Jan 152016
 

I found this Puppy Chow Popcorn recipe posted on My Happy Place and knew I just had to try it. Everyone seems to love Puppy Chow and I was planning on making caramel corn and cinnamon popcorn this Christmas, so I figured while I was making… why not?

I added slightly more of everything versus the recipe, so I thought a repost was in order.

Enjoy!

Puppy Chow Popcorn
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Ingredients
  1. 12 cups popped popcorn
  2. 2/3 cups creamy peanut butter
  3. 2/3 cups chocolate chips
  4. 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. If using an air popper to make popcorn; 1/4 cup of unpopped kernels should make about 12 cups popped popcorn.
  2. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in a small bowl. Start with 15 seconds. Stir. Keep heating in 10 second increments and stirring until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of times. Make sure not to overheat or it will turn lumpy and bitter-tasting.
  3. In a large bowl, pour chocolate mixture over the popcorn. Mix well, trying to coat as much of the popcorn with the chocolate mixture as possible.
  4. Add powdered sugar and toss until everything is evenly coated. I usually add half the powdered sugar and toss, then add the rest and toss. I seem to make less of a mess that way.
Adapted from My Happy Place
Adapted from My Happy Place
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

PuppyChowPopcorn02

Jan 032016
 

Starting off 2016 sick sucks, but I refuse to take it as a bad omen. Instead, I choose to think my “Christmas cold” has changed to New Year’s flu and I’m alright with that. I’ll take the body aches and fever over a head cold anyway. I’d rather be well on Christmas and not get anyone sick or miss out on the fun. After all, if I was sick on Christmas this year, I would have missed this…

Zander Xmas Bow 2015 - Picture by Sandy

Picture by Sandy

I decided to go ahead a make a New Year’s resolution this year, but it’s the vaguest resolution I’ve made to date. I resolve to do more. Do more things I need to do, more things I want to do and more things I love to do. That means more writing, more blogging, more photography, more reorganizing the house, more gardening, more yard work, more exercise… just more of everything.

To do more, that means I have to do less of a few things. Less time wasting, less eating, less (fewer) distractions. Like many people, I distract myself with Facebook and other social media. YouTube can take hours from my day.  All forms of procrastination I engage in, I aim to identify and aim to do less.

I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to in 2015, but pushing myself to accomplish a long list of objectives won’t work. If I focus on doing certain things more and certain things less, I think I can accomplish a great deal without the pressure.

So, how about you? Any resolutions for 2016? 

Dec 212015
 

I’d never mixed white almond bark and peanut butter before, so I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. It was amazingly wonderful. Easy, sweet, salty and crunchy! And toffee. I love toffee.

I’m thinking about playing around with the recipe some more and seeing what I can do to make it look a little more “Christmasy” next time. It tastes great, but looks a little bland.

I’ll be making this again this year, but I have to make it at the last minute and give it all away so I don’t eat it all myself.

Christmas Crunch
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound white almond bark
  2. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 4 1/2 cups broken pretzel pieces
  5. 1/2 cup toffee pieces
Instructions
  1. In double boiler (or in microwave), melt almond bark. Remove from heat.
  2. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add broken pretzels and mix until all pretzels are coated.
  4. Spread on foil covered cookie sheet. Should be thin so it's easier to break later.
  5. Sprinkle with toffee and smooth with spatula.
  6. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to harden.
  7. Break into pieces and enjoy!
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Christmas-Crunch02

Nov 292014
 

Twisted Chain Bracelet

This was the first twisted chain piece I made. I gave it to my daughter along with the Twisted Chain Necklace for Christmas 2013.

Like the Twisted Chain Necklace, this bracelet was made from 8mm jump rings in a twisting pattern. It’s a little easier to see here than in the necklace picture.

I really enjoy making the twisted chain pieces and hope to make myself some in the year to come.

Nov 262014
 

The first project where I combined jewelry making and crochet. I made these for my daughter for Christmas 2013 to match the Twisted Chain Necklace.

These are very fast and easy to make. Just single crochet twice, then add a 8mm jump ring, single crochet around the jump ring and repeat. I finished it with a bead tip to hide the thread. You can choose to single crochet as many times between jump rings as you like to get the look you want.

Crochet Jump Ring Earring

Nov 252014
 

Twisted Chain Necklace

I made this necklace for my daughter for Christmas 2013. Made from aluminum jump rings with a lobster claw clasp in a twisting pattern.

I was upset when my jump ring order came in because the red jump rings were actually hot pink. I made it anyway and hoped she would still like it.

It was difficult to get the twist to show up right in the picture, so I hope the pattern comes through. The jump rings tried to stack on top of each other instead of keeping their twisted shape when I put it down.

One of the days, I need to invest in a necklace display for taking pictures if I’m going to keep doing this.

Nov 212014
 

I was looking for something different to do for my mother-in-law for Christmas 2013 and ran across this pattern. She loves butterflies, so I thought this would be perfect.

I found the pattern at Bead & Button for anyone interested in making this bracelet. I still have the purple one and hope to find it a home someday.

I had a hard time getting decent pictures. The beads are silver lined and my camera didn’t like the shine. Did the best I could. I’ve learned more photography tricks since I took these pictures, so hopefully I’ll get better pictures the next time I make this pattern.

Nov 192014
 

Be forewarned, this story is on the risque side.

About 15 years ago or so, I was wandering around a major department store looking for some last minute Christmas presents for my daughter when I heard two people speaking very loudly from a few isles over.

“Where’s the KY?” a female voice asked.

“What’s KY?” a male voice almost shouted.

“It’s that jelly stuff. You know what it is.”

“What do you need that for?”

I couldn’t hear the response and I was in a hurry, so I went about my business. A few minutes later, I heard the voices again a few isles away.

“Well, our sex life would be better if you were more kinky.” The female sounded annoyed.

“I’m not wearing those leather pants! They chafe!”

Their conversation kept getting louder and more direct. I heard complaints about size, sagging and the last time they tried some toys I won’t mention. I saw people heading in their direction and people with kids moving quickly away from them. Laughter erupted from nearby, but the sex talkers didn’t seem to notice. I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to see these people shouting about their sex life in the middle of a store.

When I found the isle all the commotion was coming from, there were people standing on both sides of the isle. Some were pretending to look at items on the shelf and others were whispering to each other and giggling or outright laughing. In the middle of it all was an elderly couple, completely oblivious to the scene they were causing.

The man was using a walker to get around. The woman looked like the sweet old grandma that everyone loves to visit and always has cookies. Her silver hair was piled in a large bun atop her head and her dress looked freshly pressed. Not at all the image I expected to see when I rounded the corner.

My first thought was, “Go Grandma and Grandpa!”

Someone approached them and spoke to them. I assumed that she explained how loud they were being because their loud conversation stopped after that. I saw the man fiddle with his ear. I have a feeling he turned his hearing aid up. You’d think they would be rattled and possibly even leave the store, but they seemed unphased and went back to their shopping albeit more quietly.

I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.

Now, whenever the holiday crowds get me down, I remember these two and smile. They made Christmas shopping every year a little more enjoyable.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Overheard

I tried to find the original story I posted years ago about this incident, but it has apparently been lost to the internet ether. I’ve forgotten most of what they said, but that’s just as well. The details were never important.

Nov 162014
 

It’s already almost Christmas again and I still don’t have all the Christmas 2013 projects posted. Eek!

The original beanie pattern I modified is here.  http://annaheiser.blogspot.com/2011/04/beginner-beanie-pattern.html  Thank you, Anna for the pattern! It worked out well for all three people I made hats for.

I suggest testing the beanie out on your own head as you make it. I had to make it a little bigger than Anna’s pattern to make sure it fit all the big heads around here and a little longer for the men.

 

I made the purple, grey and black beanie for my daughter to match the gypsy shawl, chunky slippers and fingerless gloves. All the yarn was Red Heart Super Saver Economy in Black, Heather and Dark Orchid.

The other two hats were made from Caron Simply Soft in the color Sticks & Stones and Red Heart Super Saver Economy in the color called Fall .

The Sticks & Stones beanie was for my hubby and I made him a scarf to match. I don’t think I’d ever seen him so appreciative. Now he’s begging me to make slippers to match, too! I feel appreciated.

The Fall beanie was for my dad. He’s hard to buy for, so I made him something I hoped he could use. Slightly better than getting underwear or socks, right?

 

Nov 012014
 

This year I have officially lost my mind. I’m attempting to take part in both National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). I may have no hair left come December, but I’m hoping it’s a challenging and rewarding experience. Maybe I’ll make crafts with the hair I lose for Christmas presents!

NaNoWriMo 2014I’ve participated five times and finished NaNoWriMo four times so far. Each experience was different and rewarding. Although I’m not always able to join in the fun, I look forward to each November with zeal and trepidation.

Part of the fun is supporting other writers and watching them meet their goals. Word sprints, cheering each other on, giving and receiving advice, it’s all a valuable experience. Even when I can’t participate or can’t finish, I still enjoy my time spent with other writers struggling to make word count.

My current word count is in the sidebar on the right side of the screen if you’d like to follow my progress.

NaBloPoMo 2014Last year was my first time participating in NaBloPoMo. I met some passionate bloggers and some of the nicest people on the net. I was surprised at how supportive the blogging community could be! So, although I’m doing NaNoWriMo, I didn’t want to give up NaBloPoMo. I’m excited to see what amazing things people post this year and hopefully make a few new blogging friends along the way.

I just might be insane, but it’s going to be an interesting November!

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