Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Hot + What's Not

My dear friend strongrrl has been putting out some great posts on what's hot and what's not on her blog over the last few months. I thought it would be fun to play along. So here's what's happening in my world lately that I'm either digging or not, and why.

What's Hot
Glassblowing. On Wednesday, Turtle and I went on a homeschool field trip to Sunspots. We saw an inspiring glassblowing demonstration by Daniel, a very talented artisan. We watched him turn one blob of molten glass into a colorful long stemmed lily, and another into a drinking glass with a multi-colored rim. It was a great introduction into an art form that I know very little about. Did I mention they offer classes? Hrm...

Math. I know you must be thinking I've lost it completely with this one. Math has always been my weakest and most disliked subject. That being said, it's really important to me that I have a strong math program for our homeschooling. Enter Teaching Textbooks Math. It's a really nifty interactive math curriculum that includes a printed workbook, teachers booklet and four computer-based learning cd's filled with fun instructive lectures and self-grading lessons. They have free demos on their website at each grade level, which is a great way for your kids to try it out. They also have downloadable/printable placement tests to help you determine which product your child is ready for. I scored a used copy on ebay last week and so far it's a hit. Hats off to these guys for developing this incredibly creative and savvy approach to learning math!

Ganache. Chocolate perfection. It. Is. Luscious. Where has this been all my life? I mean, I've tasted it before but I'd never made ganache frosting myself until last weekend. It was J'daddy's birthday and Turtle wanted to make her dad a cake. I remembered seeing the recipe on vanillasugar's blog. Though I will warn you; Dawn's blog, much like the ganache, is highly addictive but in the BEST way! I got lost in the deliciousness of this drizzly delight.

Hallelujah. If you didn't catch this performance of Hallelujah by Justin Timberlake, Matt Morris, Charlie Sexton & band on Hope for Haiti Now, it's worth checking out. I watched it live and was really moved by it. The heartfelt harmonies, beautiful arrangement and talented instrumentation are spot-on in my opinion.

Invisible Thread. My wonderful neighbor Bonnie introduced me to this over the holidays. It's amazing! I don't know why I didn't know about this sooner but it's really a wonderful way to put a clean top stitch on certain projects. It's a bit deceptive when you're sewing; I kept looking at the needle thinking the thread had broken because I couldn't see it. But it's really quite durable. I was curious to see if it would melt if it got hot. My sweet friend obliged; she put invisible thread on her machine, stitched a line of it on some cotton fabric and popped it in the microwave to see what would happen. We overcooked the fabric and nearly set it on fire but the thread was unharmed. You never know what we'll get into when we're together. ;-)

What's Not
Overreacting. When something happens that causes you concern and it's coming from a source that you know is usually honest and trustworthy; don't overreact. It throws common sense out the window. It's much easier to calmly ask that person what's going on and work things out amicably. Hitting people with accusations and threats does not build-up anything; it simply tears down.

Cold weather. I am so over winter. The severe cold and heavy snows are trying my patience. I wish I was enjoying it more but I'm not. It just feels oppressive. I am longing for warmer days where we can throw open the windows, hang the laundry on the clothesline and go for walks in short-sleeves.

Bye-Bye BaNilla. It seems that all my local grocery stores have stopped carrying my favorite flavor of Stonyfield Farms yogurt, BaNilla. I don't know if you've ever tried this but it's really tasty. It's funny because I'm not typically a big fan of banana-flavored anything, but for some reason I really love it! BOO to Kroger, Martins and Food Lion for not carrying it anymore.

Simplicity vacuum cleaner. My old s24 model continues to be a huge disappointment. With our house now on the market, vacuuming has become an almost daily activity. I spent months researching vacuum cleaners before we bought this piece o'crap six year ago. The first two years it worked great, but since then it continues to fall apart and need expensive repairs/replacements on a yearly basis. I decided last year I wasn't going to put any more money into it. A few months ago the hose split and after that the length adjustment on the handle stopped working. My husband taped them both up with electrical tape and we forged on. Then last week the handle section came apart while I was vacuuming, exposing the wiring and nearly zapping me. Seeing as we can't afford a new one, J'daddy taped it up yet again and I'm still using it. I really, REALLY need a new vacuum and would LOVE for a company to contact me about reviewing one. A giveaway would be awesome: one for me and one for a loyal chickaboom reader {hint, hint}. Miele? Electrolux? Oreck? Will someone please help me out here?


  1. thanks girl! you know we need to see some of your cooking & baking on here...hmmmm?

  2. forgot to say, a miele vacuum is the way to go. more expensive but soooooo very worth it. they are workhorses.

  3. Hey chica, thanks for the mention. I'm glad to see you're still here in blogland, plugging away!

    On another note, I will NOT thank you for leading me to Dawn's blog. Sooo much yumminess. Think I might have to make myself the chocolate soufflé with raspberry coulis for my birthday next month!

  4. Hi! Thanks for popping over ladies. Dawn: Yes, I have gotten lazy about food posts, I promise more soon; Miele is a fabulous brand w/a great reputation. I will do my best to manifest one! Julie: Your welcome! I know you love it when I turn you onto these fabulously naughty blogs...the soufflé sounds amazing. Go for it!

  5. Wishing you:
    a week full of ganache
    the sale of your house
    a visit from the vacuum fairy
    and warm weather!

    Love this post...
    have to check out strongrll's list now :)

  6. I've always been so intrigued by glass-blowing! But I'd be a little worried about the high temps and the potential for injury because I'm such a klutz. I like this hot/not feature. Also, I know I owe you email!!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin