So Very Domestic started as a food and crafty blog and has grown to be so much more than that! It now documents the domestic bliss, Southern California adventures and homeschooling that is this life of ours in pretty pictures with recipes and tutorials and reviews. Thanks for reading!
This palette is so fun, you can literally play around with all of the shades in the same color family and come of it looking cute. I used the 120 Color Palette 1st Edition. I used the three darkest purples on my lid, the next three lightest purples blended in the crease and the very lightest purple mixed with white on the brow bone. Love!
My new daily lashes are Quo #807, but these babies went with the eyes I thought! They’re also from BH Cosmetics, the China Doll lashes. I’m not even going to lie, I totally love it when my lashes are so big they cast a shadow. Lipstick is BH Cosmetics lip liner in Blossom, with a little Urban Decay lipstick in Wicked (they don’t make Wicked anymore but Sellout is very very close). I honestly can’t remember the brow pencil I used, it was likely my tried and true Wet n Wild in basic brown!
I’ve been wanting to institute Super Cute Saturday around here for so long I was a little surprised I had only actually posted it once before! The HORROR!!
These pictures were taken last year and it’s fair to say that my current makeup looks are inching closer to drag queen territory. This look is really sweet and simple though and it’s a lot more subtle for women who don’t routinely wear fake lashes to their kids school – you don’t do that? What am I supposed to do? Take them off before heading over and put them back on again when I get home?!
The photos themselves are meant for inspiration but I’m including product links as well.
Christmas vacation is officially over, so I have to officially go to bed at a decent hour. Ugh. All this ‘in bed before midnight’ stuff really cramps my style. Ha. The school bus carts off the wee ones just before 8:30, and the bus stop itself is about a 10 minute walk from our house. Anyhoo, I have been busy with the site this week and am now settling into actually adding useful content.
The site sidebar is a little different now, I love me some lists (as if that isn’t fairly obvious by now) so naturally I figured what better to fill the one thing that seen on every single page on the site! There are about a zillion links to fun and useful (and frequently updated) blogs and websites on my links page but my actual favourite blogs are over there in the sidebar —> I listed them alphabetically! No favourites among the favourites!
Freshly Pieced is written by Lee, a very talented (and adorable) quilter. She hosts a weekly ‘Work in Progress’ link up day for all kinds of handmade treasures! I post my in progress knits to this link up.
The LaMay Bakery is my friend Sammie’s blog, chronically life as an army wife with her wee one and her husband. She. Is. So. Sweet.
Mutant Supermodel and I live strangely parallel and often opposite lives! We are about the same age, have the same number of kids all in very close age ranges to each other and we both have a love for fiber (I’m a knitter, she’s a crocheter) – and while I’m coming into my 12th year of marriage, she is freshly (and happily) divorced. Her blog has a wonderful collection of resources for single mothers – and great posts in general from getting over a breakup to managing money.
Peas and Thank You is a veggie mom who made the transition from a pretty standard diet of meat and Diet Cokes. What I love most about her blog is that she is just so normal. She’s even a lover of bad television! I’m smitten. She’s the author of the cookbook I’m working through this year!
The Purl Bee is an endless source of inspiration for sewing, knitting, and crochet. Plus her blog is just so pretty!
Romi is a dear friend whose writing never fails to crack me up! This year has been very exciting for her because she has published two books and written a screenplay. The Book of Awful came first and then The Year of the Chick!
Snarkable is written (or I guess I should say will be written) by one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world. I have little doubt that it’ll be deliciously snarky and witty and will likely make your eyes water.
I can’t get enough of What I Wore. Jessica has been taking photos of what she wears pretty close to every day since 2007. She’s a designer and a pro blogger and is very sweet about answering questions from helping with an outfit to advice on working in the fashion industry. I droll over her daily photos. Love!
I also added a set of smaller goals to the sidebar as well that I’ll go on and on about tomorrow! How do you go about resolutions? I made 7 big ones and have 10 smaller ones. Thoughts?
Oh, BH Cosmetics, how I love you so!! My delicious husband bought me a serious BH collection for my birthday in October and I could not possibly be happier with the eye shadow selection I have now. Like woah, a la Joey Lawrence. This face was done with just four colours from one of two trays in the 120 Color Palette 1st Edition!
I started with the bright purple crease colour and smudged it up to almost the brow bone, then I added the matte purple on the lid and then I blended out the crease colour with the white for the brow bone. When I was done I added the sparkly lid colour over the matte purple I already had there.
When the shadow was done, I went with a Urban Decay black liner and BH lashes in Foxy! I also used Tarte cheek stain cream blush and super sheer pink gloss from Too Faced. The combinations with this BH palette are as close to limitless as I’ve ever gotten so I am beyond excited about this!
Just a few days ago, I proclaimed to one of my best friends that I will not be making resolutions this year. Actually, it went more like this.
May: Did you see my new boots on Facebook?
Talea: I did, way to upload pics right away.
May: I know, right?! That’s my only resolution.
Talea: That’s it?! That’s your only resolution?! I’m sitting here racking my brain for more things to list!
May: I’m going to keep up my healthier eating, I’m going to work hard on my blog, but uploading pics quickly is my only actual reaolution.
Pfft indeed, Talea. Pfft indeed. So after thinking about it a little, I realize it is pretty lame of me to not make resolutions. Not because the idea of not making resolutions in itself is lame, but I always make resolutions and most of the time I do ok. One or two fail before spring – always. A couple more make it to summer/fall, and there are usually at least 1 or 2 that make it all the way into the following year and become a regular part of life.
Last year I didn’t make any public resolutions but privately I resolved to save as much money as humanly possible and be well on the road to buying a house in 2011. We ended up saving more than I ever thought could be humanly possible and we bought our first house on August 2, 2011!! Mission accomplished!
I’m feeling really ambitious about 2012, because so many exciting things about my husband’s job and his goals are really coming together and as much as I would looooove to go on and on about them here, it’s not really my place to talk about it all. I will say however, that I am incredibly proud of him and it makes me want to work so much harder on my own goals – especially goals I have come close to touching in the past but for whatever reason allowed myself to back away from. Some of my resolutions are to keep up past resolutions I’ve succeeded at, because if they fall off the list, I may stop being mindful of them! So first, things that need changing, followed by changes to keep up.
1. Maintain a vegetarian diet and take steps toward cutting out as much dairy as possible. I have said so many times that I could never be a vegetarian because I love certain foods too much to give them up or because there are some foods that are so ingrained in my life and our family’s traditions that I just can’t imagine what those traditions would look like without those foods. However, I have also said so many times that it’s just not possible to un-know stuff, you know? I’m not at all out to turn anyone else into a vegetarian – at all. My husband and kids eat meat and I will still prepare meals with meat for them and I will still blog about those meals, so while I am going veg, this blog/website is not.
2. Get down to my goal weight. Sadly this is one of those goals I’ve come close to hitting! I lost 50lbs last year and fell off the wagon when my Granny passed away. Once my emotions leveled out, I never got back into positive eating habits. I’ve been limping along again for the past two months and have lost some of that weight again. It looks like there is a very exciting move happening for our family in the nearish future that will keep me on track. More about that as details unfold here.
3. Blog, blog, blog!. There are hundreds of photos waiting to be posted about – really hundreds! Decadent desserts, healthy mains, super fun crafty projects, heaps of makeup photos and random tutorials. Partly it’s about finding the time to post about it all, but I have no doubt that I have that time, I just need to take it from somewhere less productive! I also have a pretty intimidating/impressive idea list of things that will end up being blogged about too. Even though this is technically #5 on my list, it’s defo one of the most important resolutions this year.
4. Keep up positive parenting. By this I mean keeping the kid’s feelings and hopes in mind when making decisions as well as the obvious not screaming and yelling and generally lashing out at them when they are, let’s say, difficult. I think it’s fair to say I have been developing this skill for the last 11 years but of course I can always get better. I’ve been being really mindful since I read How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and even more so since I went to the workshop. Yes, I dig parenting classes. Anyhoo, treating our kids with respect is an ongoing resolution.
5. Keep up the domestic goddess habits. This is a goal I achieved a couple of years ago, where I have manged to keep cleaning and kitchen routines going – regardless of vacations and babies and visitors and moving and head colds and all the things that I used to allow to derail me. It’s an ongoing process though because messes happen every day and meals need to be prepared everyday. So I’m keeping it on the list!
6. Keep up the hair and makeup everyday. I know people think it’s funny (or maybe a little crazy) that I wear some pretty alarming makeup, including gorgeous lashes, out in the woods in my town of 300 people (maaaaaybe, probably less). On an average day, I see one other mom and two other dads at the school bus stop. I see my next door neighbor when he waits for his kids to get off the other school bus and 3 other people who walk their dogs past my kitchen window. That’s it. But they are not why I take the time to get snazzy everyday, I do it for my husband and kids. They claim I look adorable even without doing my hair and makeup and that’s incredibly sweet of them to say, but we all know how much more adorable I look with effort.
7. Help my husband with his goals. This goes without saying really, and my husband has said this shouldn’t be a resolution because I’m always supportive of his goals BUT, just like with the kids and the house, there is always room for improvement and I think it should always be on the list. He’s also way more supportive of my hilariously big dreams than pretty much any other husband I’ve ever met, so I think that calls for above and beyond, right? Right. <3
I feel like I should have 3 more for a rounded out list of 10, but 7 is where I’m at this year.
I honestly wish everyone success in 2012 so that when we all sit down to write out our 2013 lists we are full of optimism and have a nice list of completed goals under our belts!
I was pretty proud of myself with today’s updates for you. I added some really amazing Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies to the Domestic section, then wee little Post It Packages from scrapbooking paper (which are really, really cute, I have to say) in the Crafty section and I even managed to get my Deceptively Delicious Banana Bread post up in the Healthy section – all long before my self inflicted deadline. Then I got to the Pretty section, and there are a couple of hair tutorials I was going to post, but I’m not too happy with the photographs so I decided to do a Window Shopping post on Apothica instead. Oh boy. I got sucked in. I adore makeup and shiny things and girly colors (and even matte things and dark colors) and before I knew it, I was almost late to post this!! Ack! Way to be distracted by shiny things, May.
These cookies are a lot easier to pull together than they seem but so so so much yummier than photos can possibly get across to you. Imagine. It’s a chocolate chip cookie, which is already pretty great and then BAM, you’re hit with a mouthful of caramel. Right?!
This is the post that assisted in making me late today. Apothica is now accepting PayPal and for me, that’s cause to celebrate! Lipglosses that are so shiny they rival MAC’s Lipglass and shimmering face powders so pretty they’re right up there with Too Faced’s Candlelight Powder. Color me in love.
This banana bread tastes just like banana bread! So what? So it’s made with pureed cauliflower! Hello serious vitamin boost with no questions asked!
This was an end of school year gift for the hard working secretary at my kids’ school. All elementary school secretaries work hard, I have on doubt, but they so often are overlooked when all the teachers get well wishes and mugs!
I would love to get some photos up of my new kitchen, but every time I think to do it there is something more pressing that needs to be done. The whole fridge to sink to oven kitchen work triangle is great in this house – for sure the best and easiest I’ve ever had. My husband has serious issues with clutter so I try to hide most of my kitchen power tools and this kitchen has decently deep cabinets so my blender, food processor, bullet, slow cooker, etc are all tucked away. At first I thought it would be a pain to pull stuff out when I wanted to use it, but as long as all the cabinets are kept tidy (so far, so good) I just grab the gadget I need when I need it. It also frees up space for rolling out dough or cooling things on racks. I’ll put it on my to do to get pictures of the kitchen today so I can have them up tomorrow.
I promised Wee One #2 that today would be a crafty day. At the end of the school year, her report card was as perfect as a report card can be without your child being an alien. So we told her she could choose her ‘passing gift’ (who came up with that phenomenon anyway?!) and she chose a book on learning sewing crafts, Made By MeChildren's Crafts & Hobbies Books), a sewing basket with the essentials and fabric. She picked out some from Fabric Closet and tulle in 3 different colors from Fabricland. Her favorite thing so far has been embroidering and today she wants to attack a tshirt for the first time, so far we’ve stuck to plain squares of fabric to practice on. Wish us luck with this little project!
Another catch up post today – and today I posted about homemade makeup again! Yup. Homemade lipgloss this time. First though, I’m trying to update each section with one article a night till I’m caught up and then I can blar, blar, blar on and on about whatever it is I’m obsessing over.
Homemade peanut butter cups are honestly better than store bought ones. The chocolate has a better crunch to it and there is just something satisfying about knowing what’s in your treats – even if it happens to include 2 cups of icing sugar! At least there’s no mystery chemicals that no one can pronounce, right? The wee ones love them, adults love them and if you pick up the molds, they even look pretty close to the real deal.
When I made this soup, I was perfectly healthy. Then just a few days after I made it, I had a horribly sore throat and lost my voice for a week! What?! Who let that happen?! It was awful, but this soup was a great comfort and of course I believe all that garlic and heat made me feel better – even if no one appreciated my awful garlic breath!
I know making a jean skirt from an old pair of jeans is nothing new, but it’s not difficult even with just the most basic sewing skills. Most of the effort in this project is in the ripping out of the old seam, which is usually at least double stitched. The result is a cute skirt that you can be sure will fit!
Yesterday I talked about making homemade mineral eyeshadows – today I’m onto homemade lipglosses! The glosses take longer to make but you can churn out more at a time and they are just as customizable. I made hot pink and then purple and also a batch of clear for Wee Ones #2 and #3.
I have the great fortune of a new friend, who just happens to be a professional chef (how lucky am I?!), lend me one of his serious, grown up professional cook books. You all know by now how much I love to do silly, playful things in the kitchen. I mean, who doesn’t love it when I stuff a brownie into a cookie? Or when I bake pies into cakes? (I did that just last month and it’ll be a nice epic blog post when I get to it). But there is just something about putting on my apron, kicking the kids out of the kitchen and really setting to stretch my skills and make something as pro as I possibly can.
My new kitchen is pretty amazing for this sort of thing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll give a walk through after I do my catch up post for the day. So last night, with the assistance of this book, I made the best beef stew I’ve ever made. I know, I know, oh Maytina made a stew woooooow, but even my husband, who usually says after supper ‘thanks so much for making supper, it was really good’, turned to me after a few bites and said ‘wow Maytina, this stew is really good’ and then a few bites later he turns to Wee One #1 and says ‘isn’t this even better than usual?’ and then when the was wiping up the remains of the stew with his bread he said ‘seriously, burn this recipe into your brain, can it be the new way you always make stew?’ Maybe I will skip ahead and post this recipe soon.
Also this week, the Beekeeper’s Quilt was introduced to me. Holy moly. I absolutely must make this. I still feel that way about the sock yarn blanket (my sister Nikoleta made this one). There are only so many hours in a day unfortunately, so this amazing quilt will have to wait a while. But I can dream.
I’m just starting the foot on my first Cobblestone sock in Knit Picks Stroll in Sprinkle Heather. I made a pair last year for my mother in law too. They knit up quick but I’m itching to get to my queue. I can’t ever have more than one thing on the needles at a time, unless the sock blanket is one of them because I’ll knit up my leftover sock yarn after each pair of socks before I move on to something else. My list-oriented-ness is alarming even to me sometimes. Ha!
Greetings long lost souls. It’s been two weeks since my last post which, while better than the seven weeks between that and the post before it, is not cool and should be my last disappearance for a while. Things are falling into place around here – all the boxes are unpacked, all the clutter has been tossed or donated and I can finally look around the new house and sigh happily instead of having no idea where my extra food processor blades are (the horror).
Actually, there is one casualty of this move – the nubby thing on the top of my pressure cooker. Insert loud, inconsolable sobbing here. I was positive that I packed it in the pressure cooker. Of course when I took the lid off once it was out of the box, it was not only not inside the pot but not inside the box. Now that everything has been unpacked, I have to give up and order a new one. My dad gave me his (hilariously unused – hilariously because he’s owned it for 30 years and it still had the original recipe book/instruction manual inside) just a few months ago, but I can’t imagine making mashed potatoes without it now! It’s actually good for a lot of otherwise time consuming cooking, I should write an article about that.
So far this week, I have added four articles to the site – one for each section and yes, all from projects or recipes done and photographed months ago. However, they are all good projects and recipes!
These are Pecan Pie Cookies, they have been officially counted as the 7th cookie of the year, baked back in February. I know, as if I’m only posting them now, but here they are – in all their pecan pie glory. They have all the pecany, brown sugary, buttery (and even slightly creamy) taste and texture of a pecan pie with the portability of a cookie. I know, I know. You’re welcome. Go make some. I’ll wait here.
This torte was pulled from Smitten Kitchen, and just like everything else I pull from there, it was very, very good. It’s not fussy at all, and while its technically a summer squash, I used a butternut squash and cooked it in the dead of winter!
Making mineral makeup was so fun!! Everything from knowing what’s actually in the makeup that I put on the biggest organ of my body, to being able to control the exact colours and richness is just amazing. Not to mention you can say you made your own (which is rad enough) and compared to other mineral makeup of the same quality, there is a decent savings there too!
This hat is really really cool, but it’s also an epic fail if we’re determining success by wearability. Intended as a 31st birthday gift for a man with at least an average size head, it might fit Wee One #1. I decided to write about it anyway though because the pattern is great, and the finished product, while totally useless to the person I had intended it for, turned out better than I expected it to. I really love to do any kind of colourwork, but I usually sequester intarsia work to one room, out of the children’s grasp, so as not to walk into a room with yarn barf all over the place. Anyhoo, these were made in one room and somehow also made pretty quickly, for me anyway.
Tomorrow I’ll add more articles to the site and blog about them here! There are so many fun things I’ve made that I can’t wait to show off. Homemade Tater Tots, anyone??
What a wonderful week we all had! Right after rolling out the new site and making a couple of posts my Dad came to visit us in the woods! We’ve seen him a bunch since we moved but he hadn’t come up to hang out yet! He made the 1 hour ++ walk into town 3 times – twice with Wee One #2 and once with Wee One #1. He helped with the kids and did almost all of the cooking. I tested a few recipes out on him and we had some of those amazing late night conversations about everything and nothing at the same time. We were all sad that he had to go home this morning, but I am sure my mother and my sister are missing him! When a visitor that special comes around, blogging can wait a few days, right? I had intended to post these recipes/how to last week. An orange cake from Baking With Kids, my favourite chocolate chip cookies from Good Housekeeping, a silly but fun hair tutorial and a chocolate-chili birthday cake I made a few months ago! Ready? Here we go!
The kids are really getting into this – picking the recipes to make themselves. Sometimes they want to bake together and sometimes, like this recipe, one of them wants to try it out while the other one isn’t into to. Wee One #3 is always into it but she’s just 2 so she’s not much help. This time around Wee One #2 really wanted to make the Orange Cake, so away we went. By the time she was done she had a small piece and it was pretty much time for bed. When my husband got snacky late that night he tried a piece, loved it, tried another piece, loved it more and the before he knew it he had eaten most of the cake! Whoops. Instead of being annoyed with him for eating her masterpiece, she said she was happy that her Daddy loved it so much. So cute!!
It was one of the simpler recipes in the book and at 5 years old, she had no trouble putting it all together.
The best part of the recipe for her was pureeing half an orange in the blender. It reminds me a lot of the clementine cake I made for Chinese New Year 2009, where seven clementines were briefly boiled, then chopped a bit and pureed whole. It was an amazing cake and so was this one.
I also posted the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I use on a regular basis. It’s from Good Housekeeping and I’ve been baking it since 2001! It’s simple and fast and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.
My last foodie mention for this post is a Chocolate Chili Cake I made for my friend Andrew’s birthday this year! It was really good, I had my doubts really but I went with it because Andrew likes spicy foods and he’s always a good sport when it comes to my kitchen adventures. I went with this recipe and it worked out beautifully. This year, we celebrated Andrew and Talea’s birthdays together since they’re only a week apart and I don’t see everyone as much now that we live in the woods. Talea loves brownies way more than cake so I cut a hole in the middle of the cake and popped in a glass bowl full of dense brownies! I’m very pleased to report that both birthday peeps were happy with their treats!
I’ll end on a cute note – I have been playing with my hair more than ever, the more I mess around with it the more I want to mess around with it. I used to be a little nervous about doing something ridic with it because you know, then I’m the crazy lady with the weird hair but I’ve been the crazyladywithweirdhairbefore anyway so why do I fret? My friend Jade always reminds me that it’s not fun without the fashion risks in life and hair certainly falls in that category so away we go. This will be one of the last hair tutes with black hair – that’s right people I’m going blonde. Again. For now though, I have a little tute of a cute half pony.
I know I said I’d be back in a week four months ago and as you can see there as been a whole overhaul around here, the blog has expanded to better sort and organize all the content and the really exciting news is in the middle of all of this – we bought a house!! There are a lot of reasons we love the house we bought but for now I’ll give you a sneak peak of our favourite parts – the backyard and of course the kitchen. There’s no way we could buy a house without a serious kitchen.
There will be more pictures as we move in and get settled – which isn’t happening until August anyway. The backyard is huge and has an area already set aside for gardening, and as you may have suspected, will be growing once I get my hands on it. The other thing I adore so much about this house is that it has a pantry – an absolute necessity in my dream kitchen.
The changes to this site have been long in the making and I am so happy to finally be finished and able to show it all off. I’m still going to be posting my weeklies – I love doing them! Just now I’ll be linking to the pages instead of putting the recipe or instructions directly in the blog post – this way I can include more than one if I want to.
Tomorrow, we’ll get back to business as usual, with a few little changes. The weekly line up looks like this now:
Super Cute Saturdays – if I have time for this, so do you!
Catchall Sundays – rando day, for things that don’t fit anywhere else
I have still been doing my self-inflicted challenges, so I’ll be posting them as often as I can to catch up. Right now, I have a lot of fun stuff to share with you!
As far as my domestic endevours go, I feel head over heels for Bakerella’sCupshakes, which essentially is a milkshake crossed with a cupcake. I also made step by step instructions for eclairs, and chocolate fudge. As part of the Baking With Kids challenge, where the kids are baking and cooking their way through Linda Collister’s cookbook, I made a batch of puff pastry for them to use in the giant cheese straws recipe. I also added the 4th cookie of the year, the playfully pink cowgirl cookies to the gallery.
There have been some health-concious related kitchen changes around here as well. I may as well just say it now without outing anyone, but two dear friends of mine have gone vegan. Which means two things really. First of course it means I now know way more than I ever wanted to know about being vegan and what rules there are and what different types of vegans there are which then also means I also know a whole lot about all kinds of scary stuff that even my vegan friends are not interested in. What’s that? SUGAR. Wowzers. White sugar is way worse than I thought and people let me tell you, I love me some sweet treats so what to do? I’ve been testing recipes using other kinds of natural sweeteners (because as bad as white sugar is fake sugar is even worse), and they’re working out pretty well. I mention this because while I am still cooking and baking my way through Deceptively Delicious, and while I am aware that adding veggies to pretty much anything is never a bad thing, I hesitate to call these recipes healthy knowing all that I know now. I am going to keep them in the ‘healthy’ category anyway because they are miles healthier than what used to come out of my kitchen. The second thing that happens when good friends go vegan is that I have to learn to cook and bake for them! I can’t have them coming up for the weekend to eat pasta and lettuce, can I?! I have been learning so much – expect some uber healthy additions to the healthy section in the coming weeks.
Aaaaad just like I said I would, I dove right into making a ‘pretty’ section. I’ve become more of a girly girl than ever in the last year so it’s been fun to write about it! I added two window shopping pieces, Body Shop and Mod Cloth, plus a 101 on Lotions, my Make Up Bag Must Haves and my first hair tutorial ever – my Puffy Bun, which literally takes 5 minutes – no more than 10 even with all three wee ones running underfoot at once.
Phew. I hope my little hanful of loyal readers are happy with the changes. Let me know what you think guys!!