Feb 25, 2012

Where to Find the Perfect Gift

When buying gifts, I've always gone with the mindset that if I like it, the recipient will too. This typically has served me well, but thanks to Pinterest, I can use my supersonic power of deduction to figure out what other people like and, therefore, would like to receive! My friend is having a birthday in about a month, and I have been brainstorming some ideas. Last year, my initial heart necklace was just perfect. Earrings? A bracelet? More jewelry??? Well, that's a tough call because I don't want to give the same thing each year! Lucky me, I found a pin of hers that looked simple[ish] and unique. Enter the hanging dishtowel. Thanks to all the quilts I have made, I have about 30 different coordinating scraps in brights and pastels and plenty of quilt batting (I used this instead of the recommended felt piece). I have no idea what my friends kitchen color palette is, but I figure that I would use any of these in my kitchen even though none of them "match". 

I found the suggested pattern, printed it, and got to work. The author describes this as a "quick, 1-hour project" but if you are anything like me, you will spend 30 minutes deciding on towels and coordinating fabric, 10 minutes choosing the perfect button, 5 minutes cutting your dishtowels perfectly in half, and at least 10 minutes arranging the pattern so that you can make as many of these as possible. That was how I spent my first hour of this project. In real-time, I think this is more like a Saturday afternoon project instead of a quick let's-make-a-cute-present project. And, of course, I had to make two "practice" towels for myself. Anyway, here is how it went down.

1. Lay out the pattern and trace onto your fabric.

2. Cut two top pieces and a piece of batting to match.
3. Face the two good sides together, and lay the batting on top.
4. (Not shown) Cut the tab pieces and stick on all sides except bottom. Turn right side out and add between the two facing pieces, above. This will save you a step later.

5. Pin in place and stitch on all sides except the bottom. Turn right side out.

6. Gather the towel, or pleat, and pin in place.

7. Turn the ends of the top piece under about a 1/2" all around. Sandwich the towel in between the top and bottom of the upper piece. Stitch in place.

8. Stitch a button hole on the top tab and a button on the upper piece. Sadly, I chose to order cut, matching buttons, and they still have not arrived!!

Voila!! The perfect birthday gift, plus two new-to-me yellow towels!

*Side note: I prewashed my fabrics and towels first, but I think the presentation of the gift would be much more crisp and "new" if I had not!

Happy Mardi Gras

Well it was really on Tuesday, but I have been celebrating all month long with five different King Cakes!!! After my first one (that was straight from NO!), I had to make one at home. I followed this "healthy" recipe, and it took about two days for this to be eaten up!

The cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon filling was the icing to this cake recipe!

Crescent rolls replaced the need to make dough.

If you don't already have neon icing, buy some!


And a little extra happy!

Feb 16, 2012

A Have-To Breakup

I am sadly breaking up with my [imaginary] blogging BFF, Sheridan French.  In the last six months, we have been hanging on by only a small thread.  At one time I thought, "Wow. She has it all.  She has two small children, a to-die-for collection of my most favorite ikat shorts and dresses that I cannot afford, and a bazillion dollar home!  AND she's like 100 lbs.  We are so [not] alike. What is her secret?!"  Well, after months of being beaten down by posts about how and why I should breastfeed, how I cannot possibly understand what kind of psycho would give their baby formula, and why stay at home and play housewife and serve my family instead of work, we are having an official breakup.  Her latest post on how I am sending myself to an early death because I eat oatmeal was the last straw.  "It is truly unfathomable to me that people still use the Food Pyramid as a guide."  Ok. I am happy to hear how others live everyday life (cooking, balancing work and family, shopping and saving, etc.), I am not interested in harsh judgements and the belief that their way is the only way because they eat fancy delivery paelo kits.  I will only keep blogs in my aggregator that make me happy to read!!!  That's it for my complaining.  Promise.

Feb 12, 2012

Green Chips?!

I just realized I haven't really posted much of anything lately other than foodles.  Who am I?  I am not much of a foodie, but one of my resolutions this year is to try new foods.  I am a chicken nuggets and mac and cheese kind of girl--mostly 2-5 year old foods suit me best.  Akin to a preschooler, I also do not like to try new things.  Especially in front of other people!  So last year I tried (and liked) hummus and edamame.  This is probably the most "trying" I have done about 10 years.  Wednesday, Margaret and I were Skyping while preparing dinner (btw, this is the BEST idea!).  She was peeling the leaves off brussel sprouts while I was making chicken and risotto.  Thanks to her, I have found a new food!  And it's green!!! (another huge accomplishment)

To make these super-easy brussel sprout chips, I peeled the leaves and tossed them in sea salt and pepper.  I baked them on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipped over the mostly green pieces, and baked them a little longer.  They are soooooo salty and are just like potato chips!  Hooray for a new food that is green!

Feb 5, 2012

Sunday Thumbprints

These cookies jumped out at me on the fourth page of the February Martha Stewart Living magazine.  I can't find the direct link to the recipe through MS.com, but HERE is the same version as I made.  I halved the recipe, and I had 32!!  Yummmm.