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.

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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

Product Reviews

I thought I would share my opinion on a couple of products I’ve tried lately.

2014-07-26 17.56.17Every now and then I want a bold steak sauce.  Think A-1.  If you’re looking for a bold steak sauce, this wasn’t it.  It tastes very good, but doesn’t have the ‘bold’ I was looking for.  I’ll definitely use it on grilled pork or chicken, though.

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The pasta sauce gets an A+  I got it at Sprouts and it is going to be a staple in my pantry.  The minute I opened the jar I started salivating.  It smelled like garden fresh tomatoes.  Look at the ingredients label.  And hello!  Made in the USA :D   I added 1 link of chicken italian sausage (casing removed) to it.  Soooo.  Gooood.

The rice pasta was good too.  It does have a rice taste to it, pre sauce.  Mister liked it, too.  He had 2 bowls full for dinner then ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.

My problem with the pasta, is it’s still a grain, which I’m trying to avoid.  I will be trying this again over zoodles.

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I bought these yesterday because they were gluten free and on sale.  The sticker says $5.99 but I think I paid $4.99.  It’s probably obvious by the photo that these are good.  We both had one last night and I had to tell Mister “no” on a second one.  He was up before me this morning and had one with a protein drink for breakfast ;)  There is also a vanilla flavor with the same icing.  I love that they are small (maybe 2″ wide at the bottom), very moist, and a small quantity in the box.  However, no matter the deliciousness of them, I’m not buying them very often.  I think I’ll hold off for birthday, or something else special, to appreciate them more.

 

 

Recipes

Back on August 3rd I shared this tease photo on FB for a new recipe.  I can’t say that this recipe was a full success, though, but I’m going to share it anyway.

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This was a free recipe from Nov 12 / The Performance Menu

Rainbow Hash

1 1/2 lb turkey sage sausage (I used pork)
1/3 head red cabbage
3 lg carrots
kale
coconut oil
sea salt & pepper

Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet and cook sausage.

Chop veggies separately in food processor. Add to skillet with salt and pepper (can add other seasonings).

Cover and cook 10-12 minutes. Stir often.

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I couldn’t find turkey sausage at the time, but have a source now.  I cut the kale with a knife instead of using the processor and kept it out until the last 2 minutes.  This was super easy and fast.  The problem I had with it – too sweet between the sage and the carrots.  This is what it looked like cooked, and one of the ways I served it.

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I am going to change it up and serve it a different way in a few days and will share that, too.

I used the left over cabbage and made a quick slaw to go with the pulled pork I made earlier this week:

Red Cabbage Slaw

1/2 head red cabbage
1/4 inch slice of red onion
2 T olive oil
2 T rice vinegar
sea salt & pepper

Slice the cabbage, or dice it, however you prefer your slaw cut. Dice onion. In a separate bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour it over slaw, toss it, and immediately serve. Easy peasy :D

It’s Wild & Goosey around here

I had a lot of sewing time yesterday.  I got started on my guild block not too long after I finished my name tag.  I’m happy with my color choices and will get back to working on it later today.  I actually got 2 of these units finished

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I probably would have finished the whole block except Wild & Goosey was calling my name!  I got all the paper piecing finished on it yesterday and put the sashing in this morning.  I am in love, and it was fun remembering what projects some of the scraps were from.  I did learn one thing, and that is I don’t have very many light fabrics in my stash.  I have a decent stack of non-Civil War FQs and yardage that I will be cutting into when I start the next one.  I haven’t decided how often I’m going to make one, but I need 80 total to make the quilt as shown in Quiltmaker.

1 down.  79 to go!

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It left a wild mess on my cutting table, and I’ll be ironing and cutting into usable pieces everything there before putting it away.

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I’m trying to implement Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System.  You can just make out one of my scrap bins in the above photo, and I’m digging through it a bit at a time.  I have a similar, more stuffed one for my civil war fabrics but that’s what I use for Farmer’s Wife so I won’t be going through it until  I finish those blocks.

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