Sunday, April 24, 2022

Carrot Cake and End of April


Carrot Cake - End of April

I cannot believe how fast this month is flying by !  Easter is over - but not without a Carrot Cake for company.  I found a great recipe at Inspired Taste - Carrot Cake   It was super easy, I used only one layer and froze the other for another time.   Cream cheese icing using low fat cream cheese and Smart Balance margarine made it not quite such decadent dessert.  I loved that it used whole wheat flour as that is what I use most of the time these days. I had fun decorating the cake with little icing carrots and some walnuts.  
It was a huge hit with our guests.  We had friends stop for an overnight visit on their journey home - and we had not seen each other for over a year, so I never got photos of  us having a great time...we were too busy talking!   I also shared a piece with neighbors and yesterday they stopped me to say how good it was! 

It was a creative week....after years of not sewing any clothes - just mending, making pillows, quilts, etc. - I found some material while searching for a zipper in my box of sewing stuff.  I gave away SO much fabric and notions when we downsized, but kept ONE big box of fabric I could not bear to discard. Pulled out this old, but great, pattern...

And my cutting board....

This is the fabric...I purchased a cardigan sweater at Talbots and thought it would work with a skirt made out of this fabric.  For many years I made a suit for each Easter...then wore them when I needed to dress professionally. I have not done that for over 15 years....but was ready to dip my toe back into sewing a skirt...

Older eyes made it difficult to find the "right" side of this fabric...

But, I figured it out and started cutting....

The process quickly came back to me..."with right sides together and raw edges even...."

WOW !  Noticed the pattern was almost 30 years old !  Have not purchased a pattern in years but when I browse through fabric stores I am amazed at the price these days!
My trusty Sears Kenmore sewing machine - purchased in 1972! - is still working like a charm.

The guest bath between the guest room and the huge guest closet - aka my sewing room - is the perfect spot to set up the board and iron open my seams.

This skirt is really easy to sew...just two side seams with another back seam that ends in a slit...

and a casing for an elastic waist.

Turn up a quick hem and I was done!
The finished skirt  - Easter Sunday outfit!
Had to wear a coat on Easter Sunday as it was freezing here - we went to church and then out to brunch.
Peeps Mimosas

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

and the largest Banana Chocolate Chip pancakes ever!  We ended up taking them home and finishing them for lunch the next day.
We had a wonderful time at The Imperial  which was walking distance from our church in downtown Lancaster.
Our huge, guest storage closet is where I had my sewing station set up - and I forgot to take a photo of the before.  It was really sad - I had my machine on an old metal typing table that I think was being held together only by the multiple coats of paint...and using an old vanity stool with no back for a chair.  We had a hard time finding a desk that would fit the space and came across this one in a local discount store.  The perfect size...and then bought a task chair from Walmart.  I ended up buying two Sterlite rolling carts to have on each side of the desk...

I can roll them out of the way if I need to get to our luggage...

The drawers hold my sewing notions...

And the chair is very comfy.  I did not want to spend a lot of money on this set up as really - I am the ONLY person that goes in that closet except for occasional guests to hang up any hanging garments, so this is working perfectly for me.
Finished off the Easter holiday with a college girlfriends brunch later in the week.

We were lucky to find a day that we all could get together...even though we are all retired everyone is busier than ever.  These place mats and napkins are from Kohl's a few years ago...

I set up a coffee and tea station for everyone to help themselves...

Super easy brunch with a Spinach Quiche purchased from the grocery store, fruit, bacon, some chocolate goodies, and Morning Glory Muffins from The Simple Luxurious Life.

Of course, no brunch is complete without some mimosas...
We toasted our long friendship - Johnson Babes !  We met at college in Johnson Hall in 1973/74 where we had tee shirts  ( now long gone) that that sported the Johnson and Johnson font with Johnson Babes printed on the front.  I wish I had saved one to use as a model and could make some for us today.  But...even if the shirts are long gone, the friendship is still going strong.  We are blessed to be in each other's lives and just LOVE when we can get together!
What special things did you enjoy over the Easter holiday?  Did you try any new recipes?  Hoping whatever you did, your holiday was filled with good food, friends, family, and peace. Please let me know in the messages below.  I love hearing from you! 
Thank you for stopping by Our New Vista!


  1. Hi Ann, I love the pretty carrot cake you made and I bet it tasted delicious. The skirt you made looks great on you and so talented that you sewed it yourself. I like your sewing set up too. How wonderful to have your college friends over for brunch. The breakfast you and your husband had for Easter looks great.
    Thanks for the blog visit and your sweet comment on the crochet bag I made.
    I hope you have a nice week Ann.

  2. It looks like you've been having a lot of fun lately!! That cake turned out so great. I love the icing carrots. Yum! Easter looked like a great day even though it was a bit chilly after all the warm weather we had. I love the idea of Peeps mimosas. Your brunch with the Johnson Babes looked really fun too. You should get new t-shirts! Your skirt turned out fantastic. Great job on that! My mother in law says the older machines are made a lot better than the newer ones. I hope you're having a great week. Love the new sewing room too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Heather. Yes - I think the new machines are plastic parts, and this old one is all metal...heavy, but still chugging along ! Have a great week !

  3. Ann, I rarely comment but always enjoy your posts. I'm so glad you modeled the finished skirt for us! Looks great. I too recently did some sewing after many, many years. It was challenging, but rewarding. And the price of patterns!! Don't get me started.

    Good for your old Kenmore; woohoo! I wish I had my mom's old machine. My newer models have all been garbage.

    How nice that you still remain friends with girls you met at college! That is truly wonderful. So few people seem able to stay in one place and sustain those long friendships anymore.

    Both your brunch with hubby and the girls look delicious! Happy Spring.


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