Julie's Creative Lifestyle

Getting Ready for the Holidays

Friday, November 30, 2012


It's the end of November and now the holidays are officially here.  If you have any children, a good way to get them involved is to have them help you decorate the inside and outside of your house for what ever holiday that you will be celebrating.

I have a daughter who is almost 13 years old and today after school we will be having a tree decorating party with her friends.  It is a good way to get the kids involved and they will have fun and won't feel like it is a chore.  I think this is a good idea because we have been doing this for a few years now and we all just have fun and the kids will remember this.  It's about making memories and traditions!

What I also like about decorating for the holidays is that you can make homemade decorations such as garland or ornaments.  If you start early than you can use them for that year, but you have to start in September or October, because if you wait to long then you won't have enough time to do everything else or use the decorations for that year.  To get good ideas you need to search online and to buy craft magazines.  When you make your own decorations it just makes the holidays more special.  So enjoy everyone and I hope you make some holiday decorations for your house!

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Pasta E Fagioli - Pasta & White Bean Soup

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I made this recipe in the crockpot and it tastes so good with crusty Italian bread.  This recipe is great to have on a cold winter evening for dinner or anytime of the year.

PASTA E FAGIOLI  - (Pasta & White Bean Soup)

Serves 8 people

1 lb. package dried navy beans
3 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. parsley
1 chicken- flavor bouillon cube
1 beef-flavored bouillon cube
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2-1 box ditalini pasta

In a crockpot add navy beans, olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, parsley, chicken and beef bouillon cubes, salt, and pepper.  Next add water to top of crockpot and mix.  Set the crockpot on high for 6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.  When navy beans are soft and ready, bring 4-6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add salt to taste, if desired.  Add contents of 1/2-1 box of ditalini pasta to boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.  Drain pasta and add to beans.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top.


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Crochet Group

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The crochet group that I belong to we meet up each week at my parish church.  It is run by a nun named Sister Jean.  What we are all about is that we all knit and crochet for the poor or homeless and for hospitals that Sister Jean takes and gives out to them and also for our annual Christmas sale which we have every year!  Our group has about 15 women that belong.  Some women come every week and some just work from home every week.  We all love what we are making and doing.  I have belonged to the group for about 9 years now.

Two weeks ago I taught a women how to crochet the granny square because she said that she had forgotten how to crochet one because it was about 3 years and I gave the women a ball of yarn to work with.  Well we didn't meet up last week because of the holiday, but when I saw her today she had started that ball of yarn and continued the granny square into a big blanket.  I was so proud of what she had accomplished and she was so enthusiastic!

Today I started knitting hand warmers!  I love making hand warmers because they are fast and easy to make and you can always use hand warmers in the winter.  I love making all kinds of creations.  Going to the meetings keeps me inspired every week!
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Staying Organized for the Holidays

Monday, November 26, 2012

Staying organized is very important for the holidays.  You need to make lists and stick to doing what is on your list!

1- Making a list of people you need to shop for and take advantage of all of the sales out there by shopping in stores and online.

2- Have a plan for your Christmas card if you want to use a picture of your child/children or just buy nice cards that you want to get ready to send out.

3- Decorating inside and outside (if you live in a house).

4- Buying presents and wrapping them.

5- Making plans to see family and friends over the holidays.

If you stay organized, then you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the holidays!!

Try to make this a stress free time of year and get things done early so you can then relax and enjoy your time baking and visiting family and friends!

I am on Twitter, Ravelry and Pinterest.  My username is @brklynhousewife.  Please don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin too!  All of my crochet/knit creations and recipes are on my Pinterest Boards, so please have a look there also.  

Thanks everyone and enjoy.


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Black Friday

Friday, November 23, 2012

Today is Black Friday and everyone is in the stores shopping and trying to get the best deals and savings on their holiday shopping!  The stores are all busy and their are so many crowds of people shopping.  If you want to shop on a day like today the best thing to do is to have a plan of stores you want to visit and a list made up of everyone you need to buy for.  It is best to have all of your coupons ready also.

Another get way to shop is on the Internet because their are so many sales on line and they even have free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money.  I love online shopping because it is so easy and it gets sent right to your house and you don't need to go to any stores and wait on any lines.  I love to do both!  I love shopping in the stores with my coupons and I love shopping online.  Each year I always do both.  When I shop in a store it starts to get me in the holiday spirit!

It seems as though each year the stores start decorating and getting ready for Christmas earlier and earlier each year.  The same goes for people and their decorating of the inside and outsides of their houses!

So everyone get ready for your holiday shopping and try to have a good plan and stay organized!
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hi everyone and Happy Thanksgiving.  I am so thankful for my husband, daughter and my dog named Bosco, he is a corgi mix.  I am also thankful for my family and most importantly all of our friends.

Today we will be spending Thanksgiving at our friends house and each person is making and bring something to eat!  I am looking forward to spending time with our friends who happen to be our neighbors, eating and laughing because we always have fun and enjoy each other so much!

I am so proud of my daughter who is spending the day setting up and serving food to the less fortunate people who have no place to go.  She is at her school with all of her class mates doing community service!  I am so proud of her because she gladly wanted to do it.

So everyone enjoy today and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and to enjoy tomorrow!  I am very thankful for my husband and daughter.  I am also thankful for the rest of my family and friends.

I am also thankful for my crocheting and knitting friends who always keep me inspired every week!  They are all talented and creative people.  Each week we all enjoy each others company by showing off what we have all made, and talking and laughing!  I look forward to meeting up with them each week.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Here is an easy pattern for Knitted Hand warmers that I love making.  I was given the pattern from my friend Anne who is in my crochet group that I belong to.


For this pattern for Knitted Hand warmers you may choose any color yarn.

Use size 8 Knitting Needles.

Cast on 34 stitches.

Knit 2, Purl 2, Until end of the row.
Purl 2, Knit 2, Until the end of the row and keep going until the yarn reaches 7 inches long or as long as you desire.  Fasten off.

Finishing - Beginning at the top edge, sew side edges together for 1 inch.  Next leave 1 1/2 inches for the thumb, sew remainder of the side edges together until the end.  Weave in the ends.

Once you have finished making one hand warmer than you make another one the same way.

This is the starting stages of one knitted hand warmer.  Make this until it reaches 7 inches long.

This is 7 inches long.

Then you take it and fold it half and sew up the sides as the directions indicated.

This is a picture of what the finished hand warmer should look like.  You have to make 2 of them.

I hope that you try and make these hand warmers because they will make a great Christmas present or you can make them for yourself!

Thanks everyone and enjoy.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Here is an easy pattern to crochet hand warmers and I hope you enjoy making them!


Make 2

Need Size I Crochet Hook

Chain 14-18 (about 8 inches)

Row 1: Half double crochet in 3rd chain from hook, half double crochet in each chain across until you reach the end of the row.

Row 2: Chain 2, turn,  half double crochet in each stitch across until you reach the end of the row. Repeat Row 2 until piece measures about 7-8 inches from beginning.  Fasten off.

Finishing - Beginning at the top edge, sew side edges together for 1 inch, leave next 1 1/2 inches open for the thumb, sew remainder of side edges together.  Weave in the ends.

This is also a great way to use up left over yarn and they are a quick project to make.

Thanks everyone and enjoy.

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UGG's - Fashionable or Not

Friday, November 16, 2012


Today it seems that every girl from the age of 6 or 7 to grown women have been wearing Uggs.  Either you love them or you hate them!  I think that it is the uniform for young girls and teenagers, they just love them.  I have seen girls in the summer even wearing them with shorts!    Some girls have Uggs in all different colors and styles and they also come in slippers.  In my opinion I think that Uggs are practical to wear in the winter because they keep your feet warm, but I don't think that they are fashionable!  Uggs have been around for a couple of years now and I think that they will be around for a while.

What do you think?  FASHIONABLE OR NOT?

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Oat Bran Pancake Recipe

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Here is a delicious recipe from a our friend Ruby for oat bran pancakes.  I hope that you all enjoy these pancakes because they come out fluffy and moist!


Minutes to Prepare: 2

Minutes to Cook: 5
Number of Servings: 1


1 1/2 tablespoons of Oat Bran
1 1/2 tablespoons of Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese - (I used Greek Yogurt)
1 egg (or egg white if you have cholesterol problems)
a dash of vanilla

Number of serving:  Makes 1 large pancake or 3-4 smaller pancakes


Put oat bran in a bowl, add greek yogurt, one egg and a dash of vanilla.  Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and pour on to a non-stick pan that is sprayed with PAM.

Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Note:  Cut into strips and dip into nonfat flavored yogurt, you can use salmon fat free cream cheese or any flavored cream cheese instead of yogurt.

At night for dinner use a tbsp of tomato sauce, italian herbs, onion & garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and reduced fat shredded mozzarella melted on top!

Let me know if you make these pancakes and if you like them.  These pancake will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator and wrap them in foil or cling wrap so that they do not dry out.  The pancakes can also be put in the freezer.

Thanks everyone and enjoy.


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Granny Square

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I belong to a crochet group that meets up every week and today a new lady came to join the group and she said that she knows how to crochet.  Well she said that she forgot how to make a granny square since it was about 3 months since she last made one.  Well I sat down with her and showed her how to make a granny square step by step and then she said that it was starting to come back to her how to make it!  She sat there and started to make one on her own and she said she was so happy.  Well it really made me happy that I was able to sit and to teach her what she had forgotten.  Another person in the group knows only how to knit and she said that she also would like to learn and I said that I would sit and teach her also.  The granny square is great to learn how to crochet because once you learn that then you can make so many different projects such as blankets, scarves, pillow covers, and handbags!!

For the granny square you need to know how to chain stitch, slip stitch, and double crochet.

Here are the directions for the Granny Square:

Chain 4 and join with sl st to form ring.

Round 1:  Ch 3 to count as first dc, work 2 more dc in ring.  Ch 2 for corner.  Work (3 dc, ch2) 3 times, join with sl st to top of starting ch 3.  Sl st over the 3 dc into the next ch 2 corner.

Round 2:  Ch 3 for first dc, work 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in the ch 2 space.  *Ch 1, in next ch 2 space work 3 dc, ch 2 and 3 dc.  Repeat from* twice, ch 1, join with sl st to top of starting ch 3.

Round 3:  Sl st to ch 2 corner.  Ch 3 for first dc, work 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc as before.  Ch 1 work 3 dc in ch 1 space, ch 1 work another corner as before.  Continue around in same manner, join with sl st to top of starting ch 3.

Here is a picture of the Granny Square I made:

Thanks everyone and enjoy.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

This is a picture of my dog Bosco and I.  I am putting together a crocheted granny square scarf in this photo of October 2009.  Since then I have made many different creations!

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How I first became interested in Knitting

Since I was a little girl my mother has always had something to knit for someone either family or friends.  She has knitted us all sweaters or scarfs.  She is know into knitting felted handbags. I wasn't interested in knitting at all until about 3 years ago.  What inspired me to learn was all the beautiful scarves that my mom was knitting with all of these bright colors and beads on them.  One day I was at her beach house with my family and my aunt was over also. Well my aunt is also a knitter and crocheter.  I watched them both as they sat there together at the house and at the beach knitting together and talking and laughing.  So I asked them if they would teach me.  I learned from them the knit and purl stitch and from there that is how I learned!

I have taken at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, a class in knitting 1 and knitting 2.  The classes were also very helpful to me.  I am still knitting scarves and want to try to learn more but I find that the knitting is much harder and takes longer to make something than crocheting!

Since I joined Ravelry, I have joined a knitting group in my area where I live that meets up every week at a local coffee shop!  They are such a nice group of people and they are all different ages.  This group of knitters really keeps me inspired because they are all advanced knitters.  I have seen so many beautiful projects from them.  They all use such colorful yarns.  I love meeting up with them each week because we all sit and knit and laugh and have show and tell!
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Knitting or Crocheting Rut

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Have you ever been in a rut where you are finished with a project that you have worked on for a while and then you don't have any idea of what to work on?  Well I'm sort of in that situation right now.  When I'm not sure what I want to work on I usually look at the patterns on ravelry for inspiration.  It is a very helpful website to use.  It has so may different patterns and knitting and crocheting groups to join.  I also look through knitting and crocheting magazines to get ideas.  Different yarn companies also have free patterns to use that are online that you can download.  There are so many different resources available now to get ideas for your projects from!
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Meatloaf Muffins Recipe

Here is a different take on Meatloaf that I hope all of you enjoy.  It is a family favorite and you use muffin tins to get these bit size pieces.


1 envelope of Lipton Recipe Secrets onion soup mix
2 lbs. of ground beef, pork and veal
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
3/4 cup of water
1/3 cup of ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Spray muffins tins with Pam.  In muffin tins place meat.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Makes about 24 mini muffins.

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How I became interested in Crocheting

Saturday, November 10, 2012

When I was a little girl of about maybe 8 or 9 years old my Aunt Hattie would come every year to stay with our family for the winter.  She used to crochet the lace that is put on the edges of pillow cases and she would also crochet doilies.  I was amazed when I would see how much work she would spend everyday making everything.  She gave me yarn and taught me how to do the chain stitch but that was all I was really interested in at the time, because I was young.

Later in years when my daughter was about 3 years old which was about 9 years ago, I saw at my church that they had a crochet group that you could join even if you did not know how to crochet and that they would teach you.  I joined the group and one of the lady's in the group sat me down and taught me all of the basic crochet stitches.  I then caught the crochet bug and I was hooked.  The group meets each week and we have a sale every November to raise money for the church and also we donate items for the homeless and hospitals!  I am still in this crochet group and Jenny the women that taught me to crochet says that I am now a better crocheter than she is!! This group keeps me inspired and I feel like I am doing something good for other people!!
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Here is a recipe to make chicken sausage and peppers that I make for my family often.  It's so easy to make and perfect for a week night meal.

Chicken Sausage and Peppers

Makes 4-6 Servings

6 Chicken Sausage, cut into small pieces about 1/2 inch
2 Peppers, any color, cleaned and cut into long strips
1 Onion, peeled and cut into long strips
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

In a large pan saute peppers and onions in olive oil for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add chicken sausage and cook everything together for about 15 minutes until peppers are cooked soft.

Suggestion: Serve with Italian Bread

For a side dish you could also serve this with any type of rice that you like.  I hope you try this out as it's so good and your family will love it.


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Planning Dinner

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I just want to say that cooking is all about planning for each day.  I usually try to plan the day before what I will be making for dinner.  Later I will be making, chicken sausage with peppers and onions and Italian bread.  I always try to prepare some kind of a salad with cucumbers, red onion, and tomatoes with balsamic dressing.  I don't always plan a dessert, but sometimes I'll make jello or pudding or maybe strawberry's with whipped cream.  It is always helpful to try to plan ahead of time so that you are not stuck at the last minute without anything to make, so start planning!

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Welcome to my blog.  My blog is going to be about my passions in life, which are cooking, crocheting, knitting, makeup, and fashion.  I will have in my blog a little bit about all of these topics.  I hope you enjoy this and I hope it will be helpful for you in your everyday lifestyle!

I first became interested in cooking when I was first married which was 21 years ago.  I learned how to cook Italian food from my husband's aunt!  She taught me how to cook meatballs, my own Italian sauce, and bracciole!  From there I learned how to cook by getting recipes from cookbooks and then later in years by the internet and also from different cooking shows on TV.

From time to time I will post all kinds of different things that I find interesting and will be linked in the everyday lifestyle theme.  So sit back and enjoy!

I am on Twitter, Ravelry and Pinterest.  My username is @brklynhousewife.  Please don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin too!  All of my crochet/knit creations and recipes are on my Pinterest Boards, so please have a look there also.  

Thanks everyone and enjoy.

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