Friday, July 30, 2010


I must first start with this. Yesterday, I tasted Nutella for the first time. Oh My Gosh. I dipped my strawberries in some and it was a little piece of heaven. I had it again today and even Olivia loved the Nutella.

So, there is no denying that I like to eat---and cook---and bake. But those three things seemed to have packed a few extra lbs. on me as of late and I jiggling in places that really, are not meant to jiggle.
So Monday, I am getting serious. I am going to begin the Woman's Day, Slim down with Joy Bauer program. Step 1 is kind of intense and I am already mourning the loss of my one Coke per day but I can do it, right?! I am telling all of you in hopes that you will keep me accountable. I can do anything for one week, or at least I really want to believe that. I believe this could be a great way to jump start some healthier habits. So goodbye Nutella, hello Skinny Soup. I sure hope I like it once I make up the 12 cup batch! Although there are a ton of Off Limit foods, there are plenty of eat all you want foods too...they just happen to all be vegetables :)

It seems like I have made myself crazy over this and am preoccupied with either eating all the things I will need to avoid, or I am making grocery lists and going over all the things I will be able to eat. Sigh...I really do like food. Pin It

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

more quilt as you go blocks

I could not quite string them all up but I now have 9 blocks completed. I first saw the quilt as you go blocks here.
Here is a sampling plus Skipper the Dog.
Aren't they pretty?! I placed a reinforcement order at Whimsy Dots on etsy (ETA: TODAY HER FABRIC IS 25% OFF!) to get a bit more variety in my sheet selection AND because I am going b i g g e r. I quickly moved beyond pillow (unless I make 9!) and decided against a baby quilt b/c I really don't want to give this away and have instead set my sights on a picnic blanket. I have a large thrifted sheet already for the backing.
Here are some close up shots of some of my squares. It is beyond hot and humid outside but also overcast, making it prime picture taking time.

So, I have a renewed desire to find more thrifted sheets but I don't find them often around here (SW OH). Any thoughts or suggestions?!

I shared this at Today's Creative Blog. Lots of great ideas over there.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

in download mode

We were lucky enough to spend a few days at Norris Lake with my sister in law and her family.
Mr. Mason conquering the wake board.
Miss Shelby air drying on the boat.
4 of the 5 kiddos checking out GIANT fish at a Marina where we ate lunch.
And a nice view of the boat tied up at the dock at the rental house.

It was a great time but so physical and tiring. It inspired me to step up and try to get in better shape.

Although I don't have any of these on my camera(s) {Rebel, small Sony and the I phone!) there is actually photographic evidence that I jumped off a 15 foot bridge into the lake and I went "tubing". I know, I am c r a z y.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

more on our hectic july...

With both girls' birthdays this month, the routine of no routine for the summer and the wonderful invitations for fun...we have been busy but in the best kind of way.

Yesterday was Miss Shelby's 6th birthday, complete with a Build A Bear birthday party which was very sweet, well run and perfect for girls this age.
I ordered the most perfect cupcake toppers of all time, hand created with fondant. They were super fragile to deal with but otherwise wonderful. I cannot wait for the next occasion that calls for cupcakes b/c they will get a treatment like this.
I also had a few recent photos printed at Costco to send with the thank you notes that we owe half the world. At the same time, I printed my vacation poster, 16x20, for a whopping $5.99. I love it and once I put it in the frame it really became what I had envisioned from the start.
Visit my original post for the free template to make your own. Next up, where to hang it?!

And on the horizon, another opportunity to enjoy this. See, I told you we were lucky. Pin It

Friday, July 16, 2010

pool time

Sure, I take loads of pics and plenty of them include the girls in our own pool. What is different about these is that I am at the foot of the pool by the shallow end and down low. I was so pleased to see the different perspective. Typically, I am seated to the side of the pool and snapping from there. These seem so much more personal, so much more them and more action oriented.

I have also been getting IN THE POOL, which has not been my thing in the past. But darn, it's been hot and humid and the girls get so excited. These photos are from last week but yesterday I swam with them. A few things they requested and I obliged:

-me jumping off the diving board
-the three of us jumping in together holding hands
-me going under water and coming up with a "hairdo"

The simple things can really be the best.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

quilt as you go

I saw this last week for the first time here. And when she mentioned they were addicting, I'd say she was right!

I have not mastered free motion quilting at all, and tend to focus on smaller projects anyway but this "quilt as you go" looked so intriguing, I gave it a try. It was perfect for using my small collection of vintage sheets. I originally thought I would make this one and create a pillow but as I am already underway on block #2, I think a small quilt may evolve instead! I have gotten smarter already...I made my strips a bit wider and planned ahead by laying out my fabrics before beginning to sew...and I am clipping strings on the front and back, as I go!
You can find the 4 part tutorial here and try it yourself. I have found the instructions super easy to follow. Of course, I have not tried affixing blocks to other blocks yet...or backing...or binding BUT I am optimistic!
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

all things food

I know I mentioned last week that I had lots of entertaining on my agenda. I thought I would come back and fill you in on some of what I made, bought and ate.
Last Wednesday I had some ladies over and to start we had appetizers. One was this Sweet Bacon and Pear pizza. I made it a few months back and got rave reviews, and the same goes for this time. You cannot go wrong with this appetizer. I also made my super easy stuffed mushrooms. Button mushrooms filled with Boursin Cheese, sprinkled with bread crumbs and then baked until the mushrooms release their juices. Tasty!
I made an oldie but goodie for dinner: Cumberland Chicken Casserole. This one came from my good friend Mary Jo, the email it is printed out on was dated 1997 if that tells you anything.

Cumberland Chicken Casserole

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped and cooked

¾ cup of celery

2 cups plain bread croutons

3 cups shredded swiss cheese

1 small can of mushrooms, sliced (two if you like them)

1 cup chopped green onion

3 cups of mayo

¾ cup of milk

1 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

pinch of tarragon

1 can dried onions

Preheat oven to 350, cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl except for dried onion, spread mixture in 11 x 13 pan, top with dried onions.

I also made a simple salad called Birdseed Salad from a cookbook a friend sent me from Salt Lake City. Delish!
For dessert I made this Pudding Dessert which is so sinful with the Lorna Doones. You must try it. Oh, how could I forget the cocktail?! It was easy, refreshing and delicious. I will definitely make it again.

Friday's and Saturday's gatherings incorporated a lot more pre-made, store prepared food. There are good things out there! For instance, the Walmart bakery pretty much rocks! We had one specialty cake that was white chocolate with layers of fudge that was wonderful. The mini bakery cake was good too.

I will admit, it took me all of Sunday and most of yesterday to recover! Today I am back to cooking though and currently have a pot of chili on the stove. This is our favorite recipe. Today is RAINY but the heat and humidity are on deck so I thought I had better seize the day for a hot pot to be on the stove.


2 lb. Ground beef - browned

2 cans tomato soup

1 ½ tsp. Vinegar

2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

1 ½ pints water

2 tsp. Salt

1 tbs. Pepper

¼ tsp. Cinnamon

1 tbs. Chili powder

2 onions chopped fine

½ tsp. Garlic powder

Add all ingredients to large pot, simmer for 3 hours uncovered, stirring occassionally.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010


With cupcakes.
With new Ezy Rollers from Recreation Outlet.
With new high fashion.
With a new bitty baby and matching pjs.

...and so much more...


Many days of partying and fun require one day of mostly relaxation, some cleaning and more laundry. Looking for normalcy next week...whatever that may be.

And finally, the two prettiest sisters on the planet.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

this is what makes my heart happy...

At totally candid shot of my two girls. Are these faces priceless, or what??
Also on today's agenda, making an iron transfer (which is why these appear backward) for Olivia's party tomorrow night. These will be ironed on to pillowcases for each girl. Fingers crossed that the local WalMart has 9 white pillowcases in stock. Olivia chose everything herself from my digi scrapbooking stash and indicated how she wanted it arranged.

Dream Big Slumber Party.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

today... is 95 degrees.
...the dog got a VERY short haircut.
...i have been to the liquor store, grocery store, Sonic, gas station, dog groomers (twice) & LaRosas
...i am having a ladies night tomorrow and am making this cocktail: sister came today to help me clean to prepare for the THREE parties I have planned for this week
...i have lots of good food to make between now and tomorrow night girls are currently yelling from the living room

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Monday, July 5, 2010

playing catch up

Our weekend began on Friday when we were invited to enjoy the new boat that belongs to Dave's sister and her family.

I totally love my girls running down the dock when they see the boat.

And from there, there were just too many pics to share individually so instead I present you with the collage.

We all had a great time.

Next post: Saturday at Aunt Shirley's!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

vacation album: keeping it simple


I am tying together a few different kits from Little Dreamer, but still really trying to hold the products to a minimum in order to:
1: showcase the photos
2: tell the story with words
3: save time
4: have less clutter on each 8x8 page

Of course, since I got interested in these photos and this book, my 2010 album is falling woefully behind.
Headed out the door to make more summer memories right now...Kings Island here we come.
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