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

 

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!

Merry Friday! Happy Weekend!

Well I’m not going to leave you all hangin’!  Cheers to you guys having a great Friday night and weekend to follow!  Sorry my well wishes are a bit late today.  But I had something very, very strange happen today.  

It all happened when I went to Santa Barbara to see my dad for lunch.  Post lunch, hugs, and good-bye, I naturally went to my car.  You know, to drive home!  Only, I got in my car, put the key in the ignition and….yes.  No dice.  Engine didn’t lurch or even try to turn over, but the lights and bing-bongy noises came on.  I thought, “Oh, dead battery.”  I then call Nick, just to be sure (’cause I’m a girl like that; gender stereotype, yep, and whatever), then hustled over to my dad’s work to see if he could give me a jump.  

For some reason, I knew I needed to hurry, though I didn’t know his plans.  I caught him right as he was pulling out of his parking lot.  I flagged him down, quickly explained the situation, and he came to my aid, because my dad is awesome like that.  🙂  

After pushing my car out of its spot (in the heat today!  Cool, crisp, fall…where are you…?) gave it a jump, and waaah-laaah, she started right up!  We both figured it was the battery because I had in the last 5 years or so replaced the alternator and starter but couldn’t, for the life of me, remember when I had gotten a new battery.  So, I hugged my dad again, said bye and thanks, then headed home.

En route home, I met Nick at Sears so they could check my battery.  

….the battery was fine.  Plenty of juice.

….the car started right up after being turned off.

…the car started right up again just a second ago, (after chillin’ in the garage for over an hour) which is what I did while waiting for my computer to boot up.

Um……now, I know what you are thinking.  Car troubles that go away on their own, come back on their own.  Well, we will see about this one.  I’ll post if something more happens on this front.

Anyway, I’m now wondering if I or my dad weren’t meant to be some where at a certain time, you know?  Okay, here is another story to illustrate the point I’m making with my story.

When I was about 10, my mom had a brand new (literally like 3 months old) Explorer.  She and I were going to run errands.  We get in her NEW car, and it WON’T start.  We try again a half hour later–it STARTS.  And it never had this problem again.

Get ready for it….we later find out that there was a robbery at gun point at the bank Mom was thinking about going to.  We honestly could have been there for it.  Yeah, I’m hearing twilight music in my head, too.  

So….perhaps it is another case of random acts of unseen things keeping us safe?  

Food for thought I suppose.  And thinking of food, I’m tempted to make a pumpkin and cashew creme lasagna tonight.

 

Oh, and fudge update.  Nick likes that fudge I made.  I asked him if it was too sweet.  He said, “Eh, not really.” Apparently he likes it, kinda.  I still think the rating of a 6 is what it deserves.  I’ll bet that after a week, I’ll still have about half of the quarter batch I made in my fridge.  

Anyway, peace out and have a wonderful, fun (and safe!) Friday!! 

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?   

Weekend Round-up + Easy Dinner Recipe

I hope you all had a very enjoyable weekend!  I know I did!  It was nice to be busy on Saturday–having fun kept my mind off the Kickstarter stuff.  Son of Doo-Doo and Heather, Nick, Ruxin, and I went to Lizard’s Mouth Saturday afternoon to just hang out, have relax-y time, and watch the sun go down.  Little did I know that Ruxin is a mountain goat in dog form!  He scaled the rocks like a champion!  Lizard’s Mouth is crazy beautiful and has a glorious, sweeping view of the hills and ocean above Santa Barbara.  I’m amazed that I’ve lived in Santa Barbara most of my life and have never been there. 

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See what I mean?  Just beautiful.

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Goat Dog in action!  Look at him climb! 

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This is probably one of my favorite photos, ever.  🙂  Look at how victorious he looks!  So proud!  It was a total toss up for him–climb, or eat acorns, which there were a lot of, which he WOOFED down a lot of.  “They had a bunch of acorns; I ate a bunch of acorns.” 😉  Fortunately there were no adverse effects from all the acorn eating!  Yay!

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It was a little windy and started to get cold, so we packed up and headed back before the sun went down.

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After Lizard’s Mouth we headed back to Tingle Manor (Son of Doo-Doo and Heather’s place) and had veggie burgers and lost horribly at Catan. 

Yesterday Nick and I hung out here, went for a nice walk on Main Street, walked along the the ocean front, and had a long discussion on what we could do to get the word out about my Kicktarter project and just published book, “The Warkak and Snoozle.”  Guys, the few of you who read, if you have any suggestions here, I’d love to hear them.  Seriously.  Please message me and let me know if there is something else I could do, here.  🙂  Thanks!  My small victory was emailing the Dyslexic Kids facebook page to see if they’d share my book–it IS written in a dyslexic friendly font after all!  They did share the book on their page, wrote a very nice little introduction for their followers, and I’m so grateful–honestly, I don’t care about sales.  I care that people read and enjoy, like I did as a kid.  I think it is interesting that more people don’t publish using these sorts of heavy bottomed fonts.  They are so much easier to read, even if you don’t struggle with dyslexia.

Sunday dinner was not fancy, but I made one of my old stand-bys:  Tofu & Artichoke Couscous Medley. 

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Since going vegan I have had to create a couple of easy, quick, tasty, and healthy go-to recipes and this is one of them.  I keep my pantry stocked with the flavors and ingredients I enjoy, so that in a pinch, I can throw something together with relatively minimal effort.  I’d classify this recipe as more comfort food, vegan style, and often replaces mac-n-cheese around here.  On a side note, I know I give the things I make funny names, and if you have a better name, let me know!

Ingredients:

3 Cups Veggie Stock

1 Tbs Olive Oil (Optional, but tastier with it for obvious reasons!)

1/2 tsp Salt

1 + 1/2 Cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (it has Israeli Couscous, Orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and quinoa in it and makes a great base for many recipes.)

1 Can Artichoke Hearts, Rinsed, Drained, and Quartered

1 Package Tofu (Savory Kind)

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Toasted Chopped Pecans

Directions:

In a large pot, place veggie stock, olive oil, and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Stir in couscous mix.  Turn heat down to low, cover, and let cook for about 7-8 minutes. 

Add tofu, stir, recover and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes, stir, cover, and let cook until all liquid has been absorbed; roughly another 3-5 minutes. 

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Serve with a salad and/or veggies.  I made peas and had some carrots and snap peas that I topped with a little Goddess dressing.  It was pretty tasty, hearty, and satisfying!  This recipe makes 4 servings and the leftovers are great cold, which I’m eying already, though it isn’t even lunch time.

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After dinner we went and visited our friend Matt (who is awesome!), brought a bottle of wine and some freshly baked pumpkin spice cookies (see last post!) and just hung out.  I should update that recipe as Nick and I felt that the cookies were better after the dough had been chilled over night.  The dough bakes fine without being chilled, however, but I’m not surprised that being chilled made it better, as this is the way with that type of dough! 

Visiting with Matt was a very nice end to a very nice weekend.  Now I guess it’s back to the grind!  I hope you all had a great weekend! If you have suggestions for how to help promote the Kickstarter or the book, please let me know!  🙂 

Friday Means The Weekend is Here! + Banana & Peanut Butter Yummies

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Happy Friday everyone!  What do you make when you want something sweet, semi-healthy, that is easy and quick to make?  Banana Yummies of course.  Well, I don’t know what else to call them, so you figure out the name.  I’ll just give you the recipe and directions!  Sure, this isn’t super original, but they are very tasty, so….here ya go.

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I also love the limited number of ingredients this recipe calls for!

Ingredients:

1 Banana (or more, depending on how many people you want to share the yummies with.  I find that if I make too much of a good thing, I eat too much of a good thing, and well, you guessed it!  It isn’t such a good thing in the end!  And by end, I mean MY end!) lol)

Peanut Butter &/or Almond Butter (I wasn’t sure which would be tastier, so I did half and half!  More on this to follow!)

4 TBS Chocolate Chips (I like the Enjoy Life brand, they are vegan, but if you aren’t vegan, use what you have around the house.)

1/2 Tsp. Coconut Oil (optional.  Makes the chocolate nice, smooth, and more melty.)

Directions:

1.  Slice up your bananas.  Lay slices on a small plate or baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Note:  I thought I was being all fancy to slice them diagonally.  I do NOT recommend doing this!  Had I thought about it better, I would have realized that trying to line up the tops with the bottoms down the road to make them sandwiched would be tricky.  Then, getting them all coated with chocolate would also be hard!  Boo!  Anyway, make them nice, coin shaped, about a 1/4 inch thick or so.

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2.  Put a little dollop of either peanut butter or almond butter in the center or 1/2 the slices.

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3.  Next, turn them into little sandwiches!

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See what I mean about how they don’t line up nicely?  Coin shaped, people!  Coin shaped! lol

4.  Put the little banana sammies in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prep and melt your chocolate.

5.  Place the coconut oil in a small pan or pot.  Using medium low heat, melt the coconut oil.  Then add the chocolate chips and stir until the mix is nice and smooth.  Careful, vegan chocolate melts kinda funny sometimes!  It can burn much faster than regular chocolate.

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6.  Place semi-frozen banana sammies on a fork, then spoon chocolate all over them until they are completely covered.  Then place back on the wax paper.  Once all sammies have been covered in chocolate, put them back in the freezer.

7.  Let freeze for about an hour.  Eat, enjoy, share, eat…. 🙂

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Almond Butter vs Peanut Butter!  Which tasted better, you might ask?  BOTH were equally AMAZING.  I’d suggest try making both and have a taste test like we did around here.  Nick and I couldn’t decide which was better.  If you make ’em and have a preference, I’d love to know!

Next order of business:  KICKSTARTER UPDATE.  Well, I have SIX backers!  Um, yes, they are all friends and family.  So, at least I know who I’m giving a kidney to should they ever need one! 😉  I’m starting to get a little nervous that people may not “get” my idea, or something.  On my Kickstarter stats, people watch my entire video only 20% of the time!  Guys.  Watch the FULL video.  There are outtakes and they are funny; certainly worth sticking around for!

27 days left on Kickstarter!  Ah!  Okay, here is the link again, in case y’all missed it.

And here is the facbook page for Modern Pirate Quarterly!  Go “like” it!  You know you do! 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/Modernpiratequarterly?ref=hl

Last but not least, people, have a great Friday!

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!  🙂