Thursday, August 20, 2009

What's Fun about Normal, Anyway?

I did a bunch of things I never do today: wear red lipstick, put on more than one scarf, and take pictures of myself in my front yard, to name a few. Remember, it was YaYa's birthday yesterday, and I thought of the perfect accessory for her or any gal who is a little more fashion courageous. I have seen really funky fabric necklaces popping up everywhere. I saw a dynamite one at Anthropologie with a price tag to match. The great thing about having a studio is that I have an infinite number of creative supplies at my disposal. Make, not buy is usually my motto. Thus, a super bright fabric necklace was one of YaYa's gifts. But, pictured by itself, it might look a little ridiculous, so I thought it would help to see it worn. Thus, all my unusual exploits in the front yard mentioned above. In fact, when the mail man and the neighbor's lawn crew were all watching with raised eye brows, I almost stopped because, surely, they were thinking I wasn't normal. Then I laughed out loud and thought, well, what's fun about being normal anyway?

So, here is my crazy morning picture, so you can see the necklace....

It is made of simple cotton fabrics with little beads tucked in here and there. They tie with vintage seam binding. I gave YaYa the blue one below, but I made just one extra {the one above} if one of my blog readers wants it.Photobucket

I tried to make even the back of them interesting and eclectic looking. Like my shoes, I packaged them in a labeled fabric bag.

I only have the one necklace, so if the paypal link is gone, that means it sold.

In addition, I thought you might like my "You Will Thank Me Later" cake recipe. What seems like an era ago, I worked as a pastry chef. I suppose the term "chef" is arguable, since I am not classically trained. Whatever label I was, I made lemon mascarpone cakes, flourless chocolate tortes, cappuccino creme brulee, and tirimisu by the truck loads. {To this day, I still crack and open an egg with one hand.} All this preamble is to let you know that, despite the "homey" ingredients, it produces gourmet results--promise. It will be you go-to birthday cake.

Vanilla Bean Ricotta Cake

1 package white cake mix
1 pint whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 vanilla bean {optional}
1 egg plus whatever eggs are called for in cake mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant cheesecake pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed or real whip cream
Fresh Berries and mint {optional}

Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and whisk into cake batter until evenly dispersed. Pour batter into 9 x 13 x 2 inch greased baking dish or two 8 inch cake pans. Set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, and egg. Blend well. Drop mixture by large spoonfuls into pan evenly and swirl with a knife to mix. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 75 minutes if using a glass baking dish, 90 minutes if using a metal pan. After cake has cooled, blend pudding mix and milk until thickened. Blend in whipped topping. Spread over cooled cake. If desired, top with fresh berries and mint sprigs.

I'll be waiting to hear your rave reviews :)


traskrocks said...

Ya ya. I wish I had one.

Jewllori by Lori said...

Awesome necklace, though as bold as I think I am, I'm not that fashion conscious to pull it off well!! You on the other hand, pulled it off seamlessly(as I'm sure YaYa did as well).

The recipe sounds divine, I love anything with Mascarpone, ESPECIALLY Tiramisu...oh my word, and that Creme fraiche which I couldn`t get enough of in Germany!! YUMMS!

Ariana said...

Very nice necklace, I would buy it if it were in my budget;) I will try this cake later...gluten free of course. TTFN!

Jenny Plumb said...

Pretty fun necklace! And yes, I often take pictures of me and my kids in the yard. Yesterday I was flat on my belly in front of a sheet photographing my latest creation. I often set up my props in the front yard. And this morning I was literally running after Hunter trying to get him to stand still so I could snag a "first day of school picture." There is no normal around here and we put on quite a show for the neighbors (see my facebook post today about how I made fool today in front of the garbage truck). Ever try sneaking out in your jammies early in the morning to pick flowers only to forget that the construction crew is out early in the morning too? Their whistles quickly made me vanish back indoors!

Andrea Hallett said...

That cake looks amazing -where's the paypal link to buy the cake? :)

Hana said...

Love the bright, bold colors and patterns! Don't know if I could pull it off but I'd like to think I could! My friends might think I was strange...but like you said whats fun about normal?! I think a headband w/ those fun flowers would be cool!! I might be able to rock that one!! LOL!

Jessica Haley said...

Lol! Andrea, you kill me!

As for the necklace comments, it's funny... it's all in the salesman ship. What I mean is that the necklace doesn't look as crazy as I made it out to sound--no 2 scarves and bright red lipstick necessary. {Though a little red lipstick is fun now and then--even on a Tuesday.} When worn the necklace really looks like part of the shirt. I would def wear it esp with a sweater and a scarf in the fall, but I am also a fan of trends. :)

Oh, and Jenny, yes I have been known to photography things in my front yard in unsual outfits and even in the rain! ;)

Miraflor family said...

OMW, I am so excited to try that cake, it looks divine! Love, love to cook/bake...I'm one of those who reads cookbooks for fun! :) thanks for sharing

That necklace is awesome..oh what to do, what to do! shoes, blah blah...having a daughter really puts your wardrobe on the backburner. Hmmm..where's my momma! :)

Mande said...

Cannot wait to try this recipe. My mother-in-law has a birthday in 2 weeks. I am sure she will love it.
I am also a mommy often seen photographing my kiddos in the yard. Yesterday my son wore his skeleton costume & spider man slippers. I don't ever want to fall into the category of normal. :)

Rita said...

Beautiful necklace, every women like to have this one.


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Anonymous said...

Thank you Jessie for posting my picture and writing all about me on your blogspot. Thank you too, for all that made their comments. It really made my day. Love, YaYa


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