FO: Pointy Elf Hat

I’m still feeling displaced from my yarn after our move. I’ve yet to find a shop that feels like home and my moments with yarn are not as plentiful as they once were. I’m not sure where I saw this hat, but it was on one of the blogs I read. I saw it and went, “Hey, I have that pattern.”  I grabbed the book, dug through my boxes for a yarn of the correct weight, and went for a quick knit.

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It worked up fast on size 13 needles. A mini-marathon of Bob’s Burgers and I had a finished hat. (It took me three days to find my tapestry needle.)

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Rex loves it. He tore it out of my hands as soon as I finished weaving in the ends, so these pictures are pre-blocking.  After a gentle wet blocking, it fits much better.

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The yarn is some of my own handspun. It feels like a merino, but I don’t know for sure since the tag is long gone. If you want more project details, just pop over to Ravelry.

Something Fishy: Fish Fact Sheet

Apologies for the onslaught of fish posts. We’re very excited about our new additions and have been spending a lot of time worrying about their well-being. Our five strawberry rasboras are doing well, especially after the addition of some extra foliage and a tank rearrangement. The current our filter puts out is almost too strong for these diminutive fish, so I’ve been working to correct that. With the addition of a large Amazon Sword and some creative rearranging, they seem to be less tossed around.

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The new arrangement is also serving to hide the necessary electronics (heater and filter) and give the tank a more natural look. (I know the blue rock isn’t natural in the slightest, but I just love it.)  We also picked up some bloodworms to supplement their diet with, as my research indicates they’re micro-predators.

In being true to my nature, I went and got all nerdy by making a fish fact sheet.  As we add to our tanks, I’ll add to the sheets and put them in a binder. My hope is that this tank will not only be great entertainment, but also a portal for education. Want to be a fish nerd, too? Click to download your very own copy of the Boraras naevus fish fact sheet.

 

Something Fishy: The Saga Begins

I wondered, briefly, if this fish tank was actually a good idea. I worried about having a toddler and a 10-gallon glass water balloon in my dining room. And then this happened.

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So, yep, totally a good idea. Rex is enamored with fish tv and I can’t really blame him. So far, our little fishies are starting to develop their personalities.  Three of them stick right together. One is adventurous and bold. And the fifth, well… He’s sort of special. He disappears and wanders off and eventually you see one of the other fish herding him back to the school. Meanwhile, the snail is about halfway in his arduous journey from the lava rock to the wall.

Stay tuned for more Tales from the Tank!

Something Fishy: Getting Our Toes Wet

I love fish tanks. I had a beautiful 10-gallon setup as a teenager and often miss it. The fish tank urges have been strong for months and a few days ago, I finally saw THE tank.  Half price, round front, 10-gallon. It came with the full kit (heater, filter, light) and was very easy to setup. I chose a blue/green mix rock and added two plants (Anubias Congensis and Echinodorus Amazonius) from the box store.

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Today, Rex and I ventured out to The Wet Spot, an enormous fish supply store.  The staff was very helpful and spent a long time helping me decide on the fish for our little ecosystem.  Thanks to the internet, I was able to research modern fish tank practices prior to venturing to a real fish store. In the days of my little 10-gallon, you brought all the fish home, floated the bag for a bit, and then dumped them in. These days, a lot more information is available on proper and humane tank practices. I feel it’s important for Rex to always see animals being treated kindly, and fish are no exception. As tough as it is to wait, we’re following the right steps to keep our fish as comfortable and happy as possible.  This means, introducing one type of fish at a time and being careful how many total creatures we put in our ecosystem.

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We picked up an additional plant (Cabomba Caroliniana) and a moss ball (Cladophora Aegagropila) as well as a lava rock with hidey holes and rounded edges. Besides the flora, we came home with five Strawberry Rasboras (Boraras Naevus).

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These were my second choice, as the green rasboras were under quarantine. But I think they’re almost a better choice. They are less-flashy, but show up with red accents under the light and top out at a length of roughly 1/2″. We purchased five, as rasboras are a schooling fish and require a minimum of three to be happy. The guy helping us was more than happy to also scoop us a little snail.

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In 2-3 weeks, we can add the next fish. We know we want some guppies (male only) as well as shrimp (added at the end). I’m still waivering on adding another type of schooling fish to the mix.  Rex is just loving our new additions and I am too.

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Smoothies: Blueberry Avocado Pineapple

So, we discussed the foray into green smoothies previously. I finally had the courage to venture outside the confines of the Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie to try something new. Bananas and I don’t always get along, and I was feeling a little bunched up (HAH!), if you know what I mean.  So, I pondered and I Pinterested and I was brave. I threw caution to the wind and made up my own recipe. And it was pretty good!  A little tart, but definitely filling and tasty. I can see a squirt of honey helping this smoothie along if you need that extra sweetness.

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Blueberry Avocado Pineapple Green Smoothie

Serves: 1 adult and 3 children (aka it makes a lot)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 – 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions:

Blend spinach and water together first for better texture. Then add remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.

Smoothies: Beginner’s Luck

Ladybean73 of Adrift in Crafts has been doing a lot of green smoothies and poor Liisa has been doing a lot of juicing and smoothies. And green smoothies seem to be all the rage right now. So, through some sort of weird internet osmosis, green smoothies sounded like a good idea one day.  I’m not sure what possessed me to do it, but I finally took the leap and blended up spinach.

And it wasn’t terrible.

It was actually kind of good.

And Rex loved it.

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I started with the Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie off of Simple Green Smoothies.  It is easy and tasty.  I followed the instructions to a T, even blending the spinach and water up first for better texture.  I used frozen mango and pineapple, because that’s what I had on hand.  It came together quickly and hit the spot.

And did I mention that Rex loves this smoothie? Yep. It is toddler approved!  He actually makes this smoothie with me. I wish I had a picture, but I didn’t think to take one. He stands on his chair at the counter, putting in the mangoes and pineapple, one piece at a time. He takes a while, but when he’s finished, he looks to me and says, “Boop dis!” and points to the blender. He loves to push the button and especially enjoys the finished product. These smoothies have been serving as a stop-gap between quiet time and dinner time. They give my little man enough to keep going without ruining his dinner. Often he cries for more when his cup is empty.

Seriously, if you’re thinking of braving that first green smoothie, this is the one to try.