An Ode to Maternity Clothes

Something magical happened this week. All of the stars aligned and my hormones and self-esteem peaked in perfect harmony with each other and I actually went…jeans shopping. I realized about 1 week in that I was not going to be one of the chosen few women who bounce back super quickly. You know the ones (Dr. Everything’s gonna be alright…). My name was not drawn in the weight-losing lottery and sadly they do not let you volunteer as tribute.

So I did the deed. I caved and bought the dreaded transition jeans. You know, the ones that you want to buy on sale or at Target because you *hopefully* won’t be in them for long, but you’re for dang sure not going to muffin-top it with your old jeans for months. (HAHA-as if they would even button at all HAHAHAHAHAHA).

So anyways. I hunted. And hunted. And hunted. I knew that if I hunted enough, the shopping fairies would grant me my wish of crazy-on-sale Gap jeans that would make my butt look fabulous and give me Suzanne Somer legs. Ok maybe not that last part. Maybe. Not.

Finally, 4 Gaps later I found them. 2 pairs of $15 jeans in my size, Which turned out to be 4 sizes up from normal. “Whatever it’s cool. I made a baby with my body. I shouldn’t feel bad. I’m totally fine with this.” *Silent tear.*

So today I am celebrating the fact that I am officially in 100% non-maternity clothes!

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This celebration comes with a fair share of mourning, though. First of all, because I still have some righteous muffin top action EVEN IN MY 4 SIZES BIGGER JEANS, and secondly because my body no longer rests in the loving embrace that is expandable maternity clothes.

I miss you, elastic waistband, and your friend, the ruched t-shirt. You guys were so good to me in my time of need. You grew with my ever-enlarging belly and never made me feel fat. You had cute patterns and proved that stripes can work in your favor sometimes. You made me forget that I was eating like a horse and cut out the need to strip upon walking through the door to your house and immediately put on sweats. You made my dreams come true of never being expected to wear regular pants because your yoga pants are FANCY ENOUGH OK? You were so good to me, but like many great things, our relationship had to end. I’m with regular jeans now. Sure, I may go behind his back from time-to-time because your pull-up waistband is great for holding ALL OF THIS LOOSE SKIN in, but I have to ride that straight and narrow fashion line on the regular. Until next time (OH GOSH I STILL CAN’T THINK ABOUT A NEXT TIME), I’ll be missing you.

Love, Alex

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Grady’s Nursery!

Nothing to see here, just being a mom, not posting on my blog. Ugh. Ok fine, here’s another picture of my kid.

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Up on dat drool game.

Despite my best efforts and complete lack of skills, Grady has a pretty bomb nursery. It’s bear themed (What else?) and I had some amazing help with almost every aspect, mostly from my amazing craft-queen of a friend, Rachel Hamen. She has a super successful Etsy shop called One Crafty Foxx where she sells everything from themed party decor packages to t-shirt designs to witty kitchen signs. She’s my go-to for all things crafty or design-oriented and she should totally be yours too!

I hope you also enjoy a virtual tour of our baby room, complete with my meaningless commentary.

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My grandfather painted this bed gray for us. It was so sweet and cute. He was extremely concerned about the paint being safe to have around Grady and went to great lengths to ensure that the bed was perfect for our little guy.

My grandfather painted this bed gray for us. It was so sweet and cute. He was extremely concerned about the paint being safe to have around Grady and went to great lengths to ensure that the bed was perfect for our little guy.

Bryan's second mom had that quilt made. When I found out we were getting a quilt, I was a little worried because I am not a quilt person at all, but I couldn't love this more! It's adorable and fits the room perfectly. Those cute pillows were handmade by my friend Kim, who maintains my sanity on a regular basis.

Bryan’s second mom had that quilt made. When I found out we were getting a quilt, I was a little worried because I am not a quilt person at all, but I couldn’t love this more! It’s adorable and fits the room perfectly. Those cute pillows were handmade by my friend Kim, who maintains my sanity on a regular basis.

These are a Rachel specialty. She found the perfect colors to go with everything and did the silhouettes exactly like I wanted. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx

These are a Rachel specialty. She found the perfect colors to go with everything and did the silhouettes exactly like I wanted. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx 

What kid wouldn't love  fake bear rug? Mali and Phoebe like it too, unfortunately.

What kid wouldn’t love fake bear rug? Mali and Phoebe like it too, unfortunately.

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Rachel was the main host for my baby shower, and since she knew she was helping with my nursery, she made decoration for the shower that could double as nursery decor. This bunting was one of those items, and I loved it so much I used it in TWO different places in the room.

This shelf was custom made by Bryan's sister Alicia who has a business called Burnside Woodworking. She is amazing at this stuff and did I mention that SHE MADE THIS BASED ON A SMALL IPHONE PHOTO THAT I FOUND ON PINTEREST WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PATTERN AT ALL? Seriously, girl's got skills.

This shelf was custom made by Bryan’s sister Alicia who has a business called Burnside Woodworking. She is amazing at this stuff and did I mention that SHE MADE THIS BASED ON A SMALL IPHONE PHOTO THAT I FOUND ON PINTEREST WITH ABSOLUTELY NO PATTERN AT ALL? Seriously, girl’s got skills.

We have a bear shelf. you guys! A bear shelf! Just so awesome.

We have a bear shelf. you guys! A bear shelf! Just so awesome.

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That birth plaque may be one of the things I'm most obsessed with. Maybe. There's too much. I asked Rachel to make a stats sign and she whipped this up in like a day. She's awesome. She can do whatever animal and custom colors for this bad boy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx

That birth plaque may be one of the things I’m most obsessed with. Maybe. There’s too much. I asked Rachel to make a stats sign and she whipped this up in like a day. She’s awesome. She can do whatever animal and custom colors for this bad boy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/onecraftyfoxx

Found that lamp at Walmart y'all. Not kidding.

Found that lamp at Walmart y’all. Not kidding. Also my grandfather made this table for me and painted it the same color as the bed. Tornado Woodcrafters for the win!

What even is the point of a toy bin without a bear on it? Says my husband. #BearsForLife

What even is the point of a toy bin without a bear on it? Says my husband. #BearsForLife

This is the coolest wall in the room. Rachel made everything on it (save for the coat hook). That ombre bear cutout? Good gosh she's good.

This is the coolest wall in the room. Rachel made everything on it (save for the coat hook). That ombre bear cutout? BY HAND. Good gosh she’s good.

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A bear hook for a bear coat. What else?

A bear hook for a bear coat. What else?

Shout out to Brian Bailey of the Mustache Goods and Wears in Fayetteville for this bad boy. So, so cool.

Shout out to Brian Bailey of the Mustache Goods and Wears in Fayetteville for this bad boy. So, so cool.

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Bryan took and edited like 80 photos of this bear because he loves it so much. I’m only leaving you with 2, but trust me, I can give you the hookup on photos of this bear if you want.

Did you think there would be anything that didn't have a bear on it? WRONG! Even his clothes hamper is with the program.

Did you think there would be anything that didn’t have a bear on it? WRONG! Even his clothes hamper is with the program.

Another crafty friend of mine painted Grady's name on this for me. She's super talented as well and you can find her at

Another crafty friend of mine painted Grady’s name on this for me. She’s super talented as well and you can find her at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SkvarlaStudios?ref=search_shop_redirect

Obviously I have some extremely talented friends. My nursery would never have looked like it does without their help and we are so grateful. Anyone who can sit down with me and catch my non-vision and somehow turn it into a reality deserves high praise and all of the chai tea, so one more HUGE shout-out to my amazing friend Rachel Hamen at One Crafty Foxx.

All photos taken by Sixth and Burnside Photography.

Love, Alex

Mom.

Oh heeeeeey. Nice to see you again. I kind dropped off th face of the earth there for a bit huh? Well, allow me to show you why:

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I mean.

So, all that talk about being pregnant and all of the misery and frustration finally paid off and I got THIS ADORABLE CREATURE.

But really though? I’ve never been so tired in my life. I mean he’s worth it an all, but for real. so much not sleep.

The other day he slept AT NIGHT for 4 straight hours, which as you can imagine I was super excited about, until I realized that it meant that 4 is the most consecutive hours I have slept in almost a month as well. Then I was kind of sad.

I had all of the big feelings and raging hormones that you can imagine I had (ok fine. HAVE), and I will of course share those with you all in detail as if you really wanted to know about my ugly-crying sessions.

For now though, I will leave you with these pictures. Mostly because I figured the internet was running short of photos of people’s children.

My new favorite thing ever. Unless I have crap to do, then I'm just like "stop crying and sleep kid. Mommy has to wash your clothes and eat her lunch."

My new favorite thing ever. Unless I have crap to do, then I’m just like “stop crying and sleep kid. Mommy has to wash your clothes and eat her lunch.”

Is this not the sexiest thing you've ever seen in your entire life? OK, I could understand if not. but for me? Oh man.

Is this not the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen in your entire life? OK, I could understand if not. but for me? Oh man.

First bath! This is his favorite part. The part where he gets out of the bathtub and is wrapped in a towel and held after such a traumatic experience.

First bath! This is his favorite part. The part where he gets out of the bathtub and is wrapped in a towel and held after such a traumatic experience.

As you could imagine, Phoebe is ready for the new puppy to go back to his house.

As you could imagine, Phoebe is ready for the new puppy to go back to his house.

Grady and his new BFF Vaun. My friend Sarah and I were only 4 days apart our entire pregnancies and then our kids are now like a couple of weeks apart! (I was early, she was late)

Grady and his new BFF Vaun. My friend Sarah and I were only 4 days apart our entire pregnancies and then our kids are now like a couple of weeks apart! (I was early, she was late)

Indoctrinating him into our love of superheros early on. Raise a child up in the way that he should and whatnot.

Indoctrinating him into our love of superheros early on. Raise a child up in the way that he should go and whatnot.

Oh wait how did this get in here? Ok fine. I just had to prove that a) we actually did something on New Years Eve sans our child (Even if we were home by 11), and b) brag on my first post-baby drink! It was delicious if you were wondering.

Oh wait how did this get in here? Ok fine. I just had to prove that a) we actually did something on New Years Eve sans our child (Even if we were home by 11), and b) brag on my first post-baby drink! It was delicious if you were wondering.

I’m all kinds of pent-up with writing tension, so look forward to my verbal vomit in the coming weeks :).

Love, Alex

Texas and Bryan and Bears, Oh My!

So as my last Hoorah before the baby comes, we decided to surprise Bryan’s bestie (read: boyfriend) Gerardo and drive down to Texas to spend a couple of days with him and his girlfriend Charolette (Who I really like, thankfully. Doesn’t it suck when you’re sort of stuck hanging out with someone who annoys you because of all of the relational connections? Totally not the case with Charolette). I plan to post some more photos and quips about our trip and adventures there, but for now I figured I’d leave you with the two most exciting animal encounters we had on the trip.

Alex petting zebra

First of all, I GOT TO PET A ZEBRA AT THE TEXAS STATE FAIR! Don’t even start with me about how that’s not a big deal. It so is.  I’ve never pet one before and it was like I could feel the cool stripe factor through their hair. Please horse, you have nothing on baby zebra.

Grady and zebra

Charolette took this picture and said it was of Grady and the zebra. So #LilFit, even though you’re already betrothed to bears as your favorite animal, let it be known that you were up close and personal with a zebra first.

Barnaby waving

An admittedly bigger deal, though, was this. We got to go to a wildlife refuge called Sharkarosa in Pilot Pointe and they had a super cool feature where you could EAT WITH BEARS. Seriously, they have a pizza place right next to the bear den (Called Bears’ Den, no less. Free tip: the service there was not great, and Charolotte had to get us our drinks from a server inside and then no one ever came to give us our food or a check for the drinks after about 45 minutes of sitting there, so we got to see the bears for free!) and they do shows every few hours where they bring the bears to a table and feed them avocados literally like 2 yards away from you. Bryan, as you could imagine, was outside his mind excited. This was the boy bear, Barnaby, doing a trick for his trainer (and for a peppermint-so cute!).

Barnaby waving

I’m sure Bryan would want to imagine that Barnaby was waving at him in this photo, but no, more tricks for peppermints. I’m seriously not kidding though, this was maybe a yard from the bear.

Love, Alex

Things That Stop Being a Thing in Pregnancy

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A lot has happened since my last pregnancy blog post.

I’m officially in my third trimester. So that happened. I’m not sure when, exactly. Because hasn’t it only been like 5 days? When I give birth tomorrow or something maybe I’ll figure out where the summer has gone.

I digress.

Also, my body has changed a lot. I knew it would. Like, logically in my mind I was all “I’m going to get fat and my boobs are going to get big and I’m going to get stretch marks. Now that all of this has happened, I still stand in the mirror like “Sigh. This is what I look like now I guess.”

What else? Oh! A lot of things have stopped being a thing. Seriously, as “duh” (you have to say it like Cher) as it seems, there are still times when I surprise myself with all the things I can’t do because pregnancy. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Agility. This doesn’t exist anymore. Bending over normally? Nope. Standing up without making noises and/or whining for help from whoever is nearest? Gone. Rolling over in bed without waking up your husband? HAHAHA. I’ve reached the point where I don’t even care that people are taking pity on me. There is no more “I’ve totally got this!” When I drop something on the floor, I just look down and wait. Like a diva. ASK ME HOW MUCH I CARE.

2. Normal and predictable hormones. A thing of the past. There’s so much crap going on in there that there is no telling when or how it will force its way out. Sometimes, it’s crying at a dogfood commercial. Sometimes, it’s getting irrationally angry at your spouse/whoever. This can be a bonus if you say, while yelling, that you know this is irrational and you just can’t help it. It doesn’t make it better, but somehow makes you feel justified. Sometimes, it’s that in-between thing where it’s like you’re crying but not really crying…just, tears are falling out of your face. This never happens conveniently. It’s always when you are about to have dinner with people or walk into church.

3. Holding your pee in. Whether it’s sneezing or coughing or because your little bundle of joy felt the need to suddenly kick you in the bladder, you have 5 seconds to get. to. the. bathroom. This is the only exception to the agility clause. Somehow, our lack of bladder control gives us the super-power to suddenly jump up lest we pee on ourselves. Which, let’s all admit it, has already happened, even if only a little bit. My favorite thing is when my body is all “YOU HAVE TO PEE RIGHT. NOW.” and then by some miracle you leap to your feet and make i to the bathroom and maybe produce a tablespoon of urine. Thanks for that baby.

4. Sex. It’s not that it’s not a thing anymore. It’s just a whole new thing. And we can just leave it at that. Feel me ladies?

5. Being unaware of your internal organs. Remember when the best you could do when pointing out where your organs were was to just do a swooping wave over an area and be like “uhhh, somewhere in here.”? Well now we can tell you exactly where stuff is. Because it gets kicked all the time. ALL THE TIME. I’d like to know what goes through random people’s heads when pregnant women suddenly jump or flinch around them. You guys: It’s because the human we’re about to squeeze out of ourselves has decided to prime our reflexes and pain tolerance by claiming our personal insides as their own punching bags. Who knew we even had that many things in us?!

6. Your entire body not looking like it was mauled by a tiger. Y’all. Try as I might, I have failed. Scratch that. Coconut oil has failed ME. Coconut oil, I thought we were friends. I rubbed you on me EVERY DAY and still you lost your battle against the stretch marks. How can I ever trust you again? Tell you what, when I look sexy in a bikini again, that’s when you will earn my trust back.

7. Peaceful Sleep. Whether it’s getting up to pee every 5 seconds, or attempting to roll over because your left side just can’t anymore, or because the miracle inside me has decided that this is the perfect time to practice gymnastics, sleeping through the night is like a unicorn or fairy or some other mystical creature these days. The other night, I woke up at 3:30 (to pee of course), tried to go back to sleep, then gave up after a few minutes. I got up to see if there was anything I could do around the house, quickly laughed at myself, got something to eat and drink, spilled my drink, scared the crap out of Bryan, cleaned it up, got back in bed, and watched 30 Rock until 6:30 when I finally fell back asleep. This is the new normal people.

8. Looking cute for more than an hour. Listen, I just can’t be bothered with things like jeans and jewelry anymore. Even if I will only be home for 30 minutes before leaving the house again, my uniform of sweatpants and Bryan’s t-shirt comes on. The grunting and effort of changing are totally worth it. Plus, it’s like a mini work out and that counts right? Of course it does. I have also mastered the art of how much “getting ready” I can do to just barely pass for not a psych ward escapee.

9. Remembering what it was like to not be pregnant. I know it wasn’t all that long ago, but I have forgotten what it was like to feel hungry in the normal area of my stomach, flex my abs without it looking suuuuper weird, and to bump into things without immediately thinking that a little person inside me also felt it. Maybe that’s just the forgetful preggo brain for ya.

10. All of the extra random stuff. Having a wedding ring that fits, walking like a human instead of a duck, sitting in one position for more than 1 minute. You know, all the things.

I’m told this will all be worth it in the end. After my epidural legs wear off and I’ve cried out the last of my pregnancy hormones, I’m praying that my body will EVENTUALLY return to normal. Only time will tell.

Party Like It’s “1985” (<–Sarcasm)

So my mom turned a certain significant age this summer. An age which she would kill me if I revealed. It doesn’t hurt that she looks all of 35, so she lets people think she was a teenager when she had me which I think is hilarious.

I mean really. I pray to the good Lord that I inherited those genes.

I mean really. I pray to the good Lord that I inherited those genes.

So of course we wanted to celebrate this occasion with a big party, but because we’ve moved so much, her closest friends live all over the country. Meaning that if we were to have a big party, like 4 of her girls would be there. Sad Face.

So instead, I, my dad, and my sister planned a big birthday girls’ weekend to Dallas!

Y'all. My friend Raven is a super talented graphic designer. She did all of our wedding stuff, Bryan's business cards, and tons more for us! She doesn't have a name for her freelance business yet, but I will totally hook you up!

Y’all. My friend Raven is a super talented graphic designer. She did all of our wedding stuff, Bryan’s business cards, and tons more for us! She doesn’t have a name for her freelance business yet, but I will totally hook you up!

My mom, sister, and I drove down together, which was really fun, even if we were extremely late and had to meet everyone at the restaurant instead of the hotel and change and fix makeup and hair in/outside of the car in a parking garage. Aaah memories.

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Notice the two boxes of Joe Joes cookies back there. That’s called roadtrip pregaming.

After getting high off perfume and hairspray fumes in the car, it actually ended up being a really fun fist night. We went to Shops at Legacy in Plano and had dinner at Benihana with the 3 of us, my Mimi, and my mom’s friends Leslie and Alicia, all of whom stayed with us the whole weekend! After dinner we walked around the corner to Paciugo, a gelato bar, where my friend Charlotte and her sister met us for dessert.

My mom felt super classy taking her pregnant daughter and her underage daughter into the bar area while we waited for our table. The weekend just got better from there.

My mom felt super classy taking her pregnant daughter and her underage daughter into the bar area while we waited for our table. The weekend just got better from there.

My Mimi decorated the hotel room to surprise my mom when we got back. It was beautiful and girly, just like my mom likes. This is weird because if you met her you would not think she’d be into girly things, but she loves her some pink and purple and flowers.

This was on the hotel room door greeting us.

This was on the hotel room door greeting us.

Fresh flowers from Mimi and candy from me.

Fresh flowers from Mimi and candy from me.

More fun balloons!

More fun balloons!

Our first night back, we had a slumber party in our PJs. We watched Father of the Bride 2 (the baby one!) and had the candy pictured above and popcorn in the most adorable popcorn buckets ever.

How cute and perfect are these?!

How cute and perfect are these?!

 

This was taken Saturday morning. We did our best party girl impression and left everything a mess like this all night. I made Midori Sours for everyone complete with cherries and fun silly straws and cocktail glasses.

This was taken Saturday morning. We did our best party girl impression and left everything a mess like this all night. I made Midori Sours for everyone complete with cherries and fun silly straws and cocktail glasses.

I also put these fun swizzle sticks in there! Confession: these are leftover from our wedding. My friend Erin taught me how to make them so you know I can't take full credit for a craft. But they are super fun and probably easy to make for the non craft-challenged people.

I also put these fun swizzle sticks in there! Confession: these are leftover from our wedding. My friend Erin taught me how to make them so you know I can’t take full credit for a craft. But they are super fun and probably easy to make for the non craft-challenged people.

So on Saturday we went to the Galleria and shopped for a bit. Keep in mind that none of us live in Dallas, so trying to navigate anywhere was like trying to herd around a bunch of cats. We also went to the Grapevine Mills Mall close to our hotel which ended in me driving by myself in Dallas for the first time. I give all the credit to Siri.

Saturday night we went to my mom’s favorite restaurant in Dallas, Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe. This is where the big birthday party happened. Charlotte came again, along with my friend Arden and her new baby girl Cambrie. I’ll give you one guess how the rest of the night went with a bunch of women and a newborn.

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I made her wear these things, which she LOVED. She loves for all the attention to be on her, you can ask her. I also got her that fancy goblet and made her carry it around everywhere. I'm hoping I'm still in her will.

I made her wear these things, which she LOVED. She loves for all the attention to be on her, you can ask her. I also got her that fancy goblet and made her carry it around everywhere. I’m hoping I’m still in her will.

So before I continue, I need to pause and tell you that last weekend I was down in Dallas for a podcast conference that Bryan attended. Since I had some downtime while he was there, Charlotte helped me do some recon work for fun location for the girls weekend. My mom wanted to sit and have drinks on a patio somewhere after the birthday dinner Saturday night, so we found a fun, themed place called the Truckyard. We went to a few other places too that were really crowded and loud, so when the Truckyard was quiet, had an eclectic age group, and a really laid back vibe to it, I knew it was perfect.

Fast-forward to Saturday night after Razzoo’s when we got there. What Charlotte and I didn’t know was that it was move-in week for SMU and UTD, which were both right by this place. It was packed with college students and they were carding. This would have been a problem since my sister is 16, but the bouncer was feeling flirty apparently, and when she marched up to him in her party dress and braces and asked how old you had to be to get in (This is never a suspicious question right?), someone assured him that she wouldn’t be drinking and he just let her in. Our back-up argument was that she was with her mother and grandmother, but apparently all the guy needed was an assurance from a stranger that she would obey the law. Thankfully, she was planning on it anyway.

The ladies in our group were not feeling the college vibe, however, so we left and went back to the hotel to hang out and eat more candy.

Sunday morning some people had to go home, but the rest of us went to Klyde Warren Park and had brunch at the food trucks. The food was OMG SO GOOD. Plus, they had a truck that made custom ice cream sandwiches, y’all. SO. GOOD.

food trucks

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It was a great weekend and I’m happy that so many people were able to come out and celebrate my awesome mom’s birthday. I’m kind of a fan of hers if you couldn’t tell. We even let her sleep on the way home instead of blasting music she doesn’t like. That’s true love, you guys.

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This is my baby sister driving. I’m past the point of this bothering me because I DIDN’T HAVE TO DRIVE.

This Is Why I Don’t Bake.

 

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I think  I’ve made my feelings clear on baking vs. cooking. I love cooking, like a lot. And I’m pretty decent at it. It doesn’t require that you follow directions, and it’s much easier to be creative. Baking, however locks you into a specific formula. It’s science, man, and I was always an English/history girl.

You may remember that pregnancy made my cooking frequency dwindle.  Because of the smells. And the effort. Recently though, I excitedly picked up the cooking again, and I dove headfirst. In addition to my cooking I have tried my little heart out to up my baking game. I made brownies and frosting and TRES LECHES CAKE from scratch, y’all. 

It was all fun and games until I got too cocky and went for the fried pies.

I made dough. (Successfully!)

I sprinkled flour and rolled out said dough.

It all went downhill from there until the remains of my project ended up here. Where dreams go to die. There are probably a few of my tears in there too.

Is it sad that one of my major concerns here is that I had to throw food away?  I mean, look at all of this wasted shortening. Those are the charred remains of pie dough and my dignity floating around in there.

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I’m coming for you fried pies. I will conquer you.

Until then, want to come over and I’ll make you a wonderful savory dish?

Ugh.