Blog| Art, Insecurities, and Being Overwhelmed

It’s the week of the con which means the house is a mess, we’re running around constantly, and we’re pulling 8 hour work hours to get everything done in time.

This year, Rony’s got his own table so double the stress.

I’ve been in a funk mentally and the stress paired with being sick on and off (I’ve had awful back pain for the past 5 days) is all coming to a head.

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Believe it or not, I’m actually far more prepared this time around than usual. Probably because I’m nixing the jewelry aspect of my business so I’m not making a thousand necklaces the night before. I have new prints, new zines, new stickers, a new display set up, new banner, and everything is good.

So obviously that means I should crank out 10 new art pieces the week before. Because that’s not stressful. Some of it is good, some of it is okay.

I’ve learned to like my art and it’s constant fluctuation of style because it makes things seem new every time. I like the art I’m producing and I think some people do too. But I’ve had this ongoing problem with feeling insecure about it. There’s always a bit of nerves when I make new art. Is it good, will people like it, will it sell if I make prints? Is everyone’s art better than it?

I know it’s pretty much all in my head. I’m seeing friends and artists selling art and getting engagement on their posts and people commenting about how good it looks while I’m getting crickets. Everyone’s prints and merch looks so nice and well made while I’m cutting 400 prints by hand and hand cutting stickers for 2 days because I can’t afford to get things made for me and I’m cheap. It’s the feeling of trying so hard and getting hardly nothing in return.

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I think it’s also the fact that I’m letting go of so much. Ladies Night, Lubbock Artist Collective, Pokemon Art Drop, Geek Girl Brunch. I’m passing them all on and I’m seeing them continue without me. I no longer have ten thousand different events to go to and my calendar is empty and while that makes me a bit happy (I can paint for myself and write again!), there’s the feeling of being empty without these things.

I’ve talked before about how doing all these things feels like validation. You become the Go-To person, a mover and shaker, and then once it’s gone who are you without it?

Right now I’m feeling jealous and tiny and insecure. I feel like I’m projecting that onto people I care about and my brain is paranoid that everyone hates me and my art sucks.

But I’m aware that this is my brain being weird. I’m looking in on the outside saying “Hey, that probably isn’t true and you’re just in a funk” while being in the actual funk. I’m stressed from the animals, not being able to clean the house, getting art done, and worried about sales and it’s all culminating in this ugly mood.

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One of my biggest sayings has been “Women Support Women” and I hate this awful paranoia I have right now because it goes against it. I love and support my friends and do not want to be jealous of them. My art is not like anyone else’s art and they’re art is not like my art. Some are good at certain things like talking to people and engaging or a certain art style that people like more while others are good at online sales and marketing and promoting themselves. Everyone is different and I need to start learning from others instead of being resentful.

I have friends that care. Yeah, I’m not great at reaching out and talking to them and I don’t really comment on people’s post, but I read them all and I care. I’m just a shitty introverted friend.

Brains are weird and we’re in a competitive society. So I’m going to feel jealous now and then. I need to make sure I don’t let it affect me and my attitude.

In a week, I won’t have to con prep. I’ll redo my store, organize the house, have a garage sale, and work on new things. Yes, I’m saying goodbye to a lot of things I created. But now I’ll have more time to create new things and focus on myself.

Jealousy and insecurity are awful, but they happen. I won’t let it affect me though.

Just one week. I can do this.

-Sam <3

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Blog| How to Show Artists Some Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I debated writing something about love and our relationship with Valentine’s Day, but hey, this works too.

I see a lot of different comments and posts about loving an artists work and wanting to support them, but not being able to because you don’t have money. I feel like this a lot with artists I love and support. But here’s the thing: there’s a ton of ways you can help and support artists (whether this be painters, illustrators, musicians, writers, etc.) without money!

Since me and Rony are in Convention-Prep Hell right now, I thought I’d share some ways you can help!

support

With Money

This part is easy right? You buy things from them! Ta-Da! You supported an artist! But there’s actually a whole lot more ways than just buying merch and prints!

Support their Patreon

Patreon, if you don’t know, is a subscription service that lets you pledge a certain amount per month or per thing they make. Depending on how much you pledge, sometimes the artists set up different rewards! Exclusive blog posts, sneak peeks, livestreams! Sometimes even physical things like letters, postcards, art, commissions, etc. It’s a great way to get provide a steady stream of income for artists! You are directly contributing to their art!

Buy a “Coffee” on Ko-Fi

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Ko-Fi is a non-subscription tipping service! Versus Patreon where you are pledging money, you can choose to Buy a “Coffee which is essentially donating $3 to the artist. You can choose to donate more and some artists will send you things in thanks! But it’s a no-string way to give money once or donate just a little bit! Like something they’ve been doing, buy them a coffee!

Online Store

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Lots of artists, like myself, have online stores. Some use Etsy, Storeenvy, BigCartel, etc, or through a print on demand service like Society6 or they have their own set up through their website! Like I stated before, this is the most common form of support! Some of these even have it where you can Favorite Items, Shops, and Leave a Review! I suggest doing all of these as that can help the artist reach more customers!

Direct Sales or Events

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Don’t want to deal with shipping? Get it from them yourself! If you see an artist you love at a convention or event, buy from them! This cuts out shipping costs, online store fees, and helps so they have less to take home!

Commissions

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Commissions, if you don’t know, is paying an artist to draw something you request. I only do a few because it stresses me out trying to make sure I make something a customer will like. But I do like doing them sometimes. Artists will sometimes open up a limited amount so they don’t have to rush through them, will do them in emergencies or just to give themselves something new to draw. Just note, commissions aren’t always cheap. Versus getting a print or reproduction item, commissions are one of a kind and you usually get the original piece of art. But that’s part of the lure and they help a bunch!

Crowdfunding

You probably have heard of Kickstarter and GoFundMe, right? That’s crowdfunding. Sometimes artists have projects that need support before they can go further. Sometimes it’s making enamel pins, sometimes a statue or board game or card deck. These tend to be higher quality, limited edition, or more unique items rather than a print or a sticker. You can pledge a certain amount of money based on tiers and get a reward based on how much you sign up for! A lot of artists do this for Enamel Pins. Say you want one. You would pledge $10 (or however much) based on the tier and if it reaches it’s goal, the project is funded and you get the pin! It’s easy!


Alright, that’s all I’ve got for Supporting with Money! Let’s move on to the other ways! I’m gonna break this down further into categories!

Without Money

Social Media Accounts

Social media is the fastest, most public form of advertisement a creator has. It’s free and it’s a direct way to reach audiences. And it’s a provides an easy way to support!

  • Like a Post
  • COMMENT!
  • Retweet/Share
  • Follow/Subscribe
  • Engage
  • Tag
  • Hashtag

Let me break that down further. A lot of these sites have algorithms that will determine when posts or profiles get recommended, how much they appear on feeds, etc. They’re awful and confusing and I won’t go into them. But I will say that yes, Liking a post does help but Commenting and Engaging with the post or profile does a ton more! (As well as Following/Subscribing)

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Also yay on 1200 posts lol

The algorithm sees that people are interested and interacting when you comment and engage and pushes the post to be shown a bit more. You Like a post on Facebook? Guess what, now your friends are seeing that post too! Maybe they think the artist is cool and starts following them? Congratulations, you just helped that artist expand their support base!

Following and watching Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat stories help too! View counts are taken into consideration there!

Engagement is the best and biggest way you can help and it can be as easy as just saying how much you like the art piece or commenting on the caption!

Then there is Retweeting and Sharing! I recommend this a ton over Reposting because the post is still linked to the artist’s profile so they can still get the engagement numbers! But if you must repost, tag and credit the artist! That way your friends and followers can follow the artist too!

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What else can you do with Social Media? Say you bought something from the artist already or saw them at an event? Take a picture and tag them! Link them in the caption! Hashtag it with their name! Have an art piece of theirs that happens to be in your selfie? Tag it! Artists love seeing their work in the wild and again, it links their artwork back to their profile!

Events

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Sometimes you can’t always buy stuff, but attending and sharing an event can help a bunch! I do a ton of things and love it when people come up and chat about art. That support means a bunch because they physically came to a thing because of me!

I advertise a lot with Facebook Events and having people share it or invite people can help me out so much! That’s more eyes on my page and more possible people that will like my work!

Word of Mouth

Sharing Events is basically the new Word of Mouth. So Invite people, tell your friends, show other people an artists work or let them know when they’ll be at an event!

And hey, you know someone putting on an event or a gallery needing an artist? Drop their name by them! Show them their work! This actually can help a ton because we aren’t omnipresent beings. We don’t always see artist calls or gallery’s posts. I’ve actually gotten invited to a few events this way! It helps!


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There’s a lot more little ways you can help, but the main idea is that you don’t have to have money. Interacting, engaging, sharing, helping the artist get more eyes on their work can help an artist’s base grow so much and it’s free and easy!

I hope this helps you to show a little love to creators you love yourself! We love what we do and we try hard, but there’s a reason why it’s called a support base. Fans and appreciators are our foundation.

Thank you so much and Have a Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re a week away from Lubbock-Con and I’m excited to be able to see so many of you in person!

And if you have any more ideas on how to support artists, comment! Artists, comment with what support you think is most beneficial!

-Sam <3

PS. Here’s the links to all the places you can support me ;)

http://www.instagram.com/Raicodoll
http://www.facebook.com/Raicodoll
http://www.ko-fi.com/raicodoll
http://www.raicodoll.etsy.com
https://society6.com/raicodoll

Blog| Cooking Part 2

Another weekend, another attempt at a new recipe.

I didn’t get around to making a breakfast recipe and only did a dinner one, so I’m a bit behind. But I’ll figure it out!

Broccoli, Egg and Cheddar Empanadas

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Of course Rony picks another Egg recipe. Because freaking eggs. And this one requires me to make my own dough.

I fee like I jumped from Easy Mode to Advance.

First off: the dough. I mixed flour, corn meal, salt, pepper, and cold butter all together with my hands to make a kind of bread crumb consistency. I kind of goofed. I was suppose to put the butter in the freezer and then grate it into the flour but I guess I didn’t leave it in the freezer long enough. The butter was still soft and I “grated” it with a fork and hoped for the best. I also wasn’t sure if I used enough butter?? I had Rony add a bit more in case. It wasn’t crumbling how it should have but I think it came out okay.

Next I made a little whole in the middle and cracked an egg and poured in cold water before mixing it all with my hands. Again, not sure if I added enough water because it was still dry and crumbly so I added another tablespoon in.

Dough is hard, guys.

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Leon was waiting for me to drop something for him to eat.

After I got the dough mixed and semi-smooth (at least holding together), I left it in the bowl and covered it with a moist towel. It didn’t say how long to leave it covered, only to move on to making the filling.

I had to steam 4 cups of broccoli (is there ever an accurate way to get 4 whole cups of broccoli? You can’t really pack it into a cup) and mix 8 eggs with salt, pepper, garlic, and chili flakes. I added only a TINY bit of chili flakes because again, I get sick if I eat spicy stuff.

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So far so good.

After the broccoli was tender, I dumped all the eggs in and had to make scrambled eggs. I was so freaking paranoid that I was going to mess this up. I am cursed when it comes to eggs. I overcook or undercook them and it’s a disaster.

I mixed constantly because I was afraid it’d stick to the pan or burn. But I have to say, I don’t think I messed this part up! I know! I didn’t mess up the eggs!

I added a ton of cheese once the egg wasn’t goopy and mixed it in to create this awesome cheesy mess and set it aside to go back to the dough.

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Rony laughed at me when I bought my tiny rolling pin at Daiso but that shit works! No paper towel roll for me this time! I cut the dough into 12 pieces, and rolled each into a ball. Then I rolled out each ball for form little thin tortillas. The recipe said about coaster size but there was no way I was going to get all the filling in with that size. So mine were definitely like small tortillas.

Once they were rolled out, I scooped some egg/broccoli filling in and folded over the dough to make little hand pie looking things. I had to pinch the edges together and they ended up about palm sized. They were pretty big!

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It took a while to get them all filled and folded and onto the baking sheet but once they were done, they looked pretty good! The recipe said doing an egg wash was mostly cosmetic and optional, but shit, I was already there. You bet your ass I’m egg washing that shit. Plus I had gotten a pastry brush forever ago and hadn’t gotten the chance to use it.

Also, I don’t have two baking sheets. I thought I did, but I don’t. So I had to use a pizza pan which worked about the same. You use what you got.

I popped those bad boys into the oven for 20 minutes and cleaned up. I was hungry, this had taken like 2 hours, and I swear to god if these didn’t taste good (I’m looking at you, polenta) I was going to throw a fit.

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Look at that shit. LOOK AT IT.

I made that shit with my hands!

And yeah, the egg wash doesn’t cover them completely but whatever! They look freaking good!

The recipe shows some sort of dipping sauce but never says what it is (what the hell, recipe book) but I’m pretty sure it’s salsa….which we don’t have. So I used marinara sauce because that sounded good.

The Rony review?

“Craftsmanship is a 9. Still hot and not falling apart. Flavor is pretty watered down and could use more but I don’t mind. It’s a muted flavor. It’s pretty great. I give it a 8!”

Probably needed more cheese. Everything is better with cheese.

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Two pretty much filled us up so now we have leftovers for a few days. I am fairly impressed with myself! I can make dough and cook an egg thing and not mess up!

Let’s hope I can keep the momentum going!

-Sam <3

Blog| February Goals

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January, while busy, was not as crazy as expected. Yes, we went on ten thousand trips and parties and there was general chaos, but not AS MUCH chaos as expected. So that was great.

I’m beginning to slowly feel the pressure of constant events and deadlines easing as I slowly delegate and step away. Now it’s just the stress of actually moving.

One thing at a time. Enough of that. How did my goals go for the first month of 2018?


January

Personal

  • Clean! Throw out and condense things! I tossed out so much stuff, no lie, and I’m still tossing stuff out.
  • Give up soda and drink more water   I’m giving myself a half mark on this. I have been drinking more water, but I relapsed on the soda to keep awake the day after Leon went missing
  • Play and socialize the kittens! They’re getting better! They came out when Marisa was over and I consider that a plus
  • Seriously, no fast food. I DID IT
  • Stay organized and give myself some relax time, but not too much I’ve been using my Planner AND actually had time to play and watch Overwatch League

Work

  • Get Inktober prints/sketchbook done  Got all my 8×10 prints printed out and the colored Inktober zines done!
  • Go through inventory and restock- Less of a restock and more of a “I’m marking everything on clearance and getting rid of it”
  • Paint once a week Yeah I dropped the ball on this big time
  • Do a live stream or speed video I’m counting our graffiti time lapse for this! Fight me on that!
  • Restart #52Selfies  Back on that train!

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Guys. GUYS. 8.5/10. I did so good I amazed myself

I’m very aware I make a lot of goals. Between my monthly ones and my yearly ones and my birthday ones, it’s a lot. But goals keep me on task and make sure I’m not just aimlessly doing nothing all month/year. And I’m proud that I’ve kept on task.

I’m working on myself and working towards deadlines, making sure I’m not stressed and taking care of business. All in all, that’s a good way to start the year.

Ok, let’s move on to February! It’s a short month so that means I have to be extra good!


February

Personal

  • Garage Sale
  • Make a capsule wardrobe
  • Cook or throw out all the food that’s been sitting in the pantry
  • Do some form of exercise once a week
  • Only drink water doing the weekday
  • Get up at 7am for work

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Work

  • Get the art done for Ladies Night
  • Write 2 blogs a week
  • Do 3 art pieces
  • Update resume/portfolio

This month is mostly going to be all about prepping for Lubbock-Con so I didn’t want to do anything too intensive. I want to stay consistent and regular with a schedule so I don’t turn into a lazy mush bag on the couch.

We got rid of so much stuff in the house that we have to have a garage sale. If it doesn’t sell, it gets donated. We had 5+ tubs of Halloween stuff. FIVE. And that was just Halloween seasonal stuff, not the Halloween collectibles in our dining room. I have a ton of clothes I need to toss that don’t fit and I want to condense down what I wear even more.

I also want to focus on being less wasteful so all that food sitting in our cabinet because it takes cooking? We gotta make it. I’m going to try and be healthier and drink less tea and juice and switch to water. I really need to exercise.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve gained 20lbs. I hate it. I’ve never been this big. I do not like it. So that needs to get fixed. And I need to stop being late for work.

The word of the year is Better! I need to be a better me and a better artist. One day I want to be a full time/self-employed artist and that means I need to be better about managing myself.

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What are your goals for the month? Is there anything you want me to write about? Let me know!

-Sam <3

Blog| Weekend Recap

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It’s been a long, crazy weekend.

I was intially going to do a blog for my hair and a seperate one for Rony’s Birthday Party, but it’s been a trial.

TL;DR

  • I got my hair done proffesionally
  • I rearranged my office
  • Rony had a Graffiti Birthday Party
  • We had to drive to Rosswell and back
  • Frankie almost got adopted
  • Leon escaped. Again.

Okay now let’s break that down.

Friday

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I had been planning to just redye my hair since all the color had faded, but Alex and Marisa both convinced me to go get my hair done for me. I didn’t trust myself to bleach more and not ruin my hair so I contacted Alex’s friend Hair by Sarah Michelle and scheduled it for Friday after work.

I knew this was going to be a long process. First we did the bleach to extend up the color and after getting all the foil put in, I looked like a satellite. Then we found small dots of red (??? I haven’t had purple hair in like a year) so we tried to get those out. Mostly worked. My hair is weird.

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Finally we started putting in color. We were initially going to do Teal with little bits of purple but we underestimated the power of the purple and it turned darker than intended. But it would fade nicely and I wasn’t mad. So on it went!

She cut and styled it and holy shit, guys it was so soft. Like a freaking cloud. It’s never been that soft. And it stayed nice for 4 whole days like YAAAAASSS

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The end result was a cool galaxy effect with electric blue and purples and a steel-blue fading in from my roots. I love it. When I go back in a few months, we’ll be able to put the Teal straight on it to make it brighter. So thank you, Sarah, for staying until almost 9:30 to get my hair looking freaking awesome!

Afterwards I rearranged my office and found I could fit my whole desk in the weird faux closet. I moved my white board, put up some twinkle lights, and now I have my own little corner while the cats take over the rest of the room. I ain’t mad.

Saturday

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For Rony’s birthday, we decided to get some giant boards, a bunch of spray paint, snack foods, alcohol, and have everyone graffiti together in our backyard. I made corn dogs (veggie and regular), cheese pizza rolls, got a ton of Lunchables, made cupcakes, and queso for everyone. It was like a real junk food party.

We cleaned the backyard, put music on, and everyone got to hang out and paint for a couple of hours. The dogs were happy to have people over and everyone drank while painting. I even made a timelapse of the whole thing.

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Rony and I collaborated and did the Snow Owl from Meow Wolf with some eyeball trees and then he made John Wilkes Booth for some reason (I blame the alcohol and weird friend suggestions)

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Afterwards we watched Kung Fu Hustle and played Outpost 31: The Thing Board game and What Do You Meme?

The whole thing was pretty hilarious to watch. Outpost 31 is essentially One Night Werewolf/Resistance/Clue all mixed together. You don’t know who the Imitation is and have to slowly get through missions as a team while the monster tries to sabotage you. In the end, we ended with 3 Initiations (Rony included) who managed to trick everyone and win.

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Everyone stayed chatting and playing until midnight and all in all, it was a good party.

Sunday

Rony had borrowed his Step Mom’s car to get home for New Years so we had to get up at 7:30am to drive to Roswell to meet with his dad and bring it back. We were tired and hung over and by the time we got home, it was like 2pm already. It was a long morning.

I had been talking to a lady about adopting Frankie and she was all set to go. She was supposed to come over at 3:30 to pick her up but then changed her mind because she didn’t want to pay the $50 re-homing fee. Yeah. I’m not giving animals away for free. It’s sketchy and I want to make sure people can actually take care of them. So that was a no-go. Plus we’ve probably paid almost $200 in vet bills for her plus food so it’s kinda rude.

So we still have Frankie. Rony isn’t mad about it.

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We moved the graffiti boards along the fence to block some areas the dogs have been messing with. The backyard was mostly clean, the house was clean, I got to work on some projects. It was a good day.

AND THEN IT WASN’T.

At 8:30pm, while we were talking on the phone with my mom, the dogs got out. They had chewed off the chicken wire in the ONE spot we hadn’t blocked and ripped a board off that hadn’t even been loose. SERIOUSLY.

I had heard almost scratching at the door to be let in like 10 minutes before and in that time, they managed to escape.

Almond was found almost immediately still in the alley behind the house. The little butt actually walked right up to me (she never does that. She is the master at thinking she’s funny and playing keep away when she escapes). Leon, somehow, was nowhere to be found. IN TEN MINUTES.

Naturally, we are freaking the hell out.

Everyone gets called, we form a search party. It is getting cold, it is dark, and we are panicking. But we have experience which is a good and bad thing. So we split up and cover all directions. Alex thinks she spots him at one point but loses him. Marisa finds his Doppelganger. I find every stray or lost dog in the area. No Leon.

Rony finally joins up with me and we decide to go street by street, alley by alley. He gets tired late at night and hates the cold. He’ll huddle up somewhere.

We cover from 19th street to 32nd. Finally at 4am, after 7 hours of constant searching, Rony spots the jerked crossing someone’s yard on 32nd street. We had luckily turned down that street at the right time.

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Look at this jerk. Look at his ungrateful face. Don’t get dogs.

We slept three hours and went to work the next day, exhausted and happy that we actually found him. Then I passed out for 12 hours.

And that was our weekend. I need another one to recover from it.

How was yours? Do you have a jerk dog? Let me know!

-Sam <3

Blog| Cooking Part 1

So one of my 2018 goals was to cook through an entire cookbook.

I’m not a complete newbie to cooking, but I stick to the basics a lot. I don’t cook as often as I should and eat a lot of junk. I want to learn so when I look through my pantry, I’m not instantly saying there’s nothing to eat when there is a lot to eat, I just have to cook it.

Last Monday, I picked up the cookbook Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day. It took a while to settle on it when faced with the mountain bookshelf of cookbooks covering all sorts of topics. But the $4 a day and the fact it wasn’t huge sold it to me.

There are less than 200 recipes and they cover all sorts of things from breakfast to drinks to snacks to big batches for large parties. So this weekend I did my first few recipes. 2 Breakfast recipes and a Dinner one.


Day 1: Tomato Scrambled Eggs & Spicy, Crunchy, Creamy Polenta

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This was the first recipe in the book and I instantly thought, “Oh shit, this is easy.”

Fun fact: for some reason, I am awful at eggs. I always overcook or under cook them. I can do hard boil (kinda) and scrambled (kinda…) but it’s a process. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always messed them up.

I may have gone in with too much enthusiasm.

First mistake: I only had 3 eggs instead of 4. No problem, just cut the amounts by a bit right?

Ho-oh oh, my friend. That’s what I thought too.

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I chopped some fresh Basil (Black would not stop bugging me and getting on the counter), fluffed the eggs, and started cooking down a can of tomatoes. Knowing that I had less eggs, I even drained the tomatoes and took some out. When they were cooked down and juice evaporated, I poured in my eggs.

Now at about this time, I think things are going swell. It’s starting to cook and form little clumps, all according to plan. I toast some bread, I’m listening to my audio book, and cleaning some dishes up while stirring the mixture. Everything is fine.

It’s fine. Totally fine.

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The eggs stop clumping. There’s too much tomato. It’s tomato with some egg rather than Eggs with tomatoes. I somehow managed to mess up the very first and one of the EASIEST RECIPES.

 

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That is the face of shame.

Yep. 27 years old and still bad at eggs.

I can’t start over. We have no more eggs. The only ones we have I found at the bottom of the fridge and expired in May 2017. I have to make do or else we’re eating tomato egg soup (scratch that, uncooked eggs are not good to eat).

I turn up the heat. I can just force it to congeal by cooking out the liquids. It’ll be fine. Fine. Absolutely fine.

5 minutes later, we were getting somewhere. It was thickening and clumping together and there was hope.

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Excuse my gross stovetop

When it finally looked like eggs, I put some toast down, plopped the eggs on top, and sprinkled some of the basil with salt and pepper.

“This pile of fluffy, creamy eggs holds together a mass of tangy, juicy, sweet tomatoes…” -the cookbook.

Mine were slightly gritty looking, not fluffy, and slightly questionable looking. But whatever.

Rony’s office review: “It’s good, dude. If you hadn’t told me you messed up the eggs, I wouldn’t have known. B+”

“Why a B?”

“Presentation could be better. The eggs are a little red.”

“They’re suppose to be?”

Looks at cookbook. “Oh yeah. Guess they are. A-”

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Breakfast done. I let him pick out dinner and of course, he chose one of the weird ones. Polenta. What the heck is polenta anyways?

Now it says spicy in the title. I cannot eat spicy foods. I get sick. So we decided to cut that out. No chilis for me, thank you.

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The dish basically consists of this goop looking substance called polenta, spinach with garlic, and a sunny side up egg. I hate sunny side up eggs. I don’t like yolk. This whole dish is gonna be an experience.

Went to the grocery store, found polenta mix, got more eggs, got garlic. We’re set to go.

I cook the garlic and spinach down in butter while I start the polenta. It’s basically corn meal and you have to keep stirring it to keep it smooth.

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It’s a weird consistency. Like porridge. I’m not a fan.

When it’s close to done, I start cooking the eggs. This I did not mess up! Kinda. I forgot to set a timer and may have let the eggs cooks too long because the yolk was only half runny. All well. I hate yolk.

I scooped the polenta in a bowl, topped it with the spinach garlic mix, then the eggs, and sprinkled Parmesan on it.

Ta da!

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Okay but for real, I had less trouble making this than TOMATO EGGS. WTF.

I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t like the too runny mash potato texture, I put too much garlic in the spinach, and I still do not like sunny side up eggs. Also I have no clue where the crunchy part of this recipe is. Was it suppose to be the eggs because that definitely didn’t happen.

I tried. Guys, I really did try.

The worst part: It only took half a cup of polenta mix to make this. I still have a whole bag I have to use because we’re not going to be wasteful.

Rony’s review: “Good with the yolk. Good presentation and texture. Needs more chili.”

“There aren’t any chili.”

“Well I’m going to fix that.”

I gave him the remainder of my bowl and he was happy. The simple things in life.

Day 1: Omelet

Yep, you read that right. It’s an omelet. Just an omelet. Nothing fancy, litterally just an omelet.

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Okay so it calls for dill and shallots and my grocery store had neither so I cheated and didn’t add them. I put all my shit in a bowl, mixed it, and heated my pan. When the butter was melted, I poured it all in.

All of our pans have this weird dent and the stove top tilts so keeping the eggs level was a hassle. I would tilt it this way and that and try to find some balance so the eggs cooked evenly. When it looked not translucent, I added cheese and attempted to fold it in half.

It was not easy and I was almost positive I was going to break it. But I folded it, let it cook and plated it.

“You don’t want any brown on your eggs.”

:|

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Eggs. WHY?

Overall, I think it went okay. Yeah, the eggs were brown and I’m pretty sure I overcooked them. I just can’t win.

Rony’s review: “Mmmmmmmmmmmm good!”

You can’t mess up an omelet right? Right?


I am trying and I think that’s the slightly disheartening part, but the food tasted okay and I tried new things. There’s a lot of recipes in the book that I know I’m not going to like. I’m a picky eater. But I’m going to try.

We’ll see how next weekend’s recipes go.

 

-Sam <3

Blog| Shopping Ban

I may not seem it, but I am not great at managing money. I wish I was but yeah, no, somehow I always end up scrambling to make sure everything is paid. I’ve mastered the art of living on $50 over the span of two weeks.

It’s a mystery where it all goes. No matter how much more money I make, poof. It’s all gone. One part is I have an online shopping problem. I buy things randomly. Books, clothes, dresses, art. And then it sits there, all piled up. I have dresses for every occasion which means I have dresses I rarely use. The comics are stacked up, I have books I’ve never read, and I’m slowly getting swallowed up by junk.

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This year, I’m going to fix that.

I’ve seen a few other bloggers put themselves on shopping bans every now and then, making sure they use the things they have and aren’t being wasteful. But I want to get serious about it. I did research. RESEARCH. From now until we actually move and are in Washington, I am not allowed to shop.

Hold on. There are specifics.

It’s not like I’m going without groceries and toilet paper for months at a time. There will be things I can buy, can’t buy, and specific items I am allowing because I am budgeting for them. I’m going to break it up into lists. Stuff that is allowed and pertain to my “jobs”, stuff that isn’t allowed because I know its excessive, and stuff that is approved ahead of time.

For this, I’m following the guide Cait Flanders‘s made for her year long Shopping Ban. She even wrote a book about it! This will keep it reasonable, help me address how much and what I buy so much of, and make sure I’m not wasteful.

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Here’s the breakdown:

What I’m allowed to shop for:

  • Groceries and essential kitchen supplies
  • Gas for Car
  • Replacing essential cosmetics when they run out
  • Basic toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Pet essentials
  • Gifts for others (Don’t go crazy)
  • Necessary art supplies
  • Necessary business supplies
  • Restaurants (2 times a month at most)
  • 1 Audiobook a month (Audible. No more than the 1 credit)
  • Comic Books on your pull list only

What I’m NOT allowed to shop for:

  • Non-essential cosmetics (No lipsticks or eyeshadows, LUSH)
  • Clothes you don’t need
  • Shoes (Pretty shoes, flats, etc)
  • Books, magazines, notebooks (Gotta get a library card now)
  • Toys, Funko pops, mystery boxes (Overwatch boxes are no-no)
  • Video Games
  • Household items (candles, decor, furniture, etc.)
  • Electronics and appliances

Approved Shopping List

  • 2 pair of work slacks (I’m down to one pair)
  • 1 pair of work shoes (All of mine are breeeeeaking)
  • A compost bin (On my Goals List)
  • Hair done once (So my hair doesn’t fall out)
  • Oil Change/Car Related Maintenance
  • Passport (Also on Goals List)
  • Movies/Concerts/Events (I’m not missing Infinity Wars, guys)
  • 1 Purse (My tiny purse is breaking)
  • My friends’ products they create and sell (#Supportlocal)
  • I can replace things that break, but have to get rid of them.
  • 1 Souvenir if you travel

I know you’re looking at the lists and thinking I gave myself too much leeway, it’s not that hard, or that this doesn’t look fun. The thing is: we have a lot of stuff. I buy books all the time when I have a ton I haven’t read. I have supplies for hobbies I’ve never done, half started ideas and overall a ton of junk. Yes, the art supplies and comics are really necessary but I work with those so they kinda are. And concerts, experiences, all of those aren’t physical so as long as I don’t go crazy it’s fine. I’d rather experience things than have physical items.

Shopping Ban

We’re going to purge. If it’s broken, not necessary, etc. then it goes. Sentimental stuff I’m saving in a special box or taking a picture of it and putting in a keepsake book. Clothes I don’t wear are donated. I don’t want to sit in a room and see all the stuff I’ve wasted money on, look at the things I’ve bought instead of going to travel. I hate feeling cluttered and a lot of it is that. Clutter. I want to organize and make space and use what I have.

My approved shopping list are things that I had planned on getting or need (my pants ripped last night for the third time and I’m down to 1 pair and all my boots have holes) or are experiences rather than objects. My hair needs to be redyed and cut and is frizzy AF so I’m going to get it done for the very first time. That’ll keep the color lasting for a long time, keep my hair from falling out, and keep me from compensating and buying a ton of shit because my hair looks bad.

Whatever money I would have spent, goes into savings for moving. I need to see how much money I’m wasting and put it to use.

This is going to be hard and I’ll do monthly updates. I am a compulsive shopper. When I’m irritated or bored or sad, I shop on Amazon. When I’m frustrated, I buy new clothes. We need a change, a big one. So I’m unfollowing and unsubscribing to all stores, hiding ads, and making sure there’s no temptation. This is going to be hard, but if I can do it then it’s worth it.

Could you put yourself on a shopping ban? What are things you do to make sure you don’t buy things you don’t need?

Give me your tips!

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-Sam <3