Chocolate Cream Pie: Dear God Yes

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Ugh, I am still “Great With Child,” as the Herdmans would say. Any day now … But in the meantime I have to keep myself busy. And X takes care of that for the most part. Like, 96% of my time. Just running after him is more exercise than I ever got ever before in my entire life. Only 35 ungainly extra pounds putting an extra graceless waddle into everything. It’s delightful. My particular favourite is taking him to his swim lessons, where the only thing that still fits me is a teensy weensy bikini. It looks … different now, is all I’ll say. Have I written about his terrifying swimming lessons yet? Remind me if I haven’t. But that’s for another time. This post is all about chocolate. Continue reading

Book reviews (while I can still read)

I’m still reading like crazy, since I can’t do very much else (including sleep at the moment). It’s all good, because soon enough I suspect stealing a few minutes to read here and there is going to be nothing but a pleasant memory. I have no idea how people take care of two kids at the same time. Like, I’m actually a little scared. I’ve been encouraged by many, including my pediatrician, to spend as much time at the hospital as possible, before coming home to the chaos that I will find as the mother and primary caregiver of a two-year-old and a brand new infant. Oh dear god.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading.

Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull

Book description: For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most. Continue reading

Pre-Baby Baking

I have finally made it to term with my pregnancy! As far as I’m concerned, this little one can come out any time, the sooner the better. Like, really. I’ve forgotten how painful this stage is. Everyone I meet on the street sort of winces when they see me. That’s an awesome feeling, by the way.

I am lucky to have pretty much the most amazing Mom, who’s come out early to help me out in these last few weeks before baby comes. What with X getting even more active, I swear, I just can’t keep up. I can’t even pretend to try to keep up. All I want to do is collapse on the couch and wait this baby thing out, but little man just doesn’t allow it. Having my mom here is so nice, I break into tears every time I think about it (another pleasant aspect of being this pregnant). I’ve been having fun showing her around Geneva, walking as much as I’m able to try to bring this thing on. Continue reading

Cooking with puff pastry

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Allow me to introduce you to my most lazy way of putting dinner on the table: putting all the ingredients into puff pastry and baking it, then serving it like I actually took time to make something. I’m sure it has to do with my status as a water buffalo right now, but I’m not particularly committed to slaving over the oven for hours on end right now. So, I cut corners while trying to make sure my family is fed. Here’s what I came up with!

Other benefits of cooking this way – these little hot pockets are easy to transport and reheat, making for delicious lunches. I started doing this with my Thanksgiving leftovers, my addictive Turkey Empanadas, and now I can’t seem to stop. Here are two new faves. Continue reading

Beauty Beat: The second pregnancy

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I just packed my hospital bag in preparation for the impeding baby-coming that will be happening over the next few weeks. In truth, it really freaked me out. I know I’ve been through this before, but somehow I seem to be less prepared than last time. Maybe because that’s true. Last time I was taking baby classes, reading every book I could get my hand on about how to have a baby. This time, not so much.

Maybe it’s because our birth plan got thrown out the window due to, you know, nature. Or because I’m just lazy. But for the most part I just don’t think too much about the delivery, because it’s going to happen, and then there will be a baby. I’d rather concentrate right now on the time I have left with X, just the two of us.

But at eight months pregnant, I’ve definitely been slowing down. I look and feel terrible. And I am lazy – it becomes way too easy to put off showering when you barely have time to sleep, and putting on make up just makes me laugh. I have a hyperactive toddler and a belly that’s taking up it’s own postal code, so why bother trying to be pretty. But I have to say that feeling like a beached whale isn’t fun, and isn’t improved by a pimply, haggard appearance. I don’t think not caring about how you look is entirely healthy. The not troubling about your appearance whatsoever. While cosmetics may seem frivolous, they also say a lot about how you want to be perceived by the world.

I’m guilty of not caring about how I look, and also guilty of buying cheap cosmetics at the grocery store, not focusing on quality or even whether the colouring is a perfect match. To be honest, I get a little intimidated in fancy cosmetic stores, especially here in Geneva where everyone is so rich and … European. But I’ve decided todo the research I need to get the proper products I need to look my best.

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Book Reviews

I have been going through some heavy books lately. Well, two, but that seems like a lot, especially with pregnancy brain fogging up my ability to concentrate on anything. I had to take a break after these to jump into some lighter fare – well, my new indulgence I’ve taken up, British Vogue. I like that it’s just a little bit lighter than it’s American counterpoint, which I think takes itself too seriously. So in between the deep thoughts I’m having about the book I just read, I’m indulging in a little frivolity, which is just fine by me.

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova

Book description: Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to ‘My dear and unfortunate successor’. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history. Continue reading

Valentine Treats

Valentine’s Day is not, ahem, very celebrated in this household. By Z, anyway. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want a little treat, so I usually go ahead and plan something small but nice. This year, it was a meal where I actually expended some effort in planning and cooking, which, okay, did include one crying child but that is hard to avoid sometimes. When the kids are older I’m going to do what my parents used to do: gave us KD at five then told us to go to bed, while they enjoyed a nice quiet evening downstairs together, without us. Makes sense to me!

I found some super delicious dishes that made this one special. Both of these will be repeats, as they are easy to accomplish and so tasty. They look pretty good, too.

RackLamb Continue reading