Thursday, August 29, 2013

This week - Trader Joe's Specialty Teas - Jasmine Green Tea
Cost:  $1.99
Number of teabags:  20
Caffeine:   A little
Type of tea:   Green
Steeping time:  1-2 minutes
Add ins:  Honey
Fragrance:   Grassy, faintly flowery
Ingredients:   Green tea, jasmine flowers
Opinion:   Cost Plus/World Market's Jasmine Pearls Green Tea is cups down way better.  This had a grassy, funky aftertaste.  Very, very faint jasmine flavor.  
Rating:  1, only if you've never had World Market's version, then you wouldn't know what you are missing.  I'm stopping back by World Market as soon as I can. . .

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Work in Progress

Buying supplies for my upcoming watercolor class -- Hobby Lobby has slightly lower prices than Michael's, by the way.  Except you have to space out your days/shopping/coupons - only one item per coupon.   Which led me over to the Clearance wall.  And look at my finds!  I think I spent my 40% savings on the tube of paint, and then some!
These were rated very highly on the Internet

Ooh, I love to organize!

I did not use my coupon
for this!

This had a lot of neat techniques!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Upcoming Jo-Ann's Pattern Sales

August 25/September 7
40% off ALL thread
25% off knitting needles, crochet hooks and looms

August 25/29
$1.99 Butterick

Labor Day Sale - August 30/September 2
$1.99 McCall's
$4.99 Vogue
50% off Notions Wall (with coupon)

September 5/7
$1.99 Simplicity
$2.49 Burda (!)

Sunday, August 25, 2013


"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none"
~ William Shakespeare
"All's Well That Ends Well"

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday Flowers - Saturday Moment of Zen Edition

Phalaenopsis Orchid - "Golden Treasure"

Watercolor Painting

"Golden Treasure" Phalaenopsis orchids.  I was lucky and got a two-fer -- two stems!
Special half-off sale today only at Whole Foods.  Bonus:  They are in a beautifully glazed pottery container, too!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Tea Time

This week - Rishi Organic Vanilla Mint Chai

Cost:  $9.99 - Whole Foods/Central Market
Number of teabags:   Loose tea - 2.4 ounces.  Enough to brew 10 cups
Caffeine:  Yes
Type of tea:   Pu-erh
Steeping time:   Should really call it Preparation time, however long it takes to boil water and then simmer for 5 minutes
Add ins:  Skim milk and sugar (!*)
Fragrance:   Peppermint vanilla
Ingredients:   All organic -- Pu-erh tea, vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon and licorice root
Opinion:   Oh boy, this is good!   I mean, really, really, really GOOD!  I drank all but 1/2 cup when I realized I also just downed almost 3 tablespoons of sugar!  Oops!  Yeah, if you follow the directions as I did.  I think next time I will cut back on the sugar, at least by half (shhh!).  This is not a typical chai by reason it only has the chai-y ingredient of cinnamon.  But the combination is TERRIFIC!  It almost tastes and looks like cocoa, abeit with a kick and dash of vanilla and peppermint.  As I mentioned earlier, it goes down easy - hot or cold.  The remaining half cup (and with such willpower) I refrigerated and then poured over a glass of ice the next day. (Also helping to dilute the sugar).  But it is pretty to look at and yummy to drink.  Well worth the effort to make this, and try to locate it.  Or order online.  Definitely different, definitely good!
Rating:  4.5 - only because it is now hard to find (My Whole Foods doesn't have it anymore) and it only makes ten cups.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Work in Progress

One way to take it easy -- Picked up the telephone and registered for an eight-week watercoloring class starting in September.
The adventure continues…

This instructor likes to use these:

(I like that my Michaels app had a current 45% off all artists paints and was able to use the coupon for them!)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Netflix Stars - Liberal Arts

5 Stars!  Finally, 1) I have time to get caught up in my Netflix queue, and 2) found a great movie.  You'll find a lot of wisdom and life lessons contained therein.   Zac Efron is a hoot!  Josh Radnor is charming and Elizabeth Olsen got not only the looks but the acting chops of her family.   I also loved the musical score and literary references.  Thoroughly enjoyable.  Perfect!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Today's Favorite Workout Song

Pink Martini - "Hang On Little Tomato" - 3:16
Encouraging!  I'm resting up and looking forward to making it to Gentle Yoga class on Friday. . .

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - Vanilla-Vanilla

This week - Zhena's Gypsy Tea Double Vanilla White Tea

Cost:  $6.99 at Whole Foods Austin (Lamar location)
Number of teabags:  22
Caffeine:  Low, 15 mg
Type of tea:   White and green
Steeping time:  3 minutes
Add ins:  Fat-free half & half, or plain - iced or hot.
Fragrance:   Spicy caramel
Ingredients:   Fair Trade Certified Indian White Tea, Green Bancha Tea, Vanilla Beans, Organic and Organic Compliant Flavors.
Opinion:   I so wanted to like this,  perhaps if I had I would not have gotten shingles.
Look at all the benefits:

Green TeaEnergizing, uplifting and slimming. As a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, green tea boosts the immune system, regulates blood sugar and helps the body maintain a healthy weight. Moderate caffeine stimulates the nervous system and promotes blood circulation.
VanillaUplifting, calming and balancing. The familiar rich, sweet aroma of vanilla comforts the mind and excites the senses. Vanilla contains vanillin, which has antioxidant properties, and B-complex groups of vitamins that help enzyme synthesis, nervous system function and healthy metabolic function.
White TeaRelaxing and rejuvenating. White tea is made of leaves and buds gathered only between mid-March and early April. It offers less caffeine and greater health benefits by being less "processed" than other teas. High in antioxidants for immune health, enzymes for digestive health and the amino acid theanine for reduced anxiety.

It must be the Organic Compliant Flavors which made this taste slightly anise-y/licorice-y to me.  I even used two tea bags (Quadruple Vanilla) and it still wasn't the suped-up vanilla I thought and hoped it would be.  Don't add any sugar or sweetener, it made it taste even odder.
Rating:  1

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Work In Progress was - ME!

Yeah, WTH?!
I do not fit the typical shingles patient profile.  But in hindsight, what I just shrugged off were actually the symptoms.
Tingly arm? Slept funny
Dizzy? Flipping over in bed too quickly.
Swollen glands? Probably just fighting something off.  Yay immune system! (Not)
Sore muscles?  Attempting once more that yoga crow pose
First few spots appearing?  Spider/bug bites, albeit on one arm
Fatigue? Trying to do too much in a day

Fortunately after this photo was taken I was able to get in and see my doctor and get a prescription for Valtrex.  If you can start this within 72 hours of the rash onset, the better.   A few more blisters appeared, but they weren't as severe.  And I was lucky it was just my right arm.  
They are healing now, as am I.  

Friday, August 02, 2013

Mollie Makes - Peggy Makes

I love Mollie Makes magazine!  
I also love the extra bonus they stick on the cover.  Issue 28 has a packet of teal green yarn, a crochet hook and instructions to make a crocheted bow brooch.   
The US is about a month behind of this charming English crafting magazine.  I find it at Barnes & Noble.  Though be sure you get the attachment.  One time I got the last issue but someone got the super-cute couple yards of ribbon instead of me.  
(Really?  Stealing ribbon from a magazine?!  You low-life!)

You can also get the digital edition on the Apple Newstand and on their website.  
Minus the freebie.  And if you go to the Downloads section, you can get the templates for the projects - free!

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to actually start making some of these quick projects and I will post my adventures.  
I do have a rudimentary basics of crochet, so let's how my finished result compares to theirs.   Sometimes you just need a quick dip in the creative fun pool instead of a lap swim.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Thursday Tea Time - Minty Fresh!

This week - Trader Joe's Mint Melange Tea
Cost:  $2.29
Number of teabags:  20
Caffeine:  No
Type of tea:   Herbal
Steeping time:  4-5 minutes
Add ins:  Plain, a little sugar, a little honey, Natural Bliss Low-Fat Vanilla.  Your choice, all great options!
Fragrance:   Minty
Ingredients:   Organic Peppermint, Organic Lemon Grass, Organic Spearmint
Opinion:   A nice light and green, not Christmas-y peppermint candy cane, tea.  It's definitely a summertime treat.  How perfect brewed as a cooling and refreshing iced tea with a sprig of mint from your garden?  This would also help sooth a troubled tummy, sipping hot.  It leaves behind a minty fresh feeling in your mouth, stronger than when you are actually drinking it - a pop of pow.  Neither the peppermint or the spearmint dominate over the other, and the lemongrass gives a nice boost of flavor.  Definitely seek and grab a box of this.
Rating:  3.75