Flower Quilt #1

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Well, it only took several months, but I finally finished the quilt for Bug. I was hoping to finish it prior to moving her into the big girl bed, but she really needed to get out of that crib. Thankfully, she was a champ and made the transition with a less than stellar blanket. A week later when I finished the quilt and placed it on her bed, the smile on her face made all the late nights worth it.

I brought the lovely border print around to the back of the quilt, it is such a little detail, but I love how it turned out.

The quilting pattern was a bit challenging at first (especially since I have never done it before), but after a while I was doing those loops and corners with ease. I love the flowers on the white blocks, even though they were a pain to sew and don’t show up without a closer look.

I found the pattern here, and feel in love with the Holly Holderman fabric, so it came out very similar. I have another flower quilt in the making for Peanut, but I don’t think it will get finished until after the holidays. Until then, she is happy using my old quilt.

Flower Thank You Card

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Well, it definitely feels like fall around here. How about a free printable thank you card….after all, we all have things to be thankful for, right? Feel free to print out a few to keep on hand. I find if you have some spare cards around the house, good intentions actually turn into action.

**Remember that these are for personal use only, but feel free to link up to my blog to share with others. Enjoy!**

 Click here to download: Flower Thank You Card

Honey Mustard Cordon Bleu

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As soon as the weather starts to warm up, I break out the grill and make this recipe that everyone in the family loves. It is a chicken breast stuffed with bacon and cheese, topped with mushrooms and a honey mustard sauce. It is delish! Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’ll have to bid adieu to this recipe (or until I miss it enough to use the panini pan and oven), but not before sharing it with you.

Honey Mustard Cordon Bleu

2 chicken breasts, butterflied

3 slices of bacon, cooked

1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tbl butter

1/3 c mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbl honey

2 Tbl dijon mustard

3 Tbl butter, cut in pieces

1 Tbl green onions, sliced

Preheat your grill to med-high heat. Open the butterflied chicken and sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese into the pocket, layer half of the bacon on top, then close the chicken and secure with two toothpicks. Repeat with other chicken breast. Drizzle outside of chicken with olive oil, then generously season with salt and pepper.

Place chicken on grill and cook for 6-8 minutes with the lid on, without moving the chicken (turning down heat if chicken is burning). Flip the chicken over (if using tongs, be careful not to squeeze all the cheesy goodness out), cook for another 6-8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, place 2 Tbl of butter in small saute pan over med heat. Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and cook until tender, 4-6 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, add the honey and mustard, stir until bubbly. Take pan off the heat and let sauce sit for a minute before adding remaining 3 Tbl of cut butter. Stir until the butter is incorporated (this will create a lovely creamy sauce).

Place the chicken on plates, and either top the chicken with the honey mustard sauce or place sauce in a ramekin. Sprinkle green onions on top of sauce. This recipe can easily be made for any number of people, you can even prep the chicken beforehand (butterfly and stuff) and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to grill it. The sauce can be reheated, just be sure to heat it slowly over a low heat, so you don’t break the sauce (melt the butter).

Removing Shower Doors

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I’ve been wanting to get rid of my ugly shower doors for a long time…I finally set aside a day and did it! Honestly, I was expecting it to be much worse than it really was, I finished everything in a few hours. Removing the doors and tracks were the simple part (disposing of them is another story). The time consuming part is scraping the caulk off of the tub and surround. Just grab a razor blade, put on some energizing music, and get to work!

Since I had the razor blade and the caulk out, I went ahead and re-caulked the tub so I didn’t have to do it later in the year. The biggest thing I was worried about were screw holes in tub. Thankfully, I found the three screws in the bottom track were not screwed into the tub. The other six holes on the surround I filled with caulk and was pleasantly surprised how well they blended in. After all the scraping, caulking, and a quick scrub of the tub, everything was looking good.

I picked up a $25 shower rod and dug out my old shower curtain and rings, and viola: so much better. No more getting into the tub just to clean those ugly doors!

Food Labeling

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If you’re anything like me, labeling canned and frozen food normally doesn’t get done. After several months of sitting in the freezer or cabinet, I almost never remember when I made everything…and the debate of whether to eat it or toss it begins (if I can even identify it!). Having a cute label at hand solves that problem, plus everything looks so much more cheerful with a cute little tag!  Here are some helpful labels that I’ve found:

Retro Red Freezer Labels

Retro Red Jar Labels

Colorful Dots & Stripes Freezer Labels

Colorful Dots & Stripes Jar Labels

Colorful Jar Lid Labels

Green and Pink “Eat Me” Freezer Labels

Martha Stewart Freezer Labels

Or perhaps you need some labels for your pantry? Check these out, Cathe over at Just Something I Made has designed some lovely labels. And…you can customize them to fit into your color scheme, or even create one that isn’t on the list!

Canister Labels/Decals

She also has some wonderful circle labels that would be perfect for cans here.

Vintage Canister Labels 

Spice Jar Labels

Basic Stripe Spice Jar Labels

Lime and Blue Spice Jar Labels

Spice Jar Labels

Italian Sausage Soup

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It definitely feels like fall around here, it has been raining for the last 24 hours and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. The windows have been closed, the heater turned on, and it is a perfect evening for some soup! With a bountiful supply of zucchini, I decided to make one of my favorites: Italian Sausage.

This recipe makes a LOT of soup, so unless you’re feeding an army, be prepared to freeze some. Just remember only add the pasta to the soup that will be eaten that day. Because no one wants overcooked pasta that turns to mush when you reheat it!

Italian Sausage Soup

2 lbs hot & sweet Italian sausage (1 lb of each works well for a nice bite)

2 medium onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 c dry white wine (red works as well)

10 c chicken broth

1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes in puree

4 carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 green bell peppers, finely diced

4 zucchini, finely diced

2 Tbl fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)

1 Tbl fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)

1 c uncooked orzo (any small pasta will work)

salt and pepper, to taste

Remove casing from sausage and brown in a large soup pan, breaking up into small pieces. Drain fat. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add wine, chicken broth, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes. Add orzo for last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve soup with Parmesan cheese.

**If freezing, do not add orzo. Instead, when reheating the soup, add the orzo when the soup comes to a boil and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Another option is to cook all of the orzo in a separate pot, drain the water and portion into bags and freeze. Add orzo after soup has been reheated.**

Yogurt Parfaits

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If you’re anything like me, breakfast is an afterthought (for me…the kids are a little higher up on the scale of importance). Grabbing something quick for breakfast normally means I’m eating over-processed, sugary junk. Yogurt is the perfect healthy option, of course after eating yogurt out of those little cups for a while, I’m bored. Solution? Yogurt Parfaits!!

   There isn’t any specific measurements for this, just add in the amounts you prefer. Start with some ripe fruit (berries, peaches, mangoes, bananas), slice it up and add some sugar if it isn’t sweet enough. Then layer on some granola, whatever brand you like. Next spoon some yogurt on top, I prefer a thick low-fat vanilla yogurt, but again you can use any flavor/brand. Layer your glass with the ingredients until it is full, then garnish with some lovely fruit. Yum!

   Impress some guests with this the next time someone comes to visit, make smaller parfaits for a lovely addition to brunch, or whip one up the night before for a healthy breakfast on the go (remember to place the granola on top so it doesn’t get soggy)!