Fix It Up Friday 02.26.10

I have a confession - at heart, I haven't changed much from my first-grader self. Deep inside (and occasionally not so deep and rather apparent to random bystanders), I am still the little girl who didn't want anyone using her crayons because then they wouldn't have that pristine, pointy look. I want everything sharp and crisp. Lined up in neat rows if at all possible. Which is why I had a feeling of stark terror when I put a scratch in my own table. For those of you who missed our wild, swinging newlywed days, let me tell you that the search for furniture was akin to the quest for the holy grail - but no one ate monkey brains. We went to store after store for weekends on end to find just the right thing at just the right price. When the decision was finally made and the furniture came home with us, I thought nothing looked more fabulous. Our little furniture family grew and grew, but I loved each piece uniquely. And in one swift move I SCRATCHED it. Marked it for life.

See, it's awful. And here's the culprit.

I broke out my old standby, the Old English. But this was no ordinary scratch and it just laughed. There was only one thing to do. It was time for the big guns.

A little coloring, a little Kleenex buffing and VIOLA.
I'll always have know what I did to my little wooden friend, but at least now we can both hold our heads up. Any improvement at the very least, no?

** NOTE: All Sharpie usage was accomplished during nap time, lest the mini-OCD-me think that coloring the furniture with Sharpies was really the way we solve our problems around here. That would downplay the important role of chocolate in problem solving.


Introducing Fix It Up Fridays

These days my life is in a constant state of building and development. We have house projects. We have craft projects. We have time management projects. We have self improvement projects. So on Fridays I am going to take some time to share some of the things that are being fixed around here. It will be a pretty mixed bag. Hope you enjoy seeing what we are working on. No hard hats required.

The first "fix" is this very blog. Isn't it ADORABLE! It was all redesigned courtesy of my amazingly talented friend Becky at Cheese My Head. She even created the icon for Fix It Up Fridays. I have known Becky for more than 15 years and there is no art she can't master. I have fond memories of a painted jeans phase that we went through in high school. Sadly, I never had the guts to request these RRM Originals, because I was too obsessed with what we would have to paint on my butt in order to make it look smaller. Oh, the hours I have wasted on something I can't even see!

But don't let me forget to tell you the best part. Right now, Becky is working her magic on blog designs (and other graphic design projects) in exchange for donations to a cause that is near (literally) and dear to my heart - breast cancer research. Her sister-in-law is training for the Breast Cancer 3 Day and is keeping a blog of her progress. How cool is that!

But there's more. If you don't want to get a blog makeover for the "bazooms" (word courtesy of my 80+ year old grandmother), you can get one in support for the babies! Becky's sister is taking part in the March of Dimes walk and you can support her in exchange for some blog love from Becky.

Be amazed by these awesome women! I certainly am.
Thank you so much for sharing your talent with me.
Next week: find out all the things I am doing with Sharpies.


Valentine's: we had a ball

Well, everyone seems to have survived another baking encounter at our house. Jonathan and I made Oreo Truffles for our Valentine "date". We had lots of fun hanging out together. After being together more than 10 years, we still love to laugh together the most. And nothing makes us laugh more than cooking. For the record, he's a much better cook than me. For anyone who's interested, here's the recipe.

1 package Oreo cookies (including cream center)

1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)

white chocolate bark

1. Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziplock bag and crush to a fine consistency. Reserve for later.

2. Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.

3. Roll mixture into 1" balls and place on wax paper-covered cookie sheet.

(that's not wax paper)

4. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate , tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. Sprinkle tops with reserved cookie crumbs for decoration.

(Did you know that you can scorch this stuff on a level 2 heat setting? Crazy. Something else to babysit.)

5. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy.

(these were delicious, but bountiful. We had to share the love.)

I took this recipe from Bakerella, Queen of the Cake Ball. Notice her fabulous kitchen photography. Don't be looking for anything like that from me. This is a reality show, folks. And the reality is that I can't think of the last time I had wax paper in my kitchen. I'm afraid that's a sign of a real cook . . . not someone who alphabetizes her take-out menus. And in the interest of full disclosure of my baking shortcomings, this recipe was actually in the plan for Christmas baking. (Insert crazed laughter here) This is pretty much how my plans go. However, we did decide that we could do much better job if only we had a chocolate waterfall. Watch Food Network much?


Safety First

Jackson really isn't fond of loud noises. He's generally fascinated by the object making the loud noise, but a high decibel level will drive him away every time. Recently, the object of his objection was the steam vacuum, which I will admit is pretty loud. This was our solution.

Yes, those are shooting range ear protection. Oddly, they're not available in toddler size.
Of course, if Jackson is the one making the loud noise, he's a-ok with it!



For a great many years, February 14th and I have had a tenuous relationship. It's just never made any sense to me. What are we really celebrating here? True love or roses, candy, and chocolate? Well, now that you mention it, candy and chocolate did need their own holiday. Something to get them through those long days between candy canes and chocolate bunnies. Dentists have to make their car payments too you know. Not that my feelings for the holiday will cause me to turn down those two vital food groups. In fact, my plans for this Valentines Day include both candy and chocolate - we are making Oreo Truffles. However, considering my potential for baking disaster I will not go so far as to say that they will be an expression of my true love.
One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that this will not be the way to my heart . . . unless it is via a future quadruple bypass. . . but it did make me smile.