April 25, 2012

More Quilt Progress...

I finished my pinwheel baby quilt!

I free motioned this and I'm just so happy with it. I'm gaining confidence in my skilz! I plan on free motion quilting my much larger Quilt Along Quilt and we'll see how that goes. Speaking of which, here is my Cosmic Burst Quilt with the next two finished quadrants:

When I put the 4 together, they look very nice. I almost don't want to stick in the center row! But I know it will look even better if I quilt along as I am told ;) I can't wait to finish this one up.

And I will mention am SO excited about the exciting possibility of something really exciting (can you tell I'm excited?) Well, that's cause I AM! My sister and I are applying to have a booth at one of the most popular Christmas craft bazaars in town. It's not till November, but you have to apply early, send pictures of what you're selling, then be approved before you can have a space. The plan is for me to make some of my bags, totes and earrings, and my sister makes beautiful bracelets and awesome graphic art prints. I'll send our application in tomorrow and we'll find out in June if we're in. Ugh, that is so long to wait! I'm thinking positively and I already ordered a quantity of some fabric since I found some lovely stuff on sale.

Here's a sampling of a few of our entry pics:

Wish us luck!

April 23, 2012

Two Great Tips!

Who says the internet can't improve your life? Ha! Not me! Here's two tips/hints that I recently found that are so very helpful, saving time, money and frustration.

My 3 1/2 year old daughter is quite the card shark. Thanks to Grandma, she LOVES playing cards. She plays Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Uno and her favorite, Old Maid. It has really helped her learn her numbers & how to take turns nicely and she has become a sneaky strategist, much to the chagrin of her brother. The only problem is her little hands have trouble holding all those cards, especially in Old Maid where you deal the whole deck. So, this idea popped up on Pinterest the other day. I didn't repin like I should've so I don't have the link. But, it's a very simple card holder.

Take two plastic lids from any various disposable ...whipped topping, yogurt, sour cream, pringles, etc. In the tutorial I saw, she took two lids of the same size. But, in our experience it works better if one lid is smaller than the other. So, you take the two lids and put them back to back, flat sides together. Staple them in the middle a couple times. It was a little tricky, but the stapler did fit over the 'lips' of the lids and it stapled through two layers of plastic rather easily.

Then after they are secure, decorate them with stickers, be sure to cover the staples so there's no sharp parts. Here's a couple of ours all stickered up:

And here they are in action:

The cards slide right in & out easily but are held securely! I actually enjoy using them too :)

The next idea is a tutorial on how to shorten jeans so that the original hem is visible. I have an average sized husband with shorter than average legs. So, it is hard to find his size jeans. And hemming jeans the old fashioned way makes them look...not like real (cool) jeans. Problem solved thanks to THIS tutorial! I tried this out on a nice pair that I bought last week at a garage sale. The right sized waist but about 4 inches too long. It wasn't easy to get my sewing machine to sew along the side seams. I broke one needle, a denim needle no less! I had to take it slow & easy around those thick parts. And I top-stitched my seam so it lays nice & flat.

If you look closely, you can tell they've been altered, but it's not obvious at all. Hubby was quite impressed! It's worth it if I can find jeans at Goodwill and only have to look at the waist size and not have to worry about the length. He goes through jeans like crazy!

So, there's two of my new favorite little tips!

April 20, 2012

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Genuis! Why haven't I seen these before or thought them up myself? We all love carrot cake around here. I ran across this recipe in the newspaper on Tuesday in the "Healthy Living" section. I just knew I had to make them and I just knew that they would be wonderful and I was right. I made a batch last night before bed & cooked up a few of them so they would be all ready to warm up this morning. The topping/frosting is delicious too. No need for syrup! And I had enough batter to make one more giant pancake today which I ended up eating for lunch. Yup, pancake for lunch with a tall glass of milk. YUM!

Here's the link to the recipe.  And here it is right here in slightly simplified form:

Carrot Cake Pancakes With Cream Cheese Sauce

Pancakes -
1 cup flour
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 T oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup finely grated carrot (about 1 large carrot)
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) softened cream cheese
1 T milk
1/2 t vanilla extract

In a large bowl place flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine. Mix up the milk, brown sugar, oil and eggs in a medium bowl, then add into the flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Stir in the carrot and coconut. If the mixture seems too thin, add up to 1/4 cup of flour. In a greased pan over medium heat, pour in about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the tops are marked with bubbles and the edges appear cooked. Carefully turn the pancakes over; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.

For the sauce: Combine the confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl, whisking until smooth and pourable.

I'd like to play around with the recipe a bit, perhaps add in some whole wheat flour or maybe some oats and definitely walnuts or pecans.

April 17, 2012

Quilt Progress

Between stocking our storm shelter and dodging tornadoes I was able to squeeze in some sewing time this past weekend. I finished the first two quadrants of my cosmic quilt! I'm pretty happy with the way it's coming along, though I find myself wishing I'd chosen different fabric. But, I could probably say that about any project I've done. I think I just get tired of looking at it after a while. Oh well, there's no going back now.

Here's all my squares cut up:

Here are quadrants 1 & 4 completed:

Still trying to decide about the center block, I might have to get creative with the fabric I've already got.

And last week I finished up the top of the baby quilt I've been working on:

A close-up:

I am so proud of it!! It's the most complicated quilt this beginner has ever attempted and I'm really happy with it. I first saw this design when a friend made it for another friend who then posted the picture of it on Facebook. I fell in love with it and tracked down the pattern. I especially love those triangular "prairie points." You know how babies love playing with little labels & tabs, makes it a perfect little play quilt.

Here's the backing fabric I found for it:

I plan to get this quilted & bound soon!

Linked to:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

April 12, 2012


I am subscribed to receive daily devotion emails via Proverbs 31 Ministries. I'm quite awful at leaving them unread and waiting until I get a quiet moment with my thoughts to read them. Hardly ever happens, so they tend to pile up in my inbox :(( I did manage to read a great one this morning. It included a wonderful quote:

Particularly fitting since everything is so green here, so I don't have to look far to appreciate the green-ness. It's a good reminder to cultivate the good and weed out the bad instead wishing for things to be different in any area of life. I think I may need to frame it.

April 09, 2012


We had a wonderful Easter! We celebrated with dinner and an egg hunt a day early on Saturday evening, since the in-laws were leaving town Easter day. The meal was pretty casual, my Mom brought some ham and a yummy fruit salad. I made some sides & dessert, tried some new recipes, nothing too difficult or fancy, but everything turned out great.

Here's the run-down on what I made. (I didn't get many pictures since I was scurrying around trying to cook, get the house ready and corral the children.) The day before I made some pickled carrots, the recipe of which I cannot find now, online or on paper, so I will continue to hunt and share it later because they were fabulous. Also, the day before I assembled a potato casserole. I ran across an old Taste of Home clipping while cleaning last week and I figured it was fate that I make them for Easter. They were delish. And very nice that they can be made ahead of time. Here's a picture of the recipe since I'm too lazy to type it all out:

Next up is the Green Bean Casserole. I googled "healthier green bean casserole" and found this one. Pretty much the standard recipe but with lower fat/sodium mushroom soup and "frazzled onions" that took the place of the French's onion rings. The frazzled onions were so good, I think I should've just made a huge bowl of those!

For dessert I made a Strawberry Pie that my friend shared on her blog. I increased the recipe by 1.5 and made it in a 9x13 pan. It was delicious and a very pretty dessert too.

And the one picture I did get was the hot cross buns that I mainly made for Easter morning breakfast. I used this recipe from Allrecipes and they turned out great. Probably the softest, lightest dough I have ever had the pleasure of kneading. Here they are:

We had such nice Easter. A good meal, good company, perfect weather, and happy kids with candy.

April 07, 2012

Quilting Along

I've decided to join in on a quilt along done by my friends at Distant Pickles. For those of you who don't know, a Quilt Along is a step by step instructional guide to creating a quilt. Every week or so there's a new post with instructions on what to do next and everyone quilts along together. Fun! This is my first one ever and I'm very excited about it. The quilt is called "Cosmic Burst." I've chosen my fabric and it's not exactly bursting with color but I think it will (hopefully) turn out nice. I've never been good at choosing fabric, but here it is:

(It's much prettier in person) I still haven't found something for the "fussy cut" center, but I stumbled across this giveaway at Heartstrings & Heirlooms and I think that butterfly/floral fabric would be perfect! So, I plan on winning that. I should probably come up with backup plan in case I don't...I'll worry about that next week I guess.

April 04, 2012

Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken Sandwiches

I totally forgot about these sandwiches till I found a picture of them while sorting though the gazillion pictures that I've taken recently but haven't had time to edit & order. I made these during spring break week and they were wonderful. The original recipe is here. I found it, of course, via Pinterest.

Here's a quick summary of how I made them. I did them a little differently since I didn't have a working grill, other than the Foreman. So, I put a couple boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot with some teriyaki sauce, soy sauce & a little sesame oil. Cooked that until they were done then shredded them. Meanwhile, I took some sliced pineapple and some fat slices of red onion and grilled them in the George Foreman grill till they were cooked and nicely striped. I made a batch of my favorite bread but shaped them into rolls. I ran a bit short on time and they didn't rise as much as they should've but they still worked fine. We piled everything up on them and they tasted great.

Here's one of our sloppy sandwiches-

I'm going to make them again very soon!