Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recipe: White Bean Chicken Chili

I realize that the last 3 recipes I've shared have all been soups/chilis/stews: this is not a coincidence. When cooler weather arrives, I make a lot of these meals. Here is another that I just have to share with you: white chicken chili. My recipe is adapted from this version on Epicurious... and it is not health conscious, in case you were wondering. To my credit, I did reduce the amount of half-and-half and cheese that were called for in the original recipe :)

Let's face it, though: sometimes you have to treat yourself.  Tom Haverford and Donna say it best:

Sidenote: I couldn't be more excited for the season premiere of Parks and Recreation tonight. I've been watching marathons of past seasons all summer, and I need some new episodes. Update: Somehow I'd missed the fact that it premiered last week! So bonus, I got to watch two new episodes tonight instead of one!  Yes, I'm a TV nerd.

So next time you have a treat yourself day, here's what you need for dinner...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY: Yarn Wrapped Storage Tin Tutorial

One of my long-term goals is to organize my "workspace" in our house. I use quotation marks for this name because I don't actually work in it... and there's no space. It is too messy for either working or for space. It's just an overflowing storage area. One of these days, when it's transformed, I'm going to do a before and after makeover post...

Monday, September 24, 2012


This first weekend of fall was amazing! It still looked like summer, but the weather was cool and the sun was shining. I love the month or so in the Midwest where there's no longer any danger of heat exhaustion but still no chance of snow :)

Before I get to details of my weekend, I'm guest posting on Julie Ann Art's blog today and sharing a recipe for my homemade peanut butter dog treats! Be sure to go check it out :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Sale, This Weekend Only!

Start shopping at!

So, Saturday is the official start of the autumn season (for us Northern Hemisphere dwellers, anyway), and it's definitely my favorite. The weather cools down, and people no longer give me weird looks when I'm knitting, like they do during the hot summer months. Not to mention, autumn is full of beautiful leaves, pumpkins, delicious warm drinks and food... have I convinced you yet? Good!

To celebrate the start of fall, I'm having a major sale in my shop, now through Sunday at 12:00 AM CST! You'll save 25% off any order when you enter code ILOVEAUTUMN at checkout (while in your cart, just click "apply shop coupon code" on the right-hand side, and type the code in the box that appears).

As an added bonus, if you share this sale on Facebook (you can click the link and just share my status), you'll be entered to win $25 in shop credit! I'll announce the winner on Monday. 

To sum up, I really really really love fall, and I think we should all have some warm knits to celebrate :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipe: Smoky Turkey Chili

This recipe was something I just threw together the other night, but it turned out so good that I had to share! It is super easy, delicious, and perfect for the cooler fall weather...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fave Five: For Knitters

Today's Fave Five is all about knitting! Above are five awesome products that any knitter would love. I already have a couple of these myself :) Links and descriptions for each of these items are below:

one: Ball of Wool and Knitting Needle Earrings from Max's World - how creative are these?!
two: Takumi Bamboo Circular Needles from Clover - you'll never want to knit with anything else again.
three: Need to Knit Embroidery Hoop from Moxiedoll - so cute, I love this!
four: Hand Dyed Yarn from phydeauxdesigns - this colorway is so gorgeous for fall.
five: Ceramic Yarn Bowl from blueroompottery - I love how this bowl has holes to hold your needles!

Whether you're a knitter or a friend of a knitter... you should check out these awesome items!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Show: Old Town Shawnee Craft Fair

This past weekend I had a booth at the Shawnee Old Town Craft Fair in Shawnee, KS. This was only the third craft show I've ever participated in -- and each time I've been in a show, I've completely changed my display! This was also my first outdoor show, and I loved it. The weather was perfect (about 70 degrees and partly cloudy most of the day) and the crowds were huge! I snapped some photos of my booth before the show started; take a look below to see some details of my display...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lovely Package Exchange

So a couple months ago I decided to participate in the Lovely Package Exchange over at Danni's blog: oh, hello friend. I just love giving (and of course getting) gifts, and I'm always looking for some packaging inspiration for personal gifts and for my shop. My partner Sara and I were a little late in getting paired up and exchanging our packages, so I just got hers yesterday and had to share! Opening it was like Christmas in September :) Find pictures of the packaging and gifts below...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY: Handmade Banner Tutorial

On Saturday I'll be selling my knits at this craft fair in Shawnee, Kansas, and so I've been doing a few last minute display preparations this week. The first one I'm sharing is this handmade banner with my shop name. You can use the steps below to make a similar banner for your shop at a craft show, or to make a banner for a birthday party or other event! Read on to see how easy (and inexpensive!) it is...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Travels: Nurnberg, Germany

My husband I went on our honeymoon last year to both Germany and Italy. Today I'm sharing one of my favorite German towns: Nurnberg, AKA Nuremberg (well, really it's a city, but everything in Germany is so picturesque that I think of it as a town). It's probably most known to Americans for the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, but as a place to visit it's beautiful, full of history, and overflowing with good food (and beer)...

Monday, September 10, 2012


This past weekend was so much fun, since it has finally cooled down a little in the Midwest. My dogs celebrated the cooler temps by hanging out by the garden :)

It was so nice outside that I actually wore jeans on Saturday and leggings on Sunday. It felt amazing! A few highlights from my weekend...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Knitting Pattern: Little Fall Pumpkin

Today's knitting pattern is an adorable little pumpkin that is perfect for fall decor! I can think of endless uses for these tiny pumpkins: they'd be just right at an autumn wedding, a Halloween party, or in the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table.

This knit pattern is for sale ($5 USD). You can purchase the knitting pattern via the Paypal "Buy Now" button below, or you can purchase the finished product here in my Etsy shop.


Level: Intermediate/Advanced (stitches/skills used include kfb, k2tog, knitting in the round, and knitting an I-cord)
Materials Needed: worsted weight yarn, fiber stuffing, dpns, yarn needle
Format: PDF, sent via email to buyer's Paypal address

My email will be available in the pattern for anyone who has questions! If you have any questions about purchasing the pattern, just let me know in the comments below.

Happy (almost) Fall! And happy Friday :)


P.S. My giveaway on Julie Ann Art ends today! Go enter if you haven't yet :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recipes: Ropa Vieja, Slow Cooker Style

I made this awesome Cuban dish a couple days ago and had to share the recipe, which I adapted from the Taste of Home version. Ropa vieja in Spanish means "old clothes," but I assure you this dish tastes leaps and bounds better than any worn out socks you may have lying around. Ingredients and steps are below...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fave Five: Dog Days

My sister, her fiance, and their Australian Shepherd puppy are staying with us for a few days while their air conditioning gets fixed, so currently there are three dogs in our house. My morning has been all about filling water bowls, tossing toys around, and trying to get work done while a wriggling mass of playfully wrestling puppies tumbles around the living room. They are adorable though! So, in honor of the puppy party in my house, five of my favorite pet products are above... which is your favorite?


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sleepwalk With Me

So in addition to spending time with family and generally enjoying the Labor Day weekend, I've also spent the last few days being envious of anyone who lives in New York, California, Chicago... any of the places where Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me is already playing.

Unfortunately the film does not arrive in the Kansas City, Missouri area until September 21st. I already checked with my husband, and we are GOING. That's right, I planned a date night 3 weeks ahead of time.

Reasons I want to see this movie:
1) I'm a huge fan of Mike Birbiglia's comedy.
2) I haven't seen Lauren Ambrose in anything since the show Six Feet Under ended, and that's too long.
3) Judd Apatow said he could have watched the film for 10 hours. Enough said.

Also, the movie won an award at Sundance, was picked for SXSW, etc. and those are usually good signs. Have I convinced you to go see it too? You can check the official site of the movie here to find out when it's playing in your area... I am counting the days until September 21!