Isn’t it amazing how February, the shortest month of the year, feels exponentially shorter just because we’ve lost 2-3 days? That’s certainly how it’s felt this month.
We’ve had a ton of rain so far this year, almost to the point that it’s odd to have a sunny day with no clouds in the sky. It’s also been pretty cool outside, and have even had to run the heat. Insane, right? Who runs their heat in Southern California? We do, apparently…and so do a lot of other families. Apparently, the LA area even got a little snow. We didn’t — but the lowest we got was 36 degrees. I know this, & experienced it, because I started C25K again with the dog, and my running time is between 5:30-6am. That’s why I know it was actually that cold. Yowza!
Boogie, also known as the Toilet Paper Monster, has been doing well. You know, minus the fact that we have to keep every single door closed in the house so that she doesn’t take the toilet paper and run with it, or go through garbage cans. It’s frustrating, but I’ll admit that it’s also a little funny. I suppose in some ways, I’m happy to have a dog that has personality and quirks. She’s definitely not boring.
Check out this girl, ready for her glamor shots.
I got this new brush for her. It’s more like a rake. She started a pretty big shed at the end of January / beginning of February when we had a bit of a warm temperature stretch. This thing has been earth shattering as far as getting the job done. We had one of those rubbery hand brush things and we also have one of those metal bristle brushes. She hated the metal one, and the rubbery one didn’t work as far as removing hair & undercoat. BUT, this rake thing, you guys? INSANE. Not only is she not afraid of it (like the metal bristle one), but it actually pulls out a lot of the undercoat so it doesn’t wind up in our house.
I can’t imagine the amount of hair we’d have if we weren’t using this brush. It’s already INSANE — I bought a bunch of lint rollers (part of the morning routine now) and some Swiffer dusters (how does her hair wind up on top of the entertainment center, I have no idea). It’s like the Husky starter kit, seriously. I’ve never had a dog that left so much hair everywhere, but I’ve also never had a dog quite as entertaining and smart as her. She truly does bring so much joy and hilarity, and I’m so glad to have her around. Even whenever she wastes a ton of toilet paper because she acts like a toddler. Never have I had a dog as proud as this girl.
My aunt’s DNA test came back with wild results – based on my DNA results and my mom’s DNA results, it seemed that there was no Italian heritage, and that the story circulating in our family was possibly untrue.
Lo and behold, I was sitting on the couch one night and got the e-mail that the results were in, and I was stunned to see that it yielded 40% Italian ancestry, even pinpointing to Sicily. WILD, I tell you. So, the absence of the Italian DNA on my mom’s results and our theory that perhaps the different father was not true…was not true?!?!
We’ve understood from the beginning that results will have discrepancies, and nothing is ever really, truly split down the middle — that said, it’s mind boggling to see that my Gram’s identical twin sister has such a large percentage of Italian ancestry, but not a single percent is reflected in my mom’s results.
We’ve been doing a lot more reading on this — it’s been interesting to learn a little more about it, but it’s certainly difficult to wrap my mind around the huge differences. I was certain that there would only be minute differences, give or take a few percentages — but 40% is a lot to miss with results. There are a number of articles that explain this away…yet, the DNA connection is confirmed as far as relations are concerned. My aunt shows up with approximately the same number of shared cMs that my living grandparents show — since my gram and my aunt are identical twins it ought to be pretty close, if not identical. (Seems like maybe a little bit of a differing opinion on this based on reports.)
Regardless of my lack of full understanding, this gives me an entirely different side of the family to add to the tree and research, which is exciting. I’ve been working a lot with my dad’s side of the family, since there seems to be a lot with records there — I guess the English, Scots, & Irish were great record keepers! (I haven’t had as much luck with the German side, but here’s hoping that I’ll get that figured out.) My mom sent a box of records, and I’m beginning to chip away at that. I added the Italian records that my Gram had, and interestingly enough, every single one of the family members was from Sicily — I guess this makes sense, based on the DNA results, as well.
One of the coolest things is that I had someone contact me over shared DNA, and it turns out we were able to track down the exact relation, and he provided some amazing pictures for me. I was certain I’d seen one of them before, and sure enough — I had. It only further confirmed this family connection, which is just really cool. It motivated me to reach out to the other people in my shared DNA matches to see how we can pin down the information and how we might be related.
The other cool thing — and probably the coolest of all — was that this connection had spoken with my Gram before, some years ago, when she was doing research on this side of the family. I truly feel like I’m picking up where she left off, but I also feel like I have some big shoes to fill for such a short little woman.
I’ve been in touch with two others — one from my mom’s side of the family, and one from my dad’s side. Both provided some amplifying information, which is pretty cool…but coolest of all, it’s just neat how total strangers with a family tie are willing to help one another.
Fete was featured as a free font of the week on Creative Fabrica – I’m always happy to have a little extra attention as far as fonts go, even if it means letting it go for a discounted price or for free.
I also updated Farmhouse Country to include Central European language support, and there was good reception about the update — it definitely made my sales spike in other areas, which was excellent.
I had two new releases this month: The Glen, and La Boheme.
The Glen was inspired by my trip to Scotland last year, and I had *the* best time putting together the brand for this one. It was so easy to get lost in it and remember the trip. Overall, The Glen is a fairly simple font — no alternates or anything like that — but the texture gives it such a nice quality!
La Boheme, on the other hand, is feature-rich. It includes a lot of stylistic alternates, some ligatures, and so many different swash options! It has a very neat, legible look, but there’s also a fair amount of fun character there that makes it perfect for logos or branding, as well as feminine quote graphics.
As far as goals for 2019 go, I’m still totally on track, two months in! Two months might not be a lot, compared to the full twelve…but as far as I’m concerned 1/6 is down, and 5/6 to go!!
I took a little detour toward the end of January + beginning of February, because I had a really great idea that was super fun to pursue. I’ll be releasing that “great idea” coming up during the first full week of March.
We tried a new place in Anaheim called Unsung Brewing. We’d heard of it before, and somehow never made it there, even though it’s legitimately 5 miles down the road from us. We will definitely be going back — not only was the beer delicious, but it’s also in close proximity to delicious barbecue, there’s a wine bar, and there’s also a still house going in soon. How did we not know about this?!
We’ve been back a few times since then — their Propellerhead on nitro is a new favorite of mine…and Jav’s Barbeque? Worth going back to again & again. Their mac & cheese is on point, and their brisket is just as delicious as their ribs are. Will continue going back, repeatedly.
I made macarons! I can check that off of my bucket list. I made them twice, and if I’m being honest, it’s been a total shit show! Check out my first attempt:
The first batch I made were lemon macarons. They tasted good, but they were ugly, and there were a lot of things wrong with them. The batter was not the right consistency. They came out looking more like crackers. The silicon mat that I ordered was too big for our oven — how I managed that, I’m not even sure. As a result, part of the mat was curled up and part of the cookies sort of slid like a landslide. And my buttercream was a total broken mess.
They don’t look totally awful, I guess, but if you knew they were supposed to be beautiful French macarons, it’s really laughable.
My second batch turned out much better.
I made cookies & cream macarons. I nixed the silicon mat in favor of parchment, but made the mistake of trying to bake both sheets at once. The bottom pan was slightly burned, but wound up tasting a bit like toasted marshmallow — not a total loss. I didn’t let them sit and form a skin as long as they should have, because I was in a rush to get them baked & assembled before I picked Auttie up from school so I could bring her some cookies. Since they didn’t sit long enough, some of them cracked. BUT, I did get the feet on the cookies this time, and my buttercream was way better this time around. I wound up with 2.5 perfect cookies so I definitely took a picture of that.
Coffee macarons are next on my list, per Kate’s request. I’m satisfied with my progress, and can check this one off of my list.
Next? Cheese soufflé.
These next few months are going to be super busy for us! We’ve got a brief trip coming up in March to the east coast (taxes, ick!), and we also have spring break coming up in April! And, right in between that, my dad will be visiting again! We’ll be taking him out to the new places we’ve tried so he gets to sample the delicious food & beer himself.
Jeff mentioned the other day that it felt like 2019 was basically over already — I’m not sure how we’ve managed to pack so much in to the first two months, but it’s true! It feels like it’s already been a long + eventful year.
Here’s hoping March is a great one!