Back Home Again

We disappeared for the weekend, escaped to my parents’ cottage in northern Wisconsin.

It’s always a wonderful sight to take in the lovely flowers and landscaping my mom has planted surrounding the house.

Their cottage is located in a small bay on the Green Bay side of the peninsula in Lake Michigan.

It feels like you’re on the ocean, minus the warm salt water and palm trees.

Some of the shorelines are gorgeous rocky escarpments, which you can’t appreciate unless you’re on a boat. We were lucky to get the boat out this weekend.

The area is full of harbors featuring water sports, and lots of quiet little towns offering shopping, arts and culture, and restaurants. We have our favorite places we visit every time we are in the area. I love stopping in at Quilters Quest, which has a great selection, including holiday prints, batiks, Kaffe, and nautical fabrics. I also love spending time in Red Sock Yarns, where I usually spend at least an hour contemplating what I should make. I couldn’t resist buying some yarn to make a couple simple scarves, two sets of fabric to make winter table runners, and yarn to make a big floppy hat!

It’s refreshing to spend the afternoon playing in the water.

We were lucky to wind down the day in front of a campfire. We roasted those new giant marshmallows, which were quite messy and especially yummy squished in between graham crackers and a chocolate bar!

It was our third family weekend in a row, this time with my parents, my brother and his daughter, and my sister’s family.

I always love a getaway to the lake cottage, but it does feel good to be home again.


I came up with several reasons to appreciate this Monday.

I want to extend a big thank you to Jennifer for this week’s Big Shot Award! I was honored to receive recognition from such a talented designer and generous friend.

We also celebrated a birthday over the weekend!

I keep finding more buds and blooms popping up in our gardens.

All the new crocuses I planted last fall are going crazy this spring. I love it when that happens!

It has been so fun watching everything turn green again. Look at all the potential in this cluster of tulips!

I am one lucky gal!

Learning to Appreciate Mondays

Mondays are not my favorite day of the week, so I appreciate Paula’s theme of finding something to be happy about on Mondays. I am happy today that it’s a short work week. Easter is next weekend, and my office is closed on Good Friday. It’s a strange holiday for an insurance / financial services company to be closed, but hey, I’m not complaining. It has been a long stretch since we had a holiday, the last one being New Year’s Day.

I am happy to be facing a four-day work week, and since Monday is almost over, I only have three days left!

I am also feeling encouraged today because I have been spending more time recently learning how to spruce up my blog, from appearance to content. I have a growing list of new ideas which inspires me.

I have about seven projects in progress on my sewing table, and that motivates me. My creative juices were definitely flowing over the weekend, and I can’t wait to get back to my sewing space!

Hope you found something to be happy about today too!

Spring Productivity

I rarely go into a weekend without a list. Do you do that? It seems like those two full days I have away from work can get filled up so quickly. But I really like to be able to savor those two days, so I jot down a weekend agenda of ideas for us, from chores to fun.

Some weekends we stick to the agenda and other weekends we just wing it. Sometimes our weekend free time depends on the weather. We woke up to snow and cold on Saturday, but Sunday was a beautiful take-a-nap-outside kind of day.

This particular weekend, I wanted to get a few specific sewing projects done. These semi-secret minis are for a special giveaway coming up. Stay tuned for more on that!

I’m happy and relieved I sewed the bindings onto my three recently finished quilts. I just need to hand stitch them as I get free time (or the next time we rent a movie). If it hadn’t been for my to-do list, I probably would have put off this task because it kinda felt like a chore.

I finished that pillow cover I pieced together last month. I am trying to use up the scraps in my scrap basket full of the lovely Sis Boom fabric left overs.

I love string-pieced blocks, but I wish they used up more scraps. I can’t seem to make a dent in that pile! These pillow covers are a fun way to turn a mini quilt project into something so useful as a pillow. Plus, they are a great small project to practice my free motion quilting skills.

Of course, I had to add the pom-pom fringe because it makes people smile when they see that extra detail. Now I’m happy to report it’s listed in my shop.

My weekend list is completely checked off, and I’m ready for a fresh week of spring and new projects.

Good Recipes Make Me Happy Today

We had a couple family get-togethers over the weekend, so I didn’t have much time for sewing. Darn it! At least I was able to make time for baking and cooking. I found this recipe for monster cookies while perusing through the Better Crocker app on my iPhone.

They are super easy because of the ingredients. Check this out:

1 pouch chocolate chip cookie mix

1 pouch peanut butter cookie mix

1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 eggs

2 cups candy-coated milk chocolate candies (I used mini MnMs)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, stir all ingredients except candies until soft dough forms. Stir in candies.

2. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 1/4 cupfuls dough about 3 inches apart. I used an ice cream scooper, so they are as big as the palm of my hand!

3. Bake 12-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove and cool completely on wire racks.

They turned out soft and chewy, which is just how I like my cookies. Plus the recipe is super duper easy!

* * * * * * * *

We tried this new recipe for Taco Bake, which I found in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine from 2008. We don’t eat casseroles too often in our house, but this one was so delicious (and easy) that I had to recommend it!

I changed the original recipe, which called for making a batter with yeast. I didn’t feel like dealing with that so I used the recipe on the back of the corn meal cannister.


1 pound ground chuck (leaner than ground beef)

1 package taco seasoning

1/3 cup water

Brown ground chuck. Add taco seasoning and water, and mix well.


1-1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup Quaker Enriched corn meal

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 egg whites or 1 egg

Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.


1 cup chunky salsa

1 cup shredded cheese

1 cup corn chips, partially crushed

MIX batter ingredients together and pour into greased pie plate.

TOP batter with taco meat filling. Pour salsa evenly over meat; sprinkle with shredded cheese and corn chips.

BAKE at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

I was looking forward all day to having leftovers on this Monday night! Since both of these recipes turned out so good and did I mention easy, I suppose that makes up for my lack of time to work on sewing projects over the weekend. But I am already looking forward to next weekend when Dave has agreed to do some of the cooking so I can do some sewing!