Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iced Tea

Last year when we were still in North Carolina we heard an NPR segment on cold brewing iced tea. I wanted iced tea the other day, so I had to look it up. Here's the link...
Of course, because I had that on my mind, one of the blogs I check for ideas once in awhile was about the same thing. I went with this idea as it takes up less space in the refrigerator and you just add water to dilute it a bit. Very easy!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

charlie's table

Charlie's grandfather really wanted him to have a table to drive his cars and trucks on. He bought this table at a garage sale and sanded it, painted it, asked me to cut out fabric letters for it, then sealed it with a thick clear coat. We haven't moved it up to our new home yet, but don't you think he'll love it?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

yarn donation

My good deed for the day (not that it isn't benefiting me!) was weeding through my yarn stash and getting rid of anything that was not earmarked for a specific project or that I couldn't dream up a realistic project for within 5 seconds of seeing it. The result - I whittled a large storage box down to one shopping bag of yarn! YIPPEE!!! The rest I am sending to one of these facilities (listed at the bottom of the page) thanks to an article I found from a 2003 knitting magazine while searching for ideas as to where I could donate this excess of mine.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Strawberry Cream Cake

I cannot take credit for making this recipe, only eating it. Adam's mom is an amazing baker. She made this and I think it's the best cake I've ever had (that doesn't have chocolate in it, but in this season, I'd take this over chocolate - I can't believe I just admitted that). I LOVE it. So, so, so good. She has made it twice and it turned out great both times. She says it is easy to make, too. I've seen some of the recipes she attempts and I wouldn't even dare. Seeing as baking is not my forte, I'd guess that "easy" to her means I could at least tackle it and it would come out alright. I hope so, because it is so good I can't wait for next strawberry season for more. I believe Charlie agrees. He took down a whole piece on his own last night after he ate dinner, and after he had finished his bath. He smelled like strawberries and cream still this morning even though we did our best spot clean. Oh, and I let him eat it for breakfast. He still smelled like it and needed to be cleaned anyway, plus I was eating it and couldn't really say no to him. =)
An aside... the three of us (but mostly Charlie in all honesty) have put away 4 quarts of strawberries in a week and a half. That's just for munching - none have made their way into any recipes. Our local farm and CSA is having their Strawberry Festival this weekend. Very, very exciting. I need more freezer space.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"homemade" Father's Day cards

Since I seriously doubt any of these guys are checking the blog anytime between now and Sunday, here are some of the cards I made. These cards were made with help from Photographer's Edge, which is where I get my cards. All you have to do is add your own photos. So easy and so professional looking!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Our new place is needing a little foliage, so I've been researching what to buy. My requirements: 1. must be non-toxic for little people 2. possess air purifying qualities 3. easy to care for (i.e. won't die if neglected for a week). I found a great blog that is helping me out.... the menu on the side is giving me lots of useful information. I'm trying to decide if I'm in the mood to plant shop alone with Charlie today. He's a decent shopper, but his "sit still in the cart" time is getting shorter and shorter. There's too much world out there to explore. Maybe after another cup of coffee.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

fightin' pillows

The boys have discovered the joy of pillow fights, and a week or so ago a request for big pillows came in, as the regular pillows just weren't cutting it. I gladly used the excuse to go to the fabric store and found these fabrics for a bargain. I put ties on the green pillow - not the best idea for pillow fights. I did brainstorm enough before though to decide buttons would be a big no-no. The white pillow has velcro for closure which works better. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to capture the actual pillow fights, but Charlie happily throws/dives/plays in them solo, so I grabbed some photos today.

I love this photo... one of the benefits of these new pillow fights - he's just sleeping, not knocked out ;-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

sewing craziness and my binding

I've been a bit obsessed lately. In the past week I've bound a quilt, finished a quilt top, made 2 pillow covers, made a "sleeping bag" for a kindle, and started an apron (because I stumbled upon this and couldn't resist the chance at being randomly selected and winning a craft book - really just an excuse to sew). I have lots of other projects I want to work on but a few issues.... my machine is stitching strangely despite cleaning it, oiling it, adjusting settings and rethreading it about eighty times. UGH. Maybe it is tired. I had to stop in the middle of the apron (blueberry theme, btw) yesterday before I threw something. Precious moments while baby sleeping should not be wasted fixing a machine! Anyway... Mom asked me what I was binding, so I'll show you! It's a lap quilt made from Good Folks fabric. Just a basic block quilt because I wanted to be able to stare at the fabrics. They are bright and colorful - nice and summery. The binding was not nearly as awful a process as I had feared. I actually really liked doing the back by hand. It took me a good 4 hours, but whatever. (It is hard to get a good photo of a quilt!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Off to unpack....

We're off to the new home - will be back here next week!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mango and Avocado Salad

courtesy of Cooks Illustrated - Summer Entertaining

3 large mangos cut into 1 inch chunks
3 medium ripe avocados cut into 1 inch chunks
6 TBSP lime juce (about 3 limes)
6 TBSP minced red onion
6 TBSP minced fresh cilantro
1 jalepeno minced (with seeds and ribs if you want extra spice - we left it out for Charlie's sake)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour before eating.  

I think this is my new "salsa" - we all loved it.  Some of us just picked out the mangos....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

things I'm reading and listening to today

- background reading for.................

- I love the onion =)

- A segment from my soon-to-be public radio station about hyper-parenting.  I'm really into  podcasts and listening to NPR these days.  Interesting to listen to.  I was directed to it by the yahoo group that I joined for parents of young children in the Upper Valley area.  It makes me grateful that my brother and I were encouraged to climb neighbors trees, build secret forts in the woods and spend our days outside playing.  I'll try to remember, Charlie....

- the fabric and quilt obsession continues.......

-and continues.......  I love the linen sashing she uses

Craft books I'm putting on my "someday" list.....

- No, I don't know how to embroider, but I've really been interested in it lately.  
I'm not sure where I'd find the time though..... On that note, I need to go get some chores 
done before baby wakes!!! Have a good day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

wonderful mail day!

I was so excited to get the mail yesterday, as I was expecting a little package from my trusty quilt lady, Dianne.  (If anyone is looking for someone to quilt for you in the Northeast, Dianne is wonderful and very affordable.)  You know you've all torn open a package as soon as you get it.  I pick up my mail from the post office, so waiting until I get home is just not an option.  Now, the daunting task of binding the thing.  SIGHHHHHHHH  I am such a slow hand stitcher.  I guess when you don't ever practice, what do you expect?  (I think I've had my mom bind all of my quilts to this point!)  Anyone have any tips to make it less painful?  The sooner I finsih it, the sooner you get to see the finished product.......

Monday, June 1, 2009

inspiring podcast

I just listened to a great podcast on CraftSanity of an interview with Amanda Soule of the SouleMama blog that is definitely one of my favorite blogs.  It is 84 minutes long, so you need some time, but it was great to listen while checking off chores on my to do list.  It made me remember that it is important to make time for things each day that make you happy.  Now off to play with the little guy (and hopefully work on his quilt later!)