Feb is Good


I’m not sure what happened to January, but one good thing about it almost being February is that it’s my month for the Twelve Square quilting bee!!! Squeal!!!!


These little stacks will be making their way to the other Twelve Square Bee-ers very soon, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what becomes of them.

I tried not to overthink the fabric choices, as I love doing. I walked through the enormity of fabric depot, took deep breaths and waited for the right fabric to yell out “I’m The One!!”

Well, there were many waves and whistles and downright brazen displays of fabric-y goodness, but in the end I went with this simple amy butler print combined with a pretty robin egg’s blue solid. Props to me for not going pattern crazy, as I also love doing, and for not having a meltdown in the middle of FD [patting myself on the shoulder]. I added a graphic-y green, a plum-y floral and thrifted pinky-plum solid from my stash as well as those vintage pink florals. I think those little pinks would look cute nestled inside log cabins, but haven't decided if I want to theme it out yet... hmm...

Feb is good for other reasons too: one month closer to spring, the kids’ Bdays, my Bday and a new edition of Blue Yonder’s Book of Days, which we’re enjoying immensely! (more on that soon!)

Happy weekend, all!!!


for the love of craft books


I’m a craft book junky. I blame it mostly on blog chatter but Powell’s cleverness of displaying the newest, most must-have-est craft books of the season right at their entrance gets me every time. So much potential behind those beckoning, high-gloss covers. So, so much cute stuff waiting to be made and given and had.

But alas, I confess…I’ve never completed one single project from my repository of craft books. Not one. I’ve gleaned ideas and earmarked and added many a project to many a list but have never actually sat down and followed a project from page to page.


Shamey, I know. Because if I devoted the ginormous amount of time and love and patience that quite obviously goes into writing a craft book, I’d be pretty pissed (or hurt or bewildered) if the purchaser did not take the time to sew one stinkin thing out of it.

So…sew I shall! Once a month, in fact, out of my very own collection of craft books. Mostly ones I already own but I’m saving a few slots for some books that are due out this year (and that I’m already giddy with excitement to get my crafty little hands upon) OR that may be unearthed and rediscovered once we get our stuff out of storage. It’s all about justification here, people.


Since January is more than halfway done I picked an easy-ish one to start off with: Heidi the Headband from Bend the Rules Sewing. It’s little, I know…but it’ll get my rusty, atrophied sewing muscles warmed up for some bigger tackles.

Headbands are most difficult to photograph, especially when sitting atop the head of the photo-grapher. I will try it again with a more willing subject, as I have a second one underway for Esme. So just trust me that it’s adorable and easy and if you have this book…go sew a headband (or ten) and see for yourself. Like now!


Go!!!! (and, please join me in my crafty adventure if you’d like!)


piecing it all together


I've been quiet, I know. Nothing's seemed very blog-worthy lately unless you count Holden's newest realization that he can smell differently from each nostril...he's binostrilous, we decided.

My super-smeller turns 5 next month which means we need to decide which schooling path we want to follow...public, private, home? And within each of those, which is the right choice for us? Too many options, I'm overwhelmed. It's especially frustrating because I feel like we've already made the decision in our minds to homeschool, but we keep revisiting, reevaluating and revising our plan once new information arises. I don't do well with decisions, but I do even worse with indecision.


And of course, my brain is too consumed with indecision to create. It's one-tracked, I suppose, at least for now. I did manage to get one thing done, though...


This is my latest installment for Twelve Square. It's for Leslie, who I've enjoyed getting to know via her very cool blog. I loved her fabric choices: so bright and cheerful. I can almost taste the rainbow sherbet-y color scheme and only added that one tiny bit of gingham because I was tickled that it matched all her fabrics.

I enjoyed this project. I kept in mind what I wanted the finished product to look like, cut the individual pieces and let them fall as they may into their places. I wish all my decision making could be that easy!


Soup Swapping


It's definitely soup weather around here, so I'm excited to participate in Jessica's soup swap again.

This is one of our favorite tummy-warming soups from the Martha Stewart website. I don't have a pic, so check out the website for visuals. And I can attest to the fact that this soup really is as pretty as pictured, even without the matching edamame-colored napkins (she's so perfect!)

Edamame Corn Chowder
(I stay pretty true to the recipe except for a couple of small tweaks, italicized here)

:: 3 slices bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (I use pepper bacon from the meat counter for extra bacon yum factor)
:: 1 medium onion, chopped
:: 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (I use homemade stock if I have it or better than bouillon)
:: 1 red potato (6 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
:: 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (I make a bouquet garni with whatever herbs I have laying around + a few peppercorns)
:: 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
:: 1 can (15 ounces) creamed corn
:: 1/2 cup half-and-half
:: Coarse salt and ground pepper

1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

2. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broth, potato, and Italian seasoning. Simmer until potato is just tender, about 8 minutes.

3. Stir in edamame, creamed corn, and half-and-half; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until edamame are tender, about 8 minutes. Serve chowder sprinkled with crumbled bacon.

Join in and/or visit some other soup sharing blogs here, and have a happy, warm-tummied day!


pre-day ramblings

It's 2:30am and I can't sleep. I suppose folding the mountain of laundry that's glaring at me from the corner would bore my restless brains back to sleep, but instead I think I'll blog about my dinner. Ahh, brussell sprouts...


I tried out this recipe from 101 cookbooks the other night, and swooned. It's fairly fast and easy but must be served still steaming hot otherwise the potatoes get weird and the bru spros get chewy (hence, it was made after the kiddums were in sleepy-lands). I omitted the mint sauce, added goat cheese and used pre-bought, pre-cooked beluga lentils from trader joes (the same ones atop these little vehicles of yum). Oh and fresh, high quality ingredients made a big difference, even down to the salt.


Speaking of salt... That cute little blue labeled bottle came from this amazing store on a recent rare afternoon outing sans childrens. The Meadow specializes in chocolate, wine, flowers and finishing salts, a place I'd love to be accidentally locked in overnight to really understand the difference between the contents of all these pretty, pretty bottles (because I admit, my palate is not sophisticated enough to discern all the lovely tastes that these salts supposedly boast).


And don't even get me started on the wall of chocolate. oh my.


And now, I've bored myself with this, my first food-related post of '09 and calmed my mind perusing this lovely new endeavor to attempt sleep.





I meant to stop by sooner and wish everyone health and happiness in the new year but the gods of internet connections had other plans. So please accept a belated happy new year wish from me and many, many thanks for stopping by my blog this year and being such a swell bunch of online pals!


So…the new year. We don’t make resolutions around here because that word scares me, but we do make goals for the year. A nosy inquisitive grocery store clerk asked the difference and all I could come up with was – a goal is a gentle, more forgiving resolution…something to work toward rather than feel guilty about breaking come February (for me, at least). She wasn’t convinced and I wanted to scream, “just let me have my goals miss grocery store lady and leave me alone.” But, I didn’t do that because atop my list is “be more patient and kind” (stolen from last year’s list…and the year before…ahem).


Following "be patient" are all the usual suspects: drink more water, lose 10 lbs, think up more creative bowling names, learn to knit, blah blah blah. But here are some other, fun-ish ones that I’m excited about:

:: Wake up 1 hour before kids get up [ok, it’s not fun but it’s a follow-up item to last year’s “No TV.” I’m not a sadist, just need more me time. And I’ve already blown this one by sleeping until noon on New Year’s day]

:: Make our own soap

:: Improve photography skills

:: Homeschool for 1 year, then re-evaluate

:: Less big box store shopping [we’ve already cut this down a ton but “No big box store shopping” sounded unrealistic as I couldn’t come up with a viable solution for buying our socks & underpants. But avoiding the cutesy woodland creature decorations at Target? That I can do]

:: Take kids yurting

:: Do more canning/bulk buying/freezing/preserving

:: Write down usernames/passwords [OK this one is lame but I’m embarrassed to admit how much time I spend trying to remember this tedious but vital-to-my-blog-existence information when I’m automatically logged out of bloglines]

:: Eat 100% local produce throughout farmer’s market season (and anything else we can eat local without driving ourselves batty)

But first and foremost: to have a happy, healthy, and productive year and I wish you all the same!