Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just in Time for the Cold...


Sweet feet and little hats to match!  I whipped up these baby booties and some matching baby hats to send to a friend in California that had a baby ohhhhhh, ummmmm..... a month ago?  I promise I will become a more punctual crafter now that work is not sucking all my energy.  (Did I mention that I had my last day of work?  Yippee!)

Anywho, I made the baby booties from a pattern found in this book, and the hats I cheated as usual and used my knifty knitter.  Now they are on their way to a good home.  I hope they like them!  :)

That Darn Cat

That darn cat is not supposed to be up on the back of the couch.  He knows this, and I know he knows this because I have successfully trained him to stay off of other cushions.  He is now totally trained to stay off the back of our loveseat, but I think he is going to test the waters (and my patience) with EVERY OTHER CUSHION until he runs out of options.  You know, just to make sure I really mean it.

You Aren't Going to *BELIEVE* This!

It has been pretty chilly and rainy here in Arizona, more so than usual, but I never expected that it would actually SNOW here!!  This afternoon I peeked out the window to check out the rain that was falling and I swore that I saw a flurry, and then a few seconds later I was sure I saw another one!  By the time we made it to the back yard to get a closer look at the situation, it was really snowing!!
(Do you see the flurries?  I swear they are there!  My friend Alicia suggested that Arizona is attempting to win me over, I think she might be right.)

Nothing stuck around, of course, but it was wonderful to see snow falling outside my window, even for just a short while.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Washing Instructions

"Machine wash with like colors"
Something tells me that's not going to be an issue.  :)

Have I mentioned how much I love adorable pink baby onesies?  I think they're my new favorite.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Shower

A couple of weekends ago we had a baby shower back in San Diego--  It was wonderful!!
I wish I had thought ahead and taken more pictures of myself with people, but pictures of people will have to do.  :)
 We of course had to play the "how big is the baby belly?" game...
...which Brooke won!  And, in case you are wondering, NO she did not cheat using her own baby belly.  She won fair and square, and was seriously within about 1/4 inch!  Way to go Brooke! 
Later I got to enjoy opening all the cute pink girly things, and visiting with friends and family that we don't get to see often enough.

Thanks to everyone who came and made the day so special! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 2010

The "before" shot:
Clearing out the pumpkin guts:
Tracing the pattern:
Carving and trying not to injure myself:
And the finished product!  
I think it is one of our better pumpkin carving attempts.  Today, we are enjoying the fruits of our labor (aka roasted pumpkin seeds!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Too Cute Baby Skirts!

After a lengthy hiatus, my crafting mojo has returned!  This is thanks in part to finally figuring out how to work my new serger, which is amazing by the way.

My latest addiction is making these adorable baby skirts!

They are so easy, and since they were made with fabric I had on hand, and jeans that I no longer have any hope of fitting into, making them was completely free.  Can't beat that.  

If anyone feels inclined to make their own, there is a fabulous tutorial here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Couches!

It's the little things that keep me going around here.  Things like new couches!! 

Our poor, tired Iowa couches had seen better days.  They were recliners, and to put it lightly they were entirely dysfunctional.  I don't think I will ever purchase another couch with moving parts.  It just doesn't end well, especially if you plan to move them...ever. 

It's amazing how new couches and an area rug can revitalize a space.  Also, as you can see from the picture, Moose is a huge fan of the giant ottoman.  He pretty much thinks it's the greatest thing ever.  Next on the agenda is finding some end tables we like that don't break the bank.  There is talk of making our own...but we will see how that goes!  More on that later.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something to Hold You Over

I have been such an absentee blogger.  It really is pitiful.  Life has thrown us a couple of curve balls in recent months that led to some stress/upheaval/whatnot.  It also contributed to my lack of motivation to craft/blog/etc.

But, never fear!  It's not all bad, we did manage to get the baby's room painted (don't tell our landlord, kay?).  It's a lovely shade of lavender.  The room is still a work in progress but here is a sneak peek!




In other news, I actually look kind of pregnant!  Fancy that!  It only took me forever to start showing.  The other day I was at JC Penney buying a cute little baby outfit, and the cashier asked me who was having a baby.  Depressing.  But, it only gets better from here! 

Now, all I need is for someone to please send a memo to the State of Arizona and tell it that it is time to cool off!  Then maybe I will find my motivation and actually be able to get my craft on.  :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gnome & Friends

I checked out this cool book from my local library, and just had to try out a project from it: 


I set out to make this cool gnome, owl, and raccoon for Brooke's son, Truman. 

They were a lot of fun to make.  I made them a couple months ago at the height of my morning sickness.  Turns out that embroidery is the perfect activity for when you are too sick to get your butt off the couch.  :)

The patterns for all three can be found in the Doodle Stitching book.  The only thing I modified were a few colors, and I sized down the owl and raccoon patterns so that they would be handheld size and more in proportion with the gnome. 

Check out the book, it has lots of great ideas!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

IT'S A GIRL!!

Brett and I were both very excited to learn on Thursday that we are expecting a beautiful baby GIRL!!!!!

We love her so much already.  ♥

Now the baby crafting can really begin!  

Friday, July 30, 2010

The World Needs to Know About Spaghetti Pie

I was guilting myself over posting this because the picture of spaghetti pie simply does not do it justice.  The husband did not get home until after dark this evening, which made my pictures less then stellar, but today, I'm setting that aside, because the world needs to know about Spaghetti Pie.  This is more important than any of my own insecurities.  So here it is: 



2 large carrots (peeled and diced)

1/2 pound spaghetti

1 15 oz jar spaghetti sauce

1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

8 to 10 mini meatballs (optional)

1 teaspoon oregano

salt & pepper



The Rules:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Boil spaghetti for approximately 6 minutes, then add in carrots.  Continue boiling until Spaghetti is al dente.  Drain and transfer spaghetti and carrots into a large bowl.  Stir
in tomato sauce, 3/4 cup of  mozzarella and ricotta cheese.  Stir well
so that spaghetti begins to cool before adding the egg. Then add egg,
meatballs, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and pour into a
9 inch pie dish. Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and
bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly and
pie is set. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 4 to 6.



Here is what you get:






We thought it was a really nice change of pace to the usual 'spaghetti and red sauce' that we do so often around here.  I think you should try it this week!



P.S.  In the interest of full disclosure, I did not think up this recipe all by myself.  The original can be found at another blog called Cooking With My Kid

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Brett's (World Famous) Salsa Recipe

Ok, so maybe it's not world famous, but it is delicious!  I highly recommend that you try it out:


1 large can Contadina crushed tomatoes with roasted Garlic
1 can chopped/diced JalapeƱos
1 can chopped green chiles  
1 medium onion
1/2 bunch of cilantro
Real tablespoon of Salt
Real tablespoon of Pepper
Real tablespoon of lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic (more or less to taste)

Place 1/2 can of Crushed tomatoes, full can of JalapeƱos and chiles, salt, pepper, and garlic in blender.  Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds or so.

Chop the onion and cilantro to desired sizes (smaller is better) and place in bowl with other 1/2 can of crushed tomatoes.  Stir until mixed.  Pour the contents of blender into the bowl and mix.  Mix in Lime juice, and you have salsa!  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

REALLY Big News!

Ok, so I haven't blogged in forever + 3 days.  But I promise I have a really, really good excuse that will make you forgive me:

WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!  

We are beyond excited, and as I'm sure you can imagine, I can't stop thinking about all the adorable little baby crafts/quilts/goodies/etc. that I finally get to make for my baby.  

What does this have to do with not blogging, you ask?  Well, this baby is making me tired.  Like, beyond exhausted.  Like, more tired than I ever knew I could be + 10.  So, it's not that I don't care, it's just that I'm sleeping.

You forgive me, don't you? 

Thanks, I knew you would.  :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Amazing Mac N' Cheese

I don't know if this particular version can technically be considered a mac n' cheese, since I didn't actually use macaroni noodles.  So call it what you like, either way it will still be delicious.

The Ingredients:
1 box pasta of your choice
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) Campbell's Cream of Cheddar Soup
2 cups (8 oz.) Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or any variety)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. garlic pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard

The Rules:
1.  Cook pasta until al dente
3.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
4.  Transfer mixture to casserole dish and bake with foil cover at 400° for 40 minutes.

And you're done!  It's super easy and amazingly delicious.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Salmon and Israeli Cous Cous Stir Fry

If you haven't before, you should check out Iowa Girl Eats.  It is one
of my new favorite food blogs.  She has such great ideas and they are
generally very healthy, and often vegetarian. 


Her recipe for Salmon and Israeli Cous Cous Stir Fry inspired me enough to try it out
for myself.  It turned out really really well, and was a nice change of
pace from the usual fish + vegetable + rice that we do at our house. 




I made mine a little bit differently with pre-packaged organic stir fry mix, but the end result was pretty much the same. 

You can head on over to this post for the recipe. 


Now, if anyone has any good recommendations for what I can do with the other
1/2 box of israeli cous cous and also the 1.5 dozen eggs that are
hanging out in my fridge, I am definitely open to dinner suggestions!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

DIY Keyboard Wrist Rest


Wrist rest.  Wrist rest.  Wrist rest.  Try saying that five times fast.  

Something I love:  Really simple solutions to everyday problems.

For instance:  My carpal tunnel has flared up.  :(  I needed a new keyboard wrist rest at work.  Rather than spend the next 6 weeks going through the necessary channels to order one, I thought I would just make my own.

The best part was that it is made entirely of things I had on hand:  a small amount of fabric and some rice.  And it's pretty.

Here's how I did it:

For starters, I used a highly sophisticated measuring device to determine the length of my keyboard:

Next, I cut out my fabric pieces, mine were approximately 18" by 4".

I sewed them, right sides together, around all but one short side.

Then, I turned it right side out, and top stitched around the same three sides.

Next, fold the open end in about 3/4", press, and fill with approximately 3 cups of rice.  You can use more or less depending on what level of firmness you want.  We don't fool around when it comes to rice in this house.  I had the giant 25 lb. bag from Costco on hand. 

After it was filled, I top stitched the open end closed, and Voila!  A handy-dandy keyboard wrist rest.  I did the exact same thing for my mouse, and just shortened it so that it would be the appropriate mouse size.


Now, because I love you, and because it's high time I start taking this blog o' mine seriously, I have created a template for you to use in case you desire to make your own handy-dandy keyboard wrist rest.  You can download it here.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Turtles and Aprons and Ribbons, Oh My!!

I put together a little package to send to Brooke & Truman for their birthdays which are close together actually a month apart, but I had tons and tons of homework and a little gnome stole all my sewing gear and excuses, excuses, excuses am a slacker and could not get the boxes together in time. 

Anyway, I made some homemade turtles.  One for Truman, one for Truman's buddy Khai, and a teeny tiny girl turtle for Khai's new baby sister Rowan.  I am hoping that the turtles were a hit.

Also, I made coordinating mommy and son aprons for Brooke & Truman for cooking, arts and crafts, etc.  I was pleased with the result.  It was a challenge to come up with a fabric combo that works for a two year old boy and his mommy.

Also, Brooke found these cool ribbon toys online, and we decided it made much more sense to make them than to buy them.  They actually turned out pretty cool.

Moose agreed.  I had to convince him that they were not intended to be kitty toys.  Then I got this look:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weeds

Back when I actually lived in San Diego, I always thought of California Poppies as invasive weeds that would show up every year and bloom wherever the heck they wanted.

Now that I no longer live in California, I find myself actually appreciating them for being so pretty and bright and cheerful.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Okay, Okay, Okay!

Okay!!  I will FINALLY blog about Easter weekend.  Here's what we did:

1.)  We drove back to San Diego late Friday night.  No pics of that, sorry.

2.)  We took my Grandma out to Black Angus for lunch and to visit.  We had delicious food but terrible service.  That seems to pretty much be par for the course at Black Angus. 

3.)  We colored Easter eggs with Travis, Alex and Cindy:


(I made a special one for Moose since he couldn't be there)

4.)  My beautiful niece Natalie was born!!  Which was fabulous timing.  We went to the hospital to meet her on Easter morning:  :)

5.)  We hung out with Brett's fam' on Easter, and the kids had their Easter egg hunt.

(This is part of the fam.  We'll call this a fam faction™)

6.)  Everyone got jolted by a 7.2 earthquake, or whatever magnitude it was, I just remember it was a lot.

7.)  We went to the San Diego Zoo!!

(Here I am just hangin' with the monkeys.  Pun totally intended)


(This is me communing with the wildlife.  I look so comfortable in this situation)


(You Takin' to me?  Man I'm on a roll today.)  

8.)  Then, we met Travis for lunch @ the Zoo.

9.)  We went up to Carlsbad to visit my Dad & Margie and had a yummy dinner.

10.)  We decided on the drive from Carlsbad to Alpine to drive home late that night (Monday) rather than getting up super early on Tuesday to drive home.

11.)  Got a speeding ticket for going just a teensy bit over the speed limit.  In the middle of the desert.  In the middle of the night.  With no one else around.  It's ok.  I'm not bitter. 

And THAT is our Easter Update.  :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Easter Tree

I have recently been sorting through boxes and boxes of old holiday decorations and childhood keepsakes.  It has been a challenge to figure out what to keep and what to let go of.  As I was digging I came across this Easter tree.

It was one of my favorite decorations when I was a kid.  I loved setting it up and hanging all of the little Easter ornaments on it.  Unfortunately, it was showing a few signs of wear from 20+ years of existence.

I can totally relate.  

The ornaments themselves were looking a little tired...

And wonky*...

One armed rabbit anyone?  

And even a little scary...

What's up with that beak?

So, I decided to give the thing a face lift. 

I gave the bunnies a little sandy-sand...

Sorry bunnies.

Then I livened the whole thing up with a can of spring-green spray paint.

I was lucky enough to find these cool egg ornaments at Joann, but they needed a little something extra.  So naturally, I glittered them.

Now my little bunny Easter tree has been given a facelift, and looks like something out of this decade.  I am really pleased with the result.


*Hi Megan!  I think of you every time I use the word wonky!!