I’m So Crunchy

A few years ago I went to get my haircut. Now, something I do before haircuts is not shower. Or if I do shower, I won’t wash my hair. They’re just going to wash it at the salon with better shampoo than I have anyway. What’s the point? So when I was off to shed my locks, I wore a bright blue knitted cap with a big bobble on top. The first thing Amy, the woman cutting my hair, said to me was, “Ah, did you make that yourself?” I had, and while I originally thought that meant she didn’t think it was very good, she actually loved it. “You’re so crunchy!” she told me.

Crunchy has followed me around as a title for many years. I can’t count how many times I’ve been called a hippie. I like to knit, I’ve been known to wear Birkenstocks and I’ve gone to a fair share of music festivals. But today I truly achieved crunchiness.

Today, I made my own granola.

Not only that, but it’s healthy granola. And looks beautiful.

Homemade granola in an airtight jar
Homemade granola in an airtight jar

Right? Isn’t that gorgeous looking granola? I put it in some fat free vanilla yogurt today and it was amazing. I think what makes it different from other granolas I’ve eaten is the orange zest I grated into it. Plus it’s not full of sugars like other granolas. Plus I get to brag about making my own granola (which isn’t actually very hard, but I feel super cool when I say it).

And this has brought me to the epitome of crunchy. For those of you who have been confused by the term crunchy thus far, it refers to crunchy granola. As in people who knit their own hats and go to music festivals are so crunchy granola. So earthy. So hippie. Aka, me.

If anybody wants this super delicious recipe, just let me know. It’s from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, so you know it’s healthy.

Some of you may be wondering why I felt the need to blog about this. To you I say: I have an essay due Friday.

Baking Distraction of the Day: Polar Bears

While it may seem from this title that I’m baking polar bears, it’s simply not the case. I think I’d feel much too guilty to eat a polar bear–I have enough trouble eating lamb, and those things are everywhere. The only way I’d eat a polar bear were if it were already dead from old age and I was starving to death on the tundra. And maybe if the only way I could survive was to wrap myself in its carcass. Tauntaun anyone?

But I just can’t imagine myself roughing it on the tundra, and therefore no polar bear snacking for me. UNLESS it happens to be sugary and covered in frosting. Like the amazing cupcake I just made.

polar bear cupcake
Polar bear cupcake!

Now how could such a wonderful cupcake be a distraction? Well, because I should be finishing my novel. And editing it. And sending off applications and stuff for internships both next semester and next summer. But I just can’t seem to make myself do it. Instead I bake. And exercise, to work off all the cupcake induced calories. I just finished the semester–don’t I deserve to eat as much sugar as I want while avoiding anything that looks like work?

I tried to find a polar bear in the position of my cupcake, and this was as close as I got:

polar bears
Lounging, lazy polar bear

Much like the elusive narwhal, polar bears are some of my favorite creatures. They both hang out in cold climates, they’re both dwindling in numbers, and they both have giant horns sticking out of their foreheads.

Oh wait. That last one’s just narwhals.

Also like the narwhals, the BBC’s got clips of them from the show Frozen Planet! Check out one of the many clips here.

Now off to exercise! Then sleep! Then wake up to make more polar bear cupcakes! The other 11 cupcakes that will be turned into polar bears are currently in the freezer, frosted with a donut hole on top of each of them. And then another 12 cupcakes will just be frosted. And those 24 cupcakes will be added to the 30 of the Oreo cupcakes I made the other day.

All I can say is if I don’t work out, Santa’s not the only one who’ll have a belly like a bowl full of jelly.

 

A puppy, a onesie and Christmas cupcakes

I’ve officially been back in sunny Florida for two days now, and ohmygoodness am I pumped. It was below freezing when I left Scotland but today, here in Orlando, it got up to about eighty degrees fahrenheit. People often ask me if I really feel like it’s Christmas when it’s so warm outside. I respond with another question–who’s going to be merrier, someone digging their car out of the snow for hours or someone who can walk outside in shorts and go out on our boat?

PLUS, my mother has gone all out this year and decorated the house to look like we live next door to Santa. There are snowmen and penguins and polar bears everywhere. And Santas. And reindeer. We went to get a beautiful tree today, along with cinnamon-scented pinecones. And not to forget, I made absolutely scrumptious cupcakes.

Oreo cupcakes and snowmen
Christmas cupcakes and snowmen!

They’re oreo cupcakes from My Baking Addiction. Along with the white frosting pictured above, I made some with red frosting to be even Christmas-ier. These are seriously some of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever made or eaten. And I got cupcakes liners that say “Let it snow!” on them. Because while I am happy to go outside without a jacket on, I do love the snow. I’d definitely be okay with it blizzarding on Christmas day…and melting away by Boxing day. That seems reasonable.

Know what’s not reasonable? Gavin’s Christmas present to me. It’s not reasonable–it’s splendiforous. It’s a bright-green, zip-up, adult onesie. I know what my writing outfit for the rest of forever is going to be. And it’s so big that I can fit my dog, Pirate, in it with me. Which is what I did immediately upon arriving home.

Pirate in my onesie with me
Pirate the puppy in my oneside with me

While I’m slightly too embarrassed to post a photo of just me in the onesie, let me assure you that it’s breathtaking. It’s warm and comfortable and has huge pockets just the right size for a couple good books. Perfection.

Even though it’s only been a couple days, I already feel so relaxed and like I haven’t been away at all. My family’s all merry and excited about Christmas. Tonight might include watching the Santa Claus while snacking on my nummy cupcakes. And maybe hot chocolate with a dash of Irish cream.

Friday Flash and a Giant Cupcake

Friday Flash Inspiration
Inspirational picture from Madison Woods for this Friday's Flash

The flamingo pig is a rare breed found only in the tiniest of crevices and the browniest of leaves. It uses its long legs to quickly leap from twig to twig along the forest floor, evading the snappy-claws and blundering-crivets of its enemies. The light pink hue of its skin, one would think, would make a terrible camouflage, but not so. It blends in with the underbrush and hides in the uppernest leafy bits, invisible against a marshmallow-light-cloud sky.

Though I must say, hard as they are to catch, tastier they are to eat.

For more stories prompted by this image, visit Madison Woods and explore the rest of the Friday Fictioneers!

I’ve been enjoying reading week for the past (you guessed it) week, and have had limited internet access, so no time to update the blog. But I wanted to continue with my new tradition of Friday Flashing (I get to use such fun words!!) AND inform you that I made the awesomest thing ever: a giant cupcake.

Giant Cupcake
A giant cupcake made from love

It was Gavin’s 21st birthday last Sunday and I wanted to surprise him with a cake. Whenever I sneakily tried to ask him what his favorite type of cupcake was, he kept saying, “A BIG one!” I didn’t want to come right out and ask him, so I decided to snark him right back. I got a special silicone mold and made him a giant 21st birthday cupcake. With chocolate cream cheese frosting. Because I am awesome and full of snark.

Quick NaNo update:

Haven’t written as much as I should’ve because of reading week, so therefore the word count is currently: 12,649.

I’m hoping to bump it up a lot this weekend. Here’s hoping!

Trashy Blonde, Bon Iver and the Eternal Bus Ride

This past Saturday was full of adventure. There was new beer to be tasted, new music to be heard and vehicular adventures galore. But before I get to that, I want to bring your attention to this:

Oreo Brownie
An Oreo brownie that I made that actually looks like a brownie!

This is an Oreo brownie that I made last night and it is the first time EVER that I’ve made brownies that have actually stayed together. By which I mean it wasn’t too gooey to come out of the pan and didn’t fall into pieces. It looks like a brownie! And it was SCRUMPTIOUS, if I do say so myself. The recipe is another My Baking Addiction masterpiece.

Okay. Self-trumpeting over. On to last Saturday.

A troupe of friends and I wandered into Edinburgh to see a Bon Iver concert. I say wandered because we had to get a bus from St Andrews to Leuchars, which is the closest town with a train station. We were to then take the train straight to Edinburgh, but because of some bus-rail replacement nonsense, we got a train to Dalgety Bay (which my friend Trevor heard as “Dog Eighty Bee” when announced in a Scottish accent) and then had to take a bus from there to Edinburgh. A journey that usually takes one hour became two.

Oh well, no big deal. We got into Edinburgh not far from BrewDog, a fabulous Scottish brewery that makes beer I actually enjoy drinking. Specifically Trashy Blonde. You thought I meant a loose female with yellow hair? Ha HA. It’s actually a super tasty beer. It smells kind of funny, but once you get past that it’s got a nice, light, fruity-ish flavor. Their bar in Edinburgh is relatively small but full of snarky remarks and ridiculous names for their drinks. My favorite name is Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a beer with a 31% alcohol content and that costs £5 per nip. Their strongest beer is called Sink the Bismarck! and has a 42% abv. Oh yes. BrewDog is all about Equity for Punks. And ridiculously high alcohol content in their beers.

BrewDog
BrewDog Menu

Post BrewDog pizza and beer (I would’ve felt like I was back in the States except that the beer was delicious and the pizza had pesto and chorizo on it) the lot of us headed off to Usher Hall for the Bon Iver concert. This was the second time I’d seen Bon Iver and they didn’t disappoint. I took a couple videos which I’ll link here once I’ve uploaded them to YouTube–one of Skinny Love and one of Stacks. Despite the fact that the five of us were crammed into tiny seats (especially tiny for my friend Richard, who’s 6’5. I think his knees were hanging over the seat in front of him the whole time.) and we were in the UPPER balcony (not the first balcony–the one above that), it was an absolutely phenomenal show. Seeing “Skinny Love” live will always be a near-spiritual experience.

It is solely because I’d had such a fabulous day, both at BrewDog and Bon Iver, that made getting back to St Andrews bearable. We were supposed to get a bus to get a train to get a taxi (it being too late at this point for the bus to be running from Leuchars to St Andrews). However, the bus we were supposed to get was full of people, so the bus driver said there’d be another bus right behind him to take us to the train. By right behind him he meant a bus that would get there in about 20 minutes and would have to be flagged down as it went roaring past us. This bus of course didn’t get us to the train station on time. The next bus that would have taken us from Dalgety Bay to Leuchars had broken down, so the bus driver of the bus we were currently on graciously offered to drive that route. Being completely unfamiliar with the area he was now driving in, he proceeded to make several wrong turns, at one point getting stuck with the bus facing a harbor. He had to make a 30-point turn which took about ten minutes of starting and stopping and slowly, SLOWLY turning.

Before, we were upset that it took two hours to get to Edinburgh when it would usually take one. Getting back from Edinburgh to St Andrews ended up taking around three and a half hours. We didn’t get back until 2:30am. Needless to say, I got pretty slap happy along the way, so I started making up songs. My favorite was entitled “I’m a Penguin.” I’ll be sending it to Bon Iver to see what they think.