Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out, I've got something I can laugh about.

What do you do when the Baby is over his pink eye, yet can't go to school? Go to Disneyland of course. I went to get some of those Disney-doki purses for gifts for friends, turns out they PULLED THEM ALL due to being sued over copyright infringement. You don't say? Did I call it or what??



Lisa at Peppers and Pollywogs was kind enough to seek me out and ask for an interview about all the kids parties I've planned. Peppers and Pollywogs interview, here.


The Baby and I bought sourdough bread at DCA. This thing smells so good.
Man if the Kid finds out we went to Disneyland without him...



Since I am a total font whore, this game amuses me. (Via my buddy mipmup, who I am glad is back on the blogging scene.)



Hey, I am a snob about coffee too, but Harvey can suck it.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

DEEZ NUTZ

The Kid is over his pink eye. Yay! The Baby now has pink eye. Kill me.

So the other day Pink Eye the Kid came running up to me, frantic. He yelled, "MOMMY. They're after me, they're after me!" I was really worried, "Who's after you?" I said. The Kid said, "The squirrels, they think I'm nuts!" Good lord. I don't know who taught him that joke but it was very convincing. Now I just need to get him some props so he can be the next Carrot Top.

And so, nut-related, and in keeping up with me cleaning out the pantry, I have a nutty recipe. I bought pistachios at Whole Foods, and in a rush I didn't realize that they were UNSALTED. I do not like to snack on unsalted things. Give me a salt lick. Anyway, so I had this bag sitting in the cupboard and thought, what can I do with this besides bake? I thought maybe it would make a great crust on some salmon. So added a bit of this and that, and I gotta say, it's pretty darn good. If you like pistachios of course.

This went really well with my Ricotta Pasta recipe. It also looked swell served on a squirrel plate, yet another Fish's Eddy find. Just don't let the squirrels get ya.

Recipe for Pistachio Crusted Salmon and Creamy Ricotta Pasta.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

You're so beautiful, you could be an air hostess in the sixties

This weekend was blazin' hot in the southland. I was baking, literally and figuratively. I do most of my baking before 8am on Saturdays It'is the best time, when the sun is on the weak side and the kids are occupied. I made some strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting, not that crappy fake strawberry 'tasting' stuff - but a nice cake with actual strawberries mixed in. Surprisingly fantastic, I'd say. I probably should have stopped there, but once I get on a roll, I can't stop. So I made some fake Hostess cupcakes, or as I call them "FAUXSTESS". They look quite cute on my Fish's Eddy Memo 'notepaper plate'. You thought it was paper, didn't you - ha fooled you suckas. Faux all around, really.

A few weeks ago I went to a meet up for indie crafters in L.A. It was amazing to see hundreds of women here in Los Angeles, all of whom do the same thing - design stationery, jewelry, art, what have you. It was amazing and intimidating. While some of the women were new to the biz, others were well established. Right now I feel right in the middle and need a compass to tell me where to go. In the midst of the chaos I met Erin from Design for Mankind. If you have never been to that site, go - it's fantastic. She has great finds an amazing taste.

And so it's nice to be able to say that I am collaborating with her in hosting a giveaway of a bunch of my stationery. If you missed the last giveaway, now's your chance for more. Sadly, my cupcakes are not a part of the giveaway, maybe next time.

Go here for the Design for Mankind, stationery giveaway.
Go here for the 'real' Strawberry Cupcakes, recipe.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Grandson: Grandpa, maybe you could come over and read it again to me tomorrow.
Grandpa: As you wish.

94 degrees in L.A. today. Insanity. Even before the kids were born I have always wanted to go to the L.A. Times Festival of Books. And every year it's a scorching nightmare. It's like they know the one weekend when heatstroke is a definite. So I've never been, but this year, we braved it. Thanks to my excellent gps brain, I avoided all the traffic going in and got extremely close parking. A must for anyone with kids.

The festival is so huge, I looked longingly at the Culinary Stage and food writing area, but alas it was ALL THE WAY ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE of the kids areas. Being a parent means sacrifice. So along with the other thousands of people, I sat and watched the Doodlebops and Johnny and the Sprites. Gotta say, those are the two kids shows I can't stand, but hey...sacrifice.
The reason why I was happy to stay in the children's area? Mo Willems. The kids and I love his books. He read his new book "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy." He's a fantastic author and treat to see on stage. In the middle of the day, the soaring temps were getting to my kids and I'm pretty sure we they were close to heatstroke. Luckily some ice cold watery lemonade saved the day. The kids ate some fairly expensive tacos - scratch that, I took out all the chicken for them and I ate the tortilla with lettuce. Did I say sacrifice? The local news came by and asked to film the kids. That happens everytime we go out, someone asks to film the kids or take pictures of them. I supposed I should be flattered, but you know me and the extreme paranoia. Weird. All in all it was a great time. The kids enjoyed themselves but were kind of sick of me forcing them to stay hydrated. While I didn't get my hands on any cookbooks, I did get to go to the comics area, which really - they need to work on, as there were only two actual comic publishers there.

My motherinlaw always complains that we are never home on the weekends to answer her phone calls, and 'why do you have to take the kids out of the house?' Hello, crazy. Anyway, I don't know why I'd want to stay indoors when this city has so much to offer. I mean, she lives in Hawaii, why would she want to stay indoors there, either? You can always find something great to do, no matter where you live. In L.A., the summer festivals are starting. This is just the beginning. Going out on the weekends means I'll be missing phone calls? That's a sacrifice I'm fine with.

More pictures, here.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Do you have powers? Do you live in a regular sized house?

I like small things. When I see tiny stuff in stores it takes all my will power not to buy it simply for the cute factor. Sometimes I give in...



1. Snack size Haagen Daaz bar
Genius. Eating one of these makes you want to eat the whole pack of 4, of course. They really ARE tiny snack size bars. So cute I just can't help lovin' them. Too bad the love only lasts two bites.



2. Travel Size Bumble and Bumble
I used to go by their salon when I went to New York, JUST to buy this shampoo, it's THAT GOOD. I switch shampoos a lot, but whenever I am 'on' this one, my hairdresser always says how amazing my hair is. Shampoo makes a difference ladies. Now Target, of all places, carries the line! Yay, Target! And in tiny size too, whee!


3. Silver dollar pancakes
My Great-Grandma used to give me a silver dollar whenever I visited her. I remember thinking what odd, large coins they were. Nowadays I don't think kids even see real old skool silver dollars. In any case, that's what they named small pancakes after, but I like to make even TINIER pancakes. Little ones, about the size of a 50 cent piece. What's a 50 cent piece? Maybe a Susan B. Anthony? Sacagawea? Who am I kidding, kids today only know credit.


4. world's smallest baking powder
I was at Whole Foods when I saw this almost squealed. I do not need this. Especially since I have several cans of baking powder already, and since this was $1.69 which was more than I paid for a real sized can. But gosh isn't it cute. Don't you just want to bundle it up in a blanket and sing it a lullaby?

There are tons more tiny things out there. I'm sure they'll make their way into my possession for no good reason.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

If I'm dead - you guys have been dead for weeks.

This Office cracked me up. I liked how the story was split in two - and both were equally as comedic. I think Mindy Kaling being the writer for this one had a lot to do with that, her shows always carry funny all the way through. Dwight. He always has the mad skillz. I think if I was trapped in my office I'd hop the fence too, or do whatever I could to claw my way out.

Am I the only one watching both Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen? I'd like to stop watching Hell's Kitchen cause those people are not chefs, they can barely cook, but I do love me some Gordon Ramsay, I should probably just stick to my tivo full of Kitchen Nightmares. Whereas Top Chef, I can watch for days. I wish that show WAS daily, I adore it so much. I love to see how they put their dishes together. I was kinda sad to see the chefsbian leave. I liked her, I thought she'd be in the finals, actually. Meanwhile, Padma, first Indian supermodel ever, is so skinny it makes me feel like binging and purging.

And speaking of eating, today I ate my weight in food. Rarely do I get three meals a day, I just don't have the time. Usually I just have time for one - but today, my deadline's done, the kids were healthy (for once) and in school, and I had nothing but time. Time to eat. Chilaquiles for breakfast. Flautas for lunch. Pasta and salmon for dinner. Which brings me to the question, cheesy baby or fat burrito? It doesn't really. I just wanted to show you that link. It's no wonder I don't eat like this every day. I'll never be an Indian supermodel.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's never changing, can't you hear me, I'm saying - I want you for the rest of my life

Let me ask you a question, what is your go to food? Like, what is your comfort food that you LOVE to eat? Me – I always go for taquitos with fresh guacamole. I’m fairly sure I’d want that to be my last meal.

My kids, like most kids, love mac n’ cheese. Sometimes I do indulge them by buying that horrible 99 cent boxed stuff, but you know I hate that. Mac n’ cheese can get pretty old too, at least for me, who has to eat it as well. So I came up with a more ‘adult’ version, that the kids seem to like just as much. When it comes down to it, there’s cheese. There’s pasta. What more could you want.

I use small pasta shells and ricotta cheese to make a nice creamy sauce. It’s simple and quick, cause you know, time is not my friend.

You know what would go good with this pasta? Rolls. Especially RICK ROLLS*. However I do love me some Spock Matza, too.

Creamy Ricotta Pasta, recipe.

*Thanks for sending this to me Darlene. You are truly a good friend.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It’s understanding that makes it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself.

Things I don't understand, #1:
How Disney can be all up in anyone's grill who goes near their copyright infringement, yet they put out a Disney version of Tokidoki, and that's ok? Sure, they are half the price of real Tokidoki's and only available at Disneyland, but....Whatever. I bought three of them. Shut up.

Things I don't understand, #2:
We all have those friends. The ones that are dating total losers, and everyone else can see it but them. What is with these girls? My sisinlaw is in that club. You know the one, "Smart women, bad relationships." I'm sure that was a Maury show at one time or another.

Things I don't understand, #3:
Why is it, that when O.G. comes over she always has a bag of junk with her. Old magazines, stained tupperware, 1/2 a danish. Where does this junk go? Cause when she leaves my house? She is always empty handed.

Things I don't understand, #4:
How my boss can work us all into the ground, and NOT recognize that it's Admin Assistant Week. He does this every year. And every year I am the only one to bring it up, and give them all something. My life would be hell without them. It's hell already, but it'd be even more hellish if I had to type and copy my own junk. This year? I'm making cookies.
Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Yes, in my pantry I had cranberries. Oatmeal. And chocolate chunks. Why do you ask?

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
recipe.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Pretty in Pink

So as if a fork through my finger wasn't bad enough. Then the Kid's surgery last week, which did not go so well - in case you were wondering. No, the Russian Roulette of health woes constantly delivers me the bullet. Yep. The Kid woke up with Pink Eye. Of course this is the week that I am on a huge deadline that requires tons of overtime and I would look like a dick if I left, while the rest of the team that *I* manage, stayed. Isn't that always the way.

He doesn't have just regular old Pink Eye either, he has to have the raging oozing, gooey case. ~insert vomiting here~ Forget Pink Eye, I have a bad feeling that my boss is going to give me black eyes for missing even more work. So I tried to quickly think up scenarios on how to handle this situation:

1. Put a pirate patch on him and send him off to school anyway. Who'd know? 'He just likes to dress up. No. Seriously. No don't take that eye patch off...damn.'

2. Make a small bed for him under my desk at work a la George Costanza. I could just throw crackers to him now and again and my boss wouldn't be the wiser. Though he might wonder why there's a full Thomas Train station under my feet.

3. Leave him home by himself. I bet he's capable. Even though he's just four years old, in the mornings he goes and gets the Baby from his crib, gets him yogurt for breakfast - complete with spoon as well as cereal. Then he cleans up all the dishes. How fantastic is that? He's like a mini-maid! When I jokingly wondered aloud that this was the way to go, he said, "Mommy. The policeman will come and take you away if you leave me alone." Point taken, Kid.

So the Kid is on no less than FOUR medications for his various illnesses. This one killed me:
How disgusting does this sound?? Come on, man. The Kid has enough to deal with, now he has to chug down some salmon cherry juice? We just can't catch a break around here.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fiesta. Forever.

A ton of tortillas fell into my brother's possession (don't ask), so this weekend we had Taco Night at the O to the G's. We had Tacos, chips and guac, horchata, all good. You can always tell who is the pop culture 'it' person of the day, because their picture is cut out of the paper and tacked onto O.G.'s fridge. When we were there it was David Archuleta of American Idol fame...WHAT THE.

O.G. said: "If that Davey Archuleta gets voted off, I'm NEVER watching again...EVER!" Harsh words, old lady. I'd be more inclined to believe her if she hadn't said the same thing when Clay Aiken lost. Apparently Ruben Studdard losing was "fixed" and "a conspiracy." Apparently she can't get over it, 5 years later.

I don't watch as religiously as she does, so I don't know the contestants names. I only know them at Big Head, the Rastafarian, that girl who sings bad, and that girl who looks like the girl that sings bad. I should probably stick to MILF Island.

I had been making her vegan recipes with no such luck, so I went the other direction and made her the most anti-vegan thing possible. Garlic Bacon Dip. I saw a teeny tiny tub of Bacon Dip at Whole Foods for $5 and I figured I could make the damn thing myself if I tried. How hard could it be. It must have been successful, cause she did NOT stop eating it.

While we were eating tacos she also busted out the newest Vogue, to show me sexy pictures of Apolo Anton Ohno (who also had a prominent place on the fridge at one time). Yeesh. I'm trying to eat here, lady.

Garlic Bacon Dip recipe, here.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

When I get frustrated, or irritated or... angry, I come up here and I just smell all my candles and it just -poof- goes away.

This deadline is going to kill me. Yesterday I worked an 11 hour day AND I have to go back in tomorrow, on a Sunday! I am not happy. However, I did find time to make Burger Bites this week.


When I am stressed, I bake. You have no idea how many recipes I have to post. sigh.
Recipe for Burger Bites, here.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hello Oscar. Mayer. Weiner lover.

Ok, did anyone else crap themselves when Jim got down and one knee? Man they are too good at making that relationship seem very real. Also, I have a verrrrry bad feeling about Jim+the engagement ring. But then again, maybe I am just letting the BBC version influence me.

It was nice to see the Office, well, back in the office. When we visited the set we saw their 'parking lot' and Business Park street. It was your typical industrial street in the Valley, really just non-descript. It's these episodes in the office environment that crack me up the most. I think because they are so relateable. I used to have to walk 5 blocks to work - and in Los Angeles? Let's just say you don't want to do that. Let's also say that my friend got stabbed walking those same 5 blocks, but you know, who's counting.

Speaking of the office environment, I brought cupcakes to work today. The Kid's teacher gave me some lemons so I made her a batch and took the extras to my office.
I made some lemon cupcakes, but I am not a fan of tons of frosting, so I decided to cut the tops off, cut out a cute little heart in the center. Then I made some lemon icing, tinted it pink (to show through the heart cutout) and frosted the underside - then put the top back on. (Sort of like those cookies with the jam.) Anyway, it added up to just the right amount of frosting to cupcake ratio if you ask me. And all very lemon-y, my fave.

They MUST have been good because they were gone in an instant. All the girls in my office are on a diet and these girls range in size from a size 2 to a size 4. (Sadly, I'm not joking.) So you know, they could totally fit in an average size rowboat without capsizing.

Go here for the Pink Lemon Cupcakes recipe.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Speed? I am speed.

One reason I'm glad I don't have girls - American Girl dolls. They seem like a total rip. I mean, I had a Cabbage Patch, so I knows me some accessorizin', but come on. I just don't get it. My boys, they love, well, boy stuff, but I am lucky in that they don't desperately ask for it. I can get in and out of a toy store without a tantrum. (I've just cursed myself.)

One thing they do love is Cars. It's a great Pixar movie, however I do cringe everytime I hear Owen Wilson's voice. Ugh. He is haunting me. The Petersen Museum here in the ever fabulous Fairfax district is having a special "The Art of Cars" exhibit. We all know what this means. The place is packed with toddler boys. And rightly so, who wouldn't want to see a lifesize Lightning McQueen and Mater?

The art is spectacular because as usual, Disney went to great lengths to study cars, scenery, etc. Not that I could look at any of it, because "MOMMYLIGHTNINGMCQUEENANDMATEROVERTHERE!" Ugh. I need to go back when I can actually look at the art in peace.
The Petersen has the cars from Batman, Speed Racer, and a really cool exhibit on Hot Wheels which the kids enjoyed. I'd love to curve tracks with cars like that, in their bedroom. There is also a third floor that a lot of people don't know about, where your kids can play play play.

The Petersen is a great place, even if you aren't a car lover. There are so many great exhibits. I must warn you, when you first walk in the door there is truck by famous tattoo artist Mister Cartoon. It's a gorgeous piece, with candy all over the ground. GREAT for attracting kids. Of the course the kids are like, "MOMMY!! An ice cream truck...and candy!" Then you get closer and take a look at the art on the truck and you're all, "Uh...yeah kids...let's, let's go find Lighting and Mater...yeah."More pictures, here.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G, we're shopping.

I've had time to purchase a few things. Some good. Some...well.



Cereal bowl with straw - $1.29
I rarely go to a supermarket. I buy most of my groceries at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. But when I went to one recently, I saw these in the cereal aisle and laughed out loud. A straw. In a bowl. Dah! I realize it's not helping my kid's table manners, but think of the possibilities, they can drink the milk with their cereal (I find that gross, but what do I know), they can drink soup without dribbles? Unconvinced, huh? Oh well. It was $1.29 - what can I say.



A&W Root Beer Float in a bottle $6.79 (four pack)
I LOVE root beer. More than I love my own children, even. So when I saw this root beer float in a bottle, I jumped at the chance, even though I dislike the melty part of the root beer float (this post is revealing all my weird food issues) but how could it be bad, HOW?? Er. I took one swig and actually puked in the sink. I swear. It was the worst thing I've ever tasted. I thought it'd be more like a cream soda I guess, I dunno. Maybe it was the fact that I paid $6.79 for it that didn't sit well. I gave one to Jodi and said, "You have to try this, IT'S DISGUSTING!!"



Simple Human Automatic Soap Dispenser - $39.99
I am a germaphobe and the kids and I wash our hands all the live long day. This automatic soap dispenser is TOTALLY worth the money. It's not just laziness, I like that I don't have to touch anything. Especially after wiping butts in the bathroom, or touching raw chicken in the kitchen. Fan-freakin-tastic.



Boogie Wipes - $3.99
The Baby has a horrible runny nose, constantly. I don't know what his prob is, but you know that gross kid with the boogers that you don't want to touch you? He is now that kid. But the constant wiping of the nose with tissue is causing his face to turn red, raw even. His poor little baby skin! I read about these 'Boogie Wipes' invented by moms, that are soft wet saline wipes that get mucous out easily. Couldn't you just use a tissue? Sure. But it's rough. Couldn't you just use a diaper wipe? Yeah, but they are for butts. Couldn't you use your sleeve - er, go ahead you sick bastard. These things are no lie, they are GREAT. They are compact and soft and aw the cute packaging. They easily pull out everything in his nose and now I have a clean child. Well. At least his nose is. The rest of him is pretty much Pigpen from Peanuts.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Gareth: "I once told him I don't like jelly. I don't trust the way it moves."

O.G. has decided that I need to "make her more VAYGUN (vegan) food." With a side of steak, I'm sure. I told her, "I keep telling you, there is no meat or dairy in that cooking, get it?" To where she always replies: "WHHHAAA???"

O.G.'s got her four basic food groups: Beef. Dairy. Butter. More Beef. So I got the I'm-too-cool-and popular-for you- cookbook Veganomicon, in hopes that I could find something for her. It's like she's challenging me NOT to use her favorite ingredients, it's like reverse Iron Chef. "Iron Chef: I'm in Hell." Needless to say, there will be no tofu meatloaf or junk like that, I'm never going to pull anything over on her with that.

There is waaayyy too much spelt and tempeh and crap, in the book, if you ask me. So of course, I headed to the easy part, baking. There is a terrific recipe for 'Jelly Donut Cupcakes' in there. Think of a cake donut with a bit of jelly inside. Not bad. Still, I think in the future I'm going to make my own non-vegan version, I'm almost sure I can make these even better.
The beauty of these things is that the jelly sinks right into the cupcake. No hard work necessary. They were quite tasty, simple and BEAUTIFUL. A nice recipe to have in case you don't have eggs or butter on hand, anyway. So I make these for her, then she goes and tells me, "I don't like jelly filled things. Try something else." Nice.

Go here for the Vegan Jelly Donut Cupcakes, recipe.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

and the winner is...

Oh crap. SDCC is not sold out as I had previously thought. Now I am going to have to get myself a Free Hugs t-shirt and meet my stalkers. Yikes.

Seriously - I'm shocked at the response really. 100+ comments, wow! Who doesn't like free stuff, right? I like getting comments because then I know what people want, and recipes seem to be winning the race. I have PLENTY to post, so stay tuned.

If this weekend was any indication of the upcoming week, I'm in big trouble. I ended up in the ER (yes, again, dammit). Remember that fork that went through my finger 2 weeks ago? Yeah. Now it's infected. Great. And the lovely tetanus shot and antibiotics seem to be keeping me in a permanent state of nausea.

Not only that I have a HUGE deadline this week, and seeing as how I am responsible for a team of four people, I do not want them to work late - including myself. I certainly don't want to be labeled as the a-hole who left them to fend for themselves. I already feel bad that I have to leave early to pick up the kids everyday. Guilt is a b*tch.

And smack in the middle of all of this? The Kid's surgery. So yeah, we'll see if I survive this week. However, there's always time for...

THE WORLD'S BIGGEST DONUT. I told the kids I'd take them to the world's biggest donut, and when we got there they were like, WHAT. It's fake. Ok. So you can't eat it, it's still fun, right? Maybe not. But there were real donuts involved.
Randy's Donuts is an L.A. institution, immortalized on film, tv, videos, and I've been told, has the world's best tasting donuts. They were good, don't get me wrong. Not oily, nice glaze to dough ratio. But world's best? Huh. I still prefer my mini ones, what can I say.

And now what you've been waiting for - the winner of the big box o' stuff! Click HERE to see the winner...congrats - email me! And thanks for reading, seriously, I am constantly surprised that people find the world's biggest donut interesting. Or not. If you don't, don't hate mail me because I've had a rough week. But now I'm wondering, if I do die at the end of the week, does this mean my last memory will be of a giant donut? Blergh.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Don't take candy from strangers.

Ok - here goes. I have some really exciting stuff planned for justJENN designs this year - one thing on my schedule is having a table at the San Diego Comic Con this July. While I rarely say where I will be beforehand, I am telling you this because it is sold out and therefore you won't be able to get in and stalk me anyway.

Also I have a bunch of new things coming out - hot off the press, my new cupcake cards! They are a play on the Rene Magritte painting - his: "This is not a pipe," in this case, 'this is not a cupcake.' Mmm. I should have made it flavored like Willy Wonka wallpaper. So what does this mean for you? Well, some people come by here for recipes, pictures of party food or to mock my broken foot. Whatever you come for, I appreciate it. So I am giving away a TON of stationery, fun cooking stuff, just gifts galore. These new cupcake cards are just the tip of the iceberg. You will receive a big ol' box of goodies. Do those goodies include candy? Of course, cause really - why give something away if candy is not involved?

Just a leave a comment on this post. Tell me where you are from. Tell me why you stop by. Tell me what you had for breakfast. Tell me why you jumped out from behind that bush and looked at me with the 'crazy eyes'.

Actually, don't. I'm starting to freak myself out now. Even if I know you, or you've never commented before - even if I drive you to bars, I wanna hear from you. This giveaway is a celebration of things to come for my designs and an appreciation for everyone who comes by this blog to see what's going on...or maybe you just love Rick Astley art. Either way, thanks.

And you can always buy the new cards too. You know. Just sayin'. You have from now til Sunday night.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sometimes, I will just stand here...and watch television for HOURS.

So...what'd you do tonight? Thursday nights are back and...blergh.

I am used to the Office giving me that cringe-tastic feeling but this episode was just kind of...ew. I'm sure the show will get back in my good graces over the next few weeks. I will say, I watched it twice (I know) and it was better the second time.

As far as 30 Rock, while I'm glad it's back I have to say this:

1. What is up with Liz Lemon and the boobage? As it is there is too much competitive boobage on the Food Network, I really don't need more of it on Thursday nights.

2. HDTV is not always a good thing. WOW. You could see every nook and cranny in their faces. Jim on the Office looked terrible and Tina Fey's scar should have gotten a cameo credit. I am not a fan of HDTV, some things are better left...unseen.

What I really want to know is...what's the Office spin off show going to be about?

Well, that was my first Thursday night recap in months, and I don't know about you, but it left me feeling empty and disappointed. However, maybe it's just this free iced coffee from McDonald's. Hard to say.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Do the dew.

What would you do if a pregnant chick called you up on a weeknight and said, "Drive me to a bar." Well, it'd depend on the pregnant chick. Not to drink of course, but to have fun and meet up with lots of cool people we know.



Recently, I talked about my affinity for boat rides at D*land, cause I can get my nap on. If you haven't heard, they are revamping It's a Small World. Changing out some scenes, adding well known animated characters. I happen to be one of those in the 'oh no they di'int' camp, because I think it's wrong to mess with the original intent of world peace and the characters created by one of my favorite artists, Mary Blair. That being said, the other part of the redo is because...AMERICA HAS A FAT ASS. The boats can't handle the load. 'We'll need a bigger boat', indeed.



You know how I am about showing my face on the internet. Stalkers can shove it. Now I can just buy these and it's all good.



I have been getting migraines every few days. Instead of eating Excedrin for dinner as I have been, I was told that I should "Drink a Mountain Dew as fast as you can." Good lord. This can only mean good things for my future in extreme sports.



Something weird is going on. Recently my inbox is FILLED with emails from strangers. It's like y'all decided to come out of the woodwork at once. I really appreciate it, I do, and I have recently started to check my stats on the regular because of this. Lo and behold, the number of readers on this here blog has doubled over the past year. (and I had a lot to begin with.) Yikes. 'Course we all know why you stop by, in case I decide to give away free stuff. And therefore, yes, you will be rewarded. You have two days to get your courage up, lurkers (and regulars). There will be a giveaway at the end of the week.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Who's to say, what's impossible,
well they forgot, this world keeps spinning

It's no surprise that I design cards with sweets on them, (New cupcake cards arriving this week, btw!) I bake A LOT. Sometimes people ask me to make them things, and I do so without a second thought. I love to cook/bake, and it's my pleasure if it will make someone happy.

One time a co-worker of mine asked me to make her a pineapple upside down cake. It's a simple old skool dessert, one that's really hard to screw up. Apparently she liked it, because EIGHT YEARS LATER, she emailed me and said, 'Remember when you made me that cake? It was so good! I need the recipe!' Ok, that's just weird.
By a strange coincidence I was going back to that old job this week to visit, so I thought, what the hell, I'd make her that cake that she's been dying for all these years. Only this time I put a twist on it, I made them into cupcakes. As well all know, cupcakes are all the rage right now.

They came out really good, pretty fantastic in fact. I don't know why I didn't think of doing it before. It makes perfect sense, little individual rings of pineapple, bite sized cakies. A nice size.
(This one's a little shorty.) They're a bit different than your average frosted cupcake, but a nice change of pace. The kids ADORED it, which kind of surprised me, but then again, they love fruit. My co-worker? Pleased as punch. Apparently, now I am in the instant gratification sweets biz. Taking orders now, what would you like?

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes recipe, here.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Because you’re so sweet, you lift up my heart
and I’ll fall back again

Someone asked me what I did this weekend. "I baked stuff," I replied. Then I realized...that was a bit of an understatement. Here's a list of what I made this weekend:

Peach muffins

Craisin muffins (the Kid helped with these)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise cookies
Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Yeah, that's...a lot. All were made for other people (except the muffins), so it's not like I just sat on my couch and ate everything all at once, although that'd be hilarious. Where do I begin? Let's start...in the middle.

I had a few birthdays this week, and I always like to bake - it's a more personal gift and (here's to hoping) people like that you took the time. I had this Peanut Butter and Co cookbook for some time. It's a shop in New York that specializes in peanut butter and sells, well, peanut butter sandwiches. Too cute. You'd think that a specialty cookbook would have good recipes. While I hate to follow recipes, I followed their Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie one word for word, and they did not turn out good at all. They were edible, just not to my satisfaction and certainly not pretty enough for gifts.So I went to my tried and true recipe, my fall back that has never let me down. Martha Stewart's Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise cookies. These are a bit of work, but worth it. They are pretty sweet too, so a tall glass of milk is definitely in order to handle these babies. They come out a gorgeous dark brown and hold up well - which is always helpful since I mail a lot of baked goods.Thanks Martha. While you let me down with cupcake week, you've always been there for me with the cookies. Rock on, sister.

Go here for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies, recipe.
The rest of the recipes to come. If you care.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Oh toodles!

Of course we went to Disneyland on Friday, where else would we go? The funny thing is, we saw other kids from the school - since it was closed and all. Taking two kids anywhere by yourself is a daunting task, but the Happiest Place on Earth is a big feat. Luckily they are a little bit older, and since we go so often, it's like our second home. (If you ever want to know the ins and outs of the cleanest bathrooms, tastiest food and cheapest souvenirs, just ask me. I could write a book.)Since we go to Disneyland so often - every other week or so - the way I keep my sanity is to keep our visits to 5 hours or less. This includes drive time to and from the park. My kids are trained to get in and get out and avoid the crowds. Seeing as how tourist season is kicking up, that means only 3 or 4 rides, and lunch. It also means we get home for an afternoon nap in our own beds, and I can cook a healthy dinner.

As I've stated, I'm not happy with my kids eating out, but sometimes you gotta go what you gotta do. It's not just the quality of the food, but the insane prices too. Luckily I get a discount in all restaurants and stores. Also, these new kid's meals boxes made the fast food go down a little easier. They got me really excited cause if you know me, I love simply, clean line art like this. I thought the new interpretations of the characters were adorable, and I thought it was sweet they way they showcased the different rides.Even though we are only there for half a day, I still get worn out. But here's how I cope - I love boat rides. Why? Cause I sleep. Honest - once we are filed into our little sea crafts, I have my arms around the kids, but I pass out like nothin'. It's the rocking motion I guess. Even though it's only 10 minutes (take note, boat rides are the longest, people!) it's the best cat nap in the whole world. Then you can get out and be refreshed for the rest of your day. Pirates of the Carribean, It's a Small World, those are my FAVORITE rides. Not that I ever see them. zzz...

I found this list of the ride lengths of all the Disney World rides. I plan to use the lengths of similar rides at Disneyland to see if I can get maximum nappage next time we go. Oh if only they had "Backlot Tour" here. 35 minutes? Dang, that is a nice nap.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

I want the world. I want the whole world. I want to lock it all up in my pocket. It's my bar of chocolate. Give it to me now.

There are a few places that I always stop at while I am in New York. One of them is Vosges Chocolates. Admittedly it's mostly because it's right down the street from the Kate Spade flagship store. ~ahem~

Artisan chocolate isn't for everyone, but I like to go in and see what new concoctions they've come up with. The caramels are fantastic. All the chocolates are - you can tell they really put care and love into their flavors.I have a soft spot for cocoa nibs and chicory coffee, but the rest of their exotic chocolate bars really are...exotic. Ginger wasabi chocolate. Curry coconut chocolate. The kalamata olives and chocolate is a bit of a stomach turner for me. But if the name Vosges is foreign to you, here's what they are most famous for: The Mo's Bacon Bar. Everyone's heard of it. Bacon+chocolate. Oddly enough the olive chocolate bar sounds more disgusting to me. Anyway - I will tell you, it is in the hizzouse. Sitting on my kitchen counter...
Chicory coffee. Bacon. Seems like I just need a Cadbury Egg and my breakfast is set.
Ew.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Fast food nation

My kids don't eat fast food. It's only because *I* don't eat fast food. It grosses me out. Plus, as Anthony Bourdain once pointed out, fast food doesn't have to consist of pre-packaged patties and a drive through, there are plenty of places in L.A. where I can get 'fast food' consisting of a bowl of noodles, a homemade taco, or some kabobs, all of which are made just as fast and are way healthier.

Not only that, when you get pregnant you realize that everything you eat in turn affects the baby's spine, eyes, brain, therefore why wouldn't you want them to eat things that are healthy...forever? Not just them but you too?

That being said I do take the kids to have fast food once in a great while. (Like every six months. Or if they have a baby sitter and I'm not around. Sneaky bastards.) The last time we went the Kid said, "Wow, I am a lucky boy to get fast food." Damn that made me sad, til I realized they mostly just like the toy and can care less about the food. When they do get a happy meal they get the apples instead of the fries (their choice) and milk (again, their choice, my kids don't drink soda). So really the only thing 'bad' thing, per se, is the deep fried chicken nuggets. I realize this is totally calling the kettle black as I am the queen of loving fried foods.
When it comes down to it the boys really just like dipping things. (See: The Baby dipping his apples in ketchup. >ew<) So while continuing to cleaning out my pantry, I got the rest of the boneless chicken breasts out of the freezer, the last of the breadcrumbs, and my very last egg before having to go to the market.

I made the boys homemade chicken fingers, baked in the oven. I also baked some awesome organic fries from Whole Foods, (I could devote a whole post to how tasty those things are) and sliced up a few apples. And while there was no toy, there were apples dipped in ketchup.

Go here for the Oven Baked Chicken Fingers recipe.

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