Monday, August 30, 2010

Home Ec, Circa 1989

When I was in Home Economics with Mrs. Taylor in 1989 I chose to make a pair of maroon (school colors, of course!) stirrup pants for my final sewing project.  I even wore them later to school on game days, as athletes had to dress up (which part is funnier - that I just called myself an "athlete," or that I considered my horribly executed maroon pants dress clothes??).  Anyway, looky what I found at Gap:

Gap Stirrup Leggings

Interested?  Get them for the low, low price of $12.99 in your choice of black or charcoal.  If only I had kept those pants, I'd be in style for sure!!  :)

101 Insults

So I just heard about a new book called 101 Places Not to See Before You Die by Catherine Price.  Among the sites listed in the anti-travel guide is Nevada.  The entire state of Nevada.    I've not been known to rave about Nevada, but it's an insult to everyone here to boil a whole state down to the less-than-lovely aspects of the Las Vegas Strip, nuclear fallout, the potential nuclear garbage dump, and a segment of the state profiting off of those who wish to look for evidence of aliens. 

Nevada has wonderful outdoor recreation (hiking, golf, climbing, biking, skiing, boating, and on and on), historical sites, shopping, restaurants, museums, and spas, just to get started.  If you're not into that, it has great shows of all kinds, concerts, gambling, and oddities.  The state is diverse in geography, economy, and culture.  It has something for everyone.  It doesn't have everything for everyone, but it has something.  Doesn't every state have something for everyone if they just care to look? 

Hey, we've all been places that underwhelmed.  The point is to take from a place what you can.  Go in with a positive attitude, do some research, and try to have fun.  Oh, and if you ever find yourself putting together a web site promoting your book, do a quick spell check (ahem, Ms. Price, that means you).

Ms. Price seems like an intelligent, funny, and well-rounded individual.  Her book won't harm any of the sites listed, and it might even promote some of them.  I'd just be more interested in a book that lists both the best things to do and see, as well as those that are best skipped, with the focus on the good.  Since we moved to Las Vegas, we constantly hear about all of the things people hate about Vegas, and are often met with surprise when people learn that there is more to the city than a five-mile strip of casinos.  Come on, people!  Las Vegans don't sit around playing slot machines and drinking booze from novelty cups until it's time to get to work flipping nudie cards at passers-by or stripping!  Sorry for going off on a tangent...

If you care to look for beautiful, interesting, and fun things in Nevada, check here first.  Then here.  Maybe I'll do a little post on things to love about this place soon.  Hey, here's a pretty place I haven't visited yet, the Ruby Mountains.

Ruby Mountains

Friday, August 27, 2010


Watch this outstanding video found on Radiolab by Will Hoffman and Daniel Mercadante on words and language.

Doesn't it make you think about the minutia of life differently?  It's beautiful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good Eats, Courtesy of Beaba

We were fortunate enough to receive a Beaba Babycook steamer/blender/warmer/defroster as a baby shower gift, which fit right in with our plan to make C's food from natural, organic ingredients.  He's edging on 6 months now, and has been eating rice cereal for a week, so I thought it was high time I broke out the Babycook.  Isn't it cute?

I decided to go ahead and make C's next two weeks' of food (right now he's still on breast milk except for one meal in the evening, which is rice cereal.  We will be serving him one new organic fruit or vegetable every 4-5 days with a smaller portion of rice cereal or just milk).  This week we're doing avocado (which doesn't need to be cooked, just blended until smooth with a bit of milk).  Then sweet potato and pear will come next.

All I had to do was chop up the produce, throw it in the basket, add the appropriate amount of water to the tank (there's a reference guide in the manual), and turn the thing on.  Minutes later I had perfectly steamed sweet potatoes and pears.  I chose to leave all of the water left from the steaming process in the container, but you can drain some or add a different liquid if you like when you puree.  (I like the water because it contains some nutrients from the vegetables/fruits).  Anyway, next I dumped the cooked produce from the basket into the container, put on the lids and turned the dial to blend.  At this point you can choose how chunky you'd like the baby food, and since C is a beginner, I pureed it until it was smooth.   

Same story for the pears. I peeled them first, although I should've steamed them with the skins to get all of the nutrients, and then peeled before pureeing.  

So far I love my Beaba Babycook! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Plain White Ts

Last night we left C with his first babysitter (that we're not related to, anyway) so we could go to an event with the Plain White Ts. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing (only called home once!) since the sitter is actually a mom, herself, and clearly loves kids. The two of them got along wonderfully. It was good to get away, and the T's sang this sweet song

and we ate at Nove,where we had the most delicious carne cruda and a fantastic salad.  Thank you, J, for taking such good care of our C.  Thank you, Nick, for your kindness (please stop flaunting your cool Vespa and making BB think he needs one, too!!).  Thank you Zoe for the space and your kindness.  Thank you Nove chef for serving up the deliciousness.  Thank you BB for the great date!


It's a bad day for pigeons in my neighborhood. The pigeon guy has evicted the tenants of three nests on our house. They're pretty likely to move next door, but I don't care, as long as they stop pooing on our steps and driveway. Adieu, pigeons.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Enough Already, Katy!

If you're not listening to NPR Music's casual, intimate Tiny Desk Concerts, you should be.  Recent faves:

Raphael Saadiq

Zuill Bailey

Tallest Man on Earth

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (they're wacky, but talented!)

So next time you catch yourself singing "Daisy Dukes, bikinis on top" for the thousandth time, go choose a tiny desk concert.  Any of them will do.

Bake-N-Blog: Lemon Cupcakes with Jam Filling

As mentioned previously, I'm participating in Staci Edwards' Bake-N-Blog project.  I chose cupcake #7 from Ming Makes Cupcakes, Lemon Cupcakes with Jam Filling, as shown above.  It's no surprise that I went with a lemon cupcake.  Just look what I found in my pantry...

Ahem.  Now pretend you didn't see that. 

On to better things....

First things first - who knew it would be hard to find cake flour?? Maybe people in Las Vegas don't bake much?  Anyway, after three stores I was ready to go.

The gang's all here.

Mix.  Cream.  Beat.

I was doubtful when I saw that the recipe calls for 4 eggs.  Forgive me.  They made the lightest, loveliest batter with the flour and buttermilk.  I might've even tasted it.  Don't judge.

In went the lemon juice and zest, and voila!  The batter was complete.  Easy!  Nearly as easy as that Betty Crocker cake mix, but now I know exactly what's in my cupcakes!  Next I filled the cupcake papers (was I supposed to use papers?  It's probably not as gorgeous as it could be, but I didn't know), popped them in the oven and cleaned my microwave and garbage disposal with leftover lemon parts while I waited.  Feeling newly virtuous, Sally Homemaker pulled the cupcakes out of the oven to cool.  Somehow I ended up with 22 cupcakes.  I guess I was a bit chintzy when filling the cups.

After cooling, I carved out cones from the tops, bit cut off the tips of the cones to make lids for the holes, filled the holes with raspberry jam, and topped them with the little lids.  Again, easy.

Next up, I topped the cupcakes with whipped cream and garnished with strawberries.

I found my taste tester in his office, delivered the goods, and awaited his reaction with bated breath...

The verdict?  "Perfect for summer, light and lemony."  So BB loved it, and he's generally a chocolate cake guy. 

I liked it, too, as you can see.  These would be perfect for a crowd, since I doubt you'd want to do the whipped cream and berries on a whole batch if you were not serving them right away.  Would it be overkill to top these with little pieces of candied lemon peel?  Blueberries would be great, too.


Linky-link, fellow bake-n-bloggers:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Let's ignore the fact that it's going to be 108 degrees today.  It's almost fall.  School has started, catalogs of Halloween costumes are out, and the nights are growing cooler. My sister and I were daydreaming about sitting out on the porch with a good book, a sweater, and a cup of hot tea smelling the crisp autumn air . . . ooooooooh, I can't wait!  Until then, I can swoon over these:

His for Fall:
Kenneth Cole Reaction Motorcycle Jacket
The North Face Men's Hayden Shoe

J Crew Argyle Sweater

Hers for Fall:
Frye Paige Tall Riding Boot

Banana Republic Wool Cloche

Anthropologie O'Reilly Jacket
Anthropologie Sugar-Coated Shirtdress

For Baby:

Next Knitted Romper
For the Home:
CB2 Branch Mat

Sundance Catalog Four Winds Throw

I'm guessing there are inexpensive versions of all of the above.  I'm off to find them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Can the Cover Sell the Album?

Check out The Most Ridiculous Record Covers of All Time courtesy of The Huffington Post. Here's one of them:


Play it Again

The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt  (I can't remember who led me to this.  Sorry!)

Brandon Flowers - Hard Enough  (BB had the pleasure of working with Brandon and raved about this song in particular)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Anthropologie, more than any other store, can get it so right....and so wrong. 
Sprightly Steps Dress


Poni Cardigan

I guess that if they had to make a garment inspired by a horse, we can be glad it wasn't a skirt.

Monday, August 16, 2010

08/23/2010 - don't call, I'm busy.

There are things that take some getting used to about Las Vegas and the desert, like feeling as though you're walking around with a hair dryer blowing on your face for three months out of the year and finding slot machines in gas stations and grocery stores, both of which you eventually accept.  On the other hand, the lack of a Hobby Lobby has been harder to swallow.  Sure, Michael's and Joann are good, but Hobby Lobby - Oh! Hobby Lobby - is beyond good.  It's sort of the Super Target of the craft world.  Go in planning to buy a little spray adhesive and come out with St. Patrick's Day decorations, artificial lemons, fondant, and the wintergreen mints my grandma always had at her house. 

Delicious, in that old-timey way.  You can get these at Nuts Online.

Alas, the valley is finally getting it's own Hobby Lobby opening next week.  If you still don't have one in your area, don't fret.   They now have an online store.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Flight, Easy Peasy. Second Flight....

Were you on a flight from Omaha to Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon with a frantically crying baby?  Oh, me too.  I was sitting quite close to him actually.  Under him.  I worried so much about the airport, flight in, and drive to my home town (C's first flight) that when it went flawlessly I let down my guard.  Then came the return flight.  Trouble from step one.  We had fussiness in security, a leaky diaper while waiting to board, mild crying in line to board, a brief intermission wherein I thought we might have a nice nap, then we had all out hysterics for 42 hours.  I guess it must've really been 15 minutes, and perhaps "hysterics" is a bit of an exaggeration, but if you were there you'd agree that the flight was looking like torture at that point.  Then, after multiple rounds of the abc song (Tilly and the Wall!), Walk Like a Man, and Three Little Fishies, he calmed down enough to feed.  Then - blissful napping.  I can't blame the poor fella.  He came down with a cold in Nebraska (could have something to do with the throngs of people grabbing him for four days) and was out of sorts. I will never think mean thoughts when I get in the security line behind a family with multiple kids and bags again.  Probably. 

You Are My Sunshine (August 8-August 14, 2010)

We just returned from a trip to Nebraska for C's baptism, which was lovely.  This was our first time traveling, and I found myself spending a lot of alone time pumping or quiet time nursing C.  In need of some reading material, I turned to my childhood book collection and found the Little House on the Prairie box set.  When my sister and I were little we played "little house" on my grandparents' farm, and as a kid I often thought that I was born at the wrong time - that I really belonged in the 1800s (now I realize that I wouldn't have lasted long without modern hygeine products and rights).  Anyway, I read On the Banks of Plum Creek and On the Shores of Silver Lake.    They're as good as ever.  Too bad the television series inspired by the books was so lame.

Incidently, look what is on Ms. Amy Karol's blog today.