deck quilt

ever since we screened in the back deck i started a quilt to use as a picnic blanket and cover for cold days to match the deck. i wanted something bright and cheery so i used the pattern called tumbling twenty. i used a bunch of scraps and only had to buy a couple of half yards plus the back fabric and batting. the top took forever because i worked on it in my free time which is not much so it has taken 8 months from start to finish. when i actually did the quilting part i had pneumonia for the first time ever so i felt like crap… so now when i look back on how it is not perfect i can just tell myself, “oh, i had pneumonia so that’s why it’s so crummy” ha ha!

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gus is hiding….

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i added a little love detail

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food and a dress…

i really wanted a dress for 4th of july but i have been really busy lately so i made up this wrap dress.  i took jersey material and wrapped it around me then stitched it together at the top, added a strap and it is now my fav dess.

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i am also a big fan of farmers’ markets, sometimes going twice a week. i made this amazing mushroom, basil, vegan cheese, and tomato pasta and peach wrap pie.  trader joe’s has wonderful stuff and i used these mushrooms marinated in garlic and some vegan brie or mozzarella along with my favorite farm’s fresh basil and heirloom tomatoes. (Delvin Farms near Franklin, Tn) 

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Pasta

the peach pie is crazy easy… just peaches (given to me by one of my favorite people- thank you Tatiana) — mix them up with a little sugar, dash of cinnamon and splash of almond extract then put them in a ready made pie crust and wrap them up, sprinkle with a little apple juice (or any juice) and sugar then bake at 400* until gorgeous.

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and for your two for one pleasure… here is a guest post i did on a really cool site…

http://imakestuff4fun.blogspot.com/2012/07/mels-tricks-of-trade.html

First birthday

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It has been a busy few days in our house. Gracie turned one and I was on my own for the celebration which ended up being two parties… one for just me and her brothers and one with my extended family. This meant me and the hubby tried to get the house clean and the groceries acquired before he left town. I’m not sure, but I think it helps. If anything, it helps me feel better to start with a clean house even if I have to clean it seven more times until the party.

I wanted to have a pot luck supper and invite my family over because we always have great food when that happens and it means I don’t have to cook a huge meal for 25 people ha ha!

I made a fake lasagna (it’s like lasagna but with spiral pasta), garlic bread, chocolate cake and punch. I wish I had taken a picture of all the beautiful food people brought, but I completely forgot. I did get a picture of the cake. I also made her a crown out of fabric scraps and took a ton of cute pictures.

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As I was getting ready for the party I decided I needed to recover my spare dining chairs. So I loaded all the kids in the van and we went to the fabric store to get fabric for that project and a table cloth for the kids table and another table cloth for my dining room. The only reason this was financially possible was the 50% off sale at the nice fabric store nearby. So all that cost less than the day before when I went I to the party store to buy balloons and ended up spending $50. on “1st Birthday” party supplies. I finally realize why the baby of the family gets spoiled… being the last kid, I think, we just want to treasure all the last milestones. This was the last time I was going to have a one year old. I made all their birthdays as wonderful as possible but now I am sort of celebrating my own milestone and trying to hold on to my own memories. This was a great first birthday.

Charis

chairs before/after

nap time

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coffee talk…..

so anyone who knows me will know that i love The Pioneer Woman and her cookbooks/website

she recently posted and also added to her newest cookbook how to make the best ice coffee so what did i do? what do i always do? i made it vegan…

i brewed really strong (decaf) coffee and she cold brews it but i didn’t want to wait 12 hours so i just brewed it hot and placed it in the freezer to cool- then i keep it in the fridge in a mason jar.

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the second step is the condensed milk… i take almond milk – about a cup and put it in a sauce pan with about 1/4 cup of sugar (i am doing my best to decrease my sugar and a lot of times i just use stevia for stuff like ice tea)… anyway… then i let it simmer for a few min then add a splash of vanilla extract and about 1/2 tsp of butter then i let it all cool and put it in another mason jar to get nice and cold in the fridge or freezer if i am in a hurry.

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when everything is nice and cold, take a glass of ice, pour about 1/3 cup of coffee, 1/4 cup of fake condensed milk and however much more cold almond or rice milk to make it the right strength you like and it is wonderful!!

Seize the quick moments

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I just read the most beautiful “mom” post about motherhood and raising 3 kids and unsolicited advice from strangers to “Carpe Diem- seize the day.”
I constantly remind myself anywhere I am to just pause and breath and take in all the good stuff. In the middle of a temper tantrum (me or one of the kids 😉 it is hard to pause – but I’m trying!
Right this second I’m snuggling two almost sleeping kiddos and it is my favorite place in the world- I LIVE for these moments where time stands still and I can just soak in all the peacefulness and love. It gets you through the tough stuff. It makes you feel lucky and amazing.
Here is the link to the post- I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:
http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/04/2011-lesson-2-dont-carpe-diem/

(photo of me and the baby girl during one of those cherished moments -out to lunch with a wonderful friend -photo by Jennifer Norman)

Twelve

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That is how many times I have been pregnant. I have 3 kids. Now I am done and truly sad about it- but I have to be done. I can barely keep up with these three and my 41 yr old body just can’t take it…. not to mention this small house is crowded and we are not moving. If I had gotten married younger and started having kids earlier I would probably try for one more. “I’m not trying to overpopulate the earth, just outnumber the idiots!”

But my baby girl is a week away from 7 months and I am feeling all these crazy emotions about being done. I know it’s what I need to do for health and sanity and financial reasons and I am a reasonably girl- but I’m just really sad about it. Probably because my kids are AWESOME! (most of the time 😉

So I just keep reminding myself to stay present in the moment and treasure all the good times, take lots of pictures and write the funny stuff down. I’ll have to come up with a new happiness plan when she doesn’t want to nurse anymore but I will probably throw a huge party when I she gets potty trained and I’m done with diapers!

missing my friend….

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one of my favorite people in the world died last weekend. i was lucky enough to have lived next door to her the past two years. she struggled with emphysema so i keep telling myself that she is at peace and not struggling to breath anymore. “mysel… Continue reading

what really matters…

one of my favorite bloggers wrote a post on the after baby body. i have been thinking about this a lot because my body is foreign to me now and i am slowly getting use to it. after the first baby i was 36 and in pretty good shape so my body bounced back pretty quick and all was ok. then i had to have the dreaded c-section with the second baby.  it was emergency and i was told that if they didn’t get him out asap he would not make it. so from that perspective i couldn’t care less that my body was messed up and i would have continual pain in order to save my child’s life. seriously, couldn’t care less!

for the third and final baby this year, i did a repeat c-section in order to have my husband in town for the delivery since he was leaving for tour a week after i was due.  the midwife thought that they could fix some of my pain issues as an added bonus.  it worked, to an extent, and i still seriously couldn’t care that my lower belly looks freakish and scarred. i even have scars left from the tape that they used that i was allergic to, but i really don’t care. the thing that bugs me (sometimes) is that other women make it look so easy about getting back into shape and it is not easy.  these women have nannies or day care and husbands who are around. so i have decided that i am going to be healthy and happy and be proud of my body.  all those perfect bodied moms who are lucky to have an amazing metabolism or a well healing body or time to work out a few times a week, i am happy for you and maybe sometime when the kids are older i will be thinner or more in shape.  for right now, i am just going to eat healthy and learn to love my body and scars for it’s life bringing and life saving ability.

plus… they are totally worth it because they are seriously the cutest kids ever…

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