This is my cookcabulary


Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Tonight was an oldie but goodie! We have some clients coming in tomorrow for work and, as always, we’re doing it up!  Music will be playing, coffee will be brewing and fresh cookies will be set out. And … guess where the cookies are coming from … me! Yup. The boss lady thought home made cookies would be a perfect touch, and I agree.  Remember how the cupcakes were a hit with the clients, well – this time were doing cookies! I knew exactly which cookies I should make.  These cookies are a no fail recipe, and I cook them to the perfect gooey consistancy that is awesome.  The recipe is quite easy to follow, so there’s not much to tell other than to show my pictures.

Oh, and that ice cream scoop I bought last friday – I have used it 4 times since I bought it! And it’s only been in my possession 4.5 days! I am thrilled I bought the little guy, he’s come in handy – that’s for sure!

You bet I licked the beater!

You bet I licked the beater!

See, the scoop is marvelous.  Perfectly shaped cookies, every time! I love that they all match in size.

See, the scoop is marvelous. Perfectly shaped cookies, every time! I love that they all match in size.

get ready for a nice little tan my lovelies

get ready for a nice little tan my lovelies

8 minutes and 35 seconds later (yup, thats the exact timing) you have this delicious-ness!

8 minutes and 35 seconds later (yup, thats the exact timing) you have this delicious-ness!

And look, they fit perfectly into the top portion of my new carrier - another awesome purchase.

And look, they fit perfectly into the top portion of my new carrier - another awesome purchase.

I only see good things coming tomorrow with these bad boys.

….I’m sorry – was that a  little arrogant? I just can’t lie! I know these cookies have the right amount of sugar and butter to produce exactly the outcome we want tomorrow.

Ha! Goodnight kids – go get yourself a cold glass of milk to wash this blog down with.

<3

 

P.S. I really need to post my blog about my meatballs and Katy’s shower – the doghnuts were a hit! I just havent had time to sit down and write it – but soon! Be on the look out. :)


Doughnut Mayhem!

I did it! I found time today to make donuts. Well, seeing its 11:24 at night and Im just starting my blogging (and just finished cleaning the kitchen!) I guess I found time tonight …

Sam and I had date night in the kitchen this evening, we made doughnuts galore.  I made real ones, and he made GF doughnuts (thanks to our friend Pamela). I also bought a new Candy Thermometer at William Sonoma today. Ahh bliss.  I love that store.  They had all their Halloween and autumn decor set up, I love it – I am so READY for fall.  I loved my visit so much I got suckered into buying these items

This can be used for SO much more than ice cream!

This can be used for SO much more than ice cream!

I love the color of these, and the little pour spout, they replaced my nasty clear white measuring spoons.

I love the color of these, and the little pour spout, they replaced my nasty clear white measuring spoons.

I also got a new candy cookbook – its perfect for the upcoming holidays and festivities. My plan is to just open the book at the first page and make every recipe clear to the end! Which reminds me, my mom and aunt used to get together every year and make their famous peanut brittle and other candies around Christmas (this was back in the Oregon days).  It was fun to watch them work together, stretching and pulling the candy to perfection.  Maybe mom and I can make candy together this year! Oh, and let’s just fly Aunt Patt out while were at it and give it a go in the kitchen! Ha, I love it. That would be a trio NOT to mess with in the kitchen!

So, after my mini shopping spree (and a few other stops to get all my ingredients), Sam and I began our date night!

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That’s Sam working at the GF station.  Note the surprised look on his face, turns out he doesn’t want me to post pictures of him on my blog.  He must think I’m real famous and doesn’t want the exposure – ha!

Now, lets take a moment to look at my cute awesome apron.

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And don’t worry, Kimoni stopped by to say hello.  In fact, he hung around the entire time – I caught him licking the butter and trying to drink the milk, twice.

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Now I feel the need to mention that I did NOT think these doughnut would turn out.  I really didn’t.  Everything I saw online seemed to end in failure for the people making them or the use of commercial appliances aided in their success (I don’t have commerical grade appliances!!)  Surely there was no way I was going to get these perfect on the first try. But I am actually surprised – they LOOK marvelous.  I may have cooked a few of them a bit too long in the oil, but given the odds of how royally I could’ve screwed this up, I think I did well.  Check out Bakerella, its her website I got the recipe from. (Thanks Stephanie)

So, we start with stirring all the ingredients together in a bowl! I did it all by hand, and recommend this over a mixer.  Doughnuts are very tacky and a wooden spoon works great!

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While the oil was warming up, I kept the dough in the fridge.

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…and Sam and I shared a woodchuck (GF!)

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After much flour sprinkling and rolling of the dough, we cut out the doughnut shapes!

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Now drop ’em in the oil, but be CAREFUL!

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and a few minutes later, weve got golden brown cakey yummy doughnuts!

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Want to see the final product!?

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Check out the cool cat in the background!

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I bet you are all wondering where the doughnut holes are, aren’t you? Well, if you weren’t I’m telling you anyway! Like I would let them all go to waste! Say hello to Mr. Doughnut Holes with powdered sugar, and Mrs. Doughnut Holes with cinnamon and sugar.

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Yup, doughnut mayhem. 

Oh, I suppose I should show you Sam’s doughnuts right? Have you figured out that since I havent talked about them really, that they may not have turned out right? Well … youre right. :( Poor guy, I feel bad for him.  But they actually tasted good – I just dont think the oil was at the right temperature yet …

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I promise that is not fried chicken!

I cannot wait to see the look on Katy’s face when she sees the sea of doughnuts tomorrow! Oh man, don’t you wish you were coming? I bet Katy would totally let you come – if you bring a gift. Ha. Goodnight friends!


mmm, donuts

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Are you intrigued?

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Don’t they look delicious?

donut

GIVE IT TO MEEEEEEEE!

Whoa, simma’ down Lex.

Tomorrow is Friday – no work, yippee! But, I have to clean house in order to appropriately prepare for a bridal shower I am throwing.  My dear sweet friend, life partner, favorite lady, bestie is getting married – and as the MOH, I’m going to show her a dang good time! :) “So what’s with the donuts Lex?” Oh, yes – the dooonutsss. Mmm. Katy loves them – a lot. Like, a …  l o t .  So, we are not having cake, we are having donuts. In fact,  I am going to make a donut cake. Mkay? Get pumped! I just wanted to post some pictures to get those taste buds salivating. 

Tomorrow, if I get the house clean and spend some time in the gym (3 weeks and 2 days until final weigh in – woo!) early enough, I am going to practice making donuts. Yup. I have a deep fryer and I am NOT afraid to use it. However, the plan is to absolutely buy donuts on Saturday morning as it seems like all the blogs I am reading about people making their own donuts start and end in failure. I can’t fail Katy – not with donuts. But I can at least practice tomorrow. Maybe – if I get the house clean and work out early enough. You see, I want to sleep in and watch SYTYCD and House, two premieres I havent seen yet.  I watched Grey’s tonight and totally bawled, yeesh.

Get excited, donut time.


Happy Birthday

Today marks the 26th birthday of my dear sweet husband (love you)! At his request, I baked him a cake.  I had planned on making one from scratch, but while I was at the grocery store a couple weeks ago looky what I found

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Yay Betty Crocker! How exciting! Not only do they have this particular cake, but they have a white cake, brownie mix, and cookie mix. Don’t worry – I WILL make all of them at some point.  I figured it had to be delicious since it had B.C.’s name on it – she has quite a well known reputation and surely she wouldn’t market a GF cake if it wasn’t delicious.  However, I do admit – I was a little bummed I wouldn’t be making a cake from scratch, but thats ok. For Sam’s sake I am open to trying any GF mixes – so he isn’t missing out on the miracle I call baking, of course. 

I had dance class last night so I wouldn’t be home until after.  Before I headed to the crump session, I called Sam to make sure he set the eggs and butter out, so they would be room temp. when I did get home. *I wanted to make it last night so it was ready on his actual birthday, and so he could take a slice to work :)* When I got home, I poured the ingredients together, whirred the mixer for about 2.5 minutes and put it in the oven.  1 hour and a whole can of Duncan Hines Coconut Pecan frosting (birthday boy request again) we’ve got birthday cake my friends

Yum!

Yum!

Even Kimoni wanted in on the cake action

Even Kimoni wanted in on the cake action

Let't get ourselves a slice ...

Let's get ourselves a slice ...

...and plate it!

...and plate it!

Ok, really Kimoni, you can't have the cake.

Ok, really Kimoni, you can't have the cake.

Good job Betty, two snaps for you.  This cake IS actually good.  It’s a little dense for my liking, but I think I can play with that next time, switch up the ingredients amount a little bit. But that flavor is pretty rich, just as it should be.  Either way, my husband is enjoying his second slice of the day…wait, nope – he just finished his second slice of the day. 

Happy Birthday hun!


Kitchen update!

While I was shopping for the ingredients to my previously posted Maple-Walnut cupcakes, I came across this fantastic rug that was on sale:

Rug

The picture doesn’t do it justice – but I just love the colors! It’s very vibrant and almost has a sparkle to it! But what really made me happy, is that the teal color in it matched perfect with my upstairs bathroom paint color

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But, that bathroom is complete with a white and teal rug. I’ve been wanting to paint the kitchen and I had some of the fabulous paint left … so – I bought the rug as my inspiration and now look:

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Faaaabulous! I just love it.  Now when I am cooking and baking I am THAT much happier in the kitchen.  This color truly makes me smile, and the rug just ties it all together so well! Sam and I had thought of staining the cabinets black and ripping off the wainscot, but – were scared if we rip the wainscot off it could potentially lead to disaster … so we havent decided to do that yet.  There’s only so much we want to do to this house based on its location and future buyers – we like to call it a “starter home”. In any event, I love that rug and SW 6222. *Thats designer talk for Sherwin Williams color Riverway* ha!


I made dinner too!

This is a classic Lex dinner. It’s so easy.  It’s a spin off a Rachel Ray recipe I tried a while back.  I started off with some EVOO in my pan and added some red onion and my own green bell peppers. (I grew them in the backyard, yea!) Then I took my chicken tenderloins, which I seasoned with some homemade Adobo seasoning, and cooked them a few minutes on each side. I just discovered this amazing Latin spice and I love it. If you dont want to make your own, Goya already did for you! After the chicken is cooked, I added some black beans and some hickory honey bbq sauce.  De-lish! I served Sam’s plate with some good ‘ol green beans and a baked potato, but since I’m watching the carbs, I just had a salad.

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Yeah, that’s in my belly!

Well, I think I’ve posted enough tonight.  Time to spend some quality time with my man!


Maple-Walnut Cupcakes

Now this is a redemption cupcake! My house now smells like maple and I love it. All thanks to this delectable treat. 

 

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Yum! And dont they look great on my limited edition Andy Warhol plates by Edleman Leather?

I’m calling this a redemption cupcake because it far surpasses my last bake-n-blog (That and I watched Fantasy Factory last night and Rob made a redemption song with John Mayer for his mom).  I had been waiting all week to bake something classic and I did!  What a fabulous day.  And to be honest, I dont think I have made cupcakes since college.  I had a dear friend that I made cupcakes for on his birthday every year, but after graduating I wasnt sure how cupcakes would last in the mail, obviously, so I stopped making them. In any event, I forgot how fun cupcakes are to make.

My day started off with my list of things to do – fast forward to the fun part, grocery shopping for my cupcakes! I went to the store and got the few items I needed, including a new candy thermometer – which I will discuss in more detail later.  I was also on the search for a cupcake carrier.  Realizing I had some birthday money to spend I opted for the best and perfect one; so thank you Snapware!  Here’s what I got.

 

Cookie and Cupcake Carrier

Perfect indeed! I have tons of Tupperware, but its all round and the one rectangular one I have doesn’t ever seem to hold what I bake, so this will be perfect.  My cupcakes are in the carrier as we speak!

 Being that I dont work on Fridays, it’s the perfect day to have the house to myself and my KitchenAid mixer, but it leaves me with 3 days until I can bring what I make into work. So I have to make something that will keep until then.  My plan was to take some of the cupcakes to a wedding shower I’m going to tomorrow but when I RSVP’d they said they were all set and didn’t need me to bring anything. Rats. Well, I am still going to give some to Katy (the bride) and the rest will just have to hang tight until work monday morning. But at least they’re comfortable in the Snack and Stack carrier! I searched online for while last night trying to find the perfect cupcake to make. I was a little tired of the food network website and I wanted something more intense. Then, Martha Stewart popped into my mind – perfect! I got on her website and they had a whole surplus of cupcake recipes to choose from! I saw the Walnut-Maple image and immediately fell in love with the baked good.  Combining maple and walnut seem entirely appropriate given the season and the frosting was a technique I had never tried – which excited me! So, I downloaded the recipe and made my shopping list. One very important item I need was a candy thermometer.  Being that I was at a grocery store, I didn’t want to buy the most expensive one because I figure they are all somewhat “cheap”.  I really need to go to William Sonoma and invest in one, but that’s for another day.  In any event, this thought process kind of bit me in the butt a little bit!  After I made the cupcakes and had them on the counter cooling I started the Maple Buttercream Frosting. It required me to boil maple syrup until it reached a temperature of 240, which takes approx. 15 minutes.  Well, my thermometer got up to about 200, but didn’t go up much more than that. I kept waiting, being patient and trying to reach my 15 minute mark, but when I did the syrup had pretty much boiled completely down and was already beginning to harden and I just knew it wasn’t right. Stupid thermometer, I blame you.  So I started again.  And good thing, because I didn’t like how the egg yolks had turned out (you’ll see when I post the recipe).  My KitchenAid mixer was too large for the 3 yolks I was trying to get “light and fluffy” so the second time around I used a small bowl and my handheld mixer and it worked much better.  As far as the syrup was concerned, I boiled it until it was about 215 degrees  (which took 10 minutes) when I thought the consistency looked ok. Good call by me – because the frosting is great!  I do know what I’m doing. So, without further adieu, I share the best cupcakes I have ever made:

Maple-Walnut Cupcakes

  •  2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (Yup, I was in the mood for real baking, no GF this time!)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (5 1/2 ounces) walnuts, chopped medium-fine
  • Candied walnuts, optional (I couldn’t find them at the store and didn’t want to make them, so I set aside some of the regular walnuts I bought pre-packaged)

 

 Maple Buttercream

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, best quality (I used suguar-free Log Cabin, my fave!)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces (this seemed like a lot to me, I ended up only using 1 stick, feel free to play around with this)

I’m going to post the directions since the frosting was a bit trying – good luck with it! It’s def a confidence boost when the frosting tastes good since you poured all this time into preparing it.

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil, and cook until it registers 240 on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. With the mixer running, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream, until completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Continue beating until bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, until thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more.

RIP Kramer

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing on of our beloved family pet – Kramer. At the ripe age of 15 (or is it 16?!) we decided it was time for him to rest. I thank God for the memories Kramer brought us and the life we shared. He will be sorely missed, and going home to visit my parents will never be the same – the tapping of his paws, the feathery tale, and that bright smile will never fade from my mind. You were an awesome dog Kramer. I thank God for aligning our paths. For without you, I would have never been taught how to care for a dog. You were the first Bowden dog, and just like Fluffy – you will always hold a very very special place in my heart. 

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its just me and AutoCAD

So everyone just left me at work.  One co-worker is at an energy clearing – yup. You heard me, I didn’t studder. And everyone else opted for Chili’s.  Chili’s is a standard Mitsch Design lunch venue when us lunatics needs to get out for a minute and breath.  Nothing beats the golden tortillas chips and queso dip.  But today, today I am being good.  A) I dont want to spend the money on lunch, I brought tuna and lettuce leaves and B) Tortilla Chips and Queso dip have carbs. Argh, so I’m left alone to ponder if I made the right decision to stay in. You see, it’s always a gamble – b/c Im pretty sure theyre going to have a riot of a time at the restaurant and come back with a complex story of inside jokes that I can’t and won’t be allowed to participate in. But oh well, I don’t want to eat carbs! Ha. I’ll show them … or will I? Those lettuce leaves just sound mouth-watering don’t they? I would’ve gone just for the conversation, but the temptations would have been sky high. I’m fine with my decision, really I am.  I have a whole set of redlines to pickup for a client, so I’ll just stay busy being a CAD monkey.

Let’s talk about my co-workers more. Lately, Betsy and I have been making coffee in the morning. Last week was ridiculous.  I dont usually drink coffee and when I do I go to Starbucks and that’s not really considered coffee if you get a latte or something. It’s more like loads of sugar and milk with a hint of joe.  But last week when we made it – it was out of control. You might have seen my post on facebook – we were WIRED! Well, it happened again today.  After we drink half the mug (in our matching Crate and Barrel mugs) we’re uncontrollable.

*TANGENT TIME* Ok, so we have pods at work, theres 3 people in my pod, and 2 in the other pod.  Well, the three of us gab like crazy all day, naturally. And Stephanie had been dubbed “Pod Mom” (which is super cute being that she is now 7 months pregnant) and she refers to me and Betsy as the Bobbsey Twins. Which I’m not really sure why, its a brother and sister duo I think – which makes me wonder, who’s the boy in this scenario?

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 So, one day Betsy broke her beloved black mug, she drank out of this thing like every day! You should have seen her poor little expression. I heard her yelp from my desk and rushed to the break room to make sure she was ok – poor Betsy, she just dropped it – and it completely shattered. She was absolutely heart broken.  I had to help!  At the time I was working a second job at C&B and decided I would use my fabulous employee discount and get us matching mugs.  This was a fantastic idea, because not only did I really want the festive green floral mug, but it would totally fuel Stephanie’s notion of us being the “Bobbsey Twins” even more. So I bought Betsy a blue one, and I have the green. They’re awesome. I would post a pic, but they are from last season and I cant find one on the web and they are currently in the dishwasher at work.

So after we drink about half of a cup, Betsy and I totally get all squirrelly.  Like last week, we began to talk about how the world could possibly be really like the matrix, and that there are glitches – which led to my rendition of Keanu Reeve’s acrobatic.gravity.defying.bullet.dodging.moves.  It made Betsy laugh so hard she made me show Stephanie, and then again to Dianna. Who drinks coffee and then starts performing Matrix moves, seriously?  Today wasn’t any different.  In fact, I can’t even remember what our caffeine induced rambling was even about.  But it led to me snapping at Betsy and telling her that she was crazy for believing psychics were actually accurate. Ha.

I love my co-workers. Not a lot of people can actually say that.  But I do.  We have the perfect little family right now. I love it. And we’ve all been working together for so long, that when I bust out Matrix moves, no one is really surprised. So, maybe I did miss out on going to Chili’s today – but that’s ok. I’m pretty sure they’ll want to go to lunch again tomorrow.

Which reminds me – Bumble Bee Tuna, here I come!


apparently I have a following

It has come to my attention that I am supposed to blog daily…yea. It’s hard enough to drag myself out of the warmth of my amazing bed in the morning, head into my work and be creative and peppy with my clients for 9 hours and then go to the gym for 90 some minutes, to end up back at home around 8:45 – and then Im supposed to blog? My life is just really not that interesting.  I was going to make this an exclusive blog about food, but turns out I dont want to cook and or bake everyday, so in order to keep up with it I should probably post about other things. Wait, I take that back, I totally want to bake/cook – it’s rather absurd, I just don’t make time for it.

BUT – I do have something food related.  I wanted to share a fab website my husband and I love for GF baking.  This website it packed with recipes and you can even find a lot of their product at Meijer.  Dont get caught up in the hype of your local Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  I guess they’re good for the common hippie/naturalist/holistic-er (dont get me wrong, I totally love Whole Foods, just not for GF product), but they really arent very competitive.  I mean, they have GF items, but Meijer has a lot too and theyre not as expensive. Anyway – its Pamela’s Products that Im ranting about! This product is great if you are looking for pre made mixes and arent sure of creating your own gluten-free flour mixes.  Check out the site.  Sam and I love the pancake mix (we add a scoop of protein powder) and the bread mix.  That is what he uses to make sandwiches.

OK, and last night – I opted for a quick meal … spaghetti.  I went to the pantry to get out some GF pasta and realized we were out of spaghetti noodles, so I was searching and searching amongst all the crud that is in my 12″ wide hole (next time I buy a house, STORAGE will be on my list of things to make sure I have – buh) and I found the little box of GF penne pasta. “SAAAAAAAM?!” I yelled … “Where is this pasta from, I didn’t buy it!?” He had no clue… odd I thought.  It wasnt our typical brand of pasta and I had no idea where it came from. But, I needed pasta and my water was at a rolling boil, so in the pot it went.  9 minutes later … I tasted it – and it was GOOD! I mean, really good. Like, I might actually make a pasta salad with the stuff and serve it to normal people (no offense Sam). And for those that know my current eating habits, you may be worried that I consumed too much pasta and exceeded my carb count for the day – not to worry, I only had about 1/4 cup, so lay off! But thanks for keeping me accountable, ha – I know you really care. Anyway, I thought  this was awesome. Not only do I have a new penne pasta I love, but Sam can eat it and … drum roll please, I have something to blog about! Woop! Well … the story ends there. Because in the height of my enthusiasm, I threw the box away and today was trash day and Sam hauled the trash out to the curb and now I have no clue where to buy this fabulous pasta. All I know is that the box was yellow. Thats it. A yellow box, that says Penne and Gluten Free! Of course I threw it away. So, I guess if you are at the grocery and you see a yellow box of Gluten Free penne pasta, take a pix and text it to me. I’m really bummed out about the whole situation.  This is the SAME as when I made Sam a cake last year for his birthday and it turned out awesome and we both inhaled the cake in like 4 days, and I didnt save that box either.  You would think I learn! Buh.

To cheer us up, lets look at Kimoni.

 

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yea, thats a classic piece of furniture. Do you know what it is? Its a Bertoia Bird Chair.  Thank you Knoll!

10:03 kids – time for bed. Next post will be more exciting and educational, I promise!