Friday, April 3, 2020

caught up in a new coffee craze

okay, so we all know how much i love a good trendy thing, yes?  especially these days, when we're all turning to all the various forms of social media in an effort to still feel in touch with our friends and family.  i'm going to go ahead and admit, though, that being in quarantine mode really isn't all that bad for me.  as the old lady puts it, this isn't that far off from my normal day-to-day life - with the exception of everyone being home all day right along with me.  the bean is really self-sufficient, with distance learning sessions most weekdays from 8 till noon.  and then when she's not in class she's working on homework or the book report that she's doing an animated movie for.  and the major introvert in me is extra stoked to have an excuse to stay home.  and not being under pressure to adhere to a particular schedule is pretty nice.  AND the sweatpants/leggings/comfort bra uniform is amazing.  heh.

anyway...i'd been seeing pictures everywhere of something called "dalgona coffee."  basically, it's a cold, creamy whipped coffee drink made with just three ingredients, plus ice cold milk.  i hit up the google for recipes, and they were all pretty much the same - two tablespoons each of instant coffee granules (i know, i know), regular ol' sugar and boiling water.  you put it into a mixing bowl and hit it with a whisk or a hand mixer for anywhere from 5-20 minutes (depending on your weapon of choice) until it's thick and creamy.  then you pour yourself a nice cold glass of milk - 6-8 ounces - and then top it with the whipped coffee mixture.  easy peasy.

unless, of course, your entire house is packed up in the garage and you can't figure out where anything is without having to move a bazillion boxes around.  which, of course, is my current situation.  but i really wanted to try this thing, so when the hub headed out one day to stock up at the grocery store, i asked him to grab the instant coffee for me.  he did look at me sideways, and i did have to pull up a picture of what i needed so that he would know what to look for.  anyway, when he got back the old lady and i went into the garage where we have a handful of kitchen items set up on the workbench next to where we plugged in the fridge and got to work.

i didn't have a mixing bowl to use, but i did find this hello kitty oversized latte mug that i figured would work perfectly.  and because we both wanted to try the coffee i doubled the recipe and placed the dry ingredients into the mug.

probably five years ago, the old lady and i had gotten suckered into buying some sort of magical whisk at the l.a. county fair.  the chick doing the demonstration had taken a cup of milk, whipped it up with this thing for about a minute and produced whipped cream thick enough to serve on top of a cup of hot chocolate.  i knew exactly which box it was in, and so that's what i used to make my whipped coffee.

except that after about 7 minutes, the mixture still wasn't thick OR creamy.  it was supposed to be the color of peanut butter, and mine was still as dark as it was when we started.  we took turns with the whisk, but by about the third switch i was over it.  i'd spied a box marked "small kitchen appliances" and hoped that my mixer was inside.

it wasn't.  damn.

however...i did find my immersion stick blender.  i figured it was worth a shot, and so i pulled it out and plugged it in and hit the coffee mixture with it.  it took a few more minutes, but finally it was done.

i poured the milk into my one good glass - because you know it doesn't count if it's not pretty enough to post on the 'gram:

and then i found one of my pink plastic yogurtland spoons to carefully place dollops of the whipped coffee on top.

look how pretty!

we used a red solo cup for the old lady's drink and stirred it all together once the photos were taken.  and we were so excited to find that it was really delicious - not too sweet, not too strong...just right.  and a whole lot cheaper than hitting the starbucks drive thru, that's for sure.

have you seen dalgona coffee on your timelines?  are you gonna try it?  because let me tell's really tasty.  totally worth the elbow grease.  mmmmm...

Thursday, April 2, 2020

celebrating at our own chateau

let's take a quick break from our exciting life on lockdown for something is the hub's birthday!

never mind that we were supposed to be getting ready to check into chateau marmont for the weekend and have dinner at a couple of really fun places and hike runyon canyon.  it's all good.  we can still celebrate at home with some sort of delicious delivered meal, and we can still enjoy time together and watch ozark tonight in the back yard and just be grateful for our health and safety.

plus, if we weren't quarantined would there have been a need for me to make him this??

happy birthday to my most favorite guy in the whole world.  he's always here to make us laugh, to be supportive of whatever we're doing, to help whenever we inevitably need some sort of assistance.  he loves us and takes care of us and gives his all to make sure that we're happy, and even though he says it's "just another day," i still hope we can make this birthday a good one.

love you, boo.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

everybody wins

last week, i was scrolling through instagram when something caught my eye:

we all know how much i love my tieks ballet flats.  and this post led to a page on their website that basically put out a call to anyone willing to sew up fabric face masks to be donated to hospitals that are accepting them.  for every 25 masks, they'd send a $50 gift card and for 50, $100.

i thought this was a great idea, but i also remembered packing up all of my cotton woven/quilting fabrics and putting them in the donation pile when we were boxing up all of our stuff before the remodel.  and so i just kept on scrolling and forgot about it.

until my co-leader buddy texted me to see if i'd seen the post.  she had already been working on making masks to donate, and she ended up lighting a fire under my ass to head into the garage to see if there was anything at all i could scrounge up.  after all, i hadn't really done any sewing in weeks and i did miss, i had nothing but time while on lockdown anyway.

after just a few minutes of digging around, i was super stoked to find that there were still a few pieces of suitable fabric that hadn't made the donation pile.  my elastic supply was pretty low and i already knew that because of the surge in mask making there was a shortage of it, but i figured i could still eke out at least 50 masks from what i'd found.

and not just any masks, but with the fun prints i'd found i hoped i'd bring a smile to the recipients' faces.

i busted out my quilting square and got to work on precutting all of the fabric out - two layers of woven fabric plus one of flannel for the inner layer.  it took a little while, but i eventually had enough cut out for all 50 masks:

this piece in particular was going to make one epic face cover:

to streamline the process, i went ahead and layered all of the pieces in the correct order, sandwiching the pieces of elastic inside and using clips to hold them all in place.  i only had enough clips for half of them, but it was a good start.

my serger came in really handy for the first part, and i was done sewing up all of the edges for all the masks in less than an hour.

of course, that was the easiest part.  next i had to trim all the stray threads, flip them all right side out, press them flat, iron in the pleats and topstitch them down.  while i only have a small corner of our room to work in, it was just enough to be able to set up my machines.

and with the ironing board buried deep in the garage, i had to improvise with my little bench, tossing one of our many throw blankets on top.

while the pile of masks looked a little daunting, i took my time and pushed through them one by one, and by that evening i'd managed to get through them all.

i played a fun game of "thread chicken," watching the spool twirl round and round as i sewed.  and look - i won!  just as i stitched up the final mask, i looked up and found this:

so here are some of my favorites out of the pile - these are the "friends"-themed ones, and the one with joey's face was just as comical as i'd imagined.

and hopefully there are some "big hero 6" fans out there who'll recognize the characters on this fabric:

per the instructions on the tieks website, i laid them all out and took a picture.

and then i found a box i'd just received that happened to fit them all perfectly inside, even with a plastic bag that would help keep the masks safe from any damage that might come to the box during shipping.

i was feeling a little weird about this whole thing - i'd love to say that it was a completely selfless act to help people during this whole crisis.  but it benefited me in a lot of ways - aside from earning that tieks gift card, i was able to use up a bunch of supplies that have just been sitting around taking up space.  not to mention, i got my sewing mojo back AND had a lot of fun while working on the whole project.

i guess we'll just call it a win-win situation.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

life on lockdown

the last couple of weeks have been...interesting.

on the third day, the bean's school began "distance learning."  using zoom and a block schedule that had her in front of the laptop for three classes a day, she was reunited with her teachers and classmates.  they log in to their first class at 8am for an hour, get a break for a half hour, and then jump into the next class for another hour.  the third class starts at 11 and they're done by noon.  they do math/bible/language arts on tuesday and thursday and history/literature/science on wednesday and friday.  monday is reserved for catching up on assignments and independent study.  it's actually a pretty sweet schedule, and the kids were super excited at the prospect of seeing each other's homes and pets and taking classes in their pajamas.

the first day was more of an introduction to how things would work, and most of the classes were spent just catching up with each other and introducing everyone's pets and stuff like that.  it was really fun to hear her giggling and chatting with her teachers and classmates, and they'd all clearly missed each other.

while she was in class, i went into my room and busted out the hand weights and turned on the "orangetheory at home" workout of the day.

and then as she was in her second class of the day, i cleaned up after my sweat session and then found one of the twilight movies on tv.  cocoa wasn't a fan of the werewolves, barking and growling every time they appeared onscreen.  it was pretty funny.

the bean decided to go for a change of scenery for her last class, taking the laptop outside for some fresh air.

the house remodel is plugging along.  look, we have a new fireplace!

and those red and blue tubes are the water lines for the kitchen, powder room, laundry room and guest bathroom.

another day, the old lady and i finally sucked it up and headed out to the laundromat.  i hadn't been to one of these in years, and it was...well, it's a laundromat.  at least they have these huge capacity machines all lined up, and i got to wash and dry 12 loads of laundry within about an hour and a half.  again, there's a silver lining in everything, right?

with not much else to do at home, i decided to bust out the ol' face masks.  might as well try for some clear, glowy skin, amirite?

poor teddy was so confused when he saw me.

cocoa couldn't have cared less.  and i had to take this extreme closeup of her to show you something i hadn't noticed before - look at how long this dog's eyelashes are!  crazy.

oh!  i also learned that i can still braid my own hair.  i hadn't tried to do this in forever.

a couple of my new favorite t-shirts.

another day, i tried out a dance fitness video that my friend dailygluttony had posted on her instagram stories.  it was really fun, but proved to me once and for all that i really canNOT dance.  oh, man, it was so bad.

the bean picked up her ukulele for the first time in months, using youtube videos to play songs for us.

it seems that when springtime comes, so do the birds.  they took up residence in our patio cover again, building a nest and watching over their eggs until they hatched.  we've got a new family in the back yard, much to the hub's annoyance (because they poop all over the patio).

speaking of critters, the hub had discovered the presence of a rat somewhere in the backyard.  he'd laid out a trap with some peanut butter as bait, but as it turned out, that thing somehow landed in the pool and apparently couldn't figure out how to get himself out.  the dogs were going nuts one morning, barking their heads off at the pool, and because the floaties were blocking my view i couldn't see what was happening until i walked over to check things out.

and speaking of the hub, i find it super amusing when he and teddy sit down and have these meaningful conversations.

once they're all talked out, teddy is usually pretty wiped out and makes his way over to his bed for a nap.

i finally let myself start watching netflix's "love is blind."  whoa, what a train wreck.  it's like "the bachelor" on crack.

we've done lots of take out and had many meals delivered via uber eats and grubhub and postmates.  there's been lots of napping and snacking and movie nights in the backyard.  most of all, we've enjoyed a lot of family togetherness, which has been really nice.  we have meals together, we relax together, we just hang out.

silver linings.  i tell you, they're there if you want to find them.

Friday, March 27, 2020

always looking for that silver lining

our second day of social distancing happened to be st. patrick's day.  now even though we don't have a kitchen right now, i do still have my trusty instant pot(s).  and because i apparently feel really strongly about keeping our corned beef & cabbage tradition alive despite the remodel and COVID-19, i cautiously headed to the grocery store to pick up supplies to make dinner that night.

i did have my green on, but never did take a picture.  and because it was still so early in the quarantine period, the hub was feeling pretty festive that day.

the old lady was still working at that point, and sent me this cute picture of steviedog since i hadn't seen him in a week.

thanks to my co-leader buddy scoping it out and then sharing the news that the store was fully stocked with corned beef brisket in the meat department, i was able to find what i needed pretty quickly.  and while i was there, i stocked up on a few other things that i knew we'd want to have.  while the line to check out was pretty long, everyone did a good job of maintaining the 6' distance from each other and i managed to check out and get the hell outta there fairly quickly.

thank goodness for this thing.  my only real concern was how i'd be able to clean it properly without a kitchen sink, but i was so happy to be able to do a home cooked meal for the first time in what seemed like forever.

the bean came out to bond with her dogs while our dinner was cooking.

voila - st. paddy's day dinner was served!  this wasn't easy considering i only had a butter knife and plastic flatware to work with, but it was totally worth the effort.  it wasn't pretty, but it sure was tasty.

guys...i don't know what i'm going to be able to blog about in the coming weeks.  while 45 seems to think we can reopen things in time for easter, that sounds like the worst idea he's come up with (and that's saying a lot).  we haven't even hit the peak of this thing yet, and while the numbers keep climbing we know they've gotta be even worse since nobody can get tested aside from VIPs, athletes and celebrities.  i can't even imagine seeing a light at the end of this tunnel for a good 8 more weeks, at least.  we need to continue the social distancing, which seems to be the best thing we can possibly do to contain the spread of this virus.

and so, the blog.  i mean, how many pictures of the dogs do you really want to see?  or our home workouts?  i better bust out the ol' sewing machine and start working on some projects to make things interesting.  as it is, there's a lot of netflix binging and social media posting and lounging around and dvr clearing out and napping going on here.  life these days is all about sweatpants and comfort bras and catching up on magazines and snacking and exercising to work off the snacks.  and it's also really nice to be with my family and my dogs in the safest place we can be...home.

silver lining.  it's there if you want to see it!
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