Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kitchen Projects

Project #1
Turn these boring pickle jars into beautiful pantry containers.  I have to pick up a couple things, like more Mod Podge and grey ribbon, but this should be a pretty simple project except cleaning the jars. Any suggestions for getting the adhesive from the labels off the jars?

Project #2
Find a different place for these pots, pans, etc., and make this cabinet a recycling bin area. I've decided I can use the drawer under the stove for the skillets and lids, but I'm not quite sure about my bake-ware. I'll try to get everything arranged tomorrow because it will probably be easier to do it while Josh is at work.

P.S. I do have a complete set of pots and pans, it just happens some of them were dirty when I took the picture so the cabinets looks a little empty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stitch, stitch here.

This is what I started with this evening after I made dinner (and blogged about it).

After cutting and sewing for at least four hours this is what I have to show for it.

I tried it on before putting the sleeves on and I decided I like it without sleeves better.  Besides that, it is a little difficult to put over my head already without the extra hassle of sleeves.

I'm going to take my dress form, shirt, and all into work with me tomorrow to have Chris double check my progress and see if there is a better way to do sleeves.  This shirt isn't perfect, but as a first try I think it is acceptable.

Technical Info
Machine: Bernette 55 (used straight and zig-zag stitches)
Pattern: Simplicity It's So Easy #2322 (I simple pattern I picked up at Joanns.)
Thread: Aurifil Mako 28 #2024 (This wasn't the "proper" weight of thread, but it was the only white Aurifil thread I have right now so I used it because it is the best. It looks like I'll be putting in a thread order at Pine Needles in Minnesota later in June. First I'm holding out hope that I'll be able to buy a few sets while at Market, but I'm not sure what they will have available there this year.)
Fabric: Denyse Schmidt's new line made exclusive for Joanns.

P.S. This is my second time using my dress form for a real project. It is nice to know that it has this small chance to actually fulfill its purpose. *smiles*

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pineapple Chicken

This is my first home developed recipe, and I love it. If you find any ways to improve please share!

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 (8oz) can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seaseme seeds
  • 2 packages of steamfresh rice (or about 3-4 cups cooked rice)
  • 1 shot brandy (optional)
  1. (If you are cooking your own rice make sure to start it before you start cutting your chicken so it is done in time.) Use kitchen shears to cut the chicken breast into 1/2" pieces and cook chicken in a lightly greased skillet. (It is best to cook it in a deep skillet so everything fits.) Once the chicken is fully cooked you may have to drain the excess oil/juices, and you can brown it further if you wish, be sure not to long because you want it to stay nice and moist.
  2. While your chicken is cooking make your sauce by mixing the honey, soy sauce, seseame seeds, juice from the pineapples, and the brandy. I usually mix it up in my measuring cup so that it is easier to pour around the chicken.
  3. After the chicken is cooked pour the sauce in the chicken along with the pineapple chunks, stir, and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes. (It should sort of smell like it is on the verge of scorching. If that doesn't make sense then bring it to a full boil first then turn down to a low medium heat to simmer.) During this time cook the Steamfresh rice packs. I usually use one pack of plain rice and one package of the rice with vegetables.
  4. Once everything is cooked mix it together in the skillet, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and serve.  (The longer you let it simmer the more it will be like fried rice.  I usually cook for the full 15 minutes up to 20 minutes so that it is still moist without being runny, but this is a personal preference. Just watch it and decided for yourself when to serve because everything has already been safely cooked.)
Cooked for about 3 minutes after rice was added, so it is still runny.

Wash, rinse, and never repeat.

Apparently I don't know how to put JetDry in the dishwasher. The lid wouldn't close and the stuff was leaking everywhere. This is going to be the best rinsed load of dishes the world has ever seen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Denyse Schmidt at Joanns

It took me a while to decide if I was going to purchase the line of fabric that Denyse Schmidt made exclusively for Joanns. I love Denyse Schmidt, however, I think that is was a bit of a sellout point. (Understand that I'm also partial because I work in a fabric shop, and favor keeping my job for a while.)   Either way, I gave in once I saw the fabric in person. My picture, as always, doesn't do it justice because it's so dark.  I bought 6" of three pieces just to play with, and then I bought 2 yards of this piece to make a shirt.

I've tried making a couple clothing pieces in the past, but I never loved them. I'm hoping I can make a shirt out of this fabric that I'll honestly look forward to wearing. To put the best foot forward I picked out this easy pattern to get started with.  I figured if I could make it well with sleeves then later this summer I'll adjust it a bit to have short sleeves.

In other news, I finally finished by grandma's apron. It only took a couple hours, but it was a long couple hours because I really hated the fabric.  I also picked out nearly all of the floss colors for the crib-quilt. Once I got it all home I decided that I would really like to start working on it so I basted it, hooped it, and started the quilting process. I figured that I could easily stitch on the inside and outside of each box for starters and the go back later to add cute pictures in each square.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flashback Friday (On Saturday...again)

Ha! I told you I might not be able to keep up with doing "Flashback Friday"! Once again, it is Saturday, and I'm just getting around to posting this blog.  I know it is a novel idea, but this week I may try to write the post early then publish it on the correct day.

Either way, without further ado, I present to you a "Fashionable Precaution".

Back in 2009, when there was the Swine Flu scare I decided that safety didn't have to be ugly, so I made my own masks, just in case we really needed to wear them.  Of course these masks wouldn't actually protect me from anything because they have no filters in them, but I figured I could just wear it over the regular mask. *smiles*  It was pretty fun. I ended up with at least 1/2 a dozen, but nothing ever came of the scare so they were never able to fulfill their purpose.

How do you cure Swine Flu?.....

(One of the best jokes I was ever told.)

Solid Investment

I finished the main part of the solid sample for the shop last night.  Today I will go in and play with fabrics to choose a border.  I really think I should put a border on it is definitely a crib size (toddler) quilt, but I think I'll have trouble finding something that doesn't take away from the feel this quilt has.

One of my friends asked how I would quilt it, and I'm thinking about embroidering each square with an animal or something boy/baby related in the same color thread as the square. This is a bit ambitious, but if I do the backing in the same bone color as the sashing then the back will look just as amazing as the front when it is finished.

While I was digging through my stash last night I found a pretty big piece of the Lush paintbox fabric (on the right).  This looks so cute with the quilt that it is official, I really can't cut into this fabric.  It is going into my "hope chest" until I figure out what to make with it to match the solid quilt. (I really hope that, when the time comes, I have a boy first so that these quilts/fabrics don't go to waste.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I pledge...

I've seen several people take the Progress Pledge and decided I would give it a try.

I, _Trina _, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there. 
Really it shouldn't be that hard since I love sharing pictures of everything already.  You can visit R0ssie Blog for more information on the pledge and a list of other participants.

Right now I'm working on a sample for SewFlakes. I've been begging my boss for a while now to purchase more solids. Her "breaking point" was when I pleaded for the Bella solid jelly rolls from Moda and the Kona Solid charm packs from Robert Kaufman.  I swore that I would make the sample if she would just order enough to get started. Well the fabrics finally all arrived yesterday afternoon!

This is what I have so far. I'm only using one charm pack minus one of the squares. I'm not sure how big it will be because I haven't decided on the border yet. However, to make it useful I'm going to make it crib/toddler bed size, and put it away for my "hope chest". The last thing I need is (another) a purposeless quilt.

I was kind of hoping to get it finished tonight, but I lost momentum after Josh got home from work. Since I wasn't suppose to start anything else before finishing my grandma's apron I suppose this won't be done until this weekend., but either way it will be finished soon. I'm anxious to see the finished project, especially in real lighting.

Dead Crock Pot

I killed my crock pot earlier this week.  It was such a stupid mistake. I left it on to long without checking it, and the water boiled out (I was trying to clean it.) Without really thinking about it I pour water in it to cool it off and the thing cracked. It scared the crud out of me.  Then I was just sad because I thought I had finally mastered the crockpot. This is obviously not the case.  Meet crockpot number two. Thankfully it was on sale at Target this week, but still I'm hoping that I don't have any other stupid mistakes like this.

On the other hand I do have good news.  The flowers that I planted and I thought were dying because a lack of proper sun actually have new blooms on them! I can't believe it. These flowers are looking like they are going to pull through, and then I'll be able to make my own little bouquets for the coffee table.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The soup low-down

(Mind you, my iPhone doesn't always take the best pictures, especially at night.)

Tonight Josh's parents came over for dinner. It seems to be a running trend that whenever we eat with them I experiment with cooking. So far they have eaten a dry loaf of zucchini bread, a runny lasagna, a crunchy blackberry pie, a weird key lime pie, and probably a few other things I can't recall right now.  Each time they are super gracious about it, and his mom helps fix things (like the flour in the pie filling fiasco) or she lets me know what to do the next time, if needed.

Anyway, tonight I made matza ball soup for the first time.  I hadn't originally expected the matza balls to be perfect, in fact I sort of expected them to fail. So my back-up plan in case the balls went crazy was to cook chicken in the soup broth so that at the very least we could have chicken soup. However, I got lucky and everything turned out just fine so we happened to have the regular matza ball soup with extras in it. 

There is almost enough for another meal, but because it is running kind of low on chicken I'm going to add vegetables to it. We still have bread left over from tonight so its a bonus - I don't need to really cook tomorrow. Which is good because I really need to work on an apron for my grandma. (I'm having a really hard time getting started on it because she picked out what I consider to be a hideous fabric, but I'm starting to feel guilty about not getting it done. -- Nothing like good old fashion guilt as the perfect motivation for completing a project. *note sarcastic tone*)

Matza ball soup mix: $2.something so we'll say $3
Chicken: $4
Rhoades Rolls: Free
Salad: $3(after adding in extras)
(I'm not going to count dressings or butter)
Rough estimate that this dinner cost about $10
It serves at least 6 = $1.66 a serving
However tomorrow I will add about $1 worth of frozen vegetables so it will go even further and cost less.
This is definitely an inexpensive and healthy meal.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Coupon Binder

I've started and organized my coupon binder as far as I could this weekend, and I'm pretty pleased with it. So pleased, that I'm going to ignore reality and pretend that anyone reading this is interested in seeing a detailed tour of it. *smiles*

On the left side, I have saved all of the receipts from the grocery purchases this week. My total was $114 spent on at least 2 weeks worth of groceries.  This is pretty exciting to me because that is $6 under my weekly budget! (So, twice the groceries for a few dollars less than I normally spend equals success!) On the right, is my notebook for lists, coupon match-ups, etc.

This page has the coupons I'll use on the current trip at the top.  The coupons that I won't use or am ready to swap in the left pocket, and then the coupons that recently expired and are ready to be sent to a military base on the right-hand side.

Weekly sale ads, oh, and more coupons that I picked up at the store, that need to be clipped and sorted.

I have the sections separated with dividers.

Long food coupons.

I've put a color tab maker on the pockets that contain coupons that cannot be doubled. (In this case, the coupon I received for pineapples at Reasors.)

Short food coupons.

The coupons on each page are organized from most currently expiring coupon to the coupon that expires the latest. It is kind of a hassle to rearrange each time I have a new coupon, but I figure it is worth knowing.


I'm pretty sure that "condiments" is going to be my first sub-category under food.

More labels


Health and beauty


Extra dividers and page protectors.

I'm going to need a bigger binder soon. I started with a 1/2" ring binder and the pages are already having trouble turning due to the amount of content. *smiles*

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big coupon trip!

I went back to Harps today with all of my coupons, and I took my mom with me as back-up.  We had fun pulling boxes off the shelf, and basically chasing a crazy lady away from my cart. (I stepped about 6 feet from my cart and this lady comes up to it, eyeballing everything. My mom gave her the stink eye and warned me to get back to my cart. Ha! As if that lady would have made it far with my binder. I would have tackled her.)

When we were finished and ready to check out the cashier said that we could only have 1 transaction per person, but I told her that it was necessarily true because Thursday ladies were having several transactions when I was there. She kind of glared and so I told her that if she insisted I would carry everything out to my car then come back in for the next transaction. Since we had already loaded everything onto the grocery belt she didn't argue any more.  Next time I will be better prepared for that sort of incident.

Anyway, for a break down of the shopping trip:
(Order from cheapest to most expensive.)

Colgate Toothpaste
Retail: $1.99
Coupon: $1/1 doubled to $2/1 =$2 saved
Total = Free

Retail: $17.40 (1.45 each)
Coupon: $0.75/1 doubled to $1.50/1 = $18
Total = Free (They don't give you any overages, like the extra five cents covered by doubling the coupon.)

Rhodes Rolls
Retail: $3.96 ($1.98 each)
Coupon: $1/1 doubled to $2/1 = $4 saved
Total = Free

Crest Toothpase
Retail: $2.19
Coupon: $1/1 doubled to $2/1 = $2 saved
Total = $0.19

5 Rain Gum
Retail: $2.76 ($1.38 each)
Coupon: $1/2 doubled to $2/2 = $2 saved
Total: $0.76 ($0.38 each)

Texas Toast Croutons
Retail: $1.38
Coupon: $0.50/1 doubled to $1/1 = $1 saved
Total = $0.38

Dole Canned Pineapple
Retail: $12.00 ($1.00 each)
Coupon: $0.50/2 doubled to $1/2 = $6 saved
Total = $6 ($0.50 each) 

Act II Popcorn (3 pack)
Retail: $1.50
Coupon: $0.50/1 doubled to $1/1 = saved $1
Total = $0.50

French's Mustard Spicy Brown
Retail: $9.00 ($1.50 each)
Coupon: $0.50/1 doubled to $1/1 = $6
Total = $3.00 ($0.50 each)

Simply Lemonade (Personal Size -I was thirsty!)
Retail: $1.69
Coupon: $0.50/1 doubled to $1/1 = $1 saved
Total = $0.69 

French's Dijon Mustard
Retail $5.70 ($2.85 each)
Coupon: $1/1 doubled to $2/1 = $4 saved
Total = $1.70 ($0.85 each)

Toaster Strudels (Normally wouldn't get this because of HFCS so this is considered a splurge.)
Retail: $1.88
Coupon: $0.50/1 doubled to $1/1 = $1 saved
Total = $0.88

Raspberry Tea (Hot tea)
Retail: $2.95
Coupon: $1/1 doubled to $2/1 = $2 saved
Total = $0.95

Pillsbury Ready-to-bake cookies
Retail: $5.54 ($2.77 each)
Coupon: $1/2 doubled to $2/2 = $2 saved
Total: $3.54 ($1.77 each)

My total on all three of my transactions after taxes was $74.32.
My total savings from coupons was $49.51.
My final out of pocket cost was $24.81.
That is a 69% savings
I definitely call this a successful trip. Tomorrow I'm going to the regular grocery store to get things like bread, deli, and regular meat - things I don't have coupons for.  Then I'll begin collection coupons for next month's double coupon event.

Flashback Friday -on Saturday

I've seen a few blogs participate in a Flashback Friday segment. I can't promise I will do this every Friday, after all this is my first time and I'm already doing it on Saturday! Either way, if I come across something interesting and I remember to do it I think it will be fun to have the occasional blog about past events.

Today, I was getting ready to post on SewFlakes blog, and I came across these two pictures on the camera.  These were taken when Josh and I moved in the apartment in February. It was pretty interesting to say the least. He had to work during the move, and we moved during the worst snow storm I've ever seen in Oklahoma. (We had 12"+ of snow on the ground.)

Our first load was kind of small, but we were able to get it everything in just a few trips, which is a nice part of starting out.

We both were excited to open our new kitchenwares, but I called dibs on the Cuisinart cookware Josh gave me for Christmas. So here is Josh opening up our knife set. After two months we still haven't used all the knifes, I mean really, is it necessary to have so many different kinds. (Steak knifes, a bread knife, paring knife, and the big knife I use for potatoes -thats all I think are necessary at this point.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Amazing Easter Egg Hunt!

I thought I was to old for Easter egg hunts, but apparently I was wrong. I received an email from Alex of Aurifil Threads today reminding me about the Easter egg hunt that Aurifil, Accuquilt, and The Quilt Show have pulled together.  It is super easy to participate and the prizes are awesome!

I've already completed all of the steps for myself. They are drawing a winner on April 25th, but I'm not sure off the date you have to enter by so enter soon!

Good Luck,
Trina T.

First "Couponing" Trip!

Today, I went to Harps for the first time because I heard about their double coupon promotion each month. I will be going back this weekend with the rest of my coupons after they restock, but this is what I purchased tonight.  I may not be the most extreme couponer, but I'm pleased with a 50% savings on things we will actually use.

12 packages of vegetable/rice steamers
Retail: $12.96 ($1.08 each)
Coupon: .75/3 doubled to $1.50/3 = $6 saved
Total = $6.96 ($0.58 each)

5 packages of Gardetto's
Retail: $8.40 ($1.68 each)
Coupon: .50/1 doubled to $1/1 = $5 saved
Total = $3.40 ($0.68 each)

2 cans Comet
Retail: $2.26 ($1.18 each)
Coupon: .25/1 doubled to .50/1 = $1 saved
Total: $1.26 ($0.63 each)

2 packages of crutons
Retail: $3.78 ($1.89 each)
Coupon: $1/2 doubled to $2/2 = $2 saved
Total: $1.78 ($0.89 each)

Retail: $27.40
Coupon Savings: $14.00
Spent: $13.40
(Taxes not included)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I’ve struggled trying to write a clever introduction to this blog so that you’ll come back to read my next entry, but all attempts have fallen short to expectation. This being the case, I’m just going to throw the basics out there for you, and you can take or leave it.

My name is Trina. I’m 23, and I recently moved in with my boyfriend, Josh.  Josh works a full-time and part-time job, and I work almost full-time at the local quilt shop.  So, as I’m sure you’ve put together, I’m not a wife, nor do I stay at home all day, i.e. not a real housewife. However, when I’m not working, I do loving being at our apartment making it a home.

This blog is going to be my place to share fun, funky, or just plain weird experiences as I learn to be a more traditional sort of female as transposed to a modern world. I hope that it provides you with entertainment, that it makes you smile, or that you maybe even pick up a few hints.

Yours truly,
Trina T.