Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthday Giveaway!

Yesterday was my birthday...I turned I decided that I would give away a gift! And, since it's my birthday, I'm giving away some of my favorite things:
Some fat quarters of fun Christmas fabrics (because Christmas is just around the corner), a copy of the October 2008 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, a bottle of Wild Honeysuckle body cream from Bath & Body Works, some chocolate (of course), and a bag that I made. I signed up for Linda's bag/bucket swap, but I'd never made a bag before so I thought I'd practice and make a few...this was my first attempt, and I think it turned out pretty cute. =) Here is a close up of the bag:

So, to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment (please include your blog address if you have one, so I can check out your blog if I haven't already)...that gets you ONE entry, but if you want THREE more entries, mention this giveaway on your blog...that's it! Make sure you enter before midnight (MST) on Tuesday, September 2nd...thanks for entering! =)

Hope you have a wonderful day!
Thursday, August 21, 2008

End of the Season

Well, the mountain bike race season is over for Rick. He competed in his last race last he is finishing.

This race was at Soldier Hollow. Half of the races were held at Sundance and the other half at Soldier Hollow. I like Sundance for the atmosphere, grass, and shade, but I like Soldier Hollow because you are able to watch more of the race. I'm glad Rick enjoys his new-found hobby...he's wondering what he's going to do during the winter when he can't ride because of the snow. I think he'll find something else to keep him busy and active. The weekly race series starts again in May...and that will be here before we know it.

My garden, however, has not seen the end of the is producing like mad! We call it our 'garden on steroids'. We have two squash plants and two zucchini plants, each of which is about 3.5 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide (the picture doesn't do justice to just how big they are):

We also have beets, carrots, swiss chard, peppers, cucumbers, leeks, herbs, and LOTS of tomatoes. This is the first year we've grown the yellow pear tomatoes and we love them. Our tomato plants are very tall and fact the one in the far left corner has grown so big that is has pulled down the tomato cage...when you stand it up the plant is almost as tall as our six-foot fence. I think our trick is that we compost our soil all year long...and when we plant at the beginning of the season we do a dose of Miracle Grow. I'm proud of myself this year because, with the exception of the carrots, beets, and swiss chard (which I started from seed when the ground was ready), and with the exception of the zuchinni, squash, cucumbers, and some of the herbs (which I purchased as starts from Home Depot), everything else I grew from seed indoors before the ground was ready...and everything survived and is so beautiful! (This picture doesn't do justice for size or depth either.)

There is something very satisfying about working in the dirt and growing a's nice to feel even the tiniest bit self-reliant...even if it's only that I don't have to buy as many vegetables when I grocery shop. I guess I'll have to get started on my canning and freezing so that I don't miss out on all of this garden goodness. =)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy 10-Year Anniversary!

Happy 10-year anniversary to my husband, Rick...the love of my life and the man of my dreams. Last Friday, August 15th, we celebrated 10 wonderful years together and I can't wait for 10 million, gazillion (all of eternity) more. We celebrated by staying up at Sundance in Provo Canyon. We had such a great cabin with our own private hot tub on the deck. We ate delicious food, had relaxing massages in the spa, and rode the chair lift in the moonlight. Such a wonderful weekend! In case you were wondering, here are some shots of us at our wedding 10 years ago (we look so young):
We were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. It was a beautiful, hot, summer day...if you can't tell by our was about 1:00 in the afternoon when this picture above was taken and it was hot outside, but still beautiful.
Rick spinning me around in front of the fountain by the Church office buildings.

When we got married Main Street was still Main Street and you could still drive on can see it in the background in front of the temple. For several years now it has been a reflective pool, and walking more driving on that street...strictly foot traffic now.

Later that day we had our reception at the Bungalow and it was such a beautiful night and a beautiful place...perfect weather. It cooled down a lot from the heat of the day. In fact, just as our reception was ending a light rain was so nice.

This is a picture (above) of Rick's side of the family at our reception. We just had family pictures taken about a week ago and it's so neat to see how this family has grown over the years.

This picture above is of my family at our reception. My brother is now married to a wonderful girl...Cheryl, and they have a beautiful little boy...Logan. My side of the family has grown over the years's so neat to see everyone's lives change and grow over the years.

To my wonderful husband...I love you more every day and I appreciate all that you do to make sure that we have a happy, beautiful life together. I'll never let go of your hand, either. I love you today, always, and forever! =)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Surprise Twinkie Cupcakes

My friend and neighbor, Crystal, from Everyday Food Storage and Preparedness, entered her recipe for Twinkie Surpise Cupcakes in the Utah's Own Downhome Cooking Contest on Channel 2 KUTV. And, no surprise here, she was selected as one of six contestants to go on tv to make their recipe! Her cupcakes are delicious and they have a surpise ingredient...summer squash! Who doesn't have a ton of squash growing in their garden, so it's a great way to use it and get a yummy treat at the same time. She did such a great job on live TV...she didn't seem nervous at all...such a pro! Click on the link below to see Crystal in action on TV, and also for the won't be disappointed!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Giveaways Galore!!!

There are some really great giveaways going on right now out in blog land!

Polka Dots and Rick Rack is celebrating her blogiversary (congratulations!!!) and giving away a great little package that includes a cute little polka dot girl.

Inger Lise is also celebrating her blogiversary (congratulations to you too!!!) with a give's a surprise, but sure to be wonderful, judging by everything else she posts on her blog.

Candace at Wraggedy Patches is having a giveway to celebrate her 100th post (congratulations, of course!!!).

Lila, over at Lila Tueller Designs, is holding a giveaway too. The prizes are some really great purses and some patterns. I would be happy with any of the items, but I really hope I win the Funked Out Peasant Blouse looks soooooooo cute!

Click on over and check out all these fun blogs...good luck, but I hope I win! =)
Monday, August 11, 2008

Two Wolves, Free Rice, and the Olympics

Last Friday, I left work a little early since my husband's family was having family pictures taken. On the way home I was tuning through the radio stations and stopped on Dr. Laura. I listen to her every now and then...sometimes I agree with her...sometimes I don't. She told a story about two wolves and the story really made me think about myself. I'm not sure what her source was, but I searched the internet and found out that the story is a Cherokee parable. I found it on Pearls of Wisdom through According to that site, the author is unknown, but here is the parable:

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old chief simply replied, "The one you feed."

I want to feed the good wolf.

In searching the Internet, I also found a fun game to play! It's called Free Rice. It's a word guessing game and with every answer you get right, the sponsors donate 20 grains of rice to help feed thousands of hungry people around the world. So far, I've helped to provided 3,000 grains of rice (but I'll keep playing and get more), which doesn't sound like a lot, but if thousands of people play the game...then those grains of rice really start to add up! So, if you enjoy games, then play this one because not only are you having fun, but you're also helping to feed the world. So far the rice has helped people in places like Nepal, Myanmar, and many others. The game is free and if you want to play you can click here or on the link on the side bar. on to the Olympics! I love the Olympics! Since Friday night, I don't think my TV has left channel 5 (NBC)'s pretty much all that I've done all weekend. I have worked on my yo-yo's though...that's a nice project to work on when you're sitting and watching TV. One of the coolest things I've seen so far in the Olympics was the men's 4x100 relay race last was so incredible! Here is a link to the video in case you missed it, or just in case you want to be reminded of the awesomeness that is the men's relay team!

Friday, August 8, 2008

SEW Many Things to Make...SEW Little Time...

In visiting different blogs, searching the internet, and during my shopping trips, I have found so many things that I want to make and try...and you all are so kind to post the tutorials! I love you all!

Things I Want to Try aka UPCOMING PROJECTS:

* Baby Butterfly Quilt - small wallhanging pattern I picked up on sale for $1.65 the other day
* American Jane Pretzel Quilt
* Pretty much anything on Penny's blog Sew Take a Hike, but specifically her Chrysanthemum Hot Pad and her Kitchen Scrubbie (click on the links for the tutorials)
* Butterflies on Lisa's blog Celebrate Creativity In All Its Forms
* Lynnette Anderson's Noah's Ark Block of the Month - I think this will go quickly, as I can take it with me and work on it anywhere =)

Of course, there are many, many, many more things that I've seen that I'd like to try, but if I posted about all of them then my post would be never-ending! So, once I finish this list, I'll post another and start on a whole new list! =)

Things I'm Currently Having Fun Working On:

* Bag for my secret partner in Linda's Bag/Bucket Swap - I need to finish it by the first week in September, so it's Priority #1 on my list right now!
* Fabric Labels - thanks to Penny's label tutorial
* Yo-Yo quilt - 112 made, only 1,800 to go - a nice project when I'm watching tv
* Cathedral Windows quilt - moving on from my practice piece from an earlier post to a larger version - thanks to Hyena in Petticoats tutorial
* Of Course...all of the quilts on my side bar...slow and steady wins the race! =)

Thank you to everyone for your impressive creative genius and imagination! I see your work and I am always so impressed!

I really love having a creative outlet...a place where I can contemplate things in my life...a place where I can let my imagination run wild, dream, hope... Of course, I do enjoy the company of others, but sometimes it's nice to just sit and sew or work on a project...a nice balance.

On a side note...I think I'm going to do a giveaway for my birthday later this month. Since it's for my birthday, it'll include all of my favorite things, of'll have to check back later if you want to win! =)
Monday, August 4, 2008

Yummy Treats...

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend!

I had a very productive weekend! In addition to the three quilts that I finished and already posted about, I finished binding another quilt over the weekend. I call this one my pink & green retro quilt, because the fabrics look a little retro to me. It's just a block pattern...nothing too special. I love this quilt because the quilt top cost all of about $8 since I bought the fabric at a quilt show last year for super cheap...I love that!

We also went to our 5th Ward reunion and it was fun to see everyone again. It was potluck and I took these yummy treats:

I call them double chocolate brownie bites and they are so easy to can have a little piece of heaven whenever you want! They are chewy from the brownie, silky from the ganache, and nice and chocolatey. They are just brownies baked in a mini-muffin cup, punched down in the middle (after baking), filled with chocolate ganache, and topped with raspberries. You could also top them with whipped cream, or a strawberry fan, or chopped nuts or cocconut, or anything else that sounds yummy!

I also made grape jelly and apricot jam over the weekend. I love homemade jams and fact, I think I've consumed almost an entire loaf of bread over the past two days...I'm constantly eating it!

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Great Finds & Finished Quilts - Hooray!

I love yard/garage sales! This morning, as I was driving home from the store, I passed a yard sale and had to stop and see what they had. They had some pretty neat things! I purchased these:
A great white pitcher (doesn't it look great with the sunflowers I picked from the field by our house!), a white soup tureen, a rooster for my kitchen, an old yellow milk glass bottle, and an old butter cover shaped like a pig. My mom collects pigs, so I bought that for her (surprise, Mom!). I also bought an iron bucket with fake eggs in it, an iron basket to hang on my fence to hold some flowers, and a mini ironing board (which, ironically, has the cover identical to my regular-sized ironing board!)

I have also finished binding some of my quilts---hooray! This nine-patch was done in civil war reproduction fabrics. It was a block exchange with a quilting group that I'm in. Rick made the bench a few summers's timber-framed, so there is not a single nail in the construction holding it together...just wood. I love how the stain has weathered over the years.

I also finished this bullseye quilt - or as my mom calls it 'the circles'. This quilt is my mom's favorite, and it's finally finished! I left the edges of the circles raw so that it will fray with washings and add another level of dimension to the quilt.This one was the first group exchange quilt that I did (but not my first quilt in general), which was about 3 years ago...see how much I really don't like binding...I put binding off all the time! The pattern is shoo-fly and I love that it is scrappy. I think that scrappy quilts are my favorite kind of quilt. It has needed a binding for a LONG time now, but not's done! This quilt is Rick's favorite...he says that with all of the colors it reminds him of the summer we went to Sweden to see my mom's side of the family. My mom is from Sweden and all of the rest of her family still lives there. My mom has had a pretty interesting life...she writes about it on her blog (My Swede Life) should check it out!Rick has been weeding the gardens this morning...such a hard worker. I would like to spend the rest of the day making grape jelly and maybe some apricot jam. A friend of mine let me come and pick some of their apricots, but a lot of them had been picked over by the birds, so I didn't get as many as I would have liked...hopefully I'll have enough for some jam. We also have a 5th Ward reunion tonight...that should be fun. I belonged to the 5th Ward during my teenage years, so it will be nice to see some of my friends that I haven't seen for years. Reading this and wondering what a Ward is? I'm LDS - Mormon - I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and a ward is a group of families that all live within the same boundaries that go to the same church at the same time. For more info on the LDS Church, or Mormons, you can click on the link on the sidebar. Oh, and I'd also like to get one more quilt bound this weekend...sounds like I'll have my hands full!