Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend Pursuits: Baking & Journaling

Fluffy White Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Look, Ma, no eggs!

Ohmygosh. I am not a cake person, but these are the BEST cupcakes I have ever had, much less ever made. The photo does not do them justice. Actually, nothing but eating them does. :) They are now on my forever "Go To" list if I want treats to share.

I've had the recipe forever too, but just never made them. You can find it at the Vegan Lunchbox. Here.

They got two thumbs up from my food critics and the highest praise from the biggest critic (Maia) when she said, "These are better than the kind from the STORE!"

Oh, yeah.

It totally makes me want to get her new cookbook. The best part? They are completely VEGAN! No dairy and no eggs.. and not even any egg replacers! How'd she do that? I don't know, but perhaps I'll think about it while I have just one more.

So, those of you in the U.S. and with fathers around, have you had a nice Father's Day? My husband spent the day (a wee bit obsessively) battling ants that had infested parts of our home in some window frames as well as some dying plants. But, he likes that kind of thing... really! The least I could do was make him some cupcakes to reward him for all his hard work. I don't know that he has actually had one as of this writing, since he was outside during the baking, but I know he'll have one later.

Other than playing a game of Life with the girls, I spent the greater part of the afternoon playing around with my journal and preparing pages for stationary. I have a few more letters to go out this week and wanted to get pages ready for that.

I find SO many uses for the magazines that come into our home. I do not treasure them in the way some people collect all sorts of back issues. No, I pretty much destroy my magazines! Corners are first folded down to note articles or recipes that I will later come back to and tear out to save. The same goes for any internet links I want to follow. Also, any pages that have anything that appeals to me are my favorite and those go into my journal:

But I'm not done yet, because then I go back through and find anything else that isn't necessarily my style, but is pretty or appealing or reminds me of someone and those go into a file folder of images for taping down to plain, old white printer paper and become letters for dear friends.

It takes me a while to find what I'm looking for, but I also save pictures that I will contact paper to the cover too. The notebook I have is a simple, 3-subject notebook with a pocket in the front. I keep plenty of torn pages stuck in here that I save until I am ready for a "cut and tape" night. I also keep an envelope for smaller images that would otherwise slide around or get crushed.

I don't know exactly why this activity is so very, very appealing to me, but it is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. I have kept a journal of some sort ever since I was a child. I have many, many of them saved in a cedar chest and they all come in different shapes and sizes for what worked for my life at the time. This is presently my favorite way to journal.

I think part of the reason I enjoy it so much is that it feeds two different parts of me: the visual and the language. Some of the time spent with my journal is just the preparation of the pages. I live somewhat vicariously through them. While it is not practical for me to change paint colors in my home upon every new color whim I have, I can do this in a way through the pages of my journal. I notice my own preferences and trends in this way and it also aids me when I am in the market for something new; I have all sorts of ideas at my fingertips of things that appeal to me.

After a certain number of pages are filled with pictures, I can set the journal aside for a day or two and then it is ready whenever I am ready to write. The images and the colors are enticing to me and I'll re-visit ones I really liked as I arrive at each page. "Oh!" I'll think, "I get to write on this page now!" Mostly my writing is just my ink moving across the page, but occasionally, I'll also embellish with markers, colored pencils, stamps, etc. - whatever strikes my fancy.

This month, I'm also keeping a calendar on one of the pages to fill out as we go along and record just one little snippet of our day. I don't do this every month, but it's fun sometimes.

Well, I hope this may have given you some ideas for your own journal time. I honestly can't imagine living without journaling. When I get that "what-would-you-need-on-a-desert-island" question, the second thing to my Bible is always my journal. My mom recently mentioned she'd like her laptop. Yeah, I can see that and I'd probably like one too. But there is something so visceral about the paper and the pages that I just can't give up. There is room in my life for both, obviously, but if I could have only one... the computer would have to go.
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