Lydia's Nest · Recipes

Hulk Muffins

Hey all! I have a yummy recipe to share with you.

I’ve been making these muffins regularly for breakfast lately. I’ve been noticing that Deacon eats the most at breakfast – even if he’s having an ornery day and doesn’t want to eat much lunch or dinner, he ALWAYS finishes his breakfast. This has put me on a mission to find more healthy, nutritious breakfasts. Our go to’s are easy things like toast and fruit, and I wanted to expand our repertoire and get some good stuff in him while I have the chance. These are perfect! They have lots of spinach, without a ton of sugar. They are super yummy too- they taste like banana bread (and not at all like spinach!)

A couple of notes, you can be relatively flexible with this recipe. The recipe includes what I find works/tastes the best for us, but you could certainly change it out to your preferences, like dairy milk instead of almond milk (you might need to add vanilla), a different sweetener, or vegetable oil instead of butter. Also, they freeze really well. The recipe makes two dozen so we eat some fresh and then I pop the rest in the freezer for later. A minute or two in the microwave, and they are ready to go! I don’t know for sure how long they would last in the freezer – probably a couple of months, but we’ve always eaten them within a couple weeks. Lastly, the riper the bananas the better. If we have bananas that get too brown to eat, I peel and freeze them until I make these muffins. Just let them thaw on the counter for a bit before using.

I love these muffins because they are super easy to throw together in the morning. First, combine the dry ingredients.

Then, put all the wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour the puree into the dry bowl and gently stir to combine.

Spoon into muffin tins, and bake!

I think Deacon likes these.

Hulk Muffins

Makes 2 dozen. Prep time: 20 min, Bake time: 20-25 min



  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 4 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt


  • 2 cups spinach (packed)
  • 1 ½ cups vanilla almond milk
  • ½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cups applesauce
  • 3 large bananas
  • ½ cups butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed (optional, but I love the nutrient boost it adds)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray or line muffin pans.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Place all wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour puree into dry bowl, and gently stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon into muffin tins, and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm but not browning.
  6. Serve warm or cold
Gail's Nest · Lydia's Nest · Sewing Project

Date with my Daughter to a Fabric Store

Sewing lovers will agree that entering a fabric store is like walking into an ice cream parlor. You get a rush when you see all the different colors and textures. And how do you decide?

Couple that with entering the store with your sewing-loving daughter and you have a ready made good time.

Triple that with entering the store with your darling not-yet-two grandson and… well, you can’t linger too long making decisions.


But… I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!

We went to Zinck’s Fabric Outlet in Ligonier, Indiana.

So here was our haul…

This super soft double brushed poly could make great leggings!

I’m planning on making a blouse out of this pretty piece.

I want to make a coat, and I found this fun fabric to test my pattern on! I love the color.

When I’ve worked out all the kinks, I’m going to use these to make a 1950s-inspired coat.

And here’s Lydia’s haul:

Such fun!

These two are for some comfy joggers for Cory. (And maybe matching ones for Deacon!)

You can never have too many basic fabrics – the oatmeal will become a sweater, and the other two are great to have on hand for neckbands and such.

Lydia couldn’t resist picking up some fun fabrics for her baby GIRL on the way!

These last two are very soft – they’ll become leggings and a matching top.


We had a blast exploring Zinck’s. Highly recommend!



Gail's Nest · Sewing Project

A Guatemalan Fabric Make

Hey Everyone – My lovely daughter, Rachael, and new husband, Tom, went to Guatemala on a medical mission trip and brought back for me some lovely blue woven fabric. I gave half of it to Lydia, hoping she’ll have time to make something for herself (she recently moved to Indiana and now is expecting baby number 2 so I doubt it will be any time soon!) It will be fun to see what she comes up with!

So anyway… here’s the fabric and here’s the pattern I chose to use:


The jumper was an easy make. Thank you Rachael and Tom!

And here are a few photos of the newlyweds’ mission trip in Guatemala:

MarketTandRwith childTom

And the final product…




Thank you to Rachael and Tom! Lydia – what will YOU do with your fabric?

And BTW – if any of you go on a trip and you’re wondering what to bring back as a souvenir to your loved ones, a great idea for the sewers in your family is a couple yards of fabric! Guaranteed they will love it.

Gail's Nest · Lydia's Nest

How to Make a T-shirt Dress in an Afternoon

I was blessed to visit Lydia and Cory this past week. And of course I jumped at the chance to give them a night off while I babysat my darling grandson. I was blown away at Lydia’s creativity at putting together a nice outfit for their big date. She did it during Deacon’s nap.

She started with a pattern for a simple tee, as well as a black jersey fabric she found on sale at Walmart for $1 per yard. She used less that 3 yards.


Using a ruler, Lydia added about 10 inches down each of the sides of the tee to lengthen to a dress.

She sewed up the sides, and added the sleeves. After she tried it on she decided it was too baggy so she cut the back in half and then I helped her take it in by pinning the fabric so as to make it more form fitting. She simply sewed up the new seam on her serger, which cut off the extra fabric.


Next, Lydia cut out a long retangular piece which she then folded and sewed up along the neckline to create a cowl neck. For an easy trick in sewing up the cowl neck take a look at this video. You’ll need to go to 3:40 to see the helpful demonstration:

After hemming the bottom and the sleeves she was done! And then off she was with Cory for dinner and a movie!


I hope this inspires you to bravely venture out to make something new – for next to no money!




SMYLY- Sewing Makes You Love Yourself -Sewing Contest

In my last post, I wrote how sewing is therapy, releasing endorphins that calm an anxious mind, giving a sense of satisfaction of a job well done, and utilizing the right side of the brain, especially after a week of left-brain analytic activity.

And now I present a sewing contest that encourages all sewists out there to share your creations as well as your sewing story. It is called SMYLY – Sewing Makes You Love Yourself. You can read about it here.

Here is my entry and my story:


This is the Heather Dress from Sew Over It.My sewing story is that I have sewed since I was about 12 but once I became a mom I didn’t have as much time to sew for myself. I sewed a lot of curtains, costumes, and Easter dresses for my three daughters. I taught them to sew and we have lots of happy memories sewing together.

But all four of my children are now adults and I miss them so much. My husband and I are enjoying our “sweetheart years” as my friend referred to the empty nest, but I find myself drifting toward sadness and borderline depression. Quite honestly, parenting young adults is the hardest time of parenting EVER, mostly because I can’t do much. And so I’m prone to worrying about them A LOT, which isn’t good, of course. And that’s where sewing comes into the picture.

Here’s another Heather Dress!

So I’ve really ramped up my sewing in the last five years or so. It has brought me a very satisfying, productive, distraction from that which would try to take me down. The Heather dress, in particular, is comfortable, classy, practical, and lovely at the same time. I feel great in it.




Gail's Nest · Pattern Review

Sewing as Therapy

I heard an amazing podcast on Love to Sew. It was Episode 25 with Caz Adams from Useful Box. She’s an Aussie sewist who nearly lost her life after the birth of her son. As she recovered from the trauma, sewing became a way to return to equilibrium.

I was totally relating. Sewing is therapy for me too. I love to sew. I’ve been sewing since I was in junior high. Once I became a mom my sewing was reduced to curtains, costumes, and Easter dresses. But now that my kids are adults I am finding solace and healing from life’s stressors in sewing.

This is what sewing does for me:

  • It tickles my right brain’s desire for creativity.
  • It releases endorphins that trigger such a sense of calm, satisfaction, and peace.
  • It provides an outlet of escape from tension and stress.
  • It makes me so happy and proud of my accomplishments.

Two recent therapy sessions produced these fun projects:

The first is a cat house from a free pattern from See Kate Sew. I used fabric from my scrap bin and just had to buy the 1/2 inch foam. I thought it would be complicated but I found the directions to be straight forward, clear, and correct. It came together pretty easily. I gave it to my daughter, Rachael, and her hubby, Tom, for their cat, Inara.


I think she likes it! SCORE!! (Yes the endorphins are flowing right now!!)

My second therapy project was a tote. I found this pattern at The Inspired Wren.


I found the directions a little complicated (certainly not for a beginner), but the pictures were helpful. I bought heavy cotton (from the remnant section at Joann’s) and used lining from my stash. The suggestion for the bottom panels was to use duck cloth but I used black vinyl that I had leftover from another project. I was so happy with the result. Here are pics from the process:


Ahhhhh. I feel sooooo good. Try it. It’s what the doctor ordered.






Gail's Nest

The Art of Ironing



I walked into my friend’s home and saw a familiar sight: shirts draped over a chair and an ironing board waiting nearby, I said to her, “Yay – a kindred spirit! A fellow ironer! We ironers are few and far between! It’s a lost art, isn’t it?” She agreed.

Really, it’s more like a curse. My mother ironed everything – even T-shirts and jeans! So naturally I couldn’t NOT iron. But when people stopped by and would catch me ironing they inevitably would say, “Why are you ironing?” Here’s my answer: I DON’T KNOW!! I’m sorry, but I just can’t seem to get to the dryer exactly when it finishes to get out the shirts. So my clothes come out a little wrinkly.  So I hang them up and put them in my ironing closet until I have a block of time to do about 20 shirts. It’s in my dna, I guess. I just like to the look and feel of a nice crisp shirt.

Would you like to know the steps to ironing? Here they are:

  1. Set up your ironing board and iron. Get the iron hot.DSC00493
  2. Put on a favorite TV show or netflix movie.DSC00494
  3. Use the wide part of the board to do men’s shirts. The narrower part is better for skirts and dresses.DSC00496
  4. Iron the right front, the back, the left front, and then give the collar a good pressing. I like to use Magic Sizing spray to give it a light stiffness.DSC00498
  5. Next press the shoulders and the yoke.DSC00500
  6. Next do the sleeves one at a time, folding them so the underarm seam is at the bottom and you can get a nice crisp pressing.DSC00499 - Copy

That’s it! How was the movie?