Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Some Good Chili

Need a good chili recipe?  Click here for a great one!  I didn't come up with the recipe-I found it on Food TV's website (my favorite place to find recipes besides family and friends).  It's awesome...every time I make it, someone asks me for the recipe.  My brother made it for his cross country team (with either turkey or chicken) and they loved it.  (I know it's hardy if it can feed college athletes.) 

My tricks:

1. I don't have Mexican chili powder, so I just use the regular stuff.
2.  I'm out of coriander, so I don't put that in.
3.  Instead of soaking and cooking the beans myself, I just use one can of each.
4.  Instead of using beef broth, I make some...it's cheaper.  Boil 3 cups of water and add 3 beef bullion cubes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweet Stuff

Known fact:  Europeans are to Americans as upper class man are to freshmen.  They are just way cooler than Americans.  I'm not sure why, but it's true.  Maybe it's because their countries were around before we were, maybe it's because they act like they're cooler, maybe it's the typical small-country-big-ego syndrome, I'm not sure.  They just are.  

Decorating is no exception.  When I found the Sweet As A Candy blog, I loved her style.  When I found out she was a European, I was hooked.







Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Things at 3 1/2 Months

Burl is 3 1/2 months old and he is doing so many new things:

1.  He goes to the pool, where he knows how to chillax, take a nap under a tree, and swim.


2.  He sucks his thumb.


3.  He moves around in the crib and sticks his feet out of the rails.  



4.  He sits in his Bumbo like a king.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just Call Me a Seamstress.

With 2 1/2 weeks of sewing under my belt, I'm getting more confident and taking on "projects" left and right.  

 Here are some navy linen pants that I bought after Burl was born.  I bought them a little bigger to help me transition back into my normal clothes.  (ie...I bought them a size bigger than I usually wear pre-baby.)  When they came in the mail, I tried them on and they were a little small in the waste, and WAY TOO long.  I set them aside to have them hemmed.  


That was 3 months ago and I just picked them up again to hem myself.  That involves a no-turning-back cutting off fabric and sewing them myself.  Success!



There was another problem...they were WAY TOO BIG.  What a great problem to have!  I successfully moved the button over quite a bit.  

I plan on wearing them to a wedding shower that I'm going to today.  Enter: my next project. That's right, the poor bride-to-be is getting her new uniform that every good wife should have.  

Last year, I told my husband that I wanted a cute apron for my birthday.  I remember telling him that I didn't want one with square edges.  I wanted something more feminine.  He got everything right.  It's in the picture above, but here it is on:

  

I love the curved edges, the ruffle, and the little pocket that is slanted to the side.  So, I took it to Deb (the gal who taught me to sew) and she loved it.  She made a pattern for it, and I used it to make this:


It's not AS ruffly on the bottom and I think it can look slimmer at the top, but all-in-all I like it.  It's in my favorite material, pink linen.  

Sometimes I got a bit frustrated and at one point, I think I told John that I wasn't going to sew ever again (after the machine broke & before my engineer of a husband fixed it).  I finished it and realized that I will never stop sewing.  It's a blast.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grown Up Lamps

The enemy: overhead lighting.  No one likes it...it makes a room feel like an office and it kills any classy ambiance that might be happening.  Solution:  lamps.  Turn one on and watch the mood go from cold & harsh to warm & inviting.  Cue the good conversation & relaxed atmosphere.  

Here are some of my favorite lamps from Pottery Barn.  When I make it big, I'll upgrade from my $6 lamps that I have and get these super-cute, super-nice ones:


(SEE THE LAMP, THEN SEE A PICTURE OF IT IN A ROOM-CAUSE WE ALL LOVE LOOKING AT PB ROOMS!)















Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Judge a Book by its Cover


I love books...especially with great covers. 



Here are some classics published by Penguin Group.






There are so many more, and I love them all...even the ones that I will never read.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm No Scientist


I'm no scientist, but I'm learning that LOCAL is always better.  Local food is always better than what I can get in a can, a drive-thru, and it's sometimes even better than organic food.  Why?  Well, sometime along the way, I learned that as soon as food is picked, plucked, killed, or made, that it starts to lose nutrients-and I love me some nutrients.

My most recent local purchase is eggs.  A few years ago, I upgraded from white eggs to brown, cage free eggs.  Why the color:  White eggs come from chickens in cages where they might live their entire lives (never going outside..eek).  The brown eggs come from chickens that get to run around outside their cages and be happy.  Happier chickens: better eggs.

My most recent upgrade:  LOCAL, FREE-RANGE EGGS.  (There are even some blue eggs in there that I use last because I love looking at them.)


These eggs come from a farmer about 30 minutes from my house.  He drives them in his car (not a semi), drops them off at his daughter's work.  Then, I stop by her work and pick them up for $2/dozen.  The yolks are GOLDEN and the taste is out of this world.  It is totally worth taking a bit of extra effort to buying one thing off my grocery list locally.  Mmm...

Friday, June 18, 2010

The First Ruffle Shirt That I Made

Over 10 years ago, a girl friend of mine told me about how wonderful and great these were:
That's right...I wear men's undershirts.  I love them.  I wear them for all kinds of things.  Painting, working out, lounging around the house, etc.  I usually wear a medium, but last year when I found out I was pregnant, I bought extra large (that fit up until that last month). Now, I have about 10 or so v-neck undershirts in my t-shirt pile.  Well, with my most recent sewing hobby, I use them for something new.  I use them to cut into scraps for practice.  

Then, I saw this on Pleated Poppy 
This girl put ruffles on her own t-shirt.  Since a white t-shirt and blue jeans is my favorite thing to wear, I knew that I had to try this and add it to my collection of white tops.   Enter: yet another use for favorite v-necks.  

I took a v-neck shirt, cut it out to make a scoop neck, finished the edges, and followed the instructions from the Pleated Poppy.  Here is my rough draft of this shirt:

It's a little sweaty because I had worn it to work out.  (It's a rough draft because I cut the opening too big & at one point I accidentally sewed the front of the shirt to the back.)


I'm pretty in love with this.  I'll be making more.  (Side note & huge ego boost:  when I was wearing this, I ran into one of my friends who did not believe that I made this myself.  She asked me if I would make one for her too.  I am only too happy to oblige.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Love Ruffles

Last week, I learned how to sew.  Day 1: lines.  Day 2: Ruffles.  Day 3: Sewing Solo.

Now I see ruffles everywhere.  I think, "wow, I could totally do that ruffle," or "that shirt would be cute if I added some ruffle to it."


Here are some cute ruffly shirts:

Anthropologie 


J. Crew


The Gap


Now...it's my turn to ruffle my tees...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Red Hot Pottery

I love these cute little vases.  Especially the birds!




Click for more Red Hot Pottery.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Living & Loving = My Adventures.


A few days ago I bought a couple of songs on iTunes that were from the movie Into the Wild.  The movie is pretty good-it's about a boy looking for "something" after he graduates from college.  He burns his cash and roams around the country, working and exploring.  He heads to the wilderness in Alaska where he lives by himself for a while.  The movie has some beautiful scenes, and I enjoyed it.

 One thing that it did for me, and what the music that I just bought does for me now, is wake up that adventurous part of me.  Everyone has that part in them that wants adventure.  What some would define as "adventure" would be travelling.  Yes, I agree, that travelling is a great adventure.  I've done that, and still do a bit of it.


 But, I think that adventure can be something else.  My adventure is living my life.  I'm married. I have a mortgage.  I just started having children.  Some might say that my adventures are over, or at least extremely limited.  I say that they are just beginning!  My life right now is the biggest, best adventure that I have been given.


 I LOVE LOVE LOVE waking up and having a blank canvas of a day to live with my family that I love.  My friends that I love.  My city that I love.  And my God that has made it possible to have love and live love and enjoy love.


Here are some pictures of Living & Loving:


Here's one for having my OWN adventure, and not letting anyone else tell me what that is suppose to be.








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