Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Dear Sis,

I’ve been looking for a Paleo replacement for the Chocolate Chip Cookie. So far, all the recipes I’ve tried have been super crumbly. Finally it occurred to me, almond meal is crumby, stop fighting it! These bar cookies are a great compromise for the crumbly issue. Since they are cooked as a bar and then cut, they hold together a little better:) Plus this is the best tasting Paleo Chocolate Chip I’ve ever tried!!!

Paleo Choc Chip Bars II

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Preheat oven to 350. Line a square baking dish with parchment.

Combine 2 1/2 c almond meal and 1/2 t each baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in 1/3 c melted coconut oil, 2 eggs, 2 T coconut sugar, and 1 T honey. Fold in 1 c miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Paleo Choc Chip Bars

Press dough into prepared dish. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool before serving. Makes 9 bars.

Source Recipe: Simply Vintagegirl: Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares




Eyelet Diamonds Afghan

Dear Sis,

I finally finished the afghan for mom! I decided on a very basic boarder.

Eyelet Diamonds Afghan


9 scans Pound of Love

3 (18 ft) spools 1/2 inch ribbon


24 Eyelet Diamond Squares

Stitch squares together. 


Round 1: dc around.

Round 2: dc 1, ch 1 around.

Round 3: repeat Round 1.

Round 4: begin with a sc, dc 7 (shell cluster) in 3rd stitch from sc, sc in 3rd stitch from shell cluster, repeat around.

Weave ribbon into eyelet of Round 2.  Use 1 spool per long side. Cut third spool in half, then thread into each short side. Secure ribbons with bows. 





To Iowa and Back

Dear Sis,

Josh and I just returned from a whirlwind visit to Iowa. When Josh’s boss heard about our travel pans he persuaded Josh to use the Cessna 182 instead of driving. It cut our travel time in half. These chips just couldn’t take the “pressure” of a long flight, so I ate them up:)

Chips copy

We arrive in the late afternoon. We were warmly greeted by Dianne, January, and the boys. The boys had fun helping Josh push the plane into its parking space. I was too busy giving hugs and talking to think to take a picture. Too bad… it was cute.

We spent an hour or so at a local park, January and I talking, Dianne and Josh playing with the boys. Afterward, we headed back to Bill and Dianne’s to make supper. Taco salad: Dianne adds minced carrots, celery, and bell pepper to her beef as it browns. It was awesome! Haha… now I have another way to force feed Josh veggies!

After dinner, Dianne and I finished mulching the second half of the landscaping. She had started a few days before and was happy to have help in finishing things up. 


We spent the early part of the day at the house… tasking, eating, talking, and eating some more. During which time, I was able to finish Mom’s afghan, which now needs its very own post:)

Bill left for work around three. Josh, Dianne, and I headed to the airport for a Josh planned day trip.

Our Pilot

Dianne got a flight lesson, on our way to Marion, Iowa.


We took the crew car to a local mall. Our first stop was Famous Footwear. Remember the shoes we bought in PA, during our visit? Josh exchanged his for something that fit his foot better and I ended up returning the black pair of Crocs sandals, they were a touch small and the location in Iowa didn’t carry anything for which I wanted to exchange them. Next Dianne and I went purse hunting, while Josh did some much needed shirt shopping. 

We never did find a purse, but we did get hungry. We had dinner at HoHot, which is a Mongolian Grill where you make your own stir fry by going to a series of buffets. The first stop had frozen meats and noodles, the second had fresh vegetables, and the third had sauces. Finally, we gave our bowls to the cook, who dumped it onto a huge round grill and cooked it right before our eyes. It was awesome and very yummy! I had three helpings:)



Bill and Dianne gave us a ride to the airport early in the morning. We arrived home to find the fridge on the fritz. Water was dripping from its platform onto the floor and making quite a mess of things. Josh and I worked quickly to move all the things into the other refrigerator and freezer. Sadly, when condensing frozen things we had to evict our Anniversary Cake from the freezer.

Anniversary Cake

Taste Test

Journey of a Cake

Our wedding cake began its journey at our wedding September 13, 2015. After the fun and games were through, the small white box containing our Anniversary Cake was packed by the Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins with the rest of the remaining food, decorations, and games. The mess was dumped at Carmin’s house, and Jamie set the Anniversary Cake aside where it would be safe. It was carefully wrapped as directed on the little white box: in foil and plastic. Then, placed in the freezer. 

After two days of packing a U-Haul, the cake was placed in a cooler for the Journey to Texas. Josh and I googled dry ice, but couldn’t find any being sold in PA or OH, that corresponded with the route of our journey, so we added a bag of ice to the cooler.

The ice was drained and replaced diligently, until one fateful night when we forget to drain the water before bed. There was nearly two inches of water in the cooler by morning and the sogginess of the little white box suggested that the cake was also soggy. Josh wanted to scrap the cake, but sentimental Brandy refused to part with it.

Finally, we arrived at our new apartment. The first thing unpacked was the Anniversary Cake. It was restored to its proper place in a freezer. There it remained until six months later, when we moved to the Austin area. Once more, it was loaded into a cooler as it made the flight to its new home. Again, Josh suggested discarding the Anniversary Cake, but Brandy refused. The cake was one again placed in the freezer with care.

We arrived home from a visit to Iowa, to discover the secondary refrigerator had stopped working. Lucily, we were able to save most of the food within. However, when condensing the contents of two freezers into one, Josh again suggested discarding the Anniversary Cake. Brandy wouldn’t let him toss it out, but decided to thaw it instead even through our one year anniversary is still two weeks away.

Despite Josh’s protests of horror, Brandy ate some of the cake. The bottom half inch had to be discarded. It was water logged and nasty. The rest of the cake tasted wonderful. It was filled with the jam that was meant to be in the wedding cake. I am now more convinced than ever that another couple had our strawberry jam in their cake instead:( Oh well, the cake was still yummy even though they messed up our order.





A Journey of Socks

Hey Sis,

You have been asking me about knitting socks, and when I was going to finally post some pictures of my projects.  Well here they are!  I think I will continue to use this page as a reference with pictures of all the socks I knit. It’s pretty cool to see how the socks are changing with time… or, at least it is for me 🙂 

I don’t actually have any photos of my first two socks that I made in the variegated bamboo.  Which, doesn’t actually bother me that much, because the color was a bit of an eyesore. lol  Now, I know that variegated yarn has it’s beauty, when applied properly.

Sock #3 Irish Dream  (free pattern)

Irish Dream 003

These where my very first fair isle socks!  And the first time I used variegated yarn and actually liked it! These socks turned out alright, but I didn’t have toe grafting down, and my gusset stitches sport nice large holes.  hehehe  I suppose we learn as we go.  I don’t suspect to have these socks long before they fall apart.  But, now I know how to make them properly.

Sock #4 Pink Snowflake (free pattern)

Pink Snowflake 004

My second pair of fair isle socks! I think I botched up this pattern even more then the first one I made.  The back barely lines up at all!  But, they are pretty.

Sock #5 Earth Bound  (free pattern)

Earth Bound 005

Alright, so I had gotten to the point that I knew my sock construction was awful, and that my toes and heels where going to fall apart!  So, I started looking for new methods.  I purchased some magic loops and decided to try some toe up socks.  What I didn’t know, when I picked these socks is that not only are they toe up, but they are gusset socks too!  So, I learned three new techniques!  

P.S Judy’s magic cast on is wonderful!

Sock #6 Absinthe (free pattern)

Purple Cable Mable 006

Well, I had fallen head over heals for the toe up method (it was easier to fit, and my heels and toes didn’t have those gaps anymore when I increased and decreased stitches) and I definitely preferred the magic loop (goodbye evil evil sock laddering!!!)  I wanted to make something with cabling, and really like the bottom half of this sock.  Still not a big fan of the lace, but I am definitely happy with the product!  I learned how to make a pair of socks at the same time on magic loop needles… which, was really neat! 

Sock #7 Magic Mirror (free pattern)

Birthday Socks II

This pattern was to awesome to pass up!  I really like the swirls, and thought they would make a delightful gift to celebrate my sister getting older ;).  They are another toe up sock. 

Sock #8 InLay (free pattern)


By now, I was very fond of textured socks, and Inlay was a droll-able find.  Carmin demanded that they be made with yellow yarn, and I didn’t have any at the time.  So, Carmin jumped on the computer and purchased some Cascade 220 goldenrod.  It was some of the prettiest wool yarn I’ve seen, and worked up with fantastic stitch definition.  I am a bit worried about how it will wash though, as Carmin accidentaly bought 2ply.  I wonder if it will pill or felt?

I also decided to take up a new challenge.  I went back to knitting cuff down for this sock!! By now, I wondered if all my issues with cuff down socks, where really just errors.  After all, everyone else’s cuff down socks that they pictured looked great!  So, I gave it a try.  Turns out, I was grafting soooo wrong. hehehe.  If anyone else has this trouble try this video from youtube.

Sock #9 Razzle Dazzle (free pattern)


These are actually a bit of a play on a pattern by Drops Design (which it is linked to) but, I did change them up a lot.  I decided to make them toe up… instead of cuff down.  I also used size 1 needles, as I have grown to prefer smaller needles for socks.  But, I really liked how these turned out! These are Carmin’s favorite socks, and he is actually the one that named them Razzle Dazzle socks. hehehehe

Sock #10 Maeva (free pattern)


These are another built in gusset sock.  They worked up very easily and  the cables make it look unique and not boring to make.  

Love, Jamiegoof


Boarder Idea

Dear Sis,

Yesterday, after I got back from the airport I pieced all the complete diamond eyelet blocks together. All the afghan needs now is a boarder!

I found a tutorial for this stitch on a french blog: Le motif de La Petite Grise – Patty crochète I liked the stitch so well, I decided to figure it out for myself despite the language barrier.

My sampler uses 30 ch (3 ch to start row + 13 ch (x number of desired shells) + 14  ch to end row).


Base Row

2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, *1 dc in next 3 stitches, (dc 2tog using next 2 stitches) 3x ((6 stitches from base row condense to 3 stitches)), 1 dc in next 3 stitches, 3 dc in next stitch* repeat * * until last 14 stitches. To finish the row, 1 dc in next 3 stitches, (dc 2 tog using next 2 stitches) 3x, 1 dc in next 3 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch, 1 dc in last stitch, turn.

Row 1

Row One

2 ch and 2 dc in first stitch, ch 2, leave 3 stitches empty, sc, ch 4, leave 4 stitches empty, sc, ch 2, leave 3 stitches empty, *5 dc (in center stitch of 3 dc cluster of previous row), ch 2, leave 3 stitches empty, sc, ch 4, leave 4 stitches empty, sc, ch 2.* Repeat * * until 4 stitches remain from Row one. Leave 3 stitches empty, 3 dc in last stitch, turn.

Row 2

Row Two

ch 2 and 1 dc in first stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, 1 dc in last stitch of cluster, ch 2 and sc in 4 ch space of precious row, ch 2. *Stitch the 5 dc cluster of the previous row as follows: 1 dc, 2 dc, 3 dc, 2 dc, 1 dc. Then, ch 2 and sc in 4 ch space of precious row, ch 2.* Repeat * * until last 3 dc cluster of Row One.  Then, 1 dc, 2 dc, 2 dc, turn.

Row 3

Row Three

Work this row in only the front loop of each stitch.

Ch 2, 2 dc in 2nd stitch, 1 dc, 2 dc, 1 dc. *Stitch the 9 dc cluster of the previous row as follows: 1 dc, (2 dc, 1 dc) 4x.* Repeat * * until last 5 dc of Row Two. Then, 1 dc, (2 dc, 1 dc) 2x, turn.

Row 4

Row Four

Work this row in only the back loop of each stitch.

Ch 2, 2 dc in 1st stitch, *1 dc in next 3 stitches, (dc 2 tog using next 2 stitches) 3x ((6 stitches from base row condense to 3 stitches)), 1 dc in next 3 stitches, 3 dc in next stitch.* Repeat * * until last 13 dc of Row Three. Then, 1 dc in next 3 stitches, (dc 2 tog using next 2 stitches) 3x, 1 dc in next 3 stitches. In final four stitches, dc 1, dc 2, dc 1, turn. (26 stitches across, including beginning 2 ch, as a stitch)

Repeat Rows One – Four as desired

Now that I’ve made the sampler, I know I won’t use it as a boarder for this particular project, but I made this tutorial so I can come back to this stitch later because I do like it:)



Eyelet Diamonds Afghan


Watermelon Slushies

Hi sis,

I know you are not a big fan of watermelon, but you could make Slushies for joshling and the boys, and even use other fruit!  Carmin and I have just tried Watermelon to make our Slushies, and sure are enjoying them on these hot days.

First, I slice up the watermelon and freeze it.  When frozen I run it through the the food processor. 



image image


Happy Birthday Kevin

Dear Sis,

Thanks for all the hard work you put into our visit this past week. I really enjoyed the family dinner you prepared Friday evening, appreciated all the help DryLocking the basement, and the great picnic we went to afterward:) I borrowed some photos from Mr. Dunn’s Facebook page to document the experience.

Dad with Ken & Kevin

Brandy & Cindy

Carmin & Cindy

Ken & Cindy

Photo BombWouldn’t it be a perfect photo of you and Nate as a couple without me in the middle:)

Jamie tugs Josh

Time to go feed the chickens!

We got to Aunt Cil’s late Monday, we stayed up talking and playing games. Alex is home from Spain and is job hunting. Elizabeth just got home from helping out at a couples retreat. She spent the trip taking care of oodles of babies with Susan and Rebecca. Megan wasn’t home during most of our visit. She had homeschool group most of the morning and afternoon Tuesday, then headed of to work at Chick-fil-A. Heather got a haircut… a shoulder-length bob that suits her. Stephen was so worn out after late night games Monday and home school group, that he fell asleep on a chair in the living room, and then went to bed early. All in all, it was a very quiet visit. The cousins are gown and for the first time, I spent most of the time talking with Aunt Cil, which was nice. 

Now that I’m home again, I’m getting ready for another week with the boys and trying to finish mom’s afghan:)