95: Failed Croissants

October 6, 2021

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This is Joy & Claire: Episode 95: Failed Croissants

Episode Date: October 6, 2021

Transcription Completed: October 17, 2021

Audio Length: 42:32 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Happy Halloween!

Claire: It’s not even close to Halloween.

Joy: It’s October 3. I love October 3.

Claire: It was October 3. Thank you all for sending us your Mean Girls memes. October 3 forever. Mean Girls applies to everything.

Joy: Mean Girls applies to everything and truly is the best movie. When I was looking at all the Mean Girls posts yesterday – we’re recording this on Monday, October 4, which by the way I just got a news update that Facebook is down and Instagram is down. Which is really funny. 

Claire: It explains, right.

Joy: It feels like the world just shut down. Like, what are we going to do?

Claire: What are we going to do?

Joy: Wouldn’t it be nice if it just went away for a few days and no one could use it.

Claire: I’ve been trying to post about my failed croissants and it’s not been loading, so I’ve been failing about posting about my failures. It’s just so meta. As I’ve said before, if I could go back in time and uninvent anything, it would be Facebook. It would be great. The world could heal.

Joy: You know how in COVID times we had to collectively just not do anything? I think it would just be nice to not have Facebook for a while. Just cut if off at the source.

Claire: And the problem is, I don’t use Facebook that often. I’m not scrolling Facebook. I definitely scroll Instagram a lot. It’s not that I feel like I just need to get off Facebook. It’s the culture of –

Joy: Everyone needs to shut down.

Claire: Everyone. We as a global society need a 70-day… 70? That’s a random number. Like a 90-day digital detox. We all just need to take out all the satellites, except for the ones that we need to call our moms.

Joy: Yes, exactly. And everyone that’s working at Facebook, just take a break. Everyone just take some self-care today.

Claire: They can afford to pay you some extra PTO. They can give you all a sabbatical.

Joy: Go to a COVID-safe vacation.

Claire: Or just go home.

Joy: Or go home and take a nap. I’m sure you work hard.

Claire: Keep the satellites that allow me to call my friends and text my friends and my family and get rid of all the rest.

Joy: That would be nice.

Claire: And I know you guys are like, “You don’t know what you’re saying.” I understand this is not a real scenario that we’re proposing for you guys.

Joy: [singing] We’re living in a fantasy. 

Claire: I know that satellites are for more than Facebook and texting. 

Joy: That’s not how it works, Claire.

Claire: Just want to throw that out there.

Joy: Just preemptively getting the people that are like, “That’s not how this works.” But the whole point of this was when I was looking at the posts for Mean Girls day. And I saw Aaron Samuels, Jonathan Bennett. I’ll never get over the time that we were very close to interviewing him. 

Claire: Found out that we called him a “one hit wonder.” Which I stand by that comment. He was promoting his Mean Girls cookbook and then he got mad when we called him a one hit wonder. Well then, don’t… I mean, I stand by that comment.

Joy: We have a listener – and if you’re still listening to us, please come back and please bring Jonathan Bennett with you.

Claire: No.

Joy: She reached out to him to be like, “Hey, you should interview these girls. They love you. They’re a huge fan of Mean Girls.” And then he listened to one of our episodes, the one episode where we were like –

Claire: That was one time, Jonathan Bennett.

Joy: It was one time. We think you’re amazing and you’re wonderful and you still have an amazing, dreamy smile. 

Claire: Called him a one hit wonder? That was one time! Oh well.

Joy: We lost our chance with Aaron Samuels. Anyway, I love how the whole cast still gets into it and they make a big deal about it. Lindsay Lohan posted about it. So happy Mean Girls day, everybody.

Claire: Speaking of Lindsay Lohan adjacent celebrities – in my mind, I was like Lindsay Lohan, ankle bracelet, Britney Spears.

Joy: Fair. They’ve been drunk in a car together before. It’s totally related.

Claire: Yeah, they’re related. Do you have any comments to make about the recent developments in the Britney Spears conservatorship?

Joy: I have a lot of comments. I’ve been weighing this. I am essentially a nobody, weighing in on someone I’ve never met, but there’s this very public life. I feel like I’m contributing to the problem if I talk about it. Am I overthinking it? because I’m like, am I just feeding the media beast of Britney Spears’ life? But I will say this. I think she’s lovely. I think she deserves to live a happy life. We don’t know all the details of the conservatorship, I’m sure. We don’t know all the details of what’s going on behind the scenes of her life. I still really worry about her mental health and that she’s getting proper care. I don’t know what kind of care she’s getting right now. But like, these are all the things I think about. I’m not going to weigh in on what’s happening. I truly think it probably needed to happen based on everything that we see and the documentaries. There was a really great Daily episode. If you guys don’t listen to The Daily podcast, I believe it was out September 29th maybe. But they talked a lot about the conservatorship and how this came to light and how she presented in front of a judge, that she wanted to have her own lawyer, all the updates that if you’re following this you’ve already heard. It was really well done. It just made me feel really sad again. I think any human being would look at this objectively and be like, this is just really sad. Because she’s so talented… I can’t help but think of the little girl you see on Star Search singing her heart out. That’s what I think about is the little girl on Star Search singing her little heart out and just wanting to be a performer and how did we get to this point. That’s what I think about is how was she with her parents and how they just traveled –

Claire: Like, how did we go from Mickey Mouse Club to here.

Joy: Yeah. And I just think there’s got to be something in the family dynamics and how she just missed out on being a normal kid and how she was in the spotlight. I think my heart goes out to her because I just see that little girl. You just don’t have anything close to a “normal life,” where everyone wants to weigh in on your life and you just deserve to be happy and make decisions about your life and having babies and having children and getting married and going on vacation wherever the heck you want to go on vacation without people intervening or taking pictures of you. To sum it up, my heart goes out to her. I hope that she gets what she wants for her best interest. And if she’s struggling with something that she’s working with doctors who are taking care of her properly, all of those things. It breaks my heart… it breaks my heart. She’s so freaking talented. I feel the same way about Lindsay [mispronounced Lo-HAHN] Lohan. Because Lindsay Lohan –

Claire: [mispronounced Lo-HAHN] Lohan.

Joy: I’m sorry. That was a total Scott Parrish.

Claire: Gruel.

Joy: Yeah, gruel. And Scott Parrish calls the Peloton the Pele-TONE. So he always pronounces these words and I’m like – but he does it unironically. He thinks it’s called the Pele-TONE. Lindsay Lohan. My heart breaks because of how talented she is. And here’s the other thing. Maybe they hate performing, or maybe they hate acting. So you don’t have to be dancing on the stage for us, but we are just like, “We’re entertained. Entertain us.” Like that whole thing of… they don’t owe us anything, but I think my hope is they’re happy not doing these things. Otherwise… I would love for them to come back and have a blossoming career, if they wanted that, because they’re so freaking talented. But maybe the industry just completely ruined them. I think about Lindsay’s documentary on Oprah years and years and years ago. And that was so sad. You could see Oprah trying to throw her a bone. Hey, we’re going to try and get you to come back and reestablish your life. She completely blew it. But there’s more behind the scenes. There’s so much pain there, and I can’t help but think about that.

Claire: I, as usual, do not have enough information about this to comment because I don’t follow celebrity gossip. But I did hear the thing about how her dad was being removed from the conservatorship. It’s hot news. It’s very tabloidy, very headliney. We have talked about it before. I think it is interesting. I’m more curious about it from the standpoint of, to your point Joy, how the public is viewing it and how it is such a complex issue, and we only see the very, very tip of the iceberg. Yet, most of us have an opinion about it. We’re chatting about it with our friends. What a weird life to live when your really private family issues are being discussed by people all over the world. That is what you sign up for when you become a celebrity, but I think this is an extreme version of that.

Joy: Yeah. And I don’t know if she had the consent at that age to sign up for this. I don’t even know if she… she was just so thrust into the atmosphere after that first hit. And in the early 2000’s, fame wasn’t what it is today.

Claire: For sure.

Joy: I could go off on many different trails with that one. I think it’s just something that for whatever reason we take this sick pleasure in weighing in on people’s lives. Because she posts on Instagram doesn’t mean that she owes us anything and that we get to weigh in. But yeah. 

Claire: Yeah. I do still love following her on Instagram.

Joy: I do too. I do too because she’s just so Britney. I want her to keep being Britney. 

Claire: I feel like it has to have been last year where the tweet was like, “Gonna drop acid and see if it makes Britney Spears’ Instagram make any sense.” [laughing] It’s great. I like her.

Joy: I love her so much. I really do.

Claire: Okay. In other news, I want to talk about my sad croissants because Instagram won’t let me post about them.

Joy: God. Tell us everything. [laughing]

Claire: So I’ve just spent the last three days making croissants, and they failed. If you’re listening to our baking podcast – I hope you are – it’s not our baking podcast. It’s our show about The Great British Baking Show. But I discuss baking on there a lot because it’s my favorite hobby right now, and it has been my favorite hobby for a while. I tried making some croissants from the cookbook called Aran – someone tell me how to pronounce that. A-R-A-N. It’s a Scottish word. And it’s the name of the bakery of a former Great British Bake Off contestant, Flora, who was on several years ago. She has since gone on to open a super cute little bakery in Scotland. So she has this cookbook, I love it. It has this chocolate cake in there that I make all the time that is a recipe of hers. This pistachio lime loaf that I made that was really good. So it’s this really super complex croissant recipe where the first night you make the dough, you let it chill completely over night. You let it chill for a solid 12+ hours. The next day you add the butter. So you just pound out this huge slab of butter, fold it up in the dough, fold the dough a certain way. Let that chill for another hour. Fold the dough in this certain way again. Roll it out, fold it again. Let that chill for another hour. Then cut it up and roll it up into the croissant. Let that chill overnight. And then you’re supposed to take it out. There is a little bit of yeast in this dough. You’re supposed to take it out, let the croissants come to room temperature, at which point they’re supposed to rise. And then you bake them. So mine, everything was going fine until this morning when I took them out and they never rose. So I don’t know what happened.

Joy: Rude.

Claire: Rude. 

Joy: So rude.

Claire: So rude. Because all day yesterday I was just – occupying my brain all weekend.

Joy: Yeah, that’s so much prep time. 

Claire: And honestly, the actual hands-on time, we’re talking less than 30 minutes. But you’re thinking about it the whole weekend.

Joy: Totally. You’re so excited.

Claire: It’s taking up so much space in my fridge because you have to keep putting it in and out of the fridge. So I have a whole fridge shelf dedicated to this. In a house where five people live, that’s a big deal. And anyway, so they didn’t ever rise, and I got to the point where I was like, I don’t think these are going to rise anymore. Even though they haven’t risen really at all. I try to let them prove for four hours. It was really violating anything I have every learned about baking when you’re trying to get layers. Typically if you want a flaky dough, you want the butter to be cold when you put it into the oven. So I was like, this is violating everything I feel like I know about baking with butter. And I put them in the oven, and sure enough the butter pretty much just melted. There was a little bit of a flake on the outside, but the middle of the croissants was just a pool of soggy dough and butter. I can just hear Paul Hollywood going, “It’s raw.”

Joy: Yeah. So now we’ve hit the point in our podcast where we go, what went wrong? Everybody call us and tell us what you think went wrong. Do you know what went wrong? Do you have any idea what you think went wrong?

Claire: So they were underproved. Something happened along the way. It’s not like I rushed the proving stage. Something happened between… I don’t know if maybe I could have done… something about the proving process. So I have two hypotheses. One hypothesis is that the dough got a little bit dried out in the fridge. And that can, as you can imagine, affect the elasticity of the dough. So imagine a piece of Play Dough versus a dry piece of Play Dough. A dry piece of play dough just crumbles, and a regular piece of play dough is a little bit stretchy. So as dough dries out, it gets a little bit less stretchy, so it would be less able to rise. That is my first hypothesis. We live in a really dry climate. It’s really hard to keep dough moist – sorry for all the people who – I should have put a warning.

Joy: Warning. Warning. Warning.

Claire: Warning. Content warning. Trigger warning. So that’s my hypothesis is that the dough got a little bit dried out as it was chilling in the fridge last night. Because once they were rolled, I just covered the baking sheet – when you’re in the folding process, you can really wrap it in plastic and it’s fine. But once they’re in the little croissant shapes and they’re on the cookie sheet, you kind of just cover them gently with some Saran Wrap. We don’t buy Saran Wrap really. I typically just reuse grocery bags. So it wasn’t sealed, and I think that’s something I’m going to do the next time is actually get something that’s going to cover it a little bit tighter. Then the only other thing I can think of is that when I took them out, they had been sitting on this cold, metal baking sheet in the fridge. So maybe if I had transferred them onto a room temperature baking sheet, they would have risen and maybe the baking sheet was still so cold that it took them too long to warm up. That’s my other hypothesis is that the baking sheet kept them colder than I thought for too long. So anyway, I’m just bummed. Because first of all, I used a whole entire pack of Kerrygold just out the window.

Joy: Ugh, that’s not cheap.

Claire: It’s not cheap. It’s like $6 worth of butter just gone. And I am still going to eat them, let’s be clear. But they’re not going to be as delicious.

Joy: Sure. But they’re not crispy delicious. This just reminds me so much – if you guys aren’t following The Great British Bake Off or our podcast, On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!, it just reminds me right now, if we could just call up Jürgen – I feel like we need to make friends with Jürgen and have him on speed dial. He would be so helpful. I feel like he’s accessible. I feel like he would come on the show.

Claire: Yeah. He knows.

Joy: That’s our next goal.

Claire: Right, our next goal –

Joy: Because he’s a physicist.

Claire: I just want to listen to his cute voice.

Joy: So much science. That’s why I think baking is just so amazing because it’s exact science.

Claire: It is, and that’s what I like about it. It’s so funny because people will say, “I don’t like baking because it’s too precise. I’d rather just cook and throw a little bit of this and a little bit of that.” And I used to feel that way. But now, I love baking because while it is very precise, it still is so… it’s like a puzzle.

Joy: I was going to say, it probably feels like a puzzle or a challenge. Because if you miss one little thing…

Claire: That’s the thing. Yeah, with cooking you can kind of just a dish and a dash. With baking, all you do is follow the recipe and it’s no fun. And maybe that feels true for a loaf of banana bread or some basic chocolate chip cookies. But once you get to the point of really baking stuff that has to rise or baking stuff that has multiple, multiple steps, it is a puzzle and it really challenges you to figure out, okay how am I going to make this work? What’s wrong? And I actually was talking to someone about this – hi, Amanda – to my friend Amanda the other day. I don’t know if she’s listening to this. About bread baking. Because she also is a sourdough bread baker. I was saying, you know how a lot of times in Bake Off, the person who wins bread week often does really well in the rest of the challenge and a lot of times even wins. I feel like it’s because if you are a bread baker, if you have a lot of experience baking bread, you have had to develop an ability to troubleshoot as you’re going along the process. Because with bread, there’s so many different steps and there’s a lot of different things that can go wrong. So you develop that critical thinking to check in with your recipe as you’re going through it, which I think is really critical to any time you’re trying to get better at baking. That’s my very long-winded explanation of how my croissants failed. I don’t know if I’m ever going to try them again. Maybe next time. But it was such a long process.

Joy: You’re mad. You’re like, “Fine.”

Claire: It’s not even that I’m mad.

Joy: Just disappointed.

Claire: This was so anticlimactic. And it took so long and so much time in my fridge. You know, bread is one thing. And maybe this is how some people feel about sourdough is they’re like, why would I spend all this heartache trying to get this right when I can just go buy some sourdough. And that’s kind of how I’m feeling about these croissants. Why would I spend the time trying to perfect this when I could just go down the street to this really good bakery I have and buy these super crispy, flaky croissants. I’m not saying I’m never going to try it again. But I don’t think I’m going to turn around tomorrow and try to give it another shot.

Joy: Right. You’re not going to buy some more Kerrygold and take another stab at it.

Claire: No, I’m not.

Joy: What else are you looking at baking this fall? What are your faves? Soup? Pie?

Claire: Great question. Soup is not a bake.

Joy: Yeah, well. Making things. I’m going to bake some soup.

Claire: I’m going to bake some soup. Oh no. Do not come to my house for soup. I love soup. It’s one of my favorite foods. And every time I say that, I think of Jennifer Coolidge in Best in Show. She’s like, “We both like soup.” 

Joy: She’s amazing.

Claire: She’s so funny.

Joy: She’s so funny. If anyone watched… was it the Oscars? Why am I messing all of these award shows up? I’m pretty sure it was the Oscars. It was recent. Oscars or the Emmy’s.

Claire: No, the Emmy’s. 

Joy: Thank you. So the Emmy’s recently, she was just unbelievable. She was the star of the show.

Claire: She really was hilarious.

Joy: She truly is the epitome of “I don’t give an F.” 

Claire: Yeah. She just owns her ridiculousness.

Joy: But not in a bitchy way. Not that that matters. Who cares if you are? But she just is very much, “I am in my skin, and I love every part of myself, and I own every part of my being.” And I aspire to be that. Her and Tracee Ellis Ross are my faves. Anyway. Yes, soup.

Claire: There’s also a part in Nacho Libre when Jack Black has a line that’s like, “I get to wake up at 5am and make soup?” 

Joy: Is that how you feel? You get up at 5.

Claire: God, no. The only thing I wake up early to do is go hiking or go snow skiing. Those are the only two activities I will actually wake up early to do. And I always hate it. Even though I’m doing my favorite activities, I still hate waking up early.

Joy: But you’ll get up and do a WOD every once in a while, yeah?

Claire: Every once in a while, I will. It’s harder in the winter for obvious reasons. What else am I looking forward to baking? Yeah, not baking but soup. I have this chicken soup book called The Chicken Soup Manifesto. If you are a lover of soup, I would highly recommend this book. It’s hundreds… probably hundreds… at least a hundred recipes of different types of chicken soup from different regions of the world. Every culture has several traditional chicken soups. Chicken soup is sort of like a dumpling or – every culture has its hand-held carb filled with something. Like a samosa or a dumpling or a hot pocket. Every culture has its version of a stir fry or a gumbo, like a “throw everything in a pot.” And every culture really also does have some version of a chicken soup. A lot of them are for different seasons. So it’s so cool. We made this traditional Brazilian chicken soup. Maxine, who is our Brazilian au pair for those of you who don’t know, was like so psyched. And it was so similar to the soup that I make but it had these few little things where it was like, oh, it has potato and rice. You garnish it with lemon. I would never think to garnish a chicken soup with lemon that wasn’t a lemon-based soup. I would highly recommend it if you’re into soup. It has really given me a lot to work with when it comes to getting better at soup. That being said, more information about soup. The key to good soup is good broth. And the key to good broth is making your own. So if you go to my personal Instagram –

Joy: I legit just thought you just said, “the keto good broth,” and I was like, keto?

Claire: I mean, broth is keto. 

Joy: Yeah. But I was like, are we dieting? Just kidding.

Claire: Joy is afraid of diet words. No. The key to good soup is good broth, and the key to good broth is making it at home on your own. You can buy broth at the store, and then double bake it where you buy broth at the store and then add some of your own stuff to it and then strain it again. But if you go to my personal Instagram, which is @clairekho, I have a highlight saved called “Broth.” It gives you the basic recipe that I use for broth. It’s very, very loosely based on the Nom Nom Paleo bone broth recipe from probably ten years ago at this point. You can also just check that out. But she uses leeks and fish sauce, which I came to find I don’t really like leeks in my broth. Because I cook my broth for a super, super long time and leeks get too mushy and release some mush into the broth. And then fish sauce, she uses fish sauce – this is Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo – in a lot of recipes in place of salt because her cooking style is very Asian-inspired – she’s Asian and very Asian-inspired recipes. She uses fish salt in place of salt in a lot of places because she thinks it gives it a little more umami. I just don’t typically have fish sauce on hand, so I just don’t use that. Anyway. Yeah, really excited about making pies.

Joy: You know what I was thinking about? This is a weird memory. But around this time last year is when I was starting to feel the effects of Graves’ Disease. I didn’t know I had it until like November of last year. But I’ll never forget the only thing that sounded good – because one of the symptoms I was having was nothing sounded good, and I had no appetite – but the only thing I was eating was your pie. I remember you dropped off a pie. I have this memory of all I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner was that raspberry chocolate pie you made.

Claire: It was so good. That was a really good one. Yeah, you got diagnosed the first weekend of December because I think I bought that pie over to you for my birthday week.

Joy: Yeah, I remember that. I remember, yes. Because I remember it started in November, like mid-November when I was getting all the tests done. And then I was officially diagnosed the end of – yeah, it’s crazy.

Claire: Yeah. I feel like I remember that because I remember that you had just finished your pie, and then the next day you found out you weren’t supposed to be eating fruit or dairy. 

Joy: I was like, whoopsies.

Claire: So a raspberry chocolate mousse pie… or sugar. 

Joy: It’s all those things.

Claire: Well, good thing you finished it.

Joy: Yeah. I had a great time with it. I was like, “Whoops, didn’t know. Sorry.”

Claire: Oh well. Yeah, I love baking. I think it’s so fun to try new things. I don’t really have anything crazy on my list right now.

Joy: Are you still using The Book of Pie? The Book on Pie?

Claire: Oh yeah, The Book on Pie

Joy: The Book on Pie, yeah. 

Claire: Yes. Love that book.

Joy: You still highly recommend that one?

Claire: She’s developing another book, too, which I’m so excited for. I don’t really know what it is. I highly recommend The Book on Pie if you are a pie-maker. If you aspire to be a pie-maker, she really breaks down pie crust in such an approachable way. And all of her stuff is so great. Yeah, highly recommend. Plus, my cooking and baking docket.

Joy: I have some exciting news. We have a quick break for an ad, and our exciting news is Ned is back.

Claire: Ned is back.

Joy: Oh my gosh. I get excited about sponsors, but I get super excited about Ned.

Claire: I know.

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Claire: What just happened? Oh yeah.

Joy: Yeah, yeah. 

Claire: It’s like, where am I?

Joy: Exactly. And I’m just like, oh my gosh, I had amazing dream. It is incredible. We love Ned products. They’re high quality. They’re local. If you go on their website, you can see the farmers that make the product. It’s unbelievable. 

Claire: And if you guys aren’t familiar with Ned, they are a company that makes high-quality CBD and CBD blends. Most of their stuff is oil tincture based, but they also are coming out with some capsule formats, which is really cool if you don’t like the taste of hemp or if you find it hard to take a tincture out of a dropper. Which, that can be tough for people if you’re really taste sensitive. Or if holding it in your mouth under your tongue for a minute can kind of be… I sometimes don’t love that delivery format. I like the option of being able to take the gel caps. They also have a lot of awesome blends specifically for sleep, specifically for stress, specifically for mood. We know that it has been a high-stressed year… not year, two years. We know that life is just high stress. The world is high stress. Similar to you, Joy, I don’t really struggle to sleep, and I’ve been taking their stress blend throughout the day. I love it because it doesn’t make me groggy. That’s the thing about CBD that I’ve at least found. It mellows me out, and it helps me relax, but it’s not like a Benadryl or something where it makes me groggy. And then Brandon takes it and has taken it this whole time, even in between our partnerships with Ned, because it’s great to know and trust the CBD that you’re using and the hemp source that you’re using. We highly recommend them. Check them out. 

Joy: There’s so many CBD products out there. It’s so saturated. Just be careful where you buy your CBD. Just like with low quality alcohol, low quality CBD can have undesired effects. With Ned, you know that you’re getting the best of the best. So if you want to try the new destress blend from Ned, a brand that we love and trust, we have a special offer for our audience. Every order over $40 qualifies for 15% off and a free destress blend sample. Go to helloned.com/joy or enter JOY at checkout to take advantage of the offer. That’s helloned.com/joy to get 15% off plus a free destress blend sample on any order over $40. Thank you, Ned, for sponsoring our program and offering our listeners a natural remedy for some of life’s most common health issues. Everyone’s going to be so Zen.

Claire: So Zen. So now we want to tell you guys about something really cool that one of our listeners is doing. If you’ve been listening for a while, you probably remember some of the emails that we read from EJ. EJ is a wonderful, very active listener who we met at the Games a couple of years ago. They wrote in back when we were talking about career transitions – wrote in or called in with a voice memo. I think it was an email when we were talking about, can you really live off of your passion. So since that email, they’ve gone on to get a full-time job with a non-profit that does disaster relief and disaster cleanup. Joy, do you want to go ahead and read the email?

Joy: Here’s the email from EJ. “Hi Joy and Claire. I hope fall is treating you well. I was listening to Episode 91 and loved hearing the updates of how Miles is enjoying Taekwondo. I did karate starting at eight and kept going even though college. I distinctly remember being in high school doing karate and having this epiphany moment of realizing I had a say and control of my life. It was one of the most empowering moments of my life, and I am endlessly grateful for all that karate taught me. On a separate note, after emailing about job searching, I got a staff position at the nonprofit I was serving my AmeriCorps term with. I’ve since been sent to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Ida relief, leading a team of AmeriCorps members in disaster-relief efforts. We do debris removal, muck and guts, and mold remediation. We also rely heavily on volunteers to impact as many homes and clients as we do. I know a lot of people listen to y’all’s amazing podcast, and I’m sure some live in Louisiana and surrounding states. If anyone is looking for a way to help, they can sign up to volunteer with us for a day.” I’ll post this link for everyone on the show notes. “If they indicate they heard about SVP from y’all, Joy and Claire, Girls Gone WOD, etc., I can work with our volunteer department to make sure they’re on the same site together. It could be a mini fan meetup. Let me know if you have questions or thoughts. EJ.” Thank you, EJ, that’s so cool. They also said, “I should also add that in order to volunteer, you must show proof of vaccination. And we ask that volunteers wear masks while on site.” That’s a really cool idea. 

Claire: If that’s something that you’re interested in, we will post the link in the show notes. And/or if you’re interested in knowing if other people from the podcast are maybe going to do it, send us an email thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com and if we get a couple of folks who are interested, we’ll connect you guys, or we might just send you directly to EJ. Once we see if anybody reaches out, we’ll figure out what the best next step would be to connect folks so that if you do feel like, “Oh, I’m going to meet some new friends.” I would also just like to say, we have a couple little pockets around the country where listeners over the years have found one another, whether it was from a trip that we did or whether it was from a challenge back in the day when we were still doing challenges, whether it was from a meetup, anything like that – now they are really close, and it’s so cool to think that we have this real life impact in bringing like-minded folks together and helping them find their communities and helping them make lifelong friendships. That could be you.

Joy: That could be you. I think that’s just one of the coolest things out of this podcast. People are like, “Yeah, we met out of your podcast and we’re BFFs.” Or “I was in their wedding” or whatever story. Just warms my heart. Speaking of heart, I can give a quick health update. Not that it has anything to do with my heart.

Claire: That was a rough transition, but I’m going to take it.

Joy: How is your heart? My heart’s great. I got updated bloodwork. I’m sure everyone’s like, “Okay, we get it, you’re fine.” But it always feels good to have data that shows that you’re continuing to improve. For me. I recently had bloodwork done. I think it was a couple weeks ago. And I got a flu shot, and I felt fine after the flu shot. Everything’s great. I plan to get a booster once it’s available.

Claire: Brandon got the flu shot, and even he felt fine. Brandon is a flu shot weenie. ‘

Joy: Oh my gosh, oh my gosh.

Claire: I feel also though, all of us just having gone through the COVID vaccine situation where the side effects were so varied but kind of intense. Some people got knocked out for a day or two. I feel like I have this heightened worry about – I never used to worry about vaccine side effects or vaccine immediate whatever side effects. And now I’m like, oh my gosh, what if I’m tired from this? I’ve never worried about that before for the flu shot, but Brandon is a flu shot weenie. He got his yesterday, and he’s been fine.

Joy: And he was fine, yeah. It was funny, we were in Westcliffe this past weekend. I was talking about getting the flu shot, and Scott’s like, “Yeah, I’ve got to go get mine. But man, I’m going to be out for two days.” And I was like, what? Are you serious? It’s such a man flu thing to say.

Claire: No. You’re going to be out for two days from this?

Joy: It’s fine. I was like, you’re going to be fine. it’s still that same old song and dance, Claire, where I try so hard to be empathetic. But one day if I make fun and he actually gets sick, I’m going to feel so bad. 

Claire: Like the time when Brandon had dengue fever and I made fun of him. I know I’ve told this story, but in case you’re new here. Brandon went on a medical volunteer trip to Guatemala – or Honduras? Guatemala? Came back, had dengue fever. I didn’t know he had dengue fever. Obviously, I didn’t know he had dengue fever. I just made fun of him for being a weenie, and then it turned out he had dengue fever. And now he’s like, “Remember that time you made fun of me for being sick and then I had dengue fever.” And I’m like, “That was one time!”

Joy: You’re never going to live that down.

Claire: No. Never, ever, ever. And I even knew it at the time. I was like, aw man. That was my one card. 

Joy: I know, I know, and I still feel bad. I just always feel like it truly is a man flu thing where they act like they’re dying and they’re not. But anyway, got the flu shot. Bloodwork is looking stellar. Meaning the last thing that I was trying to get back up is my TSH, which is my thyroid stimulating hormone. And that is going back up, and all is fine. I’m just going to keep getting rechecked, but I feel great and everyone’s like, “What are you doing? Is it still…?” Yeah, I’m still sticking to the plan as far as what I’m supposed to be eating. I’m not over exercising. I’m doing a moderate amount of exercise for me. I just listen to my body. What does that mean? I watch my heartrate. I don’t overdo it. I don’t crazy on workouts. I don’t try to run a bazillion miles. I just go out and do things that feel good. Truly moving for feeling good, not for punishing myself or feeling like you have to kill a workout type of thing. What are we doing for Halloween? What are you doing? Are you starting to talk about Halloween costumes for the kids yet?

Claire: Okay. As any parents will know, Halloween is a topic of conversation year-round probably in most households, the same way that Christmas is a topic of conversation year-round if you celebrate Christmas. Santa is never far from our minds.

Joy: And also, if you misbehave, Santa will see you.

Claire: So we actually try really hard not to lean into the Santa’s watching thing because –

Joy: You don’t want to paranoid your kids.

Claire: And Miles is really sensitive.

Joy: Oh yeah, yeah.

Claire: He just is really sensitive about that type of thing. We try not to overdo the “oh don’t be bad or Santa won’t bring you anything” card. We sort of try to talk about Santa the way that we talk about fairies or magic. Nobody really knows for sure if they’re real, and here’s things that make us think it is real. One day, he’s going to ask about presents, and we’ll just talk about, you know, Santa and how nobody really knows. 

Joy: That’s a hard conversation because you’re just like, nobody knows. 

Claire: Nobody knows for sure.

Joy: Adults don’t know what the heck they’re doing.

Claire: Right. In case any kids are listening, it’s hard because no one has ever really seen Santa, and we kind of just have to go off of that. Halloween, for a while Miles was wanting to be WALL-E. Which, fine, but kind of a lot of construction involved on my end for WALL-E. And he wanted Evie to be EVE. Which also fine, except turns out, I was looking online – okay, what are some ideas that she can be EVE. And it would be kind of hard to pull off without putting her in a cardboard cone.

Joy: Right. Which at her age, she would topple over.

Claire: She would fully topple over. Which would be hilarious but would be hard on everyone eventually. And she could have a little helmet on. That would be the head. So I don’t think that’s been completely ruled out, but lately he’s like, “I want to be a zombie.” He’s started watching Star Wars. Which I never in my life have ever seen the Star Wars movies all in a row. I’m sure over the course of my life, I have probably seen all of the Star Wars movies in pieces here and there.

Joy: Same here.

Claire: But I’ve never just sat down and watched all the Star Wars movies. And I probably have only sat down and watched two or three of them at all, all in one go. So at school in P.E., his gym teacher is really into Star Wars, so they play Star Wars theme – like instead of dodgeball, it’s Darth Vader astroblasters.

Joy: Okay, that’s cute.

Claire: It is cute.

Joy: It’s adorable.

Claire: He plays the Darth Vader music. Duh duh duh – while they’re playing. Which is cool. He came home one day, and he’s like, “Mom, do you know who Dark Vader is?” He calls him Dark Vader. He’s like, “Mom, have you ever heard of Dark Vader.” I’m like, “I have.” He’s like, “You have?” So we’ve been watching Star Wars. So then he’s like, “Maybe I should be Star Wars for Halloween.”

Joy: He’d be like a storm trooper.

Claire: He’d want to be a good guy, so he’s like, “Maybe I could be Chewbacca.”

Joy: Chewbacca. C-3PO. 

Claire: Yeah, C-3PO. C-3PO is kind of annoying.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And then what’s the other one? He’s thinking about Wild Kratts for a while. There’s just so much going on. And then Maxine really wants us to have a family costume. She has always wanted us all to dress up as the Adam’s Family. Because she wants to dress up as the Adam’s Family, but she wants an excuse.

Joy: Totally.

Claire: Which is cute and totally fine. I don’t know. I might just tell her, listen, you and Evie can be whatever you guys want to be. You and Evie just dress each other up in your group costume. But Brandon and I are not super into Halloween. We don’t really decorate our house. We’re not the type of parents who really go all out with costumes. I will 100% be doing a store-bought costume most likely. And here’s the other thing, parents who are listening can also probably really relate to this, no matter how clear your child is on their Halloween costume idea, the sooner you buy the costume the more likely they are to change their mind.

Joy: They will one thousand percent change their mind. [laughing]

Claire: So it doesn’t matter if –

Joy: I’m laughing because I’ve heard this so many times. “And now I want to be this,” and you’re like, I just bought the like a month ago.

Claire: So it doesn’t matter if they’ve wanted to be the same thing since November 1 of the year before, they’re going to change their mind on October 15 or October 29.

Joy: Someone at school is going to say something. There’s going to be a kid that has a costume that’s like, “I want to be that instead.” Yep, yep.

Claire: It’s going to be like, wait a minute, no. When the moment of truth comes to actually put it on, it could be October 29 and you could be like, “You have wanted to be this other thing for the last 363 days.” They’re going to be like, “No, I want to be something completely different now.” Remember that time that – okay, you guys all know our friend Jess by now. Remember that time her daughter wanted to be their cat. They have this orange tabby cat, so she bought – this is a genius move. She bought a Lorax costume and modified it to look like a cat.

Joy: Genius.

Claire: But then all of the sudden she changed her mind. She wanted to be something else. Sad for everyone.

Joy: And then you see parents just putting costumes together. I will say, I really enjoy social media on Halloween to see all the brilliant costumes that come out. That’s one of my favorite days –

Claire: And especially the dog costumes. Does JT still have his rainbow costume?

Joy: Oh, of course he has his rainbow costume. 

Claire: Are you going to get him a different costume this year?

Joy: Probably. I feel like the rainbow costume has been like two years. So we’ll probably put it on Cadet.

Claire: Aren’t you going to dress up Cadet like a cadet?

Joy: Oh, we should do that. Yeah.

Claire: Oh yeah, you’re right.

Joy: Because her Wonder Woman costume from last year will definitely not fit.

Claire: Maybe it would fit River.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: I bet it would.

Joy: You think so? How many pounds is she? You don’t know?

Claire: Like 55.

Joy: Okay, yeah, I think it would fit. 

Claire: She’s turned into a giant horse of a dog. 

Joy: Yeah, I love dog costumes. For sure. That’s my fave.

Claire: Alright guys, well on that exhilarating note, we’d love to hear your stories about Halloween costumes. We’d love to hear how you’re thinking about that. I know Halloween isn’t for another three weeks, so don’t panic. 

Joy: But panic because it’s right around the corner.

Claire: If you are somebody who loves Halloween – like I know that there’s one listener, Nicky, who goes all out on her house every year. To the point where last year they did a quarantine theme, and people were calling the health department and were like, “Something’s going on in this house.” 

Joy: Oh my gosh. 

Claire: A little too close to home. So if you go all out for Halloween decorations, please send us a picture. We would love to see that. If you go all out for group costumes in your family.

Joy: Group costumes, family costumes, yeah, I want to see it. I want to see it.

Claire: And don’t forget to support our sponsor, Ned. Go to helloned.com/joy or use discount code JOY. Get yourself some really great CBD products.

Joy: Now is the time.

Claire: We love Ned. They are a Colorado-based company. We’ve worked with them a lot. They’re so great to us, so great to our community. So go check them out.

Joy: Get chilled out for the holidays, guys. You need to just chill. You need to chill.

Claire: I think by the time the actual holidays roll around, we’re going to have already been talking about them for so long that we’re going to be like, “And next up is… Valentine’s Day.” 

Joy: Totally, totally.

Claire: We’re too far ahead. But still. And you can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can always find us at joyandclaire.com. You can listen to our other podcasts, Girls Gone WOD, which you can find anywhere you find your podcasts. You can also listen to our Great British Bake Off reaction podcast, which is called On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!. This week we will be talking about the current episode as well as reviewing the jammy sandwich cookies that I will be making from last week’s technical.

Joy: Which by the way, if you don’t watch The Great British Baking Show because you’re like, well I’m not really into baking. Guys, I’m raising my hand here. I’m not into baking either, but the show is delightful. So take a chance. You will not be sorry.

Claire: And we will talk to you guys next week.

Joy: Bye, guys.

Claire: Bye.

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