Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Knuffle Bunny

When Dash was leetle (and I bet even today), Knuffle Bunny was one of his most favorite books. I think he could relate to the sheer horror of possibly losing a beloved friend (ex: Nana the blanket, Cuddles the tiger and, most recently, Puss, Cuddles' younger, sillier tiger brother), and the incredible relief of finding them again.

So. When it came time for me to figure out a bunny-themed Easter something to make for our sweet Oliver, Knuffle Bunny seemed a solid choice.

Hello Knuffle Bunny!
I had seen stuffed Knuffle Bunnies that you could buy, but 1) I didn't think they really look that much like the bunny from the book. And B) Who are we kidding?

So I poked around a bit and found a free pattern that I used as a jumping off point. I altered the way the head was attached, omitted the outlines on the eyes and paws, and changed the fabric from flannel to a super-soft minky . 

I don't know how much Oliver will love his new Knuffle, but I loved making it enough for both of us.

Moses and the Pharaoh

Monday night we celebrated Passover with a beautiful seder at Josh's aunt and uncle's house. I've been attending this seder for 14 years, since Josh and I were just dating. It's evolved from a quite civilized, mostly adult affair, into a raucous celebration full of the children we've all spawned over the years. A new tradition, and one of my favorites, is the kids' play about Moses's liberating of the Jews from Egypt.

This year, Dash got to be Moses & his beloved cousin, Sky, was the evil Pharaoh.

Moses & the Pharoh
Before shit got real.

Let my people go!
Let my people go! No!

And God sent darkness...
There were many plagues--plastic frogs fell from the sky, Styrofoam hail pelted the Egyptians, kids wearing cow masks succumbed to cattle disease. But I think their interpretation of the darkness that descended upon Egypt was my fave.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Ho lordy it's been a full few weeks in the Engel abode. Here's a recap of our month of March.

Dream Team
Dash's basketball team finished their season with an impressive win record. Even though we don't keep score (we totally keep score.)

We threw them a pizza party to celebrate.

I attempted to make basketball cupcakes. 

Come. On.
There were trophies.

While the majority of America is still under blankets of snow, here in SoCal it's flip flop weather. I've been celebrating by making ice cream. So far I've made Coffee & Doughnut (10/10), Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Stout (8/10 because beer ice cream is weird, no matter how tasty) and Vanilla Bean with a side of raspberry sauce (11/10 according to Dash who ate an entire pint in the bathtub before I realized what was happening).

Since I was already dicking around with fats and sugars, I decided to make some cookie bars, too. These are obscene. I used a recipe from Joy the Baker, but I substituted Nutella for her cherry preserves. Because I'm an American.

So after all the ice cream and cookies, Josh sent me a clear message by signing us up for a 5k. It was seriously the most miserable, slowest 5k I've ever run. There were a couple of hills so steep that, nevermind run them, I could hardly climb them at all. But, it was for a good cause, so fine. 

This weekend, Dash and I dyed some eggs. Tonight I'm going to make some egg salad BLTs with them. Fuck yeah I am.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Easter Crafting for Jews

Oh dudes. I have discovered something new. Have you seen this ultra-light clay? It is seriously tits.

I've never really worked with clay before, but I really wanted to try my hand at it for reasons I can no longer remember. So I hit up the craft store and came home with some clay and jewelry findings and clay glaze. Again, no idea what I was planning, I just wanted to dick around with clay.

 I actually started by trying to make some earrings with the ultra-light clay, which didn't work at all. The clay, even after baking, just wasn't sturdy enough, so I used my regular polymer clay (I already had some in my stash from when I made teensy wands for the Wizard's dollhouse.)

I drew the faces on with my favorite 005 Sakura Micron pen, and I painted the cheeks and ears with Martha's translucent glitter paint. After sealing the whole thing with glaze, I glued the backs on with super-strong craft glue (E-6000, if you're curious).

After finishing up the earrings, I broke off a piece of the ultra-light and got to work. Once I figured out how I wanted the bunny heads to look, I had a weird amount of fun adding accessories. The heart glasses were inspired by Fifi Lapin. The sparkly purple bow was inspired by seven-year-old girls the world 'round.

I added a pendant loop to the backs with my adhesive, then strung these adorable ribbon necklaces through. Voila, chic bunny necklaces for the little ladies in our lives.

Now, obviously, once the bunnies were done, I had to make some zombies for Dash. Because zombies.

Then I decided that a sugar skull pin for Dash's Aunty was in order.


Here's how I packaged up the bunnies for Easter gifting. I found these sweet little animal eggs at Target.

And wrote the girls' names on their butts in Sharpie.

Happy Easter, Goys!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Last weekend, for the fourth year in a row, we packed up our bike & wet suit (Josh), donuts & assorted gaming devices (Dash) and wine & embroidery projects (guess), and headed to La Quinta (or, as we say it, "Lah Keeeeeeentah") for Josh's triathlon.

Yo, boys, how many triathlons has Daddy done so far? (four. the answer is four).

How many after tomorrow? (five. the answer is five. you're welcome).

Because every occasion is an occasion to accessorize, I made team t-shirts again.

Team Engel, bitches!

I manage. Dash sherpas.


This year the race took place the day before Josh's birthday, so he took the opportunity to be 41 one final time. (also please to enjoy the extra-hot socks/sandals combo).

The most difficult part of these triathlons for Josh has always been the swim, so this year I bought him some coached swimming lessons as one of his Christmas gifts (you know, just one of the incredibly thoughtful gestures I like to make on the regular). It seemed to make him feel a bit more comfortable in the water.

This is the first time I've seen him smile after finishing the swim. 

His swim time goal was to be in the water for fewer than twelve minutes, so I set my stopwatch to see how he did. Oh nothing, just NINE MINUTES. (also, please to notice that I had to actually photograph my phone with a camera because I couldn't remember how to take a screencap. if Josh ever leaves me I'll be doomed to a life of rotary phones, dead light bulbs and no air conditioning. but there will be plenty of doll clothes).

I didn't get any pictures of Josh on his bike because his transition spot was too far for me to see, but we can assume he looked like this:


While we were waiting, Dash & I took some selfies. Like you do.

And here he is just moments away from the finish line. He didn't think the speed at which he was travelling was evident in this picture, so he edited it to more accurately reflect his pace:

Are you hearing the Rocky Theme?

Oh nothing, just finished at his fastest time EVER. Even though he is OLD.

After the race, a family nap and a nice swim in the hotel pool, we hit up the Hog's Breath to celebrate the old man's accomplishment and birthday.

And paid our annual respects to Mr. Eastwood.

Nice work, Zubs. You make us incredibly proud!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Adventures in Suburban Living

 Ball stuck in tree. Bat sent to knock down ball. Bat stuck in tree. 

Ball stuck in tree. Bat sent to knock down ball. Bat stuck in tree. Sword sent to knock down bat. Sword stuck in tree.