June 9, 2017

Summer Vacation: Week One

Well, I had a list of things I wanted to do the MINUTE break started. Needless to say, I haven't done anything. I'm not sure what free time does to my motivation. When I'm teaching, I'm on the go: lunch, preparing for meetings, preparing lessons, setting up and maintaining classroom library, etc. Once I have free time, my motivation ceases. All I can do is lay in bed and watch TV or sleep. I'm not sure how to motivate myself...


While I planted myself in front of the television, I've been stitching. I finished stitching and beading Letters from Nora ("D" for my mom and "A" for my MIL). Both designs are conversions from the original pattern.



I also stitched more on Fairy Flora from Mirabilia. I did not follow the pattern for the wings, I wanted to use floss I have in my stash. I'll post the conversion once I'm finished with the design.



Week one down.



April 5, 2017

Only 38 More Days...

I've been working so much, I haven't been doing much sewing or baking. However, what I have been doing is spending a lot of time dreaming of summer and thinking about how to make our rented home...more homey. Here's my list:

1. Add plants, lots of plants to make the front porch more inviting
















2. Turn the back porch into an outside dinning area, complete with chandelier



















3.  Plant fruit trees in pots around the porch

4. Build a couple of planters for the front porch. 

Of course, I'd paint the blocks gray and use a dark
stain for the wood!









March 5, 2017

I've been stitching a lot lately. This month I'm working on an online class after a full work day with 7th graders. To stay awake, I stitch while I watch the videos. I must admit, I'm getting a lot of stitching done and a re-freshener on GT kids.

I started Fairy Flora when my oldest (now 25) was 2. I can't believe it's been over 20 years and I'm still stitching away.

I have a couple of finishes and WIPS I'd like to post, but it's much to late to photograph...and no natural light. Maybe tomorrow!

November 12, 2016

Weekend Stitching

I'm working on a few pieces to break up the work week. Tonight I worked on Nora Corbett's Letter D. I changed the Crescent Colours to DMC. I'm liking the progress so far...

June 17, 2016

New Beginnings...

Life has happened since I last posted...almost a year ago. My family and I had planned on moving back to Virginia. I resigned from my teaching position and began preparing for the big move. However, at the last minute the move was called off. Turns out my position was cut and I could not retract my resignation...which means I am unemployed again in Austin. It took me four years to find the teaching position I resigned from! For anyone who knows me, I worry about everything especially when it comes to my family's health and finances. To ease the worry, I decided to make use of the free time I have. I am working on creating lesson plans for YA novels while searching for a teaching job.

Regrettably, over the past two plus years of working I've gained about 40 lbs. Being a new teacher is stressful. I ate way too much processed, sugary food and I stopped going to the gym. A couple of my friends participate in a weight loss program that actually works. I'm not into programs or groups, but I am desperate to get back to myself. I don't recognize myself in the mirror. I look old and tired.

This blog has gone through many changes over the years...just like me. Now my focus is on my health and the good things in my life. I honestly just need a place to show I'm making progress!



September 28, 2015

Chili Pasta Bake with Cornbread Muffins



Meal planning for the week of 9.14 didn't go very well. I didn't purchase all the necessary ingredients ahead of time and the dishes I chose weren't very good, except for the Chili Pasta Bake from tastykitchen.com. It was excellent and tasted even better at work the next day! I also made cornbread muffins--since I was tired from working all day, I used Jiffy cornbread mix.

Ingredients

½ tbsp. vegetable oil
1 whole onion, chopped
1 lbs. ground beef
1 dash Salt
1 dash black pepper
½ lbs. pounds pasta shells
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz.)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (14.5 oz.)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed (15 oz.)
1-½ tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp cumin
3 dashes cayenne pepper
¼ c water
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
½ c sour cream

4 tbsp. green onions, chopped

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Drizzle the oil into a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink.

3. While the ground beef is cooking, cook your pasta according to package instructions for firm al dente. Once cooked, drain off the water and set pasta aside.

4. After the ground beef is cooked, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and green chilies, beans, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and water. Give it a stir and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

5. After 5 minutes, stir in the cooked pasta. Stir to combine.

6. Pour the chili pasta mixture into a 9×13 pan. Flatten it out with a spatula and sprinkle with cheese. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the edges are bubbling and the cheese has fully melted.

7. Top with sour cream and green onions.



September 27, 2015

Goodwill Wooden Stool


I move around a lot in the classroom. The only time I have any time to sit is before and after school. Since we are focusing on conferencing with students while in small groups, I was having to squat down to desk level to talk to the kids. I'd been looking for a stool awhile, but I didn't want to spend $20 on a cheap one. 

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by Goodwill just to look because everything in the store was 50% off.  I found a wood (real wood) stool for $7! It looked bad, at least to me, but it's the perfect size. 

My idea at first was to stain and paint a lace pattern on the top while painting the bottom black. I stained the top and it looked great. Then I painted the lace pattern on top. I know now that I should've used spray paint while using lace as a pattern. I ended up painting the whole stool solid black. I didn't like it much. Then I had the idea to stencil the top with metallic paint. Turns out I only had silver and bronze, so bronze it was. I chose an owl pattern because I gave an example of a metaphor using an owl in class last week and thought it would be cool to have an owl stool. Owls are wise...

Once the stenciled owls were dry, I applied a coat of poly. It'll make a perfect addition to my classroom!