Saturday, December 4, 2010

SNOW, a yummy recipe, and the best mom in law in the world!

It's snowing!!  Is it wierd that I'm really not fond of winter, or cold, but I really love the snow?  There's nothing like snow to put you in the Christmas spirit.  Here are some pics from last year, because I didn't feel like getting outside this morning:

The horses love the snow as long as it's not too wet.  Then it just makes them cold - like me.

Since it's cold out, and snowy, here's a recipe for Tuscan Pork Chops that will warm you up!  It's not soup, but it's so, so yummy.  I foud it on Tasty Kitchen which has really become my go-to recipe site of late.  Excuse my poor photos.  This is weeknight dinner people!
I know this doesn't look like much, but let me tell you - it's really great.
Here's the recipe courtesy of sliceofsouthern on tasty kitchen:
  • 4 whole Boneless Pork Chops - About 1" Thick
  • ⅓ cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ cups Balsamic Vinegar
  • ⅓ cups Chicken Broth, Low-Sodium
  • 14 ounces, weight Diced Tomatoes (drained)
  • 6 ounces, weight Mushrooms, Sliced
Place flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish, dredge pork chops in flour mixture.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet . Cook pork chops over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chops from skillet to a side dish, you will add these back later.
Add garlic to skillet, and saute 1 minute. Add vinegar and broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Bring to a boil and cook at a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes.
Return pork chops and any juices to skillet. Turn your heat down to medium. Baste chops with sauce and simmer about 5 minutes until pork is done.
Serve pork chops topped with tomatoes, mushrooms, and sauce.
Note: Would be great with 1 cup chopped zucchini added. Adjust cooking time to accomodate the vegetable.

I served ours with parmesan cheese grits (just make grits according to package directions but mix in a generous handful of parmesan cheese and a dash of garlic powder when they are finished cooking) and some roasted asparagus.  Do ya'll roast asparagus?  Snap the ends off and throw it on a sheet pan and drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 425 degrees for 6-10 min or until tender.  You'll never want to eat it any other way!

Speaking of dinner - tonight is date night for me and the hubs.  Josh's parents took the baby bird to Nashville for the weekend!  WHAT?!?!?!  An adults only weekend?  Wow.  I think we're going to do a little dinner and a movie tonight.  Hey, we've got 4 wheel drive.  A little snow won't bother us.
To top it off, do you know what my precious mom in law sent me via Josh?  I'll give you a hint:

Do you know what See's Candy is?  That wonderful chocolaty goodness from California?  Oh my word.

This is the best chocolate you will ever eat.  This is heaven for a pregnant woman.  This takes me back to my childhood when my Uncle Army from CA would send us a 2 LB box of the stuff for Christmas!
Notice there are a few pieces missing.  I tore into the stuff as soon as I saw it, and I also say without shame that I enjoyed a piece 2 pieces with my coffee this morning.
I love you Wanda, and not just for the chocolate!

Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

italian sausage soup

So, I've really been craving soup lately!  I think it's partially the cooler fall weather, but it's also because I've been seeing so many yummy soup recipes that I want to try them all!  This one isn't really a new recipe, but it's one I really love.  I found it in an old American Quarter Horse Journal years ago, and it's been a keeper.  Plus, it's easy which is always a bonus.
Here's the recipe:

Brown together:
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped garlic clove (a large one)
Drain any extra grease that cooks off the sausage.

Add:
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans italian stewed tomatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Add:
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 oz (or more) tortellini

Cook until the tortellini are done.  Serve with warm, crusty bread!

You could probably substitute the wine with more beef broth, but it really adds a great flavor to the soup, and any alcohol cooks off.

I love this soup!  Make it this weekend  -you'll love it too!

I'll leave you with a photo of my little cowboy from Halloween.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

busy...

Sorry for my blogging hiatus!  In my absence I've been:

Helping launch a churchMore on this to come, but all I can say is - wow!

Vacationing in Disney World!  That's right folks, a trip to Disney with a 2 year old baby bird.   Definitely some pics to come.

Trying to get some sewing projects finished.  Whew.

Attending the World Equestrian Games!  What a GREAT day for me and the hubby.

Growing a baby in my belly.  I guess I haven't mentioned that yet, have I?  Just 11 weeks along now.

What have you been busy with lately?

Monday, September 13, 2010

under the sun

Welcome to Under The Sun, a new shop in downtown Shelbyville!  It also just so happens to be the first store to carry my MamaBird line of baby merchandise!
Under The Sun is an ADORABLE shop that not only sells GREAT gift ideas, but really wonderful, affordable, accents for your home.  They also provide custom faux floral and fruit arrangements, courtesy of Kim Robarts, one of the wonderful and creative store owners.
Seriously, her arrangements are exquisite, and if you are anything like me, I wouldn't even begin to know how to do that myself, so why not let Kim help you out?  I'm thinking something for the fall or Christmas season?
These ladies have been so wonderful and generous to carry my products, as well as products from other local artists and vendors.
Here are some shots from the store:


Right now you can find Under The Sun here at the Highlands Marketplace at the annual Bellarmine Designers Show House.
You can find some MamaBird stuff there too.
You can also always stop by the permanent location on Main Street in Shelbyville, right next to the upholstry shop with the cute polka dot furniture in the window.
So.  Pop in and check this shop out.  Not just for my sake.  But don't buy the beautiful coordinating turquoise and rust pottery vases.  They. Are. Mine.  Just as soon as I save up some money.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Action Kivu Fundraiser

I don't usually do this, but this fundraiser just touched my heart.  Check out handmadebyalissa to see how she is raising money to help women in the Congo learn to sew.  These women are victims of rape and and other horrible war crimes that I can't even begin to imagine.  It just reminds me how blessed I am to live in the United States.
Take a minute to look at this blog, and more importantly, say a prayer for the Congo.

coming soon...

I've been really bad about posting lately, for several reasons.  We had a 2 year birthday party, some really great stuff going on at church, and just the business of life to keep me crazy.  However, the main reason I've been away is that my sewing machine has been in overdrive...


It's probably hard to see from the photos, but I've been sewing about a bajillion burpies, nursing covers, wipes cases, etc. to put in a new store here in Shelbyville!!!
Under The Sun is a great new shop that opened a few weeks ago downtown.  If you live in the Shelbyville area, stop by and check it out.  They have lots of great, affordable gifts and items for the home.
AND the best part for me is that as of yesterday, they carry my products!
More on this to come...
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

logo

With the help of my Mom (thanks Mom!) I developed a little logo for myself.  The top part is actually the logo.  My blog address is there because I've been using these as hangtags when I sell something.
You'll have to use your imagination to remove the bottom line.
Here's another view:
I am NOT a professional graphic designer.  I repeat.
If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE let me know!  I just really cannot afford to pay someone to design something right now.
Also, if anyone can tell me how to get the Mama Bird part on my blog header, I'd appreciate that too.
What do you think?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

two

Wow.
It's really hard for me to believe that two years ago we were doing this:
Or, actually, 2 years ago, I was getting ready to push out a baby, but no big deal or anything.

And now, we have this:

Or actually, lately, we've had a lot of this:

and this:

I guess we need to get used to this, right?
I got a babycenter.com update today entitled "your 2 year old, handling big emotions."  This could get interesting.
To be honest though, Mama Bird has big emotions today, too!
Happy birthday to my baby big boy!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

aunt neva's strawberry cake

My Grandma (Ma) is one of 10 kids.  She's the only sibling living now.  One of her sisters, Neva, never married, and lived nearby Ma, and was like a second Grandma to me.  She passed away just a couple of days before I graduated from college.
If you've ever been to my home, lots of things you'll see were Aunt Neva's.  Our big tall bed that I have to use a stool to get into was hers (that was fun when I was pregnant).  I also have a couple of dish cabinets that were in her house.  But the thing I treasure the most, by FAR is her collection of cookbooks and recipes.  Aunt Neva and I shared a love of cooking.  We even had a similar cooking style - make a huge mess and get every dish in the kitchen dirty! 
I don't have all her cookbooks, but I have most of them, and they are jam packed with handwritten recipes that she wrote on scraps of paper.  Someday I'll organize all those....
I came upon probably my favorite recipe several years ago - Aunt Neva's Strawberry Cake!  Yummy!  She made this for my mom's birthday a lot, and sometimes on other occasions.
It is so easy and great! 
And super, super rich. 
As in, you have to brew a pot of coffee to go with this.
The baby bird and I made it to celebrate my Mom's birthday a few days ago.
I'll tell you right now I double the frosting recipe.  One just isn't enough!
Here's the recipe:

Aunt Neva's Strawberry Cake

For the cake:
1 pkg white cake mix
1 pkg strawberry gelatin
3 eggs
1/2 C water
1/2 C salad oil (I use canola)
1-10 oz pkg frozen strawberries, thawed and drained, but RESERVE the juice

preheat oven to 350
grease and flour 2 round cake pans (8 inch)
Mix together the cake mix and gelatin. 
Add water and oil and beat well with your mixer.  Beat in eggs.
Fold in strawberries.
Pour into your prepared pans and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Cool completely before icing.
I cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10  min. and then invert them directly onto the racks to cool the rest of the way.

for the icing:
1 stick of margarine or butter, softened
1 box 16 oz powdered sugar
1/4 C juice drained from the strawberries

Cream the butter in your mixer.  Add sugar and juice alternately, ending with juice.
Frost your cake!

I double this frosting recipe.

The result is fabulous!  Let me know if you try it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

another shirt

I made this shirt a LONG time ago, but I kept forgetting to write a post about it, until now!  Similar to the purple ruffled shirt I made a while back, this one used 2 T-shirts of the same color.  I found mine at Wally World - my least favorite place to shop.  But, they were $4 each!  Can't beat that, right?  I followed a this tutorial but I made a couple of changes.  One big difference was that I made quite a few more of the flowers to go around the neck, to give it a fuller look.
Here's the shirt:


This was a super easy and fun project.  It literally took me just a few hours one evening.  The best part is that I saw a similar shirt from J Crew that cost something like $40!
WooHoo!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

later, baby calves!

So, many of you know that I have been the proud mama of 2 baby calves since early April.  Our family raises a small herd of beef cattle, and due to some unfortunate circumstances, 2 calves, a male and a female, were left without mothers this year.  So, guess who got to bottle raise them?
I love baby animals, but let me tell you, calves are some trouble, man.
But, they are cute.

Moooo!

So, last week we decided they were FINALLY ready to be put back out with the rest of the herd!  Yay!  Not that I was ready to get rid of them or anything.  I mean, I LOVED feeding them twice a day in all types of weather, and I LOVED that their pens were starting to smell like the zoo.  And I really loved that Clyde (the male) would ram his head into me, causing me to step in cow poop every time I went in the pen with him.  Who wouldn't love all that?

Anyway.  

Josh released them to live with the rest of the cattle last week, and I imagined the scene would be reminiscent of the movie, Born Free.  The calves would tentatively step out of the trailer and look to Josh like, "what should we do, daddy?"  And Josh would say, "Be free little ones!  This is your home now!"  And they would slowly walk off to join the rest of the herd, all the while looking back at him.

Yeah, right.  Those calves jumped off the trailer and ran around like crazy for a good 20 minutes!  They were so happy and cute!

And I'm happy that they are happy.

And I'm happy I don't have to feed them anymore!
Catch ya later babies!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

the farmers market

The Baby Bird and I took a little trip down to our local farmers market this morning.  It's something I try to do every Saturday we are in town.  We scored some great beets:


And here is the main reason I wanted to go this morning:

Are they not the most gorgeous eggs you have ever seen?  They were a splurge, but if you have ever had fresh, free range eggs, you know they are worth EVERY penny.  There is absolutely no comparison to the thin shelled, cheapies at the grocery.

If you've never been to your local Farmer's Market, I really encourage you to go.  You may spend a little more, or you may spend a little less, but there's nothing like fresh, locally grown produce at the peak of its season!  I love supporting the local farmers as well.  They are very appreciative of the business, and are usually happy to share recipes and gardening tips.

And here is a recipe to use all the yummy produce you'll buy.  I made it the other night after finding it on the Pioneer Woman blog.  It was SOOOO good!  Seriously.  It made a vat too, which was good, because between the three of us, we ate an absolute ton.  It's my new favorite salad.

Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients.  The beauty of this salad is that you can sub out veggies and use just what you have, or add some other stuff that sounds good.  Read the recipe and then I'll tell you what I used:

Asian Noodle Salad

salad ingredients:
1 package linguini noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
1/2 head sliced napa cabbage (or more)
1/2 head sliced purple cabbage (or more)
several good handfuls baby spinach
1 whole red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 whole yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 whole orange pepper, thinly sliced
1 bag bean sprouts (also called mung bean sprouts)
chopped cilantro to taste
3 whole scallions, sliced
3 whole cucumbers peeled and sliced
1 can (10 oz) whole cashews

for the dressing:
1 whole lime, juiced
 8 Tbs. olive oil
8 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. (up to 3 Tbs.) sesame oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 jalapenos, chopped
chopped cilantro

Mix salad ingredients together in a LARGE bowl.  Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.  Mix with tongs or hands and serve.

I served this with grilled chicken briefly marinated in 1 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. brown sugar, 1 Tbs. sesame oil and a little kosher salt.

Yummy.

For the salad, I left out the napa cabbage and the cashews.  For sure use the purple cabbage though, it is so pretty!  Carrots and zuchinni would be great things to add.  The sesame oil, cilantro and ginger really make the flavor, so don't try to sub those out.

Have a great weekend!!!



Friday, June 25, 2010

new nursing covers

I made a couple of nursing covers the other day.  One to give as a gift, and one that was an order.  I just wanted to show ya'll so you could see some of the fabric I have right now.
Here they are hanging together:


And here they are each separately:

Sorry I didn't model them for you this time.  I especially LOVE the floral fabric!  It's an Alexander Henry print called mocca, and could really work for a boy or girl nursing cover.  It's feminine, but not overly girly.
I've been a busy bee lately!  I'll post some other projects soon!
Happy Friday, ya'll! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

a day to myself!!

I have no pictures to post today, because there was no one here to take a picture of me.  The hubby took my child to his parents' house for the day and left me with an entire day to myself!  Wow!!

Here's what I did today:
LAUNDRY
I vacuumed
I mopped
more laundry
I cleaned out and organized closets
I baked banana bread
I washed dishes
I cleaned bathrooms
I dusted
I eliminated clutter
Did I mention laundry?

My plan for this evening, before the boys get back, is to do some sewing!  I have to feed the calves first.

PS - Our bull calf (aka Clyde or wooly bully) is now officially a steer calf.  If I need to explain how this happens, let me know.  It's a bit graphic for a blog post.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

T-shirt makeover

I told ya'll I'm into ruffles right now (probably my subconscious telling me I need a little girl), and I'm also addicted to blogstalking and finding new, great blogs to read!  Like I have time to be reading more blogs!! 

I came across this blog, Tea Rose Home the other day.

The blogger has so many great tutorials, and you don't have to be an amazing seamstress to make many of her projects!  Perfect for moi, because I am most definitely not an amazing seamstress.

I made this t-shirt, per her instructions on the "ruffle shirt - why not vertical?" tutorial.

Fun, right?!   Here's a close-up of the ruffles:

You always learn things when you make something for the first time, and next time I will make my side ruffles just a touch longer, and my center ruffle a touch shorter.  Also, next time I will be extra careful not to sew the back of the shirt to the front while sewing on the ruffles.  Dang.  Had to rip that out and start again, but luckily you can't tell :)

I think this will be cute on it's own, or under a cardigan this fall.  What do you think?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don't "Ruffle" Your Tail Feathers!

Sorry!  I know that title is corny, but I'm really into ruffles these days.  Not sure why.  Possibly because I've been learning to sew them, and so I'm putting them on everything.

I was blog surfing the other day and I came upon some GREAT tutorials.  I got inspired by one on Crap I've Made, a really fun and creative blog that some of you other crafty mommies may like.  I was inspired to make this little ruffled butt onsie:



I was getting ready to take some pictures of the front and noticed that it looked a little
bo-ring, so I added a little rosette, like so:



Sorry, it was starting to get dark by the time I finished these :)
I'll sell these for $10 so let me know if any little girls in your life need some ruffles on their bootie.

I also added some ruffles to a T-shirt today, but I don't have a pic yet.  That's coming soon.

Bye for now!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

things I'm loving as of late...

Gardening...or rather watching my hottie gardener and his helper hoe up all the weeds!


Petunias.  Happy Mothers Day, me.


These t-shirts from of all places...wally world.  They are so soft and comfy, and most importantly, they are only $4 :)

Baby Calves


This dip recipe:

Brooke's Black Bean and Corn Dip
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans corn, drained
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 block feta cheese crumbled
1/2  C. cider vinegar
1/2 C. extra virgian olive oil
1/2 C. sugar

Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips.
This has become a favorite with baby bird Eli.  He will even eat it plain.  In fact he had three helpings of it at dinner tonight.  Yummy!

Did I mention baby calves?  Moo.


Have a great week, Ya'll!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nursing Problem? I've Got Your Solution!

Hey you nursing mamas out there!  And you soon to be nursing mamas!  Or those of you that may be buying a gift for a nursing mama sometime soon! :)
I was fortunate enough to nurse my baby bird for 11 months.  Although I was thrilled to be able to do this for my kiddo (and save all that money on formula!) there were plenty of things about nursing that I wasn't so fond of. 
One thing was nursing in public. 
Now.  Mind you.  I am not a very modest person.  After the whole experience of giving birth, the thought of a little boob peeking out was not what bothered me.  It was more the looks (you know those looks) of those around me, and the thought of flashing my "recently carried a baby" belly, and just plain old respect for those that might not want to sneek a peek at my boob.
So.  That's the problem.  One solution is the trusty receiving blanket over the baby and shoulder trick.  This is fine, but what if your baby doesn't appreciate a blanket in his face while he's eating?  Can you blame him?  Or what if he gets a big kick out of yanking the blanket off every few seconds?
Here's my solution.  The nursing cover.  I've heard them called many things - hooter hider, udder cover, my friend Rach suggested booby bungalo (love that one :).
But the beauty of these things is that they allow you to nurse your baby privately, but the boning I put in the neck allows you to see your baby, and keeps the fabric off his face.  The strap around the neck allows you to adjust your length one handed, and keeps the whole thing from being pulled down at an opportune moment (like when your boob is fully exposed - don't tell me this hasn't happened to you!).
Here's what they look like:


I'm telling you, I never left the house without mine the entire time I was nursing.  It crumples right up into a diaper bag or purse, and washes in your washing machine if you get it dirty.
I sell these for $20 and make them in scads of fabric options!  I'll try to post more options as I make them.
Once you give one of these a try, I promise you'll never use a blanket again!
P.S. I really need a cute idea for what to call my nursing covers!  I'd love to stick with a birdie theme if possible.  Any ideas?