Friday Fish Wrap

It's Time for Another Friday Fish Wrap


I woke up to More Snow.  As in . . . Lots More Snow.  Like we're talking  . . . Full-Blown Snow Day.


(Garden Buddha says so long . . . for now.)

But snow days are good days for knitting sleeves and watching the Olympics and reading books, y'know?  (Just make it stop by March.)  And they're great for putting together another Friday Fish Wrap.  (Click here if you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about.)


First, my amaryllis blooms continue to bring me great joy.


This is my only bloomer at the moment, but I have three more waiting in the wings -- two that are getting second buds, and one that has three stalks/buds -- but hasn't bloomed yet at all.  (Some of them are very slow.  I need to remind myself of this fact every year, it seems . . . when one of my new bulbs is off to a slower-than-expected start.)  I was hoping to have continuous amaryllis blooms through January and February, and it worked.


I've been practicing mindfulness and daily meditation for a couple of years now.  I've discovered practices that work well for me, and I notice more and more the benefits of regular meditation.  Every once in a while, though, I stumble across something new and wonderful that adds either a new dimension to my practice, or that helps me understand it all in a new way.

This book . . . 


is a game-changer when it comes to understanding mindfulness and meditation.  Down-to-earth.  Science-based.  Practical applications.  This is a great introduction to mindfulness -- especially if you've always thought it all was a bit too . . . new age-y and mystical for you.  

It's also great for folks who've been meditating or practicing mindfulness for awhile.  I had no intention of purchasing this book, but picked it up to check it out at the bookstore.  After skimming through Chapter 2, I knew this book had to be part of my personal library, though.  (Seriously.  Chapter 2 kind of rocked my world.)

The book includes links for the various guided meditations described in the book, which is an extra bonus.  (Apparently there is an app in the works as well, but I haven't seen it or tried it yet.)

Speaking of meditation apps . . . 

I did find a new meditation app that I especially like.  It's called Insight Timer - available for iPhone or Android systems (and it's even free).  I've tried a few other meditation apps, but this one is my favorite.  It has a huge library of guided meditations, music, and ambient sounds that you can choose from, and it covers all types of meditations (seated, walking, waking, etc.) and a variety of topics (intention-setting, sleeping, stress, beginning/introduction to meditation, etc.).  You can also use it just as a timer -- with ambient sounds or bells.

If you're thinking of trying to develop your own meditation practice, I highly recommend this app.


Have you watched any of the Olympics yet?  Tom and I tuned in to watch a bit of the curling last night, and I'm sure we'll be watching quite a bit as the games continue.  Check out this guide to figure out when your favorite events are taking place.


I love Making magazine (brainchild of Carrie Hoge, now in partnership with Ashley Yousling).  


It's a lovely magazine about . . . well, making stuff!  Knitting and stitching and sewing and gardening and cooking and all kinds of making.  It's a high-quality publication, and the photography is just gorgeous.  They're now taking subscription orders for volumes 5 and 6 (apparently No. 5 is about color, and No. 6 is black and white; should be interesting).

Carrie and Ashley have also just started a Making podcast.  Their first episode is available, and they plan to broadcast weekly.


When I choose a "one little word" each year, I like to surround myself with visual reminders of my word.  Sometimes I order jewelry to wear; sometimes I find art pieces.  I just find it helps me keep my word in mind . . . if I see it every day.


(For example, this year I ordered this little decal with my word.  I'm planning to afix it to my laptop -- but you can see I haven't quite done it yet.)

I usually find and order my word-items on Etsy, but this year I also heard about this site.   They stamp any word (or intention) you choose on a disc, and then place them on a necklace, bracelet, or key chain.  You can even order a metal-stamping kit to create your own word pieces.  If you're looking for a way to display your word, this is seems like a great option -- and the prices are reasonable, too.


In the time it's taken me to put together this post, Garden Buddha has been almost entirely covered with snow.  So, yeah.  It's really coming down out there!


That's it for this Friday Fish Wrap.

Have a great weekend!



The Friday Fish Wrap

Once upon a time, I had a Real Job that I really loved.  Every Friday, I used to put together a weekly email wrap-up for my board -- just a quick little weekly update with interesting things happening at the foundation, tasty tidbits of information they might like, links just in case they wanted to dive a little deeper.  Really, it was just a lot of random-but-interesting This and That.  When I sent it out each week, I referred to it as the "Weekly Wrap Up" in the email subject line.

At a meeting, one of the board members commented to the group how much she loved the "Friday Fish Wrap" each week.  Everyone just kind of looked at her blankly.  Then she went on to describe my "Weekly Wrap Up" email.  We all laughed.  But from that moment on, my "Weekly Wrap Up" became known as the "Friday Fish Wrap."

Eventually, I gave up and just called it that in the email subject line each week.  (Some things just take on a life of their own, y'know?)


That long introduction is an explanation for this post:  a collection of This and That.  The blog-version of the Friday Fish Wrap!


Let's begin with some cheerful blooms . . . 


I've got quite a lovely line up of amaryllis blooms in my living room right now (and three more plants almost ready to pop).  They are especially gorgeous this year, and especially this one (possibly my favorite of all time) . . .


It's called 'Fantasy' and it's from White Flower Farm.  It is really stunning.  I've never seen anything quite like it.


Moving on, here's something kind of fun that I learned about at my book group last night.  I was the hostess, and one of the wines I served was 19 Crimes.  


By now, I'm sure you are all aware that you can collect the corks to create a complete list of the crimes committed by the 19 criminals featured on the labels.  (Sorry, Mary.  I checked through my crime-collection of corks, and I have none of the ones you're missing.)


Did you know there is also an app to go with 19 Crimes wine?  If you scan the label with your phone, the criminal on the label comes to life - and moves and talks to you à la Harry Potter.

It works!  (Although it does seem to be a bit . . . touchy.  Just sayin.)  It's a fun party-trick.  Give it a try.  
(And let Mary know if you find corks # 3, 7 10, and 12 to complete her collection.)


Speaking of hosting my book group . . . I wanted to make a fun dessert that was a bit unexpected -- and that could be tolerated by one of our members who is currently experiencing a troublesome health issue.

I wanted . . . something smooth and custard-y and not-chocolate . . . and delicious.

I found this recipe for Butterscotch Budino.  And WOW -- so perfect!


(This is actually one of the leftovers this morning.  They looked much more elegant arranged on a cake plate last night.  I should have taken a picture - but didn't.)

Anyway.  I've not made custard before, and was actually quite intimidated by it, but this recipe was pretty simple (with good explanations as to timing and visual clues).  If you're looking for an unexpected dessert -- that is super tasty and that you can make ahead -- maybe give this one a try.

(These little treats were also a great addition.  I put a little dollop of whipped cream on each budino, and stuck these cookies in like a little straw.)



Wondering what to knit next?  Need a new scarf?  Want to try a new knitting technique?  Charmed by interesting color combinations?  Look no further!

Vicki and Mary are hosting a friendly Knit-a-Long for Parallelogram Scarf (from the latest Mason-Dixon Field Guide) beginning this Saturday.  You can find the details here.

(I won't be joining the KAL, but I will be cheering all participants from the sidelines.  Go, Team! Go!)


 As you may recall, February (coming right up) is also known as the Month of Letters!


I'll be participating again this year by sending a handwritten note, letter, or card each mailing-day in February.  As always, if you'd like to exchange letters with me, send me an email with your mailing address!  (See the Email Me link in the sidebar, or just comment that you'd like a letter and I'll email you back for your address.)


Earlier this week, I was shopping at Michaels and I came across this Washi tape collection in the clearance bin. . . 


I declared it the Most Awesome Washi Tape ever!  Well worth the $5.99-marked-down-even-further clearance price.  Fun, non?


And . . . that's it for the first-ever Friday Fish Wrap.

Have a great weekend!