Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - Year In Review

2011 was a good GREAT year. Looking back, the husband and I got to see some amazing places and do some amazing things. So, here's an extra-long post about the Kane version of 2011. Let's start with the Grand Canyon...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

We hope you have a great Christmas filled with laughter, love and lots of family. Merry Christmas from the Kane's!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Ugly Sweaters

This year we had our First Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. It was actually the first one I'd been to (ugly sweater party, not Christmas party) so that meant the hubby and I hit up Goodwill and Value Village on a hunt for the most fabulous ugly Christmas sweater.

Unfortunately, most of the ugly Christmas sweaters were gone (we're a little behind), BUT there was no shortage of regular ugly sweaters!

Here's mine. I call it "kitties on my kitties." Haha. I crack myself up (and I don't even like cats).

And here's the hubby's Kwanzaa sweater (It was actually a women's XXXL complete with shoulder pads). Mmmmmmmhmmmmm.

Here's a pic of the whole group (future doctors of America!). And yes, most of the hubby's classmates are girls.

Fun, right?! Did you guys attend any ugly sweater parties? Any other fun themed Christmas parties? I hope you all had a festive and fun Christmas party season!

Friday, December 16, 2011

DIY: Pom Poms

I guess I'm just in a crafty mood these days. Christmas will do that to you. This year I'm kinda obsessed with pom poms. They are just so cute! And since we have a lot of extra yarn laying around, it just makes sense that we use up some of our leftovers (saving some bones, woot!). I'm using them as ornaments, to wrap presents, and as other random decoration around the house. 

I found this tutorial last week (also one of my new favorite blog reads), and realized how easy it was to make the little pom poms. First, grab some yarn in a pretty color (or an ugly color, if that's what you're in to). I chose some pink, white, and gray for the ornaments I made.

Then start wrapping the yarn around 3 or 4 of your fingers (I think 3 is the best size). You can wrap as much or as little as you want, but the bigger, the better in my opinion. That way you get some nice fat little poms. 

Cut off an extra piece of yarn (leave enough length to tie a knot and if you are making an ornament, enough to hang on the tree). Notice the handle of the scissors... Buster got to them (of course).

Next, take your scissors and start cutting the little loops on either side. Once you're done cutting, you can shape the pom how you want to make it more even.

If it's still looking a little scruffy, you can start trimming so it's all round and perfect and pom-my. 

I gave these to my two friends, Kim and Shan, for our ornament exchange this year. Like I said, kind of  obsessed. 

Have you made any ornaments this year? Obsessed with poms like me? :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hobo Mittens

Apparently, the actual term is fingerless mitts, not hobo mittens, but I prefer the latter. It just makes more sense. The hubby and I (yes, you heard me) have been on a knitting binge recently. The hubby actually taught me how to knit (awesome, right?). It's nice to have something to do while we're I'm watching all those cheesy lifetime Christmas movies. ;) 

My first project was a scarf for BBoy, just to get back in to knitting and re-learn the whole knit/purl thing. It was far from my masterpiece.

Next up, I wanted to try the circular knitting thing, so I decided to make Z a stocking for Christmas. However, I made it way to big and got bored of going around in circles. Thus, another scarf for BBoy. It turned out to be the perfect little puppy hipster scarf.

Enough practicing. I was ready for the big leagues. Time to get serious and make some hobo mittens. I found this pattern and got started. 

It was easy enough... mostly just knitting in the round (I used the four needle approach instead of the connected needles) and a few tricky slips and purls. But, I actually finished them! And they are pretty rockin'. I used smaller needles than I should have, so they are pretty tight (and that's after adding 6 stitches), so I would definitely use the right size needle next time. Overall, they are really warm and cozy and I love them. 

Have you done any knitting lately? Crocheting? (Is it just me, or does that word look like it's spelled funny?) 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

Well, we didn't make it to Leavenworth this weekend (boo-hoo). I know, I know, all that hype and no results. Lame. I wasn't feeling very good on Saturday... huge migraine and all that, so we postponed our little day trip until next weekend (weather permitting). 

We did have a great time at my work Christmas party! I even got a new dress and got all gussied up (that's right, I said gussied up). Then we had a little Friends-mas celebration last night. So much fun to celebrate with friends for the holidays!

Anyways, let's get down to business. I made some gingerbread cookies this weekend. It was my first time making them (it's been my goal to try new recipes lately) and they turned out great. I even made them into cute little gingerbread men (and women)! They were very chewy and delicious. Although, I didn't add any gum drop buttons (not my gum drop buttons! - name the movie... Go!) Here's the recipe (found from Martha, here):

// 350 degrees // 10-18 minutes // makes 36 //

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (I used sweet cream butter)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg
Sprinkles! Lots and lots of sprinkles!

1. Whisk together dry ingredients (all but the brown sugar) in a separate bowl.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar until smooth.
3. Add molasses and egg.
4. Mix in dry mixture on low. 
5. Put dough in plastic wrap (make sure to put some flour down first) and form into 8-inch .
6. Chill in fridge for 1-2 hours (I only chilled for one hour and they were fine).
7. Roll out dough with rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thick and then freeze for 20 minutes (I only put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes and they still baked well).
8. Cut out with a cookie cutter of your choice.
9. Bake at 350 for 10-18 minutes (depending on cookie size - the bigger the cookie, the more time you need). I baked for about 10 minutes since my gingerbread men (and women) were not too big. 


Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Weekend!

What are you guys up to this weekend? We have my work Christmas party tonight, and tomorrow we are heading to Leavenworth for the day! Leavenworth is this cute little Bavarian town nestled in the Cascades and luckily, is just a couple hours' drive from us. We're taking the BBoy and I'm totally excited. Like little-kid-waiting-in-line-to-meet-Santa excited. 

Have a great weekend! 

P.S. Only 16 days til Christmas!!!

(find images here and here)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY: Yarn Letters

I've wanted to do this project for months. Finally, it is complete. My inspiration came from Pinterest, naturally (Seriously addicted... if you're not on it, shame on you. Let me know if you need an invite!). 

I think this was one of the one of the first things I actually pinned. Looking back, I should have probably used a different color yarn (I just used a dark gray), but I do like how they turned out. It still gives the texture I was looking for, but in a more subtle way. 

What you'll need:
Yarn (I used one skeen for both letters)
Cardboard letters (I picked these up at Michaels or JoAnns a while back - I can't remember how much they cost)
Felt (I used about 3 - 8.5 x 11 inch sheets)
Glue gun

A word of advice... don't let your puppy get anywhere near the cardboard letters.

First step is to glue the felt so that it covers the cardboard letter. This will help the yarn stay in place. Believe me on this one, I tried to just wrap the yarn on the letter without the felt and failed miserably. You need the felt. It provides a somewhat textured surface for the yarn to stick to. 

Make sure to pull the felt tight and cover all edges of the letters.

Once you've got the felt on there, the next (and longest) step is to start wrapping. Depending on the letter you use, you might have to use your glue gun to get some of the weird angles to stick (on some steep edges the felt won't do it alone). I just made sure they were in the back, or at least wouldn't show.

Make sure you wrap the yarn so it covers all edges and then you are done!

The worst parts were the middle part of the M and the corners of the Z. Tough to get it to wrap smoothly, but since I had the same color of felt underneath, I didn't have to be perfect. 

I ended up putting the letters in our bedroom. The ampersand (which I'm  obsessed with) is from Anthropologie and I really like how  it all turned out!

I'm kind of obsessed with monograms. What about you? We used monograms at our wedding, we have monogram ornaments on our tree. Any chance I have to use letters or type, I do! Are you guys a fan?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY: Anthropologie Inspired Snow Globes

I saw the snow globes at Anthropologie this year and loved them (but not for $18 a pop). True, they are not real snow globes (no water needed!), but they still get the job done. Look at how cute they are! Here's my inspiration (from here).

What you'll need:
Mason jar
Christmas trees - various sizes (I bought a variety pack of the Lemax Christmas village trees)
Fake snow
Glue gun

First, take off the lid of the mason jar and pick your tree. 

Glue the tree to the lid of the jar - make sure that you are gluing it to the inside of the lid!

Let it dry for a while. Luckily, hot glue dries pretty fast. 

Fill up your jar with fake snow. You don't need much (trust me on this one)...

Put the lid back together and stuff as much snow as you can in there (so you're still able to close and twist on the lid with the jar). And yes, I just switched jar sizes on you mid-tutorial. And I'm going to switch again (this was a learn-as-you-go project).

Now here's the tricky part (it might get messy). Flip the lid with the trees into the jar. See? I switched on you again. Can you keep up? :) Screw on the top and there you have it! No water needed and you have your own little festive snow globe. Note: Don't put as much snow in the jar as I did below - this was the only picture I could find of this part.

Aren't they charming? I love how they turned out. Classic and simple.

And these would be perfect as gifts! My plan is to make a third smaller one if I can find a tiny little mason jar. And another cute tree. 

Here's the cost breakdown:

Mason Jars - about $1-3 (depending on the size)
Fake snow - $3.49 for a bag
Trees - $20 for a bag full (on sale 60% off though, so only $10ish!)
Total per jar - about $3-3.50! Booyah! 

Are you making any Christmas gifts this year? Or doing any cute Christmas crafts? I'd love to see what you guys have done!


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