Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick Baby Gifts

I recently picked up knitting again, and since I had a baby shower coming up for a friend I decided to tackle a baby sweater vest as my first project. I picked up this free crafting sheet at Michael's to try out. My original plan was to make the vest using the 6 month directions, but I accidentally misread the needle size and used the millimeter size rather than the US needle size. But, following the 6 month directions using smaller needles ended up making a newborn size sweater, so it worked out!

Since the newborn vest didn't use as much yarn as the original directions called for, I used the rest to make another (using the correct needle size!) for my cousin's kid as a Christmas present. (Yes, it's already time for holiday planning! Chanukah is extra early this year, starting the night before Thanksgiving, so it's never too early to start planning for gifts.)

Here's a picture of the two finished products, one newborn and one roughly 12 month size:

Living Design: Quick Baby Knitted Vest

The directions were very easy to follow, and it makes a cute and snug little baby vest!


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Experimenting with Slow Cooker Freezer Meals

It's sometimes truly amazing how productive I can be around the house when I'm procrastinating on school work!

This weekend I made my first foray into the world of slow cooker freezer meals. I've been pinning recipes for a while, but hadn't yet gotten the hang of all the pre-preparation. But, with busy tech weeks coming up for my play at school, I decided now was the time to tackle it. It can be hard to keep to a healthy, real food diet when I'm gone from the house for 12+ hours a day for multiple weeks, so planning ahead is absolutely necessary! I'm hoping that with these three meals, each of which uses about 1 lb of chicken, we will be able to eat healthily despite the late nights.

The recipes I chose to try are Apricot Chicken from A Year of Slow Cooking, Thai Peanut Chicken from Practical Stewardship, and Chicken with Kumquat Chutney based on the Barbeque Chicken at Practical Stewardship.

We haven't tried these meals yet, so I'll be back with updates to let you know how we liked each meal!

What are some of your favorite recipes for the slow cooker? Or for busy nights? I'm always interested in new meal ideas!


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