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Little Miss Momma: February 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

La Chef has been banned from La Kitchen

Horray for Little Miss Momma's FIRST official Guest Blogger...
...and its a good one!

My kind, beautiful and very talented friend and freelance writer--Shannon--has graciously agreed to posting one of my all-time favorite stories of her adventures as an amateur chef.
{I told you she's beautiful}
{and she's fun}
I was so excited when I got the go ahead from Shannon to hi-jack her post, I just couldn't help myself--I wanted everyone I know to laugh as hard as I did when reading this. Sadly, I can relate to her experiences in the kitchen more than I will ever admit. Enjoy, and maybe, just maybe, if we twist her arm enough (and leave very nice comments) we can convince Shannon to share more with us in the future!
In the words of Shannon:
La Chef has been banned from La kitchen
I have a confession to make: I am a terrible chef. No, really. I am. The problem lies in the creativity that I believe myself to have. You see, I have this little habit of starting a recipe without all of the necessary ingredients, all the while concocting in my head the perfect 'substitution' for said missing ingredient.

Now, we all know that substitutions are allowed to be made; Betty Crocker, in fact, has two full pages of substitutions in the back of her well established book. The disparity lies in the sad fact that my substitutions do not come from the back of that famous book. Take for instance, a sample of the failures in the list below:
Mango Cheesecake
Sounds delicious, no?
necessary ingredient: mango
(but I have no mango. I do, however, have apricots. Loads of them. And I like apricots just as well as mangos. So, why not?)
Outcome: Well, nobody knows, because NOBODY would try it. Apparently healthy, orange-colored cheesecake isn't appealing to the eye. And it probably didn't help that I accidentally put double the amount of apricot puree into the mix of things. Nobody's perfect for Pete's sake. I had a bite and didn't think it was too shabby. Soupy, yes. Shabby, no.

Ginger snapsnecessary ingredient: molasses
(but I have no molasses in the vicinity, nor do I have the will to go and get some--why should I? After all, there are plenty of ingredients in my house that have the same consistency as molasses)
substitute: Karo syrup and maple flavoring
Outcome: Disasterous
Well, accolades for the attempt, right? The batch was flat and ruined. We still tried to eat them, however. Can you guess where they ended up? Yep. The garbage.

Chicken Enchiladas
necessary ingredient: chicken (hence the entire first half of the title)
(but Ryan and I were currently trying out the realm of vegetarianism. I couldn't just go and put chicken in the enchiladas, now could I?)
substitute: garbonzo beans
Outcome: Not so good. I did not realize that you must first cook the garbonzo beans before you put them into the oven to bake with the rest of the dinner. Hmmm. Felt like we were eating little pebbles in between tortillas and cheese. Not recommended. Ryan still ate it, though. He's a champ. Little does he know that he is only encouraging me to experiment again.

Cake from a Box
Simple enough, right? Right.
necessary ingredient: water
(but I, being the genius that I am, forgot to add the water. No substitute for a sound mind--I had just lost mine this night)
substitute: none
Outcome: The 'cake' did not raise more than an inch, but still tasted pretty okay (so I thought), so I made frosting, slapped that on and tried to pass them off as some kind of finger-food treat for the birthday party. New name: Cake Bars. Pretty clever, I thought. Well, since not one of them was eaten at the birthday party, I took them to work and tried to pass them out there. A co-worker took one bite, asked me if I would be offended if she threw it in the garbage, and then suggested that I follow suit with the rest of the plate. Bold? Maybe. But apparently people need to be bold with me when it comes to their taste buds.

Fettechini Alfredo
necessary ingredient: parmesan cheese
(but we did not have any parmesan cheese. And why go get some when we can just use regular cheese? After all, isn't cheese the same any way you slice it? My point exactly.)
substitution: cheddar cheese. And lots of pepper
outcome: Disgusting. Literally, it tasted like we had poured butter and cream cheese over our noodles. Probably because we had actually poured butter and cream cheese over our noodles. Down the drain it went.

Macaroni & Cheese
Now right about now, you are thinking: How can you POSSIBLY mess up macaroni and cheese, Shannon? Well, read on, my friend, and I will tell you a tale.
necessary ingredient: milk
(but, Ryan and I ran out of milk that morning. And why ask the neighbors for a 1/4 cup when I have a form of milk sitting right here in my fridgadaire?)
substitute: cottage cheese
What. I thought it was brilliant at the time.
Outcome: Not half bad. Not half good, either, though. And it looked like we had regurgitated in our bowls only to eat it again. Not kidding. Wish I was. Down the drain it went. You sensing the pattern here?

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not one of those people who can create something on a whim. In fact, my family is probably reading this while breathing a sigh of relief; for they know all too well that my concoctions are usually put to the test on their naive little palates. I have strict instructions to follow the recipe exactly when I cook for my mom. I admit that I used to think this rule a bit harsh, but I have recently come to terms with the fact that not everybody wants to be in on my experiments.

However, in my defense, I know that DEEP down, there is a master chef waiting to come out. And you know the saying as well as I do: If at first you don't succeed...

Anyone want to come over for dinner?

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Things I Want Now

Ok, so here it is--another 10 things post:

10 Things I Want Now

First off, I have been eyeing this "rolex" stlye watch for a while now and I just love this version by Juicy. I love the chunky look of the watch and I would wear it loose around my wrist like a bracelet--cuter that way, I think.

The perfect blazer for nearly every outfit. Wear with jeans, with a lbd (little black dress), or with dress pants. I am drawn toward the "boyfriend" blazer and the rolled sleeves.

A true fashionista can never have too many purses, am I right? Gray is my fav color right now, so I am especially loving this hobo bag by Lucky Brand.

Have you heard much about this new juice craze? It seems everyone I know is trying the juice detox. I would love to learn more about it but I am almost certain that I don't have the discipline to drink/eat only juice {I love food too much}. So for now, I would love a juicer simply to enjoy some fresh and yummy juice in between my 3-5 daily meals.

I can't decide if I want to wear this necklace or hang it in my house. I just love its classic and vintage look--and its handmade!

Romantic Flowerland Necklace by Mykonos

Another handmade favorite of mine, this cottage chic frame is made from recycled wood; green and awesome.
Recycled Wooden Frame by Dana Komjaty

I have always wanted to learn how to do the "smokey eye" but I get to overwhelmed with all the steps and materials needed. This kit solves that problem by providing all the necessary tools, make up and step by step instructions to create that runway look.

When my mom was preggers with me she owned these shoes--and now they are back in style and I am wishing she had saved her pair because I want want want these!

I saw this in NieNie's blog and I have coveted it ever since. Just imagine summer cycling adventures with little Wes hanging out in the wagon of this cargo bike--so 1950's.
Urban Utility Bicycle by Madsen

Such a great price for an accessory that totally adds glam to a simple Tee.

{What are you wanting right now?}


What You Do Matters

If this doesn't make you cry, well,then you are much tougher than me:

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mom Hands

You know how people always say that:
"mom's have the softest hands"?
Hmmm, well, not this momma. Every since my little guy was born my hands have begun to resemble a Tales From the Cript creature* (dry, cracking, scratched, uneven/broken nails, chipped polish).

I suppose its a result of washing my hands 100* times a day to avoid passing germs to Wes, or from washing a million* baby bottles a day, or from bumming off of the J&J baby lotion instead of using lotion that actually moisturizes because I am too tired to go find it. I'm sure each of these factors contribute to my condition.

You know that feeling when your hands are so dry that you can feel (and even hear) the dryness catching on cotton fabric that you touch? well, thats where I'm at. This mummy knows what I'm talking about:

{Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia}

*Potential exageration where all * are found


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

10 Favorite Tutorials

Here is a link list to my {top 10} favorite tutorials that I love right now! Each of these tutorials is on my mile long "to-do list". As you can see, the bloggers who put together these tutorials are a very talented group! Please let me know if you venture to tackle any of these projects because I am so looking forward to seeing everyones results:

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I {heart} collections

When I was a kid I had fond memories of spending holidays at my Auntie Sheila's house where I was able to pick any ornate goblet to drink my lemonade. She had a collection of at least 75 unqiue goblets that she took out for all special occassions. Sadly, when I was 15 she passed, away and her tradition passed to me and her other neices. As I got older, and moved out on my own, I had trouble storing a growing collection of goblets in my tiny kitchen cabinets. So, I switched my collection from goblets to knobs.

...and I collect heart-shaped rocks from different beaches I visit with my hubby:

What do you collect?

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Pillows Gallore

Today, I looked around my house, and what did I see?
About a million throw pillows staring right at me...

No, but really, I realized today that I have a lot of pillows. Pillows of every shape and size...Pillows on the beds, pillows on the couches, pillows on chairs and benches, extra pillows shoved under beds and up in those hard to reach closet shelves...pillows are everywhere, and I love them.

Often Mr. B will protest that it takes too long to take the 11 pillows off of our bed each night before we curl up in bed. "Couldn't we narrow it down to like your 6 favorite pillows?", Mr. B will ask. I calmly explain that each pillow has a specific purpose and place on that bed and the "look" wouldn't work without them all, right?
Pillows are to home decor what shoes are to fashion: they're the perfect way to spice up a look without having to do a massive overhaul/remodel. I purposefully chose neutral bedding and couches this way I have an excuse to rotate (*buy*) new pillows for each season--just like shoes!
Here is a sampling of my pillow inventory currently on display:

A quick shot of the whole pillow family (and yes, they are laid out on my grass for this photo).

So the conclusion of this post: pillows are my weakness, my "just can't have enough of them" home decor item...for my Mom its rugs--what about you?


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Monday, February 22, 2010

Let's Get Personal

Ok, so here it is--the first of many product features to come. I am an etsy-a-holic, no really, I am! I search and {heart} items I love and NOW I get to share them with you.
In this feature you will find all things "personal"ized...
What more perfect way to accessorize your feminine little bundle of joy than with this sterling silver, hand stamped cuff bracelet by MetalPressions.

Who doesn't love a leather cuff bracelet? Especially one thats personalized! JulieTheFish has designed this fabulous bracelet perfect for guy OR gal. Not to mention that "grayson" made my short list when naming my son.

I adore this necklace by MySilverPie--makes an amazing gift for the woman who has everything. I'm loving the unqiue font she uses and the dainty pearl embellishment.

These earrings by TinyTokenDesigns are just too cute for words. I never would have thought of personalizing earrings, buuuttttt, take a look at these:

Right? Aren't they just perfect?!

TinyTokenDesigns has also designed these custom cufflinks--they are both personal and still masculine enough for my hubby to wear with his dress shirts (we just need to add a few more kiddos to our clan to have enough names for the cufflinks).

The CheekyBeau has created these precious hand stamped rings. I would wear them stacked just like this. I want want want these now!

Let me know what you think, what else you want to see featured, or just any bit of randomness you feel so inclined to leave as a comment.

I am quickly learning that in the world of blogging, comments rival chocolate in the bliss factor*.

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Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Hi, I am Ashley Lynn Stock--Lee Lynn if you ask my husband, MaMa if you ask my little man, Ashers if you ask my Mom, Sister Stock if you ask my Sunday school students, and Ashwee if you ask my nieces and nephews who can't say their L's.
I am a new mommy to a little guy named Wesley, who has me wrapped around his itty bitty little finger and happily married to Ben, the type of guy you find in a cheesy chick flick (which I love). I am convinced that my brain function has been permanently altered post pregnancy causing me to forget how to speak correctly and remember the reasons I walked into a room; and I hang onto every word of other moms who tell me that I'm not alone.
I'm a Southern California native who loves the smell of laundry detergent, gravel after its just rained and freshly cut grass. I blog because I believe in sharing what I love and Little Miss Momma is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
While there are so many things in life that I love (making lists, peanut butter on a spoon, my sons dimples, Michaels 40% off coupons, Mod Podge, Christmas morning), this blog will focus on my greater passions: crafting, parenting, shopping, decorating and every day life lessons. I am motivated and inspired by your comments--so thank you for sharing your love, thoughts and expereinces...