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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Eating For Your Future/Kale Quinoa Salad

A year ago, I was diagnosed with moles on both of my retinas that have the potential to become cancerous. I now see a retinologist every 6 months, have my eyes dilated, and an ultrasound is done to determine if there have been any changes since my last check up. Thus far, I've been fortunate, no changes, no cancer. My next appointment is at the end of this month and of course there's always a little apprehension. I'm lucky in so many ways, but especially so in that my husband has insisted to be by my side at every visit. 

When I initially saw the specialist, he told me that it is imperative that I eat a very plant rich diet. I've always had a fairly healthy diet, it's just more focused now.

I was recently looking for a breakfast dish that would be a little higher in nutrients than my favorite bowl of oatmeal and I came across THIS recipe for a Kale and Quinoa Salad. Not only is it good as a salad, but warmed up, it's great for breakfast too. In fact, I'm on my second batch. I can be a little lazy in the morning, so I love that I can make up a batch and then just take out what I want and quickly warm it up. I basically followed the recipe, but as you can see below, I added quite a bit more kale and rather than tear the kale, I chopped it up. Rather than 1 cup of chopped kale, I added 3 cups. 
I love blueberries, and I try and buy bunches when they are in season and keep them in the freezer for use over the winter. So rather than blackberries, I added blueberries.
Quinoa is a great source of protein, but I love nuts and they do add a little more protein, so I usually top the salad off with roasted slivered almonds.  
I suggest making the salad up and allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and allow the dressing to really soak into the quinoa. One last change I made, rather than a lemon, I used the juice of 1 lime in my dressing. I also reduced the oil to 1 1/2 tablespoons rather than the 3 tablespoons.
As I said, this recipe is great as a salad. It can be served as is, over salad greens, and even for breakfast. If you enjoy the addition of a little cheese, some fresh feta or a good blue cheese would nice too.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Win An Upline Jacket Pattern

Great news!!! I just heard from Elizabeth of Sewn Square One and she has generously agreed to give away an Upline Jacket pattern and help kick off the upcoming Sew News sew along that will begin on October 26th. Pattern cover below.
 Pattern details.
My version of the jacket. 
So here's the deal;
1. Leave a message on this post to let me know that you would like to be included in the drawing.
2. You must be a follower of the blog. Let me know how you follow, email, Bloglovin, Feedly, etc.

The give away is open to all. 
I will draw the winning name next Saturday, October 10, 2015. That will give you 2 weeks to receive the pattern and get ready for the sew along.

Thanks so much Elizabeth and a special thank you to all of you who follow the blog!
Happy Weekend!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Sewn Square One Upline Jacket

The October/November issue of Sew News is out and I have a magazine to give away!!! 

This issue is all about getting in gear for fall. On the cover you see a fabulous jacket that was designed by Ana Jankovic. In her article, she takes you step by step through the process of creating a double lapel. The back is just as nice as the front. 

There's nothing like a little drop in temperature to make us start thinking about wearing wool and possibly a plaid pattern. There's a wonderful article on taking a simple straight skirt pattern and turning it into a kilt style skirt, with buckles and all!

There's no time like fall to think about tuning up our machines. You'll also find a very helpful article on serger maintenance. 
There are a number of other helpful and interesting articles, but I don't want to spoil the surprise, so you'll just have to get the magazine and see for yourself. 
The next Sew News hosted sew along that I will be doing is this fun jacket from Sewn Square One. It's an urban outer piece that's great with jeans, slacks and skirts. The pattern comes with 3 length options as well as a center front button or zipper option. For my test run, I chose to make the shortest version with a center front zipper. The collar can be worn open, as you see below.
Or completely zipped closed.
The pattern features a curved princess line seam with pockets. The pockets are a breeze to make.
I made a couple of very minor changes to the pattern. If you look closely at my jacket, you'll see that the zipper runs all the way to the hem. 
Look at the zipper on the pattern cover and you'll see that it's about 2" short of the hem. It's fine, I just liked the clean finish of the zipper stopping at the hem. I'll go over the other changes I made once the sew along begins.

As you can see from the pattern covers, there are 3 possible options, short, hip and mid thigh lengths. For the sew along, I will be making the mid thigh length. But rather than the buttoned front, I will be inserting a center front zipper.

If you would like to win a copy of the magazine, just leave a message on this post. I'll draw the winning name on Monday, October 5, 2015.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Bags Are Packed!

The final post for the Sew News Grainline Studio Portside Travel Set sew along is up on the Sew News blog and you can find it HERE

I had such a good time putting the bags together. And even better, I now have 2 sets to choose from. So depending on my mood....or my traveling outfit ;), I'm all set.  Believe it or not, I actually have a pair of boots that match the first set I made!!! Now that's coordination :)

My finished sew along set below. I am super pleased with how the bags turned out. Love the distressed leather and how well the Amy Butler fabric coordinates with it.
In the post, I did my best to walk you step by step through the process of creating the adjustable strap.
It's just a bit tricky, just give it a try and I think you'll figure it out.

Christmas is just around the corner, and since the bags are great for men and women alike, and since they go together so quickly and easily, you just might want to consider doing a few as gifts. But then, you might be like me and just decide to keep them all for yourself!!!

If by chance you would like to make the bags up at a later date, here are the links to the sew along posts,
Week 1 HERE
Week 2 HERE
Week 3 HERE
Week 4 HERE

Thanks so much for following along.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Must Read

A little over a month ago, I read a book excerpt in Vogue magazine that intrigued me like no other article has ever done. The book is entitled, In The Skin Of A Jihadist. After reading the excerpt, I went to Amazon and read the reviews, they all concurred that it is a riveting story. So I decided to check it out of my library rather than purchase it. No copies were available, and I was 5th in line for the next available book. I thought to myself, "oh great, it'll be Christmas before I see a copy." Since I was in the middle of reading a couple of other books, I decided that I could wait, and if it didn't turn up, I could always purchase a copy. To my surprise, the book was available in less than 3 weeks. Now I know why. It is the most riveting, compelling story that I have read in sometime, possibly ever. The book arrived just before I left for Maine, so I decided to take it with me and read it while I was away. Before I packed the book, my husband was able to read maybe the first 10 pages. I was instructed to  "please don't forget that book as I can't wait to read it." 
The story is the true account of a French journalist who wanted to know why so many young people, male and female alike, are leaving France, going to Syria and joining ISIS. 
There is nothing gruesome in the book, at least nothing more than we've heard on the news. At one point, as the investigation began to fall apart, I was screaming in my mind, "ABORT, ABORT, ABORT!!!!" I knew that the journalist lived, after all, she wrote the book, but I was so afraid of what might be about to happen to her. 
After I finished the book, all I wanted was to be able to talk to someone about what I had read. But no one I know had read the book, and if I talked to anyone, I would spoil the story, so I had to keep my mouth shut. Once I was back home, my husband grabbed the book and finished it in less than 24 hours. I was so happy to finally be able to talk about what I had read. I made the comment that I thought that everyone should read this book. My husband is usually not as passionate as I am, but he quietly shook his head and said, "yes, I agree." 
You can find the book HERE on Amazon. Read the reviews and make your own decision about whether to read it or not. You can also see a video interview that was done with the author HERE
After reading this book, I thought about how prior to September 11th, I knew about Iraq, Iran, Syria, but it was there, not here. And then in the blink of an eye, 2 planes were flown into the World Trade Towers, another into the Pentagon and the last, thanks to some very brave people, was flown into the ground. From that moment on, our lives changed and it's no longer just there, but here. After I read the book, I remembered something I was told a long time ago, "if those who are against you take the time to know who you are, you too must take the time to know who they are."  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Morning Inspiration/Andrew GN

"We need happy clothing."
Andrew GN

There's one thing I always look forward to on Wednesday morning. As you know, I love to laugh, and I know that every Wednesday morning there is going to be a little email that will lead me to a post that's always a lot of fun and that's Wearable Wednesday from Pretty Grievances. Her imaginative wit is incomparable. If you love to laugh, or just be shocked, be sure to check out her Wearable Wednesday posts if you haven't done so already.
The Wearable Wednesday posts typically showcase some of the worst ideas in fashion. But last week, that wasn't the case. I had not heard of Andrew GN and from what I saw, I wanted to know more. So off I went to search for the collection. Everything I saw was beautiful, from embroideries to a wonderful mix of patterns and fabrics. This collection is from his Resort 2016 line. Sadly, I wasn't able to find a video of the fashion show, but I did find a video of  his Spring/Summer 2015 collection. It's fresh and to quote Andrew, it's "happy clothing."
So take a look. I am absolutely infatuated with his coats.

The front panels on the coat below would make for a fun piecing project.

This baseball jacket below with the lace accents is fresh, feminine, and I want one!
And now for a little evening gown amazement.

You can find more of the line HERE on
And take a look at the video below. It's only a little over 4 minutes long, so it won't take a lot of time, and you can fast forward through the initial makeup section. Some great skirts and lovely embroideries.

Now, go throw on something happy and make it a great week!