Horror Baby

I’m Alive (I Think)!

Horror Baby

Celebrating 18 months with Freddy Krueger and Leatherface, of course!

Hey guys! Sorry for the radio silence. I had a week of visiting my in-laws in Massachusetts, and when I got back I was hit with a triple whammy of 1) freelance work (yay!), 2) Easter, and 3) laundry. So. Much. Laundry.

But a lot has happened, including Sarah turning 18 months! She’s walking, running, and climbing everything. And eating everything–although she still only has eight teeth (when will the rest get here, baby wants to eat candy).

She’s got “Bye-bye” and “Hi” down, although she’s started chirping “Hi baby!” (which is what we always say to her), which is hilarious. She can signal “More” (usually food) in sign language, and when she wants to nurse, she has a charming habit of patting me on the chest and yelling, “Ma? MAAAAAAA?” Usually in public.

Sarah has always been a very sweet, funny child. She loves to get a laugh out of us. She’s outgoing and friendly. She’s still a Mama’s girl, but she of course loves her brother, Sid, and her dad. She was cuddling with Scott this morning (she’s not usually a cuddler), and it was so sweet.

As for me . . . I’m good. Stressed. I’m doing PR and marketing for GeekCraft Expo PDX, and I’ve taken on another part-time gig for a former boss. I’m so happy to be working and doing stuff, but I feel a little pressed for time–plus, I really don’t want to fall on my face. Add coordinating the Buckman Auction and another event that’s planned for May, and my plate feels very full. When it rains, it pours!

But Emerald City Comic Con is next weekend. And it’s the first one I’m not attending. I miss the harried weeks running up to a convention: coordinating spreadsheets of graphic novels, statues, and toys, speccing signage, going over endless checklists. I miss being able to concentrate for longish periods of time without being interrupted!

I’m not ready to leave Sarah overnight yet–we still nurse four times a day! I’m so used to it, it’s such a nice, snuggly time, that I don’t really want to think about giving it up.

Sid is amazing. He’s always been the most helpful brother, and he’s so funny and smart. He’s a joy to hang out with. He got sick and had to cancel his three-day birthday extravaganza (two slumber parties–one at each house), and he was a total trooper. Plus, during his visit to Massachusetts, Papou (his Greek grandpa) taught him to play poker, and now Sid’s a card shark. It’s super funny.

Anyway! I swear I have actual posts about actual things that I will type up. 10 item wardrobe stuff, cooking, geeky news . . . don’t give up on me yet!

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Craft Meetup in Portland

GeekCraft Expo Presents GeekCraftUp at Ground Kontrol!

Craft Meetup in PortlandCalling all geeky crafters: GeekCraft PDX is hosting a GeekCraftUp at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade April 11 from 7 to 10 pm!

Bring your projects for a fun night of crafting with other nerdy folks, and the chance to win prizes from Rose City Comic Con, Portland’s largest comics and pop culture convention! This is a casual event open to anyone 21+—whether you’re planning to exhibit at GeekCraft Expo PDX, or just want to meet other crafty people in Portland.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade is Portland’s premier video game and pinball paradise, with food and beverages available for purchase. Plus, they’ll have an ‘80s DJ starting at 8:00 pm. We’ll meet up at the lighted tables near the bar!

GeekCraft Expo PDX is a curated geeky craft market featuring handmade items by Portland’s local artisans. Make sure to go check it out June 11-12 at the DoubleTree. It’s free to the public, so mark your calendar now!

Tater tot breakfast casserole

Broccoli-Cheddar Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

Tater tot breakfast casserole

Yummy broccoli-cheddar tater tot breakfast casserole!

Tater tots for breakfast? Oh yes indeed. I remember the first bite I ever had of a tater tot breakfast casserole, at an Easter brunch a decade ago. It was rich and delicious, and the tater tots had broken down to become hash browns mixed with eggs, cheese, and sausage. Yum. I’m not a huge egg person, so the presence of tots and other fillings makes this type of breakfast casserole perfect for me. Plus: it’s easy, feeds a crowd, and you can put it together the night before (it’s actually best that way).

Here’s the original version. However, since I usually have a few vegetarians over when I host a brunch, I usually replace the sausage with sauteed peppers and onions. But last weekend, I had some broccoli and green onions on hand and created yet another version that was 1) delicious and 2) perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Broccoli-Cheddar Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

You need:

1 package frozen tater tots
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium head broccoli, chopped
1/4 c. green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 eggs
2 cup half and half
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt

Place a layer of tater tots in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ casserole pan.

Breakfast tater tot casserole

Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add broccoli, green onions, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about five minutes. Sprinkle over tater tots.

Breakfast tater tot casserole

Whisk the eggs, half and half, mustard, and salt in a large bowl, and pour over tater tots. Sprinkle with pepper!

IMG_8071.jpg

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Refrigerate overnight (you can bake it immediately in a pinch, but it is better if you let it rest).

Breakfast tater tot casserole

Bake in the morning at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Breakfast tater tot casserole

Let rest for 20-30 minutes, then eat! Makes 15 servings.

So what do you think? Are you planning on making something special for St. Patrick’s Day? Post your comments below!

Hail Caesar the Kurgan

Happy Monday! Hail, Caesar and #10ItemWardrobe

Hail Caesar the Kurgan

Yes, that’s The Kurgan on the left! The Highlander himself (Christopher Lambert) also makes an appearance in Hail, Caesar! Photo via Universal Pictures.

Well hello, folks! How was your weekend? Mine was great–I went to a birthday party for my Dad and saw my second movie of the year in the theaters, Hail, Caesar (the first movie was Deadpool, of course)!

When I first started dating my now-husband, I had pretty much given up going to the movies. I had lived for many years on an island that had two theaters and a total of three screens, which meant Movie A would play Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Movie B played Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I worked nights waitressing anyway, but if I happened to have a free night and thought about going to a movie, the one I wanted was never playing.

Cut to dating my husband. He loves going to the movies. Especially horror films, which was never my bag. But I gamely went to movie after movie, and soon realized that I wasn’t just being a good sport–I was enjoying myself (and loved horror movies–turns out they aren’t all gore fests!).

Having a baby changed a lot of things for me, but one thing I didn’t even think about was going to the movies! I kind of went back to my default position. But now that Sarah is almost 18 months old we have a babysitter, and I’m finally swimming back up to the surface and checking things out. Who am I? What do I want to do now? Turns out I wanted to go to the movies. So this is a ridiculous, boring anecdote, but going to the movies was a surprisingly Big Deal last night, and I enjoyed the hell out of Hail, Caesar, and hanging out with my husband, so I’m feeling good.

Links!

Entertainment

Hail, Caesar is a love letter to the movies of the 1950s, but did you know the main character, fixer Eddie Mannix (a highly fictionalized version played by Josh Brolin), who runs around hushing up the potential scandals of actors and directors, was a real person? Den of Geek has the real history of Hail, Caesar and Eddie Mannix.

Speaking of Hollywood scandals (and relating to one of the fictional storylines in Hail, Caesar), did you know that actress Loretta Young adopted her own baby to avoid the scandal of an illegitimate, out-of-wedlock child? The father? Clark Gable.

Mike Mignola has decided to end the amazing Hellboy in Hell series, and did an interview with Entertainment Weekly that reveals the cover of the final issue!

Fashion

We’re leaving for Massachusetts this week to visit my husband’s family! Much like I did last year, I’ll be taking pics every day of me in my 10-item wardrobe and posting them on Twitter with the hashtag #10ItemWardrobe. Follow me here!

Speaking of fashion, I have a problem. I have fallen in love with all of the cute, high-quality, organic cotton baby and toddler clothes at Hanna Andersson. It’s a problem because they’re a lot more expensive than Carter’s–but at the same time, they last much longer, too. I’ve found help, however! Our local Hanna Andersson outlet store has everything at a 20-40% discount (or more). You can find your Hanna Andersson outlet here. We’ll be shopping here until I maneuver Sarah into a gig as a baby model. I’m not a paid endorser or affiliate of Hanna Andersson. But I am willing! Call meeeee!

That’s all I got today. What are you enjoying? Have any tips on transitioning from being a 24-hour milk machine to an actual human woman? Post them below!

 

Highlander Menu

What to Eat When You Watch The Highlander

Highlander Menu

Delicious Scottish-French-Welsh cuisine: our Highlander menu.

Aw yeah! There can be only one–menu when you watch 1986’s classic fantasy/action classic The Highlander. Just kidding. You can eat whatever you like, but we were so excited to show Sid the movie I had to make it a theme dinner. As I do.

If for some reason you haven’t already seen The Highlander (which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year), a brief synopsis: in the 16th century, Scotsman Connor MacLeod discovers that he’s an immortal, destined to battle his fellow immortals and either behead them (or be beheaded) until just one is left standing to receive The Prize! There can be only one!

Flashbacks to his early days in the Scottish Highlands–his friendship/apprenticeship with Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (Sean Connery, playing an immortal “Spaniard” who’s really an ancient Egyptian) and doomed romance with his wife Heather–are interspersed with the “current day” in 1985, where Connor, now known as Russell Nash, must battle the Kurgan, the immensely powerful and super-evil remaining immortal! Oh, and there’s a little romance with Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart).

Here’s the trailer:

But really, The Highlander is about the awesome Queen soundtrack, rad sword fights, hilarious ’80s fashion, and appropriate food to eat while you watch.

Highlander Menu

Closeup on the Scottish Sausage Rolls. Tasty!

There Can Be Only One Highlander Menu

Scottish Sausage Rolls (super easy and quite delicious–they reheat nicely in the microwave, too)
French Brie (actor Christopher Lambert is French)
Welsh cheddar (the closest thing my grocery store had to Scottish cheese)
Fruit (I chose strawberries and apples)
Vegetables (you can’t fight immortals without your fiber–I chose green beans, since they’re easy to eat with your hands)
Sliced baguette

I piled everything on platters so we could eat in front of the television–it was simple, hearty, and fairly neat (the kids were careful with the dipping sauces, which were ketchup, barbecue sauce, and ketchup mixed with dijon mustard). We also had rootbeer floats, but mostly because they were easy. And tasty.

Do you have any weird food rituals when you watch movies? Post below!

Make-A-Mix Cookery Authors

Monthly Meal Planning: Making Mixes

Make-A-Mix Cookery Authors

Cookbook authors or . . . Stepford Wives? Actually, I would totally use a Stepford Wives cookbook. Image from the Make-A-Mix Cookery book: Nevada Harward, Madeline Westover, and Karine Eliason.

So I’ve been on a roll! I just made my third Monthly Meal Planning spreadsheet last weekend: you can download it here.

This month is different for two reasons: one, we’re going on a trip to visit my husband’s parents in Massachusetts for a week, and two, I pulled out my Mom’s 1978 copy of Make-A-Mix-Cookery.

What’s Make-A-Mix-Cookery? It’s a book dedicated to saving time and money–huge during the 1970s, when gas was expensive and more women were entering the workforce. There’s the Quick Mix (a Bisquick-type mix), which literally makes 32 different recipes in the book (from Super-Duper Doughnuts to Sunday Shortcake), a Hot Roll Mix (for breads and sweet rolls, etc.), a Cornmeal Mix, etc. However, there’s also meat mixes (Mexican Meat Mix, Chicken Mix), where you can cook up/spice up meat and then freeze it, as well as rice mixes, drink mixes (Hot Cocoa!), cookie and cake mixes, camping and gift mixes–the books goes on and on.

This month I aim to make the following:

  • Hot Roll Mix (to make Swedish Cinnamon Twists and Big Soft Pretzels)
  • Cornmeal Mix (I finally ran out of Jiffy Mixes)
  • Muffin Mix (to make Blueberry Muffins and Molasses-Bran Muffins)
  • Oatmeal Cookie Mix (to make . . . Oatmeal Cookies)
  • Dill-Lemon Rice Mix (it’s been years since I’ve bought Rice-A-Roni)

I was a little concerned, since most of the baking mixes either call for shortening or dry milk, because they’re shelf stable. But I’ve already tested out the cookie and muffin mixes, and they are actually pretty stellar!

Even though we’ll be on vacation, I’m still planning on cooking at my in-laws’ house: easy things like spaghetti sauce and tuna casserole. I’ll be blogging from the road (and posting pics of my 10-item wardrobe), so stay tuned!

Who else cooks on vacation? Have you ever made your own mixes? Who else has an original Make-A-Mix Cookery book? Post below!

Happy Tuesday! International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day! Image from International Women’s Day!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I was unable to blog yesterday because Sarah has been 1) sick and 2) teething, and the combination left her inconsolable unless I was physically holding her. Sigh. I invited a friend over for lunch and she ended up making the sandwiches. But hey! Sarah might have eight whole teeth by the time she turns 18 months (she’s been a real slow teether).

On to links!

International Women’s Day

It’s International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the achievements of women and calling for increased gender equality and an end to discrimination and violence towards women. As a woman and a mother, I approve.

Check out UN Women’s interactive timeline about notable women in history–it’s really interesting, and visually stimulating for kids, too.

Speaking of notable women, Kelly Sue DeConnick is a fantastic comic book writer (Bitch Planet, Ms. Marvel), force of nature, and inspirational kick-ass woman. She used her fame and social media prowess for good yesterday, retweeting the names and portfolio links of hundreds of female comic book creators yesterday using the #VisibleWomen hashtag. Go check ’em out!

Another woman I love is Jennifer L. Scott, author of the Madame Chic books. She posts weekly video blogs over at the Daily Connoisseur, and just posted one that especially speaks to me about dealing with exhaustion. Plus she gave my latest 10-item wardrobe post a shout out, and I want to return the favor!

Of course, my favorite fictional woman is Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote. One day I will write in length why, but in the meantime, Bitch Media’s Jessica Fletcher of “Murder, She Wrote” Is My Anti-Ageism Heroine is well worth the read!

Cooking

As part of this month’s meal planning, I brought out my Mom’s 1970s copy of Make-A-Mix-Cookery. It’s all about creating your own mixes–for baking, casseroles, soups, etc.–to save time and money. And I’m all about creating my own entertainment by trying out retro recipes. So far I’ve made two of the mixes, so keep an eye out for reviews!

Speaking of Kelly Sue, she posted this recipe for a Buckeye Bundt Cake and I want. To. Make. It. And I will.

Okay, I’ve got to give Sarah a bath now (I will spare you the details why). Post your favorite women below!