March 31, 2012

Everyone Needs to See This Video!


Saw it on Rockstar Diaries, (which won best family blog on Apartment Therapy recently!). They've got a fan for life, after posting this MEGA-DOSE OF AWESOME!

My favorite part is when she hops down off the counter, saying "I can do anything, better than anyone else.."

FABULOUS! It really made my day. I could watch it all day long!

March 30, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like -- Easter Edition

I thought taking some pix of my cherry blossom tea set would be a fitting way to end the week. (Did you all catch the Cherry Blossom Post? And the Cherry Blossom Origami Lantern Tree? Yes yes?)

My ma gave me this set about 15 years ago. It's a tea-for-two set, with a mini teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, two tea cups and saucers. It's one of my prized possessions. I basically bugged her until she gave the set to me. (And I wonder where Julia learned that constant badgering actually works??) If anyone is keen on having the info, the china pattern is from Royal Albert and called "Blossom Time". Lots of antique stores have amazing WHOLE SETS of Royal Albert china, there are such great finds and deals to be had!

Let's get to some Easterific COOL STUFF:

Easter crackers!


DARLING Spring sticker/story book featuring Corduroy, for the toddler set -- Julia still has hers.

The cutest jelly bean Easter tradition.

Neon Dip Dye Eggs. (via oh Joy!)

Gorgeous DIY cherry blossom tree.

Washi tape decorated eggs.

Orange Bunny Rolls. (they look amazing!)

Hot Cross Buns with dried cherries.

Check out my Spring Pinterest board! -- it's full of Easter Trees and cute bunnies.

Cool Book of the Week: Another Charlotte Zolotow book, (I just love her!!) -- 'Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present.' With Maurice Sendak illustrations. A little girl struggles with trying to find just the right present for her Mama. Mr. Rabbit appears to Not Be Helpful, but in a roundabout way, he leads the little girl to the Just The Right Gift. The art is. . .well just look at the cover! It's like an old master painting. Total loveliness.

Have a lovely weekend! Do you have any Eastery desserts planned for next weekend? I can't decide what to make.


March 29, 2012

Lavender Hot Chocolate

On my Paper Dolls post, a lovely comment was left by Summer in the Morning, which is the name of a blog that features the work and inspiration of Kettle Confections. They have an Etsy shop as well, full of sweet treat and candy goodness. Somehow we got to discussing Lavender Hot Chocolate, and I was lucky to score a mini-tutorial, which I intend to try out at the earliest opportunity:
"Lavender hot cocoa is so delicious and easy to make! We simmer the milk with Valrhona cocoa powder and Valrhona chocolate baking discs (can be found in the cheese section of Whole Foods.) We let it heat till all the cocoa bits melt and then add the lavender, which we let simmer for a minute more. Then turn off the heat and allow 5 minutes for the lavender flavors to infuse your hot cocoa, then strain."
I know these guys have to be really serious about their treats, because Valrhona is THE BEST.

These beautiful images of Lavender Hot Chocolate came from A La Mode Journals, and that lovely site gives some handy details as well. The recipe uses 2 cups of whole milk, plus 3 oz of dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), 1 oz of milk chocolate, and 1/4 teaspoon lavender buds. A similar cooking method is used.

I feel like this is the perfect spring drink! When it's still too cold for iced drinks, but with a hint of floral to give brightness to the heaviness of the chocolate...I can't wait to try this!

March 28, 2012


“If you have been very good the whole year through, the night before Easter you will dream the loveliest dreams.”

Are you all feeling Easterish? My mom, the purveyor of holiday décor, gave us the little Easter tree. (name a holiday! she has 3 boxes of decorations for any given holiday. she’s run out of room for it all. so she wants it to live at our house.)

I’ll keep the jib jab short today since I feel slightly under-the-weatherish. Every year I check out the same Easter books from the library. I’d love to own Tasha Tudor’s ‘A Tale for Easter’. And ‘The Bunny Who Found Easter’ by Charlotte Zolotow is so simple and lovely – it will definitely make you feel Easterish!

If you are feeling Hot Cross Bun-ish, you can relive the magic of last year’s Hot Cross Bun post, wherein I get all naughty about my buns (not really). Also, for those who never saw my Bad Bunnies post, well let’s just say you haven’t really lived until you’ve seen Julia’s artistic rendition of bunnies sitting on a toilet. NOW are you feeling Easterish?

(Note: Had a request for baby bunny books. For those looking at this post in the future (how cosmic!) -- check out "Bunny and Me" by Adele Greesnspun and "I am a Bunny" by Richard Scarry. Musts for babies and toddlers!)

March 27, 2012

Yo. Cherry Blossoms.

The SUN came out over the WEEKEND, (This does not happen very often.) so we headed out to get in some prime cherry blossom viewing.  I LOVE cherry blossoms in the springtime. I’m obsessed with cherry blossoms. I have to get myself to Japan to see the real deal someday. Hope you enjoy the cheery cherry (Did you just catch that? Did you?) blossoms as much as we did!

Cherry blossoms. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Note Andrew’s feet, walking along on the ground. The missy prefers to walk while having her feet in the air as much as possible.

Every drinky should come with this cute little wrapper thingy on it. Because LIFE SHOULD BE CUTE.

Cherry blossoms!

View of the Cherry Blossom Paradise. Actually we timed this trip too early; the blossoms weren’t in full bloom yet. But we had to take advantage of that most rare of celestial occurrences – it was sunny!

Not a cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom!

My kiddo spent most of her time climbing the trees and then looking alarmed about how to get DOWN.

Guess what this is! I’ll bet you never will. (It’s a cherry blossom.)

Cherry blossom viewing is best done while upside down and hiding your eyes. I, for one, was unaware of this, but I will totally try it out next time.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS!!!! I love them so.

March 26, 2012

Eggs and Bonnets

I’d been wanting to read Elsa Beskow’s ‘The Sun Egg’ for a good three years now. (In which a little elf mistakes an orange for a “sun egg”, that has fallen out of the sky.) Finally felt like Julia was able to sit through the text. (Although now that I see it, it would have been fine for her last year.) I’d say ages 4 and up. Elsa Beskow writes books that are so magical, so enchantingly delightful – her art and words are like little fairy footsteps of dew dancing across the page…

PERFECT EASTER PRESENT! It’s a steal on Amazon right now; I’ve seen it go for double the price on other sites and other bookshops.  You know I have the idea that some books you borrow, some books you buy. Elsa books, I buy.

I’ve owned ‘Miss Flora McFlimsey’s Easter Bonnet’ since I was six years old. Do you recall the Flora Valentine’s book I showed y’all in February? I love Flora McFlimsey!! This Halloween, I want the Halloween book -- there’s a whole series! My copy has lost the jacket cover and is somewhat stained on the outside, so I found this much nicer looking cover picture to show you, from the blog Useful or Beautiful.

All the dollies get new Easter clothes and hats. Except for Miss Flora, oh no! But a kind rabbit makes one for her, complete with bunny ear holes. Who will win the Easter Party costume contest? (SPOILER: Flora wins for best hat.)

“And what was the prize? Miss Flora McFlimsey couldn’t quite remember – it had all happened such a long time ago. Perhaps it was that little bottle of eau de cologne in her trunk or her lace parasol.”

I love these old fashioned books! I want to have a fancy bonnet and wear it while watching ‘Easter Parade.’ Who’s with me?

March 23, 2012

Cool Stuff I Like – Andrew Style

Melissa is making me write a Cool Stuff List. She’s been badgering me to write about this video game that I found out about last year, called ‘Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure’, which was created by some guy and his five year old daughter. Oh wait, Melissa has something say.
“This is the most hilarious thing EVER! The dude got his daughter to create the art and narrate and it’s PRICELESS. Also, where can I get a PONYCORN???”
Melissa asked me to say something about the Ponycorn Game.

It’s kinda funny.

You can play the game with your kid or kids here.

Now Julia wants me to make a game with her, but all of her ideas are sequels to existing games, and I don’t think she has a very good grasp of copyright law.

Here is my Cool Stuff List. I refuse to use all caps like Melissa does.

Other people find Gwyneth P. as insufferable as I do.

Hello Kitty Darth Vader. (Melissa put this in.)

This movie looks rad. (I think so too! ~ Melissa)



Shrimp chips. (Disgusting! ~Melissa) (Delicious! –Andrew)

This show is good. And this one.

Melissa says I need one more thing for my list. Ok, last item: Short lists.

Cool Book of the Week: ‘The Rediscovery of Man’, by Cordwainer Smith.

Strange, awesome, short sci-fi stories. Also, he was an interesting dude.

Melissa: (groans) “Well, I guess that’s your list. Tell everyone to have a happy weekend.”

Andrew: “OK”.

March 22, 2012

Spring Dumpling Soup

So, let me tell you about the Spring we’re having thus far. Rain, low 40’s, grey, wind. How does that tickle you? I’M NOT LOVING IT. I hear that things are just balmy and peachy on the other side of the country. WELL DUCKY FOR YOU! Ok, I’m officially shaking off the bitterness, SHAKING IT OFF.

It’s off.

But here’s what’s great about this soup. It’s comforting and warming, but not heavy. It’s soup just right for early spring when the weather is trying so hard to wrench itself away from winter. TRY HARDER WEATHER. Sorry, the bitterness came back for a moment. Oh, and another great thing about this soup? Easy. And lightning quick. I made it when I really. did. not. feel. like. making. dinner, and after I was done, I was so happy I did!

I found the original recipe here, and added my own variations. This soup is wiiiiiiiide open to interpretation.

1 32 oz carton of chicken or veggie broth PLUS 1 cup water or more broth 
1 bag frozen gyoza or potstickers (If there is no seasoning packet with the dumplings, add 2-4 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2-4 teaspoons rice wine.) 
2-4 teaspoons grated ginger (I used 2, will use more next time.) 
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in thin 2-inch strips, or 1 cup shredded carrots 
2 teaspoons garlic, minced or paste 
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used crimini button mushrooms. Andrew says he would use shiitake.) 
1 small bunch green onions, trimmed and diagonally sliced (I forgot, much to Andrew’s horror.)

1.) In a Dutch oven combine the broth, water, ginger, and seasoning or seasoning packet from one package of potstickers. Bring to boil over high heat. 
2.) In a medium skillet, saute mushrooms and carrots with the garlic over med-high heat to brown and soften, about 5-6 minutes. 
3.) Add potstickers, carrots, mushrooms and most of the green onions. Return to simmering. Reduce heat and cook, covered, 8-10 minutes or until potstickers are heated through. (Mine cooked VERY quickly! Only needed about 3 minutes, so I think it varies by brand, check your bag for timing instructions.) 
4.) Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining green onion slices.

Serves 4.

Enjoy your Spring Soup! xo (No xo’s for the weather. The weather gets a boo.)