Blog Archives

A Stitch in Time

Several years ago, I met a “mom of many” who became a sweet friend but, at the same time, she made me sick. She sewed most, if not all, of her children’s clothes and they usually matched. Sometimes she would even match. Our kids were in homeschool band together and during rehearsal, moms would chat in the nursery and this friend would sometimes discuss sewing techniques she had discovered. I remember thinking, “I need to try that! (except when she spoke of an easier way to make the boys’ ties…my eyes glazed over for that one. I’ll just buy the matching vest and tie, thank you).  I used to sew all the time. In my younger days, I would take advantage of the quiet of the night and sew til 3 a.m. so as to finish my project. My first two girls had a few matching dresses, many that didn’t match, costumes, doll clothes and I made all of the kids’ stockings until child number 8. I have fabric for everyone’s stockings. I just don’t see that hunk of time sew. I asked my friend (we both had “only” 6 kids at the time) how in the world she found time to sew so many outfits. She told me that some days, she only gets one stitch done. Say whut? She said she leaves her sewing machine out with her current design left under the presser foot ready for the next five minutes she can sneak in and sew a seam. My personality type was stymied. I’m the kind of person who wants to get a project DONE in one sitting. I could not wrap my brain around it.

I have implemented that principle of getting things done in bite-size pieces in many areas but mostly with housecleaning and business projects. I can organize a pile for five minutes then stop when the timer goes off. That’s a big deal for me! I did have it down for the sewing at one time but got out of practice. Now I have a new laundry room with a sewing table and I feel motivated and obligated to get back to it.

One area I struggle with the “one stitch at a time” method is writing. For example, I need to quit right now and head to the shop to carve a cake and make curly Q fondant strips for the mane but I’m having a hard time stopping because I’M NOT DONE, YET!!! Oh, fine….I’ll be back….

Okay, I’m back. It is not easy to get back on the train of thought after being derailed by the to-do list. So…where was I? Oh, yea…early this morning, I took a moment to read a post from one of my favorite bloggers and guitarists, Mark Lee.  His latest post is “Embrace the Chaos,” which totally describes my life, talks about learning to blog amidst the nuttiness of life rather than wait for that ideal day or idea. He also suggests working this habit into other aspects of life.

That takes practice and an attitude of “must write.” People often ask me, “how do you do it all? How do you balance the big family, homeschooling, theatre, owning a business?” Balance? Um, no. We have had to learn how to blend.  Having babies constantly in our home became a part of our norm. Home educating became a part of our lifestyle. Theatre came into our lives and it’s just “what we do.” The catering scene has become a big part of our days and that’s just it, it’s something that becomes a part of our schedule. Sometimes we work what needs done for the business around our homeschool; sometimes homeschool is worked around the job that needs done. I know I need to squeeze in two loads of laundry a day in order to maintain the piles and keep everyone in clean socks and underwear. I use a lot of post-it notes and checklists to stay on track. I’ve also learned to use a timer to limit time spent decluttering or cleaning projects. If I didn’t, I would spend the whole day on that one project until it was done. I have other things to do! Like write. I have blogged many times here about how I haven’t been blogging, yet have not once considered quitting. I don’t think I can. Some of us think through the written word! I need to blend the writing into the batter and stop treating this as if it’s “extra;” something I can do after I get everything else done. Being  practical, if I need to set a timer, I’ll have to learn to stop then pick it up later and add “another stitch.”  I received a Bluetooth keyboard for Christmas and it’s one of my favorite tools. I fumble around with texting and trying to email on my phone.  My keyboard not only removes that frustration but I can sit in the car waiting for play rehearsal to finish and start another post on the WordPress app…which I have done. But you’ll have to wait for that one…it needs a few more seams.

I did it. I have proven to myself that it’s possible for this “must finish” personality that I can step away from the project and come back to it later then just  add to it in between the other parts of my day. Guess what else I did today? I started hemming some jeans I found at Goodwill. I only have them cut and pinned…and waiting for the stitching to begin.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

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Sandwich Wrap Rap

Ham, sweet mayo, fixins and swiss cheese.
Avocado, pepper, spinach, sprouts  Veggie please.
Or bacon, ‘mato, lettuce, turkey with cream cheese spread,
The TBLT  is what a bunch of peeps are fed.
 
The Salsa Ranch Chicken Wrap is quickly gaining fame.
We think it most amazing – we really have no shame.
Folks are craving sandwich wraps; we are happy to provide
Because our wraps are the bomb, I really must confide.
 

Okay, I know, that is pretty lame. We made a boatload of wraps this week so I was feeling inspired. Fechers’ Panache has been pretty uneventful as of late but we were blessed with two days of corporate box lunch orders, Thursday at Wayne Dairy and today at Reid Hospital Oncology, and we made A LOT of wraps. (Did I mention that already?) We also had some croissant sandwiches thrown in the mix today, our Chicken Salad and Apple Tuna Salad, but wraps are, by far our most popular sandwich.

I thought I’d share some Sandwich Wrap “expertise” so, when you aren’t able to partake in a luncheon catered by an amazing caterer like Fechers’ Panache, you can pack awesome sandwich wraps to take for lunch or for those trips to the pool that are just around the corner. (I’m still chuckling at the use of “expertise” here – this stuff is so easy, it’s laughable. “You, too, can be a wrap expert!”)

Instead of regular Tuna Salad sandwiches, add some chopped apples to your Tuna Salad and wrap it up with leaf lettuce in a tortilla – much butter. Any of your sandwich salads are incredible as a wrap. Dress up that traditional BLT by adding Herb-roasted Turkey and “Chayo” :

Chayo
1/2 cup chive and onion cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Mix well. Never use regular mayonnaise again.
You’re welcome.

Another often-neglected tip some folks do think of is using a panini grill for your wrap! Oh. Yum. It’s worth taking the 10 minutes it takes to preheat your grill and heat til hot and crispy. No panini grill? Preheat 2 skillets, place wrap in larger skillet then put smaller, preheated skillet on top. Voila! Panini grill. I would have thought that with the popularity of fajitas, heating up sandwich wraps was a given but we’ve had several customers impressed with our skill with the panini grill (don’t make me start rappin’ again).

Salsa Ranch Chicken Wrap

One more wrap need-to-know: tortillas come in flavors. This is a news flash for some folks. Our Salsa Ranch Chicken Wraps are made with the Tomato Basil Tortillas and aren’t the same without them.

Veggie Wraps taste great in Spinach tortillas as does that fabulous Spinach Artichoke Dip spread on a Spinach Tortilla, wrapped and toasted on the panini grill. Someone make me one – now.

The flavored tortillas work great with those pinwheels, too.

Let me know what your favorite Sandwich Wrap is. We’re always looking for new ideas to try!

Have a fantabulous weekend!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Happy Birthday, Jillian! The mall threw an expo just for you!

Jillian is 20 today! To celebrate, we got up early, headed over to the kitchen to prep the BBQ Meatballs and load the van. After a car wash to make our van presentable, we headed over to the mall to set up for the KICKS 96/ 101.7/Hoppe Jewelers Bridal Extravaganza.

We work well as a team and it doesn’t take us long to set up. We had to be set up by 11:30 and didn’t get there until 10:30. Most everyone was already there and setting up. Of course, we prefer to keep it simple and we don’t have an elaborate display. There was an award for best decorated booth but we decided at the last expo to just go with a color them (chocolate, teal & gold) and napkins, food display pieces, a simple bouquet, our attire and even cake pops decorated in our theme colors pulled the whole booth together, I think.

Cake pop flavors: Lemon, White, Caramel Cappuccino & Chocolate

Cupcakes: Lemon Dream, Sour Cream White, Chocolatetown Special, Sour Cream Yellow, Red Velvet and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.

Craig brought Autumn to hang out with us. She wants to be a part of what we’re doing no matter what it is and that’s precious to me. She’s already part of the “Rockness Monster,” as we humbly refer to ourselves,  as she is fantastic at cake pop making and already pretty good at cake decorating at the tender age of 8.

We met a lot of friendly folks and always get a kick out of brides-to-be planning their weddings. I get excited with them as they excitedly plan for the big day and try to remember to say a quick prayer over them praying they’ll have a marriage that lasts.

After packing up, we headed straight home so I could crash and Jillian could hang out with the gang before going out with Natalie & friends for her birthday.

There’s more to our birthday girl’s day but I must needs crash n burn.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Let’s Give it a Whirl…

Whew!

I am pretty sure I’m brain-dead. I stared at the monitor trying to think of some clever title but, alas, I am exhausted and starting to doze off as I type. We had a pretty full day, I must say. We had the Chamber of Commerce lunch order – 8 lunches, and while I was gone, another order came in for 3 more. Then a gal came in for soup. Then we got another call from CVS down the street for another lunch order. Then I had a consultation with a couple from the St. Vincent DePaul Ministry about a Mother’s Day Cheesecake fundraiser. We may be baking up to 100 cheesecakes in May! THAT is what I’m talking about. If that were to happen each day, I might just be able to pay the bills! I could tell it was fulfilling for the gang to have work to do and to be serving others up some yummy goodness that’s appreciated. It’s Wednesday so that means Lenae and Jillian worked at the dance studio. I decided to use the time to work on our upcoming newsletter while Noah worked on school. Jillian has been trying to find an at-home culinary course of study but as suspected, one must spend at least some time at a culinary school to reach the status of chef. We’ll see what College Plus might have to offer.
After a few rounds with the laundry and hanging out with my youngins, my older girls and I headed out to Tim Horton’s to take advantage of the Wi-Fi (and the coffee) to get some work done. The valley we live in is such a drag on our air card, it’s pointless to try to do anything like tutorials, I-tunes, or working on a blog when it’sssssss …..sssssssooooooo……slooooowwwwww. It may as well be dial-up but it’s better than nothing.
What the Fechers ate: Sausage Florentine Pie – sorry you missed it.