Thursday, December 31, 2009

Recipe Thursday: Granny's Super Sweet Taters

Happy New Year's Eve! I probably won't be posting New Year's Day since the hubster has a gig tonite and we'll be zombies tomorrow. I can't believe this year is at it's end already! It went waaay too fast but I'm glad 'cause 2009 just sucked, am I right?! And now we can start saying twenty-ten, etc. instead of two-thousand and blah-blah. That always bothered me for some reason. I'm crazy, perhaps?

Anyhoo! I got my yellow undies made yesterday and I even did a review for Pattern Review! This is Kwik Sew 2100 and I like the pattern a lot. Their sizing is really off, which you can read about in my review, but these turned out great! I used a Nylon/Lycra and they sort have a slimming effect. Yay! I just realized yesterday that I make way more stuff than I review. I should really do more reviews this next year! It would be cool to have a record of everything I make throughout the year. I've noticed many other sewing bloggers doing a kind of wrap-up of their sewing projects and I honestly haven't got a clue how many items I've made over the last 12 months!

Okay, on to the recipe! You will most definitely need something with slimming action when you eat these sweet potatoes! They are so wonderful and it's the only way I make mine. I got the recipe from my Mother-in-Law several years ago and it's the one I think her mother used. I'm sorry I don't have a picture! I made these for Christmas Eve but totally spaced the picture taking/Recipe Thursday stuff. You'll just have to trust me on this one! We always reserve this dish for special holidays. This would be perfect to serve tomorrow!

Granny's Super Sweet Taters

6-8 Sweet Potatoes or Yams (whichever you use, try to find the smallest ones, they tend to be better)
1 pound Brown Sugar
1 pint Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Nutmeg (optional)
9"x13" Baking Dish, sprayed with cooking spay or buttered

The night before you make the dish, mix cream and brown sugar in a covered container or big jar, refrigerate. (If you want to use nutmeg you can stir it in with the cream and brown sugar or wait and sprinkle it over the potatoes before baking. It's not part of the original recipe, just something I added on my own so please don't think it's necessary. These are just as delicious without it!) Stir the mixture every so often, maybe each time you get in the fridge. Boil the potatoes in a large pot, skin on, for about 30-45 minutes or until soft. Drain and let cool. This makes peeling the taters super easy! Okay, now you can peel 'em. Cut into quarters and place them in your baking dish, preferably in a single layer. You can do this the day before if you need the time! Right before you want to bake your taters get out your cream mixture and stir well, pour over the potatoes. Heat oven to 350 degrees then pop in the taters. Bake covered (I just use foil) for approx. 1 hour and be sure to spoon the sauce over the potatoes every 20 minutes or so. What comes out is a bubbly, caramel-y treat like no other! No marshmallows needed here!

As always, if you have questions please email me. I'd love to hear if you try the recipe!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yellow Undies for New Years Eve?

Did you know it's good luck to wear yellow undies on New Years Eve? It's supposed to bring wealth in the new year, too. New ones are best and getting them as a gift is even better. Why yellow you ask? It's the closest color to gold, of course! You're even supposed to throw away all your old panties at the stroke of midnight!

I could really use some good luck and wealth in 2010 so, I'm going to gift myself with a new pair! That counts, right? I have all my supplies ready to go. I'm just trying to decide if I want yellow lace or black. I'm leaning towards the black 'cause it's just sexy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let the holiday cleanup commence...

We got back from my mom's Saturday and have pretty much vegged out for the past few days. All that holiday hubbub poops me out! It was so good to see everyone, though. Now, the Christmas mess is driving me nuts and it has to get cleaned up. Believe me, it takes a lot of mess to drive me nuts! I seriously hate cleaning. Also, sorry I forgot to do my Recipe Thursday! I'll get caught up this week!

Now I can show you the Christmas sewing I was working on! Above is the bra and panty set I made my mom. She told me the panties fit but I've yet to hear on the bra. The panty pattern I used is from Coni Crawford. I had to alter it a bit because I don't like the way the back waistline is shaped. The first time I used the pattern was for myself. I used it as is and because of this extra fabric I have a big poof above my butt. Not real cute. I'm sure it would work for other body types. Me and my mom's butts aren't shaped that way, though. LOL! The bra pattern is the Queen Elite from Anne St. Clair that I've talked about before.

Below is the nightie I made for my sister. I quite literally finished it the day before I gave it to her. I used this pattern and it went together like a dream!

My form is set to my daughter's size so it doesn't fill it out as well as my sister will but I love how it turned out. The fabric is from a bundle and is supposedly from Victoria's Secret. It is soooo super soft! The matching panties are my go-to Jalie. These are the low rise view A.

I knitted my Sister-in-Law a scarf but forgot to take a picture of it. I didn't use a pattern or anything. It was just a simple 1x1 rib.

Well, my messy house beckons me.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Sewing: A Sneak Peek!

Here's a little sneaky peek at what I've been working on! Can't show the whole thing 'cause I don't want to ruin the surprise. I love how it's turning out and I certainly hope the recipient does too!

All the Christmas gifts to be purchased have been purchased, I have just a few more things to get finished up sewing-wise and then I'll be DONE!!! Yay!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last Saturday Nite!

Here's the pics I promised. My husband's band rocked the house last Saurday/Sunday. Had a blast as usual. I took a ton of pictures but since MY CAMERA SUCKS, they didn't turn out very well. In this first one I was able to get them all lined up:

That's my man.... mmmmm hmmm!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Recipe Thursday: Brrrrrownies! Ah yeeeah!

Okay, this is a super easy Brownie recipe! So easy it should be illegal 'cause yer gonna want to make it every day. I found this recipe on the web but have adapted it a bit to suit my taste. I also use organic ingredients whenever I possibly can. It makes the brownies healthy that way! I keep telling myself that anyway.

Easy Peasy Brownies

1/2 cup Butter (it's best to use real butter)
3/4 cup Brown Sugar (I use dark brown but I'm sure light will work fine too)
3/4 cup White Sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Vanilla (yes, a tablespoon)
A sprinkleydoo of Cinnamon or about 1/4 tsp (trust me)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare an 8" square baking dish with butter or cooking spray or line the bottom with parchment paper, set aside for now. Melt the butter in a large-ish saucepan. Remove from heat and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Dump everything else in the saucepan and mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan and pop 'em in the oven for about 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick for done-ness. If the toothpick comes out gooey, bake for a few minutes more.

Now, you're supposed to let these cool before you can cut them but who has time for that?! We're dealing with brownies, people! We cut/scoop and eat hot. They aren't pretty but really, who cares.... If you want them to look nice just wait an hour or so.

You can also add chocolate chips, nuts, or whatever suits your fancy! The recipe can easily be doubled if you need more choco-goodness.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas sewing

I've been working on some Christmas sewing for the past several days. Unfortunately, I can't post much about it since the recipients (a.k.a. Mom and Sis) read my blog! Due to much needed devotion to these projects, I'll be out of pocket here for awhile. Tomorrow is Recipe Thursday and I will have a treat for you then! Well, more like a treat you can make for yourself.....yummmm!

I used a super quick remedy on the Hot Patterns Uptown/Downtown dress (pics later!). I just threaded some elastic thorough the binding and it more or less did the trick. I just don't have the time to rip it out and redo it now. I'll leave it like this and if I make another I'll be sure to make sure my fabric is stretchy enough! I think I'm going to make an infinity scarf to wear with it so that'll cover my, shall we say, indiscretion. I'd really like to get a review done up for Pattern Review, too.

Happy 'Hump' Day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Progress: HP Uptown/Downtown Dress

and I need some suggestions!
Okay, the neckline is giving me fits and I'm thinking about just sticking some elastic in there so it'll lay flat! This is one of those patterns where, for the neckband, fabric choice is key. If it ain't stretchy enough it just ain't gonna work right. I *thought* my fabric was stretchy enough but I was sorely mistaken. The neckband on the size 20 is 10" shorter than the neckline and no matter how hard I pulled I just couldn't get it to fit. Well, I just barely made it all the way around and at the end got a tiny pleat. When I put the dress on it look horrid! It was all bunched up and the sleeves looked crazy. I'm sorry I didn't take a pic to show you. The pattern calls for rib knit for the bands and it mentions that you can use self fabric but it better have super elasticity and excellent recovery, that's all I'm sayin'. I did rip out the original neckband (ugh, dark thread on dark fabric!) and made the neckband about 6" longer. While this technically worked it makes the band stick up and I just don't care for it at all. Hence the idea for elastic or do you think it will look like crap? Please, please help! I love this fabric and hate to see it wasted.

Friday, December 11, 2009

sorry no pics today!

I really meant to take pictures of my Hot Patterns Uptown/Downtown dress to show you. Well, I did take a couple but they were really horrid and you could see my messy desk/house in the background. They just weren't fit for posting. I'm a little *meh* about the pattern at the moment anyway. Lets just say my fabric choice wasn't right for the neckband and it looks crappy and I'm trying to figure out how to fix it. Maybe just rip the whole damn thing up...

Tomorrow/Saturday is my obligatory "Roadie Duty" since the hubster and his band are playing. They're going to be rockin' out in Borger, TX at the Main Street Bar (I think it's called) so if you're anywhere near come join us. I'm kinda sore from swimming and doing my water aerobics classes all week so we'll see how I feel after lugging around amps and monitors. And it's supposed to be a little warmer Saturday and Sunday which is a bonus. You haven't lived until you've loaded a truck with musical equipment at 2:30 AM in freezing temperatures, I'm tellin' ya! I'll take pics and share them next week!

Everyone have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday is now the Official Recipe Day!

Last Thursday I posted a couple of shampoo recipes and I think I'm going to keep it up! I love to cook and make up my own bath and body stuff so I'll post some sort of recipe every Thursday. It could be brownies or it could be body scrub. You just never know with me!

First things first though, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gave in to, that evil temptress! Second, I really need to thank the UPS man for bringing all that fabric I ordered from Chez Ami early yesterday! My husband would just die! Now it's all safely hidden in the bins in my garage. Of course he's used to my fabricaholic tendencies after 15+ years. If you sew for children then you really need to head over there. They have some of their fabrics clearanced for $2.50 a yard. You have to buy it in two yard lots but it is sooo worth it. The fabric is excellent quality and washes beautifully. I've made my son several things and they all still look great after several washings. Anyhoo, I'm sort of ashamed to say I bought *gasp* 42 yards. Yes, you read that correctly. I know, awful right? I plan to use it for at least 5 people so it'll go fast. Some good friends of ours have a 2 year old daughter and I want to make her a whole bunch of stuff. Her daddy lost his job a couple months ago and I know they don't have the money to buy her a bunch of Winter clothing. So, I'm arming myself with my Ottobre mags and will get down and dirty as soon as I get some of this fabric washed.

Okay, on to the recipe!

This is another shampoo that we love and is easy to make. It's my daughter's new favorite and really does smell fresh. My little guy and my big guy like it too. Bonus!

Minty Fresh Shampoo

1/4 cup Distilled Water
1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I use the unscented stuff from Dr. Bronner's)
2 tsp Jojoba Oil
1/8 tsp Peppermint Oil
1/8 tsp Tea Tree Oil

Pour water and soap into bottle and then add your oils. Swish around to mix. Shake well before use in the shower. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Rinse well.

This is a good one for this time of year with cold and flu season upon us (well, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway). The tea tree has excellent cleaning properties and is an analgesic, decongestant, and expectorant. The peppermint is also good for sinus congestion and is a pain reliever. So the next time you have a cold or a headache, hop in the shower armed with this shampoo!

Tomorrow, I want to unveil my version of the Hot Patterns Uptown/Downtown dress! See you all then.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dang you and Hot Patterns!

I caved this morning. It's all due to stinkin', too. They're having this 12 Days of Christmas sale and the first day was 60% off the Vera Lavender Collection. I've been eyeing several of those fabrics for some time so I pretend shopped and filled my cart with a few things knowing I probably wasn't going to buy anything. Then the next day I check my emails and I've got one from It basically says, "Hey wait, you have stuff in your cart and you forgot to check out! Here, we'll give you and extra 15% off if you come back and buy up this stuff you don't really need!" How the hell do they know I put shit in my cart and didn't check out?! Creepy. So anyways, I go back to and see what all I put in my cart. Some of it is mysteriously gone, btw. Then I see that patterns are on sale today with the frickin' 12 Days thingy and I sink out of my chair and onto the floor (well, not really. I just said that for dramatic effect.) 'cause now I'm doomed. There are several Hot Patterns that I want so I added a few to may cart and used my coupon (which was ABAND2009....can you believe the nerve of these people! They said I abandoned my cart, for cryin' out loud! Oh, poor cartie baby, I'm sorry!). I got this, this, and this. I bought the last two because I loved Debbie Cook's versions. (Okay Debbie, now it's all your fault! heehee). You know I just had to order more than $35 to get the free shipping. So, there goes Christmas for the kids. Just kidding....

Sorry no pictures today. I do want to thank everyone for their super sweet comments about my coat! Sarai liked it too so that was truly icing on the cake!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Colette Patterns: Lady red!

Finally I got some pictures of the pattern I tested for Colette Patterns! It has been gray and dreary so I gave up on sunshine and just went into my kitchen to take the pictures. Alas, they aren't too whippy and you'll have to forgive my mom jeans. The red was hard to photograph and my camera just sucks. I think she's dying, to be honest.

Anyway! This is the Lady Grey pattern and, I must say, I love this coat! It has a gorgeous shape and I think it's very feminine and flattering to my curves. This is a wrap coat with princess seaming and topstitching. It ties with a long belt and also has one button on the outside and one on the inside to secure it. The collar is wide and just waiting for your favorite brooch. The hem is full and it flares out just right over the hip. Just for reference and for all my sewing peeps, I made a straight size 18. No FBA or nuthin'! The only thing I did was trim the sleeve cap down a bit 'cause it was poofing up and not in a good way.

Here's the back. You get a better sense of the hem. You can't really see it but there are two belt loops in the back.

Here's a close up of the front without the belt so you can see the button closure.

And a closeup of the back. There, now you can see the belt loops!

I made this from a wool gauze that I got from Fashion Fabric Club. It was like 5 yards for $35! It's a little bit lighter weight than what is suggested but I love the drape and it's really soft. The lining is a polyester.

All the new Colette Patterns are up for pre-order here! Check 'em out!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My new favorite shampoo!

A little side project that has been ongoing for me is making my own bath and body products. In an effort to reduce the toxic chemicals in our household I've turned to using more natural products. One of my favorite things to make is shampoo and it's super easy to do. You might have to make a trip to your health food store to get some of these ingredients. I don't live in a large area and was able to find all of them locally. is a great source for the liquid castile soap!

I've been playing around with different formulas and I want to share a couple that we really like. The first is one that I use the most and the second is one I make up for the kids. Each recipe makes about 4.5 ounces.
One thing I would like to mention before we get started is, while I am an 'independent student' (since I'm learning on my own from books) of aromatherapy and the different uses of essentials oils, I am by no means an expert! Please use caution when handling these oils as they are very potent! If you're unsure if you can use any of them consult a handbook (or even your doctor). I have a couple of books by Valerie Ann Worwood which I really like!
Okie Dokie! Enough of that business, let's get cookin'!!

Lemon Rosemary Shampoo

1/4 cup Distilled Water
1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner's unscented)
2 TBSP Dried Rosemary
2 tsp Sweet Almond Oil
1/4 tsp Lemon Essential Oil (I prefer using essential oils but you can use fragrance oil too)
5-10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
Some sort of container (I use a glass bottle that is for oil and vinegar. Got it for $1 at the Dollar Tree and the little spout is the perfect dispenser. I have also reused old shampoo bottles. Just be sure to rinse them well first.)
Boil the water and then sprinkle the Rosemary over top. Let steep for about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the Castile Soap in your bottle. Add the Sweet Almond Oil and your Essential Oils. I find using a funnel is most helpful for all this. Once your Rosemary tea is done you'll strain the leaves and discard. Pour the tea into the bottle and swish it all around to mix. In the shower, be sure to shake before each use since the ingredients will separate. Lather, Rinse, Repeat!

This fragrance is fresh and uplifting and makes my hair shiny and bouncy. It isn't thick like the stuff you get at the store so you will have to pour a little over your head. Otherwise, you just use it like you would normally. The castile soap make lots of fluffy lather and with the essential oils you get the benefit of aromatherapy! This type of shampoo is also gentle so you will probably need to rinse and repeat. The oil in the mix makes conditioner unnecessary! Yay!

The next one is very kid friendly (smell-wise) and the easiest to make. My daughter helped me make up the last batch which was fun. Anyhoo, once all the kids' store-bought shampoo ran out I wanted to make them something they would like. The Lemon Rosemary Shampoo is wonderful but a bit herbaly and more astringent smelling. Let's just say, my 5 year old son wasn't a big fan. This one smells really yummy and makes my hair look and feel really good. My daughter has super duper thick hair and it works great for her, too. It also has the stamp of approval from Mr. Picky.

Creamsicle Shampoo

1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap
1/4 cup Distilled Water
2 tsp Jojoba Oil
10-15 drops Vanilla Essential Oil
10-15 drops Orange Essential Oil
5-10 drops Tea Tree Oil (optional)

Pour all ingredients into your bottle and swish around to mix. Shake before each use. Lather, Rinse, Repeat! See, I told you it was easy!

This is the Creamsicle Shampoo. Oops, looks like I need to make some more!

I'd like to maybe make this a regular feature to my blog. What do you all think? If any of you out there make your own b&b stuff too let me know. I love to try out new recipes!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My official We Love Colors and Sock Dreams review!

Holy crap! Can it really be December already?! So, did everyone out there who celebrates Thanksgiving eat too much? I did! I went to the pool and swam my laps yesterday morning so I feel a whole lot better!

Anyhoo, on with my review! I know Andrea was curious how the We Love Colors tights worked for me. I have to say I'm on the fence about them. I didn't get any pictures because I wore them to a funeral and didn't get a chance. I will try to take a picture of me in them next chance I get!

First the good: The colors are so great and super saturated. Even after putting them on they were pretty much opaque. They fit well in the hips and tummy and were very comfortable.

The bad: They have pretty much zero recovery. They're more like leggings with feet. I wore them with boots and when I took the boots off the fabric was all scrunched at my ankle. And, yes, they were huge in the foot! But this is a plus if you have a very wide foot. The knee didn't seem to bag too much but I couldn't wear these with a shoe because of the ankle issue.

I'm pretty much going to just chalk these up as a great pop of color when I wear skirts with boots. So, not bad but not perfect either. I guess I would grade them a C+. Next time I might try the Nylon/Lycra as I'm sure they will have a better fit. They are also $6 more per pair! Yikes!

Okay, now for the Sock Dreams!

Seriously, I love these socks! They're both great! First up is the Wavy Lace Over-the-Knee sock:

Above is a picture of the sock pulled up as far as it can go. On my right leg you can see it does in fact come up over knee and not terribly uncomfortably, either. It cuts in a little as you can tell. The left leg is scrunched slightly and pulled to just under my knee. This is where I have been wearing them and they truly stay put! The foot is loose but not too much. They are just really comfortable! Below you can see them really scrunched which is a cute look too. These are just above mid-leg on me here. If you have a narrower calf the scrunch would be all the way up like the photo on the website.

Here are the Ribbed M Stockings:

Oh boy, these are nice and toasty! I've been wearing these around the house in the morning when I'm still in my jammies and robe and they are perfect! These have a really heavy rib and the foot is thick and soft and slighty loose like the Wavy Lace. These do come sort of thigh high on me. On the right leg you can see it's wanting to roll a bit. I don't have these pulled as high as they will go but rather how I normally wear them, just over the knee. This way they're a little slouchy.

I like that this brand will fit a wide variety of sizes and their website has so many styles! Everything from fun, funky, everyday socks to fetish worthy stockings. I'm thinking Christmas gifts here, too. My grade for the Sock Dreams is definitely an A!

Well, now that I'm obsessed about cute socks, I'd love to hear if you all have a favorite!


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