Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Gabe's 1st Halloween brought in 3 Reese's PB Cups. Score.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Want My Mommy

My head must have been in the clouds for all those years I thought about having a baby. Sure, I knew there would be dirty diapers and sleepless nights and of course the indescribable happiness said baby provides but there’s also new things that crop up every so often that I never really gave much thought to. One of them?  There’s no sick days when it comes to having a baby. For the past day, I’ve been slowly getting sicker…more congested, more feels-like-I’m-swallowing-broken-glass, more just freaking exhausted. But now there’s no calling out sick and spending the day on the couch surrounded by wadded up tissues. Apparently I’m still expected to function normally.  And much to my dismay, my husband can’t just stay home from work on a whim just so I can curl up in bed for hours on end. So today I’m thanking God for the miserable rainy weather so that I don’t feel bad that we don’t go for our daily walk. I also won’t feel bad for curling up on the couch and trying to convince Gabe that he wants to lie still and watch Wendy Williams.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Put it in a Tortilla and I'll Eat It

Turkey & Balsamic Onion Quesadillas

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

4 10-inch whole-wheat tortillas

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

8 slices deli turkey, preferably smoked (8 ounces)
1.Combine onion and vinegar in a bowl; let marinate for 5 minutes. Drain.

2.Warm 2 tortillas in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 45 seconds, then flip. Pull the tortillas up the edges of the pan so they are no longer overlapping. Working on one half of each tortilla, sprinkle one-fourth of the cheese, cover with 2 slices of turkey and top with one-fourth of the onion. Fold the tortillas in half, flatten gently with a spatula and cook until the cheese starts to melt, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Make 2 more quesadillas with the remaining ingredients.

Recipe and reviews found here
A lovely blog reader, Jessica, was awesome enough to try these out and gave me the green light. She also recommended sauteeing the onions to make em a little softer, so I did...after marinating them. I highly suggest you do the same.  These were quite tasty and make a good light dinner or weekend lunch. I am forever searching for things to make for lunch on the weekends. I usually fail and we wind up eating hoagies.  This is better for the budge.

Weekend Snaps

These tiny knit bear booties are made for walkin...and that's just what they'll do...

Ice cream cone cupcakes I made for our friend's daughter's 2nd birthday. In case you ever want to make these and take em on a roadtrip, I used shirt boxes and cut holes big enough for the cones to sit in. They sat nice and neat on our journey without falling over. They were a big hit among 2 year olds and adults alike. Oh and FYI, kiddie parties are a lot easier to sit through once you have kids, ya know with your built-in conversation starter bouncing on your hip.
Lil buddy was pretty shocked that the Phillies lost. He was sure his combination Phillies jersey and puppy dog onesie would be the good luck charm they needed to clinch the series. He thought wrong. 

And look who it is...although he doesn't care much about the baby or tried to smother him in any way, Sebbi certainly has been acting up since we brought Gabe home. His new thing is jumping up on the kitchen countertops as well as getting caught sleeping in the baby's changing pad, both of which skeeve me out. I love how he's the one lounging where he shouldn't be and we're the ones getting the stink eye.

Friday, October 22, 2010

IDK My BFF Eddie Ross?

Mornin guys! I thought I'd finally give you the deets from my Eddie Ross encounter from last week. Even though my crafting/drinking buddy LB and new friend Colleen already did entertaining recaps, there's no way I'm not gonna tell you all about it. First of all, LB and I got to Terrain a little early and hit up the store. I was immediately smitten. Terrain is a concept store from the makers of Anthro and Urban Outfitters. It is HUGE and every square inch is covered in some awesome display of awesomeness. I CANNOT wait to go back.

You die, right?
Guys, they have a whole terrarium SECTION!
I was quite smitten with the bunches and garlands of cotton.
I thought this board was pretty sweet.
Indoor fountains everywhere

All the glass bottles and cloches your grubby little hands could ever want to get ahold of 

This is when I looked at my clock and saw that we better get scootin over to the demo barn.  Unfortunately, most of the merch at Terrain is ridiculously expensive...which isn't very surprising seeing it's parent stores. I didn't buy anything 1) because I'm broke and 2) I would need more time to explore. 

So off to the barn we headed in the cold rain.  Eddie and his partner Jaithan greeted us with wine, which really, is my favorite kind of greeting.  Right off the bat, they both were funny and nice and i immediately relaxed (with the help of chardonnay obvs.)  We then sat down for Eddie's demo.

He showed us how to hollow out pumpkins and other assorted gourds to use to serve crudite, as seen below.  Granted I don't know anyone in real life who would actually do this but it was fun just the same.  My crowd's gourd would be filled with buffalo chicken dip instead of white bean and frankly I kinda prefer it. But I can appreciate the fancy schmancy shit too. Classy girl here.
At this juncture, I realized my camera battery was dead. I was livid with myself. Not sure how I let this happen. Luckily LB had a bar left on hers and did photog duty.
When I dip, you dip, we dip.
After his talk we headed over to the work stations.  In the middle was an impeccably dressed table, of course.  I was into the burlap and outdoor chairs mixed with the gold chargers and flatware.
The project we were working on was arranging flowers in a hollowed out pumpkin for a centerpiece.  The best part was that they were Cinderella/princess/fairy tale pumpkins, the wide, short blue ones. And they were pre-hollowed for us which meant no gunk. Sweet.  So along the wall was a huge selection of flowers and greens and it was a free-for-all to get what you wanted to work with.

By now I had realized that this was no one glass of wine per student affair.  This was an open bar. And I figured if I'm gonna pump and dump when I got home, I was gonna make it worth it.  Needless to say, I enjoyed myself. Then we played with flowers!

My hot mess
LB's thoughtfully arranged masterpiece
Whoever took our picture was clearly enjoying themselves too

Eddie and Jaithan walked around and chatted with everyone and were ridiculously nice. So while floral arranging isn't my go-to hobby, this whole deal was fun and a lil something different to do, ya know?  However, my go-to hobby is drunk window shopping/posing with things. So we headed back to the store for just that.
and hey Colleen! Thanks for the pic!

And here is my arrangement slowly dying on my dining room table...

To my untrained eye, it didn't look too bad the next day. Which is more than I can say for myself.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Lost My Poor Meeeatballll When Somebody Sneezed

Our favorite babe turned two months this week. Our second photo shoot didn't go as well as last month's since we've been battling a little tiny nose congestion this week as well as some general fussiness. But he pulled through for his insane mama and her baby-in-costume lovin' blog-friends.  Gabe decided this month to tip his hat to a famous Italian celebrated in October, Christopher Columbus. While he kinda wanted to go Italian with a blowout and Ed Hardy t-shirt, he realized his abs weren't quite up to par with The Situation. So he went with his next favorite Italian, Chef Boyardee. 

(Seriously, how and why do I come up with these things???)

And some adorable outtakes...

how the majority of the shots turned out...

 baby in a pot!

 al dente...perfect
Maaa, where's the gravy?!?

and we couldn't have gone so authentically italian without the help of our italia princess Adrienne...

So anyway Gabe, at two months...

- You have found your feet! You first noticed them while sitting in your bumbo seat and now have a slight curiosity about them.

- You are full of coos and gummy smiles and we're convinced you're going to be talking any minute now.  Afterall, your nickname since birth has been Super Advanced Baby!

- You have now stretched out of all of your newbie clothes and are officially in 0-3 month duds. My main man is gettin tall!

- You highly enjoy sucking a variety of fingers but most often it's your middle and ring finger shoved in your mouth so it looks like you're flashing us the "metal" sign all the time. If you start carrying a chain wallet and get tattoo sleeves, we're gonna have to have a talk. 

- You dig bathtime but not so much tummy time. We're not worried're neck strength is pretty amazing.

- You give the term "bright eyed and bushy-tailed" a whole new meaning.  Everywhere we go people comment about how alert you are and how you are just taking everything in.

- You have no schedule to speak of.  You wake me bout twice a night then once we're up for good, we lounge around and nurse whenever you feel like it. Works for me.

- You try and go see your Gigi and Nanny (your great-grandmom) at least once a week and they love it. They dote on you and show you off to any and everyone they see. 

- You have a few nicknames now but Little Buddy is our fave.  I also started calling you Pookie Bear after I heard it on a Wendy's commercial and it got stuck in my head. That morphed into Buddy Bear as well. Sorry pal, they'll probably last til you're at least 25.

- You've perfected your pout. It's both pathetic and adorable at the same time.

- Everyone always says to enjoy this time because it goes so I am. I spend as much time a day as I please staring at your little hands, tickling and raspberring your belly, squeezing you incessantly and babbling nonsense to you all day long.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's a Cake, Not a Turkey Club

However, it does involve a lot of mayonnaise. In fact, it's called a World War II Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake and the recipe stems from the rationing of eggs, butter and shortening during the war. Ladies made do without yet still got their choco cake fix. And here's how they did it. They took ingredients that I happened to have sitting in my cabinet like these...

and these for the frosting...
and did the following:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and put the rack in the center
2. Grease and flour a 9" square baking pan
3. Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda together in a big bowl
4. Stir the mayo, sugar and vanilla together in a seperate bowl until smooth. Add water and stir until combined. Whisk in the flour mixture until incorporated.
5. Pour batter in pan and bake 30 to 35 mins (do the toothpick trick to test) then cool in the pan for 45 mins.

Now let's make some frosting!

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat
2. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil
3. Continue boiling until mixture thickens, about 2 mins
4. Turn off the heat & stir in the milk
5. Return to a boil then remove the pan from heat to cool, about 30 mins

6. Stir in the confectioners' sugar
7. Stir until smooth then ice your cake
Eat it!
This was, admittedly, the first cake I've ever made from scratch and it made me feel super house-wifey. And it turned out pretty damn good too and I'm not even the biggest chocolate fan. What did it for me was the frosting and it's toffee-ness. Paula Deen once said something about something being so good you'd want to slap your mama. This frosting would qualify. Slap-tastic.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Baby, Punkins and Baby Punkins

So apparently my kid doesn't have control over his own spine yet. Who knew. He was unable to sit up and pose with the giant prize-winning pumpkins or make funny gestures with the gourds. He was too young for the corn maze and had no interest in the hay bales.  We loaded up the diaper bag anyway and headed to the pumpkin patch this weekend. This was for photo ops obviously. We didn't even leave with a full size pumpkin, just a couple of baby ones. We were too tired from trying to get him in and out of the sling and posed to bother with searching for the perfect pumpkin. Did I mention it was sunny as all getout and my poor boy's shades kept slipping down his face? And there were 40 mph winds?  Well, he wasn't a fan. So, because I'm crazy and a glutton for punishment, I'll probably sneak him off there again this week for Round 2.

Did I dress like a farmer on purpose? Of course

 It seems he was starting to turn on me towards the end. I think that may be his first sneer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is That a Gourd or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

So it's no secret that this girl appreciates a nicely set table. Whether it's Mother's Day, Halloween or Christmas, how my table looks always outweighs how good the food is. Good for me, bad for my guests.  My love for them rivals only Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade fame or the king (queen) of tablescapes and everything beautiful DIY himself, Eddie Ross. I mean, c'mon, look at this thing...


The colors are just freaking gorgeous and remind me of a certain sassy blogger's recent wedding. I adore the tablecloth and the painted goldilocks punkins. It allllmost makes me want to host a Thanksgiving dinner. And when I say almost, I really mean I never, ever, ever will. Perks of huge Irish Catholic family # 56 There's always someone else to host holiday dinners.

Anyway, imagine my craft-and-gay-guy-lovin' delight when I saw who was coming to my neck of the woods.  Terrain at Styer's Nursery is literally around the corner from my house and is hosting Eddie himself. Tonight! And I'm going! And there's gonna be booze! And a certain sassy blogger is coming with me! Are you jealous? I'd say so. 
We're gonna sip on wine and hit up the crudite and marvel at all of Eddie's punkin and gourd expertise. And make stuff too, we're definitely doing that. Wine + crafty projects + the presence of oversized gourds + sass = the best Thursday night ever.


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