Cinnamoroll is Not a Bunny.

2

April 23, 2014

I'm just gonna launch into all caps mode.....

IT'S A POUTY LITTLE BABY DOLL!! DRESSED UP AS CINNAMOROLL!!!! (that's a little Hello Kitty character. I'm totally going to let it slide that I had to explain that to you non-Hello Kitty'ers out there. we're still pals!)

Doesn't this cutie look like a cute little bunny? I thought Cinnamoroll was a bunny for the longest time. BUT CINNAMOROLL IS ACTUALLY A PUPPY. And a boy. Except this is a little girl baby with a blue bob.

Got all that?

Cinnamoroll = Not a Bunny.

Cinnamoroll = A Puppy. Who is not a girl.

Baby Cinnamoroll = a girl. Who is a puppy, and not a bunny.

And, anyhoo.....somehow the Sanrio fairies are friends with the Easter Bunny and this tiny piece o' adora-fab wound up in Julia's Easter basket. If you are hankering for a Baby Cinnamoroll also, well guess what. The special special price of $19 that the Easter Bunny paid is not there anymore. Sorry!

What's that, you say? You want a baby My Melody that comes with pink hair? Alright. Here she is. Also not at the special special $19 price, but what can you do? I don't switch these prices around and neither does the Easter Bunny. Blame Sanrio.

Actually, let's NOT blame Sanrio. For anything. Because there is such a thing as Hello Kitty springtime hot cocoa mix, and that too found its way into Julia's Easter basket. You know what happens when the Easter Bunny is a slacker and finds all the goodies the day before Easter??

Everything is on sale.

We ate orange rolls from the grocery store. They are very very bad for you, I think. Please admire my Anthropologie-and-West-Elm-bowls. Long long ago, like two or three years ago, I was having a Let's Celebrate Myself day and I got a couple of red heart bowls from Anthro. My idea of living large is buying a bowl from Anthro every few years. My other idea of living large is to go shopping with my mother once in awhile, and sneak tiny condiment bowls into her shopping pile.

We put glitter on our eggs this year and they looked better in person than they do in this photo. In person they looked like fairy eggs! I am sad that their dainty charm did not translate well into my picture.

These cookies are ever so nice! Julia didn't understand why they disappeared so quickly.

The Easter Bunny did not bring this 'Usborne Girls' Activity Book'. It's been sitting in my laundry room cabinet since Christmas, and Julia kept asking, 'when can I have that pink book thing that's up there??' (i'm not a very good hider!! hey, at least this was up in a cabinet. Andrew will happily tell you that most of the time, I forget stuff and just leave it sitting out. then Julia wanders by and is like, what's this? I've been deemed the Worst Hider Ever.)

But back to the book. I don't know why people feel the need to label things thusly. Everyone can enjoy pink! And fun puzzles and games and activities!

And that there was our Easter. All you really need to take away from this post is that Cinnamoroll is NOT A BUNNY.




Please Tell Me You Are Reading the Oz Books???

7

April 21, 2014

So....I know my great pal Danzel is reading the Oz books, because she is the queen of Oz, but how about the rest of yooooooooooo?

Because I worry. Please picture me, at home, worrying about which books you all are reading. Because that's what I'm doing. Worrying and having fits of anxiety that certain books are out there, not being read. Like Beatrix Potter. Because we take these books for granted, maybe, and just figure, oh meh. How good can the Oz books be? They can't be HARRY POTTER good!

And here's me, freaking out, and worrying, which isn't good for my health. So let's read these books, and I can end this blog post and we can all go along our merry way.

Maybe I'll talk just a little bit more and try to rise above my Lazy Blogger status.

I brought up Harry P. because here's the thing. Harry P. is great and wondrous. But after Book 3, there is a steep increase in dark tone, age level appropriate-ness, and story complexity. In my humble opinion, just because you might have a 2nd grader who CAN read all the Harry P. books, doesn't mean that they SHOULD be reading them. In our house, Julia and her daddy have read the first 2 books. They'll probably read Book 3 at some point this year, after we get off our Oz kick.

But then....we'll wait. Until she's older and can read the older, larger books on her own.

And what does this all have to with the Oz books? Here's what's great about the Oz books: you have AN ENTIRE SERIES that stays at the same level. There are FOURTEEN Oz books, that one can happily plow through, and you never have to worry about your kiddo suddenly wandering into books that are too sophisticated or dark or scary or inappropriate for their ages (best for kids 7-10).

The picture up above is from one of my very very very favorites, 'Ozma of Oz'. Dorothy returns to Oz, makes friends with a talking chicken and a mechanical man named Tik-Tok and you can see her up there, plucking lunchboxes off a tree. In this story, she meets the true ruler of Oz, Princess Ozma, who was introduced in Oz book 2, 'The Land of Oz', which Julia ADORED. Dorothy and her friends battle the very feisty and scampy Nome King (yes it's spelled that way), who kind of reminds me of an Oz version of Yosemite Sam. (both in looks and attitude)

Does Dorothy looks a bit different to you? Aside from the first book, the rest of the series was illustrated by John R. Neill and his art is sooooooooooooooo GLORIOUS. Dorothy sports a blonde bob for the rest of the books, while Princess Ozma has flowing long black hair.  Don't get me started on POLYCHROME THE FAIRY, who has a dress made from every color of the rainbow.

And let me shout again, NOT JUST FOR GIRLS. There is a kindly Pumpkinhead man, a talking wooden saw horse, a flying Gump, (still not sure what that is), the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the Wizard (yep, he comes back!), and so many many many many more characters that are fun, FUNNY, and exciting to read about.

There are witches.

Wheelers. (creatures that scoot on wheels, kinda creepy dudes)

Glass cats.

Princesses with interchangeable heads.

A Patchwork Girl. 

I could go on and on and on, but there are soooooooooooo maaaaaaaaaaaaany fabulous and imaginative creatures within the Oz landscape.

If all you know is 'The Wizard of Oz'.....I feel sad. The other books in the series are so incredible, so interesting, so FUN (really, I keep throwing that word around, but so true....the great hallmark of L. Frank Baum's writing for me, are the fun, lighthearted and humorous tone and storylines.

Julia and Andrew are reading these together because Andrew never read the series when he was young (GASP). And they are having a grand, swell time, and have plowed through the first three books, 'The Wizard of Oz', 'The Land of Oz' and 'Ozma of Oz'.

People. Friends. FELLOW BOOK LOVERS. Please don't let your kiddo's childhood slip away without reading the Oz books. I seriously started hyperventilating earlier this year when I realized that Julia was turning 8 and still had not read the original 'Wizard of Oz'. I knew once she got started on it all, she'd be hooked.

And if you want to give these books as gifts....you gotta check out the new editions published by Books of Wonder. Incredible. Full color end papers. Beautiful hardbacks! I would slowly like to switch out my old and falling-apart paperbacks that I have for these. They are FABULOUS. (and you can also find some of them on Amazon.)

MY FAVORITE SERIES OF BOOKS FROM MY CHILDHOOD. Go. Start. Reading. Them! (P.S. here's a list of the books in order.)


~this post contains affiliate links~




Cool Stuff I Like

9

April 18, 2014

It's almost Easter!! And it's supposed to rain for the next 5 days straight. We've been lucky with our Easters, I think it hasn't actually rained on Easter since Julia was born. But I think our luck is going to run out this year, we'll see. It's supposed to be rainy most of this wkend, and it's been pouring for the past several days. BUT, it didn't rain earlier in the week when we went to go see a local tulip festival, I'll have pix for you next week. I think these tulips you see up here are called 'Roman Empire'. Uh, that's a very imposing name for a tulip!


Hey friends? HOW did I not know there were Hello Kitty Mad Libs??

Fairy Meadow?? Sign me up. (read about it here)

I need a glue gun.

Rhubarb coffee cake!

5 Natural Air Fresheners for Spring.

I read this book while sitting in a bookstore once, in one sitting.

Kiddo bedroom shoots. Totally obsessed! Want to do more of these!

Smart snack shopping.

Giant Easter Egg coloring page printable.

Awesome place. Wowza/Sigh. Reminds me of the house tours in my sadly departed Cookie magazine.

Origami Birds. Julia would love this!!


Cool Book of the Week: 'A Stick is an Excellent Thing' by Marilyn Singer and LeUyen Pham is a lovely ditty I saw on Pinterest. Doesn't it look enchanting? I love the idea that the poems celebrate universal games/activities that children play and engage in, like hopscotch and making mud pies. April is national poetry month and we should all be reading some poetry! Julia's class has been writing poems all of this month, Julia is way, WAY into it.

Have a lovely weekend! I'm making a lemon tart and getting together Eastery surprises for the girly. I'll show you next week. I have a lot to show you next week, I might have to blog everyday. GASP. Haven't done that in awhile....

~Melissa




Lemon Syrup Cake

16

April 16, 2014

So here I am, yammering on AGAIN about my 'Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook', which is just my favorite cookbook ever. Mostly because it is so pretty. SO much pretty! When I'm sad, or bored, or in need of a lift (which only a Very British Book can help me with), I flip open this book.

In the springtime, I think we should all be eating lemon-y things. So I made a lemon cake from the book last week, and in it, the recipe is called Crunchy Lemon Cake. Friends, please make this cake and tell me how to make it crunchy, because mine never comes out crunchy. It's lovely, but it's not crunchy. Maybe because I'm not using the pan that's called for?

But never mind the non-crunchiness of it. It's a wonderful, easy to make, light and fluffy little lemon cake, which Andrew says tastes like a lemon bar in cake form, and more importantly, he ATE THE CAKE and asked for more, which is a minor miracle. Because he usually hates cakes. He is a friend to all cookies, but very rarely is he a friend to cake. More like frenemies.

As I get older, I like plain-ish cakes. Tea cakes. Snack cakes. Not heavy, two layer, frosting and festooned cakes. This cake lasted exactly one day at our house, which was just the right amount of time to have it be around. It's not too big. Does anyone want a giant cake sitting around for days on end? (If my mother owned a computer and read my blog, she would be quietly raising her hand right now....)

LEMON SYRUP CAKE ~ via 'The Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook'

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg (or 2 small eggs)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest

Syrup: 
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or by hand until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat at high speed for 1 minute or vigorously by hand. Alternately add buttermilk and flour mixture in 3 additions, with mixer at low speed, or by hand. Stir in lemon zest.

Turn batter into a buttered and floured 8-inch springform pan (i used just a regular 8 inch cake tin), smoothing the top. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Before cake is done baking, combine sugar/lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat, to make a syrup. Spoon syrup evenly over cake as it comes out of the oven. Tip and rotate cake so that syrup is evenly distributed over the cake. Set cake, in the pan, on a rack to cool.

Serves 6-8.

Make yourself a lemon cake! It will make you happy. And please tell me if yours turns out crunchy.




Homelife + Project 52

22

April 14, 2014

Wow, haven't done a Homelife post in maybe over 6 months? Whazzup with that? No idea why. Homelifey types of posts are pretty much the only reason I tune into other blogs! I cleaned off my big table the other day, for seriously the first time in 6 months and my mom gave me a spring gift of a yellow orchid arrangement, and I thought, I should really do a homelife post.  ENJOY THE FABULOUSNESS....of random. :)

My other orchids are not doing awesome. Maybe I need to step up my watering. Actually, they are green and doing fine, but I haven't had a re-bloom in awhile. Maybe I should get out my orchid fertilizer and give things a spring jump start.

Ok so this is this season's stick tree and can I tell you a few things. I just taped washi tape all over the branches, which I saw somewheres on Pinterest, I honestly cannot recall where because I didn't pin it at the time. I had the hardest time photographing this thing because I didn't line up the polka dot washi tape just right so everytime I did a closeup it looked out of focus, 'cept it wasn't really, or it looked washed out, or spindly and OH BLOGGING PROBLEMS, they are so inane eh?

So what we've got here are my sticks, a bunch of washi tape flags, and a few tissue paper blooms. I didn't want any blue. Julia wanted blue. So we have blue.

I'm not super impressed with this year's spring tree, and I'm not fishing for compliments ~ it just doesn't rise to the level of last year's Easter Swedish Tree.


We have a globe now and it's awesome!

 Attempting to watch TV while using the mixer. (enjoy this week's Project 52 photo!)

After being lectured about keeping her eyes on the bowl. (we made a lemon cake, I'll share the recipe soon!)

Julia has so many tiny pieces of crap, garbage, LOVELY TRINKETS & TREASURES, that it was either throw them in a giant bin never to be seen again or get a proper display case for them, so we got the display case. It is very Not Safely Not Attached to the wall. I guess we should rectify that at some point.....


For those of you who might have missed it when I took a photo of it before, please admire my Hello Kitty poster. IT IS MINE. I just allow it to live in Julia's room, because I am so generous and kind that way. #goodmama #HelloKittyLove #notcrazy #PINKHAIR4EVER

 You need to make these miso-mayo asian pork sliders,

from the cookbook 'Keepers'. $14! Um, that's a good price. This recipe alone is worth buying the book, no jokey. Andrew almost fainted with happy when I made them awhile back. And he's not the get excited sort. I kid you not, the man's eyebrows shot up a good inch when he bit into the sliders. (the meat is marinated in pineapple juice!) Easily in the Top 10 things I've ever made.

Potions! J made it at a friend's house ~ I think this is some kind of combo of cinnamon, food coloring, mint and tea leaves? (i'm torn. it kinda looks like a urine sample gone horribly awry or maybe it looks like a lovely ruby cordial. i'll let you make up your own mind!)

I'm so sorry that I felt the need to end this nice springy-post-filled-with-pretty on a urine sample note. This is why I'm a Bad Blogger.....




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