Thursday, June 30, 2011

poppytalk's summer colours week: rainbow

It's time for summer colours! Check out the flickr group for more bits of happy and Poppytalk for a curated dose. Aaaand...if yer interested, you can take a wander and look through my previous colours week pics. Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

recipe: cake batter scones

It rained last night and I never even heard it. Man, I sleep like a log. And now, it is a gloomy June morning perfect for baking something like...say...cake batter scones. If only I hadn't used up my box of yellow cake mix. I can still bake mind you but I have scones on the noggin and last week I whipped up the delicious creation of cake batter scones and I think those would hit the spot. now that my box is all empty, methinks I may have bottomed out on the adventures in cake batter baking. May have. Nothing is definite, especially where cake is concerned. Luckily for you, I have photos and a recipe so if you have a box of yellow cake mix floating around, now may be a good time to open it up.

Ingredients
*1 1/4 cup of yellow cake mix
*1 cup flour
*6-8 tablespoons butter
*1/4-3/4 (give or take a T or 2) cup of milk
*1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
Sift together 1 cup flour and 1 cup cake mix. Add your cold butter and mix in with a couple of forks or a pastry blender until crumbly.

Add your milk, a 1/4 cup at a time and gently fold until you have a sticky biscuit-like batter. You should have milk left over, save this. You can add sprinkles here if ya like as well.

Turn your dough onto a floured work surface and gently pat out. I make wonky biscuits so some of mine were thin while others not-so-thin. Cut into scone shapes or use a biscuit cutter until all your dough is used up. you should get twelve scones/biscuits out of the happy mess. These spread more than your average scone so give them room.
Place onto cookie sheet and brush tops with some of the leftover milk. Add a smattering of sprinkles and gently press so they stick. Pop into a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10-20 minutes depending on how hot yer oven bakes and the level of done-ness you like.
While your scones are cooling, whip up a cake batter glaze by mixing together your powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of cake mix. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. You don't want it too gooey or runny. Dip a spoon into the glaze and dribble it over your cooled scones. Brew yourself a cuppa tea or a pot of coffee while the glaze sets. Enjoy and share the goodness! These are crispy on the outside and super cakey on the inside, They are not very sweet, save for the glaze and go really nicely with tea.

poppytalk's summer colours week: blue

It's time for summer colours! Check out the flickr group for more bits of happy and Poppytalk for a curated dose. Aaaand...if yer interested, you can take a wander and look through my previous colours week pics. Happy summer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

poppytalk's summer colours week: pink

It's time for summer colours! Check out the flickr group for more bits of happy and Poppytalk for a curated dose. Aaaand...if yer interested, you can take a wander and look through my previous colours week pics. Happy summer!

Monday, June 27, 2011

poppytalk's summer colours week: yellow

It's time for summer colours! Check out the flickr group for more bits of happy and Poppytalk for a curated dose. Aaaand...if yer interested, you can take a wander and look through my previous colours week pics. Happy summer! 

mondays are for reflections: june 27

There has been a wee bit of heart-heavy ick floating about these past two weeks in dilly-land. It's the kind that exploded in a moment and has a lingering effect that makes me feel like I have been royally dumped and I wake up every morning, too early with an anxiousness in my belly. The "wee-bit" part is me trying to make light though really, I can't but every day begins anew and I move forward.
Aside from icky-ick, I did get to visit with two new friends on three separate occassions! Well, whadduya know, I can be social. Meals were cooked, crafting was done and a little cake batter adventuring was adventured. I worked on articles, sent out resumes and applied for apartments. Sadly, mister and I were declined yet another living space as it appears what we can afford is smaller than small and owners/landlords prefer the smaller than small spaces go to one person not two, and most definitely not two a-go-gos. Sigh. We keep trying to let them all know that we know smaller than small and actually would love a Tumbleweed abode or a trailer or a garden shed, or...or...or...

So, we keep trying.

On Friday we partook in donuts for an art night in town and really did do our best to socialize. We're really not good in a crowd and as obnoxious as we are, we are fairly introverted in an extroverted way. We did get chatty with a new friend or two and the donuts were quite tasty and we walked so hey, it wasn't a bust a'tall.
Saturday however was a sort-of bust. We hit up a church rummage sale in search of cookie tins and potholders. We're broke folks so we had specifics in mind and not a potholder or tin in sight. Crazy! We did break our tiny piggy bank on a mini marble run set for the nephew and a boxy vintage suitcase and folding yardstick for myself. Not too shabby for a $1.50. The prices were right even without our preferred items.
Mister finished my new-new cookie tin uke (hence the hunt for cookie tins). It is most gorgeous and loud and so swoon-worthy. If my eyes ever sparkle when he is around, they sparkle more because of his dandiness. I haven't picked up any uke for far too long and I had to retrain my fingers to find their places. I'm am far-far from musical and after (cough, six) years of "playing" I can give ya a super wonky version of alphabutt and only alphabutt. I can, however, do a mean pony and twist so there is that. Right?

On Sunday, we hit up the local swap-meet in search of, yup, cookie tins and potholders. I was also looking for things to photograph for Poppytalk's Summer Colours Week. I got in one good photograph alas no potholders or cookie tins. I did see the most amazing older gentleman in the bestest of the best two-inch wide screaming yellow, ruler suspenders inch his way up and down each aisle aided by his walker and I seriously worked on being brave enough to ask him for a photo but I wussed out. I may have been slightly distracted by a sad little handmade sock doll...maybe. I'm still kicking myself for not asking. I am not kicking myself for forking over a dollar for the doll. It is most unusual. Completely unnecessary but fantastically quirky. I also shelled out a dollar for a (not very pc) chalkware figurine and wooden "leave a message" box while mr. a-go-go scored a mini amp for five. He's going to try to make an electric uke. Here's hoping the amp works. He thought five would be okay to drop in case it didn't.
We also went in search of fire works but it seems ya can't sell fire works on Sunday. Either that or all the stands were sold out. Drats. And that's it. Not a whole lot of internal reflection going on, at least the kind I want to write about right now. Instead, Mondays will be a new kind of week in review, sans the photo mosaic. This week will be more of the same. Writing and searching and searching and writing. Oh and Poppytalk's Summer Colours Week. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 24, 2011

friday's confessional: june 24

I don't have an average track record when it comes to "Hollywood" crushes. While most of young feminine peers were off crushing on John Travolta (it was the seventies folks and Grease had just come out) I was planning my future as the Mrs. Dr. Pepper Guy. Yup, I had a crush on that guy from An American Werewolf in London only I knew him as the Dr. Pepper Guy.
My memory is foggy really but I remember my mother really ribbing me hard about it. Especially when at my school talent show, one of the sixth graders who played piano looked a heck of a lot like him. I remember her all elbow-jabby nudging me and whispering how cute he was. Mind you folks, I was 8. Nice, mom. I think what I liked is that he sang AND danced a lot like Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire and being that my mother raised me on Hollywood Musicals, singing and dancing nestled heavily into my crush radar. It helped too that he was the Dr. Pepper guy as I quite liked that soda and thought if I married him we'd be fizz happy for life. Before that it was Peter from The Monkees. I recognized his dorkiness right away and felt we could be very good friends. It seems my nerd-guy crush habit began young. What can I say, I'm a trendsetter.
After my Monkee man and the Dr. Pepper guy faded out and I began Junior High, most of my girlie peers were waxing poetic over Duran Duran and the like. I think the big argument was over whether or not it was John Taylor or Nick Rhodes who was cuter. Both of them failed my fashion sense test as I was still geeking out over Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly but I added Danny Elfman to the mix. Hey, red hair, eyeliner, fire breather...Danny Elfman and a ninth grader named Martin Trammel who to me looked just like Gene Kelley if Gene was (were?) a punk rocker with spiky-like black hair. Oh and don't fergit Duckie. John Cryer was okay but Duckie was the man.

In high-school the girlie-os had moved on to Michael Stipe and Mel Gibson and I opened my circle a wee bit wider and tossed in Daniel Day Lewis, Julian Sands and this adorable blonde guy in my class that I never ever knew but admired from afar (and he had the awesome moniker of Charles. Swoon...Charles!)

In my twenties, it was Jonathon Pryce or as I called him, "that guy from the Infiniti commercials". I still kept the other boys close to my heart but I wasn't NOT going to add more to my collection. Next came Kevin Spacey, there is just something about him all creepiness aside that I adore. I still have a crush on him.
Now that I'm all growed-up, I find myself crushing hard on the mister. Everyday (except when he drives me batty) I count my lucky geeky stars that I found a dork of a mister. Not only does he sing and dance but he sews and cooks and humors me and my zany ideas. Before I met him, I had this whole theory of the "kind" of guy I thought I would like and while he more than makes up for it, he doesn't match it in so many other ways (have I told you about the list?) and I am so glad I threw it all out the window. Still, I need to write out my "theory" as this lady is always asking me to go through it again so I will, someday on a Friday not far away. Who were your oddball crushes? Go on share, it is confessional Friday afterall...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

it feels like fall this morning...

All grey and drizzly. That's one thing about living where we do, our days are generally fairly mild. A little sun, blue skies and more wind than is necessary. We really should put in a windmill somewhere. Yesterday we had our first summerish day at almost 80 degrees. Spoiled? Perhaps.
The witch-baby is perched atop sofa number two all nestled in her fur garden. I can tell she is eyeballing the kitty door that she has finally mastered but since it is cold and drizzly she remains all loafed up on the sofa. The whir of the dishwasher is playing its morning symphony and the crows are outside causing such a ruckus. Maybe they are returning home from a long night out partying or something.

mr. a-go-go has already left for the day. Poor guy didn't get any sleep tossing and turning and fretting over an apartment we looked at yesterday. It's cute, has good light, is close to town and the rent isn't stupid but it is smaller than the tiny casa and lacks a living room. It's not a studio either, a studio could be adaptable. We really liked the owner and like I said, the light was really nice. So, what do we do? We couldn't bring any books and most of my fabric would have to remain in the mama a-go-go's garage. The kitchen is nice and large, and goodness the bathroom is kinda HUGE. Oh and the tub is one of them old fashioned deep dealies. In a word, nice. I suppose we should apply for it. It doesn't mean we'll get it, we are two people and most of the applicants are single. We couldn't put in a garden and there is no place for the bikes but there is a parking spot for Rodney and if you came to visit, you would have to sleep on the kitchen floor...heehee...and the witch-baby would stay with the family a-go-go. Sigh. Decision making is not my strong suit.

The culmination of my recent crafting for craft article is heaped up on the table waiting for good light to be photographed. I tried yesterday around dusk for the magic hour light but the wind was being pesky and I had to bring it all back in. Come on sun, where are ya?

And...I sent out all sorts of resumes, cover letters and contact emails and have not heard a peep. Not even a no thank-you or a get lost. That kinda irks me. At least let me know you received a query and are not interested, right? Once again, I expect too much. Stop with the whining already! Moving on. I have an idea for a job that doesn't really exist yet but should what with all this social media hullabaloo that is kicking around us. Trying to figure out how to propose it, I overthink too much. Maybe it is a defense mechanism, if I'm still thinking about it I won't actually be failing, ya know?

Oh and I had a dream last night that gave me such a sense of calm and well-being and I cannot remember it for the life of me. Drats! Sure, I remember all the crappy, icky dreams and I remember all the crazy trippy dreams but not the simple sweet dreams. I wish I could, I wish I could.

Methinks it's time for another round of cake batter baking. My chai could use some breakfast... happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

recipe: 3 minute cake batter cake

As you can see, I still have cake batter on the noggin. This time around, I have an instant gratification cake in a jar. Jar goodies are ever so trendy, aren't they? This one was kicking around for a while and after searching and peeking and finding a nutella version on Pinterest I decided to create my own. Not that this is original by any means nor does it yield an actual fluffy puffy pretty-to-look-at kind of cake but still, it is easy, cute and tasty so who needs pretty, right? My recipe omits the use of egg though I do use butter for the fat. I suppose an entire egg would make your cake more fluffy but I felt that would be a waste of a good egg. You can try substituting a vegan margarine or maybe even oil and try your favorite non-dairy beverage instead of milk-milk. Have fun and experiment!
The Usual Suspects:
*1/4 cup yellow cake mix
*1-2 T butter
*milk
*microwave safe mug or jar
*sprinkles
*whipped cream is optional though we may have to discuss our friendship if you omit it.
Place the butter into your microwave-safe measuring cup and nuke it about 20 seconds or so until it is all melty. Add enough milk so that your measuring cup reads 1/3 cup. It will froth up a bit here, don't freak out.
Transfer the mixture to your microwave-safe vessel and dump that cake mix in and give it a whirl. Add a shake or two of sprinkles for effect and microwave on medium/high for 2-3 minutes. don;t get too crazy on the sprinkles as they will sink to the bottom of your cup and it won't look as festive as you want it to.
The cake may or may not rise up then collapse as it cooks. I used a 1 1/2 cup jar for this, my first try was done in a 2 cup mug, anything smaller and your batter may spilleth over. When you remove it from the microwave it will be steamy and dense. Stick a spoon into the now-cooked cake and give it a choppy mix so redistribute those sprinkles.
Add a dollop of happy barely-sugarfied whipped cream, add a few sprinkles and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

triggers

My fingers have been inadvertently dyed orange and pink due to a guest post I put together for a kiddo craft blog. We're talking orange the color of cheetos. Puffs. I hate the crunchy kind. They also smell faintly of Tang and Countrytime Lemonade. I can't believe how I once lived for Countrytime. Though we never really got it when I was a kid unless a coupon was involved. In the summertime I ended up with a frozen concentrate of Lady Lee Pink  Lemonade. I would carefully mix, mix, mix it up in our brown plastic pitcher with a wooden spoon that was our go-to kitchen utensil. Then, I would fill a crazy-large pink or yellow plastic tumbler purchased during the dollar days sale at Sav-on about 3/4 of the way full and nestled it inside the freezer. Frozen lemonade yo. It was my thing. 

I loved it so much I sometimes would eat it for breakfast. I was quite methodical about it. I would reach into the frosty freezer to retrieve that bit of happy and quickly run the sides of the cup under lukewarm tap water to loosen it up a little. Then I would squeeze the sides thus popping out the cylindrical ice pop, quickly popping right back into the cup only this time, upside down. I did this for two reasons. One, the bottom never froze as solid as the top so it was slightly slooshy which is always a plus and two, the pulpy-sweet flavor of the whole thing was heavier than the water I mixed it in so all the sugar went to the bottom. Flipping it over, I not only got to enjoy slushiedom but sweet-sweet slushiedom. Even as a kiddo I knew how to enjoy the simple things, which in this case included frozen lemonade for breakfast whilst viewing Popeye cartoons on a Sunday morning as there was never really anything else on that early in the morning.  

It's funny how thinking of it all now I can feel the icy cold of the spoon as it dipped and scraped against my unorthodox frozen breakfast. Them metal spoons got COLD. I can also recall the slurp-ed-ness of it all as I've always had cold-sensitive teeth so had to quickly slurp it all in in a noisy slshhhhh. I can feel the threadbare brown carpet under me as I sat cross-legged and too close to the television in the dim morning light with the black and white images of Popeye and Olive stretching across the screen hoping to catch an episode with the elusive Jeep, Sea Witch and/or Goons. Soon enough, I would get chilled by the lemonade and grab a blanket, usually the defunct pink electric blanket with the knob of dried red nail polish stuck in a blog on one corner, to wrap around me. 

My childhood was all kinds of nutty. ALL. KINDS. The outsiders of the world felt sorry for me or passed judgment on my mother but I wouldn't change it for anything. Nuh-uh, no how, no way. Who else can look back to a dim morning in the San Fernando Valley, partaking of homemade frozen lemonade for breakfast, watching a cartoon that no one really watches anymore with a grin on their face? Just me I think; a daydreamer tip-typing away in a sun-filled room while the wind plays the chimes all around me and my orange fingers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

mondays are for reflections

Both good and not-so-good. It has been a heart-heavy week and things are a bit wonky in the world of the a-go-gos. I quit my very new job and am back rifling through craigslist, typing up cover letters and re-wording resumes so we'll see what happens. The pickings are pretty slim up here but I am ever hopeful. I'm still wishing-wishing for a way to make more with this freelance writing thing. so far I've got crafty posts going for me and that is something, right?
I hit up a local school last week to check out getting certification to teach preschool. I'm in that middle-world of being over-educated with undocumented experience. Picking up classes and getting my mentor-hours in should be a big help and enormous relief. Too bad the school was closed when the mister & I went by on Friday. I should have checked, how dorky!
The weekend was spent doing what we do. Puttering about, a little bit of netflix, some reading, errand running, dinner-making and a walk out to the beach. it's been nice even with the heavy heart. My allergies have been behaving as well (knock on wood) and I'm in list-making mode.
This week I need to finish up a CRAFT article, pull together and outline another article pitch for a print magazine, finish up a guest post, visit that school I mentioned and maybe try another cake batter recipe in between job hunting and all that. I hope yer plans for the week are productive and jump-worthy! Happy Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

friday's confessional: june 17

In a nutshell, I suck. More than that, I suckity-suck. Wanna know why I suck? I quit my job. A job that I just started. A perfectly good job, one that most people would want and love. I resigned. And now I am taking a deep-breath to prepare for all sorts of flabbergasted whys and how dare yous. I didn't just wake-up and decide la-la-la-I-quit. I actually anguished over it. I weighed the pros and cons and it seemed to me all the pros meant making sure no one would be mad at me and all the cons greatly affected (effected?) me personally. I could go into more detail here but really, I am tired of defending my choice. A choice I did not make lightly and included much discussion with the mister. I still know I suck and that I have disappointed people but in keeping with all my blatherity blather about tuning in, I did it. I tuned into myself and made a decision and now I can breathe better...somewhat. I still need to achieve some sort of employment with a consistent paycheck, I am well aware of this and so I go back to the keyboard and craigslist and this site or that site as I type-ity type one resume after another. I apologize ahead of time for any whininess that might ensue. It's a hole I dug myself into so I shouldn't complain.

Do you have any confessions to make?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

revisiting the loveliness

A few weeks ago I was in Los Angeles and was fortunate enough to spend a very full day with one of my favorite persons. We easily fell into our favorite kind of day that began an ended with coffee. We shared a berry buckle or maybe it was a cobbler, either way it was DELICIOUS.
There was coffee to start and then ice tea after we talked ourselves hoarse. I asked for whole milk in my latte but methinks that foam atop is non-fat. nothing foams up as nicely as non-fat, just so ya know.
There were also scones. Bacon, cheddar and black pepper to start and this lovely lavender beauty came home with me. I even wrote about it on paper. I should transcribe that bit of happy here.
We enjoyed all this goodness at The Little Flower Candy Co. which is all sorts of awesome. You can tell by this nifty bubble-gum style machine full of seed bombs. I want to put these everywhere. Too divine!
After a Target run (Yes, a Target run) that lasted um...hours, we picked up the kiddos from after-school fun and hightailed it to another coffee place to enjoy cool beverages, happy sunlight, sweet chatter and the kiddos. I am so happy that I get to see them via the blog, otherwise their height changes and growing-up might make me cry in front of them instead of the happy weepy moments I have at home. Swoon!
I may only get my keister down to Los Angeles once in awhile but it is super comforting to know that it still feels like home and friends and goodness and happy.