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We are Familia FIG. We are a bi- lingual, blended family. Belalu was diagnosed at 9 months with hypochondroplasia.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A finished Antoinette

I finally have a picture for you of my finished spring sweater. This is Antoinette, from Rowan #39 in Suss cotton yarn. It is definitely bordering on a shurg style, which is very trendy, but I've already worn it a ton. It will get much more wear than its former incarnation, which I think I put on once.

Close up of funky wooden button
Former incarnation as a ho-hum, pseudo-boatneck pullover.

This has been a party weekend. My friends in Winona had a bridal shower for me on Friday night, and my friend Nancy had a huge bash last night at a local bar- the Blackhorse, which has a distinctly Western feel to it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Secret Pal 8

Yesterday I signed up to be a secret pal. This is a fun little on-line activity for knitters and crocheters. You are assigned a secret pal and over a three-and-a-half month period you send them packages, notes, e-cards, etc. It's a fun way to connect with other yarn gods and goddesses out there in bloglandia. You can still sign up until April 30th to get your very own secret pal. Secret Pal 8

And on a sort of random note- I am watching Behind the Bash on Food Network, with my favorite celebrity chef, Giada de Laurentiis. It's some sort of chocolate fashion event, and who was there but Austin Scarlett- from the first season of Project Runway. I loved Austin's creations- they were always gorgeous.

And a BIG shout out to my favorite future doctor, Lisa. She saved our stomachs tonight. I was craving a certain spicy peanut sauce pasta with veggies that we often make for dinner when hanging out together. And she came through with the recipe, since I couldn't find mine. THANKS LIS!

Speaking of cooking and Food Network- don't forget to vote for the next food network star (if you've been following the show, obviously). I'm not telling who I'm voting for. Vote

I leave you with a photo of me and my fav Mainiacs at my bridal shower last month-just don't ask me what my hair is doing here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Confessions of a gym slacker

Just between you and me, my prime motivation for going to the Y on non-yoga days is the hot tub and saunas. I really, really dislike cardio on machines because I find it soooo boring and unlike weight training or yoga, I just don't see results when I do it regularly. With yoga, I can see myself getting stronger, more toned, and flexible. Using the elliptical- well, I just "glow" a little. I absolutely cannot bear more than half an hour on the thing, and that requires heavy doses of entertainment in the meantime.

The past few weeks, I've had meetings or other appointments during my yoga classes, so I've gotten to the Y once a week- that's it. Now, I did hike 5-6 miles on Friday and took Mobi for an hour walk yesterday, but I've still been missing my yoga. So, I decided that I just had to go to the Y today and do something. Anything. Including the elliptical. So, I did, gosh darn it. And I rewarded myself with 10 minutes in the hot tub afterwards. So there.

Monday, April 17, 2006

These past few weeks have been CRAZY. The end of the semester is always full of meetings, receptions, tons of grading…ugh! Two more weeks and it’s over until September, though I’ll have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime.

BIG NEWS: I passed all my written qualifying exams! Now I have to write a 40-page paper, then I’ll have an oral exam about that. This will probably be during the fall semester.

Easter weekend we got far away from Winona and phones and computers and went camping. It was a gorgeous weekend, and since it was early in the season and a holiday weekend, we had the trails all to ourselves. The pop-up belonged to my parents- they generously gave it to us when we were in Maine over spring break. (Thanks again, guys!)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spring is here!

Now that it's April, the buds have appeared on the trees, the birds are singing every morning, the morning maybe cloudy and then the afternoon is full of sun...yup- Spring is here! These tulips were a gift from our dinner guests the other night. We had a wonderful Italian-inspired dinner, with lots of Giada's recipes, like her cheesy rosemary breadsticks, marinated olives, spinach and pine nut pesto, and delicious almond cake for dessert. I also made some roasted cashews based on those served at Union Cafe in New York, which I found in a couple of books, so I figured I had to try them- they were tossed with melted butter, rosemary, sugar, and red papper flakes, and were hard for all of us to resist.
Speaking of cooking... give a warm welcome to our latest addition to the house: my new Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer!! I've been begging Juan for one since I moved to Winona last year, promising better-quality cookies and baked goods. And last weekend, we bought one in honor of my hard work on the qualifying exams. So far, we've used it to make molasses cookies, rolls, brioche loaves, and the almond cake from the other night. I love how you can use it to make dough, and with attachments, ice cream, pasta, juice... all without having more machines in the kitchen.
I am thisclose to finishing my Antoinette sweater. I am actually hoping to have it done by tonight. I have two rows left on the collar, then I have to sew in the sleeves and loose ends, put the button on, and voila!

At first, I had some issues with picking up stiches for the collar, but during our Knit Wits (read: knitting group) meeting the other night, I got some help and am now a pick-up expert. (Well, with knitting anyway ;) So, in honor of my new-found knowledge, here's an up-close shot of the collar attached to the neck opening.

In the coming days, stay tuned for photos from a fabulous family dinner we had over spring break in Maine, a finished Antoinette sweater, and cookbook reviews.