a bunch of fairies

the first official friend birthday party for eve. a big time fairy party. despite the lack of sleep the night before and the few things that i just didn't have enough time or hands to finish, it was great. we stuck to inviting four of eve's closest little girl friends- out of ease and apartment size- and i'm so glad we did; with parents and a couple little siblings, our place was packed.

forgive the photography, with both chip and i engaged in the partying, and the photographer (chip) feeling a bit under the weather, several shots that i would have loved to share just don't exist. so, some we'll do retroactively and others, you'll just have to read about.

we'll go chronologically.

invitations by chip. complete with a little cartoon of fairy eve.


decorations. i love the lens on my camera. except when i want to get a room shot; then i get frustrated at it's limitations. working with what we've got, here are some glimpses of what the place looked like. i made the pom poms using this martha stewart instructional. chip suspended the balloons (can you tell that the balloons with lace ribbons aren't floating on the ceiling, but mid-air? they are.) and together the effect was kind of magical. i almost want to keep the pom poms up. so fun and kind of strange just floating there.



girls enter. immediately (or as soon as i can get eve to stop repeating "it's my birthday!") they are given their very own magic fairy wand. painted and glittered wooden dowel and bead. ribbon hot glued to dowel, dowel slid (from bottom of dowel up) over the ribboned dowel and secured with some more hot glue. with some great classical dancing music playing, the girls danced and waved their ribbons around. flight of the bumblebees was the favorite song by far and at the end the girls ended up with all their ribbons tangled together in a giant knot and giggling like crazy.


snack time.

fairy skirts are handed out. eve freaks out because she wants one with a yellow ribbon because yellow matches her hair. plus, i made her take a green-ribboned wand so she was already a little miffed. negotiations took place and all were happily outfitted. watching little girls dress up is so fun. ruth has no time for the fairy skirt i made for her- she has commandeered eve's birthday gift from chip's parents- a fairy princess dress.


treasure hunt- hunting for the final thing needed to transform all the girls into fairies. put together and led by the fairy treasure master chip. with great clues like "without ribbons you're a fairy slouch. but don't worry; look on the couch!" the girls had a great time running from spot to spot and collecting all the items needed to make their very own fairy crowns.

crown making. finally putting to use the massive amount of beads i randomly bought at costco several years ago. and, i love pipe cleaner and ribbon.


lunch. lemonade with fresh strawberries, yogurt covered pretzels and raisins, popcorn, cubed mozzarella and cheddar, grapes (two colors as specifically requested by birthday fairy), strawberries, blueberries and apples served with three different dips: cream cheese mixed with marshmallow fluff, lime curd, and cream cheese mixed with brown sugar and almond flavoring. not surprisingly, all the girls wanted the marshmallow fluff dip on their plates- i had colored it a light pink which was apparently more appealing than the very pale green of the other two choices. peanut butter and jelly for the fairies and turkey tea sandwiches (raisin walnut bread, cream cheese mixed with scallions, turkey and fresh basil leaves-- amazing and again courtesy of barefoot contessa) for the adults.



cake/cupcakes. eve was not willing to accept just having cupcakes, so in addition to the coconut mini cupcakes i made a little 6" cake to stick the candles on. it seems there's some sort of adjustment that should be made when using cupcake batter for a full cake (more oil?) but i don't know it so the cake was hard to frost- so crumbly on the sides- but still delicious. as all the girls pointed out, there were a lot more than four candles on the cake, but knowing eve's fear of fire i was sure she'd be requiring the help of her friends to blow them out so i loaded it up. eve wouldn't go closer than 10" to the cake.


present opening. her little friends were sweet and generous and eve was appreciative. we've already put all the gifts to use several times over.

fairy jumps. i don't know who started this, but the girls were going nuts and we're okay with jumping on the couch as long as it is orderly and shoeless. plus it was a fairy party- they had to get some flying in somehow.


take home goods. all little fairies left with their magic ribbon wand, fairy tutus, crown and a few of these lollipops i made on friday. blueberry and green apple. i have a suspicion that i put too much citric acid in the green apple, so their flavor might be more accurately described as "grossly sour, with a hint of apple," but i'm going to call this first venture into candy making a success anyway, because i know for sure that the blueberry is yummy.


and i think i'll call our very official and very first friends birthday a success. especially since chip, after sleeping for several hours post-party, did all the dishes.

eve's favorite part? "finding lots of things and playing with her friends, her fairy friends."


party girls

two parties this past weekend and one coming up for none other than my little eve who is going to be FOUR. amazing and fun and a little bit sad all rolled into one.


past weekend review:

the girls' little cousin had a pizza party that was full of so much fun kid energy it was almost overwhelming. eve really wanted to give the birthday boy a chicken. no explanation. a rubber chicken is fairly entertaining on its own (why?) but when you squeeze this beauty an egg-like sak pops out of it. hysterical. especially if you are in the two to six years-old range. fighting over this chicken led to ruthie falling down an entire flight of metal stairs, slamming into a cement wall and face-skidding onto a cement floor. turning the corner (as i was chasing and trying to get her to stop running) to see her falling backward down the stairs and then witness the awful awful tumble was the most horrifying moment of motherhood to date. her first words, through the screaming/crying were; "i want the chicken." she cried for about 30 seconds, relaxed in my lap for about five minutes and then was back to partying. i didn't recover so quickly.

Img_2425_2 Img_2436

saturday brought with it a baby shower and the last minute making of this little shirt to go with a sweet little pair of eliza gran pants. i should really give myself more time to make gifts. those french seams take more time than they should. the fabric has been one of my untouched favorites for nearly two years. in the continued effort to avoid the fate of being an crippled old woman with hundreds of yards of fabric that have been untouched for fifty years, i went for it and am happy i did. there is always more fabric to buy and love.

and now we've got eve's party in the works. fairy princess party. invitations out (thank you chip), six little fairy skirts are almost complete, tissue pom poms done, treasure hunt forming in my head and fairy crown and wand supplies gathered. naturally a full, too-detailed report will be brought to you once all the fun is had. for now i'm going to try to enjoy the last few moments i have with three-year-old eve. and then as i fall asleep i'll let myself wallow in the happy misery of a mother who's little baby is growing far too big far too quickly.


gaining, gaining


i have a dent in my forehead. a long story involving a stubborn cyst and an overly zealous dermatologist. the other night i was was talking to chip about this pregnancy and my weight gain. as we were talking he pointed out that my dent has become more pronounced as i've grown and then said "huh! it's weird to say your forehead's getting fat, but there it is."

yes. there it is. everyone, attention please; i've got a fat forehead.


on a totally unrelated note. actually, probably a completely related note. . . i made another cake this past weekend. this time it was red velvet in honor of miriam's (chip's sister) birthday. if you're a fan of the red velvet cake then you should check out this recipe from "cake man raven" of brooklyn cake fame. although i'm still a little creeped out by how much red dye i dumped into the batter, it really was so moist and delicious, and with cream cheese frosting it's tough to go wrong.


one yard down

fulfilling the vow to use one-third of my current fabric stash before buying anything new is, i think, a vow i won't be able to keep once the warmth of spring starts to roll in. . . there are too many beautiful and simple colors i want to have floating around on little (and gigantic) bellies when the sun starts to really shine. but in the mean time, i am doing my best to use what i have. so far, it's one yard down, 25 to go.



giant pink polka dot fabric; done. chartreuse scraps from one of last year's summer dresses; gone. linen from old dress; recycled. vintage ribbon i've been hoarding for nearly two years; halved. all wrapped up in these two little skirts that i had to bribe the girls to wear with chocolate chips and promises of "just a few minutes." maybe by sunday they'll decide that these skirts are better options than halloween 2006's little red riding hood dress and a raspberry jam smeared tutu.

as for what's next, i'm thinking tweed. might be perfect for these last few weeks of winter. which, miraculously, aren't as brutal as they usually are. for the first time in the six+ years of living here, february came and i wasn't physically and psychologically expecting california spring weather. in fact, i was still reveling in winter. but tomorrow is march, and i'm not sure if i've adjusted enough to not be completely done with cold two weeks from now. . . but the daffodil stems piercing their way up through the snow are encouraging. even if i'm wrapped up in down and wool, i'll soon have their bright floppy faces to walk by.




if you don't have ina garten's barefoot contessa cookbook you should get it. if for no other reason than these coconut cupcakes with cream cheese coconut frosting. they are amazing. within three days we ate 20 of these (would have eaten 24 but i managed to separate myself from four of them for a new mommy) and were still wishing for more. even chip, who is usually no giant fan of delicious sugary treats, couldn't get enough. i'm now using the left over frosting to dip my apples and grapes in and don't plan on stopping until it is completely gone.


in addition to all the sugar flowing through our veins, we got some surprise treats in the mail yesterday! how great are these hats? pam, we love love love them. and the tiny little shoes? i'm in heaven. i've been really lucky in a lot of ways with my marriage, but i totally scored with the great friends i inherited from chip. thanks so much pam- you've made our house a happier place!


eve's doodles



these drawings are some of my favorite things of all time. i know she'll have to move on in her artistic development, but for now i am insanely in love. there will be a sad period of mourning when she no longer makes this striking art out of our to do lists and paper plates.

chip ingeniously suggested that i should get these designs on fabric somehow. i've got some things in the works, and hopefully in the next week or so i'll make this idea into something for eve to twirl and run in for the spring and summer, and something for me to hang onto for the next decade or so as i watch this little girl morph.

** were eve aware i was showing her art, she would find it very important to explain that the scribbles on some of her drawings are from "ruthie being a racsal [spelled as currently pronounced] and making a mess on my paper."


happy presidents day



in honor of the presidents we've spent this three-day weekend completing all the tiny jobs around the apartment that have been neglected for the past two years. i think we can almost officially say our renovation is complete. i've also been eating. roughly estimating, i'd say 60% of my diet this week has been of "sugar and oils; consume sparingly" variety. a cheesecake left over from valentine's day, chocolate chips hanging around as rewards for ruth's continued potty training (no diaper all day sunday, including church!), chocolate peanut butter by the spoonful, and as of last night; mary todd lincoln's white cake.

the recipe is from chip's mother, who used to make this cake for her kids growing up. i love tradition and it turns out i love the cake. it tastes old fashioned in the best way possible. a nice subtle flavor thanks to the almonds and a really nice consistency. i used martha stewart's seven minute frosting, but whipped cream would also be pretty and delicious.

i skipped mixing chopped candied pineapple and cherries into the frosting, which i almost regret- it would have been so old-fashioney then. but, i didn't have any and thought the plain white frosting would make a better home for my log cabin addition. we were really close to sticking pennies all over the cake but the idea of that dirty money all over was just too gross.

we're now off to take advantage of the few daylight hours we have left. eve's begging for the museum, chip's pushing the aquarium and ruth just wants more treats. i kind of feel like a nap, but i think that is all the sugar talking. or the baby. . . tough to say at this point.


Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake

1c butter, softened
2c sugar
     -cream together
1c milk
     -add alternately with stirred together mixture of:
3c flour, sifted
3tsp baking powder
     -add and mix well:
1c finely chopped blanched almonds
     -fold in:
6 egg white, beaten stiff
1tsp vanilla

-bake 60 minutes in well greased and floured 9x13 pan (don't over bake), cut in half lengthwise and layer. frost with any white boiled frosting or whipped cream, optionally adding 1/2c chopped candied pineapple and cherries. i'm now thinking that adding the pineapple/cherries to the frosting for the layer between the cakes would be perfect. still white and smooth but a little more exciting and appropriate for something with mary todd lincoln's name attached to it.


v is for


happy valentine's day.




watching the rain melt yesterday's snow.


putting together valentines for school tomorrow.


playing house in the closeted hamper. sporadically shouting (at me), "hey! you! get out of our backyard!"


making plans for the next quilt. this one will take awhile.


relaxing on the pillows i finished up on monday, courtesy of some sukie tea towels bought for cheap over a year ago.


completing final stages of potty training.


baby quilt binge

an unfinished project that has been haunting me for nearly a year and a baby shower prompted last week's binge.


finally finished this quilt made of squares i took from my mom. except for the white and red polka dot, these are all fabrics from my childhood. i had it nearly completed 10 months ago but hated the way i quilted and bound it, so it got stuck in a corner. last week i picked out all the quilting, pulled off the binding and did it for the second and final time. we're all feeling much better about it now.


started making this quilt for a friend's baby girl. tying the quilt using a little hoop took an annoying amount of time i wasn't planning on. by the time i finished tying i was sick of it, so it was put to the side and finished a few days later. in case you can't see through the folded up quilt to know what the whole thing looks like; the front is a solid piece of the little girls fabric while the back is what you see (white, yellow, striped) plus another big piece of the yellow. the polka dot binding was the reject from the first quilt. i love not wasting.


after i lost interest in the girl quilt i moved on to this one. a one-night project is so satisfying (even if it is my old standby) and especially fast when it is in little little baby proportions. a picture of the tiny blanket (30x34") unfolded made it look like a placemat. but babies are small and the very pregnant mom was happy. the opposite side is nice unbleached muslin

and although our home doesn't really need another blanket of any size floating around, i'm looking forward to the next one. hopefully for upcoming boy, who is still very very nameless.