— whollyKao

01-whollyKao_CrochetedtreeI’m on a crocheting kick. It’s funny, since last year I had no desire to knit or crochet. But this year, I have found myself making lots of mini Christmas trees. I had bought the pattern (and blogged about it!) back in 2011, and thought I’d share it again. We’ve been traveling a lot recently, and this is the perfect size project to take on the road. And each tree only takes an hour to make, which is great. Did I mention they make great little gifts?

The pattern is available for purchase on the Planet June website, and includes instructions on how to make a 5.5″ and a 2.5″ tree, as well as the decorative star that goes on top.

You’ve still got time before Christmas to make a few!

whollykao-furikakeChexMix This Thanksgiving, the dish that I ate the most of was not turkey, stuffing or sweet potatoes. It was furikake Chex mix. It was sweet and crunchy, with a hint of seaweed savory-ness that made it very addicting. My friend Grace made it, and she was kind enough to share her recipe. I made it for the first time this weekend, and thought I’d pass it along too.

Be aware this makes a LOT of Chex mix. Good for sharing. Bad for if you’re at home in front of the TV snacking.


Furikake Chex Mix
Makes approximately 10-12 cups

2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1.5 bottles furikake rice seasoning*
1/2 box rice Chex
1/2 box Honeycombs cereal
1/2 bag pretzels
1/2 bag Bugle chips

*For those of you not familiar with furikake, it’s a seaweed seasoning that is sprinkled over rice, and typically contains seaweed and sesame seeds. You can find it at your local Asian store.*

1. Preheat oven to 250.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan, then add the sugar. Stir until dissolved.

3. Add corn syrup, oil, and soy sauce to the butter mix and stir.

4. In a large bowl (or pot), mix together both cereals, pretzels, and Bugles. Spoon the butter mixture over the cereal mix, then sprinkle a generous shake of furikake seasoning. Toss well so that every piece is coated. Repeat this procedure until you have used all the butter mixture and furikake. If the cereal/pretzel/Bugle mixture seems too wet, you can add more dry ingredients to soak up some of the butter.

5. Once the cereal/pretzel/Bugle mixture is evenly coated, spread it out in a single layer on a sheet pan.

6. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Be careful to not let the mixture burn.

7. Cool mixture before serving. Enjoy!

IMG_9148 We got our Christmas tree this week. I was happy we actually got one, since we were unable to last year (there was a crazy ice storm in Dallas, which caused all the tents housing Christmas Trees at Home Depot to collapse and trap the trees underneath, and by the time everything melted, we were just about taking off for Boston for Christmas and it wasn’t worth getting one).

So with the house smelling like Christmas, I thought I’d share a DIY crocheted ornament tutorial. It’s a throwback that I posted about two years ago, but I think it’s a good one. It’s an awesome way to use up remnant yarn you have around the house, and I think these would make nice little gifts too. We actually need some more ornaments for our tree, so maybe posting this tutorial will get me motivated to make some for us!

Click here to see my crocheted ornament tutorial.