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Girls Rule! …and drool

September 18, 2013

Drool Bibs

Jane is drooling like a waterfall. Seriously, it just pours out of her. I’m tempted to giver her a dash of red food coloring and make a horror movie. Her first tooth finally made its tiny appearance right around her 4 month birthday, and the one next door looks like it will be soon to follow. When I give her a teether toy, she gives it back after a few minutes, completely covered in slobber. Soaking wet shoulders are an every 10 minute occurrence around here.  Jane’s Uncle Andrew was nicknamed “Androol” as a baby because he suffered enjoyed this same affliction. So at least she’s in good company…

If you can’t beat the drool, we might as well make it cute! Enter these adorable drool bibs. There’s nothing like the perfect scarf to make an outfit and Jane, being the fashion maven that she is, has adopted this whole-heartedly. Or I’ve forced it on her – that’s what mothers are for, right? I know, enjoy it while it lasts. I was happy to find this cute and simple pattern for drool bibs on one of my favorite sites, Purl Bee. Don’t you just love it when fashion and function meet?

Drool Bib Collage

Look, she likes them! In full disclosure, she likes anything that she can reach and jam in her mouth, so these bibs aren’t special in that regard. But I like them! And look how cute she is with her little bandana and jean shorts! Ugh, cutest. baby. ever.

Chocolate Chip {Fantasy} Cookies

August 27, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always imagined myself as the kind of mom who would have warm chocolate chip cookies ready when my kids came home from school each day. Oddly, I never imagined my kids being fat. I also never thought I would be a stay-at-home mom. When I was baking these cookies I have no idea; maybe I worked nights? Or, maybe subconsciously I knew I’d stay home. And now I found that perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe to complete the fantasy.

I have made a LOT of chocolate chip cookies in my life, all different recipes. None were as good as these. They come out looking perfect, with a chewy texture and plenty of chocolate chips. I will never use another recipe in my life. Even Timmy, who doesn’t eat many baked treats, eats these and mentioned that they were really good. That’s saying something. Tangent: Timmy isn’t actually all that picky. He just usually snacks on fruit at night. And apparently anything I make that’s special enough for the blog I make for myself as a treat, and therefore includes the ingredients Timmy doesn’t like. Not sure why…

Anyway, I think the crucial part of this recipe is chilling the dough, not necessarily the cream cheese. I like to bake half the dough, then a few days later bake rest. Then make more so we always have them available. I used half of the latest batch to make chip-wiches with some homemade vanilla ice cream. Let’s just say, no one’s on a diet in this house. Yet.

Here’s a link to the recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Perfection

Running Wild – 5K at the Zoo!

August 22, 2013

Zoo 5K Start

Back when Jane was on a good sleep schedule and I was able to run a few mornings a week, I signed up for a 5K at the Lehigh Valley Zoo.  Jane promptly stopped sleeping as long at night and never on a schedule that allowed for a run… Typical. But last weekend the time came for me to man up and run that 5K anyway. Timmy and his dad, Tim, ran along with ahead of me.

Zoo 5K Race

It was almost a perfect morning, just a little rainy at the end. The trail ran partly through the Zoo, and partly through the Trexler Nature Preserve, so it was beautiful. There were just the right number of slower runners to make me feel good about myself. I was able to run the whole way, no walking, and finish well under my goal. Overall pretty good! Timmy actually finished 3rd over all, 2nd for his age group and ran one of his best 5K times. He’s so fast the camera couldn’t even catch him! Tim won 3rd for his age group. And I won a free half hour massage. Impressive, right?!

Zoo 5K Winners

As you can see from the pictures at the top, Jane was not impressed. She was probably the worst cheerleader there (definitely the cutest though). She even fell asleep for the awards ceremony. Grammy Peaches is going to have to teach her a thing or two! (She cheered us all on, watched Jane, and took the pictures.)

Retro Grape Salad

August 20, 2013

Grape Salad

I saw a picture of this on Pinterest and I had to make it right away. Any other Pinterest-peeps get this? I do a good deal of pinning, and I will often come back to scroll through the recipes I’ve pinned find dinner inspiration. But once in a while something pops up and I have to make it right away. This Retro Grape Salad was one of those recipes. To me, grapes are the classic summer fruit.

As I was making this (it took about 10 minutes), I got the feeling that this was not a new recipe. It just screamed 50’s pot-luck for some reason. I felt like putting on a gingham apron and heels. I called my mom and she confirmed, this is definitely a retro recipe. Why hadn’t I seen it before? Then I realized – it’s not exactly low fat. Now days it seems like every time you get together pot-luck style, everyone’s reply to praise is, “And it’s healthy too!” So many people are trying to make everything “low-fat/no-fat”. Well… not me. I’m a “some-fat/yum-fat” kinda girl. Besides, this is a fruit salad, that’s healthy-ish, right?

Whatever your take, this  grape salad is delicious. If you really want to know, I was tempted to eat the entire batch immediately. Seriously, I had to exercise my self-control, tell myself that I will get sick if eat any more, and put the spoon down. Fortunately, Timmy wasn’t a fan (he doesn’t really like grapes), so I did get to eat the whole batch, just not all at one time.

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream and Deception

August 9, 2013

Strawberry Ice Cream

Perhaps a better title would be “Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream and Failed Deception.” You see, there are several foods I enjoy but Timmy does not. At least, he claims not to like them. I’m usually incredulous, so I try to sneak the food into a dish with several flavors (lay the trap) and then see if he notices. He usually does. We’ve come to a sort of compromise on onions; he gets that they seem to make things taste good, but if it’s possible to pick them out he will. Mushrooms, I have to accept that he will not eat them and no amount of dicing and mixing in will change that. Coconut, however, was a gray-area.

I told Timmy that I made strawberry ice cream, which I did. I did not tell him that instead of milk or cream, I used coconut milk-fat. I scooped out a little bowl – fruity, pink and refreshing. Perfect to end a nice summer day. He took a bite. I watched, cautiously optimistic as he lingered on the flavor and took a couple more small bites. Then he looked at me, eyes narrowed with suspicion, and asks, “What’s in this?” Caught again! Darn him and his knowing what he likes and dislikes! On the bright side, I did get the whole batch to myself.

Here’s a link to the recipe – Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream – only 3 ingredients (strawberries, coconut milk-fat, and honey), and several suggestions on freezing, in case you don’t have an ice cream maker (I do). I think this recipe would also be delicious as a frozen drink, with a little rum thrown in. But for now, I’ve promised my next ice cream adventure will be vanilla bean, something we can both enjoy.

Jane’s Birdie Peasant Dress

August 7, 2013

Birdie Peasant DressI broke out the sewing machine the other day. Do you know how momentous that is? Monumentally momentous. It means there was a perfect storm at our house involving: 1) Jane taking great naps, 2) me getting the cleaning done for that day, and 3) me having all the necessary supplies already on hand for the project. I had been in the mood to sew something for Jane Darling, so I checked my sewing board on Pinterest, and sure enough there was something quick and easy waiting for me.

Birdie Dress Collage

I spent one nap time gathering supplies and cutting out the pieces, and another sewing the dress together. I call this a success – I love the little birdie pattern, and the ric rac trim! I even learned a few new tricks while I was speeding through this dress. I can now use the overlock function on my fancy sewing machine, which comes in handy since I don’t have a serger to finish my edges. I learned the proper way to apply ric rac trim, and I learned how to make the ric rac flower I attached to the front. It’s a little big now, but that just means she’ll be able to wear it for a while.

Jane and I will have to make a deal – I’ll work on the sewing if she works on the modeling…

Birdie Dress Jane

Jane Takes a Dip

July 25, 2013

Jane Goes SwimmingIt has been so hot here. Like a week of 90-plus degree days with no rain for relief. Brutal. Fortunately, Timmy’s parents have a pool and we finally had a day that was slightly cloudy – perfect for Jane to have her first swim! We were pretty confident that she would like it, since she loves bath time and the sun had warmed the pool to a bath-like temperature. Don’t let her face fool you, she loved it. We sat in there for almost an hour! Timmy made sure she was always in the shade, even holding the umbrella himself when the sun moved. You could say he’s protective… or paranoid. Either way, we had a great time relaxing in the pool and look forward to our next dip!

P.S. Most awkward line of the video: “Yep, we’re both lil whites.” I say the weirdest things to that baby. She’s going to think I’m insane…

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

July 23, 2013

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

I love when things come together at just the right time. I found a really nice bundt pan in my cupboard, which I’ve had for a long time. I couldn’t remember if I’d ever even used it before though. Then, I was clicking around on Pinterest and I happened to come across this recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Cake. Perfect!

On the other hand, I don’t like when I follow a recipe and it doesn’t turn out well. What a pain! Especially when it involves special ingredients that I don’t keep on hand, like greek yogurt or loads of strawberries. The first time I attempted to make this cake, I followed the directions, used plain yogurt, and waited half an hour for cooling, then turned the cake out of the pan. Fail. The top of the cake, where the strawberries settled, didn’t come out of the pan. However, the cake was delicious!

Strawberry Yogurt Cake2

Jane and PopSo, I did something I rarely do. I tried again, a couple days later. The issues weren’t really with the recipe, they were more to do with my interpretation of the recipe. This time I used greek yogurt (less liquid-y), I used slightly fewer strawberries, and I baked the cake about 10 minutes extra (because it needed it, that wasn’t planned). Then I let it cool completely in the pan before trying to turn it out. Success!! The cake came out perfectly, the texture was just right and the flavor was still excellent! Even better still, my desire to make the cake a success, but not to eat a second cake all by myself, led to Timmy, Jane and I going to his Nanny and Pop’s for dinner. So happy we could share the evening, and the tasty strawberry cake, with family!

YOLO: A Saturday Special Treat

July 20, 2013

I stumbled across this on another blog I read and thought I’d share. It’s funny, and practical, haha. Enjoy!

Jane Loves Her Daddy!

July 19, 2013

After spending all day with me, Jane is ready for some fun with Daddy. They’re good buddies!

Reading with Daddy

Play Time

Jane Polaroid