Sunday, December 20, 2009


After a few setbacks, our stockings are all finished! I didn't have enough wool yarn for the name band/ toe/ heel, on mine, so I had to use some yucky white acrylic. It was the yarn equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard, or maybe knitting with cotton candy. Eew. At least it's done, and now Santa can bring me lots of goodies! Did you hear that Santa??

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Frosting and Sprinkles with Some Cookies Buried in There...Somewhere...

Jayson got to make his Christmas cookies today. He may have eaten his own body weight in frosting and sprinkles. That's why we only do this once a year...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In Da' (Gingerbread) House

Here is our little gingerbread house! I've got icing in my hair, and my kitchen looks like a hurricane just blasted through Candy Land, but it's done! I don't really bake, but Jayson has been begging to make a gingerbread house since Halloween. So, I really had no choice. I used this recipe for the dough, but designed my own template. The dough came together really well and I didn't even burn it. It's a Christmas miracle!

I was disappointed with one thing though: Safeway had no old school, cheap candy! No peppermints, no gumdrops...WTF Safeway?!

Mama's little helper, except for the 350 times he bumped my elbow while I was piping on the icing.

Melted Jolly Rancher window!

Creepy Gingerbread Man.

Our Frosted Mini Wheats roof and coconut snow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Getting Festive.

I finished my banner this morning. It's made from gift wrap and scrapbook paper, and attached to yarn with clear tape. Its not fancy, but it's cute. Jayson and Kyle were tons of help while I was making it. They were beating on each other and everything in sight with cardboard gift wrap tubes. Boys...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Take 2.

Here is my second and final attempt at Jayson's stocking. The first one was complete disaster. And no, there are not, and nor will there ever be any pictures of it. ever.

One more to go....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three Words.

Hecka Canadian.

I just finished hubby's stocking, complete with Canadian flair. Because you know, he's all Canadi-ish and stuff.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just Wrappin' Yo!

It's that time of year again. We've stuffed ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie; then swore we'd never do it again. We've participated in the insanity that is Black Friday; and swore we'd never do THAT again. Now, here we are on the first day of the craziest, busiest, most fun month of the year; and I am so ready!

I have to give a shout-out to Target for offering some seriously cute wrapping paper this year! And another Wo0t! w0oT! for and, I am completely finished with my Christmas shopping!

Just for a little extra motivation, here is my holiday to-do list:

  • Re-knit, yes...RE-KNIT Jayson's stocking. The colors bled when I wet-blocked it, ruining the whole thing. An absolute disaster...
  • Finish Jay's stocking. I'm waiting for yarn to dry right now. I'm at the heel right now, so it'll be done in another day or two. 
  • Knit my stocking. Of course, I am making my own last. How mom-ish of me. 
  • Make a gingerbread house with Jayson. 
  • Make and decorate cookies with Jayson. I'm not super into cookies, so these will be prefab dough, sugar cookies, gobbed with icing and obscene amounts of sprinkles...Just the way Jayson likes them.
  • Wrap 5 or 6 more gifts when they arrive.
  • Mail Christmas cards
  • Make a cute banner to hang behind the tree.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Upset of the Century.

This is my angry face.

Last weekend, my sister and I entered the Mountain Mandarin Festival recipe contest. And, we. were. robbed.
  1. Someone who had a food booth at the festival won the side dish category...With SALSA. Have you ever eaten salsa as a side dish? What kind of food booth did they have? You guessed it, SALSA. Let's just invite Bobby Flay to an amateur barbecue contest.... 
  2. One of the winners turned in a handwritten recipe, when it said right on the rules that handwritten recipes would not be accepted.
  3. Another winner was friends with the judges.  HHmmm....
  4. Frog Eyed Salad placed.
How dedicated were we? We were almost late, so we drove there with the gas light on. Then we (I) had to book it across the muddy fairgrounds in high heels. (I think I was the only person in Auburn that day who owns a pair of heels.) Did I mention it was RAINING? 

Yes, we came home empty handed, but we will be back next year. Just you wait.

Without further ado, I present to you, our non-prize-winning recipes:

Nyki's Recipes

Mandarin Baklava

1 package Phyllo Dough
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 mandarin oranges, peeled, chopped, and drained
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Juice of 3 mandarin oranges
1/3 cup honey
1” of vanilla bean
Zest of one mandarin
2/3 cup Snow’s Citrus Court Mandarin Orange Syrup and Desert Topping


  1. Prepare sauce: In a small sauce pan, combine the sauce ingredients, except for the Snow’s Citrus Court Syrup. Before adding the vanilla bean, slice it down the middle and scrape out the contents with a knife. Add this, plus the bean to the pan.  Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place the sauce in the refrigerator to cool.
  2. Butter an 11” x 7” baking pan. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Mix the walnuts with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Layer the ingredients: The dough sheets should be the same size as the pan. Place 2 layers of phyllo dough in the pan. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat dough with melted butter. Repeat 3 more times. You should have 8 total sheets. The top sheet should also be buttered. Using half the walnut mixture, spread an even layer over the dough. Add two more sheets of phyllo, and brush with butter. Spread the chopped mandarins evenly over the phyllo. Sprinkle the remaining walnut mixture evenly over the top. Top with 6 more sheets of phyllo dough, buttering every second sheet, as before. The top sheet should be buttered.
  5. Cut the baklava into triangles, cutting almost but not completely to the bottom.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes.
  7. Remove the sauce from the refrigerator. Remove the vanilla bean, and stir in the Snow’s Citrus Court Syrup.  Pour the sauce evenly over the hot baklava.
  8. When the baklava has cooled, cut completely and serve.

Spiced Mandarin Sweet Potatoes


2 medium sweet potatoes
Zest of one mandarin
2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
¾ teaspoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar.

 Candied walnut topping:
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon white sugar


  1. Make candied walnut topping: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and sprinkle with the salt, Caribbean Jerk Seasoning, and sugars. Cook, stirring constantly until the sugars are melted. Remove from heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture cools to coat the nuts.
  2. Boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender. Remove the skins and cut into 1” cubes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Toss together the sweet potatoes, zest, mandarins, and Caribbean Jerk Seasoning.
  5. Place mixture in a baking dish.
  6. Top with small pieces of butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Top with walnut mixture.

Charity's Recipes

Lucky 7 Mandarin Bread Pudding

7     mandarins
1   large loaf of day old French bread, cut into one inch squares (6-7 cups)
2½  cups of milk
½    cup heavy cream
1    cup sour cream
3     eggs
1     cup sugar
½    cup brown sugar
½    vanilla bean
2    tablespoons dried cranberries, finely chopped
¼    teaspoon ground cloves
½    teaspoon cinnamon
3    tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  2. Zest and juice 4 mandarins.  Soak the dried cranberries in the juice while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Peel and section the remaining mandarins.  Chop the sections into smaller pieces, 3-4 pieces per section. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, and milk.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the inside into the milk mixture.  Whisk until the vanilla is evenly distributed.   Add the cubed bread to the bowl and stir gently so all the cubes are saturated with the milk mixture. 
  5. In a separate bowl, gently beat the eggs and add the melted butter while whisking continuously.  Whisk in the sugars, spices, and mandarin zest and then gently stir this mixture into the soaking bread.
  6. Drain excess juice from the soaking dried cranberries and the chopped mandarins and gently stir into the bread cube mixture.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until set.  The bread pudding is done when the edges brown and begin to pull away from the edge of the pan. Serve warm or cold.

Sweet and Spicy Mandarin Chicken Wings

2.5   pounds chicken wings, disjointed
2      tablespoons vegetable oil
4      mandarins
4      tablespoons honey
½     cup brown sugar
½     teaspoon onion powder
½     teaspoon salt
½     tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Lay wings on baking sheets and pat dry with paper towels
  3. Brush wings with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the skin is crispy
  5. Zest and juice the four mandarins.  Boil the juice, zest, and remaining ingredients in a large saucepan for 3 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.
  6. When the wings are finished baking, remove from the baking sheets and put them into the saucepan and stir gently to distribute the sauce. 
  7. Using tongs, return the wings back to the foiled baking sheets and broil for 3 minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Digital Inspiration.

Click for a larger picture.

I've been wanting to make an inspiration board for a long time. Instead of going the old cork board and thumbtacks route, I decided to get my geek on. I have been collecting photos of things I like for a long time, so I had loads of material to work with. To organize my photos, I used Picasa 3 since it is free, and it has an awesome collage tool. I just tossed all my favorite pictures into an album, picked the collage style I wanted and BAM! Instant inspiration. It is my new desktop backgound, so I can get inspired every time I turn on my computer.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Little Table in the Corner.

So, here is my little table at the TVAM Holiday Event. Somehow, my table ended up wedged back in a corner; nearly hidden from view. But that's OK. This was my first time selling at an event. I usually just hide out on the internet. So, I learned a lot from this experience:

  • If people keep asking you the same question, over and over again, make a sign that answers that question.
  • Get some packaging for your stuff, so you don't look like a no0b.
  • You will look and feel dumb when your table is the only one without a tablecloth.
  • If you bring four tutus, bring four hangers, not two.
  • Plan your displays beforehand. Don't rely on your years of retail sales experience to get you by.
  • Don't eat 3/4 of a Chipotle Burrito bowl intermediately prior to the event; making you feel too fat to wear the outfit you had planned on.
  • If your are a blogger, don't forget your camera, or else you will end up with crappy phone camera pictures.

These things are easily remedied. My big challenge right now is to create a more cohesive look and better define my niche. My craft ADD is really showing.

Ending on a good note: my banner totally kicks ass.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Here's all my delicious knitted play food for The TVAM Holiday Event! What makes it even cooler? All but the Brown, Black and White yearns were hand dyed by me, AND everything except the donuts and apples were knitted "freestyle," That means no patterns, people! I have had so much fun making all this awesome food, that I am now working on knitted food patterns using chunky yarn, so they knit up twice as fast! (I am impatiently waiting for more yarn to arrive from WEBS.) This also means more fun experiments with dye!

Super Bonus!: What doesn't sell at this event will be available in my Etsy shop on Friday. This also goes for Diapers, Lotion Bars, Sewing kits, Tissue pouches and Zippered pouches.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

When You're This Awesome...

When you're this awesome, you NEEEED a massive banner with your name on it.
Don't I wish... This is actually the sign for my craft fair table.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kyle Gets a Haircut.

I FINALLY cut Kyle's hair. This is my first attempt at cutting hair since I gave Jayson that Dumb and Dumber haircut...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snappy Travel Tissue Pouch Tutorial.

Today I made some cute little travel tissue pouches. They keep your travel size tissue packs from getting completely destroyed in the bottom of your bag. They were so super quick and easy, I thought I'd do a little tutorial for you.
Start with 6 1/4" by 7" pieces of your outer and lining fabrics.
Place the fabric right sides together. Using a 1/4" seam, stitch along the two shorter ends.
Flip right side out. Top stitch along the two seams. Add snaps in the center, close to the edge. One snap should be facing up, the other down.
Snap the pouch inside out. Sew a 1/2" seam along each side, or serge, cutting off about 1/4".
Turn right side out, and place a travel pack of tissues inside. Done!

The Breakfast Bandit

This morning, Jayson got out of his seat only to have Kyle jump into his chair and finish his breakfast. Kyle had no interest in eating his own breakfast, and obviously thinks that highchairs and plastic forks are for no0bs.

In other news, This is my 100th post!!!! Wooooo0t!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fun with Pointy Sticks

I just knitted up these Fall inspired longies/ MC Hammer Pants for Kyle.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Kyle's Halloween costume. I can't look at this picture without laughing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Takin' Care of Business.

I ordered some super cute new business cards today! W0ot!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Goodies for my Booth.

Today, I whipped up some lotion bars for the TVAM Holiday Fair. As far as bath and body products are concerned, lotion bars are some of the easiest to make. They are awesome for super dry skin, and they last a long time. And the ones I just made, smell...scrumtrilescent!....Half are Cucumber-Melon-Kumquat and half are Sage and Lemongrass. Here is my super easy recipe:

1 part Sweet almond oil
1 part Beeswax
1 part Coco Butter or Shea Butter (or a mix of the two. That's what I did)
Fragrance oil to desired strength.

In a microwavable glass bowl, combine the beeswax and the butter(s). Microwave on high until melted, stirring occasionally. Mix in the almond oil and the fragrance oil. Pour into molds.

Once your lotion bars have cooled and hardened, they are ready to use.

Double Sided Tape and Earthquakes.

We had our first storm of the season this week. What better time to do some crafting with the kiddos. (OK, kiddo...Kyle doesn't craft, he mostly just destroys stuff.) Jayson is my crafter, if it involves paint and glue, he's there! For our wreath, I just had him go wild with red and yellow paint on a paper grocery bag. I figured the orange would just sort of happen, and it did. While he took his nap, I cut out the leaves. When he woke up, we got to constructing the wreath. I used a paper plate as a base. I just put double sided tape on the back of each leaf and let him stick them where ever he pleased.

But, that's not the end of this crafty story...

We had a pretty good earthquake last night, and our poor wreath fell off it's shelf and broke into a million leafy pieces. I will be reconstructing said wreath with my glue gun. Double sided tape and earthquakes suck.

Friday, October 9, 2009


8 PUL Pocket, and 6 knit, fitted diapers for your viewing pleasure. These dipes will be coming with me to the holiday fair being put on by my moms group. What doesn't sell there will be listed in my Etsy or Hyena Cart Shops.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Labels for your NykiBaby One Size Diapers!

My tags are here! They are available in my Etsy shop as well as my NEW Hyena Cart Shop.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The left over yarn from Kyle's Christmas stocking has been magically transformed into delicious play fruit! I am having so much fun knitting food, that I am dyeing more yarn RIGHT NOW, so I can make more food. I will be selling it, along with my diapers and other goodies at my mom's group holiday fair!

A Big Sock for a Small Boy

I finished Kyle's Christmas stocking on Saturday. What does that mean? It means that I cranked out that sucker in under a week...Mad skillz....

It is the "Mix and Match Stocking" from the "Knit Christmas Stockings!" book. Unfortunately, the book is pretty much useless except for that pattern. The sock features a "peasant heel" which I am now a major fan of! It's so much easier than all that heel flap and gusset business. Google it, you'll see what I mean.

The argyle and stripes were not in the book, but I liked them so I drew up a chart for the argyle and put it in. A little argyle never hurt anyone, right?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Yarn

I went to JoAnn's to pick up some yarn for Kyle's Christmas stocking. Unfortunately, the selection was even lamer than expected! I had the choice of white, brown or brown yarn...yay...

So, I thought this might be a good time to try dyeing my own yarn. I picked up a couple skeins of Paton's Classic Wool, since it was on sale. When I got home, I found these super easy instructions for dyeing wool with food coloring.

I love how it turned out! I will be dyeing lots and lots of yarn in the future!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ardenwood Ren Faire

Hubby doesn't do ren fairs, so I went with my brother and sister, and enjoyed a toddler free couple of hours.


*I was charged the "teen" entrance fee. The guy didn't even bother to ask my age. I will be 27 next month.

*The jousting was awesome.

*The mango lemonade was good.

*We didn't get lost driving there, or lose the car in the parking lot.

*The crazy dragon costume guy.


*No shade= Wicked sunburn.

*Not enough vendors/ shows/ activities.

*Too many people in regular clothes. Seriously, why go if you are not going to dress up?

*Weak belly dancing.

*REALLY disorganized layout.

Crazy Dragon Guy

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Ultimate Upcycled Renaissance Costume

My costume is finally done!! Every single bit of fabric on this thing either used to be something else, or was a scrap from another project.

Dress: Hideous sofa slipcover from Goodwill
Sleeves: Leftover from sewing a corset
Chemise: Playpen cover
Partlet and hair covering: Old sheer curtains
Velvet ribbon at waist: Drawstring from old yoga pants

The only part of the dress that is new are the buttons. So I paid $15 for the whole thing.

For the geeks out there, this is a 1490's Florentine merchant class costume.