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I sent my first order of barrettes to this store in Port Townsend, WA.  I was really pleased with how all of the colors popped when they were assembled.  It was a lot of work but a fun challenge and something to keep my hands busy at night after Lola settles down.  I had a stamp made and think they look pretty cute on their hang tags.  I am making more to stock up my Etsy shop soon.

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From a product testing standpoint I am happy to report that the barrettes are holding up quite well.  Lola is still teething and has been using them to relieve her tooth pain when I am not watching – or so she thinks!  She has also been trying to pull the flowers off.  She has had no luck destroying them!

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badonkadonk – an expression for an extremely curvaceous female behind

I first heard this word while while rock climbing in El Portrero Chico, Mexico a few years ago.  My friends and I were climbing down there for a week.  On one long tough climb a friend said she could no longer pull her badonkadonk up the climb.  We all busted up laughing and still do every now and again.  This friend, by the way, hardly has a badonkadonk!

While walking to the market a few weeks ago with Lola, we passed by this sign at a local gym and I couldn’t pass up this photo.

badonkadonk

On to the meat of this post… I am doing a 10 mile run in Philadelphia in two weeks – the Broad St Run.  I have never run in a race before.  I am not a runner and have never had much luck trying to make it my “thing”.  I do however have a bit more badonkadonk than I want right now.  A friend told me he was training for the run and I told him I would too.  I have been trying, albeit not too hard, to lose the extra weight from my pregnancy.  So here I am – training.

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I have been running with a couple of friends and sometimes with Lola in her chariot.  (She is pouting because I was using the camera and not her.)  I have worked myself up to seven miles and am confident that the other three miles are there.  I know that I can bike a century ride with a little training so I figure ten miles is realistic to run.  I have been feeling great while I run as well as after and that has made it really easy to keep it up.  I’ll post some photos after the race.

As they say in the restaurant world, I had a soft opening the other day to my new etsy shop.  In fact it is still rather soft as I am busy taking photos of the barrettes with Lola and her lovely friends as my models.  New sale items will be posted soon.  I am happy to report that I got my first wholesale order the very day I opened the site though!  Okay, I’ll admit the order was placed by my dear friend Jeannine who owns this lovely shop in Port Townsend, WA.  It is a legitimate order though and I am hopeful that my little venture will be successful.  Thanks Jeannine!

Here are some of the photos I’ve snapped…

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I started this blog for a few reasons.  My life now is different from what I would have predicted a few years ago.  It is great and I could not ask for more but life is ever changing.  I get to stay at home to raise Lola and that is a luxury I am grateful to Jeff for.  My job as a mama never stops and I am trying to find little ways here and there to open myself up creatively.  I have struggled with feeling like I am not able to express the person I see myself as often enough though.  This is something I am sure everyone goes through and for new mamas this is especially true.  So by keeping this blog I will hopefully push myself to create and explore more.

In the last six months I have been cooking and baking a lot more which always makes me happy.  I also knitted a lot this winter  and have started sewing more.  I have made some clothes for Lola and her friends as well as some of her dolls!  The dolls are modeling in the first photo above.  The barrettes were something that I decided I wanted to make for friends as gifts.  I got such positive feedback about them I thought that I should try to sell some.

My friends know that I am always scheming about one business idea or another.  I usually talk myself out of them though because my goals are too unrealistic or I am not stupid enough to try them.  This Etsy shop is something I can handle for now though.  My good friend Leah (check out her cool blog and shop) has also pushed me to start a blog and store.  Thanks for the push, kind words and guidance!

So we’ll see where this takes me.  Thanks for following along.

I have been working very slowly on my very first pair of socks. I am happy to say that that they are finally finished and I love them.   Jeff bought me beautiful sock yarn, needles and a pattern for Christmas. He said that he always watches me making things to give away. He also knows that I am obsessed with striped socks and so thought I might need some yarn to do that. He is such a smart guy. So here they are and I am happy to report that they are comfy too!

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Today and yesterday were lovely here and unseasonably warm.  We decided to make the most of it yesterday by taking a trip into the city to visit a friend.  We had a lovely day that involved the largest cookie Lola has ever seen and a trip to the Central Park Zoo.

My former teacher/chef made lunch for us and the surprise cookie for Lola.  It took her while to figure out how to eat the cookie.  She eventually figured it out and she and Michel were both very pleased!

Gigantic Cookie

Michel and Lola

On the biggest sugar high Lola has ever known we headed across the street to the Central Park Zoo.  We had a nice time walking around outside but it seemed very tough for her to concentrate on the actual animals.  This could be because she is only 18 months, or because she was tired, or the lovely weather but I think it was the sugar.  She didn’t eat too much of the cookie and she really only has sugar when we go to visit Michel.

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She enjoyed these bunnies a lot and when we left she immediately fell asleep in the pack for our ride home.  A fun day was had by all!

I’ve been baking bread for a long time.  I have even taught classes on bread baking.  Recently I read in the New York Times about Jim Lahey’s no knead pizza dough and subsequently his no knead bread recipe.  I figured I would give it a try not expecting too much.  Little did I know I was about to make my best loaves of bread to date.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Lola has begun to really enjoy helping me in the kitchen.  I pulled out an apron for her the other day and she kept pointing to hers and then to mine with a huge smile – like we were part of a secret club.

Measuring

Measuring

So with our aprons in place and our four ingredients we were ready to get started.  We put it all together and mixed a couple of times and that is it!  This is a perfect kid recipe because the measurements can be a bit off and you don’t have to mix much.

Ahh this is fun!

Ahh this is fun!

This doesn't look right...but it is just wait and see!

This doesn't look right...but it is just wait and see!

There is no need to knead the dough.  I leave it on my counter for 24 hours covered near the oven and then we shape it and bake it.  I have been using a ceramic casserole dish  with a top to bake the bread and the results are amazing.

This picture is of a loaf made from half of the recipe.  While I could eat a whole loaf myself, I try not to most days.  If I make half of the recipe it is the perfect amount for us for a couple of days.

Are you sure you didn't buy that somewhere?

Are you sure you didn't buy that somewhere?

Yummy bread Mama

Yummy bread Mama

The crust of the bread is like a french baguette and the inside is like a perfect sponge.  I have never made better bread and have also never had to work so little to make it.

Here are a few tips to make your loaves even better than my first few were:

  • When the dough is fermenting for 24 hours cover it with saran wrap.  I have tried this with a tea towel and saran wrap.  I wanted the towel to work but a crust formed on the top of the dough and it does not with the saran wrap.
  • After the ferment you take the dough out of the bowl, knead it a couple of times, shape it and then let it rise for 2 more hours.  The recipe tells you to flour a tea towel and put the dough on it and then flour the top and cover it with another towel.  It is important to use a generous amount of flour on this step.  If you do not, when the dough rises it will stick to your towels and you will have a big mess.  This flouring also helps your finished product look really professional (see photo above).
  • The casserole dish/dutch oven plays a key role in the making of excellent crust.  Always remember to heat your dish and lid in the oven as it preheats.  You want the vessel hot when you put the dough in it so that it starts cooking right away.  You also never want to put a cold vessel into a really hot oven – it will crack.  I am speaking from experience here!
  • I have been making this recipe with a mix of half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour.  I like the taste – not too heavy and not too white.

That’s it.  I hope you have as much fun as we are making bread!

Please check back soon.  I will be posting about some crafts, my new Etsy site,  my adventures with and without Lola and other random things.  Thanks for dropping in!

Check back soon for updates!

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