The Best Nanny Money Can Buy

Did you guys read the article "The Best Nanny Money Can Buy" in the NY Times Sunday Magazine last week? Being a former nanny of a zillion years, plus a huge fan of illustrator Jillian Tamaki, who illustrated the piece, I was intrigued to say the least.

Turns out these nannies were way outta my league:

A nanny can increase her marketability if she can help manage an art collection, draft correspondence, wash and fold 50 linens a day and help set up philanthropic events. Bonus points if she can do it all in Mandarin.

I suppose I could figure out how to do all of those things, but almost definitely not in Mandarin.

Isn't that illustration great? (Remember when I illustrated nannies for Time Out magazine?)

Happy weekend everybody!

PS. Oh yes, this is happening tomorrow. Do you ever participate? I'm usually not up for grand symbolic gestures that ultimately feel a bit empty (--and have large corporate sponsors.) But the thought of everything going dark is just so wonderful...

image credit: Jillian Tamaki for the NY Times

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Do you have fun plans for tonight? As G's birthday is on the 12th and we usually go out for that, we skip the restaurant Valentine's craziness and stay in. And make meatballs. I'm not totally sure why, but that's our V-Day tradition.

Unfortunately, I'm totally sick, which is kind of sad.  G made surprised me with a sweet breakfast though, and I'm hoping to rally for board games and meatball-making later. Wish me luck.

Hope everyone has fun!


The photo was taken in Joshua Tree at the crazy-awesome house we stayed at during our honeymoon.  The heart was there when we arrived. 

Microwaved Gluten-Free Cake in a Mug: It worked.

Cake in a mug! Have you heard about 5 minute cake? It sounds pretend, and/or maybe a little gross when you hear it's "baked" in a microwave. We don't actually use our microwave that much.  I tried it a few weeks ago and it was awful. It was super dry and flavorless and parts of it were actually burnt.  However, it a fit of desperation last week, (yes: cake desperation,) I tried again.  I adapted Babble's recipe, "5 Minute Nutella Mug Cake."

Instead of Nutella*, which I didn't have, I used chocolate syrup. And instead of flour, I used gluten-free cake mix.  I substituted almond milk, for milk.  All the same measurements.


4 tablespoons self rising flour 4 tablespoons white granulated sugar 1 egg 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 3 tablespoons Nutella 3 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil


1. Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 – 3 minutes. (Time depends on microwave wattage. Mine took 1 1 /2 minutes.) Top with whipped cream and a little chocolate sauce if desired.

2. Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Enjoy!

Note: Depending on the wattage of your microwave, you may have to increase cooking time.

Makes 1 very large serving.


My only regret is that I couldn't get a more flattering picture of it. You don't photo well, Mug-Cake.  Anyways, G and I agreed it was pretty awesome for practically no effort.  And I think you could split the above into two coffee cups, for two servings. Have you tried recipes like this?


*Has anyone else seen the latest commercials for Nutella, pitching it as a breakfast food? Wha??  

1st, Nutella has commercials?

2nd "...a hazlenut spread...with a hint of cocoa!"?  C'mon guys.

Oh that's right, you have us figured out.



Video Mondays  








Ok apparently, I can't stop talking about this stupid movie, but I thought you should know, I finally brought myself to watch the trailer for the original. It's not it. Darn.

Any horror-film buffs out there? Remember any mid-80s movies featuring little grey people, possibly in a fancy house of some sort, who were really mean?

On another note, the puppets in this version are pretty sweet, no?




We're Back!

Fat Orange Cat Studios

After a very long radio silence, we are back!  And we are married!  And, certainly most exciting for this neck of the woods, we have a proper working camera!

Tales of weddings, diy projects, run ins with scorpions, and travel ideas will commence on Monday. Huzzah!

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

The above picture from our wedding was taken by the very talented Li Ward at Fat Orange Cat Studio.  More on her later!

Interview over at Oh My! Handmade Goodness

Just in case you missed it, the other day Jessika from Oh My! Handmade Goodness posted an interview with me.

Her questions were:

  • How did you get your start in art and illustration?
  • What inspired you to start offering a portrait service?
  • You have illustrated for a number of magazines, businesses & publications, what has your favorite project been so far?
  • Are you a full time artist or do you juggle another job too?
  • This month we are talking about business & internet ethics on OMHG, as an artist/illustrator have you had any personal experience with issues like plagiarism and copyright? How do you protect your work (if at all)?

Click right here, to check out my answers!

For Japan With Love

For Japan With Love

I'm participating in the For Japan With Love blogger fundraiser organized by Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours.  Please click on the image above to donate money to ShelterBox.  (I'll be adding a badge to the sidebar with the link as well.)

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

In conjunction with the fundraiser, they've also organized a blogger day of silence, March 18th, in memory of the all the victims in Japan.

Please pass this on.

International Women's Day=Pretty Google

I hesitate to mention this, as I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, but: Did you see Google's header today?  I think this is one of my favorites.  I keep trying to figure out who made it, but can't find a credit.  Anyone know?

Anyways, it's in honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day! (--which I do not have mixed feelings about!)  Here's a little bit more about the events they're co-sponsoring:


A Wee Soapbox

Tomorrow morning we go to the hospital for G's last surgery. A year ago last summer, he found out the weird freckle on his ear was indeed Melanoma. I haven't mentioned this here, not only because I don't talk about personal drama too much, but really, at the time it was too scary to throw up on a blog. But more than a year later, it's occurred to me that just a bit of soapboxing is in order.  Bear with me.

Now, compared to a lot of people's experience, this was a brush with cancer.  There was no radiation, or months of chemo treatments, or the side-effects to deal with. In fact, we only met the radiologist in his "team" once and frankly, we were thrilled to see her leave the room.

That said, G's "brush" involved one excision surgery, (in which they basically cut off half his ear,) two rounds of Mohs and as of tomorrow, four plastic surgery procedures to reconstruct said ear.

Without getting too far into it, here are two things we've learned.  1. With Melanoma in particular, early detection is key.  Unlike other cancers, things get bad quickly--ie Stage 2 Melanoma is not good at all.  It can also develop in areas not generally exposed to the sun.  So go get checked every year-- twenty-something or retiree, pale and freckly, or not.

2. Melanoma seems to stem from sunburns we got as a kid. (Other types of skin cancer can be from more recent sun exposure.)  So if you have kids and they're going to be outside in the sun (which sometimes can include the car,) slather on the spf 30 (anything less is useless,) --"slather" meaning to use basically a shot-glass full.  This pretty much means every day.  Reapply it after swimming or any activity involving sweat.  Hats and clothing with sunblock in it are also great additions especially if you're going to be at a beach all day.

You can learn more here:

The Melanoma Center

The Mayo Clinic: Skin Cancer

The Skin Cancer Foundation

Last but not least, if the thought of wearing sunscreen everyday makes you sad, Will Ferrel has just the thing to perk you up:


It's real.  Click on the photo to purchase.

Ok.  That's it! (Though feel free to get in touch with questions.) Back to our regularly scheduled program of fun, mostly kid, stuff.  I promise.