Showing posts from 2012

Christmas Day Snowshoe

Last winter we didn't get enough snow to go snowshoeing which is really sad when you live in Wisconsin. Last week we got our first big blizzard so we were able to snowshoe on Christmas Day. We also got out yesterday for another snowshoe. What a great way to work off some of those extra holiday calories!

My Christmas Gift from Christian

My husband is incredibly talented and thoughtful when it comes to gift giving. I knew he was building something for me but I had no idea what. Part one of my gift started with a box filled with puzzle pieces.

I had to put the puzzle together in order to get a clue about my gift. He didn't tell me what the puzzle said or what shape the pieces would form. The experience reminded me of a Survivor challenge. In fact, after I solved the puzzle I yelled, "Kelly wins immunity!"

Next we put on our cold weather gear and headed out to the shop where I had to close my eyes as Christian guided me into position. When I opened my eyes, this is what I saw:

A hand-built picnic table! Isn't it beautiful? I almost want to put it in our dining room!

All summer long I was complaining that we didn't have anywhere to sit and eat outside. That won't be the case next summer! 

I feel so spoiled.

Merry Christmas

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth:  make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.  (Psalm 98:4)

Homemade Wreath

Every year we have to cut a few feet off of the bottom of our Christmas tree because it won't fit in the house. This year I decided to make a wreath from some of the leftover branches. 

I think it turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself! We have it hanging next to the back door which is where Dusty likes to hang out.

And how about a few cute shots of my sweet boy:

And finally the tree in all it's glory:

I love the warm glow that the lights give off. It's so cozy!

Snow Day

Yesterday we were pummeled all day long with heavy snow and gusty winds. A blizzard in all it's glory. I have never seen a winter storm close not just schools, but so many other businesses and events. By early afternoon, almost everything was shut down. I woke up at 4AM with good intentions. I was going to go into work early and leave mid-day before the roads got too bad for the hour-long commute home. After showering and packing up my work things, something in my gut told me just to stay home. I am lucky to work at a place that cares about my safety and is understanding in these matters. So, I took a snow day. And what's a snow day without building a goofy snowman!

I spent most of the day cleaning and knitting but by late afternoon I was starting to get a little stir crazy. I bundled up and headed outside. Buster had a blast catching snowballs that I tossed his way. Meanwhile, Christian played on the tractor clearing heavy snow from our driveway.

I'm so happy that we finall…

On Our Menu: December 17 - 25

Are you ready for the holiday parties to begin? We actually had our first of 6 last week already. Our goal for this week is to eat a lot of veggies in preparation for all of the heavy foods and sweets we'll be eating over the long weekend. 

Last week I tried 2 new recipes. (Click the title for the recipe link)

Linguine with Clam-Free Sauce
Arame (kelp) is used in this vegetarian dish to represent the clam taste in the sauce and the chopped mushrooms almost look like clams. The sauce was creamy and good. I used regular milk in the recipe and slivered almonds instead of pine nuts.

Baked Mac Oh Geez
This is a vegan version of mac and cheese therefore, no actual cheese is used. Instead, an interesting combination of nuts, milk, and spices make the cheese sauce, and you know what, it's good! My mac turned out with a purplish tint. I couldn't find brazil nuts so I used some walnuts and almonds instead. Maybe the walnuts made the sauce purple? I don't know. In any case, we both en…

Christmas Ornaments: Made by Mom

Every year my mom makes me a Christmas ornament. Last year she asked if she could stop this tradition since I'm grown-up now and married. Ummm, no... Her handmade ornaments are so special and I always look forward to seeing what she creates. Here are some of the ornaments she's made me over the years:

Isn't she talented?!! And here's the ornament she made me this year:

Now, a fish skeleton may seem like a strange ornament to you but it's actually quite thoughtful. You see, Christian and I get an ornament from every vacation or adventure we go on. Over the summer we went fishing out on Lake Michigan for the first time. So this fish skeleton is our trip ornament from that adventure! Very cool.

On Our Menu: December 10 - 16

Winter is finally here - we got our first snowfall! I love how clean, bright and cheery everything looks. Now we just need a few more inches so I can go snowshoeing! 

I recently tried two new recipes. (Click the title for the recipe link)

Maple-Balsamic Tempeh with Chestnuts & Golden Onions
I couldn't find jarred chestnuts so I used canned whole water chestnuts and they worked just fine. The taste of this dish was okay but not something that I'll make again. Also, it uses two packages of tempeh so it was rather expensive to make.

Feta Shrimp Tacos
What a great way to use up leftover red cabbage! We love Mexican food and this was a unique twist on our usual dishes. Very easy to make and great taste.

Here's what's on our menu this week:

Thursday is the first of many holiday parties. This one is a pot-luck. Lately my go-to dish for parties has been Szechuan Black-Eyed Pea Salad. It travels well and is a nice, healthy alternative to all of the other yummy but fattening foods …

WINNER of Apple Sweater

The winner of my hand-knit apple sweater is:

Debbie L. who purchased a vintage angel music box from my Etsy shop! Congrats Debbie! Your apple sweater will be mailed to you in a few days.

Apple Sweater Giveaway: Last day to enter!

Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for my hand-knit apple sweater. Please go to the original post to enter. Click HERE and good luck!

Yarn Along: Little Bear and Prodigal Summer

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Little Bear Hat and Mittens
My husband's cousin will be having her first child later this winter. They are keeping the gender secret so I was a little perturbed about what to knit them. I started thinking about what kind of people they are and they both love to hunt and enjoy spending time outdoors. When I saw a pattern for a little bear hat and mittens I knew it would be perfect for their little one.
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater in Root Beer and Toast colorways. 
Pattern: Bear and Panda Hat and Mitts by Linda Cyr

Reading: Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
I'm re-reading this one (a favorite!) because it's our book club pick for this month. I just love how Kingsolver's words draw me right into her stories.

Don't forget to register for your chance to win my hand-knit apple sweater. Click HERE for details and good luck!

On Our Menu: November 26 - December 2

Well, hello! Long time, no menu. Let's see if I can get back into the weekly routine of getting these posted.
For Thanksgiving I got to bring the desserts. I made Cranberry Bars, vegan Chocolate-Pecan Pudding Pie, and Apple-Cranberry Crumb Pie (minus the cranberries). All three turned out great and the recipes are going into the SAVE pile for sure. Aren't the Cranberry Bars beautiful?

Here's what I'm cooking this week:

I haven't made up my mind on Friday yet. Normally I throw something in the slow cooker so dinner is ready when I get home from a day of knitting or spinning at the Copper Llama. Do you have any good slow cooker recipes that you would like to share? 
Don't forget to register for your chance to win my hand-knit apple sweater. Click HERE for details.

Kylie Parry Studios Giveaway

My favorite ceramic bead artist is hosting a great giveaway. Stop by Kylie Parry's blog for a chance to win a Birds of a Feather art bead set.

Aren't the bird beads adorable? I have quite a few Kylie Parry necklaces in my regular rotation of jewelry. I love the rustic, nature-inspired designs.

Apple Sweater Giveaway

My Etsy shop, kejeara, is celebrating it's one year anniversary and 100th sale! As a "thank you" I'm giving away an apple sweater that I knit myself. These little sweaters are great for keeping your apple bruise-free while riding in your lunch bag or purse.

To enter, leave a comment on this post and include a link to an item on Etsy that you would like to find under your tree Christmas morning. (No items from my shop, please.) I love to be introduced to new shops and I think this would be a great way to do it.

A winner will be drawn on Saturday, December 1st. 

BONUS - Each purchase from kejeara between now and November 30th will earn you 2 additional entries! 

Thanks for a great year and good luck! 


I recently read Strength and Compassion by Eric Greitens and these two quotes from the book have been running through my head a lot lately. 
"Courage has a hue even deeper than bravery, however, and that is perseverance. It is perseverance that builds. Great things are won and lasting things are built not in a flash of action but in a long, slow, quiet series of everyday acts performed over a lifetime of steady effort." 
"Lives flourish and justice is done by the steady force of human beings who proceed with a quiet, persistent courage." 
The public hearing for the proposed sand mine is tonight. I am anxious and excited to see what happens. We've worked so hard over these past few months. Sometimes it's hard to see how far we've come. Sometimes the fight seems hopeless. But then I look a little closer and see that we are making a difference. We can't stop now. We must persevere.

My 31st Year

I used to think that 31 was old. Now I realize that life is only just beginning. The strange thing is that I still feel so young. Does that stay with you your whole life? 

I had 4 hours of vacation to use up by the end of the month so I decided to take a 1/2 day of work today and have a little fun on my birthday. First I'll hit up the thrift store and see what kind of treasures I can find. Then I'll head over to the Aveda spa for an hour-long massage. I had enough points saved up for a free massage so why not treat myself? My legs are still tight from backpacking last week so I'm looking forward to being loosened up. Then I'll probably fit in a little more free shopping (gift cards!) before picking up Christian from work and going to dinner at a hibachi grill. Yes, it's going to be a great day. 

I have a feeling that my 31st year will bring someBIGchanges. Change can be a little scary but it's good - oh so good.

Meeting a Famous Author - Just a Typical Saturday Morning

Wisconsin author Michael Perry was in Waupaca this morning for a book festival so Christian and I drove through the cold rain and fog early this morning to hear him speak. If you ever have a chance to hear this man speak, go! I wish he would record some audio books because I could listen to him talk forever. I love Perry's books because they are honest accounts of what small town Wisconsin life is like. I picked up his new book Visiting Tom and got it autographed. When I asked for a photo, Michael said with a chuckle, "Sure - but it won't be worth anything!"

I can't wait to dive into Visiting Tom. Check out this book trailer and I bet you'll want to read it too!

Enjoying Autumn

Last weekend we had gorgeous weather for this time of year so we spent as much time outside as we could. We both had off on Friday so we went hiking at Maple Hills Rec Area. We had the trails all to ourselves.

Then on Saturday we did something that was on my to-do list for the year but I honestly didn't think we'd get a chance to do it with how busy we've been. We biked the 26-mile Green Circle Trail which circles around the outer edge of Stevens Point.

Seriously, I can't believe I've lived in Wisconsin my whole life and just found out about this trail this year. What a gem! The trail winds it's way through wooded nature preserves and parks, quiet neighborhoods and along peaceful rivers. With fall colors at almost peak, I was in heaven.

The trail was very well marked and we only had to consult the map once. The above were the only photos I took because I was having such a blast cruising through the trees on my bike. It took us close to 3 hours to bike the circle a…

September Storm

Yesterday evening I had just headed outside to take Buster for a walk when I noticed a storm was approaching. I wasn't in the mood to get wet (and Buster is terrified of thunder) so instead I decided to head up on the silo room roof and watch the storm roll in. The setting sun was shielded by a curtain of falling rain yet the rest of the sky glowed orange. Lightning cracked through the creeping black cloud and we didn't retreat inside until the whoosh of rain racing through the dry cornfields sent us running for cover.

Wednesday Wake-Up

September 19th, 2012 at 6:44AM.

The beautiful skies on my commute into work this morning helped to calm my uneasiness and unrest. Last night our town board voted "NO" to allowing a silica sand mine into our rural area. While the NO vote is wonderful, the fight is anything but over. Our county will now get to make the final decision. While the town voted NO, we as citizens were unrepresented by our board. Our elected officials are supposed to be the voice of the citizens and that is not happening in our town. Not ONCE has a person stood up in favor of this mine. Yet, the town board set conditions that are so lax that it clearly favors the mine and it's operation even though they voted NO. We will keep fighting.

Minnesota Wagon Ride

Last weekend we went to Houston, Minnesota to visit with some of Christian's dad's cousins. What a gorgeous area! Houston is close to the Mississippi River and the farm we visited was nestled in a lush valley surrounded by vibrant forested hills. Some of these relatives were at our wedding but I didn't get a chance to talk to any of them. It was nice to spend a day with them and get to know them a little bit. We visited a local pottery artist, drank honey wine, hunted for antiques in the old farmhouse, brought home some garlic for our garden, cuddled under blankets around a bonfire and took a wagon ride up into the hills.

We can't wait to go back and explore the area some more! We had such a great time.

On Our Menu: September 10 - 16

Some of our garden veggies have come and gone (like sweet corn and zucchini) but we still have plenty of tomatoes and peppers to use in yummy meals. Christian's coworker gave us some eggplant, squash, and tomatoes to use too. I picked our first watermelon last night and it was delicious! What are you eating from your garden?

Here's what's cookin' this week: