Holiday Crafters Unite!

I love trying new things whether it’s cooking or crafting and had to share my most recent adventure.

I made a sweet potato cake for Thanksgiving.  It is by far the most involved cake I have made to date.  You would think, oh, it’s just a cake, throw everything in the mixing bowl and pop that bad boy into the oven! Wrong.  There were so many steps in the process with the wet and dry ingredients so the balance in the batter was just right.  I felt like a chemist and was worried that my measurements were not accurate.  I went out and bought expensive cake flour because I figured all purpose flour would make the cake even heavier and it would take even longer to bake in the oven.

In the end, I passed with flying colors.  The recipe suggests you can add a butter-cream or cream cheese icing but I left it plain.  It tasted best warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I may  try to shrink the recipe next time and make a loaf versus a cake.  We’ll see!

Before the madness in my kitchen – I love my Kitchen Aid mixer.  It is worth the price, period.

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The finished product.  My kitchen smelled like a foreign spice market when I was finished.  I couldn’t help but dance around pretending I was an extra on the set of Aladdin (That’s to say, if Aladdin ever became a live action movie.)

 

 

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What are you challenging yourself to this holiday season?

Holiday Fashion?

As much as I love to dress, style my hair, pile on makeup and do my nails – I really don’t dress up on the actual holiday.  You know what?  I don’t think you should either.  We work ourselves to the bone the rest of the year and deserve to sleep in, wake up looking a mess, make a huge mug of coffee and relax in our best pajamas.  This is what the holidays are really about.  Sit around, eat, socialize with family, eat some more then simply sit back and take it all in.  I see so many people stressed out because they didn’t iron their table clothes the right way, or they have to settle for using plastic plates instead of fine china as a table setting because their wondrous set was missing a piece.  All the fancy dresses, accessories and such, save it for those special holiday parties.

You know what I’m wearing to my Thanksgiving meal?   Leggings, fake uggs, a long sleeve tunic top, throwing my hair in a bun and calling it a day.  I’m all about comfort and functionality.  Who wants to suffer through a delicious meal in constricting jeans?  Ugh, I hate denim!

If you do get dressed up, I hope you look fantastic and all your effort was worth it!  Remember to pair your gravy stain on your top with the appropriate wine stain.  You would hate to appear gouache when Thanksgiving meal hopping today.

Stay safe & be thankful!!

Willow Run

What do you do when the sand runs out?  When that moment in time stands still and you want it to loop for at least another few hours?  How do you measure or put a price on happy endings, even if that happy ending lasted for such a short while?

I struggle to understand life sometimes.  I struggle to find which path we’re supposed to be on or why we replay situations or people continuously and hope it comes around again soon because it may seem insignificant to some, but it means everything to you.  You know that it fills a part of you that you keep hidden from the light, hidden from any insight because you already know the truth.

Everything and yet nothing again.  The highs and lows, and yet here we are.  Standing before me is hope, opposition, fate, and circumstance.  I want nothing more than to know why, what is the purpose, is there really a message or am I hitting rewind even though we are growing older?  It scares me how it makes me feel.  Something so vast, yet so out of reach.  And like the inkeeper with the small candle, I retreat that part of myself.  Snuffing out the light on another day spent buried in a book of doubt.  That’s when the tear forms.

Maybe next time? Maybe this time? Maybe never again?  The chilling thought trails my my mind in hopes to figure out the what, where and why.  Yet for now there is quiet, still, stars meet sky, existing, progressing to that next moment. Praying that I trip into you, or you into me; like we’re teenagers sneaking out for the first time. Laughing, optimistic and loving – maybe even a bit naive.

Keep the smile – it’s free and is my gift to you.

Target on Your Back

And then I saw it crawling across the floor.  Its legs were slow but it’s spirits were high.  Dangling in its view was the end, its peace, survival and more importantly, the success in its finale.

Out of morbid curiosity, you stood back watching while it gained the courage to move after your mere presence shocked it into an insecure coma.  It has never witnessed something as strange as you are. Your being and intellect almost overpower this weak creature back into its shell of comfort.  It is more used to the screams, cries and yells of others – If not the rampant abuse it had to suffer just to get by.  It had come to love and accept that abuse as part of its life path.  It’s karma, resolution, life lesson passed on through its generations.

We always create, suffer and habitat our own prisons in our minds. 

You want to walk away but are almost mesmerized by the will this weak creature has displayed making their way across the floor.  Steady now, it’s almost there.  You can tell its mind is racing a million miles per second.  The self doubt it is drowning in is now spilled completely across the floor.

It’s time. 

Do you stop it in its tracks, walk away or help it along?  Your first instinct is to stop it and put it where you think it belongs because of its inherent patterns.  You can’t imagine helping because how would you know the right way to even begin?  In the end you feel it is best to walk away, unscathed.  Spared by the trauma the creature would bring to your life, or you to it.  You are too strong for something so weak, and it too weak for something so strong.

A small smile forms on your lips knowing that true power, courage, and survival comes through situations like this.  Knowing when to bend and when to walk away.

It’s not your time, not theirs either, for this was not meant to be.

Turning Over the Amber Leaves

Between the pumpkin flavored things, lists being made in anticipation for the holidays and those growing out your facial hair for charity, remember to take a moment to smile and spread some love.  It’s can be as grand as taking a relationship to the next level or as simple as  sharing a friendly smile with someone in pain.

Actions matter – do them wisely.