Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Pictures

New Year's Eve Fun

The kids and I had a blast today! This morning we went with friends to the Phoenix Zoo'a Noon years eve party. The kids especially liked playing in the snow and throwing snowballs at each other. After nap time we went over to Heather's house for dinner. The kids enjoyed throwing confetti at "midnight" (8pm).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Crafting Day

I had some friends over today for a crafting day. I started out the day quilting on a (late) Christmas present for a friend. When I got the quilting done I decided to try out one of my Christmas presents. I got the Day and Night Elanor Burns quilt book from my parents this year. I have to say that this was a very easy pattern and the tablerunner went together really quickly. The only complaint that I have about this pattern is that it wastes ALOT of fabric. There are patterns for projects to be made out of the leftover bits, but even with those extra projects there is still quite a bit of waste.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I am sure that all of your houses probably look a bit like mine right now. Merry Christmas and have fun cleaning up after the wrapping paper tornado!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Too Sweet

The other night the kids asked if they could go to sleep together in Alex's bed. I was skeptical that they would actually sleep, but after a couple reminders to lay down and be quiet this is what I found. Too sweet!


After dinner tonight the kids were asking for something to do so I suggested that they play with play dough. They are playing with homemade play dough that I made using this recipe. I made this months ago and in between uses it lives in old cool whip containers in the fridge. This was a quick, easy and cheap recipe to make and has stayed fresh way longer than I thought it would.

Monday, November 30, 2009

American Girl has nothing on me

Remember this year's Birthday Dress? Well I found a great Red, White and Black plaid fabric when I was at quilt camp and decided to make her a Christmas dress in the same pattern. The dress is almost done I just have to go out and get some black piping for the front. Today I decided that Abbie needed a matching dress for one of her dolls. I drafted a pattern based on the one for Abbie and here is what I came up with. I am so happy with the way it came out. I am sure that more of these dresses will be made for both Abbie and her doll.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I just found Abbie like this, completely asleep. Silly girl!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Day Take 2, Part 3

Today I had several friends over for a sewing and craft day. It was great fun and I hope that we can do it again soon. This morning before everyone got here I put on a pot of White Chili and let it simmer all day. When it came time for dinner all I had to do was put out bowls and some cheese for everyone to grate on top of their soup. No pictures today since I was having too much fun sewing and hanging out with friends.

I think I am about ready to freeze what is left of the turkey so there might not be any more Turkey Day Take 2 posts. I've done pretty good at using up the leftovers though. All the mashed potatoes are gone, the broth is gone, the pumpkin cake is gone, and there is only a little cranberry sauce left and some stuffing.

White Chili

3 cans Great Northern Beans
4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (4oz) cans chopped mild green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (46oz) can chicken broth
12 oz shredded Montery Jack Cheese

Saute onions about 10 min, add garlic, chilies and spices, cook 2 more minutes, add undrained beans and broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and add chicken. Top individual servings with cheese.

Notes: I have used a 1# bag of dried beans instead of the canned. I soak them over night and then cook the chili all day on low in the crock pot. Today I used the last of the turkey broth instead of canned broth. If you want more heat you can add a finely minced jalapeno pepper.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day Take 2, Part 2

I have heard of potato pancakes for years, but have never made them or even tried them. Since I had leftover mashed potatoes I decided to try to make them. I searched the internet for recipes and found this one which I modified (don't I always?).

Loaded Mashed Potato Pancakes

approx 2 C mashed potatoes (I use cream cheese in my mashed potatoes)
1 egg
1/4 C flour
1/2 C shredded cheese (I used marble cheddar)
2 T chopped onions
5 slices bacon

Fry bacon in skillet, drain bacon on paper towels then chop or crumble into small pieces.
In bacon drippings saute onions until translucent.
Combine mashed potatoes, egg, flour, cheese, cooked onions and bacon and mix until combined.
Using large scoop scoop out potato mix and flatten with wet hands (about 1/4" or so thick).
Fry in bacon drippings until brown and crispy on both sides, drain on paper towels.
Serve with sour cream.

They might not look great but I assure you they were! They tasted like potato skins that you get in restaurants. The kids liked them too. Best of all the leftover mashed potatoes are now gone.

Turkey Day Take 2, Part 1

Yesterday I made sure to clean up as I went and that I had an empty dishwasher before dinner began. Even so I was left with a big mess this morning.

I know that the big dilemma from Turkey day is what to do with the leftovers. So to give you ideas (and to remind myself next year) I am going to post some recipes of what I am doing with the leftovers. First of all, last night I took all the turkey off the bird and threw the bones, skin, and the giblets that I had saved into my crock pot. I covered it all with water and let it cook all night. This morning I used tongs to pull out the bones and big pieces and then strained the broth into a large container that I put in the fridge.

This morning I made cranberry bread using leftover cranberry sauce. I modified the recipe from this one.

Cranberry Bread

1/2 C butter
1 C white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of 1 orange finely minced
2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 C plain yogurt
1 C Cranberry sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Grease and flour bread pan

2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla and orange zest. Combine four, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stir into creamed mixture alternately with the yogurt.

3. Pour 1/3 of batter into pan swirl 1/2 of the cranberry sauce into the batter. Repeat ending with the batter on top.

4. Bake 55 minutes, until golden brown.

After I finished making the bread I put a pot of turkey noodle soup on the stove to simmer. I used the broth I made this morning, I chopped up the leftover carrot and celery sticks and extra chopped onions that I cut when making the stuffing. I'll let the soup simmer all morning and I'll put the noodles in right before we are ready to eat.

Thomas Sholar's Chicken and Rice Soup
(or chicken noodle or turkey noodle)

1 1/2 C chopped cooked chicken
1 C chopped carrots
1 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped onion
2 T dried parsley
2 tsp chicken flavor base
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
10 C vegetable broth (I used the turkey broth I made this morning, I also don't add all 10 cups, I like mine with less liquid)
Salt to taste
3/4 C rice or 1 cup orecchiette pasta

Combine all ingredients, bring to boil, cover and simmer at least 45 minutes, add noodles or rice shortly before serving (go by package cooking times).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The kids and I are having dinner at my house with H and her family this year. The turkey is in the oven and the kitchen is clean. Just waiting 'til dinner time.

Here is a cranberry sauce recipe that I made this year:

Cranberry Sauce

1lb fresh cranberries
2 C sugar
1/2 C fresh OJ
1/2 C cranberry juice
Zest of 1 orange
1C dried cherries

Rinse, pick over cranberries and drain
Put all ingredients except cherries in a sauce pan on medium heat, boil until cranberries pop
Skim off any foam
Stir in cherries
Refigerate covered when cool

Make ahead, can freeze.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why I never get enough sleep

Because Queen size beds are not designed to sleep 3 across!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For Suzy

My friend Suzy was asking me for this recipe so I decided to post it here for all to enjoy. The ironic thing is that I have been thinking about this recipe a lot lately myself and just bought a jar of chili sauce at the store in anticipation of making this up soon.

Slow Cooker Meatballs (originally from Cooking Light)

1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup fresh parsley
2 T minced fresh onion
1/3 cup ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 T lemon juice
1 16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
1 12 ounce bottle chili sauce (it near the ketchup at the store)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; shape mixture into 30 meatballs.

Combine ketchup through chili sauce in an electric slow cooker; gently stir in meatballs. Cover with lid, cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours.

Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Free Burts Bees Sample

Go here for free samples of Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions. Just thought I'd share.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Disney Fun

Last year I got the crazy idea to go to Disneyland for my birthday this year. Monday that crazy idea came to be. We had a blast! We never waited more than 15 minutes for a ride and there were tons of characters out. Thanks Heather and Pam for going along with me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Birthday Dress in Action

Abbie loved her dress as much as I do. I am so glad that I took the time to make it for her.

Happy 3rd Birthday Abbie Cadabby!

I am so blessed to be your mom.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mission Impossible

For the last two years I have made a dress for Abbie to wear on her birthday (click here for the 2008 dress, and the 2007 dress). This year I have been very busy with school and have not been sewing much. I really wanted to make her a dress though so tonight I took on the mission of making a dress in one night. The fabric was from a lady at Nimble Thimbles that was clearing out her stash. When I saw it I knew it would make a darling dress, but I also knew that it needed to be rather simple so that I would actually be able to finish it before her birthday. The pattern is a free one from Oliver +S that I found on the internet, the ruffle hem was my idea. The dress took me under two hours to complete and I think that it looks great! I can't wait to see Abbie in it tomorrow.

Two Little Monkeys

Last Monday the kids and I had dinner at Heather's house. The kids had been playing noisily in the next room and all of the sudden it was quiet. Of course we went to investigate and found that both Paul and Abbie had climbed into his crib and were happily stickering themselves.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Some new pictures

The watermelon is the only thing that is still alive in my garden. I recently planted some new seeds so hopefully they will not get killed off by the heat.

Just a cute picture of the kids cuddling on the couch.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Growing up

In my house legos have slowly been replacing trains. This has been such a big transition for me because in my mind Legos are such a big kids toy. A couple weekends ago, at Alex's request, I pulled the trains out of his room and switched the train table top to the plain side. At school Alex recently moved into the pre-k classroom too. I can't beleive that in a little over a month I will have a 5 year old! Here is a shot right after I finished (it's not nearly as clean now).

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Cute idea

I just found this through another blog and I think it is a cute idea. It is a booklet and each day you write down five good things that happened that day. I often find myself focusing on the negative more than the positive and I think this could be a good reminder to focus more on the good things. Go check it out and print one out for yourself.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I sewed

I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow and it was requested that I make a sling. This evening I used some fabric from my stash and whipped one up. The pattern is here. I am a huge fan of slings and carried both of my kids everywhere in them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm a bad blogger

Between school, work and kids I have been a very bad blogger. I'll try to be better. If you really want to know what I am up to leave me a comment and I'll tell you how to find me on facebook.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Contest I'd like to win

I read Moda's blog which has a ton of cute projects. I particularly like today's post since I want to decorate my house in a country patriotic theme. The nicest thing about this patriotic pillow is that I have a chance to win it! I don't have much sewing time lately so it would be great to win. Here is a link to the contest. This pillow uses a new product from surperior threads called texture magic that I think would be fun to play with.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


What do you do when it's 2 am and you can't sleep? I am guessing it's not this!

Yes that is what you think it is. I couldn't sleep tonight and was thinking about work. I decided that I needed a cloth breast model for teaching but was not willing to spend $50+ of my own money for one. So I decided to make my own. This is a very rough first draft but I think I should be able to make a nice teaching model for work.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cool Bike

Every once in a while I think about all the exercise I would get if I just rode my bike to the grocery store and stuff. Then I step outside and remember that it is 100+ degrees here and I forget that idea. I think that if I won this contest though I would have to rethink my decision. So go check out their cool bikes.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Arizona Science Center is having a Lego exhibit and since I have a lego obsessed boy I decided we needed to go. Alex loved building Lego castles and launching the catapult while Abbie just wanted to play on the slide. The kids even got to dress up in Dragon costumes which they loved.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

National Doughnut Day

Friday was national Doughnut day and ever since I read this post last year I have wanted to do something fun with the kids. After picking up the kids I took them to Krispy Kreme for free doughnuts. The we ran by the craft store and picked up supplies to make felt doughnuts. The kids seemed to have a good time and it kept them entertained.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Dad's baptism

My dad got baptised a few weeks ago and I was lucky enough to be able to go with the kids. I love this shot of Alex. He is watching the older boys play in the pool after the baptism. You can just see the longing to be in there with the boys.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Abbie's 1st haircut

A few weeks ago Alex was on a boys only trip with his dad so I felt it was the perfect time for mom/daughter haircuts. Abbie just got a little trim and then Laurie was nice enough to style her hair too. I on the other hand got my hair chopped off and left a big pile on the floor.