Miss Sabby Knits

Check out these cuties modeling for my Etsy store, Miss Sabby Knits. I have been knitting since college. I have a whole bin of things I’ve knitted throughout the years. I’ve sold on Etsy years ago, but this time I’m doing it for a hobby. I’ll be adding items as I knit them. I’ve decided that the one thing that everyone loves is a good winter hat. So, I’ve decided to sell “The Winter Hat” with the customizable embellishment. Check it out!

One of my favorite knitting patterns was inspired by a pattern I found for free on Ravelry. Read about it here.

Also, I am not a photographer. HOWEVER… I did take these pictures of my boys with my iphone and I love the way they turned out. Here is what I did if you want to achieve the same look:

  • Purchase a chunky knit hat. You can purchase the one my boys are wearing in my Etsy store here.
  • set a chair (mine was a white wooden chair) by a window with natural light.
  • set kid in chair without the light (sun beams) directly on their face or body.
  • say cheese 🙂
  • use the “photoshop express” app (adobe PS express)
  • filter the photo with “HicontrastBW”
  • admire your cuties!

Three Weeks of Recipes

Introduction to recipe rotation- with three weeks of recipes.

My Mom is an excellent cook. She is the type of cook that can make anything without looking at a recipe and make it fabulous. Everyone comments on her cooking. She came to the United States from Singapore in the 80’s and met my dad. Her cooking is an amazing fusion of Asian and American. Everything has flavor- blah foods are not her style.

I am not a cook. I tell this to people all the time, but I never take time to explain. My standards for good food are always judged against my Mom’s food. When we go out, its always, “the food is good but…” While, we do have our favorite restaurants and our favorite dishes, are usually quick to judge them. I am a good critic, influenced by years of watching the original “Iron Chef” on food network when I was in elementary school.

I feel like my story is common- everyone has a good cook in their family and some people learned to become good cooks themselves.

“I learned from my Grandma.”

“I learned from my Aunt.”

“I learned from my Dad.”

Well, I didn’t. I simply accepted my Mom’s talents and never took the time to follow, question and learn from her. I am an adequate cook. I know how to chop onions, boil eggs, and follow recipes. In fact, I follow recipes quite well. Recipes are in-tune with my personality- a set of plans that I follow. I am not a rule breaker or culinary trail blazer. I don’t stray from plans or recipes and I don’t add more of this or take away that. This is what makes me, in my mind, an adequate cook. Great cooks are pioneering these recipes and tweaking recipes. I am following them. In the end, the excellent cooks allow us adequate cooks to produce the same delicious meals to serve.

If you are anything like me, you really do not want to read five chapters about inspiration and rules to follow. Who has time for that anyway? So I am going to keep this extremely simple. 6 days of cooking per week. 3 weeks. 

I actually do an 8 week rotation to keep things interesting. You can add on to this plan or you can do your own. Either way, this has saved our family money (no more buying excess amounts of things or eating out) and has saved me time (shop once per week and done).

MissSabby 8 Week recipe rotation
I had all my favorite recipes put into a book for easy access.

WEEK 1

1. American: Grilled salmon I, asparagus, steamed rice
2. Mexican: Chicken Enchilada II, mexican black bean salad
3. Miscellaneous: Brown sugar Meatloaf,  au gratin potatoes
4. Casserole or crock pot: Chicken pot pie
5. Italian: Peppered Shrimp alfredo
6. Asian: Asian lettuce wrap


WEEK 2

1. American:  Buffalo chicken wings, spinach dip, bread
2. Mexican:  Marinated flank steak, fajitas, tortilla
3. Miscellaneous: Coconut shrimp, rice, peas
4. Casserole or crock pot: Slow cooker chicken and dumplings
5. Italian: Spaghetti and meatballs
6. Asian: Schezwan shrimp, steamed rice, broccoli

WEEK 3

1. American: Garlic Chicken, honey roasted red potatoes, green beans
2. Mexican: Fish tacos
3. Miscellaneous: Artichoke chicken, fettuccine noodles
4. Casserole or crock pot: Corn casserole, boilermaker tailgate chili
5. Italian: broiled tilapia parmesan, rice
6. Asian: Chicken tikka masala, white rice, naan*Coming soon: purchase the 8 week rotation for only $8


GROCERY LISTS

I shop at Kroger because I love adding all the items to my online lists on the Kroger app. Each week I load the list to my cart and select grocery pick up. The next day, I drive up and they load all the groceries into my car. I have included 3 weeks of grocery lists here, but I have a 8 week rotation with 8 lists. Once I complete those 8 weeks, I start over.

Grocery List Week 1:

  • White rice
  • Salmon
  • 1 lb Asparagus
  • 3 bunches green onions
  • 1- 4 oz can diced green chilis
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast meat
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 (12 inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels
  • cilantro
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 â…• pounds ground beef
  • 5 white onion
  • Saltine crackers
  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces penne pasta
  • 1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Butter lettuce
  • 2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

= 49 total items

Grocery List Week 2

  • Bakery Fresh French Bread 2 16 Oz
  • Kroger® Italian Style Bread Crumbs 1 15 oz
  • Kroger Sweetened Flaked Coconut 1 14 oz
  • Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup 2 10.75 oz
  • Kroger Quartered Artichoke Hearts in Brine 1 14 oz
  • Kroger Whole Peeled Tomatoes 2 28 Oz
  • Kroger Tomato Paste 1 6 Oz
    p$$t… Long Grain White Rice 1 5 Lb
  • Kroger Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese 1 8 Oz
  • Kroger Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 1 16 Oz
  • Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese Bar 1 8 oz
  • Pillsbury Grands! Southern Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits 2 10.2 oz Kroger
  • Chopped Spinach 1 12 oz
  • Kroger Traditional Favorites Green Peas 1 12 oz
  • Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas 1 10 ct / 17.5 oz
  • Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Boneless & Skinless (5-6 1 per Pack) each
  • Heritage Farm Chicken Wings Bone In & Skin On (14-17 per Pack) 1 each
  • Private Selection Angus Beef Choice Flank Steak Value Pack (2 Steaks 1 per Pack) 1 each
  • Raw White Shrimp 21/25 per Pound 2 1 lb (Order by the Pound)
  • Kroger Tail Off Peeled & Deveined Large Cooked Shrimp 1 12 oz
  • Kroger Spaghetti 16 oz
  • Bell Pepper – Green – Large 1 ct
  • Onions – White 3 each
  • Peppers – Bell – Red 1 each
  • Onions – Green 1 1 ct
    Broccoli 1 1 lb

= 33 total items

Grocery List Week 3

  • Kroger® Italian Style Bread Crumbs 1 15 oz
  • Stonere Original Naan Rounds 1 12.7 oz
  • Krusteaz Southern Cornbread Bread and Mix 1 11.5 oz
  • Bush’s Best Chili Beans in Mild Sauce 3 16 oz
  • Bush’s Best Chili Kidney Beans Spicy Chili Sauce 1 16 oz
  • Kroger Beef Bouillon Cubes 1 3.25 oz
  • Kroger Cream Style Golden Corn 1 14.75 oz
  • Kroger Diced Tomato 2 28 Oz
  • Kroger Long Grain White Rice 1 32 Oz
  • Kroger Quartered Artichoke Hearts in Brine 1 14 oz
  • Kroger Sweet Whole Kernel Golden Corn 1 15.25 oz
  • Kroger Tomato Paste 1 6 Oz
  • Kroger Tomato Sauce 1 15 oz
  • Kroger Real Turkey Bacon Pieces 1 2.8 Oz
  • Mezzetta Hot Chili Peppers 1 16 oz
  • Chobani Original Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt 1 5.3 oz
  • Daisy Sour Cream 1 8 Oz
  • Kroger 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 8 Oz
  • Kroger Heavy Whipping Cream 1 1 pt
  • Kroger Traditional Favorites Cut Green Beans 1 12 oz
  • Guerrero White Corn Tortillas 18 Count 1 16 Oz
  • Jennie-O Hot Italian Turkey Sausage 1 1.2 Lb Pkg.
  • Kroger Family Size Boneless & Skinless Tilapia Fillets 1 2 lb
  • Kroger Ground Beef 80% Lean 2 1 lb Roll
  • Wild Caught Pacific Cod Fillets 1 1 lb (Order by the Pound)
  • Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat Boneless & Skinless (5-6 3 per Pack)
  • Barilla Pasta Fettuccine 1 1 lb
  • Bell Pepper – Green – Large 1 1 ct
  • Celery – Small 1 1 each
  • Dole Angel Hair Coleslaw 1 10 oz
  • Onions – Yellow 2 each
  • Peppers – Bell – Red 1 1 each
  • Private Selection Petite Red Potatoes 1 1.5 lb
  • Amy’s Organic Medium Chili 1 14.7 Fl Oz

= 41 total items

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Bread Pudding on a rainy day

Bread pudding

It’s 42 feels like 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

I’m cold.

The house is cold.

I just wanted ONE WEEK of perfect weather where I wouldn’t need the air conditioner or the heater. However, Dallas has other plans and decided to skip Fall and go right into Winter. Rainy cold days call for the oven to be on with something sweet cooking up.

I made a loaf of Amish White Bread the other day. We loved eating it with meatball sandwiches, and butter with jelly. The last of it was begging to be made into bread pudding.

Big, crusty, loaf of white bread. 

With a bread machine, this bread is super simple… just toss the ingredients in and let it do its thing.

If you have left overs, try out this bread pudding:

Bread Pudding II

Ingredients

  • 6 slices day-old bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional- I substituted for semisweet chocolate chips)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Break bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

Delicate Findings

Delicate Findings
Isabel Valadez: http://www.delicatefindings.com

How absolutely stunning is this bracelet!? Go check out my friend Isabel’s website and blog here. Her her Etsy page is up and she is taking orders! Here is a little excerpt about her and her products:

I have always had a passion for creativity as well as aspects of business. Running a little shop of my own was always in the back of my mind. So, why not incorporate my creativity and manage all at the same time?! Well, it all began after a quick shopping trip at Joanns….well maybe more like a two hour shopping trip. I wanted to create a product that expressed my creative side by finding what truly makes me “different”. Creating and crafting has been a part of me all my life, from dancing, to painting, it has always been there in some way. I came up with the idea to make bracelets. Each chain and every bead incorporated has its own unique look. No one bracelet is the same. Just like no one person is the same….

-Isabel Valadez, Owner of Delicate Findings 

delicate findings
Isabel Valadez: http://www.delicatefindings.com

The Subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you failed at something. If someone is better than you at something, then it’s likely because she/he has failed at it more than you have.

“Subtle art of not giving a f*ck” Mark Manson

I just finished The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and I am pleasantly surprised. I had my maximum amount of Audible credits, so I wanted to use one up quick. 
If you want to check out the book, you can listen to it free when you sign up for an Audible account here.

 

Moving to Flower Mound, Texas from California

Moving from California to Texas.
Common arguments when moving halfway across the United States

Moving to Texas from California was not a decision our family took lightly. My husband and I weighed every angle, thought of a million scenarios, talked endlessly about “what ifs”. It was exhausting. Doing what feels right for your family, may not feel right to everyone in your life. We were met with a lot of criticism. It’s like people thought we made the decision in 32.5 seconds while on the potty during a commercial break. So I wanted to do a post about some main arguments I used when discussing our move. A side note- I just finished reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck“(may come in handy if you are considering a move across the United States).

Keep in mind that I have so many arguments as to why this move was right for our family, but this doesn’t mean that it is perfect for your family. Every family is different and therefore prioritizes differently. This is just a small reasoning about a family of native Californians making Texas home.

We were met with these questions/comments over and over from our California faithfuls. Here is my 2 cents on each question/comment.

Comment: But it’s so ugly in Texas. California is so much prettier. 

I know it seems silly, but this is the one comment we heard over and over. 

3 words: COST. OF. LIVING.

While I do love the beautiful landscapes of California- the ocean and the forests, I cannot justify staying in California because of its beauty. There are other pressing issues that we have at this point in our life- mainly the cost of living. Being able to drive to the beach is wonderful. Living amongst the redwoods is beautiful. I will not discount California’s beauty in any way, but I cannot justify the cost of living. 

According to bestplaces.net (You can click on this link and compare two cities that interest you), I compared the cost of living:  

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 9.15.11 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 9.14.59 PM

We bought our home in Flower Mound for right around the median home cost. 

Our critics will say:


Question: Why don’t you live in a cheaper city in California- then we can be close?

According to liveability.com the most affordable city in California to live in is Oxnard, California. The two things I concern myself with are schools & safety:

  1. How good are the schools in an area that we can afford to live in?
  2. How safe is the area we could afford to live in?

Livability says, “The median household income [in Oxnard, California] is $62,349 with median home value settling at $332,600, which is actually a great deal for California real estate.” 

How about the schools? According to greatschools.org (screenshots taken 9/14/2018, click on the great schools link for updated information): 

Here is some information on the greatschools.org rating system.

Oxnard, CA:

greatschools oxnard

Flower Mound, TX

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 9.27.21 PM

So while it might be the same cost to purchase a home in Oxnard, California- schools are simply better in Texas.

Another metric is crime rates: (taken from Sperlings Best Places) 

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 9.35.24 PM

Additionally, according to a study, The town of Flower Mound has been ranked in the Top 10 Safest Cities in America by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. Flower Mound came in at No. 7 in the list, the only Texas municipality in the top 30. The No. 1 safest city according to the report, went to Thornton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver.”

 Affordability. Schools. Safety. 


Question: When will we ever see you?

It’s really not that expensive to fly. Here is a screenshot of flights between SFO/SJC and Dallas. These flights are round trip found on google flights: 

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 9.48.22 PM


Question: Why Flower Mound, Texas?

Here is the town’s 2017 annual report.

Here is an excerpt from the town’s website: 

Town Yearly Awards – 2018

No. 1 ‘Most Livable Small City in the U.S.’

According to a study by SmartAsset, an online personal finance company, Flower Mound is the No. 1 “Most Livable Small City in the U.S.” Researchers examined cities with populations between 65,000 and 99,000, comparing 11 key factors including: median home value to median income ratio, concentration of entertainment, restaurants, and health care establishments, and unemployment rate, among others. The article praises Flower Mound for its positive economic climate, low unemployment rate, and affordable housing relative to the average income. Flower Mound is the only Texas community in the top 10, with Mansfield, Texas coming in at No. 12. The full study can be found here.

Livable_Cities_map

No. 1 ‘Lowest Drunk Driving Fatality Rate in TX’

According to a study by Sutliff & Stout, an injury and accident law firm, Flower Mound ranks No. 1 on the “Lowest Drunk Driving Fatality Rate” in Texas. Researchers used Texas Department of Transportation data to determine the number of alcohol related crashes from 2013 to 2017 for cities with a population of 50,000 or more. Once they were able to determine the average number of drunk driving fatalities each year for a given city, they divided that by the total population, then by 100,000 to determine drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 residents. Flower Mound ranks 0.28 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 residents each year, followed by North Richland Hills at No. 2 with 0.29, and Frisco at No. 3 with a score of 0.51. The Texas City with the highest drunk driving fatality rate is Odessa with 6.26 annual drunk driving deaths per 100,000 residents. The full study can be found here.

No. 6 ‘Best Place to Visit in U.S.’

Travel website Livability.com, ranked Flower Mound No. 6 on its national list of “Best Places to Visit” after examining 2,000 small and mid-sized cities. Criteria examined by analysts included the community’s entertainment industry, cultural offerings, golf courses and parks, ease of transportation, crime rate, and climate. Flower Mound is the only Texas community to make the top 10, praised for outdoor recreation opportunities provided by the many parks and trails, Bridlewood Golf Club, Tour 18 Dallas, and the Community Activity Center just to name a few. The article also noted the River Walk development as an amenity to look forward to when construction is complete. Newport Beach, CA took the No. 1 spot on this list. The full study can be found here.

No. 10 Safest City in Texas

According to HomeSnacks.net, a website that combines data about U.S. cities into bite-sized articles, Flower Mound is the No. 10 safest city in Texas. With the largest population of any city ranking in the top 30, Flower Mound had low scores in both violent crimes per capita and property crimes per capita.To complete the study, HomeSnacks analyzed 331 cities in Texas with a population of more than 5,000 using the latest FBI crime data. To learn more, please visit https://www.homesnacks.net/cities/safest-places-in-texas/.


Comment: The weather sucks in Texas.

Yes, it does. I agree. This is just something we have to live with.


Comment: Texas is different than California politically.

Yes, it is. This can be good or bad depending on where you sit politically.

According to bestplaces.net (you can click on this link and change the city to one you are interested in):

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 11.18.52 PMScreen Shot 2018-09-14 at 11.18.00 PM

In the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex approximately 42% are Democrats and 57% are Republicans, which is more level (15%) than the 76% Democrats and 20% Republicans (56%) in the Santa Cruz-Watsonville Metro. There is a shift in the opposite direction, but still more level in the DFW Metro area. Which ever way you lean, you will be able to find people with common beliefs in the DFW Metroplex.


Closing remarks:

We have been here in Texas for about three years and we still love it.

Check us out on the Canyon Falls Community blog.

Benefits of Wool

The following was adopted from the awesome Sierra Trading Post. Check it out here: “The Wool Guide.” Sierra Trading Post, http://www.sierratradingpost.com/lp2/wool-guide/.

To begin, it helps to understand some of the benefits that all types of wool offer. Wool has several characteristics that other natural fibers like cotton and linen simply can’t compete with.

Wool is water resistant.

Unlike human hair or animal fur, wool fibers are actually hollow with a durable, flexible and water-repellent exterior. The structure of wool fibers is composed of small, overlapping sections, kind of like shingles on a roof. Each fiber’s core absorbs up to 30% of its weight in moisture vapor without becoming damp or clammy. Meanwhile, the hard outer layer protects against outside moisture from rain and snow.

Wool wicks moisture.

Aside from blocking most external moisture, wool fibers wick perspiration away from the body. Normally, as your sweat evaporates, heat is drawn away from your skin. This effect is comforting in hot weather, but can dampen your clothing and give you chills in colder weather. Unlike cotton, which absorbs moisture and tends to remain wet, wool actually wicks perspiration and allows it to evaporate quickly, thus keeping you warmer.

Wool is a wonderful insulator.

Wool fibers are not perfectly smooth or straight. Instead, they’re crimped, which helps produce tiny insulating air spaces that retain more heat. In a way, wool functions similarly to the puffy fiberglass insulation inside the walls of a house.

Wool is breathable and regulates temperature.

Wool has a wide comfort range, which is very helpful for adapting to changing weather conditions. This unique property makes wool the perfect fiber for crafting outerwear and insulating apparel, since it has the ability to provide warmth in colder conditions and also breathes well as temperatures warm up.

Wool is naturally odor-resistant.

You may have noticed that synthetic fabrics like polyester and polypropylene can begin to retain odors over time. Wool is much more resistant to retaining odors. Sheep’s wool is also naturally resistant to wrinkling and static.