Monday, November 7, 2016

Teach a Kid to Shop, He'll Spend Money for a Day. Teach a Kid to Sew, She'll be a Badass for Life!

Friends, I have a thing to say...
TEACH THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE HOW TO SEW! If you don't know how, find a friend or family member who'd be willing to teach them. Check out local rec center classes. Sign up at a fabric or craft shop. Get some books from the library and youtube that shit.

I think this is so important for all young people, especially girls. And let me tell you why. If you know me, you know I am not about that gender norms shit. "Oh sewing is only for girls. It's a female activity." 1. Miss me with that "female" bullshit. 2. Until I see men and boys running around buck ass nekkid with a full lion pelt tied around their bodies, sitting on rocks, sleeping on a bare bale of hay, you're not off the hook. You utilize sewn goods every day too and there's no reason you shouldn't be able to make what you use.

Here's the biggest reason I think sewing is mega important for girls...the fashion industry is not for us. Back in the 1950s, the hourglass shape and related proportions/measurements was the sizing standard and only 8% of women fell into that category. I'm not sure how something that doesn't accommodate 92% of the population it's supposed to serve is a standard, but hey, that's just me. Even now, there is no standard sizing guide (which you know, if you've ever been into a store and put clothes on your body). I have not met one man or boy who hasn't been able to run into a store and pick up a specific size pair of pants, NOT try them on and be good with their selection. Or worse yet, ask YOU to get them a pair of pants, armed with only a waist and inseam measurement and whatever you chose was fine (My husband asked me to do this, which caused me anxiety, swiftly followed by rage.)

Industry sizing "standards" aside, maybe the girls in your life want something different than what's out there. What the big head fashion people think everyone should want. If you want a princess dress with robots on it, more power to you sister! If you want the comfort of yoga pants, but not for the world to see your entire ass through cheap fabric, god bless you! Getting started can be pricey, and there's a lot to learn, but it is SO rewarding! There are definitely plenty of items that I will still buy (the money and effort that goes into making a tshirt that I could easily buy for $8 from Old Navy is not even worth it). But making a dress or pants that look amazing and fit like nothing off the rack is BADASS.

Friday, October 14, 2016

What's in Your Kitchen?

A few days ago, a friend of mine said that she and her husband were planning to go vegetarian for a week and that she was prepping meals. One of the items she made was black bean burgers. That sounded delicious and the hubs was at work on Sunday, so that was a perfect time to get all up in some veggie foodstuffs making, right?

I found this recipe for Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers from the Minimalist Baker and it looked GLORIOUS! So I said, "Well duh, I'm totally making this!" But I didn't have black beans. Or nut meal. Or green onions. That's fine. I'll just improvise with what's in my cupboard (because, you know, I'm funemployed. Gotta use what I have!)

In my mind, black beans= chickpeas and kidney beans. Nut meal=coconut flour (from an ill-fated and totally unnecessary attempt at gluten free-ness). Green onions=yellow diced onions.

Cool. Let's do this.

Bake the sweet potatoes and cook the rice. Baked the sweet potatoes. Didn't see the last part of that instruction...
Okay, so the recipe says to lightly hand mash the potatoes and half the beans. I'll do them in the food processor. It'll be faster.

Next, add the rest of the beans whole in the recipe. Well, I guess I should break those up a little bit, because those kidney beans are ginormous!

All right, all right, all right! Add the nut meal and adjust as needed to make sure the mixture isn't too moist. Huh. This kinda has the consistency of pumpkin pie filling. And adding more coconut flour is DEFINITELY not unmoistening it... That's okay. When I add the rice, it'll firm right on up.

Oh. I was supposed to cook the rice while roasting the sweet potatoes. Well shit. Definitely didn't do that. Guess everything is on hold until the rice finishes cooking. And of course it's brown rice (healthy and shit) so it takes FOREVER.

Make the patties! Measure them out with a 1/4 cup measure. 1/4 cup definitely isn't enough. I'm HONGRY, so I'm making 1 cup burgers! Oh Jesus, the 1 cup is too much! TOO MUCH! Finish with 1/2 cup. Still big but not unmanageable.

Mega 1 cup burgers
Cooking time! Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes. That's going to take far too long and I'm starving. So here's what I'll do...I'll bake one and fry one, just to see how they turn out each way.

Baked=Mad Max Fury Road Dry
Fried=Disaster Zone
Final result: Frying was a terrible shitshow. The whole thing totally fell apart, but tasted really good. Baking took almost an hour, held its shape much better but looked a little scorched earthy. Also, not having the fat in it took a little something away from the flavor.


I probably had enough mix (dough? batter? filling?) to make 14 patties but because I made a few big ass monster patties, I ended up with 10. Cooked 2 that first day and froze the rest. I did end up making a couple for dinner 2 nights ago and I figured that because they were frozen, they wouldn't fall apart as badly if I fried them (because of course again I was STARVING and didn't want to wait to bake them). They actually held shape pretty well, but soaked up SO MUCH oil they were almost inedible. Don't worry, I powered through.

Verdict: I'd make them again, but actually follow the recipe a little more closely. Until then, I have to figure out what to do with my remaining 6 sweet potato pucks...Maybe I'll bake them for a shorter period so they're softer and use as the protein on a salad?

Monday, October 3, 2016

35 by 35

Well, it's been quite a while, huh? A lot has changed over the past couple years, but no need to get into all that. Let's look forward...

Soooo, I just turned 34! I am now solidly in my mid 30s and this is kinda stressing me out. As I look toward the big 3-5, I have some things I want to do with my life. By the time I turn 35, I want to be stronger, feel better and live more. Over the past few years, I feel like I've lost myself a bit. I'm more nervous, not as adventurous, less extroverted, not as connected with the people who mean the most to me and I want to get out of that. This is the year for me to get stronger, feel better, live more and get back to me. Old Amber is pretty rad, and this shell of myself that I feel like is not the business.

So, without any further ado, here's my 35 by 35. All sorts of things that I want to accomplish over the next 360 days. And friends, I'm definitely going to need some help to get through them all! Some are out of my comfort zone, some I have no idea how to do, and others are specifically built to do with people.

Let's do this!
  1. Shouldermount (This has been my nemesis move for all my poledancing life. It will happen this year)
  2. Deadlift handstand (Another nemesis)
  3. Milk a cow
  4. Make booze (We tried to make hard cider a couple years ago. Epic fail but we've got some ideas to make it better this time around.)
  5. Perform in front of at least 50 people (A play? Pole dance? Pechakucha? SO MANY OPTIONS!)
  6. Write something that gets published (I think this is the year of He Said/She Said...)
  7. Make clothes to sell
  8. Design and sew a sweet ass party dress for my 35th birthday (This means I'm going to have to throw a sweet ass 35th birthday party. Get ready)
  9. Hot air balloon ride
  10. Plan an event for at least 5000 people
  11. Complete a triathlon
  12. Complete a half marathon (I started training for this yesterday AND ran a full mile without stopping. What??!!)
  13. Visit another country
  14. Be in a play (If at least 50 people attend, that's 2 birds with one stone!)
  15. Drop social media for a month 
  16. Get back to once a week
  17. Girls' weekend road trip
  18. Make cheese
  19. Visit 5 national parks
  20. Go rustic camping
  21. Go glamping
  22. SPLITS! Right, left and box
  23. Learn a new skill...blacksmithing, maybe? (Columbus Idea Foundry, here I come!)
  24. Tough Mudder
  25. Go on a cruise (I'm terrified of cruises. The idea of being stuck on a boat that may have mechanical failures, or norovirus outbreaks, or sink in the ocean gives me anxiety. But I could maybe manage a river cruise...)
  26. Give back to the community and join a board
  27. Put together a business plan for my own event space!
  28. Waters Family Vacay!
  29. Get my CMP
  30. Take a fangirl picture with a celebrity
  31. Go to a fancy schmancy gala
  32. Attend a professional sports game
  33. Present at PechaKucha
  34. Do at least 1 random act of kindness a month
  35. Hold crow pose for at least 15 seconds (This one has been my yoga nemesis for years! I can kind of almost get it occasionally, but I'm so scared I'm going to break my face open!)
So there you have it. It's ambitious, but why not live that life??

Happy Monday, lovebugs!