What a Merry Christmas!

Well, I sure had a nice Christmas, as I hope everyone else did. A lot of traveling this year, but that's okay because it made it super special! On Saturday we drove 3 hours south to my parent's house, stayed the night, then drove another 3 hours south to my aunt's house to see my dad's side of the family.
My boyfriend and I have been going out for nearly 3 1/2 years and he's met my mom's side but not my dad's, so he came too and everyone absolutely loved him (bien sur!). We had a lovely time doing a gift exchange, opening presents, sitting and catching up with family. (I never get to go down south, so I had a lot of catching up to do!) Not to mention all the wonderful food!
We stayed the night there and had breakfast and stockings the next morning (Christmas day), and then we were off again on another 3 hour drive, north this time. We opened more presents at my parent's house and had more yummy food, then went to my bf's parent's house for yet more presents and more food.
Stayed the night there and spent the next day with them, I went to my best friend's birthday party at an awesome sushi restaurant, and then we were going to drive home but it was so late we decided to stay the night again. We eventually made the 3 hour drive north to home.

What a Christmas! My favorite things I got this year have to be:
1. My bf and dad got me a new laptop! Heck, I'm happy the keyboard is fully functional (the i, k, delete, and down arrow didn't work on my old one, hence the sporatic blogging), but it's got a top of the line graphics card and tons of cool features to boot. It's the nicest present anyone's ever given me!
2. My best friend gave me a pocky purse!!!
3. This stuffed scottie dog my mom gave me is inspiring me to make some like it for my shop, and she gave me a ton of awesome vintage goodies this year too!

Whew, what a year. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and be sure to have a Happy New Year!


Soup for a Cold Day

I make this soup so often that I know the recipe by heart - not that it's terribly hard to remember. I love it because you can add or leave out any ingrediets you like, and it helps use up vegetables that have been sitting around with nothing to do. Also, you can make it vegan, vegetarian, or with meat and it's just as good. And since it makes a huge pot, it freezes very well and keeps for a long time if you don't use meat. Here's the recipe:
Special Cold Day Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 potatos, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cans (14.5 ounces each) vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
8 cups mixed fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables such as corn, green beans, lima beans, peas, cabbage, and zucchini, chopped or sliced (my favorite combination is corn, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, and cabbage). Optional: 1 lb. ground meat, browned and seasoned to taste.

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add potatos, onions, carrots , celery, bay leaves, thyme, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, and 3 cups water to pot; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.
3. Add other vegetables (and meat, if using) to pot, and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Let cool before storing.

Easy and filling, and it keeps you warm. What more could you ask for? I like mine with toast to dip in it. :)


Holy Holiday Rush Batman!

I'm sorry for the posting drought, but I have been soooo uber busy trying to stock up the store for the holidays, and it's going fairly well. I've listed 25 odd things since the begining of November and I've sold 9 of them thus far, and I'm super-duper excited! But etsy is tough cause there's sooo much cool stuff to buy, I couldn't resist... Grrr. Oh well, check out this deliciously smunchy handspun yarn I bought from Feral Feminine:

It's called "Fire and Ice". Only thing is, there's about 108 yards of it and I have no idea what to make. It's enough for a good beanie, I'm sure, but suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It's about worsted weight, thinner and thicker in some places which totaly makes me looove it. Any ideas?