Archive for the ‘This and That’ Category


Click on the graphic above to view the sideshow of my aprons.

How many giveaways can I have going at once???!!! Okay…we have the Julie & Julia Giveaway going on.   And I just drew for the July Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver winner.  So really adding this one is no biggy right?  That’s just two going on now.  Well…unless you count the fact that the last day of August will bring about another Friday Baking Winner!  Anywho, I had to add my apron to this wonderful event hosted by The Apronista.  Get yourselves over there…there will be LOTS of giveaways to enter.  Show your support!

The apron I will be giving away will be especially made for Apron Fest ’09 and will have an embroidery patch to remind you of this event everytime you wear it!  So you think you want a Apron Fest ’09 Apron from NotQuiteJuneCleaver?  Well all you have to do is leave a comment saying so.  You know, if you have a little apron wisdom to share, feel free.

Then visit The Apronista for more info! And take this button to add to your blog!

Or get the code when you visit The Apronista!


I will be posting pictures of the Apron Fest ’09 apron later today so check back!

UPDATE: As Promised, PHOTOS!!




You know what I love MOST about this apron? It is practically repurposed!  I have had this fabric for several years.  I really can’t remember how long.  I have been intending to make me an apron from it forEVER.  But when I started digging though my fabric for something pretty yet serviceable for this Apron Fest ’09 apron, this fabric practically leaped out of the box at me!  I have washed and dried it several times to soften it. Oh it is going to be OH SO hard to part with!  It also is serving as a template to my ongoing work on “My Perfect Apron”.

Good Luck EVERYONE!!

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The response to this week’s fun has been great!  Thanks to everyone who shared the giveaway on your blogs and I am still clicking and posting my comments and am having trouble with some comment boxes, so if appears I have not visited, don’t fret, I will try again but your names are all in the jar! And those that don’t have a blog as well.

Don’t forget tomorrow is the deadline for this week’s baking challenges and new recipes will be up in the morning.  I have a lot going on here don’t I!?  No matter…we’re having fun, right?

I have a lot to get accomplished today so I won’t dilly dally around this morning.  But I would like to share a photo Rachel took of our little Julius.  If that doesn’t make you smile…well I just don’t know what to say!


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Dictionary.com says a magpie is an incessantly talkative person; noisy chatterer; chatterbox. A person who collects or hoards things, esp. indiscriminately.

Chatterbox?  Husband would tell you YES!  Indiscriminate Collector of Things? Well I wouldn’t say indiscriminately. Not really.  I can’t help it if I fall in love with things like aprons and Pyrex and sewing notions and kitchen witches and bottle caps and wine corks and cookbooks and anything with the Eiffel Tower or cupcakes on it. I have even looked long and hard at cupcake tattoos! I remain markless unless you count stretchmarks and having both knees scraped when I missed a step up the other day going to get my hair cut.  Yeah, I fell. Down. In town.  In public.  Hey, I got up by myself so :p!  But back to collecting.   I mean indiscriminately would lead one to believe I would just collect anything and everything and that every nook and cranny in my home is full.  Ooops.  The last part of that sentence is pretty spot on.  I really do have too much stuff for the size house we live in.  Which is not to say we need a bigger house.  I just need to clean out some things.  And just maybe I will. Another day.

The catering went very well this weekend.  I think customers were very pleased.  You can follow the link and see for yourself.  Bookmark Rachel’s site – she will be putting up the recipes today I think.

You know, if you visit here very often, that we are a bit food obsessed.  Just a bit.  Gesikah made something I have always wanted to try but just wasn’t brave enough.  Let’s just say “sprinkles”.  Her post is not up just yet, but I have glimpsed the fruit of her labors and OH MY.  I am very impressed.  And a bit miffed that I didn’t get a taste.  I can’t believe one of my three favorite daughters would not drive 30 miles to share something so lovely with her mom.  You might like to bookmark her site as well, I hear the post will be up today and I am assuming it will be in a tutorial form, recipe and all.  I don’t know that for a fact, but I hope so.  I think maybe it is something Husband would like to tackle.

I told you a couple of days that I had an impromtu hen party Friday evening.  And my dear friends Tami and Karen (Karen you really need a blog!) had been antiquing and brought me some goodies…well here they are!

goodiesThe apron is pristine!  And the chicken hot pads CUTE!!! And the watering can had a rose on it, for Rose Cottage … awww … and a CUPCAKE cookie press!  The other press is a gift box…both adorable!  If y’all read this, THANKS again!

Rachel and I are taking a day to clean the kitchen today.  Really straighten our cabinets and such.  We have all our catering supplies (dishes, containers) to wash and put away. I figure it will take all day.  There is quite a layer of flour and confectioners sugar on the floor! We were so pooped when we got home from the recital,  we just put everything down and crashed.  I even went so far as to serve sloppy joes for supper! They sounded so good, but I have to admit…not as tasty as I remember.

So, catch you all later!  Be sure and check out Rachel and Gesikah later today, as usual there will be good stuff there!  I really need to get a button from these two to place in my blog roll!

Have a great Monday! Oooo I almost forgot…here is your overall picture of the day:


Poor little Ben.  He kept a black eye or busted lip.  He was a climber!

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I am going to cover a lot of subjects this morning so hang on to your hats! I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment and I would like to drag you all down with me!!

Shout Out #1: Rachel over at Neat Things.  You have to take a look at the cake she made for a going away party.  WOWZERS! That’s my girl! Her paternal grandmother (the best cake decorator in the world) would be so proud of her.  I have often wished she could have lived to see how her granddaughters followed in her footsteps. Hint:


International Overall Day: is coming together.  I doubt very seriously (VERY seriously) if we can get any sort of proclamation but who cares?  I am however working on contacting companies that sell overalls to donate gift certificates so that we might have a GRAND giveaway sometime in the future.  In the meantime if you wear overalls, love overalls, love someone who wears overalls, join the fun. Leave a comment or email me and we will start a flickr group soon.  Sound like fun? And here is your picture of the day:

onthephoneThis is Rachel on the phone with my mom about a month before Ben was born.  She had been folding baby clothes and getting things ready for Ben’s birth.  I wish you could see the stacks of baby shirts and diapers on the bed with her.  She has always been quite the little organizer.

Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver: Will begin again this coming Friday June 5th.  I told you it wouldn’t be long!  If you plan on participating please let me know.  I will make a post specifically pertaining to this event tomorrow (Thursday) with all the new and improved rules and regulations and then on Friday you will find the recipe for the week’s challenge.  Hint: if you don’t have berries of some sort, plan on getting some 🙂 And YES, there will be prizes involved!


Next Holiday: Fourth of July and all the great food that brings!  The last week of this month (June) I will devote to recipes, menus and decorating ideas for the 4th.  For all my friends who live outside the US, bear with us…this is a big deal around these parts!


Cookbook Update: Well, the first agent I approached with my idea(s) passed so that’s not great news.  However, I believe all things in their own time.  In the meantime while I am waiting on a real deal, I am going forward with self publishing my little series of cookbooklets.  Pies will be first and hopefully within 6-8 weeks I will have them in my etsy shop for sale. But don’t hold me to that date  ’cause I tend to over estimate what can be done in a 24 hour period.  But I am finishing it.  It is to the proofing stage…so that is progress.


Crafty: One of our all time favorite librarians is leaving our local library for bigger and better things.  We will miss her.  Today is her going away party (the cake Rachel made is for that party).  I made her a Housewarming Basket for her new home.


(Isn’t that the cutest broom handle you ever saw???)

This is a little part of the note (the pink paper tied with rickrack) I wrote her explaining the components of the basket…thought you might like the info in case you ever had occasion for such a gift.

First of all the broom.  And what a pretty broom it is!  My granny taught me that you NEVER take an old broom in to a new home.  You are supposed to start your new life with a clean sweep!  So now you can!  In  the basket you will find two cloth bags that will do just fine to take to the grocery when you need just a couple of things or to keep your potatoes and onions fresh.  They are sturdy and should last a long time.  Inside those bags are flour, hoping you will always have food and friends to share it with.  Salt so you will always have spice in your life!  Honey to remind you of the sweetness of life and friends, both new and old.  Olive oil for good health all the days of your life.  A wooden cutting board representing stability, peace and harmony in your new home and candles so you will always have light.  The apron is just because.  Just because I wasn’t sure you had one, and if you do…well now you have two! The lavender plant is on of my favorite plants.  I thought you might like it too.  She will need lots of sunshine so you will want to put her outdoors at your new home.  The soap and rag are for your new kitchen sink.  Enjoy the gifts.  You will be missed!

What could I have possibly left out of this post?  If you have gotten this far…THANK YOU!  Oh I suppose I could give you a recipe, that should be about enough.  This is from the Pie booklet…

Yogurt Pie with Granola Crust

1 1/2 c. granola (reserve 1/4 c.)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. margarine
1/4 c. honey
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. lo-fat yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla
fresh fruit (optional)

If granola is very coarse, grind to medium-fine in blender, doing 1/2 cup at a time. Blend granola, brown sugar and margarine. Press onto sides and bottom of 9-inch pie plates. Chill well before using. Soften cream cheese to room
temperature. Beat until fluffy with electric mixer or wooden spoon. Blend in yogurt. Beat in honey and vanilla. Turn into pie shell, spreading evenly. Chill overnight. Before serving, top with fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas or your favorite). Sprinkle reserved granola crumbs on top. Cut and serve.



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I feel so crazy telling you this.  Okay let begin by saying this bag pattern has ONE piece.  Not kidding.  One. Now you cut several pieces of fabric from that one pattern piece but still…come on.  I am fairly accomplished with needle and thread.  I thought so anyway.  Maybe it was too simple.  I don’t know.  But finally the light came on!  And it was simple!  I redeemed myself by making a zipper pouch to match without a pattern 😉


I love the colors and fabrics…and made a little felt flower with covered button center for the strap.  Pretty cute if I do say so.

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11333It’s funny,  I have received more input on Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver since I suspended the effort, than before when we were doing it!  But that is a good thing!  I think some were waiting around, a little timid about jumping in since the word “challenge” was used so often.  But I am really excited that 1)those who participated actually loved it and want to keep doing it 2)those who were hanging back, are ready to jump in!

As I told you in an earlier post, I will be changing up the rules a bit.  I think I confused everyone but myself – and the more I thought about it, the less I understood what I was saying!  So I will be posting a new set of rules and a new start up date.  I think I am going to take a page from my friend Kelly over at unDeniably Domestic and do weekly challenges (oops, there’s that word again!) and a giveaway once a month.  I think that was part of the confusion…when were the recipes due?  when would a new recipe post? when were the drawings?  Yeah, I can see how it would get muddled in translation!

It has been a very weird/tiring/busy month, this lovely month of May. But,  I will be happy to see June arrive.  I have had a lot going on  – good and bad and yet categorized.  It really began last month and has culminated into such a mixture of things that I can’t even begin to tell you what all is on my mind.  But I will tell you this:  having your little brother have open heart surgery causes a strange mixture of feelings.  I am not a Pollyanna by any means, as anyone who knows me in real life can tell you.  However, I do try to see some good in any turn of events and strive to learn something from the not quite so nice things that come along.

As this month ends I realize my husband has not been home enough over the past 4 weeks.  There is more work than he will ever finish before he leaves next Wednesday AND he planted the corn so that I will have to harvest it while he is gone!  Our little garden is looking so good.  Squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers…and now corn planted.  He made places for my pumpkins to be planted next month.  I have 30 or so varieties – some will go in the big garden, some in the raised beds, depending on their vining probabilities. I want to get them in the ground a couple of weeks earlier than usual so I can begin selling them earlier in September than I normally do.  One of these days I hope to expand my pumpkin patch.  I don’t usually plant your normal orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins.  I try to plant things you can’t get locally.  If they do well, I might even consider taking a truck load to the green market.  It’s a thought.

I wish you all a happy, safe holiday weekend.  We are headed out in a while to sit with my brother at the hospital while his wife goes to their daughter’s highschool graduation.  I hate he is missing it.  But happy he will be around for other important days in her life.

Stay tuned for more information, changes and start up date for re-introducing Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver.

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As you know this weeks baking challenge is Bakewell Tarts.  Here is a photo of ours.  They are YUMMY.  Let me know you yours are turning out!


Also, I may be out of pocket for a couple of days.  My “little” brother who is 6 years younger than me is having bypass surgery in the morning.  Yeah, I can’t believe it.   Here is a picture of us “a few years back”.


We have really been a lot closer since Mom and Dad are both gone now.  I told him this morning when Husband goes back to work (27th) I would come up and help out some.  I have experience with this sort of thing.  He said “Well, you had a whole year and a half off.  That should have been enough of a vacation.”  It has been a year and a half since Mom passed and I was her primary care giver.  So as much as I can,  I will plan on going up early in the day (its only about 1 1/2 drive) and he and I can visit, go thru old pictures like we have planned on doing for a long time and I can take him out and about if he wants and I can still be home way before dark.  His wife works and I know she won’t be able to just take off indefinitely.  And I know from taking care of my dad after all of his heart surgeries, he will need some help during the day for a little while.

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