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Baby Lena’s Blanket, Booties, and Shower Time! :)


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In my previous post, you got to see the majority of the gifts I had completed for my friend Sarah’s baby shower to help welcome her little girl into the world. There was so much more I had wanted to do, but sadly, I did not get to do everything on my list. On the bright side, I’m pretty sure baby Lena isn’t going anywhere for awhile, so I’ll still be able to crochet her a bunch more goodies as time allows. I was able to finally finish the summer weight blanket that I showed you at the end of Progress on Crochet Gifts for Baby Lena. Here it is!:



I’m still a really big fan of the bright colors over traditional pastels, and the weight of this yarn was so easy to work with. I added a few more rounds since the previous picture and then finished the edging with a shell stitch.

If you read the last post then you’ll also know that I was having the world’s worst luck finding a pattern that worked for some booties. I had the pink rose headband made, and nothing to go with it. Well, I have to say it Mikeyssmail from The Crochet Crowd has saved my butt once again. It was the day of the shower (less than six hours before, actually), when I stumbled across his youtube tutorial for an easy pair of booties that were said to take only twenty minutes. I’m really not sure why I didn’t think of Mikey before, because I’ve used his videos countless times on several different projects. It was also fantastic that he included the written pattern (HERE), even though I prefer to watch and crochet along with the video.


Once the base of the booties was finished, I added flowers made simply like this:
Create your magic circle using four chain stitches and then slip stitching to the beginning.
Chain 3. Slip stitch inside of the magic circle.
Repeat x4 so that you have 5 petals.
Slip stitch to tie off, and leave a tail long enough that you can weave it into the booties to tie them on.

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This happens to be my other BFF Sarah, who had her wedding shower last week (You’ll get more on that later, as I have a couple of posts to catch up on that include my gifts for her). This game was to blow up a balloon, put it under your shirt, and see who could get closest to the Mommy-to-be’s baby bump size. I was really close, I swear!


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On top of the crochet gifts, I had to get little Miss Lena her first books as well (because what kind of English major would I be if my gifts didn’t include at least one book?) . These were just too cute to pass up. There’s a version of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go that’s meant to be read in utero and was adapted by Tish Rabe. It’s positively adorable and includes so many of the classic Seuss characters. You can check out all the details for the book here.
I also found these fantastic Baby Lit board books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver. They are positively adorable adaptations of classic works for small learners. I picked out the Alice in Wonderland that teaches colors and the Pride and Prejudice that teaches numbers. I’ll definitely be purchasing these for my own kids whenever I decide to have them, and I really hope baby Lena enjoys them once she’s old enough to start reading (which, knowing her mommy, I’m sure will be early on!).


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Sarah is due to have her baby August 30. We can all barely wait for Lena’s arrival, and I’m certain I’ll have a few more gifts up my sleeve as she starts her young life. ๐Ÿ™‚



Lucasville Swap Meet & a Visit to The Ribber


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The Lucasville Swap Meet is a Southern Ohio gem and one of my favorite summer traditions. It’s held three times a year at the Scioto County Fair Grounds – this year being the second weekend in April, the first weekend in June, and the second weekend of October. There have been times when I have slept in my clothes the night before just to get up early enough to be in Lucasville before the crowd hits. I should have done that this past weekend, because by the time we made it to Lucasville, parking was outrageous. We had to hike a little to get to the fair grounds, but it was well worth it. Swap Days are only held on Saturday and Sunday, and most vendors try to start packing up around 2:00 on Sunday, so get there early! It’s only a little over an hour’s drive for me, but thousands of people travel from out of state just to attend this ginormous event.

What is the Swap Meet, you ask? Well, it’s only miles and miles of the most interesting and varied goodies. You can literally find anything here from live peacocks to an early edition of a comic book. It’s like the best flea market you’ve ever been to got stretched out so far that it takes your whole day to see every booth or vendor, and even then you’re not sure you saw everything.

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Yes, they even have some taxidermy. Creepy, but fun. More often than the taxidermy though, they have live animals. Tons and tons and TONS of live animals, and I don’t just mean cats and dogs (although there are plenty of those!). Like I said, there are peacocks, but there are also parrots, teacup pigs, pygmy goats, flying squirrels, baby raccoons, baby skunks that have had the stinky gland removed…and one of our personal favorites… SUGAR GLIDERS!

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Check out his adorable white cowboy hat! I found it rather cute that his sister was wearing a beaded necklace. These little critters are just too adorable. We got to hold them both and watch them “fly” to Mister and myself. Mister wants one so terribly bad, but I just can’t help but picture them as a very expensive toy for the cats. They are adorable though and incredibly soft!

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This is Ava! She wasn’t for sale, but we spotted her crawling circles inside a tire at a vendor’s booth. Their son had left her with them the night before so they were babysitting this precious turtle and were more than happy to show her off to us. They let her out onto the grass to show us her speed, and I’ve definitely never seen a turtle move that fast. Mister has two turtles – a paint turtle and a box turtle – and while I have no idea what kind of turtle Ava is, I do know she will get to be much bigger than either of ours. The vendors told us that Ava would be upwards of 300-500 pounds, and that their son had others that big at home. I can’t even imagine!

But there aren’t just animals at the Swap Meet. It’s also home to some of the strangest goodies you can find. Things you never expect to see. Like this…

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At the same booth as Ava, I spotted this treasure poking out from between some other household items. I couldn’t help but go into nerdy girl mode, grabbing Mister and going, “Austen…that’s Jane Austen…oh…my…Jane…” while trying not to jump with joy at this ornate find. How much did the Jane Austen tile door hanger set me back? Oh, a big whopping 50 cents. My absolute favorite find of the day.

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I guess since I was all hyped up in English Major glory at the find of the Jane Austen hanger, it took everything in me not to pull out a permanent marker to correct this to “PEN”, but I still couldn’t help but get a giggle out of it. Only at the Swap Meet…

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I’m pretty sure this guy never ages. He’s been at the Swap Meet since I started coming when I was younger. He never changes a bit. He’s a walking talking infomercial for these as seen on tv knives, and if you stick around for the demo, you’ll get a free knife and maybe even a juicer gadget. We definitely came home with a couple of free knives. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here’s Mister (toting my pink “satchel” – isn’t he cute?) digging through some nifty kitchen utensils. I’m pretty impressed with the spatula he’s holding, since with the press of a lever it fans out to three spatulas to flip some extra big burgers. Can’t wait to try it out!

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It’s all kinds of people from all walks of life selling all sorts of random things…from the hippies I bought my new favorite purse from, to seeing the lawn game that was discontinued for being too dangerous (and seriously considering purchasing it if we’d had a little more cash), to the spice man who gave me the excellent idea to add mango extract to my next batch of homemade bread. The experiences you have at the Lucasville Swap Meet are one of a kind. We may not have bought much, but it’s the fun of searching through odds and ends and meeting all sorts of new people. What did we come home with? Well, here’s a photo of our total haul:

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And now for the other part of our trip! – THE RIBBER!!!

About 10 miles back down the road from Lucasville, we made our stop for dinner in Portsmouth, Ohio. Normally we’d stop at a little diner named Hickie’s, but being Sunday it was closed. I knew of one other place I was dying to go, since it’s rare that we are up that way. A couple of months ago, my family discovered The Ribber thanks to some co-workers suggesting it to my sister. We didn’t know what to expect when we finally found the place. A small building off the main road a little ways and close to the river. There didn’t seem to be much special about the building itself, just a brick building in small town Ohio.

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You might not even give this place a second glance…if it weren’t for the arsenal of smokers they have going out back, 3-4 going on a regular basis for the restaurant and their own fleet of portables ready to go when needed. When I first saw the smokers a few months ago, I knew there was going to be something worthwhile about this place, and believe me, I was right. We’ve been making trips to Portsmouth ever since just to come eat at The Ribber. The best part about getting to go after the Swap Meet was that Mister had only ever tasted their food when I would bring it home for him. This time he would get the full Ribber experience in person.

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Even on the inside, you start to wonder what has people so crazy about ย this place. Sure, it’s a small local restaurant with as many seats crammed in as humanly possible and a bar that seems to always have every stool full. It’s dimly lit and packed to the brim with all the small town characters you’d expect. But what makes The Ribber such a hit?

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The first time my family and I went, there was a rather long wait for our food, but even the menu warns that that will usually be the case because of the smoking process. It just had us curious because people were tripping all over themselves to get into this place, so wouldn’t they balk at a long wait for their dinner? Why would people keep coming back if they had to wait so long? …Well, let me tell you this, and believe me even this is an understatement…it is worth every single minute you wait for your food. There is absolutely nothing better. I have never been more impressed with a little local restaurant than how blown away I was by the Ribber.

Why was it so impressive? Well, unfortunately when I first went, I only had my iPod to take a picture of my food… which by the way was a 32oz ribeye that I split with my mother. It comes as two 16oz ribeyes, but I really wish there’d been a scale handy because I’m pretty sure everything weighed double what they say it does. There was no way even between the two of us we could finish it off. We ended up taking one whole steak home and splitting it again at another meal. Let’s see if I can dig up a handy dandy iPod photo of this bad boy…

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Doesn’t ย even begin to do it justice, but quite literally one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. It’s even better if you ask for a cup of the “drippin’s”, basically the au jus of delicious steak juices. Incredible.

So to start our meal off, Mister and I ordered a cheeseball appetizer. I know, right? A restaurant serving a cheese ball as an appetizer. You don’t see that very often. Usually you just see the ones you make at home to bring to parties, but oh buddy…is this one delicious cheeseball. I’m not sure what they are doing to it that makes it so different from cheeseballs we’ve made at home, but whatever they are doing, they are doing it RIGHT.

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As tempting as it was to get the steak as I’ve done every single other time I’ve visited The Ribber, I finally opted to try something new. Both my sister and my father have had their “ribs” and highly enjoyed them. I exaggerate the “ribs” with quotation marks because these aren’t exactly what you think of when someone just tells you ribs. Ribs, those bony little things you have to eat like a whole rack of to get full, right? No. Not at all. Not at The Ribber, no sir, cause that’s just not how they do things. Don’t look at the menu and say, “Two piece rib dinner? Pshhh…forget that. Give me five.” That would be an overwhelming mistake. Why? Because these ribs are country style and about the size of pork chops.

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Again, I ate for two days on my dinner. Although, I can’t help but giggle because one of my ribs seems to be shaped like a rather lewd anatomical part. Sorry! Had to say it! You know you were thinking it, too. Anyway, I also adore those wonderful Ribber fries, the crispy fried potatoes that are somewhere between a chip and a french fry. Delicious! The Ribber is one of a kind, and the food will definitely have you coming back for more. It’s certainly worth the trip.

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All in all, a very fun and fantastic day we shared at the Swap Meet and Ribber. I’d consider it a success. Oh, and check out our matching tie dye shirts from the previous Creative Chronicle post! Aren’t we just a-dork-able? Until next time, go out and have some adventures of your own (or come to the next Swap Meet and have some adventures with us!) !

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We’d like to introduce you…


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Mister and I would like to introduce you to our precious new addition to our family – Otis Bartholomew Percival Doodle Remy! Oh yes, quite the big name for such a small dog, but we like to make him feel super special. Mister and I had wanted a pug so badly, it bordered on obsession. I had pug slippers, pug purses, pug salt n pepper shakers, and more all before we ever had Otis. It’s taken us almost a year since we started looking, but we finally have him, and he really just fell into our laps. Our Valentine’s Day was less than spectacular since I worked all morning and afternoon, and Mister worked from afternoon until late at night. Needless to say, we didn’t celebrate. The day after though, we had a few fun things planned, but first Mister needed to run to our Walmart to go to the bank. As we rounded the corner of the parking lot, I spotted a woman holding a small pug puppy up in the air (think Lion King style here). As I later found out, she’d been there less than ten minutes before we pulled up. She was supposed to get her female pug fixed before the end of February, but mommy and daddy pug had other plans. This litter was born December 18, 2011. There was only one male – our Otis. Our perfect Valentine’s gift for each other. 

He’s been absolutely perfect. Only 8 weeks old, and he was already potty trained! He’s never even had an accident. He’s Momma’s little boy, that’s for sure. I just can’t get enough of him. I’m probably driving him nutso with all of my constant lovin’ and picture taking. I can’t help it though, he’s too adorable! Especially when he lets me dress him up ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Talk about one embarassed puppy. I make up for it though by spoiling him rotten with the best treats and toys. He’s already claimed a stuffed Mickey as his best friend and will not go to sleep without his little cuddle buddy.  You can’t deny how cute this is…

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No doubt you will be seeing a lot more of Otis around the Creative Chronicle blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

LEXINGTON TRIP – Boyd’s Orchard (Versailles)


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As you read in the previous post, last weekend Mister and I spent some time in Lexington for the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show. As you can tell, it was an amazing experience. Once we’d consumed as much free food as we could and visited every booth in the show, we decided to head out and find what else Kentucky had to offer. After a quick call to my former-Lexington-resident-sister, we set the GPS for Boyd’s Orchard in Versailles, KY (a few miles outside of Lexington). I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting – maybe just a simple country orchard known only to locals where you could pick your own apples – not so! It was an all-in-one attraction. Sure, there was apple picking, but also a market, kiddie train rides, live music, an entire kid entertainment playground, and a petting zoo with all my favorite country critters. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tee-hee! A ride on this tiny train was oh so tempting! 

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My new friend says “Hello!”

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Couldn’t resist the photo op! ๐Ÿ™‚

I get irresistibly giddy around critters of any variety, so we spent a good amount of time here before taking off towards the apple orchards. We did make a quick detour to check and see if any grapes were still left, even though we had unfortunately missed the season. While there weren’t many that were great for eating, they did make for lovely photos.

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Finally, we headed to the orchard. It was slightly disheartening as we entered the orchards to hear a man on his cell phone loudly exclaim to whomever was on the other line, “Don’t even waste your time coming to the orchard. There’s not a single apple on any of the trees!” Thankfully, he was wrong. While most the apples in the section he had been in had already fallen from the trees or started to rot, with a little bit of walking we found some perfectly ripe apples. My brother in law later informed me that there was supposed to be a nifty gizmo we should have been given to pick the apples out of the tree, but we didn’t receive said gizmo and instead opted for the natural method of plucking apples from the trees.

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We collected so many different varieties of apples, and I believe our total was 22.3 pounds. While we are still working on eating all those delicious apples, we did consume an entire half-gallon jug of the orchard’s own apple cider while out picking apples in the sun.

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Doesn’t this look like the poison apple from Snow White somewhat? Half red, half white.
We even found what we dubbed our “poison apple tree”…

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I would love to come back to Boyd’s Orchard, especially when peaches are available – or strawberries, asparagus, or any other wonderful produce the orchard has growing during the year. It was an incredibly fun experience for both Mister and myself. If you are ever in Versailles, be sure to stop by!