April 29, 2010

What helps you...

I was sewing along last night on my mix-tape quilt, and was thinking about what helps us concentrate.

For me, its music.  I cant sew (or create anything for that matter) without some sort of background noise.  But the best noise, for whatever reason is music.  Almost any type will do, but I have preference for musicals and soundtracks.  Glee is high on my list right now, along with most anything Andrew Lloyd Webber.

This leads to the husband laughing at me with my headphones on, singing along to whatever I happen to be listening to.

But I get work done this way!  (photos of mix-tape quilt coming, I have to cut a few more sashing strips, and the top is almost done! Plus, its crappy light today, so no photos today.)

What helps you concentrate?

April 28, 2010

mmm..

I just tried this recipe for baked cheese snacks, and boy, is it delicious.

note: I did not have parchment paper around, so I used tinfoil sprayed with cooking spray.  My cheese crackers lifted off just fine, but I was a little impatient and didn't let them cook quite long enough.  A few were still a little chewy, so if you make this, make sure to bake until they start to turn brown on the edges!

In other news, the second meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild is tomorrow night! Click the icon on the right for more information!

Dinner tonight: I don't know, maybe leftover Mexican lasagna? or probably pancakes/waffles since I've been eating little besides Mexican lasagna.

April 25, 2010

Sunday

Last night's dinner: Pastor Ryan's Delicious Mexican Lasagna, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman.

Verdict: Interesting, but not a dish we're going to add into rotation.  I had a few issues with this recipe, first, it makes TONS.  I cut it in half, as the instructions say to do if you are going to use a normal casserole dish.  But I still had twice as much rice mixture than I needed! (perhaps the "unprepared" comment in the ingredient list refers to cooked, but not mixed rather than dry?) Or maybe, I just dont like as much rice.  Which is very possible.

Also, Salsa Verde is not really my thing, I'm not a fan of jalapenos in general. (spiciness doesnt bother me as much as the flavor isnt my cup of tea.) 

The whole thing seemed rather spicy as well, but I realized as I type that I forgot to add both my black olives and sour cream, which may have brought the spiciness down a bit.  But I'm a wuss on spiciness..I much prefer mild.

Dinner tonight: leftover lasagna, like I said, it makes a ton, and all the rice fills you up quick, so there are lots of leftovers.

April 24, 2010

urgh.

I've had two children.

Therefore, due to a penchant for weight gain, I'm a rather heavy girl. 

I carry my weight all over, as well as posses an ability to dress myself to look thinner, so I dont really look it. (I've always won guess-your-weight midway games)

But I'm increasingly (over years, that is,) becoming less able to dress myself to hide it.

Thus, this year is the year of the weight loss.  (what better time for new year resolutions than april?) 

I know it'll be hard, and I'm focusing on the long-term goal of being healthy.  I'm meeting resistance in the food catergory though...being the only girl in the house doesnt lend itself well to a more vegetarian diet. (I dont want to go all veg...but certainly would like to incorporate more into our meals...) But the main thing I am attempting is to get rid of a majority of processed foods.  which means..I have to grocery shop because the husband always brings home things like frozen pizza and hotdogs..

Hardest personal thing: snacking.  I live for snacking on anything.  I can add excersicing (courtesy of the Wii and awesomely nice weather), but oh, how I miss snacking.

Anyways, my goal, weight-wise, is to be around 180 lbs by the end of the year.  Thats a little less than 2lbs a week. Overall, my ideal weight is 165lbs.

But really, it's all about health. 

The wonder that is....

...potty training!

Potty training is probably the most difficult, and yet rewarding things a young family can do.

And its so exciting when it happens!

Storytime:

We have been struggling with training our older son (just recently turned 3) with varying degrees of success.  He seemed to want nothing to do with the toilet at home, but at Grandma's, it was fun.  We tried bribery (which..to some extent, I am not a fan of.)  We tried the butt-naked method. That didnt fly.  Our boy is the strangest kid, he hates to be dirty (but hates baths, and doesnt mind poopy diapers.  go fig.) and hates to be nekkid.

We finally heard about a different method, which is working fantastically with us.  Take a weekend, and have nothing planned.  Get about...a hundred (kidding..but it seems like it) pairs of big-boy (or girl) underwear.  (I have mixed feelings about pull-ups)  When the kiddo wakes up, set them on the toilet.  if they go, awesome, reward as you see fit.  if not, tell them thats ok, next time, we'll go potty.  put on the underwear and eat breakfast.

Here's the key.  after the first attempt at going potty, (we had to throw elliot on kicking and screaming.) set the oven timer (or any other loud buzzing timer) and tell the kiddo that when the buzzer buzzes, its potty time again.  keep setting the timer for 30-40 minute intervals, and eventually he/she will go potty on the toilet.  Do this all weekend.  (we have been using this all week as well, to keep reminding him to go potty..and to try to catch a poo on the toilet, but no luck.  He has, however mostly been staying dry! and a few times, going to the potty without being asked!)

using real underwear helps a lot, I think pull-ups still soak in way too much liquid to be really effective the way they are supposed to.  Plus, Elliot likes wearing his race car under wears!

April 23, 2010

Every Day in May

So, last year's Every Day in May event didnt really happen.  Maybe I was too ambitious.  Maybe I was rather pregnant and hormone-y.  Maybe I was lazy.

Whatever the reason, I'm going to try again this year, but modified a little.  I'm going to try and sit down and blog once a day.

What about you ask?

Whatever I darn well feel like at that moment.

Topic options:
Food.  Kids.  Kids eating food.  Potty Training. (I should post about this soon...) My tendancy towards hermit-ness.  Moving.  Life.

(month of blogging inspired by NaBloPoMo)

I might even try and sneak in a photo or two most posts.

April 22, 2010

not much new here...

Since its been so nice outside lately, we decided..to buy a Wii.  Makes complete sense, doesnt it.  So my days have been filled up to the brim perfecting my Wii Sports Resort Wakebording techniques.

A little sewing thrown in here and there though!

Awesome news: the 3-year-old is finally getting the hang of the potty thing!  I am so excited to be down to one box of diapers a month, its not even funny.

Tonights Dinner: Mac & Cheese, from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook.  (yes...I use a recipe for mac&cheese...)

April 19, 2010

Recently....

Dinner last night: chicken fajitas. verdict: nothing special, pan fried some chicken strips with some cumin, cayenne and chili powder.  threw it on some tortilla shells with some cheese and red peppers.

Sorry about the lack of serious (ha?) blogging lately, I've been busy.  Here's a little picture recap of the past few weeks:

First this arrived:

IMG_3209

But didnt get to play with it because of this:

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But magically this happened:

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Dinner tonight:  Havent decided yet.  something light, my stomach is goofy today from eating too much junk food over the weekend.

April 15, 2010

dye! dye! dye!

man, i need to get some photos up on this blog soon.

in other news, fabric dying adventure today!

Tip 1: brown rit dye + cotton-poly blend sheet = purple sheet. (im pretty sure the sheet was and 80/20 blend, i threw the packaging away though, so i could be wrong.)

Tip 2: make sure not to splash dye water on undyed sheets before placing in dyebath.  especially before you realize brown dye=purple sheet. (put a test piece in the dyebath, and got drips on my undyed pieces that i forgot were in the bathtub when i took the test piece out.)

Tip 3: when you decided that purple sheets are not what you are going for, and decide to use tea instead, make sure you have enough tea.

Tip 4: if it is nice outside (albeit windy) do not forget to clip your sheet to something.  it is light.  it will blow away.

That concludes my fabric dying tip day.  back to you regularily scheduled blog.

So really, I did get what i needed to get dyed dyed.  I bought some clearance sheets at target a while back (less than 10 bucks for king size! score!) and wanted to get them away from oh my lord, thats white white. just a little tinting to age them a little..make them a little less...eye searing.

1 box of weird brown rit dye and a bunch of tea later, i have nicely "aged"  sheets.  i think i may have to re-dye the fitted sheet (tea dye-bath got too weak), but i should have enough for sashing and bordering my mixtape quilt!

the brown dye is dying the pillowcases a nice deep brown right now. i dont know what i'll use it for, but it looks nice.

April 13, 2010

three-year-olds and thunderstorms

Today is my 3-year-old's first thunderstorm.

Well, its his first thunderstorm where he is aware of whats going on.  Sort of.

He hears the thunder, and thinks its upstairs!  He also claims he can see it, (its in the tree, apparently) which is rather funny.

The funniest thing, however is how he listens to any sound, really.  He sort of crouches down, puts his hand near his ear and whispers..can I hear it?

Dinner tonight: either leftover soup or Homity Pie (via TastyKitchen.  can you tell i love that site?)

April 7, 2010

wow!

omg, i so want to try this someday, but in a larger scale, these are tiny quilts!

http://www.aghines.com/
(click on the Winter Lights book.  and be amazed.)

Dinner recap

Dinner last night: Better than takeout Orange Chicken via TastyKitchen

verdict: awesome.  one of the best things I've made in awhile.  definitely one for the books.  however, there seems to have been some errors in the recipe, though your mileage may vary.  I needed twice as much eggs and breadcrumbs, and seemed to have quite a bit of seasoned cornstarch left.

dinner tonight: either chicken tortilla soup or cheater pot pie.  both awesome recipes can be found at allrecipes.com.

April 5, 2010

soup. again.

Soup verdict:

really tasty.

about my "modifications"...eh.  I didn't have any onions on hand, so i omitted those.  that was probably not a good idea.  it needs onion.  i don't like asparagus, so i left that out too.  i added way more dill and garlic than called for, and possibly could have added more.  i added waaaaay too much spinach, and am not really a fan of it in this anyways.  i kind of liked the flavors before i added the half & half, so i don't think i'll use that again if i re-make the soup. (which my stomach will thank me for.)

i also probably should have reduced it some more, the broth is delicious, but a little weak for my taste.  maybe i'll put it back on the stove for awhile.

*edit*
after simmering for another half-hour or so, i decided to try and see if puree-ing the soup would make it better..and its fantastic!  i thought it might be weird with so much spinach..but its delicious.  even though its a weird greenish color, it sure is tasty!

Soup

I am currently making a French Spring Soup, recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman's TastyKitchen. (just search for French spring soup...I'm too lazy to look it up now.)

My kitchen, therefore, currently smells delicious.

In completely unrelated news...no sewing machine yet.

Dinner tonight: probably something lame like spaghetti, because the boys wont like my fancy pants soup.

(also, i made a few..ahem...adjustments to the soup recipe..so we will see how it turns out...)

April 2, 2010

to-dos, always to-dos

To do list, once I get my new sewing machine:

1. Make canvas bins for toys.
2. Get a move on with the mix tape quilt.
3. keep working on hexagon quilt.
4. work out details on fancy-pants circle quilt i have in my head
5. make cork quilt
6. make another quilt similar to Kelsey's for sale.
7.  make a few more quilts for sale.
8. enter a craft show to sell quilts at.
9. decide if I want to make some fabric designs via spoonflower.

Ok, so some of these I dont need the machine to do.  but that is the order i want things to go this year.  I'm hoping to attempt no-coast this year.  i'll probably bring a couple lap-size and doll quilts, take commissions and if i get my butt in gear, get some fabrics out there.