Love Cake

Our family has a long-standing tradition of making a “LOVE” cake. They can be made any time throughout the year, but usually consist of yellow cake and chocolate frosting (sprinkles are optional) and are typically made for Dad. I made countless LOVE cakes growing up and it is one of my favorite traditions to carry on with Joe. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day that’s filled with love, happiness, and lots of cake. 

Fly the W Socks: Finished

Originally posted in Instagram, I wanted to record here these wonderful socks now that they’ve finally been blocked and finished.  (Full details on Ravelry) 

I started knitting these socks at the start of the Cubs post-season play. Filled with excitement and anxiety, it helped to keep my hands busy while watching the games. We kept advancing and I kept knitting. Every stitch is filled with joy, fear, anxiety, elation. Amazingly, I finished them at the end of the 9th inning. . . and the rest is history. 

Ashley’s Lined Mittens I made a scarf for my sister, Ashley, as a Christmas gift. (Forgetting to take a photo of it before gifting it to her.) I had some leftover yarn from the project, so I decided to make her a matching pair of mittens. I used the pattern  “World’s Simplest Mittens” by Tin Can Knits and Sheep Shop 2 Yarn. (Full details in Ravelry.)

Ashley is an amazing pastry chef who lives downtown in Chicago, so he has to deal with the awful, windy winters there. I wanted to make sure she was toasty warm on her commute, so I added a liner using some charcoal gray sock yarn I had in my stash.  This will be a little softer on those hardworking hands that the outer mitts and will help insulate them again the cold. I hope she enjoys them!


*This also crosses off one of my 101 Things List.

Operation Sock Drawer: Seaside Stockings 

I decided to participate in #operationsockdrawer for 2017, with the goal of knitting twelve pairs of socks that are just for me. I usually gift the socks I knit (looking at you mom) instead of keeping them for myself, but I’ve decided to be a bit selfish this year. 

The goal is to finish a pair per month, which should be reasonable since I tend to work on something most nights while watching tv or while traveling. 

January’s are complete, although I am cheating a bit since I cast on the first sock in December. I used some long-hoarded Anuzula Squishy (since 2010!) in the Seaside colorway. It’s gorgeous and so soft. The color is hard to capture on film, but it’s a griege-stone-putty color with a slight variation that perfectly captures the color of wet sand. I went with a simple stockinette stitch so the yarn could really be the star of the show.  

I’m finishing up a secret project (I’ll be sharing later) and hoping to cast on my next pair by the end of the week. 

Parting shot

Well, 2016 decided to give me a farewell gift of influenza (now morphing into bronchitis per my doctor.) How thoughtful . . . and in character. New Year’s Eve was curled in the fetal position on my mom’s couch or in the guest bedroom. Instead of libations and toasts, I celebrated with fever and ague. How very Laura Ingalls of me. 

Super Hero Shawn has been taking care of all the things, even packing up Christmas. There are not enough emojis to do that man justice. 

Thanks to modern technology I was able to enjoy my SEVEN HOUR wait to see someone at urgent care at home. They send a text when your 20 minutes out for a wait. If I was more coherent, I would wax poetic about how amazing this is. 

Now I’m patiently waiting for the pharmacist to fulfill my drug cocktail so I can properly toast to New Year. 2017, I’m so glad you’re here. 

Peace Out 2016

Like the vast majority of us, I feel that 2016 was . . . . a bitch of a year. I don’t really want to rehash all the stress and duress that filled up the calendar, but let’s just say Team Colley is very much looking forward to 2017.

This has been a pretty quiet place for 2016, something I hope to rectify in the new year. I miss this space and hope to make it more of a priority. I’ve been writing here since 2007 and I think that this year it was, by far, the least amount of posts.

I finished up my third round of “101 Things in 1001 Days” back in November and decided to hold off for the latest re-boot to coincide with New Year’s. I’ve updated the page with my new list, if your so inclined.

Wishing all of  you only peace & love in 2017.



101 Things: Retired List (2/19/14-11/16/16)

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days. This is my third attempt at this project, so this is a new list as of February 19, 2014. It includes some previous goal as well as some new ones. Wish me luck! The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part). Due Date: November 16, 2016.

001. Go to Stella & Dot’s Hoopla Event

002. Promote to Star Stylist

003. Earn enough money to take family on vacation

004. See 10 concerts:

  1. Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute – 3/22/14

005. Go to a classical concert/opera with Roz

006. Go to a book reading event

007. Read 50 books:

  1. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1)
  2. Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2)
  3. The Goldfinch
  4. Frog Music
  5. Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1)
  6. Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy #2)
  7. Positive Intelligence
  8. The Fault in Our Stars
  9. The Vacationers
  10. Mistborn (The Mistborn Trilogy #1)
  11. The Well of Ascension (The Mistborn Trilogy #2)
  12. The Hero of Ages (The Mistborn Trilogy #3)
  13. The Double Bind
  14. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  15. Acceptance (Southern Reach Trilogy #3)
  16. The Fire Seekers (Babel Trilogy #1)
  17. A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel
  18. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  19. The Kitchen House
  20. A Tale For the Time Being
  21. Yes, Please
  22. The Bassoon King
  23. The Girl on the Train
  24. #Girlboss
  25. The Martian
  26. When Breath Becomes Air
  27. The Nightingale
  28. The Passage
  29. All the Birds in the Sky
  30. The Passage (The Passage Trilogy 1)
  31. The Twelve (The Passage Trilogy 2)
  32. The City of Mirrors (The Passage Trilogy 3)
  33. Homegoing
  34. Find Your Extrordinary
  35. The Steerswoman (Steerswoman 1)
  36. The Outskirter’s Secret (Steerswoman 2)
  37. The Lost Steersman (Steerswoman 3)
  38. The Language of Power (Steerswoman 4)
  39. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
  40. Wool Omnibus (Silo Series Book 1)
  41. Shift Omnibus (Silo Series Book 2)
  42. Dust (Silo Series Book 3)
  43. Beacon 23
  44. Yellow Crocus
  45. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Stories

008. Visit Madison, WI

009. Go to the Brookfield Zoo

010. See 25 movies:

  1. The Imitation Game (1/3/2015)
  2. American Sniper (1/18/2015)
  3. Jurassic World (Summer 15)
  4. Spectre (11/12/15)
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12/23/15)

011. Go on Chicago Architectural Tour

012. Lincoln Park Zoo

013. Rent a cabin

014. Go to 10 different museums:

  1. Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art
  2. DuPage Children’s Museum
  3. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
  4. Morton Arboretum
  5. Frederick Meijers Gardens

015. Teach Joe how to swim (taking swim lessons)

016.Teach Joe how to read

017. Get Joe potty trained

018. Commission painting of Walter

019. Get Joe a passport

020. Go to The Morton Arboretum

021. Buy a higher quality sewing machine

022. Teach someone to knit

023. Make a pie for Pi day (3/14)

024. Get certified in CPR

025. Start golfing again

026. Join a yoga studio

027. Finish a 5K

028. Go fishing

029. Go camping

030. Go canoeing

031. Go to Great America

032. Find a reliable babysitter for JWC

033. Get a home safe

034. Participate in March of Dimes Walk again

035. Get a safety deposit box

036. Find doctors/dentist for Joe

037. Find a new church to attend

038. Take Joe to the beach

039. Make a will

040. Get a library card

041. Organize and edit digital photo library

042. Find new doctors/dentist for Shawn and myself

043. Get a massage

044. Get a facial

045. Take Shawn on a surprise trip

046. See all Academy Award Best Picture Nominees before the awards show.

047. Take Joe to see a parade

048. Get personalized stationery

049. Get new business cards

050. Get address stamp made

051. Go to a Chicago Bears game

052. Go to a Chicago Cubs game

053. Go to NorthernGRADE

054. Go to a Chicago Blackhawks game

055. Go to a Kane County Cougars game

056. Complete Couch to 5K

057. Go iceskating

058. Take a cooking class

059. Host a beer/wine tasting

060. Get window treatments for master bedroom

061. Find local non-profit to volunteer

062. Knit preemie caps/blankets and donate

063. Make a quilt(s) to donate to a worthy cause

064. Make another quilt for Joe

065. Make a quilt for nephew

066. Make ice cream using a recipe from Jeni’s cook book.

067. Get couch for master bedroom sitting area

068. Create cookbook of family recipes

069. Cook 10 things from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

070. Cook 10 things from 1080 Cook Book

071. Make pasta from scratch

072. Host a cookie exchange

073. Go to a wine tasting

074. Host a potluck

075. Visit a country I’ve never visited before

076. Go to the drive-in

077. Go to a National Park

078. Go strawberry picking

079. Make strawberry jam

080. Go apple picking

081. Make applesauce

082. Go to a county fair

083. Join a CSA

084. Join or start a book club

085. Go back to Hawaii

086. Fly somewhere with Joe

087. Get all artwork framed and displayed

088. Use Aveda points to go on vacation (I have enough!)

089. Go to Las Vegas

090. Have a girls weekend

091. Have a dinner party

092. Plan a surprise party

093. Plant a garden

094. Get a bike

095. Get a play set for Joe

096. Have Family Christmas party

097. Figure out what to do with Instagram photos

098. Plant a tree for the twins

099. Get a tattoo in memory of the twins

100. Put $10 into savings for every completed item

101. Donate $10 for every completed item