Friday, November 30, 2012

MOTHERBUBBLES AND HOLY SALSA


The Bug turns two this weekend. It's hard to believe and yet bringing home my little four-pounder seems like ages ago. 

It is so fun to watch her explore and develop and yet, at times, surviving the changes at this stage requires a level of patience beyond my redheaded capabilities.  Last week's full moon saw a Twilight-esque transformation from adorable princess to rabid-werewolf-child complete with new upper vamp teeth, full on attacks of rage, and uncontrollable urges to leap from furniture to furniture. Do they all go through this, or is mine just a special hybrid of spoiled brat (the Man's side) and redheaded stepchild (mine)?
Yes, the above photos are the same kid. 

Your kid might be turning two if:
The answer to every question is "YESNO" or "NOYES," followed by ten minutes of thrashing and and throwing toys.

When you pass an RV or a fire engine on the road, you think it looks like a character from Cars instead of a vehicle.

Your Netflix is trippin because it thinks your "recommended" preferences are all day-glo animated kid shows and you just want to watch something violent with angry adults in it. NO GABBA GABBA if you know what I mean?

A tiny person is running around your house saying "awww salsa" and "oh bubbles", because every swear word you use is instantly repeated back to you, only louder, and more often, causing you to replace the F-word with "Bubbles" and shit with "salsa." Example: Eat Salsa DJ Lance. 


Your kid automatically associates cookies with going to Target because you've been doing an embarrassing amount of bribery just to get through the store with your Clorox wipes and half and half without a meltdown. And the express lane is just too bubblin' slow.

Approximate time to move from the house to the car for an event is somewhere around an hour and a half, starting with ten minutes to get the jammies off, approximately 20 minutes of chasing tiny person around living room with a clean diaper, another ten for putting on clean clothes, another ten putting on sweatshirt, another ten for putting on shoes, another ten for finding keys hidden by tiny person. Another ten for finding left shoe removed by tiny person while finding keys and putting left shoe back on. Another 25 for convincing argument and negotiations to get tiny person in car seat. Another ten for putting shoes removed while in carseat back on feet. Five for mom breathing deeply and trying to ward off stroke, before trying to operate vehicle.  Repeat for leaving original destination. Bonus points for remembering where you were going in the first place or actually remembering the package you were going to mail.

While all of this is true, at this stage she couldn't be cuter. She couldn't be funnier. She couldn't be more honest and tender. When she's mad, she bangs her head on the floor. When she's happy, she smothers you with cuddles and kisses. If only it were that simple when we get older.  Banging my head on the floor sounds about right, some days.  

Cheers to being two, my little Bug!  You are the cutest little salsa in the world and you leave your sparkle on everyone who meets you. 

love,
Mommy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HOLIDAY AGENDA STEP ONE: GAIN 5 POUNDS

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I am soooo excited for the holidays this year! Obviously this is a warm and fuzzy time for most people but it really feels like our first Christmas with the Bug as she was only a few weeks old the first year, and last year we traveled to MN for the grandparents with a one year old--not exactly relaxing. This year, we are doing the big tree, the baking, the big home-cooked meal, and Santa will be visiting a very adorable two year old.

First order of business on my agenda. COOKIES. I have been making my Aunt Edith's sugar cookie recipe since I was old enough to hold a cookie sheet. See evidence.

I don't know what it is about this recipe as it is the same butter, sugar, and flour combo as any other sugar cookie recipe. But these cookies are IN. SANE. Ask anyone. Careful rationing must be planned over the month or they will be gone in a flash.  Sorry, can't share this recipe. . . It's too special.

Bug Tested and approved.

This year I'm simplifying the traditional (seriously like 30 years straight) decorating scheme and doing a new snowflake dusted with white frosting, blue sugar and crushed peppermint. Similar to this:

For my tree, I'm going to forgo the traditional multi-colored candy sprinkles and do green sugar crushed with cinnamon candies. Similar to this:
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My mom and I always did the white chocolate dipped pretzels with red and green sugar but I'm thinking of trying a pretzel stick done with dark chocolate this year. That white stuff is mostly paraffin and not actual chocolate.  I want something easy that I can just melt and sling and perhaps sass it up with some random nuts and bits from the pantry.
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I think for our special xmas DINNER we will be trying Beef Wellington. A yummy mushroom paste is slathered on a juicy hunk of beast and then wrapped in pastry. Yes, please.
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For NEW YEAR'S EVE we do Cioppino. With lots of wine and probably Scrabble by the light of the Christmas tree. We are wild and crazy like that.
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This is a tomato and wine based seafood stew that originates in San Francisco, which is where I had it for the first time. We have been perfecting our recipe ever since. I'll share ours here:

BEST FREAKIN CIOPPINO EVER
For Broth:
1 28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 c. clam juice
1 c. red wine (drink the rest)
6-8 c. chicken broth
can tomato paste
fresh squeezed lemon
1 T. olive oil
chopped fennel bulb
dash of  balsamic vinegar
fresh garlic (great roasted) and fresh shallots

herbs: as a garni or dried..sorry I don't measure
          1 or 2 star anise pods, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary sprig, couple of bay leaves, black pepper

Simmer until fennel is tender
Add any combination of seafood starting with a firm white fish like marlin or halibut, shrimp, crab, scallops, mussels, clams etc.. 
We buy teeny tiny portions of a bit of everything at the seafood counter and throw it all in. 
You really can't mess this up and if you're missing a few items, a simplified version turns out great. This is the precious version. 

Serve with toasted sourdough or french white bread, and squeeze more lemon over everything. 
SO. GOOD. 

    In all seriousness, I am not condoning gaining weight by stuffing your face, but delicious and special foods are part of the holiday season. I find that I actually lose weight because I am eating such great foods and meals and not eating lots of crap in between meals or take out. The variety of goods at parties and on your table have a variety of nutrients that you probably don't get otherwise. There is so much out there that you get to be ultra selective and eat the most delectable. And if you gain a few pounds...SO BE IT. It gives you something to plan for on New Year's Day.

Happy Celebrating!
Rachel

Sunday, November 18, 2012

HANDMADE HOLIDAY-DEAR SANTA, I WANT. . .


Doesn't it seem like when you're shopping for others you suddenly come across soooo many things you NEED for yourself? I think most of us do a little self-gifting or maybe really obnoxious hinting to those closest to us?? Hmmm??

As promised more awesome handmade shops from Etsy, featuring all the goodies that I am lusting after this season. Here's hoping you find something for someone on your list. If not, my address is. . . 

Handmade wax batik pillows from Sister Batik. I die... So colorful and juicy. 



This is my absolute favorite shop on Etsy and one that inspires me in my own jewelry work. So unique, beautifully crafted, and I love the photos! La Touchables I want I want I want!! 



This print and painting from fellow Texan, Sarah Greenman Art.  Hey dudes, want to do something romantic for your lady without having to pick out expensive jewelry that she might want to return? How about a very special piece of art? I would have loved that. 

Of course now I'm married and we buy each other stuff like a new vacuum cleaner filter. Awesome. 

These beautifully packaged little perfumes from For Strange Women. I am a perfume JUNKIE. In my perfect world, I would have a huge tray of delicious scents for the choosing on my dresser. I love the dreamy, creepy, Victorian vibe in this shop too.  



Also today is the last day of my 20% off sale at One Man's Trash. Take a look!! And if you're super slackery...the code just maaaaaaaay still work on Monday ;) 
Happy Shopping
Rachel

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HANDMADE HOLIDAY GIFT LIST--FRIEND

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You probably know your friends better than anyone else on your holiday shopping list--More so than the random office coworker or niece you haven't seen in 5 years, that you drew in the secret Santa exchange. This is the category you can have the most fun shopping for, and there are zillions of sellers out there just waiting, tissue paper in hand, to send you their one of kind treasures! I know. I'm one of them! Here is a list of some beautiful hand-crafted, lovelies to make your friends confirm their BFF status.  A lot of these shops have their own promos going right now so. . .CHECK. IT. OUT. 

THE FASHIONISTA
Janet Hill Studio $24
Buying clothes for people is hard. This shoe print by Janet Hill is adorable, girly, and perfect for the fashionista's lair. 
THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Tubidu Graphics $20
I love this bright and colorful print of Paris and it comes in a variety of sizes. 

THE TEA/COFFEE DRINKER
Darshan Pottery $19.95

THE EARTH MAMA
Doodlebird Imaginariums $28
These cute little terrariums are so unique and require no sun or watering! 

THE JEWELRY GIRL
MissCAlexandria $28.00
As a jewel junkie..these are FIERCE and big, but not "too big" 

THE BATH & BODY JUNKIE
FIGYARROW $10
Rose and vanilla..yum. And cheap enough that you can get her some of these too. 
Blushie $10
I love sample packs!! Somehow it just feels like you're getting more.... 

THE DUDE
vital $24
 Beer Glasses. Nuff said. 
barkdecor $23
T shirt that does not come from Target.  And does not smell. 


purpose design $32 
The grill guru set. Grill man will be happy indeed. 

THE NEW MOM
WrenWillow $24
How can you resist hipster kids? And good prices!! 

THE DECORATOR
Giardino $40
Hand-printed linen pillow covers. Yes, please. Beautiful colors available! 

THE COOK
Craig's Market $19.95
World spice blend for the adventurous chef or for the classicist: 
Staircase to the attic $28
A rare 1968 copy of Julia Child's famous French cookbook. Awesome and classic. 

THE KNITTER
greybirdstudio $17.50
They worked so hard on that new sweater. Buy them "splurge" buttons to show it off! (Not to mention about a billion yard spinners selling their goods if you "know yarn")

THE THRIFTER
Ashley Goldberg $38
You won't find this funny art print at a thrift store!

And don't forget...20% off this week only in my shop! If you must do all of your shopping with me, I guess it would be okay. 

Happy Hunting! 
Rachel 

Monday, November 12, 2012

HOLIDAY SALE


Hello Friends, Family, Facebookers, Loyal Blog Army, and VIP customers. For one week only I am having a site-wide, 20% off sale in the shop!  You must use code holiday20 when checking out.

This year, I have been working my bootay off, to offer over 70 items, in a variety of price ranges and styles for your holiday gift list, like this very special new piece:

I've already slashed prices and added a bunch of items to the SALE section.  Now I am offering an additional discount for my loyal following from now until November 18. 

As always, One Man's Trash ships for just $2.50 per order ($4 international). That is a steal, people. I will be gift wrapping your items with a little OMT flair, (I'll leave it open on one end so you can peek at the goods!) and, as usual, I ship within 1-3 business days. I'll be adding new goods each day, as time allows, so check back. Also, please share this with anyone in your circle! I want this shop EMPTY for fresh goods in January! 

Take 10 minutes this week, sit down, look through the goods and save yourself the painful 4am trip to the mall on Black Friday. Stay home in your flannel pants, drink cocoa with your family, and ENJOY this holiday season.  Please message me, asap, about creating something custom for you! 

While you're there, take a look at all of the other AMAZING Etsy sellers in a variety of categories. There is truly something for everyone. Wouldn't it feel great to give your money to hardworking individuals creating one of a kind, handmade goods, delivered right to your home, instead of giant superstores?  All week I will be featuring favorite sellers and their wares for gift ideas in a variety of price ranges, so stay tuned! 

Happy Shopping! 
Rachel