Kid's Photo Wall As a parent, I have taken hundreds of photographs of my two little lovelies that I would just love to display around my home. But too many framed photographs creates clutter and (on the very end of the spectrum) can sometimes be kind of creepy.
Kid's Photo Wall II Here's a lovely idea spotted over at Creature Comforts for creating a photo wall to display all of those special moments that can be changed on a whim. I can just feel a DIY project coming on!
***Okay folks, my taste buds are pretty happy right now. I just finished off a beautiful plate of this pasta, and it was fabulous! On a recent trip to New Orleans, LA (which is a city that I love!), we ate at a highly recommended little restaurant called Coop's Place. Wow...that place is fantastic! It's small in size, but if you're lucky enough to get a table, you certainly won't be disappointed. There was continously a line of people waiting for a table...it's worth it, though! Everyone LOVED their meal, and the prices were great too...You can't beat that!
I ordered a dish called "Pasta Rosa." It was penne pasta with sauteed spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, shrimp and pancetta...all topped off with crumbled goat cheese...YUM!!! It was incredible. I saved half of my meal just so that I could have it for lunch the next day...haha. Thank goodness for restaurants that give you generous portions...some places are so stingy these days. I knew that I wanted to re-create this dish. I even made a list of the ingredients right there at the table...I didn't want to take a chance of forgetting. I was thrilled with the way this dish came out...it was exactly like the dinner at Coop's Place!
The flavors in this pasta are hard to beat. It's a savory, creamy mixture that will have you going back for a second helping...Brad did! I know that some of you might not be big goat cheese fans, but you can easily substitute your favorite cheese...feta, parmesan, etc.
It comes together really quickly, so you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes flat. It reheats well and will surely be one of your new favorites!***
Ingredients: 7 oz. penne pasta 3 oz. pancetta, diced 9 oz. bag of baby spinach leaves 2 oz. pine nuts 4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, in oil and cut into 1/4 inch strips (or Julienne Cut) Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined Goat Cheese, crumbled Salt & Pepper, to taste
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pine nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake the nuts for 3-4 minutes, or just until they start to brown and become fragrant. Remove the pine nuts from the oven, and set to the side.
Next, in a large pot or Dutch Oven, drizzle about 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Add pancetta and cook for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring often...until the pancetta becomes brown and is cooked thoroughly. Next, add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan of pancetta, along with the flavored oil from the sun-dried tomato jar (about 1-2 tbsp). Continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to soften.
While the pancetta and tomatoes cook, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Let the pasta cook while you finish the rest of the recipe (10-11 minutes).
After 3-4 minutes, the sun-dried tomatoes will begin to soften. At this point, add the entire bag of spinach to the pot. Begin stirring the mixture, completely mixing the ingredients. Continuously saute/stir the mixture in the oil until the spinach is completely wilted and shiny. It should be a beautifully green color. Season with salt and pepper. The spinach mixture should look like this...
Remove the spinach mixture from the pot and place on a platter, putting it to the side.
Next, drizzle a little more olive oil into the pot, if needed. Add the shrimp and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Once the shrimp is cooked through, add the spinach mixture back to the pot.
Add the pine nuts, stirring well. At this point, the pasta should be just about finished. Drain the pasta and add it to the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Give it one final stir.
Plate the pasta and top with the crumbled goat cheese.
I, like so many other women, began my sewing adventures as a small girl, sitting on the floor next to my mother at her sewing machine. She would sew up school dresses for me and I would stitch and stuff her scraps into little pin cushions adorned with the odd stretch of lace and stray buttons.
For Mother's Day, I stitched up this little fabric flower corsage for her using these springy Anna Maria Horner and Heather Bailey prints. I wanted it to be a little 'thank you' for giving me the love of sewing, so many years ago. She still uses my homely old pin cushions, by the way! I guess they hold alot of memories along with her pins!
I thought you might want to stitch up a corsage too! Here's the tutorial...
What you'll need:
Several scraps of fabric, scissors, a fabric pen or pencil, needle and thread,safety pins. You'll use a tea cup as the template for the petals. The one I used has a diameter of 3.5". A wider mouth will yield larger flowers.
Cut out the circles:
Using a fabric pen or pencil, trace the top of the tea cup onto your chosen fabrics. Youl need 6 circles for the carnation, 6 circles for the lily, and 4 for the leaves.
For the lily and the leaves:
1.Pin the pairs of circles together, right sides facing, forming 5 pairs of 2.
2.Sew around each circle using a 1/4" seam, leaving a small space for turning. Trim seam allowance to about 1/8".
3.Using the closed tip of your scissors, turn the circles right side out and press flat.
4.Take the petals you've created for the lily and fold them in half over each other as shown...
021 Put a few stitches in the base to hold them together.
5.Fold the tops of the petals down a little. It should look something like this...
6.Fold the 2 circles for the leaves into a fan shape and put a few stitches at the base to hold them together.
For the carnation:
1.Clip around the circle edges with pinking shears. This isn't necessary, but it makes the petals look a little more realistic.
2.Place pairs of the circles wrong sides together forming 3 pairs of 2.
3.Fold one pair into fourths and place a stitch at the base. This will become the center of the flower. Fold the other 2 pairs into half circles and place a stitch at the bottom center.
4.Fold the half circles around the center of the flower. Sew through all the layers at the base. What you've created should look something like this...
Assemble the corsage:
Sew the carnation to front of the lily and the leaves to the back of the lily. Place a few stitches here and there if necessary to get the flowers to stay in the shape that you want. You can pin the corsage on using corsage pins or a couple of safety pins.
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I don't think I am exaggerating when I say my mom has thousands of scrabble pieces this is how we can put them to good use. I would like to make one of these boards for Henry's room but use the old children's dictionaries that I just bought. The one problem, I don't have any of those power tools. I guess I need to take a trip to the Vineyard and borrow my brother's.
I love this girl's blog, Twice Remembered and you can find the tutorial to make the board there.
6-8 cups broccoli, chopped 4 medium sized potatoes, cut into chunks 1-2 leeks, sliced 1 onion (red), peeled and cut into chunks 1/3 cup heavy cream water or stock 1 teaspoon salt ground pepper
Place broccoli, potatoes, leeks, salt and onion in a soup pot. Fill with water (or stock) until everything is just barely covered. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until broccoli is very tender.
Puree until smooth. Add desired amount of cream. Add pepper. Adjust salt, if necessary.
* By Jacey Reynolds * Published 09/18/2009 * Little Lessons from Everyday Life *
I'm coming up on a one year anniversary. One year since I made a HUGE leap of faith and moved to a new state. The move came on the heels of a life-changing event: divorce.
Looking back on it now, I wonder sometimes where I found the courage to do it. And I also wonder if I was slightly--well--CRAZY at the time. I came here only knowing where I WANTED to work, but not knowing if I would actually get that job. I did. I came here knowing I was moving into a nice house with even nicer landlords, but I didn't know if I'd like where I live. I do. I came here not knowing how in the world I would ever manage to work nearly full time (after having always been home caring for my kids) and raise four kids mostly on my own and do all that comes under that umbrella. I have. Have I excelled at it? Probably not. Most nights, when my head hits the pillow, I feel like I've done just barely enough to scrape by and keep my kids out of the foster care system.
Hitting a one year mark like this causes a mom to do a little reflecting. I've been thinking about what this year has taught me. I'm sure I could fill a novel with all the lessons I've learned---some of them very reluctantly and some of them still in progress---in the last twelve months. But the one thing that seems to stand out is that I've learned to let go of a good many things. My house is no longer the cleanest on the block. My car gets washed once a year...whether it needs it or not. My clean laundry might sit in the basket for a couple of days before it gets put away (wrinkled) in the drawers. My girls don't always leave the house with perfectly combed hair complete with rubberbands and barrettes. My floors can go unswept for days and days and days and I'm ok with it. Well, sometimes the ants force action on my part, but mostly I'm just ok with it. I even leave dirty dishes in the sink for a whole day and night sometimes!
I've learned that much of the stress in my life was manufactured in my head. I've found that it can be liberating to let go of those things that simply don't matter. So what DOES matter? Are my kids safe and healthy? Do they leave the house every day knowing mommy loves them? Do they know how happy I am to see them when I pick them up from the sitter or when they get home from school? Am I making time for them, collectively and individually, so that all of these changes that have shaken their little foundations will be easier for them to absorb? Are we having fun together as a family? Am I the best teacher they have? Those are the every day things that truly count.
I admit there's a big learning curve here. It's only been one year. Not nearly long enough for me to get this whole parenting thing right. But maybe I can almost put a big fat check mark in the "letting go" box. There are one or two things I'm still gripping pretty tightly, but I'll get there. I'm still under construction.