Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sew Flakes: Fat Quarter Feast!

Love Kaffe Fasset fabric?

I do, I do...the colors and prints are absolutely wonderful
...wild, big, beautiful.

SewFlakes is having a fat quarter head on over to's free, easy and it includes fabric...what else could you want?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Spy....

Once again I am head gardener while the hubby's out of town for work...

Once again I am responsible to water all the tomato and vegetable plants in the gardens he planted a few weeks back...the weather here has been so perfect that our tomato plants are almost three feet tall!

The strawberries are a new addition...just added last week.

And I go outside this morning to water everything, and what do I see?

A strawberry that's just waiting to be consumed by little ol' me....

And I'm not going to share...

As head gardener, I should get a few perks...don't you think?

PS: please disregard the dead leaf behind the strawberry...I'm new at this picture thing...LOL

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Snoopy Dancing!

Snoopy dancing going on here!!!!


Oops...not very polite is it?...but I WON THIS LONGABERGER SET:

And I'm Snoopy Dancing all around my to join in?

A big thank you to Ms. Rachel and Ms. Maria for sharing with me!!!! Can't you just see the Apple Pie CheeseCake on the cake pedastal at Christmas?  I can!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Daughter Cooks

I confess....I have quite a number of cookbooks.

Don't you dare ask how many...but I have quite a few.

And my daughter loves to pull out one of them to make us dinner while she's at home from Purdue on break.

She's a visual the more pictures the cookbook has it in, the more likely she'll understand what to do.

She decided to cook Beef Wellington from Jamie's Food Revolution. Great instructions, great you should have in your kitchen library.

The book showed the prepared Beef Wellington in the oven on a plastic cutting board (at least that's what it looked like to her).

This is what my oven looked like once the Beef Wellington was done:

Cost of new oven: around $700
Cost of new cutting board: around $10
Story: priceless...and one my daughter will never live down!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Week...

Falling down is a part of LIFE, getting back up is LIVING, and eating cupcakes and chocolate is PURE BLISS.

What I've Learned
Never, ever go to the Post Office on tax deadline day!

- Read The Cadillac Lawyer
- Applied for six positions...not many, but there's just not a market out there right now.
- Received first unemployment check.
- Did many loads of laundry.
- Took Silas and Sophie for breakfast.
- Worked on my Postage Stamp fact, it's all over the dining table.
- Went shopping for Easter Basket stuff.
- Stocked up the house with food and supplies.
- Handled contractor calls.
- Manicure/pedicure...OPI The It Color...color doesn't work on hands, but feet are cute...marigold yellow with black dots...reminds me of a bumble bee.

Next Week
- Jay airport service - Napa
- Polish change...I just can't handle this yellow on my nails
- Send in round #2 of unemployment paperwork
- Actually mail Easter Baskets...yes, I know they're late...but late is better than never.
- Work on finding a job.
- Work on postage stamp quilt.
- Handle contractor calls.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

I read the Pioneer Woman's blog...and laugh a lot.

Love the dogs...especially Charlie.

I enter her giveaways...the last one was for All-Clad...boy, I sure could have used those pans.

I read her recipes...and discovered Sour Cream Noodle Bake.  It seemed easy enough and thought I might give it a go as it was a yucky ucky cloudy day outside, all gray and gloomy...perfect comfort food.

However, her recipes seem to be missing one major ingredient that is definitely important in our household...GARLIC!  So I had to mess with the recipe a bit...and it was fabulous!

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman's original recipe

1-¼ pound Ground Chuck
(note: I had some ground turkey in the house, so I actually used half groud chuck and half ground turkey)

1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce

½ teaspoons Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

8 ounces, wide Egg Noodles

1/2 cups Sour Cream

1-¼ cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese

½ cups Sliced Green Onions

1 teaspoon Garlic/Cheese spice (added from original recipe - add more if you love garlic)

1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Step #1
After you've turned on your oven to heat to 350 degrees, pull out the big pasta pan, fill with water and turn on your burner so it will get hot and boil.

Step #2
Brown your ground meat.  Add tomato sauce and black pepper to taste, simmering until hot.

Step #3
Your water should be at the boiling stage...go ahead and add in those egg noodles and cook until done.

Step #4
Drain noodles and toss into a bowl.  Add in sour cream, cottage cheese, green onions, and your GARLIC/cheese spice...mix to combine.

Step #5
Bring out your baking dish...spray with non-stick coating, as the pan will be easier to clean.  Layer half the noodles, the meat mixutre, the other half the noodles, topping off with the shredded cheese.

Step #6
Slide that puppy into your oven and cook until the cheese is ooey-gooey all over the top of that casserole. Remove from oven...and enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Candy - Old School Style

If you haven't noticed, I love chocolate...really, really love chocolate.  And if you tell me I shouldn't eat it, I'll tell you it's part of the four major food groups and you should have four servings daily...cocoa bean = bean = vegatables...get it? DUH!

Earlier this week I was reminded of the candy we ate when we were kids...LemonHeads, JuJuBees, TootsiePops...pure sugar goodness that simply is not around as much as it should be..but this week, the week before Easter when you need to get goodies for those baskets, it is out in full fource.

Do I enjoy them? Absolutely!

Do I want some? Absolutely!

Will I open up these boxes to enjoy? Probably not, as I need to put them in Easter baskets to send to Annissa and her sorority sisters by Tuesday next.

Will it replace my favorite chocolate? NEVER!

For me these candies represent the memories of life being simpler...and friends out riding their bikes....and sharing these candies...just being....that's what these candies are for...remembering.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stitched...a Documentary

I've become very bored with normal seems to be a lot of "blah".

So when I heard about a "quilting" movie on Facebook, I took notice..and ordered it...STITCHED (the film).

A documentary of three quilters trying to get their entries completed for quilt shows...and not a little quilt show...Houston! Initially I was put off as the subjects selected were definitely "art" quilters, which I'm not, but I sat mesmerized throughout the entire film.

I laughed when I saw Quilt Man...I cried understanding how it felt to pour yourself into a quilt and not have it even accepted to a show....I cheered as a quilt deserving to win an award didn't and then was voted Best of Show.

Overall: if you're a quilter, you'll love the film. 

p.s.: Get your spouse to watch the movie...they might understand the quilting world once they watch this.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Week...

“Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.” – Hugh Miller

What I've Learned
Silas can burp louder than any person in our family, even Annissa.

What I've Accomplished
  • Airport service for Jay
  • Completed all paperwork for EDD and posted.
  • Started process to move all retirement funds to the 401K rollover account.
  • Updated resume; posted to Monster, CalJobs, and LinkedIn.
  • Loads of come we have so much?
  • Kept the house in reasonable I don't live in a model home, it doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Watered all plants in Jay's garden during the past week while he's been off to Chile.
  • Put away all Christmas stuff...that's just because Easter is rolling around.
  • Took Sophie and Silas to McDonalds for breakfast every morning...they like to hang their heads out the window while I drive...Pheobe doesn't like to go.
  • Talked to Annissa twice this week...told her she was an amazing woman and I was proud of I am!
  • Read "Mildred Pierce"...the original version.
  • Worked on my Postage Stamp quilt...Step #3 underway!
  • Dropped off treats for Kaitlyn and Kris..wondering if April did the Peeps s'mores yet?
  • Called my mom...except she hasn't called back...maybe I should call her again.
  • Worked on Jay's business card file while he's been gone...remember the "5" on his computer sticks.
Next week
  • Airport service for Jay - he's in Napa this time.
  • Return paperwork on separation...maybe...still thinking about that one.
  • Unpack all boxes delivered from work.
  • Think about what I want to do jobwise...maybe I don't need to go back into the same field again?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Temporary Head Gardener

Jay's out of town this week, enjoying the sun, sights and food of Chile for work...yes, I know, he has a hard life, doesn't he?

He planted around fourty (40) plants in the past two weeks...mostly heirloom tomatoes along with squash (Annissa's pick), hot peppers, herbs, lettuce and onions...yes, you heard right...FOURTY.

He asked me to take care of his plants while he was gone...water them.

Each plant must be watered each day if the tempurature goes over 70 degrees or, at a minimum, every other day.

Watering includes using the "raindrop" setting on the hosehead and holding it about the plant for a minimum of three (3) cheating by using the spray method.

And one might ask what I get out of this deal?  My roses....

Fabric Giveaway!

Most of the time the best things in life are free...the smell of fresh cut grass, a video from a friend of her kids or just plain ol' talking with your friends....however, I must qualify that statement as chocolate, cupcakes and fabric are normally not free, and you simply must have those in your life in my book!

But some times they are! Rachel at p.s. i quilt is sponosring a fabric giveaway with FIVE (5) chances to win..did you read FIVE correctly?

Now go scoot yourself over to Rachel's blog and enter!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Postage Stamp Quilt Along Continued

I joined up for the Postage Stamp Quilt Along a few months ago...and, of course, I didn't finish on time. However, I am determined not to let this become a WIP (Work in Progress) staying on my shelf forever and ever, finally hiding in the big black cabinet so I can't feel guilty about not finished it. I keep on telling myself it can't be enjoyed, it's warmth and friendship appreciated and loved if it's not here I am, determined to finish, no matter how many weeks behind I am and the fact that the quilt along is long finished....

So to continue:

Step 2: LegWork
To remember, I had started Step #2, finishing the first set of strip sets.  However, as I didn't properly read the directions (I know, I know), I was short a few strips to complete the second set of strips.  They arrived a few weeks back, but life's been busy. 
Due to my recent "separation" from my place of employment, I have plenty of time on my hands lately.  I've taken the past week just to de-stress and try to figure out what I want to do...what makes me happy.  One of the things I figured out is that I need to go back to quilting....I miss the fabrics, I miss the colors, I miss the friendship, and I miss the feeling of sharing a completed quillt with someone who will give it a good home.
I started yesterday..not that much, but I did finish the second set of strips:

I still love the colors...bright and happy...that's what I need right now. 

Step #2: Legwork is complete! YEAH!

Step #3: Patchwork
Rachel's directions tell you to take all those little stripsets you created in Step #2 and cut them into
2-1/2" strips...ok, easy peasy as she say, but my head is screaming, "you wanted me to sew all those things together and now we're supposed to cut them up? What ever are you thinking woman?"
I have to trust Rachel, I have to trust Rachel, I have to trust Rachel...Rachel told me she had my back and it would be easy peasy...I have to trust Rachel.
So I cut all of those beautifully pieced stripsets into 2-1/2" segments as directed:
Rachel's next instructions: sew all these lovely little 2-1/2 segments you justs created into blocks, alternating stripset #1 and #2...FOURTY-EIGHT BLOCKS in total...making those blocks until the cows come home.

Rachel, did you know the cows were behind the house yesterday? Hopefully the dogs told them to stay away for a few more days so I have plenty of time to get these done...but wait, Jay's in Chile for the week and I've been separated from employment.  I can do whatever I want to do as long as he has a house to come home to with fresh sheets and dogs that are in good health.  I should have plenty of time to get these done in the upcoming days.

So now I'm sitting with two bags of stripsets in front of me with my little bin of applique pins so I can pin the seams together correctly before sewing them together...and I may or may not be watching the Real Housewives of Orange County while doing so...

PS: if you want to join in on the fun with me...or just want a great's the link to Rachel's blog:  Take a monent to look around, enjoying her quilts and great recipes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's a Cupcake Day!

Cupcakes from SusieCakes...I'm in heaven.

And I have been soooo good for the past two cakes, no pie, no cupcakes.  And yes, I've had chocolate...chocolate qualifies as a vegetable, don't you know that?

I had to drop Jay off at the airport this afternoon for his trip to Chile..and took the opportunity to swing by SusieCakes in Newport Beach.

Pineapple Upside Down cupcake with Brown Sugar ButterCream...their monthly special.

And it is now sitting on my counter waiting to be consumed...but I've promised myself I'll go downstairs and sew the last two remaining stripsets for the Postage Stamp Quilt-Along first.

I'm thinking I'd better get I can enjoy that cupcake before Silas countersurfs and finds it.

PS: If you want to go to SusieCakes, just text me...I'll be glad to show you where it's at.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Homemade Meatball Sandwiches


Step 1: Open the bag of diced onions from Trader Joe's. Layer the onions in the bottom of your crockpot (about two cups).

Step 2: Open the bag of sliced brown mushrooms from Trader Joe's.  Layer the mushrooms over the onions in the crockpot (about two cups).

Step 3: Open two bags of Turkey Meatballs from Trader Joe's.  Layer the meatballs over the mushrooms.

Step 4: Open the jar of Organic Marinara Sauce from Trader Joe's.  Pour sauce over the ingredients contained within the crockpot.

Step 5: Open the jar of Organic Chunky Marinara Sauce from Trader Joe's Pour sauce over the ingredients contained within the crockpot.

Step 6: Put lid on crockpot.  Cook on high for one (1) hour.  Cook on low for four (4) hours.

Step 7: Open the bag of French Rolls from Trader Joe's.  Remove one (1) roll per sandwich needed. Cut rolls lengthwise, but not all the way through.

Step 8: Add four (4) meatballs per sandwich, remembering to add lots of sauce as you go along.

Step 9: Open the bag of Organic Shredded Mozerella Cheese.  Place one large handful on top of each sandwich.

Step 10: Broil for five (5) minutes.

Remember to serve with plenty of napkins...these are one messy sandwich.

PS: I hope I shall never move somewhere that doesn't have a Trader Joe's closeby.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

His Cast Iron Frying Pan

My husband remembers his Mom’s cast iron pan, how it looked like glass and never stuck. Needless to say, we had to get one a few years back.
He has seasoned it properly…many times.

He has coached me on how to use it properly…oil or grease is usually not necessary.
He has told me how I should never, never use soap and water to clean it…just wiping it out with a paper towel is sufficient.
It’s main storage place is in our oven, as we simply don’t have the storage space elsewhere for it.
We’ve had it for years…it always lives in our oven.
So how come I forgot it lives there today, tried to remove it once the oven was head to 450 degrees so I could put the garlic chicken there, and received a three-inch burn down the side of my hand as a result?

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Main Entry: sep·a·ra·tion
Pronunciation: "se-p&-'rA-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : cessation of cohabitation between a married couple by mutual agreement with intent that it be permanent; also : LEGAL SEPARATION —compare DIVORCE
NOTE: In some cases in which the estrangement is extreme, a separation is considered to have occurred even when the couple retain the same residence if they have stopped communicating and engaging in sexual relations and intend to be separated.
2 : termination of a contractual relationship (as employment or military service)

Friday, April 2nd will be a day I probably will not forget.

According to Webster's Law Dictionary, I have a separation from employment...their choice...complete with a separation packet and compensation providing I comply with several terms listed in their Agreement of Separation.

I am no stranger to has happened twice before in my career.

I knew it was coming...I even predicted it to two of my co-workers that morning. No one believed me.

And happened.

You would have been proud of me...I remained calm during the process...even when asked to leave the premises immediately.

I have been struggling with this all weekend...why is it so personal?

But then I have to think again...all things happen for a reason.  Twice before it had positive results.

Perhaps this will have positive results...I have to hope.