Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Years Later And I Don't Know Any Better

It's been almost 2 years (two years???) since I wrote this, but I'm very busy making a quilt and my blogging skills are lacking, so I'm reposting.  This is one of my favorite posts because it is just so ridiculous.

And now, I do know what a latte is, but I still go to Starbucks at my local grocery store and order mediums or smalls because I don't believe in their measuring system.

And I never hesitate to add my own sugar now that I know better!

I'll be back this week with pictures of the quilt.  It's like a cotton candy factory exploded  in my sewing room...


This post is so ludicrous, I feel like I just have to share it here and here   and here and  here and here

Hop on over there, after you read this, and see what else people have to share!

Alas, the ipad is back in my mother's hands and out of mine and I am not too sad.  My father is a little surprised that I don't love the ipad because he loves all that is Apple.

Ahhh, spacing.  See that?  There's a space between the last little paragraph and this one.  On the ipad, I can't make spaces appear in blogger, so it really puts a cramp in my blogging style.  And, don't tell k-ster, but since 99.5% of my time spent at a computer is related to blogging, I don't need any more cramps in my style than I already have.

Ahh, space again.

Anyspace, back to my post.

I spent the first 4 days of my school vacation at my sister a-ster's house.  It's nice to go there and not really have plans.  L-ster is almost a year old and is very busy standing and crawling.   She's still taking 2 naps a day, so we didn't make too many plans to do stuff.  And I was fine with that.  Plus it was 85 degrees one day and that was way too hot too soon for me, so I was fine to just loll about on the blanket in the back yard while supervising l-ster in a heat induced coma.

The last day I was there, we went to the zoo.  I get a kick out of the zoo, especially because it's free, so there's no pressure to be there for any length of time.  We were there for a couple of hours and then on the way out, we thought it would be nice to get a coffee from Starbucks.

When I'm on vacation, summer vacation or one during the year, I tend to drink iced coffee in the afternoon.  Around here, my choices are limited, so it's either my house special thanks to the Keurig, or Dunkin Donuts.

I am not familiar with the workings of Starbucks.  In fact, the only Starbucks I have been in was in Paris in February and it was remarkably incident free, as I expected this would be.

A-ster sat outside with l-ster and I went in to get her a soy latte and a drink for myself.  I intended to get an iced coffee, but when I walked in the door, I remembered that I once had a Starbucks Frappucino in a bottle (from the grocery store, those nasty things you can buy) that later was possibly the cause of the only food poisoning I've ever experienced.  I have a thing about food that might have been involved in making me sick, so I immediately was not interested in a cold coffee beverage from Starbucks.

I should have left at that point.

Instead, I thought I'd have a hot coffee.  With cream and sugar.  While I make my coffee at home black for the most part, I do like actual cream and sugar in mine when I'm buying it.

So, I walked up to the counter and ordered a tall soy latte with no incident.  I thought that would be the tricky order.  And then I tried to order myself some coffee.

If they just had normal sizes (small, medium, large, this would be a lot easier).

Me:  And a regular tall latte for me, you know, with cream and sugar.

Barista:  Umm, you mean you want syrup?

Me:  Syrup?  No, I want cream and sugar.

Barista:  Do you mean like packets of sugar?

Me:  Oh, do I do it?  Do I have to put the sugar in myself?  Is that what you mean?  (I could hear myself getting more shrill with each question and looking around frantically, like I had missed the do it yourself station)

Barista:  Um, well, um, like packets?  Do you want packets of sugar?  Or syrup?

Again, I should have taken the soy latte and left at that point.  I briefly scanned the room again to see if I was missing the little station where maybe I do my own cream and sugar, but I was blinded by the "packets or syrup" thing, so I didn't see anything.

Me:  Ok, I don't want any of your stinkin' syrups, no flavors, just cream and sugar.  Now, do I have to do it or do you?

Barista:  (very patiently explaining) We have syrups, is that what you mean?  Like our classic syrup?  That doesn't have any flavoring.

Me:  Classic?  What is it?

Barista:  It's like liquid sugar.

Me:  Ok, fine.  Liquid sugar and cream.  In my latte.

So, she writes something on a cup for me, writes the S for soy latte on a cup and then puts the cups to the side.  For the imaginary person next to her to deal with them I guess, because she turned and helped the next customer while I stood there like a fool.

No one came to get the cups and actually make coffee.

The next customer just got an unsweetened iced coffee and left in like 2 seconds.  Like I should have.

Then it was just me again.  With my outrageous order of cream and sugar.  That the Barista should get for me.

Since the imaginary coffee pourer/latte  maker didn't appear, now the girl had to deal with me.  So she made the soy latte, no problem.

Then it was time for mine.  My "cream and sugar" with the liquid sugar syrup.  And the cream that was going into a latte?  I was only thinking that it should not take like 20 minutes when I am only one of 2 customers in the store.  And that I really should have ordered a cold coffee because this hot one will take forever to cool.

So, she starts pumping the liquid sugar and I hear it sputtering like it's the end of the bottle, so now she has to get another one.  Now the imaginary person DOES appear and she says something about "this lady wants classic syrup" and then I didn't hear the rest but I am sure it involved them rolling around on the floor in hysterics out back.

Classic syrup appeared but the bottle was too full, so she had to pour some down the drain.  WHAT????  She manages to reassemble the pump and squirts in some more and then the fun begins.  Now she has to add cream to my latte.  I guess.  Because I heard her frothing something.  And then she was kind of bumping around looking for a spoon to hold back the froth and then she did some more finagling back there.

Finally, she handed me the soy latte and then stumbled over what she was going to call mine.  And she added that she didn't know if it was sweet enough, but if I needed more liquid sugar, to let her know.  I heard like 5 pumps go into that cup, so I was sure it would be sweet enough.  Especially since it's liquid sugar and it's likely hundreds of times sweeter than any packet could ever be.

What a great disappointment it turned out to be!  Mostly milk!  In a latte.  Go figure~!

As I was explaining my annoyance at all that went on and how it took so looooong, a-ster was dying laughing that I asked the girl to do cream and sugar for me.

That's not how it's done at Starbucks and she should know, because she lived on the west coast for a decade.  She played out for me what the conversation was probably like between the Baristas when I left--- remember the one who made me put cream and sugar in it for her????  What a princess!

And it was only then, as I said the word latte out loud that I realized I should not have asked for cream in my latte.

In my confusion, in the world where tall is small and vente doesn't mean #20, I was thinking latte just meant coffee.  I forgot about the milk part of the latte.  I was so confused by all of the lingo.

And I'm usually so good with languages.

I should have ordered a drip coffee, a-ster now tells me.

And I should have just gone to Dunkin Donuts.

And just so we're clear that I am not alone in my Starbucks nightmare, look at what I found on another site!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Way Too Cool

I don't know how it gets to be the middle of the week and I haven't posted since Saturday.  I guess I have nothing wild to tell you about!

I do, however, need to have you go vote again for my sister.  She's still in the running over at Project Run and Play.  She did a really, really cool thing with designing fabric for a skirt and as soon as I can figure out what she did, I might do the same thing as a piece of artwork.

Go check out her blog for the nitty, gritty details and then go vote for her so we can all vote once more when the finals come out next week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tales of A Fourth Grade Something

Do you remember the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?  I think it was Judy Blume, but I'm too lazy to go look it up.  I think that was one of the few titles of hers that I didn't read.  I really liked her books but something about that title turned me off.

Or maybe I read it and forgot about it.  I read books like it was my job before I was in high school, so I have no idea what I read and what I saw on shelves over and over again but didn't bother to read.

Then I got to high school where I was forced to read books I did not enjoy and I put reading on hold for a while.  I thought I couldn't read two books at once and keep track.

I knew nothing about multitasking in high school.

Today, I read a bunch of books at once, a few magazines at the same time and I have a book on tape I'm always ready to listen to on my ipod.

It's no wonder I have no idea what's going on.

But, today's post isn't about books.

It's about 4th grade girl shenanigans.

Do you picture leprechauns when you hear the word shenanigans?  I think the leprechaun should be the shenanigan mascot because I can't hear one without seeing the other.

So, I do a thing called Walking Club one day a week, last period of the day.  I was sort of swindled into doing it, but it's fun and I get to walk and overhear hysterical conversations.  If they had realized all they had to say was walk and eavesdrop, they could have had me doing this from day one.

Anylistening, we have a HUGE group of kids, so they keep enlisting adults to help supervise so it's more like a 20 to 1 ratio instead of 150 to 1 or whatever it was at the beginning.  We go out to the track and the rules are simple:

Walk or run.
Be respectful of which lanes are for running.
Keep your hands to yourself.

And for the most part, they are really good about that.  The best part is that they are free to run or walk without having to stay with a teacher and we can see everyone at once because we are all out on the track.  I wander around, sometimes with kids, sometimes alone, and I come upon great conversations.

Mostly between boys, about Minecraft or some other video game.

And I still laugh when I see kids talking and then, out of nowhere, they go running off like it's the most important race of their lives, mid sentence.

This week, I was treated to a walk with two girls who did.not.stop.talking the entire 40 minutes.  And, unlike most kids, when I walked away to deal with someone, they actually found me again and still.kept.talking.

Their stories were pretty entertaining and ran the gamut.  They clearly had diarrhea of the mouth.

So, they told me of their new plan.

"Mademoiselle Sparkling," one of them said, grinning wildly "we have a new thing we do.  We PAY boys to chase us at recess!"

"You pay them?  With what?"

"Money.  75 cents."

"Oh girls, are you sure that's the best use of your money?  Why do you have to pay them to chase you?  You're going to have boys chasing you all your life.  Why don't you just chase each other and save your 75 cents?"

"Well, we like them to chase us."

"Well, I think you will probably end up in trouble for that, so you probably shouldn't pay people to chase you."

"Ok, that's probably a good idea."

Minutes went by, a hundred stories were told and then they got to the bottom of their plan.

"And see," said the leader of the pair, "when we want them to stop chasing us, we know what to do.  We have this Purell that smells like flowers and they are afraid of it, so we just take it out and they stop!"

"Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm...................wait, so you pay them 75 cents and then when they do what you want, you scare them away?"


Glowing.  They were simply glowing with the perfection in their master plan.

"Girls, I think that might be illegal.  It's like you're luring them into a trap, isn't it?"

"Well..... kind of...."

"Yeah, I actually think that's illegal.  I think you could really get into trouble for that!"

"Ok, well, we haven't actually started paying them yet.  It's something we just thought up."

"I'm going to suggest that you stay away from that plan."

"Ok, we won't do it then.  So you wanna hear about my mother's bird that does this crazy dance in the washing machine?  Like this?  Wanna hear it???? Wanna?  Huh?"

"Oh gee, look at the time girls.  Buses are here, gotta go.  BYE!"

These girls......

Linking here:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's That Time Again

It's time to go visit Project Run and Play to vote for my sister's creation before Thursday night.  Her's is Call Ajaire:  Cape Cod Casual.

I absolutely love this one and I think you will too!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Coconut Deliciousness

First, I have two loose ends to tie up.  In this post, I made a reference to a quote from a show that no one identified.  The show was called The State and my sisters thought it was the funniest thing on tv in the mid 90s.

Second, in this post,  I asked you to please visit the website where my sister is competing in Project Run and Play and vote for her Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore.  If you voted for her, thank you!  She made it through the week without elimination, and she'll  be back with another unique outfit on Tuesday.  I'll be asking you to go back and vote again, so be ready!

Now, on with the show.

I found and pinned this recipe for Chocolate Coconut bread recently and then, as I do with many recipes, I thought about it a lot.

Like 3-4 times a day.

That's what I do when I'm contemplating a new craft, a new way to try quilting that won't make me swear or when I think there's a recipe I want to make.

It's also how I get off track and the idea becomes something very different from what it was and when I go to make it, the picture is totally different than what I want at that very moment and I'm afraid it's not going to work.

I had the idea in my mind that these were more cookies than breads.  Like macaroons, probably.

I decided to make these mini loaves as one large loaf and I am not at all disappointed.

I didn't have coconut or evaporated milk on hand.  I don't think I've ever bought evaporated milk  before, actually.  I totally do not understand what evaporated milk is or how it is different from sweetened condensed milk.  In my mind, they are both milk in a can and it sort of grosses me out.

Anymilk, I now have extra evaporated milk because this calls for the 5oz can and I bought the 12oz can.

Before I put it in the oven, I was amused that everything in this picture is a pampered chef item.

Everything except the pan in the background and the flour canisters, that is.  I cannot make a meal without using a Pampered Chef tool, spice blend or pan!

As this was almost finished, the smell in my kitchen was extremely familiar.  The taste of this bread is something I know well, but I can't place it.  It's like I've had this before but I don't remember ever putting these ingredients together.

I like the coconut flavor and texture.  There aren't big hunks of coconut in it, and it's actually like the coconut just melted into the bread.

As the original post mentions, the lack of butter or oil is totally not noticeable.  It's plenty moist but not rubbery like things can sometimes be when you use yogurt in place of oils.

I also think you could make them as small cookies which would be like mini breads.

If you're a fan of coconut, chocolate chips and trying to save some calories when eating them, go get the recipe!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pink and Denim Quilt

K-ster has suddenly ripped every pair of jeans he owns, so I had a bunch of denim hanging around my sewing room.  I like the idea of denim quilts and I made one a while back, which I recently sold on my etsy.

That was a totally denim quilt and it was very, very  heavy.  I love a heavy  blanket over me, but not everyone does.  It also seemed a little dull to me.

This time, I thought I should use my vast assortment of pinks and mix them with the denim since I didn't really have enough denim to do a whole quilt.  I love pink and denim together.  And I love red and denim together so you can imagine what my  next denim quilt will be....

I made the top a couple of weeks ago and then debated what to do.  I knew I wanted pink on the back, but I wondered if I should use batting.

The denim is heavy and warm, and I didn't put batting in the last quilt.  But, I put a navy blue backing, so you couldn't see any of the seams.  This time, I knew a pink backing would allow too many seams to be seen.

And that would be unseamly.

I also knew that unlike my last quilt, I would not use super high loft batting, but the batting I have is kind of thin.

Luckily, it's thin enough that if I doubled it, it was just the thickness I wanted and I had just enough.

I also knew that I would machine quilt this one instead of tying it like I did with the last denim one.

When I quilted this last week, I was trying out the wavy pattern on my machine to see if it would do what I wanted.  It did, so I decided I would try it with this.  I thought this quilt was just small enough that I might be able to wrestle it through my machine and not swear too much.

I did some VERY unconventional things while I got this one ready.

First, I laid it out on my bed instead of tables.

And then, I broke the cardinal rule of quilting.  Not only did I lay it on a bed, I didn't baste it or use basting pins.  I just rolled it up.  I had a vision that I would use a binder clip in the far corner to keep things in line but that would not work.

I put on the walking foot but didn't use the neat guides I just learned about because I was going to quilt diagonally across the squares and figured it was unnecessary.

I had a pretty thick snake to wrestle through the machine and I got kind of nervous that this was a big fat mistake.

But, since I was just doing straight lines (with that wave) I thought I could handle it.

The first few rows were a breeze.  And then it got tricky as I maneuvered it through the machine as it got fatter and thinner through the rolls.

If I had stopped for a minute and cleared the table, it would have a been a little easier.  It's so long in the middle that I had to throw it over my shoulder as I was first guiding it in.

And there was a lot of swearing until I changed the needle.  I thought my regular needle would be fine because it's what I used to sew the squares together, but it kept breaking the thread.  Almost every row, I'd have to start again because the thread would break.  I tried everything except changing the needle.

And then the needle broke, so I decided to try replacing it with a jeans needle.


No more swearing.

With all of the rule breaking, I didn't have any puckering of fabric or bunching on the back at all.  I think if I had also quilted in the other direction, that's when the evidence of not following the rules would have shown up, but I like this way this came out and it was problem free.

I see more of this wavy line quilting in my future.  It's something I can handle.  It's not hard to do and the machine does all the work if I just get it lined up right.  I don't have to move the fabric all over the place to do a neat pattern and that works for me right now.

It's fun to look at all of these pinks and read the history of my sewing!  I can tell you the source of every piece.  Most came from quilts I made, some have been sitting in my stash because they were in the clearance bin, and there are a few that someone gave me from when she used to do craft fairs in the 80s.  You can totally tell which fabrics those are when you look at them!

There are also two squares from a shirt that I once had that I loved but I didn't look great in it.  The bottom of the shirt had a neat pattern, so I cut it off and threw away the shirt.  That strip has sat in my pink stash for a really long time.  I'm glad I finally found a use for them!
There are a few pieces of flannel in there, so they add a nice textural surprise.

My favorite part is that I didn't buy any of the fabric for the top.  The jeans were k-ster's and the pinks were all fabrics I've had.  I debating piecing the back from pinks I have, but I didn't want there to be an overabundance of seams, so I bought fabric for the back.

If you're madly in love with it, you can purchase it on my etsy, right here.  It's totally machine washable and meant to be used, not just admired.

The seams are 1/2 inch instead of 1/4 inch because I've decided to go with 1/2 inch forever.  I had to try to fix a quilt I gave a friend of mine and it had practically disintegrated at the seams because I had just done the 1/4 inch that quilters do.  1/4 inch just doesn't work if people are going to use the quilt and wash them and treat them like any other blanket!

Don't forget to go vote for my sister in Project Run and Play before it's too late!

Linking here:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Help A Sister Out

The other day, I shared with you the insane sewing, drafting and designing talents of my sister a-ster.  She regularly designs or alters patterns for L-ster and recently, she was voted in to sew with Project Run and Play, season 9.

Today, they revealed the first challenge:  Put Me in the Zoo.  They are supposed to create something that is inspired by animals, without being costumes.

If this were me, I would have totally made something like this.

That's why I'm not doing Project Run and Play or any kind of project that requires designing.

What I didn't realize, is that everyone who does this actually makes the entire outfit!  It's not just a dress or a skirt!  It's everything, top to bottom.

I'm really impressed with all of the outfits this week, but I'm most impressed with my sister's.

Here's a sneak peek:

Can you see the details?  The fabric covering the buttons.  The inside facing with a fun fabric.  That's just a taste of what's in store if you visit her site.  You can see all of the details and there are some that just blow the mind.

If you will vote for her, click here and vote for Call Ajaire:  Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore.  Spread the word and help this sister out!

Linking here: