Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life worth Living...

Today at church the speaker gave a talk about having a positive attitude. It was kinda funny because last week I was pretty down in the dumps with this whole baby making thing and just really feeling a pity party for myself. The Hubbs sat down and had a heart to heart with me and basically told me that I needed to change my attitude. Then the was the talk at church, then I had looked at one of my favorite quilting sites and they were promoting this super cute fabric called "Make Life" by Moda and the writer had mentioned this quote by George Carlin.
I loved it and wanted to share...

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less
We buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak!
And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind
And always remember: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

- George Carlin

I went into this week with a different mindset and a different attitude. I am trying to not get bent out of shape over the piles of laundry or the doctors who can't see things my way, or the dog who spreads wheat flour all over the house and cakes it in between her paws and all over her face, or all the things that I don't have. I am not going to stress about that... instead I am going to a take a deep breath, enjoy the moment, soak up this time with the Hubbs, and be grateful for the many, many blessings that I have been given.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fun times playing the Block Lotto...

 I have been wanting to join a quilt group online because I have been so into quilting lately and I want some quilting friends to share it with. I am quite the fan of "google" and I love to google things so in my google quest, I found the Block Lotto and asked to join and now I am busy making my blocks for the January lotto. Basically a bunch of women make the same block and then take pictures of their finished blocks. This is their entry to the lotto and then they pick winners and the winner gets blocks sent to them. Yeah yeah... I am feeling lucky.

Here are my entries... this is the tic-tac-toe blocks

I love this block idea...I am not sure what its called but its awesome because they are free cuts- Every block will be a little different. Gives it a modern feel and unique.Different fabrics, different cuts. Usually blocks are so formal and everything is measured and kept the same. These blocks allow for variation. It would make for a fun kids quilt.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cross off the list...

Here is Sophia's quilt...

I used Blush by Basic Grey for Moda

I think it turned out nice... used a Disappearing Nine Pattern... seriously this is the best quilt pattern for easy quick quilting. I will definitly use it again. I backed it with a pink polka dot Moda fabric... I believe its from the Birdie Line... I machine quilted it together and binded (well my mom binded) it using a brown stripe fabric also from the Birdie line.
I hope mom and baby love it as much as I do.

Falling in love...

You know that feeling when you start dating someone new and you think about them all the time, you want to spend as much time with them as possible, you get nervous when you are around them just because you want to make a good impression, and you even dream about them.... Yeah I am totally falling in LOVE with quilting (don't worry the Hubbs already knows). I got this lovely little package slip on the door yesterday and today after work I RUSHED throught RUSH hour traffic to get to the post office so I could see this lovely beauty of a package... I felt a little nervous as I opened the package. What if I didn't like it? what if its uglier then expected? but no... I L.O.V.E. the Hello Betty Retro by Moda line. It will look fabulous in my Retro Room to go with my Retro Green Chair

Take a look at these fabrics....

Love it, Love it, Love it

Going to use this pattern that I saw here. It should be awesome awesome awesome!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Heeley Hansen...

It's quite rainy here this week which is VERY unusual for Phoenix. Because of this onpouring from heaven, I had to go pull a coat out of the closet (coats...whata concept). Anyways- there in the closet in the very back corner right next to the Hubbs high school letterman jacket and various odd ball pieces of clothing that I can't seem to get rid of... there is was- the Heeley Hansen raincoat.

When I went on the mission to Ireland for my church I was in no way prepared for rain. I have lived in Phoenix most of my life where we get MAYBE rain 3 times a year... its the desert. So Ireland was completely different weather then I was used to.

 I did not pack any sort of raincoat so on my first day on the mission, I was out spending some money on a coat. Myself and another missionary went out to a couple stores in City Centre and I came upon a sporting/outdoor store. They suggested me buying a Heeley because they were good quality and I would be able to wear it for a long time. It would protect me from getting wet and from the ailments of the weather.  This Heeley Hansen coat was my most used item on my mission (right outside the scriptures of course). Putting on the Heeley Hansen today made me flash back to the mission... everyday I had that coat on. I dug deep into the pockets and even found an Irish coin (and I thought I spent all my money).
How grateful I am for those days spent in the Heeley Hansen.

What an amazing, awesome experience that was- all of the neat people that I got to meet, all the wonderful companions that I had, all the memories. The Heeley Hansen protected me from a the rain and coldness of the world around me, just like the mission protected me from the world around me. Those 18 months you are in a spiritual bubble. You are constantly testifying for Jesus Christ, learning about yourself and others, trusting Heavenly Father with everything you do... I do not know how my life would be different if I had not gone to serve the Lord. I believe those experiences have shaped me into the person I am...

oh how I love the Heeley Hansen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby Sophie's Quilt

My super good friend LORI is having a little girl in a couple months…she is going to name her Sophia. I have been working on this quilt for baby Sophie- I saw this super cute fabric by MODA called Blush and thought it would be perfect since Lori is decorating brown and pink. I didn't want ONLY browns and pinks so I thought this worked out well. Since Lori doesn't look at the blog- I thought I would give a peak at my progress thus far.

I teach Relief Society in my ward and just taught last Sunday (if you are LDS then you all had the same lesson in RS so I don't need to elaborate) but anyways- I used a talk by Sheri Dew for a majority of the talk called, "knowing who you are and who you always have been". There are a few lines I want to share…

"Noble and great. Courageous and determined. Faithful and fearless. That is who you are, and that is who you have always been"

"(Satan) He hates women of the noble birthright. He hates us because he is almost out of time, while we are en route to everlasting glory. He hates us because of the influence we have on husbands and children, family and friends, the Church and even the world. It is no secret to him that we are the Lord's secret weapon."

What a GREAT feeling to know that women are the Lord's Secret Weapon but it is so true… we have such an influence on each other, the men in our lives, our children (or future children), the community… the world. What a great blessing it is to know that we are daughters of God and especially with all this infertility crap I have come to realize over and over, its not my time, it's the Lords time and he has this figured out even if the doctors and myself don't.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shout out to Megan…

This is for my dearest cousin Megan (and probably the only blog reader I have)… I wanted to give you some tips on taking up knitting…

First off- visit two awesome sites for inspiration: here and here.

There are ONLY two stitches you need to know- the Garter Stitch and the Purl Stitch… if you good "Garter stitch" and "purl stitch" you will be linked to some awesome you tube videos and that will walk you through the motions.

Get good yarn… I prefer Lion Brand because its soft and cuddly and used it when I crocheted- you can buy this yarn at any craft store or online. To start go out and feel the yarns- you are going to be touching it all the time so make sure you really get a "feel" for it. Also… just a hint- rub it on your neck. This pretty scarf I made was out of Alpaca wool.

Now when I was touching it in the store it felt OH SO SOFT… once I actually had it around my neck- it itched (there went one month of knitting time)…


Get a recipe (pattern whatever you want to call it). has some great easy patterns to follow. I referred back to them all the time.

And when all else fails and if you are still confused as heck… talk to the lovely "Older" women at your church (which I did) and they will be more then happy to show you. Also… if you are left handed (which I am- suck it up and learn how to do it right handed).

Have fun lady... I have put the knitting needles up until next winter... here in Phoenix we just don't see enough coldness for scarfs and knitted hats.

Thrift Store Finds…

I love thrift stores… I love going in and out of thrift stores looking for things that you probably don't really need but think you need at the time…. It's the best. Recently mom and I went out and stumbled upon a thrift store we have not been to. I didn't find much but I did find these awesome brass seagulls and butterflies that fit perfectly in the "retro room".

Speaking of the "retro room", this front room is one of my favorite places in my house (second of course to Crafice and my comfy bed) but I do not spend a lot of time in this room and now that I look at in pictures... it needs some paint...hmmmm. The seagulls will do until I find a nice large retro brass peacock to hang on the wall. I believe every house needs a peacock in it- plus I just love saying "peacock" (sidenote... on the mission when I served in Waterford we had church in a hotel called the Brass Cock or Brass Chicken or something like that... help me out here old comps). Anyways back to the house...Our dogs however are in the retro room everyday and usually a good portion of the day because it has what we call "doggy TV" aka… the front window that looks out at the street and all the passerbys… anyways- here are my lovely seagulls in my lovely retro room in my lovely house.

I also am in love with my green chairs that were not thrift store finds... BUT THEY WERE CRAIGSLIST!! Love it! I got them from a guy on Craigslist for $150 each... mid-century modern and I heart them.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Make-Up oh make-up.. how do I love thee

Why do us women spend so much money on Make-Up and why do we feel it is NEEDED before we walk out the door??
The other morning I woke up late for work- I packed up my make-up bag so I could do it in the car at all the stop lights from my house to the airport (35 minutes drive).
BUT... because I was in a hurry, the make-up bag sat on my table as I rushed out the door. The whole way to work I tried to figure out how I was going to manage to get some make-up so that I did not look like I rolled out of bed. I thought to stop at Walgreens and pick up some cheap makeup just to get by but I was late and stopping to buy makeup would make me even later.
I tried to find some odd pieces of makeup in my purse and only managed to find some Burts Bee chapstick (love that stuff) and one thing of MAC lip gloss. I am doomed- no makeup day for me.
Now I am not one to wear TONS of makeup and on Saturdays I barely put any on- but only the Hubbs sees me at those times. I was hurting- hair looked like crap,  no makeup, no shower... all day people said to me, "Brooke do you feel okay"... like no makeup makes me look sickly.
So today I went out and bought some "extra" basics that I can keep in my drawers at work JUST in case this exact issue happens again. Always prepared.

In another rant... I went to the OBGYN today for another "I'm not pregnant yet" appointment. I think the OB is the wrong place for people who suffer from infertility. To many pregnant bellies in one waiting room. The doc said that my bloodwork shows I have an adrenal gland problem... what the heck is an adrenal gland and why is it affecting my baby making?? So we shall see. He did not want to put me on fertility drugs until we know something more about the adrenal gland and get that under control- ugh... oh well. I guess I will just try to keep my chin up and remember that this all is happening for a reason and Heavenly Father knows what he is doing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sew what???

A quilt, a quilt!!

Here is the newest baby quilt I put together... well the top only but its a start. I went out to my FAVORITE fabric store here in Phoenix and found some super cute Thirties fabric that I L.O.V.E... I wanted a gender neutral quilt but I think its leaning toward the feminine side. I have a couple friends who are having girls but I have other fabric picked out for them... so once finished this will probably sit on the shelf for the right person.

I am also SUPER EXCITED because my MeMaw, who is an awesome quilter, has decided to retire from stitching. When my dad told her about my new found love of the hobby, she asked if I wanted her fabrics.... uhhhh... duh... of course I want them. My dad said MeMaw has like FOUR boxes for me. I love the idea of using some of my grandmas fabrics in my quilts. My mom and I always love visiting Missouri and seeing MeMaws quilts- she really is amazing. Thanks MeMaw for inspiring me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Food Storage Fun

Our church had a "preparedness fair" a couple months ago that was put on by the members in the area. There were classes on gardening, food storage, bread making, dutch oven cooking, 72 hour kits, quilting along with many others. The Hubbs and I went along with my parents and I was motivated to start my food storage. One of the sessions we attended was on canning meat.... so this last weekend my dad and I went back to our mid-west farming roots and ventured into the wonderful world of canning meat. The end product... 48 pounds of beef and chicken canned and placed in our food storage. My dad told the Hubbs tonight, "well Bri- if there is any major natural catastrophe that hits Arizona (like non ever have or probably ever will)... at least you will be warm (because I quilt) and you will have meat". Sounds like we would be doing pretty good.

First: cut up the meat... you can use any meat that you wish but on this particular Saturday we did beef and chicken because it was on sale

Pack the meat into the jars- wide mouth mason jars (pints). It is suggested by the famous Wendy Dewitt ( to buy new jars and then re-use them over and over rather then buying used ones. We watched her series on YouTube and also visited her blog. She has some great ideas.
Heat your lids for 2 minutes in boiling water so that the little rubber ring softens up.
This is the MUST HAVE item for canning- a pressure canner. We bought ours on Amazon for $200.00- it is a 21.5 quart All-American brand. Plave 3 inches of water in the bottom of the canner.

Put the canner on high heat- since we have a glass top stove- we had to do it in the outdoor kitchen.

You have to allow the pressure canner to "exhaust" steam for 10 minutes before you put the weighted gauge on. For the desert, you use 10 pounds of pressure.

Once you have exhaused for 10 minutes, place the weight on and once the gauge gets to 10 lbs., start timing for 75 minutes. This is the same time for all meats except fish which is 95 minutes. Slowly turn the heat down to maintain the 10 lbs mark. The weighted gauge will rattle and spit steam out throughout the whole 75 minutes.
Once 75 minutes has passed, turn the heat off and let the pressure go down to 0 again- then open the lid slowly (away from you) and remove the jars. Place in room temperature (nice that its room temp outside in Arizona in January)
  Let cool... you should hear a *plink* sound. Check to make sure that all jars are sealed- if you tap on the top, it should not move. If it moves, then can the meat again or use the meat.

So fun.... Dad and I were able to can 45 jars in 9 hours.

Then Bailey.. our diamond eating Cocker Spaniel... got into the jars and this is what resulted. We only lost two jars but have a full bellied dog.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obsessed a little....

I have to admit that I am a little OBSESSED with quilting these days. The poor Hubbs is not getting much attention but I get a rush off this part of making a quilt. Once you have sewn all the blocks, you lay them out on the floor in the pattern you want. OH SO FUN!!!
and then whenever I get on the floor for anything, Mia thinks its play time.
This is what the top looks like... I am still going to add a red polka dot border.
My mom loves Mary Englebright so when I saw this MODA collection called Attitude Girls, I knew I wanted to make it for her. Should turn out nice- will keep you posted.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm lovin' it...

And I don't mean McDonalds... (although I am quite the fan of McD's cheeseburgers- hehe). I am LOVIN' quilting. I finished my first quilt over a week ago and already have most of the blocks done for the new quilt. I ordered my fabrics from and got it in the mail in like TWO DAYS!!! I have been stuck to my sewing machine since. I took some basic block designs and created what I wanted it to look like then The Hubbs did all the math to figure out a pattern (I am not a math person). Now I am busy busy busy working on this quilt. LOVE IT.

Stay tuned for quilt... I will show you as I piece it together.