Weekend Fun + Banksy’s Newest Art

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I’m going to keep it short and sweet here.  

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We did a little wine tasting. 🙂

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We hung out.

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I took impromptu photos! 😉

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It was so beautiful.  🙂

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Karen Doo-Doo got me this!  

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We went here.  Cold Spring Tavern.  Beer + Live Music.

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Ate good stuff.  🙂

Weekend highlight?  Standing on my dad’s deck, with the awesome view of Santa Barbara in front of me, with a warm fire in the chimenea, talking to Heather, while eating a cinnamon roll.  What about you guys?  Hope you all did something fun!

Have any of you seen the latest from Banksy?  It looks like a “score one for the vegans”, but I’m not sure!  What do you guys think?  Here’s a link for you to go see what I’m talking about.  It’s called Siren’s of the Lambs.  Go check it out!  

http://autos.aol.com/article/banksys-latest-art-project-goes-on-the-road/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl19%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D391120

 

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Weekend Stuff + Today Stuff

Hi, people!  How was your weekend?  Generally speaking, it was a great one around here….though HOT!  What gives?  Um, weather…you DO know it IS October, right?  Apparently we are supposed to get rain here in the next few days, so going from one strange extreme to the next….for Southern California!

Saturday we kinda holed up because it was so hot (damn near 90 degrees!) and WINDY!  Crazy gusts of wind reached 30 mph literally blew the pebbles off our roof!  So, we watched a movie, ran a few errands at air conditioned stores only.  🙂  Hi, Target.  You were a nice, cool, spot and just wandered around for about an hour…. lol  Got my brother a birthday card and that was about it!  I made mac n’ cheese + buffalo “tenders” + ranch salad stack for dinner.  Health?  Eh, not so much.  But my point of view was eff it–it’s hot and this is what I want to eat!  We watched a kinda interesting documentary about alien conspiracies in South Africa, had a nap, then, after it had cooled off (our house was still 85+ degrees inside!) made regular and vegan custard (for cupcake fillings) and replenished my homemade granola stash.  A fairly productive day, given the yucky weather.

Yesterday (Sunday) the weather was MUCH nicer–still pretty darn hot, but only mild wind.  Plus, it was my brother’s birthday!  I made cupcakes…

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These are the vegan ones.  🙂  I filled them with vegan custard and topped with ganache!  Vegan Boston Cream cupcakes ahoy!  I also made non-vegan ones, but since I didn’t eat them, they aren’t important. 😉

While those were cooling we headed to the beach!

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I don’t know what’s been going on lately, but a far few of these guys have been washing up on the beach here.  This one is still ALIVE.  I never knew that this is what an alive sand dollar looked like!  You can see he’s wounded, or something of that nature, (lost part of his fuzzy purple coat!), but I waded in a little ways and hucked him out to sea in the hopes he’d get another chance.

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That’s a happy dog enjoying himself! 🙂

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The ocean is photogenic.  😉

Okay, so after this fun beach walk, we came home, I finished up the cupcakes, (you know, for brother’s birthday), and made our dinner.

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Oh yeah, HOT DOGS! lol Quick and easy.  The dinner was not going to be vegan friendly, at all.  My mom, as per my brother’s request, made pasties, which are these amazing meat + potato filled pies that you slather with gravy and/or ketch-up.  I may have to see if I can make a vegan version of this sometime.

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Dinner was on my dad’s deck, and the view doesn’t suck!  🙂

Hung out, celebrated my brother, ate, laughed, and probably had too good a time.  😉

Anyway, that’s what happened around here!  Hope you all had a great one, too!

In other news, my car is still running fine.  Don’t know what caused that failure to start issue on Friday.  Oh!  And today we are going to launch our new company website!  It has been a bit of a labor of love, but it is finally ready to go live.  Yay!  Go us!  I’ll post once it is officially ready to look at–we are still working out the last kinks.  🙂

**UPDATE!** Our new website is live!

www.knotdesignllc.com

Go check it out!

Today is going to be kinda busy, for a Monday.  I have to plan for our SEMA ’13 trip, which will include seeing about meetings with prospects, booking our hotel, and touching base with the people we already know.  SEMA is wild.  Cars, car guys, cars, crazy cars!  And it’s HUGE!  I need to figure out how long to go for as it always seems we never have enough time at these things.

Last but not least:  KICKSTARTER.  Guys. I’m running out of time on it.  I’ve sent the link to countless blogs and websites and I’m hitting a bit of a wall as what to do, next!  I’m asking again for suggestions/help.  It seems the issue is traffic getting to my campaign and I’m doing what I can to improve that, but I’m running out of time!  Egads, I think I only have 10 days left or so.

Okay, well, I can’t get bummed out now.  Off to my regular job and time to stop blogging.  🙂  Have a great Monday and thanks for reading!

Weekend Round-Up

I hope you guys really lived it up this weekend!  I hope you had fun, lots of naps, and lots of good (vegan!) food with friends.  🙂  I’m going to keep this post short and sweet!  …And yes, we had a very nice, very relaxing weekend around here!

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Saturdays do not suck.  After an epic nap, we did a little margarita fun times with guacamole, sat out on our deck and enjoyed the beautiful, warm, sunny evening.  

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Saturday I also did a little experimental baking.  

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I wanted to see if could make those amazing walnut date cookies (two posts ago, I think) using pecans, maple syrup, and using less oil.  

….the recipe still needs the kinks worked out.  😉  Also, it didn’t help that I over baked them!

Sunday was fab–relaxing morning and I made more banana yummies…

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…then went wine tasting at the Old Creek Winery with some really wonderful people that I’m lucky enough to have as friends.  Frank & Kathryn, you know you are total dolls!  It’s true! 🙂 

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Nothing like a little afternoon hanging out and laughing to cure what ails ya!

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My boys.  🙂  What sweeties!

Then, after wine we were off to the Farmer and Cook for some amazing vegan dinner times.  

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Vegan tamale anyone?  We ate outside, had probably too much fun, and are thinking about starting a weekly dinner party get-together.  

After dinner wrapped we came home and crashed out like a boss.  

What did you guys do this weekend?   

Great Weekend!

Okay guys.  It’s Monday.  Again.  Booooooo.

I personally think that the weekends should have one more day included–so that every weekend would be a three day weekend!  Who’s with me!!  If the Roman emperors could add a whole MONTH in their honor, surely adding one measly day in, every week, wouldn’t be THAT hard, right?  We could call it “people’s-day.”  🙂

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Here’s what I got into, mostly via photos! Yay photos!

Saturday I wrapped this:

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Nothing says “I’m glad we are family!” like a giant, paper bow, right?  🙂  This is my gift for Son of Doo-doo–Catan.  Also do note the Warkak and Snoozle making a cameo….

Then, I met some friends for lunch who I haven’t seen in years (no joke, literally years!  sad and true) and it was so nice to get a bit caught up.

Then, we headed to Santa Barbara to celebrate Son of Doo-Doo!

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We got lost and ended up on Miramar beach, not Hammonds.  How is possible I’ve lived in SB most of my life and never heard of these beaches!?  Anyway, it all got sorted out.

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We brought the dog.  This proved to be a mostly regrettable choice.  He was crazy excited and there was food EVERYWHERE, right at his face level.

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I can’t wait for him to not be a puppy any longer and we can trust him to just hang out and be good!  Wrangling him was Nick’s full time job, and my part time job, which made it somewhat hard to just enjoy and have fun with everyone.  Here he is, totally crazy because he wanted these:

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Not. Vegan.

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Beach fun!

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We then headed to Montecito for a quick birthday drink at Los Arroyos.  While the people who worked there were rude to us, the margarita was super good.  Post drinks Nick, crazy-eye pup, and I headed home, relaxed, and watched Lilo & Stitch.

Sunday was great, too!  We headed back to SB for more birthday shenanigans!

We had a little snack-y picnic down at the harbor and I snapped a photo for your viewing pleasure:

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We then took my dad’s boat for a sail.  And by “we” I mean my dad took us for a sail. 😉

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Captain Don for president!  Go ahead, if you see him, ask him what his policy is on Syria!  😉

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Nope.  Doesn’t suck.  I took TWO Dramamine pills so that I wouldn’t get sea sick.  I felt totally fine during the sail, but was SO. TIRED. from the “less drowsy” formula and I’d hate to see what regular type would do to me! 😛

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Bye bye SB Harbor!  You were great.  Now, out into the open sea!  Where there was wind, oh my lots of wind!  The boat was healed over so hard, the only photo I managed to take of the rest of the sail was this:

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I didn’t even realize the film on my iPhone had changed!  Ooops!

A great time was had by all.  After the sail, Son of Doo-Doo and his sweet girlfriend, Heather, invited us back to their place to play CATAN.  My dinner last night was chips and candy and it was AWESOME.  No joke.  Sometimes you just need to do it.

Our Catan game was cut short owing to the time–we needed to tend to the pup who we’d left home yesterday.

So, today, I feel relaxed (in spite of having to pay quarterly taxes), totally tired (my brain can’t even seem to spell words right today wtf), oddly hungry (I suppose from the lack of “real food” last night? ha!) and looking forward to Tuesday where we will have a Catan rematch.  I’m not going to pile up on ore this time.  For those of you who know the game, yay!  For those of you who don’t, boo and shame on you, go get yo’self one.  🙂

Oh, and Kickstarter.   T-Minus THREE days until I launch!!  THREE DAYS people.  No one wrote back to me from Ellen, Oprah, or even on the local level.  Uhm……how does it get better than this?? I’m going to make some caffeine filled hot tea for lunch, then email them all, AGAIN.  And write birthday trees.

Have a great Monday and I hope you had a splendid weekend!!

Friday Fun Times! Weekend? YES.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

I’m in the midst of writing to various publications to see what the possibilities look like to drum up a little buzz + excitement about my Kickstarter campaign!  Keep your fingers crossed for me on this, okay?  🙂  Thanks!

As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I am all set to launch my project. WOOT.  The day I picked is Wednesday the 19th.  So, mark your calendars!  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you, pretty much every day until I launch (so get ready for 5 days of Kickstarter mentions!).

This weekend is going to be a busy one.  Tomorrow we are seeing friends for lunch, then heading to SB for a 50’s themed birthday beach party for Son of Doo-Doo!  Sunday is more open, but I think Nick will probably want to work on his fine art site (can I get a what? what? for http://www.ironblockstudio.com) and I’ve got a new book idea I’ve been kicking around. 

I’m also already prepping for Thanksgiving!  Can you guys believe it?  Almost turkey time again! 

In other news, I’m hoping to cut out a little early today and maybe go for a walk on the beach.  It is so. beautiful. today.  Here’s a photo I took a week or two ago, for your Friday enjoyment!

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Happy Friday, avoid the black cats, and breaking mirrors, and whatever else there might be with these silly superstitions!  🙂

Monday….You Always Show Up TOO SOON!

Howdy again!  It’s me!  Being pretty bad about blogging!

I didn’t get to wish you all a happy Friday & happy weekend! 😦

Also, I haven’t really been making anyway super awesome to post about!  😦

…well, I lie.  I made a vegan chocolate cake yesterday.  It was tasty, but not fancy.  I made it in a hurry yesterday.  Normally I’ll take my time with a cake–you eat with your eyes first, ya know!  But yesterday, I was pressed for time, so I made my regular go-to chocolate cake w/ chocolate ganache, but kept it very simple, used a Pyrex dish, and treated the whole thing like brownies. 

I got fancy and added pecans and raisins, too.  Overall, the cake was well received, but the hurry in making it plus the hurry to eat it left me without much in the way of photo ops! Oh well, I’ll make it again soon, I’m sure!  🙂 

Man, we’ve been busy.  I’m going to say that it takes much more effort than I ever thought to create a successful business.  That being said, we did get an actual weekend!  Go us! 

Now, for the really fun update–I’m going to be launching a kickstarter campaign for one of my books!  I’ve been putting it all together over the past few days.  I need to complete my video, and polish up my cover image, but I’m mostly ready! 

Well, sorry for the non-food related post.  The house is sadly depleted of good food stuff, so I should hit the store today.  If not, I’ll be figuring out what to make for dinner from vegan mayo, pickles, potatoes, mustard, and apples. lol

Anyway, I hope you had a super fun weekend!  We saw friends, played with book stuff, hung out with amazing family, and I cleaned.  Yeah, that part wasn’t so great, but having a clean-ish house is nice!  🙂 

Weekend (awesome!) & Banana Bread Recipe! (finally, right?)

Hello again!

I hope you are enjoying your Saturday morning!  Here is something to help perk up your weekend (if you are bored, that is!).  You can make some banana bread (or as I call it,BoooooooOOnaaaahnaaah bread.)  Join the party and call it that.  I dare ya! 😉

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Ingredients:

2 Cups all-purpose flour

3/4 Cups white sugar

1/2 Cup dark brown sugar, packed

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 Cup unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 cups mashed banana or about 4 large very ripe bananas

1/4 Cup canola oil

2 Tbs. Maple Syrup

1 Tbs. Vanilla extract

1 Cup Mixed Nuts – Walnuts, Toasted Pecans, Roasted Almonds (optional but seriously recommended)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First, measure out the almond milk and add apple cider vinegar.  Stir to combine and set aside. My rule of thumb for this is to let it sit at least 10 – 15 minutes before adding to the rest of the liquid ingredients.

In one bowl, mash the bananas.  I like a crude mash that yields hunks of bananas once the bread has been baked.  If you don’t like this, then mash into more of a smooth banana paste.  Then in the same bowl, measure out and combine your liquid ingredients, reserving the almond milk mixture as it still needs to do its thing.  You will add this part last.

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Sorry for the poor photo quality on this guy–but my hands were sticky from the bananas and I snapped this photo on the fly!

In another bowl, measure out your dry ingredients and stir together.  Add your chopped nuts and stir into this mix.  I’ve found that if you do this, the nuts get better dispersed into the bread and don’t settle to the bottom of the loaf. 

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Here it is in process.  Note the almond milk + vinegar chillin’ and gettin’ ready.  🙂

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Once that almond milk has sat for the appropriate amount of time, add to the liquid ingredients, stir to combine, then add the liquid ingredients into the dry.  Stir together until just combined.  No NOT over mix, I repeat, do NOT over mix!  You will have nasty, heavy bread and that will for sure suck. 

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Prepped and ready to go!  I made the recipe + 1/2 again as much to get a third loaf. 

Next, pour into your greased pans.  I find that this recipe yields two medium sized loaf pans.  I have put it all into one pan before and it took for-freaking-ever to bake.  So I split it into two loaves and it still takes about 45 minutes to an hour to bake.  Sorry for the imprecise bake time here, I honestly lose track of how long, because as the bread is baking I go do other stuff.  I trust you guys will know when it’s done–just bake until a tooth pick comes out clean and the bread is toasty on top and starts to pull away from the sides of the pans.  If you do decide to bake in one loaf pan, I suggest you turn the heat down to 325 after the first 45 minutes as I’ve found that the top will brown faster than the insides cook and you could have a tricky loaf on your hands–one that *looks* done, but on the insides is still gooey and not baked!  The larger loaf will take a hour and half at least. 

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This recipe makes the house smell SO FREAKING GOOD!  It is right up there as one of my most favorite things to bake and eat. 

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Yep.  Enjoy it!  Make some this weekend if you have browning bananas.  🙂

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for us–there is a car show going on and we may go check that out.  A BBQ at Lake Cachuma might also be in order!  Have a great Saturday y’all!