Monday, December 27, 2010

Woo hoo!!

So this came today! Last Wednesday I ordered the fabric and threads for Blue Ribbon Designs a sampling in the square and my order from came today! I already had the chart so I got 40 ct. Newcastle cream fabric and all 12 Weeks threads (sooo preeeetttyyyy). I think this will be my birthday start on Friday. No matter what I am in the middle of, I always like to start something new to bring in the new year.

It will be my first project on 40 ct fabric, I am going to stitch it 1 over 2. Oh, and the fabric is serged, bonus! I dont own a serger (yet) so not having to tape the edges of my fabric is a nice treat.

I LOOOVE coming home to packages!

I also ordered the snowman snippet and accessory pack by Lizzie Kate. I already have fabric and a few of the threads for it. I was on the fence about it, but now that it's in my hands it is very cute!

Please excuse my pictures in my posts lately. I've been a bit camera lazy and have been taking and posting blog pics with my phone.

Well, off I go to do some stitching! Hope you are enjoying some post holiday fun!
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Christmas in review

Christmas came early to our house Thursday morning. Matt and I were spending the night at his mothers Christmas eve so we decided to do gifts to each other that morning before we got all busy getting ready to leave.

I was so excited to give him his gifts! I found a book of poetry written by Tupak that I knew he would love, a few other things and I also had a photo book made of all of our pictures from our trip to Jamaica! I created it at and it is awesome! Highly recommend this site for creating keepsakes!

Matt got me a cool hat to wear during the winter. He always says I need one and I never have any. Its brown and pink, I love it! He also got me the lego harry potter game for wii, its so fun. I got to play it for about half an hour that morning and had to make myself stop and get ready to leave.

Last but not least, he got me a pandora bracelet! It's so gorgeous and so perfect because I can buy just one or two charms at a time to celebrate those special days! On the bracelet is my first charm, a pretty heart with some bling in the middle. Friday, the 31st, is my birthday so Matt is going to take me to pick out a charm or two to add as my gift. I really want the cupcake charm, its very birthday-ish (and I love cupcakes)! They also have lovely wedding charms, so I am looking forward to getting one to add to my bracelet as our wedding day gets closer.

After dinner and gifts with his family, Matt and I went with his mom and her boyfriend to the 11 p.m. setvice that was held in the chapel where we are getting married. It was so beautiful and perfect! I'm so excited to be getting married there.

Now that christmas is over I can get back to all of my regularly scheduled stitching. It will be nice to take a break from stitching ornaments and gifts and work on what I want to work do and not what I am doing for other people. I know, selfish stitcher, that's me.

As a merry christmas/birthday treat for myself, last week I paid alittle visit to the 123stitch website. I ordered the fabric and threads for "a sampling in the square" by Blue Ribbon Designs. It's a lovely design with pretty spring colors to ward off the winter blues. Also, in the new year I will be participating in my first round robin, so that should be fun. I'll also have to be browsing for some baby knit, crochet, or quilt designs as my newly married cousin and his wife announced that they are expecting their first child in august!

But for now, its off to work I go....only three days this week!
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sock knitting

I've been working on this for the past week. Its a sock. On double pointed needles...or dpns. I'm attempting to have the pair done in time to give to my friend, her fave color is purple, so I think she will like them. Plus I probably won't be seeing her to exchange gifts until closer to my birthday next werk so I think I got this, but no promises.

While I loooove the yarn, I'm not fond of the method. But my 40" circular needles are tied up in other socks so I had no choice. Its not so bad, just kind of fiddly with all the points in my way. The pattern is called "froot loop" from knitty magazine via ravelry. Its such a cute pattern, and super easy!

I will definitely be making a of pair socks for myself in this pattern.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nothin like waiting until the last minute...

After getting up super early and spending all morning cleaning the house, I stitched this today while Matt was out Christmas shopping. Its a design by Country Cottage Needleworks from the 2008 JCS ornament issue. I have yet to master french knots, so the snowman shall remain eyeless.

The original design is stitched 2 over 2, but I didn't have any 32 ct fabric. In order to make it fit on a remnant, I ended up stitching it 1 over 1 on 28 ct. I think he turned out quite cute and will make a nice pillow ornament. Most likely for my grandmother as she is a fan of snowmen.

Later in the evening Matt had a couple of his guy friends over to play on the wii, so I made myself scarce and enjoyed some quiet time stretched out on our bed watching tv and knitting a sock. I'm 3/4 of the way done with the first sock. I'll be amazed if I actually get the whole pair done in time to give to my friend for christmas. If not, I can always give them to her later as I already had an ornament made for her and something else, so the socks were just an extra I thought I would throw in when I found the yarn in my stash.

So again, another year when I have so many ideas/projects and its a race to the finish to see what I can get done!
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

My attempt at organization

So part of my new years resolution is to be more organized or to find better ways to be organized. One thing I really wanted to do was find a better way to organize all the DMC floss I have acquired in the last couple years. Lately, I've just thrown the skeins in a small plastic bin and then only pulling the colors I would need for a project and putting it on a plastic bobbin, then using a sticker to label it. But it was always such a pain to dig through all that floss just to find one or two things, and then I didn't have them anyway!

So, my method was working for awhile despite some frustration. Until I began to discover that all my fancy stickers were drying out and falling off the bobbins! Leaving me with bobbins of floss and no idea what color they were supposed to be.

Then one day I stumble into Vonna, aka The Twisted Stitcher's blog. She has a section of tutorials about how to do different finishing techniques, but she also has a blog about how she organizes her floss . I had a very large "oh, duh" moment when I read her post.

After reading this post I was more than happy to veg out on my couch and wind bobbins. I now have four boxes of floss, two of which are nice and neatly labeled. I happen to think its sooo pretty now! All of my bobbins look so uniform with all of the labels in the same place and hopefully don't come off anytime soon.

Maybe someday I'll find myself in possession of a gorgeous thread chest, just like Vonna has!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas and Birthdays!

Whew! The holidays always seem so crazy around our house, and there are only two of us. Lord only knows if I'll be able to maintain my sanity once we have kids.

The holidays have also seemed to arrive pretty quickly this year. I feel like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving and I had plenty of time to get ready. This year I was a bit better in planning all my handmade gifts, but less in my shopping. So, yea, I am not ready.

Yesterday was Matt's birthday! I had planned to make him a nice dinner last night and kept asking him all week what he would like.....salad..he wanted salad....I am such a lucky girl! Haha! I am taking him out to dinner Friday night, so I guess he was just making sure to save room. I also got him a few gifts that I thought he would like. Myself, also having a birthday close to the holidays, I like to make sure I do gifts on his birthday to make sure he feels special on his day!

I got him a little sampler packet of cocktail flavored jellybeans, he LOVES jellybeans. He also has said a few times recently that he really likes the "Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack, but he lost his copy so I got him a new cd. And lastly, he had pointed out a game for the wii that he wanted over the weekend, I happened to see that the same game was on sale at Target this week so I went ahead and got it for him. I figure with the cold weather moving in, it will be nice for him to have a new game to play to beat boredom.

That's about all the excitement going on in my house this week. Only three more days of work and then I'm free for the Christmas holiday! I'm so ready! Ill probably be scrambling around on the 22nd to get everything I've got planned finished, but I am determined.

No pics this post of what I've got in the works, but I will show some next time!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

It's that time of year....

and tonight I was cleaning out some old pics from the laptop and found a dish that is definitely on the menu this week! Gotta break out the slow cooker for this one.

Last winter here in Maryland we had TWO blizzards...the first in December 2009 just before Christmas and the second in just the beginning of this past February. February's blizzard brought us to a record 50+ inches, and some much needed time off work. My office building was closed for a week..and I got paid because it was classified as a state disaster! Ahhhmazing!
So while stuck in the house for a couple days waiting for the snow to stop so we could begin digging out, we wanted some chili, but just werent in the mood for the same old, same old. Off to google and I found a yummy (read: easy) recipe for White Chicken Chili.
The ingredients below:

3 cans of Great Northern Beans, one package of white chicken chili mix, chicken broth, one can cream of chicken soup, and a can of rotel (or as many cans as you want depending on your love of spice), and half an onion all chopped up.

You'll also need some chicken. We like to use chicken tenderloins, but any chicken is good. I also like to boil my chicken before I throw it in the pot. I don't know about anybody else but I get kinda yucked out when I see all the chicken bits in my soup when it's cooked in the pot with everything else. So, I like to boil my chicken and then I shred it up with a fork.

I throw everything except the chicken broth into the pot with the boiled chicken. I check out how soupy it is at this point and add some of the broth.

If it's early in the morning before I go to work I turn it on low for 8 hours, but if I am home to supervise and can cook it up fast, I go high for 4 hours. Since your chicken is already cooked, you really just want some time for everything to sit in the pot, get hot, and marinate all together...very sexy. If the chili gets alittle less soup like for your taste, you can add more chicken broth.

This will definitely be served in our house this week! What does everyone else like to make to ward off the cold, wintery chill?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Going mobile

So I am still working out how to use my new phone. It runs android so it gets a bit confusing going back and forth using my phone and my ipod touch. The differences aren't really big, more of having different buttons/functions in different places.

Anywho, I'm trying out a nifty new app on my phone to post blogs so this is purely experimental...(and if it sucks, it shall be deleted!)

With holidays coming up I've put aside my own personal projects to work on some gifty things. This is my most recent picture of venetian opulence before I put her away for now.

Heres hoping that picture goes where I want it to! (edited to add...ok so it didn't go where I wanted, none of them did. boo....but it's still a nifty little app, I'll keep it for awhile.)

On the gifty front I've been making ornaments. One that I've finished is for my bff and moh who loves all thing french. Her husband actually proposed to her under the eiffel tower so when I saw this design in a past issue of jcs ornaments I knew it was for her!

I also decided to attempt to make an altoid tin. Its very hard to find designs that fit on such a small space but I found one I like and stitched it 1 over 1 on 28 count eyes!! Its a cute little quaker birdie! It's a freebie chart I found, I will have to come back and post a link.

I have a few more projects in my head that have yet to come to life but hopefully I can get it all done in time for christmas!
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time Flies!

It's been a hectic couple weeks here at our casa. Which is crazy, because nothing that exciting has been going on. Just the same ole, same old. Going to work and coming home. Preparing for the wedding, which for me, means coming up with ideas, changing my mind, and changing it back. We have the "big" stuff taken care off - ceremony venue, reception venue, food, photographer, pastor. Weight off my back when decisions are made!

Lately I've been making decisions about my bouquet. I am making my own using antique white felt flowers which I purchased off of I am currently embroidering them with white thread. Then I discovered french beaded flowers....knock me over with a feather! They are gorgeous, and I just so happened to find at least THREE bead shops near where I live and work. So I am excited to include so much creativity and different mediums into my bouquet!

Today I had off work so I was able to go to the place closest to my house "The Potomac Bead Company". It was fantastic! I picked out some opal white seed beads and pretty seafoam green beads. I spent three hours today getting all the seafoam green onto beading wire so I can start shaping my petals. I think the beaded flowers will really pop with the felt and embroidery!

On the stitching front, I've been working on Mirabilia's "Venetian Opulence". She's so gorgeous, the colors so virbrant! Last night I was able to finish up her arms and her face, so I have the boring skin all stitched and I am ready to have fun with her beautiful gown! Also on the stitching front, one of my favorite designers and one of the nicest people around, Belinda, of Blue Ribbon Designs is having a cool giveaway! She gave one of these lovely sewing companions to Sue at the Mystic Retreat and it is a very nice sewing accessory, we were all so jealous! *Fingers crossed*!

Now off to play with some beads! Next time, I promise to have some pictures! (hopefully)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stitcher's Hideaway

After spending Sunday exploring the needlework exhibit at the museum, Monday started our two day stitchathon. After a very late night hanging out with my new friends, I was up early Monday morning to start our class.
Our teacher for the two day retreat was Belinda Karls Nace of Blue Ribbon Designs. I had a few of her designs at home and was very excited to actually be a taught a "class" by a designer. Not to mention the excitement of getting to spend time with a group of other ladies that share my same interests in cross stitch. I could talk about linen counts,fibers, and designers without getting that deer in the headlights look I usually get from Matt and my friends. For our class, Belinda designed a special sampler alone with matching ornaments! All charts and instructions were wonderfully packaged in a lovely white, shiny binder. Oh, I loved her already! Our class materials also came packaged as a kit including fabric, all the threads we would need to stitch not only the sampler but the ornaments, finishing materials for the ornaments, and beads! It was fantastic to just be handed these awesome goodies! Not to mention, upon our arrival, all attendees received a goody bag full of patterns and accessories donated by other designers and Sue who organized the retreat.

Class Sampler

We were off and running after introducing ourselves and receiving our kits and binders for the class. Since we wouldn't all have time to stitch and complete our samplers in the two days the class ran, Belinda actually designed a special ornament to teach us all the specialty stitches that are in the sampler. Some of them were a bit difficult, but Belinda provided excellent illustrations in our binders and was more than happy to work with us one on one until we got the hang of it. Belinda had also brought models of her designs and had patterns available to buy from her. A few patterns I already had, but of course, couldn't resist buying a couple more. There was also a mini needlework shop set up in the one of the hotel rooms by Chris' Collection. So, during breaks, we could wander in and take a look around and spend some dough. I picked up a few things by the end of the two days, but reined myself in quite a bit.

After dinner, we all got a surprise visit from Santa!

Santa had his naughty and nice list and gave each of use little treat bags with some yummy candy inside!

By the end of class that day I was about halfway done the front of my ornament when I realized I hadn't made my backstitched outline quite big enough so I wouldn't be able to fit all of the design inside it. I spent the evening in the my hotel room relaxing to "Intervention" and "Hoarders" while I ripped and restitched the outline then finished stitching the front.

Tuesday morning we stitched a bit more, I started working on the back of my ornament. Belinda was letting us go willy nilly on the back so I decided to personalize it by stitching my initials. Then decided since I had room to add the dove from the sampler and some stars to perk it up a bit. Belinda then used class to teach all of us how to make twisted cord to use as the hanger for our ornament and then how to assemble and finish it.

My friend Lisa and her mom, Kathy

Belinda of Blue Ribbon Designs, Teaching Twisted Cord

By the end of class I had successfully finished my ornament! We even had some time to spare before dinner, so Lisa and I decided to go through town to the local bead shop You've Got To Be Beading. That place was fantastic! I'm not really a beady type person, but there were just a few things I could not pass up. I picked up a couple silver charms and a few bead packs in my favorite colors.

Front of ornament

Back of ornament

Tuesday night after dinner, those who had made ornaments and brought them to the retreat were able to participate in an ornament exchange. I made the Blue Ribbon Designs ornament from this years JCS ornament issue. All the ornaments were wrapped and I drew number one so I was the first to pick! I picked a love ornament that was also a Blue Ribbon Design and was finished with a really pretty paisley fabric on the back, with a sassy little tassle!

I picked the top left ornament (prettyyyy) and I made the one on the far right second row

All in all, Stitcher's Hideaway was fantastic and I am definitely looking forward to a time when I can go again! Sue and Belinda were so nice and fun to spend time with, I would recommend the retreat to anyone. The best part about the two days of class was how flexible everyone was, Belinda in particular. If you couldn't do a particular stitch on the class piece or you just simply didn't like it, you could just do whatever you wanted. It was so much fun, I left Wednesday morning wishing I didn't have to leave!

A view of Mystic Seaport

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The road trip.

Hello all! I'm back from my trip and loads to tell! Well, I actually got home Wednesday, but I have a life and was trying to get back to it the last two days. Please note that this post and probably the next are going to be very picture heavy, but you definitely don't want to miss them.

Saturday I left home around 6 in the morn and began making my way up north to see my friend, Lisa, who lives in Rhode Island. I arrived after about 7 hours of driving. Honestly, the driving wasn't that bad, traffice was pretty light. The worst was the last stretch when I got on I-95 and drove through Connecticut....very boring. After arriving at Lisa's, I sat on her couch and never got up, and we watched True Blood. Good night.

Sunday morning we got up and headed to the northern end of the state to meet up with Lisa's stitching group at Panera Bread. It was loads of fun to spend a couple hours stitching with a group of people, which is something I've never gotten to do before since I don't know anyone around home that has the same interest. After hanging out for a bit, we headed out to pick up Lisa's mom and then make our way to Connecticut.

Our first stop: The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. The museum currently has an exhibit of antique needlework.

All of the needlework in the exhibit was done by girls that attended schools that taught embroidery in the late 17 and 1800's. It was very cool to see all of these intricate pieces stitched by 8, 9, 11 year old girls. The piece pictured above is all stitching except for the faces which were painted, as is the sky background.

The girl that stitched this piece was 11! amazing! Oh, and the exhibit said no photos, but Lisa and I were total rebels and bucked the system. Hey, I turned off my flash!

See the date in the lower right corner....1774!....age 12!


This was one of my favorite pieces. Although the piece is clearly unfinished, it shows how the girls worked on their needlework. The picture being stitched was sketched on the silk fabric. Button holes were punched in the sides and then the fabric was tied to the frame using a ribbon. In person you can see on the lower right hand where the sketch marks were to guide the stitching.

The museum was also having some outdoor exhibits. There was an exhibit called "the rambles" tha was made of twigs and branches. It's left outside for about a year before it starts to disintegrate and then they tear the rest of it down. It was very neat, it had windows and there were kids running through it!

So our first day in Connecticut was alot of fun! After spending some time at the museum we headed to the hotel and then had dinner at Mystic Pizza!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mind Blown

So there is some excitement comin' up in the next couple weeks, but I will get to that later.

First, I must discuss my new techno gadget. It all started in the last few months. Matt and I have been talkin about getting new cell phones. He has had his for alil over two years, me almost two years. Lately, his phone has become a bit possessed. By what, we don't know. But, the screen would randomly light up and go off, shut itself off when he was in the middle of talking or texting to someone. So, we decided it would be best by now to get new phones. We prefer to buy all our phones online because the deals tend to be better and we can avoid long lines or pushy salespeople.

We decided to go with this :

This is the Samsung Fascinate, and it's about the coolest thing since Derek chose Meredith. Seriously, I like to think of myself as pretty techno savvy. I got my ipod touch and it's pretty rockin', but this phone is AH-mazing. If you ever find yourself in a store that sells these things, you. must. play. with. it. Even more fantastic was the deal we got online. Buy one, get one free! On both phones we ended up saving about $400 smackers! Yes, we have to pay the fees for the additional data plan for both lines, and I was totally against that which is why it took us so long to decide to get new phones in the first place. But, after having this phone for only two days, Matt and I decided it's well worth the access we now have anywhere, anytime. And the camera on this thing, it's good.

On the needlework front, I haven't actually been stitching much. I was getting kind of worn down getting project after project finished and moving onto something new. For my next project, I decided to go with a completely different method and am currently knitting a pair of socks.

I am about 80% done, which, considering I've only ever made one other pair of socks (last year) is pretty amazing for me. I started them about three weeks ago, last week I didn't really work on them at all or I would probably have them done by now. I have really enjoyed making them and the best part is knowing when I am done, I get to wear them! The socks I made last year, I learned how to make from a book called "2 at a time socks". It's a method that uses a really long circular needle so you can knit both socks at the same time. I really liked that method because I tried the making sock one at a time thing, and I only made one sock and got sick of it. Back in April, the author of that book came out with "toe up 2 at a time socks".

Where the previous book gave direction for making socks from the cuff down, this book teaches you how to make them from the toe up. I quite prefer the second method. The toe is easier to create and I found the heel to be less complicated compared to knitting cuff down. This will definitely be my preferred method from now on.

In a couple weeks I will be taking my first road trip all by myself driving up to Rhode Island and then to Connecticut for my first ever stitching retreat. It's going to be alot of firsts for me. First solo road trip, first stitching retreat, first time meeting some new friends, and the first time since we've been together that Matt and I will spend more than one or two nights apart.

It's going to be an interesting and hopefully exciting trip! Between you and me, I'm just hoping I don't have a big mess to clean up when I get home from this party that Matt keeps talking about ;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I am hungry...lets look at food

So my go to recipe for an easy week night meal is one I have been eating since I was a kid. My mom would make it every once in awhile and then when I became old enough to request it, I wanted it everyday. My mom called it cavitini, I call it cavitini. You can call it yummy!

First, the makin's
1 lb. ground beef, package of slice pepperoni, pasta sauce, pasta (fun shapes) i like to use shells, rotini, or penne for this dish, and some shredded italian cheeses. I LOOVE sargento cheeses, they melt so perfectly and gooey. This bistro cheese is fantastic!
While you heat your water and boil the noodles, brown up the meats. After the meat is browned and drained, add the sauce. While the sauce is simmering I like to add some pepperonis into it for added flavor.
After the pasta is cooked and drained, throw it back in the pot and add the sauce. Mix it up, pour into 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread evenly in dish, pile on the shredded cheese, arrange some pepperonis on top. Pop it into a 350 degree oven and cook it up until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sometimes I also turn on the broiler to brown up the cheese and to make the pepperonis alittle crispy.
Dish it up onto a plate and enjoy with cheesey garlic bread! (yes, we like the cheese in our house) We also don't have a dishwasher, so the less dishes used the better, which is another reason I love this meal.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bacon on my grilled cheese

I have been very productive the last couple of weeks....stitching wise. Otherwise, well, not so much. Although, I did get our spare/my craft room organized one Saturday while Matt was working some overtime. It so much neater with everything where it belongs. Too bad I dont spend as much time as I thought I would be when I set it up.

I was able to finished stitching Little House Needleworks "Simple Joys" pattern earlier this week. I am too lazy to go upstairs to take a finished picture of it, so you can just use your imagination. In the middle of stitching it I ran out of one of the threads, so I was forced (yea, right) to take a trip to the LNS near my house (about 45 mins) The Stitching Post to pick up another skein.

Well, you can't just go there for ONE thing, especially if it's just some thread. While I was there, I picked up a Mill Hill bead kit that I knew Matt would love and also another new pattern by Little House Needleworks.

Sarah Street - Faithfulness Sampler

I haven't started working on her yet, but I am very excited to begin. Probably this weekend when Matt is working and I've got the place to myself . I had another finish this week. I stitched the Mill Head bead kit that I got for Matt. It's a pirate!

Irate Pirate

This is my finished product, I think it turned out pretty well. Please excuse the bad picture. I was too impatient to get out the camera so I took it with my phone. It was the first project like this that I had finished. I was really nervous because it is stitched on perforated paper (paper with holes in it) and then I had to cut the parrot and the skull without cutting any of the holes that had stitches, which would totally ruin all the work and time I had put into it. It came with a magnet so once I put a felt backing or something on it to hid the ugly stuff in the back, I can glue on the magnet and stick it on the fridge.

After finishing it earlier tonight I realized I hadn't yet eaten dinner so I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. About halfway through, I thought to myself, "this would be good with some bacon on it". Wish I had thought of that earlier.

The summer has come to an end and kids are starting to go back to school around here. That means more traffic in the morning, there goes my peaceful morning drive. I am very much looking forward to labor day weekend, I really need my four day holiday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back in the Saddle

So after a few months of stitching spurts where I would totally get into my project and work on it tirelessly for hours or days at time. The project would then languish on my stitching table and quietly mock me in its half stitched sullenness. But, this month that changes!

It all started last week, I had a few evenings to myself as my dear, hardworking fiance was working a few night jobs for work. Thus leaving me home alone finding it impossible to get to sleep until he got home or I knew he was coming home. Does this happen to you? Years of being single, going to sleep whenever I wanted and having no problem. Now that I have a dude in my bed, it is impossible for me to go to sleep or stay asleep without him next to me.

Anyway, with so much free time on my hands and so not doing housework in this heat (yea, no a/c in the house), I picked up my long neglected stitching project. I am really enjoying being back in the saddle and loving my progress! This picture shows progress from about a week ago, since then I have the wings pretty much done and ready to move onto the body. I had a minor hiccup when I ran out of the Kreinik thread, but all was well with a special trip to a stitch shop. More details on that later.

Petal Fairy

On another note, Matt and I have been dealing with ALOT of drama from some so called friends. Some stuff happened, followed by alot of people saying alot of stuff to Matt. All about me and the fact that none of them like me, but were only nice because of him. One of these people USED to be in our wedding party. Yea, it was all that bad. Matt and I have been together for almost four years and I've always felt that his friends were not fond of me, but I never understood why and they never said anything if they did have a problem with me. At least, not to my face. Ever since we got engaged, I have really noticed a change in attitude towards me. This was the breaking point for me. It was also for Matt when they said they had all these "problems" with me and instead of just talking to me about it, they were harassing and tattling to him. After years of listening to their heartache and giving advice when asked, watching their kids, I was very taken aback like "wow, that's what they really think of me?!". It was pretty shocking and hurtful, so we just decided to no longer associate with them.

So, last Saturday, after weeks of getting texts and emails (and not responding to any of them), we decided to "take the day off" and go to the beach. We only live about 3 1/2 hours from the beach and the drive really doesn't seem like much when you're in the car with someone you love and makes you laugh! The weather was perfect! We laid on the beach all afternoon and walked on the boardwalk at night. I also got a special treat by getting to visit "Salty Yarns" which is an LNS right on the boardwalk by the ocean. I was able to pick up the Kreinik thread I ran out of for Petal Fairy and also a new pattern by Little House Needleworks that I was really drooling over. I love the richness in the colors!

Simple Joys
Little House Needleworks
I wasn't able to find a piece of fabric for it while I was at the shop, but I did get all the threads and figured I had a piece at home I could stitch it on. The pattern is 7 3/4" square. The piece of fabric I found at home for it is 9x13, yes, I know. A problem. But, me being the impatient one decided not to care and forged ahead. No, it's not centered on the fabric and no, I don't care....this one time. It's not centered and it barely fits on the fabric, but I made it work!

I've decided to make it my "downstairs" project and keep Petal Fairy upstairs. This way, when I am watching TV downstairs, I don't have to get all my supplies together and lug it up and down the steps. I also got a cute little tote to keep everything in so my living room doesn't look like my stitching bag exploded. Now I just have a nice little bag neatly sitting on the end table by the couch where I sit. Though we haven't been watching much TV downstairs since the TV broke. We can watch DVDS and play the Wii on the it, but it won't let us watch regular TV. Total bummer.

Hope you are staying cool in these dog days of summer. I am really looking forward to it cooling down alittle in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Edumacation...

So I graduated from college four years ago this year. I went to college for 6 1/2 years. It was grueling, it was painful, it was back was also a great diet. I went to a community college for 3 1/2 trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to be when I grew up, only to spend 3 more at a university because I changed my major after one. I also worked full time, and part time, and part time....I don't recall working less than three jobs the whole time I was in college because I lived on my own and paid for my education, and bought oodles of noodles if there was any money left over. Honestly, my parents helped not at all when I was in college, they really didn't give a crap. My stepfather was just glad to be rid of my and my passive aggressive mother was just glad that she didn't have to listen to him bitch and complain about me anymore. Which I always wondered about. I mean, how could he have anything to complain about when I was never there, I slept and took showers....such an a-hole.

Anyways, so I graduated. I cried the day I graduated, literally broke down. Everyone thought it was because I was sooo happy, felt so accomplished. But really, I was so glad it was over. So glad that I could get that one thing off my plate and start to have a "real life". I could get a "real job" and quit my 3 little ones. I could see my friends and stay out late. I wouldn't have to deal with the commute totaling 3 hrs back and forth to school. I would have time and money to eat (and boy did I). No longer would I be working on papers until 1 in the morning only to get back up at 5 to finish it and go to work, go to class, go back to work, then to my other work, and getting home late at night to do it all over again. My life didn't really start until I was 24.

But, despite my accomplishment of graduating from college, and financially support myself through it all, I was constantly questioned by my family why I got a degree in family studies (aka human services) and not elementary education as I had first planned. Seriously?! I'm not allowed to change my mind?! I always replied I could always go back to school and get my masters.

Within 3 months of graduating college I had a job with the state government at one of the local social services office. I have been there almost four years (in August). It's a good job, it has good benefits. The economy sucks, so my salary has been cut twice in two years. Lately, it's either going back to school and getting more education to get a better job or just get a better job. I thought about going to get my masters in education, but I realize I also need to work. It would be nice to be able to keep my current job and still go to school. Thats about impossible when you are trying to get a degree in teaching because, well, schools with kids are only open during the day. The only options I have are online learning or blended curriculums with evening and online classes.

I've looked into online programs and actually got an email at work about the MSW (masters of social work) program with University of New England. It's a four year program and offered completely online. It was a serious contender until I saw the price tag....about $45 grand. Yea, I just LOL'ed too. Then, I was checking into the university systems of maryland and found usmh, university systems of maryland at hagerstown. It offers bachelors and graduate programs geared towards people who work and have families. Plus, the programs are offered and I would receive a degree from a college in Maryland. The MSW program there is offered by Salisbury University, which is about three hours from my house. But, hagerstown is about, oh, 45 minutes from my house, about 30 mins from my office. Classes are offered in the evening and taught by staff from the university via video presentations and online. Blended curriculum! Yay, and would cost less than half of the other program out of new england.

I really think this would be a good program for me. It will take about 3 years taking 3 classes per semester, and at the end I will have the opportunity to further my career, possibly going into another field. I have alot of time to consider and research it as I would not be able to apply until next spring for the fall '11 semester. Matt is very supportive because I have told him several times if I could go back to school I would. I feel very stunted mentally in my life right now. Sometimes I feel like I went to school all that time and spent (still spending) alot of time and money to get it, but ask myself was it worth it? My job, though required to have a college degree to acquire it, does not necessarily utilize any of my learning, nor is it challenging. So, maybe it's time to start workin' on movin' on.

So not only will I be planning a wedding in the coming months, but hopefully also getting myself ready for graduate studies. I really know how to pile it on, don't I?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cookin' it up!

I think the worst part of doing this whole grown up thing has to be cooking. Don't get me wrong, I like to cook. I love to cook, I love to bake. I'll try and cook anything long as I can pronounce it, eat it, and doesn't have ten million ingredients. Because, despite the fact that I do like to cook, I am also cheap and lazy, therefore do not like to spend alot of time and energy gathering ingredients or putting it all together. I also like to think I watch what I eat, but most of the time it's just watching it all go into my mouth.

The crux of my cooking conundrum...(take that, high school english teacher) that I get very bored cooking the same things all of the time. I also have a very willing fiance who will try anything once and will lie to me if it's awful. So tonight, we try something new.

First off, I just want to let you know that this was all in my 'lil head. I did have some "inspiration" but I pretty much threw it all together...and I don't have pictures so just visualize. FI and I were in Walmart over the weekend and I happen to be thumbing through an issue of Taste of Home magazine...I love recipe magazines...mmm mmm. There was a recipe in the magazine for Pork noodle casserole.

Alright, casserole! I can totally do a casserole! But tonight, we have chicken noodle casserole.

Ingredients: 1lb. chicken tenderloins/breast, frozen mixed veggies, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, milk, colby and jack shredded cheese, half an onion, whole wheat rotini pasta, and crushed ritz cracker.

First, lets address the whole wheat pasta....tryin' to be healthy here, Matt talked me into at the store....idk what came over me. Also, I only had one can of cream of chicken soup on hand. If I had had another I would have used it, that why I added a bit of milk. Still, looking at it in the stove, it might be a bit dry. So, I definitely recommend 2 cans of the soup.

Boiled my pasta, the whole box of rotini...and I boiled my chicken. Yes, I said boil the chicken. I don't know when or why I started doing this, but whenever I have chicken in a casserole, stew, or soup I always boil it first. Chop it up and throw it in with the pasta after it's cooked and drained. Chop up the onion, throw it in the pot with the chicken and pasta. grab the bag of frozen veggies and throw it in the pot. Mix it up. I used two cups of the shredded cheese, it looked good. Throw it in the pot, mix it up! Same with the cream of chicken soup. Mix. It. Up. Clearly, I love to mix it up....or I like to move it, move it...again if you don't have the 2 cans of soup you could prolly do one can and about 1/2 cup of milk.

I'm not much of a when I cook. I just throw the stuff in 'til it looks good.

So all the wet stuff is in the pot. Put it in a casserole dish. I used a 9x13 dish. Crushed ritz crackers go on top. I used one sleeve of the crackers, stuck em in a bag, crushed em up. mmm ritz crackers....

Oven on 350, pop your casserole into the oven for about 30 minutes and enjoy.....

P.S....As I write this, I have yet to eat any, so you are makin, bakin, and eatin at your own risk...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

$$$ = frustration....what else is new?

One of the many pitfalls of planning a wedding is of course, paying for the weddng.

I am making our save the dates, I am making our invitations, I am making the in 2, mine and my matron of honor. We are having our reception at FMIL to cut that cost, and minimal decor....a late cocktail reception, but still alil costly....I am making cupcakes, I am making the centerpieces.....I am doin alot. LOL.

This stress of course is coming from the fact that I booked the chapel last week and we met with and got the pricing for our caterer....still have yet the find a dress, a photographer, and a ceremony musician......

On top of the wedding planning, I am facing cuts at my job which means a lower paycheck for double the work....and I don't want to hear "oh, at least you still have a job" bs....I mean, does it really make a difference when the bills still aren't getting paid....? Does it?!

And forget all the traditional Brides family pays for this and Grooms family pays for that. 'Cause my family? They arent paying for mother hasnt even spoken to me since I have gotten engaged and I am convinced its for this very reason. She is afraid I am going to ask her and her worthless husband to pay for something or God forbid give us money. Fiances mother has offered some tentative help, but growing up with parents who didn't give a crap about me makes it almost impossible to ask anyone for money.

So it looks like its time for that dreaded "p" word...parttime job...ugh. Even thinking it makes me want to break down into tears. I thought after 6 1/2 years of college and struggling to survive without any support from my family, after getting a "real" job, I would be done with that. I mean, in college, I worked 2-3 jobs at a time and went to school full time. It. Was. Terrible. I really am not looking forward to repeating that experience in my life, while trying to plan a wedding.....blah!

well, there is that rant....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wedding Day!

Psych! Not ours....but our good friends, Amber and Kevin. Last Saturday, Matt and I attended their lovely wedding ceremony followed by a happening reception with lots of good food and dancing!
Matt and I had a wonderful time and certainly put thoughts of our own upcoming event, making for some mushy hugs and sappy comments to each other. We were so happy for our friends and enjoyed the day with them and our other close friends. We cannot wait to share our special day with them next year.
I even got Matt on the dance floor after awhile....and a few drinks, haha!
and of course, what's a wedding without cake?!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

yea, mon!

Can I just say that Jamaica has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world? And of course I know this because I have traveled to all sorts of exotic in my two trips to myrtle beach, and one trip to Toronto. LOL.....yes, I am the worldy traveler.

Before this trip, I had never been inside an airport, much less on a plane. Thursday morning, we were up bright and early and out of the house by 3:30 am to be at the airport in time for check-in and security before our 7 am flight. Luckily, we did not encounter a single line or delay! The flight was very nice, if a bit cramped with three seats to a row.

If you read my previous blog, you would know that I won this 4 night, 5 day trip to an all inclusive resort in Jamaica from a radio contest. Needless to say, we were not expecting much and I kept waiting for the "problem" to occur. The "problem" being arriving at the airport or resort to check in and someone saying "you owe this many dollars"......BUT that never happened!

The a word.....amaaaaazing. We stayed at the lovely Breezes Runaway Bay and it was better than everything we ever thought it would be. We enjoyed bottomless drinks, delicious food, gorgeous blue skies, and water so clear it was like looking through glass. I have never seen anything or been anywhere more beautiful!

Now for some pictures!