Monday, January 31, 2011

Sewing Project

When I was little my mom had a sewing machine.  It was one of those really old ones that was inside a sewing desk.  You had to open it up and flip the machine out.   She would make dresses for me and Aimee or use it to sew on our Girl Scout patches.  I used to try to make Barbie clothes out of her scrap fabric, but it was so ridiculously hard that I just never really had any interest in sewing.  I guess times have changed, because I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas this year.  Not only have the times changed, but the machines have as well.  My machine is very portable and easy to pull out anytime I want.  It also is a little on the fancy has a computer in it!  It is programed with 60 different stitches and can even make button holes.
My dear friend Willisia is a sewing pro.  She actually helped me on my first sewing project a few years ago when I made the curtains covering our sliding glass door.  I spent a Saturday morning at her house and she taught me how to thread my machine and do a few of the fancy stitching.  For my first (completely alone) sewing project I decided to make some couch pillows.  Pillows are not too terribly difficult to make, so it was a good choice to attempt.  Here is my quick version of a pillow making tutorial:

After picking out your material decide what size pillows you are going to cover.  J and I chose to use a couple of  20x20 and 18x18 size pillows.  You need to cut your fabric an inch larger on all sides to give yourself enough room for sewing.  Place your fabric with the right sides together and cut.

Sew the three sides together and about three inches in on the fourth side leaving enough room to stuff the pillow into.  Go back and reinforce the corners to make sure they are strong enough.
Using your iron, press the edges.  This will make your pillow seams lay flat against the pillow rather than "bubble up" on the sides.  Trim the corners to get rid of extra material.  

Now, turn the pillow case right side out and push the corners out.  Stuff the pillow into the space you left open.

Now comes the trickiest part...sewing the pillow closed.  You can sew it together by hand, which would probably take a while...or you can use your machine.  You will need to push the pillow down into the case as far as you can, or try to fold it over inside the case.  Fold the material where you pressed it and pin the sides together using straight pins.  Sew the sides together using a slow setting because its very easy to sew crooked.  The pillow makes the whole process a little awkward.

Fluff the pillows and you're finished!  Pretty easy huh?  
One down...three to go!

The finished product

I definitely could not have done this without the guidance of Willisia and her mad sewing skills.  J even helped out with a few of the steps too!  Stayed tuned to see these pillows along with another new addition to our living room...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Tonight for dinner I made a Spinach-Mushroom-Feta pizza.  I guess it wasn't truly homemade because I used a store bought crust, but I had no interest in making my own this was a quick dinner night.  So...this pizza was super good and pretty filling for a meatless meal.  I brushed the crust with olive oil and garlic then topped it with mozzarella cheese, fresh chopped spinach, red oinons, mushrooms and feta.  Oh-and a little more mozzarella cheese on top...the more cheese the better!  Throw it in the oven for 20-25 minutes and voila!  Super tasty semi-healthy pizza.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Jeremy

Happy Birthday to the best brother-in-law I've ever had!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flat Tires and Quesadillas

While driving home from school today I got a flat tire on the highway!  I don't know if you have ever gotten a flat tire while driving, but its not cool.  There is a loud thump, and then your car starts shaking.  I pulled over to check and sure enough-FLAT!  I was actually on my way to babysit so I called the lady, then Josh, and then AAA.  The AAA lady said it could take an hour for the tow truck to get there, but luckily it didn't.  The guy showed up, changed my tire, and sent me on my way.  (PS...did you know that VWs have a full size spare in the trunk?  It's great because I didn't have to worry about driving on a little donut tire!)

The cool thing about getting a flat so close to my school is several of my coworkers saw me and either stopped, called, or texted to see if I was ok.  I have some great coworkers!

So...after all that I decided to try out another PW recipe for dinner.  (Have I mentioned I'm obsessed??)  We had a delicious chicken quesadilla with grilled peppers and onions.  Her recipe actually called for shirmp, but since I don't do shrimp...I changed it to chicken.  I also did not have the Mexican Red Sauce she called for, so I used tomato sauce and added green chilies.  It didn't have quite the same effect, but it was still tasty.  It was a pretty easy recipe until it was time to flip the quesadillas...that was a little tricky.

Now that I'm stuffed, and back on a normal school schedule...I think I'll go to bed!

Monday, January 17, 2011


We took a trip to Asheville, NC this weekend to spend some time with my mother-in-law's side of the family.  They rented a cozy cabin in the mountains for everyone to stay in.
 It was difficult to get a great picture of the front of the house because it was on top of a very large hill.  You would have to walk down the steep icy driveway to the road and then walk back up again, and I just wasn't in the mood for all that trekking. 

We spent most of the weekend lounging around the cabin doing nothing really.  It was funny to count the number of various electronic devices that everyone had out in one room.  There were several laptops, iPads, and iPhones to play with.  Angie joked that the next house we rented would not have Wi-Fi.  We did play several rounds of Mad-Gab on Sunday night...good times were had by all playing that game!

Kristin and I played a lot of Mario Kart with JT.  Kristin can kick some butt at Mario Kart.

Ringo and Lorelai traveled with us on our weekend getaway.  They are ususally stuck at home with a dog-sitter when we go out of town, but this time we brought them along.  They were very well behaved the entire weekend and were even great car riders since they are not used to being in the car for such long periods of time.  Lorelai loved the snow and showed us that she is also a mountain climbing dog!

Here are a few pics of the family from the weekend...
All the "grandkids" with the exception of Levi and Lily who couldn't make it this weekend
Angie with her sisters and parents

A little snowball action
 And the target of the snowballs...

I think the dogs were worn out!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day Three

Here I am sitting on my couch, in my pjs for yet another snow ice day.  I haven't left my house since we played in the snow on Monday morning.  Its been kind of nice...just relaxing and sitting by the fire for the past three days, even if that means we are going to have to make up these three days later in the school year...on a beautiful sunny spring dayAlthough these snow days came right after Christmas break, I feel as if I have gotten more rest this week than over my two week break in December.  Christmas break was full of shopping, cleaning, wrapping presents, running errands, traveling (across town) to see family, more cleaning, more errands, cooking, and cleaning again!  With all this snow and ice I have felt no reason to venture out on the roads.  I am going to head out today.  The sun is shining and I feel Target calling my name.  But for now...
 I'll continue to sit here sipping on hot chocolate while watching Teen Mom (don't judge).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Keeping Warm

We had our second snow of the winter season today.  Last night during church I waited anxiously for the news of either a late start or no school.  They were predicting such a big snow/ice mess that I was positive we would have no school...and I was right!  We went to bed last night not knowing if J would have to work or not, but luckily around 6:30 he got a text that he was staying home with me and the pups all day!

J and I started our snow day by making muffins and lounging around in our pjs for most of the morning.

We then decided to take the dogs out for a walk around the neighborhood.  Our neighbor Lee and his dog Milo came out to play with us.
Meet Preston!  He's our friendly neighborhood snowman. 
When we got home we warmed ourselves by the fire and had a tasty lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup.  And then...we continued to be lazy by watching movies on the couch all afternoon!

Due to the heavy ice situation outside tonight and into the morning we will have snow day number two tomorrow.  We already have a work day on Friday, so that means my kids only have two days of school this week.  What a lucky week for them!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Within the last few months I have become obsessed with The Pioneer Woman.  She has an awesome blog about cooking, photography, and life as a cattle rancher's wife.  Amoung these talents she also is a very gifted writer.  She is extremely witty and even when writing a recipe she makes humorous little comments.  I check her blog just about every other day...I kinda feel as if me and Ree are BFF and only a little ashamed to admit that.  While roaming her blog I stumbled aross this interesting post.  I really enjoyed reading it because sometimes I struggle with what to post on my blog.  I'm fairly new to the blogging world and I felt like she had some interesting tips about how to write what you want and how you want to share your life.  Thanks Pioneer Woman!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Eve

Happy 2011!!!

This year we had a blast ringing in the new year!  We have had a NYE party the past three years, but this year was the best.  Well, with the exception of Carolina losing the bowl game that is.  Other than that we had a lot of fun.  J and I made chuncky cowboy chili and the most amazing Pioneer Woman stuffed mushrooms.  They make my mouth water just thinking about them.
 There was TONS of other food so needless to say we stuffed our faces all night long.

So...Carolina didn't have a really great night.  To tell the truth I didn't really pay attention to the game at all, we had so much going on around the house.  A few people we dedicated fans though...

After the game was over we all just hung out and waited for midnight
Our traditional New Years pic...our group seems to be dwindling down...we missed you Ro!

We had a few furry friends who wanted to celebrate the new year with us
Cory just couldn't make it to midnight

2010 was a great year for us and we expect 2011 to be even better!