According to Goodreads, I read 16 books in 2013. The reality is that I attempted to read 12 new books last year, 6 of which i finished. The other six were book club selections, 2 of which I hated & couldn’t make myself read any more, 3 were books I was enjoying reading but I just ran out of time before book club, and one in which I got so mad at the main character that I stopped reading the book & couldn’t finish. The remaining four of the 16 were re-reads of the first 4 Harry Potter books.
So, what did I actually finish (and enjoy) reading in 2013?
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson. I actually started this one in 2012, but I’m a slow reader (and an easily distracted reader) these days. I finally finished this year and it’s so funny. If you aren’t familiar with Jenny, she blogs over at TheBloggess.com & is irreverent and hilarious.
Fairy Tales from the Brother’s Grimm – Philip Pullman. This one was a book club selection. New translations of the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It was really interesting to read the stories as they were originally written (or close enough given they were newly translated). It was not great to be a woman in fairy tales, though – the daughters always got in trouble for their dad’s lies. What was that about?
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman. I loved this one so much. My goodreads review was simple and accurate: I just finished this book and I was crying and I don’t know why I was crying. It was lovely and a tiny bit scary and perfect.
I’m not really setting a reading goal for 2014. I have 3 PhD exams this year (2 in February, 1 in October) along with finishing my coursework. I’m sure I’ll be busy with studying for them, though I’ll still try to read the book club selections for the year.
I only completed 18 knitting projects this year (compared to last years 25), two of those were completed in the last week.
We have here:
5 pair of fingerless mitts
4 pair of socks*
1 partial sweater (re-knit the yoke & created my own neck shaping, so it counts)
1 baby sweater
5 wee owls (crocheted, actually, but they still count).
*I started and finished two pair of socks in the 2013. This is actually quite the accomplishment for me. The others were both very long-term projects.
The Thursday before Christmas, when the weather was lovely and almost warm, I headed to see Garden Glow with knitting friend Grace.
It was fun & I quite enjoyed seeing all the lights in the garden – it’s on for a few more days, so check it out if you get a chance.
These photos all came from my phone, as my actual camera I took failed completely at being able to capture anything.
Stuck in the Labyrinth.
Christmas has come and gone & I’ve been on vacation for the last week. We finished up our 12 Days of Christmas activity at work, so here are days 6-12:
Day 6: Homemade hot cocoa mix
Day 7: A Keurig for the day. (We have truly terrible coffee at work & have been trying to get a Keurig for a while. One of my coworkers brought hers in from home to share for the day.)
Day 8: Christmas candy cups!
Day 9: Big pot of chili!
Day 10: Cheese crisps
Day 11: Delicious Chex Mix.
Day 12: Kettle Corn…
Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year has put a kink into my weekly plans. That means there are TWO weeks in a row that we won’t have our normal knit night because the shop is closed for the holiday. TWO WEEKS.
So, because of that, I made Monica’s birthday cupcakes a full week before what would typically be her pre-birthday knit night. I decided to go with German Chocolate because they are delicious.
I’ve always used the can o’frosting when I’ve made German Chocolate cupcakes in the past, but this time found myself short a can. Since I didn’t have time to run back out to the store, I decided to see if I could make it with stuff I already had at home. The answer to that is YES.
My not-so-secret recipe for the cupcakes is here. And if you make the frosting recipe before the cupcakes, there is enough of it to frost 24 cupcakes and to use as the secret ingredient in your cake.
As for the frosting? The recipe came from Country Living & can be found here. It was not hard to make – I set a timer for 10 minutes to stir & cook everything together. Just make sure you have a big enough pot (I tried to use a smaller sauce pan & it bubbled up too much – I had to switch to a bigger pot halfway through).
This frosting was really delicious – more so than my fall back canned frosting. I wish I’d had smaller pecan bits, but they still worked out just fine – I just couldn’t pipe the frosting on like I usually do. I used my small cookie scoop to measure out a dollop of frosting, then spread it with a spatula. I would definitely make this again.