Friday, August 31, 2012

Right Now

Absolutely lovely afternoon.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This Makes Me Happy

Fresh baked sandwich bread

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WIP Wednesday

Just "sew" (sorry!) happy to be back to the machine! Should get more done this weekend and have a sewing day scheduled with Miss D next week.

Completed Projects

Projects To Be Blogged
  • Crazy Clown Colors Quilt
  • Halloween Table Runner (new finish! woohoo!)
  • Halloween Quilt
  • Valentine's Day Table Runner
  • Sunday Picnic Quilt (this binding is going to take me FOREVER!)
  • Pinwheel Quilt
  • M's Quilt
  • Carpenter Star Quilt (need to make a backing)
  • Wonky Pink Quilt
Cut and Piece Stage
  • Repro Quilt  (hoping top will be done by next week!)
  • Ticker Tape Quilt
  • Green Squares Quilts x2
  • Sew-In Quilt
  • Scrappy Placemats
  • Penny Lane Quilt
  • Under the Sea Quilt
Non-Quilt Sewing Projects

  • Kids' Xmas gifts (this is a priority the next few weeks)
Need To Make Some Decisions
  • Habitat Challenge #1 & #2 - I think I'm going to make these quilt backs instead of fronts
  • Jack's Quilt - just not happy with it...
  • Sorta Stacked Coins Quilt (I really don't like this one... I might cut it up...)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Little Mermaid

Kate has been begging me to make her a mermaid tail for quite awhile. We purchased the material earlier this summer (with a 50% off coupon - outfitting a mermaid is expensive!!). Finally found the time (and energy!) to make it this weekend.
It wasn't difficult at all. Followed this tutorial. My only tip is to cut the fabric so the greater stretch is across the width... I made this one with the greater stretch lengthwise which made it difficult to fit in the fin tail. I also left out the elastic at the waist. Did a fold over seam, and Kate folds it down like yoga pants (or up for a full body suit!).

I have a pretty happy mermaid!
She still wants to take it to the swimming pool so she can swim like a "real" mermaid... not sure what the lifeguards will say!
The hot tub will have to do for now.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

30 Days of Organization - #22 Jack's Closet

Somehow the clothes that fit Jack in July no longer fit him now, so I cleaned out an entire laundry basket of shorts, pants, shirts, underwear, socks, PJs, etc. The clothes that were too big when I bought them on clearance last winter/spring, now fit perfectly.

His closet doesn't seemed overstuffed anymore, and there is a big box to be delivered to my nephew at Thanksgiving.

I would still like to hang some hooks on the inside of his door...

(And do I get credit for 2 projects since the clean out included his closet and his dresser?)

Right Now

Want to know what is REALLY good? My homemade vanilla sugar and fresh lemon juice on crepes.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Zucchini Weekends

Last weekend had a zucchini theme...

There will be even more zucchini this weekend...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

30 Days of Organization - #21 Basement Bookshelves

I just thought of another project! One I did last week. I needed more easily accessible, book storage space, so I moved some cheapo bookcases in our basement that weren't really being used (or rather were being misused and full of random junk). I put them right at the bottom of the stairs which gives me easy access from the kitchen. I've put kids chapter books, puzzles, homeschooling books and activities not currently being used, travel books, Colorado books, and infrequently used cookbooks.

I'm loving the new setup! Now my upstairs bookshelves aren't quite as crowded, but I can still grab these quickly and easily.

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30 Days of Organization - #20 Creative Cabinet

By golly, I really want to finish 30 projects by Labor Day! I'm a bit amazed that I've gotten anything extra done since we started full swing back to homeschooling. Getting my creative cupboard organized is actually going to help in the homeschooling realm since we can now actually find things.
Organized the bottom shelf to be (mostly) independent projects for the kids. We all need those more than occasionally these days.

No before photo, but I assure you that it was a disaster, and we had to push against the door to get it to latch!

(yes, that's some 70's fake paneling on my original 1905 built in. Gotta do something about that . Someday...)

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Homeschool: Summer Olympics

We eased into homeschooling by doing a unit on the Summer Olympics.
Olympic Training Center
Muscle Man
We all learned a lot, and studying made watching the Olympics that much more fun. One thing I have to do with homeschooling is to limit myself and realize that we can't do EVERYTHING related to our study subject. I would have liked to study more about specific Olympic athletes, but we mainly kept it to Olympic symbols and history. Of course, there is always Rio in four years...

Summer Olympic Resources:
(in no particular order)
Yup, those are cupcakes!
I have an Olympics Board on Pinterest with more ideas that we didn't use. We are also doing a bit of London study next week as a follow-up to the Olympics, so some of the pins on the Olympic board will be in my London resources.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Right Now

Trip to the zoo just to see the 2 day old gorilla.

Have I mentioned how much I love our zoo?!?

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Last year I made an enormous batch of vanilla to give as Christmas gifts. It is incredibly easy to make and much better than store bought vanilla (there are lots of "recipes" for vanilla all over the internet - I used a mixture of vodka, rum and brandy. My vanilla took a good 4-5 months to become nice and dark). I've kept the vanilla going in two half gallon canning jars that I keep in my pantry. Just about the time one jar is empty, the other jar is ready. I just add more alcohol to the empty jar and let it sit for a few months. I bottled some yesterday and thought I might share.
 It makes a great little gift for all occasions... birthdays, hostesses, etc.
Sometimes I make vanilla sugar (my proportions are 1 vanilla bean : 3 cups sugar) to give with the vanilla. I just can't keep it around the house or I'll eat it - straight from the bottle!
I also make the labels. Some people seem more impressed with the labels than the vanilla and sugar! I simply use 2" round Avery labels and "design" them on the Avery website.

It looks cute all packaged up!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Crochet project. Granny squares done on road trip (much better use of fidgety hands than eating GORP!). Now working on piecing them together.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

DayBook 8.13.12

Outside my window... is my perfect morning! Sunny but cool. I love shorts and long sleeves mornings.

I am thinking... that I got a lot done already this morning. A run, a clean out the hen house and coop, some garden work and a little weeding in the yard.

I am thankful for... my neighbors who help take care of chickens when we leave town.

From the kitchen... smoothie for breakfast. Going to clean out the freezer today and hopefully make some freezer meals this week.

I am wearing... running shorts and a long sleeve top and Matt's Crocs which have become the chicken coop shoes

I am creating... nothin' much. But I'm thinking about it all the time!

I am going... to a homeschool fair this morning.

I am reading...  finished Revive and Clean this week (okay, well maybe I skimmed some parts...). So not willing to give up certain parts of my diet for these plans. Might try one week of  the Clean cleanse. I'm also still listening to The Willpower Instinct.

I am hoping... for a productive week.

I am hearing... all kinds of things since I'm outside! Birds tweeting at the kitten, the hens clucking as the roam around the yard, the neighbor working in his garage, Kate chattering next to me.

Around the house... Need to unpack from our visit to the mountains, have some pictures to hang, want to call and schedule getting the couches and rugs cleaned.

One of my favorite things... green smoothies.

A few plans for the rest of the week: not much formally scheduled - love it - some homeschooling, a trip to Water World, lunch with friends

Here is a picture I am sharing: Love the Olympics!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rodeo Fun

until the rain came pouring down...
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Biodegradable Cup

I'm all for biodegradable...

I'd just like to finish my drink before my cup starts disintegrating!
(Tomorrow I'll remember my reusable mug)

Just found this draft... It must not have posted when I tried in Montana.

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Friday, August 10, 2012


Been busy this week planning homeschooling, assessing the kids and getting started with formal living. It is exciting yet overwhelming. I'm looking forward to having the kids with me more and learning with them.
Since there has been no time for blogging, thought I'd share that Matt's aunt is featured in an article in O Magazine - the September issue - about the work they do on their ranches in Arizona and Mexico. It is a good read and mentions the ranch where Matt and I were married. Worth buying the magazine.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Woodland Toy

Feeling a bit overwhelmed today. Seems like I'm chasing my tail and can't get anything accomplished. Also actively avoiding some necessary tasks.

What to do on this situation? Blog about something fairly inconsequential! (Although this is a really nice little story.)

We went out for ice cream our first afternoon in Waterton. While waiting in a rather long line, the kids were admiring some toys sold in the shop. Out of the blue, a lady walks up to us and asks if she can do something nice for our children (there was also some comment about how beautiful & well behaved she thought they were, but I'll spare you the momma gushing...). Thinking she wanted to get them sprinkles for their ice cream or some other small indulgence, we said yes. She then proceeded to purchase a large stuffed animal/tree toy for the kids.

How generous is that? It really made an impact on the kids & they entertained themselves for hours with it.

Need to remember to pass it on.

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Day Book 8.6.12

Outside my window... is a perfect morning for an open window. Cool air coming in, grass is wet from the sprinklers, everything seems really green today.

I am thinking... about what I need to get done today. Nothing big, but lots of little "to do's" need to be crossed off the list.

I am thankful for... our National Parks system. It really is amazing!

From the kitchen... going to make something in the crockpot today. Maybe pulled pork (in which case I need to make more slider buns) or a new casserole recipe.

I am wearing... boxer shorts with beluga whales printed on them that my parents bought me about 25 years ago (they are my PJs), a tank top that I slept in, and a Patagonia wool base layer that I put on because I'm chilly. It's a good look on me.

I am creating... granny squares for a crochet blanket. I think I have enough and need to stitch them together. Need another car trip!

I am going... clean the poor hedgehog's cage today and clean the poor fish's bowl. Both jobs don't take too long and are super easy, yet I always seem to put them off.

I am reading...  Finished Quiet on our trip. Really liked the book although it left me wanting something... many even more info? Maybe more confirmation that being an introvert is okay? Maybe I wanted the book to tell all the extroverts to stop talking? (Kidding! Sorta.) Not sure. Matt and I listened to Divergent and Insurgent in the car (I had already listened to Divergent but needed to listen again before the sequel). The books are very Hunger Games-esque but not as good nor well written. There is a lot of worthless killing (mostly in the 2nd book) and the descriptive words get a little redundant. Still it makes fun, easy listening for a road trip. I listened to What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (it is super short) this week which was inspiring but not specific enough for my me. Mostly the author just tells you that morning is a good time to get things accomplished. I'm currently listening to The Willpower Instinct which I find fascinating. Will get back to the Bonhoeffer biography when Willpower is finished.

I am hoping... for a quiet week.

I am hearing... Jack breathing as he sleeps next to me on the couch. Love my snuggle bug!

Around the house... Need to do some laundry (the great thing about camping is that you wear the same clothes for multiple days - not much laundry when you get home!), want to clean out Jack's closet (the poor boy only has 1-2 pairs of pants that fit), and might tackle the pantry if I'm feeling good this afternoon.

One of my favorite things... My new Tea Forte Kati Cup

A few plans for the rest of the week: not much... maybe some berry picking, some time at the pool... I love having a free schedule!

Here is a picture I am sharing: International Dog

Saturday, August 04, 2012


I woke early this morning after listening to a program about what successful people get done before breakfast.

Then I proceeded to spend the entire morning watching my chickens and drinking a chai.

That's my kind of successful morning.

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Friday, August 03, 2012

Sneaky Squirrel

Going through all our trip photos. Hopefully will post some soon. Until then...

Even though we aren't supposed to encourage this behavior, I loved this sneaky, brave, little squirrel at our campground in Canada.

Sneaking up to look for some goodies
I think I've been spotted!
Maybe I can hide behind the honey jar
Going for the goodies on the plate
(and this is when he was chased away!)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Camping Trip in Numbers

8 nights camping
3 nights on the road
2500+ miles
3 campsites
2 national parks (Glacier & Waterton)
2 countries
2 border crossings
2 times we had to pop the camper at the border crossings to pull out "illegal" goods (firewood & lemons)
2 Junior Ranger badges
8 bears spotted (1 was a mama with 3 cubs)
1 herd bighorn sheep
1 hike with mountain goats everywhere
50 yards - distance from our campsite that I saw a mountain lion spotted in the brush (yikes!)
3 bags of marshmallows roasted
4 showers taken (um, that's just one each...)
1 rainstorm where the camper was worth every penny
2 Coffee Crisps purchased in Canada
0 days with internet access
24 crocheted granny squares
60 minutes on a horse
1,000,000 mosquito bites
Only a few more hours until we are home!
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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

30 Days of Organization

Going to give myself one more month to finish blogging (and actually completing!) my 30 projects...