12 Bakes of ’18: Jan

I enjoy baking so much but the last few years, my baking has become more and more limited to State Fair prep/entries and for the holidays. So for 2018, I challenged myself to try one new (hard) recipe each month. For January, our grocery store had blackberries on sale and so I was able to try this Blackberry Cake, which I’d had pinned for ages. It was very tasty but I rushed it after bedtime and I should have given it more time to cool as the icing got a little wonky.

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Pretend Tea Bags for Toddler Play Kitchen

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to sew one project a month and, astonishingly, I’ve already completed three projects. Somehow, taking the pressure off to ‘do it all’ has made it easier to just do a little. Well, a little adds up!

I saw a similar picture to these on Pinterest and I knew I need to whip some up for my little dude. He is obsessed with his play kitchen (and to be honest, the real kitchen too) and loves ‘helping’ me make tea. I top-stitched them together and filled them with black beans (the other blog recommended rice but we didn’t have any). He was instantly dipping it into his mug when I gave them to him!

18 Pans of ’18: Jan

I didn’t move out too much this month, but I’m still happy to see so many samples out of my life. The two Tarte liquid lip sticks are not gone but the color suits exactly no one so I’m just binning them. (One was a gift from a friend who it didn’t suit either and I was hooked on the other one she gave me until after I picked up my b-day sample).

Total items this month: 9

Total items this year: 9

What I Read: Jan ’18

Sherlock in Love by Sena Jeter Naslund: This had been on my to-read list for ages, and after book club + Read Harder 17 last year, I’m trying to be a bit more intentional with creating room on my nightstand for stuff I want to read for pleasure. I had read Ahab’s Wife years ago and contend it a modern masterpiece so I was really looking forward to inhaling Jeter Naslund’s other work. Sadly, this did not deliver the same gut punch that did. Written in the style of a Sherlock story (which is such a cool idea!), she’s inverted his normal tropes by having him fall in love. It’s genius but it did not grab my heartstrings like I was hoping.

Prince of Cats by Ron Wimberly: This was on my list because of Read Harder 18 and while the idea is so cool (Shakespeare! with black characters, in modern times!), the truth is, I am not a comic book person and the illustration style was too cluttered or brash for me. It made it hard to focus on the words.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: The Grisha Trilogy, part 1 🙂 I simply adored her duology, Six of Crows + Crooked Kingdom and I am so happy to have this trilogy to read too. It’s an inventive and fast paced story (read it before the movie comes out).

Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh: Another one on my to-read list for years and I’m not sure it should have been there that long. My patience for cutesy blog names is shorter than a blade of grass. The recipes were fine, but not inspiring.

Weekending – Jan 27 & 28

Holy cannoli, this weekend!
Friday night, despite a scheduling snafu with M, I had dinner with two friends from high school. I love these ladies and am always, always grateful when we can get together and catch up.

Early in the am, I met my running partner for 4 miles, our first official long run of half season. The rest of Saturday morning was filled with boring life stuff, laundry, grocery lists and shopping in the rain. Saturday afternoon, we packed up our little dude and dropped him off at my parents house for the next 24 hours. I FORGOT to bring my phone with me! M and I were forced to talk to each other all night like it was the 90s again. We went to Zaftig Brewing for a flight – when they say ‘high gravity’, they aren’t kidding! We then headed to the Yappy Greek for dinner, and it was so freaking good. We had tickets to the OSU / Michigan mens hockey game and it was a rough game of hockey. As someone who loves Central Ohio, I was really embarrassed by all the booing of Michigan. It’s bad sportsmanship, guys.

Sunday morning, M and I worked on more basement demo and then got all dolled up and headed downtown. I purchased tickets for us to go the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets w/the Columbus Symphony Orchestra months ago. It was so much fun, the music is such a key part of those movies and the Ohio Theatre never disappoints.

Weekending – Jan 20 & 21

We had a kinda perfect, quiet weekend. On Saturday we got up early and went to the Woodworking Show at the fairgrounds with my parents. We saw all the vendors and M watched a talk from one of his favorite TW show hosts. Sunday morning, I got up and ran with my running partner and M got started on our basement reno. Sunday night we had dinner at my parents house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Here’s a few of my favorite snaps from the weekend.

St. Lucia Day Saffron Buns

I made a batch of these for St. Lucia day this last year. This recipe was easy and fast and while they weren’t as golden as my last batch, they certainly had that saffron-y flavor! St. Lucia Day is also my dad’s birthday and it was so fun to be able to have these again for his birthday. The whole family (mom + my three sibs + spouses + kids) even managed to surprise him for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!

Savoury Brioche Courounne

I have had my sights on this recipe for months. I was tasked with veggies for Thanksgiving so this bad boy was put off until Christmas and I was SO GLAD I got to make it! The recipe was a challenge for me – but it turned out so well! It was doughy, salty, and cheesy. So good. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make a new, complicated bake each month and it’s because of this experience.