Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sadie saturday

I’m staying with Grandma (AKA hot dog lady) while Mom and Dad are on vacation. I think I’m doing an excellent job of guarding her and the garage sale she’s hosting.

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Feline Friday (a day late)

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My Mom is nice enough to watch our cats while I’m gone and they reward her with such good behavior.

Her cat, Lucy, must think they are lunatics (they are).

Sadie Saturday–Champion Napper

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I sleep a lot.  Other than car rides and eating, it’s my favorite thing to do. 

I’m usually flat on the ground.

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Or spread out, completely relaxed.IMG_6699_edited-1

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But, I just discovered the magic of The Pillow!  I see Mom and Dad put them under their heads and never really understood the need.  And then when they sit on the sofa, they throw all the pillows on the floor.  What’s the point of having them?! I plopped down next to them the other day – so soft!

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The other night I decided to try it the human way.  I don’t know why it was photo worthy but they took my picture.

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Last night, when both Mom and Dad fell asleep on the sofa, I took my spot alongside Mom’s sofa and laid my head on a pillow right by Dad’s head (the sofas come together in an ‘L’ shape).  It was the best! 

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I was sleeping just like them, right by them!

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Mom said that I even made noises like my Dad while I slept.  Dad denies that so I do too.

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Finally… A Dress

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(can we just not discuss how awful it is to take pictures of yourself, especially at the end of the day when you’ve had your hair in a ponytail all day?  And how my legs are a COMPLETELY different color than the rest of my body?  I think I have a condition where my legs lost the ability to tan at some point.  something like that…)

I haven’t had much to update on the sewing front since I went several weeks of not wanting to start anything. I bought fabrics and patterns but was a little discouraged from my last few projects.  My skirts were ho-hum, the Amy Butler tunic was cute in theory but didn’t look that great on me.  I tried a popular tank pattern that I was hopeful I could make in a bunch of fabrics and it was too big and looked like a shapeless sack.  Boo!

This week I decided I needed a casual dress that was easy to make.  I tried Vogue 1236.

  V1236

It isn’t ultra fitted so a lot of skill wasn’t needed.  And, because it’s loose it will be super comfortable in this hot weather.

I based my size off the finished garment measurements, not the sizing table or my ready-to-wear size.  Thank goodness!  I know pattern sizing has no relationship to ready-to-wear and I don’t really care about the number anyway.  But, it almost makes it harder because you “know” you’ll go up a few sizes in a pattern (vs. your normal RTW size) but the patterns also have so much ease that you can’t go by the sizing tables unless you want to wear a tent.  For reference,  in a store I wear anything from a 6 to a 10.  I don’t mind sharing because – who cares!? According to the pattern table, I should make anything from a 12 to a 16.    BUT, based on finished garment measurements and calculating how much ease I wanted, I made a 10 on top and graded to a 12 on bottom and it was perfect.  It’s enough to make your head spin! But, it’s also part of the beauty of learning to sew – you make it just for your measurements!

I did make a couple adjustments. I shortened the waist 1.5” and added 2” to the length at the bottom. This pattern is cut short! I’m only 5’6” and even with the extra 2 inches, I only got a 3/4” hem of out it. SONY DSC

I really like the pockets because they’re a cute feature and it’s comfortable to have a place for your hands.  However, in this dress, on me at least, it adds poofiness and bumps I don’t want.  I think the dress would look best with the top bloused over the belt a little more but the pockets get in the way of the belt. I think I’ll leave them off next time.

SONY DSC                       Lumpy if you don’t keep your hands in your pockets at all times!

I also did my first blind hem.  It isn’t perfect but not too bad for my first try!SONY DSC

I got some practice slipstitching, too.  I had to close the openings at the shoulders and on the belt.  Not perfect but looks fine from a distance.SONY DSC

All and all, I’m happy with the project and it was just what I needed to get back on the sewing train again!

Feline Friday–Lucy Edition

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We have Lucy staying with us this week.  She’s my Mom’s cat and just so sweet.  She has the most gorgeous green eyes and looks like she’s wearing funky eye liner.IMG_8772_edited-1

I love her markings – she looks like she has a smudge of stripes on her chest.IMG_8773_edited-1

Now, I don’t know if she likes it here as much as we like her.  Whenever she visits she spends the first few days hanging out on top of the dining room table or on the stairs.  She’s been here since Sunday and finally came out today to nap on the couch.  And she will cuddle with me while I’m on the sofa with my laptop.  It only took 5 days…IMG_8768_edited-1

Poor girl has to put up with Ollie who is a terror.  But Kirby loves it since he’s no longer first choice as the target for chases and has had a relaxing few days. IMG_8778_edited-1

But the biggest adjustment is the dog.She also doesn’t know what to make of Sadie.  Usually she makes this a moan/growl/meow/whine noise before hissing and running away.  Tonight she tried to scare Sadie off with a fierce arched back. Sadie just looks at her like she’s crazy and goes about her business.IMG_8784_edited-1

Even Ollie had to pop upstairs to here what that weird noise was.IMG_8791_edited-1

All in all, we love having her and can’t wait for the next time she visits.IMG_8782_edited-1

Light(er) Blueberry Muffins

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I had a bunch of blueberries in my fridge so I decided to try homemade blueberry muffins.  I love muffins but they are essentially little pieces of cake that you feel only slightly better about because of the fruit.

I think I’ve already professed my love of all things “America’s Test Kitchen”.  I absolutely love their cookbooks.  They will try dozens of variations of a recipe to make sure it is the best possible version within reason for the home cook.  IMG_8718_edited-1

They also have a few cookbooks aimed at healthier eating.  The book I used was The Best Light Recipe.This isn’t a diet food cookbook by any means.  Rather, they say their goal is to lighten up existing recipes without sacrificing flavor and make some ‘healthy food’ recipes taste better so we eat them more often.  I think this is a good way to look at eating.  Unless you’re eating fast food all the time and melting cheese on everything, small improvements across the board will probably make a big impact without feeling disappointed every time you sit down to eat.

I love these cookbooks because they walk you through the process: how the recipe differs from the classic version, why the changes work and what ingredients were tested and won out. I could (and have) read them like a book. Dork, I know.

The Best Light Recipe

IMG_8721_edited-2I love when the fruit bubbles up and oozes out – yum!

It’s still a blueberry muffin so not health food but the calories are reduced and the fat and saturated fat is less than half the classic version.  They do this by reducing (not eliminating) the butter and substituting yogurt.  The book was written in 2006 before the Greek yogurt craze hit.  I wonder if that would work too? They had you cream the butter (not sure that’s typical for muffins) and substitute a portion of cake flour for all purpose.

I thought they were really good, and not just “healthy-good”, actually good.  The berries were so fresh and sweet – mmm! They did get crumbly the second day (the day I took the pictures below) but that may be normal with homemade muffins.  Or, maybe it was because I used non-fat yogurt rather than low-fat which was listed in the recipe.  IMG_8732_edited-1

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All in all, another success from this book.  Can’t wait to try the next recipe!

Brownie Fruit Pizza

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Just in time for the Fourth of July, an easy red, white and blue dessert.  I found this recipe on online and made it a few weeks ago.  Personally, I really liked it.  What’s not to like about brownies, cream cheese icing and fresh fruit? In the interest of full disclosure, my husband said it was,”eh”.  A ringing endorsement for sure. Thanks, Hon!

All you do is bake a brownie (from a mix) in a pizza pan.  Mine was 14”.  The recipe called for 12” and I think that would be better so the brownie is a little thicker. 

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Once cool, top with cream cheese icing and sliced fruit and done! Serve with whipped cream if you’ve got it.

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Have a safe and fun Independence Day, everyone!