A Brother Birthday

My Brother Forrest turned 28 today!

He is leaving on Saturday to move to California…sad…but exciting for him! We went out to dinner this evening to celebrate. It’s the last time all of us will be together for a while. It was so short-lived that we were all living in the same city. At dinner I ordered a pasta dish that kind of sucked a whole bunch. Which is actually a good thing as I only had a few bites, yay for not ingesting 1 million calories!

Also don’t forget to do Mondays Workout (seriously it takes like 15 minutes!) I had to move my workout to the Mornings this week as tomorrow I start my first night shift.  I did a 5k in 50 minutes, not great as I got super tired at the end. The first half though I actually was able to run 2 blocks walk 1 block, instead of my usual 1 to 1 ratio. I can feel myself getting better! I’m hoping by July that I can run a whole mile without stopping, we will see.

CHEERS!

Forrest, Me, Mom and Taylor

Advertisements

Reasons that Today was awesome

1. HAPPY DO DO EEUM! (the boy turns 2 tomorrow, he had quite the party today)

Megan, Eeum, and Say Say. How I love them so.

2. THIS ARRIVED IN THE MAIL. (and its perfect in every way. I could not be happier)

3. WE ARE DRINKING THIS (well I am…Tori Spelling recommended it on Twitter…lol)

4. WE ARE WATCHING THIS.

5. AND READING THIS. (I like to read while watching a film, and I didnt know this existed, very exciting)

25 things I learned before turning 25

On September 12th I turned 25! Yippee! 25 to me feels like a nice grown up age, and I am happy to be here. And so in my old older age I would like to share 25 things I learned before turning 25:

1. Drama, as much fun as it seems at the time will never make you happy.

2. Relationships are a roller-coaster of hard work and smooth sailing.

3. You can always change your habits, it just takes desire.

4. Take care of the ones you love, and they will stay with you no matter how far away you are.

5. Forgiveness is for yourself, and no one else.

6. Treating your body good will reflect in all aspects of your life.

7. Men can change on their own, you just cant force them to do it.

8. Money will come and go, the stress it puts on you will stay much longer.

9. Behind every happy couple is an understanding of partnership. One that can not be broken.

10. Finding a happy medium between enjoying solitude and enjoying company is very difficult.

11. Nothing is a pressing as the one who’s pressing would like you to believe.

12. Family is a constant work in acceptance.

13. Opening up and sharing your insecurities makes others like you more, not less.

14. Everything in moderation.

15. Enjoy the seasons, they are one of the few constants in our lives and can always bring back memories we had forgotten.

16. You can say “I’ll never” as much as you want, it doesn’t mean its true.

17. It’s a comforting feeling to look back and realize your were a dumbass.

18. Prioritize happiness. Always.

19. If you can’t go to school, then you must let the world around you teach. Open your heart and mind to life’s lessons.

20. Reading lets your inner dialogue run wild. It’s good for the soul.

21. Find the little things to enjoy in the present. Waiting for the future is exhausting.

22. Find a partner who loves and respects you more every single day. It will bring such happiness.

23. Be the change you want to see in the world. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t help fix it.

24. Crying almost always makes me feel better.

25. Trust in yourself, trust in your friends, trust in your family.

I leave you with pictures from my birthday. Mr. Gaunt and I celebrate “Birthday week” the whole week before your birthday! It was the week before we got paid so we were a little broke.  Mr. Gaunt still wanted to do something sweet every day so he staked out areas around town that had little public gardens and he cut me fresh flowers every day!

It was the Broncos first game of the season on my birthday so I put on some Broncos apparel and pretended to root for them…lol! I have decided (since I really don’t care) to be a Broncos Fan for Mr. Gaunt. We will also be raising our children as Broncos fans, despite the fact that we will be in Washington. Its something that makes him happy, so I am happy to do it.

For dinner we dressed up and went to Sushi Den with Jenny and Justin. So yummy! I even got my favorite Green Tea Ice Cream to blow out my candle!

Can crafting make us money?

This is my ultimate life goal: To make money being crafty. My mom did it, my best friends parents did it too. Hundreds of people on Etsy do it every day! I however have yet to find my THING. Something I am good at, that people want to buy. I dabbled a bit in felt sewn art, but found that although people thought it was cool, they didn’t really understand it. I made a few hundred dollars over the year, but basically just put it back into art supplies.

Last week I had a breakthrough! Seriously. While thinking up a gift for Jenny’s birthday I came across an idea that just might be something people would want to buy! We have actually done this before, but this one turned out extra good, good enough to sell even.  Basically we will be making custom stencil paintings of babies, people, weddings, pets etc (see example below) at a reasonable price.

Mr. Gaunt and I got all excited and after hearing such great responses from people we really think we are going to give this little idea a shot. Jenny’s husband Justin is onboard too, he is going to help us with the marketing aspect, because that’s what we kind of stink at, and he is very good at it.

The next few weeks we will be putting together some examples and working with Justin on how to get this started. Wish us luck!

Oh and here is what we made for Jenny. It’s from a photo I took about 4 months ago of little Liam, I wish I had taken a better pic of the finished product. As you can see its pretty large.

Mr. Gaunt holding the painting of Liam

Based on this photograph

Tie-Dye Cupcakes

Ms. G turned 60 last month, so we threw her a big Sweet Sixty – 1960’s Themed Party on Saturday! It turned out great, everyone in costume with fun decorations and retro food! I might do a post later with pics. I volunteered to make her cake (which I switched to Cupcakes because they are much easier to serve) and new I wanted to make a Tie-Dye Cake (some call it a rainbow cake, but we’re doing the 60’s here) that I have seen floating around the web.

The Cupcakes are actually pretty easy to make, and SOOO cool to eat! They do take a fair amount of time, and dishes, but not too much talent.

I bought basic Yellow Cupcake Mix (I think Duncan Hines, but anything will do) and mixed it up per box instructions. You could make your own cake batter too, it works the same. After your batter is all mixed, divide it evenly into 6 small bowls (RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, PURPLE) I also used 6 disposable spoons to save on cleaning.

To dye your batter you need a high quality Food Coloring. I have always like Wilton’s Icing Colors, they are slightly more expensive but WAY worth it. I got mine at Michael’s Crafts. Start with a small amount, stir in, and add more until you get the colors you want. The Brighter the Better!

You will need to use cupcake liners for this project and have some napkins ready for dripping. To get the layered look, I suggest putting your bowls in order of the rainbow. You will spoon about a tablespoon (just enough to cover the bottom) of the first color into the bottom of each liner. Then move onto the next color, and spoon that color on top of the previous one. Continue with each color. This does NOT need to be perfect. Be aware of how much you are putting into each liner, you don’t want to overfill or not have room for all the colors.

At the end I made a few ugly mix ones with the last bits of color, they turned out fun too.

Then you just bake as usual. Let cool. Frost. Sprinkle. Done!

You can also make a whole cake like this too. Here is the directions for that.

Vegan Sourdough Blueberry Cake

With a Lemon Glaze!

My Mom’s Birthday was last friday, this was the main reason I went out to Washington to visit, and I really wanted to make her a unique cake. Neither of us are into gaining 5lbs from a big chocolate cake with frosting. My mom also mentioned that my Aunt Kim had given her a Sourdough Starter that she wanted to use. I hit up Food Gawker (because it really is the only way to look for recipes) and typed in Sourdough Cake and got this recipe for Blueberry Sourdough Cake with Lemon Glaze, perfect.

When I got to Bellingham, my sister informs us that she has extended her 30 day Vegan Challenge and that she is still Vegan, and she would like cake please. (= Of course I wanted everyone to be able to eat the cake I made, but how to make it Vegan? Mom and I did some online research and found out that you can replace eggs with EnerG Vegan Egg Replacement I know you can often do Applesauce, but I worried that in a cake Applesauce wouldn’t do the trick. So we got EnerG at our local organic grocers (its in the vegan baking aisle, so they might not have it at the regular grocery store) along with Vegan Butter and headed home to make our cake.

The only other substitutes we did was doing Organic unbleached flour and Sugars (note that Organic Powdered Sugar doesnt contain an anti clumping agent, so it get a little clumpy), and water in the lemon glaze, not milk. So the recipe is as followed:

Sourdough Blueberry Lemon Cake
(based on this recipe)

Cake:
1/2 cup (Vegan) butter, room temperature
1 cup Organic sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 eggs (or EnerG Vegan Egg Replacer)
2 1/2 cups Organic unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup blueberries

Lemon glaze:
1 cup Organic powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons water (or milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan or a mini loaf tray. (I did a 9×9 square pan)
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and grated rind until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. In another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, water, and starter. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the lemon mixture, beating until fluffy. Coat blueberries with flour and fold into batter. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 1 hour, or until bread tests done (my mini loaves took about 40 minutes). Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

For the lemon glaze, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and enough water to make a creamy frosting and mix thoroughly.

Remove the bread from the pan and pour on the glaze. (its best to let it cool a bit, otherwise the glaze slides right off)

Right out of the oven, no glaze

Pour on the Glaze

Chilling in the fridge

This cake wasnt very sweet, or sour for that matter. It was more of a yummy blueberry bread, the glaze it what really gave it some flavor. Everyone ate it, so it must have been yummy. I love when people eat Vegan and don’t know it! I made these Vegan Banana muffins last week for work, and the guys (who always give me shit about eating healthy) gobbled them up! It was awesome!  It also goes to show that with just a little extra effort you can accommodate your Vegan friends and family quite easily!

And the best part was being there with friends and family to sing Happy Birthday to the BEST MOM!