Saturday, January 31, 2009


Isn't this a beautiful, traditional-tattoo inspired piece of stained glass?!  Really, my photo doesn't do it justice- it's absolutely incredible.  Our pal  Daniel  made a matching set of these lovelies for our front windows.  He ROCKS.  And now our windows do, too!  Thanks, Dan!  XOXO

I am very much behind in posting what we've been up to all week.  Prepare for a barrage of new posts as I catch up over the weekend...  Yes, indeedy!

Thursday I decided to throw caution to the wind, ditch the morning house chores schedule, and go thrifting while Keely was in preschool.  This is something I haven't done in ages and it was the best day EVER!  Get a load of all this yummy, thrifty-goodness that I scored...  What a HAUL!

An adorable, teensy watch-pin upcycled with a decorative spoon handle.  It has a loop on the back so it can be worn as a pendant, but my plan is to add it to my clock collection wall.  


A yummy purse in a lovely heather grey that features some of my favorite obsessions lately: felting and embroidery! (Seriously, it's like it was created just for ME.)


This gorgeous lime martini glass.  (I am passionate about most shades of the color green...)


Adorable red plastic trays for Keely's lunches.  See how well they match her crab cup?  Awww!  (Think "bento"- we're jumping onto the Muffin Tin Monday Bandwagon... Whee!)


And finally, as I was sauntering proudly toward the register with all of my new treasures, this cute, vintage cold cream jar caught my eye.  (It still has that delicious cold-creamy smell inside... Mmmmmm!)

I also scored some cute clothes for Keely & Sidney ("Baby-to-Be"), some window markers, some old frames to repurpose, and some sumptuous, old, hard-cover books whose covers I'll be repurposing into a sketchpad for Keely and a notebook for me, using my Bind-It-All.  (More to come on that at a later date!)

What an Awesome. Thursday. Morning.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cupcakes & Fairytales

It's absolutely freezing here in Wisconsin.  The sub-zero weather has us sequestering ourselves indoors, which means... PROJECTS!  Keely and I have been keeping busy by crafting like maniacs- no complaints here!

I decided to jump on the fiber foods bandwagon, and make my version of the ubiquitous knitted cupcake.   I raided my stash and came up with some great textures to create this delicious little cutie.  Thanks to Blah Blah Blahhhg and this FREE PATTERN, you can make one too.  Zero calories, and easier (and less messy!) than the real thing!  I'd love to see what you come up with if you decide to join in on the cupcake knitting frenzy.  

Keely has been applying her creative proclivities as well... I am so grateful that God has blessed me with a child whose veracity for crafting so closely matches my own! 
Here she is working on her Fairytale Storybook:

Constructing a marshmallow & toothpick sculpture:

Making "monsters" with straw painting: 
Thanks to Maya*Made for the idea!)

And my favorite captured moment of the week...Embroidering in the sunshine!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BRIE ME! My newest culinary obsession...

Last weekend was our Girl's Birthday Weekend.  In our family, the guys (DH, FIL, and BIL) all have birthdays in the fall, and the girls are all in the winter (MIL, SIL, and me).  So we celebrate annually, the guys in November (usually golfing)  and the gals have our get-together weekend in Jan/Feb and usually do an outing.  This year, due to my current VERY preggo status, we decided to have a mellow girl's weekend.  Jamie (SIL) thought of the best theme- "Favorite Things" (think Oprah's annual  favorite things give-away show.)  We decided that in addition to the gift swap (which was a BLAST- such a fun idea to give AND to get!)  that we would forego our usual shopping day excursion and just have a nice luncheon at a cozy little cafe in Portage.  

I can't remember the name of the little cafe, and I really regret not bringing my camera to take pictures- it was cozy and cute and eclectic, and the food was terrific.  I had the most amazing sandwich- definitely a preggo mama's dream come true- an "Adult Grilled Cheese".  This culinary masterpiece consists of brie, bacon, and apple on toasted walnut raisin bread.  It was HEAVENLY!  I've been craving it since last saturday, and have come up with a "lazy" version of my own using croissant, spreadable brie cream (pasteurized) and Granny Smith apples.  YUM!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chickie Boo

So, it's still mostly below zero here, and I am getting desperate for some affirmation that spring will eventually be on its way.  I've been looking for fun spring-y projects for Keely and me to do to brighten things up around here.  When I saw this little chick and egg project,  featured w/ a tutorial at Making Ends Meet, it was too darn stinkin' cute not to share.  Who doesn't love a good hand-sewn felt project to liven things up?!

Adding this one to my ever-growing mountain of "must do" projects!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gettin' Knitty Wit It

I'm what I describe as a "pathological knitter".  

I love it.  I adore it.  I dream about it.  When I'm in a shop that has sweaters on a rack, I find myself analysing the design and identifying the patterns/stitches used to create it.  Now, I'm not saying I'm a GOOD knitter...  I'm just very passionate about it.  Metro Dad and I argue more often than you'd guess about whether it would be "appropriate" for me to bring my knitting along to any given function or outing.  I lose a lot.  (Which may be why I don't go out a lot...?!)

If you have any proclivity toward knitting, you understand.  There are times when you come across a particular yarn, or an intriguing pattern, and you just HAVE to knit.  When I find myself in the throes of one of these obsessive knitting moments, LOOK OUT!  I'd travel through the frozen tundra to get the supplies I need once I've got my heart set on a new project.   For example, my newest passion for collecting patterns for knitted toy food.  Metro Dad simply can NOT comprehend that one.  But I can't help myself.  I've finished a cupcake, and now I'm itching to get to a resale yarn shop to pick up bits and pieces of assorted colors to make a whole tea tray party set of finger foods with my knitting needles.

I've got a trunk full of sock yarn, 1/2 of a sweater I started about 6 years ago, and several projects in various stages of completion, yet all I can think about is knitting these adorable little tea sandwiches!  Yes, I have a daughter who will LOVE playing with them, so it seems logical.  But honestly, even if I was childless, had no access to children, and never intended to DO anything with the knitted toy food upon completion, still I would HAVE to make them.  

Take THIS PROJECT for example.  I just found it today.  A knitted, stuffed uterus- lovely!  When would this be appropriate, even?  Perhaps a friend with a stellar sense of humor who's undergone a hysterectomy?  I dunno, but there's something almost... irresistable...  about the concept of knitting up a cuddly, bubblegum pink uterus, no?

 I know it's not rational.  Heck, lots (most) of the time I don't get around to finishing one project before something new catches my fancy and there sits the "old" project on the needles, waiting for the day that I am lured back once again to complete it.  Probably makes no sense whatsoever if you're not into fiber arts, and Metro Dad can't understand why I'll gleefully pay $20+ for yarn to make ONE pair of socks.  But who cares?  I'm not gonna even bother to rationalize it.   
It makes me happy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

30 Below and Cameraless

It's like the Arctic North here- the snow's piled up to heroic heights, schools are all cancelled, and with the windchill, the temp has been around -30 deg.  Sounds fun, huh?  We've been holed up here in the house, which is just fine- we've been crafting our brains out to help pass the time.  Unfortunately, I can't find the #@&()~$*)~!Q!!! battery charger for the camera, so I can't share any of the fun pics of our recent creations with you.

They are forthcoming- just as soon as I find that cord...  Grrrrrr!

Here's a sneak peak at some projects I've got on the agenda:

I've been using up yarn stash and having a blast with these:

Also, I'm super anxious to try my very first sewing project:
Awww, isn't he SWEET?  This great FREE project is courtesy of the lovely and talented Alex at MOONSTITCHES. 

(I am going to raid the clothes in our closets soon if it doesn't warm up enough to allow me to make a trip to the fabric store!!!)  

Keely's been very productive too, that creative little pixie! 

Wouldn't you Gnocchi!

It was another one of those days that happen so often when your full time job is raising your kids- we veered waaay off the course of our schedule today. Things started out normally enough- we did Monday story time at the library and then open gym time afterwards, like we do every Monday. From there, everything pretty much went askew.

The "plan" was to eat a quick lunch, then pack up our Christmas decorations, do a quick dust & vacuum in the livingroom, then take a nap, and then do an art project together. 


My neighbor called as I was making lunch, and asked if I could do her a favor by taking her 2 kids (ages 5 and 3)  for the afternoon. This translates as eat FAST, nap NOW and SKIP the planned chores for the afternoon. (Eek!) We WILL get those Christmas decorations packed up properly and put back into storage.. really we will.. I'm just not sure if it'll happen before spring (ESPECIALLY if baby #2 comes early, as I suspect.)

Wouldn't you know it, 4:30 comes around, the neighbor kids go home, Metro Dad is home, and we're all HUNGRY. Uh oh. Veering from the schedule also led to neglecting to prepare for the dinner I had been planning (pork chops).. And we're overdue for groceries so we've got super limited options. It's nearing 5pm now, and I am foraging desperately for sustainence. 

I have to say, I am tremendously proud of the results. Last time we were at Trader Joe's I bought a vacuum sealed bag of "fresh" gnocchi on a whim, for an emergency meal. HALELUJAH! As I began to boil the water, I continued pulling ingredients and decided to wing a sort of basil cream & tomato sauce. Crazy how you can come up with something unexpected just by foraging and getting creative with what you have on hand. Who would've thunk it?

I always throw together sauces by whim and by taste, and this one was DEFINITELY good enough for a repeat performance. It was "company" good, actually. Now if only I can remember and replicate... Here's the gist of it:

Kitt's Fly-By-The-Seat-of-Your-Pants Basil Cream Tomato Gnocchi

Note: The TJ's gnocchi was great- minimally processed and close enough to authentic to make me happy. (I LOVE gnocchi) But any good gnocchi will do.

WHITE SAUCE: (which was also delish by itself)

-Heavy whipping cream (I poured in about a cup, I think)
-Grated fresh Romano cheese (I used about 1/2 the wedge)
-2 T of salted butter
-3-4 heaping spoonfuls of minced garlic (I tell ya, times like these I'm GLAD I have that emergency pre-minced jar in the fridge!)
-Lots of Basil (I have a stash hanging in the kitchen from the garden that I pluck & use as needed, so I prob used about 10 leaves)
-A couple splashes of (dry) white wine
-salt & pepper to taste
-pinch of sugar

I heated the cream and shredded Romano over low heat, stirring to melt in the cheese. Then added the butter, garlic, basil & wine. Reduced over low heat until it thickened up (about 5 minutes) and added salt/pepper & sugar.

Now here's the other "cheaty" part of this meal- Because I love a little "red" in my white sauce, I grabbed some pre-made (not by me) marinara sauce and added just enough to give it a pink hue and round out the flavor. (Probably about 3-4 heaping spoonfuls). Poured the sauce over the gnocchi while Metro Dad and Keely dished out the salad, and dinner was served in less than 30 minutes.

It. Was. Magnificent.

Even little Miss Picky-Eater princess loved it. She was disgruntled, however, to learn that I "tricked" her by serving pasta made out of potatoes (which she does not like). She ate the whole bowl.  Hehe.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cream Cheese Chicken to the Rescue!

Well heck.  We're more than a week  into 2009 and I'm still scrambling to get things in order so I can live out my resolutions for the year.  I'm cutting myself some slack (a rare allowance for me) since I am smack dab in the middle of the third trimester of this pregnancy.  As a very intuitive man ( once said,
  "It's a lot of hard work to grow a kid from scratch!"

One of my biggest resolutions this year is to get back on track with "clean" eating.  We've fallen into a rotten pattern of eating frozen/convenience food meals, and it's reflected in our waistlines.  In addition to eating healthier, I'm also determined to make ONE MEAL for the WHOLE FAMILY, which includes Ms. Picky-Eater Princess (DD).  So I've been spending waaaay too much time hunting online for new recipes.  It's been painful, really.  

Have you got some tried & true recipes the whole family loves?  EMAIL ME!

In my frenzied search, I stumbled upon Cream
Cheese Chicken.  

It's easy.  It's nearly completely unprocessed.  It's a crockpot meal.  Best of all, everyone was happy with it..  and DD actually ate LEFTOVERS for lunch the next day with toast points.  Hallelujah!  The recipe came from Stephanie the Crockpot Lady (you should really check out her fabulous blog of 365 days of meals to make in your crockpot- outstanding!) I added peas, diced carrots, and red pepper to cover the veggie group.  We had it over whole wheat noodles for dinner, but it would be great with rice too.  The Picky-Eater Princess really enjoyed it with toast.  Oh Frabjous Day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Emergence of Metropolitan Housewife

A new year, a new blog.  The emergence of the Metropolitan Housewife has been a slow process- conceptualized last fall, created ages ago, and finally coming to fruition this very moment.  Most of what I put up here will be for selfish reasons- catharsis, documentation for my kiddos, and the opportunity for prospective business partners (and possibly family and friends who may choose to check in here) to get to get to know me on a more personal level.  So.  Who am I?

I Am:
-36 years old (as of last weekend!)
-A Post-punk, know-it-all, Aetheist, alternative lifestyle bar tender & body piercer who has mellowed out and has been "Born Again"
-A well-educated (OVER-educated, perhaps) Post Grad SpEducator-turned-Work-At-Home-Mom 
-Passionate about serving my God and my Family 
-A Christian, An Entrepreneur, Teacher, Home business coach
-A volunteer for Bulldog Rescue
-A Maker of "stuff"
-Someone who strives to live the heck out of life for the short time I'm here, and hopefully leave some things behind that will postively impact others after I'm gone

Some Things I Love:
Almighty God and my Savior, Jesus Christ, MetroDad and our little girls, Knitting, Reading, Crafting, Scrapbooking, Nutella, Burt's Beeswax lip balm, Minty bath & body products, Baking fancy treats or cooking elaborate meals (and eating them!), Mojitos, Mazzy Star, Jazz, Most shades of the color green, Learning new stuff, Bulldogs, Reading crafty blogs, Two Peas,  Ethnic food, Historical fiction, Forensic thrillers, Word Games, Crossword Puzzles, Boggle, Quirky Comic Books, Fall, Cool Weather & overcast days, Painting, Sculpting, Creating, Writing, Going to/watching Movies, Giving unexpected and/or "perfect" gifts

2009 Resolutions
(It took me about a week to decide to make them this year, and here they are:)
-Read the (whole) bible in 2009
-Increase my personal relationship with God
-Get back to "clean" eating and no more processed foods
-Eat dinner at the table as a family each night
-Learn to sew (got a machine for Christmas, thanks MIL & FIL!)
-Create something new on a weekly basis 
-Get more organized (home, self, weekly schedule)
-Grow my home business to create financial freedom (debt free)
-Journal the year (hence this blog)