Sunday, November 13, 2011

NBPM: Recipe - Pumpkin Bread


This is a recipe that kind of developed over the course of several batches. It started from a google search for pumpkin bread recipe, involved accidentally adding twice the amount of pumpkin the recipe called for (2 cans instead of 2 cups OOPS) and went from there, including a new type of flour, and a reduction in sugar. The result is a moist and hearty spiced bread.

Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs
1C sugar (brown or white, I prefer brown) 
1-3T maple syrup (or you can skip the syrup and add up to another 1/2C sugar, if you like)
2 cans unsweetened plain pumpkin
1C vegetable oil
2/3C almond milk (or regular milk or water)
3 1/2C flour (I use barley flour but whole wheat or white works too)
1/2t baking powder
2t baking soda
3/4t salt
1t nutmeg
1t cloves
1t cinnamon
1t ginger
1t allspice

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Mix eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, almond milk, maple syrup, oil. Mix thoroughly.

3. Combine all dry ingredients in separate bowl. Mix together with with pumpkin mixture.

4. Pour into greased baking pans. Begin checking large loaf at 50-60 min. Begin checking smaller ones sooner, perhaps 35-45 min. The above makes one loaf pan and three small loafs. I like it because the big loaf is for me to eat and share; the small ones can be for gifts! A half recipe makes one loaf. 

Variations 
Sprinkle top before baking with a bit of cinnamon sugar and some sunflower seeds and chopped pistachios. Press it into the batter a little bit with your fingers. You could probably use slivered almonds, other chopped nuts, and/or oats, I am thinking of trying that next time. 

or

Mix 1C chopped nuts into batter when combining wet and dry ingredients.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NBPM: Powder Base

I don't really wear much makeup, typically just a bit of eyeliner, mascara, some subtle eyeshadow. I used to have some liquid foundation Mary Kay from my mom's friend but it was soooo old I threw it out a couple months ago in one of those intense purging moods.

Getting ready for a wedding* this past weekend I realized maybe I wanted to wear a base of some sort, so I had to ask my other lady roommate who fortunately has a similar skin tone and is in the possession of a foundation stick. It made me realize that maybe I need to invest in some of my own, for special occasions or more dressy/professional days even.

Anyway, so today after work I marched my little hiney over to Macy's up to the Origins counter.  No idea why I chose that one, maybe just it didn't seem so harsh, more mild, natural, whatever. Asked the young woman (probably 23 or something, not that I look much older than that) to help me get the right shade and discuss the different options. She was very thorough, talked to me about the pros and cons, what she wears, tried out different types - the powders, the liquid with powder coating, etc.
Exactly what I was hoping for when I walked in there.

I kind of like not wearing tons of makeup all the time. It's more "me." But it's good to have that option now/again.

Not sure where I'm headed with the blog post here, if anywhere. I'm not loving the prompts they are giving, so I guess I'm just going with whatever I feel like writing.

*wedding was tons of fun, btw!

Monday, November 7, 2011

NBPM: Totally Cheating

This is totally cheating as a blog post, but I came across this tutorial on how to do a really cute bun using only a sock:


That was actually going to be my whole post but then I thought of something else I want to say.

I was thinking about crafting, art, on the way home. How I really enjoy it. Almost more than anything. By myself or with other people, doesn't matter, both are nice. Even if whatever it is comes out super crappy (a lot of the time it does - a lot of the time it comes out fantastic too), it is still just enjoyable to be MAKING. Like the process itself is pleasurable. So, as I was walking I was thinking or wondering if it isn't because there is no pressure to perform in that type of situation. Nobody's counting on me, there's no deadline, there's no need to be accurate or money will be lost or someone's reputation will be damaged. It's just nice, like how eating is nice, or running is nice, or jumping or singing or swimming in the waves of the sea. My pace, my vision, just see what happens. You know?


Potato print pillow in progress


Finished product!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NBPM: More Like Mom or Dad?

Another from October : Between your mother and your father, who are you more alike?

Let's see. I would say in looks, I'm probably more like my dad's side of the family. Personality may be a toss-up. Both are smart, fun, loyal...

Ways I'm like my mom:
  • Sentimental, sympathetic, concerned for others
  • Somewhat conflict-avoidant
  • Making food for people as a way of showing love
  • Maybe more self-doubting

Ways I'm like my dad:
  • Interested in trying new things
  • A bit more of a clown/outgoing/people-oriented
  • Can be detached if I need or want to be
  • Like working with my hands
  • Can get obsessed with a topic

I dunno, this is a difficult prompt. It's hard to describe people, especially those you've known from birth. And maybe even harder to describe yourself.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NBPM: Life Flashing Before My Eyes

Did one from October for today's: If your life flashed before your eyes, what are 5 moments you know would be included?

Things that have taken up a somewhat depressingly large portion of my life and therefore would be more of an honest representation of how I have spent my days:
  • Studying or attending class, daydreaming or doodling
  • Sleeping, trying to avoid waking up
  • Cleaning, cooking, eating, pooping, showering, etc
  • Riding on a train/bus/bike or in a car
  • Sitting in my office cube, working on the computer

Things I'd actually want to remember:
  1. I'm small. My hair in a long braid down my back. My grandpa, my mom's father, drives me and my brothers and sisters in the back of his rusty pickup truck up a dirt road in the mountains. The air is breezy, whipping strands of hair as we bump over potholes. He pulls over finally to a place with thick green beneath the trees. Gives us each a tin coffee can with a loop of string to hang around our neck. We pick blackberries - hundreds of them. So sweet. So fat. Careful of the thorns! Fill the cans up. Dump them into a big plastic bucket. Pick more. Empty the cans again. Almost as many going into my mouth as into the coffee can. Come home. Make blackberry crisp and jam and pie.
  2. At my parents' house. It's dinner time, maybe thanksgiving, maybe a birthday, maybe a relative has died and we are telling our favorite stories in rememberence. Piles of food, all types. Maybe there is a debate. Maybe there are some passions flying. Maybe we are laughing. Loosening our belt buckles or changing into sweat pants to make room for more food.
  3. I'm scrambling up a rocky mountain, half graceful, half totally out of control. There's a bit of wind rustling the leaves and there is some moss but not too slippery, and I'm feeling my way up and over and around boulders. Breathing slightly heavy from the intensity. Get to a clearing. The sun bursts out over the valleys. The view is extraordinary. I almost want to die from how awesome I feel.
  4. Sitting with friends or family around a campfire, possibly on the beach. Wearing a cosy sweatshirt. Breathe in. Smokey on the breeze. A tiny bit chilly on the backside, warm on the side facing the flame. Crunchy pine needles or damp cool sand underfoot. Sky getting dark. Stars coming out. Some mosquitoes coming out too but we swat em. Maybe we are lucky, see some fireflies.
  5. Probably if anything important or life-changing ever happened to me, like meeting the person I was going to spend my life with or seeing my son or daughter for the first time, that would be the fifth thing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NBPM: Last Meal

Ok so it is national blog post month (similar to the novel writing one but seems like somewhat less work, since they don't have to tie together into a coherent story). I just found it out from Cinderella's Pear. Anyway I missed the first two days and kind of don't really love the prompt for today, so I'm going to go with yesterday's prompt:

If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

This is soooooo difficult to me.

Probably it would be an around the world vegetarian buffet. That is probably cheating. But I have no idea how I'd choose something. I love pretty much all vegetarian Indian food. I love lasagna and pizza. I love greens and mushrooms and cheese and fruit. I love different types of hearty bread. Hummus. Lentil soup. Stuffed peppers. And some nice red wine.

For dessert, pumpkin pie. Whipped cream. Berries. Mmm I'm sort of salivating thinking of it all.

Ok yes I definitely choose around the world vegetarian buffet. Haha I am such a cheater! I would go out with a bang. And of course everyone I love is there eating with me.








 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Great

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ughhhh

I spent the night at my parents'. A freak snowstorm came through the area... a lot of the leaves are still green actually.

Several inches we got.

As I was falling asleep I could hear the rustle of the wind, the occasional crack of wood splitting, the thud of a heavy branch hitting the ground. Oh please don't let the house get damaged I prayed. If you are there God and if you have the power to answer prayers like this, please please keep the house from getting damaged. It was the most sincere prayer I've prayed in a long time, and I guess it was actually pretty selfish of a prayer too, since I have invested so much time, energy, resources. But oh well, I think the prayer came true, or else we were lucky, or coincidence. There are  branches everywhere, all over the yard. Branches... actually some are the size of small trees themselves. But I think the house is ok.

It's annoying though. All this work we have been putting in for over a year. Things are finally starting to look good. They are having the real estate agent in Tuesday to take photos. Even if the storm hadn't hit, there's still quite a bit that we have to do on the inside, some last junk to box up, cleaning, etc. Now we are gonna have to saw up all those branches and haul them away too! I will be soooo glad when this sells.

Oh well the sun's coming out now, the snow is starting to fall from the branches in wet chunks (sorry for that imagery there!), the bent branches starting to straighten out again. I think it will all be melted by Tuesday.

I ordered some snow/hiking boots from REI with a 20% discount and they just arrived. I am ready to face yardwork with warm feet. Bring it on BITCHESSSSSS...

Monday, October 24, 2011

A quote, maybe by St Francis of Assisi

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” It describes a lot how I feel lately.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

FYI not in funk anymore

I've been out of the funk so that's good, but pretty busy, so no blogging. I will have to post some pics or update at some point, but not now.

It's a generally good busy though.

Trying to squeeze every last juicy-sweet drop out of this summer before it disappears!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Funk

I am in a funk. I hate it and I don't know what to do. Probably either do something super drastic or let it run its course.

Damn you funk.




Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oooh

My friend's coworker who lives on a boat got back to me with lots of info. I'm gonna see if I can go visit the boat.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Boat

I think I'm getting obsessed. I really want a boat so bad. I want to live right near the water and get in my boat and go around in the water in the boat.







I looked at some craigslist ads and felt like I was gonna pee my pants from excitement. What the...?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vote

I think I am going to order a pincushion from etsy.com - which do you like best (or top 2 or 3)?

Toadstool pincushion:


Embroidered flower garden felt pincushion (miniature):









Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From Little Bro Currently Doing Missionary Service

He wrote at the end of one of his letters:
Much love. Few words? One exhoration: greet the brethren and sistren with an holy kiss (1 Thess 5:26).

Heheh. Cracks me up. I miss that little, 6-foot-plus guy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So Useful!

This has nothing really to do with anything in my life, but I just thought I'd share this with you all. I just was folding one up and looked up a video so I could do it nicely.


I swear everything is on YouTube these days. I'm actually surprised when something is NOT on there.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New(t) Project

I've been feeling this weird 'manic' energy lately. It's funny, Bubber was mentioning feeling it and I realized OMG ME TOO. A strange power and creativity and diminished sense of risk that we jokingly attribute to our famous ancestor on the Italian side.

Art by Jane Gough.

So yeah. Manic/creative energy. I'm channeling it into starting an Etsy business. To begin with at least, it will be primarily a card and wall print store. Mediums:
  • Watercolor
  • Pen and ink (and colored pencil)
  • Block printing
  • Paper collage
I'll make stuff with those mediums (I've got some pieces I can maybe use already, or at least are examples of what I will do), create high-quality copies/prints of the original work and sell them at a pretty reasonable price.
  • Thank you cards (pack of 6) - $10-12
  • Greeting/wedding/birthday card - $2.00-$3.75
  • Prints for nursery, bathroom, kids rooms, other places - $5-25 depending on size and quality/detail of the piece
Also I'll probably sell originals at a bit higher price, maybe like $20-120 or something (again depending on size and quality/detail of the piece). So that's the idea for now.


Tell me: would you pay that much for something handmade? Also, would you be interested in any other types of products?

Some watercolors. I'd probably sell this kind of thing as prints. Maybe it could work as a card too.




And of course butterflies I posted before and that kind of thing. Next up we have papercraft cards. They are pretty, but I'd either have to find some way to easily mass produce them or do color prints of them - but that would lose some of the texture, so this one's still up in the air. 



Some pencil and pen drawings. Cards of these kinds of drawings would probably be cheaper.

    

Ink block printing I sent as Christmas cards last year. If I could do a really nice one with no mess-ups I'd make color copies of it, but otherwise I could sell prints themselves for slightly more.


Of course I'd take a bit more professional photos too. And I ordered a small paper cutter for straight lines - heheh.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Done?

I kind of feel like this blog has fulfilled its purpose - whatever that may have been.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bubber

My little sis sends me an email titled "your homework." It contains the lyrics for Poker Face for me to memorize.


Check this hand cause I'm marvelous!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cards!

I made some! I also made a painting of poppies and a sleeping baby fox, but I don't have a pic of them.


The cards are for giving away. But I wonder if I could sell some other ones that are slightly more professional.

My new idea would be to make some color copies and cut the prints to size and put them on the colored mats instead of one original painting per card. It would still be pretty nice and I could get multiple cards from the same painting.

Yeah it could be good.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Some Updates

Tonight I am going to my first meetup event! A vegetarian food meetup. I wonder what the other people will be like. Hopefully not the crazy veg types.

Also I'm getting this, because I think it's funny and cool (Reunite Pangea - heeee):



Also we have made some huge progress in terms of my parents and their house. 

Also, I've been reading this book about unlocking your creativity, doing the different exercises and stuff. It might be a bit hokey, but I also do sort of agree with its premise, that creativity is a way of acknowledging a higher power, of channeling the divine in your life.


Finally, I think I want to start posting again on One Little Joy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Bucket List

I think I posted one on here before at some point, but here's my new, expanded one.

   1. Get photobooth shots done
   2. Have a bakery or sandwich shop or cafe
   3. Have a flower shop
   4. See northern lights
   5. Own a property - condo or small house - have fun making it quirky and homey
   6. Publish a writing piece, my own ideas or experiences
   7. Photos published somewhere
   8. Learn woodworking
   9. Use pictures to tell a story - children’s book (or an adult book)
  10. Go backpacking
  11. Have kids, get married
  12. Go to Europe to visit EK, the Danes, others
  13. Go to VA to visit LP
  14. Go to Antarctica
  15. Go to Columbia, hike, see Machu Picchu
  16. Road trip or train trip across USA
  17. Ski the Alps
  18. Hike the Alps
  19. Teach an artistic class (silkscreening, woodblock printing)
  20. Help make blankets for people who need them, babies or people in the hospital
  21. Climb Mt Washington



    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Little Sicko

    A dream.

    I got kidnapped from my home by a wild band of people.  Kind of scary, kind of appealing/attractive.  I had to go live in this place with them, in the woods.  The lady in charge was very, very strict and had brown bangs and light olive skin.

    She kept making me do everything a very particular way.  Her way.  I just had to obey.  I didn't know what would happen to me if I didn't do what she said.  I was trying so hard to do everything perfectly how she preferred.  All I wanted was her to to not criticize me, to be pleased with me.  She sometimes would be... a little bit... I would feel good then, but that's not how it was for the most part. 

    I was telling myself it was for my own good, for personal growth. 

    Ughhhh... what a sicko I am. 

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Weekend Update

    Due to a series of unfortunate incidents I ended up not being able to go out to NY to participate in the field hockey alumni game this weekend at my alma mater.  Anyway, it was only a bummer for a short while. I did a lot of fun things instead.

    Hung out with many, many Danes. Very hyggelig.

    Got my hair cut. Got some Indian lunch buffet.  Spent some time at K + T's and baby M's for awhile. Installed the Bum Genius for them (attaches right to the toilet supply line!)

    Took the first nap of the season in the back porch hammock. Had two of my sisters over to make these little chocolate coated cake owls and cake-filled easter baskets.



    Creepy-cute. My favorite.

    Also I met with one of my new roommates.  It's sad that the Danes have to go back to Denmark mid-June... but he will hopefully be a fun and responsible and easygoing roommate.

    More pics from creep-cute cake time:

    Saw off the bottom of ice cream cones.  Fill with chocolate to create bottom of "basket."

    The handle is chocolate twizzler, miraculously
    .

    Owl body in melted chocolate coating.

    Dane food.

      
    Some of my favorite creepy-cuties.