Saturday, November 3, 2012

Frog Hooded Towel

I found a great tutorial for this super cute Frog Hooded Towel a few months back and finally made it tonight!  If you have or know little ones, this would be a great gift idea!

My version :)

I can't wait to give it to my nephew for Christmas!

Isn't he adorable!

Can you think of a little one you would make this for?


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time For A Change!

I'm a small woman - only 5'4".  And I'm small boned.  I like this about myself actually - I don't mind being 'tiny'.  Even my feet are tiny, which usually means my size is available when it comes to shoes  :)

My problem right now is that I've let myself gain weight over the past year.  So much weight that I'm muffin topping over my jeans big time.  I had to buy 2 new pairs in a bigger size to get me thru.  I don't like this - at all!  

Here is a recent family pic.  (I'm the short one on the right ;)) I know, I know - I'm not huge or anything, but I'm certainly not happy with so much extra flab!  Looking a little pear shaped for sure, and I need to lose about 20-25 lbs.

(We just got our family photos done for the first time in years - I absolutely love this one, so casual and modern!)

I have a friend who did the 17 Day Diet, by Dr. Mike Mereno, with some great results in the first cycle.  I thought I'd check it out so I looked it up.  Then I thought about if for a couple of weeks.  Finally, I just ordered it, and the accompanying cookbook.

Over the past couple of nights I've read thru them and I'm pretty excited.  I think this is going to be doable.  After major cutbacks in the first 'cleansing' cycle, items are added back in during the next cycles to get you to a diet that's healthy and satisfying.  This one doesn't feel overwhelming right at the start.  And it's really about change in eating habits, not food deprivation, and I know that's what this body of mine needs!

Let's see how the first 17 days go!  I'll be reporting back for sure...

How about you, any changes going on, diet or otherwise?  Fill me in!

(Links are below for both books, on Amazon, as well as a freezer meal cookbook that I will take advantage of for feeding the rest of the family during my 17 day cycles (although I do plan on having the family follow the 17 day plan at least 3 dinners a week).  LOTS of great recipes are in the Fix, Freeze, Feast book!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Link For Ya

We got our family photos done yesterday.  Here's a link to one :)

Monday tomorrow folks :(  Back to the same old grind, and adding some studying into the schedule (going for CAPPA level 3 - 2 months until mid-term - yikes!).

Have a happy week!

I Soooo Want To Do This!

It's been so long since I've posted to this blog that it's complete format has changed and I have to relearn everything all over again!  Apologies to my 3 followers, life took over and I let it.

Like the title says, I really do want to do this, and maybe this one little post of words will prompt things along?  I even have drafts, waiting to be posted!  And I never did the official before and after of the renovations, and I REALY want to do that!  Especially now that the house is starting to come along personality wise.

Anyway, my daughter just arrived for Sunday brunch and I must go get started with the cooking, but I'll be back soon...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Food Friendly Friday - Week 5

I can't believe it's that time of the week already! Time is flying by lately, and I think it's due to this working full-time thing.

And having a menu this past week was kind of a waste of that precious time, really. Things were good until Tuesday, and then there was no way I was making the corn and ham chowder like I was supposed to (Monday was a holiday, so Tuesday was 4 days packed into 1 at work, that equalled wore out!)...ham sandwiches it was instead. Thursday was supposed to be roast beef, but was roast chicken instead, due to a stop at Costco last weekend and some major meat purchases! Whole raw chicken is expensive here (go figure - it's cheaper to buy a deli rotisserie chicken) so I rarely roast my own, but it was a good deal at Costco so we changed it up a bit - and boy was it yummy! That affected today, which was supposed to be roast beef sandwiches, and then chicken fried rice instead, due to the leftover chicken, but in the end I didn't get home from work until 6 and had a humongous headache.  Thankfully my daughter had brought home some Gus' Pizza Dry Garlic Ribs from Hinton (our old home town, which is 45 minutes away from us), so I just put out some homemade pickles and salsa with veggies and dip to go with the ribs for supper instead.  If you are ever in Hinton, you HAVE TO stop for their ribs - all their food is good, but the ribs are one of a kind.  Anyway, not a very good week for following the plan!

On to a new week though, and a promise (to myself at least) to do better next week! I want to go off of what is in the house this week, and hopefully not have a very big grocery bill. Shouldn't be too hard, we are well stocked right now :)
Saturday - (kids) - Costco Lasagna - always handy to have in the freezer! I didn't want to use it up so soon, but my boy requested it - how can I say no? :)

Sunday - (kids) - Company's Coming Hamburger Soup - this is my all-time favorite soup, I don't even change the recipe.

Monday - (no kids next 4 days) - BBQ Pork Tenderloin - one of my man's favorites is pork tenderloin. He always throws together these super flavorful marinades for it and then cues it up for us. We usually have potatoes, onions, carrots, butter and various spices in tinfoil, also cooked on the barbie - easy clean-up!

Tuesday - Chicken Burgers and oven baked French Fries - there are a few burgers left in the freezer we have to use up.

Whatever Wednesday

Thursday - BBQ Beef Tenderloin Kabobs with salad - again, the man will be creating a flavorful marinade and will be in charge of the cookin' kind of night!

Friday - (kids) - most likely takeout. My daughter graduates from high school on Saturday (CONGRATULATIONS SWEETIE!!!), so my mom will be here from PEI (yay!), and my little sister, who lives in Hinton, will be here too. I think there will be too much excitement to cook!

Grad reminds me...I special ordered a cake from a gal - in Hinton (I know, there appears to be a theme here - I have to be there tomorrow for my son's soccer too!) I hope to feature her after grad is over, she does an amazing job decorating the most fabulous cakes!  I gave her free reign on this one, with the only stipulation being that we wanted a topsy-turvy cake - I can't wait to see what she creates!

I hope you have a wonderful, sunny weekend, it's been rainy and gloomy around here. How is your spring weather?

- Marsha -

Friday, May 20, 2011

Homemade Hoody Pillows (and others)

I had a couple of old hoodies that were in good condition but I just don't wear anymore.  I didn't really want to get rid of them so I thought I'd try making pillows out of them.  This isn't really a 'tutorial', as I only took a few pics of the process of making these, but I'll file it under here anyway...isn't this one cute!

They were really easy to do actually (aside from my silly mistakes, but we'll discuss that later) - and I pretty much just wung it (I know, it's not a word, but I'm usin' it anyway!).

There are only a few pics of the 'making' process - I'll try to explain what I did as best as I can...

First I turned the hoody inside out and pinned the sleeve holes at the seams.  I had grand ideas for the sleeves - part of that later discussion about mistakes! 

I also pinned the bottom hem closed, but left an opening in the middle.

Next I pinned the neck, and this was the second of the mistakes.

I realized (before sewing thank goodness!) that then the hood wouldn't be able to be attached if I sewed it this way.  Sooo, I repinned to allow the hood to stay - next mistake, but again, we'll talk about it later.

I then sewed up all these seams, with the exception of the opening in the bottom. 

I trimmed off the sleeves and then flipped the hoody so it was right side out, thru the bottom opening.  And this is where I stopped taking pics.  When I turned the hoody out, I had sewn up part of the logo into the neck seam.  I ended up pulling out the stitches and just sewing a topstitch to close up the neck hole while it was right side out - that worked fine.  This took a bit of time though, so by the time I had that fixed and actually had a pillow to stuff, I didn't want to do anything with those sleeves, so I just stuffed!  After stuffing the pillow I sewed up the hole in the bottom by hand.

I wish I had kept those sleeves though, because now I feel like attaching them so that they are on the front of the pillow - especially because the way I sewed the sleeves makes this pillow look a little funky, but whatever, it still works!  Go Habs!

For the San Diego pillow pictured at the beginning of this post, I took a different approach - and sorry, no pics.

I layed the hoody on the table right side out and logo facing up.  I had a long piece of cardboard that I laid on the sweater, giving me a straight line.  I first lined it up along one side of the sweater and used a rotary cutter to cut from the bottom hem of the hoody all the way up to the shoulder, making sure I had left all of the logo and hood intact.  I did the same thing up the other side of the sweater.  This gave me a hood with two rectangles hanging from it.  I squared up the bottom hem, using the cardboard and rotary cutter.  

Next, I turned the pieces so the hoody was inside out.  I pinned the bottom hem, leaving an opening, and pinned up the two sides, and also pinned the neck hole.  Again, I pinned so that the hood would still be attached.  

I sewed up all the seams, then turned the hoody right side out, stuffed and sewed up the bottom hole by hand - here is another pic of the finished product (I like this one best, I have to say - and it was easier!).

Here are a couple of pillow covers I did too - just squares - VERY easy!

Got any homemade pillow ideas?  Please share!

- Marsha -

Food Friendly Friday - Week 4

Yes!!  I planned my menu, AND - I'm here to blog about it.  It may not be a big thing to you (and that's perfectly ok), but it's a good thing for me :)  

This past week flew by, I can't believe it's Friday already!  I was able to figure out before bed every night what we were going to eat the next day, so things weren't too hectic food-wise.  

One night we had Subway, but had a good excuse...Our province has been hit by devastating wildfires, with whole communities and towns being evacuated from their homes.  Specifically, many homes in the town of Slave Lake have been destroyed.  374 homes actually, according to CBC News, and 52 damaged.  

You might ask 'what does that have to do with you, you are 4 hours away'.  Well, we had a garage full of household items that were destined for a garage sale.  We had dishes, sheets, towels, backpacks, toys, hair care items, a microwave, and a bed with a brand new mattress.  Some people from work got together and arranged for a local drop off location for donations so that a trip to the evacuation areas could be made, and since these were all perfectly good items, we decided to donate them instead of doing the garage sale thing.  So, that night we grabbed Subway so we could organize, correctly pack and get the items to the drop-off location - we deserved the break - and it's somewhat healthy :)  The main point being though that the Slave Lake victims really need those items, so I'm really pleased we were able to help in some capacity.  My heart goes out to the families whose lives have been affected by this devastating event.

If you are at all interested in helping the Slave Lake victims, I found a good list of options on the Global Edmonton site.  This was dated May 19, so the specifics items required may have changed, but it also includes options for cash donations.  And thanks so much.

Now, on to next week's menu.  Nothing too fancy going on here at all.  I'm still not quite used to having lost the extra couple hours after work, so supper has to be simple :)  We won't be home for supper Saturday night (Kid Rock - here we come!), so I'll start with...

Sunday (no kids) - Snack food - (nachos and homemade salsa, variety of homemade pickles, veggies and dip).

Holiday Monday (no kids) - Shephard's Pie - fried hamburger with a can of mushroom soup layered in a pan, with corn and mashed potatoes over top, bake - so easy but we haven't had this in so long!

Tuesday (no kids) - Corn & Ham Chowder - I got a free issue of Food Network Magazine and this looked pretty tasty (and I still have ham in the freezer from Easter)...I'll let you know how it turns out.

Whatever Wednesday (no kids) - two big meals in a row with only two of us here means lots of leftovers!

Thursday (kids) - Slow Cooker Roast Beef - with McCain Purely Potatoes (have you tried these? - they are great in a pinch!), carrots and gravy.

Friday (kids) - Roast Beef Sandwiches - gotta use up that leftover roast beef!  With veggies and dip too.

And that's it!  Nothing too crazy.  I wouldn't mind getting some baking done at some point too - but that's asking for a lot!

Have a great weekend!

- Marsha -