.hello. pumpkin carving

Jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern
You are such a funny sight
As you sit there in the window
Looking out at the night

You were once a yellow pumpkin
Growing on a sturdy vine
Now you are a jack-o-lantern
Let your candle light shine

We picked our pumpkin on our fall date day. Normally we’d go for the biggest orange one we could find, but this year we found one we just couldn’t resist! It was big and green and looked just like a giant pepper! We called is Jose the whole way home. We watched The Nightmare Before Christmas while we worked on it. It took us forever to decide what we were going to carve into it. After a conversation that morning about Lennon drawings with my friend Katie and our absolute love and adoration for all things John Lennon and the Beatles, we decided a Lennon sketch was the way to go and I couldn’t be more pleased. Normally we do something that has to do with our year that year, but even though this year has been full of trials, right now, we are at peace so we wanted to represent that.

Ran prepping Jose- Our Peaceful Pepper Pumpkin

 

Our Pumpkin Carving Movie of Choice!

 

Here we go!

Ran is so super serious when it comes to pumpkin carving!

 

‘detail work’- I told you he was serious!

The Mayor says our pumpkin is too peaceful!

 

Almost done!

 

 

Our John Lennon Pumpkin!

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday!

.hello. my first deep fried apple pies

In Alabama, we fry things. It’s just who we are. It’s like sweet tea and college football. You don’t get one in your blood without everything else coming along with it. I don’t fry things often (because I have a horrifying fear of hot grease) but when I dip something into hot oil and hear it start to sizzle, I feel just like Paula Deen. I’m going to tell you right now, my inner voice is at her most Southern at the moment (that also happens when I fry things) so you’re probably gonna hear a lot of ‘y’alls’.

My fear of frying is actually just like this.

Over the past few weeks, between the farmers market and a very nice grandmother of one of our Indians in Peter Pan, I’ve had my fair share of fried apple pies. It’s only been in the last year or so I began to like them. You couldn’t get me to touch a fruit fried pie when I was little. I guess I just had to get a little more Southern grown before I could appreciate them. Lately I’ve been determined to learn to make my own. Now let me just say, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew you had to cook apples in sugar and I knew how to fry something till it turned brown. Everything else, I just kind of winged it with. I don’t regret it one bit. They were ugly, but MAN are they good, y’all! Trust me on that!

I stood in the produce section of Walmart for about half an hour trying to decide on apples, with my trusty phone I googled what apples are best in apple pie, and unless you want expensive organic apples, go with gala. They’re sweet but not too sweet and they hold their shape well. They don’t get mushy when cooked right! And they’re a bargain at $3.48 a bag! I added a Granny Smith in mine for good measure to cut any extra sweetness!
Now I have a horrible history with trying to make homemade dough (the hubby does too, he just refuses to admit how bad his is.) so I decided to go with premade pie crusts. I’ve heard you can use canned biscuits and I bought some to try out, but it just seems to me like they’d puff up too much, so I went with the crusts.

I used
A pack (2 crusts) premade pie dough (Pilsbury for me!)
4 Gala apples and one Granny Smith apple peeled, chopped, and cored
3 tablespoons of butter
I was suppose to use 1/2 of white sugar, but I didn’t have quite enough so here I’m going to say 1/2 cup white sugar with 3 tablespoons taken out and 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar added in. I really believe this small change made a huge difference to the taste of the filling, and not to toot my own horn, but the filling was the best I’ve ever had.
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I just sprinkled it over the top of the filling until I thought there was enough for flavor)
and a splash of vanilla

For the filling: Add the butter to a sauce pot and melt. Add the apples, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and cook over medium heat until the apples are soft, about 15 minutes. I didn’t time mine. I just kept stirring (and taking pictures) and removed them when I felt they were done. Remove from the heat and let them cool.

I rolled out my pie crust (I only used 1, but I only made 5 small pies and one big one) and used the top of a really wide mouthed glass to cut it into circles. I would have rather my pies been bigger, but they were pretty adorable in their miniature size. I was able to get 5 circles out of the crust then I wadded up the rest of the crust and rolled it out to be my final and largest pie.

Doesn’t that apple peeling in the second photo look just like a vintage Barbie cameo? It can’t just be me that sees it!

Like I said above, I’m terrified of frying things. I plugged in my deep fryer that I haven’t used in forever, pored in nearly a gallon size bottle of oil and waited for it to heat…. and I waited….. and waited…

and waited. :/ It didn’t work. Crap. At this point I had to muster up all my Southern Belle courage, put my big girl panties on and pore the grease into a large wide rimmed skillet. A large pot would work even better. I let it heat until it started really getting bubbly and scary. It’s suppose to be at 350, but I honestly had no idea how to check it so I just went with it and it turned out fine. I put my 5 small pies in the grease and watched them dance around for a little bit. I know when donuts are frying they start to float when it’s time to flip them over so I did that. When they rose up a little bit out of the oil I flipped them and continued to let them dance in the bubbles of horror. When they started looking a nice shade of brown I took them out and laid them on paper towels to finish soaking up all that yummy oil. I sprinkled the tops with white sugar and I was done! They ended up being so ugly they were cute! One fell apart so guess who got eaten first? 😉

Y’all. Y’ALL. THESE WERE AMAZING!! I could eat them all up in one sitting if I didn’t think they’d make me sick! It’s so weird, and maybe it’s the part in me that longs so desperately to be one of those classic old Southern Belles you see in movies, but just making these made me feel like a better lady and a more prepared Momma to be. I mean, how excited are my future kids gonna be to come home to Momma’s fried apple pies after school?! Yep, I’m one of those girls. lol
In short, even though I had no idea what I was doing, they turned out so ugly, but so good! I’ve got to perfect how to make them look right and how to fill them properly, but as far as the flavor goes, I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m proud of them! Especially for my first time making them! 😀

Of course if you follow me on instagram or twitter, you got to watch the progress while I was doing them! (You should follow me on instagram and twitter, btw)

LJ missing .lj.

I miss you, my dear dear blog. I promise, I haven’t abandoned you. Just busy with nothing that seems that interesting. I’ll be back soon! I promise! ❤

.hello. The Purple Fig

Remember back in the Farmer’s market post when I told you a bit about The Purple Fig? Well I teamed up with co-owner Wilson O’Dell for a fabulous product shoot for their site. As a photographer I think product shoots are some of my favorite sessions especially when the items I’m shooting inspire me the ways these do. The bright colors, the vintage fabrics, the contrasting patterns, LOVE! Not only does The Purple Fig offer organic goods for your kitchen, but they create one of a kind handmade heirloom children’s clothes as well.

The Purple Fig is a mother daughter team consisting of Wilson and her mother Donna. I’ve known them since I was about 9 years old and I remember as a child the long conversations Donna and my mother would have about sewing and patterns and all that goes along with it. Wilson picked up her mother’s passion through detailed handstiching that sets The Purple Fig far beyond the rest! Every piece is immaculate and you can feel the quality and care put into each. I couldn’t help but Oooh and Ahhh every time I picked up something new! I can’t wait for a tiny Johnson to come along so Donna can outfit our little prince or princess!


T
his was my favorite dress. It was so soft and luxurious feeling! The colors were beautiful and I loved that it would transition between seasons and sizes if you added bottoms or a top underneath! So multifuctional and how SWEET is the detailing?!


I fell in love with the detailing and the FABRIC of this dress! How amazing is it?? So adorable! It’s Japanese! 


Next time you’re looking for an amazing gift for a baby shower, or something cool for your kitchen check out The Purple Fig

.hello. opening weekend

Peter Pan opened this weekend to RAVE reviews! And I’m not saying this because I’m in it, but they were very deserved! We rocked it this weekend, especially Saturday night! We always have amazing shows when we have amazing audiences giving back to us. The louder the laughs, the harder the claps, the more we absolutely show out! Final dress and first circle were very emotional for me. I’m not sure why, but I cried during both. 🙂 There is a point when a show becomes bigger than you could ever imagine and that happened for me this weekend. It’s overwhelming to step back and really get it. The story is so important, so imaginative, so special, and even more special have been the people I’ve shared this experience with. We’ve had so much fun! I grabbed some backstage shots to share with you guys! Ready for an extremely photo heavy post? Here we go! 🙂

Curly (me!) and Twin 2

Tick Tock the Croc getting her makeup on!

Wendy Dahling!

Nibs!

Dark and Sinister Man! Captain Hook!

She’s flying!

 

Bill Jukes!

Liza, Tiger Lily, and one of our beautiful Indian maidens!

Twin 1!

Me and the hubster!

Peter Pan!

My handsome pirate!

Tootles!

How precious does everyone look?! There are tons more photos, but I won’t bore you with those at the moment! (I’ll save them until I’m all emotional on closing weekend!)

.hello. Doritos Cheesy Chicken Casserole


It’s been a while since I’ve cooked anything not in a crock pot. Honestly it’s a while since I’ve cooked anything with the show running and being busy at work. We’ve single handedly kept our local Jack’s and Mickey Dee’s in business. It’s was nice to eat at home! Now this is flat out trash food. I’m just gonna say it. It’s ugly and not a bit healthy, but MAN was it good! We haven’t been home any longer than to sleep for about 2 weeks now so today was just a day for us to be together and with our poor lonely animals and do NOTHING! It’s been non stop lately so we needed a lazy day (complete with editing and homework)! This was the perfect compliment to our lazy day! And SO delish! I’ve been craving something with chicken and Doritos lately, and with my obsession with Taco Bell’s Locos Tacos I knew this would be perfect!


Doritos Cheesy Chicken Casserole
Serves 4-6

2 c. shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken, told you I was gonna be lazy!)
1 c. shredded cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes (I use mild!)
1/2 packet taco seasoning (I like the cheesy kind)
Bag of Doritos

1. Pre-heat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the chips

3. In a greased 2 qt baking dish, put a layer of crushed Doritos (about 2 cups), then a layer of the chicken mixture. Repeat once more, ending with a layer of chicken mixture. Top with more shredded cheese, cover, and bake for 30-35 minutes, till bubbling hot.

.hello. hell week- day 2

It’s 11:30 at night and I just got home from our second night of dress rehearsal before opening the show on Friday. I also started my new job directing field trips at Full Moon Farm, a local pumpkin patch, this morning. Exhausted isn’t really the word at this point. While peeling off my costume before climbing into bed I took note of my body. The tops of my feet are bruised, I have about 8 bruises clustered around a gash in the side of my leg, my knees are bruised, I have finger tip bruised on my upper arms, a scrape down my neck, and there is a bruise on my forehead caused by my wig. My back sounds like broken glass and I’m pretty sure I’m getting some respiratory infection, but…. I finally got Ugh a Wug. I couldn’t be happier. I screwed up one part but that is NOTHING compared to how it has been and that makes every bit worth it! Fighting hard to be average at something that seems to come easy for most everyone else has a fantastic pay off reward. Dancing has never come naturally to me. I have no rhythm and I have about as much grace as a hippo on ice skates. The dance not being horrible for me was a huge accomplishment!

I really am loving my costume and seeing everyone else in theirs. It adds such a fun element to the show and it really brings it all together. Looking at the Lost Boys in photos, we’re all so distinct, yet we compliment each other nicely. I have to again show off some fantastic cast photos taken by our amazing show photographer, Brooke Bikneris!

The Lost Boys hearing the pirates coming. PIRATES!!! – Photo by Brooke Bikneris

 

Yes, that’s me. The one standing up with the most confused look on my face. I have no idea what was running through my head at the moment, but I truly do look a little ‘lost’. More so mentally than physically. 😉 – Photo by Brooke Bikneris

 

Meet Tinkerbell! – Photo by Brooke Bikneris

 

Indian/Lost Boy Tug of War (Tug A Wug! lol) – Photo by Brooke Bikneris

Tootles shot the Wendy Bird! The lost boys are pleased!- Photo by Brooke Bikneris

Only two more rehearsals til opening night. WOW! I just can’t believe it’s finally here!  It’s going to be an amazing show! We really are giving it our all! If you’re in the central Alabama area, I really do recommend you come see it! I know you won’t regret it! Get all the details at http://www.charactersentertainment.com/!

.hello. hell week- day 1

Hell week is the term given in theater meaning the week of opening night, and yes, it’s as hellish and it’s named for. Long rehearsals every night until it’s perfect. While it’s the roughest part of the run, it is, in my opinion the most bonding time as well. The greatest thing about being in a show, other than your first moment on the stage in front of your first audience on opening night, is the family you make along the way. As tired as you are when you get home, as crappy as you feel, as sore as you are, you know there are 40+ people that feel the same. There is some solace in that. Everyone wants to feel like they’re not alone and that’s certainly something you can get out of doing community theater. You’re never alone.

Tootles and Curly!-Lost boys of Neverland!

Tonight was day 1 of hell week. I’d say it was successful. It lets you know where you stand and you know how fast you need to get where you need to be. I started dressing tonight full out for the first time. It is certainly much harder to move around, breathe, and sing when being bound to play a boy, so that’s an adjustment, but other than getting my sleeves to stay rolled up and figuring out a way for my knee pads to not cut off the circulation to my legs, I think we’re pretty good as far as costuming goes! We’ve got to get the final touches for Ran, but he’s coming along too. My wig is hilarious, and honestly, to die for. I love it. It truly makes me feel like “Curly”. He’s goofy, and snotty, and he has no idea where he is or where he’s going half the time. He’s clumsy and a little all over the place, but he has a good heart. I like him. 🙂 It took me a long time to figure out just who he is, but once I got on stage with the set, he began to make sense to me. There are still parts of him I want to explore this week. He’s emotional connection to his brothers, his love for Peter, he need to have a mother. I feel like at this point, as silly as he is, he’s void of some emotion I’m missing somewhere. I’ll find it though. It seems odd to think so deeply into a character in a children’s show, but really J.M Barrie deserves no less. He wrote the character and the character deserves to be heard (even if he wasn’t included in the Cathy Rigby version… cough cough :/ ).

Me as Curly! Do I look like a boy?

The lost boys are getting it together. I feel like we’ve had a great chemistry since we’ve started and we’ve been building from there. There are a lot of bumps and bruises and it’s certainly the most physical role I’ve ever done that I can recall, but we have fun with it. I really am crazy about each and every one of them and I’m so proud to be in such a strong group of actors. Each and every one of them has brought a fun and unique personality to their boy and it’s been wonderful to watch them change and grow. We’re a motley crew, that’s for certain!

One of the coolest things about the whole show is watching Peter and the kids fly. I mean, it truly will take your breath away the first time you see it. I felt like a child, giddy, the first night I was at rehearsal and Peter started flipping through the air! So very cool! I have to show you some photos taken by my dear friend and show photographer, Brooke Bikneris. You can check her out at http://www.brookebikneris.com/! She’s doing such an amazing job with the photos (as always!) and really giving us fabulous memories to keep and look back on!

Peter flipping through the air! – Photo by Brooke Bikneris

 

Michael’s first flight- Photo by Brooke Bikneris

 

The Darling Children- Photo by Brooke Bikneris

Peter Pan in the Nursery- Photo by Brooke Bikneris

All in all, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings. It may be hell week, but it a heck of a ride! Everyone will be in costume tomorrow and we’re quickly working out our rough edges. I say we’re right on track for opening night! It’s in just 4 days! If you’re in the central Alabama area and you’ve got some time this weekend or next, I highly recommend you check out the show. It’s going to be amazing! (And I’m not just saying that because I’m in it!) Check out all the details, and purchase tickets right here! http://www.charactersentertainment.com/