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!



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



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



• What was your favorite Halloween Candy as a kid?

• What was your LEAST favorite?

• Are you dressing up this year??


Bang Bang – A Photo Adventure

Greetings everyone! I hope you are well!

Dominique in Palmdale - Film - Yashica 124

My friend Dominique and I have been planning and scheming to shoot together from what seems like FOREVER.

If you don’t already know and follow @tikidominiki then you are a damn fool and missing  out on this incredible sassy pants. Check out her music HERE!

Her shows are so fun and I have the BIGGEST girl crush on her ever – good thing her husband is the coolest!

Our plans are always grand and ambitious – I think partly because we both can be perfectionists and also know the other is going to KICK ASS at anything we do together. The only problem with that is we never seem to just DO IT. We are trying to find a perfect location, or lining up some hair and makeup friends to collaborate with us. In theory this is awesome, because we both want to put our best work out there but I think it also prevents us from shooting some spontaneous places full of happy accidents.

We somehow lined up our schedules and drive out to butt fuck nowhere in the desert to shoot some rogue rolls of film.

There were walmart runs, wrong turns, wild fires, traffic, and some totally sketch neighborhood that had us prepped to JUMP BACK IN THE CAR in a flash.

The results are rad and I cannot believe I waited this long to post them for you to oogle.

Of course – I shot it on film. I used a twin reflex camera from the 60s & shot both black and white and some expired slide film – which I started to develop myself. I never did that before and it has been a learning curve for me. It is way more sensitive than black and white film. Scanning and color correcting is always a challenge and I certainly have a hate/hate relationship with being enslaved in front of a screen for any length of time. Blah!

Check them out:


It was incredibly WINDY – hence all the HOLD ON TO YOU HAT poses. She was braver than I was for most of the day, until we got to the scariest liquor store EVER – then I was for some reason FINE. I guess I rationalize that if they have Doritos there than it cannot be that bad.

The best part was the road trip conversations  – day trips are perfect for that. WE HAD SO MUCH to say and no time to get sick of each other & are already scheming for more shoots and maybe some more road trips JUST BECAUSE!

Thanks for checking them out friends!


Summer School HOMEWORK

• What are your favorite road trip snacks?

• Any Road trip hacks/survival tips?

• Where is your favorite day trip to adventure to?



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



• 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!

3rd Annual PIE A THON – Star Gazy Pie – A Vintage Recipe Test

I have been neglecting you dear blog. I don’t have any excuse other than I have just felt very unfunny lately. No-one wants to hear vague complaining and passive aggressive sadness – That’s what Facebook is for.

Luckily, I have the lovely Pie A Thon to drop kick my butt back into it. Nothing is funnier than watching people you care about eat something from a long forgotten mid-century recipe that never should have been made in the first place! I do that AND THEN take photos of it for everyone to cherish.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

I was assigned Star Gazy Pie – 1954 – Pan Am Airways

Along with a little background info –

This is from The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook, published by Pan Am Airways in 1954 (the cover’s not as interesting as the route map they used for the end papers so that’s what I’m sending). They had their various employees get recipes from everywhere Pan Am sent planes to and compiled them into a book, sorting them all by country. This is from the UK chapter. 

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

So, I was excited. My eyes read BACON and then stopped. Literally just DID NOT SEE ANY OTHER PART OF THE RECIPE.

You guys, there is fish in it. I do not DO fish. I seem to get ASSIGNED fish fairly often though *cough Vincent Price Cook-along cough*. 

Who was I going to get to try said pie? Where was I going to buy this little fishy ingredient? HOW AM I GOING TO TOUCH FISH. My dad, being the most helpful, told me that I could go try to catch them off the dock in Oxnard. Swell, And for those of you who are not familiar with this little California seaside town, eating anything caught off the dock in Oxnard MAAAYYYY not be the greatest idea. Because of this Magic/barftastic ingredient I totally put the whole thing off until the day before it was due. Ahhh, high school memories.

I did have ONE friend who agreed to eat it! “I like mackerel!” He said! “I will still be your friend even AFTER I eat the pie!” He said! “I will eat the WHOLE THING!” He said! I should have gotten that in WRITING. Remind me that for the next recipe exchange, will ya? You’re a peach.

Before we dive in to the whole recipe, cooking show, barf reaction shots I need to confess something to you. I didn’t find the mackerel. I only went to ONE STORE the day I needed to cook it and they just didn’t have it. I was kinda HOPING they wouldn’t and I did ask (and received a WHY WOULD YOU WANT THAT face from the butcher) so I had to substitute it with Cod. To me having to cook ANY fish is gross. I am sure the cod is LESS GROSS in the world of fish but as I am typing this to you right now I can smell hint of fish lingering in the air and I just do not care for it. Cooking fish is my kryptonite. Bleh. I also didn’t find Tarragon Vinegar. Can someone please enlighten me to whether this product is still made and WHAT you would want it for.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

So the recipe called for tarragon vinegar. They did not have that so I made a bootleg version that prob didn’t even do anything flavor wise. Ladies and gentleman – dried tarragon in white vinegar. I am sure if I did my homework ahead of time and actually let this steep for more than the 15 mins I had it going it might resemble this ingredient but homework is hard. Such a slacker!

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Butter and add half of the recipes allotment of breadcrumbs to a casserole dish. No specification as to what size so I used this pyrex. I also used some parchment paper because NO FISH IS GOING TO TOUCH THIS PAN, ya dig? Also maybe this is a grand time to preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Vintage recipe test featuring PIE - a recipe exchange

Next, the best part of all the vintage recipes. Butter. Glorious butter.

Vintage recipe test featuring PIE - a recipe exchange

I have the butter going and THEN I remembered I wanted to cook the bacon first, you know to get all the bacon goodness on to the evil fish. So…

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

I put the bacon INTO the melted butter. Evil genius/total idiot. Cook the bacon sort of ( half cook it because you are gonna dry it all to hell when it goes into the oven FOREVER). I love you bacon.

THEN lightly brown the fish (I used cod – pretend it’s THE OTHER FISH)

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Then chop some parsley – and add your spices and salt and pepper. WARNING: I should have SKIPPED the salt in this step. They asked for a lot! Not totally sure why all of a sudden I decided to be a rule follower. Too much fucking salt.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Put the fish in your dish!
3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Add the remaining breadcrumbs. Seems like too many breadcrumbs.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon
Mix egg yolks with the “tarragon” vinegar. Everyone gets in the pool.
3rd Annual Pie A Thon 3rd Annual Pie A Thon

I made the dough in the food processor. I hate making pie dough. HAAATTTE –  usually I cheat and buy one. See examples here and here for past pie dough crimes.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

I hate you too rolling pin. HATE.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

This beast is ready to go into the oven for 1 3/4 hours. Yea. Almost 2 hours to just really DRY THE PISS out of it. Also, look how damn festive I am.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

We also had this plan B, plus sausages. Don’t look at me like that.3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Family dinner is set. Clearly we made other things and are not relying on this pie to sustain us.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

This is Jeff. She is forced to wait in the yard while we do our scientific experiments!

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

In a surprise turn of events everyone took a little to try. Two of these lovely people are essentially vegan but were willing to try it for the cause/blog.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Josh: Tastes Scandinavian (I’m Norwegian) Tastes Minnesotian – It’s really good with ketchup.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Stefania: (who is normally vegan!) BLEHHHHHHHHHHHHH

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Tony: It’s VERY British – Lemon makes it a little better. If it was bacon & egg OR bacon & fish it would work. One of the ingredients isn’t playing together.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Lisa: Agreed! (with tony)

3rd Annual Pie A ThonRafa: Second bite was the seasoned bit.

Josh: (Whispering) Try it with ketchup.

Lisa: It’s VERY salty.

Rafa: You all sound very British right now.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Susie: (I don’t usually try these experiments) It’s fine, it’s edible.

Josh: I like it!

We didn’t give any to Jeff, even though she seemed interested.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Verdict: So very dry, so very salty, but edible. The bacon helped but the lack of moisture plus the ton of breadcrumbs ruined this dish. Josh liked it and requested the recipe. I always think I make these things wrong in the end.

3rd Annual Pie A Thon
I love doing these recipe exchanges! Please check out what my fellow explorers had to cook up!

3rd Annual Pie A Thon

Thanks for stopping by friends – here is your homework:

• Would YOU make this pie?

• What makes this a pie? The crust?

• Do you have a recipe that everyone hates but that you love with ketchup?

Please subscribe to the right or come follow me on instagram @susieq to catch more of my adventures!



Where have you been?

I am sure the 5 of you out there reading this have been asking yourself the SAME THING. WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN SUSIE?

Vintage Los Angeles • Photo by Susie Delaney • Janet Fischietto

Well, I have been hustling. I had a few life changes occur over the last few months and I just have not been sure what the best way to deal with them is. Do I rant on my blog and complain about what is going on? Do I ignore it and pretend nothing has happened but let it fester anyways? OR – Fucking use it as an opportunity to do what you want.  And that is exactly what I have been doing!

I am getting back to shooting film. It is what I started on when I was in high school – and what Brooks BEAT into us after.

I broke up with film for a long time. We fought, film wasn’t giving me what I thought I wanted, I blamed film. I am happy to report that we are back together and very much in love. Both of us have changed and at the same time are both are totally stubborn selves.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.


I have been teaching my friend Josh ( check out his instagram @joshsorheim to see the fun stuff he has been shooting) how to shoot manual and how to develop. His completely   bat-shit enthusiasm has reminded me how I used to feel about the entire process. I foresee many more photo adventures and smelling like fix in the future.

With that being said I am going to be posting these quick little shoots here from time to time. I always post one or two on instagram but there are so many I would like to share and not be a complete self important asshat about it. So I am going to be one HERE, because IT IS MY DAMN BLOG!


I had the pleasure of being acquainted with Janet (see her instagram here) from mutual friends, roommates, and just knowing she is a creative vintage force. She travels a LOT and while we have exchanged messages about wanting to work together time just seems to slip away from us. When I realized she was off around the world again I asked if we could get together for a quick little shoot. SHE WAS IN!

We went up to the Griffith Observatory at dusk – and I brought a few rolls of film and my little TLR and we pretty much just did a lap around the property and left (and celebrated with a glass or two of wine and CHEESE)

She did her own hair, makeup, and styling and needed ZERO direction. These photos are equally hers as they are mine. I love it when a plan comes together.

Please check out her site  –  http://www.janetfischietto.com

I am convinced she is just visiting us from another time. I am also convinced that we need to be besties and run around LA together every time she visits!

I am going to work on that one.


I develop my own negatives at home – with some experimental combinations that Josh and I have been working on – then scanning and doing my post until I have a dream house with my own darkroom.

Vintage Los Angeles • Photo by Susie Delaney • Janet Fischietto
Vintage Los Angeles • Photo by Susie Delaney • Janet  FischiettoVintage Los Angeles • Photo by Susie Delaney • Janet  FischiettoVintage Los Angeles • Photo by Susie Delaney • Janet  Fischietto



• Do you have a hobby or skill you used to love and don’t use it anymore?

• Is there one you wish to learn?

• How do YOU deal with stressful life situations? Is being creative a factor?



Come back soon, I promise to be here!

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:




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