Compromise - Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Today is all about compromise. Being okay with what is, as it is. I wanted to make a sour cream cake and only had yogurt. I needed one cup of yogurt and only had a little more than ¾ a cup. So, I did what I could with it and substituted with cream. I know baking is a science and I know that’s not a normal sub for yogurt but I had to do what I had to do. Life is like that too. Things will not go the way you planned and you can either resist and get angry or frustrated (okay, I’ll admit it, I do this too sometimes) or you can figure it out, keep moving, make adjustments and improve each step of the way. 

 Sometimes the results are better than you could have imagined. Sometimes not. Either way, enjoy it. That’s what I did today.

Here’s a link to the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe I adapted from All Recipes.

Comfort - Cheddar & Ale Biscuits

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I have become overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with trying to always maintain and be my best. What if what I am is all I got right now. Can I be okay with that? I want to be. I am tired of constantly striving to be more and ending each day wishing I could have been better, could have done more to live up to my potential.

It’s exhausting and it’s everywhere. Don’t eat this, don’t do that, do this, don’t do that, be your best. I am tired. Tired of the hustle to always be more. There is no joy in the small victories and I am tired of it. I refuse to live this way because it’s unhealthy and I don’t want to die living each day wishing I could be more. So today I seek some comfort with what is as it is and I’m going to eat some biscuits while I do it. Yes, they are filled with carbs, Yes, they have white flour, butter and dairy in them. Yes, it’s okay to enjoy.

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I love biscuits. Always have, since I can remember. It might be the meal I had when I was two at the theme park Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California with fried chicken and biscuits, or maybe I was just born with the love in my soul, not sure. Anyhow, I always order biscuits and I am almost always disappointed. In California we tend to get dry hard biscuits that lack that flaky moist interior texture that makes a biscuit so delicious. As a result, I’m always saying I will make them from scratch. I’ve had buttermilk on my shopping list for six years in anticipation of making some biscuits on a whim. The last time I made a biscuit attempt was 15 years ago with Bisquick, and they came out like hard disks, better for tossing than eating. My biscuit fail caused some discouragement and it has become easier to just dream of the perfect magical biscuit then experience eating it and/or actually taking the time to make them. So today was the day.

 I really enjoyed making these biscuits partially because they were so easy. You do not need to take the time to roll out the dough, they are simple drop biscuits. I have good intentions and often grandiose plans when it comes to pulling off a recipe but I’ll admit, I get a little lazy and not kneading and rolling out dough will always be my last choice. And these fit the bill perfectly. I subbed the dark ale for a light beer I had in the refrigertor and still found them delectable, so use what you would like and enjoy. Also, I ate them with warm melted butter and real honey, which I think makes them even better.

Click here for a link to the recipe I adpated from The Food Network’s Farmhouse Rules show with Nancy Fuller.

The Inner Critic

All morning I've been defending myself getting armed with responses for all of the judgement, feedback and thoughts that others will have on what I put out into the world. I've got a case to argue for each of the things I say or do. I'm ready with apologies, such as "I'm only human, we all make mistakes, I'm doing my best." Then come the zingers, "I'm working to be a better person each day, what are you doing, sitting here criticizing me?". "How are you making the world a better place finding faults in me, worry about yourself?"

My heart is actually pounding, I feel a little nervous, stressed and on the defense. How could people say these things to me, why can't people be more forgiving and understanding? I've been thinking of all of my replies for the last hour or so and now I am mentally tired. I set out to start my day with going over all of my accomplishments, what I have done right or well to pump me up but instead I am caught in the swirling drainage of negativity and defensiveness. 

The funny thing is, I have not posted anything yet. After spending all of my morning concerned with what others would think, fearful of what they will say (even over the smallest thing) or think to themselves, I've been preparing to defend myself from a mythical situation because it has not happened yet.

It dawned on me that I'm actually passing judgement on myself in the guise of other's judgements, then mentally defending myself to all of the the critical and judgmental parts of me. It's very emotionally exhausting and it's not something I would recommend but honestly it's not something I even noticed at first. I mean I know I'm doing it, sort of, but not how often and for how long. So much time wasted in fear and defensiveness. It's hard and paralyzing to do just about anything because of all the self judgement I pass. Just imagine what it will be like when I unleash what I really think to the world and those judgements are amplified by each individual who reads what I say? It's frightening to me.

But despite that a little voice inside reminds me that I cannot let that stop me from being me. From saying the things that want to be said. I don't know why, it just is. What I do know is that I currently have an opportunity to experience what it is to be human in all of it's different stages. One of those is feeling fear and expressing yourself. I need to do it because that's what living is. Living is to feel emotions (good and bad) and to keep going anyway. There are so many people who no longer have the opportunity to do this, their time has passed, so I need to remind myself of that every day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Experiencing life is a gift, it's an opportunity and I am going to do my best to not waste any more gifts or opportunities in my life out of fear or judgement from myself or anyone else. 

Here are a few of books I recommend reading to get a better understanding of the inner critic and voice in your head:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Adapted from a post orginally written in June 21 2017.

Need a Little Writing Inspiration?

If you are feeling stuck, chek out I Wrote It Anyway, an anthology of essays edited by Caroline Donahue and Dal Kular. The book features 30 inspiring essays from a variety of indivduals. I am super honored and proud to be a contributor to the book and among so many talented and inspring individuals! The book is availalbe on Amazon now!

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I Wrote It Anyway

An Anthology of Essays Edited by Dal Kular & Caroline Donahue

I Wrote It Anyway Book Description:
“Have you ever dreamed of writing, but let something stand in your way? In this collection of 30 essays, new voices and experienced authors share inspiring stories about overcoming the obstacles to writing that stopped them in their tracks. From mental and physical health, perfectionism, isolation, lack of time in a busy world to stories from the front lines of the #metoo era, you'll find a story that speaks to your personal block. In this day and age, writing has the potential to bring people together like never before. If you believe you have a book in you, or have always dreamed of writing, let this collection motivate you to follow through on that dream. Every single one of the contributors felt tremendous fear when beginning to write, but in the end they wrote it anyway. All proceeds of this collection benefit 826 LA in the US and Arts Emergency in the UK.” - I Wrote It Anyway Back Cover, Edited by Caroline Donahue & Dal Kular, Secret Library Press, 2018.

Undefined - Episode 1 - Stuck

Okay, so this recording is raw. No intro, no outro, no logo...yet. Like each of us it's Undefined. But it will evolve over time. On this episode I mumble my way through an intro and discuss some ways I have been stuck trying to figure out exactly what to do lately. I also discuss a quick technique to use when you feel stuck, un-inspired or you can't find your way. Enjoy!

Acting in a Book Trailer - The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong

Something I don't talk much about is acting. It's something I've done for a long time but it's one of those things that can be hard to show. I don't always get shareable results from projects but I'm always working on it in variety of aspects. I love having fun and creating from video blogs, comedy/dramatic acting, hosting, podcasts...any chance I get to be creative I do my best to push my self, jump on it and participate.

I've started to wonder what's the point if I never share anything? Of course it brings me joy but I would also like to start to use it for something beyond that. My new intention is to start to share my work more often as well as the work of so many other talented people I come across. Don't be surprised if you see more from me, from home made iPhone travel videos/blogs (yep, I've got a bunch of these stored away) to other cool projects. I'd like to have a place where I can post everything and for now, this is it. 

So here is my latest work, a book trailer created by the fabulous filmmaker Larry Cheuk from LCDigital Production for his brother, Leland Cheuk's novel The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong. Enjoy!

 

A New Perspective

Today I would love to share more but I'm getting ready for a film shoot. As much as I understand and agree with the quote below I can't say that I always follow the advice . Sometimes I am so set in my ways that I can not even see that there is another way of doing something until long after I've already completed it. May this quote inspire you to push through your perceived limitations and apply creativity to all that you do today. Cheers!

Color Inside the Lines Quote