Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spring is Coming!

Hard to believe, with the snow and all, but spring really is on the way.  But, I wanted to bring some spring into the house!  Of course, being in an apartment instead of an actual house means less space, and less willingness to completely go crazy with decorating.  But, I figured the throw pillows on the couch could definitely use some life.

Our couch is dark brown leather.  The pillows are red.  I love the color combo, but it's not very spring-like!  So, I went completely over-the-top cheesy.

Anywayyy, here is the pillow, with it's new pillowcase!

(NOTE: I don't know why the photos all rotated.  I rotated them again, and they still didn't upload correctly.  What the heck!  Sorry... )

Finished Pillow.  I went back and fixed the sides a bit, so it's not quite so loose looking anymore.

Close up.  Bunny and baby chick!

Overall, pretty fun.  I actually carefully measured and meticulously made sure things lined up.  And hey!  It mostly worked.  Imagine that!  Also, this was the first time I every tried applique, which I really enjoyed.  I always liked the look, and I think it turned out pretty OK considering it was my first try!

Now if only I could get the photos to upload in the right orientation...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

All-purpose Noodles!

Ok.  I make these noodles about once a week, so it's high time I post about it since I fail at posting in general.

Growing up, my mom made these noodles for homemade chicken noodle soup.  In fact, it wasn't until I older until I realized there was chicken noodle soup that came in cans-- which still sounds pretty gross to me.  No, the wonderful homemade chicken noodle soup my mom made was one of my all-time favorite meals growing up.

A couple months ago, I decided I wanted to try making the soup for Allen.  I had asked my mom for the noodle recipe a while ago, and wanted to finally put it to good use.  Of course, my husband is crazy and not a big fan of soup in general, so he asked if instead, I would make the noodles but just  make chicken fettuccine alfredo.  I had never had the noodles in anything other than soup, but hey-- why not?!

The end result?  FANTASTIC.  Allen loves these noodles, and I'm happy to know that these noodles work for anything.  I know nothing about making pasta, but I do know these noodles are delicious!  I suppose they're egg noodles, since they ingredients are basically just egg and flour, but they sure are tasty in just about anything!  Nice and hearty, they have a much different texture than pre-made dried noodles, but are super tasty and easy to make!

Recipe (original, from my mom):
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  • Flour
1)  Mix eggs, baking power, salt and a little flour. 
2) Slowly add flour, until dough is stiff.

3) On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thick.

4) Cut dough into strips.

5) Cook in boiling broth for 20+ minutes.

Now, my own notes:

1)  "A little flour" is just a spoonful or so-- nothing critical.
2)  When I make these for alfredo, I use 2 eggs, rather than 3 (which makes enough for dinner and lunch for one person), and it takes maybe 2 cups of flour?  I don't measure-- just keep slowly adding and mixing it until the dough is stiff enough to roll out well.
3)  When my mom makes these noodles for chicken noodle soup, she makes them thick-- cut about 1/2" wide.  When I make them for fettuccine, I cut them to be maybe 3/8" wide.  After cooking, the noodles will get a little bigger, and you want them to have some substance (I've made them too thin before, and they just aren't as good because you don't taste them as much)
4)  For chicken noodle soup, place the noodles in the boiling broth.  For fettuccine, I start boiling some water with olive oil and salt right as I start cutting up the noodles, and cook them in that.
5)  I've found that the fastest and easiest way to cut the dough is to use a pizza cutter-- a knife just doesn't cut it as well.
6)  Check after 20 minutes, but I usually seem to cook them for longer.  Just a matter of preference.

Ok, so maybe it look complicated, but it really isn't.  I want to try them with spaghetti sauce, sometime, or even to make ravioli.  Yum!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I whine a lot.  This is probably not something I should try to expand upon, and enrich my life with, but it's kind of true- I'm a complainer.

Here are a few things that I feel compelled to complain about lately.  I know you were wondering....

First of all, why is my photo always a big triangle with an exclamation mark in it, now?  This is very frustrating.  I tried googling it, and (ironically) the most I could find out was it somehow had to do with google+?  Anyway, I deleted my google+ account, since I literally have never used it and hadn't added anyone and generally it was confusing and redundant... and it still shows my icon as an exclamation mark.  Clearly, the internet is telling me how awesome I am!  (except it looks more like a warning/bad exclamation mark.  hmm..)

Next, I want to complain about pinterest.  Actually, not really, because I love it so much and I am a little addicted to it.  BUT!  It drives me crazy when people just post these "inspirational" photos and "slim down in 5 days!" and "get great arms by doing these two 20-second exercises that consist of lifting a 1lb jar over your head!"  Ok, so maybe I'm kinda a snob.. but it drives me CRAZY.
  1. If you're going to work out, just do it.  Don't comment on peoples' photos saying "omg I WILL look like this someday!"  Granted, I know it's a handy way to gather information for yourself, but for some reason, this just really bothers me.
  2. I can absolutely guarantee that that chick in that photo did NOT get that body by doing a 20 minute work-out twice a week.  If that was really a "thing," and actually worked, we would all look like models.  Why is the diet and fitness industry so successful?  Because there isn't some quick, fix-all method.  People in photos are fitness models.  It's their job, and only those people that are blessed with naturally athletic builds are going to have a shot at looking that perfect-- and only after hard work.  Now, there's nothing wrong with striving for it, but it drives me crazy when these little "routines" guarantee you'll look like the model.
  3. It's just annoying.
I think I'm just full of myself.  And bitter.  Weight-lifting for 4.5 months and...well, I think my back is bigger.  My thighs are bigger.  I have super leg muscles, but mehhh.  I have great abs, but under this huge flab of fat, I just look fatter.  I can squat and deadlift and do rows at 45lbs on each side (so, 90lbs.. I only have dumbbells, so all my weights are "half" of what it would be if i were using ) but my arms looks like uncooked breadsticks.  Nasty.  HMPH!

(also, I'm fully aware the squats and deadlifts don't work your arms that much.  Those were just the top few things that popped in my head.  I think you get the picture, though)

I'm also kind of hating stomach aches.  I mean, come on!  When I was younger, I never got stomach aches.  Never ever.  In the past few months to a year, I've had more stomach aches than I can count!  Honestly, what changed! Come on body, why are you getting old?!


Ok, I'm actually getting bored of complaining -- um, yes, what?!  That never happens!  As a consolation for having to read my complaining.. here!  A cute picture of Xyla when she was small and tiny!

Oh, one more thing...  We are doing STP this year!  (Seattle to Portland bike race, of course)  Registered yesterday.  I'm so excited!...and also terrified.  Allen and I are doing it, and so is my dad!  It should be fun.  Since we've only done one 10 mile quick ride in the last 4 months, I'm not feeling very good about it.  But, I guess I can do it, right?  Good thing it's not until mid July.  That's plenty of time to get ready.  Right?  Right.

In the meantime, I have lots of sewing and decorating and baking and ahhh!  I got some really fun spring-y fabrics..but don't know what to do with them.  Oh man.  All I want to do is create, but I have no ideas!  Help!