Saturday, February 28, 2009


Cookie & Kiss sent me a Valentine

for me

feet teas
Isn't this the cutest coffee mug?

I do not play for team coffee but give me a fabulous herbal and I am a happy camper. Right now my favorite is Bengal Spice. Ginger and chamomile are favs too.

How about you?
Coffee or tea?
What is mug worthy in your house?
Anything I must try? I have the perfect cup waiting for sipping.

Friday, February 27, 2009

FO = Finished Object

That's knitter's lingo and I have two finished objects done.

My Fake Isle Hat.
Yarns: Cascade 220 in Dark Brown & Noro Kureyon 164
Needles: Size 7 16-inch circulars and dpns (double pointed needles)
Notes: It is a quick pattern. The pattern gives a regular hat a little bit of interest to knit with the easy to follow pattern charts. I love the use of Noro and the striping effect. It is a bit tight through the crown which I am hoping will loosen up a little in the blocking process.

The Puff Daddy

Yarns: Rowan Big Wool in pink and Queensland Collection Soft Comfort Mohair (617)
Needles: 2 size 15 dpns
Clover Pom Pom Maker
Notes: I love this pattern. It is quick (you can do this in an hour or so) and produces one of the cutest scarflettes ever! The pompom is so fabulous. The next time I need a quickie knit for a gift this is the Go To Pattern for me.

This particular Pink Puff Daddy is a donation for Knit for the Cure. Knit for the Cure is collecting donations at LYSs to sell at Race for the Cure this March in Pasadena. Donations are due by Saturday March 7. Call your LYS to find out if they are a donation collection site or check on Knit for the Cure.

It's going to be hard to part with this pink cutey. It's almost like giving up a stuffed animal because it is that adorable and somehow comforting. I hope it brings in a few bucks for the cure and stylish amusement to someone special.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Copy Catter

1. favorite food – Ice Cream
2. hometown – Canoga Park
3. favorite color - Orange
4. celebrity crush – Cary Grant
5. favorite drink - Martini
6. dream vacation – Italy forever
7. favorite dessert – croquembouche
8. what I want to be when I grow up - happy
9. name - Natalie
10. what I love most in the world - Joe
11. one word that describes me - kooky
12. username - woolanthrope

I saw this over at Annika's place today and I just had to play along.

You can too.
Here's how:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search. (My addition: please, please go to Advanced Search and choose Creative Commons images only. Otherwise you are stealing.)
b. Pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into this mosaic maker.

Photo credits:
1. ice cream, 2. Canoga Park Bowl, 3. Orange - Flower, 4. Orange Cary Grant Rose, 5. Martini, 6. Early-morning light on an Italian villa, 7. Croquembouche, 8. Shiny happy people, 9. natalie x natalie, 10. JOE, 11. Kooky., 12. Wool

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Weekend Explorations

This weekend was spent exploring some new places.
chai and coffee
Saturday morning the hubby and I went to the King's Road Cafe. They make a seriously mean cup of coffee and a serious chai latte. Can you see the frothy soy foam on that chai? It was thick and fluffly too. The chai was not too sweet, which is what usually happens when made from a box mix. At other places who make their own chai (not from mix), the chai tends to be flat and lack any sweetness. This was the perfect chai with just a hint of sweetness. The hubby said the coffee was really good and that two cups would probably send the most caffeinated person over the edge of wire.

Breakfast was good. We both had omelettes of different varieties, which were solid in the omelette department. The surprise on the plate were the breakfast potatoes. They were very flavorful and not overcooked and dried out. You know what I mean when you get your breakfast plate and are faced with shriveled up, from laying around under a heat lamp bunch of sad looking potatoes. These were GOOD breakfast potatoes. The complete antithesis of your normal breakfast potatoes. They were my second favorite thing after my chai latte. The restaurant gets very busy, but seem to turn over the tables pretty quickly. It is a great people watching corner. People with dogs or babies or packs of cigarettes enjoying breakfast. Three cyclists, fresh off their tour de France training run, rode up for breakfast too. If you just want to try the cup of coffee they have a walk up, to go counter next door to the restaurant.

Saturday night we got off the couch and headed on down to the World on Wheels. Jenna and Regina scouted out the rink the week before. They had so much fun they were going again. The hubby, our friend Jason and I decided we would visit our childhoods and wheel around the rink. It was FUN!!! I highly recommend that if you have your own skates you should bring them. There are really good skaters at the rink and they have their own tricked out, kitted out skates. Yes I did fall on my butt. Yes it did hurt. In fact the left butt cheek still does. We really did have a great time skating and watching the other skaters.

We worked up a powerful hunger with all that skating.
Guess where we went?
chicken and waffle
That's right. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
Of course I had the chicken and waffle. When at the House of Chicken and Waffles that is what you eat. It is such bad for you but oh so tasty food. The caloric guilt was definitely lessened by the fact that we had rollerskated our booties off. Well, in my case banged my booty off. It was an off the beaten couch kind of night for us. It was an on-the-fly, kooky and decadent night. I love it when that happens.

Sunday, late morning, my friend Darcy came over. We were hungry so we decided to go over to Madame Matisse for breakfast. Darcy went for the waffle with orange syrup. It looked soooo delicious. She didn't leave a crumb behind and her syrupy smiling face beamed YUM! I went for the BBLT. That would be the Brie, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich. This is genius. Who needs avocado when you can have brie? My cheesy smile heartily endorses the BBLT and Madame Matisse. It is located on a little corner in Silverlake, with mostly sidewalk seating, which means more good people watching. Next time I am going to try the waffles!

We were going to go to the Hollywood Farmer's Market, but after our beautiful breakfast at Madame Matisse we decided we were over that idea. Darcy was lacking a knitting project so we headed over to Knitter's Studio on 3rd Street. Even though this is probably the closest yarn store to me I had never been there. The big reason why I hadn't been there is because there is never any parking. It is on a busy street with lots of busy restaurants and you can never, ever find a parking place. The side streets are also difficult to park on as most require a residential permit. The store has a great selection of yarns and the woman working the store was very friendly and helpful. The good time experience all came crashing to a halt at the cash register when the woman said she had to check the prices on the yarn against their new raised prices. WHAT?! How is that good customer service? If you have not changed the prices on the skeins on the floor why should the customer be charged more at the cash register? This is a very unfortunate and bad business practice. Until you change your prices on the skeins displayed, you may have to eat a quarter or two here and there until you do. You do not screw the customer at the cash register. Needless to say I will not be risking a parking ticket again to buy yarn there. So sad. This also happened to my friend Lori who bought yarn there earlier in the week. Luckily there are lots more stores to buy yarn in Los Angeles and it will be worth the drive to experience better customer service, prices and ease of parking.

Darcy and I didn't let that stop us from continuing our good day. We grumbled and then went on to buy snacks for Oscar watching. We got home and started chilling the champagne. We watched a couple of episodes of Top Chef. Darcy cast on for a dog sweater and I had already started a new knitting project earlier in the morning.
fake it til you make it
The Fake Isle Hat
I just wanted a quick knit project and this is fit the bill. Plus it is done with a random ball of Noro Kureyon and Cascade 220 that I had in the stash.

You have to love and hate the spectacle that is the Oscars. We drank champagne and ate stinky cheese with crackers. We knit, we laughed, we criticized, we ate, and watched the entire thing from the Red Carpet to the credits. You just have's the Oscars.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mindful Matters with Food

For Lent I always give something up that I really love. It is usually sugar because I have a very naughty sweet tooth that sometimes completely rules my world and waistline. I am not particularly religious in an organized way but I love the ideas of self-restraint and fasting and meditation and conscious living. Self-denial not something that I am proficient at, but in these new economic times it is hard not to contemplate how to have some restraint in everyday life and implement new habits. Yesterday I came across this concept of Vegan 'til Six while reading Knot Sew Crafty and then in turn Salt and Chocolate. This concept of Vegan 'til Six comes from Mark Bittman's new book.

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman

The whole idea is to eat a vegan meal (grains, veggies, and fruit) for breakfast and lunch, then for dinner eat whatever you want. The idea of eating in this manner has a twofold effect. On a personal level, it moves one away from a meat and process food based diet to a more plant based diet. On a macrolevel, the move away from a meat and corn based diet will have implications for the planet. Now I don't know all the details as I have not read the book...yet. But I did listen to this interview with Mark Bittman and now I really want to read the book. The idea really appeals to me from a health and global perspective. So I am hopping aboard the Vegan 'til Six train.

The season of Lent is a perfect time to start a project like this. They say it takes 30 days to start a new habit, so a good 40 days will really give you a chance to engage in new habits and in this case more conscious eating. If this sounds interesting to you I invite you to join Alexis, Mary Beth, and me on this food journey during Lent. The hubby is on board too.

Who doesn't love a giveaway?! Mary Beth is giving away a copy of the book so go and visit her blog and leave a comment. You have until tomorrow.

Please let me know if you decide to jump on board and embark on this food journey too. The train is leaving the station bright and early on Wednesday, February 25. That's the first day of Lent, just in case you didn't know.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cafeteria Food

Recently Joe and I were downtown and had lunch at Clifton's Cafeteria (Broadway and 7th). We had read about in the LA Times and decided we had to experience it.

Clifton's Cafeteria

Some of you may recall that I was sick over Christmas and we missed having dinner with the family. This also means we missed the traditional turkey dinner as well.
lunch buffet
So when faced with the turkey dinner option we loaded up our trays with turkey and the trimmings. It was delicious.

peas please
Don't forget to eat your vegetables.

jello weirdness
This jello concoction just had to be tried. The white bits don't really taste like anything so you might as well go for the unadulterated jello and skip the fancification.

all you can eat
Now I am not sure why I didn't take more pictures of the interior because it is truly part of the experience. Seriously. There is a waterfall and a moose head and piney paneling.

It reminded me of our basement in our split level ranch when we lived in Raliegh, NC. We had bought the house from the original owners, the Mercado's. Well really Mrs. Mercado as Mr. Mercado had passed some years before. The house was built in 1962 and had some of the original furniture still in it, which we purchased with the house in late 1999. It had wood paneling and asbestos floor tiles. The same type of tiles that were installed in every school I ever went to as a kid. We hadn't been to a cafeteria since we wandered into a K&S cafeteria in Raleigh. We only ate there once. It wasn't very good. So we were a little leery of the cafeteria experience. I mean really the only cafeterias you eat in are at schools and hospitals, neither one is associated with great food or fond memories.

I am happy to say that Clifton's was a great experience. The turkey dinner was really good and satisfying. The decor is outta sight. Walking into Clifton's is like being instantly transported to another place in time. You feel at home and at the same time like you are on an adventure. It really was a delightful excursion.

cool tray
This cool tray says it all..."best in the west". I don't know why but I love a good tray. The hubby told me he knew I wanted to steal the tray, which I did, but never would. Luckily, you can buy one at the bakery on the way out the door. Yes, I am a proud and rightful owner of a Clifton's Cafeteria tray. If you are downtown and want to check out some LA history as well as have a good meal or a slice of pie then you should mosey on down to Clifton's and travel back in time. It will be well worth it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

LOVE and Candy

hubby's love
The hubby painted me this beautiful Valentine. He paints my Valentine every year and I love it.

Earlier this week Joe and I got a special Valentine from Carla.
Valentine's Day


70's candy

lots and lots of candy

Yes it is the biggest box of candy. It's Candy you ate as a Kid. It's a box of candy that takes you down memory lane. It is so much fun. Isn't that sweet on so many levels? Thanks Carla. You're da best.

The hubby and I spent a romantic evening having chili dogs and bowling for our celebration of LOVE! It was a perfect way to spend the evening. We had a blast!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Toy Society Happenings

Remember this little hooter that was part of the Toy Society Christmas?

Two things are happening over at the Toy Society.

1. There is the Valentine's Day Drop. Where people world-wide will be dropping homemade toys for unsuspecting people. I know this is late notice but if you can whip up a little creature for Valentine's Day you can participate too. It's lots of fun and you can sign up through the website.

2. The Toy Society's headquarters are in Australia and as you have probably heard there are raging wildfires causing havoc for thousands of people. The Toy Society is collecting handmade toys for children whose lives have been impacted by the fires. If you would like to donate a handmade toy, again, please go to the website and sign up. Also you can monetarily donate directly to the Red Cross.

I love the idea of spreading joy through needle and thread. The Toy Society is a great way to make & send some love into the world. The best part about it is that you can participate at any time, but here's a chance to play along for people who really could use a lot of love.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Perfect Breakfast

Heads Up Everybody. This is very important.

I was just visiting my friend Ellen's blog and she just informed me that tomorrow is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. This is a day to be celebrated, let me tell you. You can find out about the origins of ICFBD here.

Honestly I don't see why it has to be just one day a year. The Sicilian national breakfast is gelato con brioche. I wrote about it here and here when I went to Italy for my 40th birthday. When I heard that this was on the breakfast menu I could not wait to get to Sicily.

I was not disappointed. You are looking at the best breakfast in the world!

How was it you ask? Just look at this face at first bite.
Heaven. I'm in heaven. This could be you tomorrow morning.

This is the hubby and me in Taormina. Thank you honey for the best birthday present ever.

So how will you be celebrating Ice Cream for Breakfast Day tomorrow?

What is your favorite flavor ice cream?
Mine is Mint Chocolate Chip.

Just to let the Angelenos know, I believe that Joan's on 3rd serves gelato on brioche.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Welcome to the World

baby hats
January 22, 2009
Wesley Franklin & Elise Olivia
5lbs 3oz & 5lbs 6oz
18 inches & 18.5 inches

The stork dropped off two bundles of joy for our good friends Kirsten and Brian. What an exciting time. We had dinner with them the day they found out they were having twins. The sense of joy and bewilderment at the news was very cute. Kirsten was prepared to have one baby but the news of double joy left her astonished. She really was flush with excitement and a flood of other emotions. It was a great night to share in their joy. It is even more exciting to announce their arrival. Welcome to the world, little babies.

Baby Hats
Cascade Superwash 220
Size 8 needles

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Yarn Quandary

malabrigo angora

Malabrigo Angora
Hand Spun Hand Painted Angora
Apple Cinnamon
~100 yds.

This yarn is pure lusciousness. So soft. The cinnamon color of the yarn with a Granny Smith green halo is pure angora loveliness. But I only have 100 yds. What should I make? A cowl, a scarlette, a hat? Save it and use it to fancy up a sweater at the collar and cuffs?

malabrigo silk
This is Manos Silk Blend
30% Silk 70% Extrafine merino wool
Kettle Dyed
color: 3110

I have ~900yds of this beautiful yarn that I picked up in Texas. I would love to make a shawl but I do not want to get too complicated or lacey. I was thinking that the tried and true Clapotis might be the answer.

What say you to this yarn quandary? What would you do if presented with such finery of fiber? Why have I gotten all Renaissance Faire with my questions? Weird. Anywho. I would really love to get your suggestions. Really and truly as my puzzler is sore.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Feet

This past Christmas I received 2 pairs of knit socks. I have never had the pleasure of knit socks before. It is wonderful. They are so comfy and they fit so well, and they keep your feet warm. Mine are always cold.





The top pair are from Ellen. She had them made at Fernwood Woolworks. You send your fab sock yarn to them and the yarn is knit up on a 1920's sock machine. So cool, don't ya think? Ellen is a smart cookie and had a whole bunch made for Christmas. A word to the wise if you think it is a good idea. Send your yarn early to get your socks made and stash them (like do it now!) because Fernwood gets super busy at the holiday time. Imagine you could already have a stash of super cool presents for Christmas. It's mad genius.

The second pair of socks were made by MaryJo. She knit these up while she was touring Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam over Christmas. My socks have been places I have never been. They have been infused with temple magic, bus fairy dust, and exotic spices. She knit them herself! I find this amazing because I have a fear of small needles. Size 5's...I gotta reallyreallyreally love it. Size 1's...fuhgedaboutit.

The socks are wonderful. I absolutely love them. I haven't quite figured out the fascination with knitting socks, but I can definitely get into wearing them. However, I did purchase some sock yarn so I am contemplating trying to knit a pair of socks sometime this year. We'll see how that goes, but I know where to send my yarn in a jiffy if need be.

Monday, February 02, 2009


What an exciting game!

For the Superbowl we traveled down to Carlsbad to the home of our friends Michele and Jeff. Jamie, Ava and Spencer came down too. There were emails of poems (of which I shared the last couple of days) and menu planning all last week. The poker chips were itching to be played, someone was trying not to get too geeked up before Sunday, and the grocery shopping was done.

Here are the highlights of big game weekend.

What are these going to be?

burgler yums
Homemade hamburger buns for the Roethlis-burger Bar

Saturday night fare

joe burger

jefe burger
from the Roethlis-burger bar.

Michele gave Joe the ultimate present.
Iron Chef Joe
She sewed him an Iron Chef Italian jacket and toque.

iron chefu
He looks just like Masahiko Kobe. She recreated the entire outfit from the television set. She's a genius!

Ava and Spencer
Ava thinks Uncle Joe is funny, but she really loves the balloon best!

The Breakfast of Champions!


sugar and cinnamon
Donuts!!! Baked, not fried.

And a big glass of Orange Juice.

Jamie and Ava
Ava likes donuts and hamburger buns for breakfast.

Now it's time to turn up the grill.
Throw down some ribs.

Get the smoker smokin'.

Baste them at the very end.

baby backs
Who wants their babybacks?

mac n cheese 2
with a side of Macaroni and Cheese

fennel and apple slaw
and Fennel Apple Slaw?
I do, I do!

game time
The Steelers took to the field

ready to rumble
and we took to the couch for a very exciting game and the BIG WIN!!!