Auld acquaintance

In the week between Christmas and New Years, I subsist primarily on cookies, Chex Mix, beef jerky, fancy nut mixes, and will occasionally request that the house elves make pancakes for me.

I also do not look at Twitter. It is the only time I am happy.

But it means that I don't have any new recipes for the week. What I do have is a list of baked goods that I managed to throw together in between candles batches, only one of which was a gooey disaster and probably only half of which contained more than trace amounts of soy wax.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars (aka The Gooey Disaster)

Double Chocolate Icebox Cookies

Mini Eggnog Donut Muffins

Ginger Molasses Cookies

PB and J Blondies

I received many lovely/thoughtful/delicious gifts this year, but Andy wins the Most Baffling Yet Delightful Thing To Receive In The Mail With No Note award for the Scots language version of the first Harry Potter book.

I mean, look at this thing. Every page is a wee treasure.

Have a safe and happy Hogmanay out there, everyone!


I did not send Christmas cards, just pick a couple of these pictures and print them out thx

I hope everyone who celebrated Christmas had a good one and that your little sister did not make you wait two full hours to open presents while she slept in.

And that if you got socks, you were excited about them.

And that you are rolling in cash.

And that your holiday fashion was on point.

But also, listen: if you are totally over it? I get it.

Anyway, six more days until Midterms Year! Happy Holidays!


Downtime is a January activity

How was everyone's Solstice? Deep and dark? Frozen and frigid?

Same, same

The girls had their last day of the semester yesterday, so based on over thirty years of history with the public school system in Texas, I assume that I now have what, a week? Ten days probably? To get ready for Christmas, which is good becau--*touches earpiece* *looks concerned* ah, we're getting reports that..hmm. Yes, I see. Folks, I'm being told that Christmas is in three days. Guess we should check on how everything is going.

Ambition Corner Status: Dismantled

Artistic Phase Status: Abstract

Chef's Hat Status: Tall

Cat Packing Status: Ready to go

Baby Brother Status: Turning...*squints at printout* 35 today? That can't be right.

Happy birthday, Nathaniel!


It just wants to give you hugs

So I guess my new thing is, I'm tired and I want to consume sea creatures? Or I'm tired and...just everything looks like an octopus to me now? Either way, this Mejadra was very good and not at all briny.

Any non-tired people out there please weigh in 

Ambition Corner Status: SOME RESULTS! Applesauce Oatmeal Bread has emerged!

It gained both Ivy and Pusheenicorn approval.

Quite coveted, as you know

Okay Okay I'm Doing Christmas Things I Know I'm Running Out Of Time Status: 




Anyway, I'm off to mail 84.25 lbs of candles, that is not an exaggeration, that is the literal combined weight of today's shipment, no idea why my back and shoulders hurt all the time, okay bye have a good week.


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.


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.


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


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



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



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.


(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.