First Haircut

This post is from a May outing, Mother’s Day weekend actually, and we had a big weekend. Sophy had a birthday party for twins in her toddler class, we had dinner reservations for Salty’s and it was decided the long hair that kept ending up in her mouth as a chew toy had to go.

Sophy’s a big fan of Legos and we needed a couple of gifts for birthday party so we decided to take the bribery approach. We had Top Pot doughnuts pre-cut and found a salon dedicated to kids. Legos post cut if she didn’t have a total meltdown. Luckily, it wasn’t really needed and she handled the haircut like a pro. We were the first appointment in a kids salon, she picked out her toys, sat on the horse and settled in for a super cute summer bob. Summer being a relative term as we all wore coats to this outing.

Here she is post hair cut and triumphant with her Lego selection.

5-10 first legos 2Post haircut with her barrette that didn’t last the trip from the stylist to the mall.

5-10 first hair cutI think she may have seen an even bigger Lego bag heading out.
5-10 First LegosNext post, birthday party at the Zoo!

When to Call a Professional

So I’m a little behind in my Project Life. By 3 months, but let’s keep it moving. Anyway, I’m still loving project life, life is just causing delays in said documentation, and one of my favorite things about being behind is I can order some of the prints from a professional print service and I’m very excited at the prospect of having super good photos. My printer does a pretty good job yet it’s just not quite the same. How can I not have some super awesome prints for this?

Sophy carousel pout

My all time favorite printing service is Mpix and I’ve rhapsodized about them previously but it’s a strong enough love I feel ok continuing to profess it. Yet, I’ve taken my photos to a different service and feel the need to purge my guilt. Shutterfly has no issues with giving away the goods.For free. FREE. I’m the mother of a toddler living in an expensive city with an expensive craft habit and several more shopping monkeys on my back. I cannot pass up free. I’ve mentioned free right? So, this latest shipment was of 50 4×6 prints, 2 5×7 prints, 1 8×10 and 25 photo cards. I paid $10 in shipping and taxes. People, I cannot tell you how much it pains me to step out on my photo service of choice but that is a good deal. I also ordered a photo book of our road trip (2 actually) and saved over $75 bucks on said book. I still paid $70 but again, let’s not linger on that. I’m ashamed my loyalty is for sale but not enough to not take advantage of my free goodies and run. Said points were accumulated by my beloved husband stockpiling pampers points and coke rewards. I actually had a coke rewards expire and I’m still traumatized by it.

The entire point of this is to say, I will put up with a sub-par UX and divided loyalty if you’re willing to buy my love. I feel better for getting this out there and sharing my shame.

Also, any other super good deals I should be made aware of ASAP?

Note: Yet again none of this pimping of product was purchased by anyone but if this post does nothing else, it clearly makes you aware of the fact I’m easily bought by free goodies.

Professing My Love for the Tartine Cookbook

So it turns out that when people in Seattle say summer doesn’t start until after July 4th they aren’t exaggerating. We turned our heat on in June for several days. It was crazypants time for these Texans. Rolland had started wearing shorts in May but had to retreat to pants shortly thereafter. June included shorts, and a refusal of long pants, plus a space heater in his office. Principles over rationality was a thing thing in the house for a while. All of this is a large build up to the fact that I could easily turn on my oven in June without fear of melting. Giddiness ensued.

Using this new found oven freedom, I immediately took requests from co-workers and dove into my Tartine cookbook to make Banana Cream Pie. I hadn’t realized how many steps would be involved, not difficult, but time consuming. This pie required:

  1.  Pie Crust
  2. Caramel
  3. Melted Chocolate
  4. Pastry Cream
  5. Whipped Cream

Now, the benefits included finding my go to pie crust from the Tartine cookbook. It’s super easy and now I try to have several crusts made and in the freezer for a quick quiche, pie, tart, etc. Quiche is hands down a favorite in our house and a favorite weeknight dinner with ham, cheese and a little parsley or other herb of choice. I use Susan Wittig Albert’s Tex-Mex recipe as my basic base and wing the ingredients after that. But, I digress.

IMG_4521Pie in progress. Crust coated with melted chocolate and caramel ready to pout on top of the melted chocolate. The bananas are kind of an after thought as they’re simply sliced and laid on top of the pastry cream then covered in whipped cream. Banana haters like my hubby could easily skip it and have a tasty cream pie.

I also had leftovers from said pie for a chocolate pie with the second pie crust and extra whipped cream. Plus, leftover caramel was used to top brownies since the fudgy goodness wasn’t decadent enough on it’s own.

Caramel brownies 4-17

I also used Tartine’s brownie recipe for this but it was almost too rich for me. It’s just too sweet in the sweet/salt ratio. I’m now considering making it salted caramel brownies… hmmm.

If you’re in the mood to take the baking up a notch, Tartine is a good book to add to the collection. It’s beautiful with gorgeous food pics. And highly useful in wooing co-workers to your will. Finished second chocolate pie with help from toddler. I also recommend one of these for a sous chef although she hogs the wooden spoon.

Chocolate pie
Sophy pie help

Note: I received no bloggery goodness for pimping out the cookbook. Or the weird Seattle weather, although only people from the South would really see this as pimping out the weather.

Further Note: I still don’t own Tartine Book 3 after desperate pleading to the editors in case anyone wanted to add it to my Christmas list.

Hello blog, how I’ve missed you.

Sophy scooter 3

In the time we’ve been apart it’s been crazy. Settling in to Seattle, just to discover we’re not going to settle in and it’s time to think of an exit strategy, fall of 2015 is it! Major road trip, first with the toddler, for a dear friend’s wedding and a follow up to Sin City. All of it awesome. Visit to Seattle by beloved DFW’ers. Regular park visits, lots of cooking and baking, photo taking, project lifing… so much going on and the blog has seriously been neglected.

No more, I miss you. Photos were taken. Documentation after the fact can happen. You’re my happy place to share all the good stuff no one else cares about, like my love for my Silhouette Cameo, this could be an entire post by itself. Why I still love Xyron as my favorite adhesive option. How LuAnn is becoming my favorite housewife and is owning that reunion. Sigh. It’s good to be back.

It’s also scary how big this toddler’s getting. She has a lot to say about everything. She rejected her outfit this morning and demanded new options. Sigh. I’m also going to pretend I’m not desperate for central AC on this rare 90 degree day in Seattle. Most of the summer is beautiful but when it’s hot, it is really hot.

Now, I’m off for FaceTime with the grandparents and a cool bath with the toddler. We’ll pretend we’re back in the pool in Vegas. I’ve got pics. It was heaven. Prepare for major longing to pack the bags for the city of Sin. Or of cabanas, tasty frozen hot chocolate and pre-fall Ugg shopping. Heaven.

41

Today is my birthday, 41st to be exact, and it’s been fantastic!

It started with a day trip to Portland on Saturday for a visit to Powell’s bookstore, lunch at On the Border, and then quick hops to lots of good places like Cargo and Collage. We made a few more stops at K.Marie and Enchante in Milwaukie, Oregon and Candy Babel in Portland but I’m being lazy about linking. They are pretty awesome though. Collage and Cargo were my very favorites though with tons of stocking up on project life and art goodies.

kokeshi at cargo cargo birthday lunch OTB

Today was an early dismissal at work so Rolland and I could catch a movie without toddler. We saw Captain America: Winter Soldier and I loved it. I miss regular movie goings so we’ll have to work out some more lunch dates for attending. Movie and mall were great for an afternoon date. We picked up the toddler and headed for Uneeda Burger. Sooo yummy! If you’re in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle I highly recommend it. It was 77 degrees and sunny so we sat near the open garage door munching on fried cheese curds, burgers, and fries… not much more I could ask for and 41 has turned out to be lovely. Can’t wait to see what else the year has in store!

B&w family selfie

Oh Hey Blog Thingy

Took an inadvertent two month hiatus while I was living life. Lots of family, work obligations, and toddler shenanigans have been at the for front lately.

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Like rock throwing in the park.

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And a new tricycle.

All exciting stuff. We’re easing back into our regular routine and I have an overly ambitious weekend “To Do” list:

1. Grocery Shop and meal plan for the week
2. Make progress in Project Life album that’s 5 weeks behind
3. Clear photos off of all cards
4. Organize craft room shelves
5. Get security tag removed from lawfully purchased pants
6. Visit park for swinging so toddler doesn’t lose her mind
7. Cookies for the freezer
8. Work baked goods for Monday
9. Clean bathrooms
10. Organize cookbooks

I’m betting we actually get to 1, 5 and 6 but I’m remaining hopeful!

Catch up posts for Sophy’s birthday and family visits should also be on the list but required manage 3. It’s a pyramid scheme this list making.

Swings

Lincoln Park is a great little park close to our house. It’s a 5 minute drive and we’re walking through the trees to the shore. The park trail is mostly paved and curves along a small part of the sound with a rocky beach. Perfect for a toddler practicing her rock throwing skills! It’s got an area for picnics and fires with tons of people walking dogs. Sophy’s loves are babies and puppies. Girl after my own heart.

Her most favorite part of the park is the swing set when we first hit the trail. She’s a huge fan and proved how grown up she was by sitting in the big girl swing, swinging her feet and then jumping out – landing on her feet! – and hitting the ground running. Oh my, not ready for this big kid but here she is. She’s pretty fantastic. I think I’ll keep her.

IMG_4022 Sophy swing close up Sophy swing

Discovery Park

Last weekend, before I was hit with the plague (AGAIN), we visited Discovery Park. The park is pretty awesome and offers Puget Sound views and trails through the trees, and wide expanses of grass and blackberries. There are also lots of buildings from when it was an army base. It was gloomy on our visit so it was kinda creepy through that area. I would definitely avoid it at night! Otherwise it was awesome and may be my favorite park yet. I also practiced some camera skills with the camera off auto! Results were mixed.

Me on bluff Rolland on the bluff distance Radar and house - milk and cookies Sophy walking on path Radar and yellow house 2 Sophy pushing stroller Sophy and Mommy funny fce 20140123-094150.jpg 20140123-094136.jpg 20140123-094103.jpg

Journal Pages & Toddler Cuteness

These are my latest journal pages in my big collage journal. I had a lot of fun playing with these.

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I used a marker to give the fish some color. The page felt a little flat and dull. It, and I, needed some color and orange was a bright fun option. Plus, Sophy loves to say “goldfish”. I used a lot of charcoal on these and had to use fixative to insure no smudging. Some people don’t care but I hate getting covered in it when I browse pages. It was fairly nice out so I sprayed them outside. The smell is really overpowering. I should always do it but it’s usually raining!
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Happy Friday!

Random Tuesday

Completely random blog post today. We had “Tamale Tuesday” at work today with the rest of tamales I had ordered for New Years. Sooo yummy! It was crazy several of my coworkers had never had tamales so I had to explain about the corn husk wrapper. Thank goodness someone asked. It never occurred to me I would need to provide directions! They’re hooked. I could make a fortune importing tamales. :)I also made cake for dessert. It’s my Grandma’s chocolate sheet cake and it’s incredibly good. Plus, it’s huge so perfect for work.

photo(28)To continue with the random, we collect points off of the pampers diapers and wipes so Rolland had a promo for 200 free prints from Shutterfly. I felt like I was cheating on mpix but I can’t pass up free prints when I had over 300 to order from Thanksgiving! My sis-in-law also got a promo for $20 off a photo book from Shutterfly and sent it with Sophy’s Christmas stuff. I put a book together of our last Halloween trip to the Arboretum in Dallas. I had a million pics and have been wanting to do a book but had been putting it off. I’m pretty happy with how it looked online but we’ll see when I get it, I ordered from Blurb for my last book and it was fantastic. Again, $20 off so I can’t be too choosy. Total order was $50 bucks with $24 of it shipping! Greatness except I’m still grumbling about the shipping. I am getting mpix pics for us as soon as I get another promo code. I can’t live without the luster finish, it’s a little bit of a problem!