Thursday, October 31, 2013

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Baby Panda

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Happy Halloween!  Today's entry is another costume - I think the last one I have in my #TBT list.

Eighteen years ago, Deuce was celebrating his very first Halloween.  I made a panda costume, complete with panda buttons and grippy fabric for the paws so he wouldn't slip.  He had just started walking that week.

These are some of my favorite pictures of him with our first dog, Scout.  Scout was the best dog ever, the most patient and gentle.  They loved each other so much, especially when Deuce had food.

Now I want to see your blast from the past.  Link up and let us all see!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Have you heard this news?

Cotton+Steel from Gregory Miller Pictures on Vimeo.

I am so excited about this! First of all, because I am such a fan of all of these designers. Also, three of the five are Atlanta girls. And last, because the glimpses we get in this video of their fabric designs look so delicious and fun and beautiful.

Plus, it just makes me giggle that the southern girl (with the pink hair and tattoos) caught the LA guy (with the golf shirt) off guard with her ideas and her style.

I can't wait to hear the word from Quilt Market and see more about what these amazing women have been up to!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - The Adventure Begins

It's Menu Plan Monday and I'm starting my new job today.  Also, my boy will be home Wednesday.  And I only have to cook about three times this week.

Life is good!

My user name on My Fitness Pal is QJ2013 if you want to be friends.

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter
  • Sunday - Braised Brisket with Potatoes and Carrots
  • Monday - Crock Pot Korean Ribs with brown rice and oven roasted green beans
  • Tuesday - Sweet and Fiery Pork, leftover brown rice, oven roasted asparagus
  • Wednesday - Everyone is scattered - YOYO
  • Thursday - Happy Halloween!  Chili cookoff at our friend's house
  • Friday - Big rivalry football game - tailgate
  • Saturday - Thanksgiving/MiL's birthday with the in-laws
What's on your menu?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Holiday Grand Plan - Week 9 - Pantry and Pie

Holiday Grand Plan

It's Week 9 of the Holiday Grand Plan, it it's time to clean out your pantry. I don't know about you, but the top shelf of my pantry is where I store our first aid kit and all of our medications.  When I clean out the pantry, that's the first thing I have to go through.  The really frustrating thing?  YESTERDAY was National Drug Take Back Day and there were several locations near my house where I could have quickly and safely dropped off the expired stuff. 

I need to mark the calendar for next year so I don't miss it again. 

We're getting ready for our early Thanksgiving/MiL's birthday celebration on Saturday, so I'll be doubling up on desserts and skipping a freezer meal this week. 

I'll go ahead and make a Calypso Pie for Saturday and one for the real Thanksgiving.  This is a tradition at our house and a family favorite, but so easy and you can make it ahead.  I can't find where I've given you that recipe or link before, so here it is.  You can thank me later.

I know this recipe isn't "in order."  This is the order I make it in so that the chocolate sauce is totally cooled by the time you're ready for it.

Calypso Pie

Chocolate Sauce/Topping (sauce recipe makes enough for two pies.  You can make two or just freeze the extra sauce)
  • 4 1/2 oz dark chocolate squares
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C evaporated milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C slivered almonds, toasted
  • whipped cream
Combine chocolate, butter, sugar, evaporated milk, and salt in top of a double boiler.  Cook, stirring continuously, for 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens a little.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Chill. 

  • 1 1/2 C Famous chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (I put most of a sleeve in my food processor)
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Mix together and press into 9" deep dish pie plate.  Refrigerate.

  • 1/2 gallon of coffee ice cream, softened
  • 1/4 C Kahlua
Press ice cream into crust and drizzle with Kahlua.  Top with Chocolate Sauce, then slivered almonds.  Freeze.

Serve topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Radiant Star

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

It's my wonderful MiL's birthday this week, so I thought I'd show you the quilt I made for her in 1998.

I took a Radiant Star class with Sami Koenig at Calico Quilter in Roswell, the shop where I took my beginning quilting class and several others.  In both my beginner class and this class, we used the book Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. 

This was the class where I learned about bias edges and Y seams. 

I was only hand quilting at this point, and found a pretty shape to quilt in the corner squares and setting triangles. 

Here you can see the quilt hanging in their old house, above Mabel

Now I want to see your blast from the past.  Link up and let us all see!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WiP Wednesday - Long Shot

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

I'm still chugging along on these spider web blocks, but I made the mistake of counting the other day and I'm starting to think that finishing in time for the challenge deadline - November 4 - is a real long shot.   Quite frankly, at the rate I've been sewing lately, I'll be lucky to finish this quarter.

I hate showing you these, because the pictures have got to be running together and all looking the same by now.  I promise, these are four new pieces.  I've made twenty-six of these, which sounds good until you realize they only equal six and a half 11" blocks.  Just seventy-four to go!  Wheee!

You might remember that I made the quilt for our bed out of fabrics from a nickel block swap.  I needed 3 1/2" squares, so I spent a LOT of time trimming them all down.  For some insane reason, I felt the need to save all of those 1 1/2" x 5" or 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" strips in this Ziploc bag for the last five or six years.  And that was before I even met Pam.

I finally found them a home.  As I work on these spider web segments two at a time, I add another strip to the chain when I sew the last string and am ready to trim up the triangles.  I figure I'll use them as a border around the quilt.

I have gotten behind on my podcasts, and string piecing is mindless enough that any chunk of time is perfect for listening and stitching for as long as I've got.

Right now, mindless is about all I can muster when it comes to quilting.

What's in progress at your place?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fashion Challenged

I start my new job in just six days, and I think I'm ready.  I've been getting up early, planning our menu and grocery shopping on the weekends, and pinning lots of crock pot recipes.  I've coordinated car pools, caught up on laundry, and scheduled my annual physical for Friday.

The only thing I'm still really nervous about is the clothes.

See, I haven't worked full time in almost twenty years.  When I have worked, it's been from home in my pajamas, someplace very casual (our restaurant or the preschool), or on a temporary basis.  And I'm not one who has ever really cared about clothes.

Yes, that's me on the right.
 I've always been willing to think outside the box when it comes to mixing colors...

Purple espadrilles.  I know, right?
 ...or making bold statements with geometric prints...

Do you like how the crazy bow matches my sweater...and my nails?
...and I'm not afraid to accessorize.

I've been doing a little bit of shopping for interview clothes, and I have a few nice outfits.  But all of the sudden I'm thinking about the second week. I don't want to end up like Josh in my regular Tuesday suit.

The Pit Boss has told me to go shopping, but I have few questions for those of you who dress like grown ups on a regular basis:
  1. About how many outfits per season gives you a reasonable mix?
  2. Do people still wear pantyhose?  I haven't owned any in years, and most of my temp jobs have been in spring or summer.  What's the alternative?  Pale bare legs?  Pants?  Tights and boots?
  3. Do you have any good suggestions for "casual Friday" so that I still look professional?
If you have any fashion blogs you read or favorite places to shop for work clothes, bring them on!

Thank you!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Getting Mentally Prepared

It's Menu Plan Monday and it's my last week of part time work.  I am trying to prepare myself for my new schedule, so I've been waking up early in the morning and getting all showered and dressed before I take Grace to school. 

I even managed to get up early enough to hop on the elliptical two mornings.  Add that to a Zombies, Run! 5K mission at the park one night while Grace had lacrosse practice, and I had a decent week of exercise. 

My user name on My Fitness Pal is QJ2013 if you want to be friends.

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter
What's on your menu?

*This is my freezer meal for the week

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Holiday Grand Plan - Week 8 -

Holiday Grand Plan

It's Week 8 of the Holiday Grand Plan. How's it going there?  I'm a little behind on the kids' rooms.  Grace had allergy testing done on Wednesday, and now doctor's orders are for ME to dust and vacuum her room every week!  Just when I had her doing it well herself.  Now her room is looking good, but I still haven't gotten Deuce's room ready for him to come home in two weeks. 

By the way, she's also allergic to these guys, so they are banned from her room, she's not allowed to brush them, and I need to vacuum more frequently.

Um, Doc? I didn't make this appointment to reduce her chores and add to mine! 

This week's focus is on the kitchen.  While I did a lot of this last year when we did the remodel, the drawers and cabinets really need a good vacuuming out and wipe down.

I'm going to make a double batch of Chicken Rollatini with Prosciutto for my freezer meal, plus a Sour Cream Coffee Cake to have on hand for when Deuce comes home next week.

I guess it's time to start asking for advice for gifts since I'm stumped on a few of my favorite people. 

What's working for you? What is challenging you? 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Pinwheel Sensations

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Four generations and I'm the only one with no curls
Back in 2004 we hauled the whole family to New York to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday, on Halloween.  It was an extra special celebration, because it was also just a few weeks before my grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary.

On top of that, we were celebrating a little baby boom.  Clare had just been born on October 7, and Danny was born October 21. 

As if all that weren't enough, my cousin Gina had just found out she was having twins!  (I'll show you their quilts later.)

So, in addition to all my kids and their Halloween costumes, we also brought two baby quilts with us.  I showed you Clare's quilt last week, and this week is all about Danny.

I made this dimensional pinwheel quilt out of the P.S. I Love You Two book.  I absolutely adore how this came out.  I did do machine quilting on this one, but it was just wiggly lines in the sashing.  Obviously you can't quilt over those pinwheels!

The pictures didn't come out, but I made a super cute label with a handwritten pinwheel in all different colored Pigma pens with his name in the middle.  It said:

Wish for Danny's bright future.
Hope for Danny's happy life.
Pray for Danny's peaceful world.
Dream of Danny's perfect mate.
Believe in Danny's unique purpose.

Now I want to see your blast from the past.  Link up and let us all see!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - We Survived!

It's Menu Plan Monday and I'm glad to say we survived last week's insanity.  My reward this week is that there are NO evening activities except lacrosse practice, which is no big deal.

This week I will enjoy cooking a lot and freezing an extra dinner so that I am prepared for when I start work two weeks from today.

I am so thankful that I started this Menu Plan Monday habit; it will be one less system to figure out in our new routine.  I cannot begin to express my gratitude to Laura over at I'm an Organizing Junkie for this linkup every week (not to mention all the other great organizing tips she shares!).

My user name on My Fitness Pal is QJ2013 if you want to be friends.

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter
What's on your menu?

*These are my freezer meals for the week

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Holiday Grand Plan - Week 7

Holiday Grand Plan

We are on Week 7 of the Holiday Grand Plan, and it's time to get the guest room ready for company.

It's also time to get out the Halloween/fall decorations if you haven't already.  Do you have costumes to plan?  Might want to think about that too.

I'm taking advantage of the fact that this week is as empty as last week was full - which is to say that there is nothing in the evening this week except lacrosse practice.  Wahoo!  Since I will start working two weeks from tomorrow, I'm trying to get even more freezer cooking done than normal.  If December is crazy busy in a "normal" year, I assume it will be even more hectic when I am trying to get used to my new schedule.

This week I'll make two freezer meals; No Bean Chili and Chicken Parmesan.

My treats to freeze this week aren't for Christmas, but for the "Outlaw Thanksgiving"/70th birthday party for my MiL.  I'm baking several of the desserts ahead so we can focus on the birthday cake that week.

I'll make a pan of Nutella Blondies, some sugar cookies to decorate, and maybe a batch of Peanut Butter Cup Cookies.

No progress on the gift list this week.  I'm stuck.  Our parents are possibly the hardest people on the planet to shop for!  Any brilliant grandparent ideas out there?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finish It Up Friday and Whoop! Whoop! - Batman's Quilt is DONE!

I'm linking up today with lots of awesome bloggers, including Finish It Up Friday with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday and, for the pure fun of it, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

I am whoop whooping it up today because Batman's quilt is done!  I finished whipping down the binding at bee yesterday, and decided that it is really done - everything but the label.

I would like everyone to take note of the fact that this baby is not even due until December 1!

These pictures aren't the best, but I love how you can see the sun streaming through the stars and Gracie's outstretched arms like she's welcoming her baby cousin.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was finishing her baby quilt?  Which was, for the record, probably the last time a quilt was finished before the baby arrived! 

I love my mom's hand quilting.  My brother's kids and a few cousins are lucky enough to have quilts that we have worked on together.

I am also celebrating because I got a full time job offer yesterday! 

What is making you go Whoop! Whoop! today?  As if FRIDAY were not enough!

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