Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

It's that dreaded time of year where I spend many hours chained to my sewing machine turning out Halloween costumes that take hours to produce but will be worn for a brief time and then tossed aside without a backwards glance. Today I will try and finish O.'s costume and plan to get started on E.'s soon. I know it seems early, but I'm such a procrastinator that if I don't commit to working on it now and put it out there for all to see I will find myself up all night on the 30th of October trying to finish them. I still have to figure out what M. wants to be. Knowing him he'd probably just as soon stay home and hand out candy. So, that's it...I'll be doing nothing but sewing, sewing, sewing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where's my high?

So I started running about 5 weeks ago with the help of the nifty Couch to 5K running app on my iphone (love it!) and I have yet to experience that fabled "runner's high". Instead I spend the entire time thinking "I'm going to vomit!". I'm so not a runner. The only payoff I've gotten is that when I remember to wear my heart rate monitor I can see how many calories I've burned during my half hour of agony; and as I'm dying the entire time with my heart ready to leap out of my chest, it's a lot. I'm serious, where is my freakin' runners high? I mean how long, how far and how fast do I have to run to get it? I really admire those people who say cheerfully, I run 5 miles a day. I don't know if I'll ever be one of those people. I'm up to running just under 2 miles and I have to psychic myself up days in advance of my proposed run. It's really pathetic. So, I ask if you've seen my runner's high, that you send it my way. Fast!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's Meal

I love to share great recipes that have been shared with me. This recipe comes from a coworker. What I really like about her recipe is that unlike a lot of fruit breads it's not super sweet, yet is still moist and delicious. A perfect blend.

Rose's Rockin'Banana Bread (makes 2 loaves)

5 very ripe bananas
1 1/2 cup butter
3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Puree bananas. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture and mix until well blended. Add the banana puree to your mixture. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour to your banana mixture, Then add baking powder, spices and the vanilla. Mix until well blended. Add the remaining flour and mix well. Add raisin now if desired. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pans. Bake in oven for approximately 50 mins ( a fork inserted in the middle should come out clean). Let stand for approximately 15 mins. then remove from pans. Cool completely, store in airtight container for storage.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

The big paper chase. Ugh...mail! Even though I do most of our bill paying and banking online we still have an insane amount of mail that comes in. I have to admit I'm very bad about just letting it pile up until it starts to bother me. Well, it's bothering me so I will be shredding it today. Fun times!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And the winner is....

Gosh, doing a giveaway has been so much fun! The old adage that it's better to give than to receive really is true. I've gotten great comments on my blog and by email. I already have my next giveaway planned so be sure to check back on the blog from time to time so you don't miss out. Alright, enough blah blah blah, let's get to the good stuff, the winner is.

True Random Number Generator Result: 2 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Congratulation! According to my list it's Shea. Shea if you want to email me your contact info I will pop this into the mail to you. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Meal

You know my family's love of all things Italian. Well, I love anything that combines Italian to form a hearty casserole. This dish is quick and easy, plus it's freezer friendly.

Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 lb of Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg. of frozen chopped spinach, well drained
1 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
2 cups of shredded mild cheddar
1 cup of ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to the taste
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg, optional
20 jumbo shells, cooked and drained


1 (29oz)tomato sauce
1 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tsp of Italian season blend
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of oregano
salt and pepper to the taste

Prepare a 13 X 9 inch casserole by greasing it, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Brown sausage and onion in skillet. Drain and then transfer to large bowl. Stir in spinach, cream cheese and egg. Add one cup of the mozzarella cheddar, cheddar cheese. Add ricotta, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg (if desired); mix well. Stuff shells and arrange in your prepared casserole. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Spoon over the shells. Cover the casserole and bake in oven for 40 minutes. Uncover; cover with the remaining mozzarella. Return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with a salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Very first giveaway!

I'm so excited! I thought and thought...what do I like to make? What can I give away? Then it came to me. I love to make bags. So for my first give away I will give away a bag. Nothing fancy, just something useful with fun fabric. Something you could use to run to the library or the farmer's market. You know an all around bag. So, that's what I'm going to call it. The fat dollar all around bag, fat dollar because it's basically made from 4 fat quarters...get it? It's quite generously sized as you can tell from my modeled photo (thanks O.) and when I say you could go to the market with, I mean you can go to the market with it. There's no pattern to it. I just cut up some fat quarters, made a square bottom bag, lined it, put some pockets on the inside and did some cute knotted handles to give it a bit of zing. Can't remember where the fabric came from, although I think the dots came from the Patsy Aiken's outlet. Post a comment to enter or go crazy and subscribe to my blog. I'll pick a random winner on Tuesday. Good luck.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Small is beautiful

We believe stories are valuable, no matter how many people read them.
We believe following your passion is more important that watching your site
We believe in the handmade, the first try, the small start, and the good
We believe that small is beautiful.

I think that's so profound. The small is beautiful manifesto is something I believe 100%. In our society we're encouraged to be competitive, to strive to be the best, to want more, bigger, better. But, by who's definition? I really enjoy blogging and I've tried hard to resist the compulsion to change my purpose for blogging. Sometimes it's easy to feel inadequate when you stumble across a blog that was started a year ago and is seeing huge traffic. Why them and not you, you might wonder. But, this blog is not about seeing huge traffic, or advertising or making it my life. This blog is about aspects of my life that I wanted to share, whether it's just one other person who visit, that's okay with me. I'm doing my thing and doing it my way. My life has been enriched immensely by the small things I've learned from blogging and the incredible people I've "met". Pass it on, small is beautiful!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Work on Wednesday

I've decided to spruce up my front door area. I've started by painting the front door a nice brownish red, I just need to put on one more coat for good measure and to paint the trim around the sidelights white. I wish I had the forethought to take a picture of the front door before I started, but use your imagination, it was white. I can't decide between my heavy ceramic welcome plaque or a fall wreath (which I'd need to make). I'm thinking of stenciling "Welcome" on the front door, but perhaps stickers would be better. I did find one of those tin buckety things that you can stick flowers and greenery in at the the thrift store. I think for now I'll use that and put some faux autumn greenery in there (JoAnn's is having a sale 70% off). I've got two metal urns that I spray painted black that just need some greenery in them. I purchased a new welcome mat from Tuesday Morning. I need to trim back the bushes a bit too (we're not very yardy around here). I'd love to get a wrought iron bench or something to put near the front door. It's kind of hard because we have a colonial front. I have some window boxes that I also purchased from the thrift store, but I can't figure out where to attach to the bay window in the front.
So, I'm working on that and hope to have a completed beautiful doorway to share with you soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hey, didn't I see that in a catalog?

I've recently been checking out a ton of home/diy blogs. While they are full of great ideas and talented folks. I'm having a bit of an issue with them. I can't seem to find anyone to relate to style wise. Where are the blogs from folks living in architecturally challenged tract homes in the burbs? Where are the homes and ideas from people who don't try and copy every page from the latest Pottery Barn, Ballard Design or Crate and Barrel catalog. I know these are uber popular and I think these bloggers are very talented. But, I am honestly just sick to death of that whole look and the endless sea of imitators. I keep hearing that Living Colour song "Cult of Personality" playing in my head. I mean is that what design is all about? Maybe I've been watching too much Project Runway and Design Star lately, but haven't I seen this all before? I struggle with this. A lot. I have a love hate relationship to some degree I suppose. I want to be inspired. I want style on a budget. I just don't want my place to look like your place or good forbid PB's place. When I got my first apartment I think I had a sort of contemporary style. Lots of glass; minimalism to some degree. Then I went through the requisite country modern and shabby chic phases. Forever and ever I thought my style was eclectic and perhaps it still is. But you know in my old age (lol!) I think I've become...gasp, a traditionalist. Okay, perhaps a new traditionalist. I like dark wood and clean lines, but I don't want to look like my room leaped off the pages of Pottery Barn. I mean it's fine for some, but it's just so...well, so you know Pottery Barn. I don't want a room that is matchy matchy. I want a room that is unified yet still unique. I like mixing pieces from different eras. I have a fondness for items from the 1960's and 70's. I love skinny exposed legs on furniture. But I also love color and comfort. I love thrift and rehabbing stuff. I don't like spending a lot of money on stuff. It just doesn't make sense to me when you have four young children and three of them are boys. Am I wrong to feel this way? Am I missing something by not waiting with baited breath for the newest Crate and Barrel or Ballard Design catalog to land in my mailbox? Don't get me wrong I know there's a place out there for that stuff. Perhaps it's my age beginning to show. I no longer need my style defined for me. Let's face it, I like what I like. I don't care anymore if Better Homes and Garden's ever comes knocking on my door to photograph my perfectly designed and decorated home. But, if I see one more linky loo that says "Ballard Design knock off..." I think I'm going to scream...loud! Can't it just be "cool rehabbed dresser by me"? Yet, I want to be inspired hence how I came across all the blogs. So where are they? Where are you suburban living free thinking decorating wannabees? Get to posting people, so you know...I can copy you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Meal

You know how I love a casserole. So here's a stick to your rib one. Enjoy!


1 1/2 lb. of ground beef
2 (8oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 green pepper, chopped finely
2 stalks of celery, chopped finely
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp vinegar
3 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 med onion, minced
1 (10 oz.) pkg of egg noodles, cooked according to package
1 cup of mild cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 X 13 casserole dish and set it aside. Brown ground beef. Add onions, celery, green pepper, salt and garlic powder. Add the soup, tomato sauce and vinegar to meat mixture, simmer for approximately 15 mins. In a small bowl mix the cream cheese and sour cream together, add it to the cooked sauce and blend well. Place your cooked noodles in the casserole dish and cover with your sauce mixture. Stir to be sure all the noodles are covered. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes are until cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

Alrighty, so last week I told you I was planning a kitchen reno. Well, so far I've gotten my craft paints and counter top samples to use for inspiration. Since our cabinets are white I opted for a lighter looking inspiration stone. Today I'm going to practice my technique and pattern on a piece of leftover luan. Having never done something like this I want to be sure it looks good before I slap it on my counters. I have not purchased the envirotex yet, but I've found it online at Amazon and overstock. I'm hoping I can find it at JoAnn's and use a coupon to get it. I have one that's 50% off so that would be great. I realize that this is going to be an involved process and will probably take me awhile to execute. I'll be sure to keep you posted on my progress and of course let you see pictures of my finished project.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday's Meal

This recipe was shared with my by one of my co-workers. She swears it's super easy and oh so delish. So, I thought I'd pass it on to you. If it doesn't live up to the praise, just blame it on Kellie, lol.

Marvelous meatloaves

1 lb of the ground meat of your choice (beef, turkey, pork or chicken all would work)
1 6 oz. pkg of stuffing mix
1 cup of water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pain with cooking spay and set aside. Mix the meat, stuffing, water and seasoning until well blended. Press into 12 muffin cups. Make an indentation in the center of each with a spoon or your thumb. Fill with barbecue sauce. Bake for 30 mins or until meatloaves are done. Top each with desired amount of cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until fully melted. Remove from oven and serve on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes along with a green salad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Work on it Wednesday

After Shea posted her budget saavy kitchen reno on Ravelry, I'm highly motivated. So, what am I doing today. Going shopping for the supplies for my own kitchen reno. Bye Bye boring white, hello granite! I need to flip through some magazines and head to Lowe's to get a sample to use as my inspiration. Then I will gather up all my coupons and head off to A.C. Moore and Micheal's for the craft paint. I have plenty of paint around here to use as my base coat so other than the craft pants, sea sponges and Envirotex I don't have anything I need to buy (Ok, so I need to buy a lot, but I'm still thinking that it should be under $100). Can I just say how much I love the internet. Always a great idea out there ready to be shared. I hope mine turns out half as good as Shea's.