Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thanksgiving is on its way!

as the last few hours of October dwindle away, i wanted to share a special Thanksgiving calendar that i made today, and teach anyone who would like to make one, how to make one.
yup, a tutorial. my first tutorial.

A Thanksgiving Countdown Calendar.
I wanted to have a special way to mark down each day before Thanksgiving with the kids, but more than just a paper chain, I wanted to have something that could be used to connect my kids to focusing on having a thankful heart as we approach the holiday. i decided to use a tree because Thanksgiving and Fall go hand and hand. How my calendar works is that you have a leaf stick for every day counting down for Thanksgiving. Each day you take one leaf down to mark that you are getting one day closer to Thanksgiving (in case anyone didn't understand how a countdown or advent calendar works) however, with the blank end of the popsicle stick write down something or someone you are thankful for.
You can choose to review the fallen leaves everyday, or on Thanksgiving. I am super excited for a way to teach my young ones about who and what we are thankful for.
You can reuse this calendar each year- you might want to make a couple of extra leaf sticks (for years where there are more days to countdown) and for each year you can either paint your stick, or add construction paper to cover what you wrote the year before- or keep them and talk about them each year!

For this project you need:
Various colors of felt- i used orange, red, brown, and yellow.
Fabric for your calendar (you could really use anything- even felt if you so desire)
Ribbon (to hang the calendar)
Popsicle sticks
Cardboard, Canvas, or Poster board for the back of you calendar (in the tutorial i used poster board)
Glue (i used and recommend a hot glue gun)
your sewing machine
Step 1: Lay your Calendar Fabric over Poster board (or whatever you are using for backing) and determine the size you want your calendar to be.

Step 2: trim off any extra cardboard or poster board (obvisously you won't need to trim the canvas)
it is a very good idea at this point to iron your fabric (i really should have down that a bit more)

Step 3: now that you have the backing for your calendar let's make the leaves! this is really, really easy.
Cut out your leaves:
i did:
7 red, 7 six, 7 orange, and 5 brown (since my tree was brown)
i just cut this little petal leaf- you can use whatever leaf that you fancy.

attach your leaves to your sticks:

Assemble your materials.
Apply a little glue to the end of a stick.
Lay your leaf on the glue and press, do this for all of your leafs.

Step 4: Make and attach the tree to the fabric for your calendar.

It helps to fold your fabric lengthwise and press, and then fold again and press- this will give you a cross in the middle of the fabric, giving you a way to center your tree.

Assemble your tree on the fabric.
keep your baby away from your sewing project.
pin your branches in place.
you want to sew the branches first so that you can slip your popsicles into the branches. make sure you leave the tops of the branches open so the leaves have a place to go. here is where i made my first error- my branches needed to be a little wider so that the leaves would fit more securely. my brances were 1 1/2 inches by 5 inches- i recommend at least 2 by 5.
lay your trunk over the branches and sew it in place, not sewing the top of the trunk.
my trunk was 2 1/2 by 7 inches.
sew a line 2 inches down on the top of the trunk, creating a pocket for more leaves.
Step 5: Attach your calendar to your backing- either your canvas, cardboard or poster board. Pull the edges tightly around your backing and use your glue to secure the fabric to your board.
It is really important that you pull the calendar very tightly to the back of the board to avoid any pillowing of your fabric.

Step 6: Add ribbon to the top of the calendar so you can hang it proudly.

Step 7: Arrange your leaves in a pleasing manner.
Step 8: An optional step- I created a little pocket on my calendar so that i could have a place to put the fallen leaves. I took a small piece of felt and sewed up 3 of the sides and added a couple of my extra leaves to it.
Step 9: Hang and enjoy!

up and running.

that's right, my trusty old laptop is currently on, running and perched on my lap. how is that possible? because my wonderful, smart, outstanding, talented and fantastic sister in law worked her magic and did what her brother (that would be sam) could not and made it start.
she and i were laughing at some mac vs. pc jokes... seeing how now sam is a mac user and suddenly could no longer work my pc.
oh well. crisis is over and my computer has been returned to me. until sam realizes that it is working again and wants to continue his windows 7 install, further frustrating me and changing up parts to my computer that i don't need changed.
he sure does like to help.
thank you jess! i am happy to be back on.

Monday, October 26, 2009

soup tonight!

i really wish i could get the picture uploaded for all of you to see, but for some reason i can't send the picture from my phone to my email. so everyone needs to use their imagination as i paint you a very beautiful soup picture....

i did not make this soup, instead if was my dinner last night.
also- when i was told the title of this soup, and what was going in it, i thought "disgusting" and i was trying to figure out how i was going to best disguise my disgust and navigate around the bowl to give the impression of eating.
without actually eating.
but believe it or not (well believe it, because it's true) i took a spoonful and....
i cannot believe i haven't had this soup before. it is so easy, and unbelievably tasty. i haven't done the nutritional information on it, but this must be low in calories and fat and high in fiber- which means an amazing find for anyone on weight watchers.
are you ready? i mean, you really have to be ready for this.

pumpkin lentil soup.
ok, those of you who just gagged in your mouth, come back to your computer and read the recipe- which might make you gag a little more, but trust me, this is amazing.

you will need:
an open mind
and a crock pot.

**you can chop up 1 large onion and saute it in butter and then add it to the soup with the rest of the ingredients- but that is disgusting, well at least- i think onions are disgusting.

ok, onion discretion aside, here we go:
1 large can pumpkin
5-8 (really more like 8) low sodium chicken broth cans
1 c. lentils
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/8 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 -1 jar La Victoria Salsa
**that's how mine was made, you can also you 1 jar of Green Chile Salsa if you'd prefer
salt to taste.

Put all of that into a crock pot and give it a stir.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours (turning to hot if you get towards the end of 5 hours and it's not quite ready)
oh, it's ready when it's hot.
serve with:
bacon bits (yup)
and homemade croutons (2 ways: take french bread and cube it, cook it in a pan with butter, salt, pepper and maybe a little garlic; or turn your oven to broil, slice up a baguette sliver style and lay on a baking sheet- broil until toasted- don't burn.)
drop the bacon bits and croutons into your bowl, add the soup, little salt and pepper and enjoy.

really- you will enjoy this.
**this was made in a big crock pot- if you have a smaller one, i'd reduce the ingredients by 1/3.

let me know if you make this and what you think....

and now to make you hungry, you will soon be reading posts about:
frozen peppermint cookie bites
oh yeah
and the best pumpkin cookies i have yet (Ashley W. this is a different recipe).
also, i made pancakes last week, and after remembering how yummy and quick they are, have decided to find 7 new pancake recipes and share them with you.
tonight i am making Spiced Apple Pancakes, served with Potato and Apple Pancakes.
pictures, recipes, and feedback to come....

Friday, October 23, 2009

bummer man, he delivers.

i am a little frustrated, not a lot frustrated- just a little. why? last night (thursday) while i was out shopping and enjoying a great dinner at cheesecake factory (my mouth is watering just remembering) sam decided it was the perfect time to install (or rather update) my computer with the brand new windows 7 (which he was able to get for just 30 bucks through his school).
great right? my husband is so sweet to make sure i've got the best and smoothest processing system.
now if only my computer would work.
it doesn't. sam did everything right, but when you go to do basic stuff (like, turning on the computer) it loads up, goes to my desktop and immediately crashes and restarts.
windows is really helpful- we need to go into the computer and uninstall the problem.
ummm- how do you do that when your computer turns on and then immediately locks up.
windows 7 was just so helpful too.
wait. nope they weren't.
it was like a mac commerical. but more frustrating because it was real.
so, i am without my laptop, my faithful companion. it rests incapable of anything more than telling me it doesn't work.
so for the mean time i am using sam's mac (which i don't really like that much) or i have our old desktop (which is really just a glorified stereo).
but i am nervous. we are waiting for the windows 7 disc (as opposed to the download sam did- apparently we downloaded a "corrupt file") and i am just holding my breath that when my computer turns back on that everything will be there.
for instance- all pictures i have taken since i received the laptop.
and oh, all my family budget info, and my stories.
tomorrow we are buying an external hard drive.
hopefully it won't be purchased in vain.
so i have been sewing. the little light from my sewing machine is on right now. but i am a little tired, and have a major sugar high (which is now causing me to crash) because my good friend krystin makes killer homemade caramel corn.
so stick with me while i wait for this problem to be solved.
i'll be around.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

everything's okay.

i think my last post made things sound worse than they really are. really, i am not about to fall apart at the seams. don't get me wrong- there have been days like that, but my last post was really just exasperation over a small little task that was thwarting my smooth suave abilities.
which, i did eventually master- and all baby shower invitations were done.
only to find out that because i had such a strong desire to make my invitations personable and slightly fun (and trust me, they are actually rather lame) with a little ribbon, well that extra creativity cost me an extra .20 cents per envelope.
and there were 25 to mail.

i almost took all the envelopes back from the post office worker. well, i actually did grab them back and stuffed them in my purse. i mean an extra 5 whole dollars?
and then i thought about the work of opening up all 25 envelopes, and removing all 25 ribbons, and then figuring out how i was going to secure the invitations to the paper without the ribbon for all 25 and then considering i had to then tape or sticker close every opened invitation.
needless to say i handed the invites back and mailed them off.
i have another baby shower to plan for the month after this one, and that friend's invitations will be printed on the finest dollar store stationary i can find, placed in high quality business type envelopes and for an extra touch sealed with a stamp or sticker.
i am learning.

but when it comes to the mess of life and the work my kids bring, well that is just life. and every so often i have to just temporarily freak out in my brain and then bring myself back to reality.
and back to the Lord.
and when i turn myself over to my weakness and ask for Someone else to be my strength, i find that i can do better.
and a big part has been prioritizing at night. for the last couple of weeks even though we don't have tv i've been sucked into my laptop watching shows online.
nothing wrong with that.
or i've been watching movies on the tv.
again- nothing wrong with that.
but i have been super frustrated that due to my absolute brain shut off i am absolutely behind on everything i would love to be doing.
don't even ask how gift making is going.
but for the last 3 night, i've put the computer down, turned off the tv (i mean, after sam and i have watched our alloted episodes of the west wing- we are a tad behind in time) and turn up the music.
and then i try to create.
and i've actually been motivated to stay up till 1 am every night.
i should have pictures to post soon. i mean anyone who crafts at all knows that the prep work required for any project 85% longer than the actual creating.
so don't worry about me, i mean please still pray for me, i do have 3 little one's that are 3 and under (and for today and the next 2 days i am watching little anna) and they constantly knock on the door to my sanity, trying to coax it out and then run a wild crazed muck with it.
and then when i drag my poor sanity back, try and dust it off, mend any wounds and slowly heave it back into place....
well, i get pretty tired.
well, back to my last episode of west wing for the evening, then a little yoga (to burn off the cookie in my tummy and the half cookie i will be eating when i put my computer down) and then sewing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a moment of weakness

i will admit to almost having a full on meltdown about an hour ago. almost being the key word. i stopped myself. i felt my face start to get hot and the tears begging to come, and i stopped myself.
why oh why you ask?
just the same old. the fact that it's after 12 and i am up blogging should say something.
i am just finding myself frustrated by the same things, basically the fact that nothing is getting done.
now wait a second mary, aren't you raising 3 little children?
and trying to home-school two of them?
and trying to start up a mom's ministry at church?
and cooking, cleaning (ummmm....), exercising, and all the many other things?
but it just doesn't feel like it matters. starting across from me is a rotting pumpkin. it's been rotting for days. but can i move it the 15 feet from my table to the garbage? or the 30 feet to the outside? sure if you got off the blog and did that.
the printer's in our living room on my coffee table because i was going to print out baby shower invitations. well the printer is out of black ink. we bought black ink. suddenly it is my fault because mason took our ink and left it somewhere (most likely the trash) regardless of the fact that when sam bought it he could (should) have put it straight into the printer.
there's paper everywhere. i screwed up the invitations about 6 times.
and the shoddy attempt i did at them is sitting in a pile on the table.
i only did the 14 that have to be handed out at church tomorrow.
and all i want to do after a 2 plus hour debacle of baby shower invitations? sew. only so i can feel like i have accomplished something for myself today. so why am i blogging and not sewing. for the simple fact that the time it would take me to clean up the mess that has somehow grown around my sewing table (which was recently moved) would take so long and take all the fun out of it.
sigh. and yet still here i sit, wasting time- and wasting all of your time.
and my house is just a mess. and i can hear someone making noise.
i am tempted to simply close my eyes, and ignore the mess around me. i have all day tomorrow. everyone but me is sick, so we will be staying in tomorrow.
and yes, the baby is crying.
i'm back. even though you didn't know i was gone. it was very tempting to fall asleep, i mean- the room is dark, our wondrous fan is on, it's 12:30 am, and my sweet cuddly boy was purring next to my body.
but i left every light on in rest of the house, and had to make sure there aren't to many bad things for campbell to get into when he wakes up in just a few hours.
i guess the moral of this little story isn't really known.
i am frustrated. mainly because my days start great, and end not great. i can't keep my mojo moving throughout the day. i try so hard to focus on the kids all throughout the day, and just try and coast till dinner time- and then all the crazy comes out, and between getting everyone fed and to bed- the house comes completely undone. sam wants to watch tv, which pulls me in (and we don't even have tv) and then i become completely useless.
i really wish i had something profoundly encouraging to share.
but i don't.
i just have to try again tomorrow.
and i am leaving out a ton. there are bunch of other things making me frustrated right now.
i'm trying to not bore everyone.

Friday, October 16, 2009


the five things going through my mind wednesday night when i was being pulled over.
-yup, getting pulled over.

1) oh my goodness, i'm getting pulled over and sam is following me in the van. yup, i'm getting pulled over by a cop and sam is driving the kids home in the van behind me. i've given him nothing but pain and grief for 7 years over the number of speeding tickets he's had, and he is going to witness me getting a speeding ticket because...

2) oh holy crap, was i just going 45 in a 35? yes, i was going 45 in a 35... oh for how long?

3) and how much of driving was in the shoulder? it's been rainy and windy here and i was trying to avoid all the fallen leaves and might have been hugging the shoulder.

4) oh dear, just how long had the cop been following me with his lights on? because my rear-view mirror was messed up and when i finally went to switch it that is when i noticed the terrifying blue and red lights behind me.

5) how long was this going to take? my mcflurry's were melting the cup holder.

oh man. what a disaster. we had just left Bible study and had picked up our kids from sam's parents. sam was generous enough to let me drive the cool car (our camry) and i took off- because our special treats of mcflurry's were melting and i needed to get them in the freezer.
i was speeding, i am sure of it. and i was driving into the shoulder. and i was paying no attention to what was happening behind me.
it was just the worst feeling, and i was so flabbergasted when i got pulled over- mainly because i knew that sam was going to see all of this in just a few minutes.
imagine my relief when the officer came to my window, smiled at me, and asked if i knew why he pulled me over.
i totally played dumb and flabbergasted and confused.
because i was dumb, flabbergasted and confused.
and i told the officer just how confused i was, flashing a smile of course.
he reassured me that i was driving just fine (what???) and that i had a headlight out.
oh thank the Lord.
i cannot believe i didn't get a ticket. and neither could sam, because he said he saw how fast i was going- and he saw just how quickly the officer flipped around to go after me.
i don't know how or why or what, but thankfully the officer told me to get the headlight fixed and sent me on my way.
much to my multiple speeding ticket husband's chagrin.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

doing nothing.

if you ever wonder why i might not have a post for all of you everyday, or why i don't post about more fun projects and creations:

it's because i usually have a couple of messes to clean up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

hitting home.

life. every day i feel like my brain gets overloaded. i think there is a chance that i have shared that once or twice. so many ideas pool into this space that i call my brain. ideas, thoughts, hopes, fears- you name it is there.
for the last week i have really felt an absolute restlessness to my spirit. this is a way the enemy attacks me- and i know it. i am not a decisive person, because i like to see options, try things out, and get a general feel for most things (you might say i generally wonder). mainly my indecisiveness comes out as doubt.
today i hosted a mom's play date. but it really is so much more than that. at the church i attend we have a pretty decent women's ministry- but nothing directly for us stay at home moms who are rearing young children. and we need it. we go through so many challenges every day, and need each other for the encouragement to face another day that will most likely be the same as the previous day and know that we can do it.
that what we are doing has eternal purpose. that our children are important, and that staying home matters even when it feels like it doesn't.
so over the last couple of months i have been planning (in my mind) different ways i see this ministry going.
i've even named it:
the early nesters.
we have an "empty nesters" group at our church, and i thought this seemed the most fitting- seeing that we are all starting our nests right now.
well for the last week i had been feeling mountains of stress and anxiety. i did not want to host this group, i didn't want to be involved in this ministry, i wanted to just throw the towel in.
this was crazy. i am usually the one who hosts things like this- for fun and random things. and now, that i am going at this for a purpose i suddenly don't want to?
your house is to small, the enemy whispers to me.
your children won't behave.
no one will come.
utter frustration. and absolute unrest of my spirit. it was honestly crippling. to the point that i couldn't even make a decision of what i would eat when out to lunch with sam at a fun restaurant. i was literally in tears, ready to pack up and go.
and the whole day (sunday) felt like someone was pushing me down, refusing to let me do what i needed to do.
haven't i said before that when we listen to lie we are ineffective for God?
thank you Lord for my husband. at about 9pm the night before my group, my husband stood in the kitchen with me and prayed for me, prayed that this anxiety and ineffectiveness would simply be gone.
and by the grace of God it was.
not that today (monday) went off without a few hiccups, but i see the potential of what God can do with this group of women. and i can see how i can be used for Him.
and how i want to serve Him with my arms open wide, despite my inadequacies and fears, but instead with Him and with His Grace and Love.
and tonight, as i try and wind down (and really wish that with each sip of my coffee it made me feel energized and not more sleepy) and do my study for tomorrow, i come across a passage that i am sure i have read many times.
but tonight, God's Living Word calls out to me in a brand new energizing way. i sure do love that about the Bible. in fact, i love that i will probably read this passage about 20 years from now and will have it change my heart in a completely new way.
Philippians 4:6-7
don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. if you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.
awesome. just awesome.
worry? nope. prayer. its so simple. and yet i forget and fail in it everyday.
but if i tell God my needs, and thank Him for the answers, what happens? experiencing God's peace- a peace, mind you that is more wonderful than the human mind can understand. and is this peace a maybe? nope- its a given. and this restless spirit that i constantly have can be restful. my heart that constantly bounces and stresses and strives for perfection?
it will be quiet.
the beginning and new realization of this passage is giving me a small taste of God's peace.
oh Lord, let this be my prayer, let your Peace keep my thoughts and heart quiet and at rest as i trust in You.

Monday, October 12, 2009

a soup without pictures.

i did make soup tonight, and really, as odd as it is to say- it was the small accountability to this blog that made me make it. i was going to go with simple chicken and black bean burritos- but no! i promised you soup.
my apologizes that there are no pictures. can you imagine a big black pot full of a creamy substance? close your eyes and picture it.

yummy creamy baked potato soup.
this recipe is kinda derived from Deceptively Delicious, a cookbook that i own and really enjoy. now, my good (great) friend becky made a unbelievable baked potato soup for a soup night i hosted last winter.... hmmmm.... we need to have another night like that (imagine a kitchen full of 7 different types of soup and yummy bread to dip into it). anyways- becky's soup was truly divine, and i must get that recipe from her (hint, hint.)
the recipe for the soup i made tonight:
2 lbs potatoes
1 onion (gross. i don't cook with onions, if you like them- use them)
2 cans chicken broth
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree
3/4 cup cauliflower puree
1 cup non fat milk
dash of nutmeg
dash of cayenne
salt and pepper

heat your soup pan to medium. spray it with some cooking spray. when it is warm, add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil ( i kinda just eyeballed it). add your garlic- one clove cut in half (but i used 2) and gross onion if you want. cook until brown. then add the 2lbs of potatoes (washed and grated and cut into halves (and then halves again- don't cut them to small) and the 2 cans of chicken broth. bring to a boil. once boiling, reduce to a simmer and partially cover the pan. cook for 20-25 minutes, until your potatoes are tender.
move this concoction to your blender (or use a fancy pancy hand held blender) add the butternut squash puree and the cauliflower puree. and add the non-fat milk.
blend baby blend (it was during this process i seriously doubted my blender blade- i hadn't used my blender in awhile, and it sounded awfully loud- mysteriously loud. like, is this glass going to shatter while blending?)
return to soup pan, and heat through- adding your salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
this soup is really, really, really best served with some sort of bread. and i prefer this bread to be toasted with some sort of cheese. dip into soup and savor.
now picture a smiling red head with warm soup belly.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

exciting news!

and many random thoughts.
first- nope, the announcement of a pregnancy is not my exciting news. sorry to disappoint.
this morning i had an email waiting from Sleepy Wrap

in my inbox. it turns out that the creators of my favorite method of baby wearing has designed a new product:
well, i was instantly interested. i mean- a new way to wear my babies? and my little mason? very intriguing indeed.
the price is a bit steep for me. not outrageous- and if i didn't already have 3 method's of baby wearing i would have picked a color and dropped it in the online shopping cart.
so i thought to myself this:
i have bought many sleepy wraps over the last 18 months (i've bought about 15-20)
i did tell my local WIC office about the Sleepy Wrap, and they decided to buy Sleepy Wrap- instead of the Moby Wrap.
i think that because WIC started getting them our local baby boutique started carrying them.
i tell EVERYONE about the Sleepy Wrap, and answer many questions while wearing my kids.
hmmmm.... sounds like i could sell for them, right?
well- if i have given them such great business, i wonder if they would like to me to sample their new product and give it my full endorsement.
so, i decided to email the company, gave them my little speech on how much i love Sleepy Wrap, and all i have done to promote their company. and i asked if maybe i could get a free Boba (or buy one at a reduced price).
it never hurts to ask, right?
well... they said YES!
that's right. i'm getting a free Boba from the Sleepy Wrap company. i am beyond excited (i mean these things cost $100) and just really proud of myself for having the guts to email and ask.
as soon as it gets here expect a full review from me.

some short random news from me:
i feel oddly full of stress, and i don't really know why. i have a lot of great, fun things going on in the next 4 days, but for some reason having a lot going on makes me feel slightly overwhelmed. its really stupid.
the stress i've been feeling over the last 8 days has really caused ugly things in me. in the form of nail biting. i've lost 4 nails to this stress. and after a chronic episode of sitting and biting, these 4 little fingers are hurting me tonight.
i haven't touched my sewing machine in weeks. and it really bums me out. but i feel so behind in so many things that i just don't know how to get back on track.
and i'm worried that sewing is starting to become one of those things that starts to get put off so long that i eventually stop doing it.
and i've absolutely lost my mojo. sam and i both have an idea why that has happened.
and it sucks.
maybe i should have started with my random thoughts- and ended with my free Boba.
well, the smells of tortilla soup are filling my kitchen. i like cooking in the evening, because it forces me to stay up late. i'm committed to at least another hour (as i really should debone a chicken, which isn't going to feel great with my sore fingers- but don't feel sorry for me at all) perhaps i will get on the sewing machine, and sew.
or open up my story and write.
hopefully i won't "waste" this quite time cleaning.
because that i can do tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

maybe for tonight?

i did make enchiladas last night, and i honestly feel like i should be given an award for it. i defrosted the ground turkey (recipe to follow) and was prepped to cook, but then the wonderful idea of yummy fish tacos, rice, beans and the greatest lime flavored chips popped into my mind. and i know that all i have to do is look at sam with a certain eye expression and he will run out to Tortilla Grill and grab us dinner.
but. i honestly can cook all my meals this week. and i am spending all day saturday (yippppeeee) with my sis-in-law jess, and i know we won't be cooking- but instead, eating yummy food all day long.
side-bar: jess, i found a couple of nearby parks in vacaville- we could always go for a walk in the middle of the day if we want? or find froyo....
back to the dinner.
after sam and i talked it out, we decided to make our meal, not buy it.
this is seriously the quickest dinner ever- in fact, it probably was cooked and eaten in the same amount of time as my great fish tacos.
so- if you are questioning what to make for dinner, i recommend this- it is incredibly healthy, easy and really tastes great.
or that's what i've been told. i have made this for several of you.

Fantastic Enchiladas
1 lb ground turkey
1 package block form chopped frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1 package of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
whole wheat tortillas- 10-12
grated cheddar cheese- 1/4 cup or more
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
**salsa- i jar

oven at 350
cook up the ground turkey (medium- to medium high heat) in a big frying pan, while it is cooking add as much cumin as your taste likes. when the turkey is browned add the frozen spinach and warm all the way through. remove from the heat and add the block of cream cheese. (sometimes i cut it up in cubes to speed the melting process) stir until it all melts.
** now, if you like salsa (sam and i like it sparingly- and not in stuff) add 1/2 jar of salsa to everything in the pan.
spoon turkey mix into tortillas (about 1 1/2 T per tortilla- I just eyeball it) and roll the tortilla and place in a 9 x 13 pan. Do this until all your tortilla's are filled.
Add the can of diced tomatoes over the top of all the enchiladas (and if you like it- add the remaining salsa over the top)
place your pan in the oven, and cook for 25 minutes.
remove from the oven, top with grated cheese- return to oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
now, you can make the enchiladas in the morning (which i sometimes do) and cook later that night- just bake them for 35 minutes- to make sure everything is warmed all the way through.

you might be thinking, ground turkey and spinach equals yuk.
but they are really good.

and to round off this post, a little wednesday why:
why on earth did the designer of pack and plays make the velcro strap so stinking small? the "mattress" part of the pack n play is supposed to fold around your broken down pack n play, and the straps pull through and velcro in place.
so why are these straps SO small- it takes great force, and perfect placement of your pack n play to make this work, and it is a big stretch.
would it have killed the designers to make the strap bigger? i mean, they are under the mattress- this isn't a choking hazard.

Monday, October 5, 2009

i am not a poet.

a constant flurry of mind wandering chaos.
and utter avoidance.
surrounded my mess and obstacles of my own making, both literal and figurative.
i sit and listen to quiet.
and noise.
but a repetitive drumming of sound.
and it isn't noise.
but the utter avoidance, of all that i need to do.
and the things that i won't.
although i am seated and still, my mind is dancing a terrible jig.
and i cannot dance.
as i sit and search my heart.
and wonder what i am afraid of, and why i am choosing avoidance.
confusion tops the list of everything.
but peace is found in the knowledge of knowing.
i am loved.

no soup for you.

sorry to disappoint, but there was no soup made either yesterday or today. promises, promises and i already let you all down.
but, its a good thing (for me at least).
yesterday we spent the day at the awesome Bishops Pumpkin Farm. if any of you live even remotely to this- you must go. in fact, we are going to go again (it's that cool) in a few weeks. Sunday we went with sam's parents (always nice to have the extra hands and help, and even better when the extra hands are extra generous and pay for the fun stuff!) and then nana and papa happily took our over tired campbell and mason home with them. sam and i took the free time to go shopping. and no- not the boring grocery shopping that we usually do (and actually should have done) but fun clothes shopping!

sam found some good finds at the banana republic sale, and i found a couple of tops- but what i am really looking for are so great jeans that fit well. and because of my weight fluctuation, none of my jeans fit great (the jeans i just bought with you jess, are already to baggy.... a nice kind of bummer- but i love them) however, i may instead look for a good pair of brown boots (to give me and the pants some height) and some nifty belts.
way off topic.
so- sam and i went to our favorite chinese restaurant for dinner (the wii fit balance board this morning was not impressed, and i am making on monitoring my points- after a gleeful abandonment) and came home with tons of leftovers.
so leftovers for dinner.
nope. this morning, sam's mom called to invite us over for Monday Night Football.
Suck it Packers, Brett Farve and the Vikings are going to kick your butts.
i kinda like Farve.
so we will be eating tacos (we'll i'll be having taco salad- back on track, remember) and i won't need to be cooking tonight.
and i already promised sam enchilida's for tomorrow....
so, no soup for you.
but i will share a pretty good enchilida recipe tomorrow.
and.... maybe some more sewing news.

coasting on quilting

these little coasters were made as a wedding present for sam's best friend justin and his new bride baha. these little coasters are still sitting with the rest of their wedding gift, as it was not brought to the wedding, and we haven't given them their gift.
there are a lot of tutorials out there for really fantastic coasters, however- i opted to simply cut and sew. something i've been doing a lot of lately.
i didn't want a project that would require me to think more than, "pin and sew". so i simply cut strips of fabric (from a free charm pack i got when i was in Bolts in Portland 2 years ago) and put them in a pattern that i liked, tried to make sure they were all roughly the same size and width, and then pinned and sewed.
i used fusible fleece instead of a batting (so easy) and then i had a lot of fun with my "quilting".
i'm getting better. way less sharp turns and points. which makes me really excited to whip out some more coffee sleeves, because i think the quilting will flow much better.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

its pumpkin time.

i love the fall season. i am a little hooked on cooking with pumpkin. i will probably be making a lot of pumpkin goodies this month. call me a big dork, but i can't think october without thinking of beautiful pumpkins!
these little pumpkin scones were quite delicious. i made them for campbell's little seeds class, and then again for our young married's bonfire night.
i have another wonderful scone recipe (one's i made for katie's birthday) and i have to say that they do taste a little bit yummier. so my next project is to combine the two recipes and see if i can't create a wonderful tasty scone.
these really weren't bad though, i mean- i did more than 4 (they are kinda small), so if you feel the urge go here and make them.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

a bag for Becky

i alluded to posting about this bag almost 2 (3?) weeks ago, and then got a little behind in my blogging dreams.
i made this bag for my friend becky's birthday. i was most pleased with the way this entire project came together. i was trying something a little different- if you can't tell, the big red swash of fabric on the front and back is actually masquerading as pockets! 2 nice deep, outside pockets.
and i love the fabric. well not the red, i could actually do without the red. the red came from buying a poly/cotton blend by mistake at joann's. i sure do hate the way it smells when it is being ironed. like the fabric is melting (i check, its not).
but the big blue round... emblems? flowers? that's Ikea! which i actually found in the As Is section, i think it might have been a curtain at some point?
see me re-using, Becky?
the lining is fun and red as well- and the bag is completely reversible (if you couldn't tell).
and do i ever pay attention to detail- i actually topstitched the top with white on oneside, and red on the other.
oh yeah, i'm that great.
**for those of you who don't sew, the greatness in this is only involved in the switching of color in the bobbin**
there is one more way i would like to see this bag tweaked. and if i can get it done before a craft fair i am supposed to be doing in november, that would fantastic.
also, i would like to make a bag with a little less puckering. if you look closely at the top you will notice that it kind of puckers here and there.
so perfection is still a bit out of my grasp.
i will continue to focus on "unique".