Friday, May 31, 2013

Purse Organizer

One of the ladies at the quilt class last night showed us a purse organizer she had made. I loved it. I went to the recommended website (google Jen Wesner purse organizer to find it) and it didn't take long at all to make this...

I made two.

She recommended some heavy fabric for the outside. I had the red ticking and it did fine but just wasn't very pretty. So I made another with regular fabric, cut it down a few inches, and put interfacing on both pieces of fabric.

Your wallet and planner, if you are like me and carry one, fit in the middle. You other things such as phone, keys, lipstick, ink pens, check book, chewing gum, hand sanitizer, etc., fit in the little pockets. It secures to itself with Velcro and forms a little circle.

So when you want to carry one of those "black hole" type purses, you just put your things in this little organizer and you'll be able to find everything in the purse and you can move the contents from purse to purse when you want to carry a different one.

What do you think? Let me know if you make one!


Monday, May 27, 2013

What to do with overripe bananas?

The hubby likes a banana in his cereal so like a good wife, I buy them for him. However he doesn't always eat them before they start to go bad. I hate to waste, so when it looks like they are getting too ripe I freeze them. Sometimes I make banana bread with them. Today I made a banana milkshake. Oh my! Delicious!

I used Mayfields homemade vanilla ice cream, a little vanilla, a little sugar, and some defrosted frozen banana pieces. Blended it together. Delicious!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Cades Cove

The hubby and I had a nice drive in the mountains today. We drove through Cades Cove, an eleven mile loop in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Beautiful weather and beautiful scenery.

Interesting, a blue eyed horse.


Saturday, May 25, 2013



Grilled steak, baked potato, salad, homemade strawberry pie, tea with lemonade.....yum, yum...eating outside on the screened porch....wonderful way to end a beautiful day.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cancer Survivor

My sweet husband brought me this today....

It seems weird calling myself a cancer survivor, but I guess I am. Not a survivor of breast cancer. That episode turned out to be benign, after two biopsies. But over a year ago some symptoms and a very thick uterine lining led to a uterine biopsy. It revealed a small bit of cancer. I prayed for God's mercy and healing. I believe He heard my prayers. No more was ever found. The hysterectomy results showed a normal uterine lining...thin.

I thought it was very sweet of my husband to recognize my experience, support the American Cancer Society, and bring me a gift. Love that man.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Degree

I wanted to post a picture of another SBTS graduation. My son, Elijah, completed the requirements for his second Masters degree and graduated on Friday, which was also his birthday. This one was a Master of Theology, typically thought to be a higher level master program than the MDiv, and some consider it equivalent to the first year of a Phd, which is his next goal.

He has worked full time on evening shift while attending school full time for this degree and for the majority of the time in his first Masters program. He jokes that the library gave him his own desk he was there so much. He is one smart boy (has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry) and this momma is very proud of him and his precious wife. She has supported him through all of this while working and attending school herself. I am so blessed by and thankful for these two and look forward to seeing how God uses them for his glory.


Bathroom Vanity Upgrades

Got the granite on the vanities. I am very happy with them.

Some before pictures...

And now the after pictures...



In other news today. I ran my third 5k of the year. In the pouring rain. Miserable. Didn't beat my last time, but I did well enough to win a second place medal for my age group. Of course, there may have only been three in my age group.....don't


Monday, May 13, 2013

Protein Drink Review

I must say I love these protein drinks.

Each 15 ounce bottle is two servings. Each serving has about 16 grams of protein. Wow. The protein is from a combination of whey and soy. If you are trying to lose a few pounds, or just trying to get enough protein in the day, these are a great choice. I love the mango, chocolate, and the vanilla. Bolthouse farms also makes other drinks full of vitamins and minerals. Their Mocha Cappuchino is delicious. Each serving of it has about 6 grams of protein. Not bad for a sweet coffee drink.

I do at least two of my three weekly runs in the evenings before supper. I am not hungry at all afterwards but feel I need to replenish the protein. A half one of these is usually enough to get me replenished without adding a lot of extra calories.

I've found them at Kroger, Walmart, and Food City.

Try them and let me know what you think!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quilting fabric

I found this cute fabric in a shop on Etsy. Love it! Retro owls. Called Urban Zoology and Remix.

Not sure what I'll make with it. Maybe make one of the little star quilts. This has been a no-sewing weekend, just thinking of sewing......


Momma and Strawberry Pie

In talking to my mom this morning I told her I was making a strawberry pie. She told me that in honor of Mother's Day, Shoney's is giving all moms a free piece of strawberry pie tomorrow. My mom will get hers as well tomorrow, but at our house.

My last one was a bit runny so I adjusted the recipe a little. Hopefully this one will be just right.

Here's to you Mom!

I think she was 17 and dad was 27 or 28 in this picture. Yes, he robbed the cradle, but their marriage lasted until he passed away 63 years later. Love you Mom!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Boyce College Graduation

Today my precious daughter-in-law graduated from Boyce College. We are all so proud of her. I was blessed to drive up yesterday, attend the ceremony and drive home today. Dr. Mohler's and Dr. DeWhitt's charges to the graduates were moving and inspiring. So glad I was able to attend.


When I visit the campus I usually stay at the Legacy Hotel. I love it there. Here is one of the reasons...


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Secret City 5k

I ran my second 5k this morning. I was dreading it, but I am very glad I did it. I beat my last time by about four minutes, yay! I think I finished at 33:11 but I'll have to wait until they post the results to know for sure.


I did walk up a hill at the water station, and even walked a couple more short times later. Yet, one of my best times. I do think the adrenaline kicks in on race day.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Strawberry time!

It's that time of year again....

Four runs of freezer jam, three quart bags for the freezer, one pie, and one big bowl cut up with sugar sitting in the fridge.....a good strawberry day!

(In case you wondered about the white tile taped to the wall in the last photo.....I am auditioning some white subway tile for the backsplash :) love me some house projects....)


Quilt Making Tips

We had our first class last night on making the small quilt. My brain would not turn off when got home and I started documenting tips I've learned over the years. I thought it would be a good post for the blog. Beware it is a long post and is strictly my opinions from what I've learned over the last six years.

- a pink lead quilting marker is great. It will show up on lights and darks

- a wooden iron is a great little tool for manually pressing short seams

- always have a sharp seam ripper

- a 1/4 inch sewing foot is a must

- invest in good quilting rulers. Creative Grids is the best brand I've seen. They have something on the back to help it not to slide on the fabrics, have down to 1/8th inch marks, and most have angle lines which can be very useful

- a handy tool for pressing and cutting when you take classes is the quilters cut & press. It has a padded side for ironing and a cutting mat on the other side

- Olfa brand is the best self healing cutting mats I've used. Seem to last lots longer than other brands

- my Omnigrid rotary cutter (45mm) has lasted through over 100 quits. Blades can be purchased at Walmart, Joanns, and other places

- a good retractable metal tape measure (about 8-12 feet) will serve you well if you move on to making bigger quilts. You'll use it for cutting backing fabric and measuring across the center of your quilt for adding borders. I never use a regular tape measure

- I recommend hand quilting thread for hand stitching down bindings. It is stronger than regular thread so there is no need to double it

- Printed Treasures makes a paper backed fabric that can be used for labels made on a computer. You create your label in a word processor (Word, WordPerfect, Pages, etc.) using the fonts, sizes, and colors you like, add photos, and then run the paper backed fabric through your inkjet printer. Cut it down to size, peel the paper off, rinse it in cold water, iron it dry, turn down the raw edges, and hand sew it on the back of your quilt

- when in doubt on how to do something quilt related, search YouTube. Most likely someone has made a how to video about it. An Eleanor Burns YouTube video taught me to sew on a binding with mitered corners.

- high quality fabric brands/lines are Moda, Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake, Wilmington,

- "squaring" up blocks makes them go together much easier

- when learning how to machine quilt, it is often a good idea to use monofilament thread. It will not show on your quilt. However, if you practice first, and are comfortable with your skill level, use regular cotton thread that blends with your fabrics. Often a tan or medium grey is a good color because it will not show up too dark on the light fabrics and not too light on the darker fabrics.

- when putting pieces together to sew, pin the corners, and if one piece seems a bit longer than the other, place it on the bottom when you sew. The feed dogs on the machine will ease the extra fullness in.

- a walking foot will make the quilt sandwich feed easier when machine quilting. A free motion foot allows you to move and turn the quilt sandwich in any direction when machine quilting. A stitch in the ditch foot is good for machine quilting directly in the seams.

- Lots of quilting patterns are designed to be used with precuts; it saves having to pick lots of different coordinating fabrics.


Pre-cuts - various sets of color coordinating sets such as charms, layer cake, jelly roll, etc.

Charm pack - color coordinated set of (typically) 5" squares

Jello roll - set of 2 1/2" inch width of fabric (~42") color coordinating strips

Layer cake - set of about 42 color coordinating 10" squares

Fat quarter - 18" x 21" inch cut of fabric; a regular fourth yard cut is 9"x 42"

Fat eighth - 9 "x 21" cut of fabric; a regular eighth yard cut is 4.5" by 42"

Quilt shop quality fabric - has higher thread count than cheaper fabric; is softer and made from long staple cotton thread; cheaper fabric will seem thin, and often stiff

Places to buy quilt shop quality 100% cotton fabrics: My experience has been most all quilt shops sell high quality fabric. Etsy- search "quilting fabric"; order name brands, and I only use sellers with a 100% positive rating. You can pay with PayPal or a credit card. I've have very good experiences with Etsy. Normally a bit cheaper than regular high end quilt shops.

I am sure I will be adding to this list of tips. My plan is to have copies of it for our class members at our next meeting.