Friday, October 31, 2008


Ahh the goblins and ghouls are out tonight (more like mini mouses and furry forest creatures if you ask me). Halloween over the years has seemed to loose its scary roots and become a crafting craze of who can be the most CREATIVE. I LOVE IT even if I don't get to go out and get some trick-or-treating in (stupid diet). I have to say my creativity this year is at an all time low and I have resorted to becoming an accounting tool. Sure all of us accountants get it and think its funny, but for most of the rest of the world I get pegged as the biggest dork ever (see bellow)

Its a 10-key Calculator or the calculator that has a printer. I know I'm a dork get over it (PS what did you expect I'm an accountant and had little time to actually make a costume this year). Don't worry people I only wore it to work I doubt it will hit the streets tonight as here in SAC we are experiencing a little bit of a fall storm which includes but is not limited to wind, rain and possible thunder and lightening. Who knows the night is still young!

At work today we had a little party to get us in the Halloween spirit! And of course I BAKED!!! And here it is the magnificent masterpiece a Cinaminomy Pumpkin Bunt Cake.

Ive Combined two different recipes (one from here and the other from here) for this so here are your ingredients and instructions...super easy


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bunt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda1
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 CAN of Pumpkin Pure (this is the 15oz can or as I refer to it the small can of pumpkin)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For Cinnamon Swirl
1/4 cup sugar
2 table spoons cinnamon

For Glaze:
2 T butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1-3 T milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter and flour bunt pan. For the butter use the wrappers of the 2 sticks that you will use in the cake. I have also had bad experiences with bunt cakes so I usually bring out the cooking spray and spray the pan before flouring the pan.

Dry Ingredients
In a Bowl combine together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.

Wet Ingredients
In another Bowl whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla.

Use a mixer at high to medium speed for 3-5 mins to beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add eggs to sugar and butter mixture and beat for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add dry and wet mixtures alternately in batches.

Now make your Cinnamon swirl in a bowl or glass mix together the sugar and cinnamon and put to the side

Spoon half the batter into bunt cake pan. Take your Cinnamon Swirl mixture and sprinkle on top of the batter to completely cover (if you would like a bigger swirl make more of the cinnamon swirl ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle on top of first half of the batter)

Spoon the other half of the batter on top of the cinnamon swirl.

Place in over for about 45-50 minutes (mine actually took more like an hour to be done) check the cake by using a skewer or sharp knife like me and insert into center of cake it should come out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes this is really important so wait don't be impatient!

Now invert onto a cooling rack or if you don't have one your serving platter you are planning to use let the cake cool for another 10 minutes before making the glaze


Melt butter, add powdered sugar and mix together add little bits of milk until you reach the right consistency (it should easily slip off the spoon you are using to make the icing but should not be runny I would say the consistency of a runny yogurt)

Now Decorate drizzle the glaze over the cake and you should come out with this...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diets Suck!

Well I'm back from sunny SoCal. Did some shopping and lots of eating and well laid around with the boy toy! Got some great deals as usual from Banana Republic (2 shirts and a pair of slacks for $60 buckaroo's), ate at some of my favorite places (although DISH disappointed in its service), walked the Rose Bowl, saw a movie with mom (secret life of bee's), and ran around as usual trying to see everyone and have fun at the same time. I'm glad to be back but I'm already missing HOME. Although on a little side note the boy toy's parents decided to "redo" the driveway so the cars wouldn't be demolished by the huge dip that was once there so we had to walk up this...

Yes I KNOW what your thinking what evil people they are to do this to me when I come to visit (I shouldn't say too much they moved a garage sale for me). Now walking this monster of a driveway is a feet in itself, its needs one of the those warnings you see on weight machines "please consult a physician before attempting".

But now that I'm back in the north country its back to work and crafting. Friday is Halloween! The office is having a little shin-dig which I will attempt to put together a costume and participate (yes I have a costume idea but I'm not gonna give it away that east but here is a hint...Think Accounting). So I'm back I'm blogging and life is good well not that good I'm on a DIET. It's those 4 letters that strike fear into almost everyone I know. The doctor said I was Fine (wtf does that mean) I say its time to get my ass in gear and lose those 15lbs Ive been talking about for 2 years. This means boring food and lots and lots and lots of cardio and weights. I dont mind the Cardio but I do mind the food. I'm a baker by nature (oooh that rhymes) and I'm a cook by book (okay now its getting pathetic), so when I hear that word I cringe. So I get creative think up new stuff try to keep it interesting so I though I would start to share my "DIET" with you guys with some of the stuff I come up with for dinner. Now I will place a warning on my food now that sometimes and by that I mean most of the time I'm like a pregnant woman (no mom and Mrs Boy Toy I'm not preggers!). I like to try out weird things and to be honest it never taste bad to me so go ahead and shoot me down when I tell you what I eat. But life is too short to go through it without trying different things even if I do look crazy. So here is tonight's meal try it out if you like

Rice, Broccoli and Cinnamon Grilled Chicken

Turn on that BBQ first (or if your me the forman or the panini pan)

Cook 1/2 Cup of Jasmine rice (or any white rice)
Steam 2 heads of Broccoli

(side note you will cut the rice and broccoli in half for a portion size. I made double for leftovers for lunch and you might actually be cooking for Two)

Cinnamon Chicken
1 piece of chicken (boneless skinless chicken breast)defrosted
Mrs. Dash Salt Free Lemon Pepper Seasoning Blend
Ground Cinnamon
(note there is no measurements for the seasonings because we are all different so season to your liking I used about teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of Mrs Dash)
Lay piece of chicken down and sprinkle Mrs Dash on side and place face down on grill
One the 2nd side which has no seasoning season with Mrs Dash and Cinnamon
Grill till cooked
Now with your rice, broccoli and chicken put it on a plate and GRUB!
Its approximately 400 Calories give or take for the amount Rice and Size of chicken

Sorry I don't have pictures I was hungry and I didn't think about this until after I finished hopefully next time!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I know I'm a bad home ec teachers daughter this week. Yes, I've been crafting away for Christmas but I have neglected the blog. I wish I could post picture of the amazing gifts but there might be someone out there who figures out there Christmas gift before Christmas. I have however been working on my embroidery skills and I have to say embroidery is very relaxing and the final product well let me just say magnefic (I don't know how to speak french or write it to so give me a break!). Other than that this week has been a blur of meetings meeting and more meetings, but today I'm off at 11am and heading too the Sacramento International Airport. Note however the meaning of international in Sacramento terms this meas flights to Hawaii (so how again is this international when Hawaii is a state?). But alas I am not going "International" I'm flying down to SoCal to see the boy toy and the family!!! I'm hoping that some good shopping comes out of this and some amazing food. Sacramento does have great shopping and food but no one can beat the Costa Mesa mall with bloomies, nordies, jcrew, banana, Tiffany's, and the list could go on forever! And as for food im finding in the greater Sacramento area that seems to be a challenge there is good food but not GREAT food. And the other problem I have encountered is that you go somewhere and you come to find that they only have 1 or 2 GREAT dishes and the rest is just boring boring boring. I'm not saying that in SoCal you don't find this but more likely than not you find a place in LA and you either Love it or Hate it those are your choices there no oooh well I only like this dish, no its a Love or Hate relationship. Like I Love Hoff's Hut, but I Hate that Mexican joint by Pavilions (see I hate it so much I don't know the name). I hate to seem like a Debby downer, but sometimes it just comes out! I do promise to post some pictures of this weekend on the blog! Maybe even my mother and I will craft and ill post those pics (don't count on it she has to be a home ec teacher all week at school the last thing she wants to do when she gets home is craft or cook but she still does because she LOVES us).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Muffin Sunday

Well after a very long Saturday I decided to take a break from sewing to produce these bad boys...

They are Delicious and all because of the Vicarious Foodie! They are a quick and easy treat! I think tonight I'll reheat one and have some vanilla ice cream on top mmmmnnnnn! But I guess now that I'm done I have to get back to work on the shirts and what not. PS the Sublime Stitching Patterns I got and the Directions are AMAZING! If you looking to start crafting something easy like on your tea towels or even some of your clothing I highly suggest ordering up some of her supplies!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Break Time

I've been a busy bee today working on shirts for the family. I know Christmas is far far away but Id rather be safe than sorry at this point! This morning I woke up to an ugly looking sky dark clouds and no sun...its now 3pm and the sun is shinning down on us and the weather is warm and beautiful. I finally have seen fall...
Okay so its only two tree's that are across from my place but you have to admit its a sign.

Most of the trees in Sac don't exactly turn bright red they mainly go green to yellow to brown. But I did find a leaf that seems to be a bit confused and is in the middle of the green to yellow phase.

Also while I was outside I checked the mail to find a package from Sublime Stitching! I cant wait to get started on a project. I keep telling myself that I'm going to learn to embroider i even have some books but Ive just never had the time so for Christmas I'm making some gifts that will require something a little extra. As for the current projects here are some pictures.


Boy Back...

Girl Front...

Girl Close up...

I'm using a reverse applique tutorial I found HERE! Its a very good tutorial I have changed it a little to fit my needs, but its quick its easy and hopefully a crowd pleaser (I'll find out come December). I might post some up on my etsy page if I have time but dont count on it.

In other news I'm going home to Sunny Southern California on Friday!!! Just to visit no shopping I'm on a budget hence why I keep myself busy with projects (hopefully a quilt just for me shortly). Ill be sure to take lots of pictures and fill you all in on the gory details. I also have a recipe to post soon its a low calorie minestrone soup. It is delicious!

Okay well Back to work Back to work!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Porn for my stomach

I showed this to the boy toy and he said "this is porn for my stomach". So I thought I would share it with you.

tastespotting....all I have to say is I gasped when I opened the page

Bakingbites...aaahh inspiration

Misscupcakeface...cant say it enough I love cupcakes especially those with Sprinkles

Other than that Ive started to make Christmas gifts...I know its not even November but some of us are on a budget and need to get started. Plus I am not one for the Christmas rush or crowds.

So this was the view when I got to work Yesterday



And just to show that im not only crafty at home I do apply it at is the door to my office or should I say closet

Monday, October 13, 2008

Camera Cozy

Finally its here I know you’ve been waiting and its here its finally here a full fledged tutorial on sewing!!! Okay first off please comment comment comment on this so I know what to do better or any ideas of how to make this tutorial better ill update it and make it better! I’m hoping this will be the first of many tutorials.

This idea first started as a case for my new digital camera (which you all know about). I was frustrated with the selection at the stores and decided what they hey I have some stuff at home I will just be crafty and do it myself. I also was looking for a case that could double as a wallet because sometimes you go out at night and don’t want to take a purse and all the other junk you just want your camera and a credit card! This tutorial can be modified to make a little case for your ipod/zune, cell phone, lip-gloss, odds and ends ect. I’ve made a few extra and have been storing my smaller cords for my computer in them on my desk. I will also post a few that you can purchase on my esty shop (Poodles and Belle). So here it goes I hope you like it and I'm sorry if I go into too much detail but I like details I’m an accountant there can never be enough details!!!

First off gather your materials:

Fabric: I used Flannel for the inside and some extra stuff I had from making PJ’s for the boy toy. You don’t need much a piece approximately 20 inches high by 15 inches wide will do (1/4 yard)
Sewing machine is imperative!
Pellon/Peltex R70 ultra firm stabilizer (firmer the better to protect items)
Quilt Basting Spray (you don’t have to use it but I like it better than pinning and I’m lazy)
Velcro and Buttons or just Buttons (if you like doing button holes like me then all you need is a button)
Scissors and Pinking Shears
Tape Measure or Ruler
Thread you can do a contrasting color or match like me
Iron and ironing board your new best friend!
Camera, phone, ipod, zune, or item you want to make a little case for.

Now Lets Get started!!!!
Its Measuring time.
Measure the Length Height and Width of your item (unless its cords then you can kinda make it up as you go)


Height :


So the actual size of my phone is 4 ½inches x 2 ½inches x ½inches (LxHxW)
Now you add about an inch/more to each of the measurements except the width (the width here is a little to small to worry about so I wouldn’t add any where as when I made this for my camera I added a little extra because it was about 1 inch in width)
Your new dimensions for the pattern are 5 ½inches x 3 ½inches x ½inches
(Note: here my phone fits in the case pretty snugly if you want to make it not so snug add more to the L X H. This way you can get a little extra wiggle room)

Now get your Ultra Firm Stabilizer. Pencil and Ruler/Tape Measure.

Now you are going to draw the pattern directly on to the Stabilizer
Draw 2 rectangles that are 5 ½ inches x 3 ½ inches

The middle line will be your FOLD Line (where the arrow is)
Add a 1inch x 5 ½ inches to the top this creates an overlap to completely close the case.

Add another 3inches x 5 ½ inches to the 1x 5 ½ inches you just added
Above is the final product for the template you are creating

Cut out the template
Fold the template in half lengthwise (the longest side) and draw diagonal line from the top of the 1inch x 5 ½ addition to the top of the 3 inches x 5 ½ inches you added.
Now cut along the line you just added and unfold the template you should end up with this

Now you have the basic shape of the case. Here is where I fold up the case to what it looks like in the end to make sure it’s big enough for the item.

Fabric time!!!

Now take your fabrics and place the template on the fabric and cut it so it has a few extra inches on each side. Iron the Fabric so it is nice and smooth. You should have two pieces of fabric now flannel and your choice of fabric for the exterior.
Spray time!

Now its time to use the quilting spray. Things to remember with quilting spray: shake the can for a while before use and use it outside it smells funky. Also above all else you can’t screw up because the spray is made so you can reposition over and over and over again!!! So if you don’t get it right the first time try try again!

Have your fabric face down (ie wrong side up)
Spray one side of your template and place on your fabric
Now spray the wrong side fabric and the Ultra Firm Stabilizer that you just put together and place the other fabric on top with the right side up

Cut off excess off excess fabric but still leaving an inch of fabric around the Ultra Firm Stabilizer

Its Sewing Time!!!

Now its time to sew it all together
Hint: I start with sewing the cozy with the flannel side up which is the lobster print.

Put a stitch at the bottom of the template (the straight line end). Something to keep in mind here is to sew on the very edge of where the Ultra Firm Stabilizer is and the fabric. You want to stitch thru the Ultra Firm Stabilizer but you want to be very very very close to the edge of it. I use my fingers to guide where the edge of the stabilizer is. You can kind of make it out but the picture isn’t very good. Make sure to back stitch at each end.

Take the pinking shears and cut the excess fabric along the stitch you just put in (now you should be just cutting the fabric if you put the stitch in close to the edge)
Now from the stitch you made on the edge measure up 3 ½ inches and put a mark on the very edge this will indicate the fold line from here on out (make the mark on the flannel side since it will be hidden when you fold it up!

Pocket time!!!

Get some extra fabric out I used the flannel I had. Cut out a rectangle that is 6 ½ inches x 7 inches (if you are making a different dimension you want to take your original length and height measurement and add about an inch to the length and double your Height measurement)

Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides facing (wrong side is the side you will stitch on.

Place a stitch along the opening on the 5x1/2 inch side leaving the shorter ends open so we can turn it right side out.
Turn right side out and iron flat add a stitch to the edge that was originally folded (not the stitched edge)

Next find the fold lines on the original template you made and match up the edges of the pocket with the fold lines. Now remember that stitch we did in the last step that edge should not be the edge you are lining up with the fold lines.
Now pin the pocket in place if you like (I personally hate pinning I know there are sewers out there rolling in their graves but I cant help it I hate hate hate pinning so I eye ball it and hold it in place the best I can. Plus this cozy is kinda small so its not to hard to do this) Notice the overhang of the pocket that is fine in fact you want that to make sure you stitch through it later…
Sew the pocket in place, with the pocket at the edge of the foot of the sewing machine

Now it should be attached and you can lift it up like this…

And you have just created your fold line for the cozy

Now fold up the sides at your fold line so it looks like an open envelope. Try to match the edges of the Ultra Firm Stabilizer as best as possible.

Note: Okay here is step for all you Velcro lovers; you need to place your Velcro NOW if you are going to sew it down. What I do is fold it all up so it looks like the final product and pick the places for the Velcro and mark it with a pencil (this is on the straight edge that you fold up not the triangular side you fold down). Now you unfold it and sew down the Velcro that goes near the straight edge (ie the bottom of the template) remember to sew it on so its on the outside fabric (monkeys) not the inside flannel (lobsters)

Stitch up one of the sides and with a backstitch at each end. Then go to the other side and stitch it up and continue around the remainder of the stabilizer (this would the triangular area). Remember to stay as close to the edge of the stabilizer as possible just like when you did you first stitch at the bottom of the template

Take out those pinking shears again and cut off the excess around your new envelope shaped cozy!! This is where you will get rid of the overhand from the pocket

TADA almost done check out the inside your pocket should be firmly secured.

At this point put your camera or item in the case make sure it fits just the way you want it otherwise add a new stitch to make it smaller just remember it will be a lot tougher to cut with the pinking shears thru the Ultra Firm Stabilizer.

Note: Velcro lovers your almost done remember how you added the Velcro earlier? Well now its time to add the other piece of Velcro. Fold down the flap and mark on the lobsters about where you would like to place the Velcro.

Pin it down on the lobster side and sew it down…your all done you have a cozy!!! Whoo hoo now if you want to make it a little more fancy or cover up the Velcro stitches on the triangular piece add a button or some other type of embellishment!

Now for the rest of us who want a button. Pick out the button you would like to use big buttons work the best! Fold up the case with the camera/item inside and place the button where you would like to see it. Mark the bottom and the top of the button in place.
Now get some scrap fabric out to make sure your buttonhole is big enough. Measure your marks and make a line on the scratch fabric add about a ¼ inch to each end and make a buttonhole. Test it out on the button and make adjustments as necessary. I am all for testing out a buttonhole first I always screw it up so I highly suggest doing this before moving on.

Now make your buttonhole on your cozy without your camera in it of course (I’m assuming most of you know how to do this but if not let me know ill put up a tutorial. All sewing machines are a little different)
Next put the camera/item in the cozy and fold it up place the button on top and mark where the button will go with a needle them remove the button and open flap to sew down the button. (Sorry the picture is really blurry it was getting late)
And you’re officially done!! You have a camera cozy!!! Now go out and party!

Now I have one other suggestion…a strap you would probably add it when you sew up the sides but I didn’t want one…if you want to see how to add one let me know ill do another tutorial!!!