Saturday, August 29, 2009

BPA in SIGG water bottles

Just read about this. Thought some of you might want to know a bit more. Thanks go to Crunchy Domestic Goddess for blogging about it.

Peach jam

Jam anyone?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer is almost over...

Since this is the last week of summer before my kids head back to school we've been trying to make the most of it. We spent Monday at Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor. Tuesday we went to the beach again. The waves were much bigger than last week. It made the big kids happy and me nervous, nervous, nervous. Both Hannah and Simon also had sleep overs Tuesday night so I arranged babysitting for Seth so I could join Dan and John on the trek to Brooklyn to have dinner with Devon and Monica. We had a fabulous dinner. We picked up Devon and Monica in Manhattan first. I can see why New Yorkers become angry drivers! Ah!

Toady we went peach picking. Surprising, no? You can mark the progress through summer with my fruit picking. First strawberries, blueberries, and peaches. Then apples and pumpkins.

We got white peaches, yellow peaches, and nectarines. Now the goal is to eat it all or make it into something before they go bad! Jam and cobbler, here I come!

Seth had a few friends picking peaches with him today. He seems to like the older girls... sorry Chloe.

Tonight we have one of Hannah's friends sleeping over. Gotta take advantage of summer while it lasts. I think I'll throw a movie on for them and pop some popcorn. It's my stand by for over nights. It also keeps them quite for a few hours. That's my favorite part. They can't stay up late tonight though because they orientation for Middle School tomorrow.

Oh, I got a package in the mail today... my fabric arrived! Sweet! Now I can fix my cutting mistake and when I get time I can make a new quilt with the Good Folks fabric. I did make a bit of progress on the crazy quilt borders. It'll be done sometime in the next decade...

My quilting is going to slow down a bit from here on out. I enrolled in school again. My long term goal is to be a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). I have a long way to go. There's even a wait list for nursing school. I still have a few prerequisites that I hadn't completed in Colorado to take care of. I have two online classes this semester. Wish me luck!

So, I guess we all have to have some summer fun before we go back to school!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wonder Wallet

I picked up a little wallet pattern at the quilt store yesterday. Hannah had looked at it last time we were there and wanted one for herself. It's quick and simple. Hannah gets the wallet with the sunflowers on it. It matches the bag we made her a long time ago. And the little wallet on the right matches perfectly with purses I made...

I've made some of the blocks for my newest quilt. I made a huge mistake on cutting. (That's why I was at the quilt store yesterday.) I followed the cutting instructions based on the amount of fabric that came in the kit. It turns out they made some substitutions that look better than what I cut. I decided that I wouldn't be happy with the fix I could come up with or the cuts I already had made so I ordered a few yards online last night to fix what I did. I hate making mistakes like that. While I was ordering my fabric I splurged and got a little extra fabric. Anna Maria Horner, you make delicious fabric! So bold and funky yet it all goes together so well.

I love my husband. When I come in and ask him if it's okay if I spend $90 on fabric he doesn't mind. He says ok. I think he understands that I have an addiction problem. "Hello, my name is Ellen. I am an addict. It's been just a few hours since my last fabric fix..."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ocean Grove

We finally, finally made it to the beach! Woo, hoo!I was beginning to think it'd never happen this summer. I am a big wimp and I won't go without another adult to help me out. Hannah and Simon are decent swimmers but I have to be on Seth the whole time. I just need another set of eyes and I might need some extra hands too.

Simon and Hannah were disappointed with the mellow waves. I on the other hand thought it was wonderful. Helps to keep the kids alive a bit longer if there aren't crazy, strong waves threatening to roll them over, pull them under, and drag them off to sea... ok, I am a bit dramatic from time to time. Still, I like a calm ocean.

Every time I get a chance to go down the shore it reinforces the cool things about Jersey. There are no beaches in Colorado. There were beaches in Seattle but the water was always a wee bit chilly.

We got to do all the fun things possible at the beach.

Splash in the waves. Seth was a little excited.

Play in the sand.

Fight over the toys to play in the sand with. Hey, there were shells in that bucket! Fight for it boys, fight! Huh, you'd think I might put the camera down to stop it. I helped. Just after I got a picture of what they're usually like.

Don't forget to give your mom a dirty look when she has the audacity to ask you to look up to get your picture taken. I actually like this picture. :)

Cartwheels too. What, that isn't what you do on the beach?

Last but not least, get coated head to toe with sand.

While we brought lots of sand home with us, as usual, we left all our sand toys there. Someone (a boy of about 8) left them somewhere on the trek from the spot we camped out and the car. Guess we'll have to go back and see if they got turned in to lost and found. We might as well play on the beach while we're there checking...

Monday, August 17, 2009

New quilt in the works

It's time to make a new quilt. I still have an unfinished quilt top that just needs borders and I have two done... I just haven't finished the last two. This fabric however couldn't wait any longer. I swear, it needed to be made into a quilt.

Summer is coming to an end very soon so I want to do fun things with the kids over the next few weeks before they head back to school. Today we had lunch with Dan, went to the park, and then went to Long Street Farm. I do believe it was a bit too hot but it is summer after all. Tomorrow we're hitting the beach. Finally!

Sitting with sister on a bench.

Goofy as usual.

Even goofier! I can't get a decent picture of them to save my life!

Playing with the blacksmith.

Swinging in the shade... ah...

Seth had to show Puppy the horses.

How do you measure up to the corn stalks?

Friday, August 14, 2009


For those of you with a plethora of zucchini in your garden or the ones that just love summer squashes, give this yummy recipe a try! It's really fabulous. My husband and I tried it a few years ago and have made it many times. The kids poo-poo it every time but that's because it's good for them!

Zucchini and Pepper Enchiladas
(Taken from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen)

2 tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced onion
6 medium cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large bell pepper (any color), minced
5 small (6 -inch) zucchini, diced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
cayenne and black pepper to taste
1 1/3 cups (packed) grated jack cheese

1) Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add onion, garlic, and salt, and saute over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is quite soft.

2) Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and seasonings. Stir and cook over medium heat another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the zucchini is just tender.

3) Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Allow to cool for a few minutes before filling the tortillas.

I like to use pepper jack cheese to spice it up a little so I omit the cayenne and black pepper. I just prepare the enchiladas like I would if it were cheese or beef. I make it like a casserole with a layer of corn torts, layer of filling, layer of enchilada sauce, repeat. (I'm too lazy to dip, fill and roll each enchilada). Bake for about 30 minutes at 350.

Now you all have to request Said comes to your house to teach you how to make enchilada sauce from scratch. So easy and yummy.

Monday, August 10, 2009


It's finally summer here in Jersey. Hot and muggy! For fun today we turned on the sprinkler. Get them outside and cool them off. I sat on the porch muttering to myself that it was freakin' hot out. Thankfully we have window units to keep the house coolish (Yeah, that's a word). One of my lovely neighbors let us come swim in the late afternoon. I love that they have a pool and are willing to share. I'd hate to have a pool though. All the maintenance involved!

Hannah would fill the bucket and fit it on her head. Then she'd pull it up dumping the cold water all over herself. The shriek was quite loud!

I walked to the quilt guild meeting this evening. It was rather hot for a walk but it was only 3 blocks. When the meeting was over and we'd cleaned up and put the room back in order I said I was off to walk home. I immediately had 3 mothers all very concerned for my well being. "But it's dark." "Oh, please let us give you a ride home." "What if something happened to you?"... etc. I finally conceded and excepted a ride home. All three blocks away through the scary, scary dark.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Purse- take two

This one is super cute too! It again took me longer than I thought it would to make. Maybe I look at a purse and think, "It's so small, that won't take long." But in reality there are lots of steps in making a purse. This one had 20! Quilts are quick and easy to me. Wash, iron, cut, and sew. (Ok, there's a LOT more to it than that.)

So, which purse is your favorite? I was already asked by a friend how much I'd charge to make a purse for her. I truly don't know how to answer these types of questions. Here's a better one. How much would you pay for a hand made purse?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


My lovely assistant Hannah grudingly came outside with me to take a picture of the purse.

This purse is adorable but it took a lot more time then I thought it would. Since it's reversable you cut two outside panels, two inside panels, two canvas lining panels, and pockets for inside and out with the lining. Oh, and the bottoms. I think it took me as long to cut each piece out as it did to assemble it. Well worth the effort though. There's another purse pattern with the pattern I bought so I'm going to try them both out.

I forgot to share one of the best things I got in Denver. My SIL made me a wall hanging! It is so wonderful and I love it. The "Herd of Turtles" now resides on the wall in our back stair case. It makes me smile.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


I find myself back at home and not sure what to do first. Almost 300 pictures to sort through, 4 huge zucchini to cook up somehow, and fabric calling my name. It's hard to come up with a nice blog post summarizing our trip when the trip was 2 weeks long and we visited with soooo many people!

I'll just give you some of the high lights so I can go make zucchini bread and then maybe a purse or two! Oh, maybe then a quilt! I'm getting ahead of myself aren't I?

I got to meet my little nephew. He's so adorable. Just like his big sister. Here he is with his mama. His quilt and stuffed elephant were well received, of course.

We attended a pirate birthday party! The kids has a blast at this. Who wouldn't?

I got to see my mom and brothers! We went to the museum, Benny's for dinner, Governors Park, and even out for drinks... without the kids, of course.

We got to see my MIL. It's been a while! Yeah, that's a hint Stella...

Hannah got a serious hair cut. She donated her hair to Locks of Love. Completely her idea. Her Aunt Linda who recently went through treatment for breast cancer was very proud of her. And Hannah lost a tooth while we were there so the Tooth Fairy had to remember to make a visit.

Oh, and Estes Park!

Cool and cloudy.

Have you ever seen The Shining? This is the hotel.

Oh, the candy choices...

We also saw a movie and then had lunch and played with friends at Stapleton's Central Park... not even close to the real thing but definitely fun. ;)

Oh, and I got two girls night out. Count 'em, two! Totally awesome. The kids had a sleep over at grandma's one night and my brother baby sat for the other night out to dinner. I wish I could do that more often!

We had a delayed flight home but we entertained ourselves until it was time to go. Moving walkways are way to fun.

I had such a good time. It was wonderful to see everyone. If I didn't put a picture of you up or mention how much fun we had it's only because this blog post is way too long. I loved seeing all of you! Really. We spent time with all of Dan's family, my family and pretty much all of our friends. Phew, lots of fabulous people.

Now, I started this post earlier today and couldn't get back to it. I made the zucchini bread though. The purse pattern and fabric I bought at The Fancy Tiger, well that's next...