Happy First Day of September

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s already September! I’ve decided to give monthly goal setting another try, but I always feel like I jinx myself by doing this.  I’m an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of gal, so I’m hoping putting them here on my blog face will help me see what I need to be working on.

SeptemberGoals

 

*June Grey BOM
*September Brown BOM
*4 Wild & Goosey Blocks
*Start rows of Flower Box quilt
*Quilt, Bind, and hang Walking Foot Quilt
*Farmer’s Wife block #7
*Start SamSarah Mystery XS

No Zumba at the Y today, due to the holiday so we’re hiking. After showers we’re going to take advantage of a coupon we have for Roadrunner Sports, then we’re vegging the rest of the day.  Or rather, I am, since Mister has homework ;)  Grilled ribs, broccoli slaw, and potato salad is on the menu, followed up by Monday Night Football!  Woohoo!

BlockSignature

A whole lot of spending going on

Yesterday Mister and I went shopping.  It’s been a long time since the 2 of us shopped like this.  I had a list and some coupons and was on a mission to replace some things and wanted his opinion.  I love to shop with him.

First stop, not on my list but his, was Sports Chalet.  He wanted me to have an easy to carry water bottle for our hikes since he’s going to start running and leaving me hiking on my own.  He normally humps a Camelback. I also needed a whistle.  Isn’t he thoughtful?

Next was Bed, Bath and Beyond and here’s where I did some major damage.  I had 20% off coupons from before September 2011 :D  I love BB&B!

Asian Fusion Wok and Spider

Asian Fusion Wok and Spider

We eat a lot of stir fried foods and even though I lived in Okinawa for 6 years I’ve never owned a wok.  It’s been on my wish list for a long time, but it seems like other things always bumped it down the list.  I also wanted a spider since they’re great for poaching eggs.

Salad spinner, dressing carafe, storage jar, Spirooli

Salad spinner, dressing carafe, storage jar, Spirooli

I bought the cheapest salad spinner I could find.  I didn’t want a fancy one, and I wanted a small one since I normally wash our greens after I’ve chopped them.  My current dressing carafe leaks so it needed replacing.  The storage jar is the first of several I’ll be buying for my non-gluten baking goods.  And the Spirooli!  I can’t wait to start using it for zucchini noodles, etc.  Huge shout out and “thank you” to Mel for all of our back and forth texting and email conversations about this lovely :D

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 7" Santoku Knife and Steel

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 7″ Santoku Knife and Steel

I have had Henckels knives for about 5 years. Mister bought me paring and utility knives for Christmas one year, and it was an immediate love affair. I never knew I was that capable with a kitchen knife until I had a quality one to use. Good knives, and a good cutting board (I use bamboo), are miracle makers, and while I’ve always loved to cook, those 3 items ramped up my skills. The next year I bought myself a 5 1/2″ Santoku knife and just about swooned. It was so much better than my slicing knife. I’ve had a steel for a while, but lately my knives have felt like I needed to sharpen them more often. Yesterday, I found out that the steel I have been using wasn’t hard enough for the Henckels. I went in to the store to buy myself a Chef’s knife, but ended up with a 7″ Santoku instead after my 30 minute conversation with the “knife guy.” I had to go find Mister afterward, since he got bored and wandered off. LOL I still have that chef’s knife and a peeling knife on my wish list. I also have the bread knife, but am now considering taking it off the list since, hey!, I don’t eat bread anymore. ;)

I headed over to another store to look at sheets but decided on some at BB&B and trotted back in there to snatch them.

I have 1 more purchase to make.  I want a Lodge 6-qt Enameled Dutch Oven, and a Lodge 8-9″ skillet, then I’ll be set.

Mister’s 35 mile bike ride had him dragging and he wanted lunch at Olive Garden.  Of course, by that time it was 1:30.  What I ordered was okay, and I left food there instead of bringing it home.  Since we ate so late we ended up just having a snack at 8 last night.

I guess I’ve made up my mind about which version of Dear Jane I want to do. I had posted a photo of an Amish version in this blog post, and this morning I ordered this:

Kona Swatch Card

Kona Swatch Card

303 cotton swatches.

Still haven’t sewn this weekend. I did stitch last night during the LSU game. Boy was THAT something to raise my blood pressure.

Today’s a lazy day. A little bit of laundry, and decide how to prepare some salmon for dinner tonight, are my only have-to-dos for the day.   Want to get a Wild & Goosey block stitched up and then get on my Civil War Club tablerunner.

Kowabunga

The weather was perfect yesterday for our hike. There was a slight breeze, the sky was clear and our humidity has dropped to 47%. Even at 7 a.m. the parking lot was filling from people having a long weekend. We didn’t see any hikers on the trail, but were passed several times by bikers. I rarely stop on the way up, as I don’t want to lose my momentum, but I had to stop to share evidence of our trail being shared, and why I’m glad we’re out there at daylight.  You’ll probably have to click the photo to see it.

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There is so much evidence of the influence of water here.  I usually want to stop and snap photos all the way down the mountain, but Mister was quite a ways ahead of me so I only stopped a few times.

I would love to take this home with me and put it in my front yard.  I think it’s so beautiful.  I’m thinking of asking Mister, or my dad, to paint me a photo of it for the house.

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The rain from last week is being taken advantage of.

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All the saguaro have blooms either coming or going.   They’ll all be gone in a couple of days, though, since we’re not expecting any more rain, and they only bloom 1 day.

Look!  A desert squid.

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By 11:00 yesterday I’d had my hike, taken the dogs for a quick walk, gone to the grocery store and had everything cut up and put away.  So much energy!  I had to make myself sit and read a new quilt magazine.

We had a late lunch at Chipotle and hit the movies.  By the title you probably know we saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Wish Son had been with us.  The TV program was one he enjoyed growing up, and I can remember us going to one of the movies at a drive-in.  (Am I the only one that misses drive-ins?)

The rest of the evening was spent watching baseball and puttering.

So far my getting back to eating healthy is going great. My ‘frig’ is full of fresh veggies, my cupboards are getting emptier and emptier (I’m struggling to think of things for “pantry night.”) I hit the store just right yesterday and got 2 free range natural fed whole chickens, 3 grass-fed steaks, wild caught salmon, and 1 package of pork ribs for $30 less, so my freezer is at capacity. This is 15 meals for us.

Mister is headed out for a 30 mile ride (he has a tri in October) and I’m hoping to get some stitching done while I wait on him to come back.  Later this afternoon I’m shopping for more weapons and tools.

Still no sewing this week, but I hate starting something when I only have a few minutes.  There will be plenty of time after shopping and the rest of the weekend.

A whole lot of not much

I know I’ve been doing things, but I don’t feel like it’s been anything special enough to blog about. ;)

My days are slowly falling into routine, but I’ve been feeling exceptionally lazy.  I can’t even tell you what I did on Tuesday!  I have been reading a bit more, than in the last couple of weeks, and maybe that’s why.

Yesterday was Zumba and it was torture for all of us.  In fact it’s the first time I’ve seen the instructor drip sweat.  The air returns weren’t working properly, our humidity has been high for us, and one of the fans had a short in the plug.  I sweat all the time during class, but this was the first time I dreaded bending over since it would drip off the end of my nose, every single time.   I was starving when I got home at 10:30 and it wore me out.  I ended up taking a 1 1/2 hour nap later that afternoon.

I did get some good mail yesterday.  My EQ7 Dear Jane software arrived.  I couldn’t wait to get upstairs after supper to get it downloaded and play with it.

Dear Jane

Dear Jane

I plan on paper piecing as much of it as I can.  Still not firm on the colorway, but I’m leaning toward the Amish version.

AmishDearJane

Mister is in class all day.  This morning I’ve spent quite a bit of time in front of the computer uploading photos and creating drop down boxes for my Quilts tab.  But my refrigerator is almost empty and we can just about say “there’s nothing to eat in the house” so I need to head to the store.  Planning on getting back upstairs and hit the sewing machine afterward since I’m very behind in my Civil War Club projects and need to get busy!

Weighing In

This week was a bit of an experiment.  The results were not totally surprising, but a couple of things did come as a surprise.

Beginning weight:  266
Last week: 253.6
This week: 253.4 (-.2)
Total loss to date: -12.6

Beginning measurements: (C 45.5 – W 47.8 – H 54.8)
Last week / This week:
Chest 45  /  44.1  (-.9 / -1.4)
Waist 45  /   47.8  ( I changed the location of where I’m measuring)
Hips 54.4  /  54.4  (-0 / -.4)

Beginning Fat%/BMI: 47.2% / 40.6

Last week / This week:
Fat 46.8%  /  47.2%  (+.4  / -0)
BMI 40.6 / 40.6 (0 / 0)

I ate away from the house 3 times this week.  I shrugged my shoulders at all of those places and ate things that I knew were completely off my healthy diet.  When I have been home I haven’t eaten like I was, probably not enough.  I learned that if I get in a rut, I get lazy and don’t eat properly at home.  I have also not been drinking enough water.  I have not felt well this week.  My ankles have been swollen at the end of each day (I haven’t had this problem in weeks).  I haven’t been sleeping well (again, haven’t had this problem in weeks).

With the exception of my weight loss (and my waist measurement) I am not surprised by the numbers above.  It’s proof to me that I need to be doing what I was doing, and stick to it, at home and away.

I did have 3 physical days this past week.

This week, it’s back to clean eating, drinking my water, and continuing with the 3 physical days.

It’s a good weekend

Friday we hiked.  It.  Was.  Rough!  My knees weren’t happy after doing Zumba on Monday and Wednesday, plus it was 87% humidity after raining the previous 2 days.  Next week I’ll be heading out on my own while Mister runs the route.

After our showers we headed over toward ASU for Mister to pick up a study pack for one class and then to the art store for his supplies for this term.  I found a white charcoal pencil for marking dark fabrics and some perma-ink pens for labels.  I love finding quilt supplies at non-quilt stores.

Then we went to find the Farmers Market.  Boy, was THAT a disappointment.  It was a store.  Granted they had items in there that were local (meats, dairy, eggs, vegetables, etc.) but still it wasn’t the actual vendors themselves.  I felt cheated since the website made me feel that’s what I would find.  I didn’t buy anything.

During our Friday lunch out, where I ate too much, I decided I was just too tired to go to the movies.  I was actually afraid I might fall asleep so we came home instead.

I spent some time upstairs.  I printed and cut out several Wild & Goosey patterns and the remaining patterns needed for my guild BOM Challenge.  Then I managed to piece together another Wild & Goosey block.

2014-08-22 18.52.50 2014-08-22 18.53.39

Later that evening I finished my version of Lizzie Kate’s Cross-Stitcher in Residence.  I haven’t decided how I’m going to finish it out, yet.

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I have a round robin piece that a friend asked me to add to then I’m probably going to start Sam Sarah’s Mystery Sampler.  I’m in love with the fabrics and fiber colors.

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Saturday we headed out to see Guardians of the Galaxy and do a couple more errands.  Came home to a good mail day.  Two reams of newsprint for paper piecing (I now have 3 paper piecing projects going), Dear Jane Quilt book, and my one and only Market purchase, The Scarlett House’s Hannah’s Brownstone.

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Dinner last night was a treat.  Mister cooked omelets.  Yummy, and no cooking for me.

This morning I decided to do my July Red Scrappy BOM Challenge block.  If you look too close you can see the red smeared a bit on the white.  Bummer, but I’ll live.  There’s a faint red streak on the bottom of my iron plate that needs to be cleaned when it cools off.

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The bulletin board over my laptop is looking very pretty.

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The icing on the cake of my good weekend is dinner at some friends tonight to celebrate a birthday.

 

Back to my regularly scheduled life

Mister started back to school today.  Yippee!  This means I’ll know what day of the week it is again, and my life will be so much smoother since I’ll have a schedule of my own.

In addition to printing off 8 more patterns for my Wild & Goosey, and the remaining 8 patterns for my Guild Scrappy BOM Challenge, I made a mini-quilt this morning

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That lovely little 16 1/2″ quilt is going to quilting class with me early next month.  I’m going to learn to do quilting designs with my walking foot.  Once it’s quilted I’ll be binding it in white and hanging it on the wall.

I picked out the fabric for my July Red Scrappy BOM

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And I found another scrappy project to put scraps aside for. 6″ pineapple block

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I’m really looking forward to seeing what all I can get accomplished being back on schedule :D

Stuffed Peppers

The unhappiness that the Rainbow Hash recipe brought has stayed on my mind and last night I couldn’t take it anymore so I changed it up and fell in love with it.

Stuffed Peppers

1 lb chicken breakfast sausage
1/4 head red cabbage
4 carrots
1/2 head cauliflower
1 cup chopped kale
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4 T tomato paste
1/2 C water
4 yellow “bell” peppers (red, orange, or green will work. See NOTE)
1 T coconut oil
sea salt & black pepper

Set oven for 350°. Grab a bowl large enough to hold all of your chopped veggies. Get your food processor out. Pre-chop the cauliflower florets, toss them in, and process the heck out of them until it looks like rice. Pour it into the bowl, then get to chopping your carrots and cabbage, separately, and pour them in your bowl. Add coconut oil to pan, heat it up, and cook your sausage. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Once meat is cooked add in your chopped veggies, stir it up good, cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium low, stirring twice during cooking time.

Slice your green onions, and chop your kale, and set aside. Cut a circle around the top of the stem of your peppers, and pull the core out. Use a spoon to scrape the veins down as thin as you can without breaking through the peppers.

At the end of the 10 minutes, stir in the green onion and kale and taste to see if you need more salt.  Add in the tomato paste and water, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes..   Stuff your peppers as full as you can.  Place them in a casserole and cover.  Bake 25-30 minutes.

NOTE: If you’re using green bell peppers, or you like your peppers soft, you may want to boil them about 5 minutes, once they’re cleaned out. Do this at the beginning and turn them over to drain while prepping the rest of the ingredients. Also, on the red pepper, we like spicy so you may want to start with 1/4 tsp and taste. You can always add more right before you stuff your peppers.  Our spicy was just enough to make you think “man that’s real spicy and I need some more.”  Or, just barely make your nose run ;)

I served them with roasted green beans, and could only eat half of my pepper.

2014-08-18 18.03.212014-08-18 18.04.42Mister calls these Rainbow Bright Peppers because of how bright all the veggies are.

 

Weigh In

Beginning weight:  266
Last week: 252.6
This week: 253.6 (+1)
Total loss to date: -12.4

Beginning measurements: (C 45.5 – W 47.8 – H 54.8)
Last week / This week:
Chest 44.7 / 45  (+.3 / -.5)
Waist 46.4 / 45  (-1.4 / – 2.8)
Hips 54.2  / 54.4  (+.2 / -.4)

Beginning Fat%/BMI: 47.2% / 40.6

Last week / This week:
Fat 47.4% / 46.8%  (-.6 / -.4)
BMI 40.6 / 40.6 (0 / 0)

Wow, the numbers are all over the place this week and I don’t know what to think about it.  I’m up in weight but lost body fat and inches in my waist.  Huh.  The only thing I can think offhand that I’ve done different this week is less fruit, and 1 more day of physical exercise.  Not worried, just confused.  Onward march.

Another day of physical exercise to be added this coming week.  So that will be 2 days of Zumba and 1 day of hiking.  I’ll lead the hike this week and if I feel comfortable I’m going to start hiking this route by myself while Mister runs the same route.  I have visions of him zooming by me and yelling “to the left” as he streaks by (movie reference!) :D

Wow, the weekend flew by

I can’t believe it’s Monday evening, already, either.  I guess time does fly when you’re having fun.

Friday we headed back out hiking. It was so much easier this time. We got there 1 1/2 hours earlier than the last time and because it was a Friday there were fewer people so we spotted more wildlife. I saw the largest jackrabbit I’ve seen since living here, a chipmunk and this guy.

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Can you see him? Right in the middle of the picture is a very well camouflaged Sonoran Horned Lizard. He was a bit camera-shy because there were some mountain bikers zooming nearby.

This weekend was my “Virtual Quilting Retreat.”  For new followers, we treat one weekend a month the same as if we were driving/flying to a retreat.  You can stay in your pj’s if you want. I tend to not. I cook easy meals, or try to use my crock pot, and tell Mister that I’m unavailable that weekend.  It doesn’t always work out that I can sew Friday – Sunday uninterrupted, but I do tend to get a lot done when I plan it out. Right now there are 8 members and we “meet” on Facebook at the beginning of the weekend to share what we plan to work on, then Sunday evening/Monday we share what we actually got done. Pictures are highly encouraged. I want to figure out how to do link-up on my blog, so I can do that for people who don’t want to join because of Facebook.

My goals for this weekend were 2 Temecula Quilt Co. 4″ BOM blocks finished; August’s Blue and July’s Red Guild Scrappy Block of the Month Challenge; and get Son’s quilt binding finished.

Friday night was sew-in at my LQS and I’ve been taking the Temecula Quilt Co. BOMs with me since they’re all together in one container and easy to tote back and forth. I was there from 6 – 11 p.m. with a stop for dinner. I managed to complete one TQC block, get started on another one, and completely cut out the 4th (I’d previously completed the first one).

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I also bought several 1/8yd cuts of neutrals to use in my Wild & Goosey blocks

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Saturday I took a sewing break to work on a cross-stitch piece and to iron and trim out some of my scraps. These are 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3.5 strips, bricks, and squares. The blue to the side are the strips I’m setting aside for Jamestown Landing.

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Sunday I worked on my Guild Challenge and finished up the blue block

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and then I finished Son’s quilt.

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By that time, my shoulders were very tired, and it was time for HBO’s True Blood to come on so I shut it down.

I had planned on getting started on my July Red Guild Challenge block today but my vertigo problem has cleared up so I went to Zumba this morning, then it was time for lunch, then I passed out for a nap, then I went with Mister to Lowe’s for bolts for his new pull-up bar (and a new gadget for my Featherweight), then made an egg run, then home to feed the puppies, then started our dinner, did the dishes, and here I sit at 7:30 p.m. too pooped to sew! I may pick out the fabric tonight though.

I do have a couple of new recipes to share that are delicious.  Tomorrow :D

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