Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Pre-Easter Sale - April 5/7
$1.99 Simplicity

That's it in the April 1/14 flyer?!
If you are lucky, you can still grab 99 cent Simplicity and $1.99 Butterick (sale ending March 31)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Revolution Sweet Ginger Peach Black Tea

Cost: $5.99 at HEB, $4.99 with their instore coupon-conveniently hanging next to the teas.
Number of teabags: 16 "flow through infuser bags", which are inside a resealable foil pouch
Caffeine: Yes
Type of tea: Black
Steeping time: 3-4 minutes per the box, I did 5 minutes without looking at the box until now.
Add ins: Half packet of Stevia and a splash of Vanilla Silk Pure Coconut Milk helped give it a nice tropical flavor.
Teabag fragrance: Very peachy!
Ingredients: Ceylon and Assam teas, ginger root and peach flavor.
Opinion: Per the Revolution website, Sweet Ginger Peach is their most popular flavor. I can see why. Without any add-ins, you can detect the ginger a bit more. With the add-ins, the flavor it is really peachy. This is probably the peachiest tea I've tried. I wonder if they are affiliated with Zhena Gypsy Teas? When I scanned the barcode with the My Fitness Pal App, it showed up as Peach Ginger Black Tea (Organic) Zhena's Gypsy Tea. Interesting. Also the tea is very strong - sometimes I use two when I'm making a big mug - with this one, one was good.
Rating: 4.5

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Work In Progress

New posting series! I thought I would try to start and keep the sewing and creating mojo going by posting what I am doing on Wednesdays. Who knows what will be pictured and featured each week?!

I have been busy reorganizing and redoing my sewing room the past several weeks. I have just about finished the perimeter - just the drawers of the sewing desk left to do. The stacks of TupperMaid containers of fabric are still in the corner, but now I found a way to hide their plasticity -- With my Target Liberty of London scarves! I needed something to hold them in place -- looked around and grabbed one of my white button jars. I didn't like the way the brass jar lid stuck out, so I hot-glued some of the buttons around the edge.
Pretty and functional!

15% off iTunes Cards at Target!

Just text "Easter" to 827438 (Target) and you will get a link to a mobile app to use at checkout.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Austin Scarlett's Project Runway All Stars Wedding Gown

I just absolutely fell in love with his wedding gown! I really think he should have won (shaking head), if not on this dress alone. He was the Creative Directior for Kenneth Pool/Amsale wedding gowns a few years ago. Actually all of his gown designs are exquisite.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning Blooms

Bluebonnets from our front yard and "Pink Promise" roses. Not quite as pink this time with the warmer weather.

Tyler Ramsey - "Stay Gone" - 4:25
I love this song, I'm using it in my iPod Shuffle for swimming and skating. I heard it at Starbucks - only the Shazam app was able to identify it, not Soundhound.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Run for the Rose

Kudos to The Republic of Tea in supporting this. Not only do your teas taste good, but you do good!

If you would like more information about the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, please visit Run for the Rose or click here for the race brochure PDF.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Indian Paintbrushes

Purple Verbena

Bluebonnets and Drummond Red Phylox

Bluebonnets and Coreopsis

Pretty field with old car in middle

Loved the yellow flowers - I think they are Engelmann Daisies

The recent rains have awakened the wildflowers from their droughted slumber and are absolutely outstanding this year! My top bluebonnet photo is featured on Facebook and Twitter. All were taken with my Samsung Infuse camera.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Tea Forte' Cherry Marzipan

Cost: $6.99 at Central Market in Austin
Number of teabags: 16 "eco" teabags(So much for "eco" when they are sealed in a paper foil-lined packet?)
Caffeine: Yes, "Moderate" per the website
Type of tea: Green
Steeping time: Per label 3-5 minutes, I did 5
Add ins: By itself or with a little splash of fat free half and half, half a packet of Stevia
Teabag fragrance: Very cherry almond-y. Like Jergens lotion, original scent!
Ingredients: Organic green tea, Fair Trade Certified™ organic green tea, organic rooibos, natural cherry flavor, organic raspberry leaves, natural almond flavor, natural flavoring (berry), organic acerola cherry extract, (organic acerola, organic maltodextrin)
Opinion: Right on the front of the box it says, "green tea for corrective repair - a skin-smart antioxidant amplifier tea" Apparently the acerola cherry helps combat aging cellular damage, is packed with antioxidants and a rich source of Vitamin C. Which Tea Forte' says is vital to the production of collagen for healthier, younger-looking skin. The fountain of youth in a teacup. Or mug in my case, with two eco teabags doing their magic. Usually I am a bit hesitant with cherry teas - antixoxidants or not, with fears founded of them tasting too much like Robitussin cough syrup. No fear here. This is a good-tasting tea with a nice almond kick. I look forward to trying it iced.
Rating: 4

Big Bach Set

Amazon is currently offering this -- 120 songs -- for only 99 cents!

The deal started yesterday, Bach's birthday, and is still going on today. (I'm downloading the songs right now - good thing I have the Trenta sized iced green tea here at Starbucks!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Joseph's Day Bread Recipe

Also known as Pane di San Guiseppe. I modified this for the bread machine. Use the 1 1/2 pound setting.

3 cups bread machine flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2/3 cup hot water, but not too hot
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 teaspoons star anise, ground (powdered
1/4 teaspoon Penzeys Baking Spice (optional)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon cornmeal*

To help protect the yeast, put the ingredients in this order in your bread machine pan -- water, butter, salt, honey, flour and yeast. Add the raisins at the nut/fruit chime signal. If possible, remove the mixing paddle before the final rise and baking, and sprinkle the top of dough with the cornmeal.

This tastes great warm or cooled the next day.
Don't just bake it on March 19, to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Joseph, but enjoy year-round on any day!*The cornmeal represents the sawdust, since St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St. Joseph's Day!

Today is the Feast Day of St. Joseph. I've always liked him. He was a carpenter, creating things with his hands; a patron saint of the home and family, and especially fathers. Bakers also consider him their patron saint. So to celebrate all these attributes, I am going to try and make Pane di San Guiseppe. I found an interesting recipe, but am going to have to play around with the ingredients and see if I can make it in the bread machine.

Click here for the recipe - it turned out really good!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Netflix Stars - What's Your Number, Hugo and In Time

What's Your Number? 3.75 stars - A cute movie for a rainy day. There's a lot of "I've seen that star before, wasn't he/she in...?!"

Hugo 5+ stars - We all loved this movie. Charming and delightful, suitable for everyone, any age. I can, and you will, too, definitely see how this won all its Oscars and awards.

In Time 2.5 stars - Interesting idea, but too long and draggy. Haha - it seemed to take too much time.

I hate to say it, but I got these three movies from Redbox. All were in perfect, playable condition and we saved time (and money!) over Netflix. Only $1.30 a night. While Netflix has more variety, "Short Wait" and "Long Wait"s don't cut it when Redbox has the current just-released movies right there, right here, right now. And they have an app to reserve and locate the DVD's. Plus free coupons! The only drawback is not all Redboxes have all the movies. But for the popular quick selections, you can't beat having another DVD rental option available.

Sorry Netflix -I still love ya and want to keep you around, but I'll probably drop down my current plan.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Flowers

"Thoughtful" bouquet from Whole Foods

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

Hey! Follow @JoAnn_Stores on Twitter and and find today a 20% off coupon for your total purchase (regular and sale priced) in stores and online good through March 18! (Promotion Code VBK78 - Barcode Number 46 12078 196 07314 72 020 0)

March 29/31
Simplicity 99 cents
Butterick $1.99

March 23/25
Friends and Family 3-Day Sale
25% off total purchase of regular, sale priced and clearanced items (coupon on mailed sale flyer)
Use as often as you want in as many stores as you want.

March 18/31
40% off Gutermann thread

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

Cost: $8.99 at Central Market in Austin, TX
Number of teabags: 20
Caffeine: No
Type of tea: Herbal
Steeping time: 5 minutes
Add ins: Great by itself - brews to such a pretty apricot color. I also tried it with Silk Fat Free Almond milk, and then with the almond milk and 1/2 package of Stevia. All three versions were just delicious. And if you are watching your carbs (and you had eaten a cookie earlier in the day, ahem), you really, truly, honestly don't need any sweetener of any type.
Teabag fragrance: Apricot! Almond! I keep opening the box as I'm typing this just to take another whiff.
Ingredients: Organic honeybush, organic rooibos, natural apricot flavor, organic marigold flowers and other natural flavors.
Opinion: Let's just say I went a little tea-crazy at Central Market. Their tea section...! They even have loose-bulk teas, which I will be reviewing later. I even bought their canvas bag which says "Really Into Food" I should cross out and put "Tea!" This tea is terrific! And indeed truth in labeling an "Herbal Retreat - Organic Relaxation Tea" Let me continue reading from the bonus cute steel tin, which measures 2 3/4" x 5 1/2", 2" deep . . . "A double delight of sweet apricot and juicy peach with nuanced notes of almond, artfully evoking Saronno, Italy, the birthplace of amaretto." Oh, those wrapped cookies in the red tin my boss used to get at Christmastime each year! This is probably the apricot-iest tea I've ever had with a nice sweet combo of almond. That job and tin box of cookies is long gone, but I will be getting more of this tin box of tea to put in my bag.
Rating: 5+

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

In honor of Pi Day, I am making a pie! Chocolate Cream Pie with a graham cracker crust.
From Cooking Light - The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

Graham Cracker Crust

40 graham crackers (10 full cookie sheets)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg white
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Place crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter and egg white; pulse 6 times or just until moist. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9" pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Graham cracker crust
2 cups fat-free milk, divided - 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen reduced calorie whipped topping -- NOTE: I hate Cool-Whip so I just use whipped cream around the edge of the pie and a spritz in the center to make it look pretty.
3/4 teaspoon grated semisweet chocolate

Combine 1/2 cup milk, 2/3 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan to 180 or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture; stir constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Add chopped chocolate, cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Pour into prepared piecrust; cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill 3 hours or until cold. Remove plastic wrap; spread whipped topping evenly over filling (or whipped cream around edges). Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Yield 10 servings

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Tip of the Needle

These were from one of my Friday Flower bouquets, used to help protect some of the more fragile blooms. They looked just like thread covers to me!
I always thought thread wraps not only contained and controlled thread (and yarn!) spillage and slippage, but also help keep it dust-free.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Girl Scouts!

I really loved (and wore!) the circa 1960's vintage Brownie and Junior uniforms pictured above.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friday, March 09, 2012

Lucky Peach

I found this magazine at Barnes & Noble last month. This is the Fall/Winter Issue 2. The cost is $12. Lucky Peach - a Quarterly Journal of Food and Writing. And it is an interesting magazine. Not your typical over the top aspirational (at least for me) foodie magazine and several bypasses past the Paula Deen type. Kind of off center, kind of quirky. I mean - there's a page of 45 stickers (see below) on page 113. Yes, there are recipes and yes, odes to food ("My beautiful dry-aged steak") It kind of reminds me of Lynda Barry's writings and drawings. That's probably why I like it. Issue 13 should be hitting the newsstands soon. I've already begun my search.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Pukka Green Chai Tea
Cost: $6.99 at Whole Foods/Bellaire location
(I'm really starting to think this particular store carries more interesting and diverse teas. And as I digress - yogurts for that matter, too. Perhaps because of where it is located.)
Number of teabags: 20
Caffeine: A little
Type of tea: Green
Steeping time: Per label 5 minutes, I did 6
Add ins: By itself or with a little splash of fat free half and half, no other sweetener!
Teabag fragrance: Anise and cinnamon
Ingredients: Cinnamon bark, ginger root, licorice root, green tea, star anise and cardamon seed. All organic and Fairtrade
Opinion: I love chai teas in the cooler months and on rainy days. As evidenced by I've lost track how many chai's I've reviewed. Some good, some bad. This is one of the great ones. I always feel chai-cheated when they include black pepper in the ingredients. If that makes it more authentic, so be it. But I feel it is a cheap filler shortcut to spicy. If I see black pepper listed, I now put it back on the shelf unless it is a name brand tea or it has a cool looking box. (Yes, and I used to work in advertising, too.) This, I am happy to say, does not have pepper in it and it is an interesting box. In fact, I am running out of this box already. If you like cinnamon tea, you will love this. If you like licorice, ginger, cardamon - ditto. I especially like that fact this tastes good as is. And I can save a carb serving by not needed to add any sweetener. Plus it's a green tea, too -- Bonus x2! Lately if I've been using one of my larger mugs, as I do with this one because I practically guzzle it, I will use two teabags to get even more of a spicy kick. Of course, that means running back to the store to get more. And then finding more teas. It never ends!
Rating: 5

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Really, what I'm actually doing!

From AllFreeKnitting


How could I resist getting this for my Bobcat?? And at such a great price! $3.50 for 4 rolls of 5 yards each 7/8" wide satin ribbon. Found at the University Bookstore at Texas State.

And of course, Hello Kitty, Hello Bobcat!