Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tea time!

How gorgeous is this?!

The tea time chandelier from Anthropologie (of course).
It is totally on my Christmas list.

Monday, November 29, 2010

{Modern Relief}

If you are a reader of quilting blogs like I am, you may have seen this popping up in the last several days---

Heather has dreamed up the most amazing project this holiday season-

{ Modern } Relief is a simple concept. We are Modern Quilters uniting through the holiday season by bringing the warmth of our quilts and the warmth of your hearts together for others in need. This season, 2010, we will be supporting World Vision. We hope YOU will join us in taking a stand against hunger by participating in our fundraising raffle.

I know that I don't need to tell you how much I love and support World Vision, so I was thrilled to see this charity as theirs.

Please go here and have a look at some of the amazingly gorgeous quilts that have been donated. I am not posting all of the pictures here, as there are so many, but here is one teaser, made by Heather herself-

Amazing, isn't it? She is so talented.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 each and you can access their paypal account for purchasing tickets on Heather's site. I don't know if I can link their paypal account here! There are more than a dozen quilts that are part of the raffle, and one of them could be yours! Please consider purchasing a ticket and help support World Vision this year. Winners will eb chosen by a randon generator on December 1, so buy a ticket today and spread the word!

Monday, November 22, 2010

the dress! the dress!

Remember this post, where I mentioned my love for this dress?
The dress is now mine!!! One of my best friends from high school was visiting this weekend and we met in Georgetown for dinner. Of course, there was time to pop into Anthropologie! This amazing dress has long been sold out on the website. It was originally $168, then marked down to $80, but Saturday night? It was marked to $39.99!!!!!

So, what shoes would you wear with it???

Thursday, November 18, 2010

breakfast at Cinderella's Castle!

The other night, I was cleaning and packing (have I mentioned that I am moving this weekend?) and came across this photo, from our trip to Disney World in 2008!
Lexi, Steve and Cinderella :)

I had never been to Disney at all before (shocking, I know!). We were walking in and of course, came to Cinderella's Castle and there was a huge line. Of course, stopped to investigate, and found that it was a line for breakfast with the Princesses! YES!!!! I knew that I wanted to do this, but what I didn't know, was that most people make reservations for their family six months in advance! Oooops. I asked the girl at the desk, and it turned out that since it was just the two of us, and no children, we had just a 15 minute wait! Breakfast was delish, and I got to meet Snow White, Belle, Jasmine and more!
I'll have to post some of the other photos sometime...they are too funny, especially the one of Steve and Jasmine, hehe!
Who is your favorite Disney Princess?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

tasty tuesday- lasagna a la lexi!

Happy Tuesday, and today I am sharing a new favorite. Maybe not new, exactly, as I've always loved lasagna, but until recently, I had never tried making it! Growing up, I don't remember my mother making it- I feel as though she said it was time consuming, and maybe it was, if you boil the lasagna noodles, which I don't ;)
I first made this a few weeks ago, and Steve loves it...so, it's become a favorite of ours!

Lasagna a la Lexi

1 lb. ground beef (or turkey, if you prefer)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1 pinch each- basil, garlic powder, oregano, sage, black pepper, minced garlic and onion flakes (I do large pinches, as I am very generous with spices!)
1 jar maranara sauce
1/2 package lasagna noodles (no bake noodles- I don't precook them)
1 large container ricotta cheese
1 bag mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. brown the beef in a large skillet over med-high heat. drain excessive grease, stir in water, olives and spices. simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. stir in maranara sauce and then remove from heat

2. place a layer of meat/sauce mixture at the bottom of a 9x13" pan. cover with dry noodles (three across). spread layer of rocotta cheese over noodles, sprinkle with mozzarella. cover with layer of meat/sauce and then repeat until pan is full.

3. bake 45 minutes at 375*

4. enjoy :)

It is super easy, and you can also improvise. For example, I sometimes use half a jar of maranara sauce and half a jar of another flavor, like garlic or basil. Someone could also add mushrooms, if they like them, which I don't :) I also use a bag of the Italian mixed cheese, so there are four or six different kinds of cheese in there!
Also, the original recipe called for half a pound of ground beef and half a pound of sliced sausage, but that seemed really heavy, so I've never tried it with the sausage. Should I? Or do you agree that that sounds like way too much meat? :)

me, my lasagna and my Scarlet Threads Penelope apron :)
What are you cooking this week? Please share!

Monday, November 15, 2010

what are YOU doing?

I've seen lots of posts about this on twitter, so I thought it would be appropriate to discuss. According to their website (linked above), 2010 is a very special year, as not only does it mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the chief sponsor of NPD, but it’s also the 25th anniversary of this special day.
In the United States alone, there are more than 1 million charitable organizations, and Americans give more than $300 billion annually to charitable causes (Giving USA Foundation). In Canada, more than 88,000 charities provide countless services to millions of Canadians, who in turn contribute more than $10 billion annually to those organizations (Canada Revenue Agency). In Latin America and Asia, with governments no longer able to provide enough funding for social services, charitable sectors are growing rapidly and creating programs to meet the needs of their countries’ citizens. The quality of life for all people—everything from education, healthcare, the environment and the arts, to name only a few—would be far less if not for these organizations.
(italicized paragraphs come from their site)

I talk about them enough, so I'm sure you know of two of my favorite organizations-
A a compassionate boutique, specializing in unique products designed and produced by talented seamstresses in rural Asia.

a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.

It has only been recently that I've become involved with Scarlet Threads, but I just love their mission and beauty, and I'd love you to check out their site (linked above, and on the side of my blog) for more information. They have gorgeous fairtrade aprons and other gifts that are perfect for any occasion. They just came out with their new products, and see the Aubergine apron? That was my name suggestion! Time for another giveaway, perhaps?

As you know, I sponsor two little girls through World Vision. Majlinda is seven and lives in Albania and Boikokobetso is three and lives in South Africa. I've been sponsoring Boikokobetso for just over a year, but it's hard to believe some days that Majlinda has been in my life for more than three years! I just love having them both in my life, and I think about them often, sending love and prayers their way. I have a picture of them both on my desk at work too. Unfortunately, I cannot post their pictures on my blog, as WV works hard to protect their privacy, and I respect that, but trust me when I say how adorable they are!

What are your favorite charities and what are you involved with? Are you passing along the message of philantropy today?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

sweet saturday

Our new pets!

Bob the beta & Sunny the snail!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

still too many cookbooks

Remember this post from more than a year ago, where I discussed my many cookbooks?
(see teaser photo below)

I really need to purge some of these cookbooks! They are taking up space, and I just don't use them all! I use some, but not all.
So, want one? I'm more than happy to send you one or two, if you are interested, because it would be better than them sitting here and growing dust!
Yes? No? Maybe so?

Friday, November 5, 2010

sparkle all the way!

This weekend, I am heading home to NH to go on a quilt retreat with my mother! Feel free to giggle, my sister has been calling me Grandma since she heard the news! It is at a resort up in the White Mountains and we are staying in a cabin with two other friends who are going! I don't know what we are making- it is a mystery quilt! I know that it will finish to be 58" x 58," which is a good size. For supplies, we were asked to bring about one yard of our "focus fabric" and then 2 1/2 inch strips that match. I went to the fat quarter shop, a great online shop and found these-

It is from a line called Sparkle All the Way and the designer is Robert Kaufman. The poinsettias on the bottom is my focus fabric, and I am using the pre-cut strips to go along with it! I am hoping to be able to finish this weekend, but we'll see! I may do a little post here and there with my progress, as I can blog from my iphone, but we'll see! If you don't follow me on twitter, feel free to, as I will likely post pics there too!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

happy things

Analiese of Tulips and Tea posted a lovely list yesterday, of ways to nourish yourself. I loved the list, and wanted to post it too. She found it via Graceful Balance.
Get adequate sleep and make it a priority to be well rested
Move your body: stretch it, tone it, and allow it to play
Eat foods that support wellness (Most of these grow in the ground)
Spend time daily being quiet
Connect with uplifting friends
Have fresh flowers in your home
Supplement your diet with the appropriate vitamins and herbs
Remember to be grateful
Stay hydrated
Play with a pet
Find reasons to laugh
Practice financial responsibility
Stay in the present moment
Read spiritual books
Get creative. Paint, sculpt, sew, build or draw
Spend time in nature
Create rituals that support, soothe or heal
Learn to breathe deeply
Continue to learn
Know what you want
I'd add bubble baths, cozy quilts and Earl Grey tea to the list.
I probably don't nourish myself as well as I should, but I think that these should be reminders, would you agree?
What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wild wild wednesday

Recently, Steve and I began to notice some noises coming from the attic at night. It isn't much of an attic, really just a crawl space. He noticed that a piece of paneling on the side of the house was loose, so he thought it might have been a squirrel that had gotten in. After a few "visits," he realized that it was probably larger than a squirrel.
Over the weekend, we went out and bought a large trap.
He set a bait with cheese and croutons (ha!) and set it up.
Yesterday morning, this greeted him when he looked-

Rocky the raccoon!

I thought he was kind of cute and suggested we keep him, but Steve thought it was best to drive him to the woods and release him back with his friends, which he did.

He suspected that there may be a second raccoon, so he set the trap up again yesterday afternoon and just now texted me to say that a second raccoon was caught in the trap! Crazy, eh? Once again, he will drive Rocky II to the woods for release.

Next step? Repair the loose paneling on the side of the house :)