Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back in the Saddle

...or rather, "Back at the Pedal"??

It feels good! If only it weren't for the tediousness of cutting, I would always be sewing!  This time, I was working on a receiving blanket for a co-worker's baby shower. Which is tomorrow. Just call me the Queen of Procrastination!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zucchini Bread Cookies (I Like)

Thanks, Eizzil for a delicious party! My absolute favorite was the Zucchini Nut Bread Sandwich Cookies. I didn't even wait for her to send me the recipe... I've already looked it up online and printed it out for myself. If you're smart, you'll do the same.


Friday, March 25, 2011


I read about Pinterest from a fellow blogger. It's like "My LiveBinder Shelf" only WAY. BETTER. So good, in fact, that there was a waiting list to get in. But I'm in! And I have a couple invites to Pinterest that I can share with a friend. Is anyone interested?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dinosaurs... hear them roar!

There's a *new* Bon Jovi song out there (and I'm using the term loosely... it probably came out a year ago!) that has a line that caught my ear today:
Saving dimes, spending too much time on the telephone
Who says you can't go home?
I thought to myself, "HA! They are dating themselves by referring to phone calls that cost a dime... phone calls were a quarter when I was growing up!" And then it hit me -- kids today don't even know about pay phones! I mean, look at this strip from Pearls Before Swine (which, coincidentally ran yesterday!):

So THEN I went on to think about that ever-so-clever insult (that I'm sure we've all heard): "Here's a quarter, go call someone who cares." Yeah, it's out-dated. Meaningless. Lost on all of my students.

Like the dinosaurs, that phrase might as well be extinct!

So I have a task for you: Find some more "dinosaurs". I want to make a list! I'll add them here as you send them to me. Don't let me down!

  1. Here's a quarter, go call someone who cares.
  2. Roll down the window.
  3. Be kind, rewind.
  4. You sound like a broken record.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winning Wednesday?

Well, I can't help it. I'm dying to win one of these online competitions, so here I am... entering my pillow in the hopes of winning some absolutely adorable fabric! Check out the competition here:

Blogger's Pillow Party

And here, for the sake of the competition, is a recap of the pillow I made for my sister:

E and I went shopping together one day, which is when she found the perfect chair for her bedroom (from Pier 1). She also found an adorable stuffed owl, which she splurged on. The only thing missing was a pillow to provide some lumbar support. The pillows in Pier 1 were interesting, but not what she was looking for. So I offered to make it for her! We left the store and headed straight for my favorite fabric store. She selected the prints, and I put it together for her. It turned out pretty good and was a hit with both my sister and her kitty!

Monday, March 21, 2011

March Morning

The alarm jars me awake.
Another Monday morning.

Yet not.

Was that thunder?
This early in the day,
                       in the year?
Rain drops
         ter  ing
    onto the windows.

I peek through the blinds, and
prepare for rain.
Anything to keep me from getting wet.
Step outside.

Déjà vu.
Snow on the ground?
My eyes must be deceiving me.
Small, round pellets.
On the ground.
Spewed out of the down-spout.
Piled up.

Water trickling down from the roof is the only sound I still hear.
The asphalt is wet.
The rain has passed.

But I drive back into it.
A streak of light darts left to right.
The dark, morning sky flashes
an eerie shade of purple.
Rumbles growl overhead.

The rain drops get bigger
and smack against my windshield.
Silencing like crackling fireworks in the sky.
My favorite.

Even on this March morning,
nothing is routine.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sweet Ending

to a sweet weekend. Fresh blueberries, organic granola, and vanilla yogurt. I love all the fresh fruits that accompany the change of seasons!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sew-in: FAIL

Instead of staying in to sew (as I promised to do) B and I went out and celebrated birthdays in B'more. No regrets here!

Happy Birthday yesterday to VA and today to Eizzil... the big 3-0 looks good on you ladies!!

Maybe I'll try that Friday Night Sew-in next time around...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rosemary-Lemon Chicken with Vegetables

Thank you very much Martha Stewart! I came across this recipe several years ago.  In fact, I made a note on my printed copy dated 6/25/08. My note?


Still true today, and so excited to dig in.

Picture perfect ingredients:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yarn Wreath - So Cute!

Cobble turned me on to this tutorial for a yarn wreath. I finally collected all the materials to make my Spring wreath, and I love the way it turned out! Check out S's on her blog, too.

Special Sunday

This past Sunday, B and I became godparents to Lailah Faye. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and the ceremony was wonderful. Father Flynn's message was rather cautionary, but I think he meant well. His stream-of-consciousness got the best of him when he said things like, "Water brings life, but it also takes it away. Warn your children not to go near swimming pools when you're not there."

Because of this baptism, I've enjoyed reflecting on all the wonderful moments that life brings. The timing couldn't have been better, either, with the buds springing to life outside. Lailah is such a special baby and B and I feel so blessed to have been made a part of her life.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ode to Today

Open windows welcome a cool breeze
The sun warms patches on the floor
Smells of fresh mulch waft through the air
Trees are speckled with delicate buds.
Tonight the peepers will serenade Spring!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

Join in on the next Friday Night Sew In. I had never heard of this (but thanks to Google Reader and all my new blog subscriptions) I found out that this is something that Handmade Heidi does quite often. I'm all in, and you should be too!

Check out the *rules* and sign up for March 18th's Friday Night Sew In!

Fun-filled Friday!

1] Today was a kid-free day at work. Went to a professional development meeting instead. And I kinda-sorta enjoyed it! We were given a long, 2-hour stretch to just explore and play with new websites. I loved Storybird. You should check it out. I mean it!

2] Met up with S for lunch afterwards. And she brought along her little cutie! So much fun, so many smiles.

3] The two of us chose yarn for the new wreaths we're going to make for our doors. Spring colors were in order. She chose a vibrant, multi-color yarn with greens and yellows. Very pretty. I couldn't wait to get started, so as soon as I got home (even though I was still wearing my work clothes) I sat down to start wrapping a bit. Can't wait to finish!

4] Going out tonight with friends for dinner and drinks. Really looking forward to this, too. Eizzil and her hubby will be there to meet B's Brazilian friend. Should be lots of fun!

I hope that your Friday--like mine--is setting the right tone for this weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ottoman Slip-Cover

B and I are expecting a house-guest later this week. That meant that I needed to finish at least one of the sun-room-makeover projects: the ottoman slip cover.  It was a work in progress, and much like the beer-jug-cozy, I figured it out as I went along.

Step One:
While in the fabric store, I made a sketch of the dimensions of the 5 faces of the ottoman and used that to plan how much fabric to buy. I used those same dimensions to cut the 45" wide fabric into five pieces.

Step 2:
I sewed each of the four side pieces to the top piece, one at a time, right sides together. I pressed the seams "down" toward the floor.

Step 3:
I placed right sides together and sewed each of the corner seams.

Unfortunately, I had over-compensated too much, so my slip cover was too big. You can see the excess fabric in the picture below.

In order to correct that problem, I tucked the excess fabric underneath itself, creating a small fold on each corner. I pinned these in place and then sewed a one-inch line (from the inside to hide the stitches) to hold the tucks in place.

Yeah, this part didn't go so smoothly. The first time I sewed my one-inch line it showed through to the front.

Here, you can see the one-inch line that I sewed approximately one inch in from the original side-seam.

Step four:
I moved the ottoman to my kitchen floor so that I could accurately measure for length. This ottoman has feet that sink into the carpet, giving me a false sense of height. I put the slip cover on the ottoman inside-out so that I could roll up the bottoms and pin them in place.

Step five:
As a way of checking the accuracy of my pinning job, I measured from the sewing line to the edge of the fold and pinned it into place. Then I ironed each fold to make a crisp edge.

I put the slip cover on the ottoman one last time to make sure that I had done a good job of pinning the bottom. You know how anal I am. And how much I hate my seam ripper!

Step six:
I went back to the folded edges and unpinned them. As I did so, I folded the raw edge under and then re-pinned the fabric into place. I ironed everything again. Finally, I was ready to stitch the "hem" into place.

Step seven:
First I sewed around the bottom of the slip cover -- as close to the edge as I could get.  Then I sewed around the bottom again, this time using the first line of stitches as a guide along which I followed with my presser foot.

All done! I would estimate that this project took me about 3 hours from start to finish. At least now I can finally relax (and see if I can't get a shoulder massage)...

Dinner Party Recipes

Last night's dinner party was a delicious success!  On the menu: steamed edamame pods, my oven-baked chicken, black-bean and corn salsa, cilantro-lime rice, and tres-leches cake. Yum!!

To make the chicken, all you have to do is marinate the chicken with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a sprinkling of salt (to taste), and at least one clove of garlic, pressed, per half-breast of boneless, skinless chicken. Easy peasy! After letting it marinate for one hour or more, bake in the oven at 475 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Ta-da! Delicious and moist. I promise.

I followed this Betty Crocker's recipe for the Tres Leches cake. SO GOOD! Although the directions mention adding Cool Whip and coconut on top, I left the cake "plain" and served it with a dollop of Cool Whip and some sliced bananas on the side. Then I sprinkled some toasted coconut on top.  Thanks Eizzil for your suggestion to toast the coconut -- such a good idea!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finally Friday

Fin, Final, Finito!

Done with the work week, and done with my alliteration (at least for now). I appreciate those of you who encouraged me to have thematic "days" on my blog so that I would have random things to talk about. I kinda liked it, and I hope I entertained some of you along the way as well.

Now that the weekend is here, I'm looking forward to time spent with friends and family. We're having Cobble's family over for dinner on Saturday night, and then we're joining my extended family for a March get-together at B's favorite brunch buffet. Yum! Can't wait.

I hope you have something special in-store as well!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

I just wanted to let you girls know that I've been thinking about you lately!
--Gma: we need a nice long chat.
--E: I hope you're not stressing too much about your wedding planning. What do we do next?
--MP: let's plan a mother-daughter day soon.
--L: aren't you ever going to finish your thesis? I miss hanging out.
--Eizzil: so glad we're getting together this weekend. What should we do?!
--Cobble: still torn about what dessert to *subject* you to.
--Fitz: where are you?
--Bec: bring your bike over here--let's go for a ride!
--MMC: love all the little gifts you're always spoiling me with.
--S: I feel like we've lost our way... let's pick a date for our first 2011 sip 'n sew.
--J: so glad to have you as a *second mom.* Still loving your leftovers.
--Bia: can't wait to hear about your birthday trip!

Love you ladies! You keep me smiling day in and out :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

(I confess, I got the idea for Wordless Wednesday from another blog.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuckus Tuesday

In the spirit of alliteration (and trying to post every day this week), I bring you: Tuckus Tuesday! And yes, I worked my tuckus off today! What is it about Tuesdays that bring me so much motivation? I think it has something to do with realizing that I didn't accomplish nearly what I had expected to have done on Monday -- while still having enough energy leftover from my weekend relaxation to get something done. I'm proud that today I ran errands, ran at the gym!, and got all those stupid school envelopes addressed, stuffed, licked, and stamped. One-hundred and twenty of them to be exact. Go me!

(So what did you accomplish on this hereby proclaimed Tuckus Tuesday???)
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