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April 22, 2014

Getting Back To My Roots with Granny Squares!

Crafting… It’s what I do for down time. As those who read this blog know, I cook, sew, garden, cross stitch, knit and more.   I recently rediscovered my love for crochet, thanks in great part to my friend Nikki.  We had a lovely day at Newport Beach, CA  enjoying the sand, sun and swimming.


While watching kids frolicking in the sand, sail boats floating on the waves, swimmers making like Nemo, cutting through the waves and body surfers catching the rolling waves, riding them into the shore, Nikki brought out her granny squares and started to crochet.

Nikki reminded me just how easy and portable crochet is, unlike knitting, you don’t need to bring full skeins of yarn with you, just small balls of yarn, a hook, and scissors, for those pesky color changes and you are in business.  She gave me a quick lesson, showing me again how quickly a square comes together.  Being a lover of making my holiday gifts for my nieces and nephews, an idea sprang forth.  I decided to make Miss Megan, her first granny square blanket.  This keeps alive the tradition that my Grandmother, Ruth Mitchell, started when she made the first of her blankets for my sisters and I.

Last week, I swung by Joann’s fabrics and crafts, found some lovely yarns in baby pink, deep rose and white, picked up a new hook and decided i was good to go.  I found a video on YouTube

Watching the video, I gave it a whirl and this is what I came up with.

First try!

I now have 12 of these made and only have a ton to go if i plan on making a blanket the size of a twin throw!

So for now, I will keep on making these cute granny squares and will start putting them together when I am done!!!

Keep tuned for more!

Kat and the Kids

Filed under: Crafting by Kat at 1:42 pm

November 12, 2012

Going back to Basics

Growing up my parents always cooked from scratch, while we kids craved McDonalds, Taco Bell and other such places, Dad always loved his favorite restaurant “HOME”. Overtime, eating out, eating from boxes and such has resulted in a weight gain, poor health and a lack of variety in my diet. I have learned, as I’ve been cooking at home, that fresh is always better, I am always feeling full and I’m eating less, but my body is getting what it needs to run efficiently and the bonus I am saving money!

I have been taking the time to get back to basics, eating more veggies, fruits, whole foods such as beans, rice and good proteins, such as chicken, pork and even beef. You would think it takes a lot more time to cook this way, but I’ve found to my surprise, the time it takes is nominal for the benefits you reap.

I started with making homemade butter. We all know that butter can run you $7.00 a pound in the store, but imagine spending 4.95 for a pint of heavy whipping cream, putting it into your kitchen aid mixer and twenty minutes later you have a pound of butter and a pint of buttermilk. Amazing you say? I say it’s true.

I’m now graduating into cooking my own beans, bread will come at some point but until then, I will continue down this path and see where it takes me.

For now here is a little help on the first thing I’ve learned.

How to make Butter at home for pennies on the dollar.


  • Heavy Whipping Cream (pint or quart)
  • Mixer with paddle attachment
  • Water
  • Foil
  • 20 minutes of time.


Line your mixing bowl with foil (fancy splash guard I know)


Pour in your Cream

Turn mixer onto medium and let it roll. (Now it’s time to do your dishes or such while you wait for the magic to happen)

As you listen to your mixer sloshing around slowly starting to beat the cream you will hear a sloshing sound of liquid being beat into submission.

It will get quiet on you as the cream forms into whipping cream, at this point, you will want to stop the machine and scrape the sides then you can turn the mixer to medium high and let it get rolling again.

If you start watching it you will see the whipping cream become incredibly stiff like in texture, then suddenly it will start falling in on itself, as the mixer keeps working you will not only see but hear what they call “breaking the butter” which is when the butter fat separates from the liquid.

You will start hearing a sloshing sound as the butter pulls into a big ball and the liquid continues to separate out. Stop the machine and pour off the liquid into a cup. Yes folks this is REAL Buttermilk and a great bonus to making butter.

I usually run the machine again a bit longer and force out some more liquid before the next step.

Once you have a nice sized ball of butter in the bottom of your bowl and you’ve poured off your buttermilk, take it over to the sink. Using either tap water (if you have good water) or filtered water (if not), take care to make sure the water is cold, pour some water into the bowl and kneed your butter like it’s bread. This will clean the butter of any excess liquid that will turn your butter rancid. Do this until the water is running clear.

Now you can package up your butter into blocks or in Tupperware or a butter bell and tada Fresh Homemade butter and Buttermilk for less than a pound of butter.

You can now freeze some of this butter so you have it for a length of time.

Note: you will smell when this butter goes bad as it has no preservatives.

More things to come.

Have a wonderful day!!!

Kat and the Kids!

Filed under: Life by Kat at 10:32 am

June 29, 2012

The drive to create … inspired by the people in my world!

Inspiration comes from many places, in my case it came from my family, friends and complete strangers.

My mom, wears with great pride, the custom appliqued sweatshirts I’ve been creating for her for years now.    Being asked by friends and strangers alike… “Where did you find that sweatshirt?” Her response was always the same… “My daughter makes them and sells them.”  Ocean Breeze Boutique was born.

Having five nephews and nieces, I find that I create with them in mind.  The boys love taggies and “Boy” inspired things, ala planes, trains, pirates and automobiles, while my oldest niece, who is a six year old “Fashionista”, forte is anything pink or dresses, bows, skinny jeans and anything her Auntie creates for her to wear.  My youngest niece rocks the latest in bows and cute outfits designed to show off her girlie side newborn style!

I always enjoy doing small boutique shows, talking to customers, who often times, come up and ask if I can make this or that.   Their ideas are refreshing and help to keep my finger on the pulse of what people want, need and desire in functional crafts.

Looking at my fabric and ribbon piles, I marvel at the possibilities to create, is today a bib day? Fancy pants? Bows? I never know what I’ll be making next as a phone call from a certain set of children can change my direction in the blink of an eye.

I look forward to creating fun, fashionable and functional items for you and your love ones to enjoy!

So when you have a moment… Swing by the new shop located here Ocean Breeze Boutique and take a look around!

Have a wonderful day!!!

Kat and the Kids!

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