Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Canning Begins!

Yesterday my friend Rachel and I went berry picking at a nearby berry and lavender farm. I took home 20 pounds of berries, which I quickly realized would not fit in my little freezer. The logical solution? Jam! Last year I didn't make it to the berry farm in time for strawberries, so this time around I feel on top of my game.

Rachel and me in the strawberry field.

Berry picking leaves one feeling a bit like Lady Macbeth.

The finished product! Yum!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garden Tea Party!

Last Saturday I hosted a ladies only garden tea party in my backyard. The food turned out so great including mini sandwiches (cucumber, spiced egg salad and goat cheese fig), curried chicken tartlets, scones, shortbread, mini cupcakes, and mille feuille with roasted fruit. My friend Anne made half the food, so I definitely can't take all the credit, but it was all delicious and we had a fabulous time. I was so glad to have an occasion to use my cherry tablecloth from France, and I found the napkins at an antique store downtown. And the plates? A steal at $2.99 each from TJMaxx!
From the left: Michelle, Leah, me, Anne, LaRae and Jennilyn

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Triathlon Victory!

It's time to celebrate because last Sunday I completed my first triathlon! Woohoo!! It was called the Spring Fling Triathlon and took place in Elma, WA. Technically it was a "mini-triathlon" and included a 1/4 mile swim, a 13 mile bike ride, and a 3 mile run. I have been sick the last couple of weeks, but I was really hoping to finish in two and a half hours. HOWEVER, I finished in 1 hour and 57 minutes! It was very tiring, but also really fun. Here is a picture of victory.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Growing Green!

A few weeks ago I decided to start a garden this year. I've tried this before, but my halfhearted efforts never produced all that much, and frankly, it seemed more trouble than it was worth. But this year, I've embraced a new gardening attitude. I am trying my thumb at gardening for the sole purpose of feeding myself and my husband - and any lucky guests who happen along at the right time of year. My prior attempts have been in an effort to take up a new hobby or create the secret garden of my dreams. Not this time. No delusions of grandeur. I'm just growing food. Eat well, save money, and get the satisfaction of being productive. Literally.

After doing a small amount of research and gaining most of my inspiration from a truly excellent memoir by Jenna Woginrich, Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life, I purchased a bunch of seeds and a domed seeding tray, careful to choose only vegetables and herbs I knew we would truly enjoy in plentiful amounts. As I shopped, I actually thought I had potting soil in my shed at home in which to sow my seeds. However, it turned out that it was gone, so I improvised by using soil created from our compost pile - and I think it might be a very happy accident. How much more homegrown can you get?

I was surprised at how quickly my butter lettuce started sprouting, and the Walla Walla onions and parsley were soon to follow. I've included a few photos of my summer salads in their infancy. More vegetable are to come as the next batch goes into seeding pots next week!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vintage Revamp

After what seems like ages, I've finally returned to my blog and decided to give it a makeover. It took me forever to figure out how get my new stuff on here, but it worked! I kinda like it...
So what have I been up to in the last month (besides NOT blogging)? Well, I signed up for a mini triathlon to take place in April. Yikes! I know I can do it, but I'm not sure if I can do it within a respectable amount of time. It's a "family event," so I guess if I get desperate, I can switch to the kiddie course! A couple of gals at work are doing it with me, which is wonderful. However, one of them is simultaneously training for a marathon. A full-on, real deal, no-kiddie-course-option marathon. She's not worried because she's done them before...Which makes me consider: Could I have possibly picked a worse-suited training partner??? Like I said, Yikes. I'll be sure to update on my progress, but don't expect any pictures of me pouring out sweat and wishing I were dead as I train for this thing. Just trust me on this: It won't be pretty.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Catch-up

I've been so busy this last month that I haven't even had time to update everyone on my latest projects. So much to catch up on! To begin, I have finished a handful of sewing projects which I gave as Christmas gifts (so those really did have to stay under wraps, so to speak). Included were two more zippered wristlets and two aprons. I specifically chose fabrics based on the recipients of these items, and I think they were a hit.
Also, after I finally got a Le Cruset French oven (which I've been pining for), I made Julia Child's classic Boeuf Bourguignon. This dish is featured in the movie Julie and Julia, which, if I haven't already mentioned, is my new FAVORITE movie! Anyhow, it was quite labor intensive and took the better part of a day, but it was exquisite! Unfortunately it looks a bit sloppy in my beautiful French oven, but I assure you it tasted superperb.
Lastly, I'm sharing a picture of a plate of cookies I decorated at the Christmas Vixens party. This is a get together with a few girlfriends, and this year's festivities included cookie decorating under the guidance of Martha Stewart. (Or at least with the help of an article from her magazine.) Should Martha Stewart happen upon this blog, please know, Martha, that we would be delighted to have you at next year's Christmas Vixens party if you are not too intimdated by my crafty domestic skills. Just let me know if you can make it.