Happy Monday! Dark Places and Breakfast Burritos

Fudge Brownie & Cookie Dough Cake

Cake, cookie dough, and brownies: the ultimate birthday cake.

Happy Monday! I hope you survived your weekend. Our weekend was glorious because we finally got rain! I know that people think we get rain pretty much year-round in Portland, Oregon, but it’s been a warm, dry year, and a super hot summer (100+ degrees at times), so everyone was really so, so happy to get the rain. Especially me, because I didn’t have to drive 20 minutes to our garden plot to water. Lazy!

Books and Movies

Scott and I watched Dark Places, the Charlize Theron movie based on Gillian Flynn’s (Gone Girl) novel of the same name, and it was . . . not good. Probably why it’s already on iTunes. I remember loving the book, so I pulled it out and I’m going to read it again, but off the top of my head, these were some of the major issues:

  1. Charlize Theron is a wonderful actress, but horrible casting for little Libby Day, the now-grown survivor of the horrific mass murder of her family. Libby is small, weak, and mean–a stunted failure at life. Charlize Theron is a tall blonde goddess who looks like a model. The trucker caps did not disguise that $200 haircut. At all.
  2. The structure of the book had three different narrators: Libby in the present, her mother in the past, and her brother in the past. Obviously that wouldn’t work in a movie. They had a lot of flashbacks, and some of them flowed into the present-day action seamlessly. Others . . . did not.
  3. The casting of the younger versions of the characters was terrible. No one looked at all alike, except Andrea Roth and Chloë Grace Moretz as Diondra. The jarring non-resemblances took me right out of the movie.

One bright spot: I thought Christina Hendricks was excellent as Libby’s strained, worn mother. She turned in an understated but expressive performance, even as her character makes choices that make no sense.

I’m also reading Felicia Day’s new memoir, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). It’s a charming peek into what it was like growing up as a very isolated, geeky, smart girl. Mainly I’m psyched to learn that she was into both Anne of Green Gables and Trixie Belden. I hardly ever meet other people who love Trixie. Bob-Whites of the Glen forever.


Each year for his birthday, my brother and I do a Birthday Cake Challenge. He finds me a bonkers cake, and I make it! This year I made this Fudge Brownie & Cookie Dough Cake and it was a showstopper. This should be someone’s wedding cake. It is that gorgeous, and the chocolate-chip cookie dough frosting blew my freakin’ mind!

I’ve been hitting a mental block for breakfast, lately. I feel like our typical breakfast of coffee cake or muffins, fruit, and orange juice is just too much sugar. We can’t eat scrambled eggs every day, however. And my 10-year-old, Sid, isn’t quite up for toast with avocado. This morning I whipped up some breakfast burritos: sausage, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese. They went over pretty good–I’m going to experiment with breakfast pizza next.


Sarah turned 11 months last Friday–incredible–so her first birthday’s coming down the pike, soon, and I must get a menu together. We’re doing a small friends and family party. While I have a pretty good idea for a simple cake (no fondant or marzipan for me, thank you), I will be making this zucchini and lemon soup, for two reasons. One, zucchini was Sarah’s first solid food. Two, we have a ton of zucchini. I’ll let you know how this goes. Wait. This should be under food! Oh well.

Do you have any non-sugary breakfast ideas? Did you like Dark Places? post below!

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