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Make Something Worth Sharing With Others

 

Perhaps you noticed I took a little hiatus. A little hiatus?! A whole year?! Well, life happens and I am back. I am here to make new content and share it with all of you.

I remember when I was in college and tried writing a haiku every day to keep in the writing mindset each day. So many of those haikus were ridiculous. I really should write every time I have an idea though. Sure, many of the ideas would be flops with just a few occasional gems tucked in but then I think you’d get a clearer picture of my family and our life.

Believe it or not, I’m a fairly private person and I do try to make sure that everything I’m putting out into the world is positive and making life taste sweeter, not more bitter. But when tragedy strikes, I don’t think it is fair to you nor me to gloss over it with a layer of buttercream and pretend everything is okay.

I’m not going to get anywhere without getting deeply personal.

I haven’t found my voice yet. I haven’t found my comfort level of vulnerability yet. I haven’t written enough of all my thoughts to stand behind them and be confident if strangers, friends or family challenge them.

I believe in a collective connectivity. The way your high school acquaintance, most recent coworker and your sister in law all posted about craving bacon this afternoon. It wasn’t breakfast time. It wasn’t a viral meme. It was a taste, a craving that spanned your newsfeed and inspired you to grab a Baconator on your way home or try these Apple Bacon Cupcakes. Somewhere in the universe we are shooting off neurons or auras and the rest of us are receiving them loud and clear.

When we get to the meat of it, my heart isn’t so much different from yours. I seek to put good out into the world and hope that it inspires others to do the same. Making life taste sweeter isn’t about adding sugar to your diet. It is about making this a better place to live. Be the sweetness you hope to see in the world. I mean, it isn’t quite Gandhi but I think you get the gist.

This year, 2017, is going to be life changing for so many. I feel our nation and community are at a precipice and this year may just decide which way we go. For some, this is a time of fear. There is the fear of the unknown and the fear of what we know all to well.

A year ago, my mother’s sister passed away. It deeply affected my grandmother, my mother, everyone that loved and cared for her. She wrote in journals like I do. These journals are not diaries with dates. They are ramblings of a chaotic mind. They are words heard on the air or in our mind, complete with images and doodles. On a page of a hand bound journal I made for her in high school, she wrote to me.

She said, “Make something worth sharing with others.”

Somehow, it didn’t matter what I was doing, she wanted to encourage me to do it. She wanted me to write. She wanted me to paint. She wanted me to cook and bake. She wanted me to create. This is the truest thing I know about my aunt. She wanted me to create. She wanted me to make something worth sharing with others.

A year ago, I wrote the following passage but at the time did not have the courage to share it. Today, I share this writing because I think it is important to open up and make that connection with my community.

She said, “Make something worth sharing with others.”

I walked through my aunt’s house peering at all the things she left behind; each organized and priced and ready for the estate sale. I slid my fingers down counter tops, dressers and lightly touched the layered paint textures of the art upon the walls. My aunt had ornate taste. Her home reminds me of World Market with deep reds and purples and splashes of orange. Lanterns hang from the mantle dangling above a large ceramic Buddha.
She may have been the artsy aunt or the drunk aunt or the whimsical aunt that would tell your fortune through tarot cards and zodiac signs. She prided herself on her business success. She enjoyed fostering creative talents and encouraging them in others.
One of my early memories includes her helping me to find the best hiding spot in a game of hide and seek. I’m pretty sure she locked me in a blanket trunk. But no one found me so I guess I won. I remember her water bed and her lovely obsession with monkeys. I remember coveting her drafting table because I understood that those are what real artists use. I remember talking her into letting me take pictures of her for a photography class. Somewhere inside I understood we had a connection, like oldest children do, like artists do, like those that feel they need to forge their own path but become their own obstacles do.

I can see my scribbles in her scribbles and her writing in mine. I’m honored she chose to use the hand bound journal I made for her to share all those thoughts and fears and dreams. Thirteen years ago I bound that journal and thought of her as each page came together. Now, I can’t remember how, but I see it is where she turned to write when her heart was broken and her vision dark. My own black books mirror hers to something eerie.
I must write all these ideas I have in my head without fear of perception. I must share the things closest to my heart.

On a whim she had purchased a fully stocked Wilton cake decorating set. She barely used it and gifted it to me. I can not ice a cake nor paint a canvas without thinking of her.

Art supplies are not something I would purchase for myself because I rate them as a selfish extravagance. Why buy paint when there are bills to pay and I’ll be working instead of painting anyway. My grandmother gifted me my aunt’s art supplies. Paints, colored pencils, canvases. I’ve painted more in the last month than I have in the past year. It is as if my aunt herself said, “Here, it is not an extravagance if your soul needs to paint.” So I paint.

As we enter a new year with new possibilities, I am going to make the same request to you as my aunt did to me. Make something worth sharing with others. Add your light, your spark, your positivity to the world this year. Bring your imagination and hold on for the ride this new journey is taking us on.

Many lost loved ones and favorite icons in 2016. I know my aunt was joined with David Bowie, one of her favorites, as well as so many others. So as we remember our loved ones, I hope we smile and remember to keep adding light to a dark world.

Keep making life taste sweeter.

Surviving the Craft Store

Hey Guys!

I know some people really hate when Christmas stuff starts going up in stores before Thanksgiving even has a chance to get here. I mean, Halloween stuff is still in the clearance bins of the drug stores. However, this year I have vowed not to be the woman I’ve been in all the years past. This year I am going to have everyone’s gifts ready ahead of time.

Last year, all the Pinterest ideas I had been saving pretty much fell apart during my procrastination break down. I was scrambling the night before to pull gifts out of my butt. I wanted something handmade and beautiful but because I was rushed, nothing turned out as planned. The gifts are way more impersonal when they look half-assed and thrown together at the last minute. Also, this year, I will be traveling six hundred miles for the holidays and really need to have everything together before I leave.

So today, I found myself in the craft store exploring aisles upon aisles of old crafts I remember doing, crafting projects I currently have underway and hundreds more future projects I could easily see in my future. I start in the 50% off fake floral arrangement stuff, because who can resist a deal? My thoughts wander to the bouquet I’m inevitably going to be putting together for my maid of honor and me. Oh, did I mention, I’ll be getting married in ten months? You guys get to follow me on that journey too. All the DIY!

Then I find myself in the baking aisle, because frankly their store layout made little to no sense to me. Or perhaps that was their point; to lead this poor crafty diyer to all her guilty pleasures. As much as I bake, you’d think I have every gadget imaginable, but no, I am always jonesin’ for something new.

Remembering why I came to the craft store in the first place, I try to start heading toward Christmas decorations. I had to walk through the ribbon section though so I picked up my wedding colors (Imperial Purple and Royal Blue) and debated on if I could make a bouquet out of ribbon flowers. In true shopping addiction fashion I held them in my hands and walked around the store until I talked myself out of purchasing them. The struggle is real, y’all.

Towards the close of my trip, I went down the soap and candle making aisle. Now, I have made candles before. Granted it has been about six years or so but I am familiar with the process. Soap, on the other hand, I’ve always been curious about and I really want to learn. Let me tell you how hard it was for me to resist when I found a soap making kit that makes the soap look like cupcakes. It even smells like cupcakes! The addict in me was trying to justify every which way she could. “They would make perfect gifts.” “You can pair them with the other gifts you have in mind.” “You’ve always wanted to learn how to make soap.” “Look, they have other molds and scents too.” “Oooo, Shea butter. You love Shea butter.” It was time to go. If I didn’t leave the store, I’d be there forever. Yet another reason I love ordering everything I need online and Amazon can ship it right to my house.

Two hours of titillating torture later, I was able to walk out of the store mostly with what I had come for. I had grabbed a few extras but not anything to add to a project I haven’t yet started.

One of the things I picked up was a package of assorted acrylic paints. When I’m not baking and taking care of this crazy family, I am going to attempt to paint a geeky thing. I’ll share pictures once I really get it going.

What are the projects you’re working on right now? Do you have the same problem in craft stores that I do? How do you resist the temptation to craft all the things?

Hey Guys and Ladies too!

       

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       It is hard not to feel like today is the first day of class and be constantly self conscious of my first impression. There is a very large part of me that wants to put on a smile and tell you all the wonderful aspects of my personality or just ignore my personality all together and just post a cupcake recipe with a gorgeous picture. Everyone loves cupcakes, right?

      The fact is I am supremely imperfect and my struggles of doing things the backward and complicated way are exactly why I wanted to start this blog. I have spent thirty years trying to fit into a mold that I was just not made to fit in. So if I attempt to dye my hair purple and end up with an indigo bathtub instead or if I attempt a cherry clafouti because I saw it on Pinterest and it turns out to be a cherry clubfoot instead, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes…and maybe my victories as well.

      I am a Carolina girl that recently moved to Florida for love of all reasons. I went from being a single working mother who made all the decisions and handled all the cash to being a stay at home mom that relied on her significant other’s income and decisions. I have always had respect for both roles but the transition is tough.

      The fun parts of my personality and hopefully what I’ll be able to share with you are my passion for baking and diy-ing. I love food and more importantly love feeding the people I love. As part of my new homemaker duties, I have created a monthly meal plan and can’t wait to share our family’s go to dishes with you. My six year old also enjoys being a helper and spoon licker for my baking endeavors. We will explore new flavor combinations and decorating techniques each week.

       I am a bit of a geek (where are my Firefly and Doctor Who fans?) and I am a bit of a rebel. I studied theatre in college and I dye my hair funky colors and I have always marched to the beat of a different drum. I’m not even sure I’m marching, maybe twirling. I try to be a straight forward, shoot from the hip person which means sometimes I’m seen as brash and sometimes I swear but I am always honest.

       Enough about me for now, I can’t wait to hear from you. Please feel free to let me know what you’re interested in and what you’d like to have me try in my kitchen too. Though many of my posts will probably be food related, I’m sure all sorts of my random thoughts and ideas will wriggle their way in. Thank you for joining me in making life taste sweeter.