15 September 2014

The Baker: Finding the Perfect Pancake Recipe

At the beginning of this year (or the end of last year) I started a quest to find the perfect pancake recipe. Not sure how it started, but it did and now I'm here. I Googled the internets, browsed food blogs, and even tried the back of Bisquick boxes. I must have made stacks and stacks and stacks of pancakes but never was satisfied with any of them. I was just about to give up on this seemingly unreachable quest until I stumbled upon a crazy man and his tattoos. I guess that's how the best things in life happen: they find you. cue dramatic orchestral music. After all the searching and experimenting I'd done in the realm of pancakes, I was weary of Matty Matheson's self-proclaimed "Fluffiest Pancake Recipe". I decided to give the guy a chance since I was on my lunch break and had nothing better to do. The video proved to be entertaining and informative. The methodology was completely different that any pancake recipe I'd cooked before so I was veeeeeeeeeeeery interested to test this recipe. 

It was around midnight but I had a couple of guinea pigs who had the munchies so all systems were go. I got to work and had trouble with the first couple because I'd made them too big. But let me tell you. This Matty Matheson--he knows what he's doing. I was over the moon. I was on cloud nine. I found the Holy Grail of pancakes, guys. The search is over. I finished cooking the rest of the batter and served the little stacks to the guinea pigs. They were in agreement. It was a good night. 

Now for some of you, you like your pancakes flat and tasteless. That's fine. Some of you like your pancakes rubbery and greasy. That's fine, too. BUT NOT IN THIS HOUSE. We do our pancakes thick and fluffy and cute. So if that's how you like to party, come on over. You're welcome here. If you want to see if thick and fluffy is for you, here's the recipe. Here's the video. Fair warning: the video would probably be rated R, and the recipe itself, probably PG-13.

 I would have totally illustrated the recipe for you guys like last time, but I realized I don't like illustrating recipes. It sounded cool in my head at first but I just don't find any joy in drawing out ingredients and cooking steps. I much rather spend time baking and eating. Just being real here. So you guys get my edited photos and links instead. Delicious links. Let me know what you guys think about the pancakes. We can still be friends if you don't like 'em! 

09 September 2014

The Faux-tographer: A roundup of photography cheatsheets

As you might be able to deduce, I take lots of photos. But a boatload of photos does not a photographer make, i.e. "selfie" culture. Despite me not being a professional photographer, I have a hobby of researching the latest camera. I've never owned a DSLR (digital single-reflex lens camera) but I've gone through enough point-and-shoot cameras to know that I have a problem (the problem is losing cameras). My point-and-shoot cameras had always automated the camera settings for me. Hence, the name. You point your lens towards your subject and you shoot. There are now cameras the size of their point-and-shoot sisters with manual settings called compact cameras. I've had two compact cameras but never got around to learning how to properly use one, so I tried researching tutorials on how to use my specific camera and manual settings in general. The articles were long. And I felt stupid. So I Googled cheat sheets instead. Would you like some cheat sheets and tutorials? Of course you would!

Ok so the first one actually is a step-by-step process for a DSLR. But the article was very simple and easy to understand and I think it still is applicable for my compact camera.

This article breaks down the three elements of exposure in photography. The font on the cheat sheet is pretty small but I thought the graphics were quite informative.

This sheet has about the same information as the one above, with additional charts regarding shooting modes and white balance. (Also, the website is in Spanish, but the actual infographic is in English)

I like this sheet because it gives examples of situations where you would use certain settings. It also briefly mentions photo composition.

The website calls this a cheatsheet but it's really an article. It explains the different shooting modes, different focal lengths, and even what to do after you take a photo. 

If you have any other easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles/books/tutorials on photography or your own tips/tricks, I'd love to read them :) 

04 September 2014

The Chronicler: Monterey Minimoon 2013

Hey you guys, happy September to you! Like I mentioned before, the Mister and I returned from our anniversary trip on Monday and it was lovely. Now it's almost the weekend, again! I'm partially yay-ing and ohnoes-ing because duh, weekend but also yikes, time's moving really fast! Anyways, in honor of Hashtag Throwback Thursday, I thought I'd share some of the mini-album I made for last year's trip to the coast. As always, click the photos for larger versions.

I primarily used papers from Crate Paper's Story Teller paper pad with some cardstock and patterned paper from my stash of supplies. The album title is made with Thickers alphabet in the "Hardcover" font. I'm considering sewing them down since the adhesive is being adamant on not working. 'Tis the way of Thickers alphas. To make the cover I recycled some cardboard from a cereal box then used patterned paper of different sizes to make the inside pages. 

I decided on the number of pages after making the cover so the album is a bit...overstuffed(chocolate Teddygram for scale). I also like to layer a bunch of paper on my pages to give them dimension so that could be the culprit as well. I piled on some buttons and novelty paperclips throughout the album so there's another suspect to add to the overstuffed crime. And yes, I know most of the album is about food, but what else do you do when you're on vacation? Relax on the beach? Bike the coastal trails? Visit historic sites? Naahhhhhh....

25 August 2014

The Handletterer: Get Away

Good morning people of the interwebs. Hope August is treating you well and if not, that's okay! 'Cause it's almost gone! What? You didn't notice? Neither did I. She's a sneaky one, that August. (note to self: name future daughter August, make sure she's sneaky)

I doodled this little phrase after reviewing my plans for August. I spent about four days in the mountains the other week for a church retreat. It was a nice change of scenery. I thought it'd be gross and mucky since there'd been a couple forest fires around our area but I was pleasantly surprised to see blue skies and breathe fresh mountain air. 

Aside from the literal change of scenery, I felt like the retreat was a good get away from the daily routine. Yes, I was away from traffic, fast food chains, and overcrowded shopping plazas, but I was also away from the distractions of work deadlines, house chores, and social media. It was nice to get away and sort out my thoughts, as little as they may be. I'm just really terrible at slowing down. I'm also really easily distracted. So even a small road trip does  wonders. 

This weekend the Mister and I are heading to Monterey, CA to celebrate our first visit there one year ago (or you know, an anniversary of sorts). I'm looking forward to the beach breeze, the coastal town atmosphere, and more space to think. 

Hope you guys have the chance to get away before summer's out. Ciao!

07 August 2014

The Chronicler: Documenting the Everyday

I like documenting things. I like taking photos. I also like pretty papers and cute stickers. When I found a way of combining all these things, I dove in head first into the game of crafty memory-keeping.

Currently, I'm working on an album to document everyday life. I used to do this on my blog complete with photos and commentary but I realized my daily happenings proved to be uninteresting to most people. Plus, instagram killed the blog. So now I document my day-to-day activities in paper format. It's like a tactile #tbt (throw-back Thursday) for me. 

I did this in 2013 and I'm continuing 2014 in a similar way. I've shared some pages from my 2013 album in the past but I think stopped because something important happened halfway through the year. I finished the 2013 album earlier this year and didn't start 2014 until way later. My neuroticism took over and I spent way too much time organizing photos, browsing the internet for inspiration, and buying supplies. Meanwhile, life was happening. I had a pile of memories and a stack of empty albums. I thought about stopping altogether. 

Fortunately for me, frustration is a good motivator (as is The Mister). Eventually I sat down and got to work. After completing my first page of 2014 I realized why I started doing this in the first place. I just wanted to document things. Using photos. With pretty papers and cute stickers. 

I use a memory-keeping system called Project Life by Becky Higgins. It's simple and fully customizable to fit one's lifestyle. You can find my 2013 Project Life posts here.