Monthly Archives

February 2017

Food Mini Monday Uncategorized Whole 30

Mini Monday: A Cautionary Tale About Red Boat Fish Sauce

February 6, 2017
Mini Mondays: A Cautionary Tale about Red Boat Fish Sauce

Welcome to a new series on the blog: Mini Mondays!

These are bits and scraps from my life that I want to share that aren’t big enough to make a full blog posts. They can be silly stories, reviews, updates on knitting or outreach projects or whatever else strikes my fancy. Let’s get going, shall we?

This week’s mini monday post is about Red Boat Fish Sauce.


Specifically about my failures in connection with Red Boat Fish Sauce. For those of you who are unaware of Red Boat Fish Sauce, it is one of the few Whole 30 compliant fish sauces on the market. Fish sauce is great for adding greater depth of flavor and is especially useful in Asian inspired dishes. The Hubs and needed it for Nom Nom Paleo’s Chili Lime Chicken Wings, which we made so that we would have something to eat while watching the Super Bowl at The In-Law’s house (Update: They were good.). We will also be using it in Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs later this week so I’ll let you know how that goes.

The problem with Red Boat Fish Sauce, it that is can be extremely hard to find.

Trader Joe’s used to carry it (and at a good price too!), but they don’t have it any longer. Honestly, though, their turnover is pretty high from season to season, so fingers crossed they get it back! We didn’t find any fish sauce at Central Market, so that left us with Whole Foods to complete our expensive hippie store trifecta. The Hubs (bless him)called around to a bunch of different Whole Foods to see if any of them carried it. This saved me hours of driving around, because I never would have called. He learned that it can be found at the Whole Foods in Addison, which is also the only Whole Foods where I have been able to find Tessemae’s All Natural dressings. Since it was closer to me, asked me to run and grab some on my lunch break.

The Hubs was told that this store had a fresh shipment of Red Boat Fish Sauce “in the back.” As in, I was going to have to go and talk to a sales associate to get it. Ugh… This is how much I love my husband. It was indeed in the back, and I did have to make them go check for it, which made me feel like a jerk, because they had just stocked that section. The Hubs was right, however, and it they did end up finding some for me. (Another FYI: It was around $12.99.). I threw the sauce in my car and went back to work.

Here is where I messed up.

Once I got back to work, I left the fish sauce in my car.

I figured, It doesn’t need to be refrigerated yet, and it’s cold today. It’ll be fine. And it’s true, the fish sauce itself was perfectly fine. It’s my car that had the problem.

You see, the Red Boat Fish Sauce leaked all over the passenger seat of my car. And, like, soaked in a little bit.

It’s not the cutest smell. I fear it may be permanently absorbed into my seat, to secrete its fishy odor until eternity. There are not enough clorox wipes in the world for this. Did I mention that I hate fish?

The moral of the story, folks, and the humble lesson that I learned for you is this:

Never, under any circumstances, lay your fish sauce bottle down. Keep that sucker upright at all times.

It will leak. It will reek. You will be sad.

This has been a Public Service Annoucement.

Featured Finished Object Knitting Lifestyle Pattern

Pattern: Maple Smash Fingerless Mitts

February 1, 2017
Maple Smash Fingerless Mitts by Yarnsley Lane

I’m excited introduce a new pattern of mine, and the first published pattern of Yarnsley Lane! Meet the Maple Smash Fingerless Mitts! Inspired by necessity, these mitts are designed to be petite in your coat sleeves, but warm on the fingers. They contain a cozy cable pattern that reminds me of winter and an afterthought thumb (my favorite method!). Better yet, they can be made in less than 1 skein of Juniper Farms Moonshine!

The Inspiration

Lets talk a little about what inspired the Maple Smash Fingerless Mitts. As the days got shorter and the weather got colder, I reached into the back of my closet for my trusty fingerless mitts. Imagine my devastation when I found out that they had holes! And apparently a dropped stitch in the thumb (Clumsy me.)! I was bummed to find that they were no longer wearable. Clearly some new mitts were in order, but what did I want?

I knew that I wanted something short that wouldn’t interfere with my sleeves in my coat. I envisioned a long cuff that I could fold down over my fingers to shield them from the wind.  The knits would need some visual interest. Something cozy, like cables. I searched and searched ravelry, but nothing quite fit what I wanted.  The solution was clear: It was time to design my own.

The Yarn:

As for the yarn, I must have circled the yarn store about 50 times looking for just the right yarn for the Maple Smash Fingerless Mitts. I knew in my head that it was a creamy color, that it was a squishy single ply and that I wanted some good fuzz factor. I needed yarn with a good halo. Finally I decided on this Juniper Farms Moonshine. It’s a single ply with wool, alpaca and silk. The alpaca give it the nice halo I was looking for and the silk makes it luminous. The color didn’t have a name on my yarn band, but with a little searching I believe the color is Flan. I cannot think of a more perfect name for this color. I have to stop thinking about it because it’s making me hungry.

The Pattern

The Maple Smash Mitts are just what I needed; a short fingerless glove that features a nice big cable and a cuff to shield my fingers from the cold. They are knit in the round with an afterthought thumb(my favorite!) and take very little time (and yarn!) to knit up!

Get the pattern for free here: Maple Smash Mitts by Yarnsley Lane

Or on Ravelry:

So go out there! Knit your own mitts!

If you do, let me know, because I’d love to see them.

Lifestyle Marriage

What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage

February 1, 2017
Yarnsley Lane - What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage: Notes from A Newlywed

The Hubs got married in November of 2016 after dating for almost two years. Before marriage, we had both lived with our parents. The Hubs had lived on his own before, but I had never lived away from my parents (I know.). Although we saw each other every day (perks to dating a guy who lives 1.3 miles away), we had never experienced life from the same household.

After we got married, we moved into an apartment 20 minutes from home; with an amazingly large bathtub and closet designated solely for guitars (Hint: not mine.). As you can imagine, the first month of marriage brought a whole new level of closeness to us as a couple.  It also brought a whole new set of challenges. We learned a lot about each other and about marriage in general in the first month as newlyweds. Here were the biggest lessons I learned in our first month of marriage:

What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage - Notes from a Newlywed

1.  You get that weird early dating tension again.

Oh gosh, he left the room. Should I follow him? Should I give him his space? Did he mean for me to follow him? Is it going to hurt his feelings if I don’t? You remember having these mental conversations early in your dating relationship? It was part of the fun, part of the chase, but man, the tension was exhausting! It takes time to navigate the newness of a relationship and find boundaries that work for the both people.Welcome to  the first month of marriage marriage. Get ready to do it all over again.

Just like in the early days of dating, that tension comes from the fear that the good feelings will go away. Maybe you’re afraid of looking too needy, or you are scared to express how much you care. You analyze every reaction and conversation for signs that things are going smoothly. As in dating, the newlywed tension phase passes fairly quickly, but in the meantime you get to deal with lesson #2:

2.Say goodbye to your alone time.

This might just be a me thing, but I need some serious alone time. I’ll admit it. I’m an introvert. When I was single, I always hated having so much alone time. I spent most of my time alone thinking about what I’d be doing if I had someone with me.

After the wedding, I swear I didn’t take a bath alone in the first two weeks of marriage. I’m all for doing things together (and I love a good couples bath), but during that first month of marriage I was aching for some space. Marriage will cut down on your alone time. Going from being independent to sharing a room and a bed and a bathroom with someone can be a bit of a shock. Navigating your newlywed life may have the two of you in each other’s hair for while. After the new wears off a little bit, you and your spouse get into a groove and it’s not quite so stressful. You each find ways to be independent,  or you learn to adjust to having another body with you in bed, on the couch, in the tub…

That’s okay, because you still have a lot of learning to do in lesson #3:

3. Just because your spouse is a part of your family, doesn’t mean they will act like your family.

We all get used to our family’s habits. We can predict their behavior and how they will react. We know what they will say in response to various situations, right down to the tone. Similarly, you respond to your family in certain ways. These are your habits.

While you probably know your spouse quite well, you probably don’t have a baseline for how they respond in each and every situation. Several times early in the first month of marriage, I found myself bracing myself for The Hubs to react like my father. I was always rather surprised(and occasionally often grateful) when he did not. Your spouse is going to act differently from your family. Embrace this. It’s a good thing. At the same time, carefully examine your actions and make sure that you are not succumbing to bad family habits (only good ones). It’s also good to stop and check your assumptions about your spouse, and make sure to ask them for their opinion before you decide in advance that you already know it. 

What I learned in the First Month of Marriage

Overall, the first month of marriage wasn’t as drastic a change as I thought it would be. In many ways, it simply felt like I was playing house. I always got the sense that, “well, this has been fun, but I better go home. My mom is probably wondering where I am.” Luckily, the human capacity to get used to things is pretty extraordinary and that limbo phase doesn’t last long. It still stays fun though.

Treasure this time with your spouse.

Don’t forget to breathe.

Don’t ever stop being in awe of your spouse and don’t forget to let them know either.