Ten Years Here…

Ten years ago I published my first post here at chaoticwhitespace.

It has been quite a journey….so much has happened in my life (including entering my 40’s! yikes!!) and there are so many different types of posts here which I’ve shared through the years.

This place has been like a great therapist to me and helped me through so much.  I’ve shared a lot and for the foreseeable future I wish to continue sharing.  I know that I will continue to grow and change in so many different ways….and there may come a day when I leave this all behind me and remove this corner of the world wide web which I currently call my home.  I have dreams that I would like to accomplish before I “shuffle off this mortal coil.”  (road trip, anyone?!)

In honor of the past ten years I want to share that very first post with you today.  Please venture around my site as so much has been posted here that you may have missed and would certainly enjoy…


welcome to my chaoticwhitespace……..

this is my chaoticwhitespace.

a place to go when all things around me seem to be falling apart.  a place for refuge and solace in this world of angst.

i never considered creating something like this until i received an email from an old friend just recently, with a link to the blog that she just created; a place for her to go and drop her thoughts when the call came.  after reading all that she wrote, i realized that this was exactly what i needed.  creating a space for me for when i needed to be alone could be achieved on the world wide web (does that make sense?).  it could be a great space for my personal reflections and could give me some much-needed therapy.  a therapist costs money and you need to make the time for the appointments.  the advice given may not be beneficial to you.

so i’ve finally reached ‘here’…….this chaoticwhitespace may just be the ‘therapy’ that i’ve been looking for.  whether anyone reads this or doesn’t; whether anyone follows this or doesn’t; it all doesn’t matter much to me.  what matters is that i have my own place to go for comfort and solace when time allows and my feelings call for it.

a space of my own to create and ‘work’ that noone else needs to know about.  a space that gives me freedom to express myself with no judgements given to me.  a space that can be anything that i need it to be.  hiding behind the computer screen sounds appealing; doesn’t it?  a space…..a chaoticwhitespace……..
who knows where this will lead but at least this space, my space, my chaoticwhitespace, is mine and mine alone.

a good therapist waiting for me at my disposal.

there’s something invigorating about having a space that’s mine which can be and will be anything that i need it to be.

like a cozy quilt, good book and hot cup of tea on a rainy day.

like a favorite soup simmering all day on the stove, while the snow is blowing outside.

like watching a favorite movie when time allows.

please, won’t you join me; on this journey into….

….my chaoticwhitespace…………

Homemade Pa Dutch Fat Tuesday Potato Doughnuts

Each year on the day before Ash Wednesday the Pennsylvania Dutch folks enjoy Fastnachts; or Doughnuts as you would recognize them being named.

Our favorites are the Potato Doughnuts which do not require time for raising.

Yesterday I got up early, even with the day off from work, to make ours.  Above is a photo of some of them with the holes which are created when cutting the doughnuts from the rolled dough.

And in the spirit of memorializing and sharing – here is the recipe:

I fried them in olive oil this year and they are fantastic!  If you can roll out a pie crust you will be able to make these yourself.



A Reminder to Me about Me

Be Yourself….there is no one else in the world like you.  Enjoy your individuality and don’t be ashamed…just embrace it.

You can knit and crochet, take great photography, and be creative in so many ways.  You’re a great cook and baker and all of that comes so naturally for you.  Embrace and Live in the moments when you can just ‘be’ and do all of this for fun and nourishment to yourself and others.  If you were meant to do any of these things as your source of income then you certainly wouldn’t enjoy it.

Live lightly and float through life enjoying each moment of each day you’re given; live one day at a time.  The past is behind you and the days to come will be taken care of.  Enjoy all the small and BIG moments as they unfold before you.

Don’t obsess over any thing because God will provide all you need in each day.  As he provides for all of his creation which he loves.

Don’t let the distractions in your daily life make you feel like you’re unworthy and can’t achieve all you have in your dreams.  They are occurring as they have been planned.

There is a restlessness eating away at you and has always been a significant fragment of your soul; you have felt it all your life.  When you heard the term ‘old soul’ you finally discovered it was that element of you that had always been nameless.  It is in your nature to be a restless old soul and you will find the significance of that one day.

Embrace the solitude which has always been your life.  God is preparing you for something bigger in your life with each moment of solitude which you’ve endured and will endure.  Your second home is calling you to come.  With ties to this place and the people around you slowly unravelling with each passing year you will find that when your moment arrives to take flight that you will find that journeying into this next phase of your life as natural as breathing and you will do it without hesitation.

Enjoy each day you’re given – they are most certainly your greatest gift from God.

My Current Favorite Smoothie Recipe

I’ve been making this quite a bit since I discovered this smoothie recipe in an allrecipes magazine last year.

1 cup frozen berry blend (or your choice of fruit blend)

1 banana

approx. 1 cup vanilla yogurt (or your choice of flavor – I just spoon in what I want as far as amount is concerned)

2 tbsp each of OJ and Water (you could use milk of choice too)

(approx) 1/2 cup baby spinach (I don’t measure – I just eyeball the leaves I throw in)

That’s it – you could add/delete/change ingredients to make yours so tasty!



My favorite dishcloth pattern

I have made many different crochet and knit dishcloth patterns.  Some have held up well while others just don’t seem to impress me at all (all those patterns for knitted images don’t have the thickness which I’m looking for).  After creating several dishcloths quickly with scrap pieces of cotton yarn, via crochet, and using them, I am in love.  They hold up well and the thickness and texture are perfect for scrubbing dishes.

I have decided that this simple crochet pattern is my go-to for any more that I make.

It is simple and here it is: all half double crochet (hdc) with a single crochet border around the outside.

As for width and length I just chain whatever I want at the moment and then go to town on hdc until I get to the size I desire.

Live Lightly Spring Cowl

Cowls are one of my favorite accessories to create.  They are similar to adding a touch of jewelry to an outfit; they bring a bit of freshness to the day too.

On occasion I have picked up individual skeins of a yarn which I really liked and then I’m stuck really not knowing what to use it for other than a stash-busting afghan project.  However, for this one skein of Lion Brand Heartland Tweed (Mount Rainier Tweed) which I had initially bought to create some baby items (didn’t happen!) I wanted to create something special for myself.  I love to find or create one-skein projects for myself and that can be a challenge when it comes to crochet.  If you crochet you will know that it eats yarn rather quickly.  The skein I had to work with is only 200 yards so I thought this would be a challenge; however, it all worked out and I have yarn leftover to create something else as well.

here it is – the Live Lightly Spring Cowl

This is a super easy crochet project which works up very quickly.  You can adjust it to the size you want very easily and use whatever yarn you have in your stash.

I decided I wanted a cowl which is airy and open and rather light around my neck – this does just that.

And the other super cool thing is that this is reversible; I love the textures on both sides of this cowl.

Here is the easy recipe if you want to create your own:

I used this medium (worsted weight) yarn with an 8 mm crochet hook to give this an open and airy appearance.

The stitch pattern is super easy: any multiple of 2 will do.  I chained 80 and then joined into a circle with a slip stich; I did not twist the chain before joining; however, if you want to do that you may.

After joining in a circle I began with a chain-1 and then a single crochet in the same stitch I just did the slip stitch into.  I then began the easy pattern and continued in a circle until it was the width I desired……skip the next chain and then single crochet twice into the following stitch.  You continue in a circle by skipping a stitch and placing two single crochets into the next.

That’s all there is to it – super easy and a lovely accessory for Spring.



Homemade Nutella Cream Cake

I asked my husband which dessert he wanted for his birthday and he said he wanted a homemade Boston Cream Pie. I made this recipe before and we didn’t like the chocolate glaze. I made this recipe again for his birthday and did a couple tweaks: doubled the cream filling (which is perfect for this cake size) and Nutella spread for the top.  This is now a perfect recipe!  Oftentimes when buying a piece of this cake when we eat at a restaurant we find that the chocolate frosting is sickening-sweet. The Nutella is not. It is do delicious and won’t last long in our house.  🤤

For baking the cake I used King Arthur’s cake flour (which makes such a yummy light-weight cake) and whole milk for both the cake and cream filling.
After making the cream filling I put it into a glass bowl and left it cool on the counter awhile before placing the bowl in the fridge. After a few hours I placed plastic wrap over the bowl until later in the afternoon when it was cooled well enough to be placed on the bottom half of the cake (cake was sliced in half per usual).  My advice is to not hurry to put this together. I baked the cake and made the filling in the early morning and put it together mid-afternoon. Then it was placed in the fridge without a cover so it could cool together. We ate it that night after supper and it was delicious!

   After two adults ate their shares in the first night….

The recipe I followed:

To my Angel Niece Lily – wishing you a very Happy 11th Birthday in Heaven!  Wish you and your paternal Grandmother were here to eat this; Nonna W. would ❤️ this Nutella Cream Cake too!  I know you’re both having wonderful times together up there and we will see you both again ❤️

Journaling Fun in Twenty Twenty-One

As a teenager I kept diaries/journals which was something many were doing and continue to do today.  I grew out of that phase as I grew older but in recent years I have interest again to do something to some degree.  In 2019 while cleaning through my attic I came across all of those teenage journals and I began to read some.  I never completed reading them as I came across some painful memories which I had truly forgotten so I stopped reading and burned them all up in fire.  It was a good way to release all of those memories away forever.

I see that bullet journaling, other types of journaling, and planning have become hot trends in recent years.  I’m not one for planning – I don’t need that type of organization.  I’m a well organized person with a good memory for so much and having a yearly calendar on my fridge is good enough for my planning for the year and to keep track of appointments and other fun things.

In 2019 I received this journal-of-sorts as a gift.

I completed the first year of this 5 year journal in 2020.  There is one question for each date so beginning on January 1st I will have the same question as I did last year.

It would be good to see how answers change or stay the same from year to year; however, for me, much does not change, really.  So I’ve decided to skip a year between answering the questions in this journal and do something different.  As of now my thoughts are to complete the questions in the following years: 2022, 2024, 2026, and 2028 which will fill the book’s pages.

For the years in-between I want to do something different to record events and oddities on a daily basis.  I like the journaling idea with the planner-type of layout.  So on a shopping excursion this week I was on the hunt for clearance/discounted items to do something special and different for 2021.  Here is what I’ve found….

This 2021 planner was on clearance at Boscov’s (a store) in their bargain room for only $3.99.  There were two different 2021 planners and the other one had ‘2021 Planner’ on the cover and this one only lists the year, which I prefer.  I don’t want a planner but I do want the structure of dates/calendars and other miscellaneous pages mixed in.  This fits the bill perfectly for me.

As you can see I began personalizing my journal.  The first day in the book is Monday, December 28th, the day I actually bought this so I did begin journaling that evening (sorry, won’t be showing you that page though!).

Here is the inside first page which I had some fun with already….

Throughout the book there are pages between months and there are stickers in the back of the book for me to use, including the months (as tabs) to adhere at the respective front page for that month (as you can see indicated in the page below).

The designs are different throughout and there are bullet pages too.

After the front designed page for each month is a monthly calendar with areas to write various things…

I really like the spaces for each date so that I can journal whatever I wish and decorate with stickers as I desire….I was thinking that I may search on the internet for a random question of the day from time to time to write into the date and then answer; similar to the ‘one question a day’ journal I kept for 2020.

And throughout there are other various pages included like these….

I’m thinking I may keep track of books I read for the year to see how much I actually complete as well as the movies I see in theatres (if we ever return to theatres!)…

Of course we must have stickers to decorate!

Prior to finding this cool planner for 2021 I bought a few items at Michaels’ craft store (and some were on clearance!)…

The clearance area was hidden in the back of the store and I stumbled across some great finds for journaling 2021….  these ‘happy planner’ stickers say $6.97 but I paid $5.00!

I had seen these notebooks before and I liked them (one has blank pages, another has undated calendars, and one with bullet pages)…I only paid $3.00!  I was first thinking of using these for journaling 2021 in a different way; however, when I found the above 2021 binder book I thought I could use these as added pages to my book or whatever else I like…

My favorite color is navy blue so I grabbed a few colorful pens and some washi tape to make my journaling fun and colorful (at least colorful in a blue way!)…I was able to use a 20% off coupon for everything which wasn’t on sale too…

I’m enjoying this so much already even though 2021 hasn’t arrived yet – I am going to decorate with stickers and drawings and notes and lists and whatever else pops up throughout the year.  I plan to attach random items/ephemera as well.  It will be a cool time capsule.  I have so much stuff from my scrapbooking days which I plan to use as well.

Do you enjoy journaling?  What are your journaling ideas for 2021?

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy 2021!

Merry Christmas!

But the angel said to them, “ Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”  Luke 2: 10 – 14


My favorite trip companions…

I thought it would be fun to write something a bit different for my blog post today.  I have a love/hate relationship with reviews about products which I’m thinking of purchasing.  I love to see how other people enjoy the same item but I don’t like reviews that are written the day they receive the product.  I prefer a review written after several months or even a year of use of the product so that I will have a better idea on the worth of the item.  And the other factor that I always fear is when I read a bad review – how much is truly accurate or embellished.

Very rarely does anyone ask me my opinion on something; however, since this is my blog I can tell you whatever I want to.  If you don’t like the topic I write about you can always just click-away to another post and leave it be.  I thought it would be cool to write some reviews on various crossbody/handbags which I own and enjoy.  I hope that my reviews will be of interest to you and welcome your comments below, especially if you have a bag like mine.

  • I will begin with the one which I’m currently using – a Lug crossbody bag called Swivel (it also came with a matching-color heart-shaped accessory pouch, which can clip on an outside ring, which I’m not currently using).  I purchased this in August 2020 and have been using it every day since then.  It is so convenient and easy to carry and I love it!

I really love this bag.  It is so lightweight (.85 pounds) even before adding anything to it.  It is a small bag; however, if you are like me you prefer smaller lightweight bags for carrying only a wallet and a few other items.  The other plus to Lug brand bags is that there is always a dedicated soft fleece-lined cell phone pocket, with a strong magnetic closure, which I really adore.  I love that this one has the pocket on the back of the bag so that as I wear the bag my cell phone is right next to my body.

I only carry a few items in this bag including my Lug wallet named Splits which has RFID card protection

This wallet is small but will hold many items if needed.  In fact it is even a bit bigger/bulkier than I prefer.  For many years I only carried what is generally known as a coin/card type wallet which held only a few cards and items I needed including some cash and coins.  For now, though, I will continue to carry my Splits until it is worn-out.

I really love the Lug crossbody bag so much because it is so lightweight and seems like it is a part of me when I wear it; it just lays at the right sweet spot on my body with no problems.  This Lug bag is the first and only crossbody which I’ve owned so far which stays exactly where I place it; I prefer to keep my crossbody bags at the front of my body and this one doesn’t gravitate to the side or back.  When all of the other bags do that I have more back pain and worry about security.  I love it so much that I have recently purchased another Lug crossbody bag which is slightly bigger in size and I’m awaiting its arrival to my door as I type this.  I can’t wait to get it and try it out – it is named Hippy 2.  I guess you can call me a Lug Nut now! 🙂  If you’re interested in a review on that bag please leave a message below and I will share one about it after I’ve used it for several months.

  • My most expensive bag purchase was about a year ago when I purchased a Dooney & Bourke bag.  I had been eyeing the various bags via QVC for several years whenever there was a presentation.  I am very picky on the style and also the weight of a bag; I don’t like huge bags and this shoulder bag is just perfect as it hangs right underneath my arm.  It is a generous size compared to many of my other bags (I won’t get a bigger handbag) and I only carry this guy for special events including going to church.


  • Travelon bags are really great too.  This one was my first which I bought at QVC.  I crocheted a cover to put on the strap where it hits me on the neck.  Wearing this bag all day on a day-trip isn’t the most comfortable; however, I’ve managed.  Including taking this on a week long vacation out of state.

  • My next Travelon bag is a great one for travel as well when you’re really concerned about security.  I bought this in anticipation of European traveling which hasn’t happened for quite a while.  It is a nice crossbody messenger bag with several pockets for organization (both inside and on the outside) and with the ability to lock zippers as well as having other great anti-theft features.  Check out Travelon’s website to see all of the great security features on their various bags especially if you’re looking to take a trip soon.

As you see here you can lock this particular zipper and there is another one along the side of the bag.  This bag gives me peace of mind when I use it.

  • Another great crossbody bag I’ve enjoyed is this one from Kavu.  I bought this probably ten years ago and used it quite a bit.  I like the front pocket for convenience for my cell phone.  The main compartment for this bag is only a button so the security isn’t the greatest.  But for a quick jaunt somewhere local it is wonderful.  I’ve used it for day trips too; however, not as secure as I like.  I won’t part with this one though.

  • I bought this cute hobo bag (no outside pockets and I can’t recall the name of the maker) many years ago (10+) at a BonTon in a mall which was torn down a few years ago.  I love this cute bag which is made with suede material.  There is a zippered pocket inside as well as two sidewall pockets.  Cool bag which I’ve received compliments on.

  • the Sak brand bags are nice to have.  I love the size of this cute bag with two outside pockets (one has a zipper); however, I do not like the strap.  As you can see it is a round strap so it isn’t the most comfortable on the shoulder.  The size and drop length are great for me though.

  • Fossil bags are nice too.  This crossbody though is rather heavy due to the material and size.  I don’t use it anymore.  I remember when I bought it in 2010 and began using it.  I wore it shopping for a day and ended up with very severe back pain – the beginning of my journey to a diagnosis.


The quality just isn’t there though in the straps anymore unfortunately.  I didn’t even donate this to Good Will or Community Aid due to this issue.  The bag itself is in perfect shape.  Maybe I could redo the straps to the bag somehow; but not today.


  • Rosetti bags are commonly found in stores such as Kohl’s and Boscov’s.  I bought this one for a great price ($10!) at Kohl’s (I don’t shop at their stores anymore though).  This is cute but it is actually heavier than I like for a cross body bag.  Do you enjoy yours?

All of the straps on the crossbody bags can be shortened if I want to use them as shoulder bags but I do not.  I’m loving crossbody bags more so than ever before as I prefer to only carry a handful of necessities in a lightweight bag so that I have free hands as I travel about in my day-to-day journeys.

It spices up my blog to write something different and unexpected and I hope I found some readers who have enjoyed this peek into my accessory closet.