30 September 2010

Sunday stops...

After attending my great uncle's 80th Birthday party, B and I took the route home that we only travel a couple of times a year.  We love coming this way, especially in the fall, because even though our favorite stops aren't far from home, we are rarely up in that area. Our first stop was at the Country Smokehouse in Almont.   They have a great meat counter, jerky and snack sticks, BBQ sauces and packaged goods.  But their packaged goods are GOOD packaged goods.  On our stop there this past Sunday, I was checking out the newest selection of soups they stock.  I wish I would have bought more of this because it was fantastic, but we were a little pressed for time and I just couldn't make up my mind on another flavor.  This company is incredible.  All natural, gluten free, no preservatives and $5.99.  I don't mind spending that on something to healthy.  The company is called Frontier Soups, but don't let the name fool you.  Oh, no.  They also carry Pasta Salads, Cornbread, and Appetizers & Dips.  We brought home the Mississippi Delta Tomato Basil.  It made like 10 cups.  Lots for left over lunches.  All you add is a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and 2 T. Brown sugar.  Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes and your are eating.  It was so simple.  I made garlic bread and a salad and we were in business!  What a great find.  I highly recommend it!  I also bought 2 different kinds of a crock pot soup brand, so I will be reviewing those soon too!

On the weekends (through the end of October this year!!  Yippee!!!!)  they have their smoker trailer out front with picnic tables and all.

You can order brisket or pulled pork sandwiches, smoked sausages and I can't remember what else, because I never get past the brisket and pork.  As you already know, my dad loves to smoke for a hobby, so we always stop and get some to give him ideas (we really just need him to meet us there some night)  They serve the sandwiches on these great sour dough rolls.  It's so worth it people.  If you are in the area in the summer on a weekend, stop, you will not regret it!  For more info, you can click on the link I gave you above and search the left column for Weekend BBQ!  Dad, if you are reading this, their smoke doesn't hold a candle to yours!  It's good, but yours is way better, you could give them lessons!

Our next stop was at Blake's Farm Market!  I can't believe we made it before the last week of October this year.  I had just bought apples, so sadly, we did not bring any home, but I will be sure to stop again before the season is out.  We got a caramel apple, 2 gallons of cider, and some cider donuts for a treat.  Yum!

29 September 2010

Chicken Breasts with Turkish White Bean Salad

Yum.  I really like this Weight Watchers Cookbook.  (See the bottom of this post for the Amazon link)  It has so many recipes in it that I want to try.   Last night I made the Chicken Breasts with Turkish White Bean Salad.  It was really good.  I just made some brown rice because I wasn't that hungry and Brian just wanted some hummus and naan with it.  It was super easy, I made the salad and got some dishes done while the chicken was cooking.

The recipe is here...  

28 September 2010

September is National Sewing Month!

I didn't even know that until I went to Jo Ann's for a quick peek last week.  It makes sense though, because all I want to do right now is sew like a maniac.

I was making a list of all the sewing projects that I want to get to and realized that before I even thought about looking through patterns I really needed to get a BIG monkey off my back so I could enjoy working on new things without feeling guilty.  (I actually typed quilty instead of guilty and couldn't figure out why it looked funny, DUH!)  Remember this post?  Now think about if you have heard me mention any progress on my first ever quilt since then.  Yep, can't remember right?  Well, I've spent a few afternoons and evenings working on it lately, and am pleased to report that I have completed the quilting, sewn the binding to the front of the quilt and thoroughly enjoyed sitting under it while I hand stitch the binding to the back!  The hand stitching actually went so much faster than I expected.  But my next quilt is for sure going to a long arm quilter!  I told Brian that I have no idea what possessed me to do it myself and that I would NEVER take on something of that scale myself again.  All in all, I am happy that I did it, I learned a lot.  It's not perfect by any means, but I love it and it was a great learning experience.  Jiggy enjoyed napping on it WHILE I was quilting it and Brian has already told me that it's his.  Um, ok, not sure if pink and flower prints are exactly your colors, but I'm glad that it will be used and enjoyed and broken in.  I think that it will make a great beach blanket someday.

I took it up north to show it off and the family enjoyed snuggling under it too!

Sophie found Stormy as soon as they got to Gabby & Gups house

I love how it turned out.

I have already picked out my next quilting project too, big surprise, right?  I saw it on the cover of a quilting magazine and decided that the fabric bundle I got last Christmas would make a good combination.  It's not going to be as big as the one on the magazine because I will only have 24 squares instead of 36, but that's ok, I might improvise a bit.

My Uncle Paul and his dog Stella having a snuggle

In the midst of hand stitching the binding to my quilt, I took a 3 hour quilting class last week and I learned a lot.  I need to learn some of the technical stuff before I get much further in my newest obsession.  I have added an Accu Quilt GO! to my Christmas list and really hope I get one!  There is  an intro class at Jo Ann's in a couple of weeks, so I am going to check it out some more then, but I'm sure it's only going to make me want one more!   Geez, Christmas is SO far away still!  How will I survive?

16 September 2010

Easy Lace Shrug

I love this project so very much.  I love it.  I love the lace, and the way it looks, and the way it fits, and I would really like to have one for myself.  Actually, that's not quite true, I do have one for myself.  It is a deep green and it's beautiful (photos when the weather gets a bit cooler), but what I really want is one in this fab Champagne color..

Great, right?  Goes with everything, huh!

Yep, that's why I want one for me....  But, being the generous, wonderful, giving person that I am, I don't have one for me yet...  Until now...  I made one for my mom for Mother's Day, and that's when I really fell in love with the color, so I went out and bought the yarn and made another one.  Well, the fam was all together to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th Birthday, (yes, 90th and he is great!) and Bri and I were heading out to the back yard at the lake house to get some pics finally when my Grandma saw me and went nuts.

About 4 years ago, my Mom, Aunt, Grandma and myself flew to Washington to see our family there because my Grandma's brother wasn't well,  and she wanted to see him and her sister and our cousins and the old family home on Whidby Island.  So, we made a trip of it and we stayed in Bothell with my Great Aunt Phyllis and Great Uncle Francis.  I, of course, took my knitting with me everywhere, because we were in the car a lot.  My Aunt was amazed that I could knit and carry on a conversation at the same time and always asks my Grandma what I have been working on.  Well, Grandma asked if I would knit another shrug for her to send to Washington and I gave her this one after the photo shoot!  She was thrilled and mailed it out that Monday.  I am so glad that I could do this for her!  My Aunt was thrilled when she got it in the mail and wore it several times that first week and has already received countless complements on it!  She loves it and raves about the fact that she has a hand knit from me, so that makes it all worth while!  Oh, and I just found out that my cousin Allison, who I was sitting and talking to on my visit has now started knitting and is currently working on her first shawl!  Yippee!  A convert!

So with this post, I have cast on the shawl that will be mine (God willing) and I will have a completed one within the month!  What are you working on right now?

10 September 2010

Acadian Shawl

I'm not going into details.  You can read them on my Ravelry project page if you are interested, but I am really glad that I finally finished this!  I can't honestly remember having such a difficult time with a relatively simple project!  Obviously, this still needs to be blocked, but here it is.  I used 3 skeins of naturallycaron.com Country in Deep Taupe and I used every inch of those three skeins.  I had just enough to weave in the last end!  Wheew!

I know these aren't the best pics, but it's dark and I still need to block it, so I will get some more to post later.

09 September 2010

Saying goodbye and a new beginning!

It's no secret that I have been having some computer issues lately...  So it finally happened that I had to say goodbye.  After coming home from my week at the lake, I had a few days with no hassle.  That was short lived.  I headed to Best Buy for a cheap Netbook to hold me over until I can (hopefully) afford my Mac.  It's a dream, I know, but I REALLY want one.  Not and I Pad, I already have a my beloved Kindle, but I want a MacBook.  Most of my pics and material were backed up on my external hard drive, but not everything, so I lost a few pics in the process, but nothing entirely devastating.  I am, however having a very complicated time of getting my iTunes on to the new computer.  It's quite frustrating...  quite!

Just a day after we got the computer, we had a couple of tornadoes go through and lost power for almost 24 hours!  Thank goodness the power came back on before the weekend, because our dear friends Marie and John were married that Saturday!  We are so very happy for them and had a great time!  The food at the reception was incredible.  Traditional Italian Antipasta, Soup, Salad, 2 Pastas, beef and the most amazing chicken dish with veggies and potatoes.  And not only did they have wedding cake, but a HUGE, and I truly mean HUGE dessert table with fruit, pies, cakes, candy, chocolate covered everything and an espresso bar!  Wow, the food.  Seriously!  Amazing!

Marie and her dad.  She looks like a princess!

Marie and Kelly

Brian with the newlyweds

Me with John and Marie
The Not-so-Newlyweds!

08 September 2010

Spending time...

Spending time at the park by Gabby and Gup's house
I got to spend a week at the lake with my favorite kiddos in early August.  That is when the weather is the best.  The lake was perfect.  We spent hours swimming, jumping off the neighbors raft, floating on anything floatable, searching for the perfect rocks and shells, picnicing, eating and making new friends!  I loved spending so much time with them and really hope that Melissa and Dave let me steal them away for a week every summer!  Jamie kept saying that he wanted to come back for a few more days!  I love that!
I can't believe she is 5'1"!!!

Sophie and Jamie on the St. Clair River on the Lightship Huron.
We fed Pringles to the friendly squirrel in the park
We visited the Lightship Huron and saw the Bluewater Bridge.

Sophie and Jamie on Lake St. Clair
They even got to perch fish with Gup and their dad before they went home!  

07 September 2010

A whole lot of nothing...

So I had a bunch of posts lined up, and I am still going to try to post them all this week, so watch for them...  really, I am still going to put them out here in the blogosphere, even though they begin almost a month ago!

1)  First off, I got to spend a whole week with my favorite 2 kiddos at the lake!  Look for this post on Wednesday!

2)  I got home and the computer worked fine, 2 days later, nothing.  No amount of beating, swearing, moaning, etc. would make it turn back on, so I have a new computer....  Look for this one on Thursday!

3)  I finished a project and it was a doosey!  Look for this one on Friday!

For now, here is a little sneak peak of our week at the lake!