Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is NOT going to end well.

That's how I started out my lunch break, in a dressing room, at Marshalls.  I regrettably looked at my semi-naked self in the mirror, sighed a large sigh and just knew that trying on dresses and swimsuits at 7 months pregnant, was not going to end with a snow white sequence where birds are chirping and 7 little men clean up and compliment you on your cooking skills.  It was not going to end well.  And it didn't.

I can't find a lot of pregnant clothes I like, they are for pregnant people, is the first problem.  I still think of myself as a non-pregnant person, but just a little larger (ok, a LOT larger) on the scale with a Santa Claus belly.  No, I don't laugh jolly and I certainly don't giggle when you poke my pillsbury belly, I'll slap your face so quickly and so hard you won't know if it was me or if it was a figment on your imagination it was so supersonic fast, it would be like I stopped the time space continuim for just a moment to recoil your poking and plunge my open palm across your face.

One of my selfish reasons as to having a baby in the summer was:
1)  Summer pool parties.
2)  Swimming while pregnant.

I clearly remember the weight of Joseph on my back and body and wanting a large tub to float in.  Zero gravity sensation.  I can't think of another thing more blissful than this.  Other than eating mini eggs while getting a pedicure and a massage.....

So off I go, grab a few dresses, a few swim suits and undress to my unmentionables.  My unmentionables at this moment consist of the largest pair of knickers you have quite possibly ever seen and a pair of earrings.  I tell myself:  "You're pregnant, not fat, it's a time where you don't have to look at yourself in the mirror and hold back the VURP (vomit burp) you got at seeing yourself nekkid, accept what is there, you're only going to get bigger than you can work out after the baby and get back to a size you wish you were but haven't been since you were 12, but you still always think that you can get there..."

It didn't really help.

Let's just skip right ahead to the part where my burgeoning baby bump was the least of my worries and my large thunder thighs and tree trunk kankles were really the problem areas in getting things to fit.  And by fit, I mean, squeezed over my body like shrink wrap.

Another large sigh and a little red eyed and possibly a tear or two working it's way to my tear duct and I catch a glimpse of my double turned triple chin, out of my peripherals.

I've lost it.

My hair even looks bad today.

I'm 45 minutes into my lunch break and alone, in a 20 person stall dressing room, I slowly fall down a wall to a corner in my stall, grab my knees as close as I can to myself (which is at least 50 yards away with my stomach in between) and rock myself slowly back and forth, fighting back the kind of snot you get when you cry that doesn't clog up but gets all drippy and is clear and no matter how many tissues you have, it's still not enough.

Pull it together, Price.  I tell myself.  Not happening.  If I don't stop now I have at least 10 minutes before I can dry up and NOT look like I've been crying in the dressing room as I hand back my clothing items to the check in lady. 

HOT TIP:10-15 minutes is the actual time a girl has between seriously stopping crying and kinda sort of NOT looking like you've just been crying.  That is at it's best.  For faster results, use a damp cold wash cloth over your puffy eye area.

I lost myself for a little while in the mirror also.  Staring, gasping, emotions ranging from horrified, to disappointed to disgust, to content.  (I started to affectionately rub my little Buddha belly round and round and that was actually very comforting... note to self for next time I have emotional breakdown in a public changing room....)

So, one thing leads to another, and 1 hour and 38 minutes later, I move out of the place I've temporarily set up living and grab the one dress that made me feel comfortable,  (Editors Note: I did not say, feel good, feel not fat, feel etc... just FEEL COMFORTABLE is what I ended up with..) purchase the item, and get back to work.

Sit at my desk.  Eat a bag of mini eggs and feel much better.

Feeling gross is not fun, and knowing, KNOWING that it is just going to get WORSE, really isn't helping my emotional and mental stability.  Thank god I have this outlet and thank goodness I have Mr. Price.  Joseph ran into our bathroom where I was having a post traumatic stress event-post traumatic breakdown, again, and said "Mommy, you aren't fat, you're beautiful.."  "Daddy, told me to say that to you, you are also pretty... wait.. Daddy, what did I need to say to mommy again?.." 

I decided that laughing hysterically was much better than sobbing away my hormone driven afternoon.

Editors note (again):  I largely INDULGE the actual events and happenings in this post, but, I can admit that if it doesn't actually happen the way I wrote it, it's all going on in my head, as described, and it's pretty much exactly how us girls realize events could unfold.  Especially in a dressing room.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cake Pops, a la Price.

Blue pops, Purple Pops.  Experimenting is half the fun!
 Thanks to Priscilla for posting this creative way to make something delicious and of course to Bakerella for the ingenious idea to begin with.  To see a full post about how to make cake pops from bake to make, see or Bakerella's Video on Amazon here.

I don't cook.  

I don't bake.  

I actually had to go out and BUY a cake pan in order to advance on my quest.   Yes, I didn't own a cake pan until last week.  AND a set of mixers.  Ask, my husband.  He once hid a stash of chocolates somewhere he said "I'd never find them" - they were in the pots and pans.  Pretty clever, sneaky bastard.

So, knowing that I don't cook, I don't bake and I certainly DO NOT clean, this post should be amusing and at least inspiring because truly and honestly, IF I CAN DO THIS YOU CAN TOO.  This is one of those situations.  So here we go.  Here's my version and tips from ME on how to make cake pops if you don't have a perfect kitchen with nice appliances and you wouldn't know where to BUY an apron let alone keep it when it comes to doing anything with my female genes in the kitchen - that place with the sink that has all the dishes in it near the microwave where you can make food in under 30 seconds on high.

I have a full time job, a house, a husband a 4 year old and a creative mind, I had several people ask me "when I had time to do all this?".  Well, factor in that you know I already don't cook, bake or clean, that saves me a serious amount of time each day I am able to substitute with couch sitting or Family Guy repeat watching, I also decided to sacrifice the laundry on this weekend I chose to make cake pops on a Saturday.  Poor Mr. Price had to re-use boxer shorts and pull out a pair of jeans from the hamper to febreeze them to wear during the week (I'm exaggerating here, but not by far).  So that's how I had the time.  I left laundry to the laundry gods as a sacrifice and as it turns out, the laundry gods sent my sacrifice right back and left it where I had put it, on the floor, in my laundry room spiling into my hallway.

I'm one of those people who follow directions well, a different kind of directions, if you include "If you see the Walgreens, you've gone too far."  THOSE are MY kind of directions, tell me what NOT to do, because, otherwise, I will take liberties and will find out the hard way WHAT NOT to do.  So Priscilla's tips in the Our Cups Runneth Over post were perfect.

Step 2: Watch this video from Bakerella.  She makes it look so easy.  Bitch.

Step 3:  Take into consideration these additional TIPS from my experiment:
  • One can of icing, plus one box of cake = about 45 cake pops.  SERIOUSLY.  I hope you have mouths ready to help you, I didn't.  Thank god for starving male co-workers and a breakroom where you can dump mistakes and left overs.
  • Crumble the cake, A LOT, don’t leave ANY chunks once it’s crumbled, this helps in getting your pops ROUND.
  • For a whole box of super moist cake, you only need ¾ a can of icing.  Seriously don’t over do the icing at all.  Go light.
  • Just mix the crumbled cake and icing with your hands, a wooden spoon doesn’t do shit.
  • Let the cake cool – ALL THE WAY.  If you are impatient, pull out the cake and go shopping.  Distract yourself.
  • Do put the pre-dipped cake pops with sticks in them in the freezer for a little while before dipping.
  • You will need wax paper to put them on so they don't stick.
  • You will need to buy several styrofoam or florist blocks to stand the pops in once you've dipped them and they need to dry.
  • Don’t twist the cake pop on the stick in the dipping – it will come off.  Everyone is serious when they tell you this.
  • Use a coffee cup to dip into, it is so much easier and definitely deep enough to dip the cake pop into.  (That’s what she said)
  • Don’t use food coloring to mess with the color of the candy dip, just use the pre-colored candy melts from Michaels.  Soooo much easier.  $2.99 a bag
  • If the ball of cake you rolled looks too big, it probably is.  Make it MAX two bites worth.  One bite is best.
  • Use flower arrangement green foam blocks, not Styrofoam, it’s much cheaper, but wrap it in wax paper, so you don’t get all the green shit all over the place.
  • Keep away from dogs, small children and husbands.  Your cake pop count will dramatically drop from what you originally made.
  • Patience is needed AGAIN after you've dipped the pops and you have to sit there and gently knock off all the extra dip.  sigh.
  • Decorating the pops is the hardest, you have to do while the dip is still wet.
  • Go crazy with the toppings, I put white chocolate over chocolate cake and dipped it in MILO!  YUM!
  • I also dipped strawberries in my purple creation for Bailey.   

Financing = you'll need an investor with about $30 of disposable income for the whole shebang if you already own kitchen stuff that I didn't.
And go to two places, Walmart and Michaels. 
Cake pop sticks #150 = $2.99
Candy Dipping 2 bags @ $2.99 each = $6 yes you need two bags for one box of cake, don't get stingy here.
Sprinkles = $1.99 - $3.99 depending on how fancy you want to get
Box of cake mix = $1.16
Can of icing = $.98
6 blocks of florist blocks = $3.97
Wax paper = $1.97
electric Mixers = $15.99
Cake Pan 13x9 = $4.97

Not necessary, but if you want to get all creative and decorate your pops like a present like I did:
Little plastic wrap bags = $1.50
Little ribbon = $.50 
Hot glue gun with glue sticks= $2.99
Styrofoam block to present your pops as a present = $3.97 for ONE box, I KNOW RIGHT?  That's why I said get the florist ones for your personal use.
Wrapping paper = $2.99 to wrap the block
Roll of ribbon for the box = $3.99
Sticky letters = $3.99
Flower = $.99

Tell me how you did, share your photos and your gripes!  I've been inspired and I hope I've inspired you, pay it forward people!

Stay tuned for my next adventure with Oreo Pops and Brownie Pops!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'd like to begin with a Reel.

I'm sitting here, in my office, at work.  Not working, but blogging, and listening to the most authentic Irish music I can find, at full volume, so everyone else can, and MUST enjoy with me.  I use - just search for the music you want, create a playlist and skip, add, re-start etc.. it's wonderful and FREE.  It has greatly improved my daily work routine.

Today, I sit, feet performing a jig under my desk, ridiculous green felt hat, large obnoxious shamrock necklace, stretched out green t-shirt over my burgeoning baby belly awaiting the festivites of a gathering at a local Irish pub.  I've roped fellow co-workers into wearing green items purchased at the dollar store, and as I sit here and abuse my power, sending texts to employees yet to show up to work "show up today under fear of pinching and/or death if you do not wear green.." It's this level of abuse of my power as a department head and particularly on days like today, that I thoroughly enjoy.
Me, in my ridiculous Irish green, get up.  Yes, that's my messy office.
The gracious Jared Hamm, works in marketing and thus, therefore, today, must participate in my Irish madness.

I'll stop off at lunch and find some shamrock cookies or green goodies to share and then rock on over to a pub, where I will remain to be sober, but that is a mere tiny obstacle in my path of debauchery destruction today as I plan to rampage and get rowdy, nonetheless.  Though I will likely spend today a lot less rowdy, as I described, but I can't help but get hyped up, regardless...

Not pregnant, lunch would surely include a green beer, Irish car bomb perhaps?  Maybe find myself a shepherds pie and try to figure out how I could stand to drink a lot more and return to work faking my sobriety.  I look back on St Patrick's Days before, with a large smile.  I'm almost sure my parents sacrificed every single St Patrick's Day the moment I took up Irish Dancing.  St Patrick's Day and St Patrick's WEEK was spent shuffling me from Irish Pub to Irish Pub, local performance to public parades.  I'm sure at the time it was a schlep, but I cannot imagine a St Patrick's Day in my child/teenhood years that wasn't spent half arsing a half day at school, curling my hair and packing my dancing dress and shoes ready to hit multiple venues all afternoon and evening and the following and previous weekend.  16 years of age and I remember dancing at the rowdiest, loudest pub, cigarette smoke, spilling beers, every woman man and non Irish person having the time of their life as we high kicked and "over two three-ed" around the 2 feet of space amongst the crowd.  We were always a hit.  We got applause, cheers, hugs, high fives, being an Irish Dancer on St Patrick's day, I was a star.
My son, is such a good sport.  And under there somewhere...
See, everyone in Australia is from England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales.  And now, also China or Japan, but St Patrick's Day is a festival, a feast and a proud day for everyone who wants to have a good time and wake up the next day with the largest hangover known to man, but not one single regret as you wonder where all the green glitter came from and realize that whatever shirt you were wearing stained in green beer is now a trophy, representiative of the massively fanstastic time you had that year, on that St Patrick's Day.