Food, Recipes

Something Sweet in the New

I am one of those people that if I am not learning something new on a regular basis I begin to feel stagnant.  I feel stuck.  I then become frustrated.  Usually, I don’t pay attention to the nagging in the back of my mind until it’s too late.  The last few weeks I have been overwhelmed with lengthy to do lists, custom orders, and planning some big life changes (more to come soon).  As I was rushing around yesterday, I had a iCalendar notification for an ice cream class that I had signed up for a month ago.  Signing up for this event had completely escaped me.  What a treat, an ice cream class in August! Well done! Thanks, past Me!

The co-owners of Lick Ice Cream partnered with Sustainable Food Center to host this class.  What a great opportunity for such a great cause, for more on that click here. There was a demo and then we broke off into groups to create our own fig inspired ice cream!  We were given a base, chocolate sauce, fig jam, and neufshatel (fancy cream cheese).  I, clearly, fell into the right group when the decision that all of the ingredients would have to be used!  We went with a chocolate and neufshatel base, with fig & chocolate swirls.  Heaven!  Due to the smokiness of the figs this year, it tasted like toasted marshmallow.  As a serious s’mores fan, I was completely blissed out.  In fact, I would have taken a picture of our batch, but…. we ate it all.

Who knew making ice cream was so easy.  I was always under the impression it was much more difficult.  I’m looking forward to testing out new recipes and maybe, potentially, incorporating some recipes into the upcoming cookbook!

Thanks Lick and SFC for a great learning opportunity!

Advertisements
Uncategorized

2015: Magnitude for the Mind

10292546_10152192206312465_347630971126731298_nThe first post of 2015.  Ah, yes.

In most cases, I would be drowning in guilt since my last post was weeks ago, but this year shall turn over a new leaf.  No guilt, less stress.

I had a lovely holiday visiting with friends and family.  I rang in the New Year with the one and only person that I would want to: my Mama and now I’m back in Austin with a fresh perspective.

The first of the year always lends itself to a fresh start.  We all set goals and make resolutions that we typically find ourselves not quite reaching or perhaps breaking sooner rather than later.  Resolutions such as save more money, go out less, loose weight.  If there is one thing that I have learned from my mother the last few years is to set goals that are quantitative.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, not really.  Think about it? “I want to loose weight” Well, that’s nice and all, but it gives you nothing to work with.  “I want to loose 5 pounds.” Ok, certainly attainable. “No, no, no, I want to loose 20 pounds?” Instantly? If we could do that, I would have lost 15 last August before my trip to Vegas. So…. I want to loose 1 pound a week by March 30th by doing x, y, z…” Ok, admittedly I’m just making numbers up, but you get the idea.

2015: Magnitude for the Mind

While I have things I would like to be better about this year, none of the previously mentioned resolutions are any of them.  Mine are for the mind.

1. I will read 1 book a month. (I mean, a book book, not just Martha Stewart, Edible Austin, InStyle, I mean a novel, my old art history text books,  you name it.  I can’t remember the last time I actually read a book cover to cover. I want anything to make me feel like I am learning again. If it’s a 300 page book thats roughly 10 pages a day. Totally Doable.)

2. I will create 1 to 2 handmade items a week and I will write 1-2 blog posts a week. (My 12 Days of Crafting Blogathon, my first craft fair, and the amazing feedback and support I got from my Instagram and Facebook following have me super motivated to try and sell my handmade items. Doesn’t sound so mentally stimulating? Creativity seems to breed more creativity. I’d say that has a great deal to do with the mind.)

3. I will enroll or audit one Summer Class (most likely at ACC) for 1 of the 3: Marketing, Small Business/Entrepreneur, or Graphic Design. (3 Classes I completely regret not taking in college. I feel I’ve missed out or am missing something. I need a little bit of knowledge to push me to the next level.)

Of course there are other things I would like to do this year: record an EP by September, participate in 3 or more craft fairs by July 1st, and spend 4-5 days in Costa Rica with my best friend in the beginning of April to name a few.  It’s always best to start small.  To feel overwhelmed from the beginning is never a good way to start anything.  You will set yourself up for failure and that is certainly no way to start a new year.

 

Before & After

A Learning Experience

IMG_1301

IMG_1311

I have a new piece of furniture! The little stool was a great first project, but I thoroughly enjoy moving up and graduating to more complex projects.

A little back story on this chair:  A few years ago when my Ex and I had moved into this charming little house on the East Side, we discovered this white chair that was left behind.  The structure of the chair was, for the most part, sound, but it had been carelessly painted white.  Like a lost puppy, we kept it.  When my Ex and I split, I kept the chair.  I always had it in my heart that I would give this chair some TLC.  Several years later, it got just that.

Eager to get started on this project, I applied stripper to the chair, chomping at the bit to peel off the layer of unwanted paint.  I let it sit and when I went to scrape, I was more than disappointed.  I wanted that somewhat weird satisfaction of peeling paint; similar to pulling glue off your fingers when you were a kid.  (Is this weird or are you coming with me?) Needless to say that only thing that came off was the stripper. (insert inappropriate joke, go ahead and get it out of your system)

Learning Experience #1: When stripper is applied to paint that has been applied over stain: it turns into a gel and doesn’t actual get you anywhere but frustrated.

After this discovery, I quickly felt myself getting sick.  I was hit with a strong wave of seasonal allergies, which landed myself in bed for a week.  Ahthankyooou, Rag Weed.  This brings us to….

Learning Experience #2: Don’t work on projects when you are not feeling 100%.  You will end up doing more damage than good and therefore make more work for yourself.

After recovering from being Sneezy’s lost cousin, Snotty, I got back to work.  I trucked my sander and my chair off to a friends house to whip this stripper/paint/stain layered mess into submission.  After hours of using my power sander (YAY!) the job was done.  I then applied some wood filler to cracks in the seat to get it back to an even and smooth surface.

I’ve always wanted a teal or turquoise piece of furniture.  I was fortunate to locate a color I really liked, appropriately named “Smoked Turquoise.”  Once a few coats were dried, I applied stain to the entire piece.  I have never used stain before, admittedly I was nervous, but it turned out very easy to work with.  I lathered on the stain, let it sit, and then buffed it off.  Applying the stain over the latex paint gives a subtle aged feel without making it look forced.

This piece was a little more labor intensive than the previous, but I must say I found it valuable.  I worked with new mediums and gained a few new techniques.

Learning Experience #3: Take better before pictures!  (I did take more “In the Process” Pictures, but I wish you could have seen a better before picture!)

Needless to say, I believe I have fallen in love with refinishing furniture.  In love.  I cannot believe how satisfying it feels to convert an ordinary piece of furniture into something special.