2018 total (so far): $3184.98


Band Geek

One of my skills is timing work travel juuuuust wrong (or right, depending on your opinion of such things) so that I miss middle school band concerts. I had legit never been to one … until tonight.

First of all, our band director is a saint among saints. The man has a very practical and wonderful perspective on most things, so he does his best to showcase the bands while also respecting the fact that we all have other places to be. Thus, concerts are blissfully short. As they should be.

Concerts are also kind of good, all things considered. I mean, Alexis is in 7th grade. She’s not winning any trophies on America’s Got Talent with her clarinet skills and neither are her classmates. But, the director does a good job of highlighting their strengths while selecting music that is less annoying than it could be.

Mila is allllllll in. That girl loves herself a good band concert. I had heard rumor of this phenomenon, but I hadn’t seen it for myself until tonight. I swear that girl spent more time shaking her butt at that concert than anyone has a right to shake at any band concert ever. I don’t think I dance that much at a REAL concert like NKOTB or something.

Wait. What? SHOOOSH.


Anyway, Mila was all about shaking her butt and dancing along, but then she got her little paws on my phone and it all fell apart. She is VERY distracted by tiny screens, so she dug into some games and was blissfully focused on all sorts of very important things. It was all fine and dandy right up until she opened up Pokemon Go and started giving silver berries to every creature under the sun.

I know that doesn’t sound like A Thing, but IT IS TOTALLY A THING. Silver berries are sacred! We don’t give them to lame Pokemon like Seedot!

(Is my nerd cred skyrocketing right now? Because it should be.)

For what it’s worth, Mila *knows* this is a thing that bothers me. She does it specifically to make me twitch. The child is well-known for doing things that are juuuust this side of bad because she knows she won’t really get in trouble but I will blow my top the exact right amount to be entertaining. Laughing at me is her crack. And, thus, when I finally said something to her, namely STOP GIVING THEM BERRIES, YOU PUNK, she turned and said, “Oh, sorry. My bad.”

She said it just loud enough for a ripple of laughter to pass through the row in front of us. So now I suspect there are even more people who think middle school band concerts aren’t the worst thing ever. I mean, MY BAD.

What even.



Red Velvet Krinkle Cookies

Mila is basically the most enthusiastic little baker of all time, so I'm just going to do whatever she tells me to do because it makes her so happy. The kid wants "wrinkly red cookies" and I DELIVER.

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And I throw in some "wrinkly green cookies" while I'm at it. Because of course.

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I have no idea where she got the idea from, I just know that a basic red velvet cookie worked just fine to make her vision come true. Basically it just means she ate cookies somewhere that wasn't at home and I didn't know about it. WHOOPS.

Red Velvet Krinkle Cookies (makes 4 dozen cookies)

3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
red or green gel food coloring
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line some cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Toss the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mix bowl and whisk together.

3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer on low speed. Add the granulated sugar and mix some more. Keep mixing while you add the eggs, milk, vanilla, and lemon.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the other stuff, mixing all the while.  Add the food color and mix well. I used about 10 drops of food coloring because I wanted the colors super vivid.

5. Stir in the white chocolate chips.

6. Toss the bowl of cookie dough in the fridge for about half an hour. You can skip this step, but it makes the next one easier.

7. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of dough into your hand, roll it into a ball, and then roll it in the powdered sugar.

8. Place the cookie balls on parchment paper and pat gently to flatten a tiny bit.

9. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. They're done when the bottoms are very lightly browned.

10. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.



This "Smile" Still Slays Me