Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Stitching and Cooking

I have not gotten a lot of stitching done since my last post. We had a spurt of warm weather which sent many of the trees around here into thinking it was Spring and they began to bud! That's all it took for my allergies to kick up - BAD! Spring is my worst allergy season anyway.
I have decided on my next infusion project. It will be Sarah Steel 1772 by Tree of Life Samplings! I am really excited about this piece and it will be a wonderful project to take along with me to my infusions. The ladies that work there always like to look at what I am working on and I just love all the compliments my stitching gets.  (picture by Tree of Life Sampling)

I had planned to control myself with the Nashville Market goodies coming out. I couldn't resist a peek at the wonderful designs that were being offered. So far, so good. Or so I thought! I know of a handful that I will be ordering! Oh well. Why fight it? Right? LOL.
BIG NEWS! Section 7 of AAFG is FINISHED! That means that the top of this BAP is completed and it only took me way too many years to get it done! I just have to focus and make sure the bottom half doesn't take that long! (sorry the picture came out sideways)

One night last week, I decided to make some sweet potato wedges as a dinner side for my husband since he LOVES those sweet potatoes! It was a new recipe and since I don't eat sweet potatoes, I only had my family's reaction to go on. They were a HIT. The boys loved them and my husband asked me to fix them more often and to fix more when I did have them. I got the recipe over at bakerbynature.com and  I thought I would share the recipe with you.
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled (or unpeeled, if you like skin) and cut into wedges
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil (shiny side up); place baking rack onto prepared baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes (if preferred) and cut off the pointy ends. Slice the sweet potatoes in half (lengthwise), then cut each piece into wedges.
  3. Place the sweet potato wedges in a large bowl, then add in the olive oil, salt, sugar, seasoning, and black pepper. Mix well, making sure each wedge is coated with oil and spices.
  4. Arrange the sweet potato wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn on the broiler and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until they're well browned and crispy. Keep an eye here - it's easy to burn when the broiler is on!
  5. Cool wedges on pan for 5 minutes, then serve at once! (I put some parsley flakes and grated parmesan on them for extra flavor). Picture by Baker by Nature.com

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Monday, February 15, 2016


Look what I found while rummaging through my closet! A whole stack of newly framed, still in the brown wrapper cross stitch pieces! Obviously these were framed in the Spring of 2013. Right before I went into the hospital, had my nightmare diagnosis and it seemed like my whole life went into a tail spin. I must have set them in the closet to come back to them and then I forgot!! I would think about them once in a while and wonder where they were or even worse, I would wonder if I had dreamed stitching them at all!!!
Sarah Schall by Heartstring Samplery. Look at the detail on that frame!!

Needleworker by Little House Needleworks. I love how the white thread in the bird's mouth trails through the piece!

 Primitive Adam and Eve by Country Rustic Primitives. Love this piece!

And last but not least, The Stars were Brightly Shining by Heartstring Samplery. This is my second piece with a verse from my very favorite Christmas carol, O Holy Night. I love the frame on this piece also!

Thanks for stopping by to see me! Until next time, may you have simple days and uncluttered heart!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beef A Roni Recipe - DELICIOUS!

It's that time of year again! Time to update my recipes and look for some new ones to take the boredom out of dinner time. I had some luck over at Pinterest and found a good many that I would like to try. Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my grocery budget! Now to make my next menu and slip several of these new meals in there!
I have a confession to make. I LOVE FOOD. I don't mean that I sit down and just stuff my face though. I really enjoy food. The taste. The aroma. The entire process. Whether it is made at home, take out or going to a restaurant for a meal. I love to try new foods, savor the classics and melt away with the comfort foods. And the less fuss, the better. By fuss, I mean an over abundance of bells and whistles. It can be simple (few ingredients), easy to make and still taste wonderful! To coin an old phrase, sometimes less is more!

Several of the BIG food topics floating around now are eating healthy (or eating clean), budget recipes and gluten free. Because of my health issues I have to follow certain guidelines with the foods I cook and eat but I will admit that sometimes I cheat because I just HAVE to eat some cheesecake or get a take out burger!
I would like to share some of these recipes here so that you can enjoy them too! One of the first recipes I want to share is something I found on Gal on a Mission. I have always loved Beef a Roni but as long as I can remember, we always bought it in the can. Easy, yes but I wanted to fix it and know exactly what was going into it! 

I was very pleased how easy it was and delicious it turned out to be. I served it with roasted potatoes (recipe later) and a tossed salad. Plus there was enough left over for a week's worth of lunches and/or snacks. So if you like left overs, this is your dish!  

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • ½ tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 pound of macaroni noodles
  1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and add in the all of the spices. Make sure the ground beef is fully cooked.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Simmer on low for about 10-12 minutes or until the noodles have finished cooking.
  4. Stir in the noodles.
  5. Serve with Parmesan cheese (optional)

The recipe calls for tomato sauce which is another sore spot in my cooking lately. I wanted a tomato sauce without all the extras. Something simple and once again, something that I know exactly what is in it! We will discuss homemade tomato sauce later in another post.

Monday, February 08, 2016

More Trees And a Few Birds!

Well, here it is another new month. Another new week. Another new blog post. And I still have my trusty coffee with me through it all! I am feeling pretty good about myself and the fact that I have been keeping up with my blogging after that long lull. I realize just how much I enjoy it.

I have had trouble with my email and have been getting a lot of notices that people are sending me emails that cannot be delivered. So I sent each person an email explaining the problem. THEN I find out that Blogger or Google is trying to send me a copy of the comments I leave on other blogs and THAT is the email that cannot be delivered! Pssst. So to those of you who got a strange email from me, I wish I had found this out sooner. To Blogger and/or Google, cut it out!

I was able to get some stitching done on AAFG. I was a little more careful this time and stopped working on it when the hand cramps started instead of pushing myself onward and making them worse.  

I got some stitching time in on And Heaven and Nature Sing. I am enjoying stitching this design!

 A surprise to myself, I pulled out Backyard Birds by La D Da and got some more done on it also! A wonderful Springtime piece.

We had some lovely weather last weekend and the first part of the week. There are buds on the trees and the birds were singing like it was Spring! I loved it. The feeders were empty from the birds gathering for food during the snow storm we had a couple of weeks ago. Before I could get myself up and out the door to fill them all up again, my husband comes in and tells me that he has already done it for me! It's those little things..........  

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Before I begin my weekly post, I want to let you know that I have listed my charts for sale over at my sale blog. Please read the directions carefully and if you have any questions, you can email me with them.
I was able to get a little more stitching time in on AAFG. I have been working on this piece on weekends when I have time and on Wednesdays. I remember now why it has taken me this long to get this far on AAFG. Hand Cramps. Usually I can shake out a hand cramp and continue stitching but on this piece, I get some really whoppers that don't want to go away.

I have a new start. And Heaven and Nature Sing by Kathy Barrick. I did not get any Christmas pieces stitched last year. This is such a beautiful design and I am looking forward to working on it.  

After much thought I finally decided that I am going to take on another series of designs! I want to do A Most Suitable Name series by Jeanette Douglas! I just love these little ladies and it should be no problem to do one or two each month!

We are finally getting over that last cold blast that came with a generous helping of snow and ice! It is still cold in the mornings but by mid day it warms up. I am just hoping that we don't see anymore snow or ice this season. Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy but one time a year is my limit now. I am already making my list of things to do and get for nesting season! Seeds, feeders, specialty foods and maybe a new woodpecker house that I have been wanting!

Thanks so stopping by and until next time, may you simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Days are for Stitching

Is it Monday again already? Time certainly does fly!  We have had some extra cold weather lately considering the mild temperatures we were having.  We even had a little bit of snow around the mid part of last week. Nothing to get panicky about. There was no accumulation but it was pretty coming down. Then we got hit hard by a bigger storm several days later! A lot of ice and snow! Very pretty if you could stay indoors and watch it but a real mess to get out in! In anticipation of the storm, I filled up my bird feeders the day before.  

While we were stuck in the house because of the storm (did I mention that I was not going to try to go out in that mess?) I got a little bit done on AAFG. I am almost finished with the last part of the top section then I will move on to the bottom half. Half way finished on this monster! I can honestly say that I will think MORE than twice before taking on another BAP again! lol.

Speaking of AAFG. This was one of the charts that had mysteriously disappeared and I had searched for it everywhere I could think of. I finally reordered it. The day before the new chart arrived, I found the original one in my closet!!!! If I had not re-ordered it though I would probably still be looking for the original! 

 I joined the Joyful World SAL at The Snowflower Diaries blog (link in my sidebar). I had seen this little fox and blackbird floating around the internet on various blogs  that I follow. I thought he was adorable but I kept telling myself that I had enough to work on. And I do. But I finally caved. I have the fabric, some of the threads and I still need to print out the chart. If and when I decide to pick it up, I can. It might be nice to have a smaller project to work on so I can see a finish more often while working on these larger ones.

 This will probably be the last picture of the Our Father by My Big Toe that I post until after I have it framed this Spring! I finished it up this past week! It is not finished in this picture but close enough. I really did not want to work on other projects until I got this one finished up and set aside! Now I can start working on some of these others!

I am working on gathering some of my charts that I am either finished with or know I will never get around to stitching. I will be putting them on my Sale and Trade blog soon. I will let you know when they are up and ready!

Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart!

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Favorite Things

Even though it is still Winter, the Bluebirds are already shopping for a suitable place to raise a family! I always keep my fingers crossed that at least one couple will choose one of the birdhouses in our yard!  

I decided that it was time to pull some of those WIPs  out and work on them some even if each one only gets several hours a month. I do this every year then I get tired of working on them but this year I am going to do my very best to stay strong! I really don't like to use the term WIP. I prefer to refer to them as "in my hoop". Some of these have sat around so long because the charts mysteriously disappeared! I got tired of looking for them and just reordered the ones that were still available!  Among the ones I pulled out was And A Forest Grew by Rosewood Manor. This is my oldest WIP. There a few others that I will share as I work on them.

I was able to get some more stitched on the Our Father by My Big Toe. I am pleased with my progress on it and how it is turning out. The Our Father and the Apostle's Creed are basically the same design so I wanted to make them look alike by using similar colors but I also wanted each to be different in it's way so I used different fabrics. Who knows, I may finish this one up before my next round of infusions!  

I noticed that I have some new followers! Fun! I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy posting on it. Until next time, may you have simple days and an uncluttered heart.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's Stitching Time!

I finally have some stitching news to report!  

I was able to finish up The Apostle's Creed by My Big Toe which was an infusion project that I did during my Vasculitis treatments.  

I started on The Our Father by My Big Toe as my current infusion project. I am working on Our Father more often because I don't want it to take 1.5 years to finish like the first infusion project. I am so sorry for all the wrinkles. I did not lay them out very well.

On both of these I changed the colors around. The colors the designs called for were beautiful but I just needed some ZING! Also, I have not used all of the bottom borders because of fabric space and because of the excitement to finish them!
I have already picked out my next infusion project and have it kitted and ready to go!
I am trying to continue stitching from my stash as much as possible. I bought these because I fell in love with them and letting them sit in boxes unstitched just doesn't do them justice! I buy a few here and there but not as often.
My doctor and I decided to re-adjust the time frame on my treatments and since then I am finally feeling more like myself again after battling all of my health issues over the past several years.  I am looking forward to Spring and catching up on some gardening, tending to my roses, growing some tomatoes and herbs, watching my nesting birds, stitching and just "gently" enjoying life again.

Thank you all for not giving up on me and patiently waiting for my return. I love my blog and I love my followers! You guys are the best. Until next time, may you have simple days and uncluttered heart.