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Sunday, April 29, 2012

holly golightly and the london fog

if you want something fun to do on a rainy afternoon...
try this.....
watch "breakfast at tiffany's and sip a london fog:)

here is a look at the opening scene (my favorite scene:))

all the stuff in between is delightful and beautiful...
(i think she might be the only women in the world who could get away with those adorable bangs)

and the end....
have a look...

and i think that george peppard looks like chris pine...
or tony dinozzo on ncis...
it's a treat to watch and once again, new york looks like the most amazing place to live...

Holly Golightly: You could always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives  
you. I must say, the mind reels.

Holly Golightly: A girl can't read that sort of thing without her lipstick

the london fog

a london fog is a vanilla black tea latte...

i prefer to make mine with hot cinnamon spice tea from 

it is available at barnes and noble...
their tea bags are beautiful and the tea is delicious...

(black tea has the highest amount of caffeine of all the teas but it still only has 20% of the amount found in coffee)

first you brew the tea...
then steam or heat 2 tablespoons of 1% milk (skim milk does not froth well and there are only 6.7 calories in one tablespoon of 1% milk)
then add a splash of half and half...
i sweeten the milk just a little and then froth it and pour any liquid into the tea and spoon the foam on top...
then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar...
(if you want to sweeten the tea use a little turbinato or raw sugar)

this delicious latte has less than 40 calories and tastes amazing..... 

and my favorite toast is a raisin bagel from winco (they are the best, small and dense)
toasted, with butter and homemade raspberry peach jam...

now this was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon....

more later... 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Singin' In The Rain

Maddie here.  With the theme for April being Rain, I decided to write up a little post on the film
Singin' In The Rain!
My first memory of this movie takes me back to a day I spent at my grandma Dallyne's.  I'm not
sure if I stayed home sick from school that day, or if I was just spending the day at her house,
but I told her I wanted to watch a movie. She had all of the classics on hand, but I'm pretty sure
I wanted to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Rescuers Down Under, or one of the many
other cartoons she had.  But she convinced me that I should watch Singin' In The Rain.
"But it's an old movie!" I complained.  She said "It doesn't matter, you'll love it, it's fantastic".  So, I gave in and she popped the tape into the VCR.
This movie is indeed fantastic.  It's one of those movies where, when I hear the name, it takes me back to sitting in my grandma's guest bedroom, looking through her jewelry box while she would sing and dance along.  She knew all of the words of course.  And I smiled ear to ear watching and listening to her.

The plot from Wikipedia:

Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a popular silent film star with humble roots as a singer, dancer and stunt man. Don barely tolerates his vapid, shallow leading lady, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), though their studio, Monumental Pictures, links them romantically to increase their popularity. Lina herself is convinced they are in love, despite Don's protestations otherwise.
One day, to escape from fans, Don jumps into a passing car driven by Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). She drops him off, but not before claiming to be a stage actress and sneering at his undignified accomplishments. Later, at a party, the head of Don's studio, R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell), shows a short demonstration of a Vitaphonetalking picture[3] but his guests are unimpressed. To Don's amusement and Kathy's embarrassment, she pops out of a mock cake right in front of him as part of the entertainment; Kathy, it turns out, is a chorus girl. Furious at Don's teasing, she throws a real cake at him, only to hit Lina right in the face. Later, after weeks of searching, Don makes up with Kathy after he finds her working in another Monumental Pictures production, and they begin to fall in love.
After a rival studio has an enormous hit with its first talking picture, 1927's The Jazz Singer, R.F. decides he has no choice but to convert the new Lockwood and Lamont film, The Dueling Cavalier, into a talkie. The production is beset with difficulties.[4] By far, the worst problem is Lina's grating voice. An exasperated diction coach tried to teach her how to speak properly, but to no avail. A test screening is a disaster. In one scene, Don repeats the line "I love you" to Lina over and over, to the audience's derisive laughter.[5] Then in the middle of the film, the sound goes out of synchronization.
Don's best friend, Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), comes up with the idea to dub Lina's voice with Kathy's, and they persuade R.F. to turn The Dueling Cavalier into a musical called The Dancing Cavalier, complete with a modern musical number called "Broadway Melody". When Lina finds out, she is furious and does everything possible to sabotage the romance between Don and Kathy. She becomes even angrier when she discovers that R.F. intends to give Kathy a screen credit and a big publicity promotion. Lina, after consulting lawyers, threatens to sue R.F. unless he cancels Kathy's buildup and orders her to continue working (uncredited) as Lina's voice. R.F. reluctantly agrees to her demands.
The premiere of The Dancing Cavalier is a tremendous success. When the audience clamors for Lina to sing live, Don, Cosmo, and R.F. improvise and get her to lip syncinto the microphone while Kathy, hidden behind the stage curtain, sings into a second one. While Lina is "singing," Don, Cosmo and R.F. gleefully open the curtain. The deception becomes obvious when Cosmo replaces Kathy at the microphone. Now exposed as a fraud, Lina flees in embarrassment. Kathy tries to run away as well, but Don introduces the audience to "the real star of the film." The final shot shows Kathy and Don kissing in front of a billboard for their new film, Singin' in the Rain.

My mom and I watched this clip together, and all of the memories came rushing back :)
Gene Kelly is quite the cool cat.  That man has got moves.

This movie is just the ticket to get you in the spirit of spring showers!

So, remember this month, to put on your favorite wellies and get out there and sing and dance in the rain!

and as always, remember to treat yourself to a hot cup of tea :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

grandma j’s red plum jam

3 pounds firm red plums, peeled and cut into eighths
(pits discarded. (duh-i thought it was cute that grandma added that:))
½ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
7 ½ cups sugar
1 (3 oz.) package of pectin
Place plums, water and lemon juice in large non-aluminum stock pot.
Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. You should end up with about 4 ½ cups.
Stir in sugar. Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while stirring. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam.

Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool, and label jars.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time:35 min
Makes about 4 pints.
grandma liked hers on homemade wheat toast (slightly burned)
i like mine chunky like this, on sour dough
more later...

Friday, April 20, 2012

strawberry cuppa chocolate

As featured on NBC Today Show as the top 10 Skinny Foods all dieters should try.

Decadent chocolate paired with a hint of strawberry in this seductively delicious cup. Rooibos, or red tea, provides the base in which these two flavors mingle. Sipping this delicious dessert tea together may inspire a long and loving life for you and your sweetheart.

this tea...
so yummy....
check it out here


Rooibos (Red Tea) is naturally caffeine-free. More about caffeine.

Steeping Instructions

Steeping red tea is easy. Simply heat fresh, filtered water to a rolling boil. Then pour water over tea and steep for 5-7 minutes if using a tea bag or full-leaf.


Rooibos, carob, cocoa kernels, chocolate flavor, strawberry flavor, sweet blackberry leaves and bourbon vanilla beans



Country of Origin

South Africa

all i have to say is...
if you want chocolate and you don't want calories...
try this..

more later...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

cinnamon rolls

i got this sweet post from robyn and her grandaughter:


I read the Outlander and thought it was good, not as good as a Discovery of Witches,( which I thought was 5 stars), but good.  3.5 Stars.

I am trying to get more involved and contribute, thanks for doing this, it is fun!!
Anni and I made Cinnamon Rolls and it was fun!!
Below is my recipe and photos.  We are enjoying your book club and really enjoy your blog, keep it up!!

Famous Roll Dough

(don't let the steps through you off-these are very, very good rolls)

Both Gary Crowton and Chris Brown had the dinner rolls & thought these were Grandma Jennings famous rolls!

That makes them extraordinary, and no kneading involved.

7 1/2 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar
3 t. salt
Mix the above in a very large tupperware or rubbermaid container.

In a 2 cup container, warm the water to 110* (not too hot, not too cold)
1/2 c. warm water
5 t. yeast
1 t. sugar
Dissolve the yeast & sugar in the warm water and let it bubble until high & foamy
I usually set this on the stove to proof while I do the butter/water

while yeast is "proofing" melt in a saucepan on low heat

1 cup of butter (2 cubes)
1 cup of water.
when the butter melts then take off heat and add 1 cup of very cold water.
Cool to Lukewarm.

In a small bowl
whisk 4 eggs
Now pour the butter, water mixture that has cooled to lukewarm into the flour mixture, pour the eggs in and the yeast mixture.
Stir until it is all incorporated.  Put a lid on the container and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
This is a very sticky dough that you will not knead.
When you go to make rolls or cinnamon rolls you take half of the dough and put it onto a floured counter top, flour the roll dough.  Roll out into a rectangle for cinnamon rolls.
Melt 5 T. butter and pour onto the dough, spread it to all the edges.
Take 1 C. brown sugar add 1 t. cinnamon and mix it well, spread it over the butter.  Take 1/2 to 1 c. of pecans pieces or walnuts pieces and spread them over the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Roll up the dough, into a long roll.
Cut into 1 Inch pieces.
Put onto a greased baking sheet, spread them 3 across, they will rise and spread out a lot!!
Let rise in a warm place until almost double 30- 60 mins depends on room temp.  You can speed rise in a warm over 170* preheated then turn off oven and place rolls in for 15-20 mins.
Melt 2 T. butter and brush over the top of the rolls.
Bake at 350* for 15 mins.
You can also make dinner rolls with the other half of the dough.  Flour the counter, flour the dough and roll into a large circle and cut into long triangles, roll up and make crescent rolls.
Or you can make any shape you want, the dough is very soft, be sure to sprinkle flour on counter and on top of dough to help make it easier.  I usually take 1/2 the dough and sprinkle
flour on it and then cut it into 8 pieces.  I roll into a snake shape and then turn into a circle and tuck the end into the middle.  Then do it again with the other 1/4 of dough.  Then I make
cinnamon rolls with the other half.  The whole batch make about 32 rolls.

thanks robyn:)
more later...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

heidi's tea

heidi from oregon was another of our giveaway winners. she won some of my favorite tea. blueberry bliss...

she sent pics!
and this message.....

Hi Staci,

I recieved my present last week - thank you again for choosing me! I've attached pictures for you. I haven't tried the tea yet - I've never had loose leaf tea before.. actually, I haven't had much tea in general, but a friend of mine told me she will help me try it out! I've included pictures for you - your beautiful package couldn't have arrived on a better day last week!


  (i love her tea kettle in this pic)

thanks for the pictures heidi...
hope you all have a great day...

more later...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

robyn's teapot

robyn was the grand prize winner of our giveaway and she recieved her package and sent us a picture. yay!!!
she also sent this message:

The sample herbal tea was delicious!!

she also mentioned that there is a teavana in san antonio, tx, where she lives and she is headed there for more tea!!

hope you all are enjoying the book...

it's supposed to rain here this weekend and i am going to be watching "singin' in the rain" so watch for the movie review or if you have nothing to do watch it too! gotta love gene kelly:)
make some kettle last count 4 of us got the whirley pop since cindy's recomendation and i have to tell you, they are the bomb. real kettle corn in 3 min.
they have them at bed bath and beyond.
so check it out:)
more later...

(this site has more whirley pop recipes)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

makinzy's teapot

look who had a birthday...
makinzy was one of our winners in the giveaway.
she won a package of blueberry bliss tea.
she also got this beautiful teapot for her birthday and sent a picture. the meaning of the monkey is "quick witted and full with energy".
nice one kinz:)

looks gorgeous with your countertops...

I got nasty habits; I take tea at three. ~ Mick Jagger

more later...

p.s. if you were a winner and recieved your loot, send us a picture (or if you got you a great teapot, i would love to see it and what it signifies:)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

earl grey white

white tea: (less then 1% of the caffeine of coffee)
white tea has the highest amount of antioxidents while having very little caffeine.
earl grey white is a modern turn on the world's most popular tea.
this lighter and brighter earl grey has uplifting apricot nuances and tartly orange flavor from elite bergamont.
all balanced with a smooth infusion of superior white tea.
white tea promotes detoxification and body hydration and may support healthy skin and complexion.

remember, tea counts as pure water consumption:)

goes great with the cookies i made and froze last month!

more later...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

down came the rain

“He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.”

 The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein (Goodreads Author)
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sesees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it.

“On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.”

― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.

(i understand that this book has a few swear words, so beware:)

for the month of april we will be celebrating the rain and our pets and i will highlight a few of my favorite teas and some of their benefits. our food theme for the month will be toast. tell us, if you want, your favorite way to have your toast. maybe send a picture.

tell us what you like most on a rainy day and if you want, send me a picture of your pet
and i will post it.

“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.” — James Dickey

just so you know.....


more later.....

Sunday, April 1, 2012


“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

i so loved this book. it was the perfect book for me to read during the long month of march.
i read the first one quickly and have been reading the second one (dragonfly in amber)
more slowly.
i woke up this morning to a  dark stormy sunday and lit my fireplace
(for possibly the last time this season) 
and finished the second book. 
this is definitetly
not a lighthearted read and i completely understand the reasons why the reviews are all over the map.
it has a high body count and some torture scenes that were brutal.
but if you can get past that you might be swept away
by the passion and intensity between claire and jamie.
i was. 
by the time claire almost literally rescues jamie's soul the reader is almost exhausted by the sheer emotion of it all.
their relationship develops, matures and is tested, but it never wavers.

although Dragonfly ends with more tears than anything else it is different. 
 it dosn't approach the sheer drama and passion of Outlander.
but for me,
i thought it was epic and reminded me of "braveheart" and "last of the mohicans" where the hero's word's are
"stay alive, no matter what occurs, i will find you" 
i loved that.
and i must admit, i did fall a little in love with jamie. i thought he was the more grownup of the two and i kept forgeting he was only 23.
but i did think that claire made a lot of things worse by being so outspoken. she was a "career woman" of the 1940's and that didn't really work for her in 18th century scotland.
she could be real brat.
i sometimes wanted her to shutup:)
but, overall, i really enjoyed this book. i will most certainly read the rest.
i give it 4.25 stars
and the average for the reviews that i recieved from everyone else was 3.75 stars...

“For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
thanks for a great march everyone...
more later...