Sunday, May 31, 2009

Who are these people and what are they doing here?

As you can obviously tell, I have a rather eclectic group of friends and fellow bloggers in the right alley. I thought each week on Sunday I would randomly showcase one from the list and why they are there. I love to discover new blogs, and I think you will enjoy the introduction for new places to visit in Bloggy Land.
This week - $5 Dinners Sometimes I just need a little inspiration and new ideas to stay on the budget and out of the rut. ("Oh no, not the Chop of Pork again!")

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The House of Kent blog is participating in the Sew Mama Sew Blog Giveaway!
All you have to do is leave a comment with an email address on this post to be eligible to win a bit of Texas:

1 yard of "Oro Mesa" designed by Phillip de Leon for Alexander Henry, dated 1992, 100% cotton print. Prewashed and stored inside our non-smoking, pet-free home. It's 42" wide and the design repeats 11 1/2" in length and 22" in width. The cowboy figures are approximately 4" x 5".

I used this fabric when L was little to make a Go Texan vest (vest not included in the giveway!). You could also use this unisex print to make a little skirt, pants, bibs, baby diaper cover pants, an apron, home dec items, or cut out and use the cowboys as appliques for other projects...there's lots of fun sewing and creative potential!

Thanks for stopping by and hope ya'll come back and visit my blog in the future!
The contest will be open through May 31, so don't fret if you are reading this after May 27. You can still enter up until Midnight, May 31, your time zone. I will do the drawing on June 1 and send this fabric via Pony Express (kidding! who could not resist that?) by June 3.

Sorry, this giveaway is for US and APO/FPO Military addresses only.
Update: This is so much fun - I've set my Blackberry to chime when the comments post! And It's also cool to see potential plans for the fabric. I'm glad it will be going to live on in a better place than my storage container.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tomato Tuesday

Yay! The big guys are Celebrity and the smaller are Black Plum.(Shhh! Don't tell the birds!)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cream Cheese Rolls

I got the idea to make this from the Fall 2008 Taste of Home Cooking School/Brand Name Cookbook -- Cream Cheese Danish on page 12. But I prefer to make my own rolls, not use the store-bought Rhodes Dinner Rolls the recipe called for. Out comes my Betty Crocker Bread Machine cookbook's basic sweet roll recipe --
Bread Machine Sweet Roll Dough Recipe
(for Betty Crocker's Cinnamon Rolls and Caramel-Pecan Rolls recipes)
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bread machine yeast
Use dough setting or remove after first punch-down

Shape into 16 pingpong sized balls. Flatten and let rise for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, mix 1 softened 8 ounce package of Neufachel Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat) with a scant 1/4 cup sugar and a dash of almond extract. Put one tablepoonful in the center of each roll, spreading within 1/2 inch of the edges. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden brown. Drizzle with mixture of confectioner's sugar and milk, if desired.

Blackberry Ginger Sauce

Oooeee! I think I know why the blackberries were on sale - they were sour! Now I was stuck with plastic bags of them in the freezer and I needed the space. I decided to make a sauce to use with my Angel Clouds Biscuits (and a little bit of Bluebell Light Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream!). They were redeemed - a little bit of sugar (scant 1/4 cup), a pinch of powdered ginger (idea from Southern Living) a dribble of vanilla extract...heat to simmer, mash slightly and serve! Much better!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

You can't get much easier than this - chicken drumsticks, a bottle of BBQ sauce and a crockpot. With a few slices of onion tossed in, I'm trying to use up a 10# bag! Crock on Low for 4-6 hours or High for 3-4 hours, depending how hot and fast your crockpot is. And surprisingly in addition to costing less, the Kroger store brand of BBQ sauce had less sodium and sugar than the name brands and tasted just as good.

Money Monday - Read all about it!

I discovered Mercury Magazines via the Money Saving Mom website (yesterday's "Who are these people? entry), when she posted about a free subscription to Woman's Day magazine. All you have to do is complete a short online questionnaire about your interests. Predominantly offering business magazine titles, there will be occasionally other popular titles available periodically, like Woman's Day, etc. They are on the up and up, and won't sell your name/address/email to marketers and other businesses. (I know this because I used my middle name as my last name, and I haven't received anything else.) They only email to let you know of additional magazines available you may be interested in, about once a week.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Who are these people and what are they doing here?

As you can obviously tell, I have a rather eclectic group of friends and fellow bloggers in the right alley. I thought each week on Sunday I would randomly showcase one from the list and why they are there. I love to discover new blogs, and I think you will enjoy the introduction for new places to visit in Bloggy Land.

This week - Money Saving Mom One of the best blogs I've found with great tips on saving money. Her posts are inspiring and help keep that budgeting mojo going. Lots of head's up alerts to special deals, coupon promotions, freebies, special manufacturer's offers, etc. Her Mr. Linky type post comments add to the community with additional information keep you on top of even more late-breaking savings.

Netflix Stars - Eagle Eye

We all gave this varying degrees of 4/5 (4.0, 4.25, 4.50). A political thriller action movie which will make you even more paranoid about cell phones and security cameras!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sandra Betzina Today's Fit Vogue 1049 - View B Reversible

Reversible...sorta. Another View B version of Vogue 1049. (Here are the others -- March 16, April 24) I used a thin caramel-colored knit which had a flaw running down the length as a lining. The turquoise loosely-woven sweater knit remnant was from a friend (Thanks, Joyce!). And the flawed knit kept the knit G-rated. Sandra's instructions were easy-to-follow, and flawless!

Netflix Stars - Lost in Austen

5/5! Now this was great! If you loved Pride and Prejudice (and Kate & Leopold), you've got to get this in your queue. It was actually a four episode TV mini series in the UK last year - hence the length and a few obvious scene changes/breaks. Modern day Jane Austen fan, Amanda, swaps places with Elizabeth Bennet and becomes part of the Pride and Prejudice story. But just like the theory if you go back in time (what was that show, "Sliders" a few years ago?) and alter one thing, EVERYTHING changes. She arrives near the beginning of P & P and suddenly the characters in the story aren't evolving how the story was written- and Amanda tries to make things right. I thought Elliot Cowan who played Mr. Darcy, complete with smolder, bore an uncanny resemblance to Heath Ledger.

Netflix Stars - Paul Blart, Mall Cop

0/5 - This was awful! We gave it 15 minutes and stuffed it back into the Netflix envelope.

This week's rose photo

Planted over four years ago, pre-blog, I don't even know the name of it anymore. The only part of the tag that has not disappeared was Patented Rose, Tyler, Texas. It's pretty, with stripes of light and dark pink, and white. If anyone knows the name, please let me know!

Update: Mark at Chamblees Roses in Tyler, Texas thinks it is "Scentimental," a floribunda. That does sound familiar.

Friday, May 22, 2009

And now a word from our sponsor. . .

No, not really. But I do hang out and wi-fi at the local Chick-fil-A and right now they are running a receipt promotion. If you complete a telephone survey within two days of purchase, you'll get a verification code for a FREE Chick-fil-A sandwich -- A $2.69 value!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Do you know me? - FOUND!

FOUND! Click here for today's article in the Houston Chronicle. Her family is on their way to Houston.

If you know her, please call the Houston Police Department at 713/308-3600. She is between 25-30 years old, 5'9", 160 pounds. Because she didn't match the Texas Department of Public Safety's computer face recognition program, they are thinking she may be from out-of-state. Click here for the article and more information in today's Houston Chronicle. I posted this on my blog because the newspaper article mentioned she was artistic -- and since I have a lot of readers who are crafters, sew-ers, and quilters, I thought even with the slightest chance and odds, someone might help her find her way back home.

New Free Spring Patterns from Amy Butler

Many thanks to Helen at Sew Stylish for the head's up on the new free Amy Butler patterns for Spring. Be sure to check out her version of Amy's "Birdie the Cat". Here's the link for all of Amy's current free patterns -- including *11* quilt patterns, a yoga bag, 2 scarves/sashes, 2 pillows-eye and sofa, a business card keeper, fabric necklace + more...and 7 paper craft projects. Wow! Thank you Amy Butler!

Double Double Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Made last night with the vanilla sugar from the vanilla shortbread cookies and this favorite recipe, Vanilla Wafer Cookies

Oh so pretty with the vanilla bean flecks...and oh so quick to hide half of them in the freezer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today's Costco Find

"evie" tank tops with pretty pleated neckline - Item #387092. 95% rayon/5% spandex, sizes S-XL . Only $9.99 each! I went back and got another. It washes and wears beautifully. Perfect length to either tuck in, belt, or leave loose without having someone ask when you are due.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tomato Tuesday

Come on, come on, come on...
The clock is ticking for me versus the birds.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Money Monday - Seasons Change

I sort through my pantry and freezer when the seasons change. Another good idea - replace your mascara, too! Even though May isn't technically summer, when it starts heating up here, I'm thinking "here we go!" By going through the stash every three months, you are still in the range of most likely being able to use what you find -and what you thought you lost - "there's the Lindt chocolate bar I had hidden!"- that's near expiration, instead of tossing in the trash. (The "Best By" dated items, not the "Expires") With Googling and some creative meal planning, you can help keep the change when the seasons do.
(Fabric photo used with permission and courtesy of True Up)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

They ask: Do you get paid to do this?

Yes, yes I do- - - price tag

Who are these people and what are they doing here?

As you can obviously tell, I have a rather eclectic group of friends and fellow bloggers in the right alley. I thought each week on Sunday I would randomly showcase one from the list and why they are there. I love to discover new blogs, and I think you will enjoy the introduction for new places to visit in Bloggy Land.
This week - True Up I found Kim's blog when I was searching for a photo for tomorrow's Money Monday post. Oh boy, if you love fabric, this is the blog you'll want to check out, showcasing fabrics for collecting, sewing, apparel, crafting, home dec. . . I also like the Daily Swatch featured fabric postings.

Another flop - Baked Egg Rolls

Baked Egg Rolls -- From the Taste of Home Cooking School - Spring 2009 issue, page 25. One hint should have been it was not one of the featured Cooking School items. I was so optimistic these would turn out and be added to The Notebook. Instead, it was trashed. Was it the filling? I used leftover rotissierie chicken and instead of a broccoli stir fry blend, Costco's Organic mixed vegetables. My thinking was "chicken pot pie in an egg roll" Maybe it was the egg roll wrapper. There was only one kind at my grocery store, so choice was not an option. When baked at 425 for 12 minutes, it became not crunchy but rather hard. The seasonings? The only change I made was using 3 teaspoons of reduced sodium soy sauce instead of 4 1/2. Sesame oil? Ginger? Garlic? We were oddly thirsty afterwards. On the positive side, I learned how to roll an egg roll. I'll just need to look for another filling recipe, not any time soon.

Netflix Stars - Flip Flop

No, not the name of the movie. But how Netflix rated the movies the way they thought we would like them.
First, Wendy and Lucy. Not exactly upbeat, in fact rather dark and depressing. More Lucy, less Wendy. Our rating 1.75/5 Only because of Michelle Williams. Had she not been in it, 0.

Second, Bedtime Stories. We were prepared not to like it or find it only merely tolerable. All three of us ended up giving it a 4/5. Disney and Adam Sandler may have found new legs.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

On sale May 17/30 --
50% off all linen, denim and Simply Silky
40% off Gutermann thread and Olfa

Memorial Weekend, May 22/25 --
Simplicity 5 for $5
50% off all buttons
50% off notions

May 28/30 --
Butterick $1.99

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Ty me down

Seriously, can you tell the judges on Dancing with the Stars are beyond PO'd Ty is still there? Especially last week and last night. The fans voted, we like him! And his biceps - who knew?! Why does the winner have to be turned into one of them or meet their professional standards? In less than three months? Can't a person just have fun and be a good sport...and win the ball? I remember talking to a mom of one of L's friends. To say she was OC and AR would be an understatement and indicate the need of an MD and an Rx, but I digress. (It was so fun to pull her chain and watch her practically implode when I would say "eh, close enough" whenever an opportunity would present itself. T would always tell me as we left the house, "Now play nice" but it was directed to me.) I mentioned one time how I wanted to do something, and she said, if you are not going to be the best, why do it? She gave me a strange look when I said because I enjoyed it. And that's what Ty is doing. Taking it for the rest of us.

Money Monday AND Who are these people and what are the doing here? Two for Tuesday!

As you can obviously tell, I have a rather eclectic group of friends and fellow bloggers in the right alley. Each week on Sunday (or thereabouts) I will randomly showcase one from the list. I love to discover new blogs, and I think you will enjoy the introduction for new places to visit in Bloggy Land.

This week -- IKEA Hacker

Even if you don't have an IKEA where you live, or their furniture, you can get the ideas to jumpstart your creative thinking, and changing the way you look at things. Not everything has to be brand new, especially today.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Netflix Stars - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

4.75/5 L and I loved it! Well done. I thought the 20 year old Benjamin version could have been lifted directly from "Thelma and Louise" (sigh).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Well, I'm impressed...

...with the Apple Store. L was having problems with her iTunes and 4 year old Nano. We tried to update both and ended up 1 for 2. ITunes, no problem, clicking on "do you want to update your iPod software?" balloon. L: "Should I, Mom?" Me: "Why not, go for it." Oops. Poof! Everything disappeared. Honestly, it had been going down for the count for several months. We went to the nearby Apple store with clunky HP in tow. Within 15 minutes, we had someone at the Concierge helping us. I was impressed with all the employee contacts along the way. (It did help L's attitude when one of them looked like Gilles on Dancing with the Stars!) And kudos to them for not laughing at the HP, at least in front of us. Ultimately she ended up with a new PURPLE Nano (with a 10% discount for turning in and recycling her old one) and they got her all right with the world again. She just received her "I survived Junior year and alphabet soup of tests (PSAT, SAT, PLAN, ACT, and AP's)" end of year gift a little bit early. . .

Netflix Stars - Quantum of Solace

1.5/5 - Wake me when it's over, James. I fell asleep! I grew up on James Bond movies and this was the first one I didn't like. (Which if you mine those fields and previous incarnations, sheesh!) Lots of chase scenes turning into "Yeah, right" Zzzzzz I wonder who the next James Bond will be. I'm no longer thrilled by Daniel Craig.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Promenade Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, dressing well is the best revenge!

McCalls 5655 knock off of Anthropologie's $198 Ice Memory dress sewed up beautifully in Jo-Ann's "Chili Pepper Red" raw silk-y shantung, using the reverse shiny satin side for the bow. We added 6 inches in length split above and below the waist. L is 6'4" in those shoes! Loved the shoulder shaping. It's a perfect dress in any fabric for any social event

Friday, May 08, 2009

Christmas Greetings and the Season's Best Wishes from Mr. and Mrs. Eugene J. Lingenfelder

I found this gift card in a box of old photographs at the thrift store today. I liked the lettering and thought I could use it for something later, a la Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It is dated January 1, 1917 on the back. Cool! From two finds off the 75% off markdown rack, I culled 15 mock tortoiseshells and agate-looking buttons from a Mondi suit, along with an invisible zipper and Mondi skirt hanger ribbons.

Sew, what did you think about The Fashion Show

Our first thought -- TOO MANY COMMERCIALS!! Especially at the 30 minute break. No wonder it ran from 9:00 to 10:15. Hopefully the reruns and new episodes will compact it back to 60 minutes. Anyone notice the triangular runway? Remember the Liz Claiborne perfume from the 80's? Her logo was a triangle, too. Perhaps a salute to Issac's affiliation with Liz?
Overall it wasn't bad, but definitely not a Project Runway. But how could you help but not compare the two shows? B&J Fabrics vs. Mood. Harpers Bazaar vs. Elle. Number of designers. Isaac and Kelly leaving the runway to discuss and decide vs. the designers retreating to another room. Etc., etc.

I thought Isaac and Kelly Rowland played off of each other well. Obviously they cast Merlin for his character, but even before the episode was over, we were tired of him already, knowing he will be kept around for the ratings. And even Bravo is pinching pennies now -- BUNKBEDS in the Parker Le Meridien?!

Who else kept listening for the new catch phrases? -- "We're not buying it" and "You are hanging by a thread" -- L and I kept trying to remember the others. In any case, it is a good show to help take up the time until Project Runway returns later this summer. I don't think there could ever be too many sewing-related programs!

The more we watch this show, the more we are getting hooked. L & I really like the Harpers Bazaar Mini Challenges.

Update: The more we watched this show, the more we didn't like it. Towards the end, we didn't even care. They removed many of the more interesting and talented designers. Kelly went from nice to bitchy, too. If there was something else on at the same time, we watched that instead. We can't wait for Project Runway!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Big-Ass Book of Crafts

Poor L, she has to reserve and then check out these books at the library where she volunteers! Despite the catchy title, this is a good book. And big, yes - 377 pages of over 150 creative craft ideas. It will be especially useful for the upcoming summer months...and college kids. There's lots of good ideas for dorm rooms, first apartments, just starting out, etc. Especially the cool window treatments. Many caught my eye such as the CD Jewel Case Notebook (to keep in my car - I had to write my insurance information the other day on my Swiffer coupon!), Punk Paper Lantern, Paper and Fabric Covered Hangers, Couture Envelopes, just to name a few of the many. I like author Mark Montano's theory of making your crafts "home-worthy" - worthy of your home, not just something burped out. Be sure to read the pages of things he used for the projects and resource list. I'm now on the lookout for loteria cards!

ISBN: 978-1-4169-3785-2, Library Call No. 745.5

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Netflix Stars - Slumdog Millionaire

4/5 -- Even though I was the only one who would watch it. Violent and graphic...I'm glad L didn't see it and would not recommend it for teens and younger. (I'm still having scene flashbacks.) On the otherhand, it was well done and definitely Oscar-worthy.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Oh no, not again!

For those of you playing along at home, the score has been evened - two new replacement bumpers for both the front and the back.

Someone plowed into me yesterday from behind while I was at a stoplight. My first thought was, "my new license plates!" But they survived. Unfortunately, the back bumper, muffler, alignment and rear wheel took the hit instead. Along with the back of my head from the headrest. Ow! Toyotas make very good bumpers, they just tend to pop away and for safety issues cannot be repaired, only replaced. The other car was much worse - the impact crumpled the hood, broke the headlights and punctured the radiator. Point Toyota! As you can imagine, L is in no hurry to get her driver's license! But she will remember that very good rule -- leave enough space between you and the car ahead so you can see their license plate/bumper -- which saved my car from hitting the one in front of me - and another bumper!

5-15-09 update -- My car is back, yay! Hard to believe it was almost $3,100 in damage!

Next up - my rental car review. Suffice to say I "Escape"d instead and did not take the Chevy Aveo that was proferred to me!

Penzeys Early Summer Catalog Coupon the new Freshly Ground Pepper, if you are on their mailing list. 1/2 cup size, a $3.89 value. Visit their website or call 1/800-741-7787 and sign up. They have expanded their catalog - it's now up to 64 pages...Probably taking up some of the slack from Penzeys One magazine, which is no longer being published. Lots of great stories and recipes, you'll enjoy it.

(If you order online, the coupon code is 46354C. Offer expires June 30.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Money Monday - Twist Again

One of my bathrooms still has those circa mid-1980's clear globe 40 watt lights. I still like them - at least until we get around to redoing, but they can be a little pricey. But before you replace the bulbs, try unscrewing and retightening them. I was surprised to see that about half the time, that's all it needed to work again. Apparently when I am dusting/wiping them clean each week, they can move just enough to loosen the contact and make you think the bulb has burned out. Worth a try!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Glove Wristlets

Sometimes the best part of the glove is all in the wrist. L wanted something to jazz up her sleeveless prom dress and saw this Chanel advertisement. Using it for inspiration launch, we went to Jo-Ann's and bought some "Raven Silver Fog Foil" fabric and a card of 2 La Mode "Crystal" buttons (Style #47239).
I cut two rectangles 6" x 13", turned under 3/4" and stitched all four sides to finish the edges. Measuring 3" from the edge, I made three pleats and secured with the button. Underneath I attached a snap and sewed one on the other end. She loved them!

Who are these people and what are they doing here?

As you can obviously tell, I have a rather eclectic group of friends and fellow bloggers in the right alley. I thought each week on Sunday I would randomly showcase one from the list and why they are there. I love to discover new blogs, and I think you will enjoy the introduction for new places to visit in Bloggy Land.
This week - Permission to Unwind. Another creative person's blog with a little bit of everything and a sense of humor.