Saturday, July 28, 2012

Food Waste Reduction Ideas

Vegetable ends? 
-- Make vegetable stock! broccoli stems, carrot ends, potato peels, etc. can be thrown in a slow cooker along with 5 to 6 cups of water and some pepper (you can also add other seasonings that you like--garlic, ginger, etc.). Set the slow cooker on low and leave it for 8 to 9 hours. Strain it and let it cool then freeze. I like to freeze it in ice cube trays to make it super handy. If you only get small bits of veggies at a time, just freeze the veggie bits until you have enough and time to make the stock.

Apples and Pears that are a little too ripe? 
-- Slice them and sautée them in a pan with some oil (or butter), diced onion, and pepper. Pairs amazing well with pork. Probably would be tasty with chicken or fish too.

-- Bake them with a small pat of butter, raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes for a delicious dessert.

Stale tortilla chips, crackers, plain cereal, etc.?
-- Crush them and turn them into bread crumbs. There great in homemade hamburgers or meatballs! Just make sure you remember to reduce the amount of salt you add if what you are crushing is high in sodium.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer and slowing down

We had lunch with neighbours of ours that we don't see as often as we should today. While lingering over lunch, it dawned on me that this is something that should be done way more often. 

In the past we've frequently been busy with errands and chores and forget to take time out for friends. But what is the point of all this work to live if we don't slow down and stop to enjoy our lives? 

We live in a community where the city really makes an effort to give us a good reason to come out and gather. Today was Rib Fest, Friday there is a free concert, and there are free outdoor movies on Thursdays. I think we have to start going and enjoying more of these events. It's one of the reasons we choose to live where we live after all. (It's not just because of the twice weekly farmer's market across the street!)

I hope where ever you live this summer, you're out enjoying life for all it's worth. 

My latest quilt design

Have you seen The Sometimes Crafter's Retro Flower's quilt pattern? If not check it out here:'s super cute and part of the inspiration behind my new quilt pattern I'm working on called Leaves.

Here's a first draft:
What do you think?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And the quest for organization begins. . .

My family and I started something new this week. We're working toward a simplified life and tidier household. I may, or may not, have forgotten to tell my husband what's going on. . . but I definitely showed him this (it's a slight variation to what I saw here

I don't think we could have realistically maintained this weekly schedule when we were both working full-time, but since I've left my regular day job and have started a small administrative/bookkeeping business from home, I feel this is doable. We're going to try it for a month and see what we think. 

I will need to tweak it some more to fit us better and have already started drafting a version 2.0 that includes weekend days and a specific seasonal task for each month. Although, I've left a couple of the summer months blank for now. Here's a sneak peak:

~::~     ~::~     ~::~

So, it's Thursday night and we started this whole thing on Monday. How are we doing so far? What do we think?

Well, I like that I don't have to look around and decide what has to be done. In a sense it's replicating what my husband's mum has done at their little getaway spot where there is a list of things that need to be completed before you leave. They were kind enough to let my husband and I use it a few times on our own, pre-baby days, and it really made it easy for the two of us to work together. I could see what he was doing as it related to the list and make a decision on what I could be doing to help us get out of there without stopping him and having a conversation about what we thought needed to be done. 

I like that I don't feel overwhelmed by any one task, it's a little bit in the morning, and a little bit at night. And it's all organized so I don't have to go on a big o' cleaning spree (which I hate by the way).

Now hopefully with the addition of one organizational task a week. Things like the shoe closet will be a little less of a jumbled mess and I might be able to find the camera cord so I can show off my awesome border for my daughter's circle quilt that I'm working on.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WIP Wednedsay--It's been a while!

I've been working on projects in the background, but really haven't been sharing with anyone. I didn't even think to take a picture of the cute Kobo Reader cover I made my Aunt.

Anyway, right now I'm working on curves for my baby. If I start now, I might actually have this done by the time she goes into a big girl bed. When's that supposed to happen anyway? 

I'm using some 5" squares I got in an I-Spy exchange on along with my AccuQuilt Studio Drunkard's Path dies to turn this:
into this:

More to follow, with better pictures, when I find the camera cord. I think it may be in the man cave. 

Check out what everyone else is working on here:

the Needle and Thread Network


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced