Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

One last shot

The sun came out this morning. . .
This was one huge and only bloom on the bush. I've never seen one this big before.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February Garden

Pink Promise rose - I love how our recent cold fronts have deepened the pink.

Here it is on Thursday. . .

and this morning!

My "Chocolate Chip" (Ajuga) plant not only survived the drought but bloomed in pretty purple flowers! Who knew, on either counts?!

And my "Mr. Nicks"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Love is patient. . .

Isn't this a cute box? I found it half price ($3.50) at Another Place in Time today. They also have the "Love is Kind" in a red/orange rose. I have always loved the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 passage.
It's also a reminder for me to finish my "Love is Patient" cross stitch and "Love is Patient" Prisma colored pencil project.
Love IS patient, but really! I do need to and will get back on task this week.

Friday Flowers

"Cool Water" roses from Randalls (a gorgeous shade of pale purple!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Republic of Tea Raspberry Rose Hibiscus

Cost: $9.99 -- Found at Whole Foods in Bellaire, I did not see this at the Sugar Land location.

Number of teabags: 36

Caffeine: No

Type of tea: Herbal

Steeping time: Per label 5-7 minutes

Add ins: 1 Splenda packet

Teabag fragrance: Deeply raspberry with a hint of rose

Ingredients: Hibiscus, rosehip peels, apples, stevia, raspberry flavoring, rose flavoring, vanilla flavoring, rose petals

Opinion: A Limited Edition tea, it must have been for Valentine's Day perhaps. Be a sweetheart to yourself and grab it while you can. This is delicious! I used two teabags in a large 20 ounce mug, with just a couple taps of a Splenda packet. I guessed correctly the stevia already starts it sweet. It brews to a pretty deep pink color and is very raspberry. I can't wait to try it iced. The hibiscus makes a great background, I honestly don't detect the rose flavor. There is a slight rose scent when you open the container. Sometimes I think rose teas can taste a bit soapy. Perhaps imprinted from my younger days mistakenly thinking Nana had rose candy in the bathroom soap dish.

Rating: 4.75

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

March 1/3 - Butterick 99 cent
March 4/10 - Simplicity $1.99

And of course, Coupon Commotion is March 4/10! Lots of 40% off coupons, even a 50% off a regular priced item. Including ones through the 17th, St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Penzeys $5 off Coupon

What a nice surprise attached to the new Spring 2012 catalog --

$5 off your next $10 or more purchase! Telephone and online coupon code is 00002C

It's their second annual health issue - visit their website and get your copy. Healthy can still be tasty though -- be sure to check out the Date Kisses on page 51, a low sugar cocoa mix on page 60, and slow cooker potato soup on page 18.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seek out new Horizons

Once upon a time, we believed the world was flat --
That beyond a certain point, there would be nowhere to go.
And though we now know the world is round,
we still fear falling off imaginary edges,
too often thinking there is only so far we can stretch,
so hard we can push.
But the most dangerous limits are those in our own head.
When you feel you're at your edge, look again --
You can go farther.
Self Magazine, February 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

This week - The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Limited Edition Caramel Cream Rooibos

Cost: $8.20

Number of teabags: 20

Caffeine: No

Type of tea: Herbal Infusion Red Rooibos

Steeping time: 6 minutes

Add ins: I got this in the store as a hot latte, fat free/sugar free vanilla powder. Yum!

At home with fat free half & half and a little bit of honey. If I want to be truly decadent and sacrifice (for the greater good!) a couple of my carb counts, a dollop of fat-free sweetened condensed milk. But I'm trying to get away from that, and with this tea, you really don't need it. So save those carbies for something else.

Ingredients: Rooibos, marigold flowers, natural flavorings

Opinion: Oh. My. ! It's creamy caramelicious! I almost wanted to add salt to it to make it like a salted caramel. You really don't need to add any additional sweetner. This is just tea magic!

Rating: 5! Grab this while you can. I got the last canister in the store, but I'm sure they've restocked.

Tea Map App

--- Cute icon!

Adagio Teas' Tea Map is finally available for the Android and free! (Search under TeaMap - no space, cap'd letters -in the Market) And there is now a new updated 2.0 version for iPhone.

It's a little bit buggy (you can't use the "go back" key but if you hit "recents" you can. It would be nice if the menu key functioned, too.) Includes reviews and the opportunity for you to post a review, and some places indicate if they are open. It also lists the hours, which is helpful as not all the icons/locations show if they are currently open or closed. A few coffeehouses are listed, but not Starbucks! The map feature is helpful, too. All in all, I think this will be great to explore new tea places and teas when traveling, and even discover in your hometown.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Netflix Stars - Moneyball

4 stars! Even if you don't really like baseball, Brad Pitt is still very appealing to watch. And if you are an Astros fan from way back, did you ever expect to see Art Howe portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman?!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thank you,!

Conversation Fruit!

"You're the apple of my eye!"

"Orange you glad you're my valentine?"

"I'm going bananas over you!"

"I love you berry much!"

"I'm plum crazy for you!"

"You're just peachy!"

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is the art of mind and beauty of heart

Monday, February 13, 2012

Well, I think we all know how she got her beads...!

Esmerelda loves to get waisted, and is such an exhibitionist!
Her clothes seam to fall off at the drop of a pin!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate + Love + Words

As in Chocolove Chocolate Bars with a Love poem!

I found out about this Belgian chocolate brand after a yoga class - I tried the Ginger Crystalized in 65% Dark Chocolate. Whole Foods carries them, so while still in a state of chocolate Zen bliss, I got another bar and the Almonds & Sea Salt in 55% Dark Chocolate. And they were on sale, too. There you go. What is also cool is the "Love" poem inside the wrapper. This was the one underneath the Almonds & Sea Salt --

From Astrophil and Stella

Who will in the fairest book of Nature know

How Virtue may best be lodged in beauty be,

Let him but learn of Love to read in thee,

Stella, those fair lines, which true goodness show.

There shall he find all vices' overthrow,

Not by rude force, but sweetest sovereignty

Of reason, from whose light those night-birds fly;

That inward sun in thine eyes shineth so.

And not content to be Perfection's heir

Thyself, dost strive all minds that way to move,

Who mark in thee what is in thee most fair.

So while thy beauty draws the heart to love,

As fast thy Virtue bends that love to good;

"But, ah," Desire still cries, "give me some food."

Sir Phillip Sidney

(I like how this was continued from Chili Cherry and continues on Peppermint.)

Neat concept, great tasting chocolate, even a pretty label.

Wouldn't this make a great Valentine's gift?!

All good!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Flowers - Valentine's Day edition

Sewing Room Reorganization - Part 1

Working my way around the perimeter! At least this is what I see now from the hallway instead of yellow crime scene tape! It makes my eyes and heart happy and my creative soul sing.

I love all my J.P. Coats & Clark memorabilia. You'll see more as I finish securing the perimeter of the room.

The flowers are actually a vintage hat find from St. Vincent De Paul Resale Shop a few years ago. It used to sit atop Esmerelda, who you will see all decked out for Mardi Gras on Monday. She's quite the party girl!

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

President's Sale - February 17/20
Simplicity - 5/$5

Yarntastic sale - February 12/25
25% knitting needles and crochet hooks
25% off all looms
$2.79 selected yarns (regularly $2.99 - $4.99)
2/$9 Patrons Classic Wool Yarn (regularly $6.99)

Thursday, February 09, 2012

New Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Ribbon

This month, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Austin is helping to support Wonders & Worries

For a minimum of $1 donation from February 3/12, you can get 10% off your beverages February 3/29 when you show your ribbon.

Be sure to try their new Caramel Cream Rooibos tea latte! I did (OMG!) and bought a tin to review for y'all next week! (Can't wait? Sneak review rating -- 5 stars!)

Peaches and Cream

Kolache! What a divine combination!

San Marcos, TX

700 N. LBJ across from Texas State University

Free wifi, too! : D

Thursday Tea Time

This week - The Republic of Tea Almond Coconut Macaroon
Cost: $9.99 at Whole Foods
Number of teabags: 36
Caffeine: No
Type of tea: Red Herbal
Steeping time: Per label 5-7 minutes, I did 7
Add ins: Silk Fat Free Almond milk and 1/2 package of Stevia
Teabag fragrance: Almond with a hint of coconut
Ingredients: Certified Kosher pareve rooibos, natural almond, coconut and macaroon flavoring
Opinion: While it didn't taste exactly like a macaroon cookie, it was a very delightful blend of toasted almonds and coconut flavors. It helps that I find rooibos tea a little on the sweet side, so I really didn't need to add much more sweetener. And I thought the almond milk kicked it up another nutty notch. If you like almonds, you will really like this tea.
Rating: 3.75

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Galveston Gadabouts - Pattycakes Bakery

Mardi Gras King cookie from Patty Cakes Bakery - 704 14th Street (across from the Mosquito Cafe). I also got a smaller version of the Black and White cookies I loved so much from the downtown Sibley's bakery in Rochester... Um, eaten before I even left the store, no opportunity to take a picture. I will just have to go back and get more, dear blog readers. Just for you! This is a full-service bakery from breads, to pastries, to cakes, and cookies -- and even dog treats.

You know, if you are careful what you eat 80% of the time, you can indulge that 20%. What a way and place to do so!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Galveston Gadabouts - MOD Coffeehouse

This was my Raspberry Mocha from MOD Coffeehouse -- 2126 Postoffice in Galveston, Texas

-- pretty and pretty yummy, too! They also have teas, espressos, lattes, smoothies, sodas, wine and beer. And funny barristas. Plus free wifi. A very enjoyable time out to hang out.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Galveston Gadabouts - Mosquito Cafe

The Mosquito Cafe - located in an 1870 building on the East End of Galveston (across from Patty Cakes Bakery) - 628 14th Street.

I ordered the Southwest Green Chile cheeseburger (the cheese covers, holds and protects green chile sauce - genius!), hubby got one of the Mardi Gras specials, a muffaletta. Both yummy, both inhaled, hence no photo.

Apricot Peach iced tea! Oh. My. Goodness. No sweetener necessary. I could save the carbs for the desserts! I drank two of these huge glasses. They also had Papaya Mint, along with regular iced tea.

And the desserts! How to choose?! They had THREE different triple-layered cakes. Cookies, brownies... And this peach cobbler -- didn't even need ice cream. They warmed it up. So good, I nearly slid under the table. Hubby got the gingersnap cookie - large, sugared, crispy.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Even longer than forever

It seemed they had always been, and always would be, friends.
Time could change much, but not that.
They were two halves of a whole, sharing a single spirit.

It was a spirit of friendship, and it was alive and well.
"We'll be friends forever, won't we Pooh?" asked Piglet.

"Even longer," Pooh answered.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Puppy Bowl VIII

Be sure to catch Puppy Bowl VIII on the Animal Planet channel tomorrow, beginning at 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central Time! New this year will be a bird (follow along on Twitter -- @meepthebird #PuppyBowl) on the sidelines "Tweeting"!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Flowers

Anniversary edition from Knapp Flower Shop in Galveston. Unlike so many roses nowadays, these roses actually smell as pretty as they look.

Go Red Day - Today!

About Go Red For Women® --

Since 2004, the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement has been educating millions of women on the urgent truths of heart disease.

The fact is: More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Unfortunately, this killer isn't as easy to see and is often silent, hidden and misunderstood. Go Red For Women works to spread life-saving truths about heart disease and fund lifesaving research - all which can make the difference between life and death. Learn more at

Once again Macy's is having a Wear Red Sale to raise funds and awareness for Go Red For Women. Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, customers who wear red will receive all-day savings throughout the store.
Customers not wearing red can purchase a Red Dress pin for $2.00 and receive the all-day savings.

If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, from Feb. 1 through Feb. 14, 2012 for every Valentine conversation heart sent through Macy's Facebook page and for every Tweet or reTweet of #heart and @Macy's, Macy's will donate $2 to Go Red For Women, up to $250,000.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

27 years ago. . .

"...because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

When Tom met Peggy...("When Harry Met Sally. . .")

He proposed six weeks after our first date!

We got married 6 months and a day after we met...

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Allegro Pomegranate Green tea, with cranberry!Cost: $3.49 on sale at Whole Foods (regular price $3.99)

Number of teabags: 20

Caffeine: Yes

Type of tea: Green

Steeping time: 4 minutes

Add ins: I tried Stevia and fat free half and half, then just honey, then only Stevia.

Teabag fragrance: Fruity-cranberry!

Ingredients: Organic Chinese green tea, natural pomegranate and cranberry flavors, with other (?) natural flavors.

Opinion: Strong anticipation (green tea! pomegranate! cranberry!), only weakened in the end. A bit blah. I even let it steep longer, but without any bump-up in flavor. Its fragrance is stronger than the taste. As I was writing this post, I was at Starbucks and gave them two bags to try in a Grande tea latte for me. It was overpowered by the milk! Hmmf!

Rating: 0

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

King Me!

My Mardi Gras King Cake!

I used the dough from my Betty Crocker bread machine cinnamon rolls recipe, and modified the filling recipe from Country Woman magazine (February/March 2012) "The King of Cakes"

3/4 cup water, plus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 1/2 cups bread flour (I use 1/2 cup white whole wheat, 2 cups bread flour)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon bread machine yeast


1 8 ounce package Neufchatel Reduced Fat cream cheese

2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened

5 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 teaspoon Penzeys Cake Spice, or 6 teaspoons cinnamon


1 - 2 cups confectioner's sugar - depending if you want to drizzle or spread

1 to 2 tablespoons skim milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yellow, Green and Purple sprinkles

Tiny plastic baby or pecan half - the lucky person who finds it in their slice becomes King (or Queen!) for the day and can expect a year of good fortune. And bring the cake for the next gathering! Insert from underneath after baking.

Use your machine's dough setting, then divide dough into four balls. Roll out approximately 14" x 4"

In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over rolled out dough.

In another bowl, stir the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese.

Roll long ends together and attach ends to make a ring. Let rise in warm oven* for about 1 to 1 hour fifteen minutes or until doubled. (*my oven's lowest setting is 170, I preheat while I'm preparing the rings and then turn off)

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Mix icing ingredients together and spread over cakes. Sprinkle colored sugar on top.

Serve and enjoy while still warm (also tastes great at room temperature).

I made four 6" cakes with this recipe. A perfect size to eat one and give the others away to hungry friends! You can also make a single large one or even 2 medium size.

Filling! Ready to pop into the oven to rise --->

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

Jack Johnson - "To The Sea" - 3:30