Friday, March 27, 2009

Sewing this and that ...

I love to sew.
My grandmother and my mother taught me to sew when I was a kid.
When I was younger my grandma used to make shorts, tops and dresses for me.
My mom was more of a Vogue seamstress.  She would make her own gorgeous, fashionable dresses.  I still have some of her patterns.  But they're like a size 2 or something insane like that.

In junior high I took Home Ec.  One semester of cooking and one semester of sewing.  Mrs. Meadows was our sewing teacher.  I loved her.  I think we were required to complete 3 projects.  I, of course, over-excelled and made about a dozen outfits!  I wish I would have kept some of the culottes I made way back then.
(my oldest daughter will have to look up culottes when she reads this;-)
Speaking of oldest daughter ... I made a lot of clothes for her when she was a baby and toddler.  Then along came my son and I just didn't find the time to sew much anymore.  I still made costumes for them at Halloween though.  The mermaid, pirate, medieval princess and the gallant knight were so cool!

Anyhow ... I just don't get to sew as much as I used to.  And I miss it.  But I've got my machine out now and I'm working on costumes for our drama production of The Secret Garden.  And of course it makes me want to start sewing cute outfits for my almost 4-year old now.  

I made a trip to the fabric store, just to get some elastic and thread mind you.  
But I got so incredibly side-tracked ... look out ... my heart started racing and my mind was spinning and I had to touch all the fabrics.  It made me very happy.

It makes me wonder why we tend to let go of things.  We all have hobbies and creative outlets that nourish our souls.  But why do we let them fall by the wayside?  I know life gets in the way, but there has to be a balance.
I'm still trying to find it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rainy day ... sort of ...

Yes, I'm still here.
Thank you to those who were wondering where I went and if things were OK.
I'm fine.
I've just been busy.
You know ... stuff ... sometimes it's a lot.

We're in the last few weeks of countdown to our drama production.  So that means I've been eating, breathing and dreaming costumes and set designs.

And speaking of eating ...
I decided to do this cleansing diet last week.
What was I thinking?
All I know is a week without coffee made me grumpy.
I'm glad to say, I'm back on track now.
Had a latte this morning and life is good!

Today is a weird mix of rain, sunshine, hail and wind.  A perfect day for staying indoors and catching up on things.  I have many blogging buddies to visit.  I've missed y'all.

Since I love to put photos in my posts, and I really don't have one that fits today, I'll leave you with a video.  My son is studying the American Revolution.  I immediately thought of "The Shot Heard 'Round the World".  So I looked up the old Schoolhouse Rock videos.  Remember those?  For some reason my kids didn't think they were as cool as I did when I was their age.  Go figure.

Hope everyone has a great week ahead.  I hope it doesn't take me another week to post on my blog.  But it might.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Soup's On!

After a stressful week, my soul craves some good ol' comfort food.
Have I ever shared my 4 Cheese Mac and Cheese recipe?
I'll have to do that.
You'll need to prepare yourself though.
I'd start running marathons now, just to balance out the calories you'll consume.

In the meantime ...
my almost 4-year old has prepared an ultra-healthy, yet incredibly soul-warming soup to share with everyone.

She says it's called ...
Veggie Soup!
Clever, eh?

She has agreed to let me post the recipe ...
in her own words.

First, you get a pot.
Not that one, the other one.
Then you open the fridge.
Pick out some veggies.
Not the yucky ones.
You need to cut them.
On a cutting board.
But don't cut your finger.
Don't help me.  I can do it!
Put the purple one in the pot.
I like carrots.
What is that purple one called again?
Oh, eggplant is good.
Put the green one in there.
(The bell pepper?)
Yeah, it's not hot.
Mom, get Tonka out of here!
(Tonka's the dog, with her nose in everything)
I like tomatoes too.
Then you stir it.
You need a spoon.
Get a bowl.
You can sit down and eat it on your lap.
(What's that on top?)
That's a french fry on top.
Because it's for the top.
Now you eat it.

How yummy does that look?

The soup bowl comes from JC Penney's and is in the ever-popular High School Musical pattern.
There is even a matching tray.

You just can't have enough Troy Bolton dinnerware in your life, I say.

So get busy and make some Veggie Soup!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We did not need this ...

Someone broke into my car last night.
They tried to pry the back window hatch open.
Instead, they ended up busting out the entire window!
This is what we woke up to this morning.
Glass all over the place.
And much of it is fine powdery little shards.
All over the inside of the car and all over the driveway.
Guess what they stole out of the car?
A diaper bag.
That didn't even have diapers in it anymore.
I'm sure they were thinking it was a purse, with money.
Instead they got ...
a pack of baby wipes, a pair of size 4T Cinderella panties and a cute little pink tee and shorts set (also size 4T), 3 tampons, a mini-first aid kit, my favorite lip gloss, a pair of nail clippers, and a box of Altoids.
I hope they're happy.

Here's what we get ...
damage that will cost $925 to repair.
We do not have $925.  I don't know what we're going to do.  But I have to have a car.  So we'll find a way.

I sincerely hope that whoever did this finds their way to a much better path than they're on now. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Blossoms ...

Last week we visited my folks out in the country.
All of the peach and nectarine trees are in bloom.
I love wandering through the orchard.
This is my favorite time of the year.

Look at these gorgeous trees ...
look at those amazing clouds ...

I found several very busy workers.
They were doing such an important job.  
I just stood and watched.
They didn't seem to mind and one of them let me take a close up photo.
I think about how year after year I see the happenings of spring.
I see the trees blossom.
I see the bees working faithfully.

And year after year I am still amazed by the awesomeness and beauty of God's creation.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today we celebrated my Mom's 75th birthday!

Happy Birthday Mom ...
We love you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oh Yes You Can!

There are tons of slow cooker chicken recipes out there.
But did you know that you can just stick a chicken in the thing and turn it on?
I didn't.  I thought you had to add stuff.
But now I know ...

There is no recipe.
It's just a chicken in the pot.
With a little of Emeril's essence sprinkled on top.
No prep, no liquid, no extras, no fuss.
Just plug it in and turn it on for about 5 hours.
Then go clean out your closets.  Because you know you need to do that.  And then put all your junk out in the garage and refuse to acknowledge that you'll have to deal with it all again at some point if you ever want to park a car in there again.  Which will give you anxiety attacks.  And embarrass you when your son has friends over and they open the garage door to get the bikes and basketballs out and it's such a nice day that all your neighbors are outside and they can see your junky garage from every angle.
Sorry, I tend to over-share sometimes.
Anyhow ... the chicken ...
It's been doing its thing for several hours and is now done.
Just like an oven roasted chicken.
It came out fabulous!

You have to try this.
Unless you've known all along that you can do this.
In that case, well, never mind.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's Not Yucky!

My almost 4-year old LOVES smoothies.
I thought I would show you her favorite.

Looking at the ingredients you may think ...
But if you try it, I think you might be surprised.
You need:
Fish Oil


Oatmeal:  whole grain, good carbs, fiber

Spinach:  amazing source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, considered a superfood

Banana:  potassium and more, and it adds that sweetness essential to a smoothie

Blueberries:  antioxidants and more, also consider a superfood

Kefir:  an excellent source of protein and probiotics.  Similar to yogurt, but with more diverse colonies of probiotics.  Kefir is typically thinner than yogurt, which makes it perfect for smoothies.  
I just obtained some kefir grains so I can make my own using raw milk.
Double healthy score!
(warning: inserting opinionated preaching right here) ...
Whether you choose yogurt or kefir the key is to get it plain and unsweetened.  In my opinion, if you're trying to get probiotic benefits yet the product is full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, not only are you adding unwanted calories, you're negating your efforts by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut with the sugar.  So to answer your question ... yes, you should only consume plain, unsweetened yogurt or kefir.  What about artificial sweeteners?  Stay away from those too!  So many, many reasons why.  I could do a whole 'nuther post right there.  Don't think you like plain yogurt or kefir?  Well, in this smoothie you don't need it sweet.  But on it's own, if you have to have it sweet, stir a little fresh fruit or honey in it.  If you must.  But give plain a try, it's really not so bad.  I promise!
(stepping off my soap box now to get back to smoothie making)

Cinnamon:  so many benefits are being found, and it just adds a nice flavor.

Fish Oil:  I know, here's where you go, eeew!  But it's just a teaspoonful and you can't even tell it's in there.  Don't go overboard though or it will taste peculiarly fishy.  It's a sneaky way of getting in your essential fatty acids.  Google it if you want more info.  Again, I could do an entire post on fish oil.  Maybe I will.  Later.

Do you have a Magic Bullet?
You should.
Or you can use a blender.
I LOVE my Magic Bullet.

Start by finely grinding the oatmeal ...
It will be nice and powdery.

Then add all the other ingredients.
Cram as much as you can in there.

Give it a good whirl.
Thanks to the blueberries and the spinach it will turn this nice greenish, purply color.  It does taste better than the color looks.  But my almost 4-year old thinks the green color is cool.  It's like magic when it starts blending and the color emerges.

The beauty of smoothies is that you can customize it and add, or not add, whatever you choose.  But I think that this particular smoothie shows that you can add a few odd things, like oatmeal, spinach and fish oil, get some great health benefits, and it still tastes good.  

So go ahead, sneak some healthy stuff in your next smoothie.

See?  It's not yucky at all!