Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Night Sweets


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White Chocolate Cranberry Almond cookies

Don't ask me why but, every Sunday night once I get my kids into bed, I feel like eating baked goods.  Maybe it's my sub-conscience gearing up for another week or trying to reward me for all the hard work I've done the week before. Whatever the case, I have an overwhelming feeling that I need to bake.  Tonight I debated for an hour trying to convince myself to eat a salad instead...clearly the salad lost.  I did decide to go "healthy" with my choice and made cookies that have both fruit and nuts.  lol 
They actually turned out pretty yummy, for a non-chocolate treat, so I decided to share the recipe.  If you are OCD when it comes to directions then you may hate me and my directions.  I like to cut corners.  Anything that saves me time/work and doesn't sacrifice taste, I'm all about it.  Less dishes, less mess, more time to enjoy my treats.  :)


3/4C butter
1/4C sugar
1C brown sugar
1T. Vanilla
1egg + 1egg yolk
2C (plus 1T.) flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1C white choc. chips
1C dried cranberries
1/2 C slivered almonds OR macadamia nuts
Pre-Heat oven to 325

1) Cream together first section of ingredients in a large bowl. 
(I usually throw my butter in the bowl first and microwave it until its half soft and half melted, then I add the sugars, vanilla and eggs)

2) In the same bowl sprinkle your 2C plus 1T. of flower over the creamed sugars completely covering it. In your dirty 1C measuring cup,  mix your soda and salt together then sprinkle it evenly over your flour.  Once you have all your dry ingredients covering your creamed sugar mix thoroughly.

3) Add your white chocolate chips, cranberries and nuts

4) Place one inch balls of dough 1-2 in. apart on your cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 15 min

5) Once your cookies are done, leave them on the cookie sheet until they have set.  (about 3 minutes)

I like to cool my cookies on a double layer of paper towels but, you can use a rack if you like. :)

My pictures may not be that great because it's midnight so the lighting is horrible but, the cookies sure do taste good.  They will be even better for breakfast!! or the 7 times I'm going to get up in the night to nurse the baby.  lol

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Order in the Sewing Room!!


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A Beautiful New Sewing Room
(for super cheap)

For the past 7 years I have been operating my sewing business from my ever so spacious and extremely visible, living room.  I selected a corner of the room that I would set up my sewing/embroidery machine on a fold out butterfly style table.  I kept my notions in Tupperware bins that originally had lids but, after 7 years I couldn't close the lids, let alone find them.  My fabric and ribbons I kept in my garage and my ironing board in my coat closet.  It's been oh, so cozy.  After having my fourth child recently I have been trying desperately to create some sort of order somewhere, anywhere in my life.  Jacki (who also just had a baby) and I both missed the nesting stage because we were both on strict bed rest and unable to do ANYTHING.  She went crazy on her house a few weeks ago with the label maker and She thinks this is our bodies way of postpartum "nesting"  lol.  I really just was so tired of sewing in such an nonfunctional space, I had had enough.  I am not necessarily a cheap person but, I do think I am frugal so I didn't want to spend a ton of money but I wanted it to be beautiful, of coarse.  I have had a lot of thinking time over the past few months to plan out how I would get my desired look as inexpensively as possible.

I started by making space for my new sewing room....

Then, I went SHOPPING :)

I decided how many shelving units I wanted and where I wanted to place them.  I purchased 2 five shelve bookcases ($28.97) and 3 three shelve book cases ($14.97) from Walmart.  They are super cheap there and fairly easy to assemble (if you have eyes and can follow picture directions as there are no words). hahaha
I also purchased wide mouth mason jars in 2 different sizes. (quart size and pint size) They come in packs of 12 and are between $8-12 per package.  I then purchased 3 larger Gallon size lidded jars on the Tupperware isle that were $4.50ea.
Next I bought boards to roll my fabric onto.  I actually invested a little more money in this because I wanted something REALLY sturdy that wasn't going to bend over time with the weight of the fabric.  I also wanted something that came in different sizes so I could put larger cuts of fabric on larger boards.  They sell canvas panels in many sizes for painting in 3 packs that I really, really love for this however, they are a tiny bit pricey. You can go cheaper and cut your own from the hard foam presentation board (sold on the poster board isle) or you can use comic book boards (limited size options but SUPER cheap)  I spent around $100 on boards (using a combination of canvas panels and cut foam board) for my fabric but, you could spend as little as $10 if you use comic book boards.  
For my excessive ribbon supply I bought spring tension rods from the curtain rod isle.  They were $1.98ea and I purchased 9 of them.  I also bought 10 folding bins from K-mart for $4ea ($40). They fit perfectly onto the shelves. This puts the grand total for my entirely new sewing room at $293.35.

As soon as I got home, I assembled my shelves.  It took me about 3 hours to put the 5 sets of shelves together (while I was watching The Voice and Smash, so I wasn't totally paying attention to what I was doing)  lol.  I figured it would only take me a few hours to fill the shelves up.  BOY WAS I WRONG!!  I guess I didn't realize exactly how much sewing junk I had accumulated over the past 7 years.  It took me an entire day just to sort through my notions.  

I organized my rolls of ribbon according to color then slid them onto the curtain rods.  I fit 4 rods onto two different shelves.  Just popped them right in, Easy Peasy~

Then I filled up the jars with all of my notions.

It was then time for the fabric.  I first separated it according to quantity.  Fabrics that had several yards,  more than a 1/4 yard, less than 1/4 yard and scraps.  I rolled the larger quantities onto 11x14" panels and the smaller quantities onto 8x10" panels.  I put the scraps into a bin.
 I used different sized office clips to hold my fabric onto my boards.  If there was a really large quantity on one board, I just clipped the fabric to itself at the bottom instead of over the entire end. You could just use straight pins like at the fabric store but, I have 4 little children and my oldest has spina bifida and can not feel her feet so I try extremely hard not to misplace any pins onto my carpet. I thought office clips were a lot safer for me and worked really well.
I arranged the rolled panels onto the shelves according to color for easy finding later.

For my work station I used a 6ft. folding table and set it up on top of my shorter shelves. I have another folding table that I can pull out for extra work space if needed.  It's a 5ft. table that folds in half and stores perfectly behind the front facing bookshelf (under the visible table)
I already had these but they can also be purchased at Walmart for between $20-30.

There you have it.  One brand new beautiful work space.

Now, I guess we better get some new designs going.  :)