Archive for March, 2010

Patchwork Table Runner

I’ve been planning some sewing and quilting classes.  One will be on how to make a patchwork table runner.  To prepare, I’ve been making samples for each of my courses.  Here are some pics from the table runner.

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This is a continuance of the two week menu I made for the weeks of March 21 and March 28.  Each day of the week has a theme, such as pizza on Fridays.  Check out The Food Nanny for blank shopping lists, theme day recipes, and blank menus.

Menu for the Week of March 28:

Sunday – Traditions:  Ham steak, potatoes, carrot slices, bread

Monday – Comfort Food:  All-in-one-dish Hamburger Casserole, bread

Tuesday – Italian:  Chicken noodle soup, bread

Wednesday – Fish:  Paprika Tilapia, brown rice, mixed vegetables

Thursday – Boxed Meals:  Mac and Cheese, turkey sausage, peas

Friday – Pizza: Whole wheat pizza with chicken and mushrooms

Saturday – Leftovers

For more menu plans, go to Org Junkie.

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I love kolaches.  I can eat them several days in a row for breakfast.  It can get pretty expensive if you go to the kolache shop each day, so I’ve taken to making my own at home.  I make a batch of dough in my bread machine, make the kolaches, and then freeze them.  40 seconds in the microwave gives me a delicious, instant breakfast that’s super-yummy.

I’ve found that one batch of dough with one package of sausage will give me 16 kolaches.

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Pizza Night

I’ve been trying to do theme nights with my menu planning.  Fridays are pizza nights.  I make pizza dough for two pizzas, which is getting easier each time.  We eat pizza on Friday and leftover pizza over the weekend.

For chicken pizza night, for one pizza, I used pre-cooked and then frozen chicken fajita meat with mushrooms and cheddar cheese.  For the second pizza, I added onions and red bell peppers to half of the pizza.

For dessert, and to soothe chocolate cravings, I made what I call Twin Mint cookie dough, but I baked it in an 8 x 8 casserole dish, instead of making individual cookies.

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Double Compost Bin

My husband and I built a fabulous double compost bin today.

In the pictures below, you’ll see our previous compost method.  It was a ring of chicken wire.  It was very hard to access compost, because the compost was at the bottom, the new stuff was at the top, and the entire structure was too heavy to lift.

After researching compost bins online, we used wood, the original compost cage, and additional chicken wire that we already had at home.  First, we moved the original compost cage out of the way.  Then, we moved the compost soil out of the way and cleared the space.  We also had to trim some bushes that were in the way.  After that, we cut wood, screwed pieces of wood together, and used a staple gun to attach the chicken wire around three sides.

The 1-inch chicken wire was way to big.  For the sides that had it, we put boards up to keep the soil from going through.  We’ll also put boards on the front of the bins (not attached), so that we can keep the soil in while composting, but be able to remove the boards and easily shovel it out when its needed.

We put the compost we already had into one bin and we’ll add to the other bin until it’s full.  Then, we’ll switch bins.  Whenever I plant something new in my veggie garden, I’ll now have easy access to compost that I can mix in before I plant.

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Garden Planting

I planted yellow bell peppers, two kinds of zucchini, green beans, and cucumbers today.  I had to wait until it warmed up after the cold front we just had.  I hope to also plant some tomatoes in the near future, so I’m excited about that, too.

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In an effort to try ideas from The Food Nanny, I’ve been trying to plan a menu and shop for two weeks at a time.  To help, you have theme nights, such as Italian food on Tuesdays and pizza on Fridays.

I’m posting my two weeks of menus separately, but I did shop for the both weeks in one shopping trip this weekend.

On Thursdays, I have a grad school class out of town (every week) and on Saturdays, we eat leftovers.

Menu for the Week of March 21:

Sunday – Traditions:  Turkey Biscuit Bake

Monday – Comfort Food:  Chunky Chicken Chili, bread

Tuesday – Italian:  3-Cheese Lasagna, carrots, bread

Wednesday – Fish:  Paprika Tilapia, brown rice, mixed vegetables

Thursday – Boxed Meals:  Hamburger Helper, canned biscuits

Friday – Pizza:  Pepperoni whole wheat pizza with mushrooms

Saturday – Leftovers

Please note on the menu picture above, I initially wrote the incorrect dates.

At the bottom of the menu, I have listed that I want to make salad with avocado, smoothies, and kolaches with turkey sausage.  These are not dinner items, but I wanted to include them so that I would get the appropriate ingredients on my grocery list.

For more menu plans, go to Org Junkie.

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Here’s an updated picture of my jogging calendar.  I started it a while back, got sick for two weeks, and then finally started jogging (or swimming) daily.  Some days after work, I’ll get dinner started, get on the treadmill, take dinner out of the oven, get back on the treadmill, eat dinner and wait for a while, and then get back on the treadmill again.  Still, I’ve had a few times where I’ve jogged an entire mile in one go.

It’s nice to see my calendar getting filled in so much.  I think it’s helping that I’m on Spring Break right now.  Click here to see what my calendar looked like a month ago.

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The Modest Swimsuit

I got a new, modest swimsuit. It’s from Modestly Yours Swimwear.  You send in your measurements and they make a suit to your size.  There’s great e-mail communication to make sure that all of the suit details and measurements are correct before they finalize your order and begin sewing.  My suit is very comfortable and fits perfectly.  It’s a dress top with matching leggings.  You pick your fabric pattern, sleeve type, skirt style, etc.  There are many options.

Last year, I tried several modest swimsuits from other companies (Click here and here).  I found that modest tankini suits and suits that were swim tops and skirts were not modest enough for me.  Tankinis did not cover my bust area well and they often didn’t fit right.  Tankinis and swim tops would float up in the water.  I didn’t feel covered enough with a swimsuit brief, and often felt the need to be covered up with a skirt, pair of shorts, or a swim cover-up dress on top of my suit.

I’m pleased with the skirt and legging combination on my new suit.  I also like that it is high in front and it has cap sleeves.  I won’t have to wear as much sunscreen.

I went to do some laps at the pool the other day.  With freestyle, the suit had a bit of drag and I felt a little more buoyant when I did breaststroke.  I may add some snaps or velcro at the bottom of the skirt, because it likes to float up very slightly when you’re standing still in the pool.  The leggings keep you covered, so there’s no modestly issue.

Lisa, from Modestly Yours Swimwear, shared with me that they have a more sporty suit called the Caribbean Sport, meant for sports and more active swimming.  It has a more fitted skirt in the hip area, thus having less skirt to float around, with side slits (over the leggings) for more ease of movement.  I feel it would have less drag, and if I purchase a second suit, I would probably get this one, just for doing laps and races.  I can definitely see myself doing a triathlon in one!

Modestly Yours Swimwear also gives you the option of adding a snap to the bottom of the hem of the skirt of your suit.  You snap the front hem to the back hem on the inside of the suit.  It keeps the skirt down while swimming and can be easily unsnapped when out of the water.  I decided to wait on this option, because I knew I could add one if I thought it was necessary.

Overall, I liked being more modest at the pool.  When I finished swimming, I just grabbed a towel and hopped in the car.  I didn’t have to worry about an extra cover-up.

I think the suit will be great for the beach, water parks, and canoeing as well.

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Due to a chocolate craving, my husband and I made and devoured brownies earlier this evening.  Now, I’m doing my online grad school class, having a very hard time sitting with all of this sugar in me.  Thus, I’m following along with the class and occasionally adding to the discussion while I simultaneously work on knitting a shawl, just to keep myself occupied in several ways at once!

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