A VERY Bitter Christmas!

Hi Gang! We are almost in the home stretch.

Bittersweet Susie

In my family Christmas is a casual affair. We get together on Christmas Eve, draw names for a gift exchange, eat until we can’t move and are in bed by 9! Christmas day we just eat leftovers in pjs. I usually eat candy for breakfast to really keep with the manic sugar fuel frenzy that some of us get when we go all in to the holiday spirit.

Bittersweet Susie

What are your traditions?

Today is my BAKING MARATHON DAY! I am pretty excited about it. Also, I have pretty much watched EVERY holiday movie and special there is, some of them twice (I am looking at you White Christmas). I, as I do every year, had GREAT PLANS for all the crafty things I was going to make and per usual I did almost NONE of them. Typical. There is always next year!

I DID manage to make these cute mid century putz-style glitter house inspired from a tutorial on Retro Renovation. It is one of my FAVORITE blogs if you have not had the chance to check it out.

Bittersweet Susie

I also made these HOMEMADE Vanilla Extract that I posted here a few days ago. Look at me posting TWICE in the same month.

And as a HOLIDAY Tradition here on the blog I have for you the 2016 Bittersweet Christmas Playlist! I had a theme going for a minute. First a Country Christmas, then it was a bluesy Christmas and now it is just A RANDOM CHRISTMAS! Like our year this playlist has some ups, some downs, and some total turds! Not everything can be the best thing you ever heard, right? I will be listening today while I finish up (or start) wrapping, and baking, and meditating on being the MOST FESTIVE I can be!

Bittersweet Susie

Cheers to a great Holiday!

No homework! CHRISTMAS VACATION!

 

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2016 Thanksgiving Playlist – Thankful ISHHHHHH

Hi friends!  Hows the cooking going?!? I am onto the 4th pie I have made this week! WOOOO the Holidays!

This is what I look like

I know it is the super busy this time of year, and 2016 has been HARD. Too damn hard. It’s hard for me to try to be funny on here or have anything cute and kitsch to post. I need to remember to be thankful and content in what is good. There have of course been wonderful things that have happened (cute babies being born to lovely friends) and lots of dogs and cats to pet and take care of! There has been some good tv – REALLY good tv – and good books to read. There has not been a shortage on BOOZE – so YAY for that. And there is always chocolate to eat. See, good good things.

Even though it is a holiday I have given myself homework and I am assigning it to you to. Break out those post-it notes you have in your junk drawer and WRITE DOWN the things you are thankful for right now. Go ahead and do it…I’ll wait.

Now post one in the kitchen where you are cooking today, or on top of the tv, or the computer. Put one in your medicine cabinet. And all day (even if you aren’t having the greatest of holidays or your fam is mean or annoying or someone made REALLY dry turkey) look at your post-its and remind yourself that “Yea! I AM THANKFUL FOR VODKA!”

You don’t have to be PC, be selfish and silly. I am thankful for comfy cotton unds that don’t ride up. I am thankful for Gilmore girls having new episodes. I am thankful for group text messaging.

Here is mine:

bittersweet Susie | Thankful

Obviously there are a number of things that you could write down, we all have some pretty great things going on in our lives despite the bad but I just want you to write down three. Do it for me, ok?

I promised the 2016 Thanksgiving playlist yesterday and HERE IT IS!

Crank it up! It is totally fine for
mixed company! I promise Grandpa will enjoy this playlist!

And I have made a master playlist of all previous Thanksgiving so you can stream it for your party and not be bothered with that terrible dinner music mom likes to sneak on sometimes! (sorry mom you know I love Rod Stewart too)

I will be adding music all day !

And if you are feeling fancy check out some posts from previous Thanksgivings! I think there is a recipe for PIE in there if you are scrambling and don’t know how the internet works!

Have a great holiday friends!

 

2016 Halloween Playlist!

Bittersweet SusieHi Friends.

I almost forgot to post this years playlist. I didn’t TOTALLY forget, that is a bit of a stretch. I remembered but I just was not into it. I firmly believe that we should have certain big holidays every other year – that way it is like – Yay Halloween I missed your guts SO much – instead of – OH CRAP HALLOWEEN IS NEXT MONDAY!?!?!

I am usually super pumped for Halloween – I do a bunch of posts and take photos of my spooky adventures. I just didn’t this year. I am sorry. I DID decorate the house a little and the roommies humored me with that. “Festive!” “Cute!” “Oh you decorate for EVERY HOLIDAY?” Thanks gang – I appreciate the understanding and support.

I managed go to two of the major theme parks Haunt events – Universal Studios & Knott’s Berry Farms. I had NEVER been to the Universal one before and had not been to Knott’s since *cough* 1998 *cough*.

I was TERRIFIED of these types of things – but this year I was fine. I am either way more brave or so old and bitter I no longer care to be scared. Either way – they are both fun! I felt like I was everyone’s MOM at Universal. So, there was that. And the lines were ridic. What the crap is the purge and why is it EVERYWHERE. If I had to pick one to return to it would HANDS DOWN be Knotts. I love that little park. And the Ghost Town all filled with fog and decorations is pretty much the closest thing you will get to living in a spooky Halloween special of our childhood AND it has Elvira – plus it is half the price – is there even a contest here? We know who the clear winner is.

Bittersweet Susie

I am also most likely NOT going to dress up for Halloween this year. I was never even temped with that idea. Adult Halloween is sometimes just NOT my jam. I do like carving pumpkins! And the smell of a FULL bucket of Halloween candy. It is the best.

As a peace-offering for being the worst blogger ever for the five friends and family members who read this (Hi mom! LOVE YOU) I have two treats for you today!

The 2016 Playlist! AND some crafty fun freebies! Wooooo! Party!

It is time to get crafty because I made you a “Tomb Sweet Tomb” Cross Stitch – AND of you run out of time (like I do every damn year) you can also just download a free printable fakeout – See fellow procrastinators – I GOT YOUR BACK!

Download Tomb Sweet Tomb Freebies HERE!

Bittersweet Susie | Tomb Sweet Tomb

 

And the most important tradition here at Bittersweet Susie – The 2016 Halloween Playlist!

2016 Halloween Playlist

 

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Don’t forget to check out the posts of HALLOWEEN’S PAST – in case you missed them or you are old like me and FORGOT!

2015 Halloween Playlist 

2014 Halloween Playlist 

Vincent Price Cook-a-long

Swingin’ at the Séance

 

Homework:

• What was your favorite Halloween Candy as a kid?

• What was your LEAST favorite?

• Are you dressing up this year??

 

Happy 50th Mom & Dad!

Bittersweet Susie | Mom & Dad

This month marks my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Let that sink in a minute. 50 years. YEARS.

And I know I am biased, and everyone’s parents (or whoever raised you) are awesome, but FOR REALS, I win.

I got the BEST ONES

I lucked out like WOAH with these too. They are snarky and funny. They are fully supportive of the weird hobbies/careers their 4 kids have decided to do (and then NOT do). You want to play a guitar – here’s a guitar. Oh you want to play basketball – let’s install a hoop – which is particularly hilarious for most of us being arty nerd burgers. They continue to take care of us.

They are fun to be around.

They are open and welcoming and often “adopt” many of our friends as their own kids – well into our adult years.

The craziest part about to story, to me anyways, is the timeline.

It could be considered romantic, efficient, or straight bat shit crazy.

Per mom:

We met in college.  We were in a class together.

First date was December 19, 1965.

Got engaged around Valentine’s Day, 1966.

Wedding rehearsal and dinner was June 9, 1966

Graduated from college in June 10, 1966

Married on June 11, 1966

Bittersweet Susie | Mom & Dad

Bittersweet Susie | Mom & Dad
Bittersweet Susie | Mom & Dad

Bittersweet Susie | Mom & Dad

My mom made this outfit – and NO she didn’t save it! I would not have fit in it ANYWAYS. Mom is a little baby bird.

These photos were taken in a span of 3 DAYS! They are crazy for SURE!

And in celebration of this occasion Mom and Dad have compiled a playlist of favorites for all of you. This is the most random Bittersweet playlist thus far. It may have been fueled by wine.

Bittersweet Susie | Mom & Dad

CONGRATS YOU CRAZY KIDS!!!

Homework:

• Can you pick which songs Mom picked vs Dad?

Thanks for stopping by – subscribe to the right so you don’t miss any posts – SO IMPORTANT!

Christmas Greetings

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Dear friends and family,

I hope that this letter reaches you in time for the big day! It has been such a busy season that this is the first time I have gotten a chance to sit and write you all. Despite my normal bah humbug attitude I actually DECORATED for christmas. I put up the tree and decorated the mantle with care in hopes that my new roommates would be there. They aren’t and won’t until new years but I did send them a little video that DOCUMENTED this festive and rare show of Christmas Spirit.

I am writing you this from the comfort of bed, in fuzzy matching pajamas, watching Ernest Saves Christmas because I AM A GROWNUP.

This year (and last year while we are pointing fingers) has been complete and utter BULLSHIT. Hardest two years on record for me and most people I know and love. There were absolute highlights (so many weddings and babies and puppies and kittens) but the lows make it hard to trudge through and be merry. I am absolutely ready to pack it in and just hibernate until 2016 – BAH HUMBUG with my fellow grinches!

Processed with VSCOcam with a4 presetOne of my dearest friends, Ashley, plays this little game with me. She is the sunshine to my negative nancy tendencies and the polar opposites of our outlook helps me get through. Every time I say something I hate she makes me say something I love. It is a good reminder to see that I am indeed blessed and am going to make it through (see even this is hard for me to write without snark and with a straight face) and this list is dedicated to Ashley – because she fucking RULES.

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 presetThings I love:

• My friends – I have had a LONG year of sifting through friends that don’t really have my best interest in mind, BUT have really built friendships with people that I admire, respect, and adore. I am surrounded by the most talented and truly caring people and I am grateful every day for all of them!

• My parents – they rule. They have always ruled and I really won the parent jackpot with them.

• My new living situation – I have the best roommates and live in this magic castle on the hill. This house has INSTANTLY made me feel like I am home.

• My job and coworkers – these lovely people are also in my FRIENDS category but I feel they need a double shout out. I am lucky enough to get to do photography as a JOB and also work with the strongest, hard working, creative, hilarious, and kind group of bad ass babes I have ever encountered in my LIFE. The whole PUG team (production – to corporate – to the boutique – to customer service) is full of hard working rad chicks.

• This space – this blog and my instagram have really kept me on task to keep up with being creative. Thank you so much for the friendships I have built through here and for looking at all!

I know a lot of people out there have had a rough year too, and as hippie hippie as it sounds it really helps to write down the things you DO have. I am also really grateful for cheese. That shit is magical and delicious!

And as my gift to you I have this years Bittersweet Susie’s 2015 Christmas Playlist. Get in that holiday spirit while you wrap that last minute gift and cut yourself peeling the potatoes. Break out the booze early BEFORE the in-laws get there! It’s Christmas Damnit, we are going to have a dance party or bust.

I heart your guts – Susie

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Here are the playlists of Christmas’s Past:

2014

2013

Homework:

• Write down three things that you love and are thankful for! Feel free to share them here!

Gobble Gobble

I totally cancelled Thanksgiving this year. Skipping it. I had this romantic ideal of getting in the car and going on a spontaneous road trip, eating Thanksgiving at a truck stop but then I remembered that I REALLY like stuffing. And Pie. And Gravy. DAMMNIT – Thanksgiving is back on!

Plus dear friends, I promised you the annual Thanksgiving playlist, and I hate to go back on a promise.

Why wait any longer – here is the Bittersweet Susie 2015 Playlist!

And for those of you cooking all day – here is a compilation of THREE YEARS of Thanksgiving playlist tunes. You know who loves you, right??

Thanksgiving Cooking Marathon

If you subscribe to my spotify channel you get get access to these playlists BEFORE they get posted to the blog. VIP ALL THE WAY.

I also have a Vintage Recipe test for you all – it’s a good one! And not in a SO BAD IT’S GOOD – but a “this is tasty and easy and thank you recipe writer from 1962.”

My mother has one of those little brand advertising recipe pamphlets from the early 60’s that she has had as long as I can remember. She hides it so none of us kids can “borrow” it. There are some recipes in there that we will accept NO SUBSTITUTE – they are the base for a lot of family celebrations and fond childhood memories.

I think a lot of these little pamphlets were considered freebees and throwaways but a lot of great recipes and artwork are in these little suckers. I have quite a collection going for me. But this ONE Eagle Brand my mom has is no where to be found. The hunt shall continue.

I needed to make a Pumpkin Pie for our office potluck. I picked out some fancy pants epicurious recipe – which I am sure would have been FAB but also contained 87 ingredients and an equal number of steps. My mom, being the smartest lady on the planet said “Fuck That!” and gave me a photo copy of a Pumpkin Pie recipe from her magical Eagle Brand book. Moms are the BEST, wouldn’t you agree?

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

Magic Pumpkin Pie

(Makes one 9-inch pie)

  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large-sized bowl, blend together all ingredients. Turn into shell. Bake in moderate (375 degrees) over 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Uhm EASIEST RECIPE EVER!

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

The main ingredients are canned pumpkin and a whole can of sweetened condenced milk. I am already slightly concerned BUT my coworkers are good sports (they have tested a vintage recipe for me before) so I continue on.

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

Looking a little better. I didn’t have all those spices separately so I just dumped a heap of pumpkin pie spice in there. Clearly this is an exact science.

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

That’s more like it…

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

A word about crust. I hate it. I find traditional pie crust to be a complete waste of butter and I am not interested in rolling anything out with a rolling pin. Fuck. That. I cheated and bought a frozen crust.

THERE! I ADMITTED IT!

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

Bittersweet Susie - Thanksgiving 2015

Looks good to me!

Bittersweet Susie Thanksgiving 2015

Pie cooling on this awesome window ledge that I am convinced was designed SPECIFICALLY for this task. And on to the test:

My coworkers are brave souls- really! And totally game with the vintage recipe tests. I ask my subjects to be brutally honest. Some have no problem while others don’t like hurting my feelings. DO IT FOR SCIENCE PEOPLE.

Ashley: “I really like it.” REALLY? “Yea, it’s really good. I wouldn’t change a thing”

Karli: Reminds me of sweet ground – the depth of the flavors.

Ali : *having it with Reddi Whip* “hmmmmm a lot of spice, which I really like – but not overwhelming. It’s kinda fluffy. It’s good, it’s one of the most flavorful pumpkin pies I have ever had.”

Danielle: “It’s really good – and tell them I’m fat so I should know!”

Gretchen: “This is really good. I am normally not a huge fn of pumpkin pie but I would eat this for sure!”

Lori: (surprised) “It’s good! It’s really good! It tastes as good as a store bought pie but it isn’t as dry. It tastes whipped!”

Holly: “It’s deliciouso!”

Kevin: “It was good but I am not the best person to ask – I use it primarily as a whip cream delivery system.”

I tried it too folks, I was skeptical and I am PICKY about desserts, and it WAS GOOD. It took 5 mins to whip up and then bake. hands down the easiest dessert I have ever made. I hope this helps you if you need a last minute dessert to take to your Aunt Martha’s house. I promise not to tell her you didn’t make the crust.

 

If you would like to see past Thanksgiving posts check out 2013 and 2014 here. Please subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a post (when I remember to post)

 

I am certainly thankful for you readers and friends! Have a great weekend.

 

You still have homework though:

• What is your parent’s or grandparent’s go to cookbook?

• Do you have a dish that is your favorite family tradition for Thanksgiving?

• What are your kitchen tricks you don’t tell anyone about?

 

Greetings Earthlings – 2015 Halloween Playlist is here!

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

Halloween is here again and so am I! I know I have been gone, and I am so sorry, but let’s not dwell, ok?

This season has landed right in my lap in a blur! It was summer and I blinked and it is the end of October already. Man I sound like my Grandma. Awesome.

I have been busy with adventures with friends, work, moving (still in the process of THAT one) but I have come back to bring you the eagerly awaited 2015 Bittersweet Susie Halloween Playlist !

Whew! You thought I was going to forget all about it, didn’t you?

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

And to add to your spooky listening pleasure, Halloween Playlists from years past:

Halloween 2014

Swingin’ at the Seance

I also had the pleasure of being part of my FAVORITE event of the season, the Anaheim Halloween Parade

My friends and I got to be part of the Flying Sasser, a float recreated from 1953! you can read more about it here

1953 Anaheim Halloween Sasser

1953 Anaheim Halloween Sasser

The Sasser crew decided to GLAM up our uniforms with the Voodoo Vixen Dress in Green from Pinupgirl Clothing

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

Fabian and Daniel Manning the SASSER in this year’s parade!

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

Charles Phoenix taking a spin on Amber’s Rocket!

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

Anaheim Halloween Parade 2015

The Anaheim Halloween Parade has been a home grown tradition since 1924! It is run, built, and manned by volunteers who love the Halloween Spirit and have pride in all the greatness that is Anaheim. The parades are walking (or rolling) pieces of art, many that have been painstakingly created from parades in years past. This was my first time getting to be in the parade, which was so fun. The down side was I didn’t get to actually WATCH the parade! Maybe next year I will put on my running shoes and try to be in it AND capture all the floats and wonderful folks.

Check out my photos of rollin’ with the Sasser Crew!

I still don’t have a Halloween Costume – surprise surprise so if anyone out there would like to let me borrow something that would be SWELL!

Come back soon – I may have a tasty (or totally gross) recipe post up my sleeve!

Homework

  • What are your last minute Halloween costume ideas for me?
  • What are your favorite events of the season?
  • What is the number one candy you are going to steal from the kids?