Funny Friday

How many have had this happen!?  :)

Finding a little way to give back.

A while ago, I decided that I wanted to start a stitching club at my church for the purpose of donating our finished items and yarn, while making some new friends.


Well, we had our first three meetups over the last three months, and I'm proud to say, it's a small group, but it's been fruitful. So far, we've donated 2 large garbage bags full of yarn to the Servants of Mary convent, where it will be knitted and crocheted up into items for sale in their book store. All the proceeds from those sales go to the St. Peregrine foundation, which ministers to cancer patients in the area.

We've also donated 6 beautiful baby blankets, donated by a parishioner, and a hat and bootie set, crocheted by Aimee.

Photobucket

So beautiful and soft! This set will go to Essential Pregnancy Services, which provides free pregnancy counseling and ultrasounds to any women that need it. They have a store where women can buy and earn items for their new babies.

I am so proud to be a part of this group!  I have found a way to use up those pesky scraps of yarn, I've made some new friends, and I really feel like I am helping someone out there in need.  

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday...

dyed pfs.

From Shannon of Gillyweeds

Funny Friday: Life before google

Three things

that I am working on, here at Holden's Landing ...





Transportation organic bamboo velour blanket

















Alice in Wonderland themed fitted diaper



























Tropical BedBug size M/L

Wordless Wednesday

 
Submitted by Love Abounds.

Summer Pasta Salad

There are so many different ways to make pasta salad.  But that is one of the best things about it!  You can really adapt any recipe to suit you.  When I make a Pasta Salad in the Summer, it is always cold and packed with delicious, fresh vegetables!  Here is a basic Summer Pasta Salad recipe and dressing that is easily adaptable. 




In a good pasta salad you want one good "lead" vegetable.  You also want at least two other "back-up" vegetables, one or two "exotic" vegetables, and you can optionally add a cheese.  A great way to add something special is to use a combination of fresh herbs too.  And of course you have your pasta and dressing!

"Lead"
This concept is simple.  Pick your favorite veggie, your hubby's favorite, or something everyone will eat!  You don't want to pick anything that has too much flavor that might distract from your other ingredients.  For example, roasted peppers, olives, or feta cheese are too strong to lead.  For this recipe, use 1 cup of your lead vegetable.

"Back-up"
All other vegetables should be used in a quantity of 1/2 of your lead vegetable, so 1/2 a cup of each in this recipe.  You can use two, three, or four.  But be careful!  You don't want too many things going on in your salad that you can't taste the flavor of each individual vegetable. 

"Exotic"
Exotic ingredients only need to be used in a quantity of 1/3 your lead vegetable.  Vegetables in this category aren't necessarily exotic, just bolder in flavor or better used in smaller quantities.  Your exotic ingredients can really make or break your salad.

Cheese
You want to pick a cheese that meshes with your other ingredients.  Feta is one of my favorites to use with tomatoes or cucumber.  Fresh mozzarella can be delicious but is still mild too.

Herbs
When in doubt go with Parsley!  Parsley is so versatile that it will most certainly compliment just about any pasta salad you make.  As we all know, there are endless different herbs that can add depth and flavor to any dish.  But always use fresh!  In a Summer vegetable pasta salad, fresh herbs are a must.

Here are a few examples of different vegetables that fit into the categories above:

Lead and Back-up Veggies
Fresh Green Beans
Broccoli
Tomatoes
Snow Peas
Green Peas
Cucumber
Cauliflower

Exotic
Green Onions
Roasted Red Bell Pepper
Roasted Green Bell Pepper
Artichokes
Olives
Sundried Tomatoes

Cheese
Feta Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh, diced Mozzarella Cheese
Goat Cheese

Herbs
Parsley
Basil
Oregano
Cilantro
Mint

First step in creating your dish is to select your pasta.  Hearty pastas are usually better suited for this type of recipe.  Penne, Bow Tie, and Tortellini are good basic options.  Penne is my personal favorite!

Next, have fun selecting your ingredients.  You can pick some of your families' favorites or wait and see what looks the best at the market.  Here is one of my favorite combos:

1 package Penne Pasta
1 cup Broccoli (Lead)
1/2 cup Fresh Green Beans
1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup Sliced Kalmata Olives
1/3 cup Sliced Green Onions
1/3 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/4 cup Chopped Parsley

First cook your pasta according to the package directions.  And now for a big tip!!  Throw in your really crispy vegetables with the pasta for the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of cooking time.  Then strain and rinse with cool water.  Lay your pasta and VERY slightly cooked vegetables out on a cutting board or cookie sheet to cool.  Veggies like broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower really blend with your salad better if they are slightly cooked.  Be sure not to overcook them though.  You still want them to have a crunch, just not raw.

Once your pasta has cooled mix all your veggies, cheese, and herbs in.  Then make your dressing:

Dressing
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red Wine or Champagne Vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
1 clove Garlic, minced

Whisk all ingredients together except the olive oil.  Once all other ingredients are combined, very slowly whisk in your olive oil.  Only add a very small amount at a time and whisk, whisk, whisk!  This step will help your dressing to not separate.

After your dressing is completed, add the desired amount to your pasta and veggie combination!  You can now enjoy!!  This recipe can be made a few hours in advance and stored in the fridge as well.

Meet Erica of Nifty Necessities!


I am Erica, the momma behind Nifty Necessities. My first love is quilting and ring slings, but I have a wide variety of offerings. My husband is in the Navy so we move quite often, and since his schedule is crazy with strange work hours and deployments, it only makes sense that I would stay home with our children. We have three of them, all under the age of five. Our oldest just turned five and our youngest just turned one. My life is very hectic and so rewarding. I would not trade it in for one instant, even on the bad days.

My three beautiful children with their grandparents:


My husband and I when I was 8 months pregnant with my last baby:



Now for the questions!
Team Hyena: Who taught you how to sew? and Knit? what is your favorite to do?
Nifty Necessities: When I was 12, we had to make a gym bag for the sewing portion of our home economics class, so I had some idea of how to sew in a straight line. Fast forward 15 years, and pregnant with my first child, I figured out how to make a couple of burp cloths to pass the time on a sewing machine my mother bought me for Christmas. If I had any questions I knew that I could ask my mom or my mother in law, and ask away I did.
When my husband was on his first patrol, I made him a Dallas Cowboys quilt. It is one of the ugliest things I have ever made but he takes it on patrol with him. My sewing skills have greatly improved since then.



Knittinghelp.com, taught me how to knit. I do not know anyone who knows how, and with all of the beautiful yarn and things made from the yarn, I decided that I wanted to learn. I have loved every minute of it, and cannot wait to learn more. This is one of the first things that I have ever knit, and I just love the colors in it:



I really enjoy doing both equally. Knitting takes longer then sewing, but I love the portability. Sewing, is quick sometimes, but my sewing is in a finished section of the basement that I lovingly call the dungeon. It is set off of my children's play room and when they are sleeping it can be pretty lonely.

Team Hyena: What is your favorite thing about working at home? Your least favorite thing?
Nifty Necessities: My favorite thing about working at home is staying with my children. I get to keep them close to me and give them the best that I have to offer them. I am right there if they need me to give them hugs and kisses, and I am also there to take a break and give them attention when they need it.

My least favorite thing about working at home is that I do not get much adult interaction. My computer time is spent chatting on forums so I can have some adult time. I do talk to my husband and family, but I do not get to talk to anyone outside that family unit very often. I do make it a point to get out of my house each and every day. Fresh air does a body and soul some good.

Team Hyena: Do you have a favorite item that you have made? What is it?
Nifty Necessities: Yes, I do. As a whole I enjoy making slings and I just love this combination and how it turned out:


I love making slings because I love babies, and I believe that they should be held close. I like to think about the baby that could be carried in one of my slings and know that they are loved very much, but if I had to narrow it down to one specific thing, this quilt would be my favorite thing that I have ever made.




I made this for a sweet customer who had lost her father to cancer the year before. While I had never been in this situation, I could relate having lost my Mammaw when I was 18 in almost the same situation. This quilt was made from her father's flannel pajama pants, and I enjoyed every minute of making such a memorable keep sake. I made this several years ago, and the meaning still holds a special place in my heart.

Team Hyena: where do you get your inspiration from? What is the best part about your work? the worst or hardest?
Nifty Necessities: I find inspiration everywhere. I find it when I look at my children or when I am walking through the store. I might find something that I like and I think to myself, "How can I make this better?" The best part about my work is seeing the finished project and knowing that all of the hard work paid off. I truly love what I do, and my absolute dream job would be to open my own quilt shop.
The hardest part, is drafting a new pattern. While I do enjoy coming up with a new design for a customer, it is not easy and it really does take up a big chunk of my time. The great thing is that I can call it my own, and that makes the hard part worth while.

If you made it through all that, then it is time for the giveaway...
Nifty Necessities will giveaway a knitting project bag valued at $15.00
The bag is drawstring bag, with a carrying handle and is approximately 7 inches in diameter and 14 inches high.  example:
How to enter: 
* Visit Nifty Necessities on etsy and leave a blog comment telling us your favorite item


Additional entries:
* Follow the team blog and leave a separate comment telling us you are a follower
* Fan the team on facebook and leave a separate comment telling us you did so




Please make sure to leave each comment in a separate post, and be sure to give us a way to get in touch with you in case you win! Winner will be picked using random.org on Monday, June 14th - good luck! 

June Giveaway: Happy Father's Day!


Is your father the best in the world? Is your husband/SO the best daddy on earth? Tell us why to enter our June giveaway!



June Giveaway: For the Men in our Lives
From SEWsational Sarah - 100% cotton football flannel fabric.
Generously sized at approximately 22"x 32". These standard pillowcases will fit even the fluffiest of pillows.
Fabrics has NOT been prewashed. I do not prewash flannel items. When gift giving or even receiving an item, i want it to look brand new. Flannel when washed becomes fluffy and super soft, however it can have some pilling. You can expect shrinkage of 1-2" when washed, however I have taken this into account when sewing this item. Your finished product when washed/dried (even on hot) will be my standard sized pillowcase at approximately 20"x30" and will fit even the fluffiest of standard sized pillows.
Retail Value is $7.50

From Love Abounds - Himalayan Pink Sea Salt - This Himalayan Salt is beautiful indeed. Hand-mined, rather than harvested from the ocean, in the heart of the Himalayan Mountains it is a pure salt untouched by toxins and pollutants. Himalayan or Pink salt is rich in over 80 nutrients and minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron and because it’s more flavorful than everyday table salt it’s perfect for use at the table to help you reap the benefits of these nutrients and minerals.
Use it as you would salt in any recipe, to sprinkle on Artisan breads and as a Finishing Salt anywhere you want the subtle pink color to shine. Coarse grind.
Origin: The Himalayan Mountains

Ingredients: Pure, hand-mined Himalayan Pink Salt
No preservatives or anti caking agents, just Himalayan Pink Salt.
Approximately 4 ounces in a gift tin tied with Love Abounds ribbon.

Citrus Chile Rub- AWESOME used as a rub, but, like our other rubs/marinades/spices so versatile. Check here for an awesome salad recipe http://pleasegivepeasachance.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-rub-at-love-abounds-citrus-chili.html (total retail value $12)


From Relic Soap Co -  2 bars of "manly" artisan soap
Bug Be Gone - an all natural blend of bug-repelling essential oils along with conditioning calendula petals.
Honey Lager - raw honey, local beer, citrus oils, plus loads of Australian clay and skin-soothing herbs to make this a fantastic shaving bar.  You get both of these soaps before they debut on etsy! (retail value $12)



Mandatory entry:
* Leave a comment telling why your father/husband/SO is the best dad ever

Additional entries:
* Search "team hyena" on etsy and leave a comment telling us your favorite item
* Fan the team on facebook and leave a comment telling us you did so
* Follow the blog and leave a comment telling us you are a follower

Make sure to leave each as a separate post and make sure to give us a way to get in touch with you if you are the winner! 

Giveaway open to anyone, anywhere :)  One random winner will be chosen via random.org on Friday, June 11

Congrats to comment #17 - Moonstonemama! 

Funny Friday...Secrets of a happy marriage!

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years.


They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. Nothing was

held back. Well, almost nothing. They had kept no secrets from each other

except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet

that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.



For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the

little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In

trying to sort out their affairs, the old man took down the shoebox and took

it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know

what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a

stack of money totaling $250,000. Holy Moley! He asked her about the

contents.



"When we were to be married," she started, "my grandmother told me the

secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever

got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily." The old

man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were

inside the box! She had only been angry with him two times in all those

years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. "Honey," he

said, "that explains the doilies, but.... what about all this money? Where

did it all come from?"



"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the doilies.

Submitted by Shannon of Gillyweeds

Random Mommy Tips

brought to you by Shanna, Sweet Slings, llc


I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for new ideas to help keep a busy household full of young children running smoothly and well organized.  I've chosen to share a few of my favorite "Mommy tips" today.  Please feel free to share your favorite tips as well!

Making Tooth Brushing Fun
Has your child's dentist given you "the timer"?  We have little yellow and purple timers in every bathroom x3 and good golly those things take forever!  So to help pass the time while giving each individual tooth a good brushing, they get a big dose of "Mommy Tunes".  The little ones usually hear the alphabet song; once through for the tops (not too fast) then again in the silliest, most out of tune dramatic rendition I can muster for the bottoms.  At a certain point they outgrow the need to hear the ABC's (although I still brush their teeth well into first grade) and we switch to The Fifty Nifty United States:



I'm sure my little ones aren't the first 4 and 5 years to learn all fifty states, but it certainly is a fun way to brush and learn something at the same time. Sometimes we have Fifty Nifty races to see who can sing it the fastest! I had to chuckle at the sports blood that runs through our family when my son shouted "STATE" after O-hi-o. I'm not a big sports fan myself, but apparently he's heard plenty of talk about Ohio State from Daddy's ESPN talk shows!

From time to time I throw a loop in the routine with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in June or other random silliness. Which illustrates my second super Mom tip of the day;

Keep Things Silly!

On the verge of misbehavior? Do something silly! A laugh can quickly change their path. Grumpy faces and grouchy moods get tickles in our house. You can't stay grumpy long when you're laughing hysterically. Besides avoiding the downhill slide of bad behavior, it helps relieve the Mommy stress too! Have you ever tried tickling someone without smiling? Have fun, be silly, and enjoy the blessings of parenthood!



Wordless Wednesday

Amish White Bread

I got this recipe off off Allrecipes. It's a pretty easy recipe, which I need easy. It makes two loaves, too many for us so one loaf I am making croƻtons for chicken Cesar salad. I served the bread with Roasted chicken and scalloped potatoes. It's a nice tender bread, it has some bite so it's not fluffy. I used less sugar than called for so it wasn't too sweet for us. A great white bread.

  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour


Dissolve the sugar in the water in your mixing bowl. Add the yeast. Stir it a bit.








Let it proof or get foamy. About 10 minutes?
Add your salt and oil to the yeast.






Add flour one cup at a time.









I used it all.










Scrape down the sides of the mixer and let the dough come together.





Now you can use your dough hook to knead the dough or knead on a floured surface. I had some tension to work out, I chose the roul pat.







Knead until smooth.






Place the dough into a oiled bowl and turn once to coat.








Ta-da.








The recipe said cover with a damp towel, so I did. Let it rise for an hour, or...








Until doubled in size.







Punch it down and knead it again for a few minutes.










Ready for the pans.







Divide the dough and place in oiled pans. I oiled my stoneware I just got because it's brand new, otherwise I would not have.







Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees, the recipe said 30 minutes I took mine out at 25, tested it by tapping on it and it was done.




***This was originally posted on GPAC*** Submitted by Love Abounds