Fosse Family Vacation Extravaganza

Monday, August 22, 2016

We just got home from our family vacation a few hours ago and by golly I am going to document that sucker here before it goes the way of my trip to Michigan when my nephew was born and our family reunion in Palm Springs, which is to say, unrecorded.

It's sad about Palm Springs really, Marc lost his wallet and Jonathan had appendicitis. This summer has been full of good times.

Anyways! Family's a bit different now that our kids are getting grown up. Maddie brought her husband, Kenny and Katie brought her partner, Jarret.  So there were seven of us. Jonathan had to stay home because his school started earlier than everyone else's and we totally spaced it. Poor kid. Luckily he got to be the center of attention on our last vacation what with the appendicitis and all. He was a hoot on pain meds, winking at all the nurses and singing silly songs.

On our first day we went to Chocolate Chair, a place Ellie found online. That girl is dedicated to visiting unusual dessert places in L.A. and this one pretty awesome! They serve this thing called "Dragon's Breath;" it's like Captain Crunch berries that have been frozen in liquid nitrogen. You stab one with a skewer, dip it in flavored sauces, and then when you bite it all this smoke comes out of your mouth.

Here are our videos:
The next day we went to Disneyland. Also it was Marc's and my 26th anniversary. Last year we went to Hawaii just the two of us. It's totally cool, I like both kinds of trips.
One of the best things about Disneyland with older kids is that NO ONE CRIES. Honestly, Marc and I were marveling on the drive home from the park at how easy and stress free it was. We just followed Maddie around and did what our kids wanted. Peasy!
 In line for Pirates
In line for Peter Pan
In line for Mr. Toad (I don't know why we went on that one.)
About to get in line for Small World
Entering Story Book Land, my favorite ride because of all the tiny trees and plants.
In fact, another great part about Disneyland with older kids is that Marc and I left the park and went back to our hotel around 8pm and left all our kids there! Because they can drive themselves-and their little sister-home! 

I can't even really describe how great that is.

The next day Katie and Jarret had to go home and back to work :-(

The rest of us went to Universal Studios and HARRY POTTER WORLD! It was glorious.
During the Olivander's Wand Experience Ellie was picked to have her wand chosen by an Olivander's witch. And while we didn't have any crying at Disneyland, Maddie may have shed a tear that was a combo of happiness and jealousy for her sister.
The best part of the flight of the Hippogriff is getting to see Hagrid's cottage while you're waiting in line.
Hogwarts Castle and the ride inside it were completely magical.
 I kept making Ellie point her wand at me while I took pictures. She's the youngest, she has to humor me.
She was most interested in visiting Honeydukes!

Maddie was in love with the giant Pygmy Puffs and the adorable sound they make that is a cross between a giggle and a purr. 
 I got really hot and made out with my pumpkin juice.
 We thought Harry Potter World alone was worth the price of admission to Universal. It was super fun.

And that's about it. Oh, just for fun I want to list all the things we lost on our trip:

Maddie left her phone The Simpson's Ride

Ellie lost her wallet somewhere in Disney and it turned up at the lost and found

Katie and Jarret lost their keys and wallet respectively on the drive down. Jarret found his wallet, Katie is still looking.

There is something about being a Fosse...

How To Make a Stop Motion Video for Instagram

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Make a Stop Motion Video For Instagram

Instagram is probably my favorite social media platform, especially when it comes to promoting my etsy shop, Barnacle Designs. Facebook has become so huge and unpredictable; Instagram feels more like I'm interacting with friends. Friends who I've maybe never met, but who are like minded about how great handmade is and who don't mind having me as a crazy stalker person.

Awhile ago I decided to try my hand at making a stop motion video to post on my feed. It got a lot of views and likes, so here I am sharing how to do it with you. My video got about 50% more views than my usual posts, so I think it's worth it to bust out your creative director side and give it a go.

This is the stop motion video I made showing off a zipper pouch from my etsy shop.
Here's whatcha you're gonna need to make one yourself.

1. iphone camera
2. the "flipgram" app downloaded on your phone
3. little iphone tri-pod to stabilize your phone
4. remote camera shutter
5. items that will be in your video
6. some kind of background, I just used a white poster board

 Fancy! I bought the tripod and the shutter at Target, and they were each under $10. These two little workers keep your camera absolutely still while you photograph, and keep your camera exactly the same distance from your set up as you are taking multiple shots.

Once you have this set up, it's just a matter of taking a ton of photos, yelling "show me sexy! show me fierce!" and moving your items no more than 1/4 inch after each shot. 

Some things I learned along the way that might help you:

*Set everything up in an area with really nice natural lighting. You want all the photos to have consistent good lighting and you will have WAY too many photos at the end to have to edit them all for brightness. That would be so yuck.

*Plan your beginning, middle and end before you start shooting. Flipgram will load all your photos into it's "reel" in the order you took them, and while you can reorder them, it's easiest if you take your photos in the order you want them.

*With that in mind, delete any unusable photos (say because your hand is in it) as you go.

*Only move your items a tiny bit between each shot. More photos with smaller increments of movement will make a better finished video than less photos with bigger jumps in movement. Aim for about 1/4" in distance moved. I ended up using 120 photos for a 25 second video, that's about 5 photos per second!
*Here is a collage of some of the 18+ photos of the earplugs "walking" into the zipper pouch.

*Make a tiny mark on your background surface to use as a, well, mark for your items. In my video I made a small pencil dot on the poster board that appeared as the front and center of the frame when I looked at the camera screen. As I moved items around the circle I made sure the item in front at the time touched my dot. This kept the whole thing sort of centered throughout the video.

*Take multiple shots without moving anything if you want there to be a pause in the action.

Once you've taken all your photos:

*When you open flipgram it will walk you through setting up your new video. The most important option you have is adjusting the speed, it looks like a little slider with a bunny icon. 

*In my opinion a video for instagram should be no longer than 30 seconds and even shorter is better. Increasing the speed is mandatory as it makes your stop motion look smoother and makes your video shorter. Your goal is to make people want to watch your video again, not wish it would get over.

*When you load your finished flipgram onto instagram, you can actually use the built in editing tools to edit all of the photos in the flipgram at the same time. Way cool! And much easier than editing them all individually.

And there you have it. If you have any questions ask in the comments and I'll get back to you, and if you make an instagram video tag me @barnacledesigns so I can check out your ah-mazing work!

Thai Shrimp Salad

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It has been so HOT here! And as much as I love my old ranch house one thing it does not have is a powerful air conditioner. It has an air conditioner, but all it does is cool the floor about one foot in front of each vent and cost us $300 a month.

Which means that when temperatures climb above 90 degrees it becomes completely mandatory that I make dinners that don't require any oven time! Our oven is the original 1947 Westinghouse that came with the house and while it still works, and is super cute, it has very little insulation. When I turn it on it raises the temperature in the kitchen a minimum of 50 degrees. I'm not making this up.

So we eat a lot of salads. If I make something. We also eat a lot of cereal and watermelon. You do not need a recipe for cereal or watermelon, but I am totes ready to share one of our favorite salad recipes. 

We love Thai flavors, so I invented this recipe for a Thai Shrimp Salad based on this one.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound cooked medium size shrimp tails removed
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce 
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Honey, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 3 carrots, grated (or small bag of shredded carrots)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews (I like the ones that are roasted AND salted)

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for four minutes. Add shrimp and saute until heated through.
  2. Make dressing by whisking together lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add honey to taste.
  3. In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, scallions, basil, cilantro and shrimp. Toss with dressing. Top with cashews and serve.
That is Bon appetit in Thai. I love the internet! If you love Thai too, here is a fantastic recipe for Thai Curry Seafood Stew.

Treasure Island Flea Market? Go!

Friday, June 3, 2016

I know it's not my job to tell you what to do, but if it were my job, I'd tell you to get yourself to the next Treasure Island Flea Market!

Maddie and her friend Sarah came down from BYU to spend Memorial Day weekend with us and we went for the first time. You guys! It is super cool! It isn't like a normal flea market with a lot of junky stuff, it is an awesome outdoor market, on an island, with a spectacular view of San Francisco, a TON of food trucks, live music and tons of vendors selling beautiful handmade goods.


Really, such a good Saturday. Maddie and Sarah made their own little terrariums, Maddie put a tiny Totoro in hers. Love.
There were tons of fantastic vendors. Here are some of my favorites.
Felt sushi!

Entire costumes for all your steam punk party needs! I, personally, have never been to a steam punk event, but if I were going to one I would like to wear the outfit in the middle with the ruched skirt.
A plethora of spices and loose teas; this vendor's area smelled so divine.
Teensy tiny little succulent worlds.
Pretty patio things.
And so so so many food trucks. It was like food truck heaven. Also I stole that photo from the flea website. Mine looks like this:
 There were at least twenty trucks there. We got lobster rolls.
So I've convinced you to go, right? Trust me, you need this in your life.

We also went to Bodega Bay over the weekend. Katie joined up with us and made my month. Nothing is better than having all my kids together!
I want to climb in that photo and smooch them!
We also had a fantastic bbq at my parents house, no pictures though. How was your Memorial Day?

Celebrate Friday!

Friday, May 27, 2016

I thought we could celebrate Friday by watching silly youtube videos that make me laugh. I sure hope they give you a good giggle too!

And my favorite, Kristen Wiig as Doonece. It's not on youtube, you have to click through here. This skit is especially funny if you, like me, can remember laying on the carpet in your Grandma's house watching The Lawrence Welk Show with the lights off and a groovy fiber optic lamp softly changing colors on the side table.

Tips For Planting Succulents Indoors

Thursday, May 26, 2016

tips for growing succulents inside
Here is what I know: I love succulents, you love succulents, we love succulents...but they have proven darn hard to keep alive inside our homes! Happy patio succulents? Sure. Gracing our coffee tables and bookshelves? Not so much.

But we want them on our tables and shelves; they are so pretty and interesting and let's just admit it on trend.

With this burning desire I have researched tons of articles online trying to glean the secrets that might end my reign as a plant killer. I'm not going to pretend to know it all now, but I have managed to keep my little group of Costco succulents alive and in my house for over a month now. They are even growing.

I've applied three tips that I've gained from my reading and pestering of people who know.
1. Plant them properly for growing indoors. More details on that in a minute.

2. Only water when the soil is dry, approximately once a week and water low to the soil because the leaves don't like to be wet. I used to use a mister but now I pour a little water near the base of each plant in the container.

3. Place your succulents in a room where they will get plenty of indirect light.

My directions for how to plant a terrarium for indoors are primarily from Leaf and Clay. It is a fabulous website with TONS of information on succulents. I keep going back for advice and if you are serious about growing succulents their blog is an excellent resource.

So here is a summary of what I learned there.
how to plant succulents indoors
Start with a container you like. This method assumes that your container won't have drainage which is nice and allows for a lot of freedom to choose whatever you think is pretty. Here are some of my favorites from around the interwebs :-)
These little air plant containers are actually pretty cheap at the craft store.
mason jar terrarium
Mason jars! I need to get on this; I have tons of jars left from Maddie's wedding.
I can't find the link for the original source of this photo but lets just all agree that these geometric planters are fabulous!
succulents in apothacary
And apothecary jars, I just have to toss out all the hotel soaps that are in mine right now :-)

Start by filling the bottom with rocks or pebbles. This gives the water a place to drain to so the roots don't sit in wet soil and rot. Yay.

Add about an inch of activated charcoal. 

Top with a layer of moss. The moss keeps the soil from sneaking down into the rocks.

Now put in your special for cacti and succulent potting soil. Leave room for your plants and and a final layer of soil.

Leaf and clay recommends that when you transplant a succulent to the new container you "gently loosen the roots, brushing away old soil." I did do this although as I brushed away soil I'm afraid some of the roots went along with it. I guess I'm just saying to be careful my friend.

Dampen your dirt sparingly and then place the succulent in a shallow hole in the new container and stabilize with more soil.
Most of the articles I read recommend that you now wait at least a week before you water your baby plant.

As a final touch I like to add a layer of rocks over the top of the soil, and, if you want, a gnome. I cannot think of any reason why you would skip the gnome.
succulent garden with gnome


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