MouenCreations

My little shop is open for business on Etsy.com.  The pendants are handmade by me with bullet shells shot off by me.  There isn’t much on there yet but take a look around and keep an eye out for new creations.

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Because I am now a proud owner of a handy dandy dremel tool, I am going to saw, sand, and polish all the things!!!

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How to Build a Girl

“So what do you do when you build yourself – only to realise you built yourself with the wrong things?”

how-to-build-a-girl-620x350 You rip it up and start again. That is the work of your teenage years – to build up and tear down and build up again, over and over, endlessly, like speeded-up film of cities during boom times, and wars. To be fearless, and endless, in you reinventions – to keep twisting on nineteen, going bust and dealing in again, and again. Invent, invent, invent.

They do not tell you this when you are fourteen, because the people who would tell you – your parents – are the very ones who built the thing you are so dissatisfied with. They made you how they want you. They made you how they need you. They built you with all they know, and love – and so they can’t see what you’re not: all the gaps you feel leave you vulnerable. All the new possibilities only imagined by your generation, and non-existent to theirs. They have done their best, with the technology they had to hand, at the time – but now it’s up to you, small, brave future, to do your best, with what you have. As Rabindranath Tagore advised parents, ‘Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.’

And so you go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall, and go ‘Her. I’ll try and be her. I’ll try and be her – but here.’ You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them, you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, ‘More input! More input for Johnny 5!’ as you rifle through books, and watch films, and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things you are watching – Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Julie Burchill gunning people down; Grace Jones singing ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ – that you will need, when you get out there. What will be useful? What will be, eventually, you? And you will be quite on your own when you do this.

There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager, slowly urging you towards the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone. And some versions of you will end in dismal failure – many prototypes won’t even get out of the front door, as you suddenly realise that, no, you can’t style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude-problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success – hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water.

But one day, you’ll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly; staying up all night to hone, and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked. Until – slowly, slowly – you make a viable version of you, one you can hum, every day. You’ll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you’re busy doing other things. What your nurture began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you’ll be entirely – as you’re too busy doing, now.

And ten years will pass, without you even noticing. And later, over a glass of wine – because you drink wine, now, because you are grown – you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really, you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.

Chapter 24 (My Favorite Part of the Entire Awesome Book) by Caitlin Moran

 

Coat Of Many Colors

 

Coat of Many Colors

Back through the years I go wonderin’ once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
And I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use

There were rags of many colors and every piece was small
And I didn’t have a coat and it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together sewin’ every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors that I was so proud of

And while she sewed, she told a story from the Bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors Joseph wore and then she said
“I hope this coat will bring you good luck and happiness”
And I just couldn’t wait to wear it and momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors that my momma made for me
Made only from rags but I wore it so proudly

Although we had no money oh I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors momma made for me

So with patches on my britches, holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing and making fun of me
and my coat of many colors my momma made for me

And oh I couldn’t understand that ’cause I thought I was rich
And then I told them of the love my momma sewed in every stitch
And I told ’em all the story momma told me while she sewed
And why my coat of many colors was worth more than all their clothes

They didn’t understand it and I tried to make them see
One is only poor only if you choose to be

It is true we had no money but I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors momma made for me
Made just for me

Dolly Parton

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I adore Dolly and this song is so touching.  Straight from her experience as a child in Tennessee.  The original coat is displayed at the Chasing Rainbows Museum in Dollywood.

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Red Wine Buttercream

 

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Took a trip to Malibu Winery for a friend’s birthday celebration and what is more fitting for wine tasting than chocolate cupcakes with red wine buttercream?! I’ve never tried it before and was a little hesitant to do so.  But I’m glad I did because it was delicious.

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Recipe below is just enough to frost 24 cupcakes.  Recipe from Joanne at
Eats well with others”  which I tweaked a bit just because I used a different kind of wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red wine (I used Zinfandel because I find it to be the sweetest red than port, port is just too sweet)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, softened (NOT room temp, should still be a bit cold)
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup red wine and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the mixture has reduced to a scant 1/3 cup.  Allow to cool completely. (If you didn’t do it the night before, like I did.  Just stick it in the freezer until it’s chilled)
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and confectioner’s sugar.  Mix on low speed at first, gradually increasing to high until powdered sugar gets incorporated. Whisk until fluffy, then carefully pour in the cooled wine reduction.  Beat well until combined.  Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and frost cupcakes.

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I made the fondant flowers in advance and finished it with luster dust.   I also used printable cake toppers which I cut and glued on to toothpicks.  You can find a bunch of different themed printable toppers at www.catchmyparty.com

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Paleo Friendly Banh Xeo

Bánh xèo:  (Per Wikipedia) literally “sizzling cake”, named for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the rice batter is poured into the hot skillet  are Vietnamese savory fried pancakes made of rice flour, water, turmeric powder, stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, diced green onion, and bean sprouts. Southern-style bánh xèo contains coconut milk and certain Central regions skip the turmeric powder altogether. They are served wrapped in mustard leaf, lettuce leaves or banh trang wrappers, and stuffed with mint leaves, basil, fish leaf and/or other herbs, and dipped in a sweet and sour diluted fish sauce.

Below is a paleo friendly version of one of my favorite childhood dishes.  I found the recipe from loveurbelly.com and tweaked it a bit:

You will need the following for the crêpe batter:
(This serves 2-4 people)

  • ½ cup Almond Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 cup Organic Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced green spring onion
  • 1/2 cup of beer, the more carbonated the better

Combine all the ingredients for the batter in a mixing bowl.  If you like the crepes thin and crispy add more water but if you like it thick and fluffy add more tapioca flower.  Adjust it how you would like based on your personal preference. If you like it like a pancake, throw in an egg.

Then stick it in the fridge, let it sit for an hour.  Use that hour to prepare the meat filling.

You will need the following for the meat filling:

  • 1/2  lb ground chicken
  • 1/2 lb ground prawns
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb bean sprouts
  • An assortment of asian style lettuce, cucumbers, mustard leaves, mint, red perilla (all can be found at your local asian grocer)

Soak the bean sprouts in warm water, until it’s softened a bit, drain and set aside.
Heat a skillet, melt the 2 tbsp of coco oil and satay the garlic until it’s slightly golden.  Toss in the ground chicken and prawns.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Drain the meat filling and set aside.

Heat a non-stick pan for the crêpe.  Use coco oil to grease.  Pour a thin layer of the crêpe batter.  Let it cook for about a  minute or until the batter doesn’t look raw.  Put a hand full of bean sprouts and meat mixture on one side.  Cover.  Check it occasionally for the crispy texture you like the crêpe to be by lifting the edges on the side.  I like mine extra crunchy.

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Pull the side of the crêpe that doesn’t have the filling over the side that does, like an omelet. And serve with veggies/varied herbs  and sweet/sour dipping sauce.

 

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