Thursday, July 26, 2012

Green things...

When I was thinking about the title of this post...I thought of the shirt they sell at turtle reef (SeaWorld) that says, "I was green before it was cool" with a picture of a green sea turtle...too cute. Too bad it's only in kid sizes :)

I have been wanting to post about my growing vegetables, but hadn't taken the time yet to take some pictures to show off my growing tomato, pepper (maybe) and zucchini plants! I was finally inspired by the random fact that I was going to use my roommates juicer for the first time to make a green lemonade juice. So Lisa has been on a juice fast this week and I've sampled a couple of the juices and decided I should try it...not for a whole week, but just one here and there in place of a meal or snack. Then perhaps for a couple of days and then if I really think it's worth forgoing solid foods maybe I'll try an entire week.

The green lemonade had 6 leaves of kale, 5 handfuls of spinach, a cucumber, green apple and one lemon. It only called for 1/2 a lemon, but I decided to throw in the entire thing in order to ensure it would taste like lemonade. And it does! It's actually delicious! I'm excited to have ventured into the juice world and look forward to experimenting with different recipes.

All those veggies and fruits made 1 cup of juice

pretty flower in our yard

the juicing machine!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dr. Seuss Baby Quilt

I can't believe that my nephew could be here any day now! I am so excited for Luke, Kendra and Owen to meet their newest addition. While I'm sad to be away for all of the excitement, I'm looking forward to making him a bright and fun quilt for him to snuggle up in. I just love the Dr. Seuss prints...however, their boldness overwhelms me a bit. I'm going to try and tone the quilt down a bit, by using a lighter color sashing and backing. I found the following image through a Google search for Dr. Seuss quilts and love how modern this one looks. I plan on varying the sizes of the colored blocks to give it a little more variety. Now I just have to put my quilting experience and skills to the test to draw up my own pattern...yikes! Never done that before...can't wait to see the final product and meet the little boy who will call it his! 

Quilt image from the blog: Quilt Story

Sunday, July 22, 2012

modern crosses quilt

As I was recently browsing the library database for sewing books, I came across, Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal. This book is awesome! Not only does it have great design ideas, but also includes simple and straightforward instructions and tips on quilting. I may have to purchase my own copy once my 3 weeks on loan from the library is up!

Since I am on a mission to use up my fabric scraps and living on a tight budget. I thought I would start by making the modern crosses quilt, which requires 60 2" x 35" strips of fabric. I may not have 60 different types of fabric in my stash, but I think there is enough variety to make this patchwork quilt. One of my favorite parts of the quilt is that there's a button at the center of each cross. How fun is that! My button collection isn't quite as large as my fabric stash, so I'll most likely looking for fun and quirky finds at markets and thrift stores.

I made this first block this morning...only 59 more to go! I'm hoping to finish the quilt by the end of September. We'll see how that works out. I'm not always good at meeting my own deadlines...when it comes to deadlines made by others, I get it done, but my own...well that's another story.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chocolate overload

So instead of making the lime yogurt cake last night, I opted for the vegan-friendly sorbet. I didn't know it was possible...for something to have too much chocolate, but this sorbet comes close.  Unfortunately, the ice cream maker bowl wasn't frozen enough for the sorbet to materialize after dinner, so my first "real" taste test wasn't until this morning. WOW! it is Intense! I decided I should have a bowl tonight to confirm my initial thoughts that it needs to be toned down the next time I make it....considering it had 3 1/2 chocolate bars in it + cocoa + sugar. If you ever need a serious chocolate fix this should be your go to treat!

Chocolate Sorbet from Smitten Kitchen

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sometimes things don't go according to plan. I was really looking forward to entertaining some friends with dinner last night, but my party of 4 dwindled down to 2. The evening was still fun just the two of us, but it lacked the energy and loudness of a larger group. I think one of my favorite parts of hosting a dinner is setting the table...arranging the flowers, candles, plates and glasses...picking out a tablecloth...finding the perfect refreshments...all to create the perfect atmosphere for good conversation and lots of laughter.

However, the disappointment was soon overcome. I quickly gained the right perspective and happens and sometimes it is out of our control. I still made everything (minus the seitan as the vegans weren't with us): rice with a chicken green curry and a kale avocado salad. I tried making chocolate sorbet for dessert, but I don't think the base had enough time to freeze...we'll see what it's like in the morning :) From the taste of the liquid chocolate it is definitely worth keeping regardless of its state!

And to cheer me up this afternoon I bought some orange and purple dahlias...and of course Bailey is always the sweetest; giving snuggles and kisses!

The Vegan Stoner

While I haven't been sticking to my vegan diet very strictly these past couple of months, I'm always looking for ways to keep animal products out of my diet and incorporate more fruits, veggies and legumes. Another vegan friend told me about the blog, the Vegan Stoner, and they do a fabulous job of describing simple and cheap recipes. Even if you're not vegan, you"ll definitely want to check out this blog!

I'm having some friends over to dinner tonight, two of which are vegan. I'm excited to experiment with some new recipes. In fact, Smitten Kitchen has a lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce that I might try to veganize, or I may break out my ice cream maker that I found at goodwill last year and have probably only used 3 times! A sorbet sounds perfect for a summer night.

lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce
Smitten Kitchen's lime yogurt cake

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Elle's Quilt!

My first chevron quilt is complete! I made my own bias tape this morning and finished binding the quilt. It definitely features my favorite color combo: blue and orange. Since I've dedicated the past few days to the quilt it's time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! That is after I send off the quilt in the mail to make it in time for Rachel's baby shower! Here is my original post on the project with a link to the tutorial I used.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

cali sunset

" much more will your Father who is in heaven give 
what is good to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11b

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chevron Quilt Update

I finished the quilt top this morning before work! I'm happy with how it turned out and can't wait to finish it up over the next couple of days! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chevron Quilt

I realize that chevron prints are rather trendy right now...but I LOVE it and have been wanting to make a quilt with the pattern for quite some time. Since I decided to use up all my leftover fabric scraps before buying new fabric, I thought this would be a good way to slim down the stack. One of my most dearest friends is due with a baby girl in the end of August and I won't be there to snuggle her, so the blanket will have to take my place. 

The quilt is going to consist of an orange/blue color scheme with some of my FAVORITE mermaid print as well! My goal is to have it finished in the next couple of days...check back for a pic of the finished product!

And if you want to make your is a link to my inspiration from the Purl Bee's Zig Zag Quilt

Time to head off to church! Happy Sunday!


via Jones Design Co

Check out the creative art prints at Jones Design Company. Today is the last day of the 50% off sale on all prints! The above is one of my favorites, but they also have great prints with letters/names to decorate a kid's room or nursery.

Friday, July 13, 2012


This was extremely encouraging this morning as I continue to seek God and his character and vision...desiring to humble myself before Him, living to bring Him glory alone.

The Price of the Vision - from My Utmost for His Highest (Oswald Chambers)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord . . . —Isaiah 6:1

Our soul’s personal history with God is often an account of the death of our heroes. Over and over again God has to remove our friends to put Himself in their place, and that is when we falter, fail, and become discouraged. Let me think about this personally— when the person died who represented for me all that God was, did I give up on everything in life? Did I become ill or disheartened? Or did I do as Isaiah did and see the Lord?

My vision of God is dependent upon the condition of my character. My character determines whether or not truth can even be revealed to me. Before I can say, “I saw the Lord,” there must be something in my character that conforms to the likeness of God. Until I am born again and really begin to see the kingdom of God, I only see from the perspective of my own biases. What I need is God’s surgical procedure— His use of external circumstances to bring about internal purification.

Your priorities must be God first, God second, and God third, until your life is continually face to face with God and no one else is taken into account whatsoever. Your prayer will then be, “In all the world there is no one but You, dear God; there is no one but You.”

Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Acts 12

Last night at community group, we discussed Acts 12-13:3. Herod has just killed James, Peter is imprisoned and the Church has gathered to fervently pray. This seems to be a major setback in the growth of the Church. However, an angel appears to Peter and guides him out of prison. At first the church is in disbelief as a young girl tells them that Peter is at the gate, that he is free. Then they see and hear for themselves that God has rescued him. This miraculous wonder was another means for God to reveal his glory, character and continue to spread the gospel. There is so much to take away from the passage, but we focused on a just a few truths.

  1. God's plan continues to unfold despite "setbacks" - This stood out to me the most. Setbacks can be personal...perhaps an attitude or habit that is keeping you from living in obedience to Christ or career have a vision for the work God is calling you to, yet you seem to be a long way off from living reaching that destination. Regardless of the circumstance, God can use each setback for His glory. He may be shaping you or a community for what he has in store; preparing to use us in his grand plan to share his gospel message with the nations.
  2. We are called to fervently pray in community - When do we find ourselves in fervent prayer? Typically, its when we've exhausted all of our resources and find ourselves in desperation; when we need rescuing. But is that the only time we should be in fervent prayer? Perhaps we need to spend time allowing the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts and bring us into fellowship with God more frequently; purifying our hearts and allowing God to rescue us from ourselves and situations on a daily basis.
  3. God is one who rescues - Looking back over the history of mankind and his relationship with God, it is apparent that God rescues. Whether the Israelites, Moses, the Woman at the well; all of them and really every person that has ever lived needs rescuing from sin and death by the saving grace of Christ, but then we continually need to be rescued as we walk through valleys of sin in our personal lives, encounter hurt and pain from others and sometimes take a detour away from the plan that God has intended for our lives
  4. Finally, I was struck by the humility of Peter and the Church. When Peter is freed from prison it isn't a big show with lights and thunder, rather the Angel quietly leads him out. He doesn't join in a big celebration with the Church when he returns to tell them the news, rather he moves on to the next place God has called him. And after the miraculous rescue of Peter, the Church goes back into worshiping, praying and fasting in order to hear from God and be guided in their next steps. In contrast, when Herod appears to a crowd and they call out to him as a god because of his sparkling physical appearance and status. He tries to steal God's glory and take it for his own, by not denying that he is not worthy of their praise. And God being a rightfully jealous God, strikes him down with severe stomach pains and he dies being eaten by worms. 

God is at work. A story of redemption has been unfolding since the beginning of time. He is using ordinary people to accomplish his purposes. Setbacks do not stop God from doing his work. He will continue to reveal his glory, draw people to him, and rescue us until His work is complete. What great encouragement, to pray and connect with God; to catch a glimpse of what he is doing and his vision for how he wants us to be a part of it even on a daily basis. Fervent prayer and fellowship with God will help lead us into humility; to the place where we are broken and realize that it is not on our power or might that God's plan unfolds, but solely on His and with the purpose to reveal His glory and nature to save the world.  

Pure Heart

Encouragement for a pure heart:

"An intellectual conception of God may be found in a bad vicious character. The knowledge and vision of God is dependent entirely on a pure heart. Character determines the revelation of God to the individual. The pure in heart see God." Biblical Ethics, 125 R (Oswald Chambers)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Owen's Tent

A visit to the library this spring ended with bringing 3 different sewing books home. I figured why spend $20 on a tutorial book when typically I make 1item from it before it collects dust on the shelf. One of the books featured this tent on its cover and I immediately thought of my nephew and how much he loves forts and hiding behind couches and cushions. So I thought it would be a good gift for his 2nd birthday (which was in May). I had all of the fabric cut out before his birthday, but with the busyness of school and work the project was lost in the shuffle...until yesterday. A burst of energy and motivation came over me and I was able to complete it in less than 24 hours! woohoo! It feels good to have it off in the mail. I hope that it brings so much joy to Owen and more kids to come :)

I made a new resolution, now that my thrifting challenge is over...I cannot buy new fabric until I use up what I have on projects and scrap quilts. Now there are a lot of new babies just around the corner, so hopefully I'll have plenty of projects for those smaller pieces of fabric cluttering my closet. Hopefully, summer will also grant the extra needed time to get them done. I'll be sure to post pics of my work...still looking for that breakthrough craft that I can sell on etsy and become a millionare...or even earn just a few hundred dollars here and there :)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Red, White and Blue

I love the fourth of July! A celebration with family and friends to kick off the summer and celebrate our great country with BBQ, patriotic desserts, fireworks and this year...the OB marshmallow fight! I'll admit it was a little depressing being away from family...Skyping with Owen, Kendra and my Mom made the start of the day more cheerful. Owen showed me the cupcakes he baked with Grandma...he had to eat one right in front of me! But I wish I could have been there for the BBQ and fireworks!

So, instead making memories of my own:

  • Made brunch for my roommies...blueberry pancakes, eggs and white chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Painted my fingernails blue!
  • Decorated my bike with streamers to ride around OB
  • Enjoyed street tacos down by the pier
  • Ooohed and Aaahed at the OB fireworks was extra special for the 125th Anniversary
  • And finally, experienced my first ever OB marshmallow was out of control, but totally fun!

All in all, it was a good day, despite the Washington weather here in Cali...I'm so thankful that I live in a country that stands for freedom!


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