Monday, April 26, 2010

For Dinner Tonight

Along with lots of other people right now, we are trying to eat better at our house. Or at least some of us are, and we're the ones that do the grocery shopping and cooking. We had a homemade pizza tonight with a yummy strawberry salad. I had a similar salad at a local restaurant a couple weeks ago and was eager to try and replicate it. This has spinach, strawberries, goat cheese and a little bit of shredded unsweetened coconut. In its precious incarnations it also had toasted almonds in it, but I'm out of almonds right now so this one has sunflower seeds instead. What really makes this salad though is the dressing. I started with this recipe, but have made several changes this is the gist of what I ended up with...

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Pint Strawberries plus more as desired
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 Tablespoons Strawberry Jam
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Tarragon
1-2 Teaspoons Sugar

Whirl it all together in a food processor or blender and give it a taste. I only added part of the oil and vinegar the original recipe called for and was glad I'd stopped when I did. I wanted a really fruity tasting dressing and not something oily or with too strong of a vinegar taste. More sugar, jam and berries will send you in that direction.

We've been eating this salad a lot. That probably has something to do with how much dressing I made, but both girls are eating it, which makes me happy because if you look closely at the pizza, you will find one section lacking in veggies - that would be Sarah's side. She's been my little vegetarian that doesn't eat vegetables, but we're working on that. In just the past two weeks she's started eating grape tomatoes. I'm not sure if she thinks they're really grapes or what, but I'm trying not to make too big a deal out of it, even if I'm singing "Yippie!" on the inside.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Barthday

Today is my birthday. If you want to know how old I am, just ask one of my kids - they will gladly and readily answer that question. What I am most excited about today is that my kids (with the help of their sweet Daddy) chose to make me a gift this year. I can't believe they didn't want to get me a horse or a razor scooter or a 20" girl's bike or the latest kid's movie released to DVD. Hopefully, with perseverance, they will continue to grow in their appreciation of handmade gifts. What I am not so excited about is that Rachel made me the above card, drew a cake, started adding candles....and had to extend the cake TWICE to get all the candles on. Sigh. I guess it's a small price to pay for such a sweet card though. Happy rest of the weekend to you - I'm going to hang with my family as soon as they return from a secret mystery mission, which I suspect will involve bringing a cake home. Oh happy day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quilting Right Along

Another Ticker Tape Quilt is done. Sorry for the dark photo - I really need to go back outside and take some more now that the sun is out and shining. This quilt seemed to take longer than the last one - not sure why unless spring break had something to do with it. That could be it. I love that these quilts make use of the tiny pieces that I was otherwise sticking in the kid's drawer or just tossing out. Kudos to Amanda Jean for such a great idea and tutorial!

While this was fun, I'm looking forward to getting back to the sheet quilt that I've started cutting and piecing squares for. I thought it might be a good picnic quilt, but I imagine that once it's done, I won't want to put it on the ground... or let kids eat over it.... or let anyone else touch it or use it. We shall see. First it has to get finished though.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Have I mentioned that I play bingo? Now stop your laughing and hear me out..... A group of friends, who all happen to have motherhood in common, have gotten together for two, maybe three years now to play bingo one Saturday night a month. Sometimes we lapse, we don't always all make it, but it is good fun. We all bring a wrapped $10 gift to serve as a prize for winning a game, we have a potluck dinner and eat really good food, have really good drinks, pause for dessert and then we play a "blackout" round and the first person to cover a board wins the "kitty" into which we've all put $5. Are you laughing so much now? Are you still laughing when I tell you that last month I went home with gardening gloves, a gardening tool, and hand thrown pot made by one of the mommas, and $45? No, I didn't think so.

So bingo was tonight. At 2:30 this afternoon I still did not have my gift and was planning to run into Target on my way and pick something up. But that felt like I wouldn't be putting much thought into it and really, I've been so stoked about the pot I won last month that was hand made. So....I had these blocks already made (minus the muslin sashing) and thought I could put them to use. They're rejects from the quilt I was making for the Mister and me that I am not feeling the love on. On their own though, I thought they'd make dandy potholders and so that's what I did with them. I added the sash, sewed them right sides together with a layer of cotton batting and insul-bright in there, turned them right side out and closed the seam and then quilted in a square spiral, following the block's pattern.

I think they turned out kind of cute. I kind of wanted to keep them for myself. I think they were well received.....hopefully pot holders are not a totally lame gift to go home with. Thank you for not saying it, if they are.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Weekend

It may not look like it, but we've got a busy weekend ahead of us. Lots of friends and getting together, so it will be fun, but busy. Taking some quiet time tonight to sew the binding on another Ticker Tape Quilt this evening. This one is a gift for Sarah's preschool teacher who will be having her first baby this summer. I'll share the final results once it's done.
Happy weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What We Do For Kicks Around Here

OK, so I have a confession to make. Yesterday's post....I did it last night so that I would have something creative between the hair cut posts, seeing as this is not a hair cutting blog. But really, I am excited about that quilt and made almost 20 blocks last night! But today is about my girl and her second hair cut (in seven years). Back in August 2008 she had 12" cut off and donated to Locks of Love. Just a year and a half later those 12" were back and she was back for another opportunity to donate.

This time she went a bit shorter (Rachel's decision) and I think she ended up with almost 13"!

And now I have this gorgeous girl to look at who looks about three years older than when she walked in. And somehow the hair cut even made her eyes look bluer!

She loves it, I love it and she's excited to show off her new look at school tomorrow. Plus I have this sweet photo to make me smile. It's been a good day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Faith in Fairies

I've done it. I've done what I've had a really hard time getting myself to do. I've gone and started cutting up my awesome floral sheet collection. As soon as I cut into my favorite, I had this horrible thought that I may never find an awesome old sheet for $1.39 ever again. It was not a good feeling. My trip to the thrift store this morning did nothing to allay my fears, as I left empty handed. Still, I have to have faith that the floral sheet fairies will not turn their backs on me and will continue to throw little treasures my way.

So what's a girl to do? Get on with making herself something pretty then, I guess. Five squares into the quilt that was to be fabulous and beautiful and for the Mister and me, I stopped loving it. Actually, I haven't loved it at all. That's been a road block for me the past month (or longer) - I want it to be done and wonderful and nothing about what I'm doing makes me think it will be that. So for now I am going to work with 2.5" squares and make some 9 square blocks with white centers, sash the blocks in white and whip me up some old sheet loveliness. It seems like just the sort of task I need right now. Fingers crossed that I keep on loving it because if I don't, I've going to be crying over a bunch of sheets that are no longer suitable for beds.