Week two of using recipes from The Modern Proper cookbook and blog. Had two really good ones this week that may become part of the regular rotation.
First I made the Beef Satay in the cookbook and the Homemade Fried Rice from the blog. I had some frozen dumplings that I served too, a little take out at home night. The rice was a hit, not really anything new, but the satay was a little tough and kind of a disappointment.
Tuesday I made the Carnitas and they were absolutely delicious. Like will save and make again on a regular basis good. I think next time I will double up and make it and freeze half for later. We made these two have in tacos and Thursday night I used the leftovers in a hash that was fantastic as well.
Wednesday I made some Chicken Souvlaki meatballs from the book and replaced the chicken with impossible meat. They were delicious as well and when I find something that all five of us will eat and enjoy, I tend to keep it to make again. I do love the meatball section of this book, such easy meals for a busy week day.
This coming week I won’t have any recipes to share as I’m doing a clean out the pantry and fridge kind of week and making simple, no recipe food to get us to the weekend. I do already have some thoughts on this cookbook that I think I will share! Let me know if you made anything yummy this past week.
Here’s what I wore the Saturday through Thursday of this week. Links to pieces if I can find them!
Saturday our biggest outing was to go try out the new ice cream place in town so it’s a basic gray tee, by old (old y’all…) puffer vest, flare jeans, Ugg shorties, and my newest make!! A cozy, fluffy lilac scarf.
Sunday I didn’t leave the house at all and got some sewing time in. These pants are a new make I’ll share soon and my favorite Whitney Houston tee.
An unusual Monday at home meant I basically stayed in sweats. Blue henley is from Gap, pants I made, and the Uggs again.
This is my entry into the Bougie Sweatshirt Knit Along hosted by Kacie from Young Folk Knits It’s also my first finished sweater of the year. I cast this on for my birthday (and then proceeded to redo the neckline 2 more times…) and finished it at the end of February. I’m in love with the finished product, learned a lot from my mistakes, and am still amazed by the magic that is turning a piece of string into a sweater.
I bought this yarn last summer at a local shop when I was visiting my inlaws in Georgetown, Texas. If you’re in the area, I recommend popping into The Knitting Cup! An adorable shop with wonderful sales associates that can help you pick your yarn for your next project. I went in knowing I wanted a No Frills in a more neutral color palate and I was well guided.
As I said, I cast this on for my birthday (December 1st) and had to redo the neckline twice. Once because I tried to use a different needle size, then went ahead and ordered the size recommended, and the second time because I had trouble with the start of the German Short rows.
This sweater is a top down raglan and like the name suggests, it is pretty basic in design. The thing I’m finding with Petite Knit patterns is that though they look very simple (and a lot are!), there is great thought in putting the garment together and little details that set them a part from other patterns. I think the reason so many people love this pattern company goes beyond the brand’s aesthetic (blonde, minimalist chic?) and is because the patterns are truly well written and you end up with a lovely garment every time.
I started the pattern and then set it aside for some other projects but picked it up and worked intensely on it for most of January. After the raglan shaping, it is mostly knitting stockinette in the round, but I enjoyed the whole thing. The yarn I used is incredibly soft, and incredibly fluffy!, and just speckled enough to keep it interesting as I went through the pattern.
The only modification I made to this pattern was to increase the number of stitches that I picked up in the underarm for the sleeve by two. This just gave me a fit I prefer. If I made in the future I might lengthen the arms and body an inch or two. I like the fit now but a little more length might make it perfect for me.
The end result is a beautiful, basic sweater for my wardrobe. I do have some laddering for the short rows that I’m going to have to embrace, but otherwise I am really happy with this one. The fit is relaxed and I’m happy with the size I chose. I am wondering if I prefer a folded neckband, I think the next sweater I’m going to cast on will have this and it will be something to consider in picking patterns moving forward.
I can wear this sweater casually with jeans and also dress it up with trousers or skirts. My goal is to have it be an everyday sweater and not be too precious about it. I think I would make this pattern again when I need a basic raglan. I like the looseness of it and the sleeve shape is comfortable.
Overall I’m incredibly happy with the sweater I made and it has me excited to keep on knitting!
This week is a little short because I finished out my Hello Fresh boxes that I ordered. So we officially started our cook book challenge for the month on Wednesday! I also was a bad food blogger and did not get pictures of everything, but maybe I can work on this.
I made this roasted beet salad for lunches for Chris and me and it was delicious. The green goddess dressing is worth saving! Harper liked it just to dip veggies in for her snack later in the week.
My parents came to visit and we whipped up the fried chicken in the cookbook. I found it on the blog as well! I might add more seasoning to the batter next time, but the chicken thighs were delicious. The technique of adding flour to the wet batter wasn’t something I had ever tried and it made the chicken extra crispy! My mom whipped together some mashed potatoes and we had green beans and a slaw from the book that was just ok.
I enjoy sharing my new makes online, but I do actually wear my clothes and a lot of them are handmade. I thought I would try and document weekly what I’m wearing and a blog post is probably the easiest way for me to do that. I am by no means a fashion guru, I’m a stay at home mom with 3 kids, but I love getting dressed. I hope by documenting what I wear, I can get a better sense of pieces that actually serve me and my lifestyle, and maybe also inspire you to wear the clothes you love or make something specific that you see me share. As I start sharing patterns here more, I hope to link to reviews and posts on what I make so you can dig deeper and find more info on anything you like!
Let’s look at the week of Saturday February 25th- Thursday March 2nd!
Saturday Night Date Night! My new Nicks Top, these Rollas flares that I love, and my black platform Chelsea boots I got from Boden. No longer available but they were a great purchase this winter.
Quiet Sunday at home doing lots of laundry and cleaning. I got this henley from Gap and I can’t find anything similar online, but I love the color. Here are similar black overalls and fun socks my sister in law gifted me this Christmas.
Tuesday and Wednesday I guess I forgot to document but I think I was mainly in workout type gear. Thursday I got dressed in those same flare jeans and a ribbed knit from Madewell. I can’t find the same one, but this short sleeved version would be cute for spring.
That’s what I wore this week! I’m looking forward to changing over to spring soon but I’ve really enjoyed the winter capsule I put together this year. Everything has been really wearable and it’s made it easy to feel put together every day. Hopefully I will have a round up soon of all the pieces and how much I actually wore and enjoyed them!
I did not do a lot of sewing this past fall and winter due to my sewing space being a part of our big remodel. Since we moved back in, I’ve been working hard to get my space organized and inspired and I’ve found myself making quite a few things. I’ve got some things I’ve made for my winter capsule that I would love to begin reviewing and sharing in this space again.
First up is this beautiful blouse. Here are the initial stats
I bought this fabric without any specific plans for it. I was drawn to the colors and also the graphic design. I don’t wear too many prints so when I fall in love with one, I tend to grab it. This is a rayon twill and it has a lovely drape while still being a bit more substantial, meaning it can hold pleats well and wouldn’t be too breezy to where during the colder months.
Closet Core Patterns has a big sale every year between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving and I bought a few of their patterns that had been on my list for awhile. The Nicks Dress I picked up specifically for the dress. I think it would be gorgeous in a lot of different fabrics, and I loved the idea of a dress with sleeves for the spring and fall in Colorado. When I got the pattern in the mail I also had my Winter Capsule Guide from Everyday Style in front of me and one of the pieces was a ‘dressy black blouse.’ I knew I had found a perfect use for that fabric, and it also just so happened to work in perfectly with the color palette in this season’s capsule.
I chose version C. I think the peplum top would be really beautiful in the warmer months, but for this fabric to shine I decided the more simple version was the way to go. There are two size ranges for this pattern, 0-20 and 14- 32 and they rank it as an intermediate level sew. The trickiest parts would be the gathers, the facing, and the elastic. For the other versions you would also have buttons to deal with.
This came together very easily for me and I’m really happy with the final top. There is a lot of ease in this garment and it can feel like the shoulders fall forward a bit more than they are supposed to, but otherwise the fit feels good in the bust. I love the sleeves, they could possibly be lengthened but I like where these hit on me for practical use.
The fabric was a dream to work with, easy to press and manipulate, and the only modification I made to this pattern was to use bias tape on the hem. I don’t know that I love the topstitching that the facing brings to the neckline, but that is my only complaint about this pattern.
I look forward to making other versions in the warmer months and have been wearing this with jeans and my pietra pants and loving how easy it is to throw on and what a big impact it has with the bold pattern.
People will be writing think pieces for the rest of my life on what Covid and lockdown changed in our world. Something small, and honestly not that important compared to what so many lost, that I’ve noticed is that it really changed my love for cooking.
I used to love to cook and just food in general. While it was work to meal plan, I enjoyed thinking about what my family would eat the following week and play around with new ingredients or techniques. I remember the beginning of lock down and how for a few months there we were all experimenting with cuisines we missed or bread we had always wanted to learn how to make. We got creative with whatever we could find at the grocery store or whatever random ingredients they subbed in for us at grocery pickup.
But somewhere along the way I got burned out. It was exhausting to keep a pulse on what supply chain issues meant I couldn’t find pantry staples. Around this time my youngest son also had some health issues and I had to keep detailed notes of how many calories he consumed and find ways to get more calories in him. Go ahead and add in soaring inflation and I think we can all agree these past couple of years have sucked the joy of cooking out of a lot of our kitchens.
Recently I’ve had my kitchen remodeled and it’s a dream to work in. I have found myself wanting to bake, wanting to meal prep, just wanting to be in the space. I decided that I would try something for the month of March to challenge myself back into loving cooking again. Feeding my family is definitely a love language and I decided to wander the library cookbook aisle and see if anything stood out to me to try.
At first glance it looks like delicious food, most within my family’s comfort zone of eating, that you can actually make on weeknights. It has the usual chapters, vegetarian, meats, soups etc, but also has a section just on eggs and one solely for meatballs. I thought it looked different enough to keep me interested in cooking but easy enough to actually use. The photographs are lovely and the layout is crisp and modern.
So for the month of March I’ll be cooking mostly from this book! I’ll share every Monday what I made the past week and how it was. I may also dip into their blog a bit too and share some favorite recipes I find there. At the end of the month we can do a deep dive review and see if this cookbook is worth adding to our home kitchen libraries. And if not, maybe we at least find some go to recipes that get us excited about cooking again.
Want to join me? Check and see if your library has this book, or any cook book you’ve been wanting to try!, and pick some recipes you want to use throughout the week. I’d love to hear your favorites.
I go to the library almost weekly to write. Ok sometimes it’s just to have a quiet space to answer emails, but the goal is usually to write. While I’m there I like to peruse the aisles marked “photography” or “art”, or even better yet “textiles”, and I usually find a few books to take home and look through for inspiration. Sometimes it’s a skill I’m interested in, patterns, cooking, that sort of thing. Sometimes it’s color or design. And sometimes I just like to look at interesting pictures.
Today I want to share snippets of one of these books with you and hope it inspires you in some way. Even if you just happen to go wandering down a library aisle or two…
I’ve been trying to write a book for years now. YEARS. And this is my deadline, I’m setting it here and making it known.
I want to have a rough draft of my book done by New Year’s Day.
This feels impossible. I’m 37,855 words in as I write this post and half of that (ha! most of that) feels like crap.
But that’s not the point!
Rough is in the title of a first draft for a very good reason.
My goal is to have it written. To get the story out of my head and onto paper. To finish something that feels impossible. I don’t care if anyone ever reads it (my wonderful late great uncle always said writers write, published or not) and I may finish it and never want to touch or edit the thing again.
Earlier this year, when I was really starting to enjoy knitting and wanting to plan ahead for a few projects, I had the idea to make my mom something for her 70th birthday. Now, I get asked a lot, “Oh could you make me…” or “Could you teach me to make…” and the answer is usually “no.”
Not because I’m a selfish, crotchety person, or not mainly because of that, but because very few are actually worthy of receiving handmade gifts. Making hand made clothes takes so much time and energy and then it needs to be taken care of once you give it away. So please know, the few that get handmade gifts from me are absolutely what I would call knitworthy and no one more so than my own mom.
My mom doesn’t knit but she does needlepoint and she’s been around me knitting enough to appreciate the time that goes into doing a craft beautifully. I wasn’t quite ready to knit a sweater for another human being yet, it feels like there’s a lot that could go wrong there?, but I thought a shawl might be the way to go.
Now, maybe you hear shawl and picture a little white haired lady with lace moon shaped garment draped over her shoulders. No shade to that lady, but shawls can be a whole lot more than that. I decided to go with the Find Your Fade Shawl by Andrea Mowry. I loved how this pattern plays with color and how it’s almost the size of a blanket. You can wear it draped over your shoulders, wrapped around like a scarf, or cozy up with it on a couch. I could just picture my mom bringing this along with her to the opera in Santa Fe and went in search of yarn.
I am still a little intimidated buying yarn, especially online, and was nervous about getting the color choices right. I searched kits for this shawl and found some gorgeous options over at Miss Bab’s. I settled on a blue, periwinkle set and absolutely love how this turned out. I loved working with the kit because you know the colors play nicely together but you can still experiment with placement and the fade itself.
As for knitting, this shawl was not difficult but the size did get a little intimidating. I was working on a deadline with my mom’s birthday coming up and I did get a little stressed that I wouldn’t make it! I love that there are plain garter sections to just mindlessly get lost in and then a fun lace section that was easy to memorize by about the third go around. It’s got me thinking having a shawl or a blanket to slowly work on all the time might be a nice idea in the future.
In the end, actually giving it to my mom was the best part. She immediately understood the love and care that went into every stitch and it looks fantastic on her! I hope she wraps herself up in it for years and celebrations to come!