12.15.2017

Here are some nice things, quick, while the internet is still free

I realize this picture looks like a deep sea creature from an especially intense episode of Octonauts, but it is actually me coming to terms with the fact that even when I am busy I have to cook vegetables and put them into my body instead of just reaching into the pantry and hoping for something crunchy because I can feel all of my cells crying.



Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes



In case you were concerned that our early dusting of snow has caused my children to become jaded winter experts, please let this series of "CAN YOU SEE MY BREATH???" put your mind at ease on that count.









Ivy's first book fair was this week and she discovered that there were multiple books about cute animals and it is genuinely the happiest she has ever been, as far as I can tell.







12.12.2017

Stress for success

I had a very exciting, very busy weekend wherein I reached a level of professional success that triggered my Imposter Syndrome, which seems good? Like, don't they know these aren't *real* candles I just make them by combining the raw ingredients in a pleasing way and carefully branding the result I AM A FRAUD please don't hand me any more money or I will cry. Yay, I did it!

Anyway. We made it down to the Trail of Lights this year, which was fun. We did not want our picture taken at this special, private time.






Caught her in a Bigfoot-style shot here



Ambition Corner status: fully intact.



12.08.2017

Too baffled to be excited

Look, I put some chicken in a crockpot, I have completely regained control of my non-wax-related domestic situation.


Plus my husband put the laundry away IT'S ALL UNDER CONTROL


Okay, my kitchen exploits are not very impressive this time of year, but I have plans.

I call this section of the kitchen Ambition Corner



Fortunately everyone here is distracted from my distracted state by the fact that it...snowed? Two days after it was eighty degrees?




My sweet summer children described this dusting behind them as "MAJORLY EPIC"



The cats are less convinced

12.05.2017

It's the most most most most time of the year

Last night we had Hmm I Have Red Lentils and an Onion in the Pantry Soup. It was successful in sustaining vitality for yet another day. Well, except for the children. I'm not sure the children ate any.



Their vitality loss


Anyway, sure December gets a little hectic but everything is running smoothly here, we definitely still care about what we eat for dinner and how well our clothes match and I'm not just frowning emphatically at laundry piles as I attempt to stack crates of candles amongst them and the words "double ear infection" certainly didn't throw anyone in this house off her game and we're all sleeping through the night very very very well.



Why would January be anyone's favorite month that's crazy talk

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12.01.2017

Haul out the holly

I did actually follow one recipe this week, Curried Apple Soup, and I did photograph it as usual, but neither the soup nor the picture were very good? I like all the ingredients involved but somehow it just tasted like sour chicken broth? So instead, here is our build-you-own-salad layout with a surprisingly enthusiastic pop-up Anna.




You know how it's good to have some protein and some fat in a salad

I try to make sure we have all of them


Anyway, I broke my general December 1st Christmas decorations guideline this year and pulled everything out a day early because I'm feeling kinda, I dunno, Auntie Mame about things right now. I didn't even know I would have a plea deal to celebrate today! 



Ivy's expression perfectly captures my feelings of beat-down excitement  

One thumb up and half a toothless smile, that's me


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11.28.2017

To be clear, the bad coffee buying decision was mine

Last night I made my traditional post-Black-Friday-sale meal of asking Dan to find something in the freezer we can heat up.



Ikea meatballs! And some other stuff!


The girls celebrated the occasion by being pushed off the dining room table into the loving arms of the TV tray.





Tragically displaced by wax piles




Anyway, judging by the amount of time I have been absently staring at this screen, I think I may be too tired to add any entertainment value to this post today. ALSO, the only coffee we have in the entire house is too gross to even contemplate, so I am just going to struggle my way to the post office and also the coffee-selling establishment now okay bye.






11.24.2017

(Give Your Belt Some) Slack Friday

 Hey there, hope all you turkeys are recovering from your culturally mandated gluttony today.







And that you were provided with one (1) dessert tray per every two (2) attendees at your feast.







And that your eggs were extra devilish.







And that you still, improbably, fit at the toddler table if that is what your heart desired.







Side note: I have been making this brickle recipe for a few years now and every year I think "I should make this more often" and every next day I think "who has done this to my pants, they are so small, what a cruel prank." Anyway, it's good brickle Brent.

11.21.2017

Turkey in the Car

We're supposed to be packing up to hit the road for Thanksgiving right now, but instead we are putting the finishing touches on our turkey costumes. For the...Tuesday car ride.




As you do.


It's impossible to say whether Ivy is excited about Thanksgiving this year, but there have been a couple of clues involving headwear and a staunch insistence on ordering cranberry juice whenever presented with an opportunity.






Anyway, have a good Thanksgiving break and try to keep your drink consumption to native-North-American-berry-related beverages like true Americans, thank you.

11.17.2017

One Thumb Sideways: The Ivy Huff Story

Okay guys, I really tried to put the fun in perfunctory with this week's recipes. 



Asian Garlic Tofu

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

See? Feeding people multiple times a day every day doesn't have to be a soul-crushing slog! You can...put garlic and bacon and stuff in there. Spice it right up. Very exciting. No problem.



Ivy had her very first school cafeteria meal this week. She gave it one thumb sideways, which I think is fair.



Actual contents of her stomach at the end: chocolate milk, juice, pumpkin pie square, three green beans



Hey...y'all can't tell that I'm the one who's been cutting Anna's bangs, right?







They look very good and professional, right?



Thought so

11.14.2017

312 months running

So here is, I think, the key to super-convenient, extra-quick recipes: following the instructions. Wait, hear me out! Otherwise you might, hypothetically, spend significantly longer trying to crisp up the bacon that was already supposed to be cooked before you put it on the Egg Squares than you did putting the whole thing together in the first place. And that would be really really annoying. Like you would probably just want to give up on things for the day. And not even eat your Responsibility Broccoli because who cares nothing matters.



Completely unrelated, one tab over are a page full of results for "best period tracker app" because I have said "oooooh, that explains it" every month for 26 years and I'm starting to think maybe I should play some active defense for once


The children did not catch on to my failure, but rather gloried in their first exposure to pre-packaged crescent roll dough.



"This bread," she said breathlessly. "This bread is like heaven."



This weekend I met a goat named Pablo and he caused me to rescind my previous uninformed anti-goat stance, he was extremely chill and gloriously curly. Apologies to goats, I truly did not know you could be like this.



Thank you Pablo

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11.10.2017

(LOL)

I made some Vegetarian Tortilla Soup, which tasted very good but looks terrible because DST has ended and nothing suffers from lack of natural lighting more than pictures of soup.



Liquid food was not meant for the age of electricity


I consider this to be the one and only drawback of the "fall back" time change, which I otherwise embrace wholeheartedly. My children actually fall asleep at bedtime because it is dark outside! Our walk to the bus stop is no longer pitch black! And listen, I realize that I am a Texan by birth and inertia, but ~spiritually~ I'm from some dark, damp village much much closer to the North Pole, so if I could just decide I was In For The Night around 1:00 pm every day that would be fine with me. Honestly, any time I have carefully weighed the idea that I might be a supervillain, my evidence is not so much words or deeds or thoughts but rather my deep and inexplicable mistrust of sunlight.

YAY FOR FALL.

Anyway, at Girls Scouts this week Anna made a wreath comprised of things she is thankful for, and one thing I am thankful for is her grasp of the parenthetical.






11.07.2017

No omen no omen you're the omen

Just want to say that yesterday began with a bird in my house...






 ...and ended with a late-night phone call from myself.





So everything is fine here.



The slightly more ridiculous of my two fairly ridiculous daughters turned six this weekend.




This closeup brought to you by the fact that behind Pusheen she is entirely nude


She asked for, and in no way could be deterred from the idea of, a "poop cake." So that's clearly some degree of parenting failure there, if my enemies would like to make a note of it. I compromised by making it "unicorn poop" and hoping to pass it off as a colorful geological feature.



Beautiful scenic Crap Mountain



After a weekend of birthday nonsense I decided I needed to buckle down and make an actual nutritious meal, so I landed on Maple and Mustard Glazed Salmon, and I gotta say, it was a nice, gentle landing.




11.03.2017

My only regret is not crafting more fake viscera

Last night's recipe is called, uh, I Used Up All of My Food Prep Energy On Halloween


With Rice


But look at the cute things! Little orange pumpkins and banana ghosts and apple monsters and spiderweb eggs!







And if you need further proof that I was feeling especially antsy this year about the limited number of little kid Halloweens remaining at our house, please know that I spent roughly one and a half forevers peeling grapes in order to gross out my children by telling them they were eyeballs.




IT WAS VERY WORTH IT



They recovered pretty quickly.