Roggenfest Beef Stew

Terrence usually cooks most of our meals. Today he last minute decided to go for a hike and asked if I could handle the beef stew. Not being able to do anything easy, I decided to go crazy and concoct a more interesting stew.

I had a growler of Flagship Brewery‘s Roggenfest in the fridge and thought they would make a nice pair. I think I was right. The following recipe isn’t intended to have a strong beer flavor, I was aiming for subtle. I hope you try it… and love it. So far the critics in my house are fans.

24 oz. Flagship Brewery’s Roggenfest
2 1/2 pounds stew meat (chuck / short ribs)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2-3 Leeks, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
4 cups Beef Stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 red potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
Dust the meat with the flour. Heat the oil and butter in the dutch oven over high heat, add the meat in small batches, remove to a plate as you finish browning. Reduce heat to low and sweat the leeks and celery in the leftover meat juices. Add the mushrooms and garlic, saute for about 3 minutes. Add back the stew meat. Pour in the beer and beef stock (add water if more liquid is needed, you want the fluids to come about an inch above the meat). Increase heat slightly, still keeping it  fairly low. Add the bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Increase heat to medium. Add carrots and potatoes, leave uncovered for 30 minutes (or until your carrots and potatoes are done).
Taste as you go along and adjust your seasonings as needed.
Adapted from: 

Our Princess Is In Another Castle!

Please help me in welcoming our third and final new friend for the season, the Another Castle Throw! I was hoping to add a lot more blankets to my shop this season, but getting married was a swell trade off. The one that got away… yet again, was my triforce throw. I was, however, able to get a couple of rows in before I got lost in wedding crafts. But enough about weddings and Zelda, and more about Mario!

I actually had to make this throw slightly larger than my usual throws due to the width of the sentences. So you gain about an extra 3 inches on the top and bottom, which may not sound like much… but your toes will enjoy it.

Another Castle Throw is approximately 4’7″ wide and 3’8″ long and as always is made with 100% acrylic yarn for easier at home care.

You can see this throw and many of its friends over at my etsy shop!

More photos can be found here.

Battleview Orchards

Its been a while since I crossed something off the dusty ol’ life list, and to be fair… it still is. I actually went apple picking for the first time two years ago with my very pregnant friend Stephanie, my mom and my goddaughter Riley… but we had camera issues and all the photos came out white. On principal I haven’t crossed off apple picking from my list because I couldn’t show my work. Now I feel better about doing so.

Amanda insisted that she, Christina and I have a ladies day in the apple orchard, so this passed weekend we took a brief road trip to New Jersey and picked us some apples. It was Chris’ first time and mine and Panda’s second. Chris and Panda were obsessed with the idea of scoring some golden delicious, despite the only ones being at the tip top of the trees. They may or may not have broken a few branches to get what they wanted. I on the other hand was in my glory with all the rome apples. Yum. I brought home twice as many apples as the girls… but I was picking for two. Panda was much more interested in acquiring some pumpkins and sadly paraded back and forth through the mostly barren pumpkin patch hunting down the perfect specimen. Chris and I just stood in the dusty field watching her frantically searching, we made up for it by hitting up all sorts of pumpkin stands back home. We scored some very cute pumpkins… and I got a sugar pumpkin so I can make pie again soon.

Battleview Orchards was an awesome place. I hope to go once more before the season is over, the apples were gorgeous and tasty. The pumpkin situation was less than ideal… but its ok, they had a bunch of pumpkins over at the shop across the street. The shop is open all year round and sells all the crops from the farm as well as some AMAZING cider. If you’re very patient you can also wait in line for some of their apple cider donuts, fresh and warm from the fryer. Even if I don’t get to go apple picking again this season, I will definitely be stopping by the store to grab some cider and donuts… so good.

Outfit details for Ana: Dress, Tights, Shoes (similar), Sweater, Purse
Outfit details for Amanda: Sweater, Boots, Jeans, Purse

The formal introduction of…

Bubble Bobble, the blanket!!!

I was approached some time last year with a request for a Bubble Bobble custom, it was by far the MOST fun blanket to sketch and create. I loved every moment I worked on Bubble Bobble, my favorite part was how customized it was. Each enemy and points item were hand selected, as well as the three scores at the top. It makes me super happy to create something so personal for someone.

If I could own any of my blankets, this would be the one I’d want.

It’s so colorful and happy, each dino, enemy, bubble, points item and candy cane striped platform that I finished got me giddy. I would love to do more personalized combinations of this blanket one day, feel free to send me a custom request on etsy if you want one.

This Bubble Bobble blanket is now available in my shop, Penelope and Clyde at Etsy.

Many more photos can be found here.

Guess Who’s Back?!

I’ve been on my computer for nearly 4 hours now, its totally weird. I’m a bit nauseous, the screen is definitely getting to me. I almost feel as though I’ve been living under a rock these last few months, all this new music and news… who knew the world kept on going without me?!

I’m going to try to catch you guys up as best I can before I become swamped with orders and go back into hiding! Since we last spoke I’ve been wifed up, its totally awesome being married to Terrence, he’s kind of the greatest… shhh, don’t tell him. I’ll talk about things wedding in depth in another post, in the meantime here’s a tiny glimpse…

Photo by Evan Brockett

I want to wait until we get back all of the wedding photos to talk about it, I can’t wait to share our wedding story with you guys!

I reopened my etsy shop today, I’m a tiny bit scared of all the orders that will soon follow… scared and excited. I’m a mixed bag of emotions. I’ll have some new friend reveals this week… not nearly as many as I wanted, sorry, getting married is time consuming. I’m also having second thoughts about opening the storenvy shop, its fully stocked and ready though. We’ll see, I’m worried about overworking myself with little prep time because of the wedding. I would have preferred to have had some blankets already made and some half made to be a step ahead of the chaos, without that safety net I might end up burning out with two shops.

But enough silly chit chat, lets get started on some blanket reveals! Not that the internet didn’t already spoil my surprises months ago, but lets pretend they didn’t and act surprised anyway! YAY!


How sweet it is…

So as I said earlier my oldest niece, Nina Rayne, turned sweet 16 a few weeks ago. I was 12 when Nina was born, if it weren’t for her you guys would know nothing about me, or my silly little blankets. I asked my mother to teach me how to crochet just so I could make things for Nina, I made her two blankets in her first year and a few ugly hats. When she turned 12 she asked my mother to teach her how to crochet, its how we bond.

This is my beautiful niece with my her father/my brother, Christopher.

I was still young when Nina was born, I often felt more like her big sister than her aunt. My brother lived below us in a small 3 family building until Nina was 5 or 6, we grew up a little together… so sometimes I hated her, I was definitely jealous of her, but most of the time I loved her– just like a big sister/aunt should. Once I was in high school, around when Nina was 3, was when I really began to love hanging out with her. I became overwhelmed with this feeling that I had to instill some old fashioned values in her. I’d steal her away to my room and we’d listen to quality music and watch old tv and movies together. I used to think she was the coolest little kid because she knew all the words to The Partridge Family theme song, Come on Get Happy. I used to put the song on and make her sing it for my friends to show off how awesome I was making her. She’d teach me all about her Furby and I’d teach her all about Alf, it was a fair exchange.

I’m not sure if my attempts to shape her young mind stuck, but she’s still pretty awesome. I got a bit tipsy at her sweet 16, the nostalgia was too much for me. Its weird to see her all grown up. I sort of feel like I blinked and missed all of it.

I still have her Furby, I stole it once she grew tired of it, it sits on my bedside table.


Warby Parker Fridays, Holt.

Yes, I’m still here. I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks, that I will eventually (hopefully) find time to write about. My nieces sweet 16 was two Fridays ago and I had to get pretty and party hard. Last week we were running around preparing for my bridal shower, and then hosting and recovering from it. I learned why most brides have nothing to do with shower planning, who needs that added run around. This wedding stuff is becoming more and more stressful… and scary. But, back to business– HOLT!

I got the Holt frames as my second attempt at wearing blue frames down the aisle, I enjoyed the fade from navy to a light blue.

Holt in Blue Slate Fade

So… what do ya think?

I liked me some Holt, but they just weren’t right for the aisle. Slightly too large for my face, or so everyone kept telling me. Feel free to disagree. The Holt’s were my last pair in my try-on box, but don’t you worry… I have one or more (maybe) surprises in store from Warby Parker.

Fun with Warby Parker
June 7th | Sloan
June 14 | Roosevelt
June 21 | Madison
June 28 | O’Brien
July 5 | Pierce
July 26 | Holt


2010 | HTO I
2011 | HTO II

See you next week (or the week after, who am I kidding at this point)!


Year Four, Month Seven. (43/192)

When I first heard this song I got so excited. It was immediately decided that it would be our Summer anthem… sadly at this point I may be a little over it, but it’ll come back around. It always comes back around.

Get Lucky is already a classic as far as I’m concerned. Small children, like my niece, will be growing up on it. I’m positive that the way I feel about Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence, Riley will about Daft Punk’s Get Lucky… which is awesome. I kind of feel like I should get the 7″ right now and hold onto it for her. Because I also feel like vinyl will never die, which is also awesome.

Daft Punk, Get Lucky [Radio Edit] (Featuring Pharrell Williams + Nile Rodgers)

Other notable songs,
Janelle Monáe, Q.U.E.E.N. (Featuring Erykah Badu)
Phoenix, Entertainment

Riley’s soundtrack, Year 4.
October | Anything Could Happen
November | Wrath of God
December | Sheila
January | San Francisco
February | Sacrilege
March | Let the Groove Get In
April | Get Lucky

Grounds For Sculpture

This weekend Amanda took Christina and I out to Grounds For Sculpture in New Jersey. We had a great, if not a slightly overheated and dehydrated, time. We played with all sorts of scantily clad art pieces and snapped loads of pictures. I didn’t bring my tripod and had to get seriously inventive with some trees to get group shots of us. We strongly recommend for everyone to go. Just don’t forget your sunblock and maybe wait for the spring and fall to spend time walking the huge grounds. We plan on going back in Autumn to see the rest of what we missed, its so big. I’ll br sure to bring my tripod and maybe a few more friends next time.

These are just a small handful of my favorite pictures snapped on our adventure. We took over 200 photos and I edited around 60, if you want to see more you can visit my flickr page.