Sep 20, 2015

Food, Projects, and Toys

Tried some new recipes this weekend.  Turkey Kebobs from The Chew.  I don't have access to kabab masala, so I used a Syrian spice blend.  I substituted jalapeno peppers for the seranos so that the kebobs weren't quite so spicy.

From reading the reviews, the chutney is very spicy so I opted for a tzatziki sauce.  I'd never made it before... it was okay.  They kebobs are made from ground turkey and were good, but difficult to grill because meat mixture is soft.  It might work better in the oven as patties.  I also made zucchini noodles ("zoodles") with the Paderno Spiralizer.  The spiralizer is awesome!  For sauce to go over the zoodles, I made a creamy red pepper sauce.  I thought it turned out really good.

I've completed the first week at the new job.  There's a big learning curve for me since I'm not familiar with the industry, acronyms, etc.  On Friday, my project manager told me he thought my progress was good for the first week.  Yay!  At the end of this next week, I'll be driving to the suburbs of the windy city in order to do more training.

I finished my Halloween mailart which I'll be mailing out next Saturday, so no finished pics until after it reaches its destination.  However, I'm going to show a sneak peek:

I'll be starting the July Monthly SAL next.  Hope to have a finish to show in my next blog update.

I also did a DIY project this weekend.  I made myself a portable pressing (i.e. ironing) board for small projects such as quilt squares, smalls, etc.

While it's not as light as an Omnigrid Foldaway Cutting Station or a Tailor Cut-N-Press, it was a lot less expensive and I could have it in a size I wanted.  I made mine 17x19".  I still need to add a handle to one of the edges for easier movement and/or transport.

Now, rather than getting out my ironing board each time I need to press small seams, I can just get out the pressing board.  I used it while assembling the mailart and it worked really well.

JoAnn Fabrics had a sale going on this weekend as well as several great coupons.  I intended to use the 60% off coupon (good on any regular priced item, lots exclusions apply) on the fabric cover for my pressing board since it wasn't on sale.  While at JoAnn Fabrics, a new toy made it's way into my cart:  Petite Press Portable Iron.  Since coupons say irons are excluded, I was pleasantly surprised when the coupon was applied to the Petite Press.  Normally $39.99, I ended up paying $16.32 with tax!  That's better than the online sale going on right now which would be $28+ with shipping and tax.  Had I known, I would've had the BF pay for the fabric and had him use another coupon, LOL.

Granted the Petite Press does not perform like my Shark Iron, the portable iron does well getting fold marks out of my fat quarters and aida as well as pressing seams.  It offers ironing control in small areas where my Shark is more cumbersome -- like around the decorative buttons on my mailart.

The iron's pressing surface is small (1" x 2 1/4") so it can't be expected do large projects.  Nor does it have a steam option.  Overall, the iron is lightweight and measures 8x2-1/2x2in.

It's UL approved and has a digital control with four heat settings.  The Petite Press heats up within a few minutes and beeps to tell when it's ready to use.  There is no auto shut off which means it holds the temperature setting:  1- approx 176-248F, 2- approx 230-302F, 3- 284-356F, 4-338-410F (according to the product guide).  One review I read said the iron doesn't get any hotter than a mug warmer.  Ask me how I know this is not true.  The iron gets VERY hot!

The iron head is adjustable to four different positions and the handle is made for ergonomic comfort. There's also a flip down stand to rest the hot iron when not in use.  

In conclusion, I'm happy with it.  It works well for its intended use.

Not too long ago, it was my youngest niece's birthday.  She love-love-loves Barbie!  I got her Barbie Fashion Design Maker.  Basically, it's a 3-D version of paper dolls.

It comes with a full size Barbie and eight sheets of "clothing paper."  The girl (with the assistance of an adult) logs onto the Barbie fashion designer website and chooses various options to create outfits to be printed out.  My niece had fun picking what her Barbie clothes would look like.  She even had fun putting the paper in the printer, LOL.  Once printed, the fabric pieces are peeled off the sheet and stuck onto the doll.  Just like paper dolls, the pieces can be taken off and be re-used.

That's all for this week.
Until next time...


Donna Pheneger said...

I do love deals and Joann's had lots of good coupons out this week, doesn't it? I often take dh in there so I can use more than one. I actually I shop and when I'm ready to check out, he comes in. ;-)
That Barbie Fashion Designer looks neat - I hope she enjoys it and follows in her aunt's creative footsteps!
Blessings, Donna

Carol said...

So glad your new job is working out well, Meari--I know you'll feel right at home very soon! I love the idea of the portable pressing station!!! How handy that would be and your new tiny iron looks perfect for small projects...

You can tell how pleased your niece is with the gift--what a cutie pie :)

Cricket-bug Corner said...

There is a lovely cross stitch shop called Country Cupboard in Orland Park IL - near Chicago! Also - there are several places off of Diners Drive ins and Dives!
What are the supplies for the ironing board? Do you just staple the fabric on? Great idea - I might need to make one!!

Deb said...

Congrats on your job sucess!
Your portable board looks very useful. You are always coming up with great ideas.
Mini iron is nice. Let us know how is works out. Love coupons!
Happy birthday to the little one!

Fay and Charlette said...

That Barbie toy sounds like fun! I used a few Jo-anns coupons this weekend too. Mostly for stuff for my new knitting obsession! Am glad work is working out so far. Good luck with that and I am sure you will shine! Hugs, Christina.

Desiree Ehleiter said...

I admire your confidence in substituting ingredients in your cooking. I love to cook but lack that skill. I have to follow the recipe or I freak out. Guess that's partially because I am a scientist and not following the protocol could sometimes result in... explosions, toxins... I wish I could do it though. Sounds like very yummy meals.

Have to get my DH into Joann's more often :-)

Faith... said...

What a cute niece! She is adorable!!

Glad your job went smoothly after the first week. To bad you have to drive into the Windy City suburbs though, hopefully you don't have to go during rush hours. I have never seen that little iron before, I am gonna have to check it out when I finally get into a Joanns!

Katie said...

So glad to hear you are enjoying your new job. No shock you are doing well. You are a hard worker! Can't wait to see your whole mail art since the sneak peek is fantastic! What neat new DIY project. Love your new toy and I'm glad your niece liked hers too. Sounds interesting.

gominam said...

Enjoy your new toy and new job. Your portable pressing project looks so cool:)

Pam in IL said...

I've thought about making a pressing board, but just haven't done it yet and I looked at the portable iron too, but passed on it since I hadn't read any reviews. Can't wait to see your finished mailart. I'm sure it is awesome! Your niece is adorable. The Barbie gift sounds fun for a young girl, although I think I would have more fun with actual clothes instead of paper clothes for Barbie, lol.

Kathy Bradford said...

Oh Meari I was so hoping you were coming to pals MB this year as i was sick last year and had to miss but I am sure with a new job you won't be able to come you should have told them when you started that you needed those days off well I so hope someday I get to meet you you met Sue and you must have really enjoyed your time now this year year i am going and you won't be there Darn it as I so enjoy reading your postings Take care Sincerely Kathy

Akila said...

Congrats and all the best in your new job

Great idea - the portable board!! Aww that's such a cute iron too