the winning luck continues

Saucy rarely enters blog giveaways. She loves reading random comments on blogs, but she shies away from leaving entry comments. Mostly it's because she doesn't want to look greedy, especially if she is a new reader to the blog and she thinks that maybe the blogger is rewarding regular readers.

That changed when she stumbled upon the work of Elle Moss while surfing Flickr one night... and followed a link to her blog. If you peruse her work, you'll understand why Saucy couldn't resist leaving a comment to enter. Saucy entered because... she really, really wanted to win.

Can you imagine how thrilled Saucy was to learn that she was the winner of the blog draw and can choose an 8x8 or and 8x10 print from the alice b gardens Etsy shop! Thrilled.

And now comes the tricky part... deciding which of the images to choose. How to narrow it down? They are all just gorgeous.

Please Dear Reader, if you consider yourself a friend, help Saucy narrow this choice down as she is suffering from a terrible head cold and can barely think straight. Even with the strength of all her faculties, she would be hard pressed to make a decision in this situation.

Can you see why? Buttons, people. In a vintage dish. Pastel buttons, no less.

Saucy lurrves conversation hearts... but you knew that.

Drop Saucy a note with your suggestion... and as a gesture to pay it forward, Saucy will send you a little something too... one of the new pieces she is working on for her own Etsy shop. She's decided to call this one One Lucky Shilling and as soon as she finds the right vintage ribbon bit to tie on it, she'll send it your way, hoping it brings you the same good fortune that has been around here lately.

And some more news:

As Matthew Mead prepares to publish Holiday With Matthew Mead 2010, he has invited a group of "blog experts" to be featured in the publication and Saucy has been invited to be on the panel.

Head over to Holiday with Matthew Mead to find out how you can win the opportunity to have your blog or online shop mentioned in the magazine. Holiday with Matthew Mead is a "book-azine" celebrating and offering inspiration for the Christmas holiday season. To be released in October 2010, Holiday is offered via online orders only - in limited quantities - and will not be sold on newsstands. But, by simply following the BUY HOLIDAY MAGAZINE link below their banner, you can reserve your own copy of this beautiful magazine, with guaranteed delivery of the magazine straight to your mailbox! Holiday with Matthew Mead is 144 pages of holiday inspiration with well-known and admired designers, bloggers and top-notch features, printed on beautiful paper and not drowning in ads.

Now, head on over for your chance to win. After, of course, you enter to win one of Saucy's Ephemera Necklaces by helping her choose a print from Alice B. Gardens. Seriously, isn't this fun?

what it looked like

In order to bring you the full effect of this story, Dear Reader, Saucy will have to show you how things went down in photos.

She can show you what it looked like and explain what it felt like.

Can you imagine that everything was just perfect? Well, do. Because it was. Some things so smoothly in fact, so quickly and perfectly, they were hard to capture on film. It looked just perfect.

Saucy will be hard pressed to show you the fancy stunts and tricks here because it's too hard to take photos when you are holding your breath or squeezing someone's hand tightly. Fourteen year old girls throwing each other high in the air can be stressful for a coach and a parent.

Just hold your breath and bite your bottom lip tightly and you will get the full effect of how Saucy felt. Don't forget to clench your hands and induce a death grip on someone close by.

For instance, it's hard to tell in this photo that things are just perfect, but trust Saucy, they are. If you know your cheerleading, you know the Cheerios have a ripple effect going on here during the dance. It was complex but executed... perfectly.

And then, it was all over but the waiting. Five months of practice boiled down to two and a half minutes on the mat. In some ways those few minutes felt like a lifetime but in other ways, it slipped by so quickly, it was surreal. That's for the best. There was too much breath holding anyway. Saucy was turning purple, and that's not even a team colour.

Here, waiting for the results, rankings of the top three teams in the category were announced. Saucy and Mustang Sally, the assistant coach, were pretty sure the Cheerios could take a solid second place. It being their first year, and all.

As the team favoured to win was announced as the second place winners, check out the faces of the Cheerios and the look on Saucy's face...

Yes, it is an unflattering photo but it tells the story. Moving along. Saucy is looking back at Veto, The Fan and The Secret Weapon as if to say... "I don't know what is happening." Saucy had a hunch that the Cheerios weren't shut out, but things had taken a surprising turn, to say the least.

The anticipation builds for the Cheerios as the top-ranked team before the competition accepts their silver medals.

Saucy will let the pictures tell the next part of the story:

This is the best part. This banner will hang in the school gymnasium forever. Category and Division Champions! This part is called the reward of hard work, dedication and sometimes, even a little humility. This is where there was no cheer team six months ago, now there are champions.

Loopy exclaimed "this is my first non-math related award!"

Cheerios hugged Cheerios, Cheerios hugged parents and grandparents. There were tears of happiness and tears of exhaustion and relief. There was green eyeshadow and gold glitter everywhere.

Loopy wants a hug from you, too. Be careful. When she cries, her nose runs a bit.

This is what winning looks like. This feels good. Have a great day, whatever you decide to do today.

faux red velvet friday

Well Dear Reader, we have almost come to the end of the odyssey known as The Cheerios. Tomorrow they will compete in the Provincial Cheerleading Championship and that, as they say, will be that.

When the dust settles, Saucy will be back to regular postings about crafts, baking (cupcakes and more), home and garden, a little feminist rhetoric and maybe even some giveaways "sprinkled" in. Her fourth year of blogging coincides with her 800th post in April, so watch for some serious celebrating - and changes around this old bloggedy blog.

In the meantime, to get you through the weekend, Saucy wanted you to have a Fabulous Cupcake Friday. Enjoy this faux red velvet - not a drop of food dye nor cocoa in it.

Saucy just simply referred to her altered cupcake recipe using a white or golden cake mix (perfect for anyone allergic to chocolate) and instead of the usual one cup of liquid being water or milk, she used one cup of the fluid strained out of some mixed berries (the frozen kind) that she'd thawed to use as waffle topping. Who wants runny waffles anyway?

Until next week - have a great weekend and do wish us luck tomorrow! This is the culmination of five months hard work.

time for action and lemon loaf

As an aside to Pop Tart Tuesday, wherein Saucy debated the merits of teenagers dumping each other via Facebook, email and the least impersonal method of all, text message... she would like to share one more bee that is festering under her hair extensions about a disturbing trend that she witnessed a few years ago on vacation with Buddy Budderson:

Allow Saucy to set the stage: It was a weekend night in Toronto, she and Buddy decided to visit the entertainment and video game emporium known as Playdium. For the uninitiated, this is by far the mecca of video gaming. Imagine every single game known to man - under one roof.

And Saucy says "known to man" when she really means "known to boy" because it was apparent upon entering the establishment the demographic within was predominantly boys aged 12 to 20.

It was crowded, noisy and for Buddy, it was like heaven. He'd been promised this sojourn and there he was. Saucy obtained a game card and they set out to have some good, new-fangled fun.

Everywhere Saucy looked, she saw young teenagers taking part in the fun.

Until... Saucy began observing a disturbing trend throughout the arcade. Teenage boys everywhere were playing games. Teenage girls were everywhere, standing in lineups. At first, Saucy brushed this off as coincidence, as surely the concept of chivalry - while it is covered in the middle years Social History curriculum - is all but dead to this generation, reasonably she did not expect the young men to surrender their place in line to allow a young lady to play ahead of them.

That would be... asking entirely too much. Instead, Saucy assumed that the girls were simply waiting their turns to play the games.

But, no. Upon further observation, Saucy noted:

This was the part that really chapped Saucy's hide. The girls scattered about the arcade, standing in long lineups and "holding" spots for their boyfriends. When boyfriend finished the game he was playing, he jumped into his warmed up spot - and directed girlfriend which game to scope out and get a spot for next.

Saucy began to wander the Playdium and did some quick calculations. Approximately 95% of the people playing the games were teenage boys. Approximately 95% of the people standing in line were teenage girls.

And let Saucy just say, the girls were not making the best of it. They did not seem to interact with each other, as in "we're here in a group and this is how it goes, the girls hang out and the boys catch up after they play." The girls looked sad, forlorn and lonely. The closeted-anthropologist that Saucy is was deeply intrigued and she began to study the behaviour in earnest.

The girls did not even seem to know each other. It was apparent that they were there on dates. As in, "hey, would you like to come out with me on the weekend, hold my drink and save me places in line at the arcade?"

Oh, but wait... it gets better: some of the girls also held the boys coats. Thus freeing up their hands for all sorts of high scoring fun.

You guessed it. Catered to their every whim, ran errands for them, fetched them drinks from the concession and even took pictures of them on the more interactive games. Later to be posted on Facebook one can only assume with a caption like "my man owning this game."

You don't even want to know how wound up Saucy was over this situation. Reminiscent of the great Kindergarten photo debacle of 1999, her first instinct was to rally the girls to attention by standing on a table a 'la Sally Field in Norma Rae:

Until she realized that a) although she packs a Sharpie marker on her person at all times, she was lacking the poster board needed to start a simple revolution, right there and then, and;
b) it appeared to be a trend that was more far-reaching that even Saucy could imagine.

Saucy decided that right then and there, a chill was probably going up Gloria Steinem's spine because somehow, this generation of young women is simply allowing boys to get away with this junk. Saucy could feel the chill run up her spine and her only thought was to point the whole mess out to Buddy Budderson in an attempt to thwart this ongoing trend at a grassroots level.

Reader, surely you must be concerned about the denigration of civility and manners between the genders in our youthful population. Even Loopy makes observations about what she sees in school: boys slamming doors in girls' faces, boyfriends loping ahead of their girlfriends who are hobbling on crutches and trying to balance unwieldy backpacks, and the everyday use of words that shouldn't be repeated on a family blog that denigrate women... you get Saucy's drift.

Enough already. Saucy is {this close} to launching some sort of activist program for girls under the age of eighteen to stand up for themselves and say, with baked goods:

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Rabble-rousing takes a lot out of Saucy. She needs to replenish with hearty baked goods, and today was no exception. She whipped up two lemon-poppyseed loaves in order to deliver one to Pepper tomorrow as a small condolence for the loss of her Grandma.

You haven't had lemon loaf until you've had Saucy's Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
grated rind of one lemon
1/4 cup poppy seeds (optional)
save the juice of the lemon
1/4 cup white sugar

Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the milk at medium speed until just blended.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients with the lemon rind and blend into the egg mixture on medium speed. Turn speed to high for about thirty seconds after it is all blended.

Throw in the poppy seeds and stir them in by hand.

Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf pan... a small loaf pan is best here but if you like, this recipe is easily doubled and baked in a longer loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and test for doneness. The top should be slightly golden with a small crack.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes on a rack - in the pan.

In the meantime, stir together the lemon juice (seeds strained out) with the sugar in a saucepan on top of the stove over low heat. When the sugar is completely melted and the mixture has thickened to become a glaze, remove from heat.

Remove the loaf from the pan, set it on the cooling rack and before it is completely cool, use a pastry brush to apply the glaze to the top - and the bottom - of the loaf.

When the loaf is completely cool, use a serrated knife to slice it into lovely equal pieces. It slices up beautifully, or if you need to freeze it, wrap it in a good amount of plastic wrap uncut.

There now, Peeps. Don't we feel better about things already?

the destruction of pop tart tuesday

Cheerios practice today was rather uneventful to start, if you call Pop Tart Tuesday uneventful, and Saucy would not. In fact, Pop Tart Tuesday is a time-honoured tradition wherein Saucy has decided that on the last Tuesday of the month Saucy feeds the Cheerios a hot Pop Tart with a cold glass of milk at the start of practice. This involves Saucy loading up her kitchen toaster, toasting the Pop Tarts while the mats are being unrolled by Cheerios and serving them hot from the appliance - right in the gymnasium - on a paper towel.

And so, Pop Tart Tuesday began in such a way that things were almost normal. Normal, as in, Saucy was screeching through the megaphone:

"You think that was hard? Try toasting twenty-two Pop Tarts with a double slice toaster in a school gymnasium, that's hard!"

And so it went. Until Pop Tart Tuesday came to a grinding halt with a half hour left on the clock. One of the Cheerios, and Saucy will call her Roxy, because if you knew her surely you would agree that Roxy was the perfect blog handle for her - got a cryptic text message. From her boyfriend.

Uh-huh. You heard it. Roxy's boyfriend, who shall remain nameless - but if Saucy were to give him a blog handle surely it would be - Chicken Boy - broke up with her via instant message.
What is this, Saucy pondered, as Roxy's eyes glazed all watery and she was comforted by sixteen pairs of loving arms. What is this world coming to? How on earth is this acceptable behaviour, breaking up by cell phone? Adding insult to injury, not even in voice but by text. How did we arrive here? When did this become the way to end a relationship? Digital Dumping. Not cool.

Then and there, Saucy called an end to practice and called the Cheerios together, asking Roxy to look her in the eye when she gave her this little piece of business... and now, she's going to lay it out for you right here. For your benefit or the benefit of some Roxy in your life. Saucy calls this: Her Kiss-Off Rules.

Disclaimer: Saucy is not an accredited counsellor or couples therapist. Saucy is a near forty-three year old cheerleader with arthritis and a bad back and one of the worst pimples known in the history of ProActive Skin Care festering under her left nostril. She's been around the block a time or two and has the scrapbooks to prove it. She is therefore more than qualified to hand out relationship advice to the lovelorn under eighteen years of age if they ask for it.
Kiss off Rule Number One: Get Control

If a boy breaks up with you over email, phone or gawdforbid, instant message: he wants control of the situation. It's simple. He's afraid. He's worried you might cry, you might make that face you make, he might not be able to go through with it or he might not say the right thing. Maybe he actually doesn't want to hurt you - but inevitably he will and he knows it - but at any rate, by doing his business with you wirelessly, he has control of the situation. When you open that message, you're shocked. You're upset... and he doesn't have to deal. How handy for him!

Saucy's been around the block a few times, Roxy. She's had a boyfriend or two and even a couple of husbands and she'll tell you this: the only time it is acceptable to break off a relationship impersonally is when one person is served legal documents by the other's attourney. Keep it real. It's face to face, or not at all. Some business needs to be handled in person. Mano-a-Mano.

Sister needs to take control. Saucy told Roxy not to answer his calls or texts for at least twenty four hours. She needs to get a handle on her own emotions and not let him mix her up, drown in apology or even have contact. Why?

Kiss Off Rule Number Two:
Boys Don't Respond to Words, They Respond to Action

Roxy, someday you will look back on this day with clarity and maybe the wisdom of Saucy and recall a time in one of your relationships when you looked at a boy while you were talking to him and you saw his eyes were glazed over and you realized he wasn't listening to a word you said. Why is this? Because boys, no matter how old they are, don't really like to "talk." Especially about their feelings. And relationships. That's why they use instant messaging to do their dirty work.

Chances are, you might find yourself talking to a boy one day and feel like he hears nothing but "blah blah blah (insert boy name here)" while you are yabbering. Now is not the time to yabber. Why?

First off, he didn't want to hear your yabbering... that's why he took care of you by phone. If you phone him, you'll give him back the control. He might hang up on you. He might be with his friends. You're upset. You're not at your best. Put a pin in it. Saucy told Roxy to surrender her phone to a friend if she thought she couldn't trust herself not to answer it. No matter what, he put the ball in your court by breaking it off over the phone, so keep it there. For at least 24 hours... but more (or forever) would be best with this guy. Boys don't want to talk about "how it makes them feel" or "what did you mean by this or that." They kind of get on with things and leave girls to do the yabbering with their own kind.

Saucy advises Roxy therefore to lean upon her Mom, her fellow Cheerios, and a pint of Cherry Garcia. There's a boy you can trust until the day you die.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Three:
When Saucy Means No Contact, She Means No Contact

And Saucy really means it when Saucy says it. Like a bandaid, he needs to be ripped off painfully but quickly. Roxy is advised to get about her own business and make some plans for the weekend (how handy that it is a busy cheer weekend) and spend some quality time with friends and family. And anyway, if this ends up blowing over in the long run, you will have put in some good time with your pals and avoided some drama. It's a win-win plan... and trust Saucy, you need yourself a plan.

Now is not the time to hang with mutual friends or - and Saucy really means this - go to a party or a game or anywhere where Mr. Itchy Fingers McTexty is hanging out. Don't give in to the drama. Don't give him the satisfaction. Don't surrender the control.

And besides, living well is the best revenge. Oprah says so and Saucy agrees. Get out and do something fabulous. Without him.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Four: Get Busy

To elaborate: there's lots of other stuff to do. Moping around after the first 24 hours isn't one of them. Give yourself two pints and one day and get on with it. It's hard, yes, but you need to do it.

This mostly applies to high school relationships. For more adult breakup situations, multiply out ice cream and grieving time exponentially.

Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Five: Keep Him Guessing

We have established that boys like to be in control. We have also established that he is avoiding the situation, or he wouldn't have phoned it in. Now, Saucy wants to establish this: he's expecting you to cry, phone, email, text, weep and wail to friends, try to call him out in public.

In short, and not to get too technical and confusing, The Art of War (look it up here) says to know your enemy, to ensure that they know you and then do the opposite of what they are expecting. In short: keep him off-balance. Do the unexpected.

This is partly why Saucy sped to a halt halfway home from practice, ran into The Fan's house and absconded with her laptop to send Roxy an emergency message: ixnaye on the status updatesaye. Saucy sees in her Facebook feed that people like to tell the world how they are feeling and what's going on and all that, and she's hip and cool and down with it, but no contact means no contact. Saucy would lay low for a little while, especially on the world wide intertubes.

Now is not the time to lay it all out on a status update "is missing you terribly" and all weepy and moany like that.

Better yet, a status update along the lines of, "had a great cheer practice, we ran through the routine four times perfectly"... now there's a message. Another good message would be "is studying for a science test" or better yet, no status at all. But not "drowning in a pool of self pity and defeat and feeling completely destroyed and unloved" because heck, that's what he's going to read into anything you type into that little rectangle on your screen... and then he's got the power again. Fo 'shiz.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Six:Drop Him Dead With Gorgeous

If you knew Roxy like Saucy knows Roxy, then you'd know... this isn't a problem. She's tall (it's pretty much all leg too), she has long dark hair and giant eyes with dark fringy eyelashes and she never steps so much as into Cheerios practice without wearing just the right workout gear and when she walks away from you, she leaves behind the lingering scent of some exotic mandarin concoction. She has got it going on.

So, Saucy reminded girlfriend to keep it up. Now is not the time to shuffle to school in pyjama bottoms and slippers. If anything, amp it up a notch. Let's take this to the next level... and Saucy does not mean vamp it up. She means, if he ever said, "you look adorable in that sweater" then now is not the time to relegate said sweater to some sarcophygus in your closet lest it remind you of him. Now is the time to put on that sweater... and work it.

He is so going to regret pressing "send."

Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Seven: Watch For Blame Phrases

Saucy read the life-ruining text and it said something along the lines of "I'm not good enough for you" and in all of her forty-three years, she's heard that a grand total of several times and wants Roxy to know... it's not you, it's him.

When a boy says something like, "I don't deserve you" he's probably right. At the very least, he's finally woken up to the truth and at the very worst, he might have already lined up a replacement Roxy at another school, so brace yourself. He might be admitting to his rapscallion ways before you find out the truth.

But the key turn of this phrase is, "you" because if you dissect that sentence as carefully as you took care of the frog in second period, there is a subtle message of blame in there, as in, "you did this by being so wonderful" and truth be told, you are. But don't let anyone blame you for it.

It's simple. He's done, for whatever reason. He may not even have much of a reason because he is a fifteen year old boy and his brain is the size of a walnut at the best of times and not even located in his head... but he called it off and no matter what he says to try to flatter you, it's not easing your pain so don't buy into it.

It's like that old episode of Seinfeld: It's not me. It's you. In this case, it's not you, it's him.
Saucy's Kiss Off Rule Number Eight: What's Done is Done

This is the hardest of all the advice that Saucy is doling out to Roxy right now, but maybe the most important. Saucy has been around too many high schools as a teacher and guidance counsellor over the years and can say this with certainty: move on, there's nothing to see here. Teenage breakups can sort of be like a car wreck sometimes.

Yes, he was the lurrve of your life. Saucy had one of those in grade nine too. He broke up with Saucy over the phone... so you see, Saucy learned these lessons the hard way. But Saucy has noticed a disturbing trend among teen daters: serial breaking up. What is this? You do not share a home, children or property. This does not involve lawyers or in reality, have lifelong impact beyond being blog fodder for you in your forties.

Saucy is all for saving the marriage and all that... but the high school relationship? That's why we have them... to move on. To figure it out. To learn stuff about ourselves in a low-key environment so we can have normal, fully committed adult relationships later. Part of that learning involves breaking up (with class) and moving on (with determination).

The last bit of advice comes straight from The Fan and since she reads this blog, Saucy can't even take credit for it:

There's a new bus every five minutes. The next bus goes a little further than the last one.

Roxy, do you know what a metaphor is? Have they gone over that in English class? Saucy wants you to know that this means simply: get off the bus. Have a quick check of the roadmap. Get a GPS if you think you need one. Find a dollar and start looking for the next bus.

And yeah, when we talked a few minutes ago he'd already texted you eighteen times and you were wondering if this all might blow over... and it might. But the ball is in your court now. Make him run for it. Make him chase your bus.


we're into it, for spring

Saucy and Loopy are loving the new scent by Vera Wang, Glam Princess. It's so light and fresh and floral and fruity... you can bet that a Loopy photo shoot is in the works for this one... just as soon as the weather warms up a little more. Now that the craft room is in order, Saucy might even be fashioning a special tiara for the occasion.

Saucy would like to share two great new hair products that we've been using around here:

For total amplification (which Saucy adores... big hair means you're closer to heaven) try Osis+ Dust It, a chalky powder that can be applied sparingly to your roots when your hair is dry. If flat hair troubles you, a little of this dusting powder does the trick and fluffs up your roots, adding texture and body. Perfect if say, you like to do a little back-combing like Saucy does. Just a note: Loopy doesn't care for the chalky feeling near her scalp so if you think that will bother you, skip this one. But if you struggle with limp or flat roots: go for it.
Since Saucy is really struggling with feeling like her hair is thinning right now, she was thrilled to find that Living Proof haircare is now being sold at Sephora. This whole line smells just delicious and the Full Thickening Cream applied to slightly damp hair before blowdrying works wonders adding a nice thickening effect without feeling greasy or adding any buildup. A little goes a long way with this stuff, so get the small bottle.

When shopping for supplements, Saucy decided to try Flintstones Gummies. Why not? They're as yummy as any gummi candy out there so they satisfy Saucy's sweet tooth and add a few viteys to her day. Loopy and Buddy Budderson are also gnawing away at them and Saucy figures, it can't really hurt anyone, can it? Saucy knows that the dosage is for kids, that's why she munches on a handful at a time.

Until Glee returns in April, we are appeasing ourselves with the soundtracks, now available on iTunes. It's the go-to on Saucy's iPod playlist right now... just like Kurt Hummel. Check out the website - you can download full episodes and there's even an open casting call to be one of the new cast members. For those of us who wouldn't make the cut, there are downloads, ringtones, wallpapers and even sheet music to grab from the official webpage.

Loopy got a Flip video camera for Christmas. We are having a blast with it - so far it's been pretty handy to videotape the Cheerios but when we have time, don't worry... we'll make a movie where Duke is the star and little cakes are the sidekicks.

The handiest part of this gadget is the direct USB connection - no worries about cords or memory cards!

Saucy's loving every single morsel of these Praeventia mini granola bites. After sampling them at Costco, she thought it would be the Cherry & Pomegranate to crave but the Apple & Almond is absolutely yummy. The best part? It's not just that they're only 100 calories each, or that they're sweetened with natural agave extract... it's the dark chocolate and red wine extract.

That's about it... what are you into right now, Peeps? Saucy lurrves a good tip from a trusted reader.

Thanks to Anonymous who left a tip yesterday, head on over to Desire to Inspire and check out not one - but two of Saucy's laundry rooms featured in their faves!