Monday, January 25, 2010

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

It was a happy day last week when I finally found the recipe for the Olive Garden's salad dressing.  I combined a few recipes and tweaked them and have come up with what we consider the closest possible version without going to the actual restaurant. 

To make make my discovery even more heavenly, the next morning I found breadsticks at Sam's that are almost identical to Olive Garden's.  Yeah baby!  Now I realize that Olive Garden is not exactly the most authentic Italian food out there, and I lovingly think of it as "generic Italian".  However, it is some pretty delicious food! 

Coming soon..... the copycat recipe of their Stuffed Mushrooms.  Go ahead and wipe the drool off your face.  I did. 

Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing
~ Serves about 6 ~


  1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  1/3 cup water
  1/3 cup vegetable oil
  1/4 cup corn syrup
  2 1/2 tablespoons shredded romano cheese 
  2 tablespoons dry pectin
  2 tablespoons Egg Beaters egg substitute
  1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1 teaspoon minced garlic
  1 teaspoon italian seasoning blend (I use the one from Whole Foods) 
  1 pinch dried oregano
  1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes


Put all ingredients into a mason jar and shake like crazy for about at least one minute.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.  Shake again right before using, to distribute the cheese again.

Tip for Serving
When you get ready to serve, the best thing to do is pour your dressing in the bottom of your salad bowl, then add in your salad ingredients.  You can then put the whole bowl into the fridge until serving time.  When you're ready to eat, use your salad tongs to turn the salad mix a few times and coat in dressing.  Voila!  Restaurant Salad on the cheap!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Nesting Quilt: Part 4

I know everyone is probably tired of seeing posts about this unfinished quilt.  It's almost done!  I promise!  I'm guessing I can get 2 more posts out of it before everyone starts boycotting my little blog.  :)  My goal is to get this little beauty done by January 31st so I can start my mom's quilt in February. 

Becky, Mr. Mudpie and myself headed over to our local library on Friday to lay out the quilt and have a good old fashioned Basting Party.  Mr. Mudpie of couse didn't help, but he did actually sit with us and I'm pretty sure I saw him watching the process a few times.  It makes me happy that he is taking an interest in this project.  

Basting took about an hour... 15 minutes of which was spent standing still and gossiping with a safety pin in our hands, until we remembered we were supposed to be pinning.  :)  That's how Becky and I work.  The only thing missing was our usual food and drinks.  Too bad the library doesn't allow that! 

We had planned on using one of the meeting rooms, but the librarian said to go ahead and push some tables together in the sitting area.  It was fun watching people walk by and peek at us.  We got a few odd looks and one older lady who kept looking and smiling our way. 

While I'm thinking about it, here are a few tips on Basting:
  • Use LOTS of safety pins.  If you think you're done, go back and add a dozen more.  The more pins, the less puckers in your finished projects. 
  • Tape the backing fabric to the tables (or floor) to keep it from shifting. 
  • Have a friend help.  Another set of eyes is great, but the giggling and gossiping is better!

So here it is, in all of it's basted glory.  The quilting will commence tonight.  I know I was going to wait until after the class, but I really do want to start using it.  Plus, I really do think that grid quilting will look quite nice on this quilt. 

Next installment will be on the actual quilting process, and then hopefully a post this week of the quilt completed and in it's new home.  I can't wait! 

Potato Head Me

TJ's version of "Mommy".   Hmmm.... I know I look rough in the mornings, but really? Thanks son.  I love you too. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Burp Cloths, Bibs and Binkies... oh my!

Ok, so maybe just burp cloths!  Our family friend Chip, aka "Uncle Trip" is expecting a baby this spring.   They are having a boy, so I thought a little something to honor dad would be nice.  Chip is a non-active U.S. Marine.  Mr. Mudpie and I found some Marine Corps fabric tonight and thought it would make some great manly burp cloths for those father and son outings.

Let me tell you ladies.... having the hubs pick out fabric with me was quite a nice suprise!  It may have lasted all of 5 minutes, and we may have had 2 sugared up kids with us, but it was one of those moments that made me very happy.  What can I say.... the way to my heart is through a bolt of fabric. 

I think I may make some bibs with the rest of the Marine Corp fabric. They'll be backed with terry cloth, so they can be used to wipe down the baby at the end of the meal. Those were always my favorite bibs with my kids!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More progress on The Nesting Quilt

I stayed up tonight and sewed the back for The Nesting Quilt.  I actually love the back more than the front at this point!  It makes the quilt dual-sided, which makes me very happy.  :) 

The blocks are each 6" square and have a 3" border on all sides.  The rest of the back is a solid chocolate brown.

Well, it's 1 am here and TJ will be up in about 5 hours.  Time for bed! 

Night, everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Freezer Cooking 101

A friend asked today for advice on prepping food for the freezer to make getting a meal on the table faster.  This is something I have a ton of practice doing!  Since I already typed all of this out once tonight, I am going to do a little friendly copy/paste of the email for you.  Please excuse the lack of pictures and general cuteness of this post.  We're going for informational tonight!  
Just a little note: 
I'm assuming most of you know what "flash freezing" is, but in case you don't..... it's when you put a layer of food on a cookie sheet or something and put in the freezer until frozen. After it's semi-frozen, you bag it up into freezer bags. It's so you can reach into the bag and grab however much you need, instead of dealing with a big hunk of frozen food. Think frozen veggies in the bags at the store.... those are flash frozen.



  • Rice freezes beautifully! just sprinkle a little water over it before reheating in the microwave.
  • Brown Rice --- I freeze in individual servings in snack size baggies, then put all of the little baggies into one gallon sized freezer one. That way if it's just me for lunch, I can take out one and not have to worry about using a whole batch.
  • Fried Rice

Breakfast Foods

  • Pancakes -- a hell of a lot cheaper than buying the aunt jemima ones
  • Muffins
  • French Toast Sticks
  • Biscuits
  • Breakfast Sandwiches --- I always have a couple dozen in different variations on hand. Usually Sausage Cheese biscuits for the kids and English Muffin / Egg White / Turkey Sausage for me.
Convenience Foods

  • Taquitos - (recipe coming soon!) - great for the guys to heat up themselves!
  • Cookie Dough - I make dough, use a scoop to portion out the dough balls, flash freeze and bag up. That way if I am craving cookies, I can make 3 or 4 and not eat a whole batch! Or just grab a frozen dough ball out of the freezer --- soooooo good!
  • Any baked goods that I am too tempted to have a whole batch of - banana bread/brownies/cupcakes/etc. They all freeze good. I just pre-portion and freeze so I can grab one serving. Great for lunches!
  • Tuna Salad / Chicken Salad / Crab Salad -- You just need to make sure to use Salad Dressing, not Mayo. They freeze and thaw great and save a ton of time.
  • Sandwiches -- these can totally be made ahead of time and my family never can tell when I do! So please don't tell them! I make the sandwhiches (remember salad dressing, not mayo - mustard is fine), wrap them up in plastic wrap and put them back in the bread bag. Throw the whole bread bag in the freezer. It makes throwing together lunches for me and Telly a cinch! He would never eat them if he knew, but they obviously taste fine, b/c he's never complained! Just make sure to put a thin layer of some condiment on both sides of the bread, so it doesn't get soggy.  

Crock-pot / Casseroles / Soups / Stews -


  • Soups/Stews - I freeze these in quart bags. Fill, lay flat to freeze. Then you can stack them up really easily like books in the freezer to save space.
  • Casseroles - I don't make them much, but when I do I assemble and freeze. Thaw the night before using and then bake the day I want to eat it. *** See lasagna below if you want it to be done when you get home! ***
  • Crock-pot -- I make kits! I take a gallon sized bag and sharpie the name of the recipe on the outside. Then I take all of the ingredients I need for the meal and put them in that bag. (Meats/Veggies in a bag, Sauce in a bag - put both into big bag) If it calls for something shelf stable or refrigerated, I write it on the outside of the bag so I know what to grab. I'm usually in a hurry in the morning, so I need all the help I can get!

Pasta Dishes -

  • Stuffed Shells -- I have a KILLER recipe, but I don't make it much b/c it's time consuming as hell and it is loaded with fat. When I do make it, I make a quadruple batch and freeze them.
  • Lasagna - assemble, freeze, bake that day. You can do this in the crockpot by the way. Just line your crockpot insert with foil or one of those crockpot liner bags. Assemble your lasagna in the crockpot, put the crockpot in the freezer until frozen. Once it's frozen, pop the frozen block of lasagna out of the crockpot, wrap it really well and throw it in the freezer. The day you want to eat it, you unwrap it and throw it back into the crockpot. Cook on low all day and it's ready for dinner. The trick is assembling and freezing in your crockpot so it will be the right shape. You can do this will almost all casseroles. 

Ground Beef/Ground Turkey/Ground Chicken


I keep a few pounds frozen raw in the freezer (1 lb per bag) in case we want to do burgers or something

  • Basic Ground Beef Mix -- I cook ground beef, garlic & onions and bag in 1 lb bags. 1 lb = about 2 cups after cooking. I use this for quickie dinners -- tacos, sloppy joes, pastas, etc. I ALWAYS have at least 10 lbs in my freezer of this.
  • Meatballs
  • Meatloaf -- I make a big batch of it, but cook it in muffin tins for easy portion control. It's really easy to just take out however mini muffin size portions I need for that meal and microwave for a few minutes. Great for the guys when they come home hungry after work too! I cook these until they are just shy of being done and then flash freeze and bag.


I approach chicken in 2 different ways: whole chickens and boneless skinless breasts. Here's what I do when I get whichever type on sale...


Boneless Skinless Breasts -

  • Bag 1 per bag and pour in a marinade, just enough to cover it. Either a bottled, homemade, whatever. Make sure you sharpie on the bag what flavor it is! I then freeze them flat until they are mostly frozen and then corrall all of the little bags into a big bag a couple of hours later. Great for when you only need to feed one of you, or if you want one flavor and J wants a different one.
  • Strips - I cut some of the breasts up into strips to use for stir frys, fajitas, thai chicken satay (yum!!!), etc. I always marinate these too.
  • Roast, then dice to use for chicken salad. Roasted makes better tasting chicken salad and having it precooked saves a ton of time.
  • Every once in a while I will freeze some (1 per bag) with no marinade, in case I want to try a new recipe or something.
  • If you really want to save time, you can pre-cook the breasts. I do these for lunches a LOT. I usually will grill up a whole grill full and then freeze individually. The trick is to freeze them as a whole breast, and put a splash of chicken broth in the freezer bag so that they don't dry out as easily. These taste a whole lot better if you let them thaw versus trying to quick thaw them in the microwave. They don't take long to thaw though. I can take them out in the morning and put in my lunch box and they are ready to microwave by lunch time with no problem.

Whole Chickens -


When they go on sale for $0.69/lb or less, I buy around 24 chickens and do a MAJOR chicken session. It is messy and I HATE chicken by the time I am through, but it is SOOOO worth it! Now, I am not a fan of dark meat - except wings from restaurants - but Telly and Taylor are. And it's cheaper, so I give it a shot and try not to think about it!


I clear everything off of the counters to avoid the chicken juice touching anything, get out a bunch of bowls, kitchen shears and knives and form an assembly line. I will freeze 1 or 2 whole, but cut up the rest. I cut apart each bird one at a time and throw the parts into the different bowls, so that when I'm done, I have a bowl of breasts, bowl of backs, thighs, etc.


The very first thing before you start cutting is get your giant stock pot ready for the bones/backs/etc. You want to get your broth going so that you don't have to stay up all night waiting for it to finish.


Here's what I do with each of the parts:


  • Breasts - I use to do the above items
  • Drumsticks - Marinate and freeze in meal sized packs
  • Wings - seperate, marinate, freeze
  • Thighs - Roast, pull meat off the bones and freeze in 1 cup portions (snack sized baggies) to use in casseroles, tacos, etc.
  • Backs/Wing Tips / Bones / etc --- I use to make chicken stock. LOTS of chicken stock! Let me know if you need my method. I then pull the meat from the bones and freeze like I do the thigh meat. The chicken stock I freeze in 1 to 2 cup portions. I also freeze some in ice cube trays and then pop them into a gallon bag. They are great for when you are doing a stir fry or something and want some extra flavor, but not the fat of using oil.

Basically, when I am done, every single part of the chicken has been used --- except the nasty organs and stuff in the little paper bag. I don't mess with that! I don't care how good someone tells me chicken livers are... that's just gross. I love doing chicken sessions, because for a few hours of work you have a ton of chicken in a bunch of different types/flavors ready to go.

I think those are the main things. If you want any specific recipes, let me know. I have frozen just about anything and everything at least once to see if it will work. If you are ever unsure about a recipe's freezability send me an email. Chances are I've tried to freeze it before! The main thing is to only freeze things you know you guys already like. Don't make a triple batch of a new recipe for the freezer. It really sucks having 3 meals of something you hate staring at you everytime you open the freezer door!
If you have read this all the way to the end, then woo hoo! 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Late Night Quilting

I drank a 20 oz Caramel Macchiatto at 7:00 tonight.... not a great idea!  I'm completely wired!!!  I grabbed batting for my latest quilt today at Hancock Fabrics and am totally feeling the urge to quilt it.  I know I said I was going to wait until after I took the class in February, but I just don't want to.  I want to finish it so I can start using it.  Do you ever feel that way about a project?  That urgent need to get it finished?


Speaking of which... that feeling has inspired the name for this project.... The Nesting Quilt.  All you mamas know that nesting feeling when you are pregnant. I've been feeling that way ever since Mr. Mudpie got home a few weeks ago.  And NO I am NOT pregnant!  I just have this unexplainable need to make our master bedroom a peaceful, pretty place.  Maybe it's because I have to share it for the first time in two years.  :) 

So if anyone needs me, I will be spending the late hours of the evening jacked up on caffeine and piecing the backing for my soon-to-be favorite item in my master bedroom.  Night everyone!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Steel Cut Oats - the easy way!

I grew up eating oatmeal packets with all of the great flavors.  I still love those, but have recently discovered Steel Cut Oats.  Hellllooooo yumminess!  They are so much heartier than the powdered mush of the packets, plus they keep you full for so much longer.  The drawback to them is they take forever to cook and I am so not a morning person.   My trusty crockpot has come to the rescue though!  I've mastered cooking them in the crockpot overnight so that I can wake up to a hot, delicious and nutritious breakfast.  And the best part of the cooking process ---- no baked on mess in the crockpot!  The mess is all contained in the serving bowl.  Oh, it just doesn't get any better than that!

Overnight Crockpot Steel Cut Oats

Serves 4 - 6 generous servings
Leftovers are great reheated in the microwave!


1 cup Steel Cut Oats
4 cups Water  (plus more for water bath)
pinch of Salt
~ plus any flavorings you like ~


1.  Combine Steel Cut Oats, 4 cups Water, and a pinch of Salt in a bowl that will fit inside your crockpot.

2.  Set this bowl into your crockpot and *carefully* add water into the crockpot around the bowl, creating a water bath.  Make sure you don't get extra water into your smaller bowl!  You want the water line to be about level with the water line inside the smaller bowl.

3.  Cook on low overnight.  When you wake up, you will have creamy, yummy oats waiting for you to de-healthify them!  And as a bonus, your crockpot is clean!  Just pour out the water and dry it off. 

4.  The Fun Part!  Add your favorite flavors.  Some of mine are: 
  • brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon
  • diced apples, cinnamon, ginger
  • pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice  (oh so good!)
  • apple butter, pecan pieces
  • blueberries, cinnamon, ginger

You can substitute some of the water for milk if you like.  I usually just add a splash of milk to my bowl to thin it out a little in the morning.  It helps cool it off so I can eat it faster, too!  :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Don't Miss Out!

... on a single blog post!  You can now receive  Mudpies & Memories updates via email.  I know that just made your day.  :)  lol  

Just click that nifty little link to the left above my picture to get your updates.  They come through Feed Burner, who guarantees not to sell your email address or use it for any spam.  You can unsubscribe at any time, also. 

Have a great day and don't forget to try out the Beer Bread recipe below.  I've eaten half a loaf tonight already.  It's delish! 

My Mama's Beer Bread

This bread is total comfort food and reminds me of my mom every time I make it.  She has made this bread since we were babies, and we always knew the second we walked in the door if she was making it.  The smell is mouthwatering and will forever be imprinted in my brain, associated with my mom.    It is soooo yummy and incredibly simple to make.   

Denise's Beer Bread





3 cups Self Rising Flour
3 tablespoons Sugar
12 oz Beer 
1/2 stick Butter, melted




1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your loaf pan.

2.  Baking Tip:  Sift your flour before measuring (yes, it really does make a difference!) If you don't have a sifter, use a wisk or fork to stir up the flour in your canister really well.  Then use a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup.  

3.  In mixing bowl combine Flour and Sugar, then add Beer.  Stir well until all ingredients are incorporated.

4.  Pour batter into greased loaf pan and then pour the melted butter over the top of the batter.  yum!!!

5.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until golden brown on top and it sounds hollow when you thump it. 

You can also make it in muffin tins, but I really prefer it as a loaf.   

Here's a pic of my mom and the doodle bug.  This was taken on Halloween 2009, when we went thrifting and made the scarves.  I love my mom.  :) 




It's Cooking Time!

Get ready folks.... you are going to be seeing a trend of bulk cooking posts on my little blog in the coming months.  We are trying to use all of the stuff in our freezers, which means we will be filling them back up soon!  Food is one of my main passions in life, so the thought of some major cooking makes me all giddy and school girl-ish!

I am a huge fan of bulk cooking (aka OAMC "once a month cooking").  There are tons of people who do actual Once A Month Cooking, where they spend two days cooking 30 meals.  However, I tend to approach it a little differently.  This is mainly because I don't like the taste of most foods that have been cooked, frozen and reheated.  I do however LOVE to prep a ton of food and throw it in the freezer so that it is ready to go on the day I need it.  This is a HUGE timesaver at dinnertime. 

My typical method is to attack bulk cooking by meat types.  When ground beef goes on sale, I buy around 30 lbs.  When whole chickens go on sale for $0.69/lb or less, I buy 2 dozen --- yep, that's 24 chickens!  I also do Baking Days where I make a few batches of cookie dough and a few batches of muffins for the freezer.  Breakfast bulk cooking is also high on my list of favorites. 

Breakfast is my struggle meal of every single day.  TJ likes a full meal at breakfast and I am not a morning person, so I make huge batches of pancakes, muffins, french toast sticks, sausage biscuits, etc.  That way in the mornings, I microwave one of the frozen items and throw it at him.  He and I both find that our mornings go smoother when we have breakfast items in the freezer.  *** We have proven this method the past month, as we have run out of breakfast freezer items and have been going day-by-day.  It has gotten pretty ugly and I will be doing a breakfast session this week! ***

So stay tuned for some yummy recipes and time saving tips.  Make some room in your freezers!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pinecone Birdfeeders

It is 20 degrees outside and all of the trees are bare.  But I just had a happy little flashback to warm summer days while looking through the photos on my laptop.  Don't you love when you stumble across something you completly forgot about?  Like when you find a $5 bill in your pants pocket.  It's the best.

Anyways... this summer the girls were over for the day and the kids got bored, so we made Pinecone Birdfeeders.  It's a craft and a snack, all in one! 

Pinecone Birdfeeders

Step 1:  Put a big blob of peanut butter on a plate for each kid.  Trust me, they are not going to share the jar without breaking out into a fight.  At least not at my house!

Step 2:  Let the kiddos go to town covering the pinecone in peanut butter.  In an effort to make the craft last as long as possible, so I could finish my magazine, I told them to make sure to get peanut butter on each little spot, or else the birdies would be sad.  (don't even try to act like you would never make up something like that!  if you have kids, you know you do it too!) 

Step 3:  Corral the boy of the group back to the table after he takes off with the jar of peanut butter and his sister's pinecone.  Take a picture of his "mom, i'm innocent!" face.

Step 4:  Have the kids roll the sticky, gooey pinecones in some bird seed.  I dumped a bunch on a plate and let them all fight over it. 

Step 5:  Hang with some twine in your favorite tree and wait for the birds to come have a snack. 

We hung ours in a tree that all of the neighborhood birds flock to.  It's like the neighborhood pub for feathered friends.  All of the pinecones were picked clean by the next morning.  The whole afternoon, everytime a bird flew by the kids all ran screaming to the back door to see if it would eat. 

I may let the kids do this again soon.  There's got to be some hungry birdies in the neighborhood. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Homemade Gifts Recap: Camera Cases

Mr. Mudpie's mom joined the digital camera world a few months ago finally!  She received a cute little pink point and shoot camera for her birthday, but was carrying it around in this old, beat up, hideous case.  I mean seriously ugly!  I take that back, the first little bit she crammed it into a travel tissue holder that Taylor sewed for her... then she switched to the hideous outdated case.   I knew she wanted a case to match her camera, so I made this:

I was testing out the case at TJ's Thanksgiving Parade at his preschool to see if it functioned good and Angel saw it.  She wanted one for her preggo sister to match the nautical themed diaper bag, so I made this one:

Now, have I made one for myself?  Nope.  And I really need one too.  My poor (currently having issues, hence the horrible photos lately) camera has no case.  It just takes it's chances every time it gets flung into the deep abyss I like to call my purse. 

**** I used a tutorial on another blog to create these, but lost the link when my laptop went to the shop.  If anyone knows what blog it was on, please post so I can give credit. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We're all grown up!

(picture of us on our first Valentine's Day.  we'd been dating less than a month)

Well maybe not Mr. Mudpie  :)    You want to know something sad?  We have never had lamps in our master bedroom.  Ever.  We have always had hand-me-down bedroom furniture.  Why buy an expensive lamp to put on furniture we don't love?  Plus, have you priced lamps lately?  Those suckers are expensive!   

Well guess what?  Mr. Mudpie bought me lamps for the master bedroom today!  And guess what else?  I picked them out and he actually agreed on the style.  --- insert huge gasp here! ---   We don't exactly have the same taste is home decor.  To let you in on how different we think, here is a conversation we had the day after Christmas. 

                Me:  "Where are we going to put that big ass
                       gun safe at?"              
    Mr. Mudpie:  "In the living room"
                Me:  "Ok...." (trying to stay calm)
    Mr. Mudpie:   "And we can hang my grandaddy's old
                         shotgun above that doorway" (he's
                        pointing now and getting all excited)
                Me:  "Oh dear lord" (clutching my chest, I feel
                       the pains coming)
    Mr. Mudpie:  "We can do a WESTERN THEME!!!!"
                Me:  "I'm in hell"   (I think this is the point I
                       may have checked out of the conversation)

You see, I love love love modern, contemporary decor.  I could live in an Ikea catalog and be a very happy girl.  One day, our home will reflect that.  Maybe when the kids hit the road.  Mr. Mudpie says he likes traditional, but he really likes this interesting cross between frat boy & country. 

So to go with our Brand Spanking New bedroom furniture we got in September, Mr. Mudpie bought me the lamps today.  It helped the cause that he has started reading.  Seriously.... the boy did not read until the last year or so.  So now, we get to act like grown ups and read in bed.  You have no idea how happy that makes me.  :)

Instant Craft Gratification

I've mentioned before that I have a fairly short attention span and therefore enjoy instant gratification when it comes to crafting.  Making crayon rolls is *without a doubt* one of my favorite quickie projects! 

I had promised a crayon roll for Christmas to Taylor's friend, Evelyn. ooooops! Sorry Evelyn! Taylor actually asked me to make one for Evelyn months ago and picked out the fabric herself, long before it was even requested.

This little guy is my favorite part of the whole thing.  :)

Enjoy it Miss Evelyn!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 and Me

I have been giving the New Year's Resolutions thing a lot of thought lately.  I've never been into them, because I feel like I am just setting myself up for failure.  Plus, I am a HUGE procrastinater, so I would probably just wait until December and then try to cram as much as I can into the already busiest month of the year.  I do however, like the idea of giving myself some attainable - and very specific - goals. 

Sewing Related Goal - Take at least 3 sewing / quilting classes in 2010.  I'm signed up for my first one already!  A machine quilting class in February.  I really want to fine tune some skills so I can eventually make more professional products.

Community Related Goal - Open a table at the Pendleton Farmers Market this spring/summer selling SOMETHING.  I am thinking crayon rolls, belts, cutesy kitchen linen sets, stuff like that.  Oh, and Taylor wants to sell her tomatoes as well.  :)  My girl is awesome at growing tomatoes. 
  ***** Hey crafty friends!  If anyone wants to do a table with me, let me know! *****

Behavioral Goal - I need to work on yelling less.  At the dog, the kids, the hubby, the idiot driving in front of me... just yelling in general.  I do it way too often and am seeing it come out in my kids. 

Family Goal - We have never had a family portrait taken.  Not even the kind at Sears.  I want to have some great pics taken in the late summer / early fall to do as Christmas presents for our parents. 
   *** Hey Angel... can you help us with this one? The photos on your blog are great! ***

So there it is folks.  My 2010 goals.  I have lots more in my head, but I am a total list maker.  Which means if I start listing them all the list will grow over 50 of them.  Then I'll get overwhelmed, down an entire 2 liter of Coke and never accomplish a single one of them.  So I am going to use amazing restraint and keep it simple.  For now. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Quilt of 2010!

I would love for 2010 to be a year of quilts for me.  To kick it off, I completed this quilt top in ONE DAY!  Yep, you read that right folks.  I sewed this up TODAY!  I cut most of the fabric a couple days ago, but all of the sewing was done today in about 5 hours during a couple chunks of kid-free time.  After coming home from our getaway at Chateau Elan this afternoon, Mr. Mudpie crashed for a nap, giving me about 4 hours of sewing time.  Yeah baby!  We then headed out for dinner, cocktails and a movie (I highly recommend "Did you hear about the Morgans?" btw) and met up with some friends for a couple beers and college football.   All it took was another hour once we got home to cut and sew on the borders and voila!  A quilt top is born! 

This baby won't be quilted and binded until mid-February however.  I am taking a class at Heirlooms & Comforts on machine quilting and want to use some tips I pick up there on this quilt.  This is the first quilt that I've made that will actually be staying in our home.  Since it's going in the master bedroom, I want the quilting to be nicely done.  That's the plan anyways! 

This one is a large throw size.  Big enough for two adults to snuggle under.  :)  I love that the design is incredibly simple, allowing the fabrics to really be showcased.  I especially love the one with the little blue birdie. 

A closeup of the fabrics: