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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Favorites: New Recipes of 2011

2011 was filled with many good new recipes.  A few I have shared here, sadly most I have not.  I wish I could share more recipes, but in order to do that I have to cook the dish once to test it out and then cook it again, not too close to the first time I cooked it so my family does not get the same thing in a week, but not wait too long so that I forget about it.  And then taking pictures while cooking with kids hanging on my legs or trying to help, whew, makes me tired just thinking about it.  Hopefully this year I will share more recipes with you!  I promise to try harder.

Anyways (sorry for the confessional there), here are a few of my favorite new recipes from last year.  The first two I have posted here, the second two I have not.

I know we are far away from squash season, but this was definitely one of my favorites from last year.  Simple.  Rustic.  Delicious.  And Easy!  I am always looking for different ways to serve vegetables and this became a staple at our house through the summer.  Here is a link to the recipe.  

This recipe is from Cooking Light.  I have not made it in awhile, so I honestly cannot remember if I changed the recipe any from the original.  Does not matter, you will love it!  Here is the link to the recipe.

I have been meaning to post about this pot roast for a little while.  We first had it right before Christmas and the title of the dish is correct!  This is the Perfect Pot Roast!  You will throw away all your other pot roast recipes once you make this!  I will tell you, this pot roast you cook in the oven instead of a crock pot, which makes it sound like it is not as easy and convenient, but it is so easy and it literally melts in your mouth.  In her recipe, Pioneer Woman says the red wine is optional, but THE RED WINE IS NOT OPTIONAL!  You will not believe how good the red wine makes this pot roast.  And an added bonus is your house will smell heavenly as it is cooking.  Here is the link to Pioneer Woman's Recipe.

*This picture is not mine.  It is straight from
This is probably our favorite new recipe from 2011.  I hesitate to share it because I do cook it a little differently from the recipe on the website, but if I am sharing my favorite recipes, I just could not leave this one off.  In a nutshell what I do differently is slow cook the beef for 8 hours.  Any kind of beef cooked for 8 hours is going to melt in your mouth!  I will try to make this in the next couple of weeks and share my revised recipe with you.  For now, you can get the recipe here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Favorites: Pictures of 2011

Well, my plan was to pick 4 or 5 of my favorite pictures of 2011, but I just could not limit it.  These are the pictures that just make me smile.  And they really make me see how fast time goes!!!  Enjoy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Favorites: Sewing Projects

I have not posted about sewing projects in a long time.  Mainly, because I have not been doing much sewing lately. Life is very full and busy, and sewing seems to always take the back seat.  But there are a few projects from this past year that I do love and had so much fun making.  A few I had forgotten about until I looked back through my pictures.  So, here are my top favorites going through the year.

1.  First up, the girls' Valentine's Outfit from last year.  I usually do not sew clothes for holidays because I hate to put all that work into something that they can only wear for a short amount of time.  Hearts though can be worn any time.  It is hard to tell, but they are a super soft knit pink and white paisley.  As you can see, both girls were thrilled about posing for a picture.

2.  This is one of the outfits I forgot about, which I cannot believe!  It was one of my all time favorites!  I made it for Sara Wells's friend Bradford, 'Baby B'.  I wish I could make something for all birthdays and all baby showers, but that simply just does not happen.  So, when I have the time and get to make something for a gift I get really excited.  As soon as I finished this outfit, I made a promise to myself I would make Sara Wells one.  But of course I never did.  Maybe I will get around to it this spring.  

3.  This outfit was my first real try at shirring (sewing with elastic thread).  I had actually intended on putting together a little tutorial, but I never got to posting it.  I made Ella a sundress, which was cute, but I thought this bubble was soooo cute.  Do not be intimidated by trying this sewing technique!  It is far easier than you might imagine.

4.  I knew when I made this outfit for Miller it would be his favorite outfit.  He picked the fabric out last summer and literally asked me everyday if I had made his Robot pants yet.  I am not exaggerating, every day he would ask me if I had made his Robot pants and every day I would answer telling him I was going to make them when it got cold outside.  Evidently my answer was not adequate, because he kept asking and asking and asking.  So, I knew for sure when I finally made them, he would be thrilled.  Boy was I wrong!  He has worn this outfit maybe three or four times, every time with me demanding it must be worn.  He may not like it, but I think it is pretty cute!
For the t-shirt I embroidered a blown up version of one of the Robots onto a brown corduroy patch.

5.  And last, but definitely not least, is the outfit I made Ella for Christmas.  Ella is almost always more excited about getting clothes than toys.  So, I decided to make her this t-shirt and skirt that I have been wanting to make for a very long time.  I think I have had the fabric and t-shirt since September, but just had not had the time to make it.  I wish I had better pictures for you to see the rainbow and the skirt.  The rainbow is just made out of 5 different colors of scrap fabric.
The skirt is flat on the front and has a three tiered ruffle in the back.  As you can tell from these pictures, Ella loves it just as much as I do.  Which of course makes me even more happy because it is very hit and miss these days whether or not she is going to like what I make her (even if she has already approved it before I make it).  So, I love that she loves it!

I love seeing what other people have made.  It gives me motivation and gets my creative juices going.  Hopefully these pictures will do the same for you!  May 2012 be filled with fun sewing projects that make you smile:)

***Can you believe how much Ella has changed from February to December?  Part of it is her long hair now, but I think she has grown three inches.  She looks so little in that first picture and like a 16 year old in the first picture of the rainbow t-shirt!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorites: Books

I know that January is almost over, so I should be thinking forward and not back, but since we were pretty much gone the first two weeks of January, I still feel like it is the beginning of January.  So, in my mind it is still a perfect time to reflect on the past year and think forward to this year.  All that being said, I thought I would share a few of my 'favorites' with you.

First up:  Favorite books that I read in 2011

I know I have already mentioned this book, but Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn, is life changing!  Every believer should read this book!

Another favorite read of 2011 is The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom.  Great, Great book!

This fall we used Tim Keller's new book King's Cross.  The book is based on his sermon series on the Book of Mark.
Two quotes that have hit me in gut and have reshaped the way that I live my life:

"When the Bible talks about sin it is not just referring to the bad things we do.  It's not just lying or lust or whatever the case may be -- it is ignoring God in the world he has made; it's rebelling against him by living without reference to him.  It's saying, 'I will decide exactly how I live my life.'  And Jesus says that is our main problem."

"You are made to center everything in your life on me, to think of everything in terms of your relationship to me."
(emphasis mine)

I could go on and on about how these two quotes have changed the way that I think about how my relationship with Christ should impact EVERY single aspect of my life, even the little mundane, every day things, but I will just allow the quotes to sink in and let the Lord use them in your life how He will.

And last but not least, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.
This book is hilarious!  I am talking laugh out loud, hilarious!  Even Murray laughed out loud when I would have him read a page or two.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pink, Pink, Pink

Friday night we (finally) had Sara Wells's  birthday party
and it was

 Murray even surprised me with pink champagne.
 Sara Wells had her closest friends there to celebrate
 Sara Wells loved being the center of attention!
 Got lots of presents
 and had lots of helpers getting those presents opened.
 She even got a pair of fancy pink shoes to go with her fancy pink outfit.
 There were lots of costume changes
 But most importantly, 

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl
We LOVE you!