{Recipe} Guacamole

Guacamole from a jar is kind of gross in my opinion but I love it so of course that means homemade guacamole was a necessary recipe for my recipe book. Luckily I didn’t need to look far! My wonderful mother-in-law makes the most delicious guacamole and was gracious enough to share it with me!

Now sadly I don’t have any great photos of the final guacamole because we all dove in to the bowl as soon as it was ready to hit the table but I’ve got a semi fuzzy one. But trust me, it may not look great but it’s delicious!

Ingredients:
■ 6 Avocados
■ 1/2 Onion
■ 1 large Tomato or 2 medium Tomatoes
■ 1 Lemon
■  Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
■ Black Pepper

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1. Put all the avocado “guts” in a bowl and mash.

2. Chop the onion and tomato. Add to the avocado.

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3. Juice the lemon into the veggies. Add the Lawry’s Seasoning Salt. (This is based on taste preferences.)
*If you add too much, you can add more tomatoes to absorb some of the seasoning salt.*

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Enjoy!

If you want to kick the flavor up a notch, you can add some jalapeño pepper and roasted corn.

I’ve also tried the pit in the guacamole trick so it wouldn’t brown but had no success, I still haven’t mastered that.

~Hope

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Handprint Quilt Part Two: Binding the Quilt

Yesterday you saw the quilt all ready for binding and today we will finish it! There are many different binding methods but this is a simple way to bind quilts without using a bias tape binding or hand stitching so you can catch both edges.

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This method of binding uses the backing of the quilt essentially wrapped around the front of the quilt to bind all the layers. It’s a fairly simple method and is relatively quick.

You need excess around your quilt of at least 4 inches (you’ll have a 1 inch binding; if you want a larger binding increase your excess).

You will be working on one edge at a time, rolling two edges first (from opposing ends of the quilt) then we’ll miter the corners.

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Fold the raw edge in to meet the edge of the top of the quilt. (Bottom left photo)

Fold over again meeting the edge of the top of the quilt. (Top right photo)

Roll over the edge of the quilt enclosing the raw edges of the top. (Bottom right photo)

Pin like crazy!

Time to miter those corners…it’s not that hard I promise!

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I mark the point where the quilt top ends in my previously rolled binding (the side I already rolled up). You will be folding a triangle down without passing this point.

Now you are going to roll the side like you did for the previous sides that you already rolled. Pin and sew!

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Here is a picture of the girls gifting the quilt to their teacher!  It was such a fun project even if it did take me weeks to finish!

Sorry if my explanation wasn’t clear. I hope the photos help where my words fail. Ask questions if you have any!

~Hope

Handprint Quilt Part One: Embroidery Work

For Sister’s teacher, I made a keepsake quilt with each students handprint and their name embroidered over the top of the print. It turned out beautifully and I wish that I could share a full image with you all but I can’t for privacy reasons. But I can show you snippets and give you the tips and tricks of doing your own quilt.

I also plan to save Sister’s handprints and names so that I can make her a quilt at the end of her high school career. Each year around the middle to end of the year I’ll collect her print and name to save for her own quilt later on. I’ll do the same for the other kids as well. I’m pretty excited about that!

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Each hand was traced onto printer paper cut into an 8″x8″ square. I actually cut the squares out so that parents would know that it needed to fit inside that square. None of the kids have huge prints but some did spread their hands out fairly wide so I am glad that I designated the size. I then taped the page directly onto the muslin that was stretched in my hoop. (I did cut away the excess paper prior to stitching.) Embroider the entire print and then carefully begin tearing the paper away. I found that it was easier to pull away large sections first then to actually hold the stitch line between my fingers while pulling away the remaining paper. When using 3 strands of embroidery floss you will see more stretching (bubbling) of the stitches, with 6 less. Just a tip you might want to take into consideration. 🙂

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Here is the corner label I did. Straight lines are much easier to pull paper away from, of course.

I did give the kids a strip of paper for their name that was 2 inches by 8 inches. Some filled the whole space, some wrote large letters, and 2 wrote their names at less than a half inch tall…I had to use tweezers to get the paper away from some letters, especially e’s or any letter with a center.

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Here is a photo prior to the edge work but after it was pieced and tacked. I love how it turned out.

Come back tomorrow to find out how I did the binding!

~Hope

Life in the slow lane…

This weekend (Monday and part of today), the kids and I enjoyed time at my parents dairy farm while my husband worked a 48 hour shift. The kids watched my Dad pull a calf while we were there (a first for both of them).

At my parents there is little to no cell phone service (but there is wifi) so I can really unplug and not feel bad.

Sometimes I think about how wired we are and I worry for my children. Will they know how to sit in a room full of people and have a conversation? Will they have true friends not just social media buddies?

I think we all need to take a few minutes and shut off our phones, tablets, and computers so that we can just spend a little time together. Focusing on nothing else other than those around us. Building honest relationships, meaningful relationships with those we truly love and cherish.

Unplug for a few minutes each day or a few hours each day and live life! Love those in front of you! Have a non – Facebook friend!

~Hope

{Recipe} Tart Summer Salad

Last summer, I was introduced to a marinated cucumber and tomato salad. Basically you dump a bottle of Italian dressing over the cucumbers and tomatoes and served it cold. Simple but it didn’t last very long in the fridge and it was kind of expensive to make considering it took an entire bottle of dressing. So I went searching for something different.

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Tart Summer Salad
(loosely adapted from Lifting Revolution)

Ingredients
■ 1 cucumber, chopped
■ 1 tomato, chopped
■ 1/2 onion, chopped
■ 1 tsp dill weed
■ 1/2 cup vinegar
■ 1 tsp sea salt
■ 1/2 T honey
■ 2 T olive oil

This recipe will fill a large (1 L) Mason jar. You can use a different style container but it needs to have a tight sealing lid. You also need a smaller jar to use for mixing while your building your salad.

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Place the dill in the bottom of the jar.  Put your cucumber into the bottom of the jar.

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Layer with the onion and tomato. Pack it down, not to tight but push it in.

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Time for the juice. Put your honey, vinegar, oil, and sea salt into a separate jar and shake. You want it well incorporated before you go any further.

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Pour it slowly into your other jar. If you pour too quickly, it will splash out.

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Refrigerate. (I made 2 for a family gathering, doubled the recipe)  I turn them a couple of times before serving them. I don’t know that it’s necessary but I do it! You’ll want to refrigerate for at least an hour before serving but it will last up to a week even after you start eating out of the jar.

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How delicious does that look? It’s super easy and delicious!

It’s great as an easy to take side on picnics too! A pint size jar is the perfect serving size for 2 people. I also cut up a chicken breast and tossed it into my salad one day in a hurry and it was delish!

Make it! Share it! Enjoy it!

~Hope

I’m being the best ME, I can be!

As a society, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Magazines air brush photos to touch people up so that they look closer to perfection. Plastic surgery is big business with over 600,000 surgeries for breast augmentation and liposuction just among women in 2013. (source)

Not only do we compare ourselves as women but we also compare ourselves as moms. Have you ever looked at another woman and thought “how did she lose all that baby weight so fast?” or “how does she keep her house so clean and manage her kids?” or “how does she get her kids in bed by 8:30 when I barely get mine asleep by 10?”

I know I have thought some of those thoughts. I’ve also silently praised myself at times because I knew I was accomplishing something that other moms might be envious of.

A friend of mine came over with her son the other day and our boys played together. We talked about bedtime struggles along with various other things. She expressed her frustrations that she couldn’t seem to master some “general” parenting things other friends on her Facebook seemed to be pros at. My explanation to her was “they’re liars.” None of us have it all together.

**My middle son, Brother, will turn 3 on Saturday. He’s not potty trained, at all.

**My house is a wreck probably 50% of the time, if not more.

**I am 50 lbs overweight.

**I hate doing laundry and it’s always piled everywhere.

**I yell at my kids sometimes.

**I use PBS as a babysitter some days (I even sit my youngest in front of it every now and again).

I’m not perfect as a person, parent or homemaker. I will never be perfect. And I’m okay with that.

Accept who you are. Stop comparing yourself to others.