Monday, April 14, 2014

The Aviator's Wife

I've been (slowly) reading The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It is a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her husband aviator Charles Lindbergh. I saw a program on PBS about the Lindberghs and it peaked my interest.  I don't think I'm going to finish this book. Anne Lindbergh's life is really fascinating and I would rather read a biography about her than historical fiction.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cinderblock Bench

 I've seen a DIY Cinderblock bench pin on Pinterest for a long time. It is such an easy way to add seating to the backyard. It is a great weekend project.
Picking up supplies
We used 12 cinderblocks
4 4x4 pieces of wood
 1/2 gallon of paint

 The hardest part is waiting for the paint to dry.

 
I wanted a pop of color. I like to think the paint we picked is Golden Gate Bridge orange not cation cone. I was thinking of making a cushion for the bench but right now is the perfect time of year to find patio pillows in a store. I think it might be cheaper to buy a cushion than sew one.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

French Macarons:: Part Un

1st Batch..EEK! 
 You may find this strange but I had NEVER tried a macaroon until this year! Oui! I always thought French macarons were pretty and tres chic. Too chic for me. I mean am still not sure if you spell it Macaroon or macaron? I just figured these french cookies couldn't live up to the hype and never tried one. Boy, was I wrong…Macarons are amazing! They aren't like any other baked good. I was hooked! 
I wanted to try making them at home. I figured I can bake French Madelines why not macarons? My first attempt was an epic fail! I did SO many things wrong. 
  • I found the recipe and video online. I watched the video a few times on silence while reading the subtitles. I didn't realize the baker was Australian so the temperature of her oven was in celsius NOT fahrenheit. I thought 150 was a really low temperature to bake but who am I to judge? 
  • I used wax paper and I should have used parchment paper. The wax paper started smoking (once I brought the oven's temp to 300).
  • Almond flour is hard to find at the super market and it is hard to make without a food processor.  
  • I think I over folded.

 Batch A I didn't slam the cookie sheet hard enough on the table before putting them in the oven. Batch B is looking better but I baked them at the wrong temp! They were raw on the inside and brunt on the bottom. None were edible. These macarons made me feel like such a failure! However it is good to be reminded no one is perfect. (It felt like I was making humble pie) I am not giving up I just need to study a little more. Forget the internet, I ordered some books from the library. I went to Costco and got more eggs so I can start practicing.
These are NOT mine…A girl can dream. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Always Loved You

 I won an advance copy of the novel I Always Loved You from goodreads.com. It is about Mary Cassatt, an American painter in Paris and her relationship with artist Edgar Degas. I enjoyed this novel. It is historical fiction at it's finest. I had to be near a computer while I was reading because I kept googling the paintings the Author would refer to.

 While reading I Always Loved You I found this app called Waterlogue. It turns your pictures into vibrant watercolors! The book describes the painstaking task of creating a painting and now there is an app for that.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toad &Toadette

 My sister and her husband went to a Sweetheart's dinner at their church. Each couple was assigned a table that had a theme. You dress up to go along with the theme. Their table's theme was Super Mario Brothers. They decided to go as Toad and Toadette. In case you are wondering who Toad and Toadette are here is a picture.
Toad and Toadette
My sister had an idea of how to make the costumes but she asked me to help a little. It was such a fun project! We made the mushroom hats using sombreros. We covered the top of the sombreros with felt filled with grocery bags.  
sewing on the bottom panel of the dress.

I was relived that we found a pink dress at a store so I didn't have to sew a whole dress. However the dress was too short so I added 6 inches of white fabric to the bottom.
Toad's vest
The vest was easy enough to make because we cut a shirt down the middle, chopped off the sleeves and added some gold ribbon.
The table decorations were awesome.
They looked so good they won the costume contest! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tried of Magic Tree House?

The Magic Tree House books are great, Jack and Annie's adventures never seem to end. But if you want to mix it up with a new brother sister globe trotting duo try Recipe for Adventure! It is a new series of chapter books by Giada De Laurentiis. In the first book the siblings travel to Italy then France in the 2nd and on to China. It's great for talking about different cultures with your kids. The adventure can continue into the kitchen because book comes with 2 recipes.