ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: LUCENT DREAMS

Art, artist of the month, Lifestyle, music, Words

Interview by Jess Petrylak

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SUCKER: Who is Lucent Dreams?

LUCENT DREAMS: Lucent Dreams is me, Caleb, and a few of my friends taking my songs and giving them life. It’s the latest incarnation of a lifelong pursuit of making songs that I would want to listen to in my car.

SUCKER: Is there an implied narrative within the song order on The Honest EP? How does this relate to the overarching theme of honesty?

LUCENT DREAMS: There is not really an implied narrative regarding the song ordering. I was mostly ordering them to reconcile the fact that none of the songs really sound like they should come from the same person or be on the same album. Thats the honest answer! Honesty, or the illusion thereof, is important in art but its different from telling the truth. You can manufacture honesty in music. The EP is honest in the sort of way a drunk phone call to an ex girlfriend is, its just kind of all on the table, vulnerable. I rarely checked myself or listened to the voice in the back of my head saying, “You can’t talk about sex and death on the same album!” or “You can’t just have drums on all the songs and then tap on your acoustic guitar for the intro, and why do you INSIST on ACOUSTIC GUITAR!!!!!?” I just kind of did things the way I did because all of these disparate styles, approaches, and sounds exist within me and I didn’t want to build this album based on what would make someone else comfortable.

SUCKER: What was your first experience with music? How has your process grown since?

LUCENT DREAMS: I used to learn a lot of songs on guitar, I took lessons, I got pretty good at finger picking. But I really wanted to sing, probably because I was so bad at it. I really liked writing. Anything. Stories, song lyrics, research papers, poetry, raps(lol), long winded AIM messages… I figured if I started putting guitar behind my lyrics eventually the singing would get better and I could share my passion for writing AND music. I started getting serious about writing music and performing when I was 17 or so. My process was very much: write the chords, write the words as they come, and then play it to people. You could argue that my process is the same now but now I understand it better. I still write the instrumental first and lyrics later, but I have a better understanding of what I want to say and how it will come across over the bed of music.

SUCKER: Is it difficult sharing the creative process on a project to personal to you?

LUCENT DREAMS: There’s two sides to that.

I write the songs by myself. Acoustic guitar, mechanical pencil, paper. Same way every time. Rarely on that end am I willing to compromise.

The other side is when I bring my songs to my band, I rarely give any direction and if I do its the feel I’m going for. The band writes their parts, and I pretty much never touch them.

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SUCKER: What is your favorite aspect of songwriting?

LUCENT DREAMS: Writing lyrics. I tend to write in a fairly stream of consciousness way, and sometimes it takes me weeks to understand what the hell I just wrote and what it means. A lot of it is very metaphorical and it takes a lot of examining the context of when I wrote it to understand what my subconscious mind was trying to say. The feeling of finally understanding and being able to explain each line is always a sort of eureka moment where you realize like “Hey, there is a lot going on here.”

SUCKER: Because you were involved in all the creative and productive aspects of the project, is it difficult separating the two processes?

LUCENT DREAMS: Yes. Especially this album. I record while I write, often by the time the band hears my idea its already final takes of guitar and vocals. Like I said before the album is a hodgepodge of styles so when I look at it as a mixing engineer, my training says level it out. Make the mixes be the thing that ties it together. I found myself turning down the distortion on Planting Season because it was the only lo-fi song and it stuck out. Then I realized thats took away from the song. Each song is like a child, they want different things. You can’t just try to force your kids to all play baseball so they fit in when Ronnie wants to smoke pot and Jimbo wants to be a dancer.

SUCKER: FILL IN THE BLANK: If you like ________, you will like Lucent Dreams.

LUCENT DREAMS: Lyrics.

SUCKER: How should the audience feel when listening to this EP?

LUCENT DREAMS: Hopefully pretty cool and thoughtful.

For me, spaces and places play a pivotal role in the creative process. Does your process/artistic style vary between (rural?) Vermont and urban New York?

My sound changed a lot when I hit New York. In Vermont, theres really two big scenes. There’s jammy funk stoner stuff everywhere and bluegrass. I was making weird electronic indie stuff for a while and then weird folk music and it was all very private, people here don’t really like that. Then I got to Purchase and was like… wait people here are playing the music I like to listen to and other people like it too. I felt less pressured to be accepted and felt confident in my process and sounds because New Yorkers get a great cultural education. In Vermont, there is Vermont culture. Maple Creemees, craft IPA’s, Phish, Bernie, and weed. New Yorkers have been exposed to all sorts of art and there are tons of scenes and tons of people. I can’t even walk to anywhere from my childhood house in Vermont. The closest venue is a restaurant that has bluegrass some nights. I will always love Vermont, the people in it, and the nature. I will continue to speak with an accent and write about swimming holes, firewood, and gardening in my songs. That won’t ever change.

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SUCKER: Can you speak on the visual choices used on The Honest EP?

LUCENT DREAMS: I said I was looking for some work on my Facebook which is full of amazing artists, because of Purchase, and I got a good response. I was going through peoples Instagram pages to see which style would best fit my music. I was going to commission something but then I saw a piece that I absolutely fell in love with by Casey McCarthy. I wanted it so bad. The muted colors, the dreaminess of it, the obfuscation. I contacted them and they generously said I could use it! As to the choices regarding the creation of it that’s best left to Casey. I’ll link their Insta at the end of this interview.

SUCKER: How has being exposed to all the different creative energies at SUNY Purchase College influenced your progression within your music?

LUCENT DREAMS: Purchase is so sick. Being surrounded by artists that are so motivated and do not compromise is extremely inspiring. It’s such a safe place to pursue art in your own way. It’s a daily dose of greatness. You’re surrounded. I imagine it would be intimidating for some people but when I got here I was like “this is my place, start writing NOW.” Plus you see people doing what they want and succeeding at it. I never felt that in any other music program at any other school.

SUCKER: Do you consider yourself more of a recording or a performing artist?

LUCENT DREAMS: I do a lot more recording these days although I’m planning on playing a lot more shows around the city when the album comes out.

SUCKER: If The Honest EP came with “exercises for listening”, what would that entail?

LUCENT DREAMS: What a great question. Treat each song as a vignette, a little story, without context. Listen like you were looking at a painting as someone who doesn’t know the first thing about painting and doesn’t need to extract meaning from the work. Then take a pass figuring out what it means to you. Then try to figure out what it means to the artist.

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SUCKER: Who are you hoping to reach with your music?

LUCENT DREAMS: People who are into it. If it’s what you like, listen to it and support the artist! If you don’t like it that’s fine, I don’t dislike you for it. Like I’m pretty sure my mom won’t be listening to Planting Season in her car more than once. If my Gramma was still around she wouldn’t want to hear me swearing in my lyrics. I’m pretty sure none of the people I’ve ever dated listened to my music on their own time. You can’t force people to change their tastes. I want to reach people that like my music and gain some sort of pleasure from it, the way so many other artists have given me pleasure, courage, and stimulation.

SUCKER: Because your music is ultimately meant to be shared, does that influence your creative/songwriting process?

LUCENT DREAMS: Yes, I can’t help it. I want people to like my music and get something from it. I still write whatever the hell I feel like though. Its more of a subconscious effect on the songwriting end. It’s more measurable on the technical side, mixing and recording. You just can’t put out something that sounds like it was recorded over-saturated to tape and expect to gain much more than a small cult following. It still happens but people expect to hear the kick drum on a rock song.

SUCKER: What is your relationship with social media, and do you feel it is important as an artist in the 21st century to utilize it?

LUCENT DREAMS: I’m a social media fiend. I grew up on AIM and Myspace. I think it’s so important and beneficial to artists to utilize it if they want to reach people. I think that people who play obscure and don’t utilize it are expecting things to work out for them the way that lo-fi did for The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle has 1000s of songs. He got struck by lightning. You aren’t going to. If you desire exposure and reaching people you need to use all of the tools. Technology is evolving humanity and without it we just aren’t enough anymore. I believe that on a practical level, spiritually its problematic.

SUCKER: Where can we listen, buy and follow your music for future updates?

LUCENT DREAMS: The album will be available on Bandcamp and all the streaming services. Follow me on Facebook and Insta. You can add my personal page as well if you want. Also follow Casey McCarthy’s art page on Instagram! Thanks!

https://www.facebook.com/lucentdreamsvt

https://www.facebook.com/caleb.boardman

https://www.instagram.com/lucent_dreams_vt/

https://www.instagram.com/pthalo.goth/

 

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Hey MTV, Welcome to Our Cribs

Lifestyle, Misc., music, Playlists, Uncategorized

Inside Sucker Magazine’s Staff Rooms All Over The World + Personal Playlists

Words by Yvonne Villasenor

 

“You can make whatever you want when you’re alone in your room.” – Kathleen Hanna

 

…Although some would be surprised to discover I am introverted, it is no secret that I enjoy solitude and need a place to recharge after busy days that are often filled with a number of social interactions and anticipation to go home. That place is known as my room…

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Madison Killian – Editor in Chief & Founder of Sucker Magazine

Seattle, WA

…This is where the magic happens.
And by magic, I mean scribbling down words until I hit writer’s block, watching Buzzfeed videos or science/philosophy/paranormal/conspiracy Youtube channels, adding clothes I can’t afford into my shopping cart, singing along to my favorite jams and of course, swooning over animals on the internet….

Jenn Endless – Sucker Staffer

Chicago, IL

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Kayla Gutierrez – Sucker Staffer

Bronx, NY

 

…In a loud, chaotic world, I find peace within these four walls. Never “peace and quiet” though – there is not a moment in time when I’m in my room and not listening to music with the exception of sleeping. Even still, I have to use my noise machine in order to fall asleep…

 

Jess Petrylak – Art Editor

Upstate NY

…In my room, I have different components that keep me relaxed: my laptop, music via Spotify or record player, books, candles, plants and flowers. I wish I could say my cats too, but most of time, they wake me up with their fighting or try to eat my plants. One thing I especially cherish is the very thing my cats are invading in the picture above. For someone who’s only 4’11, I constantly hog the bed and absolutely love being able to wake up sideways, diagonally, upside down…you name it. I also have a huge window to the right of my bed that allows me to get some fresh air and natural sunlight in my room, which is refreshing. To the left of my shelves, I have built in storage space that has pictures, stuffed animals, more books and candles, as well as miscellaneous items I should probably throw away but won’t…

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Yvonne Villasenor – Sucker Staffer

Orange, CA

 

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Tracie Wilkerson –  Sucker Staffer

Salem, OR

Girl Crush: Frances Bean Cobain

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

By Tracie Marrose  

 

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Photo by Hedi Slimane

 

We have all seen Frances Bean mention some of her current favorite music and reads on her Twitter feed. Every now and then, the witchy twenty-three year old will sprinkle us with a dash of her vast knowledge of music, books, film, and art. I have compiled a list of just some of Frances’ picks for your ears and your eyes. Fill your brain. Go nuts.

 

 

Books

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  • Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • No Logo by Naomi Klein
  • Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by Jack Kerouac & William S. Burroughs
  • The Stone Reader Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments by Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley
  • Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  • Richard: A Novel by Ben Myers
  • Edie: American Girl by Jean Stein
  • Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
  • Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  • I’m With the Band by Pamela Des Barres
  • GRACE: A Memoir by Grace Coddington
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
  • Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation by Ruby Blondell
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane DiPrima
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis
  • Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  • The Town and The City by Jack Kerouac
  • Love is Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski
  • Ham On Rye by Charles Bukowski
  • If You Meet the Buddah on the Road, Kill Him! by Sheldon B. Kopp
  • Will Work for Drugs by Lydia Lunch

 

 

 

Music

  • PJ Harvey
  • Dolly Parton
  • Thank God for Mental Illness (Album) – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • David Bowie
  • Definitely Maybe (Album) – Oasis
  • The Pogues
  • The Warlocks
  • Young Marble Giants
  • The Magnetic Girls
  • Noisettes
  • Television
  • Munki (Album) – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Brandi Carlile
  • Lush
  • Blur
  • The Muffs
  • Adele
  • Black Mountain
  • Suck My Left One – Bikini Kill
  • I Want Your Love – Transvision Vamp
  • Stupid Hoe – Nicki Minaj
  • Wish You Where Here – Shakespeare’s Sister
  • We Used To Be Friends – The Dandy Warhols
  • You’re A Wolf – Sea Wolf
  • Animal Nitrate – Suede
  • When the Stars go Blue – Ryan Adams
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Knife-Edge
  • Love Of The Loveless – Eels
  • Waste of Paint – Bright Eyes
  • Lover I Don’t Have to Love – Bright Eyes
  • Out of Nowhere – Django Reinhardt
  • Celeste – The Telescopes
  • Hard Headed Woman – Wanda Jackson
  • What Is? – Wipers
  • My List – Angelyne
  • Hey You, Get Off My Moon – Velocity Girl
  • Nancy Boy – Placebo
  • Lose Yourself – Eminem
  • Punk Rock Girl – The Dead Milkmen
  • Black Balloon – The Kills
  • Blow – Blossoms
  • Bone House – The Dead Weather
  • Treat Me Like Your Mother – The Dead Weather
  • To Love Somebody – Nina Simone
  • Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliot
  • Come Together – Spiritualized
  • Twisted Words – The Circles
  • Fire Sign – Gossip
  • High And Dry – Radiohead
  • Jackie – Sinead O’Connor
  • Featherframe – Pale Saints
  • She – Suede
  • Jorge Regula – The Moldy Peaches
  • Shadowboxer – Fiona Apple
  • Heart of Gold – Neil Young
  • Mad World – Michael Andrews
  • She’s So Strange – Travis
  • Driftwood – Travis
  • Is She Weird – Pixies
  • As If By Magic – La Roux
  • I’m Not Your Toy – La Roux
  • The Boll Weevil – Lead Belly
  • Devil Got My Woman – Skip James
  • Venus In Furs – The Velvet Underground
  • Goddess On A Hiway – Mercury Rev
  • Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead
  • Plastic – Portishead
  • Boom Swagger Boom – The Murder City Devils
  • I’d Like To Know – Supergrass
  • Just Lookin’ – The Charlatans
  • Junk Bond Trader – Elliot Smith
  • Featherframe – Pale Saints
  • Orange Crush – R.E.M.
  • She Said – Longpigs
  • Suicide Bomb – Primal Scream
  • Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
  • Bang Bang – Nancy Sinatra
  • Dig Me Out – Sleater-Kinney
  • Zombie Man – Primal Scream

 Listen to our FBC inspired playlist below:

 

Easy As Fuck: Fake Empanadas

Lifestyle, recipes, Uncategorized

Recipe by Roni Davis

 

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So last week I was watching the food channel and I found myself in desperate need of empanadas. I had to have them or the world would probably end… So I did what I do best: I fuckin’ made them. I tend to make things “semi-homemade” and being a poor 21 year old I take lots of time and money short cuts. After scouring Pinterest and taking the bits and pieces I thought sounded best- here’s what I came up with. I do everything by taste so depending on how many people you’re attempting to feed- my best advice is to start light on the ingredients and taste test as you go.

 

What You’re Going to Fuckin’ Need:

-1 lb Ground beef

-1 red bell pepper finely chopped

-1 onion finely chopped

-2 hard boiled eggs

-1 beaten egg

-1 Red chili flakes

-1.5 tsp Paprika

-1.5 tsp Ground cumin

-Refrigerated crescent rolls

 

Directions:

Turn you stove-top onto medium heat. Throw your pepper and onion into a pan and get a nice sear on there. Then dump in your ground beef and brown it. Put about a teaspoon of chili flakes (unless you’re trying to turn the heat up on that bitch!) and a few shakes of paprika. Once the beef is cooked through, move the mixture from the pan into a large mixing bowl to cool down a bit. Chop your two hard boiled eggs and stir them into the mixture of beef and onions. In a separate bowl beat one egg and mix with a splash of water to make the egg wash.

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Okay the next thing I did was a little weird, but it worked well for me (so don’t judge.) Open the tube of crescent rolls and knead into a ball. Pull off little pieces and roll into a ball and the flatten out so you can put mixture into the crescent roll dough. Fold the mixture into the dough like a half moon and press edges down with a fork and egg wash the outside.

 

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Pretty much keep doing this until you’ve filled all the dough. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes

Ta-da you’re done and probably starving so fuckin’ eat them allllllllllllll!

 

Perfect For a Pear

Lifestyle, recipes, Uncategorized

Recipe for Gorgonzola Pear Pizza

By Roni Davis

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Let me start off by saying that this recipe was really the one that made me fall in love with cooking, and my favorite to share with people. It’s also one of the easiest recipes ever!

 

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What you’ll need:

-Refrigerated pizza dough

-Two pears (whichever kind you prefer)

-Gorgonzola

-1 lemon

-Salt and pepper

-Olive oil

-Arugula (optional)

-Balsamic glaze

 

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Start out by flattening out the pizza dough and give it a light coat of olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and spread crumbles of Gorgonzola all over. Thin slice your pears and spread them all over top of the cheese. Before putting it in the oven, I recommend covering baking sheet in foil and then putting pizza on top. Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Take the pizza out and put a drizzle of balsamic glaze on top (balsamic glaze is good on top of pretty much everything) throw some arugula on top and a squeeze of lemon and you’re done!

Share your delicious pizza or eat the whole thing yourself (like I do.)

 

 

San Francisco Coffee Diary

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

By Roni Davis

 

Aside from writing easy recipes for you guys to try out, I am also a barista and have been for about 3 years. I am crazy about coffee so my favorite thing to do when I travel is to find all the great coffee shops and spend way too much time getting my caffeine high on. On my most recent trip to San Francisco I thought I’d document and share with you my experiences with great coffee and great atmosphere.

 

Philz Coffee

So I love Philz for many reasons, one of those reasons being that it shares a name with my father, the other (obvious) reason is that it’s just great coffee. I try and make a point to head over there at least once every time I go to California. Their thing is specialized “drip” coffee. This isn’t the place to go for your iced soy latte (although my guilty pleasure.) They have a few wonderful coffees to choose from that you can get over ice and “sweet and creamy.” This time around I tried two drinks I hadn’t previously, the first was the gingersnap iced coffee and the other was the mint mojito iced coffee. Both were delicious, although I must admit I may be a bit more partial to the gingersnap iced coffee.

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Four Barrel Coffee (375 Valencia St)

This was my personal favorite coffee spot we stopped in on the trip. When you walk in, the coffee house is HUGE with multiple counters to order from. The decor was to die for with lots of fun wallpaper and visuals and fresh flowers (which I am always a sucker for.) In the back of the house you can watch while they roast their own beans. The whole experience was very engaging. They also had quite a bit of merchandise which I (of course) indulged in. This time around I ordered an almond milk latte (they use my favorite brand of almond milk!!!!!)  and the cutest maple bacon donut. The coffee was strong and the donut was sweet. Needless to say, I left a happy woman.

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Andytown Coffee Roasters (3655 Lawton St)

This coffee shop is so adorable with such a beachy laid back vibe.  (Add points for all the dogs outside, my puppy was so happy to make some friends and be pet by passersby!) I am still kicking myself for not talking more pictures of the inside of this coffee shop because it was seriously adorable. While it’s relatively small with not much inside seating there is some outside seating available. I sat outside with my beloved puppy, Pancake (maybe I’ll introduce him to you guys sometime.) Let me just say I LOATH whipped cream, and maybe that’s a cardinal sin but it just doesn’t work for me. When I got here I saw one of the baristas scooping out what looked to me like some homemade whipped cream, and in that moment- I knew I had to have it. I decided to order an espresso con panna (basically just espresso with whipped cream) with their single origin. I was not disappointed! The whipped cream was a great texture and not overly sweet. I loved this cute little coffee shop, I will definitely be going back again.

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Fifty/Fifty Coffee and Tea (3157 Geary Blvd)

This was a tiny little coffee shop on the corner I stopped in quickly when I was in desperate need of caffeine before a long day full of walking and driving around. I came here specifically because I heard they had great iced matcha lattes which I am an absolute fiend for. I ordered mine with soy and loved how they gave it to me layered with the matcha on top so I could stir it myself. It was probably on of the best matcha lattes I’ve ever had. It had very subtle hints of sweetness and an after taste of jasmine tea (which I love.) The green tea flavor was really the star of the show which I don’t feel happens enough.

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Ritual Coffee (1026 Valencia St)

Ritual coffee was awesome with an incredible espresso machine I was lusting over. I loved they had little informational cards about all kinds of brew processes- such as cold brew, pour over etc. The staff was super friendly. They had an adorable cactus garden in the back and the whole place was huge and super clean with lots of seating. I got an (admittedly boring) soy latte that I drank in about .3 seconds. I got the feeling that they were pretty environmentally conscious which I also like a lot. I also saw there are a few locations- all equally adorable.

 

A Beginners Guide to Tea Potions

Art, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

By Jess Petrylak

 

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Teas are yummy and easy potions for beginners on a budget. You simply mix the ingredients, let them steep in hot water, and experience the potion as it emits throughout your being. Make sure your atmosphere reflects the qualities you are looking for and is protected (be cool, sucker girl). The following are three simple tea concoctions that you can brew for your own well-being or just for fun!:

Breakfast Pizza

Lifestyle, recipes, Uncategorized

An Easy, Cheesy and Delicious Breakfast 

Recipe by Roni Davis

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Everyone loves pizza, or at least everyone should love pizza. This week I’ve been really into making flatbreads and pizzas- the most recent being a breakfast pizza. What sounds better than breakfast and pizza combined? Uhh… not much. This recipe is literally fool proof and super easy to make so have fun with it!