Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another Fabulous Find

Do you ever look through your wardrobe and think it could use some help? I had such an experience recently and wouldn't you magic, an Eddie Bauer catalogue arrived in the mail just in time to rescue me...with a spring sale to boot! I don't usually buy a lot of trendy clothes, I make those. What I needed were some solid classic pieces. I own three of the Eddie Bauer wrinkle-resistant shirts that I received as gifts over the years. They wear like iron and the fit is great. Two colors I decided my wardrobe was lacking were light blue and plain old white.
What luck...
American Classics...that's what I'm looking for. Then I checked-out the price...$49.50! That's steep. But wait...if I buy two I save $10 each. Let's stop for a minute and do the math. $39.50 + $39.50 = $79.00. OUCH! As you might have suspected by now, I'm all about the bottom line. That bottom line is rather about junk in the trunk! Plan B: While looking around my favorite stomping ground Savers, I had the genius idea to see what they had to offer in the way of shirts.
I found this!
Small things like this make me so happy. I'm wearin' a BIG smiley face. No, it's not Eddie Bauer, it is Express Design. It is wrinkle-resistant. It is the light blue I was looking for. It has a flattering V-neck favorite. It is brand spanking new with extra buttons and everything AND it cost me $5.99. Pause...I just saved $43.50! Side by side. There's no comparison. I think you know what I did next... I recycled that catalogue. Now I'm on the hunt for a plain old white shirt. It wasn't at Savers today...maybe next week!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Butterfly Revisited: Project #2

Is this image bringing on the feeling of dejavu? Don't be alarmed. If you've been following my blog (thank-you for that) then you may recognize her from my "Cowgirls and Indians" post where she was metamorphosed from fluttering on old bed linens to dancing on the Read-to-me-Dreamland Tepee.
The scraps (that of course I did not throw away) were calling me again. Due to the fact that this fabric was well used and laundered repeatedly, it was incredibly soft and silky. Like tanning leather, wearing/using cotton properly yields the softest fibers. Ever notice how soft your sheets become over time?
This got me to thinking...if you can't sleep ON them sleep IN them! And the-much-needed-because-my-personal-stock-is-way-low-lounge pant was created.
I've been reduced to taking my own photos in mirrors lately because my personal photographer (son James, age 11) has been on hiatus! Actually, he's been asking for a pay raise and we're still in negotiations. Strangely, I like the mirrored effect.
Back to the pant...
Not only are they silky-soft against my skin, they are so cool and groovy...don't you think? And that buttery color is absolutely yummy. It's true what they say, butter does make everything look (or is that taste?) better. I surround myself in that color. Seriously...the paint on the walls of my main floor is guessed it...Buttery.
On gray March days like yesterday, it gives the illusion of sunshine. I'll never forget the day we finished painting the living room and our son Jacob walked in and said, "It's like a big hug of sunshine!" Exactly the look I was going for.
I'm writing this entry early in the morning here in Michigan...looks like a blue sky out my window...I think it's going to be a sunny day...YIPPEE!
Hope your day is filled with beautiful butterflies and buttery sunshine.
Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day One...Phase One

Here are my stats:
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 134 lbs. on the doctors scale dressed, home scale was 2 pounds nicer.
Goal Weight: 125 lbs.
True Goal: To reduce stomach fat so that when I sit down
in my jeans it doesn't feel like the Heimlich maneuver is being performed on me!
Here's a day in the life of a South Beacher...
Breakfast: Egg scramble with orange and red bell peppers, low-fat cheese, and fresh ground black pepper. Tomato juice. Coffee.
No mid-morning snack needed. Felt full until...
Lunch: Romaine lettuce salad with diced chicken breast, avocados, tomatoes, and fresh black pepper. Balsamic/ olive oil vinaigrette.
Mid-day snack: 30 Pistachios
Dinner: Small steak grilled to perfection topped with blue cheese, cauliflower, and sauteed mushrooms.
Dessert: Mocha Ricotta Creme
Is this really a diet or a live it? I never felt hungry OR deprived.
Next time I will have pictures because those meals were so pretty!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Last Meal

Me and my motorcycle man decided to follow The South Beach Diet again. We were on the plan a few years back and I believe in addition to losing a few pounds it taught us sound principles on eating right. I don't have a big weight problem, BUT I have noticed how my midsection feels thicker than it used to. may have caught up with least the desserts did! Phase One of the plan is like a detox...getting those sugar cravings back in check. Although it is the strictest phase, I never felt hungry. NEVER. During this two-week phase you are restricted on what you can and can't eat. I hate to focus on the negative, but here goes...
No breads, rice or pasta.
No fruits.
No cookies, candies, cakes, ice sugar.
No potatoes.
Here's the toughie...No Alcohol (not even red wine...whine).
What not to do on the night before embarking on this undertaking? Watch the movie Julie and Julia.
Notice that glass of wine? You better believe it.
Now don't misunderstand...I highly recommend the movie. It truly piqued my interest in Julia Child...Meryl Streep was fantastic! I kept forgetting I wasn't watching the real Julia. Unfortunately, as you might expect, the plot centers on her many delicious recipes and the processes involved in making them are absolutely intriguing. I don't want to leave the impression that food is the enemy. I love every way, shape, and form! However, as with anything else, it's all about balance...darn it. So, what does a person on the brink of this adventure have for their last meal? If that person is me? Pizza (GASP!).

I needed to stock up on those carbs to be fully prepared. This pizza is a family favorite and not so bad...all things considered. It was homemade with a whole wheat thin crust. An acceptable meal in a later phase of the diet. A recipe that I want to share with all of you who are still enjoying carbs.

Dust off your bread machine.

2lb. Pizza Dough (for 2 pizzas)

1-2/3 cup warm water

2 Tbl. olive oil

2 tsp. salt

2 cups all purpose flour

2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. yeast

Put all the ingredients in the machine in the order listed...making a little tunnel in the flour for the yeast. Set on "Dough Only or Pizza" feature of your machine. When done, split in half and roll out on Pam sprayed cookie sheets. Top with pizza sauce (I like Ragu home style), cheese, and your favorite toppings. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18 minutes. Get ready to eat the best pizza in town. Guaranteed.

Check back tomorrow for the update on how day one went AND for full disclose of my starting weight and desired weight. How's that for brave?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who's Afraid of Jigg's Dinner?

I did it. I stared down a fear and kicked it to the curb. For as many St. Patrick's Days that have come and gone, I have wanted to make a Jigg's dinner. Due to fear and possibly ignorance it never happened. I know a boiled dinner doesn't sound daunting, but the mere mention of the meat...corned beef...sent chills! I come from a large family and I don't recall mom ever preparing it. I think I would remember that sealed package of red bloody mystery meat. Let's face it, it doesn't look like something you'd give the dog. But alas, I have had a great Jigg's dinner once in my church, prepared by June Hawkinson. For me, it's all about the cabbage. I love cabbage in all forms, particularly when soaked in brine and called sauerkraut. June's cabbage was delicious and this had to have been 15 years ago at least...quite a lasting impression. I bit the bullet, purchased that package of mystery meat, and headed to Armed and dangerous, I prepared it just as a reviewer recommended because I've heard throughout these many years that beer is the key. (Note: Not from June mind you, but from other much braver souls than I.) After rinsing the meat thoroughly! and boiling it in the H2O and beer for 3 hours, I added the carrots, potatoes, and finally cabbage.
The Result:A little anti-climatic. Everyone had seconds, except James who said, "You don't have to add this one to your recipe box."
This post isn't really about the mediocre Jigg's's about facing those stupid, irrational, often times ridiculous fears. The meal was a breeze. What was stopping me all these years, from even trying? I eyed that illusive recipe down and I showed it who's boss.
Next year I will make another Jigg's dinner. Between now and then I will track-down June's recipe to share with all of you.
Saving Grace.
Oh man...I went all-out on the bread. I was in the Sylvania area yesterday and I stopped at this bakery that I've always wanted to visit, but I'm normally too busy. What can I tell you, it was a day of firsts. They have samples. Warning: Once you've sampled you are bound to buy...which is exactly what I did. Garlic Cheese Bread served with the meal and Apple Crumble for dessert and breakfast this morning.
And of course, a beer for the Irish in me.
Not your typical St. Patty's Day ale...but my personal favorite.
A slice of green lime.
Chick-sized for spring and summer.
So, what's holding you back in the life?
Isn't it high time you show it who's boss?
"Nothing is impossible in Him."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are You Wearing Your Green?

Can you read right to left? I wore my "THINK" shirt for St. Patrick's Day...
a hippie kinda thing to do.
Raising awareness and wearing green...get it?
Then it occurred to me...
I'll blog my green day everyday theory.
Here's my compost pile...ain't she pretty.
It will be dark, rich soil...
right in time for
Spring gardening.
Feed the Earth!
Recycling Day...Load-up the Jeep!
Cans, plastics, newspapers, cardboard...
they never land in the landfill around here.
Motorcycle Hubby!
He worked very hard a couple of years ago
trying to convince me that
riding a bike would save us money and would be
good for the environment...
obviously he is quite a salesman!
Look at that smirky smile...
How can a wife say no to that?
Spring Green!
As he was leaving for work on his first bike outing
of the year, I spotted these!
My first crocus of the season.
Don't ya just love green?
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Happy Green Day...Everyday!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cowgirls and Indians

My little cowgirl turned 1 yesterday. She was a Friday the 13th baby. I know what you're thinking...uh-oh...right? Well, she took that old-maid tale and single-handedly tore it to sheds! She is the sweetest little girl on the planet...and I would say that even if I weren't her grandma. Turning one is a BIG deal in these parts. I went all-out with Old Maid New. Here's a sneak preview...Shhh...don't spoil her surprise.
Cowgirl gone groovy.
Check-out those boots. Aren't they adorable! I found them at Savers on a half-price day for...drum roll, please...$1.25! They are light weight and look like the designer brand my sister Mary wears...what's that line??? Hannah Banana...that's not me out here!
The swirly skirt is a complete re-do from a vintage woman's skirt I purchased in Indy with the aforementioned sister. It's the third project I made from that one skirt!
The shirts are "groovied" up. She's gonna be one cool cowgirl.
Then a little butterfly captured my heart (Same day at Savers), and the read-to-me, dreamland tepee was created.
Bed linens with a new purpose.
Here's a view from the inside looking up.
...and looking out.
Filled with Classic books I found at our local used book store, A Novel Idea. Madeline, Beatrix Potter, Illustrator Eloise Wilkins...and even a lantern to read or dream by.
A first birthday wouldn't be complete without the classic Fisher Price Popcorn Popper. Savers again for $1.50! (Credit goes to Uncle James for finding it...he's a great bargain hunter.)
The only thing missing here is a picture of Kierstin...that will be rectified soon.
Happy Birthday, sweet baby Kierstin!
Grandma Loves You.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Birds and Thank-yous

This morning I woke up to this sweet bird perched on my windowsill... I love that little bird...I'm seeing him everywhere these days...on fabrics, graphics, and blog spots! I just never tire of his sweet song. None can compare to the one outside my bedroom window however, who gently welcomes the day...announcing that Spring is on the way. Still, as I stood looking out my kitchen window, sipping my first coffee on this cloudy day in March, this birdie greeted me and oh, what a welcome sight he was! He was lovingly stamped and made into a "piece of art" didn't have to but I'm glad you did... thank you card. I crafted cards long enough to know the work involved in making them. So, this is a thank you for the beautiful thank you card! I'm not as good as I should be at sending timely thank-yous which is why I can appreciate those who are. In fact, this is a thank you to all of those who still send the thank you. I for one hope it is a nicety that never goes out of style!
Thanks Lynn, I hope you enjoy the lipstick as much as I am enjoying your card!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Back For Seconds

I could keep this all to myself...or deceptively omit a vital ingredient...or take it to the grave. Can you believe I know women who've done that!? But it just wouldn't be fair to deprive you or your loved ones of this wonderfully easy...delicious...back for seconds/thirds...Vegetarian Tortilla Soup. The originator claims that those who covet the recipe have offered up their first born.
My family is as thrilled as I am with I haven't repeated a meal since I got hooked. This recipe proves it doesn't have to be a long complicated process to attain perfection. I did make quite a few alterations based on this is my version of contributor "DSYLVAN" 's original. I think that's one of the reasons this soup is so is very adaptable to what you have on hand in your kitchen. Once again...I found all the ingredients at Aldis's which means it was not only tasty but inexpensive to boot!
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
In a large soup pot combine:
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 orange pepper chopped
1 1/2 T Cumin
Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes then add:
2 (14.5oz) cans of Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
56 oz. chicken broth (1 1/2 cartons of Fit and Active)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add:
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
Serve in bowl then squeeze juice of a lime wedge over
Top with chopped fresh avocado
Sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese
Serve with Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
I won't lie to you there is a little heat to this soup, but it isn't too kids had seconds as well. Fresh veggie flavor...yummy...but it is the lime / avocado topping that gives it a real kick above others I have tried!
Serve with a margarita for a real Mexican fiesta!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Special Delivery

Inspiration struck...
Baby Peace...
Take another look...
I loaded-up the Jeep and dropped-off my special delivery at the shop (Harmony in Life) yesterday. Oh do inspire me.
Keep Looking...the previous post has more baby for you to enjoy.

Special Delivery-Continued

More baby pictures to show you...
Baby Boots...
Baby Blue...
Baby Roll-Brim...
Baby (Pillowcase) Sun Bonnet...
Baby Love...
Ahhh...Spring time and babies...
the promise of new beginnings!