Tag Archives: goals

Feeling Grey

Today…well, the last few days actually, I’ve been feeling grey. It’s not what it initially sounds like as feeling grey is not at all like feeling blue, rather I’ve been feeling expectant. I’m not one for New Years resolutions (I do my yearly goals list in March for my birthday), but this year January has been feeling like a blank slate. There are so many things that I want for myself and my life, and grey seems like such a neutral place to start. With out making specific goals, I am going to share a few of the things that I want from 2017.

 I want to collaborate – one of the things I miss the most about college is sitting in a room with other creatives and being able to bounce ideas off of one another.  I want to create – continuing what I started in 2016 I want to continue to push myself creatively, new techniques, new skills, new combinations.  I want to be intentional – I feel like so much of my 20’s was jumping from one crazy life event to another; I never had a “plan”, and  I just kept my head down and powered through, Here we are a decade later, and a lot of my life is a cobbled together mishmash of random decisions and necessity. Now I want a plan.  So there you have it, concepts and thoughts for a new year. Fortunately I still have a bit time to really hammer out my plan of action.

 

Images from here.


Chocolate Quick & Easy: English Chocolate Tea Bread

In pursuit of getting one step closer to crossing off #8 off of my 30 before 31, I pulled out a cookbook I received for Christmas from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. It’s chock full of chocolaty perfection, and I was eager to make something Andy and I could quickly grab as a snack in between running errands and our household chores.B1
After perusing the book for a few minutes, I landed on this tea bread. It was pretty simple to whip up, and I thought with a couple of tweaks it would be pretty perfect for us.

Bread1

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each. If the mixture starts to curdle beat in 1-2 tablespoons of the four.
  4. Mix in the chocolate, the crasins, the pecans, the vanilla and the orange zest. Sift the flour and gently fold into the mixture.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and create a small well down in the center with the back of a spoon.
  6. Place loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
  7. Leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes then carefully turn our to finish cooling.
  8. Serve in thin slices.

Notes:

  • At first glance, it looks like I changed a lot of this recipe, and to a certain extent ,that is true. I replaced three of the ingredients because of Andy’s food allergies and my absolute disdain of raisins, but I  tried to stay close to the original recipe by swapping them for items that wouldn’t alter the integrity. There was still chocolate, dehydrated fruit, and nuts, so I think it all came out pretty true in the end.
  • I left my bread in the full hour, and it came out a little drier than I like, which isn’t a problem if you are actually serving this with tea, but I think next time I’ll cut 5-10 minutes off the cook time.

30 before 31

To Do

It’s resolution time, people. I am now in the first bright and shiny year of my thirties, and boy howdy, do I have plans. Here, for your reading pleasure, is my list of 30 things I would like to accomplish before I turn 31.

  1. Go somewhere I’ve never been.
  2. Take 1 class a month.
    Intuitive Painting – May
    Intuitive Painting – June
    Sea Glass Painting – August
    Intuitive Painting – August
    Glass Fusing – January
  3. Visit the west coast.
  4. 30 days of minimalism challenge.
  5. Have high tea in another state.
  6. Have a girls only mini vacation.
  7. Try 10 new restaurants.
    Blaze
    Salt Water Seafood Co
    Grain
    Liberty Bar & Restaurant
    Thai Basil
    Brick & Spoon
    Sugar

    The Edison
    Mayuri
    Green Truck Pub
    Sentient Bean
    Gnome
    Dellz

    26 Devine
    Southern Public House
  8. Make 12 recipes from cookbooks I already own.
    Chocolate Toffee Coffee Cake
    Orange Spice Cookies
    Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake
    Blood Orange Tiramisu
    English Chocolate Tea Bread
    Dark Chocolate Fudge
    A Very Vanilla Sprinkle Cake
    Cinnamon Streusel Cider Muffins

    Dolly’s Doughnut Cake
    Cranberry Maple Muffins
    Irish Tea Bread

    Apple Pecan Cake
  9. Make 5 projects off of my Pinterest “Craft” board
    Sharpie Mug
    Scrabble Ornament
    Jingle Bell Wreath
    T-shirt Vest

    Filled Ornaments
  10. Finally, finally, FINALLY open my Etsy shop.
  11. Go to a blogger meet-up.
  12. Read 30 new books.
    City of the Lost – Kelly Armstrong
    Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
    The Mermaid’s Sister – Carrie Anne Noble

    Redemption Song – Craig Schaefer
    The Living End – Craig Schaefer
    Plain Dealing Villain – Craig Schaefer
    The Killing Floor Blues – Craig Schaefer
    The Spirit Class Charade – Colleen Gleason
    The Clockwork Scarab – Colleen Gleason
    The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchison
    The Paper Magician – Charlie N. Homberg

    The Glass Magician – Charlie N. Homberg
    The Master Magician – Charlie N. Homberg
    Play Dead – Anne Frasier
    Stay Dead – Anne Fraiser
    Pretty Dead – Anne Fraiser
    The Body Reader – Anne Fraiser
    Shes Not There – PJ Parrish
    The Moonlit Garden – Connie Bomann
    The Beaufort Bride: The Life of Margaret Beaufort – Judith Arnopp

    Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet – Charlie N. Holmberg
    The Bloodletter’s Daughter – Linda Lafferty
    The Crying Girl – Glen Ebisch
    The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
    Weightless – Kandi Steiner
    The Room – Emma Donoghue
    The Heir of Linn Haug – Karen Charlton
    The Sans Pareil Mystery – Karen Charlton
    Betrayals – Kelly Armnstrong
  13. Wear fake eyelashes.
  14. Try to do 3 creative projects a week.
  15. Walk on the beach and collect sea shells.
  16. Get my makeup professionally done.
  17. Try purple lipstick.
  18. Get a tattoo.
  19. Formulate a five year plan.
  20. More original content for the blog.
  21. Work on my photography skills.
  22. Collaborate on projects with other creatives.
  23. Host a Sunday brunch.
  24. Get better at participating in social media.
  25. Finish the gallery wall in the master bedroom.
  26. Paint and decorate the guestroom.
  27. Paint the guest bathroom.
  28. TBD – Complete an entire puzzle
  29. Make something that I can wear.
  30. Get my home office to the point where I can actually work in it.

I left 28 as sort of a swing goal. Every year I run into something challenging or interesting and what better way to force myself into action than to add it to this list where I have you guys to follow along and keep me accountable. Last year I did pretty well if I do say so myself. You can check out my 29 before 30 here and see how I did.

Image from here.


28 Before 29

the list

It’s that time again, the time of year where I make all of my new year’s resolutions. This is my third year doing one of these and I think I have some fun/challenging stuff in store, and of course I will be updating you guys on the progress. You can click here to see how I did on my 27 before 28, didn’t quite make them all, but I did better than I did the year before so we’ll call it a win. Without further ado, my 28 before 29!

  1. Create more original content for my blog
  2. Get my braces off – So much for done in 2 years, we are now creeping up on 3 with no end in sight
  3. Fur Baby Fundraiser
  4. Pink Hair  – My boss wouldn’t go for it, but Andy did buy me a pink wig
  5. 12 new cake recipes
    Brown Sugar Cupcakes
    Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
    Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes
    Red Velvet Cupcakes
    Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes
    Chocolate Chip Raspberry Cupcakes
    White Chocolate Cupcakes with Truffle Filling
    Cherry Almond Cupcake
    Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes
    PB&J Cupcakes
    Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Cupcakes
    I-Gotta-Have-Chocolate-Cake Cake
  6. Random acts of kindness – at least one a month!
  7. Try 10 new restaurants
    Q Cafe
    Savannah Moon Baking Co.
    Joe Mamma’s
    The Flying Monk
    Mom & Dad’s
    Miccosukee Root Cellar
    Chop House on the Bricks
    Biscuit Head
    Persis Grill
    Sunny Pointe Cafe
  8. Plant a herb garden – I bought a mint plant…it’s still alive, but I don’t think it counts.
  9. Learn 8 embroidery stitches I learned a blanket stitch and crocheted a small blanket.
  10. Create a logo
  11. New Tattoo – the two times I tried to go things didn’t work out
  12. Have tea in Savannah
  13. See a play in Asheville
  14. Visit Looking Glass Falls
  15. Go to the Zoo
  16. Mini vacation somewhere I’ve never been
  17. Use my Instagram account
  18. Make a quilt – Didn’t happen, not even close
  19. Get more comfortable using my new photography equipment
  20. Organize my office
  21. Make a dress – bought a pattern, cut the pieces and that’s as far as it went
  22. Banish the Beige – Paint the Hallway
  23. Banish the Beige – Paint the Master Bathroom – after painting the hallway we decided to postpone all other painting endeavors for the time being.
  24. Banish the Beige – Paint the Guestroom – same thing that happened to painting the bathroom
  25. Embrace snail mailI sent more, but not as much as I had hoped to.
  26. Complete the 30 day squat challenge
  27. Work on my personal growth with the ladies of Whole Soul Lab
  28. Design and order a custom tshirt

 

Image from here.


Things I Want to Try: Sun Printing

 

Sunprint

According to my friend Verhanika, it is the week of the new moon, which can leave one feeling contemplative and finding it hard to focus. Sounds so much better than distracted and moody. I feel so bad for Andy when I get like this. Poor guy, works all day and then has to come home to an overly dramatic wife that recognizes that she is being a bit ridiculous, but just can’t seem to stop. I guess knowing that I am being dramatic is a step in the right direction. And according to GI Joe, knowing is half the battle, so maybe even more than a single step in the right direction. Unless there are only two steps to the whole process and then it really would be a single step to be at half way. Usually there are more, 10 or 12 steps, but I digress. I’ve been working on a list of things I’d  like to try this summer, not goal per se , but something hanging out on the edge of my “to do” list. Sun printing is one of them, and fortunately for me Terrain has not only a kit available but a tutorial.

What You’ll Need

Cotton sun printing kit
Leaves, petals, or cuttings from the garden
Bright sunlight
Water for rinsing the fabric

1. Gather your favorite botanical specimens. We used sprigs of ferns and fresh leaves.

2. Arrange your specimens on the cotton in your desired pattern or design.  Place the cotton fabric in the sun for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to have your arrangement thought out ahead of time and try to work quickly, as the image begins to process as soon as the fabric is exposed to light.

3. Remove your botanicals from the cotton.

4. Rinse fabric in water until the water runs clear.

5. Allow to dry– remember that the image will continue to process even after it’s dry! Try hanging on a strand of twine as a banner as shown above, draping as bunting on the porch, or snipping into pennants for a festive addition to summer décor.

Want to learn more? We’ll be sun printing at both of our stores during the month of July. Stop by the Glen Mills and Westport events pages for details.

Tutorial and supplies from Terrain.