My neighbors and I have a little ladies brunch we've started doing once a month, and the February one was yesterday.
It's fun and relaxing, and we get to try everyone's yummy favorite recipes, gossip a little, see our neighbor's homes, complain about our ugly builder bathrooms - just do neighbor stuff.
Today we were talking about Texas geography and how baffling the size of the state can be to Europeans and Yankees.
I remember when I lived in New York, and people would ask me how far I was from Dallas or Houston, and I'd answer "three hours", and they'd stare at me like I had two heads.
"But how FAR is it?" they'd ask - louder, this time, in case I was hard of hearing.
"THREE HOURS" I'd yell back at those idiots, which would bring about a standoff.
"What don't they understand?" I was thinking... "Why doesn't she understand?" they were thinking...
If I tell you it's thirty billion miles across the state you'll just cry and never leave your house. And while I understand that you can drive across 14 states in three hours in New England, you are barely leaving your county of residence in that time in Texas. So you need to know a few things - how long until I have to stop to pee? Can I get there in a day or less? I know how many hours a tank of gas lasts, so is the destination less than one tank of gas away?
But today we realized that Austin, in particular is three hours from EVERYWHERE.
It's three hours to Dallas and three hours to Houston.
It's three hours on a plane to Florida, New York, Washington and California.
We're just at this crazy nexus of the US travel universe. We're also nearly in the dead center of the Great Republic.
You can really learn a lot of things at a neighbors brunch - I highly recommend it!
Here's the card I made on Periscope the other day using the Mirror Image Stamp again to create a reflection in the water, as I did in this post.
This sweet stamp set is called Happy Home, and I'll be having a class with it in March, so if you're in Austin, let me know if you'd like to come!
I love that sweet little dog - or wait - is it a CAT?? Yes, it's clearly a cat.
Who doesn't want to fly their kite with their cat?
Definitely a cat.
I just sponged Tempting Turquoise and Pear Pizzazz after the mirror image stamping, and then used a blender pen and Real Red ink for the girl, the kite and the grass. I also extended the horizon line with a Project Life Pen.
The sentiment is from Cottage Greetings - which I think is truly the best sentiment set in the catalog - I love the clean lines.
Another thing I love about the way these stamps are cut, is that the cut lines on the rubber are straight, so I can line them up against the edge of the rails in my MISTI and they are straight every time.
With such thin lines, greetings like this can get distorted with too much pressure, but the MISTI helps keep people from smashing the stamps like there's a spider underneath them, because you can't push the lid past the rails. It really is a huge enhancement for delicate lines like these - I love it. How did I stamp without it? Badly - I know. :)
Hope your week is starting strong. If not, I highly recommend making yourself some of these delicious orange muffins from our neighbor ladies' brunch. I LOVED these - they're very light and not too sweet.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
For the Zesty Orange Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons orange zest
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together butter, sour cream, egg, orange juice and orange zest. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray. Place into oven and bake for 16 - 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar as needed. When the muffins are done, cool for 10 minutes and dip the muffin crown into the glaze.
Allow glaze to set before serving.