Sunday, August 30, 2009

My luck

So I won a giveaway on The Fabric Bar blog. My prize? A $50 gift certificate to her etsy fabric shop. Oh, goodie! Here's what I picked out.
Amy Butler Nigella fabric. I have {ambitious} plans to turn it into this:

Wish me luck.

I also picked up a yard of Ready, Set, Robot by Alexander Henry. It will become...something robot-y for Luke's room.

Finally, I got the Lizzie House Red Letter Day collection.

The whole kit and kaboodle.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with this. For now, I'll just pet it.

I love the little Ugly Duckling.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Betcha can't watch this without smiling.

Sorry for the bootleg quality of this video. You can download it for free on iTunes.
P.S. Glee returns in just 11 short days!

Ha ha! Told you it was bootleg. Here's the song. If you want to see the video, check it out at Or here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Victoria Beckham—meh. Neil Patrick Harris—whatev. 

But this American Idol guest judge I'm excited about!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eagerly awaiting

In case you haven't noticed, it's practically September, which means the new fall TV season is right around the corner. What returning show are you most looking forward to? My vote goes to this guy.

No one does curmudgeonly angst quite like House. Plus, the new hair cut is hot.

I'm bringing SmokeyBack

We're encouraging kids to "Get Your Smokey On"? Really, Smokey Bear?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lil chef

Okay, last apron post of the week, I promise.
I made an apron for Luke using this free pattern from the Sew Liberated blog. It's a great pattern--very straightforward. I'm proud of this apron. It's one of my favorite sewing projects so far. It cost me less than $4, and it came out looking pretty professional.

Luke, on the other hand, was less than enthused. I'm hoping he learns to love it. It's made for a 3 to 6 year old, so he has a little growing to do before it will really fit.

I made the lining out of a different fabric. I was thinking that it would be reversible, but that was before I thought through the logistics of the Velcro. So it just has a cute lining.

The pattern has great toddler-appropriate details, like a Velcro closure for the waistband...

...and elastic in the neck strap, which makes it easier to get over the head.

Or that's the idea, anyway.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chinese food apron

My friend Leah is busy preparing for her much anticipated Dim Sum and Some Games party. {In case you don't know, dim sum = traditional Chinese food consisting of a variety of items such as steamed or fried dumplings, pieces of cooked chicken, and rice balls served in small portions, or so says Merriam Webster.}

I made her this theme-appropriate apron, again using the Apron in an Hour tutorial.

Fabrics are from Robert Kaufman's Chopsticks Please line.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chickummyjig 2: Rise of Chickummyjig

Remember the Chickummyjig I made for Luke? Well, Steph said she had just the place for one in her kitchen, so when it came time for her birthday, I had just the gift in mind. {In case you forgot, the free Chickummyjig pattern is available from Myrtle & Eunice.}

I like the flowery legs.

I was a little concerned that she'd think I was a weirdo for giving her a handmade stuffed animal, so I counteracted the weirdness with this hand-embroidered monogram. Don't worry. I haven't adopted another hobby. Rather, I ordered this from Says You's Etsy shop. Her monograms are customizable--you can choose everything from the font to the thread color to the color of the hoop.

Happy birthday, Steph!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One of my favorite recipes

This recipe for Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders is one of my go-to weeknight meals. It's quick, tasty, pretty healthy, and my husband and son will eat it. That's about all I can hope for!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

Have you noticed that there are feuds aplenty in the entertainment world these days? Some of them are downright comical. My personal faves:

Maybe if I time-warped back to a time when people cared about Eminem. Or Mariah. And Nick Cannon? In way over his head with these two.

Actually, I'd like to see these guys mend fences so Seth Rogen could make a cameo on one of my favorite shows.

Ah ha ha ha. See? It's funny, cause they're both short. And if Chris Kattan is feuding with anyone it should probably be the customer he's currently ringing up at the Orange County Ikea.

Now, this does sound serious. But I guess if  you have to feud with a whole state, Alaska is your best choice. You're not likely to stumble upon Alaska on your way to...well, any where. (Wait, is Alaska going to have beef with me now too???)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Read it: The Family Man by Elinor Lipman

I'm making my way through my pile of library books, and this was a fun read. I put it on my list after Entertainment Weekly gave it an A. In The Family Man, Henry is reunited with his long-lost stepdaughter, a struggling actress who has taken a job posing as the girlfriend of an actor looking for publicity. It'a a funny/charming/lighthearted story of an untraditional family.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Confession time

I admit it: I like this song. Whew! Feels good to get that off my chest.

I'm investigating the possibility that something is seriously wrong with me.

Lucky me!

I entered a giveaway over at The Apron Goddesses and won this little number, courtesy of Swizzlestix. (Swizzlestix sells really cute, retro-inspired aprons, pillows, place mats, etc. Be sure to check out their store!) It arrived today, and it is very sassy indeed. Now I have apron options! Check me out!

Ta ta for now! I'm off to dust something with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mmm. Greek goodness.

I love Greek food, especially anything with tzatziki sauce. This recipe for Chicken Souvlaki (from the August issue of Cooking Light) is especially delicious. I added feta...because why wouldn't you? It's very simple and fast--great for a weeknight.

In case you're keeping track, that's two new recipes this week. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And so it begins...

Quilt #2 is underway! I must say, this one is taking much longer than quilt #1, which I threw together in a weekend. Since then, I've done a lot of research, and I'm trying to be much more precise. It's much more time-consuming that way!
Here's my fabric. It's mostly David Walker Robots. My local yarn/fabric store was having a sale last week, so I picked up fabric for the backing (light blue) and binding (stripes) el cheapo. I think I'm going to paint Luke's room to match the light blue.

I bought a few packs of precut 5-inch squares, but I way underestimated how much fabric I needed. (Quilting involves, like, math and stuff.) So I bought a few more yards of fabric and cut the rest of the squares myself. (This tool was most helpful.)

Seriously, a twin-size quilt is much bigger than I would've thought! Up next: sewing together 266 squares. Maybe this quilt will be ready by the time Luke goes to college. (Dang, I should've made it a twin extra-long!)
Note to self: Let's try something smaller for quilt #3, mkay?

In other Robot Room news, I was SO excited to find these new prints by one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Stephanie Fizer. Seriously, could they be any more perfect? She has a buy 2 get 1 free sale going on through Wednesday, so I got all three for $20. A serious bargain. And seriously cute.

Dear Hallmark

Can you please ease up on running this commercial?

You're turning me into one of those people who gets choked up watching Hallmark commercials.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Food = comfort

Tonight I wanted a light dinner. You know, something fitting for a hot August evening. So I made Oven-Fried Chicken. I made this recipe from the dearly departed Cottage Living magazine. It was definitely more time-consuming than what I'd normally make on a Monday night, but it was very tasty. I'm not big on frying, so this method of pan-frying for a few minutes and then finishing it off in the oven worked well for me.

Oven-Fried Chicken

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces*
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 cup canola oil


1. Whisk together hot sauce and buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Place chicken into mixture, turn to coat, and chill 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 425°. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet until sizzling hot (about 350°).

3. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. Dredge in flour mixture, and place in hot skillet. Cook in batches, 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.

4. Place fried chicken on a wire rack in a baking sheet, and bake 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven, and place on paper towels to drain. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Yummy. With it, we had Loaded Baked Potato Casserole and corn--you know, to pretend like we're eating something healthy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Will you watch it?

I don't know...looks kinda entertaining.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Book binge

I went on a binge at the library. I suppose if you have to go on a binge, the library is a good place to do it. I picked up four books from the new fiction shelf and put several more on reserve. Of course, they all came in at the same time. Now I have 10 books in my possession. Granted, four of them are crafty books that don't require much reading, but this is still a tall order for someone who reads as slowly as I do. I'm going to employ my sister's ruthless practice of giving a book 50 pages--if I don't like it after 50 pages, I'll quit reading. I'll let you know if any of them are worth while.

For some reason, I was attracted to mysteries. Maybe this trailer has me in a Sherlock Holmes state of mind.

Regardless, I read this book first: The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson. It was an entertaining, fast-paced read. You might pick it up the next time you're on a library binge!

The synopsis:
It’s a well-known and rather curious fact that some people write letters to fictional characters, that fictional creations can become so real that someone can actually believe they exist. Robertson, a first-time author, takes that premise and runs with it. Brothers Reggie and Nigel Heath are a couple of London lawyers whose offices are located in the 200 block of Baker Street. Their lease requires them to answer all letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes, 221B Baker Street. Nigel opens one such letter, and soon he’s gone, disappeared, leaving behind a dead body and a whole lot of confusion. Next thing you know, Reggie is on a plane to Los Angeles, tracking down his brother and solving a decades-old mystery.

This song makes me happy.

And the book goes to...

Nana B!

Nana, I know where to find you! I'll send the book your way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It's only $12, but when it unexpectedly tumbled out of the dryer, it felt like I'd hit the jackpot!
(To be fair, it must belong to my husband, but I asked him, and he laid no claim to it. I know it's not mind! I don't carry around that kind of cash.)

Check, please!

I printed up these play checks and mailed them to my nephew today. I hope he thinks they're fun! I would've liked them when I was 7.

I found this project on Just Something I Made. Cathe has a PDF, which you can dowload and edit. Then you just staple the checks to a manila folder, trim, and voila! Simple project. I imagine kids these days will think checks are very old-fashioned.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm not a domestic goddess, but I play one on my blog

And, yes, I feel the part when I sashay around the house in my new apron.

I used the Apron in an Hour tutorial from the Stop Staring and Start Sewing blog. The tutorial is very simple. My only change: I made the ties a bit longer than the pattern recommended. It took me longer than an hour, but I had lots of interruptions, and I tried extra hard to sew in a straight line. (Harder for me than it sounds!)

Mostly, I was looking for an excuse to use this fabric: Antler Damask Sky and Lodge Lattice Sky from the Deer Valley collection by Joel Dewberry. This fabric = true love.

I don't know what it is about this deer head, but I love it!

I better go find something to bake!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Katie's Book Pass-along: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Here's my latest book for the pass-along, and it's one that I really enjoyed: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
Great cover, right?

The synopsis:
"In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.' "

Flavia is an entertaining narrator--she has a bit of a Harriet the Spy thing going on, just with an extra dose of precociousness. This is Bradley's first in a series of books starring Flavia, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for the next installment.

Would you like to read this book? Just leave me a comment here, and I'll pick someone to pass the book along to on Thursday!