Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vintage Style Apron Give Away!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

This Contest is now Closed! Thank you for participating!

If you've read my blog before, you may know that Bloggy Giveaways is one of my very favourite sites. Well, this week they are hosting a Bloggy Giveway Carnival, and I have just been itching to take part in it. So without too much yackity yack......this is my prize. P.S. Thanks to auntie Pat for letting me use her sewing machine so I could make this during my holidays last week:)

Yep, it's a handmade (by me), adult sized vintage Diner Stlye apron made from the McCalls Pattern 3979. This is the third one I've made from this pattern so far and this time I chose a pattern which I hope is in keeping with the whole retro look of it. It's cream, tan and brown in colour and I've made a matching head band to go with it. It's pretty much one size fits most as the neck ties and waist ties allow for a lot of adjustment.

The Rules:
If you'd like to enter the give away draw, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post, and an email address or link to which I can reach you. Absolutely anyone from any where in the world is free to enter, you do not need to be a blogger. Once the winner is chosen and contacted, and a mailing address has been provided, the package will be mailed by air the very next day. This means, the package will be delivered within 10-12 business days to just about anywhere. The give away will be open until August 1, 2008 at midnight. Check back on Saturday to see the winner. The winning post will be linked to the Bloggy Giveaway site as well.

So have fun, and go have a look at all the other really great give aways taking place this week at the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. I already can't wait for the next one:)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Favourite Web Picks

As I mentioned before.....at least I think I did. I am a procrastinator. What better way to avoid doing what it is that I should be doing, than sucking mindless hours away on my computer. How many times have I stared at the key board while in Google thinking "What should I Google?" Well if you feel that way sometimes, here are a few places you might be interested in checking out......

1. Bloggy Give Aways. This is a really cool site where you can check in daily to see what kinds of things you might have a chance at winning. Most of the time the give aways are for those of you with a US mailing address, and sometimes good if you have a mailing address in Canada, and once in a while good world wide. Right now in fact there is a world wide offer on right now. Go check it out. This is my new fun place to go and check on every few days.

2. SteepandCheap. I've mentioned this one before I'm sure. It's discounted, sometimes heavily discounted, sports wear. Love it!

3. Sew Mama Sew. This is a great site to find patterns and ideas for sewing projects, as well as contests to enter. There is a tonne of great sewing information compiled here.

4. The Daring Bakers. If you would like to see some seriously good baking blogs, have a look here. This is a monthly baking challenge to make different baked goods each month. It's a good way to get out and make sure you try something new and get involved. There is a list with links of all the members and you are free to join at any time to get in on the baking challenge yourself. I'm putting this one on my to do list. Just as soon as the chaotic pace calms down here. I am not kidding when I say I could spend weeks looking through all the absolutely first rate food blogs listed here. It's worth the time to check it out...REALLY!

5. Swap-Bot. This is a great place to get involved in highly organized swaps for photography, crafting, penpals etc. Warning, this can addictive.

6. Amazing Space. This is a cool astronomy site that is great for a dabbling of astronomy through each month of the year.

7. The Hubble Site. If you want to geek out on Hubble telescope facts and photos check this out.

8. Great Magazine Deal for Canadian Chicks. This seemed like a screamen deal (if Flair and Chatelaine are up your alley). Looks like a pretty sweet deal. That's one year of Flare and one year of Chatelaine for $14.95. With taxes, a buck or two more depending on your Province, but still a super sweet deal. Just in case the reservation code is required, it's (CJH7AHROCD COMBO). I haven't gone through the online ordering procedure so I don't know if they even ask for it, but there it is just in case. This deal really tempts me even though I don't buy either publication. Limited time offer until October 31, 2008.

9. Think Geek. Here's a good site for looking for that hard to buy for geek or maybe something for yourself. Tons of cool things here.

10. All Recipes. This is probably my 'old faithful' of cooking websites. It may not be the shiniest or prettiest cooking website, but it probably has the recipe you're looking for. The best thing about it is the reviews of those who have tried the recipe. This is where I go when I need to find a recipe fast and don't have time to dicker around.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Slow Food Sundays

Weekends are just the right time for cooking those things that during the calamity of the work week, I just can't seem to squeeze in without total loss of sanity. Weekends for me should be about reassembling the the housekeeping catastrophe from the preceding week. Unfortunately, I am a procrastinator........and a procrastinator will do almost anything other than the thing that really needs to be done......like what I'm doing right now!

Sunday breakfast this weekend by Ike's request was french toast. It's the standard french toast, beaten egg, a bit of milk, a spoon of sugar, and a splash of orange extract. The orange extract is a nice change of pace from the usual vanilla and cinnamon I add. Just for Ike I use the heart shaped cookie cutter to shape the bread before dipping and cooking the bread. To speed things up a bit this morning, instead of bacon I went with some sauteed ham sausage since I had a ring of it in the fridge to use up, and some cinnamon fried apple wedges and fresh strawberries. The heart shaped cookie cutters and the dinosaur cookie cutter have made breakfast and lunch just a little more interesting, and are great additions to a bento box lunch as well.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

So I have a Few Weaknesses.....You do too..Right???

I have one big weakness.............Well honestly that's inaccurate. If I really thought about it, which I don't want to do.......I'd be guessing here that my weakness count is pretty high and mostly revolve around food (peanut butter and chocolate not being an exception) and shopping. But I digress....... Since the weather has been stinking hot here, we've been consuming "hot weather food". Tonight for a treat for my son, I made him something I haven't made in quite a few years. Yep it's a peanut butter cup milkshake. You used to be able to get something like this at Dairy Queen, but not at all the locations. Some time ago I discovered that you can make them at home, and you don't have to waste the effort of driving down town to do it. That's right....I could declare the day to be a 'Pyjama' day......never leave the house and consume copious amounts of this heavenly beverage. I make this drink in a 2 cup stainless steel beaker using a hand blender. Add 3 scoops vanilla ice cream, 1 heaping tbsp smooth peanut butter, and 1 tbsp of Nutella, top up with milk to near the top of the ice cream, blend and consume. This time, I was out of Nutella so I substituted a generous squeeze of Nestle's chocolate milk syrup, and it turned out as delicious as ever. If you are a peanut butter nut, you will probably like it. If you are not a fan of peanut butter or have nut allergies, I would not recommend it. The taste is very much like a Reese's peanut butter cup........mostly peanut buttery with a hint of chocolate.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Little Red Craftyness and Story Time

I found myself on a road trip with a lot of free time to work on small projects while listening to audio books of Lemony Snicket. Kids audio books, by the way, are an awesome way to kill many hours of a long and otherwise boring car ride. Not that the scenery isn't spectacular, because it is without a doubt some of the finest out there..........but after driving that stretch of highway over 100 times, you do need to shake it up just a bit.
So......Lemony Snicket audio books were just the ticket. Each book clocks in at about 3-4 hours each, so it also saves my voice too. There are 13 books, so you've got a lot of hours covered. We listened to books 9 and 10 on the trip so we are getting near the end. Two thumbs up for the Snicket books from me. We have them on the ipod so they are very transportable and listen to them on the car radio. We have also listened to The Davinci Code this way as well. I discovered accidentally, that you can check out audio books online through BC Libraries, and can download the files straight to your computer if you have a valid BC library card. I'm sure this feature is available in other centers as well. Here's one from New York's Public Library System for example.
While listening, I managed to produce a few felt needle books for an upcoming swap, only to later notice that my swap partner really dislikes red. Oops, so I had to do it all over again in blue. It's done now, so you can have a look at what I came up with.........but for now, this is my sad little red needle book item with no place to go:(

Friday, July 4, 2008

Baby It's Hot Out Here

It has been HOT! I will not complain.......since I'm sure that I do complain enough when the winter drags on. It sure is nice to have some decent summer weather, so we'll just take it as it comes. Perfect weather for snow cones:) This cute little ice shaver (Snow Cone maker) was a unplanned purchase from XS Cargo on a trip through Calgary last May. There are plenty of recipes online to make syrup so you don't have to worry about where to buy it, and it's dead easy too. Take one cup water and 2 cups sugar and boil one minute until the sugar is dissolved. Add one envelope of Kool Aid unsweetened drink mix, stir and let cool. Once it 's cooled, it's ready to use. Thanks to a stack of plastic Tupperware cups that were left to me when my good friend moved away:( I'm ready to serve up snow cones to the hot and sweaty neighbours. Maybe even with a splash of vodka.