Archive for March, 2011

March 23rd, 2011

blog series: martha mondays

My life’s ambition right now is to be my own, law-abiding version of Martha Stewart.

In honor of the queen of domesticity, I started Martha Mondays: twice a month I do some kind of project to improve my domestic talents and make our home more beautiful (they aren’t always projects from Martha Stewart and they almost never happen on Monday, I just liked the alliteration).

In February I made a paper heart garland to drape over our TV. The best part? It was completely FREE.

I got the idea and template from Martha’s website (found here), and just used old paper I had lying around.

Matt got me 101 cookie cutters for Valentine’s Day, and even let me open them early so I could make heart cookies for Valentine’s Day. I made hot pink heart cookies, chocolate X cookies, and baby pink O cookies (the X cookies weren’t quite chocolatey enough so they tasted kind of like what I would guess doggie treats would taste like … we’ll work on that).

Last weekend I made gourmet cupcakes from scratch (using a recipe from Cake Boss — my all time favorite show). Cupcakes will never be the same, they were amazing.

March 22nd, 2011

five months already?!

Alas, David is already five months old (older, actually). Where does the time go?

I love this picture. LOVE it. It really captures his nature; how he takes in the world. Doesn’t it look like you caught him mid-conversation? I will be honest– sometimes when I talk to him, I wait for a response.

New tricks added this month:

  • Reaching and lunging for faces, hair, toys, phones, computers, food, power cords, and pretty much anything in view.
  • Growing his second tooth (not really a “trick,” but still noteworthy).
  • “Singing” himself to sleep.
  • Spitting and blowing bubbles, just for the fun of it.
  • Touching his toes.

A few of his favorite things:

  • Everything on the list above (minus growing a tooth).
  • Still his burp cloth; it’s the love of his life (after me, of course).
  • Blankets. He loves to play with blankets.
  • Sneezing (he gets the biggest grin after he sneezes).
  • Really cheesy, fake laughter (from us).
  • Being tossed in the air.
  • Dancing (or watching me dance like a silly-billy).
  • Listening to music (particularly “Claire de Lune” and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”).
  • Admiring his cuteness in the mirror.
  • When we clap.
  • When I make kissy sounds.
  • When Matt whistles.
  • Chewing on his lower lip (it’s hilarious).
  • Touching anything with texture.

And now a few thoughts from David:

ftuyyyyyy   hhhhhhhhhhhhhh (plus a lot of spit).

March 8th, 2011

hired help

David helped me fold laundry this afternoon. Well, more accurately, he was sleeping on my bed, woke up, arched his back and kicked his legs to move closer to a pile of Matt’s unmatched socks, and then proceeded to taste them. Every. Single. One.

It was cute.

Having tasted all of them, he got bored and went back to sleep. After pulling a sock over his eyes, of course.

Sorry if your socks are soggy, Matt.

March 2nd, 2011

chewy chocolate chip cookies

Some people like their cookies crunchy, some people like them soft and chewy. I’m a soft and chewy lover.

One night a few weeks ago I really wanted cookies, but couldn’t make them because I was feeding and otherwise taking care of David. Matt, being the wonderful man that he is, went right to work in the kitchen. He had already started adding things to the mixer, when we realized that we didn’t have any shortening. After an internet search on substitutions, we decided to be a little adventurous and try applesauce. It’s sounds weird, but that one change made these already great chocolate chip cookies even better.

Confession: “Find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe” is listed very near the top of my “bucket list.” This recipe, with the applesauce added, is the best one I’ve found so far.

Hmm, actually these are so good, maybe I’ll just keep them to myself as a “secret recipe” …

Oh, okay. These cookies are chewy right out of the oven, cooled off, and even days later.

APPLESAUCE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

2 packages vanilla pudding mix

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour, rounded

chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

In mixer, cream butter and applesauce. Add vanilla and eggs; mix until well blended.

Mix in brown sugar, pudding mix, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; mix until smooth. Add one cup of flour at a time, mixing well. Fold in desired amount of chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoon-size balls about 2 inches apart onto baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes about 40 cookies.

A few of my baking secrets:

  • In Rexburg, 9 minutes is the magic baking time. Perfect every single time.
  • The cookie dough will be pretty sticky, so be patient and consider using nonstick baking sheets, parchment paper, or waxed paper on baking sheets (I personally LOVE my Calphalon nonstick baking sheets).
  • Use a melon-baller, ice cream scoop, or cookie scoop to make uniform, store-bought looking cookies.
  • For the most aesthetically pleasing cookies, use mini chocolate chips (this is my golden secret, it seems small, but makes a big difference–we recently discovered cheaper mini chocolate chips sold in the bulk section at our local Winco, if you have one in your area).
  • For added cookie magic, put cookies in an airtight container while they are still slightly warm.

Make them. Eat them. Love them. Thank me after you eat them, but before you step on the scale after eating the whole batch.

Goodness, I must be feeling really nice today to post one of my favorite recipes of all time AND so many of my secrets.

March 1st, 2011

month four

Before he’s five months old, here’s what David’s been up to this month:

  • growing a tooth!
  • trying to sit up on his own (so close)
  • grabbing and sucking on everything
  • rolling over
  • babbling and squealing
  • laughing and giggling
  • smiling
  • putting his binky in his mouth by himself (again, so close)

It’s fun to watch him develop into his own little person. A few fun things that are uniquely David:

  • He L-O-V-E-S his burp cloth. He squeals and giggles when you hand it to him and let him hug it. He insists on sleeping with one, too.
  • He has a favorite rattle. It’s obvious he likes it more than the other toys and even the other rattles.
  • He likes to sleep with his face covered. If I don’t cover it, he’ll pull on his blanket, pull down his hat, or move his burp cloth until his face is covered.
  • He really likes kicking his legs, especially in the tub.
  • He thinks it’s funny when he sneezes. It’s so cute.
  • When he’s falling asleep or eating, he likes to reach up and run his fingers through my hair. It’s the sweetest thing. Sure, sure, it might turn to pulling, but for now it’s just really sweet.

Some picture documentation of his cuteness.

Him and his funny sleeping.