Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let there be Cake!

Occasionally, when you're seven months pregnant, someone will mention cake and you know immediately that you have to have it.  This happened to me a couple of Sundays ago.  I meant to write about it then, but things happen.  I have the pictures, so I thought that I would still write about it.  
It was early on a Sunday morning, and I was texting my sister while watching Phantom Gourmet with Guinness.  She mentioned that she had bought a little piece of cake for herself at Grant's Bakery the day before.  Grants bakery is a little sweet shop/cake store in Lewiston, Maine, which is basically where I grew up.  I love their cakes (especially the strawberry cake that my mom will get them to make for me for my birthday).  If you are ever up there, or live up there, you should check them out (  Cake sounded so good to me at that moment.  I decided right then and there....a cake needed to be made. 
Now, at 11am when I first had this idea, I intended to go search my favorite cooking blogs for an all from scratch cake or cupcake recipe.  This never happened, and I totally should have known better.  The Suzy Homemaker I intended to be marched her butt over to Stop and Shop and bought a cake mix.  Hubs and I settled on a chocolate cake with strawberry filling and strawberry icing.   I think we bought a Betty Crocker cake, it was delicious. 
I made the cakes quickly after arriving home from the store.  Tragically, I discovered that my five dollar hand mixer from Wal-Mart no longer worked and had to mix the cake by hand.  I made a quick note to buy a new one, and started mixing.  Two minutes later the cakes were in the pans and in the oven.
When I was little, my Grammy lived with us.  She used to bake with us a lot.  Every time we put a cake in the oven she would tell us not to jump around, because if we did, the cake would fall.  I have no idea if this is true but, I always think of it immediately after putting a cake in the oven.  This time, I decided to tell Hubs not to jump in the house or the cake would fall.  He just looked at me really strange until I explained to him.  I guess I had never mentioned it to him before.  I've been thinking of my Grammy overtime lately with this baby on the way, so I wasn't really surprised.
Once the cake was done, I took it out of the oven and let it cool.  When it was still warm I trimmed a little off one of the layers so it would sit straight.  I don't know if I was supposed to wait until the cake cooled or not to do this, but I was antsy for cake.  The rejected pieces were put on a plate and became Hubs and my pre-dessert snack.  It's really too bad you can't frost warm cake, cause it would be soooooo delicious.
The one on the right is the one I cut :)
When the cake was cool I really got down to business.  Between the layers I put strawberry jam.  This works as a filling in a pinch, but really isn't the most delicious fruit filling ever.  If I had been really ambitious, like I had meant to be, I would have made something creamy and fruity.   But, I was lazy and Strawberry Jam is what I got.

Next, was the frosting.  Upon coming home Hubs and I realized what we had in the counter wasn't at all strawberry frosting.  It was pink funfetti frosting.  Whatever,  I would have liked strawberry frosting...but pink did just fine.  At least it was the same color as strawberry, so I could make believe.
You bet I used the whole can of frosting!
Honestly, the cake was delicious.  Exactly what I wanted.  You can bet we ate every morsel of that thing.  Thank god I am way too lazy to do this every time I get a craving :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crochet Baby Wrap Sweater

Last week, I finally finished the crochet wrap sweater I had been working on for the baby.  When I say finally, I mean it.  This sweater was a disaster from the first stitch to the last. 
I started the sweater very enthusiastically using a pattern from the book that I used to make the crochet hearts. 

I thought the hearts were pretty easy.  I whipped up all five of them in no time.  I was able to follow the pattern without issue, even being a very novice crotchetier (my spell-check said this was a word.  I don't think I believe it...but I like I'm using it). The blurb before this pattern even said that it was good for beginners .  Hogwash!  The pattern was super hard to read.  It didn't follow the nice row by row format of all the other crochet patterns I've tried.  I had faith that I could figure it out though, so I kept on.  Plus, my mom (a very avid crotchetier) told me that I could ask her for help when I needed to.  I was sure we could figure out the pattern if we put our heads together.

I think I may have ripped out each section of this wrap at least one time.  The right sleeve I know for sure I ripped out three.  I was nearly done stitching it and ripped it out to the beginning.  THREE TIMES!!  Unfortunately, Mom wasn't really any help with the pattern, since she hadn't seen one written so awkwardly either.  She actually told me that I should give up.  I would NOT give up.  The sweater was annoying me so much I couldn't.  I wasn't going to let a baby wrap sweater from a stupid book that claimed it was EASY get the better of me.  No....I would finish.

So, here I am.  Finally, finished, and vowing NEVER, NEVER, NEVER to make this sweater again.  I think it came out okay, but just knowing that half of the stitches I had to make up on the fly because I couldn't figure out how to get the instructed increases and decreases to work out to the right stitch count  is just too frustrating to bear again. I'm glad I finished, but overall, I'm going to have to call this project a fail.   

Also, I'm really skeptical about the sleeves.  Will my newborn's wrists really be that skinny??   I know newborns are small...but this just seems more doll like than anything else. 

Linking this up to a party or two :) 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's the Little Things.....

Hubs wakes up and puts together my lunch for me most mornings. Now he's home working on building his law firm (shamless advertising: (but not really cause he's an excellent lawyer) check out the Law office of Darren T. Greaney on facebook or @GreaneyLaw on Twitter!!) so he wakes up to make me lunch and drive me to the train station. I really am very lucky :)

Yesterday, when I took my lunch out of the fridge at work I noticed something special on my sandwich.

How nice is that?? It brightened my day instantly :).

I know I'm kinda bragging, but if u can't brag about your Husband on the Internet, where can you??

A whole day later I'm still thinking about that little note and how happy it made me feel when I found it. It really is the little things that count the most isn't it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

I know what you're thinking ....A weekend wrap up on Wednesday?  Really??  Isn't that kinda late?

Yeah, I is kinda late.  But, honestly, the last weekend was rough. Fun...but rough.  I've just recovered.  So...there's that.

Friday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Boston.  Hubs and Guinness picked me up from work.  Since I had my gym bag and sneakers with me we had the idea to stop at Castle Island in Southie for a little dinner and evening walkies.  Castle Island is one of my favorite spots in Boston.  It's a very popular park and walk around a little piece of Boston Harbor.  Right at the head of the park is a small fast food place called Sullivan's.  Sullivan's is the kind of place that puts their burgers in wax paper to serve.  I don't know what it is about those places, but they are always the best.  Don't get me wrong, it's not health food in the least.  It's greasy and fatty, and DELICIOUS.  Plus, it's only open in the spring and summer.

(Sullivan's actually has a website.....Check it out )

Dinner was great.  We even let Guin enjoy a few fries.  The walk however, that was something I wasn't really prepared for.  I've walked around Castle Island so many times since I moved to Boston sixish years ago.   This is the only time it has ever taken the life out of me.  It was very windy, and maybe that's why I felt so drained....or maybe it was just because I'm seven months pregnant and can't handle a two mile walk  Regardless of the reason, I was beat when we got back to the car.  Both the dog and I fell asleep on the couch a little after eight, and didn't wake up again until after midnight, when we both decided it was time to go to bed.

Saturday morning my parents arrived for their weekend visit.  My Mom and I had planned to take our annual trip to the Boston Flower Show.  Usually, it's at the expo center in Dorchester near Hubs old high school, but this year it was in town at the Seaport World Trade Center.  My Dad and Hubs decided not to go to the flower show with us.  Neither flowers or crowds are really their thing, and both are ever present at the flower show.

I absolutely love the flower show.  The exhibits are always so beautiful.  Each year there is at least one display that I wish I could escape into with a book and never leave.  This year did not disappoint.   My dream exhibit this year was this one with an little house (perfect for a craft studio) and lush fruit trees.

The last picture is a tad bit blurry...but there were chaises underneath the house.  This is where I would do my reading (while sipping on white wine or equally classy mixed drinks).

This year the theme of the show was container gardening.  They had some pretty cute ideas for planting in containers.  Here are a few of my favorites:

There was a lot of metal work adorning the garden displays this year.  My dad is a metal fabricator so we took a bunch of pictures of those for him.  Mom and I tried to convince him that he could make a good business for himself fabricating garden design pieces and water features.  I honestly think he could.

There was one display that was kinda out there and had all kinds of dead animal skulls arranged with flowers.  It attracted a lot of attention cause it was different (and because a flash mob from the new rendition of Hair that opens this week decided to preform right in front of it).  It was one of my favorite exhibits.  I thought the arrangements were interesting, but what I LOVED about it was that they had literary quotations strewn throughout.  I can't express how much I love when people combine art and literature (because literature IS art!!)

My other favorite display was setup to look like a tea party.  It was full of glitz, romanticism and butterflies (which I am obsessed with right now because we are using them in Olivia's room).  Really, who doesn't love a tea party?  It reminded me of something that belonged in The Importance of Being Earnest.  I loved it.

It was a great weekend, but very tiring.  I loved being able to spend one on one time with my Mom.  I just wish I would have had more energy.

Next year, Mom and I will be taking Baby Olivia to the flower show :)  I can only imagine how many pictures I will take then :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

St. Patrick's Day in Boston is an event (to say the least). Schools and public offices in Suffolk County have the day off for "Evacuation Day". I think the day is meant to celebrate the evacuation of the Brittish from Massachusetts, but now it's become a day long evacuation of all the beer in the city.  St. Paddy's Day in Boston is a good ole fashioned, booze up that would make Ireland proud.

I'm not a bit Irish, but Hubs is 100%. He immigrated from Ireland with his mother and father when he was just a wee boy.

How perfectly Irish does he look??

I come from a primarily French-Canadian family in a primarily French-Canadian area. Before meeting Hubs I resisted celebrating the day. I just didn't buy that everyone was Irish on St. Paddy's Day (interestingly enough neither does he).

Since meeting Hubs I have loved celebrating his Irish heritage. I make sure to wear green, eat Irish food (and yes it's true the Irish really don't eat corned beef and cabbage) and drink Irish beverages (of the adult type).

This year I felt even more like celebrating, since I have half an Irish life growing inside me :) Unfortunately, none of my delicious Magners hard cider could be drank, but decided I would still celebrate.

I wore green.

Ate Irish food:
Our Irish foods before cooking.....

Ploughman's Lunch ....for Dinner

Kissed my favorite Irishman:

And lifted a Guinness to my face:

Who says a St. Paddy's Day isn't fun without drinking??

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

After work shopping and a little Guinness

Hubs had a meeting in Boston tonight until 7:30. Since we share a car I decided I'd wait for him and do a little shopping.

I started with Macy's and the MAC counter. I hadn't been to MAC in awhile and I needed some lipstick. Surprisingly there was no one there and I picked my shade was paid in no time.

I thought maybe I'd go look at the jewelry next. To get to the jewelry I had to walk past the Benefit counter. They must have smelled me coming, because they quickly lured me in by asking if I wanted a makeover. Seriously, do I look like a girl that says no to that question? Absolutely not. I need all the help I can get. I agreed to the makeover but made sure to tell them that I couldn't promise to buy something. Those sly foxes didn't care though, they knew they had me. Did I buy something? You bet! I bought two things.

Within a half hour of entering the store I had already spent way more on makeup than I thought I should have. Thankfully,Hubs could have cared less. Apparently, the number in his head for spending too much on makeup is about $40 more than mine.

Needless to say I am pumped to get ready for work tomorrow. :)

When we got home Guin was super excited to see us. He was more than willing to relax with us since he needs to rest up for his big day tomorrow.

Really could he be any more adorable?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Pregnancy Wardrobe

Early in my pregnancy, maybe at like 8 weeks I complained to my mother that my work pants were getting tight. She came down for a visit, took me to the maternity section of Macy's and bought me some maternity work pants. She said I was NOT to squish HER Irish baby. (Since I announced my pregnancy my mom has been telling everyone that she is having an Irish grandbaby. I guess all the other grandbabies are just French, like basically everyone else in Maine.) These maternity pants and another pair (which I received as a hand-me-down, from my friend Veronica) have been, basically, the extent of my maternity wardrobe, until last night.

I resisted against buying maternity clothes early on because of the price and size. They not only are pricey, most of them were just too big for me. I bought a bunch of tops at Forever 21 for like 5 dollars a piece in two sizes larger than what I usually wear. I wore these t shirts to work with my pants and cardigans. I would throw in a nice necklace to class it up a bit.  It became my pregnancy uniform.  For example:
14ish weeks

17 weeks

19 weeks

20ish weeks

(Where are most of these pictures taken? my work.  They have great full size mirrors in the bathroom and the gym locker room.  Housekeeping keeps the glass on these mirrors much cleaner than I keep the glass on mine.  Can't blame a girl for seeing a good mirror and using it! )

This got me though basically 27 weeks of pregnancy (you'll have to trust me since I haven't updated my "bump" picture collection in a few weeks....). But, last Saturday I realized my "midriff" wasnt quite being covered in all the Forever 21 tees anymore. It was a sad day for my work wardrobe.

I had to go to the mall last night and spend an exorbitant amount of money on actual maternity clothes. Hopefully, it's enough to get me to June.

The new clothes are nice, but I miss my comfy tees. Thank goodness I will still be able to wear them at home where no one cares if I'm "business casual" or not.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet Baby Hoodie

Is there anything sweeter than baby clothes?  Honestly, I don't think so. 

A few weeks ago I crocheted a hoodie for the baby.  I just sewed the buttons on tonight.  It was the first sweater I'd ever crocheted, considering my mom just taught me how last month.  I thought it came out pretty good for a first attempt.

I got the pattern online from Bernat.  On their site the sweater looked like this:
Baby Hoodie Pattern
I used different yarn than suggested.  I had some grey and pink wool at home that I thought would be nice.  The smallest size on the pattern was six month.  I figured by the time my baby was 6 months she would want something in wool.  She's a very sensible baby already :)

I am really pleased with how it turned out. Actually, I think it's adorable.

My next crochet project is a wrap sweater (in pink of course).  I'm nearly done that too, but it's been much more frustrating.  I'll explain when it's all done.

Blog Template by - Header Frame by Pixels and Ice Cream
Sponsored by Free Web Space