Six On Sunday, Version 35

1. Lazy. Saturday afternoon, I did nothing. I was lazy. This is a major milestone for me, people. I sat still and watched trashy reality television. And did nothing else- no iPad, no nail polish, nothing. It was great. (For about thirty minutes, and then I maxed out on ‘nothing’ and mopped the kitchen floor.)

2. Crock Pot. I have never used a crock pot before. I understand that people love them, and cannot imagine their lives without one. However, the appeal is lost on me as I don’t really like meat (I haven’t eaten red meat since 2004, not counting this-one-time-in-Paris-at-the-fondue-restaurant), and I am not a huge stew fan. Also, I don’t really care for potatoes. However, it is St. Patrick’s Day, and my husband loves corned beef, so I found myself searching pinterest for a recipe.

3. Corned Beef. Here is what I made.

I also made these, but the ones I made look NOTHING like this picture.

4. Photo Op. I realized that we have not taken one single, solitary picture since Christmas.  Thomas hates everything about pictures- from posing to taking them. He especially hates it when I ask someone to take our picture. (Which is too bad really, because I do it all the time.) I love pictures. I frequently look through our photo albums, remembering when and where we were when said pictures were snapped. So, this weekend has been one photo op after another. I am thrilled. Thomas not so much.

5. Irish Blessing. I love this. It makes me think of my grandmother, and I cannot even read it without crying. At my youngest sister’s wedding, Thomas had to read it because no one in my family could get through it without weeping.

 

6. Red Velvet. It seems like everyone we know was born in March. We seem to spend all of March going to birthday parties- which is a great thing. Yesterday, I was served Red Velvet cake that changed my life. The frosting was a cream cheese base with pecan bits mixed in. It was perfect- the crusty frosting edge and dense, creamy underside. The frosting did not overpower the cake- it was a perfect accompaniment to the cake. Usually, I am more of a cake than frosting gal- so I tried the cake without the frosting… which was possibly one of the best moves I have ever made. The cake moist and light; and melted like butter. In fact, the cake tasted A LOT like butter! I know a lot of people don’t ‘get’ Red Velvet- they can’t distinguish red velvet from any other cake. This cake will make them believers. The cake was from Gabriel’s.

homeLogo Six On Sunday, Version 35

Marietta, GA
THE BEST RED VELVET CAKE EVER

 

My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

As I am sure everyone knows, last Thursday was my birthday. I am sure everyone knows this because my birthday is a national holiday. At least in our house.

birthday big deal My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

I have always loved LOVED my birthday. In fact, I am a fan of the “Birthday Month”- why limit the special treatment to just a day? The best part about my birthday is that everyone has to do Whatever I Say Because It’s My Birthday. Shockingly, my husband isn’t as big of a fan of my birthday as I am.

Growing up, I had the most fabulous birthday parties. One year, my parents turned our living and dining rooms into a casino. I had a costume party one year (I was a hula girl… a hula girl with a sweat shirt and sweat pants… hey, it’s cold in St. Louis in mid October!). Another year, we went bowling (even with the bumpers I am terrible!).

julia candles My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

In high school, I would bring cake for everyone (my high school had 136 girls in my class). Girls I only spoke to once a year would smile sweetly, wish me a Happy Birthday!, grab some cake, and disappear again for the next 364 days.

When I turned 18 while away at school, I celebrated hard… So hard that I ran away when I turned 21 (I ran to a formal brunch at my parents, so don’t feel badly for me).

Thirty was fun. I spent the first night away from Emma (who was eight weeks old) when Thomas took me for a mini staycation.

julia cake My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

Recently, we have traveled to New Orleans (a trip that was supposed to be free with our hotel points and airline miles. At the end of the day, our “free” trip cost us several THOUSANDS of dollars. Night. Mare.). Last year, we traveled to Chicago. While there, I was reminded of why I no longer live in Chicago… it was 70 degrees and sunny when we left Atlanta. Chicago’s weather: 38 degrees and sleeting…

This year, on the fourth anniversary of my 29th birthday, I celebrated with best friends and family.

I finally got my BFF necklace!

BFF necklace My Most Favorite Day Of The Year

Finally, after waiting twenty four years!

And of course, cake and champagne!!

Six on Sunday (Monday), Version 18

to do Six on Sunday (Monday), Version 18

1. The List. I am sure you have one of these at your house. That list of everything, that in a perfect world, would be done. Things on this list are things that are in the ’wants’ category, not in the needs-to-get-done-yesterday category. For example, a needs-to-get-done item might be fixing your back deck before it collapses into the yard; where as a ’want’ would be painting said deck. The things on the list are not that pressing…  until you host a party at your house. We (myself and my two besties Liz and Tanya) hosted a baby shower this weekend (which is why this post is late. I was way too tired to deal with anything yesterday. Also, see #3).  The good news is the party was lovely and almost everything got checked off the list. The bad news is that I was scrubbing fan blades, polishing silver, lint rolling lamp shades, repainting my daughter’s room, scrubbing my porch, and moving furniture for three days. My sweet husband was laying sod, painting mailboxes, trimming bushes, and being the general Errand Boy. .. The worst news is that the list is never-ending as I can already think of several things to add to it (sorry honey!).

2. Not Washing Dishes. I am not a fan of washing dishes.  I do the “cooking” (does steaming vegetables and sautéing something count? Because that’s all I do), and Thomas does the cleaning. We arrived at this arrangement after he accused me of only washing the part of the plate that was dirty. (LIES.)  We rented table settings for the shower, so all we had to do was rinse the plates and glasses and restack them! It was amazing! I had maybe six things to wash when all was said and done.

sesame street live Six on Sunday (Monday), Version 18

3. Sesame Street Live. I remember going as a child, and it was really neat to be able to take my child.  I recruited my friend Bailey and her son to go with us. I wasn’t going to face that solo, and Thomas received a kitchen pass after how awesome he was with regard to the shower.  I’m glad we went, and I’m glad it won’t come into town for another year.

self tanner Six on Sunday (Monday), Version 18

4. Self Tanner. Is amazing! In theory. Once I turned twenty-five, I swore off tanning beds. (Other than the few months before my wedding. This should be self-explanatory.) Once I turned thirty, I swore off laying out in the sun.  So, what’s a girl to do? B.E. (before Emma, also known as the days of DINK (dual income no kids), I went to a salon and had a professional spray tan. These days, both my time and funds are more limited, so I try my best at home. Usually I do a pretty decent job- especially if you do not look too closely! My issue is the fade out. A natural tan fades… well… naturally. Spray tan comes off in random spots and it does so in a non uniform fashion. I look like I have some weirdo blotchy disease…

5. Good customer service.  I purchased two bags of popcorn from Fresh Market and was dismayed to discover they were half full when I opened them. I took them back, and they replaced them without a receipt! The clerk had a bad attitude, but I still count it as a win!

real housewives of miami season 2 bravo Six on Sunday (Monday), Version 18

Real Housewives of Miami

6. The Real Housewives of Miami.  It’s new to me. So far, the gals seem trashy enough that I can get behind this show. However, they all look like something out of my nightmares. A little plastic surgery? HUGE FAN! Redoing your body like it’s your kitchen and updating it every few years? Not so much…Thoughts anyone?

Six On Sunday, Version 14

1. Pockets Still Amazing!

julia tanya1 Six On Sunday, Version 14

2. PBJ.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fantastic! I spent much of my childhood hating them, and I cannot figure out WHY because they are delicious.  We do have a bit of a disagreement at our house about the jelly part though. I am firmly Team Strawberry, while my husband is Team Grape. We served PBJs at my daughter’s birthday party over the weekend, and it was the adults elbowing each other to get at the tray instead of the kids! We used strawberry jam (Team Strawberry all the way!) and squishy white bread. Oh, and we used cookie cutters to make cute shapes and get rid of the crusts.  The sandwiches were declared to be as good as the Uncrustable frozen sandwiches. (Uncrustables are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without the crust that are frozen. To me, this is the BIGGEST RACKET EVER as they are expensive. I am so mad I did not think to do it and trademark it.)

3. Overzealous Ushers. At church today, the ushers sat us in a row that was already crowded. Now, the Catholics like their personal space. No one ever wants to move over, so people tend to move as little as they can possibly get away with.  The lady already in our pew was not thrilled at the sight of a family.  None of us were thrilled when another family of four was escorted to our pew. We ended up standing sideways because that was they only way we would fit. It was worse than Christmas Mass, and really challenged me to have kind, Christian thoughts about said usher.

church Six On Sunday, Version 14

4. Home grown Tomatoes. Are amazing. My sweet husband does his best to keep me in tomatoes all summer long. He staggers the plants, so we have them as early as possible in the spring and as late into the fall. However, this year a combination of extreme heat, no rain, and a busy flying schedule have made it impossible for him to keep up with demand. I ate my last one this evening, and I am very upset about it!

tomatoes Six On Sunday, Version 14

5. Great girlfriends. I have the best. Everyone needs girlfriends that are honest about everything, from career advice to advising on highlights.  When the chips are down, you need to have people in your life who will be brutally honest. I mean, who else will tell that your highlights are, in fact, brassy? Most ‘friends’ acquaintances are too polite and too sensitive to your feelings to give the brutal honesty we all need.

6. Trader Joe’s Hummus. It’s the best, the freshest, and the most addictive. Hands down.

Six On Sunday, Version 6

kesha Six On Sunday, Version 6

1. Ke$ha. Does everyone else’s almost three year old sing along to Ke$ha? Because mine totally knows all the words.

2.Strawberries. I love them. Everything strawberry is better: Strawberry Daquiris come to mind. What is Strawberry Shortcake without the strawberries? Boring, rather dry crumbly bread, that’s what.  Costco (how I love you Costco!) has huge containers of the most perfectly ripe, sweet berries for six dollars.  I might turn into one. 

strawberries Six On Sunday, Version 6

Yummy!

3. The Awkward Twenty Minutes Waiting For Your Friends To Come To Your Party. We had a small party on Saturday, which was supposed to start around five. I LOVE having parties. I would have parties every weekend if I was allowed to (Thomas enjoys parties, but he gets sick of the double cleaning- before and after the party. Also, he is the Family Treasurer, and parties get expensive (who knew?)).  For the first time in the history of Julia Parties, we were ready on time. At five pm, everyone in the house was dressed, the food was out, the drinks were chilling, and all the last minute stuff had been done.  Of course, this was the party where everyone was late.  We spent twenty minutes wandering around the house, not wanting to mess anything up, questioning if we really had friends, or if maybe folks just felt sorry for us. We are extra sensitive to this because of what happened Christmas ’06.  We had an open house, and around sixty people RSVP-ed yes. (We invited everyone we knew. Seriously, if I talked to you in line at the grocery store you were going to get an invitation.) As we didn’t yet have Emma, we had disposable income to spend on chicken wings and egg rolls and cakes and alcohol. We were ready for at least eighty people to come.  Um… eight showed up.  Now, those eight people did have a wonderful time, and they definitely had enough to eat, but the experience has left us scarred.

4, Lamps. Much like the baskets, the Quest For The Perfect Lamp is long, drawn out, and tedious. I have  secured one Perfect Lamp, I have one to go.  My neighbor is AMAZINGLY talented at interior design, and he has graciously fielded four hundred thousand pic messages with potential candidates.  He says “I’m sorry to be so picky, but I don’t want your friends to come over and talk shit about your cheap ass stuff!” He maintains that he doesn’t judge, but that he does talk about you when he goes home.

lamp 161x300 Six On Sunday, Version 6

5. Stupid reality shows. I just saw a preview for “Love in the Wild”. You have got to be freaking kidding me!  Single men and women are on a island and have different romantic adventures. There is some sort of elimantion to determine “The Perfect Couple”. And Jenny McCarthy is hosting. I had no idea she was still around. I thought she was busy telling lies and putting babies at risk for deadly, preventable disease.  Thank goodness her scheduled opened up and allowed her to host this very important, life changing show.

6. Apple TV/ Pandora. I love you both! Won’t you please work together?!

pandora Six On Sunday, Version 6                                     Please be friends!!

        apple Six On Sunday, Version 6