Feb 22, 2011

this one's for Jenny

Wow, has it really been a week since I blogged?! I did NOTHING last week. Seriously, what a waste of a week. When I do NOTHING, I have NOTHING to blog!
My sister-in-law requested some recent pictures of her 'beautiful nephew.' Here you go, sister!

Pens hold such simple entertainment for Little A. Especially the 'clicky' ones. He hasn't left any lovely artwork for me to find...yet, so I let him play.

These pictures were all taken right before naptime which explains his sullen expression.

Doesn't he look like a big kid lounging on the couch??

Don't let this expression fool you! (He's been glowering a lot lately, I think he's trying it out.)

See? (Did you notice the pen the whole time? He was clicking away while I was taking pictures!)

Feb 15, 2011

Guess what?

Ha! So this clearly wasn't for Bentley but today is his birthday! Amanda and Paul added a sweet little baby boy to their family today!
 I wish I had pictures from Sunday but of course I don't. Some friends of ours had families over for sledding and a bonfire. Adrian was so tired (he hasn't been sleeping well with those molars trying to come through) so I can't say that he had a blast but Jeff and I sure enjoyed ourselves! I went snowshoeing with some of the ladies through the burnt forest. It was so strange to see all the blackened trees; the fire happened 2 years ago. Anyways, Adrian did enjoy some sledding thanks to all the girls who are always spoiling him whenever they're around! There was a bonfire too, so we cooked hotdogs for supper. I took Adrian inside for a little bit because he only wanted to be held and we ended up staying in until we left. I think I was actually the last one to leave, I was too busy visiting! It was such a nice day, this warmer weather is giving me spring fever. I thought I was doing fine with winter, then the sunshine and above freezing temps had to show themselves! Aaah, well, we'll enjoy winter for a while longer!

I had another appointment with the chiropractor this morning. He said my back is better than he has ever seen! I chalk that up to his adjustments and yoga. I've always resisted yoga a little bit because it seems like such a 'slow' exercise. I'm still getting used to it and it really is helping. My back was a bit sore last week and I realized I had been slacking with yoga so I started up again--just 10-15 minutes a day--and it made a world of difference!

Jeff and I have a date tonight, we're going to a new (to us) restaurant that Jeff wants to try out. Yay for date night!

Feb 11, 2011

Just Something I Made

Remember this shirt:

 I saw the potential. I loved the color, I loved the dots. Now I love the lace too! I'm keeping this one for myself for a couple reasons. First, because I love it! Second, it has a small stain and a few little snags that I didn't notice right away. Oh darn. Don't you hate when that happens? You make something, plan to sell it, something comes up and you're forced to keep it for yourself. Actually wait, no, I don't hate that!

Honestly, the only thing I dislike about this shirt now is the major static cling. I'll probably get over it.

I had planned to change up the neckline because, although I like the way the button looks in the back, I hate the way it's designed. I realized pretty quickly that to change it up, I would need to make the front or back really low so I guess I'll just live with it. The neck has a hidden seam by means of another piece of fabric on the inside...I don't know how to put that into words and I'm not sure what the correct term is. It's not blind stitched....[an hour later] I tried searching for the correct term but that's hard to do when, well, I don't know the correct term!
Here's what I did:
-Cut the sleeves off, resize using one of my shirts, cut to desired length. I cut from the top so I could still use the hem. I had wanted to have a bit of 'puff' at the shoulders but I ended up cutting my sleeves just a bit too small so I wasn't able to gather the fabric.
-Resize bodice using one of my shirts. Again, I saved the bottom hem. In fact, I didn't lose any length at all, the entire top of the shirt stayed intact as well.
-Ruche one side by setting my thread tension as high as it would go.
-Add layers of lace to bottom of ruched side to even out the bottom. It was too short without the lace and I like how it turned out!

One more time, the before and after:

Feb 10, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

I recently commented on a facebook post from Kiwi Magazine about my chicken noodle soup. One of the editors contacted me about sharing my recipe. We eat this stuff a lot so I've had ample opportunity to play with the ingredients and spices. However, I have never taken the time to write it down until now. (Yeah, I do remember posting a recipe a long time ago but please disregard that, I'm sure it's completely different than this one.)

Chicken Noodle Soup (with Homemade Egg Noodles)

bones and skin from whole chicken
4 medium carrots, cut into large pieces
3-4 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
1 large onion, cut into large pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp sea salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp basil, or to taste
pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1/2 recipe of egg noodles (recipe included) or 1/2 lb of egg noodles from the store

Place ingredients thru pepper into a large saucepan (I use a 5 1/2-quart saucepan). Add water to within 1 1/2 inches from top. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1-2 hours. Some additional water can be added if it evaporates. Strain ingredients, return liquid to saucepan. Discard bones, skin, and bay leaves. Slice or chop vegetables and return to pot.
Meanwhile, make egg noodles (recipe from Pioneer Woman):

2 whole eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Combine eggs and flour, knead several minutes until dough is smooth. Add flour as necessary if dough is very sticky. Let rest for about 20 minutes. Shape dough into a rough rectangle (there is no need to be precise). Using a rolling pin, roll dough as thin as you can. Use a pizza wheel or long, sharp knife to cut noodles into 1/4-inch strips, then cut strips to desired length. Fill a medium saucepan with salted water, bring to a boil. Add half of noodles, return to boil, and boil for about 5 minutes. Strain. (Remaining, uncooked, noodles can be dried or frozen for later use.)
Add cooked noodles and shredded chicken to vegetables in large saucepan. Once chicken is heated through, the soup is ready to be served! We like ours with fresh homemade whole wheat bread!

Now, I'm a little nervous about sharing this even still. I already sent it to the editor so hopefully it tastes great...it's hard to figure out exact amounts when I never bother to measure. The last few times I made it I tried to make a mental note of the approximate measurements so let's hope I'm close! If you make it let me know how it turned out! I, in turn, will follow this very recipe the next time I make it. Even though I'm scared. (I'm my own worst critic, I know! I'm sure it's fine!)


ETA: The editor replied saying that they won't be posting this recipe in the article she was working on. They were looking for quick meals but she'll hold onto this in case she can use it in future food articles.
Omitting the cooked chicken, this is the same recipe I use for broth.

Feb 8, 2011

one for you, three for me

Because I always like to see what treasures other people find on their thrifting travels, I thought I would share mine! At one time, I would have walked right by every single one of these items but now, I am so excited about them and can't wait to start working playing with them!

Oh, I'm so sorry, I already removed the shoulder pads from the shirt on the right!

These shirts will be refashioned into something more attractive--the button-down shirt will lose that scarf. Something about that combination of crazy dots and matching solid color reminds me of a clown...

This wool skirt will lose some length and the sheet, well, I haven't quite decided what to do with that yet. I loved the print but I can't decide if I want to make curtains, a comforter, or a dress with it. I'm leaning towards a dress because I think the colors are a little different than what I want for my home. Of course, I should have material left over so maybe I'll make a throw pillow to try it out. We shall see!
I bought some of these with my Etsy shop in mind but I guess I'll wait until I'm finished with them before deciding whether or not to keep them for myself. Shoot, maybe this shop wasn't such a good idea after all...

Feb 7, 2011

Oh Yum!

I may have posted this before but Martha Stewart's Salted Caramel filled Chocolate Cupcakes are ridiculously good! I tried to find the original recipe on her website but I couldn't find it, here is where I found it. They are easy to make but very time consuming. I made the cupcakes the day before and then filled and frosted them the next day. Yum, yum, yum....I made them once about a year ago and they came to mind when I was trying to figure out what to make for the Super Bowl. I think mine turned out better the first time around. This time, I decided to try Ina Garten's caramel sauce recipe instead of the one included with the cupcake recipe. It was awesome but I didn't put enough caramel in each cupcake so they just weren't as good. I also didn't have any semi-sweet chocolate for the frosting and, of course, didn't realize it until it was too late. I ended up using Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting. I added extra milk to thin it so I could just dip the cupcakes rather than spreading the frosting. Except...I added too much milk so it ended up looking really sloppy. Oh dear. But really, if you follow all of the original recipes it turns out great! (Hey, I never claimed to know how to bake!) Also, the first time I used the right frosting recipe and it was thin enough (at first anyway) to dip the cupcakes and  they looked  really nice. I don't really get into fancy frosting because I'm horrible at it so this little trick is nice to know!

Feb 4, 2011

Just Something I Made

This week's project was pretty simple. Remember that skirt I found in my closet? As I've said many times before, I don't have enough dress clothes that I actually like so I got to work on that right away. The slit was too high so I made quick fix.

BTW, I love these hangers but I'm missing one--did I leave it at your house?

All I did was pleat a rectangle of cotton fabric and hand sew it behind the slit. In hindsight, I wish I would have used a heavier fabric so you could actually see the pleats, as it is they just kind of 'fell out.' Oh well, I like the pop of color either way! 

Sometimes, in old apartments you get lucky, I LOVE our metal closet doors.

Feb 3, 2011

Good Morning!!

I'm currently at the chiropractor getting my back fixed, or I might be at the thrift...you'll never know!
I have some news to share! I'm opening my own Etsy shop in the next few months! I am really looking forward to it but in the meantime, I need to get busy! I already posted this on facebook so if you're reading this for the second (or third if you are family) time then sorry! Or not, really, I'll tell you all about it anyways. I have plans, big plans...Buuut, before those big plans get set in motion, I need a name! I think I've mentioned before that I'm horrible with making up names. I've been brainstorming for the past few weeks but nothing is really jumping out at me. Feel free to give me your ideas, there are no guarantees that I'll use them but it might get my brain moving in the right direction!
I won't be adding anything else to Circle Boutique, everything I have in there right now will move over to my shop once it's opened. I plan to spend this month making all sorts of fun stuff to fill it up! That means I'll be busy, busy because there are plenty of other things going on as well. I got a babysitter for Adrian and registered for Lanni's workshop. I can't wait to see what it's all about, I'm supposed to be getting some more information in the mail. I plan to list mostly upcycled items in my shop so this workshop goes right along with that concept.
I had wanted to split off from Circle Boutique eventually and just decided to do it now. My sisters are pretty awesome about frequently listing new items and somehow, rather than pushing me to list more, I feel like I can get away with less because the shop is always filling up. Kind of backwards compared to how I thought it would be! So, I have the chance to change that. I have made designing and sewing more of a priority lately so I think this will be a good move!
I'll keep you posted!

Feb 1, 2011

My Kitchen

In the midst of making my pie pizza several days ago, I was struck by how much color I have in my kitchen. And color makes me happy. It's not a wonder why I love to cook so much! (And ew, yeah, I have carpet in my kitchen--the downfalls to living in a rented space!)