March Bookworm

The Bad Mother by Esther Walker

Having read Esther’s “The Bad Cook” I was looking forward to her latest effort. She, of course, didn’t disappoint.
She’s certainly not calling herself a bad mother, nor you either! Instead she examines her own stint as a mother so far and offers anecdotes of her successes, failures and hard won wisdom.
“Parents of young children are always thinking about sleep…Sometimes they are actually having semi-sexual fantasies about sleep.”
“Now from the lofty position of having two children both past the recommended breastfeeding stage…I don’t care what you do with your kids. Feed them breastmilk, or formula, or a McFlurry! It’s nothing to do with me.”
“‘What have you tried?’ people would say. ‘Have you tried bribery?’ Ha!…Yes…I have tried bribery. I would give her a puff on a fuc*ing crack pipe if she’d only crap on the potty.” …If the the kid doesn’t want to do it they just won’t do it. She. Doesn’t. Want. A. Fuc*ing. Sticker.

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson
The third book in the “Shades of London” series.
The ending of the second book “The Madness Underneath” left us with a lot of FEELINGS about “The Thing that HAPPENED!” Fans (me) were salivating for this continuation of the story. Johnson picks up right where she left off and takes us all on a crazy ride.
Things get weird, y’all.
“Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.”

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

Evanovich’s plus sized heroine is refreshing. The take on the Pygmalion myth isn’t a new concept, but she writes the woman in transition/transformation story with realism. Holly doesn’t go from overweight to model thin in the span of a makeover montage. She struggles and fights her way to healing.

“Holly didn’t expect to be a widow at thirty-two. She also didn’t expect to be so big. After her husband’s death, food was the one thing she could always count on. Now, those extra pounds make flying coach feel like medieval torture—especially when she’s squished next to Logan Montgomery. A personal trainer to famous pro athletes, her seat mate is so hot that he makes Holly sweat in all the right (and so embarrassingly wrong!) places.
Though Holly doesn’t make the grade on Logan’s first-impression meter, he finds himself intrigued by her sharp wit and keen insights—a welcome change from the high-maintenance models he dates—so he impulsively offers to get her back in shape. A little skeptical but ready to make at least one positive change in her life, Holly agrees.”

Note: Some light S/M play and dominance between the characters are depicted.

Chocolate, Toffee & Pecan Cookies

Pecan & Toffee Cookies

The best gifts, I feel, are ones that can be eaten and shared. It’s easy to guess what I give friends and loved ones on an occasion.
Take this basic cookie dough recipe, then get creative with your mix ins. In the past I’ve used pretzels, nuts, banana chips, etc.

Chocolate, Toffee & Pecan Cookies
2 1/4 cups (300g) Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Pinch of salt
2 sticks (229g) Butter
3/4 cup (143g) Granulated Sugar
3/4 cup (150g) Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 cups (340g) Chocolate Chips
1 cup (125g) Toffee Bits
1 cup (120g) Whole Pecans

Preheat oven to 375f/190c degrees.

Stir the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

Beat together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture and stir until combined.
Mix the flour a little at a time into the butter/egg mixture until combined.
Stir in the mix-ins until distributed evenly into the dough.

Drop a 2 tablespoon portion onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place them about 2 inches apart as they will spread during baking
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges.

Print this recipe? Chocolate, Toffee & Pecan Cookies

Hidden Garden

Image 3-13-15 at 10.50 PM (1)

Image 3-13-15 at 10.50 PM (2)

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~W. Earl Hall

Image 3-13-15 at 10.50 PM

Image 3-13-15 at 10.55 PM

I would I had some flowers o’ the spring that might
Become your time of day… daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes…
O, these I lack,
To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
To strew him o’er and o’er!
~William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale [IV, 4, Perdita]

Creamy Herb & Mustard Dressing

Creamy Herb and Mustard Dressing

I’ve been trying to make a batch of this every weekend to last us the week.

Creamy Herb & Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
3 tablespoons Mixed Herbs (Parsley, Thyme, Dill, etc.)
1 tablespoon grated Red Onion
1 cup Milk
Salt and Pepper
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until completely mixed.
Add more milk to adjust the thickness of the dressing.
Store covered in the fridge for a week.

Link Love


Packing for Paris fashion week. (I wish!)

Garance Dore talks to women in their fifties about living gracefully and loving their laugh lines.

Giving your skin a break. Could you go 24 hours (or longer) makeup and product free?

I love to look at the Williams Sonoma catalogue, i’m a big fan, but this satire piece had me laughing so hard! The Haters Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalogue

Those Perfect Magazine Mums via Selfish Mother. You’ve read the articles. A successful, beautiful mum with a picture perfect lifestyle.
Yeah, right! SM columnist Anniki Sommerville calls Bullsh*t on why it’s all just a glossy magazine fantasy.