peanut butter cake mix cookies

If there's one thing Saucy is on the lookout for, it is the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe.  For some reason, it eludes her, or perhaps it is the one thing that she should just buy at Starbucks and shut up about.  Every once and a while she comes across another recipe and gives it a try. 

These ones, made with a white cake mix, were pretty good.  Still, that elusive combination of slightly dry and crumbly around the edges and chewy and sticky in the middle didn't quite make it.  Don't get her wrong, they were delicious.  They had a definite "cake" flavour to them that wasn't bad at all... but they weren't exactly what Saucy thinks a peanut butter cookie should taste like.

1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 package white cake mix
granulated sugar

In stand mixer, combine peanut butter, eggs, milk and half of the cake mix.  Using the whisk attachment, beat until just blended.

Switch to paddle attachment and add remaining cake mix, a bit at a time.  It will look like it's too dry and will never come together, but it will.  Blend thoroughly until it forms a nice, smooth dough.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls in sugar and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Press down dough with the back of a fork.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.  Cool until firm on baking sheet, then move to baking racks and cool completely.

Would she make these again?  Well, they were good, but Saucy's still on the hunt so she'll move on.  It's like the revolving recipe box of peanut butter cookies over here.  Only time will tell.

wedding gown refashion {four}

With the help of Cheerio Captain Quinn, Saucy has completed another wedding gown makeover challenge.  Just like Sue Sylvester herself, Saucy has a Cheerio captain named Quinn who is tall, lean and lovely.  That is where the similarities end... Saucy's Captain Q (unlike the television character) is also kind, responsible, caring and very good-natured.

So once again... advantage: Saucy.  Poor Sue.

Here's Q wearing the dress shortly after it arrived for the challenge.  It fit her like a dream, but this isn't 1977... it called and it wanted those lace thingys back.

And here is the gorgeous Q wearing the dress, after Saucy Vera-Wangified it.  Same dress?  Yes it is.

The original: score if you like lacy peplums and bows on the backside.  Score again if you like trains.

Wrigley likes trains... score!

Q, Fly Girl and Saucy had a good long look at this gown during the first fitting.  It was decided that those tiers of lace had to go.  Along with the sleeves and the peplum (and the butt bow) they hit the floor there and then.

It had to happen.  You know it had to happen.

As you well know, Saucy is no seamstress but on this project she felt more like a designer-slash-tailor than ever before.  She really had to think the steps through to achieve the look she wanted.  After cutting down the bodice, she used a fairly crude draping method and hand stitched the new tulle overlay in place.  It was only after all the new tulle construction was finished that Saucy dare cut the shoulders off the original bodice.

Also, she needed the strength of the shoulders in order to hang the dress to work on it.  She didn't want the new tulle shoulder straps to stretch on the hanger.

After the bodice overlay was on the gown, the new tulle skirt started to form.  It was just eight dollars of tulle, gathered and tucked and stitched into place on top of the original chiffon skirt (that had been stripped of its lace details).

And... voila!  Just like Vera Wang, Saucy went for the oversized, abstract black tulle bow sash.  It's very sculptural.

DJ Jazzy Anna agreed to come along and be Q's pretend bridesmaid.  Don't they look gorgeous together?  Saucy can't tell you how long she's known these two.  DJ Jazzy Anna lived next door to The Fan and The Secret Weapon when she was just a baby.

Okay, in photos Saucy can't help but admit there are a few things she would still like to change on this frock but it's lovely and Q looks beautiful in it, doesn't she?

Each one of these dress refashions is like a mini home economics lesson (at which time Saucy mutters under her breath for dropping that class after eighth grade as she still doesn't know how to put a zipper in).  However, we are all learning that you can achieve a certain look (at least for photos) that doesn't have to cost a fortune.

We took photos on the steps of one of Saucy's favourite places to shop, it's long gone and boarded up.  She found so many awesome knick knacks there.

Saucy still can't decide, and the verdict was torn on Facebook too: hazy (top view) or not hazy (below)?  You be the judge.  Saucy gave you both.

Simply beautiful!

She might say it after every dress makeover, but this is Saucy's favourite.  It's the most modern and fashion-forward of the finished looks and it needed more actual creation and less destruction.  It was a brain-churner that's for sure but the results are pretty spectacular.

And, having a couple of exceptionally pretty models didn't hurt, again.  Advantage: Saucy.

bedtime stories

Saucy and her friend Chickadee (aka Carlene Deutscher Photography) hosted their very first joint stylized mini shoot over the weekend.  That sounds like quite a mouthful, doesn't it?  Basically, they set up a beautiful scene in Chickadee's family meadow and invited families and couples to come for fall photos.

When Saucy says the set was styled, it was styled.  It's nice to work with Carlene because she and Saucy have the same aesthetic.  Everything was vintage, traditional country and shabby chic.  They had everything they needed and luckily a good friend had the perfect bed frame to use.  It was just the right amount of "rusty."

Starting in the early afternoon, we were joined by some really great folks... families who were really open to the idea and wanted to try something new to get the right shot.  It was just too much fun.

The day just slipped by.  As the sun moved across the meadow, the little outdoor bedroom was covered in shade from different directions by the autumn leaves.

This is Saucy's fabulous cousin Sassy and her family.  There might be an entire blog post devoted to Sassy's shoot in the near future, it was that cute.  She thought ahead to bring white balloons... and even their family Halloween costumes.

Oh, and trust Sassy to think of this: she brought feather pillows for a family pillow fight!  Yes, we had feathers on the set for the rest of the day but were completely fine with it, it added to the overall feeling.

It was a casual, fun and happy place to be for the day.

Even the boys loved it!  They had fun playing with the bears and toys and this crew came up with a few poses they wanted to try too, all on their own.

This next little gal just melted our hearts... so demure and gentle, after our rough-housing boys and pillow fights!  It recharged the photographers.

Consider yourself warned... if your heart is already a little melted, now it is about to break into a million pieces.  Meet our next family.

Those eyes, those eyes, those eyes.  Those smiles and silly faces.  Someone figured out how to poke his head between the pillows against the headboard and made a good game of it:

The best part of this family's shoot was a snuggly moment with grandma!  Lurrve.  This shot proves that your subject doesn't have to sit completely still for magic to happen.

This cutie loved having her picture taken, she's a photographer's dream.  How many kids can say they've bounced on a soft, fancy bed in the middle of a meadow?  And, do you see a future Cheerio?  Saucy may have tried to recruit her, but that's another story.

Saucy and Carlene welcomed some couples, also.  This pair were incredibly comfortable in front of the camera and so fun to shoot.  Their personalities came through in each and every photo.

Here's Carlene prepping the last "little person" of the day... and what she lacks in stature, she makes up for in personality.

"Oh my, what a BIG path you have!" she exclaimed as she entered the meadow.  She had several memorable quotes including "if you don't mind, I think it's time for me to take a short break to pet the puppy now" and "oh, you're right, this really is a snuggly place."

Our last family made an outing for the day with their dogs!  Well, we did say all family members were welcome, didn't we?

Check out the title on that book cover, how clever and fun!  It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.  It had us... dare Saucy say it... begging for more.

If you want to see more, you can catch some of Carlene's sneak peeks on her Facebook page.

Saucy and Chickadee were worn out by the end of the day but in a good way.  It was a creative tour de force.  This two-photographer gig is the way to go.  Nobody worries about where to look, and while one person gets the main shot with the subject looking directly into the camera, the other can be gathering the sweet candid moments to cherish forever.

And next year?  There might already be a plan in the works for something completely different.  You'll be the first to know.  It might even be earlier.

Saucy has to hunker down now and sort through and edit nearly 3500 shots.  That might be the only downside to this little endeavour.