• Good Things

    Trader Joe’s

    If there are two things I've been curious about, the are: What in the world is this IKEA that everyone seems to love, and why is everyone so excited that a Trader Joe's has come to Omaha?

    I'm still not certain about the IKEA thing (although I do believe it is a home goods/decorating store?), but when I visited Bre in Lincoln last, we decided to visit the Trader Joe's there, since we were both so darned curious about it.

    Since visiting this most happy place (the employees were so friendly!), full of food samples and coffee canisters and organic goodness – and chocolate! They literally cover everything in chocolate! – I now know why it's not uncommon to see people all over the city carrying around their Trader Joe's tote bags. Bre and I had a lot of fun, and when I told her, "I'm going to take a picture of all these crazy chocolate things!" she didn't even balk. Well, okay, she balked a little, reminding me that I'd look like a freak, but I told her, "Who cares!? Look at all these crazy chocolate things!" So I pulled my camera out of my bag, got it in focus, and… CRUD-IT (as my niece, Natalie, would say)… I had left my memory card at home in Omaha.

    We filled our shopping cart with a variety of completely senseless-but-cool things (we blame it on the caramelized butter toffee walnuts we'd just sampled), and headed to the checkout.

    Here are some of the fun things we brought home… I'll post the best thing first.

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    It's no understatement to say I was very excited in the coffee bean aisle. I've always been a sucker for good packaging, so even if this can said "Our beans are harvested from the finest dunghills in America!" I would have brought it home with me.

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    Here's the back of the can, which I thought was exceptionally artistic:

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    Btw, if you like Dunkin' Donuts coffee, then you may like this. It had sort of a nutty flavor to it (and for those Austin Powers fans out there, I don't want to hear any "It's a bit nutty!" comments out of you. You know the part I mean.).

    Here are a few of the chocolate-covered things we decided to try… first up are these "Powerberries," which Bre claims have made her the skinny fitness freak that she is:

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    If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember that I consumed almost the entire bag of these things recently, and never transformed into a skinny fitness freak. I did, however, gain quite a stomach ache.

    (Btw, I would have said "If you've read my tweets lately," but Mom can't stand that word. Tweet. For some reason, it just rubs her the wrong way. Tweet. I guess we all have words we don't like the sound of, but hers is tweet. Tweet.)

    We LOVE edamame in our house (okay, we'll call it what it is: soybeans), so who tweet wouldn't love it covered in rich, dark chocolate?

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    Me, that's who. I'm giving these to Bre when she tweet comes home. But I'm not so sure I'm giving up the espresso beans, cuz they make me stitch reallyreallyreally fast.

    I can't wait to go back to TJ's to try some more things tweet. There were some lemon cookies I wanted so badly bc they were in the most luscious yellow Victorian packaging, and of course there were more fabulous coffee canisters to be had.

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    If an IKEA ever opens up here in Omaha, I'll make sure to remember my memory card so I won't have another CRUD-IT moment. And I'll also put it on my Twitter, so my mom knows about it. 😉

  • Crazy Kids,  Family

    Fridays with Bre

    Until a month ago, I never drove to Lincoln to see Bre. Instead, I would wait until she came back home to visit with her, in order to give her her space at college; I didn't want her to feel as if I was honing in on her life at school.

    Soon, my Bre started asking things like, "How come no one ever comes to see me at school?" and after the third time she mentioned it, I decided that maybe – just maybe – she would like it if I visited her once in a while and took her to lunch.

    So I decided to start visiting her every two weeks, and I'd let her choose where we'd eat. What I was not expecting, however, was for my sweet Bre to drag me into Target after lunch so we could spend some quality time together grocery shopping (turns out the cafeteria has "nothing nutritious at all, Mom!"), then on to the mall just in case I needed something (I've never been much of a mall person), and then walking all over downtown Lincoln in the bitter cold, searching for a boutique called Black Market bc she heard it would have amazing things that I would love (and in the process being confronted by a somewhat crazed man, asking if we had a nickel he could have).

    Twice I've been to have lunch with my sweet Bre, and twice I've been dragged by my hair all around the capital city. Oh – and twice I've driven back home wondering how it is that I have much less money than I started the day with.

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    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me thrice? that's my Bre.

    I am a sucker for that girl.

  • Crazy Kids,  Family


    Yesterday was one of the busier days I've seen in a while. When I came downstairs for my morning coffee, there were two notes taped to the microwave for me:

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    As you may remember, Sophie is really handy in the kitchen, and is a very eager student.

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    And Sabrina? Well… one can't choose their children.

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    (Btw, I love how Sophie spelled pico de gallo.)

    On the menu were chicken wings with buffalo, honey bbq, and Asian sauces, pico de gallo, guacamole, little smokies, Rotel dip and lime chips, BLT's, Oreo Freeze, and tortilla rollups, which is what Sophie made, all by herself…

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    …In between texting, of course…

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    And did I mention birthday cake? We had a belated celebration for Mike, since Bre was able to come home…

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    (Btw, I can't thank you all enough for all of your birthday messages to Mike! He got such a kick out of listening to your greetings on the phone – especially those that reminded him that he deserved a bored game or two. My favorite one was the message that said he already had the best birthday gift anyone could hope for: ME! Oh – and the Katherine Hepburn one? Hilarious! You all made Mike's day… again, thank you so very much!)

    Bre picked up my camera and started snapping pictures with it. Here's one she got of me in the kitchen, in the middle of cooking and trying to watch a Superbowl commercial at the same time…

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    Then Mike decided to pick up Sophie's camera, and they had a photo-taking battle… here was one Bre took…

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    And here was one Mike took… when the battle was over, I think Bre ended up snapping the most photos. (Btw, if you're confused, so am I. I'd never in my life witnessed a snap-off until last night.)

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    Besides the birthday boy, we had a special guest last night. Those of you who have read my blog long enough and actually stuck with it (thank you very much!) may remember Breanna's high school boyfriend, Cody. He's always been the son I never had (again, besides the birthday boy), so I was thrilled to death when he showed up at halftime. I think someone must have told him there'd be Oreo Freeze…

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    (Mike got nervous bc he heard a camera clicking, and was afraid that photos were being taken without his being in front of the lens.)

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    During the halftime performance by the Black-Eyed Peas, Mike and Sophie started dancing in front of the television, trying to mimick the backup dancers. This got quite a laugh out of Cody, who was trying not to spit his food out, but for Bre, it was just another day in the Stewart House…

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    It was a lot of fun having these two friends in my kitchen again. Despite their silliness, it's been a sad time for Cody. His dad, Jeff, was as much a Steelers fan as Mike is a Cowboys fan, and in just a few weeks it will be the one-year mark of his passing.

    Football season is over, which is a bummer. I love all the crazy game-day cooking, and I especially look forward to each fall when menfolk start buzzing about fantasy football lineups and the streets start getting traffic-jammed from high school games. It's then that I start organizing all of the menus in my head, and knowing that one day soon we will all be on cholesterol meds bc of it.

    It's all Sophie's fault though.

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  • Stitching

    Clydesdale Express

    I've been printing like crazy, and am almost ready to storm the gates of UPS to get these charts sent to Market.

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    I thought the difference in stack sizes was quite amusing when I placed 300 Hares' Winter charts next to 300 The Flood charts…

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    And for those of you who have mentioned wanting to stitch The Flood on a count other than what is called for, this shouldn't be a problem. The only specialty stitches in it are straight stitches.

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    Enjoy your weekend! I'll be spending the day shopping for Superbowl Sunday. Go Nachos!


  • New Designs

    Hares’ Autumn and Winter

    These complete the four seasons series for the hares, although I may be adding other holidays. In the retail lineup so far, there are Hares' Spring, Hares' Summer, Hares' Halloween, and Hares' Christmas.

    Here are the supplies for Hares' Autumn…

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    Fabric: 36 ct. Vintage Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens

    Stitch Count: 87 x 74

    Frame: The Family Tree Frame Co. (A "Branch" of Crescent Colours!)

    Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Threads in…
    Old Hickory
    Tarnished Gold
    Brethren Blue (love that name!)
    Wood Trail
    Briar Rose

    And finally, here is Hares' Winter…

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    This one was photographed out in the snow, which was fun. 🙂

    Fabric: 36 ct. Vintage Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens

    Stitch Count: 79 x 76

    Frame: The Family Tree Frame Co. (A "Branch" of Crescent Colours!)

    Threads: Gentle Art Sampler Threads in…
    Summer Shower
    Old Hickory
    Wood Trail
    Dried Thyme

    Thank you to my dear friend Chris Laurion for stitching this model for me! She knows how I abhor stitching models, so she helped me out. 🙂

    If you like the hare family, there are some free charts you may not be aware of. If you check the "freebie" category in the sidebar, you'll find these hare charts to choose from…

    Hares' New Year
    Autumn Blessings
    Hares' Lucky Day
    Hares' Visit (for a trip to the doctor… designed with my mother in mind, as she's a medical transcriptionist)
    Hares' Fathers Day
    Hares' Mothers Day
    Hares' Easter

    You'll also find other free charts there, so just wade through them until you find the ones you like!

    I want to thank all of you who have shown your fondness for these silly hares. They were born out of a desire to try my hand at something primitive in style, yet failing miserably. I'm grateful that there are those of you out there who have enjoyed my failures – and I mean that in a good way! 😉

    I hope the upcoming market gives you lots to be happy about! I'm looking forward to seeing what my favorite designers are offering. 🙂

  • New Designs

    The Flood

    For those of you who would like the supplies list for The Flood, here it is!

    The Flood ss

    Fabric: 36 ct. Vintage Buttercream by Lakeside Linens.

    Stitch Count: 453 x 315

    Needlepoint Inc. Silks (with DMC equivalent in parentheses):

    672 (169)
    209 (221)
    142 (224)
    993 (310)
    673 (414)
    305 (433)
    904 (435)
    903 (436)
    933 (451)
    256 (469)
    965 (535)
    973 (611)
    971 (613)
    974 (640)
    972 (644) [2 skeins suggested]
    964 (646)
    694 (680)
    696 (729)
    245 (730)
    242 (732)
    763 (738)
    955 (829)
    325 (924)
    321 (927)
    203 (945)
    241 (3012)
    584 (3031) [3 skeins suggested]
    183 (3032)
    693 (3046)
    548 (3051)
    184A (3790)
    775 (3826)
    127 (3858)
    125 (3859)
    984 (3862)
    992 (Ecru)

    The frame is by the fabulous ladies (and gentleman!) of Valley House Primitives.

    I'll be back tomorrow with the supply lists for Hares' Winter and Hares' Autumn.

    In the meantime, my printer worketh.

    P.S. The glasses in the photo belonged to my great-grandfather. 🙂

  • Family

    Happy Birthday, Mike!

    Today is Mike's birthday! If any of you would like to call and leave him a birthday message, please feel free to! I think the little kid in him would find it quite fun. 🙂 402-895-8914. (My friend Kim did this for her hubby, and I thought it was hilarious!)

    Here's a picture from our outing last night (despite the blizzard warnings) to celebrate. It's a terrible photo, but all of them came out not-so-great, so whatever! Here it is anyway!

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    Bre couldn't make the drive from school bc of the road conditions, so we invited along one of Bean's friends to take her place. His name is Mikey.   (Oh goodness… two Mikes?)

    Happy Birthday, hon. I love you.