Thursday, September 02, 2010

new home

Hi friends (which means anybody who loves me enough to be checking this blog almost a year after the last post).....

check me out over at my new blog...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sales tip

Dear Bath & Body Works rep,

In the future when you walk around the store and see a pair of customers considering a purchase, please take a moment to make sure the product we are holding in our hands and discussing is being considered in a negative light before jumping in helpfully with, "oh I know -- that one always smells so masculine to me!"

I'm sure your sales will improve for it.



P.S. It does not.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

new "ugliest cake ever" champion

After I wrote the last post, I began searching our photo archives for examples of my fine cake craftsmanship. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of Aidan's 2nd birthday cake, which featured a pastel pink car (this was before I knew that for vibrant colors you should use the powdered dye. Do not use 147 drops of the liquid stuff, because you'll end up with watery pink goo.)

On the bright side, I did find a lovely picture of my first cake attempt, the cake that still haunts me at night. Even as I type this, I can't believe I'm actually sharing this with you. Looking at this photo makes me want to cry:

Yep, that's an ocean scene for Aidan's ocean-themed first birthday party! I think this was the day my husband first realized the kind of woman he had married... shortly thereafter, I had a microchip implanted in case he ever decides to bolt. (I'm like a crabby, poorly decorated roach motel... check out time? never! mwahahaha)

You think I'm kidding? I'm watching you, Mike!

i probably shouldn't open a bakery

We had a busy weekend. Friday was Wesley's second birthday & the dreaded Halloween carnival where Aidan won that worst-prize-of-all, a fish (which, by the way, is now officially called Nemo). Saturday was Halloween which was spent putting together lame last-minute costumes (I was a dorky tourist, don't be jealous!), carving pumpkins, drinking hot cider with whiskey, burning cranberry upside-down cakes (totally not my fault that time) and passing out candy. All in all, a first rate holiday experience. Except for the burnt cake.

On Sunday, we were finally able to celebrate Wesley's birthday with a cake, which ended up being the ugliest cake in the world. Behold:

Allow me to defend myself. I am no cake decorator -- the idea of decorating cakes makes me want to either fall asleep or hit something. I don't even like to eat cake! However, each time a birthday rolls around I give it the old college-try for my kiddos (which really should be my first clue that it won't go well, seeing as I didn't even finish college).

This cake disaster wasn't entirely my fault -- the universe was out to get me. First off, I couldn't find my 9x13 cake pan, and I own only one muffin pan, so I had to use 9-inch round baking pans. Problem was, one of those round pans was still at my sister's house from the unfortunate cranberry upside-down cake incident of Hallowen '09. So I whipped out 8-inch and 10-inch springform pans, and decided to make the best of it. I even had visions of a silly tiered birthday cake.

Unfortunately, the difference between those two sizes of cakes isn't large enough to make a tiered cake work (just in case you ever wanted to try it). I ended up cutting the big cake to match the small cake, and started to frost them both. And when the whole tub of frosting was empty, I was left with that monstrosity of a half-completed cake. Is it just me or did a tub of frosting used to cover an ENTIRE cake?? I was embarrassed -- but not embarrassed enough to go buy another tub of frosting. I tried to cover it up with sprinkles, but to no avail. Crap.

That evening the boys' cousins came over for the cake celebration, and the universe was still working to convince me that birthday cakes were not my specialty. It turned out that we were completely out of matches and all our lighters were empty (of course, right?). We tried to light a rolled up napkin on the stovetop.... and the toaster... (seriously kids, don't try this at home. I was the only girl in the entire house since my sister Johannah didn't feel well, and I was overruled.)

Note: Please ignore the fingerprints all over my toaster. And my ugly countertops with the built-in cutting board (ew? Definitely not my doing, will be a distant "before" memory one day).

Maybe we were doing it wrong, maybe I accidentally bought flame-resistant paper napkins... either way, my sister's boyfriend Joe had to run home and get a box of matches so we could light the candle and sing to make Wesley cry so Mike would have to blow the candle out for him, so we could finally eat the ugliest cake in the world.

At least Wesley didn't seem to mind the cake wreck... so happy birthday my sweet boy! And, um... sorry about your cake.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

baby fish mouth

"Draw something resembling anything!"

Hehe... oh, I love me some "When Harry Met Sally."

(On a side note, did you know that when you include a movie title like that, a question mark would go AFTER the quotation mark since the '?' wasn't part of the movie title... but periods and commas always go inside, no matter what? And by "no matter what" I mean unless it's one of the few exceptions that are always present in our fabulous language. Pfft. English. Go figure.)

No need to thank me for the mini-lesson; I'm just graciously using my mediocre grammatical skills to educate the masses... unless I'm wrong, then I'm foolishly using those same skills to confuse my millions of readers. Either way, I'm going to direct you here, so you can fight with them instead of me.

Anyway, this post isn't about movies or grammar... it's about something much more sinister: Halloween carnivals and the prizes that you don't REALLY want to win.

Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of our little family...

Last night we went to the carnival at Aidan's school, and there was a game where the kids could win a goldfish as a prize. I figured, what are the chances? What are the ODDS? (Mike later informed me that they were 1 out of 5, so I'm choosing to blame him for having that knowledge and choosing to withhold it from me, the slightly irrational yet always hopeful, non-statistician carnival-decision-maker.)

Long story short, we now have a fish. I know that if I get a real tank, a filter or anything fancy, the fish will die in 3 weeks. And if I leave it in this dinky dollar store bowl it will probably live to be 100 years old and grow to the size of a football. I'm not sure which scenario is less appealing to me, since I really don't want to have a football-sized fish OR the death talk with Aidan right now.

Anyway, meet Nemo. Or Dory. I'm not sure which one is going to stick, but I'll keep you posted. (Is it just me, or does he look less-than-thrilled with his name options?)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Yes, I realize I haven't posted the (halfway) after photo of my (not quite complete) living room... but really? We have important things to discuss right now.


Why? Really, is there a good answer to that besides "my lack of impulse control"?

Last fall I found this totally darling hat on etsy and it came in all these fabulous colors (so of course, I wanted several of them) but they were about $30 each. Last month, I went to the shop to swoon and consider making a purchase for the 50,000th time, when I discovered the seller now offered PATTERNS for the low, low price of $5.

The bargain hunter in me said, "sweet! I'll just make my own!" Before I knew it, I had the pattern in my inbox and I was making a list of all the supplies I needed so that I could learn to crochet. A hat. (I don't believe in starting with simple things like scarves -- dive right into crocheting in the round, that's my philosophy! Well, about crochet anyway.)

I really don't want to say anything more on the subject because I have a headache, my fingers are cramping and I want to gouge somebody's eyes out with my Susan Bates Crystalites Crochet Hook (available at a Michael's near you!)... so I'll just leave you with this:

Friends don't let friends who really aren't crafty at all, make impulse decisions when it comes to dumb domestic stuff. They'll just end up with an old tupperware full of half used stickers, googly eyes, unopened bags of batting, half empty boxes of glycerine soap, shell-shaped soap molds, and untouched styofoam wreath foms. (This is all purely hypothetical, by the way. All those were totally random examples my incredibly creative brain came up with.... really.)

Just SAY NO.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Don't be jealous

Behold, the living room of our new house:

Don't be jealous, y'all. I am sure you are all thinking how great it would be to have this room -- complete with the giant wood stove that takes up most of the usable floor space (hope you don't have a lot of furniture!) and real knotty pine paneling. Classy, no? You can even see the lovely yellow ceilings and broken lamp; it was a free gift with purchase when we bought the house.

Well, I hate to disappoint all of you, but that's the 'before'. On to the 'after'.................!!

Oh wait. I never took an 'after' photo. Maybe I should go do that.

But not right now... I'm a big fan of suspense.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ham hell

Today I had two people (count 'em, TWO!) tell me that they think I should be blogging here more often.

Yeah. Well. You and me both, sisters. Problem is, I am having a really hard time... finding... time. So many important things fill my days... like stepping around whining and/or crying children while cleaning up puppy messes (oh didn't I mention? We got a puppy. She's sweet, adorable, and the biggest pain in the butt ever. What was I thinking, getting a puppy with two small children? OY!)

I also have a hole in my front door. I've had it for a couple weeks now... it needs to be patched, but I haven't gotten around to doing it yet. The hole is from the old doorknob. There were separate holes for the deadbolt and the knob, like normal, but there was also an extra hole where they put another deadbolt-esque contraption... that turned the lock for the regular doorknob. So apparently we should all count our blessings that we live in a more civilized time now, where the locks are part of the doorknob.

And today? Was dumb. I tried to make a ham, and it was one of the ones that you need to cook before serving because up here in Idaho people don't buy meat at the grocery store -- they go to the state fair and buy animals. Everyone has a side of beef in their (extra) freezer. My sister was kind enough to give me this ham that was part of a giant meat explosion her animal-buying boss gave her.

Anyway... I needed to actually cook it. Which means I needed to weigh it, because when I tried to insert our probe thermometer into the cold straight-from-the-fridge ham it read 211 degrees which I gathered to mean that meat thermometer #3 was now broken (Mike had learned the hard way not to wash the probe in the dishwasher or use it on a flaming hot grill). This bummed me out, because I'm a big fan of being lazy when I cook meat and just setting the thermometer to beep at a certain temperature and then going to drink mojitos while playing croquet or whatever it is that we do around here.

So I carried the cold, damp hunk of meat to the basement where we keep the scale -- I was not about to estimate the weight of a piece of raw pig and give everyone in my family trichnosis. Then I carried it back upstairs, placed it in the roasting pan, yanked the nasty raw-ham plastic wrap out of the puppy's mouth, (seriously? Dogs and garbage cans? I don't get it.) changed my now ham-juice speckled t-shirt, washed my hands and went downstairs to weigh MYSELF so I could do the necessary math. Then I cried. OHHH, how I cried. I was really starting to resent this ham.

Then I popped it into the preheated oven, set the timer for 3 hours, and walked away. One hour and forty minutes later, I checked on it and realized I had somehow turned the oven OFF when setting its timer. So I turned the oven back on, set the timer on the microwave for 3 more hours, and said a few choice words to myself.

Two hours later, I prepared a glaze. I used the veeeeery last of our sugar, some orange juice, dry mustard, and cornstarch. Only it wasn't cornstarch. It was baking powder that I had grabbed. Oops. So I set the foaming science experiment into the sink and called my mother, at this point totally and completely defeated by a stupid ham.

Long story short (hahaha!) I whipped a new glaze up on the advice of my mom, who graciously hadn't laughed too hard at me, finished cooking the ham, sliced it up, and served it to my two darling boys. Who didn't eat a single bite of it!

This ham and I... we have a problem.

Did I mention I've had a hole in my door for two weeks? Can someone bring me some wine?