Mermaid Party, Take Two

Remember when I said that my friend Elise and I decided to go for the same theme for both of our daughter's birthday parties, so we could share the decorations (both the cost and the labor)? It ended up being such a good idea.

I loved how Goldie's party turned out - and Elise's was absolutely spectacular (ok, it helps that she had a friend with an insanely beautiful house who offered to let her throw the party in the backyard). The coolest part: even though all the decorations and activities were the same at the two parties, they ended up feeling special and unique in both venues with just minor tweaks.

Click here to check out Mermaid Party, Take One

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OK Fiiiine, This Is Better

easy fast recipe for garlic rice

Hello I love you.

Confession: I am a person who makes steam-in-bag rice. (This should not be a major surprise to you, as I am also the kind of person who has been known to make spaghetti sauce with a Prego base. Hush, Prego is delicious.) I'm a steam-in-bag rice kind of girl because I have a memory dating back to when I was fifteen years old and burned a pot of rice and decided that rice is a pain in the ass to make...but I mostly because I don't care, and because to me "steam-in-bag rice" is rice. Like, the same rice that real rice is.

Then, a couple of months ago, my friend Alisa - who is apparently my go-to friend for making me realize that I need to step up my game - came over for dinner and asked me what she should bring, and I said, "Oh, nothing, just yourself!" Except then I told her what I was making, and when she discovered I was making steam-in-bag rice to go with my lovely Korean BBQ she said "Stop. No. I will make real rice." And okayyyy fiiiiine, what she made was way better than steam-in-bag rice.


I Have Discovered My New Look

black trucker hat with california love on the front

And it is called "Tourist."

More specifically, "Elderly Tourist."

I bought a TRUCKER HAT, you guys. And not just a trucker hat: a vacation souvenir trucker hat (California Love from the AdventureLand store in Disneyland, which is filled mostly with Billabong stuff and which is very clearly a place that one should never purchase apparel, but there you go). And I didn't just wear this trucker hat...I went ahead and wore it with my vacation souvenir t-shirt (from the Rainforest Cafe - as is proudly noted in bold red cursive across the torso).


Totally Drank The Disneyland Kool-Aid

standing in front of the walt disney statue at disneyland

OHHHHHKAY. I get it. I get the forums and the boards and the obsessiveness about Disney. (I still refuse to wear moisture-wicking socks, but I kinda also get the Moleskin thing now because Kendrick's fitbit told us that we walked over seven miles each day, and apparently my feet are not seven-miles-a-day-feet. #ow.)

On Day One, Kendrick and I were all "whatever, let's just walk in any direction that looks fun; we're soooooo chill and soooooo not going to be Those Weird Disney People."

Day Two? Totally morphed into Those Weird Disney People.

"OK so we'll start out by hitting Pirates because the line will be short but let's grab a Fastpass for Indiana Jones on the way and then we can fill the extra time with Tarzan's Treehouse, then let's book it over to Fantasyland and one of us can wait on line for the princesses while the other tours the castle and WAIT, what if we use a Fastpass for Star Wars and then we'll grab one for Ghost Galaxy and then go on Buzz Lightyear while we wait and..."


Kids In The Kitchen

jordan reid and son

From the time that my son could understand the word “cook,” he’s been in the kitchen right next to me more nights than not...and now that my daughter’s two, she’s starting to join us. Everyone has their special thing that they do with their kids, and for me it’s talking them through recipes; having them pour in milk or stir in chocolate chips; letting them taste as we go and see that it’s okay to experiment.

It’s less important to me that the food come out perfectly than that they feel confident in the kitchen – I want to make sure they know how to cook, but I also want to make sure they enjoy it. (My reasons for involving them in cooking so much are also selfish: in the kitchen is simply my favorite place to hang out with them, because they're simultaneously super-engaged and excited.)


Out Of Office

Photos of bubbles underwater close up

Took this photo on the Finding Nemo submarine ride and kind of love it.

P.S. This ride is the most adorable thing ever, and yet made my 2-year-old scream like Linda Blair.

P.P.S. The spinning teacups - my own personal Ride From Hell - went over much better with her.


The Cake Emergency


The other day, I made a phone call to my friend Alisa - the one who helped me make this little masterpiece - that began with the words "Cake emergency! CAKE EMERGENCY!"

(You didn't know cake-baking could be an emergency situation? Then you clearly haven't been reading this website long enough.)

I was just starting dinner on Friday night when I realized that I had completely and totally forgotten that I had promised to bake a very fancy, very labor-intensive cake for my friend's daughter's birthday party the very next morning. I realized this because my friend sent me a text reading "So how's the cake look?!" - to which I, of course, responded, "Great!"


Remote Restyle

There are many drawbacks to living in the Age Of The Internet. Among them is the fact that I can no longer have a phone conversation where I sound like a marginally well-functioning human being as opposed to an awkward, stuttering person-bot programmed to focus solely on how quickly the interaction can come to an end (apparently this "condition" is increasingly common nowadays thanks to the fact that emojis let us LOL without actually risking another wrinkle).

So, okay, the fact that people can now communicate without actually seeing each other is potentially problematic, and a bit of a bummer. But it also means that people like me, who live thousands of miles away from many of the people they love the most in the world, get to occasionally feel like those people are a part of their lives in the present moment, not just in occasional "so what have you been up to?!" bursts.

Take Francesca, for example (who lives only about 400 miles away, in Los Angeles, but still: I would very much like to see her every single day, so the example holds). Every once in awhile we get on a back-and-forth text or email marathon about nothing especially important - and it's those kinds of conversations I love the most, because you skip all the "catching up" and just...talk.