Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Piece of Cake

With Harper’s birthday right around the corner I have been obsessing about what is, without a doubt, the most important detail; The Cake.
I really want to make Harper's first birthday cake from scratch, frosting and all. You know, something whimsical but simple. I was thinking a spice or pumpkin cake, or even applesauce, but then I remembered that Harper hates cinnamon with a passion she usually reserves for her Pediatrician.

Perfect! I should be able to whip this up in just under a month, no sweat.

So now I’m considering a vanilla cake, or maybe cupcakes (even though they’re so 2008).

Why would anyone make clown cupcakes when it has been scientifically proven that clowns scare well over 100% of children (and a fair number of adults, too)? 

The only problem is that Harper has some food sensitivities that are going to make this project a little more complicated than I’d envisioned. She has a nasty dairy intolerance and a recently discovered egg intolerance, too. And, while finding a dairy-free, egg-free cake recipe is difficult, finding a dairy-free, egg-free cake worth eating is virtually impossible. I apologize in advance to any vegans that may be reading this but the vast majority of vegan baked goods are too dry, dense and/or overly sweet to make up for the first two offenses.  
So if anyone out there has any ideas for recipe hunting or, even better, has a wonderful vegan cake recipe, please let me know. In the meantime, I will continue Googling diligently .    

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Girl's Day Out

Some of you may remember my recent post where I gushed about Project Runway’s co-host, Tim Gunn. Well, what I did not fully disclose, dear readers, is that shortly after writing that entry (I believe it was the next day, actually) I discovered, much to my surprise and delight, that Mr. Gunn would be hosting a fashion show at our local mall this weekend. I won’t bore you with the details, but I was able to finagle a ticket to the after-show soirée. My good luck was due entirely to a chance meeting with an unusually kind insider who could tell I was a big fan. So yesterday Harper and I got all dolled up, grabbed enough gear and supplies to intimidate even the most seasoned of Sherpas, and headed out to the mall for the afternoon. (Let me also state here, for clarity, that Tim Gunn is one of the very few people for whom I would attend an event at the mall.)      
I knew we were going to have to be early to get good (read “any”) seats, so I timed it so that we would arrive just over an hour prior to the show. And it would have been perfect, had we been 5 minutes earlier. It seems everyone else in town had the same idea because the last seat was filled just as I walked up. No matter, we had a terrific view of the cat walk standing just behind the last row of seats (although I would later come to regret choosing a spot in such close proximity to the speakers).

I found this photo on the web, text included, so I'm not the only one.
Tim was as gracious and dapper as ever, and I got a little thrill to see him in person (if seeing him from the back row of a mall venue amongst a crowd of 700 people or so can be considered “in person”). However, the tides of fashion fortune were not with us yesterday. The show, which was already scheduled in the middle of Harper’s lunch time, started a little late. Harper, who was too fascinated by all the goings on to eat a real lunch, had grown tired of me appeasing her with Cheerios. As you can imagine, a hungry almost one-year-old and a loud, crowded fashion show do not a good combination make. So we left.  
I was hoping I could feed her quickly and we could get back for the post-show party but, by the time we were finished a line of immense proportion had formed outside the reception area, so we skipped it. (Remember the line from the scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie and Randy go to visit Santa at the mall after the Christmas parade? It was that line. What is it with malls and lines?)  
Anyway, it was fun to get out for the day and do something girly with my girl. Here’s a clip of the beginning of the show. I was much closer to the stage than is evident from this footage (I was only four rows back). And please try to ignore the shrieks from the fussy kid strapped to my chest. Enjoy!        
The "Silver Fox" himself.

P.S. Yes, the co-host for the event was named Leah, too. I kept imagining that Tim was speaking directly to me every time he said her name.    

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Walker

I bought the Melissa and Doug Chomp and Clack Alligator Push Toy for Harper's first birthday (next month) because I thought it would help her learn to walk. But she is so close to walking I decided to see how she's like it now. So this morning I put it together and watched to see what would happen. Luckily I was thinking ahead and had the video camera ready to go.  

Go Harper! Go!

It is bittersweet watching this and knowing that my baby is almost a toddler.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Brad was rummaging around under the kitchen sink.
Me: What are you looking for?
Brad: Something to clean the couch with.
Me: What did you spill?
Brad: Upholstery cleaner.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guess How Much

Harper cut three new teeth yesterday! As you can imagine, her appetite has been off the past couple of days but she managed to eat a little something this morning.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One of My Favorite Things

I am not a big fan of television, although you wouldn’t know it to visit my house. During the day the television is on virtually all the time. I like the “background noise.” I attribute this practice to growing up in a large, noisy family where something was always going on. A completely quiet home seems strangely uncomfortable to me.
I know, I know, you’re thinking why not listen to some music or talk radio or something that actually requires some brain cells? Because, and this is the important part, that would actually require some brain cells. Good music is impossible to ignore and Ira Glass makes me think, which is distracting when I’m trying to answer e-mails. If I’m listening to a great album or This American Life I want to savor it. Daytime television requires nothing of me. Which is perfect, because I am not a multitasker.
So let me state again, emphatically (and hypocritically), I am not a big fan of television. In fact, if it were up to me we wouldn’t even have one in the house. The exception, of course, being Thursdays at 9:00 pm (8:00 pm Central Time) when Project Runway is on.
I am completely obsessed with this show. I love the crazy challenges…

Make a dress from birdseed? No problem!
… the wacky and sometimes evil cast…
… the beautiful clothing…
Seriously, who is better with pattern and color than Mondo Guerra?
The answer: no one. I’m still bitter he didn’t win last season.
… and I especially love fashion-tutoring guru and ever-gracious mentor Tim Gunn.
“Make it work, people!”  
I know I’m not alone on this one. Many of you profess to be PR fans, too. But my favorite fan is Becky Garcia of Dirtsa Studio (see the Dirtsa Studio link on my “Time Wasters” tab above). I first became familiar with Becky on Etsy, the ever-so-clever and addictive craftsmen website, where I spend way too much time “getting ideas” (omitted: “of how to spend my money”). She has a Geek-Chic style (which she sometimes refers to as “School Cool”) that I really appreciate.    
Check out this frog dissection throw pillow! Isn’t it just FANTASTIC!  I keep envisioning it nestled lovingly on Harper's rocking chair.
Becky has decided to channel her PR infatuation by doing her own, miniaturized version of the show. Literally. She completes the same challenges assigned to the show’s designers. The twist is that her “model” for whom she sews an entire outfit is Katie, a Barbie-like doll with a gigantic head and fawn-like eyes. She then posts the results on her blog. Sometimes she includes other people’s entries, too.
I am absolutely hooked.

Katie, in this week’s ensemble, complete with shoes from Heidi’s New Balance sneaker line and accessories (used thoughtfully) from the Piperlime accessory wall.

I look forward to Dirtsa’s new blog post nearly as much as Project Runway’s weekly episode. And she has yet to disappoint. I can hardly wait to see what this week’s The Art of the Matter challenge will bring!

Anything to get my mind off the pillow-puff inspired visual travesty produced by Bert this week.

After you are able to tear yourself away from Dirtsa’s blog, check out this gem:
I love Tim Gunn.