A couple weeks ago, my sister and her friend came to California for their spring break. While I didn’t get to participate in their full week of LA festivities, we DID spend the first weekend of their visit at Disneyland in full-on tourist mode.
Jen’s friend had never been to California or any Disney parks, so for the first time in pretty much forever (and especially since my CP days when I learned how to run around the parks like a crazy person) we did Disney the super touristy way. And it was SO. MUCH. FUN.
We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel (which has recently finished a huge remodel) on Saturday night so we could make the most of our two days at the parks- including the Extra Magic Hour you get when staying on property.
This turned out to be a HUGE blessing, since not only is it a great hotel, but it down poured most of Saturday and it was really helpful to have a place to go dry off and recharge in the middle of the afternoon. (We seriously used the hair dryer on our clothes and filled to tub with hot water to warm our frozen feet.)
The rain chased most of the crowds away, so we actually ended up seeing most of both parks.
Surprisingly, there weren’t long lines for Splash Mt on a rainy day
Sunday, we started off the day with some Fantasyland rides and then The Plaza Inn character breakfast with Minnie and friends! I love character meals and it had been way way too long since the last time I’d been to one. Nothing says breakfast like Mickey waffles!!
Max loooooved us
Finally, since it was Jen’s birthday, and Jessa’s first visit, I took the opportunity to use a Disney service I’d never tried before- their gift basket service! I called a couple of days in advance of our arrival and they brought the (somewhat customizable) baskets right to our hotel room!
We had a great weekend- it was so fun taking things a little slower and taking part in some of the things we tend to skip when we’re dashing around the park at light-speed 🙂
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My parents are in Paris right now, eating french macaroons in actual french bakeries (they told me so today).
I’m incredibly jealous because they are one of my new favorite desserts! I was really excited last year when it was rumored they may become “the next cupcake” (which are SUCH a big deal in places like here, and New York and DC among a billion others) because it meant they would be everywhere, but that day has yet to come.
And so, in a fit of baking madness last week, I attempted to make some for myself.
These are definitely not for the baking-faint-of-heart, and were much more difficult than I thought they would be (and I went into this knowing they weren’t exactly easy).
Making a mess...
The recipe I used (the trusty Martha Stuart website one) said to make them 3/4 inches around, but I tried to just guesstimate that, since I didn’t feel like measuring, and mine came out a little too small (at least for my preference, as I’ve seen them sold tiny before). I have also never had to whip eggs into any kind of meringue like thing, and I THOUGHT I whipped the eggs until they formed “stiff peaks”…but I’m not entirely sure how that’s supposed to look and so I may not have really done that right (my batter was a little too thin, I believe).
Everything looked all right in this step!
I also left them in the oven like 20 seconds too long…so while they they tasted great, they definitely weren’t supposed to be this brown:
The chocolate ganache for the middle though? Came out SPLENDIDLY. Yum.
And then I forgot to take a picture of the final result (again!) because I am a dodo.
I think it may be a while before I attempt to bake these again — I don’t think I’m quite at a culinary level to tackle these little suckers. In the meantime, I will have to keep hunting for them at The Grove farmer’s market, or ordering them from my friend Nina, who makes AMAZING ones. Those also in the LA area should totally check her out at The Bento Bakery
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First — today is my daddy’s birthday, so I’d like to take a brief second and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
For his birthday he’s actually going golfing in Ireland, and then meeting my mom in Paris/London. They’re going to be in London mere DAYS after The Royal Wedding.
I’ve asked for a commemorative teacup. Or thimble.
Anyway, the point is that a combination of their impending trip, and this view from my balcony:
View from my Rear Window, using Hipstamatic for iPhone
Well, it’s got me in a bit of a European mood, as of late. Don’t the trees you can see just peeking over that roof remind you of Tuscany?
Under the Tuscan Sun
And this painting in my living room:
Taken with Hipstamatic for iPhone
Well, not only did my sister find it for me on a trip to Paris (thanks, Bug!) but lately it’s been conjuring up images of this:
I swoon at both the original (1954) and remake (1995) of Sabrina
Heavens knows what will happen to my condo if I watch this any more times this week, as inspiration works both ways:
Leap Year (2010) starring the simply lovely Amy Adams
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