Monday, 21 January 2013

Drop Spinning

Starting a new hobby for me is starting to become difficult. I used to joke that whenever there is a rainy day I'll start a new hobby... It becomes a little less funny to some people when they find out just how true that statement is! But I think that learning something new is one of the best things you can do for yourself and it is a lot of fun. I've been a knitter since I was a kid and have always loved looking at different colors and textures of yarns in the stores. Recently I wondered if it would be possible and feasible for me to make my own yarns out of wool. I got super excited straight away and decided I wanted to get a spinning wheel. I did a bit of research and decided on the one I wanted:

The Ashford Traveller:

I just love it! But I can't really justify spending so much money on something I've really never tried before... It would just be a shame to get it and then find out that I don't love spinning yarn as much as I thought I would.

Fortunately there is another much cheaper option out there.

Drop Spindles:

Drop spindles are a LOT cheaper than a spinning wheel and can do pretty well the exact same thing! Both tools put twist into fibre (such as wool) to create yarn. Drop spindles, however, are a lot more affordable and portable, to start off with especially. My sister also wanted to start spindling so she picked up an Ashford Student Spindle from a yarn shop in our area for $11.50! And she has already made some beautiful yarns with it.

My spindle looks a little bit different because my Husband actually got me a handmade one for Christmas that they had at the yarn shop. =) I really love the look of it and I think I'll probably always use it. =)

I'm still working on getting really even yarn, and working on how much twist to put into the yarn, but I'm having a lot of fun learning! And I think that I've gotten even with just the bit that I've done so far.

I decided to take most of the pink and grey fibre that I also got for Christmas and make a pair of pink and grey mittens. I'm pretty excited to see how they work out.

I've got half of the yarn done for the mittens, and then the rest of the fibre to spin up for the other ball in the background there. I'm excited to get to try making something out of my own yarn soon!

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Day of Cooking

Where I live January tends to be the coldest month of the winter. This year has decided to make no exceptions. I think January is probably even more difficult to get through because there are no cheerful Christmas lights or warm family gatherings to look forward to anymore. It's just kinda the daily grind... and then Mother Nature drops another foot and a half of snow. Not Awesome.

This past weekend there was a pretty decent snow storm that lasted a lot of both Friday and Saturday which made doing anything at all pretty unappealing. On Sunday however, my Husband and I needed to get groceries and all either of us really wanted right then was piping hot homemade soup.

We decided on our two favourites, French Onion Soup, and Borscht. We realized at the time that this was going to be kind of a task to get everything done, but to have enough soup for the next week or two would be worth it!

Cooking up onions and beets, and then the pots of finished soups simmering on the stove!

For the Borscht we used:

4 Cups of Shredded Beets
3x900ml Boxes of Beef Broth
1 can (1.36 Litres) Tomato Juice
3 Medium Yellow Onions
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbs Dill

Chop the Onions and fry until slightly browned in a frying pan. While the Onions brown, pour the Beef Broth and Tomato Juice into a Large Pot and set the stove to Medium - High. Add the Onions to the Beef Broth and Tomato Juice once they've browned. Fill a Medium Sized Pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the beets to the boiling water and turn down the temperature to medium. Cook until the beets have lost most of their colour. Strain the beets and add them to the hot beef broth and tomato juice.

The Vinegar, Sugar, Pepper, and Dill should be added to taste. I sort of wrote in about how much we used, however. We've made this soup a few times now and I think every time we make it we do things a little bit differently, but it always turns out to be delicious!

We decided also to make Perishky or Sauerkraut Buns to go with the Borscht. We fried Onions and Mushrooms with the Sauerkraut to make the filling, and I didn't know what kind of dough to use (and by this point was pretty tired...) so I just made a pizza / bread dough recipe that I already knew I could make as I've made it a few times before. It's actually the Jamie Oliver Pizza Dough Recipe and I think it tastes really good and is really easy to make!

For the Filling We Used:

About 2 Cups of Chopped Mushrooms
1 Medium Sized Onion
1 1Litre Jar of Sauerkraut

We fried the Mushrooms and Onions separately from the Sauerkraut as the Sauerkraut just has to brown slightly and we wanted to cook the mushrooms and onions a bit longer.

 I think maybe next time I will only make maybe one soup at a time, and maybe we'll give the Perishky their own separate day as well... But all of this cooking was totally worth it! And even though we were crazy tired by the end of it, it was really nice getting to spend the whole day cooking with my Husband as we usually sort of just go off and do our own thing. It's kind of surprising how little you can interact with someone on a day to day basis, even when you live in the same little house! So it's really nice every now and again to slow down and do something fun together.

Thanks for reading!
Keep Warm!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

I can't believe that it's already 2013! The start of a new year is always so exciting! I love "starting points" like, I'll start new projects on sundays typically because it's the start of a new week, or maybe I'll start a big project at the start of a new month, so a new year is always fun because you get to think of any goals or projects that you want to start to hopefully last the entire year!

I love sitting down and really thinking of a list of new goals to set into place every new year, but they always seem to end up looking tragically similar. I usually just end up with a new diet and work out plan that I stick to until february. This year I decided that weight loss could not be part of my resolutions and this is what I finally decided on.

Get Organized: Basically I want to actually find a place for everything in my home so that every room doesn't feel like it's cluttered with every random thing I own. I also want to organize my time better so that I can always stick to my daily cleaning and working out goals without really having to even think about it much.

Live a Little More: I spend far too much of my time planning for the future instead of actually doing things. I couldn't honestly tell you why that is, but it is a really bad habit I've fallen into. This year I want to plan dates with my husband, go out with my friends, and just spend a lot more time with the people in my life. I also want to sort of live life a little bit more on my own too by doing things I don't normally let myself do like, cook a meal that takes all day, or go for a drive to take pictures in a park somewhere, and I want to do a lot more small projects around the house. I basically just want to have a lot more days where, at the end of the day I can look back at how fun a day was, or how much I accomplished and just feel really fulfilled.

And that's basically it! I'm really excited about these goals as they are really out of the 'norm' for me, and I'm just really excited for 2013!

Happy New Year!!