Off at 7am!

For the next week I will be in San Diego. I will try to find some time to post if I get to bake, sew or knit! I am so excited to get out of town for a mini vacation! See ya!

We are off to San Diego!

Tomorrow morning at 7am, John and I are off to San Diego. We will spend New Year's Eve with my best friend! I am so excited! This afternoon as I was cleaning up I decided to make a new bag for the drive. I also made a new makeup bag. This is the first time I have made a smaller shoulder bag so it was also an trial and error bag. I think it turned out pretty cute, not perfect. But, good enough for the drive down and to throw my wallet and lip gloss in!

Nosy neighbors are a good thing!

I live in a condo complex with many neighbors around me. My immediate neighbors are very nice. In my building I have three older ladies who are all very nice and friendly to my husband and I. We all look out for one another. To give them thanks at the end of the year I usually make them cookies. This year I decided to give them Russian Tea Cookies and Rocky Road candy. I think they will all enjoy it! Here is the recipe for the Russian Tea Cookies. I used a recipe from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies Book. 

1 1/2 cups of nuts (I used walnuts)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons of butter, softened and in small chunks
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 large egg yolk (optional)
1/2 cup powdered  sugar
Pulse nuts in food processor. Half should be finely chopped, tranfer into a bowl and set aside. 
Wipe bowl of food processor of excess oil and add granulated sugar and mix until fine powder. Add flour and salt until blended together. Add butter, vanilla. Process until the mixture looks damp and clumps together. Add nuts until combined. Transfer mixture into bowl, cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. 

Preheat oven to 325. Scoop dough into 1 inch balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake fro 22-24 minutes. 
When cookies are cooled, sieve powered sugar over top of cookies. ENJOY! 

**I used 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour
** I did not add egg yolk

I have to note that I have had this book for so many years that the pages are starting to fall out. My mom and I have used this book over and over, notes on pages and cookie dough spills in the pages. This is an excellent book! 

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas! Hope everyone enjoys a day with family, love, joy and hope. Today I can reflect on many joyful things in my family, my job, sewing, knitting and creating!

Sunday Dinner

Sunday typically we eat fish. When I went to the grocery store I found a good deal on 5oz pieces of mahi mahi. So, I bought it! About an hour before we started cooking I marinated the fish in a mixture of the following: 
low sodium soy sauce
sesame seed oil
rice wine vinegar 
I also made a brown rice stir fry with the following:
Brussels sprouts
sesame seeds
This was a new stir fry mix for me, I had never cooked with parsnips. I love Brussels sprouts but never cook them for fear of stinking the house up. Instead of steaming the b.sprouts I shredded them and added to the stir-fry. 
I also made a really yummy salad:
yellow beets (baked in oven for an hour)


I made a few lavender sachets for a few co-workers. I wanted to give them something on Monday since it will be there last day in the office. Check it out! They are so easy to make.

Neighbor Celebration

On Thursday night my neighbor invited us over for some holiday wine and treats. I brought her some gingersnap cookies. I love making these cookies during this time of the year. It makes the house smell so good with the Christmas tree in the background! I will post the recipe in a few days. If anyone wants it please let me know!


This morning my husband and I went to 4th Street in Berkeley. I was able to go to one of my favorite stores, Paper Source and then have a wonderful meal at Tacubaya. This Mexican restaurant as such yummy food. When we got back to our house, John went to a motorcycle show so I was left at home. But, that was ok! Because I was able to make some fun things, I am making lavender sachets and also made gingerbread cookies. The cookies will be for some of the families I babysit for and lavender sachets will be for some co-workers. Here is a picture of the first sachet I made. It's hard to get the lavender in the sachet! More pictures to come! Link

It's cold outside!

Tuesday was really really cold! When I got home from work I had a plan to make chicken soup. But, because I did not have alot of veggies in the house I got creative! I cut up a butternut squash, onion, mushrooms and chicken then added lentils, garlic, ginger and parsley and there you have it a perfect cold night dinner. Of course you have to add some warm bread!

Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW) Part 2

So here is the completed wine tote for Christine. I used the same dimensions that I used for my practice tote and I think it turned out pretty good. I also made her a pencil case. This was the first time I put a "bottom" on the zippered pouches and I think it looks really cute! Check it out!

Bring Your Own Wine (BYOW)

For the holidays I am making a co worker some wine totes so she can give wine to her family. Here is the first attempt at making them. I don't have a pattern or any dimensions, just some fabric and a bottle of wine to measure! Any suggestions! Let me know! 

Patty's 30th!

On Tuesday I went out with a few girlfriends for a 30th birthday celebration. We went to Three Seasons Restaurant in San Francisco for some yummy Vietnamese Food. I made my friend Patty a chocolate fudge cake for her birthday. 

Holiday Traditions!

I thought it would be nice to share a holiday tradition that my husband and I started about four years back. Christmas Eve is spent with my in laws for a feast that my mother in law cooks and then we open presents and chit chat! Since my in laws live an hour away we usually don't drive back for Christmas day. About four years ago we started going to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and getting fresh crab. Then we walk over to the famous Buena Vista Bar for a holiday cocktail. We get home and cover our dinning room table with newspaper and start our feast of crab, salad, bread and wine! Please share your holiday traditions go to sew mama sew blog for details! Or let me know!

Deck the Halls!

I'm not a huge Starbucks fan but the other  day I went in for a cup of tea and saw these amazing wreaths made out of yarn balls. I thought it was the cutest most creative wreath I have ever seen! Here is my version of the wreath! Although not as professionally made it suites my needs! I will say that the Styrofoam at Michael's is pretty pricey. If anyone has a better way let me know! 

And the winner is!

After reading all the comments I received, I had to choose Anya from Wellsboro, PA. Her favorite holiday treat is popcorn with jello! The reason I chose her is because she had the most unusual holiday treat. Good job!  

Give-Away Day!

It's here! Give away Day! I pledge to give a way a bag of home made marshmallows and coco mix to one random reader of my blog. Please comment on this post on the following:

1. What is your holiday treat
Also, I will ship anywhere in the United States and Canada. Sorry to all across the ponds!
I will choose a winner tonight at 8pm and ship out tomorrow morning. I will be in contact with you so please make sure I can contact you though your blog or email.


My winter treat is a cup of hot chocolate from Peets Coffee. Last night I wanted my fix of chocolate and remembered I had marshmallows left over from my craft show. This is what I enjoyed after dinner! YUM! You could be lucky and get to enjoy a cup in a few days!