America’s Sweetheart: Julia Roberts… I mean, Jennifer Lawrence

Have you guys seen this interview with Jennifer Lawrence by funny guy Jimmy Fallon? (See, I told you there would be some pop culture on this blog). It’s pretty great. She really does seem like a down to earth person and still so young! Sometimes I think to myself, gosh, these people are MY age! And then I realize, hmm, that’s probably not true seeing as how I’ve left the twenties…

So, that’s all. Just wanted to share this video and hope you guys find her as endearing as I do. She’s probably, like, top 15 on my celebrity list. More on that later…

C is for COFFEE

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…cold coffee, that is. As the temperatures rise outside, a hot cup of coffee just doesn’t seem right. I mean, would you eat ice cream on the ski slopes? Okay yeah, I probably would, especially if it had cookie dough in it, but you see my point! Instead, what you need is a refreshing cold-brewed cup of coffee laced with homemade vanilla syrup and a very generous splash of creamy milk. Simple, right?

First….you brew. Start with coarse ground coffee, add water, and let steep overnight. We use the Toddy system, which works great! Nothin’ fancy, just a reservoir with a filter folks. Then wah-lah…a canteen of fresh, unbelievably smooth coffee! (The cold-brewing method minimizes the acidity in the coffee.)

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Next, you make the homemade vanilla syrup. Wait, don’t they sell that stuff in stores? Yes, they do! In fact, I found a bottle of vanilla Starbucks syrup in my cabinet from last year. But to my dismay, it had expired. So what’s a girl to do? Just make it yourself! (Or use the expired syrup, which my scientist husband said was probably okay since nothing can grow in that much sugar, but…gross.)

The recipe I used is as follows:
1 3/4 cup filtered water
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract

Over medium heat, combine water + sugars and simmer for ~10 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool. Add vanilla. Voila!

Vanilla Syrup

Note: Be sure to use a good vanilla extract… that is, if you want a good flavor.

And finally, mix well! Syrup—Coffee—Milk—and shake, shake, shake! Trust me, it’s delish! And exactly what you need on a hot summer day.

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Fe…Fi…Fo…FOODIE

Yesss, my first foodie post! And trust me folks, I’m a foodie. I’ve got a sweet tooth so large, the first two base layers of my food pyramid are butter and sugar. I mean really, is there anything better than a fresh batch of cookie dough? No…no, there’s not. To curb this bad habit and to ward off the diabetes, I try to only indulge on the weekends. But this past weekend was Mother’s Day (MY DAY!), so it was bound to be a double cheat day. Therefore, I forced myself to go to the gym in the morning and do a pre-carb workout. Once that mess was over, I was ready to head to the city and eat!

First stop, 2Amy’s pizza. This is by far the best ZA I’ve had in DC. The chewy crust, the fluffy mozzarella, the fresh basil… so CARBoliciously good. Plus, it’s very kid friendly and Gideon is always on his best behavior here bcause he too loves the pizza. Once the pizza is fired, it comes straight to our table blazing hot. I then have to use all the air in my lungs to try and cool it off before my toddler plants his face into it. The kid really loves a fresh Neopolitan pizza! (Don’t worry, there’s tomatoes in the sauce and that, my friend, is a VEGETABLE).

Now onto dessert! There’s this cute little place in Georgetown called Baked & Wired. But lady, didn’t you just complain about driving to Georgetown in your previous post? Yes, but I needed a cupcake so…. where was I? Oh yes, Baked & Wired… BEST cupcakes in the city. They also have the best espresso in the city. Seriously, I would run 2 miles on the treadmill for iced lattes and cupcakes from this place. They even get their vanilla syrup from a guy in Oregon who also microbrews their chai tea! (Yep, you just got some insider scoop). It’s serious people, serious EATS. Because it was Mother’s Day, I was in the mood to try something different there. I wanted the OMG bar…and yes, it’s literally called an OMG bar. Because, well, OMG. Take a look for yourself!

OMG

So now you can see why I only indulge on the weekends. I really am trying to make the numbers on my scale go down. And they are, just in .25 increments. Ugh! Let’s just hope the kiddo gets my husband’s metabolism…it takes him the same amount of effort to gain weight. It’s really not fair. I mean for Pete’s sake, we wear the same size pants. Okay, I’m lying, his pants are snug on me. Ha!

Baby is a Beach Bum

Hey, guess what? The sun came out in Florida for the rest of our vacation! Thanks Mother Nature! We were finally able to take the Gidster to the beach and let him dig his toes in the sand for the first time. I wasn’t quite sure if he’d like it or not as this child was easily frightened in his early days. He also hates for his hands to get dirty (we’re working on this!). So, crashing waves and miles of sand SOUNDS like a good idea, but you can never be too sure. Just like driving to Georgetown on the weekend sounds like a good idea but after fighting traffic for 45 minutes and trying to honk at people from the passenger side, you wonder why you wanted to come here in the first place. (For all of you not from DC, take my word, it’s a nightmare on the weekends!) But fear not, the beach was a big hit with Gideon. Hey, maybe he’s got some Pacific Islander in him after all! He loved it so much in fact that we took him twice. Man, this kid is spoiled. Just kidding!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some highlights:

Look! There’s sand everywhere and he doesn’t care!

IMG_7138No, seriously Dad, I want to go in. I don’t care that you forgot your swimsuit at home.

IMG_7131He gets so excited when the waves crash at his feet. His spirit fingers even come out!

IMG_7373Yessss, Dad brought his swimsuit this time. Onward!!

Minus the storms in the beginning, we really did have some beautiful weather in Florida. It wasn’t too hot or too humid, so May must be the perfect time to go. On the plus side, Gideon had some QT with Nana, PopPop, Marianne and the rest of the family in Alabama. He also started talking like crazy. I swear, every time we go on vacation or someone visits, he reaches a milestone. I’m pretty sure he tripled his speaking vocabulary in the one week we were there. It’s such an amazing thing to see your child grow up. Not to get all sentimental on you, but he really is our dream come true. Till next time!

Night of the Tornado….Warning.

We’re on vacation in sunny Florida! Or so we thought when we arrived earlier last week. Day 1…Cloudy. Day 2…rain & TORNADO WARNINGS. Day 3…FLOODS. Why did we come here again? Now, we used to live in the Midwest, so tornado watches weren’t no thang. But tornado warnings? That’s cloud rotation people…a tornado is imminent!! Of course we get the first tornado warning right before my favorite show, The Mindy Project, comes on and the satellite goes out. So, there’s no television to keep me entertained and there’s no way to see what the local weatherman is saying. Just an iPhone cutting out during a live broadcast — Storm is the worst at {buffering}….now headed towards {buffering}… stay inside. Ummm, WHAT? And it must’ve been the slowest storm EVER because our tornado warnings kept extending themselves in half hour increments. Seriously, it lasted almost two hours! By the first half hour, I’m in full panic mode. I’ve lost it. My whole body feels like jelly. The power starts flickering on and off…on and off…on and off.  All the while, my husband and mother just look on in amusement. I finally just grab all the cushions from the couch and drag them into the hallway. My toddler is fast asleep for the night so I have strategically placed myself outside his room. That way I can grab him, grab a couch cushion, and get in the tub at any moment’s notice! I did not want to wake this child for fear of him never going back to sleep in his own bed that night. (Do you know how hard it is to get a toddler down while on vacation? It’s HARD, like real hard!) Meanwhile, my mother is saying “Don’t forget the baby!” as she always used to yell when we first saw the movie Night of the Twisters (Devon Sawa, anyone?). She’s also saying things like, “You don’t need to panic until you hear the sound of a train coming.” Yeah right! Though the threat of tornadoes eventually dissipate, the rain stays and stays and stays. We get so much rain that we can’t get out of the neighborhood because of all the flooding in the streets. Not even in a pickup truck. So, we go back to the house and wait for Day 4.

Nowhere to go...

Nowhere to go…

First. Blogpost. Ever.

Hey y’all! I finally started my own blog…better late than never I suppose! I’m not quite sure what type of blog this will be, but let’s just say it will be a ‘lifestyle’ blog. Fair warning, there will be a lot of kid stuff… like A LOT. Being a stay at home/work from home Mom, my kid pretty much rules my world right now. But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to sprinkle in a little pop culture and some of my favorite recipes. You’ll also be sure to find posts about my random adventures in DC. For now, I’ll leave you with a picture of the light of my life, Mr. Gideon.

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