Thursday, November 27, 2008

gobble gobble!

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
-John Greenleaf Whittier

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving: Dessert!

I know I'm a bit late, sorry!!

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you'll know that I love to bake (and eat) anything sweet. So how could I not share a few dessert recipes for Thanksgiving?

The photo is from last Thanksgiving.. lots of sweets! This wasn't even all of it, there was a couple more pies on the table. lol

So this is what I'm making this year:

Pumpkin Torte
2 c crushed graham crackers
1/3 c sugar
½ c melted butter
2 eggs
¾ c sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 c pumpkin
3 egg yolks (save whites)
½ tsp salt
½ c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c milk
1 envelope plain gelatin
¼ c cold water
3 egg whites
¼ c sugar

-Mix crushed graham crackers, 1/3 c sugar and melted butter. Line a 9x13 pan with mixture.
-Beat 2 eggs, ¾ c sugar and cream cheese. Spread on top of graham cracker mixture. Bake 2 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.
-Combine pumpkin, 3 egg yolks, salt, ½ c sugar, cinnamon and milk. Cook until thick.
-Mix gelatin and water. Add to pumpkin mixture. Let cool.
-Beat 3 egg whites and ¼ c sugar until stiff. Fold into cold pumpkin mixture. Pour over cooled crust and refrigerate.

Lattice-Top Sour Cherry Pie from this book. I've linked to this book a couple times before. I love it. I made this pie in the summer after we picked a bunch of sour cherries and I froze some to save for Thanksgiving. It was delicious!! And here's an interesting little fact: Michigan produces about 75% of the country's red tart cherries!

And for my Georgia boy: Chocolate Pecan Pie from Martha Stewart. You can find the recipe here. I've never made this (I usually just make a regular pecan pie), so I'm anxious to see how it tastes.

What are you making for tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

bake it pretty

I was checking out the Craftzine blog and saw this:

(Don't these look delicious? I love that snowman!)

Details from the Craftzine blog: "The new Bake It Pretty shop has opened, offering all kinds of fabulous cupcake toppers and baking accessories. They're also offering a giveaway: Just leave a comment on their blog post and they'll draw one winner for every 50 comments received. Winners receive a $30 gift certificate to the shop! The drawing will take place on Tuesday, November 25th in the evening."

Check out her shop too, oh boy there's some cute stuff over there. I don't really make cupcakes all that much but this stuff makes me feel like I should!

Want some more cupcakes?

Here's a cupcake blog: Cupcakes Take The Cake

And a few recipes:

Vanilla cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes

Lemon cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes

Friday, November 21, 2008

Handmade gifts

This weekend I plan on working on some Christmas gifts.. I have a few projects I want to do but I haven't started any of them yet, just gathering some supplies. I hope I have enough time!

Here's two that are in the works:

A quilt for Brian. I'm posting this because he knows about it and he even picked several of the fabrics. haha.. I got him to go to the fabric store :)

I haven't decided on a pattern yet.. I'm thinking I want to just have fun with it and do something inspired by the Gee's Bend quilts. I have this book and it's just marvelous.

And an apron for his mom. He also helped pick out this fabric. The photo is the apron from Amy Butler's In Stitches. I've made a couple of these and they're fast and easy and cute.
I'm thinking of getting one of these pot holders from SallyRags to go along with it and maybe some of our favorite recipes printed out onto cute recipe cards.
What projects will you be working on this weekend?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving: Crafts

Hmm... Thanksgiving crafts are sort of hard to come by.. Almost all are from Martha Stewart.

Finger Puppet Favors

Paper Turkeys. Remember those old honeycomb decorations? These are sorta just like those. I love that.

Rustic Place Cards. I love these - you just cut a slit in a wine cork and wedge a little card into it. You can even download and print the cards from right here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On my list

I'm loving these stainless steel food carriers by To-Go Ware. Seems like they would be great for anything - salads, sandwiches, even soup. And the lid doubles as a plate! You even get a little jar for dressing. Considering it's all stainless steel and completely safe for you and good for the environment, I think the price is a bargain ($18.50).

And how cute are these? Bamboo flatware ($7.50), also from To-Go Ware.

Pair these up with your Klean Kanteen and a fabric lunch bag! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

from yesterday

I spent some time yesterday editing photos from a photo shoot I did Sunday of a cousin's dog (isn't he a cutie pie?). They will be a Christmas present for her husband.

I made some more baby caps and blankets for the The Caps to Cap-Haitien Project. Um, what possessed me to buy that star flannel? Must have been the rainbow colors. heh

And I played with this little one for a few hours while her mama was in class. We danced and sang Christmas carols. Well, I sang, she just laughed at me. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's been dark and rainy (and snowy!) here and the weather has me dreaming about warm, sunny days on the beach...

...I just have about seven more months of waiting. :)

I love this photo by Alicia Bock, available here. And here's her Etsy shop. Lots of beautiful photos there. She's a fellow Michigan girl so her photos remind me of my own summertime adventures. Oh, it seems so far away..

Friday, November 14, 2008

pumpkin chocolate-chip squares

The other day I wanted to bake and I wanted chocolate, but something other than my usual chocolate chip cookies. So this is what I made. Oh, are they good. So good, in fact, that I had two for lunch yesterday. :) You want to make them too? Find the recipe right here.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A confession...

I don't use shampoo!
I've been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead, and it's working so well, I'm still kind of shocked. I had a couple of weeks of weird hair (I think it might have been because I wasn't using enough vinegar), but now it's so great.. I'm glad I'm stubborn! lol

It doesn't get greasy anymore! I don't even have to wash it everyday.. right now I'm washing it every other day and just rinsing it with water on the days I don't wash, but I think soon I'll be able to wash even less. And I have long hair too.. I just can't believe how well it's working. I even met some friends at the bar last week and afterwards my hair didn't reek of cigarette smoke (which it usually does!).

I had been wondering how to do this for a while, and I happened upon a post on the Angry Chicken blog with a link to more information, which was quite helpful.

But here's how I do it (based largely on the info from the link):

- I have a big water jug with a sports top that I fill with a mixture of 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon baking soda. My jug holds 4 cups, so I mix 4 cups water and 4 tablespoons baking soda so I don't have to worry about it every day. The baking soda will dissolve in the water and it'll just look like water.
- For the apple cider vinegar, I have a spray bottle that I fill with a mixture of 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon vinegar. This bottle also holds 4 cups.
- On the days I wash my hair, I just open the sports top of the jug and pour the baking soda mixture all over my hair and massage it in (I don't use the entire bottle, I probably use about 1 cup of the mixture each time I wash). Sometimes I let it sit for a minute or so, other times I just rinse it. Depends on how dirty my hair is.
- Then I just spray the vinegar mixture in my hair, making sure it gets everywhere (again, not the entire bottle). In that link I gave with more info I think she said she doesn't use the vinegar every time she washes, but I do. Without it I find that my hair feels rough and dry. The vinegar makes it soft and shiny and it doesn't seem like it's hurting my hair at all. And the vinegar smell goes away! Promise!
- I don't use hair spray or anything else in my hair, so I can't say how that would affect it. That site said to stop drying your hair with a hair dryer, but I've been drying mine and it seems fine. I just let it air dry a little longer and use the hair dryer to get the dampness out.

I know it might sound crazy, but try it, it works!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Little house ornaments & Bookmarks

Itching to start some Christmas crafting? Well this adorable house ornament from Pimp Stitch would be a great place to start. You can find the tutorial here.
And, just added to the shop: Holiday bookmarks! (I'll be posting regular bookmarks too.) :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tutorial Tuesday - Baby Bib

There were no babies in the house when I was working on this, so Henry helped out instead. :)

Click here for the bib tutorial.

Click here for the bib template.

Monday, November 10, 2008

50 ways to help the planet

Want to do something for the environment but don't know where to start? This site is great - it has 50 simple ways that you can help the planet right now. My, um, favorite one? #17 ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm ready for Christmas...

Well.. not really but I do have lots of red and white baker's twine, which I found right here. (The site is kind of crazy, but scroll down, its there I promise. They also have it in brown, green, and blue.)
Um, I'm a little overwhelmed with this huge mass of string. It weighs two pounds!
Oh, but isn't it wonderful? The little guy's cute too, isn't he? I found him at a garage sale a few weeks ago. I brought him home and washed him and washed the paint right off his nose! oops! :)

If you're not looking to own two pounds of string, you can find 20 yard lengths in the shop (direct link here). And you get Santa to boot!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More embroidery

Here's some more of my favorites...

I know this one isn't embroidery but I love that little bird.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A way to help

The other day, SouleMama shared a project she's been working on called Mama To Mama. Her first project is to make caps for newborns that will be distributed in Safe Birthing Kits in northern Haiti. On the Mama To Mama blog, she has more information and you can also download a PDF with directions and a pattern to make the caps (and an address to send them to once you're finished). They look super easy and they're made out of repurposed t-shirts! Everyone has a few old t-shirts around, right?

I also love this quote that's on her new blog: "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again." -Stephen Grellet

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

(poster by SpotCo. Design, found here)

Monday, November 3, 2008


Recently, some friends of ours gave me several boxes of linens, fabric, sheets, etc. that once belonged to their grandmother (they were going to throw it all away if I didn't take it!!). While quite a bit of it will be going to the thrift store and the animal shelter, I found a nice little stack of embroidered towels and table cloths that I just had to keep. Here's some of my favorites. I'll post more later this week. :)