Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Perfectly resolved:

I am -- sadly -- too lazy and too frequently hemmed in by deadlines to be a true perfectionist. And even though my head is often in the clouds, I can be quite pragmatic about taking my hands off something and realising I could polish and polish until there's nothing left.

However I do occasionally suffer from a kind of perfectionism -- the worst kind, I think. Some perfectionism is helpful; I like the idea of being so bent on perfecting something that one writes and re-writes or continually improves or refines something. This seems helpful. But there is another kind of perfectionism that doesn't result in a finely-honed creation. Instead, it simply paralyses the creator from even beginning. This perfectionism says: "It won't be brilliant, so perhaps I shouldn't even try."

With more time than usual this week to think about things like blogging and fiction writing, I find myself coming up against this stubborn wall of stupid perfectionism. I want to be good, so I shy from expending the energy to produce -- and, much worse, make public -- anything that will be mediocre or -- horror of horrors -- just downright bad. I was talking to my Mum about this today. (She's better than a psychiatrist and way cheaper.) Her advice was common sense and excellent: The only way to be better is to keep on trying.

Of course. Of course. Why do we forget this stuff? Why do I forget that I should be content with my best and simply work hard to make it better? I'm reminded of one of those biting, so-true-it-makes-you-sick phrases I read somewhere: the only way to start, is to start.

What do you need to start today?

* * * * *

Ruth -- a neverending cycle perhaps, but certainly a very happy one!

Bethany -- there are still a few left! I have been very self controlled :).

Jessica -- 225g butter is the same as 1 cup or two sticks, in US terms. And icing mixture is confectioners' sugar. Does that help? Oh, and yes, some blog promo would be lovely. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nom nom nom.

It's the holidays, and I baked cupcakes just for the sheer fun of it -- and also because my cupcake-a-day tear-off calendar was taunting me with its pictures of Cookies & Cream cupcakes. Cookies & Cream cupcakes? I know, right. Well I made them and they looked a little bit strange (granted, it could simply be my awkward stylistic skills) but they tasted good. Anything will taste good if it has twenty Oreos in it. That sounds like a joke, but I'm not kidding. This recipe calls for twenty Oreos. Nom.

225g butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
10 crushed Oreos*

*(oh wow just had the most amazing idea. You could make these with crushed mint slice biscuits. *gulp*) Okay.

Preheat the oven to 175C and line muffin pans with foil patty cases (my mix made about eighteen cupcakes). Combine all the ingredients -- except the cookies -- in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer about two minutes. Stir in the cookies and then spoon the batter into the patty cases. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 mins and then on a wire rack.

3 cups icing sugar mixture
225g butter, softened
10 crushed Oreos (again)

For the icing, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and yummy. Then beat in the cookies. Spread on top of your oh so delicious cupcakes and then eat one, for goodness sake!

PS. The picture below makes me laugh. I accidentally took it when I was trying for the top picture. It looks so forlorn, those two wee cupcakes all alone in an ocean of table.

* * * * *


Bohoharri -- I miss you, too -- A LOT! Stand by: I am coming to lurk your LJ. You better have posted! ;)

Rebecaa -- yes, definitely tough :(. Still praying.

Samantha R. -- and one of the best things about God is that He has promised to give us all we need. YES.

The First Rose -- that is precisely what I'm hoping about this season, too! Enjoying spending a bit more time with God :). Yes, it sounds like Sono's illness has been quite a sudden thing. :(

Mitanika -- oh, a prayer journal is a brilliant idea! I hope it provides lots of rich talk-time with God. You'll have to let me know how it goes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Daybook #2

Outside my window, the day has been clear, bright, and sunny. I've wandered about in short sleeves and bare feet. Can this really be winter?

I have been listening to Boundless webzine's weekly podcasts, which provide nice meaty food for thought (what are your favourite podcasts? I'm always up for a good recommendation!).

I am wearing a white cardigan, now it's cooling a little, an orange top and a grey skirt.

I am thankful for the overflowing love and kind affection of several friends who helped make my first week without housemates a fun one with parcels full of happy surprises arriving on my doorstep yesterday morning and today. I'm so spoilt in my friends!

I am pondering the difference between knowing God and knowing about Him. Unfortunately I am more knowledgeable in the latter than in the former.

I am reading about a million things, but most recently I've been dipping into Josh Harris's Dug Down Deep. I'm two chapters in and it's excellent.

I am thinking about taking my film camera out for a day of picture-taking.

I am creating very little of late, but I want to get back into full story immersion.

Beauty in the home is in the leftover wedding flowers still hovering around and full of life.

I am hoping and praying for Sono Harris and my Aunty Chris, both of whom are bearing a heavy burden just now.

One of my favorite things is fresh orange juice. It's so normal but it's such a treat.

My plans for the rest of the week involve baking cookies and cream cupcakes, hanging out with excellent friends, doing washing, and hopefully writing some letters.

A picture thought I’m sharing is of the happy 'paper packages tied up with string' courtesy of the excellent and loving Caitlin, Tegan, and Abbie. I love you girls!

* * * * *


Rachael -- I hope you get some holidays this year at least! And, no, the replies aren't too much work. I love it :).

Tegan -- I prayed! But you already know that, and you already passed with flying colours. Yay, you! Much, much love. xx

Katie -- Hooray! Embrace those holidays with open arms! And I boldly decree you make a blog post about the excellent things you intend to do in your break.

Samantha -- holidays are the best :)

EWeight -- make sure you let me see pictures when you do make your reckless attack on your hair. Bravo to us, I say!

MotherCarey -- only because you helped me to do so! xx

Friday, June 18, 2010

They're HERE!

Oh, sweet sweet school holidays! How I have longed for your bright presence, your warm greeting, your loving embrace! And now -- now you are finally here with your opportunities for reading in the middle of the day, for spending time with people, for writing letters, for learning to like talking on the phone, for sleeping in, for watching movies, for baking nice foodstuffs. Holidays, I love thee.

PS. The tribe has spoken. In-post-replies return -- starting today.

* * * * *


Meaghan -- I don't need profound reasons from you; your excellent opinion is quite motivation enough, oh wondrous friend!

Mothercarey -- my eyebrows blush and thank you.

Julia -- thank you! xx

Ruth -- I took it for what it's worth and then some. I like the in-post-replies, too, but I'm weird and so I thought it quite possible everyone else would find it vaguely disturbing. Apparently not so! Plus, it feels more like a little hippie commune when we're all in dialogue together.

Rachael -- thank you and I think we're all on the same page re. comments. Yay!

Caitlin -- precisely so! The internet is great for connections like that :). Oh, and yes, hopefully we'll be down your way more often now!!

Samantha -- we are like-minded souls :).

Katie -- thank you, friend! x

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fringe benefits

Post-wedding is the ideal time to do reckless things with one's hair. So tonight I cut a fringe; I had to do it immediately when I thought about it or I wouldn't do it at all. I still don't really know if it's okay since I haven't washed or straightened or tried anything with it yet. But this is about as daring as I get. I'm kind of a chicken. Anyway, pictures. Unstyled and untouched.

Hey, I have a question for you all. Remember back in the day I used to include replies to comments at the end of posts? Like this? What do you think? Do you prefer replies included within posts, or simply answered in the comments section? The thing I love most about blogging is the interaction, but the thing I miss most about blogger itself as opposed to other blogging systems is its inability to include replies directly to comments. So tell me what you like best.

Also, my sister's friend Bethany made a post about Lauren's wedding, and she got some really gorgeous photos of the bride and groom and their guests. You may like to lurk :).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Webber

So on the weekend, my littlest sister got married!

She was lovelier than a princess and the most sweetly relaxed bride I have ever beheld. The groom's face cracked into a gigantic grin when he saw her coming towards him down the aisle of the church, and neither of them stopped grinning -- or blatantly stealing kisses, for that matter -- for the rest of the day.

Lauren and James (with the help of their parents) put a lot of effort into building a beautiful and joyful wedding, and that's exactly what it was. My memories of the 12th of June 2010 will be forever tinged in sparkling candlelight and coloured with soft flowers and bright candy. ♥

[Thank you to my super friend Jono Sims for graciously letting me share some of his pictures here. As both bridesmaid and owner of a rather poor camera, I particularly appreciate getting to see these ones and share Jono's excellent picture-making skilz with you.]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Absence ensues:

Hello, you.

Since I am rather better just now at not blogging than I am at actually posting anything, I thought I would legitimise my absence and make it official by declaring a two or three week hiatus -- which allows time for the flurry of guests to arrive, the wedding bells to ring, essays to be completed, the flurry of guests to leave, and the ripples to subside just a little. It's only eight more sleeps until my little sister's big day, and all is buzzing in preparation. At the same time, I'm winding up semester one at uni and have five assignments to hand in over the next fortnight. These two, combined with the merry distraction of extra family members and guests coming and going, conspire to fill the next couple of weeks quite to the top, yes thank you indeed.

So I will leave you for just a little while (with this picture of Lauren's bridal shower cupcakes as proof of my love for you all) and return when the excitement begins to wear down -- hopefully bearing many pictures of beaming bride and triumphant groom. Until then!

PS. Three things: 1) my friend Katie has started a gorgeous blog -- What Katie Wears -- which will chronicle her fashion adventures. 2) I wish I was going to the David Crowder Band's Fantastical Church Music Conference! 3) I'm looking eagerly forward to the first issue of my sub to Poetry magazine arriving in my mailbox. Hurry, postie!
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