Posted in knitting, Reading

My Top Binge-Worthy Movies and TV Shows

I’m want to share with you my top binge-worthy movies or TV Shows I can watch over and over again. Sometimes I find it’s hard to carve out the time to sit and knit on bigger projects. But it can be easier if you’re watching a great movie or TV show to sit and find a couple of quality hours knitting to your day.

This may post contain affiliate links. If you click on my link and choose to make a purchase there will be no additional charge to you. I make a small commission from your purchase that helps keep my blog going. 

A Knight’s Tale

Perhaps the number one binge-worthy movie for my family is A Knight’s Tale. It is a romantic comedy set in medieval England. It stars some great actors; Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany, and Alan Tudyk to name a few.

The story, in a nutshell, is about a man that takes advantage of a situation to change the projection of his life, win the heart of a woman, beat the bad guy, and all on his own terms. What great movie is ablut these things? But hthis story is loosely inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

For me, the cast of supporting actors makes this the great story it is. Specifically, with the addition of a character going by the name of Chaucer, played by Paul Bettany, this tale truly comes to life. It’s funny, heartwarming and has a great soundtrack. The sets and the costumes and the music, all lend themselves to a period drama yet adding a whimsical touch of contemporary flair making this a stand out movie for my whole family.

I’ve seen this about 100 times and could watch it 100 more!

A Knight’s Tale

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is a musical set in the Red Light district in Paris 1899. SO scandalous! The main characters are played by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor who are not singers, this really adds to the sweet vulnerability of their characters. Although I believe that they did some training to sing for this movie, and they basically sing the whole movie.

In this story, the girl is promised to marry a Duke but loves another. They secrectly plot to be together. But of course, it is never simple. There’s a bigger secret lurking in the background that cannot be hidden forever.

The soundtrack for this is fabulous, Some of the greatest songs ever, adjusted to suit each scene making them feel new. The songs are perfectly chosen, doing a great job of explaining the feelings these characteristics are experiencing every step of the way. All the costumes are beautifully detailed. I like the vibe of this movie as it is set up to feel as if you were watching a play.

Moulin Rouge

Pride and Prejudice

There are a few adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. However, the only one to make it to my top list of binge-worthy, has to be the BBC mini-series. You know the one with Colin Firth. It is by far and away the best version. It’s approximately 6 hours of glorious knitting time! Would this be a binge-worthy movie or tv show? I think it had aired on PBS the first time I watched it. Every time my son Tim asks me my favorite movie, I always answer Pride and Prejudice.

This is based on one of Jane Austin’s most loved books also named Pride and Prejudice. Worth the read if you’ve never actually read the book.

Pride and Prejudice is about a boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love story. But it has so much more substance than that. The characters are endearing and are so ridiculous at times. I love the relationships explored in this story. For example, the relationship between the two oldest sisters, Elizabeth and Jane. I love how the characters of their mom and dad play off each other. And of course, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

To be honest, I really just think Colin Firth as Mr.Darcy is so dreamy. He’s reserved and expects so much of himself, always putting what he thinks is best for his family first. Watch it. You won’t be sorry.

Pride and Prujudice

Harry Potter anything

I would be remiss not to include this on any top binge-worthy movies and TV shows list. And you probably don’t need to me to tell you who or what Harry Potter is.

However, the story of Harry Potter is timeless and appropriate for all ages. It’s about the underdog winning the day, good guys vs. bad guys, THe relationships and superb characters are so well developed, with flaws and all, which makes them so real. Stories and backstories and then you can’t help but mix in your own wishes for their future. It’s a recipe for success, and there’s real magic, unless you are a muggle.

Harry Potter Audio Book

As I said you already know all about Harry Potter. So instead I want to make sure you about the wonderfulness of audiobooks of the Harry Potter series. And audiobooks and knitting are a perfect fit.

Let’s talk about the narrator, Jim Dale. He has had a varied career, acting, directing, singing and composing. He probably is an excellent dancer, too, but don’t quote me on that.

As Jim is narrating this story you feel as if there are a whole cast of actors working with him. Drawing you into the story as if for the first time. I know for me I didnt want to stop listening. As a side note, this is an excellent long car ride audiobook for everyine!

Jim Dale takes each character and creates a voice that weaves it’s own magic into your heart all over again. When Jim speaks as Hagrid, for example, you get the sense of Hagrid’s great half giant size, his sweet disposition and great love for strange animals. Professor Umbridge really becomes Professor Umbridge! You cannot imagine her any other way than the Jim Dale way ever again.

I’ve listened to all of these books more than once, probably as many as 10 times honestly. I bought them all on cassette and again on CD because I can’t imagine my life without this audio version of my favorite book series turned favorite movie series! And I have also borrowed the audio files from my library to listen to via my phone. It’s just that good.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Pushing Daisies

Speaking of Jim Dale, have you seen Pushing Daisies? This is a great TV show with some big hitters from the stage. Also, this happens to be narrated by Jim Dale!

This show has been underrated in the mass market world in my opinion. It has terrific costumes and very colorful sets. Not to mention is also has bursts of Musical Flair, sung by the fabulous Kristin Chenoweth. My favorite character is the no-nonsense detective played by Chi McBride, who also just happens to be a knitter!

The show is about Ned, who has a special gift to bring something back to life by touching it. Of course, this gift has ramifications of the deadly kind. In between baking pies, Ned hooks up with a detective and they go on adventure filled crime-solving sprees.

This show only has two seasons but with great characters, matched with amazing costumes and colorful sets, you can’t go wrong. And as a said quite a few broadway actors that are always worth watching.

In fact, come on over right now and let’s watch it together while we knit! I’ll go pull out the DVDs right now.

Pushing Daisies

One more binge-Worthy TV show

Outlander is a Starz tv series based on a book series by Diana Gabaldon of the same name. The first book specifically in the series is Outlander, There are 8 full books and several novellas featuring secondary characters in the books. The books on their own are amazing I can’t encourage you enough to go read them. I realize the books are on the large side, especially considering there are 8, but they are so worth the read.

Back to the show Outlander. Outlander begins in England just as WWII is coming to an end. As you are getting to know the main two characters, Clair and Frank Randall, something unbelievable happens. Clair unwittingly falls through a rock and back in time over 200 years! I know what your thinking. I’m not into all that time travel stuff. Trust me, this is neither here nor there. Clair has to find her way through this new world and navigate some really traumatic events. While Clair is finding her way in the 18th century you will fall in love right along with her. The characters come right from the author’s imagination into a charming mix of fiction and real-life people keeping you captivated every step of the way.

The transitions this shows directors create between the two different time frames is flawless at propelling the story forward and back in a way that feels to organic.

Another amazing transition can be found in how Tobias Menzies portrays both Jonathan Wolverton Randall and Frank Randall. He manages to make you love one as much as you hate the other. He is so good. And don’t we all love to hate the bad guy!?!

Even if you haven’t read the books I highly recommend this show. Outlander has something for everyone, a love story, some fiction grounded in true history, fighting and humor. There currently are 4 seasons and even though the show veers from the books some it stands aloneand is excellent.

January Gansey Sweater that I’m so ready to finish.

top binge-worthy movies or TV Shows #knitting #binge-worthy #TV #movies #tvshows #movie #pushingdaises #harrypotter #jimdale #aknightstale #prideandprejudice #janeausten #moulinrouge #musical

Which of my top binge-worthy movies or tv shows have you seen? Find a new one and then watched it? Let me know if you have one I should add to my must binge-watch list!

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Happing binging and knitting.

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Posted in knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

Knit this adorable Baa-ble hat

Have you seen or knit this adorable Baa-ble Hat yet? It came out a few years ago for Shetland Wool Week in 2015. Many people knit it. People all over the world in fact.

knit baa-able hat #knitting #fairisle #fairisleknitting #colowork #strandedknitting #donnasmith #baablehat #shetlandwoolweek
Photo Credit Donna Smith via Ravelry pattern

If you haven’t knit this hat yet definitely add it to your must-knit list. You will be in good company. As of this writing, there are 9072 projects listed on Ravelry for this adorable Baa-ble hat. However, they aren’t all hats. The chart from this has been worked into so many other items. Obviously, there are lots of hats, but there are also socks, cowls, and sweaters to give you an idea. The chart itself as exploded into its own identity. There’s white, black, brown, and even rainbow sheep. People have added a Llama in place of one sheep and I’ve even seen a sheep-dog join the sheep.

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Try this simple Life Hack for Clif Bars

This simple life hack for Clif Bars was shared with me by my youngest daughter, Joey. It’s so remarkably simple I can’t believe I never thought of it myself. I know you’re going to love it, too.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on my link and choose to make a purchase there will be no additional charge to you. I make a small commission from your purchase that helps keep my blog going.

My favorite Clif Bars

My very favorite Clif Bars are the Chocolate Chip. Another great one for this life hack with Clif Bars is the Chocolate Brownie one. I also enjoy some of the seasonal flavors like Iced Oatmeal and Mint Chocolate Chip. Keep your eye out for these.

Today I tried this life hack with a Nutella Filled one. I was hoping the filling would be like a lava cake. It was not, but it still tasted good.

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Posted in Instagram, Recipes

How to make French Press Coffee

I’d like to share how to make french press coffee with you. Making French press coffee is easy and inexpensive. It’s also delicious!

Supplies

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on my link to make a purchase there will be no additional charge to you. I make a small commission from your purchase that helps keep my blog going.

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Posted in Chickens, Homesteading, Other Crafts

Egg-tastic- How I Present My Eggs For Selling

How I Present My Eggs For Selling

Egg-tastic – How I present my eggs for selling is all about the packaging. Earlier I told you about my love for good packaging. The last couple of weeks I’ve been working to come up with great packaging for the eggs I sell. I think I nailed it and it’s egg-tastic!

chickens with fresh eggs

Previously sister-in-law, Ruth, and her husband gathered an entire box full of recycled egg cartons. And they brought them to me when they visited last November. Ruth was also very excited to gather the eggs every day. She defintly had a serious case of chicken fever.

Egg Cartons

The most important supply is the previously mentioned recycled egg cartons. I have many. Which is a good thing. I did sort through them and chose the ones I like the best. There are two styles I prefer.

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Posted in Holidays, Nature, Other Crafts, Reading

Packaging – It’s in the details

I’m a sucker for good packaging.

When it comes to packaging, for me, it’s in the details. The quality of any item is instantly elevated when you have good graphics and a pretty package. It is my opinion that anticipation is the best part, gift wrapping adds a special part to that.

For the style of packaging I prefer repurposed, hand wrapping, and a touch whimsy with a historical feel. And if I am being honest, even if it’s just the illusion of those things, it’s good.

If I personally purchased an item and it arrives prettily packaged it feels special. Like I received a gift from the seller, not just a product. Good packaging also encourages me to purchase from the seller again. Susannah’s Kitchen on Etsy is really good at packaging. I love her aprons and wear one most days, I’ve ordered no less than 5 aprons from her, the product is good on its own. The aprons arrive perfectly pressed, are handmade to order, and each package comes in a uniquely sized box and that is wrapped like a gift. But truly, I’m telling you, every detail is pure perfection. I wish I had photographed one when I opened it to share the magic with you.

It’s better to give than recieve

Not only do I like to receive good packaging, but I like to create good packaging. Recently I shared my Halloween goodies that were handed out at Trunk-or-Treat. These are a great example my joy in creating good packaging. And, I theme never hurts.

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Learn Something ​Every Day

Many moons ago my younger kids would have a clown visit their elementary school. The clown had some great taglines. Mainly “The more you read, the more you know.” Also, “If you learn something every day, then every day will be worthwhile.” I don’t remember the clown’s name, I definitely remember his taglines. Consequently, I’ve repeated both them over the years. And I do try to learn something new every day.

Just today I learned a few things. So, I guess it was a good day for me. But not for a particular bird.

The First Thing I learned

Chuck went out this afternoon to dig a hole and install the first part of a Purple Martin House pole system. He called my attention to a couple of yellow feathers he found. He asked what bird it was from. At this point I didn’t know.. I decided to look around and see if I could find any other feathers. This leads me to the first thing I learned. It’s cold out!

Although that’s not truly something I learned. As I did actually know it. I shouldn’t be walking around without a coat and wearing my house shoes in the mud! In fact, I would scold a kid for doing the exact same thing. I decided to go in and get a coat and change into my boots. Dressed warmly, I went back out to look for more feathers.

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Posted in Instagram, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, yarn

River of Dreams

Don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee

The first thing I do in the morning is let out the chickens and clean the coop. Then coffee. Always coffee. River of Dreams is perfect to knit while my brain is absorbing caffeine from the coffee to wake up. Usually, I have Instagram stories playing. I knit about 10-12 rows a day. true too, is i move a little slow in the mornings. So now you can understand why it’s taking so long to finish.

You will remember from previous posts, the pattern River Of Dreams by Lauren Rene, was written in conjunction with the anniversary of LYS Flying Needles. I love that this shawl has a playful mix of colorful stripes throughout. The yarn I’m using was a kit from the shop created for this shawl. It also included an exclusive color, River Of Dreams, there are five colors in all. I’d say I’m about 75% done with my shawl.

Some changes I incorporated

I decided to work a garter stitch border rather just Stockinette as the pattern is written. I knit 10 rows of Garter giving me 5 ridges, then 5 stitches of Garter on each end. It’s my preference that the edges to lay flat. Which is why I went with the garter stitch border.

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Posted in Gardening, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, Shopping, Williamsburg, VA, yarn

Wool Sweaters

I haven’t knit myself a sweater since 2017. I felt this needed to be remedied. So I joined the Olive Knits January Gansey Sweater knit along.

JanGan2_sm_medium2
Photo credit to OliveKnits, Marie Greene from Ravelry

The January Gansey Sweater is a pattern written by Olive Knits. There is a KAL group on Facebook and on Ravelry where people are sharing and asking questions. There also are weekly videos discussing the technical aspects of this sweater hosted by Marie Greene of OliveKnits. as luck would have it there happen to be a few other people besides myself making this sweater at the LYS, Flying Needles. I’ve chosen to knit mine with Berroco Ultra Wool DK in a pretty moss green color. I’m using the color #83118 in the dye lot of 7C4778. I’m modifying where I start the cables to what I feel will suit my charming Apple Shape a bit better, but otherwise will be following the pattern.

I chose this specific knit along because it included a technique I always wanted to try, underarm gussets. I would not be surprised if you just read that last sentence and it didn’t even sound like a real thing. Underarm Gusset, indeed. I assure you, all the non-knitters and knitters alike, that it is indeed real and it’s a very old and useful technique.

A Gansey or Guernsey Sweater is a traditional woolen knit sweater often worn my fisherman. Now, I’m not a fisherman, but I will be wearing this sweater. And, I do enjoy learning about historical clothing, especially when it also incorporates knitting.

IMG_8952

As I was working along on my sweater it occurred to me it might be a good time to also go ahead and strip off the lavender flowers from the bouquet I bought at the Williamsburg Farmers Market this fall and make new sachets. While doing this I took this opportunity to add a couple drops of Lavender essential oil to some of the older lavender sachets I had made in the past. I now have freshly protected drawers in which I can store my sweater once I finish it.

I have six or so sweaters I’ve knit and a dresser full of other things knit. Mostly I knit with wool so protection against moths is really important.

So for the next week, I expect I’ll be plugging along on the stockinette body of my January Gansey Sweater. This will have the added bonus of making the fussy cabled section to be minimal. Allowing me to focus on my two oldest sons, Charlie and Ricky,  while they are here for a visit. They will be here this coming weekend. I am very much looking forward to seeing them.

IMG_1537

I will be starting the cables a few inches before the underarm gusset. I expect both these things will require my undivided attention. And in truth, I really want to give my boys my undivided attention, too. So I may have to set the sweater aside when I get to this point. Good thing I have several other projects I can knit as a back-up. You can never be too prepared.

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Wool Sweaters #protectwool #woolprotection #lavender #lavendersachets "lavenderesstionaloil

Happy knitting.

Posted in Home, Shopping

Some ways I save Money

I have broken down some of the ways I save money into sections. I take advantage of apps, store programs, and loyalty cards to name a few.

The biggest way I save has to do with Harris Teeter. Harris Teeter and Kroger are the same company so it’s possible Kroger has similar deals, but we don’t have a Kroger, so you have to check if that’s the store local to you. When you make a purchase using your loyalty card at Harris Teeter they give you fuel points, as well as their VIC loyalty card sales. One point for every dollar you spend, but if you buy gift certificates you get TWO points for every dollar.

We do grocery shop there but I definitely take advantage of that GC deal. I buy GC for restaurants, all sorts of stores, including Harris Teeter and even Amazon. We almost always have enough points to get the maximum of $1 off of our gas purchases. That’s for both my car, Chuck’s car, and even the lawnmower for $1 off per gallon of gas all the time.

Allow me to point out that many of the GCs, especially with Amazon, I then use Ebates for the actual shopping, getting the cash pack for that. I then upload my receipts for Points on Receipt Pal. Then I use the Ibotta App for individual items I purchase to get the coupon refund. Remember, many of my purchases were made with the GCs I bought at Harris Teeter earning those fuel points.

One the ways to save money is with Ebates. Anytime I do online shopping I try to do so through Ebates. You simply log into Ebates and then either search for the store you want in the search bar or look through all the store icons. There’s even a way you can save by shopping in physical stores by linking your credit card. I’ve done this at Plow and Hearth just this past month, I got 12% cash back on that purchase. If you sign up via my link you get $10 and so do I! This is my most used app for how I save money.

Ebates Link

Another great way I save money is with the Receipt Pal app. You take pictures of all your receipts, upload them and you collect points. Then you can convert points into gift cards. I usually convert them into Amazon gift cards. Then I go to Amazon through Ebates and earn cash back!

Receipt Pal App

I use the Ibotta app as a way to save money with their electronic coupons. Choose your store, go through the list of items with “coupons” and check the things you will buy, make your purchases, and take a picture of your receipt. That’s it. You can even link loyalty cards for a quicker process from some stores. They often run specials for people giving and using referral codes so use my link below, please.

Ibotta App. Referral link.

Now let’s talk about Amazon. We belong to Amazon as a Prime Member so we get free shipping and many other perks. [There is a yearly fee for Prime.] But the biggest advantage, if you ask me, is their Subscribe and Save. If you use this and have at least 5 things each month, regardless of how much or what the items are, you save an extra 5% off the already discounted subscriber price. I use this for all kinds of things and I change it around each month as my needs change. I usually use it for things like dishwasher detergent, dog and chicken food, coffee, and Frontline flea and tick for the dogs. You get reminders to edit your cart before it ships, you don’t payuntil it ships and I have it set up to use those GCs before a credit card. And it is delivered right to your door.

Amazon

Another way I save is with Grove Collaborative. This company is a subscription type shipment that I can change monthly as my needs change or even skip shipments as often as I like. They carry brands that have fewer toxic ingredients and more natural alternatives from cleaning to paper products or anywhere in between.

The products are sold at a discount from 7-40% off. And, Grove also offers price matching! SO check around for the best price and just let them know. They have free shipping with a VIP membership that has a $19.99 annual membership fee and VIP’s get free products throughout the year so it’s well worth it. You don’t actually have any minimum amount or obligation to purchase anything at any time. I use many of their cleaning and body products.

If you sign up with my link below you will get whatever the special is, right now it is a free 5 piece cleaning kit and I get $10! Plus you can shop them via Ebates for $2 cash back. Like Amazon, your orders are delivered right to your door. Plus, staying out of the store is another way I save money.

Grove Collaborative

How do I pay for all these things? With my Capital One Venture card. Including the purchase of the gift certificates. I earn points for all my purchases using this card. I can then use the points for things like airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, and restaurant purchases. It is, however, imperative that you pay it off every month. If you don’t pay it off every month all the above things are useless.

This post contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

What other ways do you save? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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Happy saving.