Hey, I Like Your App!

I downloaded Red Stamp last week after seeing it mentioned on A Cup of Jo. The app is free and available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. (According to the website, there is no Android version yet because of technical issues.)

Using Red Stamp, you can create cool thank you cards, invitations, birth announcements, holiday messages, etc.

Many designs can be personalized with photos and can be sent via text, email or with a physical postcard (!).

Using the app to send digital cards is free. ┬áPaper postcards cost $2 and decrease in price if you’re ordering in bulk.

Since it’s free, you don’t even need a holiday to send a card. (Here’s Nolan with a surprise he woke up with)

On A Cup of Jo, Joanna Goddard suggested it as a modern twist on sending thank you notes from new moms. If you are a new or new-ish mom, you’ll probably remember the whirlwind that is the first few weeks and months of motherhood. While friends’ and family’s generosity is beautiful and kind, sending out those thank you notes can zap every free moment you have. Everyone suggested, “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” but I couldn’t. I had laundry and thank you notes to write.

What do you think? Are digital cards (particularly thank you cards) as “acceptable” as paper ones?

Dom’s 30th Birthday (aka Romper Room of Massapequa Park)

Dom and Kim threw a wonderful party Saturday to celebrate Dom’s 30th birthday. It was a fun juxtaposition of “mid-life crisis beer pong” and children. Here are some of the highlights.

Look at that wrist roll. Delicious, Jules!

Reegan being shy (not for long).

I was a SERIOUS baby whore.

And I wasn’t the only one

Jules and her lovely mom, Debra

Laura with Revis, when he wasn’t being punished for eating people’s food and licking children.

Let the mid-life crisis beer pong begin!

Please note the 30-year olds playing beer pong while the college student sits back, looking bored and texting.

Aaaaand the cuteness keeps on coming.

Hello, ladies!

Jacob, the jolliest kid around

I was actually taking a picture of Reegan here but accidentally captured Shara and Amanda celebrating

Kim and Dom – don’t worry, the house isn’t on fire, that’s the smoke from his birthday candles

Laura, Kim and me

The red-eye was way beyond repair and I had to get all black and white on this one

Not sure what was going on here.

Uh oh

Really, self? Really??

The end of the night ­čÖé

Naming Babies in Pennsylvania

On Saturday we headed down to Pennsylvania for Steve and Sabrina’s newest addition’s naming ceremony. Who knew there were synagogues in Pennsylvania??

The ceremony was held in the rabbi’s office and was short and sweet. Reegan slept through the entire thing.

Sabrina, smiling and lovely, Reegan, confused at what I’m doing.

Sabrina and Reegan, looking smashing.

Reegan and Brett, her godfather.

I guess you can’t blame a five month old for not smiling at the camera.

Reegan was very interested in everyone’s jewelry, including Kim’s necklace.

Keith and Reegan

Keith and Reegan after he discovered how to make her laugh.

After a minute, he was a natural!

Matt looking handsome in purple. I mean lavender. I mean pale grape.

Me and Matt

And after a few short hours of smiling and being an absolute pleasure, Reegan was back to sleeping.

Brunch Ideas and Tips

Brunch is one of my favorite meals/parties to host because it’s over with enough time for you to clean up and still enjoy your day. This morning we had my parents and my in-laws over for a Mother’s Day brunch and everything was cleaned up by 1:30!

Tips for the Menu:

Make some stuff, buy the rest. I made the main hot dish, Pioneer Woman’s Sleepin’ In Omelette, and my parents brought the bagels. My sister-in-law brought a fruit salad and we finished the meal with some peanut butter brownies. I had an extra block of cream cheese and some leftover fresh chives so I made … chive cream cheese! Ina Garten’s Herbal Iced Tea is refreshing and decaffeinated and apparently took the place of orange juice (which no one drank).

Image: The Pioneer Woman

The Sleepin’ In Omelette was a big success and couldn’t be easier to make. You assemble it the night before, bake it for an hour before you serve it, and you’re done. Follow Pioneer Woman’s directions exactly EXCEPT for the butter. She originally wrote that the recipe called for two sticks of butter to be sliced and spread on the top. ┬áThen she came to her senses and amended it to one and a half sticks. Well I’m here to tell you that you don’t need more than about five tablespoons. I don’t skimp on butter (ask anyone) so you need to trust me on this one.

To jazz up a plain block of cream cheese, let it soften on the counter for a few hours and then add about two tablespoons of  chopped chives and a pinch of kosher salt. Mix well (use a hand or stand mixer) and refrigerate.

Herbal Iced Tea is seriously addicting and is sweet from apple juice, not added sugar. Four bags of Lemon Zinger tea, four bags of Red Zinger tea, four cups of boiling water. Steep them for ten minutes, remove the bags, add four cups of apple juice and refrigerate. Amazing.

Peanut Butter Brownies – prepare a box of Ghirardelli brownies and drop around 12 teaspoonfuls of peanut butter over the batter (make a little grid). Wiggle it in there a bit with a knife and bake as directed.

Tips for Hosting:

Set your table the night before!

Brunch is lovely as a buffet but we don’t have the layout for that. Please don’t use paper/plastic products. (Especially if you have a dishwasher because then you really have no excuse.) If we had used paper and plastic instead of our regular plates, flatware, glasses and napkins, we easily would have filled a large garbage bag of trash (maybe 2) – what a waste!

Another benefit of setting the table the night before is that if you’re using a tablecloth, it has some time to release the wrinkles. Or at least that’s what I told myself last night. It was still really wrinkled but I got over it.

Go out and make brunch! I’m looking forward to your invitation.

Pretzel Kisses

Sweet and salty tastes are so delightful together. My friend Tricia used to make these for our parties in college (hey Tricia!) and it was difficult not to eat them all before people arrived. ┬áThey are a big hit at parties (or for breakfast) and a breeze to make. It takes quite a while for the chocolate to set after you’ve baked them so make them several hours ahead of time or better yet, the night before.

You’ll need:

bag of pretzels (the small little waffles or the heart shaped ones)

plain m&ms

Hershey Kisses

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and lay out the pretzels on a baking sheet.

I know my pan looks dirty, but it’s not. It’s just…well seasoned.

Now comes the pain in the butt part. You have to unwrap all those kisses. If you have a little helper around the house it sure makes it easier.

Sorry, Baxter. You need thumbs for this job!

Place a kiss on every pretzel and bake for about three minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and immediately begin pressing the m&ms onto the kisses. Be careful not to push too hard. If the kisses aren’t melted enough to smush, then throw the pan back in the oven for a minute or so.

Let them cool for a few hours and you’re good to go!