Time to eye my light jackets longingly

 Happy fall equinox, everyone! Hope you're ready for some nice cool 7:00 am walks to the bus stop!


We are celebrating with a very carefully thought-out, labor-intensive theme this week.

If that isn't enough to ward off the chills, remember: you can always just climb right on top of your sister to share body heat.

She won't mind.

Calendar-ignoring heat aside, I am actually very excited to be spending the weekend at The Texas Tribune Festival, where I intend to see many, many people that I follow on Twitter and maybe also my senators. But maybe not! Because honestly, those two dudes can go jump in a lake. YEAH, I SAID IT. RIGHT IN A LAKE.

But it's Friday and it's fall and I want to close on a happy note, so here is this: proof that the kids are alright.


Hot marshmallows, cold tomatoes

Yesterday was very hot because September is a very hot month every year despite my eternal optimism that it will not be, just this once. So I made my family eat cold soup.

They weren't that excited but only because they didn't realize how fast it was to put a bunch of ingredients in a blender for a minute. Then they would have shared my enthusiasm, I'm pretty sure.

We spent the weekend with friends, mournfully noting the end of summer, contemplating transitions, wistfully covering every possible surface in a gloss of marshmallow goo.

But we emerged ready for the next phase of the cycle: dressing ourselves as various internet memes.


Finally some cuteness innovation in safety features

Because 100% of my magazine subscriptions were gifts with the purchase of, I don't know, moisturizer or something, and I refuse to internalize their continuing existence in my life, I am surprised/delighted every single time they appear in my mailbox. This week's mailbox surprise: "I still get Rachael Ray Every Day?"

WOOF, that name, but look how pretty and even the children scavenged some edible bits.

Unfortunately, my children generally behaved like small, busy, functional humans this week, rather than tiny hilarious face-making photo props. As this trend is likely to continue, I fear for the future of the Anna-scowls-at-fun-things blogging industry. Alas. Here instead is some Ivy art to get you through your Friday.

A cat very very much enjoying some pizza with black olives.

A rocket ship...hmm...deploying its heart-shaped air bag upon impact? 


Big donut-related announcement in here

I'm finishing up my tour through the Love & Lemons cookbook that I checked out from the library, as it is soon due back at said library.

Vegan Cherry French Toast. This went over very well with every member of the family who did not have to pit a bunch of cherries.

Some kind of summer vegetable pasta that I didn't exactly follow the recipe for. But the combination of basil, oregano, smoked paprika, and red wine vinegar is aces.

Have some very exciting news to report, we encountered a donut hole that looks like...Pusheen.

Apparently. If you squint. And spend 3-4 hours a day looking at pictures of Pusheen.

Last night Dan managed to capture the Ivy-est of Ivy sentiments which coincidentally happens to line up with the Erica-est of Erica sentiments.

A post shared by Dan H (@danh1979) on


[Tina Belcher anxiety groan]

Mood: a big terrible thing wrecked a chunk of my state and another big terrible thing is about to wreck the entirety of another state and already took out ONE ENTIRE ISLAND etc. and I only recently realized how much of the country is on literal fire and I can't protest it or make phone calls about it or vote against it so there's nothing to do other than feel small and helpless and wait.

Primitive, nonintellectual underlying mood: it was 58 degrees this morning and that was extremely good.

Still gotta eat though.

Brussels Sprout Breakfast Tostadas

Vegan Broccoli Soup from the Love & Lemons cookbook

Turns out that above recipe was too healthy, so I had to add tater tots to it.

Still got hungry again and ate half a bag of pretzels before bed

Now that I have two children who get out of school at the same time I am faced with an unprecedented amount of information that is crucial to convey to me in the three-minute walk from the bus stop and I think I might have to grow another brain/set of ears to process it because my retention rate is about 15% right now.


Becoming reacquainted with vegetables

Since the other grown up who lives here has returned from his work trip, I have somewhat begrudgingly reverted back to grownup food, at least for the moment.

Cold Cucumber Soba Udon from the Love & Lemons cookbook. Four out of five stars, I docked one for reminding me for the eightieth time that my HEB does not carry soba noodles. *shakes fist* *remembers that HEB is actually amazing though* *gives fifth star back* *gives ten stars to HEB* *cries a little*

We had a very good and easy Labor Day weekend, although Anna was (not unreasonably) skeptical of supper in the pool.

We are sad that it's over.


Another way to help; pancakes

I've been lone-wolf parenting for two of the past three weeks, and the first item I tend to remove from my daily checklist when Dan is out of town is "endure dinner-related whining from my progeny." So, gingerbread pancakes it is.

We might be slightly vitamin-deficient 

But we are happy

If you are in the Austin area and you want to help out with Harvey relief but you are overwhelmed by all the potential approaches and wish someone would just give you a specific list of what is needed and and address to drop it all off HEY GUESS WHAT YOU'RE IN LUCK because Mayor Adler has done just that. As of last night they were still in need of a bunch more evacuee welcome kits, so everyone who is able/inclined to do so should get on it. Isabelle found it very easy and fulfilling.

"Be helpful by going to Target" is the irresistible siren song of my demographic


Ways to help; cat talk

I'm really only checking in today to hit you with a linkstorm of various ways to donate to local Harvey disaster relief:

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, set up by the mayor of Houston

Houston Food Bank

Food Bank of Corpus Christi

Bastrop Food Pantry

Houston Humane Society

Texas Diaper Bank

BakerRipley (long-term hurricane recovery)

You can also support evacuees to the Austin area:

Austin Disaster Relief Network

Central Texas Food Bank

Austin Pets Alive

We were very lucky to be on the non-disastrous edge of this storm but I am hurting for my fellow Texans and I know the road to recovery is a long one.

****I don't have a jokey or thoughtful transition today****

But here is a sign that the early morning enthusiasm for school has faded a bit one week in.

The enthusiasm for cats and cat-related activities (Pusheen-drawing, Warrior-Cats-explaining), however, rages on.


Semi-wild night, G-rated version

Sleepy check-in this morning, as Regan keep me up irresponsibly late last night. That's right, Super Social Food League of Austin was raging, relatively speaking.*

*Relative to being in bed at 10:15.

First we ate some good food with some weird service at La Condesa. I think our waiter may have been doing some type of performance art? But there was lump crab in the guacamole, so, shrug.

Guacamole? Good.

Ceviche? Good.

Pork tacos? Good.

Giant slab of cauliflower? May have been part of the performance art, now that I think about it

After that we went to a Project Runway drag/fashion show, as one does. It made me feel mmmmmmmmvery old. I have only included a few of the more...family-friendly pictures (read: edited out some many butts). 

We got out of there very late by my standards, and we left early. The show might still be going! Bless you young people, I cannot hang, but I did enjoy all the sequins very very much.

Because I am still basking in this "all children at one school" situation, here are the second, third, and fourth day of school pictures, with a bonus argument re: appropriateness of unicorn horn inclusion.



Hey there. Not accidentally blinding yourself yesterday took a surprising amount of energy, right? I feel you. Here, have a green smoothie.

Also some Jerk Chicken, why not?

This dish went over well in my house, mostly because the girls currently enjoy screeching "PINEAPPLE" at each other for some unknown reason. Living with children is weird. 

Anyway, got a couple of eclipse viewing boxes available here at a very reasonable price if anyone is in the market, just get at me.

Oh, I also sent both of the "PINEAPPLE"-shouters to elementary school today. Both of them!

The unicorn horn was just for pictures, it didn't make it on to the bus. I don't think.

I'm not nervous about how it will go at all, I'm 100% great. Great great great. Great. I think the cat might be a little bit worried though.