Monday, January 31, 2011

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Jack Johnson - "Only the Ocean" - 3:39
I love to swim to this song at the end of my workout.
They also play this in yoga class during cool down, too.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


A skirt with leggings attached! The January 2011 Burda has a pattern, #130A on page 36. Sizes 36-44

Hue also sells a rayon/bamboo knit version in black, espresso (brown) steel (gray) and lapis (blue) for $34. I saw them at Nordstrom.

How fun! I want!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

True Grit

Hubby and I have started a new empty nest tradition of going to the movies on Saturday. Our local theater has special price staggers for showtimes when the "day moon" is out. You can't beat a $5 ticket!

Last week, we saw "The King's Speech". Loved everything about it. Probably the best movie we've seen all year! Oscar thinks so too, with 12 Oscar nominations. Colin Firth is a definite lock for Best Actor.

Today we saw "True Grit". You'll definitely be able to tell it is a Coen brothers movie! There were several funny lines which had us laughing. Hailee Steinfeld is just terrific as Mattie Ross. A different ending than the first version. While Jeff also gives a great performance, I still think Colin will get the Oscar.

If you can't get to the theater, be sure to "Save" them in your Netflix queue.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cooking Light Mix & Match Low-Calorie Cookbook

Just in at Costco - Cooking Light's Mix & Match Low Calorie Cookbook. $14.99 versus the $24.95 publisher's price.

This had me at Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies, page 264 - only 83 calories!
I also like how the page edges are color tabbed to make each section (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks) easier to find.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Zhena's Gypsy Tea Biodynamic Blueberry Vanilla Green Tea

Cost: $8.99 at Cost Plus World Market, but I got it on their BIGIF saleBold
Whole Foods also sells it
Number of teabags: 15
Caffeine: No
Type of tea: Green
Steeping time: 3-4 minutes
Mix ins: Fat-free condensed milk
Teabag fragrance: Vanilla
Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade, Biodynamic Green Tea, Organic Blueberry Piece, Organic Vanilla Pieces, Organic Blueberry Flavor, Organic Vanilla Flavor.
Opinion: A little bit pricey, but worth it. A very smooth, very blueberry flavor with a nice balance of vanilla. It's not bitter nor tart at all. I think it's the best blueberry tea I've found.
Rating: 5, I'm glad I got two on sale!

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

U2 - "Elevation" - 3:47
One of my favorites right now. The submarine sonar - perfect sound for swimming!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Super Weekend Sale - February 4/6
$1.99 Butterick patterns
$3.99 Vogue patterns
50% off Olfa
50% off thread

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Tea Time

Cost: $8.20 at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Number of teabags: 20
Caffeine: Yes
Type of tea: Black
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Mix ins: CBTL Fat-free Vanilla Powder, also tried fat-free condensed milk, too. No other sweetener. Both are great!
Teabag fragrance: Honey
Ingredients: Darjeeling and Assam black teas
Opinion: A Limited Edition tea, its companion tea is Irish Breakfast. I tried it as a hot tea latte in the store and it was good! You can definitely detect a honey and a cream flavor. Very smooth. My daughter got the Irish Breakfast and liked that one a little bit better. I thought the Irish Breakfast was pretty good, but I'm definitely Team Scottish - yum! Don't you love the plaid canister, too?
Rating: 5, I'm going back for more! They only had one canister left, I can see why.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Today's swimming song! (Trying to sneak in my laps while the weather breaks and before the pool closes for maintenance.)

Citizen King - "Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)" - 3:27

Ever have one of those days? I first heard this song on one and started laughing! Bye-bye bad day. The video is cute, too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello Kitty Beanie Bandz

Hello Kitty Beanie Bandz!

From Hobby Lobby - 12 for $2.99

Assorted colors of these two shapes.

Stinko Netflix movies I have seen recently...

Dinner for Schmucks
Grown Ups
Over Her Dead Body
The Losers
Love Happens
Stage Beauty

Next time I'll pay attention to Netflix's star ratings for me. All of them were 1 to less than 3 stars.
Just keep the queue moving. . .

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Jet - "Are You Going to Be My Girl?" - 3:33
Perfect swimming song when you are about 10 minutes warmed up. 1, 2, 3 - Kick, kick, kick 4, 5, 6...!

Penzeys Free Minced Garlic Coupon Code

If you are on the mailing list, there's a coupon for a free 1/2 cup jar of Penzeys Minced Garlic on the cover of their Winter 2011 catalog! The telephone/online coupon code is 44350C.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Tea Time

This week - The Republic of Tea - Coconut Cocoa Tea

Cost: $10.99 at Whole Foods Market
Number of teabags: 36 sachets
Caffeine: Low
Type of tea: Herbal
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Mix ins: Fat-free condensed milk
Teabag fragrance: Chocolate and coconut
Ingredients: Roasted carob, caramel malted barley, roasted chicory, dates, coconut flavor, cocoa powder and chocolate flavor
Opinion: While you can smell the cocoa/carob and coconut in the container, the brewed flavor favors the coconut. It still has a very nice, albeit unusual, overall ingredient combination. They call it a "cup of dessert herb tea, "and it was a special yummy treat on a cold night. The label also suggests you can also drink it in the warmer months "cooler" style, by adding milk and ice.
Rating: 4.5

Last night's sunset cloud picture

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Miss ya, Dad!

I can't believe it's been 30 years. . .

I'm 5 years old in this picture; it was my sister's 2nd birthday party at my Aunt and Uncle's house. We had matching fabric (yuck!) dresses. Looks like I tried to bling it up with a necklace!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2011

A Pavlovian response as soon as I see the Cooking Light type face, the new Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2011 quickly moved from the table to my cart at Costco the other day. Costco's price of $20.99 is a considerable savings over the publisher's price of $34.95. But well worth every penny, even though I subscribe to the magazine, too. I rip out the recipes I want to try, and then the ones we liked are put in my recipe binder. Now my tearable (sic) magazine folly during the year has been made whole again into a book.
Sigh, I counted my Cooking Light cookbooks the other day. I have 31. Not counting the 17 special issues they publish during the year. Obsessed. Yes.

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Bruno Mars - "Runaway Baby" - 2:28

Fun and bouncy with a GREAT beat for the fast portion of your workout.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming

Another cold snap, another bloom. I love how my "Pink Promise" rose gets these touches of hot pink from the weather changing during its bud formation. In the warmer weather, the flowers are a creamy white with just a little touch of salmon pink.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Today's pretty cloud picture

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

4 Cheese Lasagna



1 package lasagna noodles
1 container low fat Ricotta cheese
1 container low fat cottage cheese
Dried parsley flakes
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup, plus additional grated Parmesan cheese
1 can tomato sauce, 29 ounce
1 can stewed tomatoes, drained (try to find Italian style)
1/2 pound ground round or ground chuck, browned
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
Several shakes of garlic powder
Several shakes of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Start water boiling for lasagna noodles. Follow time directions to the "al dente" stage. Drain.

2. Brown the beef. If you bought a 1 pound package-set aside half to freeze for another use.

3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and parsley flakes.

4. In another bowl, combine the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, browned beef, basil, sugar, garlic and onion powder.

5. Put a row of noodles on bottom of pan. Add 1/2 of the cheese mixture, and enough sauce to cover. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat.

6. Add another row of noodles, cover with remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top to fill it in and look pretty.

Ready to bake!

7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Mangia tutto!

Any leftovers? They will freeze well for up to a month.


(Adapted from the 1978 edition of Betty Crocker's Cookbook)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

January 13/15
$1.99 Butterick
$1.99 McCall's

Winter Warm-Up Sale - January 16/22
99 cents Simplicity
50% off quilting notions
50% off interfacing by the yard
50% off Red Tag fabrics
40% off quilting, knitting and crochet books

January 27/29
$3.99 Vogue

January 9/29
40% off Gutermann thread

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Thursday Tea Time

This week - The Republic of Tea Dream By The Fire Tea
Cinnamon Vanilla Herb Tea
Limited Edition - "When It's Gone It's Gone"

Cost: $10.99 at Cost Plus World Market (now marked down to 50% off, and maybe even 75% off now)
Number of teabags: 36
Caffeine: No
Type of tea: Herbal - Red Rooibos
Steeping time: 5 minutes.
Mix ins: Skim milk and sugar or fat-free condensed milk
Teabag fragrance: Fruity vanilla with a touch of cinnamon
Ingredients: Rooibos and natural vanilla and cinnamon flavors.
Opinion: Very good! I went back to grab another on sale. It is a perfect comforting tea when the weather is cold and dreary. "Snuggle up to the glow of the fireplace and let the silent night lull you to blissful dreams."
Rating: 4.0

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Today's perfect swimming song!

Uncle Kracker - "Smile" - 3:21

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Netflix Stars - Happy Accidents

4.5/5 stars - Interesting combination of romance, comedy and sci-fi. A little bit slow to start, but stick with it. My favorite line -- "I feel like my whole life has just been a journey into your arms." (swoon!) This is definitely an unusual movie with a surprise ending.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Bruno Mars, featuring Cee Lo Green and B.O.B. - "The Other Side" - 3:47
Not only a great beat for the treadmill. This song is just perfect for swimming laps, too - I loved doing the flip turns at just the right changes! Zoom!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Netflix Stars - The Sorcerer's Apprentice

4/5 - Outstanding special effects! And the live-action Fantasia re-enactment scene was great. I also liked how it was set in modern day NYC. We all enjoyed this one.