Fiber Musings

It’s not you, it’s me…


I’ve been bad… I’ve been distant-
It’s not you, it’s me! I swear.

Where have I been? Ah sigh- enjoying life: Mothering, Wifeing, Designing, Knitting, Cooking…. All things that I love.

I have been anxious to reconnect and share how life has been unfolding. Until then, check out this bag. It is simple, sweet and ever-so accurate. It would make a great Mother’s Day gift for all the fiber loving maternals out there…



Monday Meal Highlight – Beef Orzo Skillet

BeefOrzoSkillet_800I have been a fan of the Cozi family organizer website and phone app for years. It is the ultimate way for me to organize my shopping lists, to-do lists, calendar, contacts and more. I can quickly save recipes from anywhere on the web and have them added to my Cozi recipe box. I can use the meal planner to plan meals for the week and then I can add all the ingredients from the recipes to my grocery list. And the best part? I can access all of it on my phone. Oh wait, even better?…. My husband can also access lists from his phone. “Hey hunny, can you pick up a few things from the grocery on your way home? It’s on the grocery list.”

No this is not a sponsored post, I just feel that this has made life soo much easier for me, especially as a avid recipe adventurer, mother and Type-A planner.

So this weeks meal highlight is a recipe straight from the Cozi blog. This Beef Orzo Skillet is a easy, hearty, AND it’s a one pot wonder. Ahh, sigh- I love a good one pot meal. I make a couple modifications to the recipe to try to make it a little healthier, which I have outlined below. Enjoy!

PREP TIME: 15 min
COOK TIME: 10 min
TOTAL TIME: 25 min
YIELD: 4 servings


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground beef  – (I use ground turkey)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes ( I use the garlic, basil, oregano flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth  – (I use vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta, dried (1 cup) – (I use whole wheat orzo, or substitue Cauliflower in lieu of the pasta)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed. (Several cups of fresh spinach works well, too)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Sprinkle salt into a 10 to 12 inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Crumble beef into pan and cook, stirring often, until meat begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, stir in onion, and continue to cook, stirring, until onion is soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Spoon off and discard excess fat.
  3. Add garlic, tomatoes (break them up with a spoon) and their liquid, broth, oregano, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then stir in pasta. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until pasta is tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach. Stir spinach into pasta mixture just until heated through.
  5. Serve with cheese to sprinkle on top.

via Beef Orzo Skillet | Cozi Simplifies Family Life.

Our Autumn Decor

Well it’s been a busy few weeks around our household- Baby E is now crawling, pulling up, and into everything! I went back to work for a few days to wrap up a project for my old firm and then came down with a terrible cough and have been under the weather for week. Luckily, I am on the mend just in time for Thanksgiving.  While we will be traveling for the holiday and wont celebrate Thanksgiving day in our own home, this didn’t put a damper on decorating for the holiday. I love that we have been curling up by the fire in the evening amidst colorful leaves, goofy gourds and sweet smelling candles.


The fireplace centers around a DIY wreath inspired by a Martha Stewart wreath that I featured in my earlier post “Autumn Decor Inspiration.”

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Free Autumn Printables

Currently Obsessed with… PLAID

How many patterns can be quirky or classic… hipster or hippie… and are suitable for all ages? Enter plaid.

I have been in love with plaid for a looo-ong time. My infatuation started as a young child way before it was trendy. For me, plaid has always been a symbol of warmth, family and wholesome fun. My dad and my grandfather always wore plaid flannel shirts on the weekends. Dad may have been in a dress shirt and tie all week, but come Saturday morning he’d be sitting down at the breakfast table in a plaid shirt and I knew that the weekend fun was about to begin. When we would load up the car for a sporting event or camping trip there were always a handful of plaid wool blankets thrown into the trunk. Throughout my childhood I consumed many a cup of cocoa on those wool blankets strewn over the grass. Then of course there is the relationship between plaid and the holidays…. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my plaid obsession wanes slightly in the summer just to be rekindled each fall as we gear up for the holidays. As if plaid hadn’t already done enough, it gives a nod to the sweet years of academia that I recall fondly, it’s multi-color glory unites hues that I would never otherwise pair in one outfit, and it basically screams “make a cup of coffee, wrap up in me and be happy dang it!” So bring on those tempting tartans, and while we are at lets lump in those chic checks because plaid season has begun! And guess who is on team tartan this fall? Target!


via Target


via Target


via Target


via Target


via Target

A Cozy Hat for your Littlest Pumpkin


I couldn’t resist this quick little side project. After all, doesn’t every baby need a little pumpkin hat? Admittedly, I think I made it a bit too large, but I wanted to be sure that it lasted Baby E through both Halloween and Thanksgiving. The pattern is a free download on Ravelry. I used Red Heart Soft worsted weight yarn and needles as per the pattern. In retrospect, I wish I had used a yarn with a little bit more of a natural “heathering” to it, (I’m thinking that would’vet looked a bit more “vintage, weathered pumpkin”). I think the creator Michele Sabatier did a great job with her yarn selection. Check out the pattern and her Ravelry page for further inspiration! This is a great quick knit, just about 1 weeks worth of Baby E nap time and late night TV multitasking… (So probably 3 hours for an average knitter if they were actually focusing).

DSC_3511 DSC_3532

Happy day after Halloween. First time halloween has fallen on a Saturday in a while- I hope you’re all recovering well.

Here is what my morning looks like… Nom nom nom


DIY Halloween Party Invites

DSC_3344I couldn’t resist sharing the simple DIY invites that I created for our little Halloween party this weekend. Baby E isn’t really old enough to appreciate trick or treating, however, we were dying for an excuse to dress him up so we decided to throw a get together.

See how these were made below!

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Feeling “Fall-ish”

Fell in love with this table setting featured on Sarah Sherman Samuel’s blog. For more fall decor ideas see my post Autumn Decor Inspiration.

Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast,
And toast that sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased.
Give praise to that All Gracious One by whom their steps were led,
And thanks unto the harvest’s Lord who sends our “daily bread.”

Excerpt from The First Thanksgiving Day
by Alice Williams Brotherton (1848-1930)

Monday Meal Highlight – Autumn Beef Stew

Yes, yes, I know- It is Tuesday… but sometimes that is just how the cookie crumbles. However, we aren’t talking cookies today, we are talking stew. Warm, cozy, delicious, beef stew that is. Okay, so I have to admit I haven’t tried this one yet, but I did all my grocery shopping yesterday and I am ready to get cranking on it as soon as I press publish on this post.

Here in Chicago we avoided the early fall snow that some of you got on the east coast, however, just seeing those flurries on the weather map has me in the mood for some hearty winter stews. I am very excited to try the Autumn Beef Stew recipe by Fabtastic Life.

Since this is my first time trying this recipe I will stick close to the directions, however, I am going to make one major modification and try to cook this in my Cuisinart multicooker in lieu of the dutch oven. I will be sure to post updates to let you all know how it goes! Until then, happy cooking!