Friday, September 27, 2013

Cake + Cloth Napkins = Impromptu Tea Time!

I finally went grocery shopping after trying to bleed out my fridge/freezer/pantry.
I have butter, oil and eggs again.


I can finally make a chocolate cake

purl bee tutorial napkins with giant ric rac, ooey gooey chocolate cake recipe photo IMG_4784_zps24799cac.jpg

Which prompted me to finally sew cloth napkins that have been on my to-sew list for years now.

purl bee tutorial napkins with giant ric rac photo IMG_4788_zps11cf517e.jpg

YEARS, I tell you, to sew up two squares together

purl bee tutorial napkins with giant ric rac photo IMG_4791_zps274adb7b.jpg

The fabric was even all cut up and ready to go...

Sometimes, I don't understand myself.

Napkin tutorial: Purl Bee's Spring Napkins (mine turned out more fiesta-ish than spring, which needs to be rectified)

Cake recipe: Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake (note from the wise -- if using a springform/cheesecake pan, cover the outside of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the water from seeping in while baking - else you'll end up like me, with a soggy cake that needs to be dried out  --- it was fine after microwaving slices for about 30 seconds prior to eating, but still...soggy cake is gross)

Friday, September 06, 2013

Lets Go Picking!

Welcome to my little square foot garden!
(LOVE my little harvest basket)

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Tomatoes are doing well -- I was under the impression that tomatoes should be in abundance in the middle of summer...If that is the case, my tomatoes (and eggplants, for that matter) are late bloomers

My Japanese (Ichiban) eggplants are doing well -- it has yielded quite an abundance (to me, at least) of fruit.
Whereas the regular eggplant has had of which is still in the mid-stages of growing.

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It currently has about 4-5 that should be ready for picking in the next week of so, with some tiny little babies still growing (looks like a little Christmas light bulb!)

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A regular harvest for me

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Sometimes in the span of a few days, a week, or longer than that -- it really depends on the plants - I do not treat it with fertilizer. I don't do much other than water them occasionally, to be honest.

Seems pitiful in comparison to serious gardeners. But it is sufficient for this household of 1 1/2.

Even with these meager pickings, I am at a loss of what to do with them sometimes, as there are only so many eggplant/tomato/basil cravings I get.

For today, it shall be a simple omelet type mash

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In other parts of the garden, my lavender in the side garden is going into second my lavender!


And a random picture of Isabel as she went to school this morning --

She looks like a skater girl/tomboy.
Rarely does she ever dress like this - it's the baggy jeans that gives that impression. Again, another outfit courtesy of her dad. 

They aren't really my style, but whatever floats her boat. She is still cute as a button 
(with a little hooligan hiding within that cuteness)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Little Gifts

Drawstring giftbag

For the girl, a book, a simple skirt and a reversible top:

Drawstring gift bag - girl

With little washi tape tags to indicate the size

And for her big brother, just some random little things, so that he has something too:

Drawstring giftbag - boy

I am quite enamored  with these little bags -- I think it would be perfect to put Christmas (4 more months!) gifts in.

I couldn't find a tutorial for making an unlined drawstring bag when I was settling down to make them for the 2 kids, so I winged my way through, using a buttonhole to weave the drawstrings through

unlined drawstring using a buttonhole

I even had half a mind to post a tutorial for this, but then I had a light bulb moment....

Wrong search words in Google.
 "Not lined" does not give you much in terms of results. "Unlined" was the correct search term.

I made another for one of Isabel's preschool teachers, this time using the "correct" method.

I don't know...I think I prefer using a buttonhole. Except I would alter it to include interfacing in order to strengthen the area, since it is unlined.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

5 Random, Mundane Things #1

1) Obsessed with this song:

The church I have been attending have had a turnover of their choir/singing group (with a fantastic new lead/guitar player) and they have been introducing a lot more contemporary songs -- this one was played with a strong drum beat (like the march of an army) and is sing-at-the-top-of-your-voice FANTASTIC

 2) Still awed by the fact that I am actually GROWING food. It is a humbling and amazing experience. And quite fool proof as I have basically been ignoring my plot, except for random watering and weeding.

3) Books I recently finished and loved

The One and Only Ivan
Tears fell, my heart ached, I wondered about the cruelty of humans and I don't want to go to a circus ever, EVER again

 It is a children's book, which I have a soft spot for. 

A historical romance, my favorite kind. I read a lot of these, but this is definitely one of my favorites, along with She Walks in Beauty  by Siri Mitchell.

I borrow my books from the library because if I bought all the books I wanted to read, I would go broke and will live in a cardboard box under a bridge.

But this is one I will be purchasing for my own library 
(that sends a thrill down my spine---"my OWN library")

 Some of my old friends and I are trying to form a book club where we will read and talk about books. We all live on different continents, with probably very different tastes in reading materials (I prefer to read those with a hopeful air, happy endings and basically something, that at the end of it, will make me have a new perspective on life and hope for the future. One of my friends prefer sad books -- She loves Wuthering Heights..I wanted to smack Heathcliff, and shake Catherine) it shall be interesting.

I am excited.

4) Since I love historical fiction, it is probably a given that I like period movies and shows as well. I don't watch much TV, but PBS has made available fantastic shows

Call the Midwife

Set after the war in the 1950s, it follows the life of midwives in London's East End.
The second season is still up for viewing here

Downton Abbey

Also made available via PBS, it is about lives of aristocrats (the Earl of Grantham and his family) in the post-Edwardian era

I have recently signed up for a trial of Amazon Prime and to my delight, they have made this series available for free (All THREE seasons)

Whereas Netflix has taken down Season 1 (the one and only season offered on streaming) from their online selections. 

Boo Netflix.

5) Trying to be super fantastic mom and make inspired lunches for Isabel as she starts her new school. Japanese containers rock.

Sunflower butter sandwich, hard-boiled egg, fish nuggets and a tomato FROM MY GARDEN

And I don't know how American kids can survive (and actually LIKE) having some form of a sandwich day after day after day for their lunch.