oscar roundup

Saucy will keep this rundown short, sweet and to the point. Partly because she's fighting the flu, and partly because the awards themselves seemed so short she doesn't want to belabour the issue.

One thing she knows for sure, she's going to buy some white clothes for spring.

She might even buy a cape. Damn, Gwyneth Paltrow. Why do you always have to look so good? This outfit has finally erased the bubblegum pink Ralph Lauren bomb you dropped when you won for Shakespeare in Love

Winner Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji. This is beautifully detailed and gathered. Obviously Octavia, you have found a designer that you can work with and you've worn his dresses all season. Saucy freely admits as well that she wept a little when you won the Academy Award this night.

Milla Jovovich, one of the first on the carpet - started the white trend of the night. She set the bar pretty high.

When Rooney Mara arrived, the reaction was mixed, but Saucy got it. She dug the modern Audrey Hepburn vibe, with the hair and the Givenchy dress. Audrey wore Givenchy when she won her Oscar in 1954:

Still, Saucy would have liked it if you wore some earrings or a less severe set of bangs. Only Audrey pulls off Audrey.

This will likely be touted as a flop, but Shailene Woodley's long sleeved gown was unexpected and kind of sweet. Remember, she is only in her early twenties and studying to be an herbalist. 'Nuff said.

What can Saucy say about JLo's racy Zuhair Murad gown that hasn't been said already? A little slip of the nip - and somewhere, Janet Jackson is crying, forever alone.

Rooney's sister, Kate Mara. She gives a totally different vibe. This Elie Saab gown is a little slouchy for Saucy's taste. It's a pretty dress, but it appears to be falling down.

Is it completely mean to ask why Cameron Diaz always appears at these events? She hasn't made a relevant movie since... who knows when? Are we counting Bad Teacher? Regardless, this gown by Gucci fits her like a glove and is a testament to properly fitting undergarments.

Glenn Close just works it in a forest green Zac Posen design. Saucy's never met a Zac Posen that she likes, so she'll skip the commentary.

From here on, things start getting brighter. More colour!

Natalie Portman in vintage Dior. It's just to die for, but the vibe of the necklace doesn't work with the polka dotted pattern. Just because it costs thousands, doesn't mean you should wear it. Pearls would have suited this dress better.

Saucy might take heat for this, but she lurrved Emma Stone's red dress by Giambattista Valli. She thought it made her favourite ginger look tall and elegant... better than Nicole Kidman when she wore a Balenciaga version a couple of years ago:

If you were tall, slender and famous, which of these two red gowns would you choose to be accessorized with a giant bow? Saucy votes for Emma, who's also looking taller these days because she's standing on the remains of Lindsay Lohan's career.

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton. There could be some harsh criticism of the peplum, but Michelle is petite and can get away with it. Carrying a pink clutch made it fresh. Plus, she's sending a message: she's not conforming with her hair or her clothes. We get it.

Penelope Cruz conforms beautifully in this icy blue princess style gown. It was old Hollywood without looking too prom. Trust Saucy, who has been scouring malls and magazines for prom dresses with Cheerios... this is not prom. Not these days, anyway.

Saucy adores Viola Davis' natural hair, her Vera Wang dress and her clutch. The only problem she has is that we have all been subjected to Viola's cleavage all awards season. It was like giving her a visual mammogram each time she stepped on the carpet.


Here's a thought for you to mull over: this dress for Missi Pyle was made in an Eco-friendly way. The silk was spun by cruelty free silkworms. Yes, you read that right. The zipper was reclaimed from another garment as well. 

Cruelty-free silkworms. That's a new one.

Boo to Berenice Bejo... The Artist won Best Picture but the actress's dress falls flat. The cut and the beading age her dramatically.  That colour does nothing for her skin tone.

Oh, Angelina. Why must you be such a vamp? Because you can. From afar, this looked fine. But closeup... Saucy risks sounding catty, but having six children is taking its toll on you.

Saucy gets giddy when Tina Fey gets it right. In a custom Carolina Herrera of midnight blue, with a ton of fake hair in no doubt to promote Garnisse hair colour and shampoo. It's still gorgeous, with blue accessories.

Busy Phillips, friend of nominee Michelle Williams. The dress is appropriate for her to wear and are those red shoes? Squeal! 

Do you enjoy Judy Greer as much as Saucy does? This dress, the fit and the hair are perfection for her. 

Sarah Hyland in subtle violet. All season, she has been emerging as a fashion star to watch. She is this year's Mila Kunis.

On with the Bridesmaids:

Wendi McLendon-Covey in Simon Cote Couture. Now this, this is kind of prom. Especially the hair.

Maya Rudolph radiating in eggplant. It's perfect for her complexion and her figure.

Ellie Kemper in a rust and copper beaded sheath by Armani Prive. The colour and the fit are fine... but the bangs are super distracting. Even more so than Rooney Mara's. Get a trim.

Poor Melissa McCarthy. Someone talked her into this and Saucy would like to have had the opportunity to talk her out of it. The beading is nice and the colour kind of suits her (she's worn better) but the draping and material of that skirt... from the side... it was unfortunate. Let's hope she was comfortable.

Kristen Wiig looked natural and a little casual. Trust the funny girl not to take things too seriously and show up with black nail polish. Saucy would have thrown a beaded belt on this to jack it up a bit but it was okay. It looked fun to wear.

Rose Byrne... the haircut, the dress, the accessories. It was all just a touch of heaven on the red carpet. Best dressed nominee for sure.

Saucy liked Sandra Bullock's look by Marchesa even though it was kind of panned on Twitter. Kelly Osbourne accused this dress of being too large in the bodice and Saucy isn't sure, but she likes it. She really, actually likes it. It's different.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty... gold dresses. You might get away with this look if you are Stacy Keibler, or you might not. Saucy thinks this dress is a miss. It's entirely too much, even for this occasion. She's not a nominee or an actress... she's George Clooney's date du jour. Perhaps she wanted to be the golden statue he clutched onto forever in case he lost the award.

Word is, she and Angelina hate each other. Can you dig it?

Meryl Streep... she won the Oscar and also has to look like one in all of the photos that will follow her for a lifetime. It's just too much gold, too many folds and not overly flattering. 

Saucy's best dressed? Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen. The only thing that misses here is the slightly unnatural tint to her hair this evening. It's just a little too peachy. The dress however, is devine. You cannot go wrong with McQueen.

That's all Saucy has to say about that. Her head is aching and her tummy hurts. Some years she stays up well past midnight to bring you this post... but this year you're on your own to add your commentary. 

What did you think? Who was your worst dressed... who was your best? And what can Saucy do for this tummy ache?

happy valentine's day

It seemed odd to Saucy that last night after supper Loopy decided to make Valentine cookies to share with her friends at school. Being a junior in high school and all, Saucy thought the days of sending Valentines to the class were long gone. Apparently not. Loopy announced that she absolutely loves her history class and most of her good friends are in the class with her, so she just had to make cookies for them. Strangely enough Saucy agreed to the plan and the cookies were started at 9:00 at night.

It's a good thing the Wilton sugar cookie recipe is so quick and easy. It rolls out nicely (even the scraps) and one recipe yields about sixty medium-sized cookies like this. It was also a good thing that Saucy had pulled out the old tin heart-shaped cutter that came from Granny's house and put it on the window sill for a decoration this week. Everything was handy and ready to go.

At around 10:30, the cookies were laid out on a rack with the glaze and sprinkles applied to harden overnight. The glaze is super easy:

2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (it must be sifted)
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
food colour to tint

Into the sugar, add the corn syrup, milk and vanilla. Whisk together - you may find it quite thick and adding more milk (in very tiny increments) will help thin it out. Beware, this glaze should come together without lumps but still appear quite thick and gloopy as you are adding the food colour. You will notice as you spread it over the surface of the cookie that it spreads out nicely if it is a bit on the thick side. Apply sprinkles or decorations immediately and then allow the glaze to harden - overnight is best.

In case you were wondering how The Cheerios fared over the weekend, they placed second! They were especially pleased with themselves because they were competing at a new level using newly acquired skills. Plus, the team that beat them previously competed at the level above, so it's not like it was an unfair match... but the other team had the advantage of years of experience at a higher level... so, you know. It was still a win for Team Cheerio. Don't they looked happy? They were!

Saucy is also happy to report that as expected, The Cheerios traveled well and were very ladylike and well behaved everywhere they went. They don't know it right now, but that's really the most important stuff Saucy wants them to take away from being on the team. It looks like one big dance and tumbling practice to them, but it's actually a lesson about life, friendship and being good sports.

And in that division, they're winning.

let's roll

It's been a crazy week, but Saucy is packed up and ready to load her Cheerios and the other team of cheerleaders from our school onto a bus for a road trip to compete this weekend. It's the first outing of the year, the girls are excited, and after practicing every night this week things are looking pretty good in spite of a cold and flu making the rounds and one of the main base girls being out with a concussion. She wiped out on her toboggan a couple of weeks ago.

We also lost a flyer (top girl) this week and had to rework quite a bit of the routine. This happens in cheer quite a bit and everyone had to make the best of it but it wasn't easy. These are the events that either make or break a team, bringing everyone together and testing the mettle of the girls placed in new roles.

But mostly, this weekend will be about having fun and building an even stronger team bond between the girls. Saucy has lots of little things planned.

Tonight after everyone is done with swimming and hot tub time, they will repair to their rooms to dry and straighten their hair for tomorrow morning. Saucy has a few bottles of yellow nail polish and they can take turns filing their nails to a safe short length and adding their school colour right to the tips of their fingers.

At about 10:30 we'll have our goodnight team meeting. Saucy has white foam cups that she's written personal inspirational messages on - each girl gets a cup of hot Sleepytime tea and a few teddy grahams before tucking in. It's our little ritual. The Bears love their "teddy bear tea and cookies" at bedtime.

Saucy loves the placebo effect it has on them. They start yawning and saying things like "sweet dreams" to each other... and then it's off to their rooms. Lights out at 11:00. Room checks later.

In the morning the 7:00 AM wake up call will get everyone up and in front of the mirror, applying green eyeshadow and helping each other pull their hair into high topped ponytails with a Snookie-sized pouf on top. For this competition Saucy has a little kelly green hair spray so we're going to try to put a little flash onto the tip of each pony.

The bus will be loaded, with Saucy asking each girl as they step on board if they have their shoes, their socks, their spanky pants. Not to worry. You know Saucy has extras of almost everything. The team mascot teddy bears will be along for the ride and we'll be off.

Before competing, Saucy will attach a hair bow to each ponytail using a zip tie from the hardware store. It's a pretty flawless system, they're in there as snugly as can be and won't come loose after any jumping, tossing or tumbling. Later, Saucy will snap those bows out of place using side cutters and hopefully this time she won't give Beegie a little unexpected haircut.


And so... we're off. Saucy has to run and triple check the packed items. Snacks? Caffeine-free soda? Water bottles? Tampons? Extra uniforms and shoes, just in case? Cookies, tea and cups? Garbage bags and Lysol wipes? Paper towel? Kleenex? Hand sanitizer? Makeup, nail polish remover, eye makeup remover, glitter, hairspray and ponytail holders? Bows?

Check, check, and check. Tylenol for Saucy? CHECK.

Wish us luck! The girls hit the mat at 1:20 PM tomorrow CST. Think of their smiling faces then.

paradise sugar cookies

After visiting the Paradise Bakery in Arizona in January, Saucy became a little obsessed with their giant, soft, white sugar cookies. They were completely delicious. 

The recipe was easy to find on the Internet. Saucy played with the version she found and this is how she likes it:

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup icing (confectioner's) sugar
2 cups vegetable shortening
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Wilton butter flavour
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/3 sifted cake flour*
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
sugar and sprinkles for rolling

* Most of the recipes for the Paradise sugar cookie call for cake flour specifically. Saucy made both and although there was a slight difference in texture, it wasn't enough to send your husband to the store right now for a bag of cake flour. You can use all-purpose white flour just as well but make sure it is sifted.

Begin by blending sugars and shortening in the stand mixer using the whisk attachment. Beat until very well blended. This should take two minutes. You will need to scrape the bowl often.

Add the vanilla and butter flavour to the beaten egg. Again, no absolute need to add the butter flavour - you can make these without - but Saucy liked it a bit better. It tasted more like the cookies at Paradise Bakery. Slowly add the egg mixture to the fluffy sugar and shortening mixture and beat on high until light and fluffy. 

Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the shortening mixture, a cupful at a time, blending well after each addition. Saucy switched to the paddle attachment for this step. After all the dry ingredients are added, don't overbeat!

Use a scoop to make nice round balls of this smooth dough. Here's where Saucy wishes she could go back in time and make these again (and she will) because she should have used a big scoop, the kind she uses for cupcakes. One of the best parts of Paradise Bakery is she ginormous size of the cookies. Using a cookie scoop rendered these cookies a little too small and they ended up looking like shortbread when cooked. They could have been twice the size - for more impact.

These were cuter, daintier cookies. They would have been more fun if they'd been super-sized.

Press one side of the dough into sprinkles or sugar (or both). Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and press down lightly with your hand.

Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

Oh, and by the way... it's Loopy's seventeenth birthday today. Raise your hand if you can't believe it, either.

mental health day declared

Saucy's not going to lie.

It has been a ridiculously draining week for Saucy and The Cheerios, physically and emotionally. Saucy is officially a wreck. Loopy went up to bed right after supper and after the parent meeting Saucy sat down on the couch and cried.

The parent meeting was great, by the way. It's other stuff.

Luckily, Saucy had a nice phone chat with a fellow coach and they commiserated over a few shared experiences of the week over a glass of wine.

Now she plans to go to bed, pull the covers over her head and come out from underneath sometime tomorrow.

Like, late tomorrow. After the workday is over. She's probably going to get up and shower in time for the weekend.

---------------------- time lapse ------------------------

And now, it's much later at night and Loopy has awakened and there's no milk. She's not feeling well, she's hungry and thirsty and Saucy is feeling like a bad mother because there's no milk. There were 350 cupcakes for every other cheerleader in town but there's no milk for Saucy's own child. Saucy's had her glass of wine so she can't even go out for milk now.

It's. That. Bad.

Send milk.