Life

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“It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference.” Thanks for the line, Macklemore.

If you want to help, here’s the info you need.

https://themodernquiltguild.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/quiltsforpulse-charity-drive-with-the-orlando-mqg/

http://theorlandomodernquiltguild.blogspot.com/2016/06/details-for-quilts-for-pulse-donations.html

 

#quiltsforpulse

 

#quiltsforpulse

Blue Apron

If you follow me on Instagram (@llatham0306 – I actually update Instagram on a regular basis. You can blame it for the demise of this blog.), you may have seen me posting delicious pictures of food. Which I made! After Christmas, Andrew and I decided to try Blue Apron. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about our experience and I recently wrote a President’s Letter in our building newsletter about it. Without further ado…

The most frequently asked question I remember my mom asking my dad, sister, and I was, “What do you want for supper?” If we did not respond or responded indifferently, we always received a big sigh. I did not understand the burden we put on my mom until I had to start planning meals with another person. My mom was also responsible for grocery shopping; a dread which I also did not comprehend until adulthood, especially living downtown and feeling like we should trek either North or South each week to a grocery chain even though we had a perfectly great one, albeit a bit more expensive, a block away. Unlike my family, who could not just order takeout or go to a restaurant due to living in a town the size of a few KC street blocks, we started taking advantage of the awesome restaurant choices around us. After a while, though, we were in the same rut and the question changed to, “Where do you want to go eat?” Downtown living, we found, does not entirely solve the dinner problem.

If you walk out of our building on a Saturday morning, you would notice the Blue Apron boxes that are piled on top of the security desk. One of those is for us and as cliché as it might sound, it has totally changed our lives. We both enjoy to cook and it is an activity that we enjoy doing together, but had stopped entirely because of the hassle of prepping to do the actual cooking. Removing the two things we hate about preparing to cook, planning a menu and shopping for that menu, is exactly what services like Blue Apron do.

So far, we have been very satisfied with Blue Apron (they are not paying me to say this), but I have heard great things about similar meal kit services including Hello Fresh, Plated, and Home Chef. There have also been specialty services pop up for specific types of cooking such as Peach Dish for a Southern flavor, The Organic Dish, Purple Carrot for vegans, and Green Blender for superfood smoothies.

Every Saturday, we get fresh, quality, farm-sourced, proportioned ingredients in entirely recyclable packaging for three balanced and unique meals for just under $60. We have had over 75 meals and some of our absolute favorites have been Chicken & Garlic Chive Meatballs with Quick Apple & Brussels Sprout Kimchi; Apple & Blue Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes’; Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts (picture below); Sweet Potato & Collard Green Hash with Sunny Side-Up Eggs, Molasses Butter & Biscuits; Acorn Squash, Brussel Sprouts & Farro Salad with Crispy Pepitas & Cranberry Agrodolce (picture below); Kimchi & Barley Miso Ramen with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Asian Pear (pictures below); and Hoisin & Shiitake Burgers with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet potato Wedges (picture below). In all, there have only been a few meals where I would probably pass if I had the option to make it again, but there has not been a single meal that I did not eat.

Not only have we enjoyed cooking together again and eating the delicious meals, but we are cooking with ingredients we probably would have never used, some which we have never heard of before. Farro, for example, has been a key ingredient in a few of the meals. It is extremely easy to prepare and is a great alternative to rice. Also, I discovered that I do not like the taste of kale or Swiss chard, but collard greens are fine. Andrew and I made an effort to try the vegetarian option to see if that lifestyle could work for us and we have loved discovering the different ingredients that can be used in vegetarian meals. We were not picky eaters before, but our experiences have definitely been expanded over the last few months.

If you struggle with the same thing my mom and Andrew and I have, then I would recommend giving one of these meal kit services a try. There are usually options for delivery days and number of servings per meal, multiple meals to choose from weekly, and vegetarian options. You can usually skip a week if needed, too. Many offer a discounted or free trial; I have freebies to give away and would be happy to share.

 

Cod & Potato Brandade

Cod & Potato Brandade

 

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash, Brussel Sprouts & Farro Salad

 

Miso Ramen

Kimchi & Barley Miso Ramen

 

Burgers

Hoisin & Shiitake Burgers

Meet Emoji

You probably already know, but we got another Sphynx. His name is Emoji and he is a little terror, but a cute one.

 

Emoji

 

#Hashtag is so calm and so good. Emoji is the exact opposite. He plays hard and then he passes out real hard. There is no middle ground. He is also a trouble maker and loves finding new ways to get into trouble. For example, right after we first got him, he started to play in the toilet water. Well, Sphynx have oil and Emoji’s is a light brown/red. We were finding light brown/red paw prints all over our toilet seats. So we started putting the lids down. Recently, he has begun playing with the lids and trying to get into the toilet. He hasn’t been successful…yet, but it does make a terrible noise. You would think the solution would be to shut the door to the bathroom or toilet, but that’s futile. Emoji HATES closed doors and since we have handles, not knobs, he has learned to jump and hang on the handles enough to open the doors, which is also pretty noisy.

But he sleeps on my face and purrs all of the time and is super loving, so he makes up for all of the naughtiness.

 

Emoji

 

Emoji

 

Emoji

 

Emoji

 

We think #Hashtag likes having him around, but #Hashtag is such an emo kitty, that we aren’t sure. They play together, eat together, and sleep together, so it seems like they are OK with each other. It certainly makes things interesting for us.

 

Emoji and Hashtag

 

Emoji

 

Hashtag and Emoji

So I’m normally not a Halloween person. In fact, I don’t like Halloween really. However, my friends Amy, Sherry, and Quan do. Like a lot. And their enthusiasm for it has started to rub off.

 

Halloween Quilt

 

 

Spiderweb Quilting

 

So I broke down and bought some Halloween fabric that I liked and picked out a pattern that would highlight it – The Big Block Quilt. I found the sashing at Joanns. I went in for something else and saw it on display with the Halloween fabrics and knew it was perfect. I was planning on just using an orange Kona, but this adds so much more detail to the quilt. This also went together INCREDIBLY fast. Then I long armed it with a spider web pantograph. It’s perfect. I love love love it and I can’t believe how much I love it because Halloween isn’t my thing. But Halloween might become a thing for me just for the quilty decorations. Haha.

 

Halloween Place Mats

 

So since I was in the Halloween spirit, I knocked out these place mats. There are a panel so it was super easy. I also used Joanns fabric to back it with. I had the same situations as the orange. I saw the orange and then I saw the witches next to it and thought it would be perfect and cheap for the back. I meant to get black Kona, but again, something better came up. I still backed the Halloween quilt with black Kona, though. I barely quilted the place mats and just slightly outlined the spiderwebs on each mat. Again, I love these a lot more than I thought I would. I like walking into my kitchen/living room and seeing just these small touches of Halloween. Maybe you’ll see a Christmas quilt next!

 

Halloween Mini

 

I put this mini together for a swap gift. I desperately wanted to keep it, but I knew I could re-create it if I really wanted. The quilting on it is my favorite part. I didn’t get a picture of the back, but I wish I would have. I used some super awesome fabric. It’s at Fabric.com still and I’m really thinking about buying more of it. It’s part of Michael Miller’s Nevermore collection.

 

Skull Raglan

 

Skull Raglan

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shirt. I used the Women’s Raglan pattern from Patterns for Pirates. The black is Robert Kaufman that I bought from Modern Makers. The skull fabric is from LDG Showroom. I have more of it and can’t wait to use it. The best part of this is the elbow patches! LOVE! I promised myself that I will wear this all year long and not just around Halloween. Hold me to it. Ok? This was a project I worked on during the Crafty Weekender retreat along with the place mats.

 

Amy's Halloween Stuff

 

Amy's Halloween Quilt

 

Amy's Halloween Items

 

Amy's Pillow

 

Since Amy is so into Halloween, I want to show what she’s been up to. I quilted the quilt for her using the same spiderweb design as mine, but I don’t have a finished pic of it yet. Her whole house was decked out for Halloween and I think she basically only works on Halloween stuff when we sew together. It’s her holiday, for sure.

 

Oliver

 

Amy also just got a new kitten. His name is Oliver and he is a Cornish Rex. She got him from the same breeder where we got #Hashtag. He is sooooooo soft and cuddly. He slept on my lap for quite a bit while we were over there. It makes me want another kitten.

 

Steampunk Costumes

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk Detail

 

Steampunk

 

The theme for our costumes this year was steampunk. I thought we all did a great job. I’m proud to say that I didn’t make a single part of my costume or Andrews except for my skirt. And it was salvaged from a dress and took about 10 minutes to whip up. That’s just because the skirt I ordered from China didn’t make it here in time, which I was prepared for. Haha.

 

7 Layer Dip

 

Rice Krispies

 

We went over to Amy’s house on Halloween to hang out. Her husband made delicious chili and I brought these things. They also had spooky gin and tonics! We all went out the weekend before, too, so we were able to wear our costumes twice. I think we’re going to wear them again next year.

 

Kory and Group

 

I also helped out another friend for Halloween. Her team at work was going to be at a summit out of town that week and there was going to be a costume contest. They came up with the idea of a circus. I didn’t help at all with the animals – those were apparently found at Target, which was a great find. But an even better find was the Ringmaster’s jacket. It came form a thrift store and was the PERFECT jacket to start with. I took it in a bit, added the shoulder detail using the existing shoulder pads (which I tore out) a felt cover, and some awesome trim that Kory found at Joanns. I also added the gold trim around the jacket and a set of sequin gold tails. The tails aren’t visible in this picture, but imagine the most obnoxious gold sequin fabric and that’s what the tails are made from. They are lined in a really cool black rayon lining, though, that has some cool texture. I was sooooo pleased with the jacket. I’m not a tailor at all, but this was fun. It came together so easily, which was mostly because of the awesome jacket and trim that Kory found. I find out tonight if they took the prize. I don’t know how anybody could’ve beaten them.

I hope everyone had a Haunted Halloween. KC definitely had a great Halloween weekend with the Royals winning game four of the World Series on Halloween and then winning it all the day after. We could hear the crowd at Power and Light from our condo and they were LOUD! Once we won, the noise was insane and it went on forever! We didn’t mind, though. The city deserves to celebrate! It was a pretty special weekend.

Being A Lady

I’ve challenged myself. It’s kind of silly and I’m not sure where it came from, but I’m doing it. I love feeling put together. I like the feeling of wearing a nice outfit, wearing making, and putting effort into my appearance. I know it’s not necessary, but I like the feeling. I’m not doing it for anybody else (although there are benefits). So I’ve challenged myself to be a lady. And here are the requirements I came up with.

1. Dress well. This means I’m no longer allowed to only shop on Target sales racks. I think I’ve always dressed well, but I could dress with more quality. I went on a shopping spree and I’m going to buy less clothes, but better quality.

2. Wear more makeup. I already wear makeup, but it’s limited. I usually just throw on some power and mascara. With a little extra effort, I can really make my makeup look great.

3. Take care of my hair. This inclues also making my hair is “done” every day. Really, I already do this because my hair is super easy to style and take care of. I also have a great hair dresser (cosmetologist? stylist? colorist? What’s the appropriate term?) that I see on a regularly scheduled basis. I’ve put a little more effort in, though. Product, hairspray, etc.

4. Have my nails and toenails painted. This is a new one for me. I love to have my nails done, but I was previously not willing to pay for it.

5. Wear lipstick. This kind of falls under makeup, but I created a seprate goal for it because I forget about lipstick when I put my makeup on in the morning. And I never remember to re apply it.

6. Wear heels. I also already do this, but I need to buy more heels that look great with everything. I tend to havee one or two pair that I wear out instead of a variety.

7. Accessorize. I own a lot of accessories, but I don’t think about them. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces – they are going to become part of my every day style.

8. Take care of my skin. This one is hard for me. I don’t like moisturizer or lotion. I cannot stand how it feels. I have added some extra work to my routine, mainly around pore reduction. The next step is moisturizer and lotion and it’s a really hard step to take. At least I stay out of the sun and wear a lot of sunscreen when I am in it.

That’s the list. I thought about putting something about perfume and bras on there, but I realized that was never going to happen. Perfume gives me a headache and I don’t care if my boobs look bigger than they are. I also thought about putting something about being healthy on there, but that seemed too broad and I already do a great job of that.

I’ve been doing this for a little over a month and I’m really enjoying it. It’s not that hard and I do feel even more awesome than I did before. 🙂

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