Another New Start

I discovered this needlepoint shop, Luv2Stitch, when I went to the San Mateo Fair a few months back.  This shop is AMAZING!!  The people who work there are very friendly and helpful.  I have been back several times and finally decides to try a small needlework project

I have learned soooo much!!  Needlepoint is so fun!

A New Cook Book

I have discovered a new book…

The book is not new, but is new to me and I am really enjoying the recipes in it.

Book Choy, Broccoli Rabe, & Shitaki Mushrooms with Roasted Garlic

This was the accompaniment to last night’s chicken and it was delicious. Out of 7 people, 6 liked it!  That is a win in making dinner for my family!  I’ll be working my way through the book this summer.  I can’t wait to try another recipe!

A New Baking Pan

I was at Michael’s Arts and Crafts store the other day and saw this pan…

I love any kind of bundt pan and have several in the regular size.  This pan reminded me of a bundt pan, but mini sized – I just had to have it!!  Last night I made these cute little chocolate cakes…

I was going to give them a dusting of powdered sugar, but the family dug into them right away.  You can’t tell by the picture, but these little cakes are just slightly bigger than a brownie.  The kids devoured them in no time flat!


San Mateo Embroiderers Guild.  I discovered this group when myself and the family went to the San Mateo County Fair.  They had a booth there and I spent some time talking with the woman who was representing this group.  She was so nice and kind and convinced me that anyone (including myself), could learn to embroider.  She invited me to the next Guild meeting and then followed up with an email with all the details and I decided to go check it out.  That was such a fun morning!!  Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.  Quite a few of the attendees were starting a SAL called Spring Garden and had all their supplies.  I had brought my stitching kit and some fabric.  I decided to try some of the stitches they were working on and the women near me immediately stepped in to help.  It was truly amazing.  

In order to receive a copy of this pattern, you must first be a member of the guild.  Well…you guessed it…I was so excited about the possibility of being a part of this group that I joined as soon as I could.   Things I have learned already since embarking upon The Spring Garden journey…

Transferring a pattern, attaching fabric to a frame, and working on congress cloth.  I had previously never done any of these things including stitching something with a hoop or frame.  I have always done my cross stitch “in hand”.

Discovering a laying tool and how it is used.  I really enjoy using this tool and I LOVE the way the threads lay on the cloth after being held and arranged with the laying tool.

Using a waste knot. Since I have only worked with cross stitch and Aida cloth, I usually just start with the tail held in back and stitch over it. I find that the waste knot method is very easy and much more efficient.

Learning the Slanted Gobelin and Diamond Pavilion stitches.

My goal is to get a couple of sections of the pattern completed before the next meeting so that I can hopefully catch up and complete it on time.  Their time line is the end of the summer – so 2 more months.  Wish me luck!!

Cupcake Decorating Class

DD#3 loves to bake and recently she has wanted to learn how to decorate.  I signed us up for a class at Michael’s so we could learn together.

There was another family of 5 there to take the class.  Well…the teacher never showed up!  Did we let this dampen our enthusiasm??  NO!

We just jumped right in.  The other family had bought a beginner book on decorating cakes so we started working through that.

Some done.  

We had brought homemade cupcakes to decorate and I think we did a fabulous job.  Especially since we didn’t have an instructor.

In the end, we really had a great time.  I’m glad we stayed (the whole group of us stayed) and played.  We even got all our money refunded.  A special day out with one of the kids and it turned out to be free!

Love my garden!

Every morning when I go outside that’s what I think, “I Love My Garden!”

My very first garbanzo beans ever!!

These are the first cucumbers of the season. Fresh from the garden always tastes the best!

A beautiful pumpkin!

And more pumpkins are coming along.

A new watermelon!

And more watermelons. I think there are 6 in all.

The lone ripe Purple Queen bean.

The monster tomato bushes.

Book Club

I love my book club!  We read books that I would not normally gravitate towards (think mystery and adventure for me).  This month we read

It’s about a girl and a chimp that are raised together for the first 5 years.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it really sparked quite a bit of lively conversation.  I hosted the meeting at my home this month and as host I get to serve food and drinks.


I made a spicy fire roasted salmon with red pepper and nectarine chutney, deviled eggs, a faro salad, and watermelon.


My husband helped me with the wine as I am not a wine person but many in the book club are.


A closeup of the faro salad. It has green apple, dried cherries, toasted walnuts and lots of yummy herbs.


The chutney has red pepper, nectarine, onion and lots of fresh herbs. This is my favorite chutney recipe!


Deviled eggs!! No outside meal is ever complete without deviled eggs. And since we have chickens, we have lots and lots of eggs! A good recipe to use up some of the extras.

I so love hosting book club.  I can only do it in the summer because during the school months the kids are studying at the kitchen table which is smack dab in the middle of the common areas.  It would be very hard for them to concentrate with us gathered around making so much noise!

Our book for this month. I’m looking forward to reading it!