Monday, December 23, 2013

Green Gables Cooking: Chocolate Caramels

I am reading the Anne series by L. M. Montgomery again for the nine-hundred and fifty-fourth time, give or take. :) One thing that has always fascinated me about this series is the frequent mention of what they are eating.

I remember the first time I read Anne of Green Gables and they talked about eating chicken salad as if it were a delicacy. This made no sense to me. Chicken salad was available at practically every restaurant I visited. Why would this be a "special occasion" food? I didn't understand that in order to eat chicken salad, you had to kill a chicken, pluck it, roast it, let it cool, and then make it into a salad. That's a lot of work to go through for something like chicken salad, although I admit, it is one of my favorite foods.

I've decided that this time, as I read through each book, I'm going to take note of all of the foods mentioned and see if I can find recipes from the late 1800s and early 1900s for them. Then, I'll make the recipes and post them here. I know other people have attempted this - I'm not breaking new ground here - but it should be fun. I found this delightful little website, which has an extensive list of the foods from the books, but the recipes are not all authentic to the time period. I am going to try to avoid any recipes that have modern ingredients and use methods of cooking that are more similar to those times, but I don't have access to a wood burning stove, so my glass top electric will have to do. :)

I do want to note that the first food mentioned in Anne of Green Gables is crab apple preserves. Although I love making jellies and jams, I try to do this in season, based on what foods are available at my friends' farms. I will be skipping the preserves and jams for now, but may throw one in if the produce becomes available.

OK. Here we go.

The first recipe from Green Gables I have decided to attempt is for Chocolate Caramels. Anne mentions these as she explains that when she is in "the depths of despair" she isn't able to eat anything, "...not even if it was a chocolate caramel. I had one chocolate caramel once two years ago and it was simply delicious. I've often dreamed since then that I had a lot of chocolate caramels, but I always wake up just when I'm going to eat them." (AOGG, pg. 26)

I searched for Chocolate Caramel recipes from the 1870s, since that is when Anne comes to stay at Green Gables. After a little bit of digging, I found the following recipe from the Public Ledger Almanac for 1870 - 1873. (I've rewritten it in a more familiar format below.)
CHOCOLATE CARAMELS - Take one cup of sugar, one cup of molasses, a piece of butter the size of an egg, one cup of cream or milk, and two ounces of grated, unsweetened chocolate. Put these ingredients in an enameled saucepan, and boil them together, stirring constantly for twenty minutes. Then try them by dropping a little of the mixture into a cupful of cold water; when it is sufficiently cooked it will form into a ball in the water. Then remove from the fire and beat well until beginning to cool. Flavor with half a teaspoonful of essence of vanilla, and pour into buttered tins to the depth of half an inch. Before the caramels have hardened, mark them into small even squares with a knife.
To figure out how much butter is the equivalent to "the size of an egg," I used logic.

4 Tablespoons should do it.

Chocolate Caramels

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Molasses
  • 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Cream or Whole Milk
  • 2 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
In a saucepan combine the first 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil the mixture for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.

Remove the mixture from the heat when it reaches 240 degrees F (soft ball stage).

Stir and stir and stir until the temp comes down to around 120 degrees F and then add the vanilla.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Allow to sit for 15 minutes and then cut into squares. You can also roll the caramel into small balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass on a Silpat or parchment paper.

This recipes makes A LOT of candy. I didn't count how many pieces I ended up with, but it was a full Silpat.

Oh, and, this candy gets hard. It reminds me of a chocolate Werther's. Super tasty!

My first "authentic" Anne recipe turned out to be quite the success!

"I'll just eat one tonight, Marilla. And I can give Diana half of them, can't I? The other half will taste twice as sweet to me if I give some to her. It's delightful to think I have something to give her." - Anne Shirley (AOGG, pg. 89)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Let's Go Racin'!

Dirt tracks and lots of dust. Pepsi out of a giant milk carton-like container. Being one of the boys. Hanging out at the garage before the race and in the pits afterward.

Orange County Speedway plays the backdrop to so many of my childhood memories. Every summer, this was where we went on the weekends. Feeling the rumble of the big block engines as they roared around the track made me feel alive, made me want to do something crazy!

I had dreams, when I was around 9 or 10, of driving one of those cars someday. If I had lived with my dad, who knows, maybe that would have become a reality. 

I was sorting through a box of old pictures and found this:

I have a very distinct memory of this night, that may or may not be completely accurate. We were hanging out before the races in the stalls that held the 4-H Club cows during the summer fair. The fair hadn't started yet, but the smell of cows from past summers lingered in the air. I don't know why that was the place to be, but it was, and I remember thinking it was the height of cool to be there. 

This was back when I refused to smile with my teeth showing, since I was the owner of a David Letterman-type tooth gap, about which I was completely self-conscious. And my hair - I wore it like that, to the side and super curly, because one of the women we hung out with at the races was always telling me how lucky I was to have naturally curly hair. I had heard that all my life from my mom, but no girl believes what her mom has to say about her looks, or at least, I didn't. One word from this other woman, though, and I made sure to keep my hair down, to show it off.

This picture is such a classic "Dad" picture. He was still working for UPS at the time, so he had to keep his hair short and his mustache trimmed. A t-shirt and jean shorts made up his off-hours wardrobe. This was about as fancy as it got with him. I would borrow t-shirts from him all summer, and I always took one or two home with me. I never wanted to wash them once I unpacked them, because they smelled like him. I only got to see my dad once a year, for a few weeks or a month at a time. He was the epitome of cool, the definition of "fun" and I wanted to have something tangible to use to escape when the real world of living with my mom, the "responsible" parent, got to be too much.

I wish I could talk to the girl in this picture and tell her to take more pictures, write more entries in her diary, about the stuff her dad and she did together. And I wish that New York and Florida weren't so far away from each other, so I could just hop in my car and go spend a little time with him this month.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lot of Livin'

In my last post, I mentioned that I found a new job. Well, that lasted all of 1 1/2 days. If you know me, you know I am not the type to commit to something like a job and then back out of it at all, especially that quickly. It was an extremely hard decision for me to make, but I just didn't feel like this was going to be a good fit for me.

This situation has made me realize that I have to start being more mindful of how I spend my time, my life. If it doesn't fulfill me, if it doesn't take me closer to where I want to be physically, mentally, spiritually, then I don't need to do it.

This might mean that I should take a little technology break. Not a cold turkey, cut myself off from the world kind of break, but more like a limit myself to only X amount of minutes on the computer each day kind of break. My time is valuable and there are so many things I want to be doing. Sitting around in front of this laptop all day is not helping me get started.

This video applies, I think. OK, maybe just the title. But I think it's always a good time for Ann-Margret.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Welcome, December! (In List Form)

I don't want to jinx anything, and I know, we are only 2 days into the month, but December might just turn out to be ok.

  • I got a job today. !!!
  • I got to spend time with one of my dearest friends, her beautiful family, and my lovely mom tonight. We walked around St. Andrews and looked at the pretty lights, then I finally got to check out the Amavida Coffee House. Yum!
  • I started the 30 Day Guns, Buns and Abs Challenge yesterday.

I'm also adding the 30 Day Plank Challenge to the mix because what fun will it be if only my legs are sore?

J is doing this with me, although I'm not entirely sure he is a willing participant. So far, I am...ok. I mean, I've finished two days of the challenge. How hard can it be to make it all the way through?

  • The first rehearsal for the Dearly Departed Joy Of Life Singers was tonight. I get to sing with my own personal Dick Van Dyke and it looks like the rest of the choir ain't too shabby, either.
  • Diana gets her staples out tomorrow! She is making great progress and healing well. 
Yeah, so, December? Thanks. Thanks for coming in like a freakin' rock star. Finish strong, friend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul

Chicken Soup. It is known throughout the world for its healing powers. Tummy troubles, a touch of the flu, a broken arm, or just a really bad day - all ailments that can be cured with a steamy bowl of chicken-y, vegetable-y broth. If you are stuck in bed, add some Club crackers or Saltines, and an episode of I Love Lucy or The Dick Van Dyke Show. If you are up to eating at the table, add a crusty loaf of French bread and some homemade butter on the side, maybe a glass of red wine, if you are feeling indulgent.

I have a pot of soup on the stove now. I was inspired to make it because the weather is chilly and it just seems like the perfect fall day to eat chicken soup on the porch for dinner, bundled up in a scarf and hat, getting warmed up from the inside out. And yes, I realize that to most of my family, the New Yorkers and New Hampshirites, the Wisconsinites and Iowans and Nebraskans, 58 degrees is not scarf and hat worthy weather for you. But it goes from blazing hot summer to frosty cold winter around here, and my skin is just not thick enough to handle anything colder than 68 degrees without some sort of jacket or coverup.

Everyone seems to have their own recipe for chicken soup. They make it how their mom, or their mom's mom, or their great-grandad made it and that is the absolute, only, authentic way to make it. My recipe is not an old family recipe, it is just a simple technique. And in the case of foods like chicken soup, I think simple is always better.

The plus side to cooking something simple is that I can multi-task while I cook. And I don't mean send texts, or get something else crossed off my ever expanding to do list. I mean I can pray while I cook.

Do you pray over your food? I don't mean the right-before-you-eat, "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food" type of praying, I mean while you are cooking. I've started doing this recently and I think it makes a difference in the end product.

Here is how it went today while I got the soup ready to go.

Olive oil in the pot, then sliced onions and garlic. Bless the people who are going to eat this soup.

Let cook until fragrant, then add some water. Allow this soup to bring them comfort.

Half-moon carrots and diagonally-sliced celery go in next. Let the nutrients from these vegetables be what their body needs to feel better.

Then come the chicken thighs. Let the protein from this chicken give them strength.

Cover with water and bring to a boil, then add salt, ground pepper, oregano, basil, and fresh rosemary. Bring them peace.

Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1 to 2 hours, until the chicken pulls off the bone and the vegetables are cooked through. Thank you, Lord, for all you have already done in our lives, all your are doing, and all you will do.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Such A Big Miracle In Such A Little Boy

I am excited that I can finally show you all my latest piece.

I made this for Matty. It is a watercolor rainbow with an ink inscription. When I first saw this quote, I knew immediately that I had to use it for Matty.

He is our monkey. He is our miracle. We are so lucky to still have him with us and to get to see this smile.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sausage Cheese Dip

This seems like a silly recipe to even post, because it is so simple and made with stuff I already had in my fridge and pantry. It comes together in about 10 minutes. The thing is, maybe that's why it IS a good recipe to post - because you probably have all of this at your house and maybe you need something to feed a crowd of people who are coming over to watch football, or play Cards Against Humanity, or maybe even sing a few worship songs.

Anyway, so, here it is. The easiest recipe you will read today.

Sausage Cheese Dip

  • 16 oz. Pork Sausage (Breakfast Sausage)
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained (15 oz.)
  • Black Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Garlic Powder

Brown the sausage. Drain the excess fat. Put sausage in a large bowl.

Add grated cheese and mix until it melts a little bit. Add the cream cheese and smoosh it all together. Add the tomatoes and spices (just sprinkle some on - I never measure spices in stuff like this) and mix until combined.

Serve warm with Ritz crackers, saltines, tortilla chip scoops, or a spoon.

I think this would be equally as good made with ground turkey and a different kind of cheese. Do what you want. Make it your own. Or don't, follow this exactly, and you will be happy and full.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm With The Band

Oh, Buzzfeed. Sometimes, you are so disappointing with your lists of completely useless trivia and GIFs, but then you give us something like this and I am SO in love with you:

Isolated Vocal Tracks. Listening to these almost makes me feel voyeuristic. It's like I walked in on Eminem or Paul McCartney rehearsing with earbuds in - they can hear the backup track, but I can't - and it is so personal, like I'm invading their space, or like I'm with the band.

At the link, you'll find videos featuring Michael Jackson during the Jackson 5 days, Whitney Houston singing "How Will I Know?", and Kurt Cobain singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit." My personal favorite is "Under Pressure" with David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. That one gave me chills.

And it led me down a rabbit hole of videos that are nothing but the isolated vocal tracks of Queen, mostly featuring Freddie. "Somebody To Love" always gets an emotional reaction from me, but take away the instrumentals and you have this:

I made it all the way to 2:11 and then, that's it, I'm crying. Freddie's voice has this way of getting into my chest and making me feel all warm and squishy.

I can't believe that these videos have been on YouTube this whole time and no one told me! I feel like I've just discovered The Internet.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pinterest Win!: The Sock Bun

I haven't had much luck with hairstyles I find on Pinterest, but this...this, I can handle.

Sock Bun, where have you been all of my life?

You make me feel like a ballerina, like I am more graceful just because there is a sock rolled up in my hair.

You also make me not give a rip about the gray hairs that are slowly overtaking my entire head. When I look at you, all I see are dainty, girly visions of myself gliding down a busy city street with shopping bags on my arms, while I wear a simple, yet elegant outfit, and cotton candy pink silk shoes.

Thank you, Sock Bun. Let's hang out again real soon!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back In The Kitchen

I don't have any real recipes to share today. I did make some pretty good things in the kitchen, though.

I started with Pickle Things: Deconstructed. Softened cream cheese, chopped up sliced honey ham, and diced dill pickles. I used our homemade pickles and added a little pickle juice to thin it out a bit.

The dish above is now empty, so I think that tells you how good it was. A special thanks to Jehremie's cousin Amber for suggesting this! So simple and so freaking delicious!

I made a salad for dinner. Halved cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced carrots, celery, and cucumbers, and sliced green onions marinated in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

I poured the veggie mixture over chopped Romaine lettuce and added some crumbled baked bacon. It was light tasting, but very filling.

I also baked bread today. One large loaf and two small round loaves.

I'm thinking about taking one of the round loaves to a luncheon on Wednesday, since we are having a soup potluck.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A (Not) Starving "Artist"?

I'm not going to claim that I am an artist. I am still very far away from that. Maybe if I put that word in quotes, "artist", I can say it with a straight face.

On my Life List, there is a bullet point that says "Create art, even if it sucks." I've started actually doing that, spending part of my day most days sketching or painting. Here are two of the pieces I've done.

This is hanging in our bedroom. Frank and Lola was the first song J and I picked together as "our" song.

This will soon be hanging in an adorable little girl's room. Her grandfather is a true artist and has painted a large mural on her wall. This pales in comparison to his work, but I'm hoping it will compliment it.

I want to make the Move Mountains piece for another friend who was blessed with a little girl earlier this year. And I want to work on a piece for Matty's room, too. I'm thinking I might put something together tomorrow to send down this week, so they can hang it in his room at the hospital.

This isn't something that I expect to ever make money doing, but J pointed something out - he thinks it is therapeutic for me. His reasoning? "Because you worked on that piece from start to finish without a break." I think he might be right.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Knitting Needles Go Click, Click, Click

I am knitting. And praying while I knit, which sometimes leads to dropping stitches and having to pull out two or three rows of this scarf that has been an unfinished project for at least 3 years.

I remember when I bought this yarn. I remember the inspiration scarf I saw online. The inspiration scarf came with a hefty price tag and even though I had only finished one scarf in my extensive knitting history, I decided to go to Michael's and buy the yarn. And some new knitting needles, because new needles were obviously the key to finishing another scarf.

About a month ago, my friend Brandi started talking about learning how to knit. I sent her a link to the video I watched when I first learned to cast on and knit a row or two. And her learning to knit inspired me to pull out the scarf I started so many years ago and never finished.

I have been working on it off and on, adding at least a few rows each day. I am halfway through. And I have found that while I knit, I am able to focus on talking to God.

So tonight, when I got word that Brandi's son, my godson, Matty was in the ICU and was not doing well, I picked up the scarf and started knitting. And talking to God.

I'm trying to make sense of this whole situation. I know God is in control, I know that He has this plan, but I cannot wrap my mind around how this benefits anyone. I'm just going to keep praying for healing, whole, true healing, for Matty; for strength, and peace for his mom, who is the strongest person I know, but will need so much more strength to get through this; and for wisdom for the doctors, who with God's help, can turn the situation around.

It is going to be a long night. And who knows, I might have a finished scarf by morning.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Statue of Liberty - You Can't Beat That

Yes, this is another September 11th post, probably one of hundreds you will see today. I'm not going to tell you the story of where I was when I heard the news, or what phone calls I made, or what the faces of the people around me looked like. Everyone has their own version of that story and I think it is personal and tragic and hopeful, all at the same time.

What I do want to do is share with you one of my memories from the following weeks after the attacks. As a college student in 2001, Jon Stewart was the voice of the news for me, as I'm sure he was (and still is) to many of you. And he didn't come back to the airwaves quickly, he took time to get it together and prepare himself and to be respectful to the fact that maybe we just weren't ready to laugh yet.

And on September 20, 2001, 9 days after the towers fell, he came back to us. Here's what he had to say.

12 years later and I can remember so clearly that feeling of togetherness, united-ness, help each other-ness, that pervaded the nation in the days and weeks and months after the attacks. And then, it was gone. Business as usual. Every man for himself.

I'm not on a soapbox or a high horse about this, because I am guilty of what I speak. But maybe if everyone took the anniversary of that day and used it as an annual reminder to be a little nicer to the person standing next to us, to take a minute and be thankful for just being here, maybe then we could get back to that place we were 12 years ago and really unite as a nation. Maybe.

Monday, September 9, 2013

MSABC Fundraiser: My Paint Party

This is my second year as a member of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Team Grandmama's Girls. Last year, we did an assortment of different fundraisers, including a Premier Jewelry Party, a yard sale, a musical cabaret, and a paint party with Tana of My Paint Party.

Out of all of the ways we raised funds, the paint party was the most enjoyable. So much so that we decided to do it again this year.

The other girls on the team were nice enough to let me cater the event. I am considering this my first official catering job and I think it turned out pretty darn good!

This was the full spread, before all of us hungry women attacked it!

We started the day out with a mustache picture - It's not really a party unless everyone is wearing a mustache!

Cucumber Sandwiches with Whipped Dill Cream Cheese.

The cutest little BLTs you've ever seen!

Veggie Shooters with Homemade Ranch Dressing.

Rainbow Fruit Skewers.

Checkerboard Cake. There are no pictures of the inside of the cake, because when we cut into it, it kind of fell apart. This was my first time attempting this cake and I know what I will do differently next time. Lesson learned!

My mom brought these desserts and they were just delicious!

All of the paintings turned out great!

Mom and me with our paintings! Such a fun day!

We raised around $250 for Making Strides with this party - not too shabby!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIY: All Purpose Cleaner

White vinegar is a staple in my house. When I get down to below half of a big bottle, I get a little twitchy. We use it for everything - cleaning our laminate floors, pickling pounds and pounds of cucumbers, as an additive to laundry and the dishwasher, creating that streak-free shine on the windows. I love vinegar. It just smells clean to me.

Most of the time, I am content with using a half and half mixture of white vinegar and warm water to clean things around the house, but I wanted to make something with a little more oomph. So, I created what I like to call "Mrs. Woods' Handy Dandy All Purpose Cleaner."

Here's what you need to make your own:

  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar (Cost = $0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp. Hydrogen Peroxide (Cost = $0.02)
  • 1 Tbsp. Borax (Cost = $0.02)
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice (Cost = $0.99)
  • 2 Cups Warm Water (Cost = Free!)
I like to pour everything directly into my spray bottle and then just shake it all together. I also give it a good shake each time I clean with it, since the lemon juice has a tendency to settle at the bottom.

The total cost on this is $1.11 and gives you 24 ounces of cleaner to work with. That calculates out to about $0.05 per ounce. Compare that to the Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner (the brand I used before I started making this), which rings in at around $0.12 per ounce. That's better than half-price AND you know what is in the bottle!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I am a list maker. To Do Today, To Do This Week, To Do Someday, Party Theme Ideas, Workout Plans, Cooking Plans, Recipes To Try, Books To Read, Places To Visit. I generally organize each list by numbering the items in the order that they should be done.

I like for my lists to be neat. If too many things have been crossed off, I will start the list fresh on a new piece of paper.

These are the final drafts of the original lists for our MSABC Fundraiser Paint Party.

The problem with having this many lists is that I often lose track of them. I used to carry a plain notebook in my purse and would add things to the list as I thought of them. There are times when lists are simply written on a sticky note and shoved in my bag, with the hopes that I won't lose them before I need them.

I have tried to get organized on my phone. I used Evernote for about 2 weeks and, yes, I liked it, but it just didn't do it for me. There's something about crossing things off the list as I get them done, that feeling of pen on paper, making a solid line from one side to the other. I have even been known to write something on a list after I have already done it, just so I can cross it off.

I recently bought two small dry erase boards at the Dollar General (fondly referred to as "The Yellow Boutique" in my house). Those stay on the side of the fridge and have a running list of the things I am supposed to be working on during the week. I managed to get one thing done today that was on list and instead of drawing a line through it, I erased it. It felt pretty good to see that blank space in the middle of the list, until I thought of something else I was supposed to be working on this week. Needless to say, there is no more blank space on the board. For now, anyway. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Using one of the dry erase boards to keep track of my workout.

Is anyone else out there like this? Do you have Master Lists of your smaller lists? Do you use pen and paper or do you like to use an app - and if so, which one?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Local Tourist: Goofy Golf

I live in a tourist town. Well, I live on the outskirts of a tourist town, but I grew up in the thick of it. Long lines of traffic trying to cross the Hathaway Bridge; learning early on that eating at a restaurant on the beach was only an option between September and February; working at condos and restaurants, catering to the out-of-town guest who generally brought a maximum amount of rudeness and a minimum amount of tips with them on vacation.

There are days when I wonder why anyone would want to live somewhere like this. And then, I actually venture out and become a tourist in my own town and suddenly, I remember why. Sand between my toes, the Gulf of Mexico stretching out in front of me, this is what it is all about. People all over the country would trade places with me in a heartbeat (or at least, they think they would) to be able to have access to this on a daily basis. I take it for granted most of the time, but whenever someone comes to visit, I try to get out there and enjoy it like someone visiting would.

This is what lead me back to one of the quirkiest places in Panama City Beach: Goofy Golf. This mini-golf course is located across the street from the City Pier (or is it the County Pier? I've lived here for 28 years and I still don't know which one is which). It has been here since 1959. My mom has pictures of me and my brothers climbing on all of the crazy creatures and obstacles throughout the course.

My brother Michael was in town last month, along with my niece Brianna, so we decided to take a trip back in time and revisit this little slice of "when PCB was still fun."

The hole below might not look like a challenge, but it was more than just "send the ball down a sort of straight path." There was a moat around the castle (not filled with water, which makes it a rather Goofy moat) and if you didn't hit the ball hard enough, it got stuck in the moat. And this was just Hole 1!

On every outing, I must take at least one artsy shot of a building or statue or animal or "trees on sky"...this is the artsy shot. I call it "Chasing Windmills."

There is a rule I have put in place that MUST be followed when a trip to Goofy Golf is made. And that rule is: You MUST climb to the top of the Easter Island Statue Thing and you MUST stick your feet out through his nose.

Luckily, Brianna was a good sport...

 And so was Michael...

They practiced the Princess Wave from high above the course. Cheeseballs!

Bree found a little bit of shade under a giant mushroom...

Michael, um..."took a break."

Bree made a new friend.

And now, your moment of Zen.

And it was during this quiet moment that we realized, we forgot our wallets and couldn't pay to play. So, we made an exchange - they were more than willing to take the teenager off our hands as a form of payment. At least the dragon monster looks friendly. :-)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pinterest Fail: The Bouffant Bun

Hair tutorial pins are always hit or miss. If you have ever seen the Hair Bow or the No Heat Curls pictures, you know what I am talking about.

I have had success with some of the braided updos I've found through Pinterest. I used one to do my hair for God of Carnage earlier this year.

So, when I came across The Bouffant Bun (see the tutorial here), I thought, "How hard could this be?" Here is what it is supposed to look like:

I love the height on the top and the poufiness of the bun. I decided to give it a shot yesterday while I had some time to play around with my hair.'s how mine turned out:

I'm thinking I might need to practice a bit before I get even close to wearing this style in public. Also, I might need to purchase a teasing comb and give my hair some extra oomph before I pull it back. In any case, I'm calling this a Pinterest "Fail" for now, but it may be revisited soon and come out as a win!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And Just Where Have You Been, Young Lady?

So, I kind of just realized that I haven't blogged in 20 days. Um, whoops. So, what have I been up to? Let me show you.

Love, Loss and What I Wore is a play by Nora and Delia Ephron. We will be performing this as a benefit show for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on September 27, 28 and 29 at Kaleidoscope Theatre. I am so excited about getting to work with the cast and getting back on stage again.

Fred and Ethel have been with us for a few weeks and seem to be settling in nicely. They are domestic ducks, but we think they have a little Peking in them. They are for playing, not for eating. :-) Bonus points to them for eating all of the bugs in our yard!

The cats and I have done some photo shoots to make the rainy days pass a little quicker.

And we have been eating really, really good lately!

On top of all the other things, my morning routine has changed a bit. This is pretty much what it looks like once I crawl out of bed and make a pot of coffee. It has made a world of difference to start my day with The Word. I'm also really enjoying putting pen to paper.

So, yeah...that's about it. I mean, there have been some other adventures, but I either didn't have my camera or I want to wait and share them in a separate post.

Now that I'm back, I promise not to go away for so long again. I know your world just hasn't been the same in the past 20 days, but have no fear - Flirt D. Lee is here. :-)