Friday Things #408
1. Both of the boys were so excited to pick up their bag of Valentines from their classmates last week; Joseph especially was particularly smitten with a couple of his 😉😍
2. Dominic is a quiet learner and is constantly surprising us with what he knows and can do. I love watching him get excited when he masters something new or is totally excited to answer the teacher’s questions during school.
3. Isabelle is now talking with her hands in the most adorable way. It reminds me a little bit of Joseph, but the way she does it is definitely unique to her; she cups her hands, holds her arms out, and motions around while talking. I could just eat her up!
4. AND she is officially registered for preschool in the fall and my goodness, where has the time gone?! I feel like she was a baby for only a blink; they get so big so fast!
5. Have you made or bought any hot chocolate bombs? I’ve seen them all over social media, but haven’t had them. Wondering if they’re worthy of the hype??
6. If it’s cold where you are this weekend, whip up a batch of my father-in-law’s famous meat sauce. I always have some in my freezer!
7. I managed to crochet the three blocks I received this month from Annie’s pretty quickly, so while I wait for my next batch to arrive, I’ve started trying to learn how to knit, eek! After only crocheting my entire life, knitting felt so clumsy and it took me many, many, MANY tutorial videos and starting from scratch again and again, but I finally got the hang of a cast on and the knit stitch! I had ordered a “learn to knit” kit from Purl Soho years ago; it included needles, two skeins of yarn, some basic stitch instructions, and a simple pattern for a scarf. I finally opened it up and am working on it in between my crochet blanket project.
8. Love some of these tips >> How to Read More Books
9. We watched the last season of Vikings this past week, and it went so fast! Then we saw that there is going to be a spinoff coming to Netflix, excited for that! We’re now watching X Company on Hulu; it’s was originally on CBC in Canada and is about agents in Europe during WWII. Very good so far!
10. TGIF! I love our post-bedtime couch snuggles :)
Hey Mel….I ATEMPTED to make cocoa bombs.. lol…I used cupcake liners. My grandchildren like them ..someone said they was selling for $4.00….😂😂 Thanks for precious pics of children….enjoy your day….I certainly enjoy your recipes. Keep up the good work. .
Love your website, recipes and family.
Was interested to read you are learning to knit. I have knit all my life, but can barely crochet. I would love to make Bears Blanket, but feel I need more basic skills first. Any suggestions for on line crochet instructions?
Also for your information, the website and products from Knit Picks are great. I live in Australia, but have bought wool from them in the US – take a look!
On knitting vs crocheting: My grandmother taught me what I now know is the “double crochet stitch” in high school but I never learned to read a pattern. Had a lady at church teach a course on knitting and she taught us to read a basic pattern and I never looked back! There are definitely different ways to hold the yarn when knitting though and how you do it makes a difference. I hold the yarn in my right hand and when I tried switching to my left to please a girlfriend I ended up knitting my sock inside out! Knitting with the yarn in your left hand is often called European Style and people swear it’s much faster than the American style of knitting with the yarn in your right. I think there’s even differences in European style but I haven’t figured that out yet.
If you don’t want to order a kit, you can always check out Ravelry.com. It’s free to make an account and you can find patterns for almost anything there, knit or crochet. Some are free and some cost, depends on the pattern designer. Then you pick out your own yarn, use your needles and go for it. Ravelry is nice because you can see if others have made the pattern and they’ll often make notes about it. I’d suggest picking yarn made of natural fibers because then your project will look good for longer. Acrylic, polyester, and the like don’t wear well year to year, but I have a wool shawl I made almost 6 years ago and you can’t tell how much it’s been loved! Which needles you use is a hot topic among yarn enthusiasts, I use bamboo and will never switch to that slippery aluminum some like so well. There’s also wood needles out there now. Bamboo and wood “grip” the yarn, so it’s less likely to slide off the needle as you knit.
Also, if you buy your own yarn, check out a local yarn shop (LYS) if at all possible. Purl Soho in NY is a nice looking one, Modern Daily Knitting in Nashville, TN is another, and the Rose City Yarn Crawl website for Portland, OR has some of the LYS’s listed (those participating in that years crawl). While YouTube is a great resource for learning things, connecting with a LYS in your area is a great resource for good yarn and in person connections when YouTube doesn’t cut it. It was actually a LYS shop who showed me how amazing Ravelry is. I was able to look up a yarn and see what others had used it to make – incredible for ideas!
On hot chocolate bombs: I keep seeing them all over social media and they look so fun to use but I haven’t purchased any to try them out myself. I do agree that kids would think they are amazing to watch them in the mug. I know I would have thought a hot chocolate bomb was surely magic as a kid!
I love reading about what you’re watching and people’s suggestions when you’re looking for something new. I watch TV while I knit so I’m always on the hunt for a new show!
We purchased a travel trailer last year; loved Vikings so much that I named her L@gertha (she’s a T@B 400…hence the “at” sign). I got some crow decals that I am going to adorn her with :P
I JUST saw hot chocolate bombs at Target on Monday that were left over from Valentine’s Day…had never seen them before. Now I want to make them!!!
I have knitted and crochet since I was a child but now find that my hands get a little stiff. I am thinking I need to give the European style of knitting a try to see if that helps…
I don’t really like hot chocolate. (Isn’t that weird. As I like chocolate in any other form). But those hot choc bombs are awesome to see ESPECIALLY for kids.
Love how each of your children has their own special gifts. They’re each beautiful.
Your stitches look great! Much better than mine did when I was first learning, haha. How did you like the Annie’s Crochet Kit? Is the yarn nice? I keep looking at the Moroccan one and thinking about ordering it!
Aw, thank you Kelly! I think the yarn is lovely! I was worried because there’s nothing worse that scratchy yarn! But it’s super soft, I’m very happy with it! So far I’ve only received the first three blocks… the first one was all single crochet, the second one was all double crochet, and then the third incorporated the v-stitch and shell stitch. So far I’m very happy with it in general!
My daughter made hot cocoa bombs at Christmas. They were delicious! She also learned how to dehydrate marshmallows because, if you’re going to have the bombs around very long, they need to be dehydrated so as not to make a soggy mess in them. I didn’t have one where she did that as she knew they would be used quickly.
My friend made white chocolate bombs, but she filled them with fruit and then poured a hot fudge sauce over them. Best dessert I have ever had. It was quite a presentation and so incredibly delicious.
That sounds amazing!!
I made some hot cocoa bombs near Xmas time with my 12 yo son. We had fun using different chocolates to get different effects/colors and, of course, sprinkles and candies. Used up some of the candies we had left from gingerbread houses so that was helpful. They turned out great. We gave most away as gifts to neighbors and friends. I bought some nice mugs to go with them for a few people. They were fun and delicious. I’d definitely give it a whirl with the kiddos (I would make the spheres yourself though – you have to get the thickness right or they break).
My daughter sent me this recipe to make for her! 🙂
It looks amazing! I have nit made it yet, but I wondered if you had ever baked it. Thank you! I love your site.
Hi Michele, I’ve actually had this bookmarked for 2 years and haven’t tried it yet! I think you just gave me the nudge I needed :)
GZ made a similar recipe on The Kitchen a few weeks back that looked fab. Here’s the link to the recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/geoffrey-zakarian/ginger-lemon-basque-cheesecake-9819838
Do you have any knitting tutorials to recommend? I’ve also been crocheting since I was a kid and knitting frustrates me. Thanks!
Hi Jill, So far I’ve just been googling and looking on YouTube. I haven’t hung on to any one source, just watching a bunch of videos to try to get the hang of the stitch. It did take me awhile, but I finally got it! But as a life-long crocheter, I agree – it definitely frustrated me at first! But I’m glad I stuck with it, it’s fun to have a new skill!
Try ‘VeryPink’, both web site and videos. She is a wonderful teacher. She even made the herringbone stitch look easy.
Hi Judy, Someone on Instagram recommended her too; I will definitely check her out!! Thanks for sharing!
If you are teaching yourself to knit learn the European knitting you can knit twice as fast I wish that is what I had learned when I was teaching myself to knit now I can’t seem to get the hang of it. Maybe after I retire I can figure it out. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=european+knitting+tutorial&docid=608021319477888202&mid=8F5F48CE5E964A95D03C8F5F48CE5E964A95D03C&view=detail&FORM=VIRE
Oooh the tutorial kit I linked to above does teach the European method, so that’s what I’ve been doing. Didn’t realize there was a timing factor! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Michelle! I make the “Hot Cocoa Bombs” and honestly they are super fun for the kids to see those marshmallows pop up but as far as taste, I feel there is a lot of chocolate going on! Have a great day love your recipes and have been following since the beginning! Much love.
Hi! I was interested in trying the crochet blanket but I’m wondering, what would you start with knitting or crochet? I haven’t done either…it’s a little intimidating. Thoughts? Thanks!
Hi Kristin! This is such a hard question for me because my grandma taught me some basic crochet stitches when I was a kid, so that’s what has always felt “natural” to me. Starting from scratch, if you haven’t done either, maybe grab some yarn, a crochet hook and a set of knitting needles and then try each one out?
If you like to crochet, check out the blog by Attic24. We’re currently doing a crochet-a-long called the Meadow Blanket. Her pictures and instructions are exceptional.
Thank you for the recommendation, will check it out!
The hot chocolate bombs are totally worth it! Your kids will love them! I made them for the first time for Valentine’s Day and they were pretty easy. I used silicon molds from Amazon and filled them with Swiss Miss and mini marshmallows. The trick is to make sure your shells are thick enough around the edges where you join two together so they do not break or crack when you remove them from the molds. To get the two halves to stick together hold one for a few seconds against a hot frying pan to melt the edges and then place on top of the other half. Use Hot milk or water to pour over them so they melt quickly. And a BIG mug is in order. They make a super rich, creamy cup of hot chocolate but watching them melt is the best part! I was actually able to ship several of these to 4 different relatives and none of them broke along the way. I will be making these often in the future.