Nov 11 2013

Best Mom Ever: Fizzy Collage

Can we talk about baking soda? It’s like this thing you use a bit of but always have so MUCH of and then you wonder why your baked goods are so sad saggy and then you realize it is because your baking soda is 100 years old. So you go buy more. And this horrific cycle repeats itself.

These are the things that keep me up at night.

When I saw this pinned on my pal Sarah‘s board, I nearly high fived her through my computer, through Pinterest, and through space/time. (I would also high five the person who posted it initially but it’s a link to a photo and not a blog. So thank you random awesome person.)

Lo’s been sick on/off all month and there is only so much Yo Gabba Gabba I can watch. So doing something fun, that also lets her mix colors “like Foofa does!” and didn’t require getting out of PJs was ideal.

I took all the expired baking soda. I took apple cider vinegar. Not because I wanted to but because I recently did an angry clean of our coffee maker using all the white vinegar. And I figured Lo would give two flips about whether the blue was the bluest blue. I used a 9″ round cake pan and an eyedropper purchased that morning at Walgreens.

 

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Explaining how to use an eyedropper was a thing. I was not good at explaining it.

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The basic premise is the kid sprays colored vinegar into a giant vat of baking soda and it fizzes. And the kid thinks it is awesome. I can attest that both these things happen. And even better? The first thing (fizz) doesn’t have to be all that impressive to achieve the second thing (kid thinks it’s awesome). Really, she thought this was just about the best thing since sliced Gabba.

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The delight as she leaned in to watch the fizz was worth whatever mess would come.

Fotor1106130634And…it came. Eventually she realized the fizz power of putting the baking soda directly in the vinegar.

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Which was only made more awesome by the amount of baking soda being dumped.

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Did it go totally as I expected? Better. Did the colors look beautiful? No, they were super pukey heinous. Did it make a bit of a mess? Yup. Add it all up and the fizzy collage makes me the best mom ever. Snow days and sick days await, my friends. Get to it.


Nov 8 2013

An Unusual Inquiry

Earlier this week I woke to an email and I have been a bit giddy since.

When we lived in Reykjavik we lived right near the Listaháskóli Íslands, the Iceland Academy of the Arts. The bold, bright artwork along the pedestrian tunnel and parking lots made me so very happy and made me take note of all the art, sanctioned and not, in the city. The value the nation puts on the artistic pursuits of its citizens is pretty rad. So I relished the bountiful public art and shared some of it in this post while we were abroad.

I guess someone found it.

Dear Julie.

I was informed about your very interesting web-site as I was looking for pictures of the graffiti that was painted on the walls of the pedestrian tunnel at Iceland Academy of the Arts where I have been the Principal Director until last August. It so happens, that I am looking for photographs of this graffiti for the cover and booklet of my music-cd that is to be released next month. 

 As I discovered the two photographs you have on your site I began to wonder if I could use the one of the doors (actually, the door to my own office!) in the booklet as supplementary decoration. For this I would need a version of the photograph with higher solution (300 dpi). Also, I began to wonder if you had some other photographs of the graffiti that you don’t show on the site.

 I know this is an unusual inquiry, but it proves that information travels fast and widely! I would be grateful if you could send me a response at your earliest convenience.

p.s.: the paint of the graffiti has now paled so much that it not of any use to take photographs now ….

 
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Nov 6 2013

Test Kitchen: Premade Parfaits

We’re all about testing out some pre-made meals for Thanksgiving  week, when we’ll have a ton of people here on different time zones. We want them to eat well and feel welcome but also don’t want to be trying to cook breakfast all day long. Here’s a solution we’re excited about.

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We returned to our dear San Francisco this past weekend for an utterly charming wedding. And while we happily brought the CopperTop with us over the summer, for this quick trip we opted to exercise the Grandma Clause.

The Grandma Clause is the magic truth that, most of the time, Grandma wants you to go away so she can develop secret languages, break established rules, fiddle about with bedtimes, and otherwise cause good-natured trouble with the grandbaby. We get a weekend with friends in a great city, Grandma gets a weekend of merry and mischief making, and Loie gets more fun that she knows what to do with.

As a thank you, and to ensure my mom took care of herself, too, Brett suggested getting her yogurt parfaits. My mom loves her some yogurt parfaits.

Instead of picking some up at the store, I decided to make use of the ample mason jar selection we have (At some point, Brett will can stuff, I know). I started to Pin and search and, for once, decided I’d just wing it. Though, this blog has some tips on freezing them which would make it even more family-invasion friendly.

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They made for such pretty additions to the fridge and my mom genuinely gasped when she saw them.

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I opted to make some with vanilla Greek yogurt and some with plain. In most I added either blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries or dried cherries (I wanted to do blueberries but none were available). I also did a couple smaller mason jars with just yogurt and granola.

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We have a great grocery store, Caputo’s, up the way that had big containers of granola. The bulk option at Whole Foods would also be great.

I filled the jars a bit between 1/3 and 1/2 full with yogurt. (The vanilla poured much, much smoother, hence the vanilla leading the photos). Then a hefty layer of granola and enough fruit to fill to just below where the jar narrows. It felt like making those sand sculptures from summers past that are now all the rage in weddings (but definitely NOT the wedding we went to).

I’ve since seen options that include putting the granola in a separate, smaller mason jar. The key, to me though, was to allow it to be edible in the one jar so you’re not washing MORE stuff. And, the clinking of the spoon against the class is a special kind of satisfying.

My mom didn’t even wait for us to leave before getting her parfait on. Cheers to Brett for the idea and my mom for gifting us a weekend away.

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