mob mentality

So when you ask someone in the mob for "a favour," you get the favour... but you owe them a favour. That's how it works. They can cash in at any time, and ask you for anything.

So when one of the Cheerios asked for help to put together something for her Mom for Mother's Day, Saucy explained to her that she'd owe "a favour"... you get the drift.

It's the mob mentality, for cheerleading coaches. All of these little charms that were gathered will mean something to her mother. It came together pretty nicely with a brown and aqua scheme and things are looking pretty good... much better than they looked at about noon today.

By noon hour, a tearful Loopy was in the Principal's office over a matter involving a mean girl and some things that should not have been said about Loopy's physical limitations. Luckily for Loopy, she has some excellent peeps - some are Cheerios, some are not - and they went to bat for her. Sure, they could have handled things with a bit more finesse, but when someone is being bullied, the mob mentality kicks in and fourteen year old girls have a strong sense of what is right and wrong and well, picking on someone who has different abilities is not cool.

Let's just say, that by the end of the evening over here, we not only had one Mother's Day gift wrapped and ready to go, we had discussed what might be some appropriate ways to handle bullies in the future. But handle them they should. Because if you bear witness to a peep being bullied, you simply must stand up to it. By turning a blind eye to bullying, you are an accomplice. The mob today understood that much. Loopy has some fine and well-meaning peeps. For that we are grateful.

Come back on Monday. It's the Fourth Anniversary of this little bloggedy blog blog, Saucy's 8ooth post, and it will be celebrated with a sweet giveaway. Do you remember last year's celebration? This one will appeal to even more of you. Saucy wants to reward her loyal and well-meaning peeps... is that you?

miss dior cherie-os

These quotes by Audrey Hepburn speak to Saucy and she wanted to share them with you in a House of Dior, Hepburn inspired photo shoot...

"If I'm honest, I have to tell you I still read fairy tales and I like them best of all."

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."

"The best thing in life is to hold on to each other."

"Your heart just breaks, that's all. But you can't judge or point fingers. You just have to be lucky enough to find someone who appreciates you."

"I've been lucky. Opportunities don't often come along.
So, when they do, you have to grab them."

"Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it."

"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it is the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person."

"You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you
are by the earrings he gives you."

"I decided very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it."

"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows."

"Paris is always a good idea."

"Its that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. this was the whole ethic by which I was brought up: others matter more than you do, so don't fuss dear; get on with it."

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others
than you can by what others say about him."

"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes... people as they come. The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."

"I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles."

"When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you,
that's when I think life is over."

"Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering - because you can't take it in all at once."

"I'm an introvert...I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky."

"I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel."

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

"As a matter of fact, I feel rather like expressing myself right now."

"I tried always to do better: saw always a little further. It tried to stretch myself."

Reader, do the words or the style of an icon speak to you? Who is it, and what did they say or do to inspire you to live your best life?

chunky funky necklace

Mountie Wife and Red came over to Saucy's tonight. It seems that Red is invited to a swanky party on the weekend and needed a little something to push her new LBD (little black dress) over the top. It was decided that pieces of jewelry from the dollar store would be clipped, snipped and reworked into something suitable for an occasion. It actually took three pairs of hands, yes it did.

Hmmm... Saucy is thinking that she should have photographed "the guts," or the actual purchased pieces that were reworked into this funky pearl-and-ribbon piece. Well, you can imagine, Dear Reader. If Red were to saunter into an event with all that Dollarama bling around her neck as it came out of the plastic wrap, she'd be a laughing stock.

It's funny, isn't it, how a mashup of junk from the dollar store that you'd never dream of putting around your neck can turn into something just the opposite?

The guts were reworked by twisting and turning and interlocking and weaving the existing pieces, some of them being snipped to size and some of them needed to be made longer to ensure some maximum contact between strands... Saucy didn't want it to shake apart when Red shakes it on the dance floor.

The inspiration for this piece can be seen here. Saucy also has a pretty big piece in the works - two of them, in fact. They might be ready to show you later this week.

Oh, and today there was another Cheerio photo shoot and Saucy has promised herself: this time, she will not stay up late into the night looking at all of the lovely pictures. Okay, well just a few. But she's not showing any of them to you until tomorrow, so there!

baking lessons

Saucy's friend 'Lil Sarge wanted baking lessons for her birthday. She told Sarge and Pepper, and it was set up. Saturday was the first session. Saucy decided that since 'Lil Sarge had already mastered baking basic cupcakes using the blog tips, it was time to attempt a few twists to the cupcake experience: carrot cakes with crumble topping, hummingbird cakes (tropical pineapple cupcakes) and of course, dark chocolate.

Reader Carlene D asked two questions on the last post: the answers are right here. Saucy does indeed use a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and she'd never go back. She had a funky old Sunbeam that she swore by since she was in high school but when Veto suggested getting a Kitchen Aid at Costco, she jumped at the chance. It was promptly returned: that model was too heavy for Saucy to wield around the countertop and she wasn't a fan of the rounded bowl bottom. It's just a preference. If you do lots of cooked egg white frostings, you might want the option to use the rounded bowl as a double boiler. But Saucy found it unwieldy and frustrating, the way it bobbled around like a Weeble toy.

Costco graciously accepted the mixer as a return (Saucy also found the pro model too noisy for her little kitchen, she needs to hear her music while she works) and she found a smaller version elsewhere - at a better price - and is much happier with it.

If you invest in such a mixer, try to find extra bowls for it, you won't be sorry. They are often available in promo packs at time of purchase, or you can find them later on eBay. The size you need will be etched in the bottom of the bowl that comes with your machine (Saucy's is K45) so you can keep your eyes peeled for a good price. It's worth it to have two. One for batter, one for frosting.

While the batches of cupcakes baked, 'Lil Sarge whipped up a batch of Saucy's buttercream and also a batch of cream cheese frosting. Then and there, 'Lil Sarge and Saucy decided that she would like a Kitchen Aid mixer of her own for Christmas. Saucy wants Sarge to know that in October, the pink mixers are for sale during Breast Cancer Awareness month, wouldn't it be nice to put one away for Christmas morning then?

Since fondant flowers were also on the lesson plan for the day, it was time to mix up a recipe of marshmallow fondant... just a small batch.

First, measure 8 ounces (approx 4 cups, not packed) into a microwave safe bowl. Add 2 tbsp water and put in the microwave oven on high for one minute, until the marshmallows appear all fluffy.

Remove from microwave and stir with a spatula until any unmelted bits of marshmallow break down and the mixture is smooth. If you still have marshmallow lumps, return the bowl to the microwave for about 30 seconds.

The next part is tricky... you'll need some elbow grease. Measure out four cups (about 1 pound) of confectioners' sugar and start stirring it into the marshmallow mixture. It will be easy enough at the start but eventually it will stiffen up and get too hard to stir...

Then, turn the sticky, gooey marshmallow mixture out onto a counter lightly dusted with more icing sugar. Start kneading the fondant and add more sugar as you go. It takes a while to work into the mixture nicely and your hands will be very sticky at the start. As you work the fondant, your hands will get less sticky and the mixture will begin to appear smooth.

Knead, adding more sugar until the fondant is firm but still pliable. You don't want to add too much of the sugar, you might end up with a fondant that is too stiff to work with. You may not need to add the entire four cups of sugar.

If you would like to tint or flavour your fondant, you can now divide it as you like. Use a paste food dye (such as Wilton) and flatten the fondant you wish to colour into a small disc, with a dab of the colouring in the middle. Fold it over, and then start kneading it through the fondant. You might want to wear kitchen gloves for this part... it can be a tad messy until it's worked in and you don't want green cuticles, do you?

The fondant must be thoroughly kneaded to achieve a smooth, even distribution of the colour. You don't want a marble effect.

Time to start rolling your fondant on a counter lightly dusted with more confectioners' sugar:

The fondant is lovely to work with... smooth and pliable. If you have added the right amount of sugar, it will hold its shape nicely. If it wants to shrink back after you roll it, you need to add more sugar.

'Lil Sarge cut flowers in all shapes to top the assortment of cupcakes. On this day and for this lesson, Saucy did the piping of the buttercream and 'Lil Sarge assembled her fondant flowers on each cupcake, using a piping bag of buttercream fitted with a very fine tip so she could "glue" her flowers together.

Before too long, 'Lil Sarge was cranking out some pretty impressive floral creations on the cupcakes. Saucy almost couldn't frost them fast enough for decorating.

Carrot cake with crumble topping, frosted with cream cheese icing and decorated with 'Lil Sarge's flower creations.

The hummingbird cupcakes - basic vanilla cupcakes amped up with pineapple juice as fluid, crushed pineapple folded into the batter and just a smack of yellow food colouring. Frosted with this beautiful moss green buttercream before getting the sweet little flower added.

You can use the upside of the basket weave tip to create an unusual frosting pattern.

There's something striking about a nice assortment of cupcakes, all decorated according to a theme, don't you agree? A batch of cupcakes like this would be an amazing Mother's Day treat.

Don't forget to try your leaf tip when frosting a cupcake for a funky, imperfect swirly effect.

What a cute trio of cupcakes! Have you ever seen anything cuter? Oh, wait...

C'mon, Reader *mad props* and *applause* to 'Lil Sarge for completing her first lesson in Saucy's kitchen classroom. Next thing you know, she'll be teaching us a thing or two. In the meantime, she and Saucy plan to work their way up to a full sized, layered fondant covered cake. Stay tuned!

Carlene D, these photos were taken with the Canon Rebel xSi, the one Saucy cashed in her Air Miles for last year. After fretting between the Nikon D60 and the Canon, she's glad she went with the Rebel. An informal blog poll revealed that is what most of the blog readers are using, and there were no bad reviews. Saucy lurrves hers and as much as she uses it, she's not even using it to its fullest potential, but the upcoming Loopy Fashion Shoots will surely change that.

Ask your friends what they like and don't like about their cameras. For Saucy (who went to a camera store to handle the goods before ordering), the weight of the unit was important. With sometimes weak arthritic hands, it had to be comfortable and as lightweight as possible. The Canon fit the bill. Also, the Canon cameras take regular SD memory cards - they are readily available and inexpensive. Practicality rules in Saucy's world even though she will admit to you she did fancy the notion of "looking pro" with a Nikon around her neck.

The remainder of the advice that Saucy will be doling out after Friday's post will appear either in that post's comments or in upcoming posts. Keep your eyes peeled... Saucy has an opinion on everything.

just ask saucy

Just this very morning Saucy was lamenting the fact that with cheerleading over for the season, she now has no one to offer unsolicited advice to. To be perfectly honest, she flirted with the notion of offering advice here on the blog on a myriad of topics, just for shits and giggles, as she says.

Why, she reasoned, what an entertaining blog post that would be. Perhaps her readers have found themselves in some unusual dilemmas for which she could offer them some sage wisdom and they could solve whatever ails them with some words from Saucy.

And as she put the finishing touches on a giant chocolate chip cookie that she baked up for the girls in Veto's office, she realized that she had possibly - in four years of blogging - come up with the stupidest idea for a post in the history of blogging.

Because who would want advice from a middle aged, over educated, under employed, frustrated pastry chef with a penchant for musical theatre who suffers from insomnia, watches entirely too much television and whose roots needed retouching two weeks ago?

Clearly this is not a person with an over abundance of life skills. Who on earth would want advice from Saucy?

Apparently, as she found out later, this was the topic of discussion elsewhere at almost the exact same moment.

Reader, do you remember Roxy, the Cheerio who found herself on the receiving end of Saucy's relationship advice one Pop Tart Tuesday? Well, in English class Roxy found herself in need of clarification regarding some sort of assignment or such thing. She turned to ask a girl near her who replied:

Roxy reported this insignificant incident to Saucy at the pep rally today with a little gleam in her eye... they shared a snicker about it, but it did get Saucy to thinking again.

Because if awards season in Hollywood has told us anything in the past four years, Saucy lurrves handing out fashion advice almost as much as she lurrves telling her peeps how to bake up a cupcake or handle a pastry bag.

It's a sickness. And if Saucy is really being reflective, she'll tell you. She likes to give advice. When it comes to giving advice, she has a big fat head and an over-inflated ego and she likes to tell you what's what.

You know it. Saucy gets emails from readers who apologize for interrupting her and ask, but please, how do you think I could go about this or that? Just last week, Angela asked Saucy how she might go about making the eyeballs on her son's Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake move.

And Saucy didn't have the slightest idea, but she really dug that Angela thought to ask her and they had a detailed email pow wow and threw some ideas around before Angela ultimately took Saucy's basic advice on the matter which was, don't even worry about it. You'll make yourself crazy if you try to do it. It's a fabulous idea and the Cake Boss guy might have a crack at it someday but Saucy and Angela are two busy, fabulous women who have to know when enough is enough and the guests can just sit down with a fabulous Thomas cake and be damned glad to get it.

So you see? Saucy's advice, although not what Angela was asking for exactly, turned out to be correct and Angela's family and friends enjoyed one of her delicious creations yet again, with less stress on Angela.

Why, in the last week alone, Saucy has been asked by some of her peeps:

Do you have a good stuffed mushroom recipe?
What colour of shoe should I wear with this dress?
How would you make this cake for your Cheerios? I want to make something like it for my Cheerios.
What kind of skin care product should I get for my preteen son?
Is it okay to wear boots with a dress to a wedding?
Is it worth it to open an Etsy?
What kind of camera are you using for the Loopy photo shoots?
Should I paint one wall in my bedroom red?
Do you know a good attorney?

The Fan and Saucy were just saying to each other to remember the old adage: God always gives you an answer, but sometimes you don't like it.

Well, Saucy gives you advice and sometimes you don't want it. But you'll get it.

And so, Dear Reader, this is your chance. This weekend Saucy invites you to solicit her advice on just about anything. Regular readers of this blog might have some idea of the areas where Saucy flaunts her non-expertise. Did your recipe go wrong? Mother-in-law woes? Not sure how to get rid of your husband's hideous golf pants? Don't know who to pick in your baseball draft?

Is your pickle personal or professional? No matter. Fire away. If Saucy can't help you, perhaps a fellow peep will pop in and offer an opinion.

The comment box is now open... or if your quandry is more personal in nature you might want to fire Saucy an email to her dot com address in the sidebar or shoot her a message on Facebook. She might answer your question publicly but she'll spare the details and respect your privacy about those hairs you are concerned about.

In the meantime, Saucy's pre-planned post is still here, but simply punctuated in length. Today, she wants to quickly show you how to make a giant chocolate chip cookie-gram. She made two sweet ones for some secretaries she knows... you didn't forget Secretaries Day, didn't you?

Saucy prepares a springform pan by assembling it with a piece of silicone parchment in the ring. She just locks the ring with the paper in place. Sometimes, she trims the paper before she bakes the cookie but today she realized that was an unnecessary step so she went ahead and took her own advice: keep it simple. She threw an entire batch of Loopy's famous cookie dough into the parchment lined pan and into the oven it went.

You might have to bake it quite a bit longer... around twenty minutes. It will be golden on the outside but still soft and chewy inside. Take it out of the oven when it is smooth and almost appears flat.

After cooling - but before you remove the springform ring - you can cut or tear away the excess parchment paper. The paper that is under the cookie stays under the cookie. It keeps the box or serving plate from getting too greasy.

Simply use a pastry bag to pipe your message on the cooled cookie and present the good will to someone who deserves it. Saucy keeps a stack of white pizza boxes in her pantry for just this recipe.

One last word about the advice: it will be brutally honest. If Saucy doesn't know the answer, she will be straight with you. If you send her a picture and ask if you look fat in those pants, she'll tell you the truth. Now is not the time to wax over the truth.

Saucy isn't one to sugar-coat her advice. Just ask the Cheerios. It can be pretty frank because she saves the sugar-coating for cupcakes and whoopie pies.

You can thank her later. With one giant cookie.