Friday, February 29, 2008

More Random Facts...

... about me. My friend Lauren (of the incredible Sweet Bean's) cyber tagged me, and now I get to tell you all 7 more things you might not know about me.

1.) I hate brushing my teeth. I do it, but I hate it, and I gag. Every time. Yuck.

2.) I have a terrible fear of the ocean. I have this recurring nightmare where I'm on a tiny plank drifting out to sea and there are all these sea creatures bumping up on the under side of it trying to knock me off. Eek - I'm getting freaked out just talking about it!

3.) I love to peel my own and other people's sunburns. I know, that's totally gross, but it's true.

4.) Every single one of my friends growing up had the same middle name as me: Marie. Seriously - there were about 9 of us.

5.) I have 3 brothers, 2 brothers-in-law, one father, one father-in-law, 2 nephews, a husband, and a son. I am completely surrounded by testosterone!

6.) I really wish I was a vegetarian. I became one after we slaughtered our first batch of chickens (there were 24 of them) right after moving onto my parents' farm. I just couldn't stomach eating something that my hands had been IN, if you know what I mean. After getting married I couldn't manage to find a happy medium between me eating no meat and my husband eating only meat. So I threw in the towel.

7.) My car is embarrassingly messy. It's like some kind of warp zone. Anything that enters my car instantly becomes covered in crumbs, breaks, and doesn't ever come back out.

So, now that you've waded through all that, go over and check out the other people I've tagged: Pam, Anjalie, and Amy - I'm sure they are all much more interesting than me!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Better-for-you Enchiladas

I've always been a bit of a health nut - not over-the-top, but I get squeamish when it comes to adding loads of fat to my meals. So when I first got married I set about creating a lower fat enchilada recipe that also somehow snuck veggies into my stubborn husband's belly. Here's what I came up with:


3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium zucchini squash, diced
1 1/2 cups of plain non-fat yogurt
1 large can of mild diced green ortega chiles
1 large can of enchilada sauce
1 package of tortillas
Grated cheese

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.) Spray a large pan with non-stick spray and saute the onions and zucchini over med-high heat until they begin to get tender - about 4-5 minutes. Resist the urge to add any oil - the juices will start to release from the veggies as they heat up. Add the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

3.) Meanwhile, add the can of chiles to the yogurt and mix well. Set aside.

4.) Prepare a 9"x11"x2" (or something like that... I never know pan measurements) baking pan by spooning in several scoops of enchilada sauce and swirling it around until the entire bottom of the pan is covered.

5.) Now you're ready to assemble your enchiladas. Lay out one tortilla and spread one scoop of sauce over it like you're making a pizza. Add a bit of chicken-veggie mixture and a bit of the yogurt-chile goop down the middle as if you're making a burrito. Sprinkle a TINY bit of grated cheese over all (you can eliminate this step all together if you want - the yogurt makes them wonderfully goopy without the cheese) and roll it up. Place seam-side-down in the baking pan. Repeat this until your pan is full or you've used up all your ingredients. Using the quantities listed above, I usually make about 8-10 enchiladas.

6.) Once the pan is full, spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tops of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.

7.) Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes.

8.) Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Slowly Restocking...

This blanket is new in the shop today. I'm slowly finishing up the hand-binding on a bunch of new blankets and quilts. My recent fabric spree somehow jammed up my production line. I seriously have so many ideas of things to make that I find myself spending valuable sewing time sitting around touching the piles of fabulous fabric and daydreaming of what it could become. Silly me. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Monday!

Well, the "internet guy" came and fixed our connection, so I'm back (I know, what were you going to do without being able to read my ramblings... man, this blogging thing is so narcicisstic.). It's been a pretty productive Monday: we got the tires rotated, walked to the post office to mail a few packages, and got the grocery shopping done. And look what I found: REAL orange juice! My husband thinks I'm crazy for being so excited about this stuff, but it is seriously a great find. I grew up with a huge orange tree in my front yard, so I know what real orange juice is supposed to taste like, and the stuff you buy in the store just doesn't taste right. Even if it DOES say "fresh squeezed" and "pure orange juice," it just tastes gross to me. (Not to mention the weird fact that it will stay "good" for about 6 months in the fridge. There's something fishy about that.) But I bought Trader Joe's OJ on a whim, and holy cow! I tastes like the stuff my mom used to make for us on Saturday mornings! Hooray!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Going off line...

... not permanently, though. Our internet is down (*gasp*) so I'm having to do all on-line shop upkeep at my in-laws. There is a technician coming out to fix it this Monday... something about "50% packet loss." I have no idea what that means, just that blogging will be too difficult while trying to keep a two year old from destroying my mother-in-law's house. But I'll be sewing like crazy and hope to be back to blogging really soon. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stuck on the Hill... How we accidentally made a stranger's day

Today there is a bike race going through our neighborhood and the roads have been closed for the middle part of the day. Rather than risk being stuck down the hill, I decided we would stay home for the day. I can't pretend I wasn't a bit annoyed by this, since we missed Bible study, which is the hilight of the week for both Moses and me, and the one day we see all of our friends. In fact, the whole thing has been a big pain since they have been "fixing" the road to our house for the last few weeks in preparation for the race. Apparantly, "fixing" consists of tossing a bunch of loose asphalt across the road and letting all the hillside residents drive over it in lieu of using one of those rollers to tamp it down. (Every time we drive through a patch and send gravel flying Moses shouts "Mommy! What that?!?!") Now, I'm all for bike races and am sure all those bike riders will have a glorious trip through our hills, but there is something about being told you can't leave from or return to your home for a 4 hour period that just sticks in the ol' craw (is that a cliche Jen?). And seriously, that dang asphalt. Every time I drive home I get more angry about this bike race.

So this morning I told Moses we were staying home because of the bike race, and we decided to walk up our street to the main road where the bikers would be riding past. It was really just for something to do - it was much too early for the bikers to be riding past. So we bundled up and made the short but very uphill trek to the main road. Moses was pretty disappointed when we got there and he didn't see a single bike, and he kept peering up the road hopefully.

After a few minutes he shouted "There a bike mommy! There it is!" and sure enough, down the hill came one single solitary biker. As he whized past us he waved enthusiastically and shouted "Thanks! Thanks so much!!!" I was momentarily confused until I realized that he thought we were FANS of the bike race and had been standing there to cheer him on. HA! I got the biggest kick out of it - it's making me laugh right now. I've been complaining about the race for the last month and then end up looking like some crazy bike fanatic waiting along the road at the crack of dawn to cheer on the lead racer. I'm glad, though. That guy was so happy and it absolutely thilled Moses - he keeps saying "That guy said hi to me. Thanks so much guy!"

And, of course, it has turned out to be a gorgeous day. It rained last night so everything is clean and fresh - those pretty purple flowers just started sprouting out of my dad's lawn. I'm sure he isn't happy about them, but I think they're adorable.

Then there were the requisite getting wet and muddy (I've resigned myself to the fact that Moses goes through at least two pair of pants each day) and game of "you'd better not step on my shadow!"

And now it's nap time. Not too bad for being stuck on the hill. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Since I'm probably not getting any taller...

This awesome on-line tutorial came to me by way of Gabrielle at Design Mom, who came by it through Skirt. Thanks Burdastyle! Now we can all hem our jeans without hacking off the bottoms, which is the best part. :)

Monday, February 18, 2008


If you could see the number of plastic bins under my bed that house fabric, you'd know that I have a definite problem. Well, I fed my addiction this weekend with a trip to this fantastic fabric store in Los Gatos. This is what I bought, and believe me, I was exercising GREAT restraint! (They had an entire WALL of polkadot fabrics. An ENTIRE WALL!!!) I have so many ideas flying around in my head I don't know what to start sewing first!

The boys played at the nearby park while I browsed the shop and were rewarded by this little stop at the end of our morning:

And now I'm off to get my hands on some of that new fabric. :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Peaches and Cream ... and a Girdle

Here's the latest security blanket I've listed in the shop. Over the last few weeks I've sold a lot of security blankets, so I decided it's time to restock. But between doctor's appointments and Valentine's Day and play dates, this is the only one I got finished this week. More should be coming to the shop next week.

In other news, I finally broke down and bought a girdle. To all of my friends who read this and have not yet had babies: a girdle is a terrible yet wonderful invention that puts everything back in place that isn't there anymore after having a baby. I've spent the last two years doing every variation of the sit-up that fitness magazines have ever published and have finally been forced to admit defeat. That extra "stuff" doesn't seem to have anywhere to go and just doesn't want to morph back into muscle. SO, given the fact that we have a "black-tie optional" wedding to attend tonight, and the fact that I don't feel like spending 4 hours "sucking-it-in," I bought a girdle, and I LOVE IT!!! It's like having my old body back, minus the ability to take deep breaths. But I can forego being fully oxegynated for a few hours if it means not looking several months pregnant in my nice new dress. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

... from us to you, and here's wishing you a wonderful one.

Brett and I have reached that wonderful phase of marriage where all the preconceived notions of what's "supposed" to happen on Valentine's Day have passed. Thank the Lord. We've had the disappointing fancy dinners. We've done the mad scramble to snatch up the babysitter before all the other parents so we could have an evening alone. Then there was the Valentine's Day where he forgot it was Valentine's Day until 10 pm and thus gave me a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and five lotto scratchers. Thankfully we've gotten it all out of our system. This year we are ordering in (because who wants to cook and do dishes on Valentine's Day?) and watching a movie in our jammies with some nice big mugs of hot tea. Cozy, cheap, and fantastic. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thanks Trendy Tots!

This little security blanket is featured in the Trendy Tots Fresh Finds of the day! I'm so excited - I love the Trendy Tots blog - it is full of totally cute things for kids. Kind of like having your own hip personal shopper. Go check them out!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Look What My Man Can Do:

This is the "before" picture...

... and this is the "after" picture:

I figured that instead of showing you more of what I've been making, I'd show you all a bit of what my husband has been doing. He's a landscape contractor and he's just finishing up this gorgeous job (no, this is not our house...). This is the back of the house and just part of the almost 1 acre that he's landscaping. Isn't it beautiful?!?! Before he completes the job I'm going to go out there and take some more blog-worthy pictures to show off his skills.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Another Play Mat

I listed this patchwork play mat in the shop last night. I love making these because I can totally indulge my love for off-beat color and pattern combinations. I have a LOT more things in the works for the shop, but I'm still learning how to balance making new things with filling custom orders AND with restocking items that have sold. I usually use the weekend to get a lot of sewing done, so we'll see if I manage to finish the two quilts that have been in the works. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Ice Trick - Phase Two

Yes, the Ice Trick was a huge success. My only advice is to do it when anyone who might freak out isn't home, as the end result looks a little something like this:

BUT the kid doesn't come out this color, so that's a plus. :)

The "Ice Trick" - Phase One

Here is a super fun, easy, and cheap activity that will be a BIG hit with your kids. Named "the ice trick" by Moses' friend Keefe who taught it to us, all it requires is food coloring, water, and a bunch of different sized containers that are freezer friendly.

Fill all the containers with water and have fun adding different combinations of food coloring. Two is definitely too young to fully grasp the idea that "blue and red make purple," but you should have seen Moses' eyes light up when he stirred those two colors together and they "magically" became a different color all together!

This is a kind of messy activity, and I haven't quite figured out how to avoid getting food coloring on your hands, but Keefe's mom assures me the green washes out in a few days. :)

Put all the colored water containers in the freezer and (here's the hard part) wait for them to become huge colorful ice cubes of all different shapes and sizes. We're still in this phase, but I've promised Moses that after his nap he can play with them in the tub. I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Lovely Start to the Week

The last two days have been such a nice combination of playing outside in the sunshine and finishing up projects... Look at this beautiful mosiac we found at a park yesterday.

And this is my pincusion (from Herbst Handmade), which I adore - just makes you want to create something, doesn't it?
And since this post is random already, I will share with you my son's latest hilarious comment. As I was getting him ready for bed this evening, he looked up to the ceiling and gleefully exclaimed "Thank you God, for putting my head on me!" Well, amen to that. :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

February Give Away

Thanks so much to everyone who "entered" last month's give away - that was fun! This month I will be giving away one embroidered patchwork lavender sachet. All you have to do is leave a comment on ANY post during the month of February and you will be automatically entered into the random drawing at the end of the month. What a fun post-Valentine's Day gift for yourself!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I'm so Excited!

Look what I just bought from Fields of Honey - aren't these the coolest earrings?!?! They'll look perfect with my new $6 heels (that's right, I bought a pair of heels for $6.). Now I just need an occasion to wear them (the heels, that is. I'm sure I'll be wearing the earrings all the time). Check out her shop for lots more cool earrings!

And the Winner is...

The winner of my first ever give-away is My Hearts Design, who will be receiving these cute little bags. Stay tuned to find out what I'll be giving away in February...