4.24.2015

I will remember you/ Will you remember me /Make sure they airbruuuuuuush the drool from my face

Hey, so, all I had to do to convince myself to make that cake was to publicly admit that I was never going to bother making that cake



You really don't want to get involved with the twisted psychological battles in which I engage myself. 

Just look at the nice cake.

I was also stuck at home for two days with a sick kindergartener, so cake-making was bound to arise as an option at some point. As was cake-decorating-as-the-earth-for-Earth-Day.




 Soooort of as-the-earth.


For purple mountains, spark-uh-ly.

Martha's calendar item for today is "Clean baseboards with a feather duster." Remember about a year ago when I was wishing a fictional character would come to my house and tell me to clean my baseboards and also make me a potato salad? ALL OF MY DREAMS ARE COMING PRETTY CLOSE TO TRUE.

Hey high school seniors! Glamour Shots want to know how you want to be remembered after they lock you in the proof-selection dungeon for the rest of your days.



Chilling.

4.21.2015

Tiptoe through the bonnets

At some point I realized that it would probably be easier to just show you the picture of the cake for which I bought ingredients three weeks ago than to keep waking up every morning thinking "oh, shoot, I need to make that cake for which I bought ingredients three weeks ago," so here you are:






It's not like I need to add a cake to our larder right now anyhow. We still have a teensy bit of Easter candy to get through.





Likewise, it seemed easier just to let Martha herself tell you the various items in your home that you should be cleaning, you dirty birds:


WHY IS EVERYONE ALWAYS TOUCHING THINGS GROSS


Not clear on whether an iron has to be used, ever, in order to require cleaning.


I'm going to come white-glove-test your printers, so everybody get on that.


And I don't remember what's on Martha's actual calendar, but if she lived in Texas, I guarantee it would say "drag Jude and Truman out to a field of bluebonnets and take one thousand pictures of them," so I am following it IN SPIRIT.

Some of us were rather more invested in this process than others of us.
















4.17.2015

SSFL Goes Goth, Eats Cheesecake

I got a little overwhelmed with various three-year-olds things this week, so I kept it simple and just followed a couple of the Martha Tips scattered throughout the April issue. Tip #1, page 28: Drink some matcha.


There is a whole paragraph of instructions for making matcha, which are, in their entirety: mix the powder with water. Done!

Tip #2, page 106: Brush your teeth. But, like, correctly. Two full minutes, PLUS FLOSSING, LAZYBONES. I don't know, somehow this takes two entire pages to explain. Done!

Oh ho ho, look what time it is, Super Social Food and Makeup League of Austin night! Let's see what light and springy April colors have been bestowed upon me this month…


Surprisingly minty and enjoyable, as long as you can't see your face.


Here it is under the most flattering filter possible, believe me, I tried every single one:





In real life I looked like I was trying to create that costume where you look like a black and white photograph but got lazy and stopped after the mouth part. In return, I gave Regan some gray contour powder that looks, at best, like light bruising, and at worst like your shift at the mines just ended.

We decided to emphasize the Makeup side of SSFMLA by hitting the Sephora VIB sale, looking…the way we did. No one outwardly judged us, although I may have been too busy covering every square inch of my body with makeup swatches to really notice. Once we made our selections, we knew dinner needed to be something extra special, preferably across the parking lot from the Sephora.





At first we were concerned that we had brought too much glam to the proceedings.




But, as it turns out, we fit right in!





I had an enormous bowl of soup, mostly because it was the only item on the SkinnyLicious® menu that did not require me to say the word SkinnyLicious® when ordering it.



This is what it looks like when you beat the system.

And then, you know, obviously:





It was truly a SSFMLA night. Yes it was.



I mean, those are some cheekbones, for sure.


Anyway, come on everyone, it's springtime! Throw on your black gloss and get out there in it!



4.14.2015

15 Things Only People Who Make Kolache-Scented Candles Will Understand

Hey guys, sorry I didn't catch up on my Martha-ing over the weekend, I was pretty busy achieving my life's goal of being FEATURED IN A BUZZFEED LISTICLE. Oh, don't feel like clicking the link? That's okay, look, I took a picture for you:


You can't see the title of the post here, but it has the phrase "Incredibly Wonderful" in it.  The "[Erica Is]" is implied, I guess.


Also, just kidding, I totally accomplished this Halibut Salad Nicoise from Martha.


Put that in your pipe and smoke it, springtime.

Not so much with the calendar. She mowed her lawn for the first time this season, we put off mowing our lawn for the fifth time this season, whatever, same same.

Almost as important as the fact that I am now a proud, shining example of regional click bait (SEE ABOVE) is the fact that this beauty of a bakery just opened right down the street from us.






Do you know how adorable a place has to be to psychologically strong-arm my children into adorability merely by the power of suggestion?





You do have to watch out for food envy, though.





Anyway, the candle elves and I are worn out, but it's worth it to know that my desire to smell kolaches all day long is not unique.


I continue to trust that my desire to smell garden soil will someday be likewise vindicated.



4.10.2015

Something something T.S. Eliot

Hmm, looks like I only managed one Martha recipe this week. It's aaaaaaaaalmost as though I already blew all my enthusiasm for this month on one meal. It's also almost as though I punted on this Asparagus and Fava Beans with Toasted Almonds dish by using black eyed peas instead because I didn't feel like finding fresh fava beans.


REGIONAL PRIDE.

Ah, well, I probably did better with the calendar items, let's check.

April 7th: "Clean gutters." "Pilates." Okay, so what happened here is, I determined that no one human can actually do Pilates and clean gutters in the same day. That's nonsense. Besides, I'm pretty sure Dan JUST cleaned the gutters like five years ago. 

I also did not do Pilates.

April 8th: "Wash and store heavy sweaters." Am I only supposed to be washing sweaters once a year? I like this development.

April 9th: "Cardio and core." Let's say this definitely happened.

Okay, you know what, it's fine. I always have some spring malaise, we'll just shake it off and (checks calendar entry for today) scrape and repaint some chicken coop enclosures. Hmm. In the meantime, we have plenty of regular errands to run and playtime to grimly endure.






Oh, and hey! If there's a mom and/or child in your life toward whom you feel especially passive-agressively angry this year, Glamour Shots has some great news for you!


This ad makes more sense if you imagine that "WOW" at the bottom to be a stick person making some sort of really obscene gestures. 


4.07.2015

Easter basketcase

I finally wrestled my (paper) demons to the ground (in vaguely geometric shapes) and MARTHA'D UP SOME EASTER.

Did Martha immediately test my faith my instructing me to serve radishes with a bowl of peanut butter? Of course she did.




And lo, it was good.

Did this Carrot and Lentil Salad read kind of drab on the page but actually look quite lovely alongside the other dishes?



It did. It did.

Did I have to reach back into the archives to find a dadgum potato dish, come on guys, get it together?



I think periodic reminders of Martha's fallibility are valuable.


Candy on top of macaroons, though. Almost makes up for the potato thing.





And, of course, I spent literal hours and hours making some eggs look inedible.






I'm not going to lie, we had to work pretty hard to pull this off.






Worth it, though, as always!



4.03.2015

Paper beats Erica

I have thrown myself headlong into a wall of pain Martha's April. Join me!

Food: Chicken and Vegetables in Parchment. This was…easy? But kind of a blah texture on the chicken. You get what you pay for here, I guess. This recipe also kicked off the "folding paper" theme that would later bring me to the verge of tears persist throughout the week.



Foreboding.


Martha's calendar:

April 1: "APRIL FOOL'S DAY." Yes, that happened.

April 2: "Decorate eggs for Easter with Jude and Truman." We are a little behind on this. I just need to gather up the decorating stuff. And buy some dye. And some eggs.

"Cardio and core." I definitely unfolded the treadmill, which engages the core, to some degree.

Projects:

Origami Egg Holders.

This is the first time I have really, truly admitted to myself that Martha Stewart Living is too advanced an instructional text for my crafting abilities. I had my suspicions when there were repeated instructions throughout the issue to "blow out" eggs without further comment, as though "blowing out eggs" were too common a skill to warrant expansion. But my attempts to obey the following set of instructions confirmed it:





Had some real trouble between Steps 2 and 3.






You know what though, once Dan stepped in and did it for me it turned out great, almost too classy really.



My in-laws will be all, "Where am I, Buckingham Palace?"

I had better luck adapting previous Martha projects (that were still hanging around) to the current season.



Easter mistletoe. I'm not sure what two people are supposed to do under the fake wildflowers. Sneeze, probably. 


Easter aluminum foil garden snowman.

Anyway. We're just going to keep at it.