Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday Coupon Codes

Psst! Here's a few Cyber Monday coupon codes to make your bargain shopping even better. I'll update as I find them in my email box. Happy shopping!

The Lingerie Store - 20% off - rd249
What I like about this Yahoo-affiliated store is attentive customer services - lots of emails to keep you posted on your state tax - at least in Texas. That saves us an additional 8.25%. Free shipping if your order is $50 and over. - 15% off - cymn9
Another favorite site. Definitely Google and grab your calculator for other coupons, the 15% may or may not be your best deal. They often have $10 or $15 off purchases over a certain amount, usually $35. Also free shipping kicks in at $70. It's worth the extra math effort for different savings scenarios.

Hot Patterns - 20% off - THANKS
This may be your shoppertunity to finally try a Hot Pattern or stock up on those you've been eyeing. is also offering free shipping and handling on over 10,000 items. I figure that's probably their entire website.

Bath and Body Works - 25% off and only $5.95 shipping on your entire online order - CYBERMONDAY

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A snowball's chance...Kwik Sew 2779 PJ Pants

Kwik Sew 2779 PJ pants

(No, they aren't wonky, I was trying to show the trim on the side.)

I wanted a pair of sleep pants to go with a Nick and Nora sleepshirt. I love Target's Nick and Nora sleepwear line - such cute fabric designs! (I thought this print looked like snowballs)

Even though 2779 is for knits, there is plenty of ease to make them out of a woven. Either cut up a size for your first try or add 3/8" to the seam edges. The pants also run long, I only had to add 1" in length.

I especially like these because they are one-seam/one pattern piece pants. There is a line to add trim. In my case, I added the lace along the fabric fold, which was discolored from light exposure. Well, it made it easy to keep a nice straight line! And Kwik Sew's elastic application is super easy and super fast. You serge the elastic to the top edge, fold over and stitch. Perfect!

Unfortunately, 2779 is now discontinued, but you may be able to score a copy on the Internet. Kwik Sew also sells pulled patterns online, but at $25 a pop. My bet is that this popular design has been reissued under another number in their current catalog.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

November 27/29 - Three Day Sale
99 cents Butterick
50% off thread
50% off buttons

December 3/5 - Super Savings Sale
$1.99 McCalls
$3.99 Vogue

Healthy Cooking - Cranberry-Pecan Corn Muffins (Bread!)

From Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking magazine - October/November 2009, page 48

I thought I would try baking it in small baking pans, turning it into Cranberry Pecan Cornbread. I like muffins, but since I would probably be the only one around here eating them, I've found that small loaves of bread freeze better and make great last-minute gifts. (Seriously, wouldn't you rather have a small bread loaf with a bow on top or 4 muffins in a baggie? It just looks and presents so much better!)

1-3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) fat-free plain yogurt
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, oil and honey. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and pecans.
Coat muffin cups with cooking spray; -- or 3 mini loaf pans -- fill three-fourths full with batter.
Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Nutrition Facts: 1 muffin equals 185 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 217 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

Prints Charming - Burda 8134

Another Nick and Nora PJ bottom, another Burda 8134 sleep tank top. A favorite here at the House of Kent, check out previous incarnations here and here.

I loved the apple green, apple red and turquoise color combination of the sleep pants. I dug around the stash and found two K.P. Kids prints - the plaid for the bias trim and the frog print. Frogs and apples, it's a match! Kinda, sorta. Out in public, a whole 'nuther matter...for the sandman, no worries. Points given for stash reduction and a fun time in the sewing room!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Netflix Stars - Proof of Life

3.75/5.0 Another Russell Crowe movie, two in a row? Purely coincidental, as these were stacked and waiting to be watched so we can get new movies from Netflix. (Though I'm starting to think Russell Crowe could be my Bingo Free Space - goodness, those guns of arms!) For once David Morse is not playing an evil character, and normally perky and funny Meg Ryan is also oppositely cast in this movie. Like her hairstyle, though. And the chemistry between her and Russell is definitive. Action-packed and a bit gory, clocking in at a little over two hours.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Netflix Stars - State of Play

4.5/5 We all enjoyed watching this political thriller. And what a cast of stars - Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright (Penn), Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jeff Daniels...

A complex plot with a number of persuasive but ultimately in error subplots. Crowe is a believable investigtive reporter, the unexpected star is truly Helen Mirren who plays an engaged and competent newspaper editor. Add this to your queue!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This week - Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Ginger Green Tea Chai

Cost: $2.99 at Whole Foods

Number of teabags: 20 - individually sealed in attached double paper bags
Caffeine: Yes

Type of tea: Green and Black Teas

Steeping time: 4 minutes

Double Dipper potential: Didn't even try

Mix ins: Honey, milk

Teabag fragrance: Smelled very ginger-y, not in a good gingerbread way, more of a grated ginger

Ingredients: Green tea, black tea, cinnamon, ginger, roasted chicory, natural vanilla and ginger flavors with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and black pepper.
Taste: Ginger, then a vanilla kick....then the bad aftertaste
My opinion: I take back my earlier comment/post about being in love with all of the Celestial Seasonings' Chai Teas so far!

Rating: 1 teabag out of 5, only because I actually finished the mug.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fresh Whole-Wheat Pitas - Cooking Light, March 2009

Fresh Whole Wheat Pitas - another winner from the March 2009 issue of Cooking Light, page 176

The verdict? No more store-bought pitas in this house again! These were so easy, and made even easier by using my bread machine to knead the dough and take it to the first rising. Couldn't find the 2% Greek style yogurt, so I used Stoneyfield Farms Oikos Greek Style Plain Fat Free instead. I did get a pretty good "pocket" but after reviewing the recipe description again, realized I didn't really treat them as gently as I should have in order to get a more airy result. Still, what I did get was good enough for us and the next time will only be better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garden Update - Torenias

The "Trailing Purple" Torenias weathered our hot, hot summer and fall rain - and are still growing and going crazy underneath our crape myrtles!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce - Cooking Light, March 2009

From the March 2009 issue of Cooking Light, page 106 - Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce

A very good result with a few changes -- I used a package of Costco's boneless chicken thighs and regular black olives. (Someone around here got into the kalamata ones. But the regular black olives were able to step up to the plate.) Since it was a smaller amount of chicken thighs, I only used one can (14 ounce) of diced tomatoes and also reduced the tomato paste to 2 tablespoons. Minced about 3 small/medium garlic cloves. I also substituted 1/4 cup of chicken broth for the white wine. Because these were boneless thighs, it was finished in a little under three hours. I had to turn it down from High to Low after about an hour and half. It all fit into the smaller, 3 quart crockpot.

Served over spaghetti, this is a nice variation to meatballs. The chicken thighs really picked up all the flavors. Easily served three people with leftovers. Definitely a keeper and will make again!

New Hello Kitty stuff at Target!

The Target Dollar Spot has new Hello Kitty additions. LOVE the ribbon spools - the four rolls each have one yard. This shipment's theme seems to be apples. There are two different versions of the playing cards, lots of stickers, pencils, pens...and these cool scented highlighters! Stock up now for stocking stuffers, Secret Santa treats, etc.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

November 19/21 - Vogue Patterns $3.99

Merry Moolah Sale - November 21/25

$1.99 McCalls Patterns
$1.99 Simplicity Patterns
Rotary Blades, BIGIF
Gutermann 26 spool thread box - $19.99

Update 11-16-09 -- Hobby-Lobby has McCall's patterns for 99 cents this week

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Celestial Seasonings Decaf Sweet Coconut Thai Red Tea with Exotic Spices!

Cost: $2.09 at Super Target
Number of teabags: 20 - individually sealed in attached double paper bags
Caffeine: No
Type of tea: African Rooibos Red and Black Teas
Steeping time: 4 minutes
Double Dipper potential: Yes, give it 6 minutes the second time
Mix ins: Sugar, milk
Teabag fragrance: Coconut, cloves and anise
Ingredients: Rooibos, decaffeinated black tea, cinnamon, roasted chicory, ginger, natural coconut flavor with other natural flavors, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, paprika, black pepper and Chinese star anise.
Taste: Not an expected tropical coconut flavor, but more of a creamy coconut blending with hints of clove, ginger and anise. A winning combination!
My opinion: Added to the top of the favorites list!
Would I go back and buy another box? Yes! I'm in love with all of the Celestial Seasonings' Chai Teas so far!
Rating: 5 teabags out of 5

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yummy! Chocolate Peppermint Cookies!

Couldn't resist these at Whole Foods this afternoon -- Immaculate Baking Co. Chocolate Peppermint cookies -- on sale $3.50 for a package of 24. Great idea to combine chocolate and peppermint bark!

Also available -- Gingerbread Spice. Both are limited editions. Look for them in the refrigerated section. Our Whole Foods had them in the special holiday cooler with the eggnogs, etc.

I like that you can just bake a few at a time, for it would be very easy and dangerous to make two dozen disappear - (snap fingers!) - like that!
The dough rounds bake into a 3" slightly crispy cookie - two will take care of you just fine. And they are trans fat free.

Holiday cookie baking can be a fun production, but sometimes you just want easy-peasy. Next shopportunity I'm going back for another package of these and a Gingerbread Spice to keep on hand for these upcoming crazy weeks ahead.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cooking Light Magazine - $5 Subscription at Amazon!

Cooking Light is Amazon's Magazine Steal of the Week - $5 for a one year subscription, for both new and renewals! Order quickly, offer expires at Midnight this Saturday, November 14!
Hints for renewals:
If you are renewing, make sure your name in the Ship To box is the same shown on your subscription label. I don't know about you, but I have many different "aliases" (variations) of my name!
It is also even better if you are about three months or more away from your current ending subscription date. It takes them about 1-2 months for your label to reflect the extension.
(Thank you to Peggy L for the head's up!)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Netflix Stars - Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Barely a 3/5 - not awful, not great either. I think this is another where the previews look better than the movie. Jennifer Garner is funny, and the actress who played her younger version in 13 Going on 30, Christa B. Allen, also plays her as a teenager in this movie. Also interesting that Michael Douglas and Anne Archer are teamed up again. Matthew McConaughey is just a goof. A good-looking goof, but still a goof who's starting to get a little long in the tooth for this. Overall, there are some bright and funny spots, but you'll need to wade through a lot of dreck to get to them.