If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between Fail | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 in Fail, Food | 26 comments

Cake “Truffles”

3 Sibs, 3 Days

In honor of there being merely THREE days until Christmas, I attempted to make cake pops for the first time ever. Well, okay, they weren’t really cake pops as much as cake balls (heh). And as a self-proclaimed lover of all miniaturized and adorable foods, I didn’t know why I had never bothered to make them before.

IMG_3608

Now I do.

IMG_3627

Making cake pops is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the lazy. I knew the general principle behind them. You mix a baked cake with frosting, shape ’em, refrigerate ’em, stick ’em, and cover ’em with chocolate. It sounds simple, right? Well, having to make an entire dessert in order to make a different dessert should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk (badoom-ching!).

IMG_3573.jpg

It is an extremely lengthy process. Being that I most definitely fall into the “lazy” category, I tried to make it easy for myself by spreading the steps out. I baked the cake (a box of Pillsbury Holiday Funfetti that I mixed with some green food coloring for funsies) on Tuesday night, then combined everything last night. With the refrigeration and the chocolate and everything though, it still took forevvvver, and by the end I had run out of both chocolate and patience.

IMG_3597IMG_3603
IMG_3606IMG_3613

Now, I’ll be honest here and admit that this half-assed dessert effort wasn’t entirely the cake pops’ fault. I couldn’t find lollipop sticks or candy melts at Target or the grocery store, hence the amending of pops to balls (heh) because I was too scared lazy to go to Michael’s, even though I know they carry both there. In and of itself, though, not really a big deal.

IMG_3615

I also ended up with a bag of white chocolate instead of colored candy melts for the coating. This unfortunately, didn’t pan out that well for me because I had to find out the hard way that you can’t just add food coloring to melted chocolate and expect it to turn into colored melted chocolate.

IMG_3625

Nope. You end up with gross, clumpy, chocolate-ish paste. Le sigh.

IMG_3616
Don’t try to get fancy with me, Powell.

For the few truffles that I did actually cover with the leftover, untainted chocolate (thank goodness I was melting it in batches!), it worked really well though. Unfortunately with the chocolate shortage, I didn’t have enough to cover all 50,000 cake balls (heh) — seriously, it makes SO many of them — so I drizzled the it over the rest of them in what I thought was an artistic fashion…

IMG_3635

… but was clearly not. But okay, enough complaining. Let’s focus on the important stuff:

IMG_3642

Like how freakin’ delicious they were, in spite of the hassle. They are just like little doughy balls of Heaven. Nomnommitynom. In the future, however, I’ll probably stick to cupcakes as my miniaturized cake-form and leave the cake pops to the pros.

Have you made cake pops or cake balls before? Any secrets or tricks of the trade I’m missing out on?

Also, holy smokes — yesterday’s giveaway is still blowing up! Get your entries in for a chance to win a Vera Bradley bag!

Read More

Posted on Nov 4, 2011 in Fail | 24 comments

New Month, Same Goals

It’s Friday! We made it! It’s time to do a little happy dance, get a hot cup of coffee, and watch this amazing video from Jimmy Kimmel Live re: kids, parents, and halloween candy.

Oh, the lies parents tell their children for the sake of amusement. (The two little boys at the end are the BEST. “She ate it! What the heck!”)

Now I hope you have your happiness force-fields up nice and strong after that, ’cause you’re going to need ’em in order to survive the continued doldrum-dwelling that’s about to follow. That’s right, it’s time to revisit the October goals that I belatedly established halfway through last month. Spoiler alert: There is a lot of failure involved.

Flashback time:

1. Hit 184-point-something pounds.

This did not happen. I gained 2.5 lbs two weeks ago, and I haven’t weighed myself since. Them’s the facts.

2. Complete a long run every weekend.

Now, I will concede to myself that this wasn’t a TOTAL failure, since I did go out and run twice over the weekends, as well as completed smaller runs during the week with uncharacteristic regularity (this week excluded, haha.) But, I didn’t do it every weekend, so technically, this is a wash too.

3. Go shopping.

I didn’t buy any new clothes, so really this was a full fail. But from a debt perspective, not buying clothes is kind of a win. Plus, I did technically shop, just mainly for food. Also, toothpaste.

4. Bring lunch to work everyday.

I have no excuses. Sad trombone.

5. Step up my photography.

My real goal here was to take a class or read up on photography technique, neither of which I did. In fact, most of the latter half of the month was spent with me in Photoshop writing words on pictures of my dogs. So while I do feel that I got some great shots at the various weddings I attended and whatnot, I don’t think that really counts.

So there you have it folks. Not exactly a stellar report card. But since I’m still hell-bent on trying to make this goal thing work, we’re just going to reset for this month instead.

1 – 5: The exact same as October’s goals. Only, y’know, without as much fail. I was going to amend my weight loss goal to make it lower, but then I remembered that Thanksgiving is happening at the end of the month. And since I haven’t gone completely crazy (yet), I do know better than to be that ambitious. I’m also adding an unofficial sixth goal to keep busy, have fun, and stop being sad/angry/lame. Eventually, at least.

What’s one of your November goals?

Read More

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 in Dear Diary, Fail | 37 comments

Kidney vs. Stone: Round 2

Oh hey! Remember when this happened? Well, apparently life decided that one kidney stone epidemic in 11 months was simply not enough. Enter the excruciating pain that began Sunday on the drive back from the wedding and, despite all my best efforts, would not quit.

At first I thought the pain was simply due to gas (you’re welcome for that) but after waking up in the middle of the night desperately clutching my abdomen I figured something was slightly more amiss. Unlike last time, I didn’t go to the ER this time around. Therefore, I can’t be 100% certain that it’s a kidney stone (er, not that the hospital was actually able to make a timely diagnosis last time anyway. Awkward.) But what I do know is that it’s in the same spot and it’s the same kind of pain (though, blessedly, slightly less severe than last time) so I think I can pretty safely assume. Unfortunately, armed with the knowledge from my last unfortunate experience, I know that there’s really nothing to do but wait to pass it.

It’s hard to describe kidney stone pain. Its severity ebbs and flows, comes and goes in intensity. But at its worst, I would say it kind of feels like a small, serrated knife is slowly slicing through the walls of your gut. You’re extra welcome for that imagery. Having a kidney stone is often compared to childbirth (though I obviously wouldn’t know on a personal level) and is legitimately the most excruciating thing I have ever experienced. Needless to say, it’s a pain (har har… ow, laughing hurts.)

So yesterday I spent an awful lot of time laying prostrate on the bed, streaming episode after episode of The Vampire Diaries on Netflix:

IMG_2238.jpg

While dressed in my super flattering PJs:

IMG_2242.jpgIMG_2189.jpg
God, I’m cool.

Alternating between these two faces:

IMG_2202.jpgIMG_2203.jpg

With these thoroughly unsympathetic mongrels by my side:

IMG_2221.jpgIMG_2228.jpg

Harry even had the audacity to roll around in what I have to assume was poop while out in the backyard. Let me tell you: trying to wash a dog when you have kidney stones?

I feel conflicted, because as much as I was hoping the stone would have passed by now and I’d be off scott-free, I’m kind of relieved I haven’t yet. I know that sounds crazy, but you know the saying, “it gets worse before it gets better”? Or how about, “it is always darkest before the dawn”? Well, they especially apply to kidney stones. As bad as it hurts right now, I vividly remember the extraordinary pain that came right before passing the stone, and I am NOT anxious to relive it.

Sleepy
Pity me. Pity me good.

But either way, I know it’s inevitable. So until then… I’m trying to manage the pain as best I can with the over-the-counter drugs in my medicine cabinet, and taking in as much fluid as possible. I have a doctor’s appointment later this morning, and while I know there’s nothing that he can really DO, I’m hoping that he might have some insight as to WHY this is happening. Again. I mean, this is really putting a literal cramp in my race training as well as my PTO balance.

Ever had to deal with kid-nay stooooones of your own? If not, you are a lucky, lucky son of a gun. If so, pray tell. Misery loves company, after all.

Read More

Posted on Sep 9, 2011 in Dear Diary, Fail | 47 comments

Flood

Oh hey, remember when I thought that getting soaked, getting lost, and having a panic attack meant I had reached my quota of misery for the week?

IMG_1135.jpg

Oh how I wish I had been right.

Yup, you’re looking at the glorious puddles of our totally flooded basement. I think I may have used up all of my womp womps this week so I’ll just let that fact settle in sound effect-less. Well, maybe just one for good measure:

IMG_1137.jpg
Le Sigh.

Our sump pump broke, and the entire basement was covered in at least 1/2 an inch of water! Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, we have a finished basement. Where Ben lives. And has lots of expensive camera and music equipment. Luckily nothing of value seemed to have been affected, thank goodness, but I was really worried for a while there!

IMG_1084.jpg
Harry was worried, too.

IMG_1083.jpg
Daxter, not so much. (Wet dog!)

Clearly the torrential rains that are now on their THIRD full day here in our nation’s capital have affected our fair little Falls Church home more than I thought.

IMG_1088.jpg

Rain, rain, go away… seriously, you’ve already ruined my life twice this week… (I think these new lyrics are VERY catchy.)

IMG_1091.jpg

The worst part of it (other than the, you know, actual flooding part) is that I was so determined to make up for the horrors of the previous day! Everyone told me that today would be better, so I really tried, you know? Despite my previous protestation, I allowed myself to succumb to the lure of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks…

Starbucks

And I even went and got my nails did!

IMG_1092.jpg

Hands AND feet. Of course, it ended up being the biggest waste of money ever, considering I spent the next few hours like this:

IMG_1141.jpg

HA! As if. It was a little more like this:

IMG_1142.jpg

With a whooooole lotta this:

IMG_1145.jpg
IMG_1147.jpg

And plenty of this:

IMG_1146.jpg
IMG_1148.jpg

Good times. Also, the fastest ruining of a manicure ever. (#whitegirlproblems)

Guff. It was a long night, to say the least. At least I can say I got my workout in, haha! Too bad the carpet is definitely still wet, and the whole basement is still grody, and, er, we have no idea what we’re doing. Today brings more cleaning, drying, and sanitizing, plus I have to speak with the emergency flood clean-up guys to see if the carpet is even worth salvaging or if we should just gut it. Then we figure out where to go from there. Oh the joys of being a homeowner.

So in the meantime, you’ll find my suddenly not-so-freshly pedicured toes like this:

IMG_1104.jpg

With me in my footies (don’t judge!), trying to keep it together.

Disgruntled in Jammies.

“Try” being the operative word.

IMG_1102.jpg

At least with a week this bad, the only way it can go is up?

IMG_1103.jpg

Have you ever dealt with natural disaster-induced home damage? I know my homegirl Cassie was ravaged by a TORNADO (scary!), and we’ve already shared our local earthquake and hurricane stories… what is happening, DC? Armageddon much!?

If it doesn’t stop raining soon I may never get out of my jim-jams. Consider yourself warned.

Read More

Posted on Sep 8, 2011 in Dear Diary, Fail | 32 comments

Panic

So. Yesterday. Hrm.

You may have caught a few glimpses of how things were progressing on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll sum up the events of the day in case you don’t want to wade through what is sure to be rather hysterical by saying this: the day was not a good one. And I have nobody to blame but myself, which just makes it worse (it’s always better when you can blame SOMEBODY else!)

The day started off innocuously enough. A bit rainy, a bit trafficky, but nothing I couldn’t handle. After all, I had started my day with toast smothered in Dark Chocolate Dreams so it couldn’t be that bad, right? Er, wrong.

Let’s start with the part where I am an idiot, and ventured out into the drizzle and rain (umbrella-less, of course, because only a sensible person would have brought an umbrella with them) to meet my dear friend Lizzie for lunch. We were all set to try a brand spankin’ new pizza place in Chinatown called District of Pi which I was obviously excited for, since I was willing to trudge through the doldrums to get there, haha. Of course, since this is me we’re talking about, upon arriving I was forced to come to the horrifying realization that we aren’t meeting for lunch until tomorrow.

[blackbirdpie id=”111464393555976192″]

Womp. Womp.

Unwilling to shuffle my shame back to the metro and get even MORE wet (although at this point that probably wasn’t really possible), I took a cab back to the office in an attempt to run away from my own stupidity. But okay, I felt moronic and looked like a drowned rat, but all in all it wasn’t the worst thing. I was still in a mildly elevated mood, minus the being cold and wet thing, and the day was over halfway done at this point.

Enter my journey home.

IMG_1041.jpg

I’ve told you in the past how I don’t really like to drive. Blame it on the fact that I’m young, or that other people like crashing into me (they really do!), or that I’m a half-Asian woman driving a car with the turning radius of a military tank, but I just don’t really dig it. That being said, I have been driving to work lately because I discovered that A) it’s easy to drive to my office and B) the metro is so fracking expensive ($9 a day really adds up!)

Of course, the only reason I don’t actually mind driving is because my office is literally right across the street from the 395 ramp. The entirety of my commute is spent on the highway, and not trying to make sure I don’t turn the wrong way down a one-way street with tiny signs and stoplights on the side of the road instead of overhead. Yeah, I don’t really dig “regular” DC driving.

IMG_1046.jpg

So I’m sure you can all imagine my absolute delight when I learned that the massive amount of rain that has already half-ruined my day, has also flooded the highway and backed up traffic at my exit up the wazoo so I couldn’t even turn onto it. My boss had told me that there’s another on-ramp just up the street a little ways, so I headed in that direction to try to make my way back to the highway. I think you can imagine what happened next.

[blackbirdpie id=”111546320497545216″]

What ensued was an hour of silently freaking out as I managed to get myself more and more lost in the streets of DC. Somehow I made my way from L’Enfant Plaza to the Mall, to Dupont Circle, to the weird little sideroad that follows alongside the Kennedy Center, all the while crushing my iPhone in my hand as I begged the Maps app to save me. Somewhere in my third traffic circle, I started tearing up (expected), hyperventilating (unsurprising), and shaking (unexpected). I couldn’t stop driving though — where was I going to pull over? — and somehow I finally made it back to a recognizable road.

IMG_1045.jpg

I pulled into my driveway and literally burst into tears, hahaha. Let’s just say I’ve never been so happy to see this face:

Wisdom

I really thought that the day’s chain of sucky events was going to send me tailspinning into a binge of epic proportions, but surprised even myself when I didn’t. Maybe I really am growing up. Instead of burying my crummy day in Baconators, I cuddled extra long with the dogs, took a real shower (since I’m not sure that being rainsoaked quite counts), and then made myself some “comfort” food:

IMG_1053.jpgIMG_1057.jpg
IMG_1063.jpgIMG_1066.jpg

Still tweaking the recipe on this one, but my efforts resulted in a warm, creamy bowl of pasta which is just what I needed to nurse my emotional wounds a little.

Now if only the sun would come out.

Read More