Thursday, December 20, 2012

So, when are you having kids?

Now that I'm a newly wed I have learned to hate assumptive questions. Two questions really stick in my craw:

How's married life?

When are you having kids?

These types of questions are the social courtesy of today's society that people are programmed to ask. When a kid graduates high school the first thing people ask is "where are you going to college?". Maybe they don't want to go to college! Or when someone gets engaged the first question is "When's the wedding" even though the proposal could be moments before.

First of all, married life really isn't much different from "in a relationship" life if  you've already been living together. Maybe in the 50's when you lived with mommy and daddy until you married and then left home it would be different. Sadly a few of my friends are in this boat. They are engaged and neither of them have EVER left home. For them, yes married life will most definitely be different. Not only will they be living with someone new, but the shock and realization of meal planning, paying bills and chores will be a total 180 for them.

Not for me. Yes, I love having the ring on my finger and a man I'm so in love with to come too every single day, but so far (aside from tax/bank/insurance forms) it is the same. So when people ask me "how's married life" I respond with: "no different". This really gets them worked up "Surely you must be excited to be married and it is different". Of course I'm excited to be married, but that wasn't their question. Married life is exactly the same, nothing in my life is different. Case closed.

The most infuriating presumptive question however, is the age old classic "When are you having kids?" (or other close variations). So now that I have a ring on my finger and am blessed by a priest, it's apparently a green light for procreation.  Everyone has asked me. Even perfect strangers. As soon as they find out I'm a newly wed, without hesitation out pours the questions. The mail man, the girl behind the counter at the store, co-workers, family, friends EVERYONE.

Deciding whether or not to bring a child into this global-warmed world is not a light one. Nor one for public discussion in my opinion. Yes I would love to have kids. When and how is between my husband and I. End of discussion. when people ask, I politely reply with some vague answer. "Do you want kids" ---maybe. "Are you planning a family soon" ---hard to say really. "So when are you due" *wink wink*---to which I firmly reply as I look them straight in the eye---I'm not pregnant. That one really makes them squirm and it should. That is a rude question to any women at any time.

People need to filter their questions. Really think about what they're asking before just automating a response. I have really, really taken this to heart. When someone shares news with me of any kind, I try and ask questions that are interesting and will give the person a break from having to field the same questions.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Amish Friendship Bread

Well, I got the hunger for Friendship bread again. It's been a few years and I thought it would be fun to start up my own batch. I figured it would be nice to have the bread (lets be honest here, it's more like cake) around the house for the holidays. The bread itself makes a great gift and the starters are fun to hand out to those few people who want to start a fun little kitchen project. Plus, it's EASY!!

Never having started a starter (so to speak) I went hunting online for an easy recipe. I have to say there are a lot of people out there afraid of working with yeast. Some people were adament about having the yeast be added to water that needed to be carefully monitored for temperature by a thermometer. Some websites were terrified of leaving milk out on the counter *GASP* to ferment *GASP* and wanted you to use only water.

People please. After doing some of my own research into the business of basic sour dough bread making I found some interesting facts. Back in the day people didn't have dry active yeast, they just allowed milk, flour and sugar to do it's thing, breaking down the good ol' fashioned way. After all, the flour/sugar/milk is just food for the yeast and you just keep feeding it until you want to bake it. Actually if you keep in mind that the yeast is like a happy little pet in your kitchen all the stuff makes sense. It wants warm yummy food and a warm place to grow and thrive. 

So I went to the store and bought me some dry active yeast. Using a wooden spoon and a plastic bowl (because they didn't have metal in the days of yore and also because metal messes with the yeast) I mixed a  .25 oz  yeast packet in with a 1/4 cup warm water and let it get crazy with itself for about 10 minutes. Then I added 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour and (you guessed it) 1 cup of warm milk and mixed it in. I let it sit in a plastic bowl overnight with a hand towel over it and in the morning transferred it to a gallon sized zip lock. Thus I created my very own starter.

Knowing that in 10 days I would have more starter to hand out to friends and family, I went in search for some instructions to give with the starters. It was kind of slim pickings. I found the recipe and instructions for mashing the bag and the days when you're supposed to add stuff, but I was left wanting. People who posted some instructions left a lot of openings for questions and confusion. On some of the blogs I had seen people wondering why Amish people used "instant vanilla pudding" in the recipe or why it was safe to leave a bag of starter batter on the counter for several days. What's a girl to do?! Make my own! I included a back story on the bread, instructions, recipe variations and a FAQ section to clear up any questions.  Even if the second page gets lost (the second page has the variations and the FAQ section) they'll still be able to work with the starter and bake the bread.

The FAQ section has already been extremely handy especially for my Mother in Law who is the type of person afraid to leave eggs out on the counter for more than a few seconds. It's a wonder how people forget that refrigerators are only a modern invention and that eggs, milk, butter etc. were always kept out, but  I digress. The FAQ helped explain  some of the process behind the wonderful bread which allowed her to be put at ease and have fun with the starter! It is my hope that these instructions will help those out there wanting to try the bread, but afraid to get started!

If you do use my instructions, please leave a comment. I would love to know how your bread turns out!
*Note: I'm not blogger savvy enough yet to figure out how to upload PDF documents, so here are the instructions via picture format (click for larger view). If you want a PDF copy, PM me your email address.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Swap-bot Swap!

What better way to get back into the crafting spirit than by hosting a new swap on I've decided to create a fabulous swap to design a paper doll inspired by fairy tales. Click on the picture below to view the details:

Swap-bot swap: Fairy Tale Paper Doll - You 
I swap with Swap-bot!

 I thought leaving the paper doll black & white would make it a lot quicker to create because I wouldn't have to then take the time to color it in, plus I thought people would like to color what they received to make it more their own! Just makes it so much more fun! The inspiration photo I used for the swap came from here and I just love her Cinderella paper dolls on this gal's site! So darling. Even if I only get one partner to swap with, it will be fun. Something to get my creative juices flowing again! If you have a swap-bot account, you should sign up!

On the 11th day of Christmas....

My true love drew for me eleven pipers piping! Now, my husband thinks that he "can't draw", but I think that this is pretty darn cute! So cute that I had to share with you all. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm back?

Well everyone, it has been a few years and my life has been an amazing whirlwind. So I'll catch you up. I went and got me a husband! After bemoaning my state of despair with awful roommates and boyfriends who didn't measure up while treating me like crap, I threw myself into crafting, got my own apartment and decided I wasn't going to settle for "Mr. Right-now" anymore.

So, I started dating again in the spring of 2010 wearing the love charm bracelet my mom made for me shown here to see if I could find "Mr. Right". On February 9th I started talking with DH whom I met through a free dating website (think like Facebook, but for dating). I had a good feeling about this guy, and finally met up with him for coffee in March. A few days later my love charm bracelet broke. I was thinking about DH at the time while standing in front of the copier at work when my bracelet snapped in the center and the beads went flying. Seriously, it just broke and not near the clasp and not because of cheap threading (my mom uses heavy duty wire), but in the center of the bracelet. My friend Jennifer (later a bridesmaid in my wedding) said that maybe I didn't need the bracelet anymore, that it was a sign that I had found my true love. Well, she was right!

DH and I dated for a year and then decided to rent a beautiful little two bedroom town home in july of 2011. That November he snuck up to my parent's place to ask my dad for my hand and December 9th of last year, he proposed at our favorite restaurant. When we went back to our place, all our family was there with a surprise engagement party. A night I'll never forget. New Year's day we booked a venue and set a date and on September 15th we were married!

Pretty awesome right?

So now that I don't have to pack for a move, or plan a wedding I am ready to get back into the crafting action! Stay tuned for some upcoming posts on my newest endeavors!

Here is a picture of Donny and I on our wedding day!

                                                    September 15th, 2012 at Tivoli Too!