October 23, 2009


Wow! I haven't posted in over 2 months! Ever since The Boy stopped sleeping 10 hours a day, it hasn't seemed possible, even with Hubby's encouragement to continue.  Oh well!  I'll post when I can :)

If anyone is still reading this, do head over to See Mommy Sew to see the cute children's clothes she's whipping up and to enter her scraps giveaway.

I have so many projects right now that I want to do and some that I've actually begun, but I'm still learning how to drag things out and work on them 10 minutes at a time and then put it all away again.  Its a whole different way of working when compared with intensive crafting for an hour or two.  It takes a lot more focus and determination; things I lack dreadfully.  A challenge!

Do you find schedule changes detrimental to your creative goals?  How do you deal with it?

August 10, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

1/2 T butter
cooking spray
1/2 C onion, finely chopped
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t salt
2 C cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C port wine
1/3 C flour
2 3/4 C chicken broth
1 1/4 C grated Parmesan
1/4 C (2 oz) cream cheese
3 C hot cooked linguini (or even better fideos or filini)
2 C chopped or shredded chicken (or turkey)
1 T breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a large stockpot with spray, then melt butter in it. Add veggies, salt and pepper and saute over medium high heat about 4 minutes. When mushrooms are tender, add port and cook 1 minute.

Add flour, dredging veggies. Whisk mixture as it thickens - 3 minutes. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and then don to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat and add cream cheese and one cup Parmesan, whisking until melted.
Add pasta and chicken, mixing. Put mixture in an Spray an 8 inch dish and fill with mixture. Mix remaining cheese and breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over pasta mixture. Bake 30 minutes until slightly browned.

Let stand before serving. Serves 6.

Philly Cheese Steak

Philly Cheese Steak

4 rolls
1/2 lb beef roast, sliced thin and chopped
2 onions
1 bell pepper (optional)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 t crushed minced garlic
1/3 C mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb sliced provolone

Wrap rolls in foil, place in oven at 400 degrees F to warm. Slice onions (and pepper, if using) in rings and saute over low heat in butter and oil. When translucent (still with bite) remove and add meat to pan with garlic. Season with pepper. Stir fry until nicely browned but not dry. Remove warmed rolls from oven, mix together garlic and mayo together. Split rolls and spread mayo on both sides (scooping out some bread to make room for meat). Add onions to meat in pan and stir it to warm onions through. Separate into four mounds. Place slices of provolone on top of mounds. When melted, lift onto the rolls and Mangia!

August 4, 2009

Menu Plan Mondays

Well, I didn't go to Tennesee last week to see my brother :( But I did get to help friends move (across town - not away). So meals were kind of by the seat of my pants all week. But I'm getting back on the horse and trying to plan out the week's meals.

I submitted the baked beans recipe to Allrecipes.com, but it's still under review. The Chicken Curry In A Hurry and the Sesame Noodles with Chicken are both from Cheap, Healthy, Good . It's really great website - you should check it out! Head over to The Happy Housewife this week to see more Menu Plans!

Breakfast: repeat every 3 days
Scrambled Eggs and Cereal with Blueberries
Egg McMuffins
Hard boiled eggs and toast with butter and jam

Lunch: leftovers

Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Chicken Curry
Peppered Steak and Onions
Chicken with Chick Peas and tomatoes
BBQ pulled pork with baked beans

Peppered Steak with Onions
1 lb sirloin steak
salt and pepper
2 sweet onions, slivered
1 C balsamic vinegar

Simmer vinegar in small saucepan, stirring frequently until reduced to 1/4 C, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute onions in 2 t olive oil under very soft, stirring often to prevent burning.

Rub steak with 1 t more oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Rub gently in and then add to pan on high heat. Cook 4 minutes on each side, flipping once.

Rest steak one minute before cutting and plate with onions, then drizzle balsamic syrup over all.

Remove onions from pan.

Chicken with Chick Peas and Tomatoes
makes 4 servings

2 lbs chicken breasts, roasted
1 1/2 large sweet onions
6 cloves garlic
3 cans chick peas
3 large tomatoes
3 t cumin
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t salt

(To roast chicken, season breasts with salt and pepper and place on foil lined sheet, sprayed with oil, in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.)

Chop tomatoes roughly (2cm cubes) and set aside. Cut chicken in cubes and set aside. Chop onions roughly (2 cm approximately), and set aside. Chop garlic finely and saute with 2 t oil in a very large pan for 3 minutes. Do not let it get too brown. Add onions and chicken, stir frying until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, cardamom and salt. Add chick peas and tomatoes and heat through, about 5 minutes.

Crock Pot Baked Beans makes 10 generous servings

2 1/2 C dried red kidney beans (or navy beans)
8 C water
2 t chili powder
6 T molasses
2 t salt
2 medium sweet onions, slivered
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t dry mustard
1 C ketchup (or substitute 1/2 C canned tomato sauce, adding during last 4 hours of cooking)
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C prepared yellow mustard (optional)

1. Soak beans overnight (14 hours). Begin soaking 1 day, plus several hours before you'll be serving. Method: Rinse beans (remove any stones or floating beans) and cover with water in 2 qt pot. Bring to boil for 5 minutes and turn off heat. Let soak 14 hours. Drain and cover beans with fresh room temperature water as it becomes murky (3-4 times).
2. Drain and rinse beans. Add all ingredients to 6 quart slow cooker, stir and turn on high for 12 - 14 hours. Stir and check for doneness during last 2 hours. Beans/sauce should become very dark reddish brown and texture should be tender to soft. Turn cooker to low or keep warm until ready to serve.

July 28, 2009

30-Something Tablerunner

Here's my current WIP:

It's the 30-Something Tablerunner Kit I received from Mel a few weeks back. It was so much fun to make and I love how the narrow white sashing looks against all those great 1930s prints. It's so sunshiny!

Now I just have to make the binding and put on the backing and I'll be done :) I'm thinking a red print for the binding and a blue one for the back. What do you think?

July 27, 2009

**But now it's Monday!! -Note to self: click "publish" before signing out!**

Isn't this a beautiful view from my in-laws back porch?

The sky is beautiful; just look at those marshmallow clouds!

July 22, 2009

I won!!

I can't believe I won this beautiful kit from Mel's Own Place! I don't win things!

And I am so excited to be making this table topper - it feels so good to be doing something creative after what feels like a really long break. DH probably can't wait for me to finish because the living room (where I do any craft work) is in a shambles!

Mel's Thirty-Something Table Runner is really beautiful (and she designed it herself!), and I'm just hoping mine turns out half so well. I'm finding that sewing the bias-cut triangles is a challenge for me, but I'm learning so much as I go along. Thanks so much Mel!!

July 20, 2009

Menu Plan Mondays

After reading over some really inspiring blogs (Cheap Healthy Good - seriously hilarious- and Simple Mom) I've decided to join Menu Plan Mondays over at I'm an Organizing Junkie (follow the link to see other meal plans). My plan is two-pronged: 1) eat what we already have (hence the pasta & mac'n'cheese) and 2) plan each meal with a grocery list so I buy less and throw out less at the end of the week (and hopefully save myself some time and braincells too!)

  • Lunch- Chicken Chili
  • Dinner- Pineapple-beef Stir Fry
  • Dessert- Mango Pudding


  • Lunch- Leftover Chicken Picadillo
  • Dinner- Hot Dogs, Beans, Mac and Cheese
  • Dessert- Rice Crispy Treats

  • Lunch- Leftovers
  • Dinner- Pasta & Meatsauce with Broccoli
  • Dessert- cupcakes
Friday: On the road!!
  • Pack up Chicken Salad, whole wheat bread, trail-mix, fruit & cupcakes.

All my meat this week is out of the freezer so I only need to buy fruit to snack on and broccoli for Thursdays' dinner. And on Friday we're leaving at the crack of dawn (okay 6:30 is not really the crack of dawn...at all) to see my brother in Nashville!! Wahoo! We'll see how we do eating on the road...

July 1, 2009


That DH brought home yesterday. I so needed them too. It's funny how he seems to wait and wait and wait and at just the right time when I'm having a bad day and feeling really crummy, he come home and shows me he was thinking about me and loves me in such a tangible and beautiful way.

I is a lucky girl.

June 27, 2009

Pink Saturday

A very happy Pink Saturday to all. These pink flowers from my wedding bouquet remind me of very good times :) They were lovely to begin with but looking back at them reminds me of all the beautiful moments that day too. I can't believe our anniversary is coming around again in less than three weeks!

Stop by How Sweet the Sound today to see more Pink!

June 13, 2009

Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday! I get a kick out of this guy :) I hope everyone has a fabulous pink weekend. make sure you stop by Beverly's to see lots more pink fabulosity!

June 12, 2009

Chinese Stars?

My husband asked last night when he found these on his desk if the baby and I are starting a street gang armed with Chinese Throwing Stars.

No. My infant son and I are not starting a street gang armed with Chinese Throwing Stars.

But good guess, Babe.

It's all part of a swap project I hope will turn out. I'll post the result (for good or ill) when I'm done!

June 11, 2009

Birthday Shopping

What do you get for the woman who has everything and likes nothing? If you said, "Jewelry...duh!", then you answered correctly, because, as all women know, this is a pretty good answer to any question. See the following:

  • "What should I get my girlfriend for valentine's day?"
  • "What can I do to quickly make myself feel more like a woman and less zombie/mommy?"
  • "Wow, my sister is just the best in the world and really should know it. What can I get her to make sure she gets the idea?"
  • "What is it about that little black dress?"
  • "Gee, it's Thursday. I should surprise my wife. What with...?"

See the answer works for almost anything.

I just hope it works for my sister's birthday coming up. Aren't these lovely?

They're from Silpada, one of those direct sales companies. Which I usually don't dig too much, but they sell very high-quality jewelry. I hate buying random jewelry, only to find have to replace the findings myself because they're full of nickel. Silpada uses only sterling silver, so I can look through the catalog for what I like, instead of having to check the text all the time to see if the photos are even worth looking at.

Anyhoo, I ordered these earrings at a jewelry party in April as a gift for my sister's birthday this month. She's always liked turquoise and citrine so I figured these were a good fit. I only hope they aren't too "fancy" for her. She's pretty laid back so I hope the sparkly austrian crystals don't keep her from wearing them. Speaking of which, does anyone know of an etsy shop out there which sells great "laid back" silver jewelry? Suggest away, friends!

June 10, 2009

Name that Vegetable...

Hmmm...confused celery?

Nope. That's Rhubarb.

Ah yes, Rhubarb. That delectable, yet frustratingly ephemeral crop. That sour counterpoint to Summer's sweetest gems. That...

Sorry. I got carried away. I really like rhubarb. I'm okay now.

So have you used rhubarb before? Don't be intimidated; give it a try! Here's a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (the traditional/common use for rhubarb) to get you going:

You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb for this recipe. The filling will be quite loose and liquidy when it comes out of the oven, but with thicken some as it cools. Enjoy hot, warm or cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

1 egg
1 C sugar
2 T all-purpose flour
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 lb rhubarb (about 2 - 2 1/2 cups)
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 unbaked pie crust

crumb topping:
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C cold butter
1/2 C quick-cooking or old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces, and halve the strawberries. In a large bowl, mix together first four ingredients together. Stir in rhubarb and strawberry pieces until well-coated. our into pie crust. Make topping: Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter with a knife or fork until mixture is crumbly. Distribute over top of filling. Bake for 45 minutes, reducing heat to 350 degrees after 10 minutes. Remove from oven (pie should be golden brown and filling bubbly), cool and enjoy!

June 9, 2009

Button Swap

I haven't had a chance to blog about the swaps I've been involved in until now but I'm gonna try to do double time to catch up and make up for not posting in almost a month!

These are the buttons I made to send to Christy of Visualized by Christy. She hosted a button swap, but I turned out to be the only one to sign up. It's a shame too because it was a really simple, stress free and super-fun swap! I also sent these coasters that I made out of the same great thrifted fabric:As well as these charm squares:

And here is what I received from Christy:
These fabulous animal themed charm squares; I love the peppermint pink
and those bunnies with the giant eyes are adorable...

And Christie made magnets using these same fabrics as well as 4 buttons using the blue bunnies. Isn't her packaging is really nice too?

I can't wait to use all of these! Thanks for hosting and for being a great swap partner, Christie!

June 8, 2009

Spring Children's Book Parade: The Tale of Despereaux

This book has it all: princesses, a daring rescue, chivalry, a happy ending, rats...wait a minute...rats?...Yes. Rats.

Trust me, The Tale of Despereaux (by Kate DiCamillo) is a great book, all about Despereaux the mouse, an unlikely hero.

This is the book my husband read to me on our Honeymoon, so I know I have a somewhat biased opinion (he could have read me the phone book and it would now hold a special place in my heart). However, it truly is a wonderful book and the characters each have very special qualities; I like books with characters like that because you can stop when reading to a child and explain why each character has good and bad (or sometimes just bad) qualities and discuss what you admire or dislike about each one.

I highly recommend checking this book out of the library or, better yet, picking up a copy to add to your own library. I think once you read it yourself, you'll agree that it deserves a place on your shelf! And while you're at it, check into Kate DiCamillo' other great reads like Because of Winn-Dixie, and the Mercy Watson Series. Also, check out the Spring Children's Book Parade over at the 6 o'clock stitch so you can get more great children's book recommendations.

PS...I know an animated movie-version of The Tale of Despereaux just came out recently, but I haven't seen it yet. May I suggest that you read the book before watching the movie? Or at least that you not settle for only watching the film, but, rather, read the book as well? You won't regret it!

June 6, 2009

Pink Saturday

What a lovely book. I have so many memories of my mother reading Winnie-The-Pooh to the four of us. We would take our baths and put on jammies and then my mom would choose which bed we'd sit on for the reading. She usually read us at least one chapter when she was reading a book to us. I never realized what a feat that is until I began reading aloud to children - it really takes stamina to read aloud for that long and to read well at the same time.

My mother is a champion reader. She reads very expressively without being over-the-top and, even now, I would love to hear her read. She just has a knack for reading in such a way that you stop thinking about who is reading, or how words are said, or even what is being said, and are able to get lost in your imagination; almost the way it is when you read silently to yourself - you don't "hear" yourself, though you are reading the words. Rather you see it all in your minds eye. The way my mother reads allows her listeners to do that. I hope my children enjoy me reading to them as much as we enjoyed hearing my mom.

As I said this pink copy of Winnie-The-Pooh has a lot of great memories. This edition was printed in 1984, the year after I was born, and it's my pink happy thought for this week's Pink Saturday! For more Pink Saturday, visit our host, Beverly, at How Sweet The Sound.

May 30, 2009

Pink Saturday

These cards were given me for a birthday several years ago and I just love the picture! Isn't it dreamy? It really gives me the feeling of a good dream where everything is going right and I feel really girly; floating away into a pink sky!

Happy Pink Saturday everyone!

May 28, 2009

Spring Children's Book Parade: The Longitude Prize

Today's book post for the Spring Children's Book Parade (hosted by the six o'clock stitch) is The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash.

This wonderful, informative and exciting book details the life and work of John Harrison who spent himself in the creation of a way to measure longitude while traveling the seas. This plainly written story will have you on the edge of your seat and marveling at the scientific minds which competed for The Longitude Prize, a reward offered by act of Parliament for the discovery of a safe way to measure location when at sea. Though Harrison was not well-to-do, nor formally educated, and though at many times he was scoffed at, children and adult readers alike will find themselves rooting for this man who persevered and changed world travel through his inventions.

This is another one of those gems that comes along every once in awhile which is bound to become a classic! Dash's writing sets out the history of great scientific discovery in a way which gets right to the human element and which is easy to understand. (Another lovely book in this style is How We Found Out About Germs by Isaac Asimov, which is unfortunately out of print, but worth searching out). I highly recommend finding a copy of this book to read, particularly if you have children who show a bent toward the sciences. Happy Reading!

Note: I found out about this excellent book through the Bluedorns, a family in Illinois who also publish homeschooling materials and have a very helpful website, Trivium Pursuit. The Bluedorns have published a book called Hand That Rocks The Cradle. In Hand That Rocks The Cradle, the Bluedorn's son Nathaniel has compiled the pertinent information on over 400 of their family's favourite books from over 25 years of learning and reading aloud as a family.

Please stop by the the six o'clock stitch and check out all the comments on the Spring Children's Book Parade to find out what books are beloved by other readers - maybe you'll find yourself a new family favourite!

Alexander Henry Fabric Giveaway

See Mommy Sew is having a giveaway today (open until Sunday) of some lovely Alexander Henry Fabric as part of the May Giveaway Day hosted by Sew Mama Sew. See Mommy Sew is a great site: she has a tutorial for a Maternity Skirt that I can't wait to try.

So head over to enter the drawing for the fabric, check out the awesome website, and then make sure to check out the list at Sew Mama Sew for all the other amazing Giveaways on the blogosphere today!

May 27, 2009

Breastfeeding DVD Giveaway

Hey all! I'm sure everyone in Bloggy-world knows that today is May Giveaway Day (hosted by Sew Mama Sew!). Well Momma in Flip Flops is participating by hosting a giveaway of this fabulous DVD for all the Mommas out there who are trying to breastfeed their tykes. I'm one of those mommas so I hope I win! The DVD is donated by My Baby Experts and features Sheri Criso, a lactation specialist and allaround awsome mommy and business woman. If you live in Northern NJ, I highly recomend you check out her store, The Birth Boutique in Denville. Beautiful products, great workshops and amazing, dedicated, helpful staff! Anyway, scoot over and enter to win the DVD and then check out My Baby Experts - you'll be glad you did!

Spring Children's Book Parade: Tales of the Kingdom

Today's book post for the Spring Children's Book Parade (hosted by the six o'clock stitch) is Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains and illustrated by Jack Stockman.

This is a lovely book that I read as a child and remains one of my very favourite books to this day. The story is very consuming, drawing you effortlessly into a world in which an enchanter has turned a city upside-down but where hope persists of a kingdom not ruled by fear, where things will be made right again. The story is told through the eyes of Hero who sets off in search of this kingdom and we find in the book about a dozen chapters, each of which builds upon the last toward the climax of the book, but which may also be read independantly. The book is the first in a trilogy which continues in Tales of the Resistance (also amazing, also illustrated by Stockman), and concludes with Tales of the Restoration.

I must say that, although the stories are wonderful, the book is not the same if you experience it without the phenomenal watercolor illustrations by Jack Stockman. They so truly express the joys and fears of the world we read about in the stories. As a child I took this book out from the library to read hundreds of times and I would spent hours poring over the full page illustrations wishing I was the princess Amanda or that I knew Mercy and Caretaker. Unfortunately, only the hardcover first edition (1983, Chariot Family Publishing) of the book was so illustrated and newer editions have really mediocre illustrations which would be better left out. However the book itself is worth reading even without the pictues and I really recommend trying to find a copy or borrow or buy!

(You may be interested to note some of Jack Stockman's other work: here, here and here.)

Please stop by the six o'clock stitch and read the comments on the Spring Children's Book Parade to find out what books other readers recommend!

May 26, 2009

Spring Children's Book Parade: The Velveteen Rabbit

Today's book post for the Spring Children's Book Parade (hosted by the six o'clock stitch) is The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

Of course this is many, many people's favourite children's book, but I do feel the need to highlight some excellent Velveteen Rabbit products which I've truly enjoyed. The version of the book which I think is really most beautiful (and I've looked at many, many editions) is the large, hard-bound one with illustrations in oil by Donna Green. Her oil paintings are so warm and right at-kid-level; you really feel like you are right there with the Boy. (By-the-by, I've found this poster on AllPosters.com of the Donna Green cover art from this edition of the book.)

For those of you who don't know the book, The Velveteen Rabbit is a lovely, sweet (and somewhat sad at times) story about a toy rabbit who loves his boy very, very much and longs to become Real, which of course can only happen to a toy if they are really loved back by their child.

My mother-in-law was over watching my boy yesterday and asked to borrow the book:
"I forgot how good this book was...I'm halfway through...can I borrow it and finish?"

I also highly recommend the audio version of The Velveteen Rabbit which is read beautifully by Meryl Streep and is set to a haunting soundtrack by pianist George Winston (produced by Windham Hill Records). My standard baby shower gift is a copy of the book along with the CD. (Note: the audio version is edited/abridged, I suppose for ease of reading, but it is not butchered).

My mother-in-law was here watching my boy yesterday and asked to borrow the book: "I forgot how good this book was...I'm halfway through...can I barrow it and finish?" I can't wait to read this to my son; why wait - I'll do it tonight!

Please go and check out these versions of a much-beloved classic, and after that, stop by the six o'clock stitch and check in on the Spring Children's Book Parade to get some great book recommendations from other readers!

May 25, 2009

Spring Children's Book Parade: Food Fight!

Today's book post for the Spring Children's Book Parade (hosted by the six o'clock stitch) is Food Fight! by Carol Diggory Shields.

This is a fabulous book!! As I said yesterday, I don't often like "new" books, but this one's an exception. The premise of the story is that all the foods in the fridge just go cuckoo-crazy after we're all in bed at night. The story is in rhyme, with repeating phrases so it's a lot of fun to read with our preschooler and the illustrations are very comical and really, really well executed. Doreen Gay-Kassel did all the illustrations in clay and the personalities of each food are expressed on their "faces". I really do wish I had a picture to show of the illustrations up-close - they are impressive!

This was one of my favourite books to read with my niece before she got too old for it :( I highly recommend that you try to get your hands on a copy of this book!!
Make sure to stop by the six o'clock stitch and look in on the Spring Children's Book Parade to find out what books other readers recommend!

May 24, 2009

Spring Children's Book Parade: Zen Shorts

The six o'clock stitch is hosting the Spring Children's Book Parade and I've decided to participate and post several of my favourite children's books here. I absolutely love children's books and illustrations. I particularly enjoy classics but every now and then some newer books come to my attention which get under my skin and into my psyche just as much as the old standbys. Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth is just such a one. This book is all about Stillwater the Panda and the friendship and influence he has with the three children who are his neighbors. The book is really a series of interactions with the children as Stillwater tells each one a story to help them understand or cope with something their little minds mulling over (i.e. "And the moral of the story is..."). The book has a very quiet tone, and a sort of lazy-summer-afternoon pace which I happen to really enjoy.

But the real kicker about this book is the illustrations (Jon J Muth is the authour and illustrator). The watercolors are gorgeous - I mean really, I could sit and turn the pages for hours staring at each illustration. The colors are soft but rich, the washes sweeping and simple (complimenting the slow pace), and the layout is very well-done. The full-colour, full-page layouts make me want to rip the pages out and hang them all over my walls!

Please check out this and other books by Jon J Muth. He has also written a sequal called Zen Ties (which I have not read) and The Three Questions (a recrafting of Tolstoy), but Zen Shorts is by far my very favourite of his books! So head to your local bookstore or library and check them out!!

Please stop by the six o'clock stitch and to see the Spring Children's Book Parade and check out the books other readers recommend!

May 23, 2009

Pink Saturday

Here's my addition to Beverly's Pink Saturday over at How Sweet the Sound.

How's this for pink?

I bought this fabric a couple of weeks ago - only a quarter yard - just because it was SO PINK and so happy and bright. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I'm glad it's part of my stash now! Happy (Pink) Saturday!

May 16, 2009

Pink Saturday

How's that for a little bit of pink perfection?

Gabriel James
born May 11, 2009
at 8 lbs even
to the happiest parents in the world!!

To see lots of other nice pink thoughts today, check out all the posts for Beverly's Pink Saturday over at How Sweet the Sound.

May 15, 2009

Spring Swap

Last Saturday I posted part of a painting I'd been working on. It had barely taken form then, but I've since finished it and put it in the mail, as it was an item for a swap. Here's the (completed) 8x10 piece I sent my partner as part of the Spring Swap hosted by the 6 o'clock stitch:
I hope Corinna will enjoy the little bit of Spring sunshine I made for her!

May 14, 2009

Rice Heat Therapy Bag

I made a rice-filled heat therapy bag tonight to take with me to the hospital whenever my baby decides he or she is ready to come meet us. We have a heat pack already, but it's one of those hot/cold ones, so I decided to put that in the freezer and just make a heat pack so I'll have both if I need 'em. I followed this great tutorial at Sew, Mama, Sew! and these are the results.

It kind of looks like a Neopolitan cookie to me. Is that weird?

I really only looked at the pictures and briefly glanced at the instructions because I (stupidly) didn't feel like following the directions and I already had a piece of muslin for the inner bag but it wasn't the size called for so I went and figured it out as I went.

Note to self: you stink at math, and you always under-estimate how long and hard things are going to be. Self, next time, follow the directions and save yourself the trouble, okay?

May 13, 2009

Easy Fudgy Poached Pears Desert

I wanted to make a special desert (not just packaged cookies or ice cream) for my DH the other day but I had very little time to put into it (so no baking). I used a recipe from Rachael Ray which turned out really well...and kinda pretty too!

Isn't the dish funny? I love these - they were my grandmother's banana split dishes. Who knew they even made a dish for that purpose?! Anyway, I was pretty surprised how easy the recipe was to make and how good it tasted for only having a handful of ingredients. This isn't one you'll want to make for health reasons, but it was delicious, quick and special , which fit the bill for the night!

Easy Fudgy Poached Pears

This literally took 20 minutes tops and almost no work at all! Rachael says it serves 4, but we're cafoni, so hubs and I had no problem eating the whole thing!
  • 2 cans pears in heavy syrup, 15 ounces
  • 4 tablespoons amaretto or dark rum
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or, chop up a bar
  • 1 pint ice cream
1. Open cans of pears, and drain syrup into a small saucepan. Reduce the syrup (boil, stirring over med-high heat) for 15 minutes or so. At the end, at the liquor and continue heating another minute or two (or you could pull it off the heat and add extract of almond or amaretto flavouring if you don't have liquor). Stir in the chocolate until it's melted - the thick syrup will make it fudgy!

2. Slice up the pears into dishes and pour the chocolate over top. Top with ice cream. Rachael suggests french vanilla - I used chunky monkey, I think.

**Note that pear IN HEAVY SYRUP are necessary for the success of the fudgy sauce - if they're in juice it won't thicken up right.

**You can probably use milk chocolate chips too if you don't have dark or bittersweet (though I strongly suggest you stick to the darker chocolate - it goes really well with the pears). I used semi-sweet baking chocolate squares.

May 12, 2009

The Baby Blanket is done!!

I set about to make this baby blanket for one of DH's expecting co-workers ages ago: and was actually off to a great start. I got three quarters of the way done in two days and then just ran out of knitting-steam. Somehow it took me another two or three weeks to finish knitting, another 2 weeks to block it, and now, a month after blocking, I've just finally made the card with care instructions (no fancy labels for me) and wrapped it up. Good grief!

Well, I think she'll like it just the same. I used a pattern from one of the S'n'B books, this one I think. It's so easy, I don't even use the pattern anymore, but it is beautiful in it's simplicity. Also it's very masculine for a knitted blanket and well suited to bold colors. It's definitely my go-to for handmade baby gifts.

This picture shows the pattern well...

But the color of the yarn is much accurate in this one.

Congratulations Maureen on the birth of little Charlie!!

May 11, 2009

Take Out Menu Folder

This is a great idea from A Spoonful of sugar. I found the take out menu tutorial to be more of a jumping off point and inspiration.

I ended up using a regular 1/2 inch binder for 8 1/2 x 11 paper (not the A4 the tute called for which would fit paper about 5 1/2 x 8 1/2) just because that's what I had laying around and because my takeout menus are large.

  • I also used plastic pockets instead of the clear plastic cases; again, I just had them in the house. They happened to match my paper color scheme too!

May 10, 2009

Baby Shower photos

Like I said awhile back, my DH had a surprise baby shower thrown for him by the other teachers at his school. This is the amazing cake someone made for him:

He's sort of known as "the tech guy" at school mostly because he's young and comfortable with technology but also because he recently obtained his master's degree in technology in education.

This diaper cake is adorable too:

It must have taken so long to make!

I'm so glad they threw him a shower. He wasn't expecting it at all and it meant a lot to him, dear man.

May 9, 2009

Pink Saturday

Well this is my first Saturday posting as a part of Beverly's Pink Saturday over at How Sweet the Sound. Thanks to Beverly for organizing this and for allowing me to participate! Make sure to go over to How Sweet the Sound and check out everyone else's posts today! Here's my addition to Beverly's Pink Saturday this week:

This is a watercolor I had been working on. At this point the poppies were pink, but later they became red and yellow! I sent it to my swap partner for the Spring Swap hosted by the 6 o'clock stitch. I really like poppies and always have. They are a wonderfully graceful, yet unpretentious flower.

(Have you ever driven through Washington, DC or through Virginia in the spring? If you haven't, you should. The highways are lined with poppies and it makes for a lovely road trip.)

Have a happy Pink Saturday!