Wednesday, January 29, 2014

7 Steps to Living Your Dreams

We cannot just think big and dream big, and hope that something good come of it!

We must take action.

A series of small actions collectively become something larger. Start with those big dream, and big thoughts, them start taking little baby steps to bring them to life.

Living Well is a constant collection of small actions and decisions. It is an on-going choice. It is taking ownership of the dreams. It is taking ownership of the opportunities not taken, and the poorly planned action.

It is not beating yourself up for the missed opportunities, or the lack of planning, or the poor decisions. It is seeing the new opportunities and learning experiences found in them.

1.  Think like and action taker. 

What do you envision goes through the minds of those that seem effortlessly productive? My husband is one of those! He amazes me! He seems to have a magical way of not letting the side projects prevent the success of the current one. He knows how much time it will take to do something, and then does it in that amount of time.

2.  Act like a thinker.

What do you see the successful DOING? Are they watching TV? NO. Are they playing video games? NO. They are taking little steps toward their goal. Some times big steps. Sometimes little tiny ones that we might not even see, but they add up to the ones we can see!

3.  Have a plan.

4.  Write it down.

5.  Every day, do 5 things that take you closer to the end goal.

6.  Every time some new thing needs to be decided, ask yourself, "If I choose this, will it take me closer to, or farther from, my goal?"


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Monday, January 20, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls: Recipe

My Amazing Husband doesn't very often that I cook any particular thing, so when he asked me to make cinnamon rolls for Sunday breakfast, and lemon bars for dessert, how could I resist!??

Last time I made cinnamon rolls, they were good, but not awesome, because I used a quick recipe. This time, I used my full-on-takes-3-hours version. There is your warning! These are not fast to make ... but they are OH! SO! Worth the time and the effort!

They freeze great! So at the end of the day, I sealed each one in it's own baggie to put in the freezer (of course, I left 6 of them out and I know they will not last long). Now we can pop one in the microwave for a few seconds (or maybe a minute, whatever it takes) and have a fresh delicious cinnamon roll!

Helpful Hint: turn your oven on to the lowest temperature before starting. Once your dough is ready to "set to rise" turn the oven off, and place the bowl of dough in the oven. This is called "proofing".

I use a huge stainless bowl, I think it's 32 cups!! You need plenty of room to stir and mix in 5 cups of flour; I like to kneed in the bowl, and let the dough rise; saves a little on clean up later.

Heat 2 cups of milk until it is steaming. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of oil (I used butter, which melts in the hot milk, and cools it enough to add an egg ... Mix this well and set aside.

In your big bowl, mix gently to dissolve together:
1 Tablespoon yeast (I buy it in the jar, so read rounded Tablespoon, if you are using packets, consider using 1-1/2 or 2)
1 Tablespoon honey (you can use sugar, I just see the yeast respond more lively with honey)
1/4 cup warm water (bath water warm)

Once the yeasty water is frothy, add the milk mixture, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup sugar and 5 cups of flour. mix well and kneed to a firm consistency, adding only enough flour to control the stickiness.

Lifting the ball of dough, add a little oil to the bottom of the bowl, return the dough, then turn to coat. Set aside to rise for half hour.

While your dough is rising, mix 2 sticks (or 1 cup) of softened butter (or margarine if you must) with 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 table spoons of cinnamon powder, until you have a spreadable creamy mixture.

If you are going to add nuts, crush or chop them if necessary.

Helpful Hint: If you are adding raisins, set them to soak in hot water before starting. This re-hydrates them, and helps prevent them from burning while baking. This is also a great tip for adding raisins to oatmeal raisin cookies!

Once your dough is ready, PUNCH IT DOWN! (this is a favorite part for me! LOL) Roll it out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. My pan is a 9x13, but I rolled this about 12x 20!! I got a little crazy! LOL

Smear on your butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture, sprinkle on your nuts and raisins evenly.

Roll it up into a log and cut it in slices 2-3 fingers wide. I could have rolled from the shorter edge, and made fewer rolls, that were bigger around. I really doesn't matter, it's a personal preference!

Place the rolls cut side down into your baking dish, they can be touching as this allows them to grow taller as they rise, but be careful not to crowd them ... I ended up with a few to spare, so they went into a glass pie pan.

Put them back in the (still slightly warm oven) to proof again for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes of rising, turn the oven back on to 325 degrees, and let the rolls bake until lightly golden and your house is filled with delicious smells! About 20 minutes.

 If you tap on the golden crust of a center roll, and it sounds hollow, they are done. Be careful if your baking pans are not the same thickness! The glass pie pan is not as thick as the ceramic 9x13, and it is not as full, so those rolls cooked more quickly, and were done several minutes before the others.

I brushed the tops with a little additional butter (I did not promise low calorie, low fat, or low any thing else! LOL)

Serve hot! YUMMY!

THIS is Living WELL!

LOVE, SuziQue!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cost Effective Resources for Crochet and Knitting

This started as a post on our FACEBOOK page! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important this topic is! But before I get started, I want to encourage you to "like" us on Facebook, and sign up here for your free email updates! I don't want you to miss out on any of the fun!

We all craft for different reasons. For some of us, it is to save money because that luxurious sweater we want would be hundreds of dollars to purchase, but $100 or less to crochet or knit.

Some of us crochet or knit because we love to make one of a kind items for our home and family and friends. Some of us love the magic of watching a tangle of "string" become a garment, or blanket. Whatever your reason, crochet and knitting have some common "threads" (pun totally intended)

We are all, for the most part, aware that quality materials make for a quality finished product; and we are also aware that it can be challenging to invest your hard earned and often sparse dollars in both good yarn and great patterns! I'm sure that many of us have struggled at one time or another (or maybe even many times!) with some variation of this quandary ... "If I buy that amazing sweater pattern that I LOVE LOVE LOVE, can I afford to buy the amazing yarn too, and end up with an amazing finished sweater that will be worn and worn and worn for years to come?"

I'd like to encourage you to think outside the usual! I borrowed these great books (shown in the picture) from my local library last night! There are LOTS more too! And DVD tutorials!

I have lived so many years confined by my budget, that even though I have more freedom, the habits are hard to let go of! SO, I find great patterns this way, and I feel more comfortable spending more of my designated project funds on delicious and amazing yarn! Through the use of the library system, I have also discovered what types of items and techniques I love the most. Then, when I find myself checking a book out for the second, or third time, I know it is time to consider purchasing! And I can search AMAZON for my favorite crochet books title!

It also helps the library system to know what topics they need more books on! & helps keep the library system funded (because part of their funding is determined from the frequency of check-outs!)


Live Well by searching your local Library and shopping your local Yarn Store, post a picture on FaceBook and share what you are making!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Why I Left the Best Paying Worst Job I've Ever Had & The Giant Crochet Hook

As many of you know, I recently left my corporate job, and have re-entered the world of entrepreneurship after a long absence.

Many might ask, "Why in the world would someone leave the best paying job they have ever had?" This was not a decision that I came to suddenly, or lightly. It is not just me that is impacted by this decision! My husband and I have financial goals, and that job had us WELL on our way to achieving them with in 3 years!

But everyday I was crying on my way home from work. I felt like a useless cog in a massive industrial machine. I was tired and burned out and unable to feel creative and in-touch with myself during my few non-work hours. I was not connecting with my husband, my friends, or my (grown) kids and grand kids!

I was "missing it" !

Some say life is too short ... But really, life is TOO LONG to spend it being miserable! Here is a letter I wrote to my husband in July that expresses just a small bit of the heart ache that I was battling every day of what ended up being 19 months of my life ... 

"Last night you asked, "So, how are you really doing with your work situation?" I was vague, but did have more positive things to share than I have had in a while. But, when I say "My day was just fine" each time you ask about my work day, I'm really just trying to convince myself and I'm pretending to "protecting" you from my work stress, as you have enough of your own. If I don't talk to you about it, I can just keep pretending I can keep doing this. But that isn't how it should be and I need to be more open with you about it. But then I often end up feeling like I'm dumping, then I feel like we end up talking about nothing but our work situations :(

I feel guilty for feeling discontented when I have a good job, and I make more money than I have ever made in my life! Today is payday, and when I looked at my pay stub, my gross year to date at the 6 month mark, is (more than I have made in a full year previously). This is no small change. I feel more financially secure than I ever have, but at the same I am not happy with my employment. This is such an ugly and selfish and ungrateful feeling and I feel like a wretch for even feeling it! I am thankful for the finances! We are making good choices about how we are using our money, and we are paying down our debts solidly and putting money in savings! And I keep pep-talking myself that I can do this, I can find my satisfaction in that ... that's how I am ... as long as there is outstanding debt to pay down, I am in bondage to the paycheck.

So, really, it's a constant battle in my head. I like many of my co-workers, I like many of my tasks, and appreciate when I get to have some variety in my day, I like my paychecks. I dislike the relative chaos and disorganization of the way this company operates. I hate feeling under-utilized. I miss being able to be creative and nurturing. I know it doesn't have to be forever. Some days feels like forever.

I feel guilty for feeling this way ... even though they are honest and legitimate feelings.
So, I just say, "My day was just fine." because it helps me to stand separated from the mischmash of negative feelings and stand more in touch with the positive aspects of my job."

This is a very intimate look at what was happening for me. I had starting feeling this way about my job about 3 months into it, and I stuck with it, trying different things for 19 months, before I finally had to decide ... 

Please don't misunderstand me. We all have to make money to survive. We have to have money to may the rent or the mortgage, and buy groceries and such! I am very thankful and blessed that I have the support,and the resources to make this long time dream come true! And I do not want to take one moment of it for granted!

So, what's with the part about the giant crochet hook??? Well, when we went on our honeymoon cruise to Alaska, we went to a yarn shop in Skagway, and int he window they had 6 foot long knitting needles, and I told my husband that when I had my yarn shop, I was going to need a GIANT crochet hook for my window. Now. I have my yarn shop, and this morning, a total surprise to me, my husband presented me with a giant crochet hook, that he made, for me, because he loves me that much! <3 and="" creative="" font="" he="" just="" s="" supportive="" that="" thoughtful="" wonderful="">

And now, he is getting into the act! He is building furniture, and repairing antiques and reinventing salvaged items into new furniture pieces that are being used as display pieces in the shop while they are also for sale! So our little shop is becoming a creative outlet for both of us! :)

Come and join our fun, subscribe to the Living Well emails, and "like" us to be an active part of the growing Perfectly Knotty community on Facebook

Because creating is an amazing way to share our selves with others.
Because participating in a creative community encourages and inspires others to create!

And that is 
Living Well!

P.S. Don't

Perfectly Knotty: Local Yarn Shop Adventure

Over 700 skeins of Hayfield in more than 55 colors! Perfectly Knotty is sure to have just the right gage & color for that special sweater or afghan for that important someone! Now is the time to get started on that Valentine's treat for your loved one!

16 colors in DK w/Wool (80% Acrylic 20% Wool)
10 colors in Aran w/Wool (80% Acrylic 20% Wool)
14 colors in Chunky w/Wool (80% Acrylic 20% Wool)
12 colors in Baby Chunky (70% Acrylic 30% Nylon)
18 colors in Baby DK (70% Acrylic 30% Nylon)

Have no worries, I will continue to share about health and wellness, and budgeting, and cooking and all of the things you have come to enjoy! This new adventure as a yarn shopkeeper is just another delicious part of my efforts to Live my life Well! :)

You can join the fun at and

Because creating and being surrounded by beautiful useful art is so important in 

Living Well

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Up-Or-Down Reversible Cardigan

I recently finished the design for this elegant and simple cardigan!
The pattern is available for sale on Amazon for Kindle:

and on Etsy in PDF Up-Or-Down Cardi Pattern

You can also email me at to make a phone payment and have it emailed to you.

Uluru is a luxurious 55% cotton 26% acrylic 19% polyester blend in a fine weight. At 410 years per "doughnut ball" skein, this is an EXCELLENT deal at $10.99 each! Email today to order yours!
Being able to create a garment you will LOVE and wear all of the time gives an amazing sense of satisfaction! And a wonderful feeling of

Living Well!

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