Hey folks!

I know it’s been quiet around here the last few weeks. But that always seems to happen around the beginning of a new semester. Three weeks in to another semester as a full time PhD student, working ~30 hours a week, with a broken wrist –needless to say, things have been pretty busy!

But believe it or not, I have managed to get a few things done this past month! It’s been a great start to 2014, and hopefully I can keep it up over the next 11 months and have an amazingly successful year of quilting and crafting. One project that I have been meaning to tell you all about is the Vintage Quilt Revival Sampler Quilt a Long hosted by Sukie Don’t Ya Know.

I love me a sampler quilt, you never get bored because each block is different! Since, I had been hearing about this quilt a long a few weeks before it got started, and knowing that I would be returning to classes about the same time, I decided to get a jump on some of the blocks. I managed to complete four blocks before the QAL even started, and I even did a little math to make a mini of the first block!

If you haven’t heard about the book yet, it is a compilation of 20 traditional/classic quilt blocks explored in new and modern ways. The book was written by bloggers, Katie of Swim Bike Quilt, Faith of Fresh Lemons, and Lee of Freshly Pieced.  Included in the book, are directions for piecing each block and a project utilizing each (quilts, bags, etc.) as well as 3 sampler quilts. Many of the blocks are constructed using paper-piecing so the book comes with a cd with each of the paper patterns. I have really enjoyed the different blocks in the book, but advise you to check the pattern errata before cutting your fabric. I forgot to do so, and have had some grumbly moments as I have constructed my blocks.

Around the same time that I received my copy of Vintage Quilt Revival from Amazon, (I pre-ordered way back in the summer/early fall, but Amazon sure did take it’s time after the book was released) I picked up a fat quarter bundle of Joel Dewberry’s Heirloom. I love Joel Dewberry fabrics, like love in a really big way, and I sure had been eyeing Heirloom for weeks! So the timing seemed like kismet, new book, new fabrics, yes please! (I sure hope a fat quarter bundle of about 10 prints will be enough combined with my Kona Snow background solid to construct the entire quilt top.)

Anyway, Sukie decided to manage the QAL in order of easiest to most difficult, lucky for me I also started with the two easiest blocks. But then later decided to go in order of the blocks in the book, which translated to weeks 1 and 4 of the QAL. The QAL actually began on Jan. 21, so this past week was technically week 2, and I definitely wanted to  keep up with the linky party. So yesterday and this morning, I went ahead and finished up the blocks for week 2 of the QAL.

Now, I probably wont be able to keep up sharing a blog post about each week of the QAL, so this week you will get my first six blocks (which by the way are actually weeks 1, 2, and 4).

xo,

Erin Myone

At the start of the month, I introduced a new topic to the blog, Active in 2014. Admittedly, I have left it very broad and vague so that I can determine for myself what constitutes activity. It may include exercise and physical activity, it may include actively seeking a healthier diet, it may include taking time for myself  doing any number of activities to keep me mentally and emotionally healthy. ( I will tell you more about some of these things soon.)

Today’s post focuses on the healthier diet. If you caught the last grocery list you may have been patiently waiting to see another one pop up (especially considering that list only included enough recipes for about 1 week of dinners), and then you might have grown impatient because how could we possibly be surviving on just that for this many days!

Well, the answer is that we weren’t. I made many plans to go grocery shopping over the past 10 days but all of my plans were repeatedly thwarted by things like the weather, laziness, and lack of time. So in the meantime my husband made two additional quick trips to the grocery to pick up one or two items so that we could make up a dish based out of previous kitchen supplies (more chicken breasts, and broccoli) but we also ordered in food. There have been sandwiches, pizza, Chinese, and burritos delivered to our door over the past two weeks, and also a drive thru for donuts. :( I am definitely not proud of that outcome, especially when we had done so well the first week cooking at home from our meal plans and grocery list, but it was a learning experience. I think in the future, I will need to make up more than one week of meal plans at a time, and prepare a grocery list in advance then just add the random essentials to it as needed.  That way if I’m having a lazy day, or I just keep coming up short on appetizing recipes (this did happen, I tried to make a list twice!) I will already have a list of  go-to meals and groceries, and hopefully we won’t make the desperate decision to order pizza again!  ( Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza, but I prefer to make it at home where I can control the ingredients and portions  a little more carefully. Also at home I don’t get tempted to add things to the pizza, like buffalo wings or pizza rolls.)

But as the title says, this is a grocery list post! So, here is our recent grocery list planned, prepared, and procured by my husband who donated time on his two days off this week to the cause.  I gave him a few directions, “Look for healthy-ish dishes that are easy and quick to make, like crock-pot or casserole. Also shop for snacks or lunch items that I can take with me.” (This semester, I am spending long, long days on campus with morning classes, work, then night classes multiple days a week. Though food is available on campus, it doesn’t really align with our plan to save money this year.)

Produce

  • onion
  • kale
  • cucumbers
  • mung sprouts
  • dill
  • romaine lettuce
  • green peppers
  • apples
  • oranges
  • baby carrots
  • scallions
  • lime
  • spinach

Meat

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast (3 1/4 lbs)

Dairy/Deli/Liquids

  • eggs (18)
  • fat free sour cream
  • prepared crepes
  • orange juice

Canned/Jarred

  • chili magic
  • black beans
  • condensed, reduced fat, reduced sodium cream of chicken soup

Snack aisle

  • trail mix (two varieties)
  • prepackaged snack crackers (peanut butter)
  • mixed nuts

Bread aisle

  • whole wheat tortillas

International aisle

  • plum sauce
  • black bean garlic sauce

Frozen

  • corn
  • other veggies

Health food aisle

  • soy/almond/coconut milk (whatever is on sale)
  • textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Other

  • crock pot liners

Here are the dinner recipes related to this list, chosen by my husband. He selected many of these recipes from Eating Well, and I’m not sure where the others came from maybe his own head. Some of these recipes or ideas include things that we already have in our kitchen, and it definitely doesn’t include everything we will eat this week.

Dinner

Update: He shopped at Hyvee again. He admits to choosing some of the moderately priced items over the lower priced items, I can’t say what all that pertains to because I was not present for this grocery trip. With that said, our total for this grocery trip was $132.18, a little on the pricey side, but hopefully these dishes will provide some leftovers to carry over into more than one meal.

xo,

Erin Myone

One of the ways that I plan to remain active in 2014 is by adding “pleasure” reading back into my life. As a graduate student, some weeks I will read hundreds of pages from textbooks or research articles. But most of my pleasure reading is pushed aside to summer breaks, and maybe occasionally during the shorter mid-term breaks.

I have always loved to read and consider it to be one of the ways that I can relax by stepping away from reality.  Therefore, I am including it in my Active 2014 posts as a method to maintain mental and emotional health. So, I have gone ahead and selected a number of books to read during 2014. I would hope to find around 15 to finish out my list, that way I can have at least one a month plus a few extras for summer.

Some of the books I have selected are based on recommendations from family and friends, but I also have a few that were pulled from this list shared by my friend Cortney of Cornflower Blue. So in no particular order, (though I have begun “Orange is the new black”) here are the first 9 of my book selections for 2014.

ORANGE-IS-THE-NEW-BLACK-WIKI_Book_Cover_01

Orange is the new black: My year in a women’s prison. Piper Kerman

Divergent

Divergent. Veronica Roth

insurgent

Insurgent. Veronica Roth

allegiant

Allegiant. Veronica Roth

sharp-objects-book-cover

Sharp objects. Gillian Flynn

dark places

Dark places. Gillian Flynn

gone-girl-cover

Gone girl. Gillian Flynn

WhereILeaveCover-new

This is where I leave you. Jonathan Tropper

kalingbook

Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns). Mindy Kaling

As you can see, I am still 6 books short of my 15 book goal for 2014 (not an overly impressive goal, my sister read 52 books last year, one book a week–but I am a full time PhD student working 30+ hours a week so I’m giving myself a break.). Do you have books you plan to read this year, or suggestions based on other books you have read recently? I would love a few more suggestions to round out my list!

xo,

Erin Myone

 

Modern blocks book

One project that is continuing into the new year is the And Sew We Craft Modern Blocks Quilt a Long. This month’s block was selected by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts. You can find a tutorial for the Everything Equal block on her blog here.

Alyce’s Block

Alyce mentioned that she specifically chose this block as an opportunity to use some of the smaller scraps that remain after cutting the previous nine blocks. I did manage to use a few of these scraps, but I also wanted to use this block as an opportunity to integrate all of the prints into one block to help tie the quilt together. I know normally in these posts at this point, I would share a fabric key. But this time I am going to be a little lazy, because instead of 2-4 fabrics this one has all of the Juliana Horner prints that I own (yes, I am missing 3 prints from the Rosette line). So instead I’m just going to skip to the block reveal this time!

I am pretty happy with my fabric placement and construction, but it was a simple block… I did have to use a few of the prints more than once, but it all seems to balance out nicely.

I haven’t decided on a layout yet, and we still have three more blocks so there is plenty of time. I think I will definitely add sashing and cornerstones between the blocks. I might remake a few of the blocks too (second row right, and third row center). Or I might even make a few extra blocks so that it’s 16 or 20 instead of 12, who knows?!?! I’m really happy that I have joined in on this particular quilt a long, the monthly block allows enough time to enjoy the process free of stress. Make sure you head over to the linky party to see everyone else’s block!

xo,

Erin Myone

I finally finished cutting the fabric for the APQ Tone it Down quilt a long! I really tried to space out my cutting sessions a little due to my arm, but I was getting FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) watching images pop up on instagram so I pushed the limits a few nights and finished it up.

But as soon as I finished cutting I felt the need to stay up and start sewing one of the blocks. So I put in an hour of sewing, staying up until 2 am before sleep got the better of me. But I did wake up bright and early, excited to start sewing again and finish it up! And about 3 hours later I did. Can you believe it? About 4 hours for a single block! This is definitely the most intense and time consuming quilt block I have ever attempted.

I did some more math and figured out that each block has 97 individual pieces! Yikes! But I feel so accomplished having completed one, I can only imagine how I will feel when I finish the remaining 19! I really took my time , but it turns out my 1/4″ seam allowance was closer to 5/16″ so in the end I had to do some careful trimming to make up for this in order to align my corners — if I am consistent with this seam allowance through the entire quilt it won’t be an issue and the blocks will all come out the same size.

So. I have no idea how long this quilt will take me, since each block is so time-consuming. But this might be a year long project! Are you participating in the quilt a long? Did you stick with the neutral background and bright foreground? Have you checked in on the lead bloggers progress or seen a really stunning version by someone else? Let me know in the comments!

 

xo,

Erin Myone

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday, I introduced a new topic to my blog, Active in 2014. The purpose of this category is to discuss a few ways that I am trying to positively impact my lifestyle, so one of the features of this will be sharing my grocery lists and linking to some (hopefully) healthy recipes.

The first grocery list for 2014 is:

Produce

  • cilantro
  • cauliflower (1/2 head)
  • tomatoes (2 sandwich sized)
  • romaine lettuce
  • red pepper (2)
  • celery
  • apples
  • bananas
  • scallions
  • lime
  • spinach
  • garlic
  • broccoli (24 oz.)
  • potatoes (1 lb)

Bakery

  • whole wheat French bread

Meat

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast (2 lbs)
  • ground turkey

Dairy/Deli

  • eggs (18)
  • deli turkey
  • turkey pepperoni
  • turkey bacon
  • fat free sour cream (8+ oz)
  • fat free ricotta

Canned/Jarred

  • condensed, reduced fat, reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
  • light coconut milk (13.5 oz)
  • pasta/pizza sauce (2-3 jars)

Bread aisle

  • light English muffins
  • whole wheat pasta

Condiments

  • fat free mayo

Chips/Crackers

  • Baked Ruffles cheddar & sour cream

Frozen

  • veggie burgers

Health food aisle

  • soy/almond/coconut milk (whatever is on sale)

Other

  • toilet paper
  • dry shampoo
  • baby wipes
  • hand sanitizer (combined with dry shampoo & baby wipes this is the easiest way to maintain hygiene while wearing a cast!)

So, if you’ve made it this far, you might be wondering what I plan to make with this stuff. Some of these recipes or ideas include things that I already have in our kitchen, and it definitely doesn’t include everything we will eat this week. We are also trying to save more money this year, so I plan to come back to this post with an update on what this particular shopping list cost us.

Breakfast

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Egg white & turkey bacon on English muffin sandwich

Lunch

Snacks

  • Veggies and peanut butter
  • Hard boiled eggs

Dinner

Update: We shopped at Hyvee (a grocery chain started near here in Iowa), anyone who has shopped at Hyvee will agree that it isn’t always the lowest priced grocery store out there, but it does usually have great deals and an excellent variety of products so we aren’t running all over town trying to find specific things (particularly useful when we are making international dishes). We purchased mostly the lowest priced items except when it comes to meat and eggs–which we always choose (what we understand/hope to be) the most humane and antibiotic free option. Also I purchased multiples of a few items like pasta and pasta sauce which are good to have around when I’m feeling particularly lazy around dinner time. With that said, our total for this grocery trip was $108 plus change (my husband purchased beer too* not included in this total*, which the checker rang up last, so I glimpsed the pre-beer total at $108.$$ but I forgot the amount of change and don’t want to do math…).

All in all, not too shabby, we were down to the bones in the fridge, but still had a number of non-perishables in the cabinets that we will pull from this week too. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts us since we are trying to save money and kill some bad habits by eating out/ordering in less often.

xo,

Erin Myone

As I’ve mentioned recently, I fractured my wrist ~2 weeks ago. So I’m not supposed to do a lot with my right arm, which is a big pain in the ass (to be quite frank). I’m pretty sure I’m going to go ahead and keep piecing and quilting anyway though, who can resist all of the 2014 quilt a long, sew a long, and brand new block of the month projects? I know, I just posted yesterday that I was benched for a month while I heal, but whatever, making is healing–healing my mental and emotional soul at least.  Besides, the gym was closed today (weird right? it should be the busiest gym day of the year!).

I did get in there yesterday though, a jump start on my refreshed healthier lifestyle — an hour of cardio (elliptical and reclined bicycle) seemed like a good start since I’ve been pretty sedentary since the weather changed (previously I was biking to campus daily, swimming laps through the summer, and taking long walks with Tonka). Between the ridiculous amount of pressure and stress I was under while finishing my master’s thesis and the struggle to keep up with my first semester of my PhD, I had started some pretty unhealthy habits –little activity, irregular hours of sleep, and unfortunately my eating habits are stress, anxiety, and depression triggered. Almost any graduate student (or anyone who has been through grad. school) will tell you this is all pretty normal (either that or you quit eating because you are too busy to take breaks and your stress causes you to lose unhealthy amounts of weight)… But it’s not a “normal” that I am comfortable with, or able to live with without some intense depression.

An un-related photo of my adorable dog, some chained HST’s and my ugly carpet… Just to break up the text!

 

 

So I am returning to a mantra that I maintained back in 2008 (when I last weighed this much and felt this uncomfortable), “Nothing is more important than my health.” In 2008, this mantra led me to lose close to 70 lbs, and looking back on those photos, I think I was the most comfortable with my body that I have ever been. By the way, I did diet, but I didn’t follow any particular plan (weight watchers, jenny craig, atkins, etc.), and I worked out frequently at least five hours a week. Over the next two years, I did gain about 20 lbs of that 70 back but I think it was mostly in muscle, because my early-summer 2010 photos are also pretty great… This mantra, “Nothing is more important than my health” reminded me daily to make time for myself, whether it was preparing a healthy meal, taking time to regain mental balance through meditation, or exercising. Because frankly, it’s true, if you aren’t healthy how can you expect to be happy or successful, or live and enjoy your life the way you ought to. I’m not a big YOLO person, but if this is the only life you get, shouldn’t it be the best life? Shouldn’t you enjoy everything that matters — time spent with friends and family, new experiences, and old traditions? I know many of us build traditions around food, in fact it is usually the meals with family and friends that I enjoy the most. But maybe some new more active traditions are in store for 2014?

So, I figure when I’m not actively making, I can share with you some other ways that I am being active towards some of my other 2014 goals. Look forward to some posts about exercise, physical activity, and heck why not some grocery lists.

xo,

Erin Myone

Each time I start to type, I have the greatest desire to remove my splint… Or just give up before I hardly get started, I suppose this is a test of my patience.

You see, winter arrived in full force this week, just in time for the solstice, and I fractured my right wrist when I slipped on the icy sidewalk in front of our house. I definitely underestimated the layer of ice that had rained down the night before. But it was the last day of finals, and I had things to do…

Anyway, its fractured and splinted now, and I still have things to do–but I have a pretty good excuse for not doing them…

=====Nine Days Later=====

Well, I started writing this post Pre-Christmas, but with the splint and the fresh fracture I just didn’t have the patience for it… Now, I have a neon yellow cast which I will wear until February. And, I need to practice typing with it anyway because my life will not wait for it to heal. Yes, it was my right wrist and yes, I am right-handed. About as frustrating as it can get…

But anyway, before visiting with the orthopedic surgeon today, I did a little bit of cutting and sewing with the splint on. You see, I had a grand plan to finish some WIP’s and start a few new projects during this break. So I ordered some new fabrics and was very excited to work on the Tone it Down quilt designed by Lissa of Moda Lissa for the American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt a-long. I finally ordered some Essex linen to make up a few projects from Ayumi Takahashi’s Patchwork Please book. I will be working on Elizabeth  of Don’t Call me Betsy’s Lucky Stars Block of the Month  in 2014. Working on my Lala Salama 100 Quilts for Kenya quilt. And continuing the And Sew We Craft Modern Blocks QAL and Crochet a-long blanket!

I had big plans for this Holiday from classes! It was the last day of Finals week when I injured my wrist and on the same day I began to receive some of the beautiful fabrics I  had ordered! Then for Christmas, I received a generous gift certificate for the Fat Quarter Shop from my parents. My pre-order of Vintage Quilt Revival arrived on my doorstep, along with the rest of the fabrics I had ordered pre-injury (I mean, those holiday sales were crazy good right?).

So, as I said, I did a little bit of cutting and sewing between the time when I injured my wrist and today’s orthopedic casting. For starters, I spent a good amount of time cutting fabric for the Tone it Down quilt. Just last night, I finished cutting all of the bright fabrics–leaving only the low volume background fabrics to finish up. Right about now, I am wishing I had a die-cutting machine… I think I could manage cranking that with my left hand since I have been strongly advised against using my right hand for much of anything beyond typing.

I also, cut and stitched up a Prettified Pincushion from Patchwork Please with my new Essex linen.

There are a couple of other great little patterns in that book that I would love to work on, I admittedly got on the Zakka 2.0 bandwagon a little late after seeing all of the darling projects pop up during the Zakka a-long. I am pretty excited about the Happy Hexagon trivet, Sweet Trips Embroidery Pouch, Vintage Pencil Case and Triangle Patchwork Box Pouch, all are far too cute (take a peak at some of these in the flickr group.)

That’s all I managed during those few days surrounding Christmas. Maybe I can sew with my hand in the cast, but I probably won’t be able to do much else (rotary cutting, crochet, etc…) The good news is that I officially finished my Master’s degree (yay!), the bad news is I am pretty behind on a lot of other things (graduate assistantship hours, journal submissions, conference abstracts, literature reviews, class prep. *the exciting life of a PhD student*), but maybe I  can catch up a bit now that I wont be tempted by crafting… We’ll see!

Oh, and Happy New Year! To quote Walt Disney, “Keep moving forward.”

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but that story is for a different post all-together. Today, I want to tell you all about the American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine’s Tone it Down quilt along.  Below, I have shared an image of the Tone it Down quilt designed by Lissa Alexander of Moda Lissa.

AP&Q Tone it Down

So here’s MY backstory on this project… I follow a number of quilter bloggers using various methods of social media including Instagram (follow me @erinmyone), Bloglovin (find my feed to see who I follow, erinmyone), and Facebook. A few of the bloggers I follow are Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.  Little did I know that both of these ladies had been invited to participate in a very public quilt along, that is until Camille started posting about it back in November. The tricky thing about all of this was that the quilt is featured in the February 2014 issue of APQ, and you know, it was November! But because magazine world is kind of funny the issue went out on newsstands on December 3rd, for those of us who aren’t subscribers.

So I waited patiently, kind of, it was really hard to see Camille posting all kinds of beautiful photos on Instagram of her progress but not have the information available to get started myself.  And then, I noticed that Sherri was also getting geared up to quilt, still a few days before the magazine was even available so I was getting a little anxious and itchy to start. But, I was starting to get an idea of what I wanted to do with my own quilt, since each of these ladies was putting a different spin on it.

However, one thing I hadn’t realized from their updates was that there are two versions of this quilt. The first version, the original designed by Lissa that is, is the Super Scrappy Block Variation. The second is the more prominent method described in the magazine, a strip pieced method that saves some time in the cutting and piecing stages by minimizing the background variation within the individual blocks. I honestly couldn’t help myself… This quilt is the type of quilt you will keep forever and hand down in the family, I want it to be amazing and special, I want it to hold your attention as your eyes scan through the many variations of fabric within the blocks, I want it to take a long while so that it is worthy to last a long while… I chose to do the Super Scrappy Variation.

To really make the super scrappy variation, well, scrappy, I decided to cut all of my fabrics before I begin so that I can achieve a good variation in all of the blocks. Now, because I am working with assorted low volume prints for the background, all I really need to know are how many pieces of each size to cut, not how many pieces of each size for each print to cut. So I started doing some math, for the full size quilt there are 20 blocks, without giving away too much information this means from the Low Volume Prints, I need 80 pieces of cut A, 160 pieces of cut B, 240 pieces of cut C, and 560 pieces of cut D, and 49 pieces of sashing. These numbers are for the entire quilt, in the magazine they list what you will need for a single block, but because I  want an even distribution of my low volume prints across the entire quilt, I needed to know what to cut in advance for the whole quilt. Also, because it’s a scrappy variation, I can use different proportions of the different prints, so if I love a fabric I might cut a lot more of it than a fabric that I am less fond of. But how was I ever going to keep track of all of those pieces?

I created a cut sheet, the document I prepared is strictly for the Super Scrappy Variation and allows me to just highlight or mark through the pieces as I went, tracking my cutting progress. I shared a photo of my cut sheet on Instagram and have had a request for a copy of the document.

 

As much as I would love to share this cut sheet openly with everyone, I know that some of us are brilliant at reverse engineering a quilt, so that we can whip it up without purchasing a pattern. I know knitters who do it, crocheters who do it, and quilters who do it. I’ve even done it myself, but then my conscience kicked in and I remembered that somewhere out there a designer put in some time to figure this out, prepare it for publication, and put their name on the line to risk the sometimes expensive publication fees, so I went ahead and bought the pattern anyway and considered my momentary slip as practice for my own quilt design skills (truly I did.) I don’t want to live and try to work (as a designer/artist) in a world where we are all comfortable with skimming someone else’s work, and unfortunately our desire for an open online community sharing and pinning away we often make it that much easier to take someone’s work without paying any contribution for their efforts…

With that said, I would be glad to share this cut sheet with any of you who have already purchased the magazine (or if you haven’t yet you can purchase a digital copy here.) How will I know if you have purchased the magazine? Well my request is that you share a picture of your progress on the quilt so far. Maybe that is just a photo of the magazine, a stack of fabrics waiting to be cut, a bunch of tiny pieces already cut, or maybe even a finished block or two!  Just share your image in my Linky Library here, this link will take you to another website but you will be directed back here, don’t worry! Or direct me to your flickr, or instragram posts in a comment below!

One last tip!!! For the bright prints you actually only  need a 9×9.5″ cut of fabric. So if you want to cut down on expenses, share a quarter of a yard with a friend or two, or three, or four! OR reduce the number of prints you will use and cut multiple blocks worth of bright prints from a quarter yard and simply space your blocks pleasingly across the entire quilt.

Don’t forget to check out the other quilter’s progress on Flickr or Instagram, and don’t forget to tag your photos with #APQQuiltalong so everyone else can keep up with you too!

And check out the quilt along hosts and bloggers progress at these links below!

Well hello there!

I hope you have all had lovely holidays, if you are in the United States we’re talking Thanksgiving, and if you are anywhere in the world celebrating Hanukkah! This year my husband and I spent our first Thanksgiving on our own without either side of the family, here in Ames, Iowa. We really didn’t make any plans, considering he would be away at work until around 5 p.m. that evening, we just didn’t know what would work for us. But then on Wednesday, Nov. 27 (our anniversary, no less) I was starting to become very bummed about being away from family and not making any plans of our own. So, I jumped in my truck and headed to the grocery store. I picked up all of the fixings for a full-scale Thanksgiving meal for 4-6, including enough to make 5 different types of pies! I was a little over excited maybe. I planned a menu of Cornish game hens, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, glazed carrots and pie! I also picked up a few Turkey breast chops to cook with the stuffing for leftovers.

On Thanksgiving, I fixed the apple pie in the morning and started the crock-pot with the turkey chops and stuffing. I managed to talk myself down from baking all five pies that day, instead, we will have a pie a week through Christmas! Then I spent the day relaxing until around 4 p.m. when I began working on the rest of the meal.

 

This was my first attempt at cooking Thanksgiving dinner and overall the outcome was great, granted there was no full turkey involved. As we move away from our family, I have found it’s important to begin creating our own traditions so that we have special memories, rather than another night of an average meal and television. So, following the meal, we built the tree, a silver tinsel tree inherited when my Grandma passed away last spring. But decided to wait and purchase new decorations to transform it into our tree the following day.

Again, I really hope you are enjoying peaceful and joyful times with your family during this special time of year. The winter brings us together in close proximity, like no other season. Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, appreciate those around you and share joyful experiences and hopeful wishes as we move into the new year.

xo,

Erin Myone

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