Sunday, August 28, 2011

Silent Sunday

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's Pinterests

Anyone else hungry?


I am so making this ASAP!

Perfect for an Adult's only gathering - maybe even just a ladies night out!

Mmmm...Avacados...

Cinnamon roll pancakes = HEAVEN

All I can say about this one is 'Oh Wow!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!


Now through August 31st...


15% off of EVERYTHING!!!

Use coupon code RANDOM15.

Don't forget I offer free domestic shipping on EVERYTHING!

Why do I Feel So Sad?

Let's just get serious for a little bit...

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Why, you ask, do I feel so sad?

You are probably thinking, she has a wonderful little family,
a really good career as a Licensed Practical Nurse,
she is talented with her sewing machine, etc...
How could she possibly feel sad?

Maybe it's all the little things that accumulate and cause me anxiety/stress...
Maybe it's being on a completely opposite schedule as my family...
Maybe it's because I have so few friends and never get to see them because I work nights...
Maybe it's because I need to have a proper outlet for stress and don't...
Maybe it's just something incredibly stupid...

I honestly don't know why I feel sad!
There are just days that I could stay in bed and cry all day and I don't even know why.
I spend more time feeling sad than I should, especially when I am home with my family.

I guess I just need to get to the bottom of it and fix whatever is broken.

Anyway, sorry I had to get serious on y'all.
It's only Tuesday and I am having a rough week already.
Don't worry, I have an appointment with my physician on Friday.
Hopefully he can help me get out of this "sadness ditch".

Monday, August 22, 2011

What'd You Do Today?


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Date: August 22, 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m. Central Time
What'd I just do: Showered and got ready for work (which includes making my dinner).
What'd I do today: Woke at 7:20 a.m. and made me a cup-o-joe. Rushed Logan to get himself ready to go to school and took him. Came home and put on something a little more decent to head to the grocery store. Lil' J and I went to the grocery store which I must say did not take us nearly as long as I was afraid it would. We got home, I unloaded and put away all of the groceries and then spent the remainder of the day making chocolate chip cookies and egg salad for sandwiches (for Logan's lunches and my dinners at work).
What happened last night: I got off of work at 5:00, got home and was very grouchy! I picked up my craft room a bit and spent the rest of the night watching TV and reading my book (not good bed-fellows - it took me 3 hours to read 50 pages). Oh, and ate pizza for dinner.
What am I doing tomorrow: Taking Lil' J to her 4-year old Well-child appointment (only a few months late). Probably doing a tad bit of sewing on a tote bag and then going to work by 3:00.
What's Lil' J doing: Telling me that she cannot pick up her toys because it is too hard (even though it wasn't too hard to get them all out)!
What's Max doing: The same thing Max is always doing - laying in the middle of all of the toys (even on top of a few) and snoozing.

Maybe I need to make my days a tad less lazy?
What do ya think?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's Pinterests

Oh how I would LOVE these rooms in my house!




Someday when we build a new home (if we decide to build), I will make sure I have a nice big study area and fill it to the brim with books. My kitchen will have a warm, rustic, french country feel to it along with the rest of the house. However, my office/craftroom will be a cheerful area where I am inspired daily as well as organized! ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All About Books

I think I have a serious addiction!
I had a goal to read 1 book per week for 52 weeks.
Well, 32.5 weeks into 2011 and I have read 37 books already!
I read one book (that's 368 pages) in one day this week!
Now I am over halfway through another book.

Most of the books I read, I check out from one of our local libraries.
So far, I have been able to borrow many books with my Nook eReader.
I really love not having to carry around a stack of books all the time.

Here is a glimpse of what I have been reading...

Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1)  The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2)
The Morganville Vampires Series

Jack & Jill (Alex Cross, #3)
The Alex Cross Series

Syndrome  Life Blood
These are both really good medical thrillers!

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)  Torn (Trylle Trilogy, #2)  Ascend (Trylle Trilogy, #3)
The Trylle Trilogy

Demon Day (Rae Wilder, #2)
This is the 2nd book in what looks to be a trilogy.
I have read the first book also and noticed that there is a 3rd book due to be published this year.

I keep track of all of the books I have read, want to read, and currently am reading here.
It is actually really nice to be able to keep track there.
Hey, if you're a reader and wanna be my "friend" on Good Reads, all you gotta do is ask!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

YUMM-O!!!

Seriously, I have a weakness for bread!
A few weeks ago, we checked out Trader Joe's
I know, I know, what in heaven's name took us so long!
Anyway, we purchased a few things to try, that we have never tried before.
Dried Tomato and Basil Hummus
(neither of us had tasted any type of hummus before)
Mini Chicken Tacos
Guacamole with Salsa
(just something different and SPIC-AY)
Indian Garlic Naan
(yes, we have had naan, but it was fresh at a restraunt)
Mango Green Tea
Pretzel Bread
Okay, I have had soft pretzels before, but this was so much different. It was fantastic!
So fantastic in fact, that I just HAD to make some at home.
I've made soft pretzels before, which were "eh", but this was something I wanted my family to go "WOW" over. So, I found a recipe and went at it!

I must say, it really turned out fabulous!
I will definitely be making it again, only next time in large sandwich sized loaves to make yummy sandwiches with!
Mmm... Mmm... Good!

You wanna make some too?
Here ya go!

Pretzel Bread
Ingredients
1 packet active dry yeast or 2 tsp.
2 cups warm (110F) water
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1.5 tsp salt
4 - 4.5 cups bread flour
3 tbsp baking soda

Instructions
Combine warm water, brown sugar, and honey in mixing bowl and stir. Add the yeast carefully to avoid clumps. Stir again and let mixture stand until the surface of the water starts to turn light brown as the yeast begins to foam (it should only take a few minutes).
While the yeast has started to foam, melt the butter and then add the milk to the butter. Add the salt and butter/milk mixture to the yeast mixture and stir well.

Butter a sides and bottom of a large bowl and set it aside for later. Be sure the bowl is big enough to hold the dough after doubling.

Measure out two cups of flour and add to the yeast mixture. If you have a large mixer with a dough hook, let it do most of the work at this point. Otherwise, grab a rubber spatula and get ready to use a little "elbow grease." Once the dough forms a wet mess, continue adding the remaining flour until the dough forms a ball and begins pulling from the sides of the mixing bowl, but still a little sticky.

Now turn it out onto a clean floured surface. Knead the dough by folding it over in different directions until it gets sticky again, then sprinkle a little more flour on it. Knead until the dough is smooth and just slightly sticky (it should form a solid ball).


All of the hard work is done once the dough is kneaded. Now take the smooth ball of dough and place it in the buttered bowl from earlier and rotate the dough ball until all sides are also buttered (if needed, butter your hands and rotate the dough through your hands).

Cover the dough with either plastic wrap or a damp cloth and set it somewhere it will stay warm (if it is cold in the house it will not rise sufficiently). After an hour, check on the dough to be sure that the dough is rising. It will take a little more than an hour for the dough to double, since this particular bread does not have a lot of yeast in it.


Once the yeast/dough has nearly doubled, get a wide pot of water on the stove and add the baking soda. More soda will add a stronger pretzel flavor. You can also add honey to the water to sweeten the crust slightly. Let the water come to a boil while getting the dough ready.

Uncover the dough and punch it down. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little flour over the top and around the sides. Peel the dough out onto a floured surface. Separate the dough and shape it into the size of loaves that you want (keeping in mind that you need to boil the loaves, so they need to fit easily into the pot and be easily removed). Smaller loaves are easier to handle.


Once loaves are shaped, cover lightly with a damp cloth/towel to rise while the water comes to a boil.

Once water is at a rolling boil, carefully drop the loaves (one at a time) into the water. The loaves should float if the water is hot enough, if the water is not hot enough, the loaves will sink to the bottom and burn, making a yucky mess. **If the water foams up, turn it down to medium high so that is still boiling, but not too hot.** Boil each loaf for 30 seconds on each side. Then remove with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet. Sprinkle the loaves with kosher salt to taste. Using a very sharp knife, score the tops of each loaf, making an "X" for large round loaves or three evenly spaced lines for oblong loaves.


After the oven is up to temperature (450F), set the loaves in the top 1/2 to 1/3 of the oven. Let them bake for 10 minutes at 450F, turn the loaves and bake for 10 more minutes at 400F. When done, the loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the top. Once the loaves are out of the oven brush the tops with melted butter to give it a softer, chewier crust


*Keep in mind, baking times may vary depending on your oven.*

**Pretzel bread is not quite as simple as a flat bread or dinner rolls, but the loaves come out of the oven with a deep, brown pretzel crust and slightly sweet, tender center. This particular recipe should be treated as a base to which other ingredients may be added. Cinnamon and extra brown sugar can creat a sweet pretzel, or garlic and other spices can creat a more savory pretzel.**

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Thursday Feature - Thursday's Pinterests

I have decided to do something new on Thursdays!

Pinteresthas become one of my new "loves",
so I thought it would be fun to start sharing my "pins" on a weekly basis.

To start us off on this pinteresting Thursday,
a few DIY inspiration pins.










This Shabby Apple dress was the inspiration for a dress that I recently made.
I can't exactly call it a "knock off" because it's a completely different color.
As soon as I have some decent pictures, I'll post them for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Top Priority...

Making Time!

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Seriously, it should not be this difficult for me to find 30 minutes in my day to get outside and actually do something physical!
I can already tell that all of the hard work that went into the running program I did a few months ago has gone completely out the window.

So, now that school will be starting for our son, I am going to commit to going to the gym on a very regular basis again. Heck! We don't pay for the membership to NOT use it!
School starts at 8:15 a.m., so the little one and I will take him to school and then head to the gym by 8:30 or 9:00 (gotta wait for "Child Watch" to open for the day).

Too often am I reminded of how short life can be for those of us that don't take care of our bodies. 
Unfortunately, we are all mearly mortals and that carries with it the reality of our mortality. I wish I could say I am going to live forever, but at least if I can't live forever, I will make sure I am going to live for a very, very long time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This Week...Operation de-Clutter

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OK, maybe not de-clutter, but at least clean things up.
Our son is spending the week with his paternal grandparents out of town, so it's just me and the little one at home during the day this week.
Which actually works out to my advantage, because elementary schools start up on the 16th.
So, I am hoping to get the house into a semi-clean "state of affairs" for back-to-school.

Today I worked on the living and dining rooms...
picked up and vacuumed (still need to dust, but that can be done at a later date - not a fan of dusting).

The big project is going to be getting our daughter's room clean.
The kid changes - I swear to you - no less than a minimum of 3 times a day and sometimes more!
Oh, and that is between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Yes, we are trying to stop it, but we can't forbid her from playing in her room!

I am also in the process of de-cluttering my "studio."
I have actually sold a number of items that I no longer use on ebay, but I still have a very LONG way to go. Slowly, but surely it will get done.

Anyway, what are your plans for the week?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The "Studio"

Have I mentioned that I LOVE to sew?
Well, once you see my "studio" you will know that I love to sew and that I am pretty darn good at making a huge mess!


I do clean it up once in a while, but what's the point, I know where everything is located when it looks like this.  When I took these pictures, it was actually not nearly as messy as it is today! I just CAN'T be clean when I am in creative mode.

It would be fantastic if I had a special room just for my sewing, but unfortunately that is not the case. Hopefully at some point I can move into our office, but right now that is not a possibility, the hubs would absolutely go insane if I left a mess like this in the office. I'll have to mend my ways a bit first.

Anyway...
Hope you have a fabulous week!
See you back soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sewing at My Leisure...

Ok, I have been doing a lot of cutting, sewing, and cussing over the past few weeks.

The cutting and sewing has been for the shop....
The cussing has been done at the items I have been attempting to make for myself.
I have gotten them made, but man-o-man, it's been frustrating.

Anyway...
For your "ooo-ing and aw-ing pleasure...

New scrub top for work
Unfortunately, it got made the day after Independence Day.

Nice new handbag to carry my Nook and all of my purse essentials.
P.S. You may see handbags very similar to this one in my etsy shop! Keep checking back!


 Last, but certainly not least, a new sleeve for my NOOK.
I liked my other one, but I found that I didn't leave it in the cover to read it, so I thought a sleeve would be a better option for my NOOK and me.

Check back soon, I'm gonna reveal my mess, er...um, "studio" and the things I am currently working on for the shop.