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caramel & cocoa

Caramel & Cocoa - cooking, parenting, fashion, diy, eating, living, a blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

litter clutter hi

Thanks C! I'm really looking forward to finding all of this random (insert expletive) littered around the house and then taking all of this (insert expletive) back upstairs tonight after you are in bed. I then get to do it all over again tomorrow. (INSERT EXPLETIVE)!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Motherhood is a Sad Thing Really

(C frustrated since her journey down the stairs holding her baby, an open umbrella and a hand-bag proved to be more difficult than expected.) 

“Motherhood is a sad thing really. You watch these little lives grow and fashion them to be a certain way. It is such a thrilling experience and then suddenly, one day, they are strangers and you are alone as if it all never happened. You realize that the happiness was only temporary, which makes for a very deep sadness.”  Those are not my words but they are my friend Josephine’s words. She’s 94 years old and thus the most experienced person that I know.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Slow Roast Leg of Lamb in Baking Paper

I love slow-roasting things because with little work you get a delicious meal. This leg of lamb turns out soft
but not as soft as a lamb shoulder made in a similar way. Shoulder is much fattier and breaks down easier in the oven. Both are gorgeous meals but the leg is leaner. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

A bit of a flip out but well done girls

I'm not sure how I am going to get away without sounding like a pushy parent (ah well). The way I raise my children is a direct result of my own failures and shortcomings as a child and young adult and so I am fully aware that I probably need therapy and that they will too someday.

little cupcakes (cheating)

One of the things I can actually (quite literally make) with my hands tied behind my back are cupcakes. So whenever there's a cake sale or a play date, I make cupcakes. Since Christmas is over and the kids ate lots of junk I've started making the treats just a bit smaller. I don't know why I bother because they just eat more quantities when I'm not looking but psychologically it makes me feel better. Link to the same ole cupcake recipe here. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Another Baby Debate?

Listen - 

It's not about "going for the boy." Two girls within 14 months of each other has been easy and economic.They can do virtually everything together, have similar interests and keep each other company for hours on end - thus freeing me up to do other things (like bake, blog and use the toilet alone - not all at once though). Sorry that last point was totally inappropriate and unnecessary. 

At first, having a newborn and a 14 month-old was about survival. In the first 6 months my goal was to get through the day having fed and changed both children. That was it! The house, my appearance, friends, H, leaving the house (or even bathing) didn't really matter. I was not instantly a natural mother, nor experienced in what babies want or need. It was a difficult time for me and I ashamedly admit that the television was ALWAYS on. I mean ALWAYS. ALWAYS. 

Life is different now. It is pleasant and incredibly civilized. The girls now at 2 & 3 know the rules and boundaries (though we do have the occasional tantrum). But the day to day stuff is enjoyable. We rarely turn on the television and we pack our days with activities, trips, visits, tea parties and I don't even mind taking them to the grocery store or to my papsmear appointment (Oh yes. I did! ). They get me. And most importantly, I get them.

H & I also manage to sleep. Sleep is important. Very important. 

And well, while it has all gotten immensely easier, I am still desperate to have a third and go back to the sleepless nights, breastfeeding, crying and chaos. I am anxious about it because, the easier it gets, the less likely I will want to transition, once again, to the "baby " stage. I fear that I'll reach a point where I throw in the towel and regret it when I am 80!

Last month, H, the more reasonable person, rationally stated the reasons why timing isn't very good and what steps we should take before considering a third, explaining how it might upset our family rhythm and frankly might not be the best decision for the family unit. Being a mature adult, I had my hands over my ears and I was shouting "nanny nanny boo boo. I can't hear you."  He's quite happy with 2 kids.

The debate continues and continues ... and I can hear the ticking of my biological clock getting louder and stronger.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Curly Hair - I'm not the flat-ironing type

Like I said in my hair donation post, the hairdresser witchcraft that makes your hair look perfect leaving the salon is nearly impossible to re-create. There's that. But there is also the fact that I have no interest and lack the energy to blow-dry and flat-iron my hair on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. I wash my hair daily, rub it in a towel and presto I am ready to go. Easy. Easy makes me happy. I like being happy. Get it?
So, I have curly hair? Who would've thought?

Baked Seabass with soy sauce (& other stuff)

For my birthday H sent me to a Vietnamese cooking lesson. As a result, "Faux" Vietnamese dishes feature  nearly weekly in this house. One of my favorites, probably because it is embarrassingly easy, is the Baked Seabass in soysauce (& other stuff).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lazy Pound Cake Dessert

yummy + easy + lazy = perfect 

Hair Gone Short

I've done it. 17 inches of my curly-locks are making their way to the Little Princess Trust to make wigs for children who need it more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Painting Pots on a Rainy Day

There's been rain rain and more rain around these parts so we spent the afternoon painting some old flower pots. Allow me to brag for second. A, my 3 year-old, took it upon herself to write her name on hers. That's pretty amazing. She didn't learn it from me. Cheers to a good preschool (nursery) teacher.