Monday, February 28, 2011

indoor playgrounds, the good and the bad

this SAHM thing is pretty stinking fun.  on the bean's days off from school, i'm finding all sorts of cool stuff we can do together - museums, parks, indoor playgrounds.  and last week, we decided to try something  new.

i'd heard of amy's playground from my friends kelley and lilcee.  there are actually several indoor playgrounds like this one between here and pasadena, but after reading yelp reviews and asking them both about it, i decided it would be worth the drive to south pas.  so before we left for storytime at the library, i packed a nice little lunch for us to take (since amy's allows you to bring your own food in, thank goodness).


storytime was fun as always, although it's usually hard to get the bean to leave afterwards.  there's lots of fun stuff to do, like riding the rocking horses, coloring pages, toys, and of course, books to read.  but i reminded her that we were going somewhere super fun, and after one last hug for her favorite stuffed animal (she's obsessed with dogs/puppies these days), we were off.

it was easy to find, and we scored parking right in front.


of course, there's an adorable shop right in front.  it's stocked with retro toys, cute shoes, clothes, you name it.









there's even a hair salon, where you can get your kid's 'do done for $17.



after paying the $9 admission fee, we tossed our shoes into the cubby and headed into the playground.  so cute, and blessedly uncrowded when we arrived.  she wasted no time in getting down to business.






there were a few tables along the back wall.  three of them were taken, and the last one was empty except for a cooler sitting at the end of it.  i set up her lunch on the other end so it would be ready for her whenever she wanted to munch.  she went back and forth between playing and grabbing bites to eat.




as she went back and forth, more and more stuff seemed to appear on the table.  yup, those are dots cupcakes in those boxes.  ha!



and our stuff was inching its way closer and closer to the very edge of the table.  i was a little miffed, but whatever.  it's not like the tables are reserved or anything.  and i'd seen on their website that party times were limited to mondays, fridays, and weekends.  although it seemed that that was disregarded by the group who eventually took over our table completely.  i finally just picked up her stuff before it was just tossed onto the floor by some careless, clueless parent and moved us to another table that had just opened up.  see how crowded it got?  that table back in the corner, with the balloon, was where we had been.  and people would come and sit in front of the bean's lunch, or park their strollers right in front of it.  when i went over to grab it, one of the moms laughed and said "oh, we just pushed you right off of the table, didn't we?"  um, yes, you stupid whore.  thanks for fucking with a three-year-old's lunch.

oh, and the best part?  they offered cupcakes to every kid in the joint, including those who were clearly not part of their celebration - except for the bean.  they completely snubbed her, even after basically kicking us off of the table we were sitting at.  nice.


luckily, the bean didn't notice a thing - just kept playing and playing and playing and had a good ol' time.  she had such a blast squeezing herself into the baby toys.  weirdo.










and when she had to potty, we had to use the boys' restroom because ours was occupied.  i don't think anyone noticed, though.



this little house was so cute, i wanted to pick it up and take it home.



 and of course, she loved the two different bouncers.





she even made friends with this adorable little 7-month-old.


two hours later, when i saw her try to step into one of those little cars, slip, and whack her head, i knew she was pooped and it was time to go.  and not more than three minutes after getting in the car, i looked back and saw this:


fantastic.  we're so coming back.  after all, it's not the playground's fault that the parents who frequent it are assholes, right?

Friday, February 25, 2011

limey!

my bloggin' love for jessica of "how sweet it is" continues.  i'd found her recipe for ginger lime shrimp and noodles, drooled all over the monitor at the pictures, and then came across a vanilla lime pound cake.  oh, my.

so, um, duh.  too bad i have a lemon tree and not a lime one.  and the limes i thought i had in the kitchen were old and crusty. the obvious answer to this was to head right out to the grocery store and pick up the necessary ingredients to make dinner all around these recipes.

and only three limes gave their lives to satisfy my craving for this meal.


thank god for my microplane zester.  that thing comes in handy for all sorts of tasks.

i threw together the marinade, tossed it in a ziploc bag, peeled the shrimp (SO gross, but so worth it), and stuck it in the fridge to coagulate.  mixing the batter for the pound cake was super easy, although i didn't have any room temperature butter to work with.  i just cut the sticks into pieces and let my kitchenaid beat the shit out of it until it was good to go.  my batter was a little lumpy looking, but i figured it was all good - it melts in the oven, right?

53.5 minutes later, i pulled out a perfectly golden, super fragrant nugget of citrusy goodness.  when it was completely cool, i whipped up the glaze and poured it on top.





the rest of the main course was easy to make, and the hub sniffed appreciatively as i plated it and put it in front of him.


the pound cake made a perfect dessert.  you MUST make this.  all of it.  really.  and you can thank me later.  or jessica, since it was all her idea.

i'm all about giving credit where it's due.
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