Monday, January 31, 2011

Help Wanted - Fruit Phobia...Giveaway!!!

As far as New Year's resolutions go, I haven't made any in several years.
This year I decided a resolution just might be in order.  Of course, every year I vow to exercise more and eat healthier (and less) but this year something just popped into my head.
I guess it was the words my husband said to me over lunch one day -
                          ..."you oughta make 2011 the year you conquer your fear of fruit."
History....I don't like fruit.  I have never liked fruit.  As long as I have been alive I have struggled with my dislike of fruit.  Actually, I love all fruit flavors and even fruit juice, but it's the texture that prevents me from eating it.  It's really rather stupid because I love almost any kind of vegetable out there and they all have similar textures and such, so why do I have such a tough time with fruit - so much that it literally gags me!??  My mother says it goes back to my early childhood when my dad didn't like fruit and didn't want to eat it, so naturally he didn't force me and he even told my mom not to feed it to me cuz it was 'yukky'.  I don't know if that is the real reason, but that's what I hear.  It's gotta be something mental, and I really wish I could get hypnotized or something to help me overcome this.  I was browsing the web looking for tips and I ran across this page....I thought point #7 was absolutely hilarious!!!
"Take a piece of fruit with you to your doctor. Explain to him that you would like to eat it in his presence so that if you become ill, he's available instantly. Eat a small piece there. This breakthrough can not only help you cope with the fear but conquer it."

So, this year I decided to try eating more fruit on a weekly basis.  I like a few fruits in certain form...bananas, apple pie, strawberry jam, raisins....that's about it.  Oh yes ~ add tomatoes and avocados to that list, because they are fruits, ya know!  I can't stand strawberries because of the seeds and the gushy-ness combined.  The pulp in oranges gags me and grapes are hard to chew, too.  I don't even like watermelon!!!  BUT, I am determined to do my best to try many whole fruits over and over again until I can stomach them.  I decided I would start by performing at least one fruit-eating-feat per weekday!  Yes, they will be feats!!
So far, I am starting with yogurt.  I love yogurt but have only been able to eat the custard style ones or just vanilla.  I love Activia, so I have been eating strawberry and this week I have mixed berry.
Anyway, I would love to have your help in this.  I'm in need of suggestions as to how I can work fruit into my diet tackling the fruit basket directly for me quite yet!
Any ideas, recipes, suggestions, etc...will all be welcome!   Those of you who leave me a comment will have your name entered into a drawing for a giveaway of this lovely Fruit Basket apron handcrafted by yours truly!!
You can drop by my Etsy shop to see more pictures and I even have a few more of these cute little half aprons available.
Giveaway ends Saturday afternoon at 12:00 PM EST, so you've got plenty of time to help me out!!!  Oh, and it's open to all my international friends, too!!!  :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thinking Positive +++ !!

Why is it always that when I'm busy, I have so much to blog about, but no time in which to do it?  duh....
Whenever I do get around to doing it, my mind goes somewhat blank and I forget all the little tidbits I wanted to share with you!....*sigh*
Anyway, here I am now, stealing a bit of time in-between busy things - I'll just bore you with my latest construction chatter....
I spent the first half of my morning today finishing up a couple of custom quillow orders in addition to waiting for the delivery of the kitchen appliances for the construction project.  They finally arrived shortly before midday and I packed my lunch and headed to Stumptown to help my DH.
We spent the remainder of the day laying hardwood flooring in the living room.
This picture was taken at 12:46 PM
This one was taken shortly before quitting time at 5 PM.


I like installing hardwood flooring.  I rack and he nails....we've got quite a good system!  It's all less messy than painting - no clean up necessary!!  :)
It's nice to see some progress at times like this.  Most often I'm a very positive person, but there are days when I'm a "glass-is-half-empty" kinda person - especially when it comes to construction.
I look around at the house and see so many things that still need to be done....all the crown moulding, window trim, baseboard....then all that needs to be caulked and the holes puttied, not to mention all the painting that happens after that.
When I think like that, I tend to get depressed so I'm really trying to take one day at a time and focus on what DID get done!!
Last week we DID mostly complete the entertainment center in the living room along with the bookcases in the office.
Before - the blank wall
First, the base cabinets went in
then, the "big boy" is built in the center.
and finally, flanked by two bookcases.
All that remains is some decorative trim and to order doors for the base cabinets.  The two holes at the bottom left are access doors to get into the base of the bathtub in the master bathroom on the other side of the wall.
Btw...whaddya think of our nifty coffered ceiling?  It's our first!

One more positive thing I need to remind myself of - we finally have HEAT in the house and even though it might be set at 63° - it's wonderful!!!!

a beautiful sight!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flexing my muscles

My PAINT muscles, that is....
Funny how something as simple as pushing a roller or a brush back and forth can cause such 'pain'.  I guess I'm flexing muscles that haven't been used in a few months!
Last time we did any large amount of painting was last summer when we were working on my husband's cousin's house.  Yesterday we assembled all the materials for the entertainment center and bookshelves for the Stumptown house and primed them all in advance...much easier than priming a finished product.
We did this at our house because it was roomier and more convenient.  It looked like we were running a sign factory in our driveway!
DH worked on all the large pieces of plywood and I got to deal with the little stuff.
While we were working, the delivery for the rest of the hardwood flooring arrived.
We chose to have this delivered to our house instead of the project because the last time it was delivered, someone broke into the house and stole 59 bundles of hardwood!!!  Luckily, we had carried 77 bundles upstairs while the workers were bringing it into the house, just to distribute it better.  The thieves either didn't take time to check upstairs for more wood or something because that wood wasn't was just the bundles downstairs that were stolen.
Anyway, today we'll begin 'ripping' the wood and then assembling the entertainment center and bookshelves at the project.  We'll be the equivalent of the Bonetown  IKEA today!!!
I'm definitely enjoying this sunshine!  I snuck away from the painting toward the end of the day when I still had some sunshine and was able to get some pictures taken of my latest shop installments - peasant dresses.
So fresh and pretty!!


Friday, January 14, 2011


I just did something I've NEVER done before!!
I bought a set of fat quarters from an entire collection of the lastest designer quilting fabric - Amy Butler's new "Soul Blossoms" quilt fabric - all 33 designs!

I've been seeing everyone playing with their "Soul Blossoms" and it just made my heart ache for that pretty stuff!!
So, on a whim, I decided to see what I could find in the way of a bargain....there just HAD to be one out there!
And I found it!!!  I received a monetary gift for Christmas from Gramma and Johnnie Mae and decided this would be a good thing to spend it on! 

And, as a gift to you, my lovely readers, I'm passing this onto you!
brodyandma is having a one-day-sale today only on their entire collection of Soul Blossoms!
You won't believe the price, so if you're like me, you'll want to stop by there quickly and snag your bundle!!  Oh, and the shipping is fabulous!  I truly dislike it when shop owners charge ridiculous rates for shipping! 
Ta-ta for now!!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


...they were delicious!!  I went ahead and modified the recipe a bit for those of you who would like to try it, to make them even better, I think...this includes more of the caramel sauce, more butter and cinnamon inside, and thinner rolls.

I was a bit skeptical about this recipe since it didn't typically require setting the rolls in a warm place to a matter of fact you put them in the refrigerator for 2 hours just before baking!!!  When I took my rolls out of the frig, they didn't look any bigger than when I put them in, but they rose like crazy, which is why I suggest making the rolls 'thinner'.  The original recipe only called for cutting the dough into 8 giant rolls but I made 10 out of mine and I would definitely try to squeeze out at least 12 next time
Pecan Sticky Buns
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 cup butter or margarine, softened, divided
1 cup pecan pieces or halves
6 - 6-½ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 packages Fleischmann's Rapid Rise yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115° F)
3/4 cup warm milk (105° to 115° F)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (use more, if preferred)
Heat brown sugar, corn syrup and 5 Tablespoons butter in saucepan until sugar dissolves; stirring often.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking pan.  Sprinkle pecans evenly in the pan.
In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, granulated sugar, undissolved yeast and salt.  Stir water, milk and 1/3 cup melted butter into dry ingredients.  Stir in eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough.  Knead on floured surface until smooth, about 8 minutes.  Roll dough to a 24" x 18" (roughly) rectangle.  Spread dough with remaining butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Beginning at short end, roll up as for a jelly roll.  Pinch seam to seal; slice into 12 or 15 pieces using a serrated knife or long piece of sturdy thread.  Place in pan on nuts with cut sides up.  * Cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.  Remove from refrigerator.  Uncover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Bake at 375°F for 35 - 40 minutes or until done.  Immediately invert onto serving tray.
* To freeze:  place dough in prepared pan; wrap airtight with plastic wrap.  Freeze up to 4 weeks.  To bake, remove from freezer; unwrap.  Thaw at room temperature 1 to 2 hours.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.  Bake as directed.


More snowy day stuff

I'm in the mood for a little baking today...
something doughy and sweet
and nutty
Mmmmmm...can't wait!  Stay tuned!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowy Day Sewing

I just love the way the trash can in my sewing room looks when I'm working with pretty fabrics...

...making pretty things on a snowy day!

Peasant dresses available soon in my Etsy shop!  Don't forget to stop by Fabric Fettish and get some pretty fabrics for yourself!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
He suspends the earth over nothing.
He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight,
He covers the face of the  full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.

He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
for a boundary between light and darkness.
Job 26: 7 - 10
"We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God,
however noisy our times with the world may be."

~ Oswald Chambers, January 6
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