Monday, August 31, 2009

Nice Things

You know when stuff happens that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy? I love that. And some of that's been happening to me lately.
I opened up my email a week or so ago to find that I was's Top Blog of the Week! I'm so excited and honored and couldn't help but share my excitement with ya'll.
Then, a while back, I won something! Yeah! This is uncharted waters for me, the one who never wins anything. But wait, I won twice! It appears that blog-winning is nothing like lightning striking.
I entered a giveaway from Simone at Chocolate Covered Daydreams (but the prize was actually through her other blog On Being... which has very interesting, heartfelt interviews) and was lucky enough to win an amazing email session with a fashion consultant, an adorable Stila makeup bag full of makeup, a cool book called Style Statement (and after delving into it I believe my style statement is a cross between a Traditional Current (Creativity & Celebration) and a Simplistic Earth (Nature & Rest & Relaxation)), and a beautiful necklace. Turns out, the fashion consultant, Ev 'Yan is Simone's daughter. If you have met either of these women, you know they are both complete sweethearts. Ev 'Yan? The girl was downright amazing! I mean, take a frumpy stay at home mom and give her a week with a fashion consultant and the result is a deer in the headlights. But Ev 'Yan made me feel so comfortable. I asked her about my hair and how to make my sturdy little legs appear longer. Yes, my double nemesis. But it was no match for Ev 'Yan. She was undaunted, and came back with excellent advice, photos, tips. All the while making me feel good about myself! She's wonderful. She even extended my week long consultation just to give me more time. If you ever have the need or opportunity to work with her, take full advantage. The girl is a fashion guru and she really knows her stuff.
THEN, as if my day wasn't going good enough, I won a book called Graceling through NotNessie at Today's Adventure! I can't wait to read the book and give a review. (I estimate that this will be when I am convalescing in a very lovely senior living center).
I'm not done folks. There's more. The warmth and fuzziness continues! Cherie at This Side of Town awarded me a Lovely Blog award. If you haven't met Cherie, head on over. Immediately you will see what a caring individual she is. She's a nurse, which, in my book, makes her fantastic. Her posts always have interesting photos and uplifting words.
Can you stand anymore of my drivel? Okay, good, because there's more. I have the best friends in the world. Sarsa over at Nobody Doesn't Like Sarsa Lee made my family dinner the other night. AND she brought flowers. You can't imagine how that made my day. (Dinner was enchilada casserole and...wait for it...wait for it.....GUACAMOLE. She made fresh guacamole. And gave it to me. So I could eat it. And eat it I did. Then I shamelessly licked the container it came in). Check out the lovely recipes on Sarsa's blog. (And, if you're looking for a recipe for guacamole, check out my friend Kimma's new blog, Kimma's Kitchen. Kimma and I were friends in college. She was a genius in the kitchen then, and nothing has changed). On two recent separate occasions, DfK invited Bug over to her house to play with her daughter L. Bug came home both times bearing treats--the first time, with beautiful luscious cupcakes that the girls made, the second time with homemade take-n-bake pizzas the girls made. There may be a conspiracy to make me gain 10 pounds, but I tell you, it's the happiest 10 pounds to ever grace my thighs. OH! And then I found out my cousin Meghan over at The Belt Family is pregnant! Their baby #3 is on the way and I am so excited I can barely contain myself! There are just so many things to be thankful for and so much joy in my life. Lotsa warm 'n fuzzies hanging around. I am gearing up for a great Spin a Web of Gratitude September edition.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nate Wasn't Here

Remember when my bedroom looked like this? Nate Berkus never came. But countless agonizing weeks later,
2,600 whiny, wishy-washy phone calls to dfS,
a visit from my Aunt Kathy and L,
19 hours of my dad painting, and me "supervising"...
this is what it looks like:
The fresh paint extends into the closet hallway and the bathroom
(in which, each window is dressed with valences that match the drapes).
It really is beautiful.
The complete re-do is still not 100% done...
some more wall decor is in order here and there,
as everything is a bit boxy. But the end is near.
Only 2 walls have the chocolate brown "kaffee" paint.
The rest is "latte". Lovely.
My bedroom is a caffeinated beverage.
No wonder I can't sleep.
Some of my favorite parts of the re-do are the painting above the bed... fake orchid that I never have to worry about killing....
...the hardware and rich tone of my new dresser... recent begrudging allowance, then apprehensive acceptance and finally enthusiastic embracing of fake floral accents in my home...thank you Target....
....the succulent drapes...I tell you, the fabric is so lovely...
when they move it sounds like walking through powdery snow..., the accents are viney...and I love vines...
WARNING: The next series of photos could cause lock jaw.
I held off for as long as I could...
but I now believe it's time....Yes.
It's time.
For a new shower caddy.
What? You think I waited to long?
You think rust is disgusting? Unsafe? Unsightly?
You think I should donate this caddy to science?
You're ashamed of me.
SIGH. I too am ashamed.
If Nate had been here,
he never would have allowed this.
Quickly now, let us all hasten to the ER and get tetanus shots.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tap Tap Tap, Is This Thing On?

"Uh...Mom? This thing's not working". "Think you could give me a hand here?
I can see you over there. Giggling."
"Mom. Seriously. Put down the camera and help a kid out for pete's sake."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Miss DfS and the Heartbreakers

Here's DfS and her son O-Pup in May 2007. Isn't he just a heartbreaker?
You ain't seen nuthin' yet. Look what he turned into:Flash forward to July 2009 and there's another
heartbreaking munchkin on the scene. Rockstar. Look at him! Ah.I'm even getting an eyebrow raise from him which makes me feel pretty good about myself.Dee wasn't sure what to make of him. She tried to touch him a few times from afar.She looked to Big Brother for guidance.But I don't think she ever really got over him. None of us have--he's just that yummy!On a side note: What's going on here? Have I lost one already to the life-force known as Starbucks? His zombie eyes are chanting Give...Me...Iced...Coffee... And another thing. Why is DfS's dress so cute? Must she always sparkle? (As I sit in my pajamas). Then there's these two: I can't think of very many things I like better than watching my kids grow up with my friends' kids.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Double Chocolate Double Peppermint Cookies

There's one thing I know for certain:
There is a heaven.
There's one thing I don't know for certain:
Whether or not these cookies will be there when I get there.
There's one thing we should do just in case they're not:
Make tons of them in the time we have left
in our earthly bodies and eat them daily.
I am impatiently awaiting winter and all it's cozy luxuries.
One such luxury? Peppermint everything.
In anticipation of the upcoming peppermint overhaul
of my winter life, I decided I needed a sneak peak and
went in search of a recipe containing this herb
that is so crucial to my happiness and well-being.
I found something even more luxurious than I had set out to find:
A recipe combining chocolate and peppermint.
I do everything really fast.
I change diapers fast, I make meals fast, I do laundry fast.
And you're thinking, 'well, yeah, when you've got twins,
you have no business not being fast'.
But that's not it. Here's why I do everything fast:
There are 1440 minutes in one day.
I spend 1,339 of them perusing blogs
and 1 of them taking care of household duties.
So I better be fast, eh?
Anyhow, during a recent blogosphere perusal,
I found Joy the Baker.
Recipes galore, deliciousness guaranteed.
I had a peppermint fever, and I had thought the only
prescription was more cow bell, but no!
It was Joy the Baker and her recipe for
And since my peppermint fever was running really high,
and since I often like to self-diagnose and make up
my own treatment, I added another boost
of peppermintiness to this recipe.
You will see dear readers. You will see.
See you will.
Let's get this dog and pony show started.
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder. (I have to stop here. I've been trying not to say anything but I can hold this in no longer. My husband just brought me a plate of creamy, salty, scrambled eggs with a smattering of shredded mozzarella melting on top. That's right, a smattering. And they are the best thing I have ever tasted and I am about to weep over their fluffiness. I just had to share that with you and hope that you'll all join me when I call out "Hooray for husbands with scrambled egg aptitude!")
How now, brown cow? Oh yes, cocoa powder. A good 3/4 cup of it. 1 tsp salt 3/4 tsp baking soda
Whisk that together and we'll take
it with us over to the stand mixer.
Right now Bug is pondering a matter of deep consequence:
"If I wear winter clothes all summer,
should I wear only summer clothes this winter?"
"I must dwell on this matter and reflect fully on
the weight of my decision."
"For to wear summer clothes this winter might
mean I spend a great deal of the season with goosebumps.
But to continue wearing winter clothes into winter might
dethrone me from my position of independent quirkiness.
And what then? How will I have any power
in this house that wears a deceitful cloak of democracy
but is a mother-dictatorship to it's core?"
And now a small but triumphant smile spreads across her face
as the perfect plan of action begins to take hold
in the small yet brilliantly shrewd brain residing
just underneath all that cuteness.
"Yes...yeeees, that's it! I've stumbled upon the perfect coup d'etat!
I will wear winter clothes this winter--I'd be a fool not to.
BUT, I will use only a fork for all things spoon-worthy and
only a spoon for all things fork-worthy!
The mother monarch will never see it coming!
'Why Grace, you're eating applesauce with a fork?!'
mom will shout, flummoxed to the core of her being.
And I will stand victorious!
I will not be conformed to her conformist ways!" She giggles in mischievous delight,
her beautiful plan already set in motion.
All plans to topple the momarchy with a
surprise eating-utensil-switcheroo aside,
we still need to cream some butter here.
2 sticks of it.
Then add 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar.
You know the drill-pop that arm down, lock & load it.
Paddle attachment for a minute or so.
Now for the nectar of the gods. Wait, did I say
Hmm. Well then this must be the tonic of the gods:
We add 1 teaspoon of it to the mix.
Then add 2 eggs, one at a time and beat for
a minute after each egg is added.
Peppermint extract smells groovy.
Remember the dry ingredient mix?
Add 1/3 of that, mixing only until blended.
Then repeat that with another 1/3.
Then one last time with all of the remaining dry ingredients.
Now on to the pepperminty surprise that makes
my heart go pitter patter.
That's right mama.
Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips!
Bring your crunchy minty goodness my way.
1 whole grand cup of crunchy minty goodness!
And while we're at it, lets get to the "double chocolate" in
Double Chocolate Double Peppermint Cookies.
Add in 1 cup of semi sweet baking chips.
"Oh what do we have heeeeeeere?" said the little girl.
"I spy with my little eye a wee spot of chocolate."
"Would you like to see it?
Would you kindly ask my mom if I can eat it?"
Ignore that poor child. She's a victim of
peppermint chip goodness and has long since
left any good sense behind. And who can blame her.
I barely have my faculties about myself either.
I'm just happy her fingernails were clean for that picture.
Mix those two divine cups of chips in by hand.
Resist urge to hork raw cookie dough.
Give in to urges furtively.
I won't tell.
Drop by tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
Although they be helplessly cute little mounds,
me thinks you should resist urge to hork once more.
Or, what the hay, pop one down the hatch.
This earthly life is but a blink.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Before looking at the next photo, please
join me in shouting "Hurray for Joy the Baker!"
Let's just come in a little tighter on that photo so you can fully
immerse yourself in that melting chip.