29 October 2009

a giveaway!

Remember last year when I posted these trick-or-treat bags? I made them with scraps and tried to sell them in a local consignment store. I kept them with the intention of listing them in my etsy shop, but with health issues occupying my brain this month, it just slipped my mind.

And so - due to my recent very hopeful news I am giving them away to you - my faithful readers. One lucky winner will win both bags. (If you'd only like 1 of the bags, let me know and you can choose your favorite and I'll pick another winner for the other one.)

To win - enter a comment before midnight on Halloween. Tell me your favorite Halloweeny treat. I will pick a random winner on Sunday. Please leave contact info so I can contact you about your prize.

Bag dimensions: 9.5 inches wide, 11 inches tall, 3.5 inches deep. Each bag is also lined.

27 October 2009

Yay! Yippee! and Yahoo!

I went to my new doctor today (endocronologist). And although he hasn't given me a definite NO, he thinks that I will probably not have to do the radioiodine! I'm so excited! Maybe I shouldn't be, because there's still a chance I have to have it. But he says the chance is very unlikely.

I do have to go off my meds for 7 - 10 days, so I'll be tired during that time. Then I will have a lab test. Then the doctor will call me and let me know if my labs look good. If they are good, he's already given me a prescription for my permanent meds (which will be SO much better than the temorary ones I'm on now.)

If I do have to do the radioiodine it's worse than I thought. I have to be away from the kids for 7 days. Apparently, even if I don't get it done now, there's always a possibility I may have to get it done in the future. But I'm going to be seeing this doctor for a while and he'll be checking everything out so I'll know what I need to get done if anything comes up.

I just reread this and it seems hard to read, but I'm really excited (and off my meds) so I may not be the best at forming sentences. I will let you all know for sure next week at the end of the week.

22 October 2009

Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake

I originally got this recipe here. But I have made a few minor adjustments to it (spices, order of ingredients, directions, and glaze). It is honestly one of the best cakes I've ever had. I brought it to a fundraiser last night and Dan bought it. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups pumkin puree (not pie filling)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp cinnamon,
1 1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-3 Tbsp cream or milk

Preheat oven to 350. Butter bundt pan generously. Dust with flour. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 1 minute. Add buttermilk and pumpkin and beat until well combined. Add spices, soda, baking powder, and salt and beat until just combined. Add flour 1 cup at a time and beat until until batter is smooth.
Spoon batter into bundt pan. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes, then invert cake, release from pan, and let cool completely.

For glaze combine 2 Tbsp softened cream cheese with 1/2 cup powdered sugar until very smooth. Mix in 1-3 Tbsp cream or milk 1 Tbsp at a time until it's as thin as you'd like it. Drizzle over cake.

21 October 2009

what's up

Many people have asked me lately what is going on with my treatment. I still haven't seen my new doctor yet, so I don't really have any news. But I do see him next week, so I hope I'll know more then. When I do - I'll let you know here.

It is turning all yellow and orange outside! (My favorite colors). I love it. But I'm really mad at the city tree guys who "trimmed" my maple in front. I used to look out my windows and see my lovely tree, but now all I see is the neighbor's junipers (I hate junipers). Sad.

Luke has been interested in wearing underwear lately. His little legs are adorable and I always want to pinch them when I see them. We aren't potty training full fledged yet, I thought I'd wait until after all the cancer crap is over with. Usually he just wears the underwear over his diaper. I'll make sure to get a photo for you.

I have to make 3 cakes this week for 2 different events. I'll share the recipe and a photo just as soon as I can.

What are you all up to?

p.s. thanks for all the lovely comments on my quilt and my tree skirt :)

16 October 2009

I actually finished something

A few days ago when I was looking for something to sew I decided I'd better get to work on my tree skirt. I cut out the red strips and planned it all out last year. So all I had to do was figure out how to make it (or remember how I had decided to make it) and sew it all up! The most difficult part was cutting those large angles correctly. I had to do that a few times. I used an IKEA sheet as suggested by Amanda. It is so much cheaper than muslin and nicer too. Here it is all washed and crinkled. The binding is disco dots by Michael Miller.

I love it! It goes perfectly with my stocking which are also red and white with black and white binding.

15 October 2009

the last of the garden

I gathered up all the red or slightly red tomatoes and most of the green ones from outside. I'm hoping the green ones will ripen up, we'll see. I also planted tons of leeks. I will have enough to last me forever! I chopped them and put them in the freezer for future chowder usage. If you live near me and would like some leeks, I'd be happy to share. Also - if all these tomatoes ripen up, come get some because I'm not canning them.

09 October 2009

the online quilt festival again

Remember when I did this post? Well Amy is hosting another online quilt festival so of course I had to enter again. I haven't done much quilting this year, lots of unfinished tops and not as many finished ones.

So I'm entering my first (and only) queen quilt for my own bed. I love it! I got the design idea from an etched window where I worked at the time. I finished it about 9 years ago and it has been on my bed ever since. As you can imagine it is getting worn out, which makes me sad. I am working on something new (at the bottom of this post) and bright for my bed but I'm seriously considering making another quilt exactly the same as the current one. I love it that much. (Maybe when I do I'll make some cute pillows too).

detail of border (1/4 inch stripes) and hand quilting.

08 October 2009

just so you know

I wasn't trying to toot my own horn or anything yesterday. I thought I did a lot of stuff too, but not supermom stuff.

Just so you know
today I played around on the computer until noon,
baked that bread (which didn't quite turn out, but was good enough to eat),
took a shower,
got on the computer some more,
tried to figure out something to sew,
took a shower,
did a few dishes,
turned off the computer,
watched the Music Man (you need to watch it - I need to buy it),
had some dinner (something already made again - thank you Dan),
had a dance party (in which Luke danced in slow motion to a slow song - very entertaining)

How was that - was that better? Usually when I have a very productive day or two, I have some chill days for at least twice as long. What do you guys do in a day? I bet if you listed it out - it would seem like more than you thought. Just saying.

Also - the reason I'm on this bread kick is to try and save some money. (I figured I can save $40 a month making my own wheat bread). But I'm a terrible bread baker. I never know quite how much flour to add when it gives you an ambiguous amount and I'm always messing up the yeast. Any tips on good bread? I know some of you out there are great bread bakers. Any great recipes or tips would be very much appreciated :)

And just for the photo (and to tell you how nice people are) my neighbor brought me these the other day. My favorite treat - homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate (and these ones also have toasted coconut on them). YUM. The neighbor who brought them just found out her mom has breast cancer. What a lovely neighbor. I had the last one today. Maybe I should forget the bread and figure out how to make these . . .

07 October 2009

feeling more like a normal person

(these photos are just because I haven't posted many lately)

Today I woke up determined to be normal. Not tired. More like the old me.

So I got up,

made my bed,

took the kids to school,

emptied the dishwasher and filled it again,

started making whole wheat bread,

started another batch of bread (in which I killed the yeast with too hot of water),

cleaned Jack and Sam's room (as a favor to them - I always make them clean it, but it was REALLY bad and smelled like pee AND poop. ewwww,

sorted the laundry,

washed 2 loads of laundry,

waited until noon to check the computer,

baked first 2 loaves of bread (which turned out),

baked next 2 loaves of bread (which didn't turn out - maybe I can use them for bread crumbs for the next 2 years?),

started another kind of bread (Italian country bread - which I will bake tomorrow and eat as bruschetta - with the last of my lovely garden tomatoes),

finished a book I've been reading (The Lightning Theif - Jack just read it),

had a ban on video games and computer games,

took a shower (finally!),

emptied dishwasher and filled it up again,

warmed up dinner (thank goodness for all those freezer dinners in my freezer!),

read with Sam,

helped Jack do his homework,
read Charlie a book before bed,

got everyone in bed,

made a few more fabric hex flowers,

and now I am going to bed.

I also watched Nie on Oprah for a few minutes and I felt somewhat chastised. I've been making a big deal about my scar and trying to cover it up. I could be a little braver about that.

01 October 2009

new doc

I made an appt with my new doctor (the endocronologist). It's in a month. I'm going to try and get a yes or a no before my appointment. But if they can't tell me I'm just going to plan on having the radioiodine and try and plan for it. I'll be making some low/no iodine dinners, muffins, and breads, and putting them in the freezer. That should help me to feel less anxious. I'll also have some neighbors on standby in case I need some extra help. Dan's going to try and get off work early during those 2 weeks. So I'm hanging in there.

In other news - I'm dying to sew something! So last night while we were watching a movie I made some more of these.

I will eventually make a quilt with them all, but I'm not sure when that will be. The idea behind these is to use scraps AND to put fabrics together that aren't from the same line (something I need to work on). This techniques is called English paper piecing. There is an excellent tutorial for it here. I buy my paper shapes and there are lots of other shapes available here.

I also started working on the back of my wonky star quilt so that I can start quilting it someday. I'm still not sure how I want to quilt it. Any ideas?