Stationary Drifting


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Eating: Apple Cider Caramels (more from homemade holidays)

apple cider caramelsI LOVE smitten kitchen, I’ve posted stuff of Deb’s many times (like here, here, and here). The recipes she creates are low maintenance, usually from things I have around the house (depending on if I have groceries at that particular point), and always delicious. I had the pleasure of flipping through her cookbook a while back and lemmetellyouwhat. Its amazing. I can’t wait to get my grubby little kitchen hands on it.

I made these Apple Cider Caramels as part of my homemade holidays challenge. My step-dad is a hard guy to buy for but he does love candy because he can’t eat chocolate anymore. They went over well, he was touched I made something for him and happy with the gift. Their fanciness to time ratio is awesome. People are pretty impressed by all the individually wrapped and handmade candies, though I think it took me less than 2 hrs to make and all with common ingredients.

These were straight forward to make, even without investing in a candy thermometer. Mine turned out a little soft so maybe I need to reduce them down a little more next time. They were ridiculously delicious though and much appreciated in my house and my mom’s. Mars was a little sad that I didn’t make any for him so I snuck a few in his stocking.


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Weekend Roundup: Feb 23/24

This weekend was incredibly quiet. It was snowy and grey and neither Mars or I were particularly interested in leaving our bed let alone the house.

snow alleywinter groceries

I did a little baking, making a variation of these dulce de leche chocolate banana muffins minus the chocolate but plusing some very liquid vanilla buttercream. With some a couple muffiin/cupcakes and a cup of my absolute favorite cream earl grey tea with honey and milk I spent most of Saturday reading the archives of my new favourite blog Pencil Box. I came across Katie’s blog through some references from other blogs I read and its really so wonderful. Her writing is so lovely and real, I really want to enjoy things like she does. Her photography is pretty incredible as well, I’m already trying out new photo editing techniques based on her advice. I highly recommend reading her blog for a sweet insight into life as a artistic mom of 2 in Ohio.

tea and muffins

We spent all day Sunday at our next door neighbour and good friend Jackie’s house. We were supposed to only do brunch but brunch went from eating, to doing nails, to Mars braiding Jackie’s hair to dinner. It was a nice vacation from our winter homebody-ing.

I don’t have any pictures of that day but I made crepes and thought I would share my recipe which came from a mix of advice from friends and my dad’s method. My base recipe is 1cup of flour, 1cup of milk (or water), 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Whisk until well blended and refrigerate for at least 30mins. Pour a small amount of batter onto a grease pan and tilt to spread the batter around as thin as possible. I use a cast iron pan and butter, or an oil (I use olive or coconut). Cook on one side until it doesn’t look raw then flip to cook the other side. Makes about 8 or 9 crepes. Serve with whatever toppings you like. This sunday we made a strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry syrup by cooking down frozen berries with maple syrup. Mixed that with yogurt and some dulce de leche and we had a really good sweet brunch. For savoury, I really like scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese wrapped in crepes with maple syrup on top.

Hope you had a nice weekend and are beating the winter doldrums.

 


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4 simple goals

/// to see the way she frames her goals and read her post click on the photo above or click here. This picture is hers, though I wish it were mine! Also, holy I want a graphics tablet for no other reason than to write all over pictures. I think I’m gonna have to analog that for now, though I did get a new scanner last month… ///

Elsie over at a beautiful mess wrote the other day about how she and her partner have been writing down and trying to stick to 4 simple goals per season. Being the type of person that makes ‘new week, new start’ and ‘new shampoo, new start’ lists frequently this obviously appealed to me. What also appealed to me is that the idea is to challenge myself to do something positive, something that can be done to enrich my life, and (of course I’m drawn to this) I get to reward myself once I achieve each goal!

So, with that said, here is mine:

I’m going to explain these one at a time, and therefore stretch out the posts! Just kidding. I’m trying not to write excessively long posts all the time because who has time for that? short-ish and sweet-ish, that’s what I always say have never once said. Anyway, expect more posts with this photo as a heading as I explain my different goals, talk about how they are going, and when I wrap them all up at the end of December. Yeah sticking goals out! (not like those other failed projects)

It was hard to choose just 4. Cut from the list (because my libra self needed a good balance and 7 seemed like a lot) was ‘quitting smoking’ – which I’m going to do anyway, ‘redecorating house’ – only one style goal allowed, ‘practice photography’ – because I didn’t want to directly copy Elsie.

so without further ado I present: ‘SIMPLE GOAL #1’ : eat fresh fruits and veggies every day

okay, so this one is a directly copy from Elsie BUT ITS SUCH A GOOD ONE! I have been falling into sad/broke eating, which has mostly consisted of carbs that fill me up and random proteins like quinoa, beans and hamburgers. I’ve been craving more fresh plants in my life so here it is at #1 on my list of simple goals. I do mean simple too, I live only a couple of blocks from a great, year round, produce market that is cheap and I really have no excuse except laziness for not taking advantage. So in honour of my soon-to-be 30year old body, I offer fruits and veggies galore!

To do this I’m going to start making my morning smoothies again, I’m going to put berries and fruit on top of my morning granola, put more veggies in my cooking, and try and have one salad a day, maybe for lunches?. Added bonus, I’m gonna have to up my salad dressing making skills!

new age, new job, new season, new start.


It Gets Fatter!

A good friend (and neighbour!), her friends, and the internet at large, have started this amazing new video project called It Gets Fatter (tumblr & also vimeo). Its a space to for People of Colour (POCs) who identify as fat, and also queer, to submit videos and written stuff talking about their experiences with fatness and body loving (or not). Its a brand brand new project that has been going on for barely a week and so far a few really powerful videos have been posted about fatness vs. health and how they are not always connected, self-acceptance and learning to love your body no matter what others tell you.

Here’s a video example that really touched me:

A lot of the videos have touched me, and have made me want to delve a little into my own feelings about my body and how I get through tough situations with my family and in life. I’ve had a blog post sitting in my drafts folder for months now called ‘On Being Thick’ but never really had the courage to work it out in words and moreover to post it publicly until now. So thanks It Gets Fatter folks for opening up that dialogue and pushing me to have the guts to put it out there.

The reason the above video struck a nerve with me is because Jackie talked about her experiences within her family and their feelings around her size. It is obviously very intense when the people who raise you talk negatively about your body, and I was lucky not to have that experience growing up. I was a very tiny child; short, skinny, and rocking nicknames like ‘squirt’ and ‘spaghetti legs’ (the last one was bestowed by my great-grandmother because I had long, very thin legs). It wasn’t until I hit puberty, and honestly not until my late teens that I started to gain weight for real. Its been a slow progress and has depended a lot on how active my year has been but I’ve been steadily gaining every since.

Comments about my weight started a few years ago, when I began to push the okay height to weight ratio in some of my family’s eyes. Its rarely been direct, mostly comments on how good I looked the last time I was home because I was thinner, or how I look good now as opposed to the last time because last time I was overweight and this time I was thinner. A lot of it has been indirect, and probably not aimed at me at all but comments about personal weight gain or loss definitely affect me, as well as comments from family members about how concerned they are about my dad’s weight followed by comments about how much I look like my dad. Most of the time it was meant to compliment me, or at least not to hurt me but its really hard not to take it personally when people look at me and then decide that a conversation about weight loss would be something I’d be into hearing.

I’m having difficulty saying this because I love my mom to bits and she has been my champion in so many ways, ways that I could never thank her enough for, but when it comes to my weight I’ve recently had a few experiences with her that have really stuck with me, they both involved shopping for clothes for me together, both in the past year. Last December I was looking for something to wear to my brother’s wedding in Vegas, it was last minute and we didn’t have a lot of time, plus my mom hates shopping even more than me. I remember going to store after store trying to find something that fit, and taking longer than she had patience for to find something because I just couldn’t get that comfortable combination of style and fit that I needed to feel good. I distinctly remember feeling like I had to apologize to her for my weight, not that she was asking me to but because I felt bad about being too big to fit most of the cute things she liked. I felt a lot of shame in that moment and that I had to explain myself. I stumbled through a few tries but in the end I didn’t really have an explanation, the truth is that by a lot of standards I’m not  plus sized, mall clothing just runs small in a totally mean way. It wasn’t my fault, but in that moment I felt like it was. The second time was when we were emergency shopping for a replacement wedding dress for me and my mom suggested I try on a girdle, something that she would NEVER consider wearing and, prior to me getting to the size that I am now, would probably have railed against. Its taken me a while to deconstruct that moment, and in the end I feel like my mom thought that I needed it in order to look ‘better’ in my dress. I tried it on, hated the feeling of it and the feeling behind it and decided against it. To her credit she didn’t push it but the idea that my mom thinks I’m too chubby to look good has stuck with me.  After many conversations with M about shapewear I’ve come to the conclusion as to why I’m not into it. Its not that I’m against other people wearing it for whatever reason they want to wear it, but for me I feel like I’m lying to myself about how my body looks and hiding the parts of my body that I’m struggling to love won’t make me love it any more.

Phew, still feeling iffy about that last paragraph so I’m going to move on to this really powerful video submitted to It Gets Fatter by msqueenly (who has many blogs) about being poor, black, queer and fat.

This video is important for so many reasons, and I would love to have, heard, or read further discussions of the intersections of all the points they brought up, especially around invisibility and how movements co-opt the voices of people struggling under multiple oppressions, but for this moment I want to highlight this particular point”

“it isn’t a journey of how i decorate my body with nice clothes, nice shoes, lingerie, accessories, you know. it’s not that type of journey. that’s not how i validate my fatness or my queerness or my blackness or how i talk about my poor experiences because, of course, being poor means you don’t have the money to do those things for a lot of people.”

which makes me want to stand up and clap. I’ve been trying to articulate my uncomfortableness with some blogging I see and also with some body positive blogging I see. I love it when people get excited about decorating their bodies, however they see that to be, and I definitely appreciate a visually pleasing outfit. I also get that when it comes to fatness and body positivity a lot of it is about challenging how my, your, their body is SEEN, so blogs of people dressing hot and refusing to hide their fat bodies is great and challenging and so wonderful. I guess I’m just a little disappointed that that’s as far as a lot of people take discussions about personal fashion and adornment. While clothes, accessories, tattoos, piercings, whatever are personal expressions of self and are rad in their own ways, I don’t feel like its the be all, end all of this discussion. ESPECIALLY when we’re trying to talk about body acceptance and inclusion. Dressing well is great and all but we can’t stop there. There are so many other ways this manifests in my life, to speak for myself. It manifests in how I eat in public, how I take up space, how and when I exercise, how I sit, how I dance, how I hold my body, how people see my body. It’s an awesome feeling to be wearing something hot and tight, but that feeling can very quickly be flipped to feeling shitty as soon as I catch the eye of someone who does not feel that I look awesome in my hot, tight outfit. And that feeling is not something that can always be addressed by more great outfits. Nor is it always possible to have the clothes that make me feel pumped about my body. Lately its been about making clothes work and/or fit because my current life doesn’t support new outfits, or really anything beyond the basics.

Anyway, I haven’t really done justice to msqueenly’s video or even that one quote because it means so much more than what I feel I can say on the topic right now but I just want to put it out there that this is a really great project, one that has made me want to talk out loud about my feelings ‘on being thick’. I have a lot more growing into my feelings and thoughts about this, and especially more growing into the wider topic but I love that this conversation is happening and that so many rad people are blasting open the body positivity conversation and making people think about how the intersections of identity change, influence, support and contradict how we talk about bodies, fatness, and self-love. So cheers to that.

And to this:

from the ‘fat acceptance! Yay!’ pinterest board


Bad Blogger

I don’t actually know what happened…I suddenly became terrible at blogging. Maybe I got more interested in Pinterest…I know that I’ve been spending less time in front of the computer, my days have been spent a little more running around. I also started a major addiction to Bones, I’ve been spending all my spare time watching that. I quit my cleanse, Marseau made a big soul food dinner about a week into it and I couldn’t say no, them I was totally off it and couldn’t convince myself to get back on. I feel guilty about that, and since I’ve been tracking it here I guess I was avoiding it. Jared got a job and the two of us kinda stopped taking pictures. I haven’t been very into writing down ‘small things’ they were feeling kinda repetitive. I lost energy, filled my time up with other things and haven’t written here in too long.

new month new start amiright? May will be back to the gym, back to the blog, back to the books, back to philly? Not necessarily in that order. Wedding planning is in hyper gear so I’ll probably be writing about that. Amongst other things. PULLING THE THREADS BACK TOGETHER PEOPLE.


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spring cleanse: day 7

Wow I feel bad. I think going from nothing to everything was a really really terrible idea. I’m food hungover. I loved the food SO much last night but my body is very displeased today. Oops.

I do regret it, the food was worth every delicious bite. I just don’t feel good today. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to restart my cleanse, keep going or give it up. Earlier today I was all, fuck it. But now I think I’m starting to recognize the ways that I felt better this past week. I think I’m going to give it one more week, to my original 14 day mark, and see what from there. I have all the herbs and stuff already. Here’s hoping I don’t go through my original sugar withdraw and feeling crappy again.

On the quit smoking side, I had another drag of a smoke last night (yes, I was breaking every possible rule), and I again didn’t like it. Could this be the end of smoking for me? Fingers crossed.

the biscuits that broke me


spring cleanse: days 4-6

Day 4:

Feeling better but still not awesome. Not cleanse awesome anyway. I’m still waiting for that “glow” that everyone talks about where they feel amazing and all that good stuff. I miss eating regular food. I went to a restaurant and ate a salad, hardly worth going to a restaurant for. I don’t miss sugar and caffeine as much, which is good.

Day 5:

I drank last night. Alcohol is not explicitly banned from my cleanse but I think it would kind of make sense that I don’t drink. I made sure I had booze that wasn’t wheat/yeast based and drank it with tonic so that I didn’t have sugar. Basically I had gin&tonics. I know it sounds like I’m justifying but whatever, I had a bad day yesterday (not cleanse related) and I wanted a drink. In case you’re wondering, yes, sometimes I do reward myself with alcohol for bad days. Anyway, I felt okay getting up today. I really didn’t drink that much though I feel like it hit me harder. In the quitting smoking world I had one drag last night, didn’t like it and wasn’t tempted again. Feeling pretty proud of myself for that!

I did break some rules today though. I had some bread at lunch. I had ordered a sandwich that I thought I could take apart and just eat the inside. Turned out that that would prove difficult so I gave up and ate the bread. I got full really really fast and have been low energy the rest of the day. Seems like I can’t shock my body like that… I also had a coffee today, I was out with Silvie and didn’t like the tea selection! I had a long pull americano with soy milk. It was no latte. I think I will hold out on the coffee from now on.

I’m feeling more spritely today though. Definitely not amazing (probably because of the bread consumed) but definitely not crappy. Sugar and other food cravings are mostly gone, and I feel like I can avoid foods without too much trouble now (minus the bread and coffee rule breaking). I miss being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want but I’m less angry about it.

I do wish I was doing this with someone though, I could use some commiseration. Though I am also pumped a bit about relying on my own will power.

9 more days.

Day 6:

Blew my cleanse all to hell today. Mood and Marseau decided to have a soul food night and for a while I was thinking that I was going to just eat the stuff that’s okay and suffer through but I woke up today on a mission to break it. And break it I did. I ate tons of mac n’ cheese, cheddar buttermilk biscuits, breaded and fried chicken and asparagus, and beer, and ice cream for desert.

It was delicious and I don’t feel bad about it at all.