Monday, July 26, 2010

Winners Announced

Remember the Quilt I made for Paranormalcy Contest? . . .

Well. . .

The deadline for the Paranormalcy Contest ended last night at midnight and today Kiersten White announced the winners and. . .

Guess What?. . .

I WON!!!

Thank you Kiersten!!!

I'm really excited to receive your book and read it. I'm also excited to receive the other 3 books because I just LOVE to read. . . so. . . when I'm not creating, sewing, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, or playing with my kids and grandkids. . . you will find me. . . READING!!!

Yippee!!!! I can hardly wait to bring you your quilt at your book signing in Salt Lake City in September!!! That will be really fun!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Le Cordon Q

Would you like to know where you can find
the recipe for this yummy salad?

...then read on...

If you absolutely LOVE to COOK and BAKE and CRAFT
but... not all at the same time... of course... lol...
...then this POST is just for YOU...

Let me INTRODUCE you to...



Le Cordon Q...

I've known Kayley since she was 15 years old when she and her family were our neighbors. Her family moved soon after she graduated from High School. Kayley and my oldest daughter were good friends and continue to keep in contact. I was lucky to watch Kayley grow up and see her many talents blossom.

I started to think that all of you would enjoy sharing in the results of her talents so, I emailed her and asked her what she thought about doing an interview and letting me do a post about her new cooking blog. She was very excited to let me do that for her.

The name of her newest blog is called Le Cordon Q and the pictures alone are worth having a look. I have yet to try one of her recipes (since her blog is still really new) but, there are several recipes that I want to try my hand at. If you get a chance to visit her blogs I know she would love you to leave some comments and become a follower. Also, I'm sure she would enjoy hearing back from you whenever you make one of her recipes.

Kayley also has two other blogs you'll want to be checking out...

Her crafting blog is Frayed & Fancy...
You can also link to her Etsy Shop HERE...

Her Cake Blog is Cakes by Kayley...

Here are a few pictures of her cakes.

I could eat this cake right now.
It looks so yummy!

I recently did an interview with Kayley so I could introduce her to you...My Blogging Friends. I hope you enjoy the pictures of her wonderful food as much as I did. I'm really HUNGRY, now! I better go make dinner...if only...I had the ingredients handy to make one of her entrees, soups, salads, or desserts.

Questions • Answers • Pictures • and Links

Me: How old were you when you discovered your love for cooking? Describe the memory.

Kayley: I remember being about 7 or 8 years old and being
absolutely convinced that I had concocted a new dish never seen before by the culinary world. It was sliced hot dogs, pan-fried and served on toothpicks. Gordon Ramsey would have been proud.

Me: Tell us about your journey to Culinary School and how long it took you to finish?

Kayley: I decided to go to culinary school because I really wanted to have a useful education that could provide a career that I would enjoy. So I took a look at all the things I like to do and decided that culinary school made the most sense. I chose to go the self-paced route so that I could focus on school and get done as quickly as I'd like. The average length of culinary school to earn an associates degree is about 2 years. I focused only on school and pushed through in about a year. I know that many culinary programs offer beginner and intermediate classes for those who are interested in learning a little more.

Me: I know you have a passion for creating beautiful cakes and desserts so, what is your favorite dessert(s) to make?

Kayley: Hmmm. Chocolate has always been my one true love and the epitome of a "real" dessert to me. My favorite dessert to make is my chocolate truffle torte. It's a flourless chocolate cake covered in ganache and has the texture of a truffle. It's so yummy! When I lived in Utah, I would enter it in Cache Valley's Chocolate Festival in various forms and it won the contest three years in a row. Chocolate never lets you down.

Me: What has been your most asked for recipe? Tell us about it.

Kayley: My Key Lime Curd Mousse Torte has always been a popular one. It consists of a buttery shortbread crust filled with a mousse made from key lime curd, whipped egg whites and whipped cream and then topped with more key lime curd. I took it to a company party once where utensils had been forgotten and folks were walking around eating it with tortilla chips or giant spatulas as their forks. I've been wanting to make it recently, but I can't eat it because of the raw egg whites. Pregnancy food restrictions are the hardest part of the whole 9 months, I've decided.

Me: What made you decide to start your newest blog?

Kayley: Now that I no longer am working(if you count chasing after a two year old and keeping up a house with a billion flights of stairs not working), I really miss having a job where I can be involved with food to the same extent that I am used to. So, I started Le Cordon Q to give me an outlet for my passion for cooking. I love sharing culinary creations with others and seeing what others create.

Me: Would you share with us a little about your two other blogs?

Kayley: Well, my cake blog is a blog where I post pictures of the cakes that I make to kind of advertise options for those looking for a special occasion cake. My Frayed and Fancy blog is my crafting blog where I get to post all of my crafty creations, whether it be furniture refinishing, paintings, home decor, or accessories from my Etsy store.

Me: I know you are a very creative person so, tell us a bit about what you LOVE to do.

Kayley: I think I love to do too many things, which is exactly why I have too many blogs. Besides cooking, cake decorating, and crafting, I also love to sing and play the piano. Music is HUGE to me. I also just love getting to be a mom and be with my little family. I love life. Life is great =).

Me: Do you have any insights or experiences that you'd like to share with us?

Kayley: Ha. I don't know about insights, but I will tell you one of the biggest secrets to cooking: Presentation. If you can make your food look nice, people will think it tastes better, even if it's terrible! I used to work with eating disorder patients who had about as much interest in eating as my two year old does in potty training. But I found that if I presented their meals to them in an asthetically pleasing way, they were much more excited to eat it. The mind can trick the stomach sometimes. Please note that this theory does NOT work on young children. Or Gordon Ramsey.

You will find more of these kinds of delicious recipes and more on Kayley's Cooking Blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Paranormalcy Contest

One of my daughter's dearest writer friends, Keirsten White is having a contest to win the ARC of Paranormalcy along with three other new books, all coming out really soon. I planned on buying the book and already have it on reserve at Amazon but, if I could win it, that would be even better.

So here's my contest entry. . .

This is the front cover of Kiersten's book which debuts August 31, 2010.

Isn't it just amazing?

It's so beautiful and gorgeous.

As you scroll down you will see a few closeups of the quilt I designed for Kiersten's Contest. I know a little about the book and my daughter filled in a few gaps for me.

The main character's name is Evie and she loves her pink boots and her Zebra print wrap dress. So, I had to recreate the boots for her along with putting the book cover in a picture frame. I also used zebra print here and there throughout the quilt.

The "E" stands for Evie.

In the book she works for IPCA and carries a pink taser that she calls "Tasey" so I put "i heart Tasey" in one of the hearts.

There are black hearts with pink yoyo's and black buttons in each corner of the quilt.

"E" is for EVIE

Notice the TV set?
Well, in the book "Easton Heights"
is Evie's favorite TV show.

For Kiersten...We just had to take this picture for you.

Me, Kenna, Natalie, and the kids went on an adventure this afternoon to our favorite bookstore and we snuck a picture of the quilt in the teen section right where your book will be in the W's.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stitch Nation Yarn

I found this great video on the Stitch Nation Website and thought you might enjoy learning more about the yarn I'm using in my Granny Stripe Blanket.

The Stitch Nation Yarn comes in three different types:
  • Full o' Sheep (100% Peruvian Wool) also works great for felting projects.
  • Alpaca Love (80% Wool 20% Alpaca) Great for sweaters, hats, and scarves.
  • Bamboo Ewe (45% Wool 55% Viscose) Great for Baby projects or anything worn close to your skin.
For more information on Stitch Nation Yarns visit their website at

Granny Stripe Blanket

Many of you may have seen the great tutorial by Lucy of Attic 24 but if you haven't, go check it out. I was dying to make it the minute I saw it. Even though I was a beginner I knew that I could handle it because I understood her great instructions.

It's taken me a few weeks to get started but, I finally got to the store to buy the yarn I wanted and was extra excited to find it on sale. Like Nedra I only got 11 skeins of yarn but didn't buy the DK weight yarn that Lucy suggested for the project. I had already fallen in love with a 100% peruvian wool yarn that I had previously bought at JoAnn's Fabric & Craft Store to use in another project. I knew the yarn I had gotten for this other project came in some wonderfully rich rainbow colors and so that's what I had my eye on, but at $4.99 a skein I was thinking about whether I could afford it or not, so when I found it for $2 off each skein I was sold! (I just looked and it's currently $3.49 a skein online at JoAnn's).

The yarn is Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller for Red Heart and can be found right now on sale at JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store

Here's a picture of the 11 colors I bought. The colors are listed starting at the bottom left hand corner with the red and then moving left to right on each row going up each row.
  1. Red: Poppy
  2. Pink: Peony
  3. Orange: Clementine
  4. Yellow: Honeycomb
  5. Lt. Green: Meadow
  6. Dk. Green: Thyme
  7. Lt. Blue: Aquamarine
  8. Dk. Blue: Mediterranean
  9. Lt. Purple: Passionfruit
  10. Dk. Purple: Plummy
  11. Cream: Little Lamb

It's so fun and exciting to add a new row color to the blanket. My DD Kenna loves it so much that she's claimed the blanket as hers, lol, and I've named it. . .

"Kenna's Blanket of Many Colors."

Each day she asks me,
"Are you going to crochet today?"

I respond (lovingly),
"Maybe. . ."

I decided to make my blanket the same size as Lucy's by starting with 240 chains. I did have to change the gauge of the blanket to accommodate the heavier thread. I started out with a 6.5 mm hook on the chaining and the first row then changed to a 5.5 mm hook on row two and three then decided the holes were too big so I pulled out ALL of my work on rows two and three and reduced the hook again to 4.75 mm hook. Also, I made one other BIG change. Instead of doing 3 TR stitches in each hole I did 3 DC stitches and now I'm really happy with the snugness of the stitches and the smallness of the hole inbetween the groups of 3DC's looks just right for me.

I LOVE this blanket so much (Thanks Lucy) that I just may have to go buy more yarn while it's on sale so I can make a "Blanket of Many Colors" for each of my kids.

How many months until Christmas?

I better get to it. . .

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Neighborhood 4th of July Celebration

Our Neighborhood 4th of July Celebration has been a tradition for nearly 10 years now. We start off with a Parade that starts at one end of the neighborhood and ends up in the Commons Area where we have plenty of shade, a playground, and a field for playing games. Everyone in the neighborhood, their families, their extended family, and the friends are invited to come join in the CELEBRATION!!!

Kora is looking cute and waiting for the parade to begin.

Benjamin and his Benji Dog are excited for the Parade to begin too.

Each year we have a Grand Marshall. This year it was one of our Senior Couples who have lived here for many years. Gene just celebrated his 90th Birthday a few months ago and his wife Betty is a dear friend of mine. Their daughter Kristie is driving the car, also a dear friend.

Some of the ladies in our neighborhood (who are brave) belong to the "Oakettes" Drill Team. We have a lot of Oak trees where we live and so they dubbed themselves the "Oakettes" which I think is a perfect name for them.

We even had a small submarine float with a sea turtle and dolphin. Really COOL!! This is a new edition for this year. Previous years we've had a small helicopter pulled by an ATV.

This is Kenna with her friend riding a mule. Her friends dad raises Mules for taking on adventures in the mountains. They are used to pack equipment and for riding in the back country of Utah. They've gone on lots of Boy Scout trips with the Mules into the Uintahs and other parts of Utah.

Many of the kids ride their bikes, scooters, and skateboards in the parade.

We always have a wonderful breakfast for everyone. Each of us brings a fruit platter and our Homeowner's Association provides the pancakes, eggs, sausage, and drink. It was yummy!!!

Two of my kids are waiting in a very long food line.

Long Food Line!!
We didn't run out of food which is good.

Kenna is tickling Benjamin.
He LOVES being outside and PLAYING!!!

Two of my girls with their Dad.

Kenna had to put her COOL shades on her COOL Dad!!!

After the food there are games for the kids.

All kinds of Relay Races...

And a Balloon Toss...that turns into a water fight...

and Tug O' War...

The Girls beat the Boys this year...

What a great way to Celebrate the 4th of July!

Happy Independence Day!!