Monday, October 29, 2012

Waiting for Sandy, the SuperStorm....and a tShirt Quilt

Ok, so this big giant superstorm is headed our way.  Sandy has cancelled school for 2 days and disrupted everything.   Right now we have high winds and lots of rain.  We are expecting flooding soon.... Thankfully I don't have a basement!

So I decided this was the perfect time to start a LONG project.   Last time I made a tshirt quilt it took for-EVER!   This time, I am either much better at it, or less distracted because I am rocking this quilt thing!

And this is also an in-process blog post.   No finished project yet -but hopefully (if the power stays on!) I will have something great to share soon!

I have committed to running 12 5Ks in 2012.   In my quest to get healthy and strong, this is just one goal I have set....and I am about to reach it.   :)   I have 11 races done and one more in November.

Now, all these races (but one!  GRR!!) have given me a tshirt of some sort.   SO this is where my 12 shirts are coming from.

First, I cut the shirts apart - sleeves off, sliced the sides and the shoulders.

Next, I bought value packs of iron on interfacing (get a light weight one) and cut it into 12" squares.  I ironed this onto the insides of the shirts.

Then I cut them into about 13x13 squares (so I have seam allowances this time!)

Next is the most fun - laying out the design!   Most of the shirts have a back-side with their sponsors.  I can't decide if I'm going to use them in the quilt front and make it huge OR make the back quilted from the backs of the shirts.    Right now they are laid out separately on my living room and dining room floor:

Now - I have one more race to run AND one race that didn't give a shirt.  I'm going to take a pic of the "plastic cup" we got instead of a tshirt.   That is why there are two spots left.   I wish there was a way to put my race bibs in the quilt without it being too much...   I thought about scanning them and printing them on iron-ons.   Hmm... Maybe this will be what I do next!

Last time i made a quilt like this it was a Queen Size quilt with my college, camp and sorority tshirts in it.  It took me forever!  This time I am going much faster!  I used a Fiskars Rotary Cutter and it is beyond amazing.  Everything is cut straight and so quickly!!

AND I have all these beautiful tshirt scraps left - so I googled projects with tshirt quilts and found this.  SOOO easy!  I made two wide headbands and one thin so far.  I anticipate making more because they are so super easy and fun!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Apple Cider Pork Roast in the Crock Pot

A few weeks ago, I had dinner at Cracker Barrel and saw their Apple Cider Braised Pork - delicious! But I knew I had to try and make it healthier, because let's face it....who knows what kinds of sweetener and preservatives are used and how much salt is added in when we eat out

Today I headed to Target and Costco - in the middle of all the crazy storm preparations here in Northern Virginia. Most people were buying tons of water and toilet paper, bread and milk. I did buy some bottled water just in case....but no TP, bread or milk in my basket!

For this recipe, I picked up a 4 pack of pork roasts, a bag of gala apples, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and a half gallon of apple cider.

I browned the pork in a skillet, just to get the brown bits in the pan and on the meat. I added a tsp of coconut oil to the pan to speed things along.

(Side note: this white enamel skillet from Pampered Chef is amazing. I've completely been converted to using this and no other! I cook eggs, meat, veggies, of course bacon, and nothing sticks. It is so easy to clean up too! And pretty too!)

Then I chopped up my apples, peels on, and added them to the crockpot on high. I added about a half of the bag of cranberries and a third of the bag of pecans to the crockpot.

Next, I transferred the browned pork into the post and added a half jug of apple cider. I used a little of that to deglaze the pan and get all that yummy browned pork out of the skillet.

Now, all this is cooking on high for a few hours and it smells DELICIOUS! I can hardly wait till it is done. I'm guessing about 3-4 hours, but I will rely on my meat thermometer to tell me when the inside of the pork has reached 170 degrees and it is pull apart tender.

I'm normally very good at reading labels and avoiding additives like extra sugar. I missed the boat on these cranberries....they have sugar added. However, the chaos that is the stores here before the giant storm mean I just used them anyway instead of heading back out to exchange them. Always read carefully!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh my goodness! Pumpkin Pie Shake and Frappe!

Oh my goodness.


A few days ago I pinned a delicious looking drink recipe. I am ready for fall and that means I love all things pumpkin. It amazes me how businesses can develop anything and everything pumpkin.


Now, they are rarely healthy and certainly not Paleo.


But this? This recipe I can adjust and make it Paleo! I can do this. And I did. It is beyond amazing. I can't wait till morning to try the frappe recipe (if it wouldn't guarantee I am up all night I'd make it and drink it now!) it is.


That is the original and I only changed it slightly.

1 cup of coconut milk

2 Tbsps of canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Handful of ice

Blend all ingredients in a blender or magic bullet. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!