May 18, 2011

Playdate {pretty, happy, funny, real}

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This is going to be a “funny, real” installment.  My little Jelly Bean recently had her first “real” playdate (all the others being more excuses to hang out with my girlfriends than opportunities for J to play with other babies, her being unable to hold up her torso and all).  The girls sat facing each other and stealing one another’s toys and squeaking at each other, which was adorable, and generally having a good old time.

What we did not take into account, however, was the fact that my hubs has recently taught J a game called “Baby Attack” in which he sits the baby on his chest and lets her fall forward and gnaw on his chin, nose, cheekbone, and whatever else she can get her chubby little hands on.  It’s hilarious but she is STRONG and will happily chew on your face with full force.

Now, you, being a rational human, have already figured out what was bound to happen here but it took us a little longer.  First, J grabbed little L’s pacifier leash and chewed on it for a while.  After she had lulled us into complacence, she did some sort of baby kung fu move and toppled L in one fell swoop, diving in and grabbing her head in a truly masterful round of Baby Attack.

We have taught her well.

I’m sure they’ll come back again one day.  Once the gum-marks have faded from her forehead, that is.

Go see Leila and Rosie at Like Mother, Like Daughter for more Pretty, Happy, Funny, and Real!

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May 17, 2011

Pinterest Precaution

I love Pinterest.  It is the most addicting site ever.  I love pinning every pretty thing I see and keeping reminders of cool DIY projects or decorating ideas.  It is seriously the best.  However.  Last week (during the great blogging hiatus of 2011) I pinned this super pretty pair of incredibly inexpensive earrings as a reminder to myself to go back and buy them the next day.  Here they are:

So cute right?  And only $12!  But!  After I pinned those earrings I went to bed, blissfully ignorant of what would await me in the morning.  My pin went viral (Pinterest-style) and got repinned a ton.  When I went back the next day to buy the earrings they were… wait for it… SOLD OUT!  So learn from me, dear friends: if you want to pin something, buy it before you pin it.

PS- If you want a Pinterest invite, let me know.  It is still invite-only, but it is easy to invite people.  You’ll like it.  Fair warning, though: super addicting.

May 17, 2011

More Soon

Hello my sweet blog! I have missed you! Turns out new jobs take attention away from little, lovable blogs. I hope to post a real post tonight. Until then, you’ve earned a baby picture:

You’re welcome.

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April 25, 2011

Tina Fey’s Prayer for Her Daughter

Below I’ve excerpted one of my favorite chapters of Bossypants.  There is a little cursing and inappropriateness; be forewarned.

First, Lord: No tattoos.
May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

[…]

Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from
Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

[…]

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a
Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

I started out laughing, and now I’m crying.  It’s just silly and funny and really beautiful all in about 3 minutes, and I think we can go ahead and categorize that as “really good writing.”

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April 24, 2011

Family Secret Cinnamon Rolls

Okay, seriously, these are the best.  They’re our family go-to holiday sticky bun cinnamon rolls and they are universal favorites.  We make them to eat, to give away as gifts, to bring to holiday work potlucks (everyone goes bonkers for them), and for most major holidays.  They use some old-fashioned, non-snobby ingredients (read: frozen dough), but that really just adds to the fun.

Here we go!

You’ll need four things.  The fifth is optional.

1. Bridgeford Frozen Bread Dough(I have literally no idea what might substitute for this… some other white frozen dough, I guess)

2. Butter

3. Brown Sugar

4. Cinnamon

5. Cream (optional)

First you must thaw your bread dough.  It doesn’t take all that long, but if you can remember to get it out 45-60 minutes before you want to use it, that’s best.  Then you stretch and knead the dough into a 12×5″ rectangle that’s about 1/4″ thick, like so:

No need for a rolling pin and/or a ruler.  Just approximate.

Now spread a thin layer of butter over the top.  Please don’t ask me for measurements here… just a thin layer of softened butter.  On top of that sprinkle a good amount of brown sugar.  I’m guessing about half a cup, but mostly just sprinkle on, smooth out, and look.  Is it about 1/4″ thick?  That’s right, then.

Smooth it out with your hand.  Getting messy is good.  It’s very natural.

Doesn’t that just make you want to take off your shoes and lie down with a good book?  No?  Just me?

Sprinkle cinnamon over the brown sugar.  Don’t cake it on thick, just sprinkle it evenly over the brown sugar.

Now you get to roll!  Starting from the long side further from you, start working your way back and forth, tightly rolling the dough toward you.

My sous chef is preparing her favorite: l’hoof d’Sophie:

Once you reach the front side of the rolls, pull it up and over the roll, pinching a bit to seal it off.  At this point I always stretch it a bit, although I believe my mom omits that step.

Before you start slicing you have to prepare your pan.  Melt about 1/2 stick of butter (did I mention this is not low cal?) and pour it into a round cake pan (or pie tin, or 8×8″ square pan) and add about 1/2 cup brown sugar and a 1/2 tablespoon of cream and mix it all up with a fork (the cream is optional but helps keep the mixture from crystallizing).  It will look something like this:

Now start slicing the log into 3/4″ rolls and place them face up in the pan.

Anything extra on the counter?

Add it on, baby.

Waste not, want not.

Now is the hard part (for me, anyway): waiting for them to rise.  Sometime in the next 45 minutes or so go ahead and preheat your oven to 325.

Here they are ready to bake, about an hour later (if you have a warm, non-drafty spot in your kitchen it will work best).  My rule of thumb is that they have to have risen to the top of the pan.

Note: it’s a good idea to put a large baking sheet on the shelf underneath the rolls, as the sugar and butter often overflow and (and this is hearsay, I wouldn’t know anything about it personally) occasionally light on fire.  So I’ve heard.

And here they are about 25 minutes later, lovely and golden brown.   One thing I didn’t get a picture of (full hands): flipping them onto the plate.  As soon as they come out of the oven invert them onto a plate (they’re HOT.  Please be careful.) and let them cool that way.  Like so:

Now, important note.  If you, say hypothetically, decide to re-organize your baby’s dresser drawers (post on this coming soon) while you’re baking your cinnamon rolls, do remember to set a loud timer and/or do not get engrossed in an old episode of Grey’s Anatomy while folding because you may 1) frighten your husband when he comes home and finds you bawling uncontrollably over a sad season 2 incident and 2) burn the heck out of your last two batches of rolls.  Like, I don’t even want to say how long these baked.  It was probably less than an hour, but not much less.

Bright side: they still look pretty!  And shockingly, did not taste terrible.  Not good, but not charcoal.

There you have it!  The bestest cinnamon rolls in the whole wide world.  Go forth and conquer your jeans’ top button (it, uh, might not like you so much after you eat a whole pan of these).