Monday, May 21, 2012

Time to Party

So my darling girl turned FOUR years old last month, and we had a party. It was delightful little event with plenty of Bria's friends running around. I tried to keep the food simple, since life was a little crazy last month, and it turned out just right. We had watermelon and strawberries, chips and salsa, pigs in a blanket, and sandwiches. I made the same ones as last year: cream cheese & cucumber and roast beef with horseradish mayonnaise, with the additional ham with brie this year. And at 10:30pm the night before the party, I decided to scratch the homemade bread and use baguettes from Target: one of the best time-saving decisions I've ever made.

The cake went much better than last year. Bria and I brainstormed the perfect cake, which mostly means she came up with crazy impossible ideas, and I steered her towards something I thought I could pull off. I used a vanilla buttermilk cake recipe (take a look at that thing-- you don't cream the butter and sugar first and then add the eggs. I double and triple and quadruple checked that thing before proceeding very cautiously. but it worked!). Then we layered it with vanilla pudding and macerated strawberries, all topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting. And it was totally, completely awesome.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Once Upon A Time I Was A Book Worm

Remember last year when I posted about the books I read as a 25 year-old? I had the same goal last year-- to read as many books as I was old-- and I fell quite short, again. But, hey! I actually read one more book than the year before.

In chronologically read order:
1. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
2. Tortilla Flat, by John Steinbeck
3. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
4. Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese, by Eric LeMay
5. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
6. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger
7. Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell
8. How to Be Good, by Nick Hornby
9. The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone
10. Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
11. The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht
12. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling
13. Brick Lane, by Monica Ali
14. High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby

My least favorite book was probably Water for Elephants or Her Fearful Symmetry. My favorite book was definitely The Poisonwood Bible. I remember my roommate Audrey recommending it back when we lived together-- that's how long it's been on my to-read list. At first it seemed daunting, and I wondered if I could get into it, but I once I settled in, I was so, completely absorbed. There were a couple chapters that I sat sobbing on the couch while I read. Some of the themes and messages were so poignant and perfectly articulated, addressing questions and doubts and fears that are very real to me. I am actually glad I waited this long to read it, because I don't think it would have meant as much to me had I read it when I was 19.
I already have a stack of books to read-- some gifted, some borrowed, some from the library-- yet I still always love recommendations. I'm starting on only my second book this year (Everyday Zen), which means I need to get a move on. So, yes, I will again set the goal. While I am 27, I aim to read 27 books. Sam is going back to working nights soon, so I think the goal could even be attainable this year!