~Weekending~

~Enjoying beautiful blue sky and really cold sunshine, winter storm advisory tomorrow!

~Just a touch of crochet.. can you tell what this is? I am not the best at crochet.

I started with this pattern and made a little chain and finished with a kind of   heart-y topper. I am going to use it as a bookmark. I wish I would have tucked in some lavender into the bottom heart. I have no idea how I did to the top, I just kept going until it kind of looked like a heart (to me).

~Cleaning, cleaning. Where does all that dust and whatnot come from?

~Organizing, organizing. My sewing area was so cluttered, I had to re-organize it. A cluttered space makes a cluttered mind. Not good.

~Laundering, laundering. So many things to launder.

~Listening to pandora. LOVE to listen to music while I work. So enjoyable.

~Hope your weekend was all that you needed it to be~

~Single Girl Shams~

 

 

 

I finished the Single Girl pillows! Yay! I love them.

LOVE them!

Not perfect though.. see the little pucker?? Darn it.

 

From a far, it’s all good though.  When I wash them it won’t be obvious at all. Got to love linen for the crinkle factor.

I particularly love the backs. I did not have enough linen to make the backs, however, I really do like the brown duck I used from my stash. It seems to match the couch perfectly. Now if I can just keep everyone off of it…. fat chance! Funny how one little new thing makes the kids want to lounge, the cats want to climb and bathe, and nap.  Funny indeed.

 

~What I am loving right now~

~I have had making shopping bags on my list FOREVER and a day. I love
this so much, I know I am going to do this for sure. I like the idea to of using the bags for gift wrap.

~ How cute is this??    Here is a cute little flower to go with the headband  Oh me. Seriously cute!

*so hard to get a good picture, trust me it is cuter in person then this. Plus I am having a bad hair day!!*

~ Then there is this.. how cute!   I think my feet need  a pair of these! My gir

ls do too!  

I am a little overwhelmed with the holidays being so close.. working.. eek. Just not a lot of time, but I think little projects are much more doable.

I always say I am starting in July, but I promise it just never happens. Every year it is the same thing. Sometimes I think I just do better when I am under pressure, yes, it is my own pressure, but you know what I mean… don’t you??

What are you into this year, are you working on anything special? Fast??? Would love some links!!  Especially for teacher’s!

~Goodness where does the time go??~

How can the weekend be over again?  It feels like the days are simply whizzing by. Like lightning really.

I am loving my library right now. LOVE!  Look at my new cookbooks I checked out last week!!

I have been really working hard on decreasing our packaged foods. We are down by a great deal. I am speaking of packaged prepared foods like: mac and cheese, frozen pizza’s, crackers, kid food, snack food, etc.  I am on the search for new and better recipes daily.

For example:

Pretzels. Yum!  Recipe from here at Maya Made.  They have been a big hit.  My one weakness is pretzels. It’s like crack and I can’t get off of them.

I’ve been making  Rosemary Crackers .  Each time I make them they get better and better.  The secret is to roll the dough just as thin as you can. Paper thin. These taste kind of  like Cheese It”s to me, but much, much better. It’s kind of like  love really.

What I have really been wanting to try is pasta. I tried a recipe a few months ago, and it turned out so bad. I mean like clumps of clay bad. Ugh. I was determined to try again. I  used the recipe from the Alice Water’s cookbook.  The Art of Simple Food.  Oh my, oh my, oh my gosh. I kind of felt like I died and went to heaven. I have no words to describe how good this pasta was. My dad would have been so proud. He always made fresh pasta and I remember he used a  pasta  machine.  I used me,  myself, and I to roll the dough out.  It worked  just fine. Here are a few of the steps..

It is hard to believe egg and flour make pasta, with just a little splash of water. That’s it.

Resting.

I can’t believe I am showing a picture of my kitchen.. oh me.

Just waiting to be cooked. Alice said that hand cut noodles are rustic and charming.  Ok, Alice, I agree.

A finished dish, sorry, so blurry!

Oh my, yum!!  Noodles with a splash of olive oil, butter, zucchini, mushrooms, lemon juice, and lemon basil (from my garden, yay!)

My toughest critic and  she really liked it!

I think I will buy this book.  It is a winner!!

 It seems all I do is spend my day in the kitchen. That is the one thing about changing the way you eat. Whole foods do take more time to prepare. It is well worth it not only for me,  but for my daughter as well. She is beginning to experience  joy in our kitchen, and the joy of creating.  She makes a little something to go with our evening meal. This is joyful time we spend together laughing and being silly.  

This is an added benefit I was not completely expecting, however, she imitates what I do and her creativity is fueled. I have really enjoyed our time together. Especially on the weekends. Her father is working and her big sister is as well. It is just us girls usually.

 I really want to read this book ,  I hope I can find it at my library.  I want to read this one too. I love Cookus Interuptus  their videos are hilarious..! 

Ok, so if you’ve made it this far– I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

~Sometimes old is new again~

 

I came across this post and it gave me pause. I want to be about less stuff.  I know I can do better.  I know I’ve mentioned that I shop thrift. Everything you need is out there to be had if you can spend the time looking for what you need. Also be patient, you might not find it today, but keep looking, it will always show up.  I am trying to reduce my plastic use and at the very least recycle all that I can.  Glass storage containers are number one on my list every time I peruse the 2nd hand shops. I can never get enough storage containers.

 

Sometimes it seems the more you try to do, the more you see you need to do.  But I know I can’t do it all in one day. I can’t just change a lifetime of old ways all in this day today. I have to incorporate change in a thoughtful, methodical way otherwise I will feel overwhelmed. I also think I run a risk of falling back into old ways.  Either for convenience or just whatever.  That is just how I am. 

I thought I would share a few new changes for me over the past few weeks.

1.  A clothesline!! Yay!  So happy to have this. I have not used my dryer since we hung this up.  My clothes and linens smell wonderful. They are a touch crispy, but I am ok with that.  I am using my line and a dryer rack  so between the two I can put out my whole load.  Things seem to dry fairly quickly and I don’t have a ton of sun out back.  I am not sure how this will do in the winter, but my husband says people did it all the time when he was growing up, so I suppose he is right.  Didn’t everyone have to do this back in the day?? Growing up I have never experienced this, but I am happy to share this with my children.

That brings up another point… my daughter is 7, you would think  I sent her to the moon or bought her a pony. She has had a ball with the outdoor laundry.  She is involved in hanging up and taking down. She goes out to check on it and switch it all around. She has entertained herself for hours. Wonderful.

2.  I am trying to not wash more dishes by hand. I found the best dish drain rack at the Mid South Outlet, my favorite thrift store. I love this thing.  I don’t know for sure if I am reducing my water use, but I hope so.

It seems a little change can lead to big changes.  It did for me.  I have been switching over to more natural cleaning products. In particular, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, stain remover, and an all- purpose spray cleaner.

Recipes from here,here,here.

Again, my youngest daughter is all about helping to clean. I have no fear with the vinegar cleaner. Clean away little one.

The stain remover is absolutely amazing. I will not be buying anymore Shout.   Anyway, these are just a few of my changes. I still have a long list of want to do’s, but for now I’m good.  Learning is a process of evolving and it is a continual process for me. I hope some of these things are passed to my children.  We’ll see.

In case you think I am all “whatever” I’m not. I have a long list of things I still want to do like make soap, keep bees, raise chickens, move to a farm, be a sheep farmer, it just goes on and on. But hey, who knows.. like I said change sometimes begets change. 

Here are a few blogs that I find totally inspiring, maybe you read these already, maybe you would like to.. Farmama, Down to Earth,Cold Antler Farm, Soule Mama. These are just a few of my very favorites. Do you have any “must read” blogs that inspire you? I would love to know.

On this Independence Day I am thankful for the freedom to dream and to make the change that I want to make.

~My wish for you~

If your days are dark, may your path lead to light.

If your days are cold, may your path find warmth.

If illness is upon you, may your path lead to wellness.

If you have lost your way, may your path lead you home.

May you always see the beauty, remember the wonder and always have a friend.

At the end of each day I wish for you peace and love. 

I hope this  new year is for you all that you need it to be.

~ and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!

~a quiet night~

      ~Reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas”~

     ~Em reading to dad “Olive”~

   ~remembering the reason~

    ~food for Santa and Reindeer~

     ~ the bounty~

   ~love the kitty paper!~

  ~art easel, stockings~

  ~peace~

~Reflection on thankfulness day 2~

 
No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

 

Today I am thankful for my hands and for my feet. They allow me to be who I need to be~

My hands that prepare the food for our meals.. my hands that do my nurse work.. my hands that touch my children, my husband, my little animals, and my hands I use to create…

My feet that carry me where I need to go~ to school, to work, to my family and friend’s home. They carry me on long walks with my dogs.. 

This year I’ve learned I must focus on what is here, what is mine today.  I can not spend my time always looking back.  If I do then I will not be present for my today, and I can not always spend my time looking  ahead because tomorrow I may not be here.. 

To find your happiness and your peace you must be in the moment of right now.  To remember to be thankful for all that you have today, and all that you have had before today, and all that you will have tomorrow.

~Peace

~ Family Dinner Swap!~

Amy at Park City Girl is hosting a Family Dinner Swap!
What a great idea!!

 Normally I would post a recipe for soup because that is my favorite all time food, however, I now have a close second!

~Pizza~!!

Love it, and with this easy recipe you will love it too!

I have used my favorite cook book, Honest Pretzels and yes, it is a children’s cookbook that I had hoped my eldest daughter would use, so far it is only me using it. Quite honestly, I am fine with that because I just love this cookbook!
Seriously!
Ok, the recipe:

Make your dough:

1 cup lukewarm water,
1 tsp yeast

mix in a large bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes,
then add 1 tbsp olive oil
then add 2 1/2 cups flour, * I used half white, half whole wheat
1 tsp salt

Mix together by whisk at first, then your hand.  Then you knead your dough for about 5 minutes.

Now, clean your bowl and then put 1 tbsp of olive oil into your cleaned bowl. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour.

*I will make my dough in  the morning, and let it rise all day until I am ready to use for supper. It works great that way.

You also will want to go ahead and sprinkle either corn meal or I use wheat bran to coat the baking pan.

After your dough has risen, you spread it out on a baking sheet. Cook at 450 degrees for 8 minutes, then take it out and top with your choice of toppings..

Then return to the oven and bake for an additional 6-8 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly!

I have done basil/olive oil, red sauce,  I have even  just used olive oil for a base. We’ve used leftover chicken, pepperoni, sausage, and a variety of different cheeses. There is no way to mess this up! So easy, and so so good!

This pizza is so much better than store-bought, even better then a restaurant.   No lie. It is hearty and delicious! What is also great is that most likely you will have the simple ingredients on hand, and this is a great way to use up leftovers!

Now go try it & let me know if you like it!

    ~notice the thumbs up going on there?!? She is my toughest critic!

Big thank you to Amy for hosting this great recipe swap, I am always in need of new ideas for supper!

~Oh my gosh I won!~

Seriously, this is my first time ever to win anything.. it just never happens for me!

 NEVER!!

Remember  Amy’s Quilt Festival?
I posted about my Nie Nie quilt.. well, as I was reading her post listing all of the winners, I almost fell out of my chair!
I saw my name!

Turns out I won a few goodies from  Quilternity  I am so excited!!!
Like this little helpful tool… wait until you see what I am working on… I really could have used this! Also, a set of 5 hand dyed fat quarters!!  

Are you kidding me?     

Thank you Quilternity and thank you to  Amy for hosting the Fall Quilt Festival, it was so much fun!

Remember it is never too late to learn a new task or to develop a new interest. If you think you want to learn to quilt, just go for it! It is easy, rewarding, forgiving and in the end you will create something beautiful.. what’s not to love?

 

Ps, doesn’t that coffee look super great???

It is not just a latte, no it is a a Pumpkin Pie Spiced latte from The Yellow Door Paperie oh my stars.. heaven in a cup and that is for real!!

So good!

   ~ and I made this recipe from the Soup Swap

So good! By the way, that is parmesan and steam on the picture.. I don’t know why, but lately I have been putting parmesan on everything.. what’s up with that?