January 28, 2010


Yesterday, Lara put on this outfit and told me she was the Rooster from Robin Hood:

I love that she added the hat. The Rooster doesn't wear one, but he speaks with a pretty solid cowboy twang, so it only makes sense.


Today after school Lara told me that soon she was going to have a baby sister. The reason I don't know about it yet is that "she wasn't born yet. She is sleeping in Daddy's tummy and so he takes her to work."

January 27, 2010

January 24, 2010

Lara's Room Redo

Last week there was a mild redoing of Lara's room (soon to be known as "the kids' room", we're hoping).

The art and lighting was changed and upgraded:

Lara's room - bedroom wall (before)

Lara's room - bedroom wall (after)

(New red lamps from IKEA, everything else we already had scattered around the room.)

The table got some much needed shelves to hold all the art supplies:

Lara's room - table shelves (before)

Lara's room - table shelves (after)

(The shelves are leftover bookshelves cut down at Lowe's, wrapped in white contact paper - instant paint job! - with some red brackets from IKEA.)

The mirror was moved to hang on the closet door:

Lara's room - mirror on closet door with Jakey

Jakey approves.

January 21, 2010

8 is Great!

January 21

Jake is 8 months old today! Whew, what a fast ride that was! After crawling for two weeks, he is now the bravest and most adventurous member of our family. He loves yogurt, sweet potatoes, and playing with anything except actual toys - he's already figured out how to get the TV stand open and pull out the DVDs and Wii controllers. And yesterday? He yanked the huge Settlers of Catan box off the shelf and climbed on top of it. So it begins, so it begins.

January 18, 2010

They're on a Mission

Looks like they're putting the band back together.

I think they play both kinds of music - country and western.

It's 10 feet to the living room, they've got a full sippy cup of water, half a pack of raisins, it's dark, and they're wearing stripes.

Let's go.

January 12, 2010

Jakey Learns to Crawl!

Sweeter Sweater

purple sweater with two flowers The art of photographing myself continues to elude me. As shown here. Knowing ahead of time that this photo would leave a lot to be desired, I threw in a small Jakey playing on the floor for your viewing entertainment. And even with his presence, believe me, you don't want to see a bigger version of this photo lest the speckled hideousness of its Photoshop-lightened pigmentation explode the fragile rods and cones within your cornea.

But still - look! A refashioned sweater! Formerly a square, baggy affair - now, a well-fitting top, complete with a couple of improvised flowers made from the excised sides. I also had an identical green one which has since received similar treatment.

January 11, 2010

Bathtime Fun

I made a bath body scrub out of brown sugar a few days ago, but I wanted to test it out before I posted it here. My verdict? It's freakin awesome.

Brown sugar body scrub

I'm a reasonably new convert to the whole scrub thing, but I clearly have been missing out on some soft skin for many years! Anyway. This is a little elbow-greasy to make, depending on the degree to which your brown sugar is caked together into one rock-hard lump before you start, but it's totally worth it to avoid some drug store chemistry.

Start with some brown sugar. I'm going to say two cups or so, but really it depends on the airtight container you're going to put it into. The main tip on the container is to make sure you can stick your hand inside it, since you'll be scooping this stuff out with your fingers even when there's just a little left on the bottom of the jar.

Put the brown sugar in a mixing bowl, break up the clumps, and find a good carrier oil. I used olive oil because that's just what we have in the house. I'm guessing almond oil would work well also. Start pouring this oil onto the sugar in teeny tiny swigs (maybe 1/4 tsp tops), and after each swig, work the oil into the sugar with a fork. You're going for a loose sand consistency, not a saturated mix. I found it helpful to keep the following image in mind when stirring in my tiny bit of oil: the more oil you add, the more oil at the bottom of your bathtub, the more slippery it'll be, the more you'll have to watch out for falls, and the more cleaning you'll have to do to get it off.

Once you are happy with the consistency, add something good smelling. I went with grapefruit oil and vanilla extract, but that's just because that's what I had sitting around (that combination does smell really good though!). Mix again, and you're done! Go take a shower.

January 10, 2010

A Christmas Kitchen

I love this shot of the Little Kitchen Liz and Noah built for their boys for Christmas - so dark and mysterious and beautifully backlit.

January 8, 2010

Curry in a Hurry

dinner - vegetable curry

I was really in the mood for a taste of Indian food a few nights ago, and whipped up this super-yummy curry using a combination of Martha's recipe, our farm share haul, the realities of our pantry (um, ok, fresh cumin seed? not so much), some more spices that I happen to like, and various allergenic concerns:


* 1-2 tsp ginger
* 5 garlic cloves, peeled
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1.5 tsp heavily seeded Dijon mustard
* 1 tsp cumin powder
* 1 tsp curry powder
* dash of chili pepper sauce
* cayenne pepper to taste
* salt and ground pepper to taste
* 2 medium or 4-5 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
* 2-3 diced carrots
* 1 diced bell pepper
* 1/2 or 1 cup frozen peas
* 3 cups of water
* rice for serving

- garlic press the garlic cloves and mix the puree with ginger powder
- in a deep saute pan, heat oil on medium heat
- add mustard and cumin and cook for 30 seconds or so, until they are aromatic
- add ginger-garlic paste and cook for another 15-20 seconds
- add vegetables, water, cayenne pepper, chili sauce, curry powder, salt, and black pepper
- turn heat to high, cover, and let boil until potatoes and carrots are soft (10 minutes or so)
- remove cover and keep cooking until the liquid mostly boils off
- serve over rice

January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Jakey and I drove to Boston with my mom for New Year's, and were feted by my aunt and uncle with some truly extraordinary food.

For New Year's Eve, Tanya roasted a duck - full on amazing:

And for New Year's Day - my uncle Simon's rice pilaf with lamb. You guys, seriously, it was out of control delicious:

Also we got to hang out with my cousin Phil, who I wish I got to see more often if only so that some of the cool factor would rub off.

Oh, and? Jakey is almost crawling. Which means that he is at that stage where he can't really be left alone on the floor since he will scoot and roll and otherwise locomote to somewhere other than where he was put down. But then again, it also means that I've got this face coming towards me: