As part of our effort to eat less junk and create less waste, one of the areas we identified in our diets that generates a lot of trash is our meat consumption. Everything from the store comes on styrofoam trays, wrapped in plastic wrap, with extra labels and sometimes even individually wrapped. Plus, if you look at a lot of the chicken breast packages at the store...they are injected with water and sometimes "added rib meat". Why can't chicken just be chicken? I considered purchasing organic chicken from the grocery store but it's a lot more expensive and you still don't know where it comes from or how it's processed. Another option is to buy chicken from a local farm but I'd like to maintain some of the low-cost and ease offered by a supermarket. That's when I found another option, a local butcher called Ken's Custom Meat & Seafood.
A few months ago, we decided to sign up for a weekly produce delivery service called Space Girl Organics. We had heard about them a few times but never really looked into it until we got a Groupon for half off our first box/order. We decided to try it out and have been using it for long enough to share a real review of their services.
Once I got approval on the "rough" layout for each of the quilts, it was time to start cutting and working on the items that needed to be appliqued. I also especially wanted to show how I deal with some of the special items. I want to show you how we go from this dress to a shirt block.
For those who don't know, Ryan and I have one dog and one cat. The dog is my precious not-so-little princess. The cat came with Ryan...they were a packaged deal lol. I affectionately call him "little monster" (I actually call him another name but it wasn't friendly enough to type in my blog lol). Anyways, this cat is the most determined, stubborn cat ever. When he's decided he's going to do something, he is absolutely impossible to stop. And as he's gotten older he no longer likes his litter box. We tried changing litters, adding extra boxes, etc. But for quite a while he just decided he was going to pee on the carpet (particularly in one area). Eventually we couldn't take the smell (doesn't matter how much you try to clean it, after a while the smell is permanent). So we just cut out the carpet, lol.
Around the end of November, a friend from bootcamp approached me and asked if I was willing and able to make a baby clothes quilt for each of her two daughters. Her daughters are both college age but she wanted to make something from their old clothes and beloved blankies to give them. I have done double quilt orders before but this one was a little different because she wanted to use most of the same clothing for each quilt.
We are still working on all of our Phase 1 goals (no plastic bags, no single serving products and check out local sources of produce). Sometimes we end up with a candy bar or a bottle of water if we are travelling but in general we've done really well. I was thinking for a while about what "Phase 2" will be and I think we're finally ready. I'll give you a hint on a couple things that are a part of our new goals...
When my first niece was born, my sister in law asked if I would make a bed spread for her when she was ready to move into her "big girl bed". So we decided that would be a 2nd birthday gift. Well then my next nieces Emma and Addi were born and I made one for each of them. And then our next nephew Greyson (our oldest nephew kind of got jipped since I wasn't quilting yet when he turned two so he'll get one eventually too). Greyson turned two in September but I knew I wasn't going to get it done in time. So we bought him a normal birthday present and I said it would be his Christmas gift. Obviously I'm a little behind since it's March and not done yet but anyways...
I told you that I made fresh pasta but I didn't tell you what I ate it with...I made Eggplant Parmesan for the first time! I don't know if I've ever even eaten it before but it was so delicious and really not that difficult.
In our quest to reduce the junk we eat and decrease preservatives and packaging in our foods, we continue to try to make things from scratch. One of the latest adventures has been making pasta by hand (and no I don't mean with the mixer lol).
It's hard to believe it's been almost two years but...Ryan finally finished my 2013 birthday present. LOL. Yes I have gotten other gifts since then but this one took a while to get done. I had drawn up plans for a kitchen island that I wanted to build and he decided to make it for me for my birthday. Click on the pics below to see the first two parts of this post or read on to see the finished island!