Saturday, August 27, 2011

My first sewing project

I learned to sew today!  Yipee!!  I am so excited I finally figured it out.  My MIL sent me a sewing machine for my birthday last October.  I wanted to learn but I felt intimidated as I have never been around a sewing machine before.  Thanks to a couple of great youtube videos I now can sew.  Last week I took my three year old daughter to Joann's fabric.  She picked out these two fabrics, and I set out determined this time to learn to sew her a bag for her ballet stuff.  I followed a wonderful tutorial.  It is a reversible bag 13.5"x14".  The only thing I messed up on is the straps.  I put them on wrong.  But, I am still proud of my first sewing project.  I learned how not to do the straps on the next bag.  I just finished it and Addison is sleeping.  I can't wait for her to see it in the morning.  Oh, I cut out the flower and the letter "A" on my cricut.  So fun, so easy, and I am looking forward to my next sewing project :)

Here is my inspiration and the tutorial I followed...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Camp Fire cake

My son's 11th birthday is tomorrow.  In the morning we are taking him into the city and doing the Alcatraz tour.  Tomorrow night he is having a camp out in our backyard.  I made this cake for the camp fire birthday party.

It was so easy to make!  Isn't it cute!  Here is where I found this cute idea...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriotic wreath

Happy 4th of July!!  Here is a festive wreath I put together. 
Try not to notice how dirty that little window in the door is. 
This is a dollar store wreath wrapped in yarn.  I used my cricut to cut out the stars.
Now we have something festive for the fourth :)  Have a great day!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Patriotic jello dessert

Isn't this so pretty and all patriotic?!  It was tasty, too.  My sister had a birthday yesterday and I took this over for dessert.  It was a hit :)  If you want to make this here is the recipe:

1 package (3oz) Berry Blue gelatin
2 Cups boiling water, divided
1 Cup fresh blueberries
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 Cup heavy whipping cream
5 TBSP Sugar
2 Cups sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package (3oz) raspberry gelatin
1 Cup fresh raspberries
Whipped topping and additional berries, optional.

In a large bowl, dissolve berry blue gelatin in 1 cup boiling water; stire in one cup cold water.  Add blueberries.  Pour in 3 quart serving bowl.  I used my trifle bowl.  Refrigerate until firm- at least one hour. 

Meanwhile in a saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water: let stand for one minute.  Add the cream and  sugar; cook and stir over low heat until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved.  Cool to room temperature.  Whisk in sour cream and vanilla.  Spoon over the blue layer.  Refrigerate until firm.

In a large bowl, dissolve raspberry gelatin in remaining hot water; stir in remaining cold water.  Add raspberries.  Spoon over cream layer.  Chill until set.  Garnish with whipped topping and additional berries if desired.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Paper Rosettes

I love these little paper rosettes.  Okay I think there are two little felt rosettes pictured here but most of them are made from paper.  I punched the shape out with my flower punch.  Then I cut in a spiral and rolled into a rosette then finished it off with a glue dot.  I wanted to show more pictures of the process but our weather has been awful thus equalling terrible quality photos.  I have a plan for these black rosettes and they will be back in another post.  Have a great night!


Friday, June 3, 2011


My friend Arlene makes several different tasty Chimichurri sauces.  My favorite is the Mango Tango.  I use it for so many dishes.  I used Mango Tango this evening on Salmon.  It was delicious!

Baked Salmon on Arugula
What you need:
3 Cups Arugula
1 Corn on the cob
1 red bell pepper
Mimimcurrys Mango Tango Chimichurri sauce

Preheat oven to 375.  The first thing I did when I made this dish was put the Red Bell Pepper in the oven about thirty minutes before the salmon went in the oven.  I drizzle olive oil on the red bell pepper as well as salt and pepper.  When roughly 30 minutes have passed take bell pepper out of the oven.  Place bell pepper in a plastic bag or plastic wrap.  This helps the skin to come off easily.  Bake Salmon for 18 minutes.  While the salmon is baking spread your washed fresh Arugula on a plate or platter.  This is a little tip I just tried and it worked great!  I put my corn in husk in the microwave for 45 seconds.  The corn was so good.  I cut off the corn with a knife.   Then, I chopped the red bell pepper and tossed it and the corn together.  This made a yummy, lovely, and quick add in for the arugula salad.  When the salmon is ready place it on the bed of arugula salad.  Add Mango Tango Chimichurri sauce and serve.  Enjoy!  

Side note: I like to take Mimimcurrys Mango Tango Chimichurri out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes until it is room temperature.

Check out all the different sauces Arlene makes over at


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Arugula Pesto

This is my Arugula Basil Pesto recipe.  

  • 2 Cups fresh Arugula

  • 2 Cups fresh Basil

  • 8-10 garlic cloves

  • 1 Cup pine nuts- I also used 1/4 cup of almonds in this batch

  • 1 Cup Parmesan grated

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil

  • 1. Put all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and pulse until chopped. 

  • 2. Add Olive Oil in through pouring tube.  Process until creamy.

  • 3.  The Pesto is ready!  Quick, easy, and so delicious.  

  • I like to drop tablespoons of the pesto on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and then freeze.  After frozen I put the portions of pesto in an air tight container and use when I need some pesto.  I add the pesto to all sorts of sauces, pasta, pizza, sandwiches etc...   Hope you like this Pesto recipe as much as my family does.


    Sunday, May 22, 2011



    Burlap banner

    My son made his First Holy Communion yesterday.  Every child makes a banner for their special day.  A lot of people ordered a kit to make their banner.  I am too cheap to do that so we made one with what we have around the house.  I recently made some burlap curtains (another post coming soon on those).  So I have extra burlap right now.

    I used a piece of burlap and twine to hang the banner.  I used my cricut to cut out the letters and the date numbers.  We also printed out the cross and host.  I think it turned out great especially for FREE!!

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Fabric Flower Necklace

    My lovely niece and I made a couple of fabric flower necklaces.  Not the best pictures.  Again, sorry about that.  I am working on my picture taking skills.  

    I just adore the way fabric flowers turn out.  So cute and very easy.  Here is a great tutorial over at tater tots and jello.

    I will be making more of these necklaces and I'd like to make a tutorial the next time.  Have a great day!

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Happy Cinco De Mayo!

    This was my plate tonight.  I cooked tilapia, black beans, and quinoa.  I chopped up a mango and put that on some greens with cilantro.  Guacamole, sour cream, and salsa added wonderful flavors.  I also made cheese quesadillas and nachos for my kids.  This plate of food was so tasty!

    Saturday, April 23, 2011


    Here I have an old frame that used to hang in my son's room when he was a baby.  I forgot to take a before picture.  But it used to be a white wash and had a teddy bear print.  Now it is a lovely turquoise.  I took the frame apart, cleaned it up really well.  Then, I primed the frame and painted two coats of carribean paint.  I also took the glass out and spray painted three coats of chalkboard paint.  I love the way it turned out.  I love the design on the frame.  My camera is very old and the light wasn't very good when I took this picture.  I apologize about my pictures.  They will get better I promise!  This lovely chalkboard gives my three year old more opportunities to practice writing her name.  She has the "A" down pretty well :)  

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Chevron Canvas Wall Art

    This is my first attempt at Chevron art.  I like it.  I have been seeing these on a lot of blogs.  So I decided to try to make one for my wall :)  This took a lot of patience and lots of measuring!  
    I measured and taped with painters tape.  Then, I painted the canvas with acrylic paint 2613 Carribean.  I painted two coats and let it dry.  Then, I removed the tape and had a pretty Chevron canvas :)    

    I have since found this pattern that I will be trying out the next time I make Chevron art.  I imagine it has to be loads easier with a traceable template!  

    Thanks for looking, have a great day!

    Linking to:     ""    

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Cheesy Veggie Pizza

    This pizza I made was so good and I think it was pretty healthy too.  I used the $1.29 pre-made pizza dough from Whole Foods.  So easy just let it rise on the counter double it's size.  I actually got two pizza's out of one bag of dough.  I made my kids a cheese pizza with the other half of dough.
    I spread the dough out on my pizza stone, then baked at 450 without anything on it for about six minutes.  I took it out and spread Trader Joe's pizza sauce all over it.  Then, added lots of veggies- sauteed mushrooms, zuchhinni, spinach, onion, garlic, mozzarella cheese and some parmesan and sliced tomatoes.  Back in the oven it went at 450 for 15 minutes.  My husband loved it!  I did too :)

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Another frame

    My mom gave me three of these framed San Francisco houses.  She was going to throw them out!  I think they are so neat.  When I took the frame apart I found the artist had written the street address of these homes.  So cool!  I want to go into the city sometime and drive by.  These were hung in my mom's house while I was growing up.  But they needed a little cleaning and updating.  So I cleaned and sanded the frame and got my trusty black spray paint out and painted the mat and frame.  I like how it turned out...  now to do the other two.

    linking this to <a href=""><img alt="giveaways" width="125" src="" height="125"/></a>

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Framed wall decor

    I made this cute little button tree to hang in my daughter's room.
    I used The Papertrey clear stamp from Falling leaves.  Here is a link to Papertrey Ink.

    I painted an old frame white, stamped the image on white cardstock.  I added the pink cardstock for the background and used glue dots to secure the buttons.  My girl thinks it is beautiful :)

    I am linking this to Somewhat Simple's link party.  <a href=""><img alt="giveaways" width="125" src="" height="125"/></a>


    Friday, March 25, 2011

    The Golden Gate Bridge

    My 4th grader had a CA research report to complete.  He chose to do it on The Golden Gate Bridge.  It was fun to learn all the interesting facts about the bridge.  Then we had to construct it!  I think it looks great!  This whole project is worth 300 points!  Kudos to my son.  He did a really great job.

    Faux necklace T-shirt

    My daughter wanted to wear the flower in her hair.  I used a bit of velcro on the flower.  We can use it  for her hair or her top :)

    I came across this awesome blog

    Right away I had to try this fun technique out.  I used what I had on hand.  I used a hand me down white t-shirt just to practice on.  Next time I try this I am going to get a nicer quality T-shirt.  I think it is cute for my first try.  Thank you to Kelly over at living craftily ever after for the inspiration and great tutorial!

    Linking up to Gluesticks:<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" /></a>

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Five years ago

    I was eight months into my beautiful pregnancy expecting a sweet little baby girl.  We chose the name Alison Cassandra for our first daughter.  I woke up on this day five years ago wondering why my baby wasn't moving around like she usually did.  I had a routine Doctor appt. at 9AM.  I dropped my son off at kindergarten and went on to my appointment.  I expressed my concern to my Dr.that my unborn baby had not been moving.  My Doctor listened to my baby's heat beat and said her heart rate  was 135 beats per minute.  I didn't feel better as she was still not moving.  My Doctor reassured me everything was okay and to go home and lay down on my side to wait for movement.  I left my Doctor's and went home and napped.  After my son was home from school and my husband came home from work...  I started thinking I should go to the hospital to get checked a little more thoroughly.  We had a friend come over and stay with Drew while Phil and I went up to the hospital.

    Once at the hospital the nurse could not find my baby's heart rate with the doppler.  I knew the news could not be good at this point.  She tried reassuring me that sometimes it is hard to get the heart rate via doppler. They wheeled in an ultrasound machine and a Doctor came in and sat down.  We saw our baby's body inside my body. She was so pretty and perfectly formed.  I remember The Doctor looking up at us with sorrow in his eyes.  See your baby's body here is her heart that is not beating.  I'm so sorry.  Those words "I'm so sorry" would echo in my mind for months and months.

    After this the Doctor urged us to go home for the rest of the night and prepare to come back tomorrow to be induced.  We made arrangements for our son to get to school and for my parents to come and babysit Drew while I was at the hospital with Phil.

    The next day March 22, 2006 I was induced with medicine to ripen my cervix.  It took most of the afternoon but by late evening I was having contractions and progressing.  Right before midnight Alison Cassandra was still born.  The staff at the hospital was very kind.  They cleaned Ali up and brought her back into the room.  It was very hard for me to spend a lot of time with her.  I knew I would not be taking her home with me.  It was so raw and unfair.  I felt so sad for my husband.  Seeing him in pain and crying for his little dead daughter was almost to much for me to watch.  I was wishing for my baby girl to open her eyes and show some sign of life.  But that didn't happen.  We had to move forward as life does.  We had to learn about the stages of grief, the process of a death certificate, cremation, planning a funeral service, and explaining to our five year old son why his little sister would not be coming home.

    After giving birth to Alison we learned she had died from a true knot in her umbilical cord.  When she was very tiny her umbilical cord slipped into a knot as she grew the knot became cinched tighter until it finally cut off everything.  What an awful thing to have happen.  It sure made me beyond paranoid for another pregnancy.  However, we knew right away we still wanted to try again.

    the next year was very hard.  Getting through all the firsts that alison wasn't here for.  Her due date, Mother's day, Summer, fall, winter, and then the anniversary of what would have been her birthday.  Around this one year mark I found myself to be pregnant.  I felt optimistic but scared.  I had also found myself pregnant four months after having alison but that pregnancy ended in miscarriage.  I hoped and prayed and rarely moved while gestating this new little growing life.  At the 20 week ultrasound I cried when the tech told me this baby was a little girl.  My husband was out at sea with the Coast Guard during this appointment.  I was able to email him this wonderful news.  He was equally happy.  Addison Quinn arrived later that year on November 20, 2007.  Addison had a hand in healing my heart.  The grief came on strong some days when I realized all that I missed out on with Alison.
    The pain of losing a child stays with one forever.  I love you, Alison Cassandra.  I will never forget your sweet face.  I hope to meet you again one day.

    edited to add my daughter's lovely name written in the sand of a beautiful beach in Austraila.  This couple has an amazing project.