16. May 2015 · Comments Off on Paper Piecing for Charity – Origami Boat · Categories: Blog Love, Charity Blocks, Paper Piecing, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , , , ,

Charity Boat

This is a boat I made a few months ago for Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl when she made a call for charity blocks.  I LOVE this boat.  I’ve made several now, even turning one into a baby quilt.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Boat baby quilt sneak

Oh hello Muscovy duck.

This little boat is by far my favorite paper pieced pattern I’ve sewn up.

Sawoon.

Linking up with Quilt Art Designs for her Friday Paper Piecing Party.  It’s cool, even though there’s no cake.

PPParty_zps2a200bca

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

P.S.  Yvonne shared a compilation picture of the charity blocks she received and one commenter on her post said they loved the origami boat.  What did I do with this information? Called my mom and told her of course!  It’s the little things.

Beet pizza dough.  I promise it tastes better than it sounds.

Beet Pizza RW

The point here is not to make your pizza taste like beets, but to add some vegetably goodness to a meal often packed with gooey fatty cheese.  I LOVE cheese, but it’s not exactly considered a healthy staple.

It’s been a long while since I’ve made this, but I’m certain the recipe came from Never Homemaker.  Go ahead and click on over for the recipe if you want to make your own.

If you want some other fun alternatives to traditional pizza, check out my pizza posts!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza the recipe is way at the bottom so keep scrolling down till you get there mmmmm K?

Quinoa Crust Pizzathis is one of my favorites!

For a fun alternative way to eat beets, check out my one and only beet post!

Salted and Sauteed Beet Peels – take a slicer and curl those beets, then saute them till lightly crispy.  SO GOOD!  You’ll want to try this recipe.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite pizza toppings?

I’d like to wish Aly from Fudging Ahead a BIG congratulations on her pregnancy!!

Aly’s beautiful baby boy is due soon and I wanted to do something special for her.  After all, she threw me an amazing virtual baby shower.

Since she already gave me a shower and I know I couldn’t duplicate its awesomeness, I decided to go a different route.  I’ve decided to let her pick her own shower gift.  I know from personal experience sometimes you later regret putting items on your registry or you receive too many of the same item.  Sometimes you have a favorite item but you don’t receive it and sometimes it’s the surprise gifts that are truly the best of all.  So I’m providing a mix of all these options and giving Aly the choice to pick which gift she’d like best.

My twist?  Pandas!  I know Aly and her husband love Pandas so most of the gifts she can pick from have a Panda theme.  I may have even created a Panda Pinterest board in preparation for this very moment.

Let’s begin the parade of pandas! (Oh and clicking on the pictures will take you to each product page for more details.) 

Baby Panda Onesie

Onesie

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Board Book

Panda Bear Panda Bear Book

Panda Art Print

Panda Art

Curious Panda Art Print (from one of my favorite artists – I have four of her prints in Baby Charwee’s nursery)

Parn Panda

Pandas and Popsicles Art Print (I realize this is a little funky, but Aly does have a food blog so I’m adding it)

Pandas and Popsicles

Panda Abstract Animal Art

Panda Art Print

Panda Minky Blanket

Panda Minky Blanket

Panda Bear Night Light

Panda Bear Nightlight

Panda Crib Shoes

Panda Crib Shoes

Baby Einstein Panda Toy

Panda Toy

Crochet Panda Hat

Panda Hat

Panda Plates and Bowls (I found these at the grocery store last week)

Panda Plates RW

Swaddle Sack (not a panda but my FAVORITE baby essential ever so it makes the list)

Swaddle

Crib Sheets (also not pandas but super cute and the brand I use and love)

Crib Sheet Yellow

Crib Sheet Gray

So Aly, what’s it gonna be???

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Which present should Aly pick??  Help her decide!

Happy Birthday my dear friend Cinnamon!!

In honor of your birthday I pulled all the cake pictures I could find from my hard drive.

Sorry you can’t eat them, but you have a good imagination so just pretend mmmm K?

Mmmm K.

From my niece’s birthday years ago.

174 RW

From The Husband’s 29th birthday.

2009 February Birthday Party 002 RW

AWESOME butterfly cupcakes I made.  Still proud of these to this day.

2009 February Birthday Party 006 RW

Spaghetti and meatball cupcakes.  Yes, those are cupcakes.  With chocolate meatballs.  Kinda proud of them too.

Spaghetti and meatball cupcakes RW

From my nephew’s birthday.  2nd maybe?  Third?

As Second Bday 008 RW

From a baptism.

Cake Baptism RW

From a cake decorating class I took.  A post to come later with the rest of these pics.  Oh and it was my friend Wendi’s birthday too.

Cake Decorating 003 RW

From this post.  Made for my nephew’s birthday.

Cupcakes RW

From Sweetey Petey’s last birthday.

DSC_0213 RW

For Easter I think.  Flower cupcakes.

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One of my nephew’s birthdays.

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Another niece party.

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More niece.

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More nephew.

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The Pete’s first birthday.

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Easter.  Obviously.

Easter 2009 010 RW

The Father-in-Laws retirement party.

Jim's Retirement 018 crop 4x6 RW

Yup, there were two cakes.

Jim's Retirement 020 crop 4x6 RW

My niece’s last birthday.  Read about it here.

DSC_0176 enh RW

This pic will be used in an upcoming random food picture of the day post.  There’s a fun quick back story so stay tuned.

Cake Best RW

An ugly cupcake from one of my favorite posts.

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A not so ugly cupcake from the same post.

Midwestern-Bite-Ugly-Food-5-Cupcake-RW

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINNAMON!!!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite kind of cake??

Girl Reinvented.  Let’s talk about it.

Girl Reinvented

This is the first book review I’ve written in a long while.  This is also the first (non children’s) book I’ve read in a long while.  Don’t get me wrong here, I love to read.  Love to read.  I majored in it in college even.  My Husband and I have four bookshelves filled to capacity with books and more books stored in the garage.  Granted some of these are college textbooks, but they still count.  A book is a book.  This doesn’t even take into account all of Sweetey Petey’s books which are too numerous to count, especially at the early hour I’m penning this.  Sweetey Petey loves to read too.  Mike rarely ends a night without donning his headlamp and cracking open a book snugged up in bed.

This Midwestern family loves to read.

So why has it taken me so long to dive back into the pages of a good book?  Simple.  Life got in the way.  Or, more relevantly, my idea of life got in the way.  I rarely sit still long enough to appreciate a quiet moment, my mind always a whir with what needs done next, what project needs started or finished, what laundry needs folded, what playroom needs picked up.  It’s a trait in myself I’m working to change, thanks to Ann Moore . . .  but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Reading a book, and a book purely for fun at that, seemed so self indulgent recently.  I have responsibilities after all.  A home to create and maintain.  In light of this anti-mindfullness mindset I’ve grown into, you may be wondering why I chose to read this particular book.  That’s simple.  I know Ann.  Okay, maybe not so simple since I only sorta, kinda know Ann.

Don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like sorta and kinda in her book.

I’ve been reading Ann’s blog Cooking Dangerously and Ann has become an internet friend.  We’ve exchanged gifts, tweets, comments, direct messages.  Ann has even named one of our chickens!  Really that makes her as close to family as a Canadian internet friend can get.

So I “know” Ann.  But it’s more than that.  I look forward to her blog posts and find her witty, interesting and most of all unique.  She provides content and an individual point of view that is shockingly refreshing in a blogosphere full of food bloggers spouting the same dry run of the mill garbage over and over and over again.  Yes, I know kale is good for me.  Oh I can bake it into chips?  You don’t say?

Ann is modest enough not to shove her book in your face.  I’m rather modest myself (clearly I’m writing this BEFORE the picture I’m posting of my butt scheduled for May 8) but if I had not only written a book, but a book that you could find on Amazon in actual book form (self published e-books don’t count so don’t even try to tell me they do), you’d better believe your buttokis I’d be telling the world every danged day.

Don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like buttokis and danged in her book.

Ann and I were quite far along in our internet friendship before I even knew she had written a book.  She mentioned it in passing, I searched for it, couldn’t locate it (she penned it under her maiden name) and I had to ask her.  After that, I was obsessed.  I knew, just knew, I had to read Ann’s book even if it was about clowns, which I hate.  I hate clowns.   Fortunately it wasn’t about clowns.

To avoid any potential feelings of guilt over a just for fun, just for me purchase,  I used funds from my Midwestern Bite Amazon associate account, ordered Ann’s book and waited . . . impatiently . . . for it to arrive.

I’d like to interject here and say, for the official record, I promise any future book reviews WON’T take me this many paragraphs to actually get into, mmmm K?

Don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like mmmm K in her book.

I read Ann’s book within a week.  I’m sure a lot of you are thinking it took you a whole week?  I can read a book in a day!  Yes, well, I could too back before I was seven months pregnant and with a toddler underfoot so don’t judge.  A week is good for me thankyouverymuch.

And don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like thankyouverymuch in her book.

Here’s what the book jacket has to say about Girl Reinvented:

“Tabitha Mahony has always been that polite, smart, heavy girl who flies under everyone’s radar, until one day an unfortunate low-rise jeans incident brings her the kind of publicity no one is looking for. Rather than taking the challenge in stride, Tabitha begins to question the personality she has developed over the past sixteen years. What has she really gained from being who she is? She only has one crazy loudmouth friend, she has zero prospects in the guy department, her mom is too busy and her brother is too stoned to notice her … mostly she just feels miserable all the time. She wonders if she could instantly become someone new if she decided to. Could you? What would you do differently? Would you ask out that crush? Confront that pretty little sour-faced girl in the tennis skirt? Get drunk? Chase that dream? Yeah, so would she.”

First off I’d like to reiterate that Girl Reinvented is a quick read.  That’s not to say short.  That’s not to say lacking in content.  It’s quick because you want to find out where the track leads you.  Much like a train ride, you just can’t get off till you reach your destination.  Sure, there may be a few stops along the way (it’s 346 pages after all, you aren’t going to get out of this one without at least a few bathroom and snack breaks) but you sit back and absorb the scenery flowing past you.

Scenery.  That may have been my favorite aspect to this book.  Ann Moore paints a vibrant visual picture, her words and comparisons conveying not only imagery, but feelings as well.  Through her it is easy to see what the characters see and feel what the characters feel.  If they turn their head, you turn your head.  If they jump out of a plane, you jump out of a plane.

Yes, there was jumping out a plane.  I’ll get to that.

Right off the bat I was able to relate to the main character Tabitha.  No, I was not overweight.  Other than a minor falling down the stairs incident, no I never had a soul barring embarrassing moment in front of the whole school.  I even had a few prospects in the guy department and more than one loud mouthed friend.  But feelings of isolation?  Feelings of not always belonging?  Feelings of unachieved aspirations?  Uncertainty?  Yes.  I’ve had those.  Haven’t we all?  While reading this book it was easy to slip back into the tumultuous days of high school and recall those feelings we’ve all felt at some point in our lives.  No matter what social group you fell into, high school had its rocky moments.  That’s just how it’s meant to be.  A learning experience where you start to really find yourself.

And that’s just what Tabitha does.

Girl Reinvented is classified as a Young Adult Romantic Comedy.  As such, your first question may be but hasn’t it all been said before?  A guilty pleasure of mine has always been high school TV dramas.  Gilmore Girls.  One Tree Hill.  Dawson’s Creek (I can’t believe I just admitted that).  Edgemont.  Felicity.  You get the picture in picture.  One complaint I have about this genre, however, is the repetition.  Oh, someone had a pregnancy scare?  No way.  Someone had a drug problem?  Huh.  That’s new.  Somebody was cheated on?  Gasp.  You don’t say.  Young adult entertainment is clearly a subject that has been fully explored in all forms of media.

What surprised me about Girl Reinvented, was, in fact, the surprises.  Yes, there was a popular kid picking on an unpopular kid.  Yes, there were teenage crushes.  There was even a catfight.  These are standard predictable young adult fare.  But there was also jumping out of a plane.  Say what?  Yup, I didn’t see that coming.  There was also Irish dancing.  You heard me.  Irish dancing.  There was an entire descriptive presentation of breast augmentation.  I just reeled the boys in now didn’t I?  I thought as much.  I almost skipped ahead in the book just to find out what Tabitha’s scandalous presentation would be about (I managed to refrain) and once I got there all I could think was, say whaaaaaat?

Ann Moore definitely threw in a few curve balls I didn’t expect, leaving me to wonder as I read what else she had up her sleeve.  Where would she take Tabitha, next?  I won’t spoil it for you.

Tabitha aspired to be a writer and Ann Moore included a few of her literary attempts within Girl Reinvented.  I will admit I had a hard time getting through these passages.  I cringed on more than a few occasions and immediately wondered if my own young writing was as forced as Tabitha’s.

All together, Girl Reinvented was a fun read and made me want more.  More Ann Moore.  More books.  More.  More.  More.  Since reading Girl Reinvented, I’ve breezed through Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple and started The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (don’t fret, there are no clowns in this particular circus – I confirmed before I started).  I’ve checked in with my Facebook friends for book recommendations, Googled book clubs both local and internet based, joined Goodreads and stopped in at the nearest library to peruse the Fiction shelves.

Ann Moore made me realize I had missed reading and missed it something fierce.  My love affair has been rekindled and my priorities have been shifting.  So what if the laundry doesn’t get folded till tomorrow.  So what if the playroom is a mess, it’s not like it would have stayed tidy for long anyway.  I’ve got characters to immerse myself in and plots to be drawn into and imagery to fill my pretty head.

And with that, I’ve got some reading to do before the toddler wakes up and we read Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go for the bazillioneth time.  Goldbug!  Or as the boy says . . . GOOOOOAL DUG!

But before I leave you, how about I give you something?  How about I give you Girl Reinvented?  If you want to read it too, all you need to do is comment and tell me so.  No Rafflecopter to mess with, just leave me a comment, and one of you will read this book on my dime.  Well, The Husband’s dime.  The giveaway runs till this Saturday at midnight after which Sweetey Petey will draw one of your names, most likely from an Easter egg.  The winner will be announced next week.  You’ll e-mail me your address and your book will be shipped straight from Amazon right to your front door.  Or back door, depending on your UPS driver.   Ours sometimes picks the detached garage which is less than helpful.

Oh, and this giveaway is open to US residents only.

Have a great week all and I hope to see you back here for a quick DIY nursery post and some chip talk.  Chip talk?  What kind of chip talk you ask?  You’ll have to wait to find out.  I don’t want to spoil that for you either.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Do you want to win this book?  Then tell me so!!!  Oh, and if you win and you’d rather have the kindle version, I’m sure that can be arranged too.  The Husband would probably even prefer that since it’s cheaper.  

This post was inspired by two people.

First, my friend Nikki who was super excited to find out I was pregnant and super excited about what pregnancy stuff I would share on my blog.  Sorry, Nikki, I haven’t shared much here have I?  To be honest, unless I have become good friends with the blogger, I tend to skip over those posts that detail every excruciating instance of pregnancy.  Weight gain, cravings, movement, if they have swelling or stretch marks or if their belly button has “popped” yet.  The list goes on and on.  And on. Quite frankly, a lot of times I just don’t care.  Sorry I’m not sorry.

In case you do care, my weight gain is none of your business, we’ll get to my cravings in a minute, this baby moves non freaking stop, I have no swelling or stretch marks and my belly button is just fine thankyouverymuch (or as The Husband likes to say “the turkey isn’t done yet.”)

Second, my friend Ann who has recently posted such gems to her blog as I ate Rudolph for Christmas and Christmas trees aren’t good eating.

Between these two ladies, this post was born.  So without further hemming and hawing I’d like to share with you pretty much my one and only pregnancy craving . . . SNOW.

DSC_0604 RW

That’s right.  SNOW.

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All bark and Bite RW

So now that the Christmas season is upon us, every blogger and their mother is making bark.  Most of them are making peppermint bark because peppermint is to Christmas as pumpkin is to Thanksgiving.

Channeling my inner SAT’s there for a minute.  Sorry.  No, I’m not really sorry, but I am sorry for apologizing when I wasn’t really sorry in the first place.

Moving on.

I have no problems with bark.  Unless it’s the dogs’ incessant barking, which I swear they do these days non freaking stop.

Anyway, moving on again.

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Ann of Cooking Dangerously fame and also one of the winners of our first chicken naming contest mailed me some sweet chicken gloves the other day!  She even included some Canada gloves for Sweetey Petey and Baby Number Two.

Chicken Gloves RW

Ann’s from Canada in case you missed that somehow.

Thanks to me Ann is now totally chicken obsessed.  This has clearly paid off since I now own my very own pair of chicken gloves.  And not just any chicken gloves, but the fingerless removable mitten kind!!  How did she know I’ve been wanting a pair for when I photograph outside in the winter??

I don’t know, but she did.

Thanks Ann!

Have a great day all.  See ya tomorrow for Thrift Gift Facelift.

– Joanna

P.S.  So I typed “chicken gloves” as my focus keyword down in my Search Engine Optimization section and ya know what WordPress also suggested?  “Chicken skin gloves.”  Creepy.   Ann, don’t send me any of those, please and thank you.

Question of the Day: Quick, what color are your gloves???? 

Doughnuts I made from Edible Ash’s new doughnut cookbook.

Doughnuts

T.A.S.T.Y.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?  I’m a fan of chocolate glazed boston cream filled.

I’ve had a request to talk about Miley Cyrus.  That’s right, someone (cough Ann cough) has REQUESTED a post from ME.  ME.

I’m clearly big-time.  You should all be thankful you knew me when.

Right then.

Miley Cyrus.

So here’s the thing . . . I don’t get all into the hype of the Oscar’s or the Tony’s or the AMA’s or the VMA’s or the POS’s.  Okay I made that last one up but it seemed appropriate at the time so let’s go with it.  Famous people just don’t do it for me.  I don’t care that they’re famous.  I don’t follow them relentlessly on social media or try to replicate the last outfit they were seen in on the cover of Cosmo or even buy Cosmo for that matter.

Except for maybe Jim Croce (who’s dead so it’s never gonna happen) I really don’t even have a desire to meet a famous person.

My Brother-in-Law recently invited me to a Sci-Fi Convention (it’s one of my geekier passions, let’s just breeze past it like I never even mentioned it) and after much debate I politely declined because I knew he’d want to get autographs. The thought of standing in line to meet an actor from Firefly felt akin to standing in a giant vat of water that slowly started to heat up.  At first it’s all cool, then you have a nagging building suspicion that something is not quite right till you’ve been there 45 minutes and your head suddenly explodes.  Clearly I’ve never been mistaken for a patient person.  And yes I swear it takes 45 freaking minutes to boil water on my 30 year old stove top.

My BIL is pretty cool though so it would have been nice to chat with him sans kiddos.  And since I’m a geek I wouldn’t have minded the experience one bit.  So mostly it was the line standing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like music and TV and movies just like everybody else.

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