Friday, September 28, 2012

Hey There...

 Happy Friday!!!  Has fall felt super busy to anybody else???  Yikes.  I thought summer felt busy...but, there's nothing quite like fall.  It's been good, but busy.  I hadn't cleaned my house in 4 weeks.  Yes, that's right.  FOUR.  Not good.  Last night as I lay in bed, I wrote a little list for today...I wanted to get a crazy amount of stuff done.  There was nothing on the calendar.  Yes!  I wanted to:
Pay Bills and Balance the Checkbook
Clean the House
Do all the Laundry
School the Kids
Email a friend about running on Saturday
Pack up my scrapbook stuff for Saturday afternoon
Sort my Pile
Organize my recipes
 The first 5 items on my list are done.  I also have some of my Almond Zucchini Bread baking up in the oven for a little afternoon snack.  Laundry is still being worked on, but it's getting there.  Sweetie went fishing tonight with a buddy, so I should get in some good sewing time!  The girls have a friend over and MJ is off to a friends house tonight at 6:30.  Ordering pizza tonight for sure.  I've been cooking a lot lately and could use a night off.
 I've been managing to get some sewing in on Wednesday's because it's one of the two days a week that we aren't running to sports.  Hopefully I can post some of my finished projects next week!
 A bowl of garden fresh tomatoes.
 Lucy and I made the best blueberry muffins this week.  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  They are posted on my "Breakfast at Tiffany's" board.  I'll probably share the recipe here at some point.  But, I would like to change a few things first and would like to make them a few more times.
One of our dinners this week.  I made a homemade whole wheat cheese pizza and topped it with sauteed peppers and onions (one of my favorite combinations).  A spinach salad with craisins and sunflower seeds and a side of avocado that works as well with the pizza as it does with the salad.

OK...time to go and flip the laundry, pull the zucchini bread out of the oven, and pack up my scrapbook stuff for tomorrow.  Then, I'll order the pizza and get some sewing done.  I'm working on a new little handbag that is SO cute!  Hoping to finish a few up tonight. 

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

XOXO Tiffany

"Real religion is the best and the truest thing in the world, and the only thing that can make a man really happy, or make the world better".  Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Monday, September 17, 2012

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

 I made this salad a TON this summer.  I usually served it as a side dish, but then ate the leftovers as my lunch.  Yummy.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup corn
1 can black beans
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin

Rinse quinoa.  Place broth and quinoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Then, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the broth is absorbed.  Cool.  Mix quinoa with next 6 ingredients.  Whisk lime juice, oil, and cumin in a small bowl.  Drizzle over salad and toss.
I woke up feeling awesome at 4am this morning.  I thought, I have got to get my act together.  My mornings, lately, have not been going as well as I would like.  Plus, I've been sewing a lot, which means my house is not getting cleaned.  This morning, I went back to my routine of getting in my chai/bible time, and also my work-out, before I check the computer.  Lately, I have been enjoying my chai while I check my computer...and you know how that goes, one thing leads to another and all of the sudden, the kids are up and I haven't read my bible or worked out!  I'm really feeling ready to get some things done this week.  Plus, I leave on Friday at 1:15pm for a women's retreat!  I need to be organized!

Have a great Monday.

XOXO Tiffany

"We horses must take things as they come, and always be contented and willing so long as we are kindly used".  Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

**Disclaimer...I just realized that I had already posted this recipe on July 9th, 2012.  I must really love this recipe!  Whoops...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sewing like crazy

 14 years ago today, I married the man of my dreams.  While at the time, I had no idea that marriage was sometimes spelled H-A-R-D, still, I wouldn't want to work on this with anybody else!  I still giggle at our marriage counselors when we did the "Before you say I do" class...they met with each couple after the results from the compatibility test came back.  They seemed a bit nervous, but they plowed ahead and told us, "It appears that you guys are going to experience some friction in your relationship".  Heehee...we kind of did an awkward giggle type 23 and 24 year olds will do when told something that they just don't agree with.  Well, my Sweetie took charge and told these crazy people that "I'm going to court Tiffy till the day I die!".  Whew...that sounded wonderful.  Full steam ahead.  Turns out, those counselors were on to something.  Well, I guess we can't use the excuse, "we had no idea!".  We have had some of the most wonderful days you could imagine and also some tough ones.  We are still dealing with the same issues that we were dealing with 14 years ago...but you know what...I think we're dealing with them better and better.  Sure, it can get frustrating to go over the same old issue time and time again...and sure, we are as different as night and day...but, when those differences get really annoying, I like to tell Sweetie, with a big smile on my face "Opposites attract".  He just loves when I do that.  Differences in a relationship require change/compromise, and change allows growth.  We feel like we're ready to be done growing.  But, I'm not sure, I think God has big plans for us!  And, I repeat, I wouldn't want to work on a relationship with anybody else!!!  He's really quite the outstanding guy...remember this post???
Sweetie had to travel yesterday, flew to and from Kansas City so that he could be home for today...swoon.  The kids and I finished school by 12pm...yippeee!  I quickly dug out some sewing projects that I have been longing to get to.
 Every once in a while, I just need an afternoon chai...this was one of those days.
 After lots of slicing and dicing, I finished one new skirt, and have 5 others cut out and ready to be sewn! 
 The next couple of days are going to be crazy busy, but this weekend isn't looking too bad, so I'm hoping to find some sewing time then...
Sweetie and I have a little date night planned...looking forward to getting out and spending time with the man of my dreams.

XOXO Tiffany

"...God isn't interested in making our lives comfortable.  He wants to make our lives count.  He wants us to live significant lives".  Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blueberry Granola Pancakes

 A couple of months ago, Sweetie headed down to Kansas City with some buddies to watch a Minnesota Twins baseball game.  Don't they play right here in our own city???, I asked.  Of course they do, but it's fun to see them play in different stadiums.  Hmmm.  OK.  Well, he came home raving about some Blueberry Granola Pancakes that he devoured at a place called Le Peep.  I got to work...and this is what I came up with!
Blueberry Granola Pancakes

1 1/3 cups granola
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey
1 cup blueberries

Mix the first eight ingredients in a bowl.  Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix just untill moistened.  Batter will be lumpy.  Fold in blueberries.  Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a preheated, greased griddle.  Let cook for about a minute or two.  Then, flip and cook another minute more.  Makes about 15 pancakes.  Serve with syrup.

Mmmmmm...give these a try!  Btw...I've used both sour cream and yogurt (at different times) with this pancake...equally delicious!

XOXO Tiffany

""Can't hurt a horse by looking at him".  Smith probably did think you could hurt Seabiscuit by looking at him.  Which is why he made sure that the horse they were all gawking at was Grog."  Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Honey Chicken Kabobs

 We did lots and lots of entertaining in the month of August.  I made this meal twice, wow does that take the pressure off when you already know your menu!  I had really been wanting to do kabobs...chicken and veggie kabobs over a bed of cilantro lime quinoa.  Yes please.  So, I tweaked a recipe and this is what I came up with...
 Honey Chicken Kabobs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 tsp pepper

Whisk the marinade together and pour over your:
cubed chicken

Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  The next day, soak your wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes and thread your ingredients onto them in any old way you like.  I started saying "pepper, onion, chicken, pineapple" in my sleep.  I like order, but you could sure mix it up.

For a big party, (we had 32 people over...though only 12 were adults) I did 4 packages of fresh chicken tenders, 1 whole fresh pineapple, 1 bag of mini peppers, and 2 sweet onions.  Everything but the onions were from Costco.  (oh, and I tripled the marinade!)  We did hotdogs for the kids.  I didn't get an "after" picture of the kabobs in all their char-grilled gorgeousness laying beautifully on a bed of quinoa...both times I made this we were entertaining, and I would feel like a shmuck..."excuse me everybody, could I just take a picture of this beautiful meal that I just prepared for you all".  So, you only get to see it in raw form at this time.  But, I will be making these again and again!
Happy First Week of School!!!  I have a 3rd grader, a 5th grader, and a 6th grader this year.  It was one of my favorite starts to a schoolyear.  I think it's going to be a good one!

XOXO Tiffany

"Peacemakers...are determined to have true inner peace and will therefore live from the truth and deal openly and honestly with conflict".  Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A patchwork skirt...

I've been working on patchwork skirts for some time now.  I made this one last week and kind of really loved it.  The colors especially.  Still thinking of tweaking the pattern...  A good friend fell in love with this little thing, which means that I get to make more.  Hoping to find the time.  Right now I'm just getting into the homeschool groove.  Plus, book club is on Sunday and I need to finish that book!  (Seabiscuit)

Tomorrow the kids and I are headed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see the Rembrandt exhibit.  Can't wait!  But, right now, I'm off to the library to grab some Rembrandt books...

XOXO Tiffany

"If we allow ourselves to get too busy or distracted with life to the point that we forget about God, we will be easy targets for the devil."  Growing Grateful Kids by Susie Larson

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's official...

 Spent the day at the Minnesota State Fair.  My kids absolutely LOVE this place.  I could probably take it or leave it (leave it for sure), but I love that they totally look forward to going every year on Labor Day.  We have all our favorites and just eat our way through the day...
cinnamon rolls
cheese curds
cotton candy
italian shaved ice
onion rings
mocha raspberry frappe
chicken gyro
corn dog
soft pretzel
root beer
lots of water
salt water taffy
pickle on a stick
Some other traditions...
the giant yellow slide
black and white photo booth
dnr fish pond
the river ride

My parents took the kids to the Midway (for the first time) while Matt and I had a little date.  Lots of fun seeing my Auntie Nancy and family there as well as running into some of our neighbors.

This is the fourth year in a row that we have gone to the State Fair on Labor Day.  For me, it's starts tomorrow and fall is here!!!  This is my absolute favorite time of the year.

XOXO Tiffany

"Minneapolis was small, somnolent, and full of Swedish and Norwegian farmers as charming as cornstalks".  Devil in the White City by Erik Larson