Monday, April 29, 2013

Today's Favorite iPod Workout Song

My ice skating warmup song. . .magically beautiful!

Loreena McKennitt - "The Mummers' Dance"- 4:06

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Netflix Stars - Magic Mike

2.25 - Oh. My.
Eye candy, but after awhile, you just have to laugh.  I'm sorry, but this is geared towards the under 35 demo.  For us over, good for a peek-a-boo, then shove it back in the envelope.  Or pants.

Friday, April 26, 2013

No complaints here

"Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses."
~German proverb

Another beautiful bloom from my "Pink Promise" rose

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - This Chai, Pass By

This week - Trader Joe's Salted Caramel Chai Tea Latte Mix

Cost:  $3.99 at Trader Joe's
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:   Black
Add ins:  Water, ice, toothpaste/something to rinse your mouth out. . .
Tea fragrance:   Cardamon, caramel, honey
Ingredients:   Sugar, nonfat milk, coconut oil, maltodextrin, black tea and darjeeling tea, natural flavors, salt, honey (sucrose, honey), spice blend (cinnamon, clove, cardamom, anise, ginger), sodium caseinate, silicon dioxide, guar gum, vegetable mono and diglycerides, carrageenan gum.
Opinion:  You look at the label, you read the description and you think this has to be the ultimate chai tea latte experience, right?  Then you turn it around to see the ingredients (carrageenan?!) and you wrinkle your nose just a little, gamely trying to silence the voice of your nutritionist inside your head by saying "it's for the blog!"  And whining just a little, "but it's chai!  I love chai!"  I made it with hot water (some suggested trying it with milk), and wow-ie!  A glucose test isn't this sweet!  That's the power of 30g of carbs/26g sugar working right there.   Let's also factor in 3.5g of saturated fat.  (Inner nutritionist is now shaking her head, or is it mine spinning from the wallop?!)  So then I poured it over ice to try and dilute it, and it still made my teeth hurt.  I didn't even use a full scoop/three (!) tablespoonful.   It tasted like salted honey.  Pa-tooey!  Poured that right down the drain and brushed my teeth.
Rating:  0

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quilts For Boston

The Boston Modern Quilt Guild is making and distributing quilts for those affected by the tragedy last week.

They are asking the quilting community for help in making blocks for these quilts, or donations of fabric, in blue, yellow, gray and white -- solids and prints are both welcome.   Please click on the link above for the particulars.

The deadline is May 24, 2013.

Hat's Off!

Kwik Sew 3397
Burda 4239, View D - Middle row, Left

A friend of mine needed hats.
I needed to get in some sewing time.

She had patterns and fabric at home, but she lives a bit far away from me.
I, too, had patterns and fabric at home.
Win-win again!

"Something in red!"she said.
(And doesn't everyone have an inner Hello Kitty?)
Win, Place, Show!

I found two patterns in my stash, some cute Hello Kitty fabric from Jo-Ann's (2010), and a fun red lacy print fabric.   She could decide which style, which fit and which pattern flattered her.  And which side, since they were lined and I made them reversible

We called the Kwik Sew 3397 the "cake hat", as it looked just like a round cake, and the Burda 4239 the "baseball hat", as it had the six pieced top similar to a baseball cap.

Burda 4239 is the "old-school" Burda, albeit over 20 years old - the green tissue paper, adding the seam allowances.  Oh how I've missed this type of Burda pattern!  You may be able to find it,  it still pops up on the Internet/Etsy/Pinterest.

Kwik Sew 3397 is still available online from the Kwik Sew website.

Here's how they stacked up --

Burda 4239

Burda 4239
Yeah, wow!
Burda View D kind of showed its age, style-wise.  The other views maybe as so much.  But the pattern piece engineering, as usual, as it used to be, was perfect.  Look how the pieces all matched!


By cutting duplicate top pieces, I was able to line it and make it reversible by serging the brim/cap seam.

However, View D probably had its day in the sun and was not the most stylish.  The 2 1/2" brim just didn't seam (sic) in proportion to the top pieces.  It looked too short on my head, and I think that was a factor for my friend, too.

Kwik Sew 3397
Kwik Sew 3397
Now the Kwik Sew -- grab this pattern!  Look how perfectly the top fit into the side piece.  No need to ease, or expand your cursing vocabulary.  It slipped and sewed right in.
As did the band, which measured 2 3/4"
Circle in the square, so to speak.
It also looked the best on us.   I'm ready to make it again in all sorts of fabrics.  For both of us!  This is a universally flattering hat!

Here's a sewing tip - fuse the interfacing to the fabric before cutting out.  Do a quick layout and see how much you will need to interface, fuse, then cut.  I don't know about you, but what I cut as the interfacing never seems to match up as well to the fashion fabric.  This insured no glue residue on my iron, ironing board or "near misses".  A little iron touch-up after cutting out and you are ready to sew!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thou art the flower

"My God, my aim and my fulfillment; 
I am thy yesterday and thou art my tomorrow.  
I am thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky, 
and together we grow before the face of the sun."

~Kahil Gibran

Saturday, April 20, 2013


The fig-ettes are about the size of peas

I'm six feet tall
and wearing heels (boots) in this picture

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - Souper Duper!

This week - Numi Savory Tea - Carrot Curry

Cost:  $5.99 on sale at Whole Foods
Number of teabags:  12
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:   Green
Steeping time:  10+ minutes
Add ins:  None
Tea fragrance:   Carrot, curry, veggie
Ingredients:   Organic-- carrot, curry, cilantro, onion, ginger, turmeric and decaf green tea.
Opinion:  Further proof if it is weird, I will try it!  Actually I liked it.  It was not unlike a veggie broth, only portable.  "A Garden in Your Teacup" as promoted on the Numi website.  The only ding I give it is there are only 12 teabags per box.  And the regular price is $7.99.  A little pricey.  But on the other hand, low in sodium (none added, just naturally-occurring from the vegetables - 135mg, and 2% calcium)   Plus you get the added benefit of healthy spices like turmeric and ginger.  It also took the edge off my appetite during my melt-down hour from 3-4 PM.
Definitely worth seeking this out and the other flavors of Tomato Mint, Beet Cabbage, Fennel Spice, Broccoli Cilantro, Spinach Chive and Garden Sampler
Rating:  4

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Work in Progress

In progress!  I actually finished the embroidered baby diapers -- talk about a search trying to find diaper pins!  Now I am brainstorming and sketching out new ideas.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Netflix Stars - The Odd Life of Timothy Green

3.5 stars    Definitely quirky!  If you are looking for a sweet, feel-good movie, you'll enjoy it.  However, there's not a lot of depth -- a lot of issues/characters/situations were skimmed over, and somewhat odd the more you think about them afterwards.  Hmmm.  What can you say, it's a Disney movie.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Sales

April 14/May 4

30% off Ginghers (including rotary!)
25% off knitting needles and crochet hooks

Daffodil Dash - April 14/20

Entire stock of thread - 50% off
McCall's - 99 cents
Vogue - $3.99
50% off Olfa, Fiskars and Dritz rotary cutters, blades, rulers and mats

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Pukka Licorice & Cinnamon Organic Herbal Tea

Cost:  $6.99 at Whole Foods Market (Arbor Trails), Austin, Texas
(Also online at Amazon)
Number of teabags:  20
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  5-6 minutes
Add ins:  Actually none needed!  This tea stands alone just fine.  Hello iced tea!  Though the Natural Bliss Vanilla and Sweet Cream make this a great tea latte, too.
Tea fragrance:   Cinnamon
Ingredients:   Licorice root (25%), cocoa bean, roasted chicory root, cardamom seed, cinnamon bark (15%), fennel seed.
Opinion:  Fortunately I have a hubby who indulges my crazy tea searches, and checking out grocery stores/different Whole Foods, and he likes licorice - so he found this, and I'm glad he did.  This is really, really good!  First you get the cinnamon kick and then the two-seconds later punch of licorice.  Wow!  And no caffeine so I can have this after dinner to effectively dismiss my dessert/carbing desires.   Pukka makes great teas - see my earlier blog post for their Green Chai  And bonus they are all organic, too.
Rating:  5+

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

This Week in my Garden - Kitchen Edition

Cacophony of Color!
Everything in here has wintered/summered over for the past two plus years, some even longer.  I only added the yellow snapdragons last month to fill in and bide their time.
My tossed outside 2011 Christmas poinsettia still keeps adding even more "blooms"!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Love is all around us. . .

The door knobs at Rice University - Herzstein Hall
Built in 1914, it was originally the Physics Building when Rice was known as Rice Institute.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Stock Photo

I love stock (also called Mathiola)...and these pink ones are so pretty and fragrant!
Happiness and contentment!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Thursday Tea Time

Pretty, yummy

Cost:  $11 at The Oasis Juice Bar and Market in Galveston, Texas
Number of teabags:  3.5 ounces (99.2g), per the website makes approximately 45 cups
Caffeine:  Yes, just a little from the chocolate
Type of tea:   Tisane/Herbal/Red
Steeping time:  7 minutes
Add ins:  Natural Bliss Sweet Cream.  Though with a little touch of sugar and served iced would be wonderful, too!
Tea fragrance:   Chocolate!  Then spicy/fruity
Ingredients:   Organic Fair Trade South African Rooibos, Organic South African Honeybush, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Apple Bits, Organic Banana Bits, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Ground Chocolate* (sugar, cocoa-processed w/alkali, unsweetened chocolate, soy lecithin, vanilla), Natural Flavors
Opinion:  I think there was a reason there was only one canister tin left, and I got it!  What a beautiful-looking tea, too!  I didn't really taste the banana, which is good.  Mostly chocolate-y/spicy.  I would drink this in the afternoon or after dinner - it kept me from rummaging through the Easter basket remains.  While it is fortunate you can find this online, and in different sizes -- if you are in Galveston or even thinking about it, this is a great reason of many to stop into the Oasis Juice Bar, which is just around the corner from one of my favorite yoga studios, The Yoga Haven.  (Bonus if you are cruising out of Galveston, they are blocks away from the cruise ship dock terminals!)  They have several of the Art of Tea tins, including a coconut which I had iced.  Wow! I'm going back for that one, too.
Rating:  4.75

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Love is all around us here in Texas!

Lupinus Texensis
The state flower of Texas, the Texas Bluebonnet.  Photographed along the banks of Oyster Creek, in Sugar Land, Texas.