2011 So Wonderful, So Marvelous Favorites

29 December 2011 | 3 Comments

January:  I Fired My Doctor.  Quite possibly one of the best decisions I have ever made.

February:  Apparently February was my dude because I have three for this month and I couldn’t decide.  When Pioneer Woman announced the gender of my babyQuit being a jerk to yourself.  AND my irrational fear of nasal irrigation.

March:  Pet Peeves.  I know you’re probably totally shocked, but my list is long.

April: Finn’s Gary Busey Hair.

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May:  50 Things To Do With Kids in Toledo, Ohio.

June:  Baby Tate’s arrival in 7 pounds 10 ounces.  Everyone needs a Pink Ombre PedicureTexas, Y’all because my husband is a “Texan” and an idiot.

July:  Our Love Story.  It is not nearly as vomit inducing as it sounds.

August:  Our al fresco dinner with friends.  I can’t wait for warmer weather to repeat this.

September:  My bloggy date with the fabulous Meg of House Notes.  And the Scrabble Bridal Shower.


October:  Listen to your  wife or lose a thumb.  Dave strikes again.

November:  The Ball of Christmas

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December:  Finn & Tate.


27 December 2011 | 2 Comments

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The TREE, it’s still standing!  All ten feet of it!

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From Our House to Yours, Merry Christmas!

23 December 2011 | 4 Comments

Have a great holiday weekend filled with making out under the mistletoe, too much rummy egg nog, children who awake at the crack of dawn, & more happiness than you can handle.

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Vanilla-Almond Cut Out Cookies

22 December 2011 | 5 Comments

When I was a little girl my Meme used to make gobs of cut out cookies for us every year, just as she did with her own kids when they were young.  She told me this week that even the neighbor kids would come over to decorate cookies when my mom was little.  Every year she’d bake and bake and then set us to decorating.  We would slather them up with icing and load on the sprinkles for good measure.  I can’t remember when she stopped making them, I must have been in high school.  She happily lent me her cutters, as well as my own to make my cookies this year.  They are older, much older than I am, and are still in excellent condition. 

Much like Meme. 

She also assured Finnegan that she was not, in fact, older than Santa when he asked.

I use a recipe slightly adapted from the fabulous Bake at 350.  If you haven’t been to her site yet go there now, it is pure fabulousness.  I use her exact royal icing recipe.

  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • pinch of salt {I use a vanilla bean sea salt}
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t almond extract

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter until just combined. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate your dough for a minimum of one hour.

Roll out between two sheets of parchment paper dusted with a little flour and cut into shapes.  Place on parchment lined baking sheets, freeze for 10-15 minutes, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I rotated out four baking sheets while making a double batch of these, it made the baking go much quicker.  One getting loaded up with newly cut out cookies.  One in the freezer.  One in the oven.  And one cooling.  Also, you can reuse the parchment paper, you don’t need a new sheet for each batch.  Just remove the cookies to the cooling rack and reuse the parchment.

Then, get your girlfriends to come over have some drinks and decorate cookies while listening to Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson.

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What is on your holiday baking list?

Gone Bakin’

20 December 2011 | 2 Comments

I would post, but I am lazy busy.

Busy making these and these and these… only the Christmas version, of course.

My teeny tiny cookie swap is tomorrow night and I could not be more excited to spend an evening with the girls, decorate some cookies, and eat one or two in the process.

And wine. 

Lots of wine.

Happy Happy 21st Elise.

19 December 2011 | 6 Comments

Today, my baby sister is 21 years old.  I am not sure where the time went, but it seems like yesterday my 15 year old self was throwing an epic fit about the fact that there would be a new brother or sister to share our family with. 

Or something. 

I mean, I’d like to say that I was all ecstatic that she was coming, but that would be a total and utter lie.

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And then she got here.  I’ve been pretty much a goner ever since.

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Lyndsey used to pay her a penny to drink pickle juice.  We bought her first pair of itsy bitsy Guess jeans at Lion Store.  We taught her bad stuff.  We were her champions and made fun of my dad when he gave her the ‘delicate flower’ cringe-worthy talk about puberty that no one wants to get from their dad.  Then we told her how it really was.  We tease her constantly about almost getting arrested, the time that she got her shoe stolen in the library, and are there for an honest {or too honest} opinion when she needs it.  We’ve laughed with her, cried with her, and tried to be the best big sisters we can be.

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She is lovely.  And fucking hilarious.  She is a leader.  {And I never thought I’d be able to say that.}  She has come into her own being away at school.  She is unbelievably gorgeous.  And just as nice on the inside as the out.  Mostly.

She is 21.



Happy Birthday Lisey.  We love you.

Oh… and her gifts?  This.

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{Ann Marie, you are a rockstar!}


16 December 2011 | 3 Comments

One of my very favorite Christmasy things is watching that part in Christmas Vacation where the squirrel comes out of the tree and all hell breaks loose in the Griswald house.  It is ridiculousness at it’s finest. 

Want to know what else is ridiculousness at it’s finest this Christmas season?  My mother.

For those of you who are new here, my mom has been featured several times on So Wonderful, So Marvelous.  There was the time she met that guy from Nine Inch Nails, her karma points buying & the time she met Martha, and my favorite… the time she ran into Snoop Dog.

This year, my mom took Finnegan to the Christmas tree farm to pick out the tree.  She pulled up to her building and pulled the tree into the elevator from the loading dock.  Then she pulled the tree into the living room and called my sister to help her lift it up.

The tree was ten feet tall.

Why, you rightly ask, was she pulling the tree in all by herself?

She was arguing with my step-dad, so instead of asking for his help, she said fuck it, I don’t need a man to put up a tree.

In fact, I believe, according to my sister, that is exactly what she said as they put the lights on the tree.

The next morning, she came out to the living room.  The lights were out on the tree and she thought maybe that she blew a fuse.


She put the ladder up and climbed up to start pulling the lights back off the tree.

It tilted ever so slightly.

She said at that point she was thinking, “well this can’t be good…”

She climbed back off the ladder, climbed under the tree and started turning the screw to tighten it, it was about then that she should have shouted Timberrrrrrr.  {Crappy cell phone pics compliments of my sister Lyndsey.}




She was lucky. It went in between two columns in the living room narrowly missing a lot of glass, my great great grandmother’s newly refurbished buffet, a lamp or two, plants, and the furniture.  Ten feet of crashing tree {and ladder} is a lot.   Allow me to illustrate it’s lucky path of non-destruction with this picture from Thanksgiving…


You would think that maybe this is where our story ends, but alas, not in this family.

Who does she call to help her with the now fallen ten foot tree?  My sister.

They get it righted without {much} incident.  It was about then that she realized that she has no way to keep it upright so she tells Lyndsey to HOLD THE TEN FOOT TREE UP while she figures out a solution. 

And then she took a picture of her.


An hour or so.  Some emergency phone calls to the Davester.  Some mortar patching, cable, and wiring the tree to the wall later… all is well that ends well.

How much are you wishing you were a part of this family Christmas right now?   Yeah, me neither.

Chocolate Covered Spoons

14 December 2011 | 8 Comments

I have been dipping everything in chocolate that isn’t nailed down.  I found this fab dipping chocolate from Ghirardelli at Costco or Sam’s... I don’t remember which.  It tastes A-mazing and it’s so easy to use.  I’m never going back to chips!  Ya hear me?  Neverrrrr.

I love chocolate dipped spoons.  You just stir into hot chocolate for extra chocolatey goodness, into coffee, or a latte to make a mocha.  We did two flavors, milk chocolate and peppermint chocolate.

Both are delish and crazy easy to do.

You’ll want some heavyweight plastic spoons.  Melt your chocolate in the microwave.  Do it at half power in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted.  I like to use my 2 cup glass pyrex measuring cup.

Dip your spoons coating the back and filling the well with chocolate.  Allow excess chocolate to drip off.  I used a lid to prop up the spoons as they were drying so the chocolate stays even in the spoon.  Allow to dry OR add fun things to your spoons.

We started with crushed Bob’s peppermints.  These are pretty much beloved by all in our family.

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I found these cute sugar snowmen {made by Wilton} and added those to the spoons along with some cute pearlized sugar ‘snow’ sprinkles.

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Stick in a bag and tie with a ribbon.  These are great to add to a coffee mug or just tied to a coffee giftcard.

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