Friday, May 23, 2014

Seven Quick Summery Takes

Linking up with Jen.

These Shoes

Went online casually browsing for sandals, since my only pair without heels is a pair of Old Navy flip-flops (and I don't even like wearing flip-flops). Fell for these. Hard.
Now I just need to convince my husband that these are an investment piece. Or, you know, actually bill some clients.
Anthro has them, too. Look how cute they are on the model!
I think it might be time to retire this pair. I bought them at Mervyn's, to give you an idea of how old they are. I still love them, but they're getting pretty scratched and bent (maybe I'll invest in a case this time around, too?). I'm seeing a ton of aviators and wayfarers out there, though, which don't really work on a small face. Any suggestions?

Pistachio Ice Cream
Even though I bought a half-gallon of whipping cream on my last Costco excursion, the near-infinity of good recipes has prevented me from actually making the summer's first batch of ice cream. But then I looked in the freezer and found a bag of Trader Joe's shelled pistachios. I think we have a winner.

Summary Bug
Okay, not summery (pun totally intended), but this will help you pass the time if you're still riding out spring showers. The Netflix app recently experienced a glitch that replaced the final line of their movie summaries with the line from a different movie. Set down your coffee before you click through to read some of the best.

My new favorite tonic water
It's officially gin season here, and I discovered Hansen's tonic water at TJ's just in time. Now I won't be drowning this excellent gin (a gift from my BIL) in HCFS-laden stuff that's flat by the end of the too-big bottle.

Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee
Also black and creamy and good for you.
This is always in my fridge. I made the first batch yesterday. Except that she makes two gallons, and I just make a quart at a time. Two ounces of coffee is exactly the size most sample packets come in (if you're into sending away for free samples like I am). A splash of the aforementioned whipping cream (hey, I'm a nursing mom! I must need that milkfat for ... something...) makes this way better than Starbucks. Sun tea, on the other hand, I make by the gallon.

Our First Vacation of the Summer
Some friends were going to come to visit us this weekend, but then my travel-loving husband realized that he could use rewards points to get rooms for both families in Holland, MI, so we're going up there to catch the last of the tulips (apparently they didn't have any for the actual tulip festival this year!) Bean's excited to see the windmill and the lighthouse, of course.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Acquisition Mode

For a while, I thought I had it under control. I'd come out of a good used book store with maybe one or two things, if even. Lately, though, the book acquisition has been picking up steam, for better or worse. I blame "The Squirrel's Birthday." (The source of this blog's title, incidentally.) It's been a great favorite of ours, and I wanted to find some of the author's other volumes. And that's how it started:

Hop on over to Half Price Books. They don't have what you're looking for, but you do come out with like-new copies of Milne's poetry for $3 each, so one could hardly call that a waste of time.
Go online to Better World Books, manage to find two of the three books in question for a good price (still AWOL: A Great and Complicated Adventure). Realize that you're going to be near their warehouse that weekend, so you click "pick up in store."
Library covers are a mom's best friend.
Arrive at the outlet with Mom to find a sign that says "Saturdays: $10 box sale!" That's right; fill a box with books for $10. Manage to keep it to splitting one box rather than each getting your own. Get a big stack of paperback classics, plus "The Enchanted Castle," which you're quite looking forward to after reading this post about E. Nesbit's books. (found via Meg's Facebook page)
Visit family for the week. Mom has a few books for Bean, of course.
Books are our love language.
Drop in to church while the homeschool co-op is meeting. One of the moms has brought boxes of books that she is purging. Peruse.
Pretty sure I grabbed more than this, but I'd already shelved them. That's Hans Brinker on the right.
Back at home, go garage saling. Find a box of $1 cookbooks. Prepare to leave with only two, but then remember that the Frugal Gourmet introduced your family to the apple omelet and pick up three more. The fact that I'm Just Here for the Food turns out to be autographed does nothing to help curb your habit.
Tom and Becky, what were you thinking?
Check your email; someone on a listserv with Mom is getting rid of a full set of '96 World Books. Claim them. Be pleased when you find out they're like new, and are the leather bound ones, not the ones that make a picture when they're on the shelf.
Physical media forever!
Speaking of shelves...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What I Wore Sunday: Mother's Day

Since it's Mother's Day and allergies have left me kind of blah this week, I decided I needed a pick-me-up and wore something oh-so-pretty and springy and just crossed my fingers that Peanut wouldn't get hungry during Mass, since it's not super easy to nurse in this one (though technically possible).
Dress: Vogue 2960
Cardigan: Loft
Shoes: Macy's

My plan seems to have payed off, since he fell asleep before Mass and was okay when he woke up midway though. The tradeoff was that he decided to fill his diaper instead, so we ducked out the back way to avoid the post-Mass May Crowning crowd and changed him in the back of the car. Cause we're classy like that.

Bean was in a belligerent mood because I told him he couldn't wear his moon buggy shirt to church, which discussion ended with me literally sitting on him to get church clothes on. The ride to Mass was peppered with "We can not go to church?", and, when that wasn't panning out, "We can go to a different church?" But as usual, he was quiet enough in Mass, he just crawled all over everyone and everything. And stared longingly at the bag of Goldfish in the pew behind us.

A couple of sewing notes on the dress, while we're at it. The pattern is listed as "easy," but this is Vogue we're talking about, so that's only true if you consider welt buttonholes and a front placket "easy". The fabric is a bottomweight sateen from JoAnn, and it would be a dream to work with on a lot of projects, but the satin weave didn't play nice with all those little clipped corners, so I had to hand overcast over a couple of spots to cover frayed edges.
The back of this dress doesn't really work with a normal bra, so I added lingerie strap guards to the shoulders, which also helps keep the cap sleeves in place. The original pattern had a center back seam, but I had enough fabric to skip that, so I did. Other than that, I think the only thing to change if I made it again (and I very well might) would be to add pockets.

To see some other great Sunday outfits, check out the "What I wore Sunday" linkup at Fine Linen and Purple!

Friday, May 9, 2014


Note to self: bread rises a weeee bit faster this time of year.
Recipe here, and it's awesome; just check it a little sooner than called for.

Quotable Bean: Crappy Phone Pics Edition

Reading Little Bear:

Me: "Which story do you want?"
Bean: "Dis one."
"That just says. 'contents'"
"Oh yeah yeah yeah. Contents!"
"That's not a story."

Me: "I would drive to a castle—"
Bean: "Oh! It's a church!"
"No, it's a castle."
"Um, it is a church. See the door?"

Anglerfish is in the impound lot (on top of the bookcase) for flinging himself out of Bean's hands one too many times:
"Rocket ship will get the Anglerfish! [returning a minute later] Umm.... rocket needs a ladder."

To the cardinal on the TJ's bag:
"That is a red chicken. He is singing 'Cheeseburger in Paradise'!"

"No! Uncle Nick will not steer! He will drive into the light!"
Apparently, nobody but Mama is allowed to drive Mama's car.

Getting ready to leave the grandparents:
Me: "Are you ready to go back and see Dada tomorrow?"
Bean: "Um, Dada does not have an axe."
NB: Dada wishes it to be known that he totally does have an axe. Just not a wood pile.

Costco checkout lady: "Is that your baby?"
Bean (steering the conversation towards topics of general interest): "That is a pizza!"
CCL: "Did he just call the baby 'pizza'?"

Walking out of our favorite brunch place this Sunday, we pass a girl about Bean's age coming in.
Girl: "Pancakes? Pancakes?"
Linus (throws his arms in the air): "Pancakes!!"
Yes, you have reached the promised land.