Monday, October 30, 2006

365 Days Later...

Now that I've been an aunt for just over 365 days, I have at least one nugget of wisdom to impart to the world... if we all thought and acted more like the adorable children we were at age 1, the world would be a far better place.

With that ... on to some good stuff about one of those adorable children.

Jacob (my brother!) and Robyn have done quite a job raising little Charlie over the past year - I think this picture says it all...

And, what a year it's been... Charlie weathered a long move across the country at age 2.5 months, lived then in North Carolina while his dad was away training, and finally settled into his home in Columbia, MD - he's quite the smart little guy, not to mention the sweetest little angel (I like to think my strict "aunt-ing" regiment has had something to do with Charlie's demeanor, too).

To celebrate Charlie's 1st, we all gathered at Jacob and Robyn's, toting along more presents than Charlie knew what to do with.
Robyn had made cute pinwheels and centerpieces out of Charlie's favorite snack, Puffs! Charlie quickly got the hang of opening presents (with his dad's help)... And he did his best to keep everything clean and orderly...He even got his first helium balloon... courtesy of his grandparents down in Atlanta... But the real fun was yet to come... birthday cake time. Robyn made a cute 1st birthday cake; Charlie was hesitant at first but proceeded to almost literally dive right in.

Then on Sunday, after Charlie's dedication at church, we all enjoyed the beautiful fall weather... and a preview of Charlie's chicken costume for Halloween!

I can hardly believe Charlie's first year has come and gone!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chocolate Fever

This is not a new revelation but I really do love chocolate. Halloween and the ensuing holidays just aren't fair to those of us who have a serious sweet tooth and love to bake.

You're officially warned: stay away from me for the next 2 months if you are prone to "dessert temptation".

My latest creations in the world of chocolate:

Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies

12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
11 1/2 ounces 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 TBSP unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 TSP baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a double boiler over hot water, melt bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In separate large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale; stir in chocolate mixture. Stir together flour and baking powder and stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts. On a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into two equal logs, about 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. Wrap tightly and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough; with sharp knife, cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.

Bake approximately 12 minutes or shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft. *Pay close attention as the bottom of the cookies burns easily!

Mrs. Falt's Fudge Pudding Pie

1 cup flour
2 TSP baking powder
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (i.e. Hershey's cocoa powder)

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl to blend.

1/2 cup milk
1 TSP vanilla
2 TBSP oil

Stir into powdered mixture and then spread the mixture into a greased deep-dish pie plate.

1/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cup brown sugar

Mix and sprinkle evenly over the top.

Pour 1 1/2 cups hot water over mixture, without stirring. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes. (NOTE: Put a pan or foil on rack under the pie plate in case of boil over.) Let stand till warm-cool.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The past few days have been filled with a number of celebrations that were all commemorated this past weekend. Who knew October was such a popular month?!

  • Greg Groninger turned 27 on October 19! Greg is my sister-in-law's brother-in-law (he's married to my sister-in-law's sister), and he and Emily are my neighbors in little Alexandria!

  • Chris turned 28, October 21st! Friday night, we celebrated with a big group of great friends - of course over mexican at Rio in Ballston. Not to be outdone by that celebration, though, was Maryland's victory over NC State and the culminating birthday serenade by the Silver Diner - Bethesda staff (captured in a not-so-eloquent picture here).
  • Helen Baucom celebrated a birthday on October 22nd, but more importantly, she passed the BAR on her first try!

Congrats, Helen!!!

In case you ever need to buy Helen a drink, her favorite by a long shot, is a car bomb.

  • And to whet your appetite for future celebrations... approximately 360 days in the life of Charles "Charlie" Russell Bruce Wallace have elapsed and he is each day more and more adorable. You can bet there'll be more where this came from...

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's My Party, Right?

I think as long as you can ADMIT that you made up a reason to post an entry, that you are okay and not overly obsessed... it's not like I post everyday, and this was undeniably important.

There are a couple of things I would like to address here... first, two plugs that I should have done long ago.
Carolyn is a SUPER talented friend of mine from college; she can basically make anything involving "art" beautiful - from painting to cooking and baking. She's sold a number of her paintings and has been featured in a number of art shows all over Texas.

Paige Gialanella Graphic Design -
Paige is another old friend from Wake Forest (yikes, friends from college are now "old" friends??); she has started her own freelance graphic design business and already has quite the portfolio.

But what REALLY provoked me to log on this crisp fall day... well, it all started last night, when my little pooch was sleeping wrapped up so snug in my red fleece blanket (thanks, Megan!). It was then that I realized: a. I don't take nearly enough pictures of little Annabelle and b. man, she just HAS to rank in the top 5 cutest dogs in the world. Take a look for yourself...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jersey Jughandles

What other way is there to celebrate Columbus Day than to post about learning the ins and outs of Jersey jughandles?!

*I had to give myself a full 48 hour respite from experiencing these anomalies before posting, otherwise my frustration would have been too evident.

First, though, I must say that really nothing could take away from the beautiful wedding that we attended up in Cherry Hill, NJ, to celebrate the marriage of Jennifer and John, friends from Baltimore.
After getting stuck in Delaware Memorial Bridge construction traffic on the way up, we were not prepared for the "No Left Turns" in all of NJ (or so it seemed), though with our luck, we should have been. But we did finally master driving in Jersey, made it to the ceremony and reception... and in the end, thoroughly enjoyed our quick jaunt through the Garden State.

Oh... and since my blog started as an ode to tasty treats... I thought I should recognize Angie for teaching me the value of a good White Russian, as well as the bartenders who mixed up superb chocolate martinis.

Movin' On Up

I have officially moved into both the people who have trim on their "window treatments" and the I call them window treatments instead of curtains categories...
At my "decorator's" (thanks, Mom!) urges, I added these adorable pom pom tassles!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Five Years Later

1) We are still tailgating... ... but now with personalized "Deacon Dew" cups. And we no longer follow "Wake football game attire" rules - donning black and gold, and jeans! Okay... well, some things never change... Anna ALWAYS looks cuter than the rest of us.
This is new, though... cheering our football team to a 5-0 start!

2) We still celebrate formal occasions in the Mag Room...

... except that now we wear nametags - and some of our names have changed!!!

3) Our friends own homes with cute kitchens where they host us for brunch!

And brunches start by toasting mimosas!

4) We still find things to laugh about while enjoying a Cook-Out shake...

But then we remember it's our 5-year reunion and take a more responsible picture.
The Cook-Out experience post-college is MUCH more enjoyable as no one cares how many calories or fat grams are involved!

5) We finish off a fun weekend stuffing ourselves at Midtown... ... but now we block the dolphin fountain standing in front of it, instead of around it with the hopes of sending the picture to the Trident.

6) But in the end, I remember we are alumni... and go searching in the Hanes Mall Deacon shop for new jerseys for the Deacon alumni softball team back home in DC.

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