Busy Bee

The last two days have seen me away from home for nearly the entire day both days.  I'll just admit right here and now that I am something of a recluse, and so it's unusual for me to spend a whole day away from home, let alone two in a row.  So here's what I've been up to.

Monday I did my usual morning routine.  Since I had plans in the afternoon, I wasn't going to go to Curves, but realized I had plenty of time and went anyway.  (Yay, me!)  I was planning to meet Quilting Babcia who blogs at Amity Quilter.  Our plan was to meet for lunch and then attend a meeting of the Piecemaker's Guild in McMinnville, Oregon.  And meet-up we did.  I posted an image of the place we ate lunch, Wildwood Cafe, but it's worth showing again.  Here's a street view of the cafe:

I didn't take this picture, but if I had, I would have been standing right next to one of my fabric stores:  Boersma's.  I did a review of Boersma's back in April of 2011, and you can read it right here.  Love this shop.  Anyway, we sat at a table next to the window where we could keep an eye on the quilt shop.  Here's what it looked like where I sat:

It's such fun to go into a place with all those vintage signs hanging on the walls.  And can you see what's hanging from the ceiling?  Eggbeaters!  How come we don't use these any more?  My mother had one, and I think I hunted one down at Goodwill once, but I never take it out and use it.  Anyway, we each had the veggie omelette.  I had mine with Eggbeaters so I didn't wreck my diet too much.  It was very good.  

And you don't think we sat across the street from a quilt shop for an hour without crossing over to the dark side (depending on your point of view) and buying some fabric do you?  One of the things I love about Boersma's is their basement where they have bolts of fabric at half price.  And on this day, they had a jar where you could pull out an extra discount.  Mine was 15%.  This is what I selected:

At first, I was going to purchase a yard, but then as I stood looking at it, I imagined choosing a solid in each of those bright colors and making a BQ sort of quilt from it.  I think it could be very flashy.  Consider it a preview of a future NewFO.

After that we headed over to the guild meeting.  I enjoyed the guild very much.  For one thing, it is quite small.  I didn't count heads, but I think there were about twenty women there, give or take.  They couldn't have been friendlier and more outgoing, which was quite a switch from guilds I've attended in the past.  I haven't made a decision to join yet, but I'll probably go back next month and decide then.  The meeting was fairly informal with a block of the month, show and tell, and a short program.  They also make baby quilts to donate to the hospital in McMinnville.  I have a couple of boxes of flannel scraps that I could dispatch making baby quilts for donation.

With all that going on, the day was pretty much used up, and I headed home, checked email, and then made dinner.

Tuesday, I went to Curves for my usual workout, and my weekly meet-up with my Curves Complete coach.  I'm happy to report that I've lost 3 1/2 pounds after two weeks on the diet.  I'm loving the easy, mindless workouts.  The diet has been okay for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, but I'm having a very difficult time sticking to the dinners.  For one thing, I miss cooking as much as I miss the food I would cook ordinarily.  If I were only cooking for myself, I'd probably just have one of the frozen entrees included in the diet.  But since I'm also cooking for Mike, I've been trying to follow the dinner recipes on the Curves plan.  And I'll just say that Mike has been a trooper.  (He could stand to lose a few pounds too, so it's okay.)

Anyway, the diet is high protein, low fat, low carb, and high fiber.  So that means that the meals include a lot of canned tomatoes, fresh spinach, brown rice, beans (kidney or black), and some sort of meat.  My gripe is that everything ends up tasting the same.  It's the same foods just wrapped up a little differently.  By Friday of last week I was hungry for some variety, and so I made a decision to start counting calories and using recipes from the Cooking Light website for dinner.  Most of them are under 400 calories in a serving, and I can use the meal plan from Curves as a guideline to be sure I'm getting the right foods.  The last couple of nights we've done that, and I'm a much happier camper and cook for it.

Further, I found a website that will take the ingredients in a recipe and calculate the calorie count.  It's called Calorie Count.  (Clever name, don't you think?)  It's easy to use because you can just cut and paste the ingredients into the window on the website.  You might need to make a few adjustments in the way the quantities are listed or the foods described, but when you hit analyze, you'll get a calorie count per serving.  Cool!  And speaking of that, I did this recipe for Curried Chicken and Apple Wraps by Giada DeLaurentiis and came up with 407 calories per serving.

And let me just say...yum!  This is so good.  I made it a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good that I made it again last night.  I used spinach tortillas and roasted chicken from the grocery store deli.  Dee-lish.

Let's see, so what else has been going on?  (Can you tell I haven't written anything in a few days?)

Oh yes, remember when I told you I was going to make up a little "interim" embroidery project to fill in the gap between my Vintage Miniature Sewing Machine project (because I was waiting for the pattern to arrive) and my Quilting Snowladies (because I was waiting for the fabric to arrive).  Well.  As it turns out both the pattern and the fabric were sitting in my mailbox when I wrote those words, and I didn't know it.  It's a bit of a trek out to our mailbox, and so sometimes Saturday's mail sits until Monday's mail gets picked up.  (I guess that will cease to be a problem when Saturday delivery is discontinued!)  Anyway, I said I could finish the interim project in a couple of hours, and I wasn't kidding.

I'm going to add a small border, a binding, and a back and then, I'm not sure what my plans are for it.  I'll put it aside and give it to someone at some point.  In any case, it'll be a good test of the repairs to the tension on my sewing machine...which is coming home TODAY!!!!!  YAY!!!  We've missed one another so much!

And this is the next little sewing machine I'll be working on, the Singer 20.  I'll say more about that when I start on it.  

I'm really just wanting to get started on the Quilting Snowladies now, and my muslin is all washed and waiting to be ironed.  I'll probably draw out the first stitchery today.

So I think that about covers the last couple of days.  Today, I'm doing laundry, and then sewing and sewing and sewing.  My day to post in the "It's All About Me" blog hop is a week from tomorrow, and my piece isn't finished yet.  Need to get going on that, although I should be able to finish in plenty of time.

What do you have in store for your Wednesday?

Updated to say that I'll be linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

Congrats on the diet success! Good for you that you are making it fit your needs.

Love the bridges embroidery. It turned out nicely.

Enjoy your sewing day!

Lee said...

**** like ****

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

My DH and friends tease me around Groundhog Day by asking if I saw my shadow... I can happily occupy myself at home for days on end. Never ever bored in the slightest~ Good going on the healthy front and those stitching projects are really sweet!

Celtic Thistle said...

Congrats on the weight loss and glad to hear that your next vintage sewing machine turned up too.

Brown Family said...

I do not like shopping and the mall, grocery, big box stores! I am rather a home body, too! I know how happy you are to bet your machine home!

Elizabeth said...

McMinnville is a lovely town! It's been years since I visited there. My nieces regularly spend time there as their uncle (on their mom's side) is Nick of Nick's Italian Cafe in McMinnville. Nick's retired now and his daughter and son-in-law are running it and still doing great! Sometimes I enjoy those "off" days when other things fill the gaps. Sounds like it was an enjoyable few days!

Junebug613 said...

Neat place to eat and how wonderful that there's a quilting store that close by!! I'm glad your machine will be home and I hope it works like it's brand new. Also happy that you were able to find a way to alter your diet without breaking it. Happy sewing!

Lynne said...

We haven't had a Saturday postal delivery for years! Glad you've got both the pattern and the fabric! Love the fabric you bought after lunch and I'm glad you enjoyed the Guild meeting! Like you, I'm a bot of a recluse and I've been out of the house every day for the past two weeks, except this past Tuesday when I felt too tired to do anything because I stayed up till 2:30 reading!

quiltzyx said...

Good job on your Curves program! Sounds like you are making good decisions on making it work for you.

Love that fabric you got! I picked the fabric for the first quilt that I designed & made & finished for myself - found a great black bkgrd fabric with bright colored line circles on it & picked all the other colors to coordinate. Glad you had a good lunch & guild meeting!

Dana Gaffney said...

How great to have a meet up, I didn't realize that she was from your neck of the woods and a friendly guild? Are you sure you didn't just dream all of this? LOL

Rachel said...

I want to have lunch at Wildwood.
LOVE the fabric find!
Nice to hear about the guild! Wish there was something similar here.
YAY to all of your work to make Curves a success!
I LOVE seeing your embroideries. I am in awe. No matter how many times I have tried it is just something I have no talent for :-)
Looking forward to your day on the hop :-)

LethargicLass said...

I'm guessing I'll kick myself when you answer this but... BQ quilt?

Quilter Kathy said...

WHat a cute stitchery block you finished! And your next machine block is adorable too. Enjoy your slow stitching!