Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I love this time of year! It's a time of reflection (what did I do this year??? How do the years keep speeding up?) And for me it's a time for change. I love everything Christmas...but as soon as it is over I want to instantly put everything away. I think it has become worse over the years because as a shop owner I start working on my winter line in spring....and start attending Holiday craft shows in October....so by December I'm pretty much over it.

The kids begged to keep the tree a bit longer, but this weekend that bad boy is coming down and the half eaten gingerbread house is going in the trash. Every scrap of wrapping paper will be confiscated and all toys will find homes (most likely some old toys will be donated to find room). I will be in full nesting mode, without the hassle of being pregnant.

I. Love. Organization.

I felt the need to do a little online housekeeping too! I will be moving all of my inventory to my etsy shop, I have updated my webpage (www.alittleknitty.com), launched this knitting blog and brought a cohesive look to all social media. I still have some tweaks...but it is getting there! A huge thank you to Rhonda (www.rhondajaidesigns.com
www.rhondajai.etsy.com) for making everything come together super quickly and smoothly!!!

This year will be exciting...so many opportunities are presenting themselves and years of persistently pursuing my passion (say that 5 times fast) are paying off!

Thank you for joining me on this fun ride...I appreciate it more than I can express!!

Happy New Year...I hope 2015 brings you joy and happiness!

Knitting takes balls

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Be A Little Knitty

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Little Knitty was born 6 years ago. It started out VERY small...just making hats for my little man and some of his friends. Each winter it has grown and this year we are expanding so that YOU can knit your very own 'A Little Knitty' creation in your own home!!

This blog will share new information about products, tricks and tips and video instruction!

Please subscribe to this blog so you don't miss out on the fun!


Why I don't want to be gluten free

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In November I landed in Urgent Care twice in two weeks due to pretty severe stomach pain. Since then I have done some testing and through it all they can tell me what I don't have. I also have bouts of pain in my hands and feet (to the point I cannot walk) that seem to have some correlation with what I eat/drink but I have no proof. Again, they can't tell me what is wrong with me...but they know what it isn't. 

So, I did some reseach and decided to do a little experimenting on my own. I've been pretty much gluten free since Novemeber 2013 (I do cheat here and there) and my stomach pain is completely gone and hand/foot problem seems to be under control. 

For the most part I try to stay away from gluten, mostly because this forces me to eat healthier and has made most fast food completely off limits. I really think the good that comes from being "gluten free" has less to do with skipping the bread and more to do with staying away from processed foods (unless you are celiac...which is a whole 'nother story). 

I really dislike admitting I'm gluten free. Immediately I sound like someone who has jumped aboard some fad to lose weight (this decision had nothing to do with weight and everything to do with pain). Then I'm offered many "gluten free" alternatives. The funny thing about those is that most breads/cookies/cakes have an ingredient list longer than my arm and I have no doubt in 5 years we will discover they are harmful! I'm not looking to replace processed foods with more processed foods. 

So I've decided I'm "gluten selective" I try to focus on foods naturally gluten free (oatmeal, corn tortillas, lean meats, beans, brown rice fruits and veggies) and when I want to indulge in cake or cookies, I will make it small and make sure it is made with high quality ingredients instead of chemicals and junk! 

I'm thrilled with how good I feel and how much I don't miss bread. And some weight loss has been a perk of course!! 

If you are thinking about going gluten free please continue to read labels and think about what you are putting in your body. A gluten free label does NOT make it healthy!!!!!

Freshly Picked, Not Just For Babies!

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm a total geek...I admit this!

Not so much computer nerd geek...but female entrepreneur geek. I LOVE learning about women who have followed their passion, create beauty and just plain kick butt in the business world! I think one of my favorite shows is Shark Tank and it WOULD be a dream to be on the show if I wasn't certain one of the sharks (ok, more than one) would probably make me cry! ;)

I was impressed by Susan even before she appeared on 'Shark Tank' but it was because of the show that I learned more about her story. Not only has she created a kick ass business selling amazing quality, adorable moccasins...she did it with only $200 in her pocket! You can read more about Susan here...she really is an inspiration!

Although I think her moccs are insanely cute, I assumed they weren't for me because I thought they were just for pre-walkers...boy was I wrong!!!

Little Miss P in her Freshly Picked Moccs

These shoes are so freaking cute and they make them all the way up to size 10. I will tattle on myself, I didn't measure Miss P and I ordered the wrong size...however with the way she has been growing lately, it will probably be a couple weeks and they will fit just fine! So don't be like me...Freshly Picked has an awesome sizing chart that you can print out...USE IT!!!

Little Miss P and I were lounging on the couch this afternoon when we heard a knock at the door. As soon as she spotted the box, she asked if it was for her (ok, I MIGHT have a shopping addiction). I squealed when I saw it was indeed for her...then SHE squealed when I opened it up and unveiled her new shoes. This girl is already on her way to a MAJOR shoe addiction...and has good taste!! Immediately she wanted to put them on...and now I can't get them off her! 

We love FP

I am planning a fun giveaway in August that will include a pair of Freshly Picked Moccs, a Hat by A Little Knitty and a few other goodies for your little one this fall!! Stay Tuned!

UPDATE: My daughter is potty training...and today we had an accident. She came running around the corner of the house screaming "TAKE OFF MY SHOES BEFORE THEY GET PLOPS IN THEM" (yes, my kid calls her poop "plops"...long story!)

Potty Training Just Got Real

Thursday, May 22, 2014

So, this week I finally took the leap...the REAL potty training. Up until now it was something like this...

1. Put daughter in underwear
2. Daughter pees on floor, carpet, couch
3. I get frustrated and put her in diapers

This was getting both of us no where. So I finally manned up (womaned up??) and got rid of EVERY diaper in the house...EVERY one. This was super scary, for me. So here are a few things I've learned in the last few days.

1. If I have an inkling that my little brown eyed beauty is about to pee/poop...I should trust that feeling.

2. I have never in my life been so excited to see someone poop.

3. When selecting shoes for the day, pick ones that are easily rinsed and collect urine.

4. Just because you've potty trained a child, doesn't make it any easier...or make you feel any less like a first time parent.

5. "Let it go" makes an AMAZING potty training song....seriously, try it out...
     Let it go, let it go don't hold it in anymore Let it go, let it go wipe your butt and slam the lid...

Things are improving on the potty training front (only ONE accident today) and I just might survive this...maybe.

Homemade Chili Mac

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I was raised on Hamburger Helper...I actually liked it! But as I got older I figured out the convenience was great...but there was better tasting meals out there. I have also learned it's not any harder to make a version that is healthier, cheaper and more filling!! So...it took some tweaks but I finally found an easy version that my son goes back for THIRDS and thanks me for the yummy dinner...that is super awesome!!

Homemade Chili Mac

1 lb ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red beans
1 can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp cumin (or to taste)
1.5 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1.5 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I use gluten free)

Brown ground beef, add seasoning then cans of bean, tomatoes and sauce. Over medium heat add uncooked noodles and then turn down the heat and cover and cook for 30 min or until noodles are cooked through (gluten free seems to take a bit longer) we top with shredded cheese and pica de gallo! 

Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Giveaway

Monday, May 12, 2014

Guess what? We are giving away a prize that will make you the coolest person at your next baby shower!!

How do you win?? 

Go to our Rafflecopter giveawayand enter the contest by liking these amazing shops...even if you don't win the big prize, you will get to follow some AMAZING talent!!

What will you win?? 

Over $200 worth of pretty stinkin' cute stuff...

GORGEOUS Deluxe Handmade Diaper Bag from 'Personality, Ink
Bee Hat & Nest from 'Rebel Skein
$10 towards baby t-shirt from 'Monkey Bug
You are my sun and moon Wall Hanging from 'Jumping Jack Boutique
Binky from 'Binky Babies
Fishy Teething Necklace from 'Imagineif
Knit hat (with removable bow...in case it's for a boy!) from 'A Little Knitty
Knit Diaper Cover from 'Sweet Pea Knits
$30 Etsy Gift Certificate from 'Garden of Arden' 'Sweet Besitos Creations' and 'Lovey Lake'   

Make sure you like all the business pages AND share on Instagram for entry into a second MYSTERY prize worth $100. Search #UBSGG14 to find out more!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I have heard the testimony of many who swear by homemade laundry detergent, read multiple blogs about it and even pinned a pin or two on the subject. In theory it sounded great, but I was a little intimidated (Fels whatnow???) and thought it would be hard/messy. One week at MOPS our craft activity was to make laundry soap...they did all the hard work (like find washing soda...is that near diet coke???) and I finally witnessed the insanely easy process and got to use it and find out my clothes were just as happy!!

So, this week the batch I made at MOPS ran out and I was faced with a choice...buy detergent or man up and go buy the ingredients...

I found myself in the detergent aisle...a little lost as they do their best to hide the 3 items I needed! I'm fairly certain the big detergent companies pay to put these items in awful locations...BUT I PREVAILED!!!!

So here is the lowdown. You don't have to be a hippy/tree hugger to make this stuff...you just need a few minutes and want to save a little money! :)

Bar of soap - 4.5 oz or about 1/3 of a 14oz bar (different sites listed different soaps but I picked zote, but you can use others) 

Then you need a cup of washing soda 

And a cup of borax

That's it!!

I shred up the bar with a cheese grater then added the cup of each powder and threw it all in my Ninja blender to really make everyone friendly!

Put all of that in a jar with a tablespoon tucked inside and when it is clothes washing time, I start the water and throw in two tablespoons of the little concoction and we are in business!!!!

I haven't done the math yet...but it's much cheaper than Tide!

Now, if I could find a way to save money on toilet paper...I hate paying for something I just flush but cannot get on board with any toilet paper alternative! ;)

Banana Cookies

Monday, May 5, 2014

The other day my friend came over to borrow a 1/2 cup of almond milk to make some cookies. As payment for my amazing feat of kindness (really, it was no problem) she paid me back in cookies!!!

Best. Payment. Ever.

These cookies are so perfect for me because they are naturally gluten free AND weight watchers friendly. This is VERY hard to find in a dessert!

I put the bananas, applesauce, almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon in the Ninja blender and gave it a spin... then folded in the oats and raisins and spooned out onto the baking sheet.

I'm pretty sure these would even be allowed if you were doing Weight Watchers "Simple Start" as long as you used fat free soy milk and no raisins!!

They are insanely yummy...you must try them! I would offer you some of the ones I made today...but they will be gone as soon as the kids go to bed! :)

Back on track with Meal Planning

At one point I was REALLY good at planning meals each Sunday for the full week...then life got uber chaotic and honestly I just gave up. I still had a vague idea of what was going on...but grocery shopping took place without an itemized list and most afternoons it was a surprise to me what I would whip together for dinner (thankfully these skills have improved over the years...early in our marriage this would have resulted in me looking through the pantry and having cheerios and skittles for dinner!)

This is a short week for me because I don't need to make dinner Friday night...so I sat down with the task of finding 4 yummy meals for the next 4 days AND making the shopping list fairly simple because my hubby was helping me out by going grocery shopping for me (he doesn't love grocery shopping and I usually end up confusing him...resulting in me being on the phone with him during his shopping excursion).

One of my biggest challenges with meal planning is my new found gluten intolerance. I really want to stick with whole foods and not rely on overly processed foods that have been chemically created to be gluten free (there is a blog rant brewing about this...) my biggest hurdle has been my favorite dinner, Hawaiian Haystacks, and finding a completely wheat free recipe...but I finally found a good one!

So here is our week! Monday I will prep the meatloaf and tatertot casserole for later in the week as well as cook the crock pot chicken....the rest of the week will be easy peasy after getting this work out of the way on Monday!

Monday: Lemon garlic Chicken

Tuesday: Tatertot Casserole 
This recipe: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/tater-topped-casserole-111257.aspx
but using this for the cream of mushroom soup http://glutenfreehomemaker.com/gluten-free-cream-soups-recipe/ 
and using ground turkey in place of ground beef

Wednesday: Hawaiian Haystacks 

Thursday: Meatloaf

What are you up to this week?

My "assistant"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

So I have this insanely cute "assistant" who works for hugs! :) I call my three year old my assistant because sometimes she really assists me...and other times it is intended to be sarcastic! ;) There are days where she "helps" by scattering packing slips or sticking shipping labels to her shirt (insanely funny, by the way...but then I have to reprint!) sometimes she just helps me eat my lunch...

...and other times she "knits" which resembles knots. But she tries so hard and I keep letting her help because I know one day it will turn into a marketable skill! I spent lots of time in my moms office, filing and doing anything else she would let me do...and it really did help me out later in life.

Most recently she has discovered a love of cooking...which is new territory for me because my son has never shown any interest despite my attempts! I usually ask her to help me count or dump into a bowl but today we tried a new task.

Awhile ago I was out of clean knives and needed to pierce some potatoes before I threw them in the microwave and discovered a corn cob holder works pretty darn well!!

So, I explained to little Miss P that it was VERY sharp but she could help me if she went slow (I was more worried about her puncturing me than herself). 

She did really well and was SO proud of herself! She really has taught me to let go a lot more (hello, my name is Jen and I like to be in control). Sometimes it's so easy for me to just do things...but if I just slow down I get to have some really fun moments with my assistant!!

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alright, maybe I'm just slow and everyone knows about this...but have you roasted Garbanzo Beans??? They are FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!!!!!

So here is what you do....ready? Cuz it's SUPER hard!

Take a baking pan (or whatever that thingie is called), spray it with oil of your liking, empty a can of Garbanzo Beans (rinsed) onto the pan and sprinkle with whatever you like (I used a good amount of cumin and a small sprinkle of chili powder). I think Mrs. Dash would be pretty yummy and maybe even a sweet version with cinnamon!

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, shaking every 15 minutes so they don't burn.

They cool off pretty quickly and disappear SUPER fast because they are sooooo yummy!!! I was hoping since I used spice my 3 year old would let me eat my snack in peace...but alas she thought they were fantastic and ate a ton!

I highly recommend organic beans with no extra "stuff" added.

The Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Giveaway

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yes, I haven't blogged in forever and YES, I keep promising to be better...but obviously I'm a busy liar! ;)

I have been busy knitting and growing my business and exciting things are happening!! One very exciting thing is an upcoming giveaway that I'm hosting...and it's already looking pretty awesome! Right now it is in the planning stages and we are still needing sponsors. Sponsors can contribute an item, or $10 cash to go towards a super exciting Etsy gift card (I'm telling you, this is going to be an awesome gift!!!) If you have a business, consider donating an item...and if you are pregnant, thinking about having a baby, going to a baby shower or might go to a baby shower in the near future...stay tuned!!!!

If you are interested in applying...please go here: Membership Application Form

Mexican Lasagna

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I used to beg people to teach me to cook! I didn't understand how someone could stand in front of an open fridge, grab random things and throw them together to make dinner...it boggled my brain!

Lately, I have noticed I'm able to do this more frequently...which is pretty darn cool! Today I'm feeling a little under the weather but I'm told my family still has to eat...so here is what I did! I found some corn tortillas and ground turkey in the freezer and a can of black beans in the pantry...so Mexican it was!

Mexican Lasagna

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 can black beans
1/2 cup diced onions
12 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheese

Brown ground turkey. When fully cooked, add diced onions, garlic and black beans. 

Cut all 12 tortillas in half and dredge 8 halves through the homemade enchilada sauce and place on the bottom of the 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the meat mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat until you have 3 layers ending with cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Enjoy!!

enchilada sauce
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp flour (I'm gluten free, but still did it this way)
1/4 cup chilli powder
2 cups chicken broth
10 oz ketchup 
2 Tbsp cumin

Heat oil and add flour. Whisk and cook about 1 min. Add chilli powder and cook and additional 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a low boil. Pour into a bowl and let cool.

Amazing Shops!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I have been blessed enough to meet some amazing ladies who follow their passion each day! Sometimes it is rough...but they keep trucking and inspiring others! Please check out their shops! You might find something you can't live without! :)

1. LovelyLake - www.loveylake.etsy.com
2. Imagineif Boutique - www.imagineifboutique.com
3. Wee Delights - www.WeeDelights.com
4. Pieces To Peaces - www.piecestopeaces.com
5. Saffron & Nutmeg - www.etsy.com/shop/saffronandnutmeg
6. DEAR CUB - www.dearcub.com
7. Raine+Skye - www.raineandskye.bigcartel.com
8. Curly Q's Counter - www.curlyqscounter.etsy.com
9. Weestructed - www.weestructed.com
10. Stripes Boutique - www.stripesboutique.com
11. Sweet Besitos Creations - www.sweetbesitoscreations.com 
12. Summer Sariah - www.summersariah.storenvy.com/
13. Drooly Scrumptious - www.droolyscrumptious.com
14. Jumping Jack Baby Boutique - www.jumpingjackjack.etsy.com
15. 10th and pepper - www.10thandpepper.com
16. Half Pint Kids - www.lilbellenyc.com
17. Pirapir - www.pirapir.com
18. EnchantedHoneyBee - www.EnchantedHoneyBee.com
19. Cloverbear Creations - www.etsy.com/shop/cloverbearcreations
20. Monkeybug - www.shopmonkeybug.com
21. Polish By Laura - www.etsy.com/shop/polishbylaura
22. 3 Birds Boutique - www.3birdsboutique.com
23. A Painted Nest - www.apaintednest.com
24. hello dear handmade - www.hellodearhandmade.storenvy.com
25. A Little Knitty - www.alittleknitty.com
26. BeautifulBabyO - www.etsy.com/shop/BeautifulBabyO
27. Lucky Face Threads - www.luckyfacethreads.com

The days feel like years and the years feel like days...

Friday, January 10, 2014

I was recently chatting with another mom about the phenomenon that our days feel sooooooooo long, but the year seems to fly by.

Today I have been reflecting a little about my life as a stay at home mom and how it has slowly morphed into a work at home mom of school aged kids. I feel like I'm one tiny step (potty trained child) from being in a totally different season of my life...and I'm very thankful!

I love my children. I love that I get the opportunity to be around them 24/7 for their early years. I'm thankful for the sacrifices we have made to allow this. But...I won't lie...it was hard! It's hard to be CONSTANTLY on the clock. It's hard to keep a curious 18 month old alive! It's hard to shower with a slippery 6 month old because they loose their mind when you step behind the curtain. It's hard to feel alone. And the hardest thing of all...no matter how well you did your job today, it will be exactly the same tomorrow! There will be more meals to make and clean up after, there will be more fits and diaper changes, there will be more of the same every. single. day. And it begins to feel like it will never end (especially if you decide to have more children!) 

Today, as I was running errands with my 2 year old while my 5 year old was in school...I realized how much I truly love being around my daughter now...but I won't lie, it wasn't always like this. Eighteen months to 30 months was HARD. If you are in this stage of your life, give yourself a pat on the back and let me say "this too shall pass". One day they WILL hold your hand in parking lots without running for the hills! One day they WILL help pick up. One day they WILL be able to tell you what they need/want without shrieking and freaking out! One day your purse WILL no longer weigh more than your child!!! One day you WILL look back on the days of teething and potty training and not remember that it was a form of torture!!! 

I'm actually sad that my days of mommy group get togethers and not having to wear a bra (cuz if you are staying home all day with an infant...there is no need to get all sorts of fancy like brushing your hair or putting on a bra)! ;) 

So when you are up to your neck in dirty diapers and dirtier dishes...try to remember that someday you will miss this...but for right now just count down the minutes to bedtime and grab a good glass of wine and toast to making it through another day that felt like a year!!

If you have a child under 2 years old...you MUST listen to this song! :) http://stearns.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/rested/

Missing in action

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ya, I've been completely missing in action. And not just from my blog, from meal planning, cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry...my poor family and house!!!

So what is new with you? *sits back with her coffee and waits for an update*

Well, since you asked...I've been a busy little bee!! This year my little knitting business has exploded and I'm beyond blessed! 

I have been an entrepreneur all my life (what 12 year old makes her own business cards? This girl!) it is my passion...and coupled with my passion for knitting, it fulfills a spot in my heart that just can't be touched by being "just a mom". I feel guilty saying that...I adore being a stay at home mom and I know I'm very lucky I get to do so...but owning my business is just awesome! Of course I have goals to grow, but with the new year I'm stepping back...checking the priorities and seeing where adjustments need to be made.

At some point I should start a new paragraph, huh?

My little ones are doing well. Mr. N is in all day kindergarten and Little Miss P is my sidekick and personal assistant (maybe she needs business cards!!) 

I discovered a few months ago after some horrible stomach pain, that I'm indeed lactose and gluten intolerant. Both seem to be fairly minor, I can still have little bits here and there...but if I have too much, my body lets me know! At first I didn't fully believe that was the problem (doctors didn't diagnose me, it was just an elimination diet) so I would test the waters...and that was just a bad idea! So now I am trying to meal plan and find freezer meals that are gluten free (dairy isn't as much an issue). This is an interesting journey and I hope to share recipes soon!!

Please check out my online store at www.alittleknitty.com and 'like' me on Facebook www.facebook.com/alittleknitty