Lazy Sunday

First off, I wanted to apologize. My rant the other day was not directed specifically at Bernina (though my husband told me that’s how it sounded). I was lamenting the cost of new machines in general, and it was easy to pick on Bernina since they’re easily the most expensive (and a well-known) brand. If it makes you feel better, my Pfaff was overpriced too, and I’ll admit that I paid too much. Well, some days I think them paying me to take it would have been too much. 🙄 😉 I’ve had suggestions of getting a vintage machine, and I have one, maybe I just need to start using it more. After I pony up to get the timing fixed.

I should have my jeans that I started in December(?) finished today and be able to start on my next project. I’m getting to be in dire need of shirt-like garments again. I tried on one of my KS 3593 blouses yesterday and hubby and I both realized that it’s too big. I think my next blouse though will be Vogue 1260 (instead of the Burda JJ for my SWAP):

This was probably one of the first ever patterns where I looked at the line drawing after seeing the uninspiring pattern photo and still said “self, I think you should do this one”. It has two of my favorite features. Princess seams and raglan sleeves. I don’t care for the gathering, but it looks like it should be easy enough to eliminate, so it sounds like a winner to me! Now if I could just figure out what size to make…….

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Croquis

She may not know it yet, but the lovely gal over at Lazy Stitching inspired me to try a croquis. I had my husband (who giggled like a schoolgirl the whole time 🙄 😉 ) take pictures of the front/side/back views needed. Obviously, I’m not posting them on here until they are outlines, and probably not even then…because all I can think is OH. MY. GOD. do I really look like that?! *sob*        OK, cry over, it is what it is, and I am working on making it better. The main reason I wanted to do it is because I thought it would be an excellent way of determining what will look good on me before I spend the time sewing it up. Sort of like trying things on at the store, but without the hassle of whining kiddo (or whining husband). If you follow the link above, you’ll see how Alana from Lazy Stitching does it because she was gracious enough to make a tutorial.

I’m off to find a good method for tracing these things off, without a light table, since I don’t have one….yet.

I probably won’t be posting anything until after Christmas, so I’ll take this time to wish you a very Merry Christmas with much love and good cheer!

Well, that’s unexpected….

All that pretty topstitching... 😦

I can’t say that it’s a first (though maybe it is?) but my jeans are too big. I even took in the side seams by about 1/2″, and they are still too big. 😕 So now, I’m not sure what to do, since I can pinch out about another inch before activating the stretch (that would be about 2″ total). The fly is already finished, so I don’t want to rip that out. Maybe the center back seam? That’ll ruin two rows of nearly perfect topstitching, plus a row of regular stitching, but if it will make them fit it will be worth it. How much can one reasonably take out of a center back seam though? I’m scared to take much more out of the side seams, because there’s pockets that I plan to use. Maybe I’ll think more clearly after I’ve had lunch and a bit more time to think it over. Wish me luck.

Guess I’ll be working on a new “sloper” for pants soon. I can’t decide whether I’m thrilled because there has been significant inches lost (I am) or whether I’m kinda freaked about making a new one (I’m that too).

That which we cannot have

I always want the things that I can’t have. The more unattainable, the more I want it. Same goes for clothing styles. I want the kind of clothes that I don’t have the figure for–and there are a lot of them! A perfect example?

Marfy 1297

That’s right. I want this blouse, and not only are my boobs too big for something like this (unless I want everyone to talk to my chest), but so is my stomach…and well, it just wouldn’t be pretty.

On a happier note, I found a pair of Jalie jeans that I started to make a long time ago that were too small at the time–since I’ve lost some weight, they look like they’ll fit now with minimal tweaking. Yay! All they need are some tweaks at the upper side seams, attaching the waistband and a hem. Most of the topstitched area is completed, so they shouldn’t take but a couple of hours, and I’ll have another pair of jeans to add to my dwindling supply of jeans that fit. 🙂 Even better? These are some of that sexy stretch denim in a super dark wash that I had the excellent sense to use the off-white topstitching thread on. These babies are gonna be gorgeous. 🙂

Who knew?

There is sewing going on here, I promise, it’s just that I didn’t realize how tricky picking up a UFO would be. It’s requiring some fitting adjustments that I’ve never had the nerve to tackle before, so it’s slow going. I’m going to try and redraft and then recut the sleeves tomorrow. I’ve got muscular upper arms that are kind of throwing things through a loop. Fortunately, I found a cool resource for doing this that I’m rather excited about, because it’ll possibly give me a bit of a forward shoulder adjustment that will help the shirt hang better as well as fit my upper arms a little less snugly. Ah the internet. You really can find pretty much anything you’d ever need on here. 🙂

On a really happy note, I’m down about 3 more lbs. Progress! Yay! Slow and steady means it’ll stay off, right?

Have a great day! 🙂

More recipe reviews, sorry!

I couldn’t resist because these were so yummy! (And healthy!)

Other other day I went on another cooking binge, (I’m trying to do more cooking and less eating junk, what can I say?) and tried a few more recipes.

First up, we’ll mention the Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins. You want these. Trust me, they’re delicious. I’m on the hunt for some better cocoa powder though, because I don’t like the slightly bitter aftertaste left by my old standby (hershey’s) when you don’t sugar a recipe within an inch of it’s life. And, if you want (or don’t have them), I bet you could even leave the chocolate chips out, because these would probably be just as good without them. Be warned, they have the same texture and moisture level as banana bread, so they will need to be kept in the freezer/fridge.

Another winner was the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. These turned out fabulous. They are everything a cookie should be–crispy on the edges, chewy in the center, they taste just like normal chocolate chip cookies, and you’re actually allowed to have not one–but TWO–of these little beauties! Compared to a normal chocolate chip cookie recipe where you get one and really should only have a half a bite of it, this is like a revelation. 🙂 I made mine too big (so ended up with half the number of cookies) and they took for.ev.er to cook, but they were worth the wait. They’re big enough that half a cookie is actually pretty satisfying after a meal. 🙂 And they’ve kept really good in the fridge for 3 days now (just give them time to come to room temp). I think it’s going to be the only kind of chocolate chip cookie I make from now on. 🙂

We had the Tomato Sauce from the same site which was also pretty good. I used fresh basil from my little herb pots, and next time I’d just use some of the italian and roma tomatoes we are growing that have been peeled. I’m picky like that though. It’s not too bad over some whole wheat pasta. 🙂 I might also reduce some of the garlic, it was just a bit overboard–and I’m a garlic fanatic!

So yeah, I’m really loving using the SkinnyTaste website to come up with food that doesn’t feel like dieting. Not everything from there has been a winner, but I love that she’s willing to make the effort to try and lighten up some traditional favorites. Besides, taste is such a personal thing, it would be impossible for every recipe to be a winner for everyone.

And yes, I’ve been sewing, I have some progress to report, but it’ll be later when I have enough bandwidth left to upload some pictures. Right now we’re on the line of going over. Someday we’re going to change providers, because this is ridiculous. 😡 Hope everyone is having a great weekend! 🙂

Tuna Casserole

Today for lunch we tried this recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Here’s our review in a nutshell: MAKE THIS!! It is very good, though a fair amount of work, since you are essentially making your own “cream of whatever soup”. It uses a fair amount of dishes, which is a big con for those of us who do dishes the old fashioned way, but it’s probably worth it since it makes quite a bit (two meals worth for our family of three with maybe an extra single portion–depends on how hungry the hubby is).

Notes for next time:
1) Definitely mince the mushrooms again–that worked fabulous this time, and hid them from my son who can’t decide from day-to-day what he likes and doesn’t like.
2) Maybe add more noodles? I think this would go even farther with significantly smaller portions if there were a few more noodles.
3) Be creative with the veggies–we liked the peas, but I bet you could do spinach, broccoli, carrots, whatever.
4) Double it to see how it freezes, I’ll bet it would freeze nicely, and that would help balance out the number of dishes used.
5) You can’t beat a combination of cheap and healthy, can you? Especially if it tastes good. 😉
6) You’re gonna need every bit of a 12″ skillet to make this, but if you had a good-sized dutch oven, (not one of the oval ones) that would probably work too.

Pork Chops w/Mushrooms

Tonight for supper we opted to try the Pork Chops w/Mushrooms recipe from that same website. However, I made so many changes, I’m not even sure that I can comment on her version.

Changes:
1. Used leftover chicken thighs from the other day instead of pork chops–I had four left, so halved the rest of the recipe.
2. Nearly eliminated the mushrooms because I made the mushrooms with garlic butter that I had posted about previously as a side dish. I only used two VERY thinly sliced mushrooms because they didn’t fit back into the box after I had made the other, and they ended up being more of a garnish that we didn’t really eat.
3. I added onion powder instead of the shallots, and also a couple dashes of garlic powder.

So yeah….it was awesome! The 4-year-old ate a whole thigh with no complaints. 🙂 The hubby and I enjoyed it too, so this one will be made again. And don’t worry–the dijon taste isn’t strong at all, and I’m picky enough I’d tell you if it was; considering mustard is NOT one of my favorite foods. 😉

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Dipping Sauce

I posted yesterday about wanting to lose some weight and searching for foods that would help achieve that goal. Today we tried another recipe from that same website, and *ding, ding, ding* WE HAVE A WINNER! 🙂

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Dipping Sauce: The meatballs are awesome! The dipping sauce, meh. Though to be fair, I suspect that the “emergency” tablespoon of soy sauce that I had to use when my bottle of low sodium soy sauce ran out was a bit rancid (it’s been hiding in my cabinets for a long time–or else it was old on the store shelf, since it expired in 2006, but hadn’t been opened until today), so I’ll try it again. The meatballs though–those were glorious, and will probably become a staple. My 4 year old ate nearly as many as I did, and he’s a picky little booger! 😛 Now if I could just figure out the rice setting on my microwave to cook brown rice correctly…..

New year, new me

Along with, oh, probably around 95% of the world I made the resolution to lose weight this year. However, I made it in October, and have been working on it since then, so I suppose I’ve got a bit of a head start on everyone else. In my quest for food that tastes good and isn’t a diet wrecker, I’ve tried a lot of different recipes…I’ll let you know now–the good ones are few and far between. I don’t know how some recipe creators do it, I mean, how can you take something good (like pizza) and then screw it up so badly?

So anyway, I was searching today for dinner ideas and I found a site called skinnytaste.com. I found a few recipes today and decided to give them a try. She has it set up so that you can see some of the nutrition facts and also how many “points” it uses in case you are on the Weight Watchers program, which is very cool.

These are the recipes I made tonight for supper:
Skinless Chicken Thighs (Poulet Au Vinaigre) This was OK. I probably won’t make it again, because we didn’t love it (and we’ve got other recipes to try), but it wasn’t bad and might actually be good if it’s more to your tastes. We kind of decided that maybe a vinegar-y dish wasn’t our cup of tea, but wouldn’t discount it for anyone else. 🙂

Green Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil Hmmmm…my husband LOVES fresh green beans, and he’s been craving the ones from our garden for a while. Oddly enough, not even he cared for this. Maybe the olive oil was a little off? I don’t know, but I doubt we’ll make this one again.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes After seeing this recipe, I think I’ll go back to doing it my normal way. Not because this way was bad, but just because it uses more ingredients than my method, and I’m not sure that it saves any more calories or fat. So, if this looks like a slimmed down version of your current method give it a go. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 🙂

I still highly recommend the site, and we’re definitely going to be trying more recipes (I’ve already got a couple more picked out) to find stuff that suits our fancy. 🙂