Archives For On a Whim

The Year of Pie

January 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

I absolutely love baking pies! And it goes without saying that I absolutely love eating pie!

Think about it…

Pie is just plain awesome! It brings a sense of comfort, and a comfy home feeling.

What is with all the cupcake love these days? Yes, I love a good red velvet cupcake, but it certainly doesn’t bring the nostalgia of a homemade pie! Am I right?

Look out world, I'm baking some pie!

Look out world, I’m baking some pie!

Ever since I can remember I was the kid that watched the cooking channels for all the baking shows. Besides making me crave what they were making, it would get my creative wheels turning. From then on I have had this insane desire to be an incredible baker.

I have tried my hand at baking the cool decorative cakes and cupcakes. While they turn out yummy (most of the time), they don’t always turn out pretty. Not to mention the immense frustration I get from my lack of skill with cake decorating. My kitchen ends up destroyed… flour everywhere, not a single pan clean in the kitchen and a lopsided cake that was definitely prettier in my head than on my plate.

But pie, ahhh that is another story. Last night I was creating a new recipe for my sister’s birthday and let me tell you I was loving every minute of it. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my failed attempts at recipes. But that is part of getting better, you learn from experience. I just feel like I am in my element when I work with pies. Oh, did I mention the pie that I made was a mix between an Oreo pie and a french silk? I’m thinking of calling it Oreo silk, or silky Oreo…

Get ready 2014, I’m baking lots of pies this year!

What The Future Holds

October 7, 2013 — Leave a comment

Apparently Mars will be colonized. Seriously! In 2023 the colonists will leave with a one way tickets to Mars. Wow! My heart races as I type those words. Colonize Mars. I am certain that if I cried the last time I flew I would probably be hysterical or passed out flying through space. Ugh! That is something I have zero desire to do! I love a good adventure, in fact I am a nomad at heart. But, a one way ticket to another planet… no thanks!

blog pictureWe have all watched movie after movie of Earth colonizing other planets. It’s now not just a possibility but a reality! This is just crazy! My child is going to grow up in a world where Pluto doesn’t know whether it is a planet and people are living on Mars. WHAT? It’s a totally different world than what I grew up in. Everything will be at his fingertips, and there will be an entire population making their own world far beyond what was a possibility when I was a child. Hashtags that document life events, Facebook that has become the new family photo album, whatever question you might have answered with the tiny phone in your pocket. I have no idea what his world will look like by the time 2023 approaches and people are launching into space headed towards their new lives.

Our world is rapidly changing and what was once my world will probably look more like the dark ages to him. I can see it now,

“Mom, you know you only have to think my name and your phone will dial it. You’re making this harder than it has to be.”

“Well sweetie in my day we actually had to dial on a touch screen phone.”

“What is dialing?”

I know, I am exaggerating a little. But, the world is ever-changing and when my son is my age he will probably be having the same revolutionizing thoughts that I am having…What will the world look like in the future? What kind of world will my kids grow up in?

It’s probably safe to say that I am not the first parent or the first generation to think that the world is changing faster than I can keep up. And I am sure that I won’t be the last to feel this way.

I really love to bake. When I was pregnant I stopped buying packaged cookies and other desserts because I had such a sweet tooth. Instead I supplied my cabinets with all things baking. When a craving would hit I had to weigh the desire of my sweet tooth to bake from scratch. Since then I have continued with this and have grown to love baking all the more, everything truly does taste better homemade!

Like I said, I really love to bake. But, I really really hate when I mess up a recipe!

You see I am a perfectionist. When it comes to baking I not only want it to taste amazing, I want it to look picturesque too.

Unfortunately there is a learning curve with everything, including baking. And that can be frustrating.

failed baking attemptI don’t really know what it is other than that silly perfectionism within me, but there is almost a sense of embarrassment or even a hint of failure when things end up a complete wash. If you are not a perfectionist then you wouldn’t understand. For some reason I feel the need to put these crazy expectations for myself. Yes, goals are a great and much-needed thing! But, there is such a thing as impractical goals. For example, after watching a marathon of Cake Boss I was going to be able to bake a gorgeous hand decorated cake all from scratch. I mean how hard could it be to use fondant? By the way I am not a fan of fondant, forget that stuff and bring on the buttercream! So I will proudly say that I failed at baking cakes, numerous times! The cake was dry, crumbly or just plain weird tasting. The icing was runny, over sugared, or I didn’t make enough. But you know what I learned through the process?

It’s OKAY to fail! WHAT? Did I really just say that?

Yes my friends, the world won’t end! With each failed attempt I got better, learned new tricks and became a little less concerned about the perfection and a lot more about making small improvements a long the way and having fun in the process.

Funny thing is what prompted this post is my second failed attempt at making a new dessert. Remember, I am not a fan of this! In case you were wondering it really is never good to try substituting condensed milk for evaporated milk or even basic milk. Nope, it’s a really bad idea actually! Instead of amazing, melt in your mouth key lime bars you end up with chunky key lime wannabes.

It’s okay to fail. Learn from this mistake if the recipe says condensed milk, it means condensed milk! 

The world seriously doesn’t care that I made an awful dessert tonight. I find it funny that something as simple as baking dessert can remind me that I’m not perfect. I wonder what my next dessert is going to tell me?

 

About a year ago I created The Original 30 before 30 list. Through the year I second guessed some of the items that I had on my list for one reason or another. I had put several items on about going green and I really wanted to focus less on the things that interested me at the time and more on goals, plans and things for the future. I also mentioned having two more kids. With my Lupus there is just no telling. God might give us two more children or He might decide that we are meant to only have the beautiful baby we already have. I am not putting a magic number on our family anymore, we will be given the family that we were meant to have!

I know some of you might be saying that once I finalized my list there is no changing it. That was how I felt at first. Then I decided that it’s my list, filled with things that I want to do… so I can make whatever changes to it that I want because it’s for me in the first place. I hope you enjoy my newly refurbished 30 before 30 list!

30before30 new

1. Grow my hair out to my waist
2. Get my family tattoo
3. Finish my novel
4. Participate every year in the “Walk to end Lupus Now” event
5. Get Lasik eye surgery
6. Take a baking/cake class
7. Start/get involved with a ministry to teach people to transition to a green life
8. Paint our kitchen cabinets
9. Be debt FREE!
10. Plant a vegetable garden
11. Finally go skiing
12. Create my own pie recipe
13. Hang pictures from Chase’s documentary
14. Go on a family vacation to California
15. Read 30 books
17. Go parasailing
18. Pay for a strangers meal at a restaurant
19. Go on a train ride as a family
20. See a movie at the drive-in (I seriously have never done this)
21. Find my favorite brand of all natural make up
22. Try a really fancy bottle of wine
23. Go on a trip out of the country
24. Go to a dinner show
25. Take a spontaneous family day trip to new places in our home state
26. Finally decorate our bedroom
27. Finish scrapbook (you seriously have no idea how long this has taken me!)
28. Actually start and complete a knitting project
29. Watch and stay awake for the entire movie, Stand by me (I have attempted and failed twice)
30. Play Christmas carols for a family sing along on the piano

The Artist Within

March 21, 2013 — Leave a comment
artist

An artist in all of us

I am not an artist. 

I hate when people say this!

Yes, I have said this statement many times.

Why do we feel like art is strictly sketching, painting and sculpting? If that is the case then yes, I am not an artist. My abilities are limited to bubble letters, flowers and hearts. In this scenario I have not one artistic bone in my body.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” 

Pablo Picasso

Think about it. Every child gives the world’s largest grin as they proudly show off their scribbles. Isn’t this a masterpiece? Yes! I firmly believe that it is. I don’t believe that it’s the actual drawing that makes it “art” but simply the imagination that it took to create it. That my friends is what I believe is the root behind being an artist. You don’t have to draw amazing portraits or paint like a pro to have the imagination to create something spectacular! It merely needs to be thought up and put into being.

Think outside the box. Making a garden, baking, making up bedtime stories, picking out your clothes for the day, creating music, poetry, scrapbooks, decorating cakes, cutting hair and even blogging is coming from someone’s imagination. So is it art? Yes! It most definitely is! I am tired of using the phrase I am not an artist! I am going to raise my children to never believe in that statement. Children probably do not remain artist merely because of believing this terrible phrase so many of us have uttered, Building a castle from legos- art. Creating an intricate train track- art. Building a fort- art. Whatever you can think, you can create and that makes an artist! Let’s stop believing in the lie and start creating! I did, just now with this post!

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.” 

Albert Einstein