About the Author: Meaghan Luby
Once upon a time, I had a rather perfect childhood in a small Pleasantville-like suburb outside of Chicago. I had a great high school experience with great friends followed by a great college experience with some equally great friends and have continually had an amazing family throughout the whole ordeal. I count myself extremely lucky that way. Then in 2010, like so many other 20 somethings, I graduated college and didn't have a clue what I was doing with myself. After the graduation confetti fell, I moved back in with my parents and was promptly dumped by the long distance boyfriend who had been talking rings last I knew. Cue the quarter life crisis. To my name, I had a 6 month old cooking blog (this guy!), a super useful creative writing degree, a grouchy 11 year old yorkie, Mack, a 5 year old fish (RIP, Bellini, seen in all my headers), about $1,000 in my student checking account, and no solid prospects. I began to rapid fire apply for everything. And I mean, everything. From copy editing to bank telling to teaching English in China. If an english degree was something even somewhat applicable, I applied.
And with fall came the miracle. A job. A corporate job that seemed, sure, less than creative but none the less, super fantastic. This really fantastic job brought me to Washington, DC- a city I had never been to before and was suddenly moving to before labor day, ha. I borrowed money from my parents to AFFORD the move across the country and began the beautiful adventure now known as my early 20's.
I met a lot of law students who became a my DC family. I went from living in my first grown up apartment with my long time BFF (who moved with me across the states for essentially the same job with the same company) to living in a chaotic, drama filled, colorful Virginia mansion (seriously, a multi million dollar mansion we found for rent on craigslist for way too cheap) with 3 law girls, my bestie, and a crazy but not serial killer crazy math geek who we also found on craigslist (and we came to consider charming, not crazy). That's 6 people. Plus a few more who we rented to during summers. It was a blur of humans and fun. There were fire pits, movies, marathons, and a heck of a lot of wine. I mean, A LOT of wine. There were cocktail filled blurry nights and greasy hang over cure mornings. There were videogame all nighters, paper chain crafts, and out of control Halloween parties. There were board games, drinking games, and crazy games of hide and seek through our monster of a house. There was an inordinate amount of antics and cupcakes. And cupcake antics. There was chaos and lazy nights, pinched budgets and crazy splurging, and in general, being a young professional living in a ridiculously fancy house with 5 of your best friends. There was essentially living the teenage dream you come up with when you're 13 but so much better because this was real and had chocolate chip pancakes and gossip.
At some point within our alcohol and drama infused years at the mansion, I met Esquire. Another law student who came to mean a lot to me.
He ended up moving into the mansion (AKA, my personal "Real World DC" backdrop) and proposing January 2013. In short order after that night, life threw us a lot of curve balls. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I got a new job in Chicago, a job that not only fit my career dreams more but would bring me home to my family and mom. Esquire and the rest of the brood I had come to care about so much in DC all graduated law school. The timing clicked. We made the leap and decided to move, packing up everything we had each collected through the years and the still grouchy Mack and making the 14 hour drive to Chicago. We bought a house. We saw my mom become a survivor (WOOHOO!). Esquire took the bar exam. We planned a wedding. On September 21, 2013 (date picked due to this song) we threw a big party and tied the knot.
And that's about up to speed! I now get to live the real dream: the happily ever after. Esquire passed the bar (my husband is a BOSS!), wedding planning ceased to be a part of my routine, and now I get to enjoy being married to my best friend, figuring out being a homeowner, loving what I do, and as always, waiting on the very particular Mack (14 and going strong). I will continue to count these and many more blessings as I cook, bake, craft, and chronicle here and can only hope that as my life continues to ever throw adventures my way that it brings most of you some semblance of entertainment because, usually? It entertains the hell out of me ;)
About my Recipes:
I love to cook. And to eat. I love food and cooking and baking. I however am extremely, pitifully, clumsy in the kitchen. And clumsy in general. But I grew up around the kitchen. My family is big into bonding over food, large family dinners happening frequently. Baking specifically was something I always loved. I wasn't very good... at all. However, I loved doing it. And I loved the results. Cookies? Oh man. Pie? Pure joy in a tin. Brownies? Yep. Sign me up with a glass of milk. Cupcakes? I love cupcakes. Seriously. They are pretty perfect. I can't wax on about cupcakes enough but, needless to say... I am a fan. In fact, here is a picture of me dressed as a cupcake. Eating a cupcake.
And as such a sugar fanatic, I got better. And continued to bake, whisk, and stir out new things with minor catastrophes along the way. I've branched out from mixes to making from scratch- although I will say that mixes are not banned from my kitchen/this blog by any means just because I have learned how to use cake flour. Baking short cuts don't always (in my humble opinion) cut out on flavor. Some of my all time favorite recipes and tricks include mixes, doughs, cans, and crusts of convenience!
I am however learning. And as I am learning, hopefully more advanced recipes and techniques will continue to appear on the page. This blog has been around since I lived in a college apartment and has evolved from jello shot recipes and strictly tried and true family recipes using cans of soup... to lemon curd from scratch and making my own bread. We go off book and then back on book here. My pantry continues to be stocked with everything from pectin to spaghetti o's, and well, my first aid kit has burn ointment and bandaids at the ready, so I have every intention to keep the treats coming and the burns minor. We'll be finding out together what eclectic recipes (and hospital bills) result.
About my Comics & Writing:
My blog used to be a standard, run of the mill, simple scroll, single page, cooking blog. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but I found myself wanting to post and to write more. A lot more. I love to write and dream to get something published someday but, in the meantime, I found myself telling a lot of little stories. So, I made this other blog for stories about my life. And decided to set up a web persona. And with the decision of a web me came the idea of illustrating her myself. And then I got so excited about all the options, I could barely focus on getting pen to paper.
I could do a web comic! Or illustrated short stories! Or an illustrated blog! The seed was planted and I quickly began flipping through some of my favorite comics to see what clicked, imagining myself as the protagonist, flitting around between fictional, non, and in between:
While I had always dreamed of having Hobbes as my BFFE, (best friend for ever and ever), the strip comics like Snoopy's and those found on xkcd all weren't quite working for me. I drafted a few (truly tragic) attempts at strip comics but there was never enough writing involved to click with the craving. The layout of Hyperbole and a Half though, inspired. There are several blogs out there that have illustrated posts besides H&H, and as I began delving into all those type of sites I could find, the inspiration began to take root. My own protagonist, a doodled cartoon self, began to take shape in my spiral notebook, along with stories from my life, outlined and scribbled out on the page.
Eventually, my spiral was rather full and I was feeling pretty proud of my little cartoon me and the way my adventures and thoughts were all taking shape. I liked the way it looked on the blue lined pages, the crooked lines, and playing with crayons and colored pencils. Nothing complex, but fun to doodle. I couldn't help thinking it would be a shame to re-create all the images in my clean cut computer world of animation.
So I decided against it. Therefore, I present to you all: The unedited, uneven, and unorganized creations of my scribbled notebook! All done freehand, in a basic spiral notebook, with black pens and colored pencils. Scanned and old school. Posted here among recipes, crafts, photos, travel posts, and general geeky facts of my life! And yeah, my simple 1 page scroll blog is now ultra tab filled and involved. Once I expanded to comics, my creative needs blew up into all kinds of territories outside of the kitchen, ha. Hopefully you guys find some of them as amusing as I did while creating.
You are now entering a straight-edge free zone.
And yes, my ruler only goes to 8. Fun fact, 8 and 12 are my two favorite numbers. Bonus fun fact, I misjudged the length of that ruler when I was numbering it.