Do Goodery

During my second year of college my cat died. I found out when I called my mom to catch up. I was sitting outside of a coffee shop, on the side of the street, and I just started bawling. Most people ignored me, probably assuming it was the polite thing to do; however, an older woman approached me and asked me if I was okay. Before I answered, she handed me a tissue and said, “I don’t know what you are going through right now, but I promise things will get better.” She returned a few minutes later with a chocolate chip cookie from the coffee shop and a big smile. She handed me the cookie and left, without saying a word.

I have no idea who that woman was. I never saw her again, and I will likely never find out who she is. These past few weeks I’ve been thinking about that woman, and what a difference she made in my life that one day years ago.

For weeks now I have wanted to share what my day will be like tomorrow.

I have been in classes, taking tests, writing papers, and completing 180 hours of clinical at a hospital. Life is busy, but for weeks now I have looked forward to tomorrow. It has helped me get through some long, long, days.

Tomorrow I am going to get together with six really amazing women and spend the day doing nice things. We are giving away all sorts of fun stuff with the premise that by doing something good for someone they will then turn around and do something good for someone else. It’s contagious, you know. Small acts of kindness can go a long way, and we plan on spreading a lot of kindness.

Thanks to 77Kids, an American Eagle Brand (did you know they are based in Pittsburgh? Gotta love ’em!), and TheMotherhood we are going to have this amazing opportunity to partake in hours worth of shenanigans.

I am so unbelievably excited to have this opportunity, especially because I get to share it with these lovely ladies:

Michelle of Burgh Baby
Dina of Fries on Top??
Firemom of Stop, Drop and Blog
Gina of My very last nerve’
Laura of With love from Pittsburgh
Virginia of That’s Church

I know you’re jealous. I would be too.

If you are in or around Pittsburgh, we will be at the Carnegie Science Center starting at 11am tomorrow. Come join the fun! Come enjoy being the recipient of some do goodery, and do some goodery of your own. Even if you can’t come, do something good tomorrow. You never know what your one act of kindness can mean to someone.

While I am being compensated for my time, this is not a sponsored post. Plus, I would do it regardless of compensation. 77Kids is awesome, and what could be more fun than spending the day making people happy?

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We Came, We Marched, Some of Us Were Cranky

The March of Dimes walk was fabulous. Absolutely, fantastically, beautifully, marvelous. The team I was on raised more than five thousand dollars. Five thousand!

Our group was beyond-words-awesome-fantastic. Beyond the fact that there were so many of us and we raised a lot of money, everyone was very supportive of each other while we walked. You can witness proof of that here, here and here. And you can find all sorts of photos that prove just how fantabulously awesome we are from Burgh Baby.

Our team:

Stolen From Gina

Also? This happened, and was immensely cute:

Stolen From Gina

I mean, seriously. Look at those faces!

They liked eachother

Alex was a bit of terror. He wanted to steal everything that any other child had: sippy cups, crackers, entire wagons. I can’t blame him on the wagons, though. Those are things are pretty awesome. Even with his toddlerhood raging that morning (and my unexpected crankiness that day) it was a wonderful time. Have I used enough positive adjectives? It was awesome. Stunning. Astonishing. Moving. Wondrous.

Pittsburghers are all of those things. And more.

True story.

Gathering by the river before the walk

Mmm Cookies

The Burgh Mom cookie swap was a huge success. Not that I had any doubt in my mind. How bad could it possibly be? Amazing women and cookies. Oh, and a really cute baby. And a really cute little girl. And a really wonderful 13-year old (they exist! It’s a miracle!). And did I mention lots of cookies? ‘Nuff said.

I made two types of cookies: Peanut butter peanut butter cup cookies and cranberry white chocolate chip cookies. Both pack some serious yum into them. (Although, to be honest, I was disappointed with my peanut butter cookies. They were not their usual “oh-my-god-my-mouth-is-in-heaven” love bites. I blame my probably poor attempt at tripling the recipe.)

I still don’t have a working camera, so I can’t share pictures of the baking processes. Instead, I will simply share the recipes and the iPhone picture of the finished products.

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 6 oz craisins (or other sweetened, dried, cranberries)

  • Directions

    1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar together, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla.
    3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating well until blended.
    4. Add white chocolate chips and craisins until blended. (Hint: coat the white chocolate chips and craisins in flour before mixing into the batter so that they don’t all sink the bottom of the cookie.)
    5. Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet.
    6. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
    7. Let cool on wire racks.
    8. Eat while warm for maximum enjoyment.

    Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:
    Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (or butter flavored crisco; horribly bad for you, but deliciously delicious)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Reese’s cups, unwrapped

  • Directions

    1. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    2. Cream the butter and both sugars together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla.
    3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating well until blended.
    4. Drop cookies onto lightly greased baking sheet.
    5. Bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.
    6. Push unwrapped reese’s cups into cookie immediately upon removal from oven.
    7. Let cool on wire racks.
    8. Eat while warm for maximum enjoyment.

    Cookies Cookies Cookies Cookies

    I just finished baking the last batch of cookies for the Burgh Mom Cookie Swap. There are about 180 cookies in all. Do you know how long it takes to bake 180 cookies? A long time, let me tell you. And it was a long time having to smell deliciousness emanating from the kitchen without eating all of the gooey, chocolaty, sweetness.

    Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yum.

    Recipes for both are forthcoming. At least, to the best of my ability. I screw with recipes a lot, but I will attempt to remember what I do every time I make these cookies. I don’t really use measuring cups or spoons, except for the simple fact that they fit perfectly into small boxes of baking powder and baking soda; I just go by my memory of what the measured amounts are supposed to be and then what those measured amounts look like. At the end of the mixing I go by consistency. Too sticky? Add more flour!

    The Plague

    It’s official. The plague has swept through our house.

    First, Alex was sick for about two weeks. The first few days of the illness included no sleep, constant nose drainage, lots of coughing, and perpetual clinginess. After that he was only mildly clingy and had a nose that wouldn’t stop running.

    Next, Zach got ill. He had a fever, a bad cough, and couldn’t breath because of all of the mucous. He was so bad he even had to stay home from work.

    Then it hit me. I woke up yesterday feeling like I had an antelope in my throat. The antelope was clearly angering the bird that had appeared the night before. Those bird feathers tickle like crazy, and the antelope just made the bird claustrophobic with his big antlers stabbing into my throat.

    Today is slightly better. I have cookies to make for the cookie swap on Saturday, so I must be better in order to do that. I will not miss out on the awesomeness that is the Burgh Moms and what I’m sure will be amazing cookies. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Send angry notes to the antelope and bird, please. Scare them out of my throat.

    Uh-Oh!

    Zach, Alex and I went to another Burgh Mom get together. This time it was family-friendly and hosted at the lovely Kim’s abode. The kids were all able to run around (Zach played “baseball” for a good two hours with Kim’s hilarious 3 year old son, Oliver), the parents were able to chat, and we all had good beer and good food.

    Red Pen Mama and her wonderful almost-4 year old daughter, Monkey, were able to make it, even though her younger daughter was a bit under the weather. Monkey took over the job I had been given by Kim’s daughter Eleanor of blowing bubbles as soon as she arrived, and was nice enough to share her books with Alex and Eleanor. Of course, Alex continually threw them on the ground, banged them on the table, and successfully put every one in his mouth. (Sorry for the soggy books Red Pen Mama!)

    A “new” Burgh Mom joined us: Mary. Her youngest is only six months old, and it was wonderful to see a smaller baby. Alex has always been large for his age, so that so-cute-tiny–want-to-cuddle-little-baby stage ended, well, the second he was born at almost 10 pounds.

    Throughout the afternoon, Alex’s favorite phrase was “Uh oh!” When he dropped something, when he was walking in circles, when he was coming to get some food “uh oh!” was coming out of his mouth. It’s been his favorite thing to say for a few days now, but he reached an all new record saying it yesterday.

    “Uh oh! UHHH…oh. uh…OH! UH OH!” The entire drive home after leaving Kim’s was full of them, ranging in volume and intonation. So silly.

    Funny Boy