Friday, July 11, 2014

Moving

I have been absent from this blog for too long again.  Partly because my kids are out of school.  Partly because we have been spending a lot of time travelling.  But, mostly because we sold our house and have been working feverishly to get moved out.

We decided about a month ago to put our house on the market.  We have simply outgrown it and need to get into something bigger, but were worried that our house would take a  long time to sell in the sluggish market in our area.  To our surprise, our house sold in just four days, causing us to scramble to make other arrangements.  Luckily, our house sold at almost the exact same time as our renters decided to move out of our rental property across town.  So, for now, we are all trying to cram our lives into an even smaller place until we can buy or build something bigger.

So, as I say goodbye to my little starter home, I want to post pictures of it on the blog, so I can always remember this special little home.  After all, it was the place where I brought four of my five babies home from the hospital.  It is where they all learned to crawl, walk, and talk.  It is the place where there were lots of tears, but also lots of hugs, laughter, love, and lots of learning.

These pictures were taken during various stages of our moving process, so, some rooms may look a bit more barren than others.


















Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken Cabbage Salad



I can't take credit for this recipe.  I got it years ago from a friend's mother, and I know that it is widely available.  I also know that there are several variations of this recipe - and I have tried many of them - but in my opinion, this one blows all the others out of the water.  Even my husband, who is not a fan of "chick food", loves this salad and will eat it as a meal.  To me, it is the perfect recipe to add to your summer rotation.

click here for a printable version of this recipe

Chicken Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:
1/2 head cabbage chopped
4 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup slivered or chopped almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
1 cup cooked shredded chicken (I always use a little more)
1 pkg. Ramen Noodles - broken up

Dressing:
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp. sugar
Seasoning packet from Ramen Noodles

Method:
Toast almonds and sesame seeds on cookie sheet at 350 for 8 minutes. Let cool.  Mix all ingredients together.  Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.  Toss to coat well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Note:  Most people think that this salad is best if it has had several hours for the flavors to meld together before serving.  It is delicious that way, but personally, I love it best fresh when the noodles and almonds are still crunchy and you can still taste the freshness of the cabbage.  So, try it both ways and see what you think.

Friday, May 9, 2014

HST sampler blocks - the rest

My husband was out of town for a few days, and I kind of got on a roll with these HST sampler blocks. I used every last one of my leftovers.  I don't know quite what got into me, but maybe I just had fun putting these together and not worrying about them being perfect.  It was a perfect late-night activity for me.






I'm not sure when I will get these all put together into a quilt top with summer on its way, but it is nice to have them finished.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Simple Teacher Gifts with Free Printable

It suddenly occurred to me that this is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I needed to get some gifts together FAST!! I went looking online and found this adorable idea.  I was about to print out her cute tags and then remembered that I am running very low on colored ink in my printer and I knew that I would never have enough ink to print those colorful tags out for all of my boys' teachers.  So, I took a few minutes to make up my own simple tag, with the same sentiment.



I attached the tags to individual pens with cute baker's twine for my boys' teachers.


But they would also be cute tied into a bundle.


Or presented in a jar.

If you would like to download my gift tag, click here.

Such a simple, inexpensive, and fast teacher gift.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Homemade Waffles


I always, always, always make waffles from scratch, and when I do, I prefer this delicious whole wheat waffle recipe that I grew up on.  My boys love them too, but my husband grumbles about them a bit, so once in awhile I make him some good old fashioned white ones.  I developed this recipe to be crispy on the outside and chewy and fluffy on the inside.  We love them too.

**A couple of notes about how I prepare this recipe:

  • I have replaced all or part of the milk with buttermilk if I have it on hand and the waffles are even more delicious.  
  • I always separate the eggs and put the egg whites in my Kitchenaid and let them whip up while I am whisking together the other ingredients.  Then I fold them in to the batter.
  • Your final batter should look light and fluffy and may have a few lumps of egg white in it (see picture above).



Homemade Waffles
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup oil

Method:
Separate the eggs.  Whip up the egg whites until they are light and fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk, sugar and oil.  Add the flour, salt, soda, and baking powder and whisk until smooth.  Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter and bake in a hot waffle iron.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

HST Sampler Blocks 5 and 6

I went the extra mile and made two sampler blocks this week.


Thanks to chain piecing, these really go together fast.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diaper Clutch Tutorial and a Cute Gift for a Baby Girl


After five babies, I appreciate the value of a simple diaper clutch.  I loved having one to put in my diaper bag.  It kept the diapers and wipes clean, easy to find, and in good condition.  As my baby got a little older and no longer needed a full fledged diaper bag, it was nice to have one of these ready to grab when we were on the go, or when I needed to drop him off at a sitter.

I have a friend who is also my neighbor and a relative (sort of - - our husbands are cousins), who is having a baby girl any day now.  So, I decided to whip up one of these simple diaper clutches for her and her sweet new addition.  While I was at it, I snapped a few pictures and decided to write up a tutorial on how to make these quick and easy diaper clutches.


First cut two pieces of coordinating fabric into 12" x 21" pieces.


Now layer the pieces on top of each other, wrong sides together, and measure in 2 1/2 inches from one of the top corners.  Cut out a triangular shaped section on the diagonal.  (This will make more sense when you look at the next two pictures.


To ensure that both of my sides match.  I take the side that I have cut and fold the fabric in half, lengthwise - then cut the other half of the fabric along my cutting line.


This is how it will look when the cutting it done.


Take your lining fabric and a piece of sew on velcro (loop side).  Pin the velcro in place in the center of the  piece of fabric about 1" down from the top.  My piece of velcro was about 3 1/2", but it could be a little longer or shorter and it wouldn't make much difference.  Sew the velcro in place.


Next, match your fabrics up, wrong sides together.  Pin in place and sew around all four sides leaving about a 2 - 3 inch opening for turning.  Make sure you backstitch as you start and end the seam.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance here, but a 1/2" seam allowance will work too.


Turn the fabric right side out and work out the corners.  Press the entire piece well, then fold up the bottom of the piece 7 inches.


Fold the top piece down to determine where you want your hook side of the velcro.  Pin the velcro in place and then double check that it is where you want it.  Unfold the entire piece and sew the velcro in place.


Fold the bottom of the piece up again, 7 inches and pin both sides in place.

Top stitch around the entire clutch.  I used a scant 1/4" seam allowance, because I wanted to be sure to completely close the opening I had left for turning. ( It may be easier to use a full 1/2" seam to sew the two pieces of fabric together and then a full 1/4" for top-stitching.)


Here is the completed clutch.  Cute, but I felt it needed a little something more.


I sewed on a cute pink button and it is perfect!


It has lots of room inside for plenty of diapers and small package of wipes.


I wrapped it up in a basket with additional diapers, some baby wash, and a fun book.


And I added a little ribbon embellishment to the basket just for fun.  I love it when gift packaging can do double duty as something useful after the gift has been removed.

A simple, roomy diaper clutch and a cute baby gift.  Hopefully the new mommy will be pleased.

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