Friday, August 31, 2007

So Worth Another Mile on the Treadmill!

From the April 2007 issue of Everyday Food, page 162. These are as big as the bakery ones and taste much better! Though Martha's must have been monster-sized 10, I was able to get 20 4" ones, so each cookie was not 315 calories as stated in the nutrition index...yikes! What's cool though is the 1/4 cup sour cream in the ingredients. I used "lite," so hopefully it knocked the fat and calories further off the scale.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for sprinking
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda, set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat well to combine. With mixer on low, add half the flour mixture, followed by sour cream, then remaining flour mixture; mix just until smooth. Drop mounds of dough, each equal to about 3 tablespoons, 3-4 inches apart onto two ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar (I used colored and at the halfway sheet-switching point). Bake until edges of cookies are just firm and tops are barely beginning to brown, 20-25 minutes, rotating sheets once halfway through. Transfer cookies to rack to cool.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Elton John, "Croccodile Rock" 3:57
Greatest Hits 1970-2002, Disc 1
(Brings back memories of the 8th grade roller skating party in 1973 at Holy Cross School)
Today's stats: 31 minutes, 1.83 miles, 208 calories

Thursday, August 30, 2007

ID Bling

L needed an ID tag for her gym bag. We did match the bag's same warm pink logo with the sequins and embroidery thread, though the flash/no flash photos may make you think otherwise. Denim from a recycled pair of jeans (the loop strap is the hem!). I freemotioned satin-stitched her name on one side, telephone number on the other. Sequin trim and Timtex from Hobby-Lobby to sturdy-ize it for a total cost of $2.11 with tax. And the ability to spot your bag from across the room? Time-saving!

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Backstreet Boys, "Larger Than Life" 3:52
Today's stats: 21 minutes, 1.27 miles, 124 calories
(Something is better than nothing. . .)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Linda Ronstadt, "Girls Talk" 3:24
Mad Love
Today's stats: 30 minutes, 1.78 miles, 204 calories

Best name for an album

...since REO Speedwagon's "You Can Tune a Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish" --
Lyle Lovett's "It's Not Big It's Large"
Check out our Klein hometown boy's latest!

99c, $1.99 and $3.99 Pattern Sales!

This week -- Hobby Lobby has Simplicity patterns for 99 cents...
and Labor Day Weekend (September 1-3), Jo-Ann's will have McCalls for $1.99 and Vogue patterns $3.99.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And speaking of Project Runway -

Season 4 begins November 14. Can't wait 4 it!

Barbie Goes Red

Robert Best (Project Runway-Season 3) designed, and Mattel will donate $100,000 from the sales to the American Heart Association. Click here for more information.

Volume Pricing?

But I was serious when I asked the oral surgeon yesterday -- L has FIVE wisdom teeth! Does our dental insurance have a statooth of limitation?
Isn't this a cute design from Embroidery Library?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

John Lennon, "Instant Karma!" (We All Shine On), [2003 Mix] 3:21
iTunes, Working Class Hero-The Definitive Lennon
Today's stats: 30 minutes, 1.84 miles, 206 calories

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Texas-Style Martha Stewart Living

This was probably my favorite photo, taken from the dark gray-green tiled kitchen doorway. . .

True Colors

Looks like wallpaper could be making a comeback...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Anchors Away!

Am I the only one who thought "Anchorwoman" on Fox the other night was pretty good? I guess so! Well, me, my daughter and about 2.7 million other people. Not as good as the best, but not as bad as the worst. Come on, compared to "Till Death," which will fill the time slot until the new TV season begins...?! We loved watching the other anchor, AnnaLisa, practically self-combust as Lauren really didn't do that bad of a job, all things considered...and edited.

Kwik Sew 2811 Strikes Again!

This is the first time I tried trimming with the contrast sleeve band option. I hope it helped it from looking "Jeepers, I ran out of fabric"-y. Good to note, if you get three yards, you have enough to make the long pants and add contrast sleeves and collar when you are stuck with a less-than-2-yards-end-of-the-bolt remnant.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Collective Soul, "Shine" 5:07
7even Year Itch - Greatest Hits 1994-2001
Today's stats -30 minutes, 1.82 miles, 212 calories

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hip to be Square

This is one of the kitchens, but I liked the color and the square tiled walls.

So many squares!

Ideas from Martha for "Master Bathroom Project 2008" (or 2009, or...)

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Prince, "Delirious" 2:41
Today's stats - 32 minutes, 1.95 miles, 236 calories

Italian desserts for 100, Alex

I love to bake and make desserts (within reason...of my skills and time). I also love to volunteer at my daughter's school (also within reason...of my skills and time). So when the email went out last month looking for help with the teachers welcome back dinner, I said "yes!" The coordinator called and said the theme was Italy. Previous school events like this divvied up the effort into manageable quantities - 2 dozen lemon bars or cookies, 1 gallon iced tea, etc. I knew I was being led into deeper waters when the coordinator started talking about Italian cream cakes, Tiramisu, gelato, cannolis, etc. Oh yes, I agreed, those are yummy. . .I sure admire people who can make them! Um, what about me? Um, NO! I offered a couple alternatives, which included Amaretti cookies, convincing an Italian restaurant to donate/discount gelato, etc. And what I thought was a clever idea, and doable for me - Ghiradelli chocolate brownies with red/white/green jimmy sprinkles on top to make them festive. Chocolate! Italian flag colors! huh, huh? Silence. Well, she (not me!) suggested, maybe if they were in decorated take-home bags-and for 100!! Thank goodness she never emailed or called me back. I'm all for showing teacher appreciation-within skills, time and reason, but also the tuition I pay out the wazoo helps appreciate them, too. Pbthttt!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Our visit to Martha Stewart's house!

Houses, plural. L and I finally got a chance to visit her new subdivision, just outside of Katy.

<-----Actually, this was the backyard playhouse, the size of my 2-car garage!

These were the model homes --

My favorite floorplan was the one on the right, but this particular elevation seems "Masterplanned Community Blah," and not really Martha-y. The left had this great front porch sitting area and looked more like it belonged on the Cape instead of the Texas prairie. And the top right was the largest, at a little less than 6,000 square feet! More posts later...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Until school starts, I only have 30 minutes to t-mill. That can be a good thing as I push myself harder knowing it is only for 30 minutes!

Billy Joel, "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" 4:39
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
(I like this song because you can zap up the speed and incline during the chorus.)

Today's stats: 30 minutes, 1.87 miles, 232 calories

Hancock's 75% off Vogue Pattern Sale

Even though I signed up for Jo-Ann's and Hancock's sales fliers, we are on a PO training route and sometimes they don't arrive in my mailbox. I'm always grateful when I find out via the blogs and Internet when the sales are, so I'm passing the news along. Sale is August 24-26.


Nothing like your cardiologist (she's female, not as embarrassing as you might have thought at first) suggesting a new sports bra, when I told her of the odd chest pain I was getting! And then more of a frustrating pain in the butt trying on a gazillion until I finally found this one. Treadmill tested! No more pain-anywhere!
Intimates Signature Active Sport Bra 35137 by Donna Karan
Buy two at and save 10%. (code: FPNUD787) Free shipping, too.

Update 4-18-09: Freshpair no longer carries this line, but Bare Necessities does. They also have lots of promotions and deals.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Netflix Stars - The Illusionist

Romance! Scandal! Mystery! The Illusionist is all this and more with Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, and Rufus Sewell (from Tristan & Isolde-he plays bad guys good!) The story, the lighting, the scenery, the music...everything was all great. In fact, Netflix recommended this because we enjoyed Tristan and The Lake House. If you also liked those movies, add it to your queue.


Still smarting after those Sandra Betzina clunkers, best to go another round with TNT Kwik Sew 2811 PJ's. L and I just happened to be in the neighborhood of a remaining Hancock's. Gotta do our part to keep them around. She pulled together this fun combo, and on sale, too. Another one of their marked down/take another 20% off/now toss in the 10% ASG discount. I think the "sophisticated 60's ladies" ended up less than $1.50/yard, from an original $5.99/yard. The peachy pink, "Tea Time by Phyllis Hoffman" (wasn't she once the editor of Crafts or Country Cross Stitch magazine back in the early 80's?) will be the shirt, and the ladies are "KerryBeary" for the pants-both fabrics are Hancock exclusives. I plan to have some trim and contrast fun combining the two fabrics--embellishing the champagne with a few bead "bubbles" and their ensembles with either more beads or embroidery touches for the shirt pocket.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


This is the only Dean I want to look at, sigh. Not that angry churning one out there. L and I just stopped at Costco for a Churro, and not only were they out of them, but Kirkland water, too! Costco, always concerned for its customers, did have 2 packs of 2.5 gallon Ozarka Handi-Taps for $4.99; and they were in practically everyone's cart. Well, that and lots of clothing items (tax-free frenzy there, too!). I always love to see what's in other people's carts, on the chance I missed a deal. In case you wanted to peek in mine -- the water, September InStyle issue, 3.25 pounds of sourdough pretzels, a pair of Fila running shoes for DH ($26.99) and a 12-pack of Gala apples. We're set! No joking matter, it must be that blizzard/winter stock-up mentality from growing up in Rochester (it can snow from October to May!), NY, which kicks in Texas style for hurricane preparedness.

Insider Club

Did you know that Loehmann's has one? When you sign up (free!) at the register, you'll get 10% off your purchase right then and there. And this weekend is Texas' tax-free the Houston area, that's a 8.25% savings. The way people are acting and crowding the malls, perhaps they think it's a decimal point over to the right! So with my Loehmann's item 50% off retail already, take a 10% discount, then subtract 8.25%...for those calculating in their heads, I'll just check my receipt - $22.49.

If only fabric for clothing could be tax-free, too!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The "Dirty" Side of Erin

The dirty side of a tropical storm or hurricane is the northeast side. Even though Tropical Storm Erin made landfall near Corpus Christi, the Houston area is getting dumped with all the rain, thunder, lightning and major street/freeway flooding. DH called and said, "Stay put!" Good advice for everyone to heed, as you watch the cars and trucks swimming on TV.
As if you need further impetus why you should maintain a stash of fabrics and reading materials...oh, and CHOCOLATE!

Pimp My KA

No, not the MTV show -- Customized Kitchen Aid mixers! Check out the fun entries for a decorating contest currently going on at this Kitchen Aid forum website. The Houston Chronicle had an article from the Los Angeles Times in yesterday's "Flavor" section.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fabric Static

Just when you zero out the fabric purchased/fabric used stats ...

You decide to stop by Jo-Ann's to check out their markdown bolts. In cozy flannels on the left - a true bowling shirt, with perfectly "spared" bottoms.

And the right - I found the coordinating bottle cap print for an extra PJ pant bottom. Maybe I'll be able to create a another shirt with the leftovers combined from the earlier sewn Kwik Sew 2811 PJ's.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Altered States

Of collage and assemblage. The Altered Object - Techniques, Projects and Inspiration by Terry Taylor. Another library find. (Call No. 745.5 TAY, ISBN: 1-57990-879-9). Published by Lark Books, 2006. I love all Lark Books, so creative and well-done. If you like Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion...Cloth, Paper, Scissors...and Somerset Life, you'll enjoy these pages. I love to read the background of the artists, their inspiration and creative process. However, there should be a warning sticker for recovering packrats. And I was doing so well. . .

100 degrees in the shade!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hello, Kitty!

Temptation strong, will weak. Though I thought I did pretty well - three Japanese fabric squares/napkins/handkerchiefs tempered the price and stash space. And I heard these kitties are good luck because one paw is raised. Who doesn't need good luck and fabric?

And of course, Carol Lane-Saber was terrific. The Japanese garments, textiles and techniques were jaw-dropping. She'll also be teaching at the upcoming Houston Quilt Festival, visit their site for class information.

Service and Style

"Service and Style -How the American Department Store Fashioned the Middle Class" by Jan Whitaker. Call No. 381.141, ISBN: 0312-32635-1

All those summers of spending time in the library, and ultimately my first job--shelving the non-fiction books at $2/hour. No wait, let's go way back, a grandmother who was a 3rd grade teacher who taught her first granddaughter to read by age 5 via "The New Streets and Roads" and "More Streets and Roads" readers, and a dad who was a high school English and History teacher (and let's not even go there where my husband was also a history major) - anyways! suffice to say we are all readers (and proud of it!) our visits to the library ultimately zone into the new non-fiction books.

Being a baby-boomerender baby, I can still remember some of these department stores. The author makes reference to many of the local stores - a handy index in the back so you can find mention of your store - some good, some not so good. Of course, fabric departments were a major part of the department store history. Even when I first moved to Houston, Foley's downtown still had a fabric department, and I spent my lunch hours and breaks and secretarial salary there. You'll also learn the marketing of "linon" and rayon "crepe." Lots of other tidbits (I'm ready for Jeopardy now!), author Frank Baum/Wizard of Oz, previously was a crockery salesman and became known for his window displays and in 1898 organized the National Association of Window Trimmers.

If you like fashion and shopping, you'll enjoy this book, too!

Friday's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Sweet, "Fox on the Run" 3:27
iTunes, Desolation Boulevard
Today's stats -- 50 minutes, 3.01 miles(!), 339 calories

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Speaking of Nina Garcia. . .

Did you know she has a book debuting next month?! "The Little Black Book of Style". She will keep company next to Tim Gunn's "A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style"

And hopefully the both of them will save me from wasting my sewing time with Bad Pattern Choices!