Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Janury 2017 Movies

I used to post a listing of monthly movies that I have watched - that were new to me.
I haven't done that in a while because of various factors, I just wasn't up to seeing movies much, let alone blogging about them but...I have seen a few movies this month so thought I would share

1) Star Wars: Rouge One - my first movie of 2017.  What did I think?  It was great!  I loved how it explained why the Death Star had that little flaw in the center of it and how Princess Leia got a hold of that information.  Plus, the special effects, story and acting was all great!

2) Guardians of the Galaxy - I know this movie is a few years old but a sequel is coming out later this year and I have heard so many good things about this movie so thought I would watch it.  I enjoyed it a lot.  Tons of action and lots of unexpected humor.  Looking forward to the sequel.

3) Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children - I wanted to see this movie when it first came out, but never got around to it.  I'm kind of glad of that.  It was just ok to me.  A little slow in the beginning. I liked it but glad I didn't pay full price to go see it.

4) Florence Foster Jenkins - so good.  As I have mentioned several times on this blog, I love Meryl Streep and almost always see a new movie of hers in January (seems like her movies are always around Nov - Feb time).   She was so good in this movie - funny but sweet.  Hugh Grant did a good job too and showed off a few dance moves.  Great costumes too - I am sure they will win for costume design when Oscar time rolls around.

5) Eddie the Eagle - I wanted to see this movie when it was initially released too but again, never did.  I am kind of glad because although I thought it was a really good movie, with a really good story, I was fine waiting for it to be on HBO.  It was a true story and was very inspirational.

6) Jack Reacher - again, wanted to see it on the big screen but didn't and this one ... I wish I had.  WOW!  Great movie, but then again I love Tom Cruise movies - LOVE THEM!  This movie was so action packed and also unexpectedly funny at times.  Can't wait to see the sequel!

7) Taken & Taken 2 - I'm putting these together since I watched them back to back and they were basically the same movie with different angles.  Both were really good - I want to see Taken 3 now and there is a new show coming on at the end of February. I will watch it - I love action movies.

8) Because I Said So - I went to donate blood and they said they really needed platets and could I take the time do that instead.  I had never donated platelets before but since they had a greater need and I had time, I decided to do so (turned out that I didn't do well - I almost passed out when it was over and 3 people had to come  rush over to help get me back - it was a bit scary there for a bit).  But...since it takes about 2 hours to donate, they let you pick out a DVD to watch.  So, I picked out this movie.  I enjoyed it - I'm not really a fan of Diane Keaton's because I don't think she is that great of an actress and can be super silly but she was okay in this and I liked the story pretty good - it was entertaining while I laid there with needles stuck in both arms for 2 hours. 

9) The Founder - about Ray Kroc, the "Founder" of McDonald's starring Michael Keaton.  I've always loved Michael Keaton and this movie looked good and interesting and so my sis and I went to see it on a Sunday afternoon.  It was very good.  A great story that was very eye opening.  McDonald's Corporation isn't the fast food chain, per se, but it is really a real estate holdings company.  I highly recommend it - it will make you look at the Golden Arches in a different way.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday is Thursday but I never got around to posting yesterday.

I haven't started the One-Skein Scarf yet because I was making hats last week.  I finished the 2 that a Refupea asked me make for her. 

Both are Messy Bun Hats.  I like the swirly way that the brown/black hat came out.

Then...a friend of mine asked for a Chunky Messy Bun Hat with a Bow on the back - personally, I didn't like this hat.  I'm not a fan of the bow (which I made removable) and I am not a fan of Chunky but I made it for her and she loved it.  It looked a bit plain to me and since she loves pink, I freehanded a pink/white removable flower for it.

I am currently knitting some hats for the Woman's March that is happening this weekend.  My local yarn store has had a barage of calls from women wanting this hat so many have volunteered to make them.  I am knitting them but you can crochet or sew fleece ones.  Even Amy Carter (former President Jimmy Carter's daughter) brought some fleece ones into the yarn shop that she made.  Notice the little note that she pinned to each one.  (Click on photo to enlarge)


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

W.I.P. Wednesday

After I posted a picture of a couple of Messy Bun hats on the 2 Peas Refungees forum, someone asked if she could pay me to make her a couple of them.  I told her I would be glad to but I can't charge her.  I didn't charge the first person and I won't charge her either.  I enjoy making them and even though I never met her in real life, I consider her a friend of sorts.

So... I am in the process of making her a messy bun hat in brown ombres (Red Heart color is called Platoon).   I will also make her one in baby blue, like the one I made for my friend, Katie. 

After that, I am going to my myself a One-Skein Scarf with the Red Heart Painted Desert multi-color yarn.  I may be facing surgery on my neck soon and will have bandages so I want a simple skinny scarf that kind of matches everything so I think I will make this scarf for myself to wear, just in case I need to cover up the bandages.    It takes 2 hook sizes.  One of them is an "L" hook. 

I thought I had every hook size ever made but turns out I didn't have an "L" hook.  It is kind of large and I suppose I have never needed one before and odds are, I will never need one again, but I have it now (the one with the yellow handle) and it will be available, if I ever need it again.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Asian Beef Bowl

It has been a while since I posted a recipe.  Someone on 2Peas Refugees forum shared a Korean Beef recipe and it sounded pretty good so I decided to give it a try.  I changed a few little things to suit my personal tastes.

Asian Beef Bowl

1 lb lean ground beef (I use 93% lean)
2 tsp. minced garlic (approx. 3 cloves)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt and pepper (to taste)
onion powder (optional and to tasted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)

Knorr Teriyaki Rice, cooked as directed on package (or can use White Rice or Wheat Rice, cooked).

Start rice cooking first. While rice is cooking,  place sesame oil and garlic in a large skillet and heat.

Add ground beef.  Add salt, pepper and onion power as desired and cook until beef is brown and cooked through. Drain the meat to remove fat.  Return to skillet, add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger,  and red peppers flakes (if desired).

Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over cooked rice.

Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmmm!!!!

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Messy Bun Hats

About a month ago, I started to see all these posts on facebook about a "Messy Bun Hat".  Seems like for some reason, they suddenly become super popular and highly in demand.  These used to be called "Ponytail Hats" - basically, they are a hat with a hole in the top for your ponytail (or your messy bun) to poke through.

Since I have short hair, I've never been interested in making one of these.

However, due to its Facebook popularity, my friend Katie, sent me a message with a picture of one and asked if I could make her one, in baby blue.  So, I found a pattern over on Amy's Crochet Patterns and I liked this one in particular because it included the strength of incorporating the ponytail hold in the hat.

So - I made my friend a hat in baby blue, as requested.  Her she is...

She seemed pretty pleased with it.  Then a few days later, there was a refupea on the 2Peas Refugees board stating that she wanted one and where could she buy one and I told her I could make one for.  I asked for her color choice a couple of times but when she would reply, she never would give me a color so I just selected a couple of neutral colors and made 2 of them for her.

I hope she liked them.  I haven't heard back from her yet, but it appears she doesn't check the boards that often.  Hopefully I will hear something from her soon. 

While making these, my friend Susan was in town and wanted me to make her a hat with one of the yarns without the hole - because she has short hair.  So I made her one using the Boy Beanie pattern in the Stitch N' B*tch Crochet: The Happy Hooker book.  She loved it !

So here it is, just 6 days into the new year and I've already made 4 hats!  We are supposed to be getting some snow over the weekend so I suspect I will be setting on my couch, wrapped up in a cozy afghan and crocheting on another afghan. 

Maybe you will see a posting of my work in progress next Wednesday😃

I hope you have a nice and warm weekend.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!!

Here were are again - at the start of a new year - 2017!! Wow!!  That sounds so wild to say.  I am happy to report that I survived another year and it actually was a pretty good year.  Nothing terrible or tragic happened in my life (well, except for Donald Trump being elected but that is another story for another time).

My remaining family is healthy and doing well and I was able to see my niece and great niece a few months ago and I am so proud of the mom that my niece has become and to see my great niece grow and become her own little independent person.  She is such a joy, just like her mom always is.

Things at work are going well, things at home are going well and I really don't have anything to complain about (except Trump of course - LOL! but nothing I can do about that, right?)

While 2017 saw a lot of celebrity deaths, there were some good things - the CUBS won the World Series!!  How awesome was that?!  Heck, the Falcons are a contender for the Superbowl - so maybe 2017 will be their year - one can only hope.

I did pretty well with my 2016 Goals.
1)  While, I still want to grow stronger in my faith, I do feel that I have reconnected with the Lord and once again have that yearning to learn more of His Word.  I read a daily devotional and it helped me a lot.

2)  I have gotten healthier, thanks to the support of my sister.  We followed the Atkins Plan together and I am proud to say that I have lost 50 lbs.  Atkins was pretty easy for me some reason.  We started together on July 1st with an initial goal to lose 25 lbs by August 31st and we both met our goal!  I slowed a bit during the month of October - birthday, traveling, Halloween - no excuse but just wasn't as strict but I got back on track in November and managed to lose 25 more pounds before the end of the year.

3) As far as the crafts.  I didn't have as much time to craft as I would have liked to.  I did make my 2nd cousin a beautiful baby afghan, which she totally did NOT appreciate like I thought she would.  Plus she never sent me a thank you card (Lesson learned!).  I finished the Mystery CAL Afghan, which I didn't like at all (2nd lesson learned, no more "mystery" patterns for me).  I made this cute little cross-stitch for my niece and her her family, which she totally loved (yeah!).  I learned a new crochet technique, while watching a John Wayne movie. I knitted my mom a little dress for her dishwashing liquid bottle.  I participated in a dishcloth swap and made 5 dishclothes (also learned a new knitting technique in the process) and I got 5 different ones in return. I started making a Virus Blanket (but put in on hiatus for a bit).  I also made 3 Messy Bun Hats (which I haven't blogged about - maybe later)

Wow - looks like I was a little more crafty in 2016 than I remembered.

So....what are my 2017 Goals? 

2017 Goals

Health - continue losing weight.  I still have quiet a bit I need/want to lose and I just know that with some recent decisions I have made in my life, that this year, I will see a major change in my weight and health.

Religion - begin my journey (again) to read the entire Bible.  I really, really, really want to do that this year.  I have had this as a goal for many years but this is the year I intend to actually do it.

Crafts - I want to finish 2 WIPs I have (Virus Blanket and HUGE granny Around the World afghan).  Plus I want to make my mom a knitted shawl and I have a couple of other afghans in mind that I would like to make.  I have a cross stitch that I would like to do too but not sure if I will get to that this year - it is quite an undertaking but you never know.

Other - I would like get my "final financial plans" in place - you know, things like a will, advanced directive, add my sister to my bank accounts, assign a power of attorney - those kinds of things.  None of us are promised tomorrow.  I want to make sure that when that time comes, it will be easy on my family.  I hope that is a long way away, but I have learned that life can end in a second, without warning.  I also have several things around the house that I would like to accomplish, mostly some organization things and such.

Again, although I won't be scrapping about it, my One Little Word of the year is going to be "Renew"

So, here is to 2017, may it be a great year (even with Trump as president). 😝
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