2014: A Year of Firsts!

This year was our first full four seasons with Austin Dean and it was all about learning to live life as a family of three. There were first steps and first words and first foods! Nick and I had to learn how to take care of ourselves (hair cuts, sick days and work deadlines etc.) while taking care of Austin first and foremost. My mom helped out a ton this year, traveling from CT so we could have a date night here and there or even just get some cleaning done on the weekends.

I learned how to pump breast milk on a train from NYC to DC (oh the fun) and in my car while driving to and from work and in my office while typing emails.  There was that day when I had two different colored shoes on at work. Or the time when Austin had a temperature of 105.3 while we were at the beach in North Carolina at 2:00am. Or how about when he got his finger stuck in the bunny cage at the Zoo. His first trip to the Zoo.

We had first haircuts and and first mothers day tea parties at school. We had an AMAZING first birthday party.

We took our first plane trip with Austin. There were pina coladas in Florida (so many pina coladas) and moscato and mango juice at home (often) and several diet attempts (salads and zuchinni noodles galore). Lots of pureed fruit pouches and names written on school lunches and trips to the park.

It sounds a little crazy but crazy has started to feel nice, like home … and home is my favorite place to be. Does that make sense? This morning when we got Austin out of his crib (after he woke up ridiculously early) and brought him in bed with us to cuddle for a few minutes he said “Mama!” and then climbed on top me and planted sloppy kisses on my face over and over “mwah, mwah, mwah …”  You see it’s a tricky thing. Just when you wish you could please. just. sleep. in. Toddler kisses make it all better again. Happy New Year guys!

P.S.  Remember last years video?

Life Lately: Feelings and Stuff

Dear Party People,

I’ve been slacking on blog posts and I know it. I hope I haven’t failed you … or your Christmas party. Ready for some emotional blogger stuff?

I feel a lot pressure to create for That’s so Michelle (and have a ton of ideas!) but have other responsibilities to my family and my professional life. As much as I’d like to be able to execute on all levels, I just can’t. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to fall freely into my hobby, it’s felt really forced. Because of this, in my eyes, That’s so Michelle has lost it’s luster.

I think (pure honestly here) the excitement of That’s so Michelle having a book sucked some of the real life out of my blog over this past year. It’s become a business venture instead of a place to be creative and have fun.

I need to get back to my roots. Sharing awesome treats that I make for people in my life and the stories behind them.

Please forgive me while I zone out this holiday and try and find that magic again. The post below (and perhaps more to follow) is an exercise in inspiration.

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Boozy Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles

Why didn’t anyone tell me it was so easy to make truffles? I would have been making truffles as gifts for Christmas every year if I knew it was this easy!

I’m usually not a baker (is this baking?) but I was invited to participate in a “holiday truffle challenge” using chocolate and tequila. You know me … boozy truffles? Sign me up.

Boozy Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Fudge and Raspberry Pudding Shots and a $50 Giveaway

I need to apologize for my one track mind.

Ever since I’ve discovered that adding pie filling to pudding shots is DELICIOUS, I can’t stop coming up with new flavor combos.

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Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake Pudding Shots

My Food Network magazine this month has a recipe for a pumpkin cranberry cheesecake.  As soon as I saw it …

Ding. Light-bulb.

Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake Pudding Shots

Smooth and rich pumpkin pie mix.

Topped with tart and sweet whole cranberry sauce.

Topped with boozy cheesecake pudding.

I didn’t think I could make these any better but yep, they are that good.