Chicken Dance

21

March 7, 2013

Just a day in the life of an Egyptian Chicken Dancing Girl. What is the Egyptian Chicken Dance? I have no idea. But this is what it looks like.

These pictures were taken right before she got sick with...everything. Ear infection, sinus infection, bronchitis, a week of fever. I seriously think she got the flu, despite having received a flu shot. Each time she gets sick I always think it's because she was a c-section baby and she didn't get her chest squeezed enough during the birthing process and that's made her chest and lungs weak.

I'll have guilt about that forever I think, because my c-section was elective. I had gestational diabetes and my attorney dad (who, in his defense, has seen the worst of the worst of everything) convinced me that dire consequences might potentially befall my baby if we didn't get her out by 38 weeks. Basically every day of my pregnancy I was convinced I was going to lose her, so I was not in a very good place to be making rational decisions. I didn't trust the process. My OB thought it was a good idea because I had so much anxiety, and also I'm sure she thought it was the prudent way to go when dealing with a family of lawyers. I bled and spotted almost every single day of my first trimester and a couple weeks into the second, and was out of my mind with worry. And I'm telling you all this because I don't know why.

But we've spent more time together in the past 2 weeks than we've spent together in ages, it seems like. We read three Ramona books, the 'Miss Happiness and Miss Flower' book and about 5 Junie B. books. We watched a lot of movies. 

Pretty much everything we own is on the floor right now. There are leftover balloons from her birthday still. I think I'll make it a priority to almost always have balloons inflated in the house. At any given moment when one is bored, you can just start batting a balloon at someone's head.

We just sat and cuddled and talked. We didn't fight with each other as much as usual. She made 'measuring tapes' out of crepe paper and washi tape. And then charged me $2 per measuring tape. Little does she know that I paid her by running and stealing quarters out of her piggy bank.
She announced her intention to have a shop someday where she sells 'useful things'. Wasn't that a Stephen King book? I think that was 'Needful Things'.

She asked me why I don't have "a real job". 

I asked her, "Do you want me to?" 

"No."

I didn't get much else done and the grey weather has me barely functioning right now, but I held her and kissed her and was just grateful grateful grateful (i say things 3x now like Eloise's Nanny.) that I can hang with this kid.


(P.S. I'm noticing my white chair that I got from my mom in the last photo. No one sits in that chair. BECAUSE IT'S FLIPPING WHITE. I'm going to recover that chair as soon as I possibly can. But choosing a fabric might take me 5 years. I want to cover it in something crazy, like butterflies.)

(P.P.S. Julia is doing so much better now!!)





Swedish Easter Tree of Mind Blowing Coolness

20

March 6, 2013


Let's start from the beginning, shall we? Although I am not Swedish, or Japanese, I'm totally obsessed with both cultures. If you've been hanging with me for awhile, you know this already. If you've just wandered here, yes it's true. I want to be some kind of Scandinavian-Asian hybrid person. I don't know why, those places just seem to have a lot of cool stuff going on.

Anyway, I saw this example of a paskris Swedish Easter Tree on the Aunt Peaches blog. AND IT BLEW MY MIND. That's a super cool blog by the way. So I didn't feel like Easter would be awesome in this house until we had our very own Swedish Easter Tree.

We already had colored feathers from our Magic Wand project, and I got some hanging eggs at the craft store for about zero dollars. OK that's a fib. Maybe $6.

These pix of Julia are virtually identical. Why do I have two of them? Oh well. My mom's purple sweatshirt is sitting in the background.

And why the feathers? Apparently it has do something with Sweden having long cold dark winters and the feathered trees represent....something other than grey winters of doom. You know, new life and spring and all that fun stuff. In Sweden, a paskris is a birchwood stick adorned with feathers.

I AM WAY DOWN WITH THE FEATHERS!!

Ok, I just want to say something.

I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TOP THIS TREE. THIS IS IT. My best tree I think. I know I say that every time I do a new tree, because I impress myself easily, but this time seriously for real, this is the very best one. It kinda reminds me of a truffula tree gone even more bananas.



Every time I look at this thing I am 1) impressed with myself and 2) impressed with how easy this was. TAPE. All we used was tape to stick the feathers on the tree. And like I said, the eggs all came from the craft store and they were dirt cheap. Oh, I can't remember where we got the little wooden Easter decorations, we've had those for years, but you can find some fabulously darling ones RIGHT HERE.

I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!  This tree might never come down. Also, the Swedes have some sort of Easter witch tradition, which sounds ridiculously cool.




St. Patrick's Day in the Morning

12

March 5, 2013


This is gonna be a shorty today, my cutie-pies. Because I just spent hours and hours (that's a lie but not by much) getting my post ready for my latest and greatest stick tree, which I'll show you tomorrow.

Love love love 'St. Patrick's Day in the Morning' by Eve Bunting and the great Jan Brett! No leprechauns. No lucky charms. Just a sweet, simple tale about an Irish boy getting ready for his town's St. Patrick Day parade. I swear when you read this book, you can practically SMELL the scones. Oh wait that would be in Scotland. How about the bannocks? DANG, those are Scottish too. Ok, Irish Soda Bread.

During his trip up a big, big hill (can he make it? is he big enough? is clover green?), Jamie gets a fresh egg, a flute, a bottle of ginger ale, and wishes the sun (and a donkey) a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

This is the cutest little St. Paddy's Day book for a preschooler! The pictures of the little country village are immensely charming (duh, they're done by Jan Brett). I've never been to Ireland, but I really want to go. I had a friend who's husband went, and he told his kids he was going to trap leprechauns, or that he saw one, or something along those lines, and they thought that was the coolest thing ever.

I'm pretty sure I could trap a leprechaun.




Irish Oatmeal Muffins

9

March 4, 2013


Sometime last year, I wrote about one of my favorite cookbooks and mentioned how the Irish Oatmeal muffin recipe in it is easily my most-often-made recipe of all time. It's the perfect muffin. Not too sweet, very moist, holds up well to jam, is great just with butter, is in fact, great COLD WITH NOTHING ON IT ALL.

Now that's a good muffin!

I was lazy last year, and only took a picture of the recipe within the book, which may have strained your eyeballs a bit. So today I'm taking the time to write this baby out. It's an early St. Paddy's Day present to you!

It really is the best muffin ever, despite its somewhat plain appearance. You can make them mini. You can make them regular. You can have them tea. Or not, if you're weird. But YOU SHOULD MAKE THEM. They have a nice chewy texture. Do you like nice chewy bits? I do.



Irish Oatmeal Muffins (via 'The Breakfast Book')

Ingredients:

2 cups buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats
2 eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 and 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

Combine buttermilk and the oats at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before mixing and baking the muffins. Stir well, cover, and let rest in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the muffins tins. (You will get about 18 muffins, so you'll need two muffin tins. I use my 12 cup muffin tin and my 6 cup muffin tin.)

Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and beat just until yolk and white are blended. Add the sugar and beat until smooth and well blended. Add the buttermilk-oatmeal mixture. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and oil. Beat until the batter is well mixed. (You can even do this entirely with a fork or mixing spoon, if you don't want to use your mixer. This is an easy batter to mix.)

Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full of batter. They usually take about 20 minutes, but check for doneness at 15 minutes. (Mine are always done at 15 minutes.) Let cool a few minutes and them remove from muffin pans.

Makes anywhere from 18 to two dozen muffins.

You will love them! I hope. Plum or cherry jam would be amazing on these.




Happy Girl's Day!

14

March 2, 2013

My friends, THIS is what you call vintage. Complete with some fantastic lens flare up in the left part of the photo.

That's me, to the far right. I went to a Buddhist preschool (????) in Hawaii and they dressed us up for Girl's Day. (which is actually on March 3, but I couldn't wait to spring this on you all.)

Have I just made your whole day happy with this hilarity? I'm especially loving how the girl on the far left is not feeling any of this biz whatsoever, and what's up with extreme side-eye going on with the girls in the middle? Clearly something very interesting was going on over there.

I think I'm TOTALLY wearing the awesomest kimono!




Cool Stuff I Like

14

March 1, 2013

HAPPY MARCH!!!! Oh I can't believe it. March is finally here. If you missed our special book for Girl's Day, go see go see! That will get you up to speed on what this treat business up above is all about. Last week, we went and found ourselves some Japanese treats to celebrate Girl's Day. Except we ate them already. We got some coconut-filled buns (AWESOME), some mochi rice treats, and some kind of lotus-paste cookie. That one was...not something I would get again. Aren't the rainbow mochis adorable? Mochi is basically just cooked sticky rice paste that's been sweetened. You should see HERE and HERE for some truly beautiful Girl's Day real deal mochi treats.


Fun COOL STUFF this week:

For SURE this is going to be the model for my Easter stick tree.

This looks fun. I would put pillows at the bottom.

Deluxe Jam. (a Seattle-based company!)

Baked French Toast Sticks.

This is one of happiest and cutest girl's rooms I've seen.

Crinkle Fans! Set of TEN. This would be amazing for a party, as decor or favors.

Love this birthday crown.

Fairy House Kits.

SIGN ME UP FOR THIS SHOW!

This is John Robshaw's site (the source of Julia's floor pillow)


Cool Book of the Week: 'When I Was Small' by Sara O' Leary and Julie Morstad. I've been hankering after this book for AGES. I wants it! I think it's going to be my new gift book to new mamas. When a little boy asks his mom, What were you like when you were small? ~ she answers him by describing life as if she had literally been very very small. So she describes her times skipping rope with a ball of yarn and wearing a flower for a sun hat. And the art is like sweetness made real. Julia LOVES it when I tell her stories of when I was young, it's a great theme to pursue in stories!


Have a lovely weekend! I am so so so happy that there is less than a month of winter left. I had the urge to go pull weeds the other day. It quickly passed.

~Melissa




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