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Another year in the books

30 Dec

As 2014 approaches, many of us are looking back at 2013. Looking back at the good times and the bad. Reliving those moments that defined our year. And while I have done a bit of that myself, I’m focusing on 2014, on how I want to remember it a year from now.

This past year, I’ve explored new places, met new people, made new memories. I’ve set goals that I’ve accomplished, and set goals I’ve failed to meet. I’ve taken an emotional journey to understand who I am and what I want my life to be. And looking back, that seems to be the story for the past several years.

I’m by no means complaining, more so reflecting. As a child, you have so much to look forward to, things are ever changing. You expect as you grow into adulthood that things will become mundane and boring. But in fact, for me, it’s been quite the opposite. As I have grow older, I still anticipate what new exciting adventures await, but now I have a better understanding of how they will affect me.

I spent much of the holiday season remembering how I spent Thanksgivings and Christmases growing up, but only now do I realize how they have made me into the person I am today. Those memories shaped me, and will continue to shape me for many years to come. It’s my hope that one day I’ll look back on this year with the smiles I have of years’ past.

I’ve always been one to make New Year’s Resolutions, but considered them more like goals. Many of my goals for 2014 are the same as 2013. Sometimes, goals aren’t achieved in one year, sometimes, we need a bit more motivation. I’d like to get back to working out three times a week. I’d like to delegate more during big events. I want to sit at home and enjoy my couch more than this year. I want to start reading to kids regularly at the local schools. I want to continue to make quilts for people, and make a few for myself. I’d like to become comfortable with free motion quilting. I want to expand my photography business into a “real” business. But most of all, I want to save money on a consistent basis.

Whatever your resolutions or goals are for 2014, I encourage you to write them down, and strive to achieve them. If you don’t quite make it, don’t give up. There’s always 2015. Happy New Year yall :)


Homemade Meatballs & Roasted Tomato Sauce

23 May

Last night on my way home, I got inspired. For mother’s day, I made my mom dinner on the grill using foil packets. The combination of tomatoes and spinach got me wondering… could I make that into a sauce?

Well, last night proved you can! I paired the sauce with some whole wheat angel hair pasta and turkey/chicken meatballs. All of the recipes below are loosely based on recipes I found on The Food Network, but I’ve made them my own.

If you try it out, tell me how your family likes it!


Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • 6 medium tomatoes (I used the tomatoes sold on the vine)
  • Handful of fresh baby spinach
  • Half of a medium sweet onion
  • 1/2 tsp of the following: thyme, marjoram, basil, oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Slice tomatoes into wedges and arrange on baking sheet. Chop onions and distribute evenly. Sprinkle baby spinach over tomatoes and onions. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until onions are translucent and tomatoes are soft. Allow the mixture to cool a bit before pureeing in a food processor.

Turkey/Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound of ground chicken
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs, plus extra
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of the following: thyme, marjoram, basil, oregano
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine meats and mix until evenly distributed. Add cheeses, spices, egg and breadcrumbs and mix until combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add more breadcrumbs. Roll into balls and place on a greased baking sheet. I made mine a bit too big, so I only got 12. You should be able to get 24 1-inch diameter meatballs. Drizzle olive oil over each meatball, and bake for 15-18 minutes.

I am moving….

6 Nov

…to another site!

I’m re-purposing to be my new blog site. It’s currently under construction, but I’m hoping to have all that taken care of soon. Once that happens, I will begin posting there. I will keep you updated when it’s all good to go.

Just the beginning…

18 Aug

Last night one of my oldest and bestest friends came over…. To learn how to use her sewing machine! We had a blast, over a bottle of wine and some dinner, creating this…

Lindsay’s first pillowcase! Hopefully this will be the start of something creative and fun.


Fabric, fabric and more fabric!

30 Jul

You can never have enough fabric. Or at least that’s what any good quilter would say.

Whenever I talk about fabric, Eric and my friend Nadja both make fun of me. So, when Nadja’s husband Jeff got back from Amsterdam with my present, not only did they make fun of me, they also shook their heads. “Oh great, just what she needs… MORE FABRIC!”

I, however, was grateful for Jeff’s very thoughtful gift. He found this little quick shop called Bird Block and specifically asked for fabric not sold in the States. He brought me home a little stash of awesome. And, the quilt shop has a really cool bird block on their tag, so I emailed them to find the pattern so I can make it using this specific fabric. I’m totally stoked.

Margarita Chicken with Borracho Beans

28 Jul

Last night, Eric came over for dinner. I knew had some chicken in the fridge, and he’s never had my margarita chicken. I was headed to the grocery store anyway, so I picked up the supplies to make the recipe. I also picked up the ingredients to make borracho beans.

The original chicken recipe is based off of Sandra Lee’s Margarita Chicken recipe from her show Semi-Homemade. I’ve changed it up over the years to fit a variety of different occasions. I’ve also changed her Borracho Beans recipe and made it my own.

The original recipe calls for Bacardi Margarita Mix, but that stuff is twice the cost of store-brand limeade. They taste just about the same, so it’s your call. It also calls for tequila. You don’t have to use this if you don’t want to. I’ve also substituted it triple sec, or in last night’s case, left it out completely.

Here are the recipes I made last night. For my chicken, I used the oven, but you can also use the grill. If you use a grill, I’d suggest laying foil down so you can cook in the juices and keep the chicken moist, but it’s up to you.

I made the beans on the stove, but you can also make them in a crockpot. If you use the crockpot, you can actually leave it on the low setting and cook them all day long. It also tastes good if you add left over chicken fajitas to the mix, especially on a cold fall or winter day. You can also add heat by using the pinto beans with jalapenos. I do a mix, one with and one without.

Margarita Chicken… Syd Style
1 lb (approx) chicken breast tenderloins
1/2 can limeade
1 can Mexican Rotel (tomatoes, green chiles and cilantro)
1-2 tbsp. Kickin’ Chicken Seasoning

Sydney’s Borracho Beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can jalapeno pinto beans
1 can Mexican Rotel
1 cup frozen onions (or 1 tbsp dried onion)
1 can beer (Negro Modelo is best, but I use whatever’s in the fridge)
1 package of bacon pieces
1-2 tbsp. Kickin Chicken Seasoning

Start by washing your chicken and place it in a bag. Add half a can of limeade. You can save the rest and freeze it for later, or make some margaritas to go with it. Also add the seasoning. I don’t ever measure when I season things, I just add until it looks good.


Put that in your fridge for about an hour or so. The longer you marinade it, the more lime flavor your chicken will absorb. While that’s marinading, I get my baking dish ready. Spray it with non-stick spray or grease it with butter. Then pour your can of Rotel in the dish. I save the juice for my beans, but you don’t have to.

Speaking of beans, I had to do the quick and dirty version last night. I poured everything I had (which wasn’t everything the recipe called for, but it was close enough) into my trusty pot and turned that sucker on high.


Once they started boiling, I took the lid off and let them boil for about 10-15 minutes. The idea was to get all the flavors to marry together. Once I took the lid off, I also dumped my marinating chicken and limeade into my backing dish and put that into a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, until the chicken was white in the center.

While everything was cooking away, I pulled out some spanish rice I had in my pantry and started that on the stove also. The Knorr rice and pastas are really easy to throw together in a flash, just fyi.


These recipes are really simple and easy. Everything comes together pretty quickly, so keep an eye on it. When it’s all said and done, serve it with some tortilla and cheese if you’d like.


If you end up trying these recipes, let me know what you think!


Green flag!

27 Jul

I’ve decided to start blogging again. It’s been a while since I’ve got behind the keyboard, but it’s been eating at me for a while, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

With that being said, you’re in for a glimpse inside my creative world of photography, quilting, cooking, racing and whatever else I decide to try.

I’m busy trying to make this thing look good, but I’ll get to writing soon enough.