Friday, April 11, 2014

Ok guys, let me give it to you straight up.

I am not a donut person. Or a pastry person. I rather eat my calories in pure chocolate.
But, this past Holiday in Italy opened my eyes to the world of Heavenly Donut Making. Yes, it's a real world.  

On a weird whim I ordered a donut (or is it dough-nut?) from the Italian hotty behind the cafe counter.

Ladies, that lemony piece of perfection was life changing. I promptly ordered another one (or two) all in the name of discovering the recipe.

Don't judge.


These can be baked the night before and then sugared or glazed in the morning before your coffee percolates.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 eggs beaten / whisked 
2 tbs lemon juice (half a lemon)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs lemon peel

Preheat oven to 325 F   

Spray the donut pan with PAM or other greasy spray.

Mix the flour,sugar,baking powder, and salt.

Whisk the two eggs together.

                                              Stir in milk, beaten eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla.

This mixture will be thick, that's ok.

Pour into a zip lock baggie and snip a small corner off with scissors. 

Carefully squeeze the mixture out into each donut cavity filling only 1/4  (max 1/2) of the way up. 
Trust me on this one, LOL.

Bake 8-10 minutes until springy to touch.

Pop out onto a rack to cool.

When ready to sugar, melt 1 tbs butter and let it cool.

Get a zip lock baggie ready, put 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar in there (icing sugar).  

 Dip donut into semi-cooled butter, then pop it in the bag and shake it gently to coat with sugar. This may take several goes. I shook my donuts twice, (bahahahaha) then if they needed some touching up I spooned on a bit of sugar here and there for prettiness.

* Do not butter twice, only dip in the butter once and shake it in the sugar twice or three times if need be. 

*If you'd rather have a glazed donut, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp hot water. Dip top of donut into glaze and set on rack to dry. 

Garnish with sprinkles if you dare.

This recipe makes 12 nice fat donuts, or 14 wimpy looking donuts.

Get the kids involved--it's messy but fun.
Everything in life worth doing is messy anyways.


Nom nom.

Go ahead and have two---they're baked not fried.

heeheheheheheh Again, it's the age of reason, remember?

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DIY Galaxy Nebula t-shirt tutorial

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Put  two ounces bleach (1/4 cup) and one ounce water (1/8 cup) in a spray bottle and mix.

Insert a plastic shopping bag or garbage bag in between your shirt layers and prepare your area for artistry. 


Get your fabric paints (I used Tulip brand) ready with sponges, paint brushes if you fancy, and at least one toothbrush, at the ready. 

Spray your shirt in any manner you like, there is no right or wrong way. I did my front shirt super bleached and the back shirt less bleached with more dark space. I prefer the back, as pictured, spraying blobs rather than a full on mist--but it's personal preference.

back shirt

front shirt

I used a miracle sponge because my art sponges went missing. I tore the sponge into pieces and applied paint like this: lightest colors first as center nebulas, then built around them gradually with darker colors. 

You can do it however you like.

I found I did have to reapply several times to the lighter colors for vibrancy.

With the toothbrush, flick splatters of paint (in white) over the shirt for the starry look.

I then added some lines for star twinkles with my paint brush.

Let the shirt dry overnight then wash in cool water and tumble dry on medium. (Or hang dry if you're Earth friendly.) My shirt ended up just slightly "crispy" on the front part, which I attribute to the full on bleach mist, so I put it in a brine for 24 hours and now it's fine. 

*Brine for t-shirts= 1/2 cup salt + 1 quart water  Let t-shirt soak in brine for 24-72 hours depending on how thin and soft you want it to feel. 

Don your galaxy/nebula/space shirt and shine like the star you are!

Doncha' just love tutorials with little to no "absolute" directions?!

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Maxi dress mayhem in Italy

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I know you're enamored with the tower right now, but HEY! Look at my stripe-y dress yo!


It's Jamie Christina's Mission Maxi pattern done in a stretch knit from (duh) ITALYI felt like a bit of a goddess in it, because it trapped me somewhat when I walked.

Let me explain.

I mean, first off, I'm not one to take huge crazy ass strides or anything, but I like my freedom (cue William Wallace) when I'm moving around. You understand.

But sometimes you guys, fashion calls for entrapment of the body. Maybe I need to find a better word, I keep visualizing Catherine Zeta Jones. (You remember the movie right?) OMG it's soooo 1999, but I have been known to practice the laser scene in my kitchen once in a while when the urge hits.  

Moving on.

I cut it so the stripes would be horizontal, and the way I should've cut it was so the stripes were vertical. All those pesky bias/stretch rules and stuff. I am not one to be deterred by rules or instructions, so I tossed that (sound bit of advice) out and carried on. 

So now when I walk in it I kind of take little steps and feel like concubine-the Japanese ones from hundreds of years ago, you following?

But if I lift it about three inches it's totally fine, so I do that when I get pissed off.

Otherwise I love it. I think feeling like an entrapped damsel in distress is sorta fun anyways. Keeps things fresh.

Like my fanny pack? Can't say that in Britain though, ---here it's called a "bum bag". I picked this beaut up at Accessorize which is probably my favorite store 
e v e r. 
In the airport it's tax free too, so I'm like this --- CRAAAaaaaaaaAAAAAzzzzzyyy time in the hA-ouse.

For my non Brit friends, taxes here are (in a nutshell) psychotic.  Twenty-damn-percent VAT is a killer.

*VAT= very astonishing taxation

 I rationalize my purchases (as you do) with completely brilliant logic: I am not a kitty person, or a Coach bag person, or a jewel maven, so I can spend a bit on bum bags and other related bling without need for interrogation. 
This is the age of reason, right?

Right here I'm thinking "hurry up and take some pics so I can stop acting like such a damn tourist"...

I love looking like Sporty Spice with the racer back detail.
Let me add I look puffy due to copious amounts of pasta, bread, and wine for four days...... Or maybe I just need to hit the gym a bit harder, but that's never fun because I always end up bruised and achy, which then makes me even b*tchier than I already am. 

Anyways, it's not about me, it's about Italy!!!
They speak loudly, so I'm suddenly speaking very loudly = even in type.

I literally LOL'd when I saw a British tourist cover his ears when the Cafe barrista was speaking to him. 

Yes. Yes we did.

Sick of pics of the tower yet?

Bronze copy of the David at the top of a hill above Florence.

My eyes are immediately drawn to that awesome leather jacket-----you wouldn't believe the quality of Italian leather crafts and the great prices that follow, as there is so much to choose from.

Ponte Vecchio (The Old Bridge)

Gorgeous jewel shops line the bridge, but I kept walking. I'd rather save up for an original Botticelli (print). LOLOLOL

Such a drama queen. I have no idea where she gets it.

I think it's difficult making my fabrics drape properly, but stone.....??


Yeah, that. I'm admiring the musculature in my best arty mindset. (But(t) why oh whyyyyy do I keep looking at those miraculous buttocks? For shame.) 
Tell me it's human nature. Make me feel less pervy. Please. I beg of you.

Three things Italy has tons of:
1. Motorcycles/Scooters (though let's not call them that, it's so emasculating).
2. Coffee shops / Cafes  (Horrrayyyy yipppeeeeee!!!)
3. Leather  (or leath-A if you remember that lady on Project Runway, hilariousness).

     and 4. *I'll put this in small print- lots of H O T hot hot hot people....I mean on FIRE!  And just so I don't get in trouble, we were told many times over that our last name (my husband's name) is very Tuscan, so therefore his family must originate from Tuscany, so therefore he is mega hot inherently in his DNA. 

Wiping brow and looking around the room to be sure husband is not in the vicinity. Clear.

If you've read World Without End by Ken Follet you will remember when Merthin travels to Florence to see the Duomo, among other things...(Remember the whole Caris fiasco?) Anywho,when we walked up the street and turned the corner to view it in full my breath was taken away.

It's enormous, larger than I could ever explain to anyone in words. It's so finely detailed and intricate I didn't know where to look. Even my husband was well impressed, and it takes a lot to impress him (if it's not electrical and computer-y).

I think by now everyone that knows me knows how much I love cathedrals, palaces, castles, and old buildings.  But this one honeys---this one takes the cake.

It's that amazing.

Mia tries to pry a door open across the street from the Duomo. Look at those carvings!

I have to say my kids were troopers. I tormented them with guided tours of the Uffizi and Acadamey galleries, which took the entire day two. I did a fair amount of bribery but I do that all the time, so what's the diff? We stopped for the "best gelato in the world" at Bar Vivoli on day one, and from there it was "If you're good I'll buy you the biggest gelato they serve" type thing. 

As Sarah sings, "you do what you have to do".

*Whenever able I share my love for Sarah because she is so --- so----- a m a z i n g.


We did a lot of trains, planes, and--- automobiles. With loads of style of course, complete with an extremely heavy, bulging toy bag that I carried, and a pink leopard suitcase (blame Betsy Johnson) that my poor husband lugged around. But never you mind, it's all in your mindset you know.
I had ginormous sunglasses on, so automatically the paparazzi was hounding us. 
They can be so absurd. I don't know how Wills and Kate deal. Sigh.

That took me ages to write, so I hope you found me hilariously amusing and witty.  LOL (That's the only acronym I can remember right now as it's past midnight and I'm considered old-- according to a fifteen year old I encountered in the Shopette. When he said "oh snap, you could be my mother" I gave him crazy eyes. He ran.) 

Ciao bellas!

**kiss kiss to both cheeks**

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