Stash Report: Cotton Creek Mill


Yesterday I told you about our visit to  Cotton Creek Mill Quilt Shop in West Branch Iowa….

When we visited I had been doing so good and not buying much at all and the next thing I knew, I had a bag full.  Oh my!


I had picked the orange batiks for my mystery quilt and they were long ago cut into.  I also picked this one…just because.


All of the rest of this happened….Cotton-Creek-Mill-STASH-2

and all of that happened because of this. [Read more...]

Instant Pot: Scalloped Potatoes and Ham


To make my life a little easier with cooking I’ve gotten into a good habit of making a supper with the intention that there will be leftovers and the childcare kiddos can eat the leftovers the next day.  I always pick something that I’m relatively sure they will eat.  I like to make it in the  Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.  Typically I prep it during nap time and then turn it on to cook whenever I need it for supper.   After supper I pop the leftovers into a microwave safe container and then the next day I warm them in the microwave.  It’s so good for days when I have extra babies and won’t have time to cook.

On my most recent cooking adventure I decided to scalloped potatoes and ham a try.


It was one of those days when I had potatoes that needed to be used up.  I had ham that needed to be used up.  This was the obvious thing to make!

I have LONG made scalloped potatoes and ham but my recipe was a crock pot recipe.  I wondered what would happen if I tried to convert it use with the pressure cooker.  There was no time like the present to give it a try.

Here’s the original recipe that first started my scalloped potato making: [Read more...]

Quilt Shop Tour: Cotton Creek Mill


Here I am back to share another quilt shop tour with you.  Kelli and I stopped here on our way home from the Elton John concert.

This shop, Cotton Creek Mill, is located in West Branch, Iowa.  Neither Kelli nor I had ever been there before.  It was a cute little shop out front but let me take you inside.


The girls at the Neal’s in Muscatine had told us we “had to stop there.  They just expanded”.  Well we took their advice and stopped.  I started my journey through the shop with my camera open and snapping pictures.  If you ever do this, it’s always polite to ask the owner first.  Most people like it as I’m basically giving them free advertising for writing this blog post BUT there are others who are way over protective and think people who take pictures are stealing their ideas.  This shop was fine with pictures.

I loved the colors in this display.


The shop has fabric and sells Bernina machines.


There is a awesome rustic-folksy feel to the shop.


I love the openness.  Cotton-Creek-Mill-5

A few things were displayed high but most low.  Kelli had to take this in.  She’s stitched many of the Crab Apple Hill designs…not this one though.


Isn’t this cute?  I miss working on small projects.  They bring instant gratification.


Kelli was focused on finding BATIKS!!  She was in this are most of the time during our visit.  She was looking for mystery quilt fabrics.


The shop had great architectural features…brick here!


I don’t see Civil War reproduction fabrics used a lot in the shops in my area so I was really happy to find some here.



…and don’t forget the 30′s prints.


I really liked the staging of the shop.  Things were displayed nicely and not too cramped.



There was a section of baby things with a touch more modern but mostly is was darker fabrics.


I resisted this large selection of good neutrals.  There were several fabrics that had words and I’ve been collecting them but I resisted.


We hadn’t been in the store before so had no idea what the “new addition” was and what was old.  I think that means it was a very successful remodel.


It was fun to look around.

The store was busy the day we went.  We even saw two people from our area.  They had been to the Elton John concert as well and were shop hopping their way home.

Here is Kelli’s stack of fabric that she picked out…  [Read more...]

Shopping with Your Smartphone


Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Phone. This is one of those posts.

Lucky for me most of my Christmas shopping is done and most of it is already wrapped.  I always have a thing or two that I need to do.  Often I forgot something or need Hubby’s help to decide on a gift but most of my shopping is done.  I, of course, have an idea to do a last minute gift but if it doesn’t happen, that’s no bid deal.  It’s an added extra thing that I can always give as a Valentines goodie.


U. S. Cellular put together some great shopping advice for those of you who aren’t finished.

The 2016 online shopping season was one of the biggest yet, with $91.7 billion spent – an 11 percent increase from the previous year.

During this busy time smartphones can be utilized to simplify and enhance lives while also maximizing time and budgets when holiday shopping.  According to U.S. Cellular’s annual consumer survey, nearly 60 percent of smartphone users have shopped online on their phones.  I know our children do this all of the time!

Smartphones give us the opportunity to do our holiday shopping anywhere and everywhere. Whether in-store, at home, or on-the-go, our devices are utilized in every aspect of the process, from researching the right gift to making the final purchase.


Many people research before purchasing. Gone are the days of thumbing through thick catalogs for ideas. Smartphones make researching online and accessing customer reviews easy while on-the-go. Many apps offer rich visuals, videos and content for brainstorming. For example, Amazon has millions of product reviews, or users can search and create gift idea lists on Pinterest.

Avoid long check-out lines. The mobility of smartphones is one of their key benefits. Many consumers want to physically see and touch what they’re going to purchase, so visit stores to find a product, but actually make the purchase online to avoid long check-out lines. Many stores even allow for an item to be purchased online then picked up at the store for free.

Keep great lists. Nearly 70 percent of people are totally undecided or considering multiple gift options when starting holiday shopping, according to a 2016 Google Consumer Survey. To be more organized while out browsing, utilize the notes feature on your device or take photos of what you want to purchase for a loved one.

I’m off to bug Hubby about a gift that he has to make the decision on.  If we are going to order it, I want to order it yet tonight.  The clock is ticking and Christmas isn’t far away!!