Monthly Archives: August 2013

Busy as a Bee

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I have been unbelievably busy and this blog is what has suffered the most.  With moving into this new apartment, I just haven’t had the time to continue any of my projects… I haven’t even moved in my crafting supplies!  That’s the depressing part.

At least I have still been baking – not with an amazing success rate though, I’ll admit.  The first thing I made were these “Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Oat bars.”  Looking at the ingredients, I thought you really just could not go wrong.  Well, the center never set in the oven, so I didn’t really get the bar shape so to say.  They still tasted pretty decent, but they are unbelievably sweet and after a couple bites, I had had enough.  So despite the winning ingredients, these were just ok.  I also forgot to take a picture of them before I threw out the rest of the batch, so here’s the picture from the book.  Amazing looking right?

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Next I had leftover graham crackers and decided to bake the recipe on the back of the graham cracker box for “Banana Graham Nut Muffins.”  They looked good and I adore graham crackers.  Although they came out of the oven fully baked and fine textured, again, these muffins just didn’t live up to their potential.  I was not impressed.  Below is the picture of my actual muffins.

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So, hopefully next time I turn on that oven and start to get my baker on, I will finally be able to produce something worthy of copying the recipe out for.  As for right now, I am still staring at the picture of those peanut butter bars because it gets me every time.  They look so good!  Have a great start to your week everyone and I promise I will start posting some more worthy updates this week.  I’ll get back on track.

Ode to the Aussie Birds

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CIMG1408I obviously have an obsession with birds, and the birds in Australia just fascinated me.  I found a bunch of these pictures laying around from when we lived there and I thought I would make a little collage.  Just a quick Friday post – It’s been a really busy week and that will continue into the weekend, so I am a little overwhelmed.  Nothing special, but hope these guys brighten up your day:)

Mudslide Mess Up

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CIMG1402Mudslide cupcakes with a Bailey’s Irish Cream mousse frosting.  They had me at the title, forget what was in the recipe.  But we’ll look at the ingredients anyway just in case someone wasn’t already drooling… Kahlua, Bailey’s, coffee, mocha ice cream, cream, sugar… you can’t go wrong.  I happened across this recipe one day online and I just had to bake it.

So last night I was thinking it was a great night for a little treat.  I start to whip together my ingredients, the mix tasted ok, but I was sure once it was baked it would be heavenly.  The frosting was a little more like whipped cream, but I had faith it would chill into a fluffy mousse.  Together these two components were going to make a decadent Wednesday night dessert.

I could not have been more wrong.

I will admit, I have not had a serious flop in the kitchen for a while, so I guess I was overdue.  The cupcakes were bland bricks with a dollop of over-sweetened whipped cream on top.  This was not what I was hoping for!  I am not even going to attach the recipe it was such a failure.  On a different note, if anyone has any tried-and-true mudslide baking recipes, I would love to try it out.  I still have the Bailey’s and the Kahlua and they are just begging for a delicious dessert.

Hope the picture makes your mouth water, but they simply did not live up to the name!

The Paint Bar

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CIMG1407I went to a paint bar for the first time this past weekend and it was really fantastic!  I was nervous going in because I always have painted whatever I am in the mood for, but this was different since we all would be guided through the same painting.  Everyone was taught how to paint these tulips in their pots and over the course of the 2 hours, we had a blast.  The atmosphere was great and I look forward to going back.

I learned I am most definitely a type A personality.  This particular painting is definitely not my style!  The relaxed way of painting and just brushing different colors over the others was against all aspects of my nature.  Yes, I need to clean the brush between colors, and then my water if it’s too dirty!  Yes, I need to wait for the whole thing to dry before I even contemplate the next coat!  Yes, I don’t want my colors mixing up to much on my plate and finally, yes, I am a perfectionist.  So this was a very good exercise for me in painting with a different mentality.

I also learned a couple of new techniques which was really helpful since I have never had any sort of art or painting education.  The cross hatching in the background with the two different colors came out really beautiful and outlining the tulips and pots with black paint was also a great technique.  I can definitely apply these skills to my future paintings and I am looking forward to that.

Other than this, I started painting a new hubcap and so far so good.  It is looking pretty decent.  I am still baking and cooking this week, so be ready for some updates!  I know it is a Monday morning, but I hope you all have a fantastic start to your week:)

Bluebird in Winter

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Good morning and happy Friday!  This is my most recent hubcap creation.  I am happy with the result, but it’s not my favorite painting.  I know I set out to paint a car on this one, but things change!  Now onto the next hubcap… I still have four lined up to paint:). Cleaning up the streets, one abandoned hubcap at a time.

Hope you all have a great end to your week and get ready for the weekend!

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to Write

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TRIALIVE!

Health and fitness to me is experiencing life at its most.  Health is living.  Living is racing.  I am an avid triathlete and there is nothing that makes me feel more fit, healthy, complete, and alive, than that feeling in the middle of a race when everything is coming together.  The blood rushing through your veins, your legs strong, lungs full, and mind laser focused on the task ahead.  I live to race.

 

There’s a burn in your chest,

And your legs are on fire.

With no chance to rest,

Deep down you start to tire.

But you can’t give in now,

The adrenaline’s in your veins.

You know exactly how

To push past those pains.

To finish the race hard;

To end with a win.

You played every card

And you cashed in.

Your body is spent,

Yet you still feel so strong.

To overcome every torrent

You knew you weren’t wrong.

Now savor this sweet feeling at the end;

No one else could possibly comprehend.

Peanut Butter Lovers Unite!

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CIMG1391You know who you are.  We put some bread with our peanut butter (if we have anything with it at all) and we are unashamed to dig right into that jar with a spoon.  We have peanut butter sandwiches more often than pb&j’s because the jelly just takes away from the peanut butter.  Reese’s are the best candy.  There’s peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter on celery, and if something doesn’t taste good on it’s own, it will definitely taste better with peanut butter.

Basically, I am obsessed with peanut butter.  So after discovering a recipe for peanut butter bread, I just had to make it!  Here’s the recipe:

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Grease a bread loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.  Add the peanut butter, milk, and egg and mix until well blended.  Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.  Done!

It’s not bad either!  The bread is moist and has a mild peanut butter flavor to it.  I would think with some honey drizzled on top, or perhaps Nutella, it will be delicious.  Also, I used creamy peanut butter, but chunky would definitely add some texture.  I have been itching to bake for weeks now, so bloggers beware!  More recipes are definitely to come in the next two weeks.  I am going to be on a roll.

It’s Sunday…

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…You should get away.

And that’s exactly what I did.  A couple days away camping in the woods was a much needed break.  Here’s a little taste of the wildlife:

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If you can’t tell, I have a little bit of an obsession with birds.  I find them so beautiful and powerful and I have to say, the bald eagle was a real treat.  I spent the better part of that morning stalking the eagle who definitely now has a phobia of women in yellow kayaks.  But I got a picture of it and that was all I wanted.  The loon was stunning, and this cormorant just didn’t want to budge when I pulled up next to his rock (still stalking my eagle across the lake of course).

Besides the bird shots though, the past couple of days have been a great break from everything.  Sometimes it is just necessary to unplug; no phones, computers, ipods… nothing.  So what did we do?  We moved, laughed, talked, swam, ran, and just relaxed.  Not only was I unplugged from all electronics, but I unplugged my creativity, motivation, and ambition.  Back home now, I am ready to go and take it all on!  This was a necessary break and if you are feeling stressed, you should get away.  Even if it is just a walk down the street without your phone, it’s worth it.  The world won’t end.

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Hope these pictures free up your mind a bit.  They certainly still make me smell the fresh air.  Just wanted to share a little beauty and hope you all enjoy what is left of your  weekend!