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Hand Stitched Tree Pillow

3 Oct

I haven’t cross stitched or hand stitched since I was younger so, when I saw Purl Soho selling a 4 Season Embroidery Kit it sparked my  interest.

I love the look of wood,wood grains, natural bark, or natural wood and thought this craft project would make a neat pillow.

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This craft project wasn’t something that could be completed overnight.  I took me about a week to finish.  I really enjoy taking the time to hand stitch something. It’s relaxing to me, like a good book, and it was something I did for an hour or two each night while watching my sickening obsession of realty T.V.

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I used three stitching techniques; a back stitch, chain stitch, and a french knot.

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Picking the fabric was the hardest part.  I wanted something soft, feminine, and romantic.

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The first layer was a peachy pink cotton fabric.

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The second layer of the pillow I picked was a white lace that allowed the peachy pink fabric’s color to gently peak through.

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The final product, not the best picture since it is night time and couldn’t wait to share my first pillow I have ever made with you all.  I will post a better picture another day since this light makes some of my french knot blossoms look a little green instead of white.

Besides posting a bad picture of the final product, I am really excited about my first pillow and already starting my second one!

**Update**

New photos added with natural light.

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What’s Going On Tonight?

28 Sep

A glimpse of my world tonight.

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I haven’t done this since I was a kid.

Happy hand stitching!

This Week in Yummies

27 Sep

It’s so nice to be able to cook and bake again.  I’ve only baked once since moving here.  I tired to make chocolate molten mini cakes, and it was a disaster.  To spare you the ugliness, I did not post them.

Here are the yummies that made the cut this week, most found on Pinterest.

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Kings Hawaiian Rolls with ham and swiss, found here. If you are on Pinterest, you have probably seen these pop up a few times. They are perfect for lunch, a party, or a picnic.

I made a simple cold rigatoni pasta with every veggie I had on hand with a light garlic infused oil dressing as the side.

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Another one you have probably seen pinned is the soba noodles with sweet ginger scallion sauce, found here.

This dish is one of Luis’ favorites and very quick to make, which means I love this dish too. This sauce is one of my favorites I often use to dip my hot pot goodies in.  The best part about this dish is that it is good hot or cold, again, another great idea for a picnic.

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Per Luis’ request, blackened tuna steak with mashed cauliflower. No recipe used, just what was in my head.

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Since Vegas, I had been craving these red curry mussels that I had at Wicked Spoon.  It was the best thing I ate there, so good.

I tired my best to imitate it, kinda going off of a recipe I found here.

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Now, this is the best thing ever!  During our winery tour in Traverse City, Cherry Republic had these cherry cheese balls out for everyone to try. Luis fell in love and thankfully they had recipe cards nearby.  It is sooooo good, even if it is missing the crushed nuts on the outside.  I didn’t have any on hand and Luis wasn’t waiting any longer so we did without.

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Roasted shrimp enchiladas with jalapeño cream sauce found here.  This was a win for me since I love anything shrimp or anything with jalapeño cream sauce.

I was excited to see huge beets in our grocery store.  I had been pinning recipes like crazy while in Georgia, just waiting for the moment to be able to actually make some dishes with beets.

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They don’t look very pretty, but these beets smelled so good roasting in the oven for almost an hour.

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I decided to try to make one of my favorite restaurant’s, JCT’s beet salad.  It is roasted beets (roasted with sugar, oil, and a pinch of salt),  avocado, and goat cheese with a tiny bit of dressing that consisted of chopped onions, a good brand of balsamic vinegar, and agave/honey.

It’s the best thing ever. I could eat it everyday.

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Buffalo garbage bread found here. Oh yea, it is good and super filling. It’s the type of dish that makes you wanna run after eating it.  At first I didn’t think I would be able to make this dish because I couldn’t find pizza dough anywhere. Finally, after the third store, I found it!  Such a small town…

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Turmeric chicken with sautéed  ginger and garlic vegetables found here. The sauce in the front is a sweet mango chutney we found at a local Indian grocery store. Another dish I really enjoyed. It’s light and satisfying.

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This was one of my favorite dishes of the week, and if you follow me on Pinterest, you probably have seen me pin it recently. It’s a spicy indo chinese style dish called; mushroom manchurian found here.  If I had my wok with me, this dish would have been much easier to make, but with the pots given to us by the company housing, the mushrooms kept sticking to the bottom, which sucked. And it took almost 2 hours to make, which it shouldn’t.

Luis can not complain.  Not only do I make him dinner and have it ready as he walks through the door, but I have been making him a fresh new lunch that is also ready as he walks through the door.

I think he is enjoying the luxury of working only 5 minutes away from our apartment.

AuSable Point Lighthouse @ Grand Marais, Michigan

26 Sep

Shipwrecks, colorful rocks, and a lighthouse at the end of a two mile walk.

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AuSable Lighthouse had beautiful views of dunes, sorry I did not get a picture of them.

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Along our walk back to the parking lot we saw several remains of shipwrecks. The signs said one was a ship wreck from 1904 and the other 1918. I am not sure which was which, but they looked pretty cool as the waves hit them.

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I love these rocks.  I took a few little ones home as a souvenir.

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I love the color the sand turned as the sun was going down.

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Here are some other sunset pictures taken the next day, when the waves were a lot calmer.

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I thought Key West had some amazing colored sunsets, but these were gorgeous.  The sky was so orange, it almost felt like the colors were warming me up.

Happy Fall!

22 Sep

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Perfect weather to go pick some apples!

What are you doing for the first day of Fall?

St. Ignace & the Mackinac Bridge @ Michigan

21 Sep

On our drive up to the City of Munising for our sea kayaking trip on Lake Superior, we made an impromptu stop in St. Ignace.  We entered St. Ignace and the Straits of Mackinac area after crossing the Mackinac Bridge.  Which by the way, a few local Michiganian’s told me that crossing this bridge can be scary, and after crossing some pretty tall and scary bridges in Texas, I started to worry.

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Crossing this bridge was no big deal.  Shocking to read that huh?  Coming from me, who gets scared stepping on top of a bucket because it’s too high above the ground.

I found the views beautiful.

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It seemed that there was always a storm right on the outskirts wherever we were.  Thankfully it did not rain on us and ruin our photo opportunities.

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After the bridge we decided to find a place to eat, but couldn’t help to stop again and take in the view of St. Ignace Municipal Marina, which is located in downtown St. Ignace. The skies could not be more perfect.

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Next to the marina is Mackinac Grille, which I think had one of the best views of the downtown area and the marina.

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See the lighthouse in the background?

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An interesting character, isn’t he?

We had whitefish bites and shrimp!

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The whitefish was tastier than I thought.

One of the Michigan blogs that I follow mentioned making a stop at Manley’s Fish Market for smoked fish dip if ever in the area of St. Ignace so, of course, I made a stop.

As soon as I entered the small wooden house that is Manley’s Fish Market, I was hit with a wall that smelled of nothing but smoke, which I love.  I always find it interesting when smells remind me of memories.  My first thought was of my uncle Danny, in our backyard, smoking fish or a turkey. Yum!

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From St. Ignace, Munising was less than two hours away and we really wanting to fit in AuSable Point Lighthouse before sunset, but more on that experience another day.  Happy Friday!

Miners Castle @ Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

17 Sep

We drove about 5 hours to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for sea kayaking on Lake Superior.

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We have kayaked before in The Florida Keys using an open faced kayak, but I have never used a sea kayak before.  The difference is an open face kayak or a sit on top kayak is what the name says, open. It is open to all elements such as getting wet from waves, etc.  A sea kayak has a spraydeck or a skirt that is used to prevent you from getting wet and helps when or if you want to roll your kayak without filing it with water or getting ejected from your seat.

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A sea kayak also has a rudder that is operated by wires that are attached to foot pedals that allow you to control which direction you want to go.  This was Luis’ job.  I enjoyed using the sea kayak compared to the open faced kayak, it was much more comfortable, faster, and glided smoother on the water.

We were lucky that the weather was decent and the waves were very small. The day before our kayak trip, the waves were 4 feet hitting the cliffs.

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Our guide, Carl from Northern Waters was awesome.  He was recently on the cover of Michigan’s outdoor magazine and was very pleasant and patient to teach us the best ways to enjoy the cliffs at Miners Castle.

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Aren’t the layered colors on the sandstone cliffs beautiful? Blues and greens are created by copper, the reddish hues by iron.

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On this day, the water wasn’t as clear as it usually is because a storm had rolled in the day before. It didn’t matter to us, we were still amazed by how clear the water was.  We could see shipwrecks below us as with paddled by as well as some pretty impressive rock formations.

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The view of Miners Beach which is just a few miles from Miners Castle. The sugar sand beach was beautiful and we had it all to ourselves.

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