17 January, 2012

No recess

As I work on cultivating some quilting skills, I've started practicing free-motion quilting. And kinda like in the great song from that famous band's better, first album, it's like I'm in school again. But not high school, more like kindergarten. Trying to develop a steady, graceful hand for directing even my tiny test sandwiches has been humbling. Kinda like when a few weeks ago I thought it would be good to practice writing with my left hand in case I ever lost the use of my right one, I was surprised at just how bad the results were.

To make matters worse, the machine was making a different noise than I was used to and it didn't sound right. I checked everything that made sense to me to check. Then I checked the manual. Noisy machine indicates trapped thread in hook thing or lint build up in bobbin thing. So I removed the plate and found this:

And I thought I was doing a good job keeping her clean!

16 January, 2012

Fab find: Acupressure mats!

I'm the proud new owner of an acupressure mat and I love it. We've been together for nearly a week now and these are my first impressions (ha!).

But seriously, if you've thought about getting one, go for it! There are a bunch of reviews out there that talk about the benefits of acupressure and how it can be both relaxing and rejuvenating. I'll skip repeating all that and tell you that it's really not that uncomfortable. In fact, I fell asleep on my mat the other night.

What surprised me the most is just how deeply I've been able to relax on this thing. Laying on it on my back and meditating I was able to relax as deeply as I only have in 90 minute+ massages or during shirodhara. Heaven.

The points do take getting used to and I'd recommend wearing a T-shirt on your first go. But don't be afraid, you can barely feel them at all through denim. Also, ease on and off, don't slide or you'll be sorry. Then, once you're used to how it feels, try it bare-skinned for more intense results. (Okay, I can't handle standing barefooted on it. Not yet.) In short, if you regularly have tension in your body and don't have the time or money for frequent bodywork, an acupressure mat may be for you. 

06 January, 2012

Fab flix: Double Dare

Dunno who of you have Netflix but my queue is unusually large (Has anyone else discovered that there's a 500-title limit? Just me?) so I thought I'd share some recommendations with you. This may be particularly helpful to those who, like myself, only have the streaming subscription and are annoyed by the limited subset of the full catalog. Allow me to do some digging for you!

I'm not going for legit reviews here. I'd never get the posts written. So without further ado, my first recommendation is that you check out Double Dare, a gem of a documentary about kick-ass stunt women Jeannie Epper (below) and Zoë Bell.

If you check it out, let me know what you think.

TV dinner!

Not really, but when I was trying to figure out the best way to heat up Wednesday night's leftovers for last night's dinner I had a stroke of brilliance:

Okay, maybe I'm a little generous on what counts for brilliance around here only I couldn't help but get excited over these arrangements. I even made place for the desert: banana cake I invented earlier in the week.

This was also a particularly satisfying meal (despite my having overcooked the brussel sprouts) and one that Mr Fab gave high marks. Meatloaf (recipe below) with mashed potatoes, kasha, roasted brussel sprouts and semolina banana cake. I was planning on making some mushroom gravy but I forgot. Both nights!

05 January, 2012

Time management

Oh sweet interwebs, I do love you so but, um, I think we're maybe seeing too much of each other and, well, I need some space.

During the super-productive time I enjoyed last fall, I tried something new; I used a timer to keep me mindful of my time spent sitting at the computer. I wish I didn't need this kind of help, but I do. I've spent entire days surfing the web without realizing it. That shocking realization when Mr Fab comes home from work and I haven't gotten dressed, made the bed or eaten or anything. One or two days like that isn't the end of the world but, well, I've had a few more of them than that...