought some home for the kids to rave reviews:

ArtScape Cleveland
The Little Guy is staring his siblings down in hopes of getting some Mitchell's instead of his boring rice cereal.  Soon, little one!
So this marks the second time I've been to MOCA for an event (the first time I got into a fight with a celebrity) and I have yet to explore the actual galleries.  I need to remedy that soon.  And with all sorts of fun, family friendly events coming up I will have lots of opportunities to take my art-loving kids:

Haven't done this w them in way too long. #paint #watercolor #kids

Family Events at MOCA I"m most excited about:

Free First Saturday
Sponsored by Medical Mutual
Saturday, December 1 / 11am–5pm
FREE and open to all

MOCA Cleveland is free to all on the first Saturday of every month.  Engage with the exhibitions on view, visit the MOCA Store, and explore one of Cleveland’s newest cultural icons.

Dominion Family Fun Day
Sponsored by Dominion
Part of University Circle Inc. Holiday Circle Fest
Sunday, DEC 8 / 12 – 5pm
FREE and open to all

Join Cherry and Beauregard, MOCA’s ArtSquad, for this free family event in partnership with UCI Holiday Circle Fest! All four floors of MOCA Cleveland will be enlivened with hands-on art projects, special tours, and interactive activities that will help kids and adults learn to Look! Think! and Share! When you’re done at MOCA, hop on the Circle Link to visit the other organizations in the Circle for more fun!

ArtSquad Plays!
In the Guess/Rayburn Education Workroom [Floor 3]
FREE with museum admission during regular public hours

ArtSquad Plays! is a self-guided activity space created by art installers (and ArtSquad members) Beauregard and Cherry for families to drop-in and play with their new CRATEtivity Stations. These three hexagonally-shaped art carts hold activities and prompts based on the ArtSquad’s motto, Look! Think! Share! The CRATEtivity Stations help kids and adults develop patient looking, build art vocabulary, encourage discussions of art and ideas, and have fun! The ArtSquad Plays! area is located in the Guess/Rayburn Education Workroom. It is accessible to museum visitors during public hours, with additional materials like books, puzzles, and art-making materials on-hand to help inspire creativity for visitors young and old.

Yay for Arts in Cleveland!

Disclaimer:  I was invited to attend ArtScape as a blogger.  As usual all opinions, photographs, and nonsense are my own.

November 14, 2013

Tidal Cool Creations Spa Day!

So.  Today I put on earrings, a scarf, and mascara in addition to my usual jeans and a shirt from Target (aka my uniform).  And 3 different people told me I looked nice/asked why I was so dressed up:

Selfie. Because apparently look fancy today.
Pictured:  ALL FANCY.
I?  I mean... I liked the compliments but I think maybe I've set the bar a bit low with the whole personal fashion thing.  I mean I have standards but my usual lunch dates are less interested in what I'm wearing than my mad grilled cheese skillz:

My daily lunch dates. #kids #lunch #latergram
However as part of the Year of Upgrades 2013 I have been trying to be a bit more fashion forward.  By that I mean I got side bangs.  Which I'm pretty sure are just a gateway drug.  Any time I see someone with bangs I'm tempted to try it out for myself.

Bangs?  Yes? No?
I took that picture to show off my finished Vitamin D btw.  I really need to do a real photoshoot of that sweater b/c it's one of the nicest things I've ever knit.

Anyways!  My attempts at becoming more fashionable are about to get a serious boost - Next Friday, Nov. 22, I'm attending a Spa Day with Tidal Cool Creations!  The blurb:
Don't you just love getting pampered? So do we! Tidal Cool is hosting its first ever Spa Day, Friday November 22nd from 3-9pm at our brand new location, 3619 Walton Avenue. Come visit Tidal Cool at Hildebrandt Artist Collective for quality Rest & Relaxation
Tidal Cool Creations is a local Cleveland Fashion Designer and I love her philosophy:
“I try and take you on a journey around this world with my clothing, whether its a rich silk brocade from Asia or a wax block print from Africa, we all need more color in our lives.”  - Andrea Howell of Tidal Cool Creations
Kindof sounds like what I try to do with yarn!

I'm super excited about this event.  If you'd like to come, too there's a bunch more info on the event on their facebook page and you can follow Tidal Cool Creations on Twitter.  They are donating a portion of all ticket sales to the Red Cross to help offer relief to Typhoon Haivan survivors.

Hope to see you there! 

(also seriously should I attempt bangs?)

Disclaimer:  I was invited to attend this event as a blogger.  All opinions, photographs, and woe about bangs are my own.

November 13, 2013

Kids in Handknits Jumping in Leaves.

So.  Wow.  You guys.  I am a frazzled mess lately.  This 2yo/baby combo package is tough - yo.

First food!  He seemed to like it!  #food #5months #happybaby
He eats food now.  It's super cute but it's one more gross thing that I have to do every. single. day.
Big Sister Photobomb!
But!  It's impossible to be anything but in a good mood when looking at pictures of kids jumping in leaves:

Leaf Jumping 2013

Seriously. Pictured, pure joy and happiness:
Leaf Jumping 2013

Leaf Jumping 2013

 Especially if those kids are rocking some handknits:

Leaf Jumping 2013

The Girl is wearing her Black Leeow Kitty Hat that I knit her two winters ago.  She's also wearing her Wonderful Wallaby Sweater that my mom knit for her.  I've heard it's a fantastic pattern - she's made one for both of the big kids.

Leaf Jumping 2013-

The Dude is wearing his Red Fish Blue Fish hat that I made him last year.  He's since decided that it is too small for him.  Sadness ensues.  His sweater is a Drive-Thru:

Leaf Jumping 2013

I made it for his sister when she was little. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of her in it which is so, SO sad.  Her orange hair with the orange in the sweater was ridic.  BUT!  I do have one with her in another Drive-Thru:

Drive Thru
Pic from Oct 2010.  It fits her much better now.

 love the Drive-Thru pattern.  It's my standard go to for kids sweaters.  And there's nothing like a solid, wool, sweater for winter.  My daughter wore the orange-striped one for 2 years and now the dude is on his second winter with it.  Totally worth the knitting investment!

Leaf Jumping 2013
Um... a little help here?
And with that I'll leave you with this:

Yay fall!
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