Not like the picture

I found another entry for my kitchen memoir Not like the Picture this weekend.

I am working on a personal life improvement project. One of the concepts I’m working with is how to stop complaining about the everyday things that must be done whether I’m cheerful about them or not, things like making meals for people three times a day, every day.

I’ve mentioned before that I kind of hate dinner and the fact that it comes around every. single. night.

But I don’t hate dinner, really.  And I certainly love the people I make meals for … so it’s actually a matter of figuring out how to streamline the whole process so I’m not re-creating the wheel every morning/evening.

I saw this super cute idea on Pinterest:

NO WAY!!! - cook a dozen at once. Put in the oven on 350 for 15-20 min. Comes out the perfect size to put on an English muffin!!

Eggs cooked

So, I figured I’d try it at home. In keeping with the apparent theme of my life where things don’t turn out like the picture, here’s how the eggs actually turned out:

2012-10-21 18.37.10

See how mine aren’t perfectly round … or perfectly anything?

But, whatever, with a couple slices of ham tucked between a whole wheat English muffin … I think I’ve got breakfasts made for awhile.

I put them in sandwich baggies and then a freezer bag so we can heat and roll. No, I don’t hate the Earth, yes I plan to reuse the bags and absolutely I’d love to find a better way to do it.

Regardless of appearances, I do love knowing I have a bag full of pre-made, good for us breakfasts that were super easy to make. Thank you, Pinterest.

(You guys are on there, right? It is pure awesome sauce!)

Next time I think I’ll toast the muffins and try the updated version with spinach … and as per her suggestion, I will try scrambling them.


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Christmas Pajamas

I get these ideas … and often I let them go as quickly as they came but some get stuck in my head and I decide to do things like sew Christmas pajamas. For all four of us. You should know that I don’t actually sew … or that the last time I attempted something like this (Stockings and a receiving blanket) my neighbor friend the lovely Loretta Willard had to bail me out at the last minute. (Literally as I was going into the hospital to have Jake she handed me the blanket I’d meant to make all finished, washed and ready for baby xo).

Anyway over the summer I found this pattern for  pajamas I thought would be fun to make for Christmas. I finally opened it last week:



When I got the thing unfolded I was confounded. I  wanted to sew pajama pants not build a house! I’m not so much a numbers girl, nor am I particularly good at following directions. I understand this doesn’t make me a likely candidate for sewing projects. But like I said, I had this idea …

A few weeks ago I went to the fabric store for my material. I mentioned it to a friend and smiled at the long pause that followed. I know he was thinking something along the lines of: but you don’t sew. I explained that I was making pajamas. Another pause and then he said: “Nathalie, your life is a self-made adventure.”

And you know what? I took that as a compliment. I love for that to be true. It makes life interesting. Besides, learning new things is said to help ward off Alzheimer's.

So then I almost gave up after messing with that pajama engineering project but Matt mocked me and I couldn’t resist … plaid pajamas for you my friend. Super plaid. With a matching shirt.

Matt: We’re going to have matching pajamas?
Me: Well, more like coordinating.

Matt: Oh my God, we’re going to have matching pajamas. (Still laughing thinking this will never happen.)

Me: If I go through the trouble of making them you’ll wear them, right?

Matt: Oh, honey. You bet. Barely able to contain his amusement.

Me: You so should not have mocked me.

He was surprised the next morning when I hung the first pair from the doorknob.

He was impressed when I hung the second pair the next morning.

He looked mildly concerned when I handed him his pair the third day.

“Oh my God honey, you made me kulats!”

They were awful! And much too short.

But what kind of a jerk wouldn’t wear something so lovingly made by his wife? He did request I figure out a way to add a few inches to them. Wait ‘till he sees my fix. And the matching shirt I made out of his old company T-shirt. Surprise!

The surprise was kind of on me though when I tried mine on and found them to be hideously tight. Like for sure I’ll bust a seam. But at least I know how to fix that now! I’m out of material so luckily I found a clearance $3 top that will work perfectly to hide the hideousness. The ruffles, however, are adorable. Well, on the one leg. The other is kind of a hack job.

The whole thing is really kind of a hack but I’m good with that. By the way, I ended up finding an awesome  tutorial on my beloved Pinterest where you use your own pajamas for the pattern. And still there were mistakes. So many mistakes that Sam thinks the seam  ripper is called “the mistake thing.”



The cheerful, Christmassy mantra that got me through the hours I spent with my seam ripper was: I don’t care if I have to staple these f@#$&*@ we are wearing these damn pajamas!

Anyway,they’re done. And they are awesome, in a way. They remind me of what my friend Sarah calls “aggressively homemade.” Love that expression. We’re not going to eat in these. Or play in them. You know what? Maybe we won’t even sleep in them.


Here they are ready to be unwrapped tomorrow night before we read our first round of Elf on the Shelf. (Check local listings but the movie is playing Friday on CBS!) I even made our little Elf his own sleeping bag because I am totally geeking out on being a holiday mom. I love this part of the gig!



Oh, right the pajamas …



Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Oh my gosh! I could make matching stocking hats. Ha!

For the love of awesomeness

Happy Crack. Mad awesomeness.

Those are just a few words I’ve used to describe my new passion: Pinterest.

It was one of several things this week I found myself asking: How have I not heard of this before?!

I don’t even know how to describe it, it’s one of those things where you’ll likely do one of these things:

1) Be mildly interested but not curious enough to click on the link and join in the fun.

2) Sure, you’ll look but you will tell the part of you that wants to dive in that the last thing you need is another time suck. And you’ll be right. BUT maybe you could exchange something else that’s sucking your energy and check out something that just might be your daily dose of happy crack. Just sayin’.

3) Or, you might click on the Pinterest link, suck in your breath a bit as you behold the simple genius behind this mad awesomeness and start pinning your happy heart away. (If you fall into this camp and need an invite, email me or leave a message in the comments with your email and I’ll send you one with joy in my heart. p.x. would love it if you follow me and let me know you’re on there so I can follow you too! Too bad the social media lingo is so … sixth-grade please-sit-by-me-in-the-cafeteria sounding!)

But what the hell is it?

Oh, right. It’s a virtual corkboard of coolness. It’s a place where people pin photos that take their breath away like this:


or ideas they want to try like this:




or words to live by like this:


words to live by

This is the best guide I’ve found about getting started: Pinterest: a beginner’s guide


Okay, so the next thing many of you likely know about but I just discovered Pandora – (thank you Paul for helping me with that!) internet radio where you type in an artist you like and “they” customize a radio station with music you can groove to. For free. Sweet.

Bonus: you can click to see the entire lyrics of a song in case you’re one of those people who consistently hears them wrong.

And finally, I accidentally came across a copy of Mental Floss magazine while chasing Jake down at the library. Seriously, how have I never read that? I totally geeked out on an article called:

10 incredible Moments in the History of Editing

By david wanczyk

Can I just tell you how happy it made me to know that there were enough other people on the planet that think it’s cool to care about edits that changed history to justify the cost of producing a magazine? Love that. If you’re one of us, did you know Catch-22 was originally titled Catch-18. Now I’m full of more fun facts like that, FYI.

So, there’s a few of my favorites for this Friday!

Happy Weekend.

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