Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day/Weekend Celebration

Mr. "Live Well" surprised me and took me away on a wonderful trip for Valentine's Day. When I walked into the hotel room, I found rose petals scattered on the floor!

Rose petals on the bed and dark European chocolate scattered on there as well...does it get better than that?!

Oh, yes it does when you also have a box of Rocky Mountain Chocolates...loaded with ALL of my favorites...dark chocolate toffee, peanut butter cups, and cream filled. YUMM-O

The most stunning bouquet of flowers from Bloomers. I think that sweet husband of mine thought of everything!

Besides all that love, Nedra from Cactus Needle hosted a beautiful Valentine dinner for us on Sunday. We had a wonderful dinner with family and friends!

While we were on our trip we had the opportunity to watch our daughter play basketball a couple of times. When we drove up to the gym, the first thing we saw was a large pole out front that has her photo wrapped around it. How fun!

After every game she has to have her ankles wrapped in ice from her injury I showed you back in November. She walks around with ice bags on her feet, freezing to death and dripping every where she goes. It's uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing as water runs down in a stream from her seat.

When the players leave the locker rooms and come out onto the floor to play there is a tunnel that they run thru...the tunnel is wallpapered with this enormous photo of her dribbling.

During the game when a time out is called or there's a media break, they have fans come out onto the floor and perform funny tricks. People toss frisbee's, try to shoot the ball with a bungie cord keeping them teathered to someone else and hula hooping. Our oldest daughter tried her hand or should I say hips at the hula hoop. She won an hour massage for beating the clock and her embarrassment! Needless to say we had a wonderful Valentine's weekend and enjoyed every minute of it! Live Well

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2nd Installment of February's Girl Gang

Gail Berry is a member of our Girl Gang and she brings the most stunning antique quilts for us to enjoy. This one just may be my favorite. You'll see a close up below of the little flower print that the quilter used as her background and it is such a charming piece. Also, if you look in the bottom right hand corner of the photo, the quilter used different blues in the corner blocks as she must have run out of the original blue. Maybe she felt like we do sometimes that her quilt wasn't perfect and might not be fit to show and now all these years later, we LOVE it and admire her work and want to duplicate it! One thing I learn from seeing these beauties, is there isn't a 'wrong' way to do it, so I need to be kinder to myself.

This photo doesn't show the true color of this quilt. It is the exact color of cheddar cheese and gorgeous!

A couple of years ago our local quilt group copied this antique quilt and traded the cross blocks with each other for more variety.
Lori showed this darling bird quilt and it's high on my list of the next little beauty I want to make. I took 3 pictures of it! I wanted you to see the designer herself. She is super creative and I love everything she shows!

Lori's daughter got married last year and she designed this quilt for the new couple. It's an heirloom. Am I the only one who remembers being lucky to get a tied flannel quilt for their wedding?!

This is Lori's current Girl Gang flimsy. She used a newspaper print fabric behind her trees. And changed her bee skips to more of a hive. She's made the most charming quilt. I need to sit by her and maybe have some of that creativeness rub off on me!

Janice is one of our leaders at Girl Gang and she made this Valentine quilt a couple of years ago. She used about every red in her sewing room and I've been wanting to make it ever since. I've decided that I am going to make it even if it's not ready until next Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

First Installment of February's Girl Gang

I took so many photos the other day at our quilt meeting, that I'm going to show you part of it today and part of it next time. I have been trying to download these since Tuesday and for some reason the photos would not upload into blogger. I decided the best thing to do would be to start over on an entire new blog post, so I tried that today and it worked! The quilts below are by Wendy Nabhan. She's a new attender to our meeting and we found out rapidly how talented she is...and prolific! She has mastered the art of making quick quilts and has lots of ideas on how to speed up a project. She is a machine quilter who gets your quilt completed and back to you in one week! I've decided the woman doesn't sleep. The quilt below is a quilt for her family room and the back of it is a smooth minky. I haven't seen that before, but it is lovely and so warm and cozy.

This is a quilt I want to make for sure! I love how she put those picots on the edges and it goes perfect with the zig zag pattern of the quilt. I am crazy about the fabrics she used too.

A great use of layer cakes and you can see that picot edge again.

This quilt is a quicky. Wendy's family are BYU fans, so she made a football field quilt to cuddle under while watching the games on tv.

A whole cloth quilt made with wonderful fabrics and made even more special with a scalloped border.

A red and white beauty with large ric rack on the edges.

This is another layer cake. She cut the squares on a diagnal and then sewed the red strips inbetween. There's a close up below to explain more. She made the entire quilt in 5 hours!

Our fearless leader Flora showed some of her beauties. This is a darling Valentine quilt made simple with a panel printed with the wreaths and letters.

This is another one I'd like to make. I'm confident that my friends RaeAnn from Cutie Pinwheel and Nanette from Freda's Hive will be drooling over this one. They LOVE these grandma prints! She's teaching this class at Ruby's Inn this month girls!

This one would be a good one to use up bunches of scraps on! Or that fat quarter pack you don't have a plan for.

Flora's also teaching medallion quilts at Ruby's. This one is stunning!!

Gail is a member of our Girl Gang group and she is doing this quilt out of wool. Flora has been working on it in fabric. It's beautiful Flora!! I love your fabric choices.

Monday, February 1, 2010

African Peanut Stew

When I was on my trip last week with my new girlfriends, I did some of the cooking. They all had recipe requests and asked if I would post more recipes on my blog and maybe a little less quilting. So, here is the soup that I served our first night together. I forgot the recipe, so I adlibbed, but it seemed to work out fine anyway. I made this soup and a salad and some yummy chocolate gluten free cupcakes. My friend RaeAnn struggles with some gluten sensitivity, so I tried to make food that she could enjoy with the rest of us. Tomorrow I am going to my Girl Gang meeting and I'll take a big pot of this soup for them to taste test too.

This photo shows most of the ingredients. It's a very easy recipe and takes only about 10 minutes prep time and 20 minutes to cook. I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from "The Biggest Loser's Plan to Win" by Cheryl Forberg.

African Peanut Stew
* 1 T. olive oil
* 1 medium red onion, chopped
* 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
* 1/2 c. chopped carrot (I use about 1 cup)
* 1/2 c. chopped celery (I use about 3/4 c.)
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 t. minced, peeled fresh ginger
* 1 T. curry powder (I use a heaping T. of yellow curry paste instead)
* 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
* 1 bay leaf
* 4 cups vegetable broth (I use double the broth)
* 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1/2" pieces
* 1 1/2 c. shelled edamame
* 1/4 c. creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter or almond butter (I only use almond butter)
* 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 (5 oz.) bag baby spinach leaves, torn into bite size pieces
* 1/2 t. salt
* coarsely ground black pepper

Method: Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery; saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and curry and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute; do not brown garlic. Add tomatoes and bay leaf; cook, uncovered, until tomatoes are slightly reduced about 3 minutes. Add broth and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes. Stir in edamame and almond butter until combined. Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and spinach until it wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8 (I cook the soup until it gets thick and creamy like a stew. Takes slightly longer than the recipe.)