Monday, April 30, 2007

Lavender Quilt for a New Baby



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Here is my new niece who was born last week, isn't she gorgeous?! I made this little lavender quilt for her and I think it turned out so pretty. I just love each of the fabrics in it, and my sister is a purple freak so it seemed perfect for her baby girl. I was so excited to give it to her along with a flannel receiving blanket and burp cloths that I made just in time for my mom to take to UT with her. I had a lot of fun sewing those also and used some of my decorative stitches on my machine for the first time. There is one that sews little connected hearts that is my new favorite, and now I want to try them all. There are some little flowers that I think would be really pretty to use on a quilt too. I didn't take any pictures of those since I finished them at about 1 AM and they went straight into the suitcase, so I'll have to take some of the next project. My nephew is having a great time being the new big brother. They all seem to be adjusting really well, with a very good-natured baby which is a great blessing! I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to get to see her myself. Congratulations to everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Patriot's Day!


One of my favorite things about living in the Boston area is being so close to so many historical places. Today we celebrate Patriot's Day, a holiday probably many on the other side of the country have never even heard of. It sure is a big deal here though! It commemorates the day that the Revolutionary war began. There are lots of parades, battle reenactments like the one on Lexington Green, where the first skirmish between the British and Minutemen took place, and of course the Boston Marathon. (You UT natives could compare it to Pioneer Day there) When I was little, I remember walking down the street to sit on the curb with our friends and neighbors and watch our little town parade go by. There were always Veterans, firetrucks, people wearing Colonial dress, Girl Scouts, High School groups, etc. It was very exciting! Last year our family actually got up at about 4:30 AM to go to the Lexington green for the reenactment, and to our town parade, and to watch the marathon. Some friends in our ward always have a breakfast, and our ward always goes to Kimball's ice cream stand for it's "opening day". Today plans are going to be a little different, since we are being hit by a nor'easter, which in this case is a big, very windy and rainy storm! It's kind of a bummer, although what could be more New England than a freak storm in the middle of April?! So in a way it's fitting, although I will really miss the parade especially. All of these pictures are from last year, as all Patriot's Day events are cancelled. Except for the Marathon of course, which has never been cancelled! It would take a major blizzard to cancel the Marathon I think. My favorite pictures I took last year was the running juggler and the running gorilla. I'll bet the gorilla won't be out there this year, his fur would get soaked! A friend in our ward is running today, in the Elite Women's group no less, and my parents have been hosting a runner and his dad who are here from UT to run. So, good luck to you all! Being the wimpy fairweather fan that I am, I will be staying inside to watch the race on TV, and finishing my baby quilt I've been working on. I think there is nothing more cozy and fun to me than staying in to sew on a rainy day. That is the kind of nerdy homebody I am! So, happy rainy Patriots Day to all and good luck to all of you crazy runners!


Marathon Juggler


A Gorilla (?) runs the Boston Marathon


town parade


Paul Revere (can you tell we were doing Flat Stanley last year?)


Reenactment on Lexington Green


This is how we feel today getting rained out!


British Soldiers

Minuetmen Soldiers

Monday, April 09, 2007

Just Desserts (and a bunch more Easter pictures)

Honestly, don't holidays take a lot of work? Even the more lowkey ones. I was crashed on the couch by 9 pm last night. It must have been exhaustion after my serious dessert binge that went on over the weekend. Here is a list of the treats I ate within a two day period:
carrot cupcake, chocolate birthday cake, frosted egg-shaped cake from bakery, cupcake, 2 cream puffs (my Mom MADE creampuffs yesterday). I won't even mention the candy. I also made strawberry shortcake which I didn't even have any of yet (note the word yet). And I have a piece of cheesecake that I haven't been able to fit in to the busy dessert schedule yet. May have to pencil that in for 10 pm tonight. So much sugar, so little time! Could this attitude toward eating have anything to do with the fact that at my Dr's appt last week I had put on NINE POUNDS!! in the preceeding month? I choose to think not. I just have big babies, that's my excuse. That works, right? The doctor had the nerve to suggest that you really only need another 300 calories per day when you're pregnant, like the equivalent of an extra banana and yogurt everyday. One measley banana and a yogurt? Please! Has this woman ever even been pregnant? What fun is that? If you're going to put on a lot of weight (about 50 lbs in my case usually) and look huge, you might as well enjoy it, right? That's my philosophy anyway. Don't worry, my physician doesn't have access to this blog. I also went to dinner Thursday night and had dessert then too- banana bash. That would be coconut ice cream with fried bananas and fudge sauce. It was really good. In my defense, I did share it a little, and for the record- so you don't think I'm the worst pregnant person in the world- also I often crave healthy food like orange juice, fruit, vegetables, tomato and mozzarella salad, and smoothies. And Chunky Monkey from Ben and Jerry's has walnuts in it, those are good for you, aren't they? For a while I've been craving clam chowder, fish, and scallops so I think a trip to Legal Sea Food is in order sometime soon. Anyway, enough about food. It seems to dominate my days lately.
One exciting thing that I haven't mentioned yet is that BOTH of my sisters are also pregnant! I figured that I'd better mention it since one is due in just a few weeks. We're both having girls, and the other doesn't know what she's having yet. This is kind of a big deal since I am 8 years older than one of them, and three more than another, and got married at least 10 years before both of them. Being pregnant at the same time was something I really never thought would happen. I'm SO exicted that this girl will have close in age cousins, and at least one girl one. We're all having babies withing a 5 month period this year, May, August, and October. It's going to be an exciting one! We told my parents the same day as the October-due sister and I think they were pretty blown away. It's fun that we can commiserate together on all our aches and pains.
I took so many picture this weekend, I just had to post a few more. If I were a more professional-type blogger, I would have pictures of all the desserts I've been describing, but guess what? They're all gone! I'll give you some recipes though and you can make your own and take pictures of them if you'd like. Sometimes I wonder if people get sick of all of these pictures of my kids, but then I figure, they came to this blog of their own free will and choice, right? So, pictures of kids, away!


The only child who would actually smile for a picture yesterday. I guess it didn't help that I was mad that we were late for church, and yelling at them to smile, and the sun was in their eyes. And they had woken me up before 7 AM to hunt for jellybeans and chocolate eggs upstairs!

The boys on Easter 3 years ago


My, how they've grown!

All the Massachusetts cousins




Success!



A little lift from Mom. Note the winter jacket, it was about 40 degrees yesterday. And did anyone hear that it snowed a couple of inches last Wednesday? Ridiculous!! Where is Spring I'd like to know?



Big brother is apparently now too mature for egg hunting so has taken over hiding and helping little brother duties.


Baby sister's bucket o' candy. I guess I have to eat it for her, right? She also got a Hello Kitty bag from the dollar section of Target. That's to hold all of her cute outfits and accessories, which she seems to be accumulating in amazing quantities, given that she's not even born yet!
Egg cracking Easter fun! A game to play while waiting to eat. Basically, elimination round to see who's egg lasts after getting smashed into all the other eggs. Then you cut up your egg and put it in your creamy spinach soup, yum!


Saturday night, this little guy kept looking out the window to see if the bunny was there yet. Totally fascinated by the concept of a bunny hopping in the house to bring candy and treats!

Cream Puffs:

1 C water
1/2 C butter
4 eggs
1/2 t salt
1 C flour

Heat butter and water to boiling point. Add flour and stir vigorously until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and clings to the spoon. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add unbeaten eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly before each addition. Drop by spoonfulls on greased sheet, 1 1/2 " apart. Shape into rounds 2" in diameter. Bake at 425 degrees 30 min. reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake until puffs are dry.

Filling:

3 C milk
3 T cornstarch
2 T flour
2/3 C sugar
3 egg yolks, or one egg plus one yolk
1/2 t vanilla
pinch salt

Mix dry ingredients and add enough milk to make paste. Scald rest of milk and blend with the paste. Stir constantly until thickened. Cook 15 min. Blend with beaten eggs and cook a few minutes, stirring all the time. Remove and add vanilla. Cool custard. Just before serving, add 1/2 C whipped cream with dash of vanilla. Cut open puffs, take out excess, add filling. Top with chocolate sauce if desired. Here is a quick and easy chocolate sauce you could use:

1 & 1/2 T flour
3 T cocoa powder
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C milk
2 T butter
1/2 t vanilla

Add milk slowly to dry ingredients. Boil hard for 2 min. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla and stir. This is also great hot fudge sauce for ice cream!



Grandma's Two Egg Cake
(the basis for great Strawberry Shortcake)

2 C flour
1 & 1/3 C sugar
2 & 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1/2 C shortening
2/3 C milk
1 t vanilla
2 unbeaten eggs
1/4 C milk

Mix ingredients with beater on med speed until all blended. Bake in 9x13" pan or two round cake pans that have been greased and floured at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. Cut up and mash strawberries and add some sugar to your taste. Cut open cooled piece of cake and put strawberry mix inside and on top, then top with sweetened whipped cream. The recipe says milk twice, so I add it all. I'm not good enought at math to combine them and get one amount of milk!






Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Craft


Chenille stem basket from Martha Stewart Living

Wee bunny, a free pattern from Hillary Lang at weewonderfuls.typepad.com

Eggies, a free pattern from olivejuiceco.typepad.com
These eggs were so fun to make, and a great way to use up scraps. You gotta love all of these great craft bloggers that share their great patterns with all of us! I also wanted to make a sweater bunny from www.betzwhite.com/blog, under "Cashmere Bunny Tutorial" but didn't quite get around to that one. There's always next year!

Pom pom bunnies from MS living, made by my 8-year-old. I love these, they have such great personality. If you're reading this Saturday night, there's still time! Dig into your craft box and pull out some scraps and make something. None of these projects took more than a couple of hours to make, and the eggs took a lot less time than that. Happy Crafting, and Happy Easter!



New Easter Stuff

Egg Cup from "Thoreauly Antiques" in Concord

Melamine Egg Bowls from Target

Pink glass bunny dish from Target

Ceramic Egg Bowls from Target

My favorite- A wee knitted chickie from sweetnellie.blogspot.com

Playmobil bunnies- love those teeny hedgehogs and chocolate rabbits




Easter Fun!