Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Been So Long!!

It feels like forever since I posted here! Did you miss me? :P School is starting back next week and things have been a bit hectic here getting things ready for that, and just spending time together as the summer winds down.

The kids and I went on a fantastic nature walk a few days ago. I'll be posting some photo's either later today or sometime in the next few days. I have a bunch of them that need to be taken off my camera card and reworked so I can post them. My computer isn't working all that great for some reason, it's very, very slow, so it's taking longer than usual to do anything at all.

I've set aside my 9 patch quilt for a little while. My cutting wasn't all that great apparently, and I have a lot, and I do mean a lot of strips that just don't match up. So, I set it aside and maybe later I'll either find uses for the strips or figure out a way to make them work the way I want to. Either way, it was a fantastic learning experience for me.

So, that moved me forward to a new project. Exciting, yes? LOL! I don't have a lot of matching fabrics, so I decided to just cut up my scraps into 3 1/2 inch squares and sew them together in a crazy quilt, which quite honestly is something I love. I don't know why, but mismatched colours sewn together into a quilt is gorgeous. To me it speaks of a different time where people quilted because they needed to, for warmth, rather than for pretty designs. It's very homey to me.

So, I've started cutting my fabric to get ready to sew. I have a long way to go yet, since I haven't had a chance to cut anything since Saturday. That's three days! I'm seriously going into withdrawl here. LOL!

But, and here's the really exciting part. My mom and I may be purchasing an Acuquilt GO! Cutter today!! We were going to go buy it yesterday, but the quilt store is closed Sunday's and Monday's. I'm pretty sure if the cutter is still there, we'll be going to get it this afternoon. Which means that I will be setting aside the squares I've already cut and using the 4 1/2 inch die that comes with the cutter for my crazy quilt. Either way, I'm going to love this one.

Today's Update

I haven't been doing anything at all with cleaning and decluttering. I decided that the kids go back to school next Tuesday, everything can wait until then. I'll be home all day, by myself, I'll have plenty of time to get right into cleaning, why spend the precious time I have left with the kids, up to my elbows in decluttering? I'd much rather enjoy the small amount of time we have left of summer together as a family. :)

Today's Supper

Tonight, if I get home in time to prepare everything, we will be having

Farmhouse Chicken Dinner

1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp pepper
4 small chicken breasts, bone in, skin removed (I'll be using boneless)
1/4 cup italian dressing
2 cups carrots
1 medium onion, wedged
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups minute rice, uncooked
1/4 cup cream cheese

Mix flour and pepper in a shallow dish. Add chicken, toss lightly to evenly coat both sides. Shake off excess flour. Heat dressing in a large, nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, meat side down and cook 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn chicken, add carrots, onions and 1 cup of the broth. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked through.

Prepare rice as directed. Spoon onto serving platter. Use slotted spoon to remove chicken and vegetables from stew. Place over rice. Cover to keep warm.

Add cream cheese spread and remaining broth to skillet. Increase heat to high, cook until cheese is melted and sauce is well blended, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to med-low. Simmer 3-5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon over chicken and vegetables. Serve.

This recipe doesn't take long to prepare, really only the 20 minutes to simmer the chicken as you can prepare the sauce at the same time, so we should be eating this tonight. If not, I have a ton of leftovers that need to be used up.

Have a fantastic day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another GO! Cutter Giveaway!

I am entering as many of these as I can in the hopes that I can win one of these amazing little tools.

I just entered a giveaway over at Freckled Whimsy. The contest closes Friday, August 27, so be sure get over there and put your name in!

Guess what? I finished hand quilting my very first quilt! I'm so excited!! Mind you, it's a miniature quilt, but I'm ok with that, really. I'm so proud of myself right now. This is something I've always wanted to do and never had the time or I guess the gumption to attempt. But, now it's done and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Here is a closeup of my stitching

Now, I know, the stitching isn't great and the sewing is even worse. But, in my defense, this was the very first time I had ever sewn a quilt top. Ever. So, regardless of how uneven everything is, I'm extremely proud. :)

Today's Update

I think we're going to go on a nature walk today. It's supposed to be a nice day, not too hot, but sunshiney and warm. Hubby needs to sleep too, since he worked nights last night, so that makes today a perfect day to get out and enjoy nature in all it's glory.

Of course, I'm taking my camera with me so I'll be sure to have some fantastic photo's to share with all of you tomorrow.

Tonight for supper we're having (and please, don't let the name of this dinner turn you off, this is just what we call it. I'm sure it has an actual "name" but I don't know what it is)

Boiled Chicken (gross, I know, but it tastes amazing!)

4 pieces of chicken thighs (I use the cheapest chicken I can buy)
1 onion, chopped
1 can tomatoes
1 tsp worchestershire sauce

Saute onion until tender. Add remaining  ingredients and simmer until chicken is fully cooked.

Simple, delicious and frugal too!

Have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We're Eating Fish Tonight!

The men in the family decided to go fishing this morning. Since this is a fairly regular occurance and they usually come home empty handed, I felt very safe in taking a chicken out of the freezer.

But, of course, this time they come home with fish. Actually, this time, my son came home with his very first bass. He's so proud!

Which he immediately proceeded to play with.

I caught this touching moment between a father and son.

Which turned out to be not so touching when I realized hubby was convincing him to do this

Boys. Sigh...

Then it was on to teaching him how to scale. I actually really like this photo. My husband really loved teaching the boy how to clean his own fish, so this shot is really rather touching.

And hubby was so proud when the boy picked it all up quickly and was able to do it himself.

Ok, so I know dead fish isn't exactly the most appealing thing to blog about, but this is a morning that my husband and my son both are going to remember for the rest of their lives. If you could have heard the laughter coming from outside my craft room window, you'd be smiling just as much as I am right now. It was so wonderful, I just had to share it with all of you.

Now, I still have a chicken to cook. :)

Printers Can Be So Frustrating!!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I'm having printer frustrations right now. I don't know why, but it's not working. It keeps telling me that I have no colour ink, but I've just put in a new cartridge, so there's no reason for it. I'm wondering if something isn't clogged up inside, but I have idea how to fix that. I guess it will be hubby to the rescue again later today.:)

Quilting class was a lot of fun yesterday. It was quieter and more laid back this time, as we were all working on hand quilting our log cabin quilt tops we put together last week. A bit frustrating for me at first, since I've never done embroidery work, ever, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly. We go back in two weeks to finish putting it together and then I'll finally have a photo to share with all of you!

Exciting news, possibly! I've been telling hubby all about the Accuquilt Go! Cutter the last couple of days. Yesterday when I was in my new favourite quilting store, I noticed that she had one in stock. She even let me play with hers so I could see just how completely amazing this little toy actually is! I came home and gushed to hubby about it and he mentioned that maybe we'll be able to buy one as a combination Christmas/birthday present for me!! Wouldn't that be amazing??

Today's Update

I've been feeling really blech about keeping up with housecleaning and organzing lately. I don't really know why, but I'm not motivated at all to do anything. I think it's because the kids are going back to school very, very soon and I really don't want to waste what little time I have left. So, all I've been doing is staying on top of the messes we make and not really worrying too much about deep cleaning. I've decided that I'm going to continue doing that, so I can spend as much time with the family as I can. The deep cleaning will still be here waiting for me in September when I have the house to myself.

Supper tonight will be a whole chicken, so there's no recipe to share. Come back tomorrow, though, for a family favourite!

Have a fantastic day everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My, How They've Grown!

I can't believe the difference in the baby hamsters in just one week! This time last week, they were just a ball of squiggly little piggies, and now they look like tiny little hamsters with ears and everything! To compare, here is what they looked like on day one:

And here they are on Day 7. Aren't they just the cutest?

Already, you can see their markings, obviously. Can you see the little one with three dots going down his back? His markings really amuse my son. :)  You can also see their ears and their little hands. It's been amazing watching them develop!

Here is a closeup photo of one of the babies so you can see the ears, hands and fur a bit better.

As you can see, they are still incredibly tiny. Boy are they active though! The little guy in my hand was very tough to get a photo of. He squirmed the entire time, all over my hand. I wasn't sure I was actually going to get a usable photo. :)

Today's Update

Today is the last of my quilting classes for this month. We'll be finishing up our mini log cabin quilt today, which is something I'm very excited about. I'll learn today how to actually finish and bind (I think that's the proper term) a quilt. After today, I'll be able to complete the 9 patch quilt I'm working on.

I have about 1/2 of the squares sewn for my quilt now. I'm working on getting hubby to make me a few templates for cutting. I've noticed that my strips are uneven from moving the ruler continually. I'm thinking that if I had something that was long enough, with the right measurements, I could definitely avoid that. Unless of course I can win that new toy from the previous post. I want that cutter so bad! LOL!

Supper tonight will be

Easy Lasagna
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
32 ounces cottage cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
9 lasagna noodles
1/2 cup water
In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, half of the grated Parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and ground black pepper.

To assemble, in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish evenly spread 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 cup water to the edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F(175 degrees C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 
Recipe taken from Allrecipes.com 
I'll serve it with garlic bread. 

Have a fantastic day everyone!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Chance To Win A New Toy!

Who could resist?

I found a giveaway on Sweet P Quilting and Creations blog. It's a chance to win an Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutting Machine. Not only would it be amazing to have, as you can see from my previous posts, it's something I could definitely use! LOL!

All you have to do, is go to her blog and become a follower. Leave a comment letting her know you're a follower. If you blog about the giveaway, you get an additional entry. (as you can see, I would really, really love to have this! LOL!)

It's a very simple way to win a new amazing toy and you're going to find a new blog that you're going to love to boot. :)

Monday, Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I have to admit, I do love Mondays. We've been given a fresh start on the week, and the possibilities are endless!

I thought today I'd share a little something different with you. Since I didn't get any sewing done over the weekend (bad me!) other than cutting up more strips, I don't have any new photo's of the quilt to show you. So, I thought I'd share with you, the crocheted quilt I'm making for my daughter for Christmas.

It's made up of hundreds of 3 inch squares in different colours, some solid, some triangle. Right now I'm still working on the solid squares. I'm on the last batch of those, I need 84 and I have 38 right now, so I'm almost there. One I finish those, I'll start on the triangle squares, which is a new one for me. I've been crocheting since I was 5 (which equates to a loooong time. LOL!) and I've never attempted these before. So, I'll be learning something new which is always a good thing!

Here is what I have completed so far. Each pile has 10 squares in it, so I have 130 completed.

Once I finish the solid squares, I will need in triangle squares:

40 white and fuschia
32 white and green
108 yellow and fuschia
36 fuschia and green

So, as you can see, I still have a ways to go. Once the kids get back to school, I'll be able to find time during the day to sit down and work on it, though. Since this is only one of 4 afghans that I want to complete for Christmas presents, I really need to get a move on! LOL!

Today's Update

I'm heading off for a drive today to pick up some more fabric from a very generous soul. It will take about an hour, but honestly, that's still a lot less expensive for me than buying new fabric to practice on.

Monday's are my weekly Home Blessing Hour courtesy of the Flylady. I'll be taking an hour today to go through my house, wipe down windows, mop the middle of my floors, dust, change the sheets on the beds, etc. It's a fantastic way of keeping on top of things and giving my home a fresh new look to start the week.

Tonight for supper, we are having

Autumn Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups water
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup potatoes, cubed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown bouquet sauce (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaft
1/8 tsp basil (if no bay leaf, use 1 tsp basil)
6 tomatoes (4 cups)

Cook meat till brown. Cook and stir onions with meat until tender. Stir in rest of ingredients except tomatoes. Heat to boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender.

This is an amazing fall soup. It's hearty and filled with so many deicious flavours. It's perfect for stormy, rainy days like today. I'll be serving it with homemade bread, still warm from the breadmaker.

Have a fantastic day!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Sunday!

Yesterday was so much fun! The kids and I trekked off the the mall, and I do mean trekked. We live so far out in the middle of nowhere now, the nearest mall is about an hour away, following back roads until we hit the city. It's such a nice drive, too. The leaves are starting to turn just slightly and the dirt roads are becoming absolutely stunning! I can't wait until they are fully turned.

I didn't get a chance to do any sewing yesterday, being out all day. I was very glad I had supper all prepared, so when we got home, all I had to do was put it in the oven and make rice. I came home to a nice, clean house, floors all swept, dishes, done, everything in it's place and supper ready to go. Wow, did I feel accomplished! LOL!

The kids both got exactly what they wanted for their first day of school and with a relatively small amount of bickering. We even managed to get some great deals, too! My daughter got two pairs of jeans, one that was $40, the other pair $35, they were on sale 2/$45. We also found leggings for her priced one pair for $12.99 or two for $12. But the absolute best deal we got was my son's favourite jeans at Old Navy for $5. I was so shocked by the sale price, I had to ask an associate if it was right!

But, my most exciting purchase yesterday was for me. I stopped by Fabric Land, just to see what was there and to tease myself with fabrics I can't buy. But, tucked away in a corner, I found a quilting stencil which is going to help me immensely. I don't do embroidery or stitching so I really wasn't sure how I was going to actually quilt my quilt top. Now, I have a stencil! I'm so excited!!

No recipe to share today. :( We have a big lunch at my mom's every Sunday, so we all either don't eat any supper or just finish up leftovers. I have a delicious soup to post tomorrow though.

Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

I participated in my very first Friday Night Sew In last night. Ok, well, I cheated just a little bit and sewed in the late afternoon, not the night, but I think that still counts. :) It was a mommy and son night since daddy was working and sis was at a sleepover. I just couldn't bring myself to spend the entire evening in the sewing room.

I did manage to get quite a bit done, though. I cut 1/2 of the strips into their 1 1/2 inch strips and got 21 squares all put together. I used a technique I learned at my quilting class called chaining, I believe so I was able to do more than one square at a time. I'm not sure if I can explain it correctly, but basically what you do, is start with a scap piece of fabric that you sew through and then a bit beyond that, making a chain of thread. You then slip your next piece of what you're working on under the foot, and sew that together. Again, you sew beyond the end of the piece, creating another chain between the pieces. This technique joins all the pieces together in one long strip which you can make as long as you like. I stopped at 6 each time, so I didn't get too far ahead of myself if/when I made a mistake.

After you're done chaining together the pieces, you cut the thread and press it open. Then back to the sewing machine to add the next strip. Once all the strips are added, you have a completed square!

As you can see, I'm still working on getting everything straight. My edges don't always meet. But that's what practice is for, right? This quilt is really challenging my measuring preciseness (is that even a word?) and my 1/4 inch seam, which is what I was looking to do.

Today's Update

We're going shopping today! Hubby is working, so the kids and I are going to the mall to get a first day of school outfit for both of them. We don't spend a ton of money on back to school clothes. It's still warm straight through September, so going out and buying them a bunch of sweaters and jeans just doesn't make any sense to me. We'll buy those when we need to. They each get a new outfit for the first day and then whatever supplies they actually need; paper, pencils, binders, that sort of thing.

Tonight, if we're home in time, we're having

Stove Top One Dish Chicken Bake With Vegetables

1 cup hot water
1 pkg Stuffing Mix
1 chicken breast, cut into squares
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 400. Add hot water to stuffing mix, stir until moistened. Set aside. Place chicken in baking dish. Mix soup, sour cream, cheese and vegetables. Spoon over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing. Bake 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

I'll prepare everything this morning before we go. If we're back in time to cook this, which I'm sure we will be, I'll finish it up when we get home. If not, there are lots of leftovers and we can have this for tomorrow's supper.

I'd love to get the rest of the strips cut today, but I'm not sure if I will or not. But, there's always tomorrow, right? :)

Have a fantastic day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My First Attempt At Quilting - 9 Patch Quilt

I decided that I would share my progress as I work my way through my very first quilting project. It's a bit scary, but I think I've chosen a simple enough pattern that I should be able to do this fairly successfully. :)

Here is an idea of what my quilt will look like when it's done. This is a photo I found on the web, so of course, my colours and design will be different, but it gives you a general idea if you're not familiar with a 9 patch quilt.

The instructions I'm following said to cut 1 1/5 inch strips of fabric, 42 inches long. Then sew the strips together to form 3 strips, one design has two patterned strips and one plain, the other has two plain and one patterned. There is a total of 20 strips, which I was able to finish yesterday. Big feeling of accomplishment here! :)

Today I will be cutting each strip into smaller 1 1/2 inch strips. There will be a total of 486 smaller strips that are then sewn together to create 3 inch blocks.

I have my work cut out for me today! My goal for today is to make myself a 1 1/2 inch guide to use for cutting the strips, rather than measuring out each individual spot. I want to get all the strips cut and at least 5 blocks sewn today.

I'll pop by later to show you what the pile of strips looks like. I have a feeling it's going to be large! LOL!

Today's Update

Summer is really starting to wind down, and I don't like that feeling. I really miss my kids when they're not here with us all the time. Today I want to/plan to spend some time with them, playing games, watching movies and just having some great family time.

I'm still working on the crocheted patchwork quilt for my daughter's Christmas present. It's coming along nicely, but slowly. I need to complete at least 10 squares a day to ensure I'll have it done in time.

Today is my day to clean out the van and my purse. Neither one should be an overly large job, since I'm making a habit of doing it every week. I've managed to really downsize my purse, which not only makes it easier to find things, but it's a lot easier on my shoulder too! :)

Tonight's supper will be Scalloped Potatoes and Cheesy Garlic Biscuits. I don't have an actual recipe for the scalloped potatoes, since it's such a general thing that most people already know how to make. One thing I do differently than anyone I know other than my mom, is add cut up hotdogs to it. I know, I know, it sounds digusting, but it's really not. It's a great way to get the kids to eat them, and it actually tastes really good too. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


As you know, if you've been reading this blog, I recently started learning how to quilt. I've taken a couple of classes and am working on things myself here at home.

Yesterday I decided, just for fun to put an ad on Kijiji.ca for free fabric, if anyone had any they wanted to get rid of. I really didn't expect anyone to respond, so I was very excited when I got an email about an hour after posting. Another hour after  that I got another email from another lady with fabric to spare.

I emailed back and forth with the second lady a bit last night and called her this morning to set up a time to swing by to pick up the fabric.

I came home with two garbage bags filled with scraps as well as at least 5 or 6 yards of uncut fabric! I couldn't believe it when I got to her house and saw the first bag filled and ready to go. When she said, here hold this bag and started filling it with even more, I darn near fell over!
Not all of it is usable, but that's ok, the vast majority of it is and I am over the moon excited and thankful! This 10 minute trip I took today will keep me in scraps  for patchwork quilts for a very, very long time!

Right now, I'm working on a 9 patch quilt pattern that I found in a book I bought years ago the first time I thought I'd try this quilting thing. I have 4 strips to finish sewing together, then those strips will be cut into about 500 smaller strips which will then be sewn together into 3 inch squares to make the quilt. It's a great way to practice my 1/4 inch stitch and use up some fabric I had here. The nice thing about this sort of quilt is that nothing has to match if you don't want it to. I have a feeling I'll be using this pattern again for more practice and to use up the scraps I got today!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quilting Class Was Fun!

Yesterday's quilting class was so much fun! We worked on a mini log cabin quillt which is something I've never done before. Not surprising, really since I'm just learning. LOL!

We did get the entire quilt top done, 12 squares. Next week we'll be putting it together and hand quilting the top. I'll post photo's when the whole quilt is completed. I had so much fun though. I did have some trouble at the beginning of class, which put me behind everyone else by about 20 minutes. My thread kept fraying and breaking. I couldn't figure it out and neither could the instructor. After about 15 minutes of this, she suggested switching out thread and that worked perfectly! I purchased their thread and I had no issues from that point on.

I'm not sure if the instructor liked me  or thought I really needed the practice, but she sent home a bunch of extra strips for log cabin squares. I don't think there's enough matching colours to make another mini quilt, but I can use them up to work on my 1/4 inch seam.

I also found a pattern online for a full size log cabin square that I might work on today. Either that, or  I'm going to start on the Sunbonnet Sue pattern for Christmas gifts. I'll make one up for myself to get a feel for the design, then I can make them up for everyone else.

The baby hamsters are doing so well. I can't get over just how incredibly cute they are or how fast they're growing! I swear you can almost see the growth. They're getting really chubby too, which makes them all that much cuter. I got a sweet picture yesterday for the Day 2 page of my son's album with one of the babies yawning. So sweet!

Today's Update:

There is really nothing exciting going on today at all. It's my desk day which means that I'll be writing up thank you notes and letters. Of course, there are the regular routines that need to be done. And it's Anti-Procrastination day today, so that means I need to pick one job that I've been putting off. Maybe I'll tackle my bookshelves in the den. They're a disaster!

I messed up the recipe for yesterday (sorry!) I had my days mixed up. Yesterday's dinner was actuallly taco's and tonight is Pork Chops in Soup. So, that means, no recipe for today. :(

Have a fantastic day and don't forget to smile!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We Have Baby Hamsters!

And oh my goodness are they ever cute!

As I'm writing this post, I'm not sure exactly how many there are, but we think 10. It's so hard to tell, though, they're so small!

This is all my son's idea and he has done all the work, the research, the planning, everything. On the last day of July, he put his male and his female together to mate (after checking to make sure that the local pet store would take the babies when they're ready, of course). He has been reading and researching and learning everything he needs to know to be a responsible hamster breeder.

And now, he's so excited. They're finally here!

His sister is going to have her choice of the litter to keep as her own pet. I will put an ad on Kijiji soon to see if we can sell them from home, and however many are left, will go to the local pet store.

Sally, Mama hamster, is doing such a great job too. She's a natural mother!

I'm going to start my son a scrapbook for this project of his. I'll take photo's every day of their growth, and save them on the computer (and post them here once a week so you all can see them grow too!) We'll keep records and notes, so that when it's all over, he can put together a nice little record of his babies. :)

Update: We did lose one little baby last evening. Poor little guy. It was just so sad. :( We're counting 11 noses now, we think.

But, cuteness abounded this morning when I got up. Apparently, the lure of the babies was too much for my son.

Today's Update:

Today I'm going to another quilting class! I can't wait. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the classes, but I have to tell you, they are fun! This class we're making a miniature log cabin quilt. This will apparently span two classes, today and next Tuesday.

Since Tuesday is my "free day" I don't have much on my To Do list, just the usual routines and decluttering. I'm determined to get this house in good working order and have a successful Christmas season! I've never had a good, organized and stress free Christmas. That's my goal for this season.

Tonight's Supper:

I won't be here all afternoon, so I'm making a nice easy supper today.

Pork Chops in Soup

4 pork chops
3 cans tomato soup
1 green pepper, chopped 
1 red pepper, chopped 
1 green onion, chopped
dash of worchestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Place pork chops in skillet. Cover with remaining ingredients and cook for approximately 1 hour or until chops are cooked and vegetables are tender.

Easy peasy! I'm going to make this all up this morning and have it sit in the electric frying pan until I get home. Then all I have to do is turn it on and voila! Supper is done. :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's The First Day of a Brand New Week!

I am so excited right now. Yesterday I signed up for a one year digital subscription to Quilter's World Magazine. Not only did I get access to October's issue, I also am able to download and save issues all the way back to 2006! There are so many great patterns, and all for only $14.95. Seriously. I almost didn't do it, because as funny as it might sound, $15 can be a lot of money, but I'm very glad I did. I have so many new presents I can make now!

If you quilt and you don't have a digital subscription, you really should think about it. I get nothing for saying this, or directing you to their site, I just think it's a fantastic deal. :)

Today's Update

Well, after a very busy, tiring Saturday and a relaxing Sunday, it's back to routines and getting things in order today! I swear, if I didn't have my routines, I'd be lost. I'm very much the type of person who loves knowing exactly what I'm doing day to day, and I adore having a list where I can check things off as I complete them. I'm like a little kid getting a gold star for a job well done. LOL!

So, cleaning and decluttering is the story for today. I've already done a lot of laundry (although the washing machine is acting a bit funny. Hopefully it's nothing serious), cleaned my downstairs bathroom and done all my routine cleaning for today.

Then I had a nap. I really didn't mean to! I don't like sleeping in the afternoon. It can really mess up my night time sleep. Hopefully not this time.

As soon as I'm done this post, I'll be doing Flylady's 27 Fling Boogie. You grab a garbage bag, go through the house, and find 27 things to throw away. Once you're done that, grab a box, and find 27 things to give away. It's a great way to declutter and if you do it right, it can be fun too.

Today's Supper:

Tonight we're having soup and biscuits. Monday is always soup day. That started last fall because my son had piano lessons and my daughter had concert band rehearsal. Because his piano teacher lives 1/2 an hour away, we had to leave early. It made for a busier after school period, so I found that if I made soup in the morning, I could just let it simmer all day and we could eat whenever we need to.

Garden Harvest Chowder

1/4 lb bacon, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
16 oz can cream corn
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

Fry bacon, celery, onion and carrots in a 6-quart saucepan until bacon is semi-crisp. Add water and peas, cook 15 minutes over mediumm heat until peas are tender. Add remaining ingredients, execpt peas. Cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until heated through. Add cheese, stirring until melted, but not boiling.

What I love about this recipe is that you can put anything you want into the soup. I didn't use bacon this time, I used ham. I've added broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, whatever I have on hand in the fridge or that needs to be used up. It's a delicious and very versatile soup.

With it, we're having

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

2 cups biscuit mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 450. Mix together biscuit mix, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms. Shape into balls and arrange on a cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until golden, watching carefully. Combine butter and garlic powder. Brush over each biscuit as soon as they are removed from the oven.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tournament Day

In the end, the kids did great, better than I thought they would, actually.

They lost their first game, which wasn't really a surprise. The team they played they'd never been able to beat and ended up playing for first place. So, really, a loss to them was expected. A win would have been great, but losing to them wasn't so bad. :) This is a photo of him playing second base.

Their second game they won, and won really well. They played that game so well, in fact that they were only one run away from being able to play for first themselves! That would have been an interesting game, if they'd gone for A Champs, because our town has two teams, Tamworth 1 and Tamworth 2 (that's my son's team). So, if they had played for A's, the two Tamworth teams would have faced off. It would have been a fun game, at least, because most of the kids on both teams are good friends.

But, as fun as that would have been, it didn't happen. They were short one run, so they played for B Champs. Against my son's old team. Unfortunately, it didn't go all that well. The coaches for the other team are a bit hotheaded, so there were some issues there. A few weeks ago, those same coaches got into a yelling match with some of the parents on our side. It was quite upsetting, the coaches were swearing at the parents and yelling some very insulting things. We pulled our son off the field and were preparing to just leave, but in the end, he really wanted to stay and play, so we allowed it. They did calm down, but it was very upsetting for everyone.

Because of the history, we knew there would issues, and of course there were, but nothing as bad as what happened earlier in the season. Things went along fairly well, but it puts a stress on the kids.

He did get to pitch two innings, which was very exciting for him. He loves to pitch and he's really quite good at it too!

Unfortunately for him and for the team, a really good hitter came up to bat with the bases loaded and 4 runs came in. That was the end of the game for them and they lost the B Champs.

But, considering that all season long they only won 2 games, both of them against the only team they won against at the tournament, and they were playing the all around #1 team in the league for the season, a 6 run loss isn't all that bad. They were disappointed of course, but they had a great time and that's what mattered for this team, this season.

And they did still get medals!

It was a very long day (7 hours altogether) and I have a horrid sunburn. But the kids had fun and they were very happy, so that makes me happy to.

And as a lifelong, diehard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, I'm used to saying "There's always next year." :)

I'm Featured In a New Collection!

I woke up to a notification that I'm featured in a new collection on Artfire.  This one features studios who are participating in the Artfire Stimulus Sale. Myself, I'm having a Buy One Get One Free sale, although I haven't had any takers yet. It runs till the end of August and proceeds are going to Pakistan, so I'm really hopeful that I'll make a sale or two. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Muffins Were Good!

Well, the muffins turned out really well.  They weren't very big, because it didn't make up a lot of batter, so I had to make them a bit smaller than I would have liked. But, they were light and very tasty. :)

Banana Muffins

3 or 4 large banana's, mashed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour

Mix mashed banana's, sugar, egg and butter together in a bowl. Set aside. In a seperate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add wet mixture to dry and mix well. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan and bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes. Oven times will vary.

These bake up very nicely. I made a full dozen and before they were even cooled completely, I only had 3 left. I guess they were a hit!

Well, today is the day. It's the last day of baseball for the boy. The tournament starts this morning around 8:30, although he doesn't play until 11:30.

It's a bit bitter sweet, as it is every year. They haven't had a great season, mostly due to the fact that the coach only called 2 practices all summer long. So, the kids haven't been improving as quickly as the other teams. But they're having fun and that's really all that matters, right?

I'm always a bit sad to see this day, though, because that means that back to school is just around the corner. Unlike most parents I know, I actually love having my kids home. I really miss them when they're gone all day at school, even though I know they have to go. :)

But, today is about fun and excitement and good sportsmanship. I'm taking my camera with me, so I'll have a picture or two to share tomorrow. Hopefully one of them will be the team posing with a trophy!

Have a fantastic day and make sure to find one person to bless, even if it's just with a smile. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Forgot!

I don't know how it happened, but I completely forgot the recipe for tonight's dinner!

We're having Country Salisbury Steak. It's a very easy dish to prepare, and very frugal as well, which is important. The kids love it, too, which is equally important. :)

Country Salisbury Steak

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 pkg stuffing mix
1 1/4 cup water, divided
3/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cups free mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup bbq sauce

Mix meat, stuffing mix, onions and 1 cup of the water until well blended. Shape into 1/2 inch thick oval patties. Place in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until cooked through.

Spray large non stick skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms, cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occassionally. Add bbq sauce and remaining water. Reduce heat to low. Cook 1-2 minutes or until sauce is heated through. Serve over the patties.


Thank You Artfire!

If you haven't visited Artfire.com lately, then you're missing a fantastic site for unique handmade gifts and items for you and loved ones.

For sellers, they have added a wonderful new feature,  Collections. I have been blessed to have been featured in several so far. I thought I would share the one's I've been featured in so far. :) A big thank you goes out to those that added me to their collections and to Artfire for creating this wonderful new tool!