Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Zodiac Room


Today Mom and I went downtown (after Saturday School) to the Zodiac Tea Room on the 6th floor of Neiman Marcus. I have wanted to try it out for awhile, it's been around forever. I was reading a Dallas Magazine a week or so ago and I read about their popovers, and I scheduled a lunch! They started the meal with complimentary chicken broth, and a cheese bite, and then this enormous, steaming, puffed popover with individual, chilled bowls of raspberry butter. Yum! It was even bigger in person, and I snuck a picture on my iphone.

I ordered the Croque Madame because it's what all the reviews said was 'the best'....I filled up on the popover (priorities), and sweet potatoes fries, and salad, but what I ate of the Croque Madame was good too....

It was a really beautiful restarauant, and a fun experience. I'm glad I went! Lunch with Mom is always fun.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/info/restaurant.jhtml?rest=100009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Preview


You will probably see a bigger and more jazzed up version of this exact same Diaper Cake in a month or so for a shower I'm hosting (Surprise-the theme is going to be 'monkeys' on behalf of my pal who has always loved monkeys). Anyway, I threw this little cake together for a friend at work attending a shower this weekend (people know I love to use their money to go shop and get to try out crafts), the monkey is a little big for this little cake, but he's going anyway. The shower this work pal is attending has a safari theme, but I just chose one animal to focus on for her gift, she'll be fine with it. Jodi, I'm so in love with how easy these 'cakes' are to 'bake.' Thanks again for sharing. I had to show you....the trials didn't stop with the last one. I look forward to putting together a suped up Monkey Diaper Cake soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Jury Is Still Out On These Brownie Bites...


A friend made these over the summer. She got the recipe at a Weight Watchers meeting. I remember thinking they were fine, but I'm not going to say I LOVE them. I made them for a staff development training my teaching partner and I are presenting tomorrow (bribe 'em with food). It's still a toss up for me because they are only 50 calories each, and one recipe makes 36, but they are not incredibly sweet....and I like my teeth to hurt when I'm eating desserts. I think if you added whipped cream or powdered sugar they would be even better (though a few more calories). So, if you want a low calorie and easy dessert, or you are trying to take something to a calorie aware crowd:
Brownie Bites
1 can of pumpkin (15 oz)
1 box of chocolate cake
Mix the dry cake mix and pumpkin, place about a tablespoon in each mini-muffin well.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
P.s. These went over well, a lot of the gals really liked them and ate multiple Brownie Bites, so...I'd recommend them for a group, especially a group watching their figures. :O)

Lent...or Something Close to It

Nope....I haven't converted to Catholosism, but I started my own form of fasting during Lent back in college. Easter is overlooked far too often in the commercial world, and I don't want it to be forgotten in my life...ever! Easter is a big deal! This six week 'fast' reminds me each time I 'deny' what I think I want-I need to refocus on what I truly need. If only it didn't take Lent to bring this about! This year I chose a true addiction-something I consume even more than bread (it's purely calories that prevents equal bread consumtion in my life)---->Diet Coke (and other sodas). I could walk around with an iv drip of Diet Coke and still want more. I've been in a pretty serious relationship with Diet Coke since high school. It's really hard for me to break up and see how we are going to do without each other. I had a slight moment of insanity where I tried to rationalize this not being a good decision, I mean-how stable is the economy right now? What if I am the cause of Coke going bankrupt? Breath in, breath out, focus on your happy place, Christy....you are now at Mrs. Baird's Bread Factory-a new batch of loaves is just leaving the oven....I have a feeling this is not the last you will hear about this! OK....starting today-cold turkey-no more Diet Coke until Easter. A headache is coming on just thinking about it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Insert Picture Here


My friend Amber showed me how to make these picture holders last fall (and made me one for Christmas). I thought it was cute, so I went out and bought the supplies to put together my own for gifts. I usually don't post gifts if they are for people that I know do read my blog, but this go 'round....I'm breaking my rule. So, tonight I made my third one as a gift, and I decided I wanted to take a picture, even though I have not sent the other two off yet. So, like it or not-two of you are getting one of these soon in your mail, different paper and colors, but the same idea. This one is for Regan, I'm planning on heading up to Tennessee for a visit in April, so this is for her to fill with a picture from our weekend festivities, whatever they may be. (If you are reading this, Regan...I'm looking forward to my trip up! Sorry that you are my guinea pig, but I'm sure you are over it already). :O) The picture isn't very clear, but basically this is a huge clothes pin I bought at the craft store. I painted it (magenta), and then covered the surfaces with some scrapbook paper I liked. Here's a picture from the side so you can see exactly what this little wooden thing is that I'm discussing. It's a fun, and easy project. I've decorated each one with different doodads etc, but the 'frame' is the same. So, if you need a gift for someone....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Christy Needs...

OK, I saw this on Heidi’s blog, and I had to try it out. The mission is to type in your name, and attach the word ‘need’ then Google the phrase, next report on the top 10 answers. I currently have 23,900,000 ‘needs’ according to the Google search engine (if you only knew), but here are the first ten of my needs the site reported!
1. Christy needs to blog…
That’s funny, did you write this, Marie?
2. Christy needs help…
…like you wouldn’t believe!
3. Christy needs her own series…
This could be interesting….
4. Christy needs to take her opinion elsewhere…
Can I get an “Amen!”?
5. Christy needs more Pop…
I could have an IV drip of ‘Pop’ and still want another one…I’m addicted to soda!
6. Christy needs rainbow chills…
Sounds interesting, I’ll take two!
7. Christy needs a new computer…
I’m pretty fine with the one I have, new computer means new technology, and new technology means….well, refer to number 2!
8. Christy needs an intervention…
Sign me up!
9. Christy needs to take a good hard look in the mirror…
Ouch!
10. Christy needs to know where her inventory is located at all times of the day…
I didn’t know I needed to know this…..I’m off to locate my inventory now!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pasta Salad


I'm a girl that loves her carbs, I consider myself a good judge of pasta salads ;o). I had this pasta salad a month ago at a luncheon, and the gal who made it was sweet enough to share the recipe....it was soooo delicious. It just takes a box of cooked bow tie pasta, a small can of drained, sliced olives, about 8 cherry tomatoes (more if you like them), a small handful each of equal amounts chopped spinach, cilantro, and parsley, a medium onion, chopped, one container of feta cheese, and a few tablespoons of light balsalmic vinegar dressing. Chill, and then pour more dressing over the salad right before it is served. It's YUMMY, and easy to make. It was a big hit amongst us gals.

Working 9 to 5....


...or 7 to 5, Monday-Saturday whatever. That's what's been keeping me busy, and out of the world of blogging more frequently (Marie :O)). I have two more weekends of Saturday School, then the first round of state test are given, and we won't start up on Saturdays again until after Spring Break (two weeks off :O)). Many people make comments about teacher's 'summers', but I'm publically giving us some credit here for the six day weeks we put in during the 'school year.' My house is a mess, I think half of my friends have forgotten my name, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel, or at least a man hole lid labeled spring break where I'll see some light before heading down the next testing tunnel!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another "Borrowed" Idea: Mickey Pot Holder


I ran across a blog a few days ago with this project explained in detail, and I thought-hey, I have most of the materials necessary to make one of those! I said I'd never make a pot holder, but....I lied. I used the scraps that I had from my last quilt....and the one before that to see how this turned out. I didn't follow her exact instructions, I used more 'little' pieces because I wanted more colors....but rules are made to be broken. The only thing I had to purchase was the rick rack. I have a not so secret love for the stuff, so that was no problem. I also ignored the part where she used black material for the ear portion, mostly b/c I don't really have any black material, and the whole goal was to use my scraps! So now, it's done, another blog experiment, and I'll find this guy a nice Mickey Loving home to live at for as long as he is useful (or wanted). Regardless of whether you are a fan of the potholder (and I wasn't and will probably continue to be just 'semi interested' in these sort of proejects) or not, this lady's blog has some free patterns etc that are fun to look through. I was just excited to get to use my scraps, but the key was-I made myself use my scraps and just 'be OK' with the final outcome--this was a bit of a milestone for me-I only purchased ONE thing for a project....(and a bunch of other stuff I didn't need at the craft store when I was there buying the 'one thing' for THIS project, but who's counting?) http://quilttaffy.blogspot.com/2009/02/mickey-mouse-hotpad-potholder-tutorial.html

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Always Like a Good 'Dog' Story!....


Someone told me about these hot dogs a few weeks ago, I was completely skeptical about how 'good' they really were. I mean....sometimes people who are determined to eat light, are also determined the food they are eating actually taste good. Trust me, your bowl of cauliflower ain't that great. BUT, this...this is a good thing! There are two different 50 calorie hot dogs on the market now, this one was more expensive, but it was worth every dime (or dollar). I got 7 for about $4.50. They are Hebrew National's 97% fat free hot dogs. I'm not really interested in knowing what the other 97% of this product is if it's not fat, so feel free to keep any speculation on that matter off my comment section ;o), BUT I would highly recommend these. I grilled mine on the good ol' George Foreman, and I'd say they are pretty much my favorite hot dog (minus the ones I get at the ballpark).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Searching for a Smile?


In front of the court house today I saw the ice cream man enter the court to pay off his speeding ticket. I wonder how fast this little puppy can go? Uhh, I think my favorite features were the Christmas lights....no wait, maybe it's the menu options...no, the window treatment....look, I'm just upset I didn't catch him in time to get the pink thing with the bubble gum at the bottom before he went in to pay off the fines. I would have waited, but I didn't want to get arrested for taking the picture....

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Quilting Retreat


This weekend I went on my second retreat. It is so nice to start...and (pretty much) finish a project in a weekend! I LOVE 'finishing' things, I feel so accomplished. My goal was to NOT get more fabric until I've used up what I have (oops)....I failed at that, but it was worth a weekend away for this experience. This time there was a different group of ladies (some of the same). Most of the gals at this particular retreat were older than me, but I must first say, I LOVE quilters. They are so kind, you will feel like you've gained a big sister by the end of the weekend. They are all so helpful, and willing to teach, and administer tips. I feel like I've made some great friends this weekend, and I can't wait to see them again. It's a pleasure to be a part of this world. I also loved being with so many experienced quilters because I just LOVED to see what all they were turning out, and to listen to them tell their stories, talk about their families, and inspire laughter! When I look at my quilts, I think about those memories attached to each quilt, and each lady who left their impact, and I really DO feel like there is a piece of me in the quilt (good or bad, but never indifferent). I think this is the sign of a good hobby! Now onto the details....
I love the machines at the top of this blog entry, so many of the ladies have these antique Singers, and they are PRECIOUS....AND THEY WORK! Someday...
And below, this is the Inn we stayed at this weekend in Van Alystyne-the quilt store was attached to the Inn, so we were able to shop and sew (this can be a good, or a bad thing, depending on your self-control, and checkbook balance). The Mother-In-Law was a part of this retreat, so we had the luxory of standing in the store at 12:30 AM shopping in our PJS...such a fun experience each night. I loved the big porches (upstairs, and down). There is a big room for the work tables, a kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

This is one of many bedrooms, there are some with larger beds, but for the most part each quilter got to select a room, and a quilt to sleep under.

I sewed until 3 am Friday, woke up on Saturday at 8 am, and quilted ALL day, minus quick food stops, and one walk through the town. Most of the stores were closed by the time we started walking about, but I always love walking through cute little towns. We did eat at the Durning B and B on Friday night, and it was good.

On to what I did....this is from fabric I bought last July "Flutterby"...I posted the fabric pile at the time, but now....I've ironed, cut, sewed, ironed, sewed, ironed, cut, sewed, ironed, sewed, ironed, cut, sewed, ironed....the pattern is called '9 Easy Pieces' (each block has nine different sized pieces sewn together, then each of those blocks were sewed to another block until I had a row, which I then attached to a row etc etc etc).....and it should fit a queen size bed. The next step is to take this top piece, and the bottom piece (not picture, but shades of blue) to a quilter.....and then when I get it back, I sew on the binding, at that point you can stick a fork in me because I'll be done...with this quilt. "My Quilt"

A close-up of some of the fabrics (it reminds me of the 60's)...

What's next? There is a really classy lady who has been quilting longer than I've been breathing (and then some), and she brought all her 'scraps' and taught us how to make this 'scrap' quilt. I loved it because all the pieces are a part of her past quilts. This is her sample quilt.

She gave me some strips from her pile, and I bought the 'base' fabric to put it on, and I sewed my first square, this way I will know what to do when I get ready to make this quilt (very different from anything I've ever done). I love it because now my quilt will be merged with a pretty incredible ladies quilts! Someday you will see the rest of this, but I have to make it first, which probably won't be for quite some time! P.s. My friend Kelly said she didn't like the colors-that is the point with this particular quilt-contrast, contrast, contrast. It will look much better when it's all put together, so stay with me on this one until it's 'finished.'

And now....a nap!