Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cafe au lait

I love coffee-with cream,no sugar! There is just something about the smell, the taste, the feeling I get, when I get to drink my morning coffee. It is warm and rich and half and half is its best friend. I love coffee in glass mugs. The color is warm and inviting and it just looks classy to me. I like it super hot so you have to sip it-my husband guzzles it down when he drinks his(which isn't very often). I like flavored coffees for dessert, but never during the day. I don't like flavored creamers either-too sweet. I hate bitter, cheap coffee. I have to watch the caffeine, but I could drink it all day. I love it poured over ice with milk and add just a touch of cinnamon, but I really don't like frappes. Coffee is a pretty particular thing for most people who love it. What is your fancy?

Whole lotta projects going on!

Last night I cut out McCalls 3799 for my daughter. Well just the short part of it. I used it to make her a pair of pj shorts out of a cute blue flannel with sheep. I have serged everything and plan on serging the elastic a well. I haven't sewn much lately, but the trip to Nashville was inspiring. The clothes were amazing! Will post a few pics soon-not of the exhibit, because no photos were allowed. Oh well, hope to finish the shorts today and then I am making her a pair of flannel lounge pants for home. Will post the fabric pic soon. I have been knitting on my fisherman's wool scarf as well. It is taking forever to get anywhere. If I don't hurry it along, it won't be done for fall and winter. I have also been trying to hem items that I have had sitting around waiting for my attention. It feels pretty good to get some of those done! So many projects-So little time!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nashville-Golden Age of Couture

This weekend I am taking my girls to see the exhibit -The Golden Age of Couture- in Nashville. I can't wait to look at all the very intricate and very feminine designs. The pink dress above is amazing! It is very inexpensive to go. I was $10 and the girls were free. There is also a Chihuly exhibit that we get to see at no additional cost. I am excited about the trip with my girls and hope to take pictures. Go check out the website if you are interested in seeing more of what is on display.

Ankle socks?

I was reading Gertie's blog this morning and she has several pictures from the Lucky magazine(which I know nothing about) spread-Retro Modern. She was asking whether or not her readers like the ankle socks idea. On these tall skinny models, I think they look absolutely adorable. I think my skinny, long-legged 12 year old could definitely pull it off. I commented that I somehow picture a 40+ fire hydrant when I see me in ankle socks-HA! I do love the outfits though. The 50's circle skirts and I love the jumper and sweater. Fall is my favorite season, so all these great outfits make me want to sew some cozy, cute clothes for the coming season. How about you?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tomatoes, Peppers and Weeds-Oh My!

My garden is almost like a scene in a scary movie. If we just had some B movie music for the background. You could seriously get lost or eaten in there! Katy and I went out last night and picked tomatoes, green and banana peppers and viewed many eaten cantaloupes. The deer are having a hayday! I have put up about 20 quarts of tomatoes, but that is pitiful considering how many plants we have. Many are splitting or are being eaten before I get to them, but I am glad we have some for the fall and winter. There is nothing like macaroni and tomatoes or soup and chili with home grown tomatoes! Apples are my next big task. They should be ready in a couple of weeks. Yahoo! Last year I put up about 80 quarts of apples. About 70 of those were apple pie filling. I have used those like crazy all year long. I figure we will give the garden a few more weeks and then I hope to turn it. All those nasty weeds will suffer a painful death!

Still Reading.....

I am still wrapped up in reading books that my kids have to read this year for school. We are doing the 20th century and we are only in the early 1900's so far, but I am reading a book about Israel and Palestine. Tasting the Sky-A Palestinian Childhood is very good. She writes in such a descriptive way, that you can see, touch, taste,hear and smell all that she is experiencing. Very vivid details. I have assigned my writing class descriptive paragraphs for this first 2 weeks and I would love for them to read some of the examples in this book. It is a bit sad, but I am only half way through the book. Looking forward to more of her similes and metaphors! Will let you know the end result. On another note, we read Kids at Work by Lewis Hine this week. Amazing photography of child labor in the early 1900's. When photos are done right, they ARE worth a 1000 words. It is sad that Hine died in poverty, because he was a truly gifted photographer. My daughter realized how little we have to do in comparison to what many 4, 5, and 6 old kids had to do during this time period. Lastly, I listened to a piece about Jack London on NPR the other day. Call of the Wild is another school selection for the early 1900's. There is a new biography about him that sounds very interesting. Wolf: The Lives of Jack London by James Haley. They were interviewing the author on NPR. I like biographies and I might just pick this one up. Not much sewing going on right now. Hope to get in a project this weekend! I did enjoy looking at sewing books at Barnes and Noble on Monday night for a while. There are so many books now that include the patterns in the book for less than $30. Pretty convienent!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simplicity 7533

I decided last night to get atleast one more step done on this dress.  I was going to put in the armhole facings, but I have been reading on several blogs that you don't really have to.  It can just add bulk to the arm hole.  I had already serged the edge, so I just turned it under 1/4 inch and topstitched. (You can kind of see them in the bottom pic-pretty smooth) It doesn't look bad, but I am used to the facings.  It is less bulky though.  I haven't completed the belt, but I paired it with this chocolate brown elastic belt for this picture and I think I like it.  I want to do some form of the large button belt that is on the pattern, but that is still in the planning mode.  At least this is a wearable dress now.  I love the vintage like print of the material. Don't you like Nanny's big brown bead necklace? I did also taper the sides last night.  I started at a half inch at the armpit and gradually increased to one inch and then back down to meet the side seam.  It fits better now! I have tomatoes to can today and our first school co-op tomorrow, so probably no new sewing until the weekend-SIGH! (Looking for a new camera-my flash just blows everything white when you use it-and it dropped off a table and the battery compartment has to be held closed with a rubberband-I love this camera though!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I have been getting several items pinned for hemming and a couple of them are items I bought at a consignment store in Hilton Head. I go there every time we go to HHI on vacation. I think they just moved locations, but I absolutely love their store. They have a room where many things are only a dollar-and I am not talking about socks here. Just look at some of the lovelies I picked up for a buck this trip. Have already worn a few.
Petite Sophisticate gray year round wool pants
Jones New York round neck jacket in chocolate brown
Black wrap dress
Cute plaid pants w/tab button pockets(need hemming)
2 pairs of shoes (black and maroon)
I also picked up a few books and a really great stainless steel carafe. I also bought a great pair of Talbot's paper sack waist pants that are cream with a gray pinstripe and several Brooks Brothers buttondowns, a pair of JCrew pants and some black crop pants too. I only spent about $40 total and got the girls several things as well. What a deal. So if you are ever on Hilton Head Island check out SACKS consignment! Here is their Facebook link.

A working fridge and a fresh spinach quiche

My fridge is fixed and so is my icemaker.  I hate the ridiculous charge, but I am glad to have my fridge back. I decided to make a few things today in celebration of having a place to keep cold items again.  I pulled several fresh spinach quiche recipes off the web, but didn't really like any of them.  So once again I have adjusted recipes to make my own. ( I bought spinach on sale yesterday for $1.00 so I had to use it today before it went all wilty on me.) So here is my recipe and boy it is buttery and yummy good.

1 stick of butter
1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic pepper (you could use fresh garlic-probably a clove or 2)
1 pkg fresh spinach-pre washed and ready to eat
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups shredded italian cheese blend
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
5 large eggs
1/4 half and half
1/3 chopped ham (I just cut up some Va Baked deli ham)
(I think you could sub bacon or sausage for different flavors)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 8X11 pan.
In a 3 quart pot, melt butter on medium  heat.  Add chopped onion and garlic pepper (fresh garlic). Cook a few minutes to soften.  Add sea salt and paprika.  Put fresh spinach in and stir to coat with butter. Reduce heat to low and cover your pot. Steam for about 5 minutes then remove from heat.  In a small bowl whisk eggs and cream. Add pepper and nutmeg to egg mixture.  Place 3/4 cup cheese in bottom of dish.  Spoon the spinach mixture on top of cheese-including the butter. Place the chopped ham on next. Pour egg mixture over spinach and ham layers.  Top with remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let set for 5 minutes before cutting.  Serve with fresh chopped tomatoes or with toast and fruit.  Wow this had amazing flavor and the fresh spinach and butter really makes this good.  I don't think I would substitute fake butter or frozen spinach.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Is your refrigerator running?

Oh the old joke or prank call that asked, "Is your refrigerator running?" Then the lovely answer of, "then you better go catch it!" Click! So stupid, yet anyone from my generation knows the old joke.  Well, no joke, my refrigerator isn't running.  It hasn't been running since Sunday.  The Sears man is coming today and I am hoping to have my refrigerator and icemaker back.  Our icemaker hasn't been working for a year, but I did not want to pay to have someone come out just for the icemaker. It is odd how much I depend on my fridge.  We have had only eggs, milk, oj, butter and jelly in a cooler this week and I have realized I can get by with those items, but it certainly limits my cooking.  We have had a variety of "out in town" things to do this first week of school, so we have grabbed things for lunch.  My girls both went to the doctor yesterday and had shots-so fun! Last night we just had canned soup and sandwiches.  I will be glad to have condiments at my disposal again.  I want to save leftovers again.  I just might kiss the Sears man if he gets it fixed today! I am so thankful for the invention of refrigeration!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Simplicity 7533-Looks like a dress!

Well I sewed for a while this weekend and it was really nice to do so. I have been so involved with planning for my school year, that I haven't really had a chance to do any sewing. I finally took a couple of hours and worked on my dress Saturday. It actually looks like a dress now. I sewed the sides up and put in the zipper and neck facings. The only things I have left are the armhole facings and hemming. I tried it on and the bodice needs some tapering. TOO WIDE. The dress looks very boxy. I will put it on inside out after I get the armhole facings done. Then I will pin it so that I can streamline it a bit. This dress has a belt the has 2 large buttons on it. I have it cut out in the same fabric, but I think it needs to be a contrasting fabric to look right. I'll sew up the one I already have cut out and then make another one. I probably won't get to wear this one much. By the time I finish it, we will be headed into fall. Maybe I could put sleeves on it? Hmmm. We will see. Sewing will soon become a weekend warrior activity with my homeschool year starting this week. It is always sad to see summer go, but I like the routine the school year brings. We are doing the 20th century this year, so my kids will be a little more familiar with the events we study. Rambling now so I will stop!

Tomatoes and Peppers

Our garden looks absolutley horrible. Being gone for 10 days certainly didn't help it any, but the weather here is so dry, that everything looks pretty rough. I did manage to bring in a small amount of tomatoes this weekend. We have hundreds of them on the vine that haven't fallen prey to blossom end rot yet, but I am not sure they will make it. They are still so green. Need to make some fried green tomatoes. Yum! I will just put this small amount up in the freezer. I did put up 13 small bags of chopped green peppers this weekend as well. I like putting those through my food processor and storing them in about 1/2 cup amounts. I do the same thing with onions. It makes sauteing them for sauces and dishes very simple. Pop out a couple of bags and you are good to go! The other item we have plenty of is banana peppers. They are similar to a weed in their growth process. They need little to no care and will grow anywhere in rampant amounts! I make a banana pepper mustard that is out of this world for dipping and for sandwiches and I've even used some in deviled eggs to give them a kick. I will include my recipe here in case you have banana peppers coming our your ears too! Enjoy.
Sweet or Hot Banana Pepper Relish
9-12 banana peppers cleaned and chopped
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup prepared mustard
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp water
Cook the peppers in the vinegar for 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook for about 10 minutes longer. You will need to stir frequently so that it doesn't stick to your pan. Let cool a bit and then put in containers. Store tightly sealed in refrigerator. This keeps very well. You could can it so that it could be stored on a pantry shelf or be given away as gifts.

Scarves In Process

I wrote in one of my posts that I did some knitting on my vacation and I wanted to post my in process progress on here.  I also have my Fisherman's Wool scarf I am working on. I am using smaller needles for that one.  I love the tight look of the stitches, but it takes forever to feel like you are getting anywhere. (Good thing I started this in the summer) The new project is a purple yarn that is almost shimmery.  I made it pretty thin because the yarn is quite bulky.  I don't own many purple clothing items, but I loved this color and I am hoping our Walmart carries this or I will have to find some online.  I only bought one skein-NOT SMART.  I just picked it up in Hilton Head to keep my hands busy, but it turns out I really like the color.  I'll remember that next trip.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reading In a Car

One thing I love about vacation is the fact that I usually don't drive. My husband has a tendency to do most of the driving. We also towed a small boat with us this time and I definitely don't like driving while towing. My 16 year old son drove for a while on this trip and he did well. So, not driving= reading in the car for me. I would hate it if I got car sick like many people do when they read in the car. I managed to finish Homeless Bird. It was really good. It was interesting to read about another culture and this girl being married at 13. Yikes! Good read. I also read Have Space Suit Will Travel. It is a science fiction novel that my daughter will be reading this year. It is pretty good. Not at all what I expected. Quite a bit of suspense and some neat relationship dynamics in this one. The main character is 18, which is much older than the group that will be reading it. I think they will enjoy the book though. I read Joni's Story by the pool. He life is so interesting. She has done so much and touched so many people. It was encouraging to read about her struggles and her victories. Our co-op is covering her in church history this year. I also read A Father's Touch, which she wrote. I am reading that one out loud to our younger school group towards the end of the year. Needless to say, I enjoyed having the time to read many of the school books my daughter will be reading this year. How about you? Are you reading what your kids are reading? It is sometimes eye opening. I spanned cultures and life threatening accidents and trips to the moon this past week-all in a car-hee hee.

Oven Fried Tilapia

We had a lovely vacation in Hilton Head, SC.  We go every year and it is always so nice to get away from the normal for a while.  We went to the beach and unfortunately  had several jellyfish stings.  They were rampant several of the days we were there.  We swam in the pool and rode bikes and watched TV.  We don't have regular TV in our house.  We are only equipped to do DVD's,  so we always watch Food Network while we are on vacation and TV Land and the old movie channel.  We got in several Myrna Loy and William Powell movies last week.  I just love them together.  Oh well, the Food Network sparked my creative juices(so to say) and I bought some Tilapia when we got back.  This recipe I came up with was really good!  Everybody but Alli ate it-she hates fish!  So here it is:
4-6 Tilapia fillets (thawed and patted dry)
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix yogurt and pepper and lightly brush each side of the fish. (See HINT below)

Mix together in a pie plate:
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2-3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I rub it in my hand to open up the flavor of the dried herbs)

Press fish in breadcrumb mixture to coat. (HINT: I brushed one side with the yogurt and then put it in the breadcrumbs.  Then I brushed the top side with yogurt and spooned crumbs over the top to coat.  Just press each side to make sure it is completely covered.)  Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.  I turned mine over halfway through the bake time.  YUMMY! (Sorry no pictures, but we ate it too fast!)