Tuesday, January 18, 2011

crafty fun!

It's been a while since I've posted any of the quilty things I've made recently, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of some things I've finished!
This is a baby quilt for a high school friend who had a baby girl this summer. Yes, I should have sent it months ago, but didn't! I am awful. The fabric line is called Hushabye by Tula Pink and I just love it. I will mail it this week.
It seems that there is something in the water, because I have several friends expecting babies this year...guess I best get working on baby quilts!

I took part in the Pillow Talk Swap on flickr, where I was to make a pillow covering for someone, and someone else would make one for me. Mine was a bit late, as I was having technical difficulties with my machine, so I made her two coverings. Hope she likes them!

This is the pillow I received, along with a piece of babushka fabric and a small babushka iron-on! Love them all.

I'm also taking part in a quilting bee on flickr, which has been lots of fun. It is called the Stitch Six bee. There are twelve members and it takes place over six months. When it is your month, you pick the fabric you want to use, and decide what sort of block you want. You send the fabric to the other 11 people and they make a block for you. My month is April, so I have plenty of time to decide what I'll want, but for now, I've been making blocks for others!

This is a wonky star...the right side came out a bit wonkier than it was supposed to...in fact, I have no idea how I did that!

This is for the block owner's new baby!

I still have two more blocks for the month of January to finish, but I am in good shape at the moment! I have joined other flickr groups, and I love seeing some of the amazing things that people have made. So much talent!
The DC Modern Quilt Guild met this past weekend for a mini retreat, which was great. We met at a nearby library and sewed for six hours! It was a small group, I think there was about a dozen of us, but that is perfect, I think. The guild has a lot of exciting plans for this year, I am really looking forward to it!
Now, just to decide what fabric and designs to use for baby quilts...
Have you been crafting anything lately?

Friday, January 14, 2011

scarlet love again

Remember Monday's post? About the discount on Scarlet Thread's shop? Did you buy an apron yet? Well, I just bought two...one for me, and one, for an upcoming giveaway....

Can you guess which one I'll be giving away?
This is Olivia....

This is Kyra...

This is Lucy...

This is Aubergine...

Can you guess which one I already have? Which I may have just bought for myself, for a little birthday present? (my birthday is Jan 24, yay!)

Most importantly, did you buy an apron for yourself??? The code tea&crumpets is good for 20% off, but this week only...it's Friday, and payday for many, so hurry!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

running for Cupid

This post comes in the form of a small plea, from me to you.

WHAT IF you could help the blind to see, or help the deaf to hear, or stop cancer? Well, with even a small donation to the Cupid's Undie Run, you could make that difference. Our charitable cherubs raise funds that directly benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation (CTF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit that funds much needed research aimed at finding a cure for the devastating nerve disorder neurofibromatosis (NF).

A life with NF is a life of fear and uncertainty that no child should have to suffer through. Without effective treatments, NF leads to blindness, deafness, cancer, severe learning disabilities, chronic pain, external tumors and possible bone deformities. It affects more than 2 million worldwide, and although CTF has made great strides, there are currently no treatments for NF.

We know this event is a bit crazy. Yes, running around DC in your undies in the dead of winter seems a bit risqué, but by doing so you are helping raise funds and awareness for a crucial cause. And you know what? It's pretty darn fun, too. So take a minute to remember what it's like to be a kid, and just imagine what it would be like to know that one day you would be deaf, blind or in uncontrollable pain. These kids need your help, so spread the word and make a difference today.

We are grateful for your contributions, as are the millions that need a solution. Sincerely,
- The Charitable Cherubs

My darling boyfriend Steve has decided to participate in this run and is actively fundraising for the event. It takes place on February 12, Valentines Weekend and he will run around the U.S. Capitol in his undies. It is a short race, under two miles, I believe, but COLD in February! I will be cheering him along from the sidewalk, in my red wool peacoat, scarf and gloves! :)

I'm posting this with the hope that perhaps you'll want to make a small donation to this cause. The smallest bit will help, so skip a stop at Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/Tim Hortons tomorrow and send along the $5 instead! It will be greatly appreciated by those who really need it.

His fundraising page can be found HERE with more information.

Please feel free to post this on your own blog, and tweet if you'd like (I'm @lexilooo, if you aren't already following me!)

Thanks much!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tasty tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!
For this week's Tasty Tuesday, here is what I made Sunday night...BBQ chicken pot pie!
Since Sunday was so cold, I wanted something cozy and comforting, so I naturally thought of chicken pot pie, but I made that just a few weeks ago, so I tried to think of variations. Steve likes bbq flavor, so I thought this might be fun. I found a few recipes online and finally found an easy one. I say easy, because it literally called for bbq sauce, rather than several ingredients, most of which we didn't have! I need to go grocery shopping!
This is the result-

The recipe-

1 pkg. boneless chicken breasts (I used about a pound)
1 can (10.5 oz.) Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
1 cup Frozen Peas & Carrots
1 cup Frozen Oven Roasted Potatoes
1 pkg (15 oz.) Pie Crusts
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Thaw chicken in microwave and chop into smaller bite size pieces.

In a large mixing bowl combine chicken, mushroom soup, barbecue sauce, peas & carrots and potatoes. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Place 1 pie crust in a 9" baking dish.

Fill dish with chicken mixture.

Top with remaining pie crust.

Crimp edges around pie, and cut vent hole in center top of pie.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

This was my result, with explanations!

Apparently I didn't read the recipe well, because I totally didn't notice that it called for the oven roasted potatos until just now! Also, I didn't use the cream of mushroom soup, because we didn't have any, and if we did, I would have used cream of chicken instead, as neither Steve nor I like mushrooms! He commented that it wasn't very thick, so I told him that we didn't have the soup it called for. Also, we didn't have a bag of frozen peas & carrots, but had a bag of "mixed veggies," containing carrots, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower! Random, yes, but worked out okay in the end, ha! I added a few extra spices too, as I always do. Also, I cooked the chicken pieces over the stove first, before baking them in the pie plate. I always do that...should I not?!
We liked it, but didn't love it. I think from now on, I'll stick to regular chicken pot pie. There's nothing like it!
Oh, and I am featured on Scarlet Threads blog today!
What are you cooking this week?

Monday, January 10, 2011

scarlet love

I'm sure you're all aware of my love for Scarlet Threads, judging by the giveaways I've offered and other mentions here and there. I just love their mission-
Scarlet Threads is a compassionate boutique, specializing in fairly-traded handmade aprons. We're working to transform the lives of rural Asian women through dignified and safe employment opportunities.
We believe in the possibility of change. Scarlet Threads exists to make our core vision of "Work. Dignity. Beauty." a reality in the lives of our partner seamstresses.

They are based in Houston, TX, which is quite far from Washington, DC, but I've been getting as involved as I can from afar, by hosting these giveaways and tweeting about them (follow them too! @ScarletThreadFT). They also do a weekly feature called Tasty Tuesday, where they feature recipes. I've contributed to a few of their recipes!
Hopefully, as time goes on, there will be even more ways I can be involved with this amazing company.
Look at some of these beauties.
This is the aubergine apron. Oh, and did I mention? When new products come out, they often have naming contests. Aubergine was my suggestion for this lovely lady :)

Here is the Desiree dress, for little girls. There is another dress too, called Summer Joy. I bought one of each and sent them to Majlinda and Boikokobetso, my World Vision babies in Albania and South Africa. I got the most adorable photo ever back from Boikokobetso, of her wearing the dress I sent. I wish I could post it, but they have rules against posting photos of the children, for their protection (if you want, I can email it to you, if you really want to see it!).

They also had Christmas tree skirts this year, and the Noelle is under my tree still! Yes, we still have our tree up. I don't want to take it down, it is so pretty!!! Also? They have tiger hats for children! They are out of stock at the moment, but I think they will be getting more. There are new products coming out soon too, I think.

Here is the good news for you. The lovely ladies behind Scarlet Threads are offering a discount for you, my fair readers, that is good for just one week, this week!

Go to their shop and use the code "tea&crumpets" (without the quotes) and you will receive 20% off your entire order! Again, just this week, but you must need a new apron, right? It is your sister's birthday, right? Mothers Day is coming up! Valentines Day! Easter!

They also have a blog, where you can find their Tasty Tuesday posts. Read back through them, you may just find me!

I am quite convinced that wearing a cute apron while cooking makes your dinner tastier.

Friday, January 7, 2011

a little giveaway!

Oh hey! This is my 500th post! Crazy, eh? I have no idea what I've gone on about for 500 posts, but here it is. To celebrate, I thought I'd offer you a little giveaway! Surely you've heard of CSN stores, right? They've been all over blog world, even here on mine before too. I was just asked if I wanted to do another giveaway, and since they are so much fun, I said yes. I'm giving away a gift certificate to any of their more than 200 online stores, where you can find anything from modern dining room furnutire to kitchenware to shoes! I've bought a few things from there in recent months and have been very happy with them!
In order to enter, just leave me a comment and let me know what you'd buy if you won. Go have a look at some of their sites, there are so many. Of course, my birthday is coming up in a few weeks (January 24!), so feel free to use the gift certificate to buy my birthday present ;)
The giveaway will stay open for a week, so I will pick a winner next Friday, January 14.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

paying it forward

I've seen this floating around facebook and I really like the idea...so, I thought I'd post it here.
Pay it forward 2011.
I promise to make something handmade for the first five peoople who comment here. In turn, they must post this and make something for the first five who comment to them.
Rules? Must be handmade by you, and sent by the end of 2011.
Yes, 2011 just began, but this means that a surprise will be on its way to you, probably when you least expect it!
Fun, eh?
Who wants to play along?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

summer in a little blue box

I recently finished reading the most deliciously sweet book, Summer at Tiffany, by Marjorie Hart.
Synopsis (from the website)-
Do you remember the best summer of your life?
New York City, 1945. Marjorie Jacobson and her best friend, Marty Garrett, arrive fresh from the Kappa house at the University of Iowa hoping to find summer positions as shopgirls. Turned away from the top department stores, they miraculously find jobs as pages at Tiffany & Co., becoming the first women to ever work on the sales floor—a diamond-filled day job replete with Tiffany blue shirtwaist dresses from Bonwit Teller's—and the envy of all their friends.

Hart takes us back to the magical time when she and Marty rubbed elbows with the rich and famous; pinched pennies to eat at the Automat; experienced nightlife at La Martinique; and danced away their weekends with dashing midshipmen. Between being dazzled by Judy Garland's honeymoon visit to Tiffany, celebrating VJ Day in Times Square, and mingling with Café society, she fell in love, learned unforgettable lessons, made important decisions that would change her future, and created the remarkable memories she now shares with all of us.
I really loved this book. It was such a sweet story, and a quick read, but I loved every second of it. I began it at lunch one day at work, and then managed to finish it on the bus ride home that afternoon! Clearly, I was never in New York City in 1945, nor was I a Kappa, but I felt like I was, I felt there, and I felt like a part of the story. I love when books can do that to you, to make you feel as though you've stepped into the pages with the characters. I found myself smiling at every page, imaging the girls running through the streets of New York, wishing I was there with them.
I think most would agree that NYC is such a magical city. When I moved back from Krakow, I was living at my parents house and sending out resumes. Most went to NYC, some to Boston and very, very few to DC (how ironic, eh?). Like many others, I have a romanticized view of New York, and I wanted to be a part of it too. Really, has anyone not ever dreamed of living in the city that never sleeps?
Of course, 1945 was a much simpler time than today, in many respects. I found myself wishing for a shirtwaist dress in the famous Tiffany blue (can I find one??) and loving the idea of saving my nickels for lunches, but just having desert instead, hoping for a glimpse of celebrities. I was so charmed by Marjorie's story; the magic and delight of new discoveries and moments.
Read it, you'll love it.
What was the best summer of your life?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

tasty tuesday, dippin' style

I recently found a recipe for a dip that I thought sounded good, so I sent it to my mother and we decided to make it on Christmas Day! I can't find the link to the blog I found it on- I apologize now and will look, and then edit it when I do!

This dip was SO good, and yes, it makes a TON! We actually halved it and still had a ton, and had twelve people there eating!

We served it with blue corn chips, but of course, you can do whatever you'd like! I was thinking after that it might be a fun topping for something Mexican, like burritos or nachos!
*Feta Black Bean Dip*

Serves 30 {and that’s not a typo, it makes a TON!}

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 {15 oz} cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 {15 oz} cans of Shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 {8 oz} block feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk sugar, vinegar and oil in a large bowl.
Add the black beans, corn, scallions, cilantro, and feta and mix well.
Chill until serving time.
Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips.

(not the best photo, as it was taken with my iphone!)

The cute reindeer in the photo is pulling a sleigh :)

thought for the day

"Let this coming year be better than all the others.
Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do,
but couldn't find the time.
Call up a forgotten friend.
Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories.
Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep.
Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger.
Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'.
Say it again.
They are the sweetest words in the world."
~Ann Landers

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sharing the Joy of Sponsorship | World Vision Child Ambassadors

Please take two minutes to watch this video...I feel the same way as each of these people about my sponsorship of Majlinda and Boikokobetso!

Maybe a resolution for 2011 can be to sponsor a child? I promise, you will love it and it will change your life- for the absolute best.

hello new year!

I'm not really a fan of making resolutions, because I feel like I haven't accomplished much when I later look at a list of things of things that I haven't done. Instead, I'd prefer to have goals that I am working towards, to better myself and those around me. I don't think I am alone in this, as I've seen many other posts about goals, rather than resolutions!

I'll be frank, 2010 wasn't the best year for me. It wasn't horrible, per se, but just not that terrific either. I feel as though I was treading water much of the time, sometimes gasping for breath, and not really gaining anything in any aspect of my life. Again, nothing bad, but nothing great. Sometimes I feel a bit aimless, because I don't always know what I want from life, and that frustrates me to no end. Of course I have goals, things that I want to do, but my mind changes sometimes, sometimes too often, and I just can't always keep up with myself.

There are so many things that I want to do, but I just don't always know how to do them. I think that I need a more clear path and a way to figure out what is possible and what may just be a pipe dream. It isn't as though I am not realistic; I think I am, but I also may not give myself enough credit when I should. People have told me this for a long time. I am my own worst critic and don't take compliments well. I don't know why, but this is something that I need to work on. I can't be so hard on myself, because I really am. This has been going on since high school, and that was so long ago! I need to forget silly insecurities, but sometimes, I just don't know how to let go of them.

Also this year? Teaching. I want to decide once and for all if I want to teach. I've written about this many times before, so I won't go too into it, but teaching is something that has been in the back of my mind for so long, and it won't go away. I came close to applying for a teaching fellow program last year, but didn't. I think I may apply this year. I want to see about possibly shadowing a teacher in DC for a day, to see what it is really like. The idea of teaching terrifies me, but aren't you supposed to conquer your fears?

Also, yoga. I was going somewhat regularly last year, but stopped, for no reason other than laziness. I really enjoyed it, and loved the way I felt after, so I need to get back into it. That, and eating better. Again, I am lazy and can't be. I have a zillion cookbooks, I need to use them. Anyone in DC want a new yoga buddy? I need someone to help motivate me!

Oh, and the quilting thing! I need to get more comfortable with my machine. Again, I lack some confidence with my skills, but they aren't as bad as I think! I've loved being a member of the DC Modern Quilt Guild this year (we have a mini retreat next Saturday!), and I've learned a lot from those girls and other quilters I've met through their blogs and twitter. Steve bought me my own domain for Christmas, along with all of the things I need to set up my sewing room (tables, shelves and everything!). I want to get this all set up by the end of the month, and use the domain for a strictly quilting blog. I would like to get an etsy shop going eventually too. Goal? Two new projects a month, at first, and then eventually, one a week! Of course, they don't have (and won't be!) huge quilts, but even small things like doll quilts, pot holders, etc. All sorts of things.

One more thing! I used to be so good at sending cards. Birthday cards, anniversary cards, wedding cards, happy new baby cards, get well cards, etc. The last six months or so, I've just sucked, and not sent them. I sent my grandmother a birthday card in October, but that was it. I have stamps, lots pf pretty stationary and cards, so I need to get back at sending them. Want a love note? I'll send one, eventually :) With that in mind, I owe a few wedding gifts to people (for shame!). Since I usually travel to the wedding, I don't always bring it with me, which is bad of me, so so bad, I know. I need to get gifts for these people. I am not the kind of girl who sends cash or a check. Emily Post says I have a year, but still, I know that it is poor form on my part to send things so late.

This is where I'm at, on the third day of January. Oh, I also need to buy a new calendar for my desk, but maybe I can get that at lunch...

Where are you this week? Any big goals? Resolutions? Changes to speak of?