Monday, February 16, 2009

I promised to share the major changes I'm starting today, so here goes! I'm getting healthy. I've read the book You On a Diet and I'm trying what they suggest. I'm eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables - and I'm getting exercise everyday. At the end of 90 days, I hope to be considerably lighter, have a smaller waist, lots of energy, and I'll beat my time from last year on the Rhody Run. I told mom that I didn't want to do anything extreme, she replied that I may have to do something extreme to get the results I want. So, I decided to revise my statement - I want to do things that are sustainable and eat things that are simple. Here goes! (I will post my before picture in two weeks, when I give my first official update. I may bore ya'll with details between now and then, just a warning.)

i did a little checking around and sadly, it turns out that I didn't come up with Bolly-cize, and it's actually Bollyrobics. But, I'm going to have to get the video.

My latest sewing endeavor: A fabric envelope. I made it to hold photos, but if the stack gets too thick they don't fit.

The exterior fabric is by Erin McMorris from the Park Slope collection and the lining is by Amy Butler - Coriander, I think. I used interfacing to give it stiffness, and I think it turned out pretty good. The only difficulty I ran into was the topstitching - there are a lot of layers by the end and it was hard to get the seams started. The feed dogs weren't able to push it through. I'm going to think for a while and come up with a way to make it work better... I ended up starting in the center and sewing to the edges, but then there are thread ends in the middle, and I'm not a fan.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My new aspiration...

Who'd have thought that a Valentine's evening alone, a consolatory movie, and a little imagination would lead me to the next thing I want to do with my life. That is, this:

No, that's not me swooning in white. I'm in red, a Bollywood dancer. Never mind that I'm quite tall, not super fast moving, and really very white - I think it'd be a blast to learn the choreography - and nothing some spray tan and CGI can't fix, right?

Okay, so the movie I watched was Marigold. It is, admittedly, a bit predictable (okay, a lot) and some of the dialogue wasn't as snappy as I would like, but overall a very innocent and enjoyable way to spend a Saturday night. India is a beautiful place according to this movie. I envied the sun on Ali Larter's face (while in the back of my mind I was worrying about sunburn). And, there were a couple really great Hindi dance numbers, which leads us to my newest calling. Okay, if I can't be in a Bollywood film - maybe I could start a fitness craze doing aerobics to hindi dance music. I can see it now: Bolly-cize.

Okay, for something I do know about, here's a picture of the invitation/bookmarks I made last night. A girl that goes to my church/her mom goes to my church had a baby, but declined to have a baby shower, so we're sending her a card shower.

These things were handed out at church and they have instructions to bring a card next week and they'll all be packaged up together. For having purchased the paper, ribbon, and flowers at about 5pm and finishing before bed last night, I think they turned out pretty cute. They have a Bible verse to start out, then the baby's vitals, and finally the instructions.

It's a long weekend (hallelujah!) and I'm planning to do some scrapbooking, as well as making a few major changes in my life. Stay tuned for what those changes are. I also hope to go to a movie - especially Confessions of a Shopoholic. Having loved the books SO MUCH, I'm really not expecting much from the movie, but I did see a ten foot tall shopping bag with rope handles at a movie theater I went to in December, and for some reason that sealed it. I've got to see any movie that advertises using gigantic carrier bags.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Orange-Vanilla Bean Touchdown Dance

Okay, first off, I'd like to thank Firefly's husband, Ben, for deciding to sell his computer for parts money for a new computer. Secondly, I'd like to thank him for listing it on craigslist while I was visiting Firefly. And finally, I'd like to thank him for removing it from craigslist and selling it to me.

So now, my friends, I have a laptop computer complete with hard drive space, wireless capability, functioning battery, functioning keyboard/touchpad interface, and the ability to print! Thank you, Ben, thank you! I'm hoping to never repeat the New Year's Resolution post experience again.

My most recent issue of Martha Stewart Magazine featured cupcakes on the front and a bunch of delicious sounding recipes in the inside, so I decided to try my hand at the best sounding of all - Orange-Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. Here are the results:

You may notice that only one is frosted. Well, the recipe called for a swiss meringue frosting, but I wasn't sure that I wanted meringue, so I decided to try an orange vanilla version of cream cheese frosting. But, when I tasted the combination of frosting and cupcake, I realized that the cream cheese frosting was much too sweet and over powered the delicate flavor of the cupcake - so after a little experimenting I served the cupcakes warm with unsweetened whipped cream that was whipped with some vanilla and orange zest. So delicious!

Do you know how little vanilla beans are? Very tiny. Like bits of dirt. Smaller than sand. I know because I got them all over myself after scraping the pods. In this picture you can see how tiny they are.

Another thing of note about vanilla bean pods - they are expensive. I looked for them at a local grocery store and found them for $17.50 for two, or $10.50 for one, or $7.99 for two and figured "well, Martha can afford to write these recipes, but everday people must just drool over them" when I decided to check the bulk section. 99 cents a piece, folks. I did the touchdown arm gesture before remembering I was in a store. What have we learned from this? Always check bulk spices. It's really the way to go because you can buy only what you need and have fresh so your cooking is at it's tastiest. (Also, don't let merryheathre get too involved in a quest for spices. She talks to herself and does weird little dances of joy when she finds what she was looking for.)

Here's a cute little dog curled up on my couch! I think I'll keep her.