Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve

I hope you've all had a wonderful holiday season. It's been forever since I've posted and I thought I'd catch you up just a bit with what I've been doing with all this 'family time'. On Christmas Eve we had a big 'Thanksgiving' dinner because no one could come home for Thanksgiving and then we went to Temple Square in Salt Lake and saw the lights. It was an extremely cold night...probably only 5-7 degrees! We walked all around the Square and saw the beautiful lights and the nativity scene. It wasn't as crowded as I thought it might be and was a wonderful way to remember our Savior and feel the Christmas spirit. The above photo is all of us in one's been quite a while since I got to enjoy this scene.
Salt Lake Latter Day Saint Temple

Jena and her boyfriend Greg.
Statue of Joseph Smith on the Square. If you ever get to must take the time to walk around Temple Square as it's one of the most lovely places to visit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Quilts Hangin' Around My House

I wanted to share with you my Christmas Quilts I hang up at this time of year. This one was one I did years ago in a couple of days. It is meant to be used to sleep under the Christmas tree. The large pocket in the right hand corner is where a child would leave their list for Santa and an elf will come and get the list at night when they're asleep.
This one is another quickie that works well with a print you don't want to cut up into very small pieces. There's a close up photo below.

I've used this one to cover a small bench by the bay window because it's not a quilt I like very much. It was a ton of work without the rewards. I would never make this pattern again. Don't we all have quilt patterns we'd say that about?!
This is a small wall hanging that I did years ago with my quilting buddies and I hadn't ever done applique before. Of course, the applique is by machine and a buttonhole stitch. It was the first time I learned to put fabrics together and make up something without a lot of coaching. I'm sure Nedra coached me some, but I was rather proud of myself.
I bid on this quilt at the Provo Quilt Guild meeting and was the highest bidder about five or six years ago. It was done by some really wonderful quilters with amazing applique skills. It's one of my favorites. Sometimes I don't take it down the entire year.
About 10 years ago we went on a trip back east and got to spend some time in Pennsylvania and I bought this quilt from some wonderful Amish quilters. It's also a prize. I wanted to buy something that I knew I'd never make myself. I don't enjoy hand work very much.
I actually made this quilt twice because after I completed it, the darling girl that was dating one of my sons (I nicknamed her "Miss Lolly"), wanted to make one for her mother. The only catch was, she didn't know how to quilt, so I coached her on some of it and made much of it myself. I know her mother loved it.

I was in the process of hanging this quilt the other day and my 17 year old said, "Mom, this is the ugliest quilt you ever made". Sad! What I didn't tell her is that I loved this fabric and pattern so much that I became obsessed and made this quilt in a matter of a couple of days because I didn't even want to sleep. It's one of my favorites, but apparently that's only a matter of opinion. Live Well this Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Girl Gang

Laurie is one of the talented women in our Girl Gang group. I love her work and her creativity. Can you tell that one of her backgrounds behind the trees is newspaper print fabric? So cute.

I LOVE the background for the chicken and flowers.

This is not the 'real' beehives in our quilt pattern, but she made up her own and it is so darling.

Here's a close up.

Judy D. makes the most beautiful quilts and this is a Christmas one she shared. The tree that Janice is pointing to is amazing.

Vicky C. told us the most darling story about this quilt she is working on for Christmas. She has a charming personality and told us how she is working on all the applique borders at the same time because she doesn't want the fabric that isn't being worked with to feel bad! She said, "You know how when you open a box of crayons you have to color with every single one of the crayons, otherwise the ones you don't use will feel bad? Well, it's like that with fabric." It was so cute! I'd never thought of that before.
She also told the funniest story about her daughter buying her a camera for her birthday and was bringing it over to the house for her, but Vicky wasn't home, so her daughter hid the camera in the barbque and forgot to tell you guessed it...they heated the grill to make steaks for dinner the following night and the camera was cooked at 500 degrees and was a melted mess. Poor Vicky still doesn't have a camera. :( You must come to our quilt guild just to laugh!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bread Pudding

So let's get don't serve bread pudding because it's serve it because it's so good it causes your eyes to roll to the back of your head and your tongue to do cart wheels in your mouth! Today was our quilt meeting at Broadbent's and Janice suggested I make something Christmasy. So I decided to make bread pudding. Yummo! The above photo is the pudding before it went in the oven and the next photo is what it looked like when it was served. The recipe will be below.

This is a silly little Christmas book that I just had to have from Broadbent's today. You've got to try and find it in your neck of the woods as it will tickle your funny bone. I also had fun picking out fabrics for the Girl Gang quilt I'm working on. I'll show those tomorrow, along with some photos of the quilts that others shared at the meeting.
Bread Pudding Judi Style
For Thanksgiving I only had 7 people eating over which left lots of dough from homemade rolls, so I made the remaining dough into cinnamon rolls and then froze them after they were cooked. I took them out of the freezer on Monday so they would taste like 'day old'. 'Older' bread works best for pudding because it soaks up the milk just right. :) (just trust an old cook will you?) Use store bought cinnamon rolls if you want, otherwise you can make your favorite and use those.
Cut up cinnamon rolls to equal 8 cups
6 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon (I use Pampered Chefs cinnamon blend. It's a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, orange peel, cloves, ginger)
(At this point you could add a cup of raisins and/or pecans)
Whip eggs, milk, etc. together and then pour over the chopped rolls and let soak for 15 minutes. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes in a 9 x 13 pan or custard cups in a water bath. Put the pan or the cups in a large baking dish and fill it with hot water until it is up the sides of the pan by about 2/3 of the way. Be careful taking it out of the oven as the water gets very hot. Serve with vanilla sauce
Vanilla Sauce
2 T. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. corn starch or clear gel
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. cream
Stir over low heat until sugar melts and it thickens slightly
I topped mine with fresh raspberries when I went to serve it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Decorating Has Begun

I began on Friday to tear the house apart and started decorating for Christmas. Every year I say it's going to be simpler this year, and then I start and its so fun and everything looks so charming and delightful that I can't help myself and I just keep decorating. Sorry for the blurry photo above. I took it a couple of times and I couldn't get it any clearer. This is the cupboard I store my quilts in and on and the whole thing got cleaned off so I could hang the stockings from it.
My fireplace generally displays photos of ancestors and there is a painting that hangs above it. All that comes down to display a white village that I LOVE!
The dining room curtains come down and lighted garland and big striped candy styrofoam balls go up with some glass snowflakes.
They sell these big letters at a local discount store and you can paint them any color you want. Then I thumb tacked ribbon on the back to hang them up with.
I moved a piece of furniture in front of the bay window to watch the deer from, but it needed a few pillows on it. I made a simple pillow cover from an old tablecloth with holes in it. I cut the table cloth up and cut out tree shapes and stitched them on. It was a quick and easy project that I think turned out very well and didn't cost me a dime. I hope to make another one for the other side of the bench and put a few store bought Christmas pillows inbetween. I'm working on a few more things I hope to show next week. Live Well, Judi

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Most of the children were gone this Thanksgiving and we missed them. It was mostly just us 'old folks' enjoying the holiday.

The traditional 20 lb. bird...even though there weren't enough people to make a dent in all that food.

I did make fewer pies and we still didn't make a dent in these either. I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. I am so grateful for this year to improve and progress and have learned so much from my relationships with so many of you. I have so enjoyed new friendships and your contribution to my life. Live friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Caution...Deer Crossing!

You can't tell by these photos, but we live in the city! There is a Walmart just down the block from our house. We have a little cluster of trees that are behind the house and these deer have moved in...they have also had babies all summer long. We now have a total of 11 that eat our grass, flowers, trees, bushes and even apples if we have a box on the back porch. They're fun to look at, but they murder our garden and dig up the bulbs. Further, I can't come in or out of the driveway without having to wait for the deer crossing.
Does this cute little face look guilty to you or is it just me?!

Kiss your plants goodbye.

This one has nestled into the compost pile of grass clippings and looks so comfy. She didn't move all day even when I went outside. She owns the place in case you're wondering.

Can you see why I can't store the fruit or vegetables on the porch? She's only about 5' from our back door.
Can you charge a deer rent?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lunch with Girlfriends

I was invited to lunch with my friends Ruth and Susan. Ruth made everything for us and it was wonderful. This is the salad and it had a yummy new flavor in every bite. She said there wasn't a recipe, just put on everything that looked like Fall! It would be a great way to use that leftover turkey.

These rolls are sold at Sam's Club and come already in the pan and you just heat them up for about 5 minutes. They are as good as they look. Great idea for Thanksgiving'll look like you cooked all day...these taste homemade and are even made with whole grains.

The best dessert...a big chewy chocolate chip cookie. I'll put the recipe at the end of this entry. :)
Ruth is on the left and Susie on the right...They're busy making my lunch! I felt so loved.

Ruth's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
Cream those ingredients together. ADD:
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. soda
1. salt
2 c. oats, use quick or regular
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. coconut
Bake 350 10-12 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Ruth usually triples the above recipe and the dough stays well in the fridge for about a week and she just keeps making fresh cookies everyday. She makes them really big by using an ice cream scoop and only putting 6 cookies on each cookie sheet to bake.

Live Well,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Findings on Depression

On my list of favorite things to do has always been to study nutrition and the role it plays on keeping ourselves feeling our best. I found this article and thought since it's approaching that time of year when we eat more sugary foods, this might inspire us to be more careful. Live Well, Judi

Depressing Processed Foods

A diet heavy in processed and fatty foods increases the risk of depression, according to British research published. Researchers at University College London also found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depression.

They compared participants -- all civil servants -- who ate a diet largely based on "whole" foods with a second group who mainly ate fried food , processed meat, high-fat dairy products and sweetened desserts.

Taking into account other indicators of a healthy lifestyle such as not smoking and taking physical exercise , those who ate the whole foods had a 26 percent lower risk of depression than those who ate mainly processed foods.

People with a diet heavy in processed food had a 58 percent higher risk of depression.

The researchers put forward several explanations for the findings, which are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Firstly, the high level of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables could have a protective effect, as previous studies have shown higher antioxidant levels to be associated with a lower risk of depression.

Secondly, eating lots of fish may protect against depression because it contains high levels of the sort of polyunsaturated fatty acids which stimulate brain activity.

And they said it was possible that a "whole food" diet protects against depression because of the combined effect of consuming nutrients from lots of different types of food , rather than the effect of one single nutrient.

The researchers concluded: "Our research suggests that healthy eating policies will generate additional benefits to health and well-being, and that improving people's diet should be considered as a potential target for preventing depressive disorders ."

The study was carried out on 3,486 people with an average age of 55, who worked for the civil service in London.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grandma Wanted to Meet the Horse

Carissa has begged, plead, stood on her head, (hey that rhymed) etc. etc. for years for us to buy her a horse. She finally has one! (At least one we're making payments on!) His name is Honey, although he is registered and has some fancy French name as well...I just don't know what it is. His mother and father were apparently very important horses and so he will someday grow up to be famous himself. (Can you tell, I know absolutely nothing about horses!) Her riding instructor called and said this was the horse to invest we're going entirely off of her advice. So far he just costs lots of money and eats bunches and bunches! Not that different from my children now that I think about it. :)

It's darling how he comes to her call and follows her everywhere.

Honey doesn't allow others to touch him much, but he sure loves Carissa and follows her command.

Mr. Live Well's mom's in town and she is staying with us indefinitely. She wanted to meet Honey before it got too cold for her to get out of the house and visit with him. She is 87 and about 89 lbs soaking wet, so we have to bundle her from head to toe to keep her even slightly comfortable.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One of the "Ladies" is having Twins

Our little group was nicknamed "The Ladies" by one of the quilters daughters, Aleena. Aleena is just a few weeks away from having twins...a boy and a girl. So her momma and I got together and designed a quilt for each baby. We planned it together on a Sunday and then Ruth did the shopping and the drawing of the monkey face, etc. I got to help with some of the sewing on Ruth's day off Wednesday. I feel like I was a small part of keeping them warm and toasty. As you can tell, she will have 4 babies under four!! Doesn't it make you tired just thinking of it?

This is the boys quilt. Can you see his bow tie? How cute and then this will be bound in the brown dots when it gets quilted.

The girls quilt has a bow in the top of her head. Oh, so cute. It was a fun project and it's always fun to sew with your friends. What would we do without each other?

Ruth has a quilting machine and did the quilting herself. It is so darling. I am working for her in a couple of weeks so she can leave her business and take care of her new grandbabies when they get here.