Friday, February 27, 2009

Book #10: Kushiel's Dart

Oh my, how I love this book!! You may recall that I got this book as part of my V-day swap gift! A long 901 pages, but I can't believe how fast I read it. So this book is a winner in so many ways. As I've mentioned numerous times, I love fantasy novels and even sci-fi ones. I've heard from so many people that Dune is the ultimate and I must read it. Well, I tried and it is not for me. Why? Politics....boring! I couldn't get through the politics! Oddly enough, Kushiel's Dart is all kinds of politics, constantly! But it is handled so well, with just enough intrigue to keep you guessing and wanting to know what's next! Add in there a few star-crossed lovers and some mythos...VOILA, success!! I <3>

And, this totally will not ruin anything for anyone that would be interested in this book. But, Abby, I almost died when Joscelin was going to perform the 'terminus' AGH! Thanks again for the book!!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!!
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I'm from the Deep South and grew up in the New Orleans area. So, even though I'm in Beantown now, I think today should be a holiday! Mardi gras is best spent with friend, family, a good drink, and lots of good food! Combine all that with a lawn chair on a parade route, and WOW, what a great time you can have!!

But alas, in New England today is just another day. Fortunately my in-laws surprised my husband and I was a surprise delivery of a King Cake from Diane Randazzo's bakery which is located in my hometown!! Combined with a cup (or two, but who's counting?) of my New Orleans blend coffee and chickory, I'm a happy girl. Really stuffed from eating WAY too much King Cake, but happy :)

it is timely I guess that I debut my completed LSU colored snuggle blanket for my cousin's baby shower. We now know this baby will be a girl, so I'm thinking of making a cute bonnet and/or booties in the purple and gold also. She will be decked out on gamedays!!

As, a special note for Abby, thank you for the new obsession. I'm on page 599, I want a tattoo of my own design inspired by Phedre's marque, and I 'in love' with Joscelin, in a way that I have not appreciated pale skin and pure blondie hair since......hmmm................

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gorgeus bookmark!!

This week I got another present in the mail, this one from Nicolle, aka kikibowns on Ravelry. This was part of a bookmark swap on Ravelry for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks group. She made me a beautiful felted bookmark titled "Fire Flowers"
This bookmark really is a work of art and I am just blown away to receive such a gorgeus token of literary love! This spunky lady rocks it and I've long admired her fiberart work. I'm so thrilled she was my partner in this swap that I'm giving her a shout-out! First off, you should definitely visit her blog, which like every good blog, chronicles her adventures in knitting and life. I have to just say that generally I have come to love blogs. I always get inspiration for different projects (crafty and otherwise) from my bloggy friends, and her blog is no different.
Second, you must check out her Etsy store. When I first saw her store a month or so ago was when I decided that she is truly a fiber artist in my eyes. Felting is somewhat intimidating, at least to me. I worry about the size and how much will this fiber felt, etc etc and shy away from lots of felting projects because they are just plain daunting. But I LOVE her felted & appliqued handbags! These rock and I plan to own one someday.
So, all that being said, I'm showing off the bookmarks I made for my partner (below; still a secret because I don't think she's gotten them yet). I made a few because I was just having fun playing. The two left ones are made from card stock, with rub-on graphics and yarny tassels. The right one is a fabric tab I found and sewed to a piece of felt for backing. Then, again, a yarn tassel. I hope my partner likes them and enjoys using them this year for her reading challenge!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Help me resist!

This is all about convincing myself....I don't need more yarn. I may want more yarn, but I don't need it. And when the Phat Fiber sample box of the month goes on sale in 6 minutes, I don't need any of those bunches of samples of luxury yarns, hand lotion, patterns, etc for $33 (including shipping!). And I certainly don't need the batts of roving since I don't spin....though I'd love to try spinning. But with a new house and move so near in my future who has the time. There will be other months with awesome sample boxes. I don't need to order this one. Besides I ordered yummy bamboo yarn on Ebay yesterday so that is my splurge of the week. If I type for 5 more minutes, the sale will be on and well on its way to over.
My new commuter bag came in today. It's awesome! I put all my stuff in it and there's still so much room. I think I'm in love with it!! That was another splurge, although one that was very much needed. Unlike the yarn, which I don't need. Cause I have lots of yarn.
Ok, 2 more minutes. I mean, I can watch right? Just cuz I watch the Etsy shop, doesn't mean I'm going to buy anything. It's like window shopping. I'm good at that.

I think the crisis has been averted. I have talked myself out of it. I'll look, but no buying. I already have yummy yarn waiting to become beautiful things. I'm good. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The recent source of my excitement and insanity!!

We are buying a house! I haven't announced this yet because I was waiting for all the logistics to play out. Getting the home loan was even more fun and exciting than I expected it to be (detect major sarcasm, please!), but we finally got approved last week. The home inspection went well and the sellers agreed to all the maintenance requests we had, so I just couldn't be happier. So here she is, our 1.5 story 1947 Cape Cod style 1192 sq ft home-to-be:

We took this picture at the open house:

And this is the picture from the weblisting of the house minus snow:
Obviously we could use some curb appeal, so I've already bought a landscaping book. The monster bushes hiding the house have to go!

So, consider yourself forewarned! There will likely be many home decor and renovation blog posts in my future! We close on March 31, so you have until then to prepare yourself! But not really, since I'm already obsessing about paint colors, furniture placement.....I'm ready to move now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Bag Tag good friend Kim tagged me in her "Bag Tag" so here goes:

Here are the rules for the tag:
1. Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying as of late. No, you cannot go up to your closet and pull out that cute little purse you used back before you had kids. I want to know what you carried today or the last time you left the house. No cheating!

2. I want to know how much it costs =). And this is not to judge. It is for entertainment purposes only. So, spill it. And, if there is a story to go along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it.

3. Tag some chicks. And link back to this post so people know what the heck you're showing everyone your bag.

KellieBelle's Bag:

Well, not surprising to those who know me, I'm just flat out breaking the rules on this. I can't find the cord to my camera, so no picture downloads for the time being. But, I will tell you about my bag and then show you the fab new bag that will be delievered to me any day now.

First, I have always carried a purse, like since Jr. High. I have lots of bags because I like to have options, but tend to stick with one for a while, then change out. Lately, instead of a 'purse' I have what I like to call, the "everything commuter bag" because, let's face it, if you commute to work and are gone 12 hours a day like me, you need a drug store, grocery store, and recreational material all in your bag!! So, right now the commuter bag is a zipper top tote bag. It was a gift, so it was FREE! Right now in it is:
  • bag of meds: pepto-bismol tablets, ibuprophen, Kleenex, Emergen-C Immune Defense drink mix, nail file, allergy meds, contact lens drops, Shout wipe, band-aids, chapstick, and what I like to call my "girly stuff" for that time of the month

  • small cosmetic bag with powder, blush, & a couple lipsticks

  • Moleskine city book of Boston-complete with maps, bus and train schedules

  • my gloves

  • cell phone

  • keys

  • mega-wallet: my large wallet, which can double as a wristlet purse if I go our for lunch

  • book and magazine

  • notes from work (cause I'm doing some work from home this weekend)

  • Work ID and key

  • bottle of water

  • and usually during the week I have a lunch bag and south beach snack bar for the train ride home

Now I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect everything commuter bag, because while the size of the tote bag is perfect, the organiztions is a mess. I mean, think of all that stuff up there being in a tote bag when I need my keys....which inevitably fall to the bottom everytime. It drives me crazy! So last week I ordered this little beauty (in eggplant, cause I'm on a purple kick!) from eBags. To appreciate, you really have to click on the link and check out the pictures of the inside!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Book 9

Another one bites the dust!

A super quick and fun read!! Book 9 was:
What a great story about a cancer survivor who opens her own yarn shop in an effort to 'reaffirm' her life and do something she loves. The story revolves around her, her relationship with her sister, and her growing friendship with the 3 women who join her knitting class. All the women are wildly different, but become friends anyway.
I love reading. I love knitting. It's not a big surprise that I love this heartwarming book.
I also love that the author has her own website including an online knitting club. COOL!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Caffeine Addicts V-day swap!!

So, on Ravelery and the Knot/Nest and other such groups we occasionally do gift swaps. It's all about the joy of giving and the surprise of receiving a thoughtful gift and making new friends. I love swapping because I learn something new or discover new obsessions everytime. Well this swap is no let down! The Caffeine Addicts group on Ravelry did a Valentine's themed swap. After filling out a brief survey our names got thrown in a hat and randomly distributed. The secret of not knowing who has your name is half the fun! Well my surprise gift arrived last night and I wasted no time digging in to discover the goodies! And let me just say, my swapper did such a great job putting together this package for me and included little notes with everything!! Here is a run down of the goodies:

  • the coffee: well, can't have a caffeine swap without the coffee! I received some illy espresso coffe and some Caribou Decaf blend (because my sneaky swapper noticed in another post that I've been looking for a 'good' decaf. Due to health issues, I'm supposed to limit my caffeine intake)
  • Chocolate: awesome good dark chocolate. One bar is half fact I'm munching on it now and it's SO GOOD! I love that for V-day the wrappers have a love poem printed inside them, so cute.
  • Yarn: sigh, oh the soft squishiness. I got a skein of hand-dyed Plymouth Baby Alpaca in a gorgeus colorway, full of jeweltones! My partner also spied on Ravelry that I have not yet attempted a lace project, but want to really badly, so she sent me a hank of Malabrigo lace weight in Holly Hock, a gorgeus purple! I love it! My first Malabrigo!! I have the yarn sitting on my desk while I peruse patterns online looking for 'the one' for each yarn, then I pet the yarn, then I hold it to my cheek. We're bonding, this yarn and I. Yea, my husband thinks I'm nuts, but the yarn-o-holics out there understand.
  • Kushiel's Dart: YAY for a new book! This will definitely be on my reading list for my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. It's a fantasy novel, so it's right up my alley!
  • Apple body cream and Vanilla lip balm: Yum, no further explanation needed.

Thank you SO MUCH to my swap partner! You're the best! I absolutely love everything :) and if this really is a package of all your favorite things....well we're bound to be great friends!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Book #8

Wow, now this was a COOL book! What an unexpected find. I got this book on a whim one night in Barnes and Noble as my hubby was adding to his Terry Pratchett collection. I was perusing the fantasy books and picked this one up. It's another of my favorite type that combines a little fantasy and a little romance to give you a great novel. However, this one was quite unexpected because it actually has some great historical references too! The basic synopsis is that two Guardians (basically a Scottish witch and a mage of varied descent) have intertwined destinies that revolve around their role in abolition. That's where the historical part comes in. They time travel, combining their magical powers with those of others to protect those involved in the anti-slavery movement in London during critical times of abolition. Many of the people they encounter along the way are historical figures, so I was definitely exposed to some aspects of history that I hadn't known of. I think this is FABULOUS!! Maybe it's because I'm a scientist and between 4 years of college and 6 years of grad school....I had 10 long years of serious reading. Now I hate to read anything serious. So, not to look anti-intellectual (yea, I just made up that word) or anything, but I will grab a smutty romance or a fantasy novel light years before I'll grab a biography or historical account. Sorry, just the way I am.

But this little beauty brought me some education while entertaining me, I like it!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recipe Card Resource

I love to look on-line for great recipes! I am also in a recipe swap group on Ravelry, where we swap recipes every month and each month the theme changes. I quickly decided that writing our recipes......well, it's tiring. Yep, I'm a wimp. Trying to fit my fluffy bubbly writing on a 3 x 5 recipe card with tiny lines, it's just plain HARD! So I've been looking online for templates that are free, can be filled in and printed. I just have to share the COOLEST little website I have come across!! It's an online demo of a program that you can subscribe to. Now, if I was a pro, I might actually cough up the bucks and do that, but being my amateur and too busy to cook more than once or twice a week self, the freebie version is just fine! Here's a couple of cards I just made. Once you make enter them in, you just print, cut and voila, recipe card! I didn't think of it this time, but next time I'll definitely print on cardstock!!

mmmm, hot pretzels....

I love honey, so I HAVE to try this recipe from my friend Ashley's blog:

Perhaps sad, but this is the biggest excitement of my Saturday! Enjoy and let me know if you know of other templates out there!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Book #7

So...I joined a reading group of the goal of reading "52 Books in 52 Weeks." Now, I may eat these words later, but I don't think this will be a big deal for me. I read everyday during my commute to work, so that's 1-1.5 hours reading time automatically built into my day! So, I just finished Book #7, Hot Stuff!

WARNING! I like to post the cover of the books I write about. It kinda helps me keep it all straight because I'm a very visual person. So, be forewarned, if you Google Image search for 'hot stuff'.......well, you're going to see some......interesting stuff. Lesson learned, include the author name in the search.

So this was a super quick read and was a fun little book. I want to bump into "Mr. Yummy" myself (read and you'll find out why!). And while I want a puppy SO badly, I don't think I want a 'Beast!'

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blog Revamp....

I'm consolidating....simplifying...whatever you want to call it. I love projects, I'm a self-proclaimed project-o-holic. I started a 2nd blog for a reading group I'm participating in (yep, there's a new project for you), but, let's be real. I have a hard time keeping up with one blog, myspace and facebook. Why on earth did I think a 2nd blog was a good idea?! So I'm revamping 'KellieBelle Knits' to the new KellieBelle Karma. The address will stay the same, but the new title reflects my state of life should be simple, uncomplicated, then maybe I can keep up with it. Of course I'll still have lots of knitting news (let's hope!), but also book updates, cooking, other crafting, etc. It should be exciting!