Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dress update, new prejects

It really was true! The patterns at Joanne's were really only a dollar this past weekend! I went with my mom and granny on Memorial Day. I got this dress to sew inspired by Africankelli. I also picked up this dress. These patterns were normally 16.95 at Joanne's. Do the math. So I dont feel bad that I also picked up this skirt pattern and this "Go Green" Tote pattern to make for friends.
I am going to use my stash for the totes. The baige, pink paisley faric is for the long flowy dress. And the bright is for a little skirt. Now if I can just get "little".
Granny (91) bought a pattern for a cute purse..try to get pic of that soon. The sewing machine may be a little much for her so mom and I are going to help. She will do plenty of supervising, so I think that means I need to keep the seem ripper handy if I know her. Love you granny!

Spiritual abundance morning

"Thank You God. Thank God for the many blessings, gifts and abundance that form your life. Keep a gratitude or a Thank You God journal and record all of the things that you are grateful for. Noticing and recording gratitude opens your heart up to receive more."
I keep reading stories in the Houston Chronicle about "Life after the layoffs"...and while it's much more good has come of it for me than bad. I have everything I need. I have found I do not need so much "stuff". I never realized how much I spent before on..what?..nothing really. I appreciate the simpler things in life. I asolutely LOVE picking my son up from school. It is a luxury I have never had as a single mom. I was always the first to drop him off at day care and the last to pick him up rushing through traffic. While I look forward to working again, I look forward to a different kind of work. More of service to others.
I think people needed to slow down...maybe as we pick up again, we'll do things in a better way. I appreciate the slow down. I dont ever want to go that fast again. I want to have time to be creative, time to learn new skills, time to listen to my son talk. Having a cup of coffee sitting in my herb garden...checking on my tomato vines..time to sew a pretty dress...and time to wear it on a date. I want to write and publish a couple of books...

Everything happens for a reason. And I am grateful for this time, for the love in my life, for my church, my family. And for all of the inspiring women on the a simpler, prettier version of life.

Ten things I love
1.pretty fabric
2.15 tomatos about to "turn" in my garden
3.the smell of coffee brewing
4.a new pattern
5.a fresh project
6.finishing a knitted scarf
7.trecking to the pool with my son grandmother's temper, she's got spirit mom's love
10. everything about basil

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dont forget

Dont forget the giveaway! Post your recipe for chicken quarters and a side dish by 10 pm tonight!

Sew a summer dress

Have you ever sewn clothes before? I was inspired by Africankelli who is sewing this dress by Cynthia Rowley I am going to attempt it myself because it is so cute!! If you go to Joanne's this pattern (all their Simplicity patterns) are only a dollar this weekend! If you want to sew along let me know. If you want to sew along, step one: Find a pttern this week and some fabric.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Giveaway Peak

Tutorial to follow giveaway.
It's easy and fun! And I always like to make useful things. I have so loved making and giving away the fruits of my talents. So much more than store bought. I have had some time recently to reconnect, learn new skills ( sewing, blogging, making recipes and trying new ones, and experimenting in my garden). There is so much else I want to do... it's all about the journey. I am so grateful to all the women on the internet who have inspired me to be more. And to be more not only for me, but for my son, my family, my friends...and who knows what friends I will make on the internet, and whose lives I might inspire.

Fresh from the garden bliss

A must have in my neighborhood on Memorial day is the chips and salsa. I'm trying to will enough tomatos to turn red so as to make it fresh from the garden.

Here is my VERY simple from the garden, tried and true and beloved Texas salsa recipe...gulf coast style. Use fresh whenever possible.
Melo's Gulf Coast Salsa
two or three tomatos
two fresh jalopenos
a few sprigs of cilantro
LOTS of lime to taste, I use two, sometimes three (this is key)
one onion
one or two ( I usually add just one) clove garlic
I put all my ingrediants in a little cuisine art mini chopper I bought from Walgreens ( too easy!)
Or you can chop everything up very finely for more of a pico
For flair I sometimes add a mango (which I am going to do for this Memorial day weekend.) Just make sure to add enough jalopeno to offset the sweetness of the mang0.
I will post Frank the Tank's margarita recipe this Sunday. It's perfect. As well as his colorado mojito with fresh mint magic. oh I can taste it now!
FYI Frank the Tank is my boyfriend and in his college days he bartended. Trust me this boy knows his way around the tequila. Even if he is a Colorado boy. And a cuban. ( mojito, mojito, mojito)
I also plan to serve up some guacamole, bacon wrapped jalopeno with cream cheese stuffed inside, grilled chicken quarters, chili lime corn on the cobb, and home made ice cream and brownies for desert.
Here is my challenge:
( Melo GIVEAWAY) I need a recipe for the chicken ( I bought four leg quarters "great for the grill") and I also need some kind of potato cheesy side dish that my son will eat. Please leave any suggestions in the comments section. I will be drawing a winner this Sunday! This prize is one of my ultra cute grocery bag dispensers that I sew from my label Choclate Tamales. Lord knows some of ya'll have grocery bags tucked all kinds of places...mmhmmmm. You know who you are.. so help me out and melo out!
Good luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Manifest new floors

Ok I have a 7 year old who used to be a toddler and a dog.... And well it doesnt make sense that the builder of my house put carpets in the dining room!!! Where all kinds of stuff spills... sippy cups, juice, milk, wine.... sippy cups, red wine....
So about 9 months ago one night when my son was at Papo Bill's house, I impulsively ripped it out. And then I was going to install would floors myself but never got around to it because my job ate my lunch every day and I was tired all the time.... now I have a lot of time, no job.... how to manifest these floors. My mom had the perfect solution! porch paint. Kind of like stained concrete but a little less cool. Anyway, it solved the problem and I can always harwood floor right over it. And I can have people over again. Whew! And it's juice and WINE resistant
This is the before.... you can see it's concrete...not pretty.

Lovely walnut brown. This porch paint is really sticky and thick an oil based so it goes on really well on the concrete. It couldnt have been easier really. Two hour project. I didnt even use the whole can. Only needed one coat!

Make Your own seed shaker

I am going to try this seed spreader from Organic Gardening.
"Tops with 1/4-inch holes are perfect for small to medium-size round seeds such as poppies, radishes, onions and members of the cabbage family. "

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Originally uploaded by africankelli

As my little tomato plants grow....I am visualizing what to do with them.
This BAT (Bacon avocado tomato) treat from Africankeli looks refreshing!

Giant Pumpkin

One day this Giant pumpkin is going to be giant!

Explanation - yes those are foamy angel wings marking my seeds. I didnt have any labels so I got CREATIVE. Yes I am thank you. I found a project for making angels in the craft closet and look at all the wings! I kind of think the angels will bless my little garden. Actually it got really windy and they blew away. oops. But I got smart and labeled the starter thingys with black sharpy. So seeeeee if the single mommy in the burbs of Texas can start a garden and feed the world (my fantasy) from her backyard you can too! What are you waiting for!! Even if all your perfect neighbors think you are nuts for ripping up MORE grass. They'll thank you when it's time to harvest.
Do you see this GIANT pumpkin??? Do you really think it will be giant one day??? I have to know. That is why I planted these seeds and now I have FOUR giant pumpkin vines growing in my backyard in the suburbs of Texas. SUBURBS. Yes my perfect neighbors think I'm crazy. TO quote " you rippin up more grass"? "That's good grass.." NOT compared to the possibility of giant pumpkin, and my fantasies of seeing it be bigger than my 7 years old boy, Do you see? It's bigger than this boy on the seed packet! Ok truth be told, I dont really believe in giant pumpkins, I've never seen one for real. But...I'm that way. I have to really KNOW if I can grow this pumpkin to giant. What a halloween it's going to be if I have four giant pumpkins come fall. People will come for miles around to see what the single mom in the suburbs has done next.

This is the real life story of a cumcumber's birth. For the past two years I have had one 100 sq ft plot for growing veggies in my backyard. While I loved my garden and reaped the benefits of tomoatos and peppers and squash and green beans, I really didnt have TIME for my garden. Have you ever had one of those times in your life where you literally were on the rat race??? My job intown was so stressful at one point, I remember coming home at dusk and just sitting in the middle of my garden crying.

Since then, I've slowly gotten myself out of the rat race, and have realized the importance to the whole person of carving out space for the things I love. I am creative and this is what fuels me. Lately , I have been obsessed with gardening - I dug up another 100 sq ft plot this season for my viney friends...the pumpkin, watermelon and cukes that always end up trying to choke my peppers and tomatos ( they are very competitive).
So now they have their own place. I even bought this nylon treliss for 3 bones at home depot so that he cucumbers can grow up and leave room for their melon friends.

I am particularly proud of growing from seeds this year. One thing I'll do differently next year is start earlier. Patience darlin, patience. They take a while to grow. And not everything made it. But I do have quite a nice little crop growing. Did I mention the spaghetti squash did amazingly well from seed? Hardy little guys. I bought them on a whim but here they are two rows growing!

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter