Monday, April 25, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I did learn that when offering felicitations to a bride, you should never say "congratulations." That implies that she "won" something when really it was the groom who "won" over the bride. You should say "best wishes" instead. How I remember that and not a million other more important things is beyond me. I also managed to learn how to eat using the continental method, which is enormously impressive to me (and only me, I'm pretty sure).
But the truth of the matter is that there just isn't much Emily Post can tell me about life in the 21st century. So I was delighted to find Freakin' Fabulous by style guru Clinton Kelly. It's full of fascinating and useful tidbits such as when to salt and pepper your food, what not to bring to a dinner party, and how to write a good thank you note. And it's funny!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
But recently I have been wanting something a little more me. And those stick-family stickers are not my style, so that's out. I really want to give into what I call (for lack of a better term) ovals. I've been resisting because of their trendiness. I'm not really a trendy person, for better or for worse. But maybe if I just stick with country ovals (as opposed to city ovals, sports team ovals, marathon ovals, etc etc etc) I won't seem as... sheepish.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Sometimes I am this cheerfully flexible. Sometimes I get very very frustrated. When frustrated Fran comes out, we go for coffee. I usually start my work days with coffee, and sometimes I even start my "Natalie days" with coffee too. Because, while Natalie days are much more fun than actual work, they are still tiring.
But when I found myself pregnant again (yay!) I tried to cut the coffee entirely. The risks of caffeine intake on pregnant women and their babies haven't been proven, but I thought I should play it safe. Turns out tired mommy is not a fun mommy. I'm back to my one caffeinated drink a day routine. I won't say I need it, but it helps. A lot.
So does this recent news item about the possible benefits of coffee. Score!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I know it's only natural with a second baby, but I feel (and I look) a lot bigger now than I did when I was pregnant with Natalie. Seriously, I already look like I did in my third trimester pic last time! Although technically that's only 5 weeks away. So maybe that's not so bad after all :)
Oh, and I almost forgot! I've been feeling the baby kick for awhile now. I'm finding out that a lot of the excitement of pregnancy gets lost when you've done it before. Decorating the nursery, the hospital tour, and even the days ticking by (wait... I'm 20 weeks already?) But feeling the baby move is special and amazing. Even if it isn't exactly new.
Friday, April 8, 2011
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. sugar
13 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1 in pieces
7 tbsp. butter flavored Crisco
2 oz. Gruyère, finely grated
3 lbs (about 7 apples; I like to use a mix of red and green)
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
5 tsp. all-purpose flour
Sprinkle ice water over flour mixture one tablespoon at a time; toss after each addition. (Try not to add too much extra water.) Dough is ready when it clumps together when squeezed in your palm. Gather dough into two parts, one slightly larger than the other.
Roll out the larger piece of dough, and ease dough into pie plate. Peel, core and slice apples into quarters. Slice each quarter thinly. Mix in other filling ingredients. Pile apples into pie plate, pouring any juice on top.
Roll out smaller piece of dough, and place on top of apples. Seal two crusts together, and make slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Place pie in oven, and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 50 minutes to an hour, until you can see the filling bubbling between the slits in the crust.
Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
For some reason, I feel it necessary to insist that my wonderful husband embark on large home improvement projects while I’m pregnant. With Natalie, we decided we needed a new master bathroom. It turned out great, but the experience was frustrating. This year, when we found out Uncle Sam was going to be rewarding us with a juicy tax return, we decided we needed another project. This year, it was the deck.
Our deck is roughly 20 years old and is showing its age. Or was showing its age. Before it was demolished. Maybe starting in March wasn’t the best plan, but now three weeks later, it’s almost done. It will be larger, more open to our yard, and feature built in seating and a pergola. When it’s finished. To the credit of my husband and all the great help we’ve had, this project has gone really quickly!
Right now we have loose deck boards on the deck and a makeshift ramp down to the yard. It’s liveable, but I can’t wait for the finished product. Check back closer to Easter for finished pictures. I’m sure it will be great!