Friday, November 19, 2010

Denali's Birthday

That's right, when you are in love with your dog as much as I am, they get birthday parties. Last month marked my girl's 2nd birthday. And I held a party for her and her friends at work. My coworkers looked at me like I was a crazy, but succumbed to the fun in the end.

Denali recieved a special Birthday Girl crown that she wore proudly (and which I constructed out of felt)

And a dog-friendly cake.

She waited patiently...

before they dug in!

I got this recipe from my friend Emily and the dogs LOVED it. And bonus: nobody got the runs!

Peanut Butter Carrot Cake

Naturally sweet, colorful and flavorful, this cake is simple and easy to make. Great for Fall.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 egg

Mix flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 8" round cake pan and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let cool. Puree cottage cheese in blender for icing. Decorate with more peanut butter and carrots.

My boss even wrote a post about the party on his blog for work. It was a really fun day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Before We Go...

Last month, Hubby and I went on a trek to the South. We had such a blast on our week-long trip, but I was so sad to leave my girl. The morning before we left, Hubby was going to drop her off at her good friend Murray's house to stay for the week. So I had to say goodbye before I left for work. And I totally cried because I had never been away from her so long. (I know she's just a dog, but she's MY dog!)

So, later that day Geoff sent me this:

And I totally cried again!

Don't worry, more on our trip coming soon.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner (pot roast) and a lovely movie at my mother’s house. It was a nice was to end the week.

Hubby met me there in his own car, so at the end of the night, we waved by to Mom and Mark and hopped into our respective vehicles. Now, there is something that you all might not know about me. I’m deeply competitive and I prefer to drive fast… and Geoff knows it.

He was in front of me at the beginning of the trek home. I was calm. Told myself we were adults and racing is for idiotic teenagers. As we pulled onto the onramp to 405 he’s going slowly. Not unbearably so, just enough to make me sigh and check if there was anyone in the next lane so that I could drive at my comfortable limit. There wasn’t. So I pulled around him. We were right next to each other. He started making faces at me and I laughed. And after a few minutes I decided that yes, we were racing and I wanted to win. So I pulled into the carpool lane (don’t worry mom, totally legal, it was after 7) and got way ahead of him. I couldn’t even see him anymore. This was going to be cake.

As I pulled onto I-5 I still couldn’t see him, so I just drove as I normally would. When I got off the freeway, the light at the intersection was red, while I waited, who else, but Hubby pulled up right behind me and mockingly yanked his glasses off of his face and scrutinized me. I waved.

The light turned green, and the street splits into two lanes. He pulled up next to me and the guy in front of me decided to take a left. Foiled! Hubby zoomed past me. I sighed, because I knew that the street turned back into a single lane street in a couple of blocks all the way to our house. I was defeated.

But alas, we came to a fork in the road which offered 2 ways home. Turn left or go straight. He turned left. I went straight. His route might be slightly longer in distance, but incurs a very steep hill and has a 35 MPH speed limit. Mine has a 25 MPH speed limit and 2 speed bumps. Being the competitive creature that I am, I hit 40 and took the speed bumps at 25 (the contents of my trunk were completely trashed) all the while keeping a sharp eye for cats and children (hey, I’m not a monster, ok) but my efforts were futile, I was too slow.

I saw Hubby cross the street I was coming down and he was going real slow, like 5 MPH. Mocking me all the way. I cursed at him. We were a ½ block from the house. The final obstacle was a round-about that sits at the top of our hill. Hubby ALWAYS takes the round about counter clockwise, which is the law. He has always been very firm about that. Tonight was no exception. His slowness, mockery, and law abiding ways made him loose the race. I cut him off at the round-about and pulled in front of the house. Victory was mine.

Best day of my life.

Just kidding.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Family Sillouette Seiries

For our latest sewing bee project we were asked to create something that we could hang on the wall and admire. And lately, I’ve really been into the whole heritage/legacy thing and I saw this idea of fabric silhouettes in a book.

I made Hubby’s first because he’s bald and I figured he would be easiest (love you, Baby). When I showed it to him, I asked if he would like any words printed on his. He immediately decided upon “Papa Bear.” And thus the series was born.

Turns out this whole thing was freaky-simple. All I had to do was:

1) Take a profile picture of my subject
2) Blow up the picture on the computer screen to desired size
3) Trace out silhouette on tracing paper
4) Cut out the shape
5) Trace around cut out onto desired fabric (If you are using a light quilting fabric you might want to consider a stabilizer, but that’s optional)
6) Cut out shape
7) Adhere to background fabric (Again, you might want to consider a stabilizer for the background)
8) Stitch into place
9) Stamp on words (optional, I used just regular stamp ink, like for paper)
10) Cut out background fabric to fit your frame

See? Ten easy steps. Each project took maybe 45 minutes. And it was totally worth it. Now I smile every time I look up at the wall. And I know these are going to hang in our home for a long time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Amazing Casserole-Dish-Transport-Device

When we moved into my Grandmother's house we had to go through her things and divide them up. Sell what could be sold; keep what should be kept, etc. While filtering through her kitchen things I came across an absolutely horrible, but freakin brilliant casserole-dish-transport-device. It was peach, of course, my grandmother sure loved peach. In fact the entire house was some version of peach. I'm serious. Floor to ceiling. Carpet, fireplace, furniture, curtain, blinds... even the CIELING WAS PEACH!! Anyway, I digress. The casserole thing (I don't know if it had a name of its own or not) was peach and quilted with peach lace trimming. Absolutely awful. But I kept it. Because if nothing else, it would provide me with a template to make my very own casserole-dish-transport-device.

And lo...

Isn't it fun? The design is so simple, though some of my measurements did go awry. I originally wanted a 10" pie dish to fit, and it can, but it’s a bit tight. Still, this was an easy project. I used 2 wooden sticks for the handles and a piece of plywood at the bottom for stability. I like it so much, that I decided to make another BIGGER one for my lasagna pan. Now, somebody invite me to a potluck pronto!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don't Stop the Beet

Before the weather got so pickin hot, I came away with a slew of goodies from the garden. I think my 2nd Annual Gardening Experiment went rather well. I learned alot of things like: plant garlic October not February, digging out new garden beds sucks, and no matter how excited you are you cannot start your seeds in January. They will die. All of them.

But some things did work out, see!

Aren't they beautiful? Look at those beets! I don't even like beets, but they sure were fun to grow. Look at the color! I was so proud. At least I ate about half of my little crop by juicing those buggers and mixing them with other distinctly un-beet-like things. They're good for the kidneys anyway. Hubby won't touch them with a 10 foot pole, but to be honest I didn't really try with him. I only know one way to cook beets and that is to roast them with salt and pepper. Folks, that just won't do it.

I had to give alot them away to people who do like them and will give them a good home. I was at a picnic the other day and my boss made a beet salad (out of my beets) that was pretty good, but I forgot to ask how he made it. You guys have any good recipes out there? Or any good beet stories? After all, they can turn your poop pink if you eat enough of them. That might really scare someone and made a great story. I'm not saying that happened to me, I'm just saying it could have happened to someone...

ok it might have happened to me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cards Cards Cards

I'm definitely one of those people who has a rather difficult time sitting still. Don't get me wrong, I love to "relax", sit back, and watch movies with my main squeeze, but I have found that it is damn near impossible to literally sit and watch and that's it. I've always got a project in my hands. Lately I've really been getting into card making. Its so fun and easy and you get instant gratification because your project is finished in 3 minutes. Every time I finish one I run up to Hubby and show it off like I'm in second grade and I just discovered the genius that is the macaroni necklace. He always fawns appropriately. And I love him for that.

Here are a couple that I've cooked up. I've leaned heavily on inspiration from (read "copied") other cardmakers, but that's only because they have way better ideas than I do.

I also made this super-cute pincushion tomato out of some scraps! Fresh picked. (Based off of a Heather Bailey pattern) Fun!