Wednesday, January 5, 2011

and the cinnamon roll also rises

or at least I hoped it would. Day after New Year's Day I tackled my first batch of cinnamon rolls. Also, my first attempt at using yeast. I used a great recipe from Saint Louis Days and Nights, a cookbook published by the Junior League of Saint Louis. These are the official famous Junior League rolls.

Things I learned...
1) Yeast needs to be refrigerated after opening.
2) A child's bath thermometer will work in a pinch for measuring the temp of water for use with yeast. (Throughly cleaned before hand, of course.)
3) The Pioneer Woman is absolutely right. More butter makes it better. I'll use twice as much next time. 
4) Cinnamon is a super useful spice. One I don't use enough.

{Turtle says, "Too hot."}

{Turtle says, "Just right."}

{Does this look foamy to you?}

{Mixed dough}

{Rise baby, rise.}

{It has risen. I think.}

{Successfully rolled.}

{Pre-butter dip}

{Ready for the oven.}

{The aftermath.}


Sunday, January 2, 2011

triple word score: wowza

Day One:

I am completely astonished by what I learned last night playing a game I've played for years. I've been playing Scrabble all wrong. You may have been doing so, too.

Here's the kicker. This little known (to me) rule worked in my favor this time but could definitely not some other time.  And it doesn't really seem fair. And that makes it worse. And that would make me very unhappy.

See, I like to win. I know what you are thinking, "who doesn't?" But seriously, I really like to win. My husband can attest to it. Hence the need for an oath last night before our game of Scrabble. I swore that I be sportsman-like. As did he.

Generally, our games progress like this. I start out strong and keeping going that way and he gets mad. And I get mad that he is mad. Then I win. He's madder and I gloat. The end. (His version might be different.)

And last night was different. The high score went back and forth between us until I ended the game by using all my tiles. He couldn't use his. As per the rules we had been playing by for years, we subtracted the points of his unused letter from his score. We were tied.

"How could we tie?" I said. "Let me look at the rules." 

I look at the rules. Here's what it says: "Unplayed letters: When the game ends, each player's score is reduced by the sum of his or her unplayed letters. In addition if a player used all of his or her letters [I did], the sum of the other players' unplayed letters is added to that player's score."

Our score sheet looked like this:

Me (the wife)
223 + 8 (my hubby's unused tile points) = 231

Him (the husband)
231 - 8 (his unused points) = 223

Oh, my gosh. "What?" he said. "Let me see that." I read them aloud again.

We both were flabbergasted. But I did keep to my word and did not gloat. Out loud.

Has anyone else been playing Scrabble all wrong? If you keep old score sheets like we do, would the outcomes turn out very different? Are you flabbergasted, too? Or, do you have a more exciting life than I? :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

you say you want a resolution

As I look back over the year, I think to myself, what did I accomplish? I certainly did a lot on the mom front. My son went from a little crawler to a tentative walker then runner and crazy talker. I navigated these changes learning all the way how best to care for, teach and handle an active toddler.

What did I do for myself? Um, not much. I dabbled in some exercise. Sporadically sewed (though I did get it together for a little shop on Etsy). Other than that, I am not sure I accomplished much.

I have been thinking. What if I resolved to learn or do something new (to me) every day? Too ambitious? Maybe every week to start. It doesn't have to be extreme. I don't envision jumping out of an airplane one day and then snowboarding the next. I just want to learn more, try more and do more. I think it will make me a better person. Someone not afraid to take a risk, make a mistake or embarrass myself (I do that on a regular basis anyway).

As I love to do, I'll start a list. I won't claim to have "a bucket list." This is just to get the juices flowing.
  • poach an egg (inspired by Julie & Julia)
  • go zip-lining (we do have this in Missouri)
  • go to a movie by myself
  • make homemade cinnamon rolls
  • install an electrical outlet (on the home improvement to do list)
This may seem small and ridiculous but I know I can come up with some good stuff. It may not change the world but it will help change my world and those in it.

So with that, I think the position of this blog may change a little. Just want to keep track of all the things I am "learning" and "doing." Hope that you find something that makes you a little happy camper just like me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

get your wreath on

I love classic holiday wreaths. Evergreen and deep red velvet bows are so lovely together. They instantly put a Christmas-y touch on anything. You simply can't screw it up. Loop some red ribbon through the top of a wreath. Tack it to the top of a window pane and voila, instant Feliz Navidad.

Here is a sample and tutorial:

{Wreath Hanging Tutorial from My Serendipity} 

Happy hanging!

Friday, November 26, 2010

christmas card preview

I finally decided on our lovely Christmas card from Shutterfly. I wanted to share several pictures from our November photo session and this was a perfect card to do just that. I like the simplicity of the card and cheerful red and green color scheme. The card will be printed in a matte finish on premium stock paper. I can't wait to get them in the mail and send them out to family and friends. Thanks Shutterfly!

Family Wall Red Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

wardrobe fit for the royals: bridal shower

We've already attended the engagement party for will and kate, which of course was wonderful. Now, we are all ready to shower the princess bride with gifts. (Where do you think a prince and his fiance register?)

Time to be prim and proper. The ladies will likely be having tea and scones and unwrapping lovely packages. This outfit seems appropriate: 

{cloaked in roses jacket from anthropologie}

Monday, November 22, 2010

wardrobe fit for the royals: dressing for will & kate's wedding festivities

How do I know the newly engaged prince and soon-to-be princess of Wales? Well, I don't. I am just pretending. That is what blogging is all about, right? Imagining up scenarios in which we would dress, decorate or shop for things we can't afford nor do we need. To this end, I figure I will need four new looks (at minimum) for the upcoming nuptial festivities: engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and wedding.

{congrats william & kate!}

Let's tackle that engagement party first. Something* colorful, classy and young:

{printed ruched jersey dress by robert cavalli from nordstrom}

{be dazzled earrings by kate spade} 

Stay tuned for the bridal shower...

*Please note I can not actually afford any of these items. Not even close. Remember the imagining part. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

pickin' fly cards from shutterfly

So, we had our fall/holiday photos taken last Saturday (a very blustery day) as I mentioned in a previous post in The Loop. The next task at hand once you've taken holiday photos and selected just the perfect pictures is placing them in the perfect card.

I've always had a great experience shopping with Shutterfly. Now that I think about it, I've ordered tons from Shutterfly over the last year:

Here are some Shutterfly holiday cards that I have an eye on for the aforementioned holiday pics:

{i love this retro metro card with the cheery green and red "ribbon" look.}

{oh what fun would be oh so perfect for a black and white photo}

{what is great about the full of love card is that you can use an entire photo and obstruct very little of it in the final look.}

{this year in pictures new year's card is an adorable way of recapping 2010.}

Decisions, decisions. Stay tuned for the final choice!

Friday, November 19, 2010

sew & support schools: oliver + s

Once again, Twitter has helped me to discover a simply adorable company, Oliver + S, which designs sewing patterns for children. Best part? They are doing a promotion supporting our nation's neediest schools (education is my day job and a cause near and dear to my heart). 

Purchase a pattern from Oliver + S's site and they will donate 15 percent of the sale to a school of your choosing.

{how cute are the finished pattern illustrations?}

Great idea!