(Beautiful handmade books from Paperiaarre.)
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A small disclosure: I use affiliate links in my "what to wear" posts as a way to pay for my blog fees. In other words, I earn a tiny commission if you end up buying the item from my link. The posts are entirely curated on my own. I do not have sponsored posts.
This blog design and all original content ©2014 by Rachel Ball / Elephantine.
You may (or may not) have noticed that I removed my old mixtapes – I decided it was better not to host the files on this blog. My new mixtapes will now be on 8tracks (discovered via Kate).
Anyway, I wanted to throw together a quick mix before April was over. Listen to it above or here!
Where Is My Mind (Maxence Cyrin)
Jump on Stage (Girl Talk)
The World I Know (Collective Soul)
Cherry Blossom Girl (Air)
Walilamdzi (Devendra Banhart)
Big Jet Plane (Angus and Julia Stone)
Once I Had A Love (Blondie)
Everlasting Light / The Mummers Remix (The Black Keys)
We were flipping through channels on TV a couple nights ago and saw a cat on Animal Planet that looked just like Rufus. Not only that, but the Rufus lookalike was revealed to be a specific breed – a nebelung, which I'd never heard of before. Apparently, it's a rare breed. Who knew?
Look at all these nebelungs on Flickr! A few of them look so much like our Rufus that it's scary.
It's been six months since I quit my day job and started running my shop full-time. It's actually turned out pretty much as I imagined it would be. I've gotten into a routine: I get up when Stefan leaves for work, eat a quick breakfast, work on orders and answer emails and take care of all the other things running a small business requires, and then walk the ten blocks to the post office sometime late in the afternoon. That's how it basically goes. Sometimes I work on weekends; sometimes I give myself a day off.
I really enjoy it. I do. But working from home isn't perfect, either. It's easy to get cabin fever. And there's always the unpredictability. What if I get twenty orders today? What if I get zero? All you can do is work your hardest. What about luck? Yes, there's that. But luck, to me, doesn't mean it's brought on simply by chance. As Seneca said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
Thank you for all your continued support of my shop and this blog. It is, as always, very much appreciated.
A few random links for you guys today:
A book I recently enjoyed: St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.
When I was a teenager, I loved nothing more than going to the mall. Usually I was there with my friend Briea. After debating about what to spend our allowances on, surrendering to spontaneous fits of giggling, and bringing too many clothes into the dressing rooms, we'd saunter down to the food court and split a soft pretzel.
The mall and I don't see much of each other anymore, but I do still crave the occasional chewy, buttery pretzel. Lucky for me (and you), soft pretzels are easy to make. The secret to getting that lovely brown shade is to give them a brief baking soda bath.
The Mall Pretzels (makes 6)
adapted from Jeannie Yee
¾ cup warm water (110°F)
1 ¼ tsp of active dry yeast (half of a .25 ounce package)
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water (110°F)
2 tbsp baking soda (for soaking)
½ tbsp butter, melted
coarse kosher salt (or pretzel salt)
mustard, for dipping (optional)
Pour ¾ cup warm water into a mixing bowl. Dissolve yeast, brown sugar, and salt into the water. Stir in flour. When mixture comes together, dump onto a floured surface. Knead dough about 8 minutes, until smooth. Pour a few drops of olive oil into mixing bowl; place dough in and turn to coat surface. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
When dough is ready, cut into 6 pieces. Roll each into ½ inch thick ropes. Shape pretzels by forming a U, then twisting ends and flipping over onto itself, gently pressing overlapping dough to seal. Let rise for 15 minutes.
Fill a bowl with 1 cup warm water. Add baking soda and stir. Soak each pretzel for 30 seconds, flipping over halfway through if not fully submerged. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle coarse salt over top. (If you prefer sweet pretzels, use cinnamon sugar instead of salt.) Bake at 450°F for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. For an extra buttery flavor, brush on a little more melted butter when the pretzels come out of the oven.