What’s in Baylie’s Bag – 7th Edition

This week’s bag of choice was actually a box, rather than Baylor’s usual shopping bag or purse. I gave her an old hat box I used to use for stationary intending it for organizing some of the MANY toys we have accumulated. Instead, it served as a fun toy in itself. She played putting things in and out of it and then started her usual collection. Here’s this week’s booty:

New bunny, beany butt bear and little rabbit

Play coffee, an egg and two ice cream cones (is she my kid or what?)

Her Little Gym medal which she wore for a week after receiving (literally)

The gender neutral Little People Family and their furniture. No judgement, all I’m saying is that it’s hard to play “house” when you’re not sure which one is the mommy

Her favorite Emerald City surf shop t-shirt that she shares with Kat, her favorite stuffed animal

The Good, The Bad and The Punishment

I came home to find this yesterday:

The good news? Bear’s breath has never been fresher.

The bad news? I have no idea if this stuff will kill him. But since it was yesterday and he’s his bad/usual self, I think we’re in the clear.

The punishment? The EARS

“Whatever. You think you’re sooo funny. First this stupid haircut and now the freaking bunny ears. Laugh it up guys. Laugh. It. Up. Because I’m so peeing on the rug tonight.”

Fresh Pressed and It Feels So Good

I wanted to take a minute and say thank you. Thank you for my friends and family who  faithfully click the link to The Goon Room despite already getting the posts in email form just to boost the number of hits. Thank you for Word Press choosing to feature TGR on Fresh Pressed and thank you to all the new readers who have subscribed. Lastly, thank you for all the wonderful comments. I hope to bring a little laugh to your days for many years to come!

And now for some business! The delicious lettuce table  featured in yesterday’s post was an obvious hit. So my sweet hubby Peter volunteered to write up the instructions for building the table for anyone that is interested. I will however warn you that the supplies may shock you.

When I asked Peter to build me the table, he was super excited. Little did I know that the process would include not only the supplies to build the table, but it would also include a new top-of-the-line miter saw. A table to mount the saw to. Several new tools including a staple gun (the version we already owned was not right, allegedly), clamps, saw horses and a lot of other crap that I’m sure came home from Lowes but was not shown to me. That said, the result was fantastic – I’m just saying that you’ve been warned! The measurements below can be adjusted. Our table is pretty big, but could be made into a much smaller version for a deck or balcony.

As far as planting, I found that loose leaf varieties of lettuce work great. Seedlings from the nursery didn’t do quite as well. Also spinach needs a little sandier and better draining soil. But the strawberries seem to be loving it so save a space for a few seedlings of berry goodness.


8 – 2”x4” boards (12’ long)

4 – 1”x4” boards (12’ long)

30 – 2 ½” Galvanized Deck Screws

24 – 1 ½” Galvanized Deck Screws

1- 2’ x 12’ Roll of Aluminum Window Screening

1- 2’ x 12’ Roll of Hardware Cloth

Mitre Saw (or a handsaw and some powerful biceps)

Staple Gun (with staples)

Drill (with bit to match screws)


The first step in constructing your salad table is to cut your lumber into the following pieces (if you decided to us a hand saw, here is where you earn your keep):

2 – 2”x4”x12’ pieces

6 – 2”x4”x17” pieces

6 – 2”x4”x36” pieces

6 – 2”x4”x32” pieces

2 – 2”x4”x6’ pieces

2 – 1”x4”x12’ pieces

10 – 1”x4”x17” pieces

1.     Now that your lumber is cut, place your two 2”x4”x12’ pieces of lumber on the ground (parallel to each other) about 17” apart.

2.     Take two of your 2”x4”x17” pieces of lumber and place them between the 2”x4”s that are lying parallel on the ground so that you create a rectangle. Now use four of your 2 ½” galvanized deck screws to firmly secure the boards together.

3.     Take your four remaining 2”x4”x17” pieces of lumber and place them between the 2”x4”s that are lying parallel to create five relatively equal planting areas.  Now use eight of your 2 ½” galvanized deck screws to firmly secure the boards together.

4.     Now you get to use everybody’s favorite tool – the staple gun.  Roll out the hardware cloth and cover the bottom of your newly created rectangle with it.  Attach the hardware cloth with staples.

5.     Roll out the aluminum window screening and cover the bottom of your newly created rectangle (and the hardware cloth) with it.  Attach the aluminum window screening with staples.

6.     Now that the top of your salad table is complete, you need to construct legs for your table.  Because the top of your salad table is rather heavy you want stout legs that will bear all that weight.  To construct a table leg, take one of your 2”x4”x32” pieces and attach it to one of your 2”x4”x36” pieces with a 2 ½” galvanized deck screw.  You want the pieces to lay on top of each other on the 4” sides, meet at the bottom and leave a 4” gap at the top.  Repeat this process until you have six legs.

7.     With the rectangle still on the ground, you can now attach the legs to the top of your salad table with the 2 ½” galvanized deck screws – three legs on each side, one in the center, one three feet to the left and one three feet to the right.  The top of your salad table should rest on top of the 2”x4”x32” pieces and the 2”x4”x36” pieces should be on the outside of the table top.

8.     With the rectangle still on the ground, attach two 1”x4”x12’ pieces of lumber over the hardware cloth/aluminum screening with 1 ½” galvanized deck screws.  These pieces will give the table support and the table top won’t sag when you add soil.

9.     With the help of another person (or if you’re the tough guy who decided to use a handsaw you can do this yourself) turn the table over.  You can now attach the bottom shelf to your table.  To do so, attach the 2”x4”6’ pieces of lumber to the front and back the table legs about halfway between the ground and table top with the 2 ½” galvanized deck screws.  The 2”x4”x6’ pieces of lumber will not only provide a base for the shelf but will serve as a good brace for the table legs.

10. Now you can attach the ten 1”x4”x17” pieces of lumber to the 2”x4”x6’ pieces of lumber that you just added with the 1 ½” galvanized deck screws and create a slotted shelf – be aware that anything you put on this shelf will get wet when the table top drains.

The Wine-o that I Know

It seemed fitting that I imbibe a glass (or two) of wine while I write this post (p.s. it’s the evening when I’m writing. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m drinking wine out of a coffee cup, thankyouverymuch).

My mom and step dad left for Montana, their summer home away from home. They run a guest ranch (www.hubya.com) just outside of Yellowstone and it’s the time of year that I hate when they go back to start getting ready for the season. We visit around the 4th of July and meet my mom in San Diego in the late summer, but that’s it until October each year.

The good part about them going? They unload their refrigerator, pantry and most importantly their wine collection on us! I left my mom’s house the other day with not only office supplies for the family business we run, but a ridiculous amount of wine. Not to mention the delicious things they purchase at Costco and AJ’s are now happily waiting to be ingredients in our next meal. The wine consists of either labels they’ve bought and decided they didn’t like (never had that problem myself) or gifts of a vintage they don’t prefer. But despite their origin, they are all happily at home in our modest wine rack.

While the influx of fermented grapes is wonderful, there are a few down sides. The first is we now have a great excuse to pop the cork more nights a week. And while this makes the night very enjoyable, my productive projects that I schedule for after Baylie is asleep like ironing, blogging, mopping, etc, are shot. While wine fueled posts are generally funny, they usually prove to be too much work to edit the following morning. And wine fueled mopping is dicey at best.

The second problem is that  is that I think the cheap wine we usually buy is a little self conscious. Peter pointed out that one of the bottles from my mom was from 2002. It occured to me that I never pay as much attention to the date on the label as the number on the price tag.  Therefore the bottle(s) of Rex Goliah ($4.99) is feeling a bit inferior to the bottle of Monte’s Alpha (not a clue on the price since I shop the shelves from my waist down) that I’m quite certain cost at least four times that.

But! Not to worry my pretties. I will drink you all and enjoy you equally. Or at least that’s what I’ll tell you.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Remember this?

The  beautiful lettuce table that Peter built for me in January? Well! Now it looks like this:

It’s lush with lettuce and strawberries! I feel like our gardening adventures are serving their purpose too – when I asked Bay if she would like a strawberry, she ran out the back door to the plant! The lettuce is very tasty too. We’ve had salads at every meal.

The Freesia  and Star Jasmine scent the backyard with their sweet smell. We have blooms and fruit on the tomato plants and the Ocotillo is in full bloom too. And I also found a new addition, a tomatillo plant! Can’t wait for Peter’s delicious salsa verde. In short, our yard is smelling and tasting pretty delicious right now.



The Ocotillo. It’s the lone survivor from our remodel. To give you an idea of its size, the wall next to it is 15 feet tall.

Blooms up close

Yummy heirloom tomatoes

Tomatillo – heloooo green enchiladas!

What’s In Baylie’s Bag? 6th Edition

This week’s bag contents are pretty eclectic. In fact, I don’t know where she found some of this stuff seeing as I haven’t see it in a very long time.

In the last WIBB post, I received a very strange comment on the post regarding the contents of Baylie’s bag. It all but accused me of being a child pornographer because apparently the doll’s bathing suit in the picture looked like a child’s bra (random?). I promptly deleted the comment and was very close to letting the reader know to take their business elsewhere. So, for any new readers of The Goon Room, What’s in Baylie’s Bag? is a weekly post that details the contents of my sweet two-year-old’s bag of choice. It’s amusing to see what she has decided is worthy of carrying around repeating “let’s go!!”.

This week’s bag: New Monkey themed bag from the $1 section at Target. Baylie makes “monkey” sounds when she points to the picture.


A tea cup

2 Bunny cups

Bunny ears

Barbie (a must)

Your Personal Penguin book

Baby Colors book

Wooden duck toy

2 religious medals that I haven’t seen in years

2 sets of keys

A door bumper

An Easter Card

Mommy is Soooo Clever

When Baylie was a few months old, I received the Beaba Babycook gadget as a Christmas gift. If you have a baby, a grand baby or need an amazing shower gift for someone, this is it! I love this machine and have made countless meals for Ms.B and even a few delicious sides for Peter and I.

Obviously at almost 2 years old, I don’t make as many things for Baylor in my favorite machine as often anymore. But I do steam carrots and I make a fruit mix for her yogurt. I always blend at least 3 fruits with a veggie. She chows it down daily not knowing that she’s actually getting her veggies with her delicious fruit.

My favorite combo is an apple, spinach, strawberries and blueberries. But this week, I was out of spinach and not wanting to run to the store for just spinach, I tried to get clever. I had zucchini and brocoli. The zucchini was a no brainer – not a lot of flavor and would mix in with no detection. But the brocoli was a long shot. I was feeling gutsy so I went for it. When I sampled the final product, I did taste an overwhelming amount of strawberry, but just a hint of brocoli. Not a delicious combo. But I wanted to get the food critics opinion so I served up a bowl of yogurt to Bay and waited for the response. Rightly so, she turned her nose up after the first bite.

Not willing to give up on my veggie filled mission nor an entire tupperware full of steamed and blended fruit, I got clever. I mixed one of Bay’s favorite applesauce cups in with the fruit. And in a stroke of genius, I used the now empty cup to serve the new mixture.  As soon as Bay saw the cup, she dug in. After her first bite, she gave me a raised eyebrow…and then gulped it down!

Mommy is soooo clever.

It’s The Little Things

It’s the little things in life that bring the most pleasure. Sometimes it’s hard to see those little things, or even remember what they are, but once in a while, I get smacked in the face by one and I remember how great it is.

Last week, Baylie went to “Camp Mamie” which means she goes to her Godmother’s house to play for a little while and I set out to run a few errands.

On my way back from the last stop, a song I haven’t heard for a while came on the Ipod. The Killers’ All These Things That I’ve Done makes me think of the summer before Peter’s third year of law school. We were in Phoenix while he did a summer internship for a law firm. It was almost time to pack up and drive back to DC. I woke up to the clock radio playing this song and I was hooked. I had no idea what it was, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. I had to (embarrassingly) sing it for Peter so he could try to find it on Itunes. Once it was securely on my favorite playlist, I practically wore out my Ipod listening to it. That same week, Peter got a job offer from the firm he had been interning for. Suddenly it was like our entire future was clear; we were going to get to come home to Phoenix. We could think about where we would live and make plans for the following year instead of having to say “we’ll see where Peter gets a job and then we’ll see”.

When my sister Ali and I got our first car (a ’94 green Volvo named Alfie) our favorite thing to do was drive with the windows down and the music cranked up. The feeling of freedom was only amplified by the wind in your hair and the bass in the speakers.

Remembering that feeling, I rolled down all four windows and turned up The Killers to an embarrassingly loud level and drove.  And enjoyed the simplicity of  the sun and wind and memories.

Where Time Meets Creativity

When creative energy meets a quite space of time, it produces great blog posts, chapters in a book I hope to complete some day and many things checked off of my work to do list.

Getting these two things in the same place at the same time is not only tricky, it’s damn near impossible it seems these days. The result? Painstakingly painful posts requiring much more work than what the result would lead one to believe. No work done on a book other than dreams of what I will wear to the book signing and raised anxiety levels over the fact that my list is growing rather than shrinking.

My new goals? Sleep less, push to make the most of nap time and find an additional hour a day where I encourage the kiddo to play quietly while I get a few things done. Prioritize my to do list for life, for work and for myself and stick to it and not freak out when it doesn’t all get done some days (ha. I laughed when I wrote that one. But writing is the first step, yes?). Carve out more structured play time/learning time with Bay and not feel like a horrible mother when her big activities for the day are a trip to the grocery and vacuuming. And to take a deep breath.

iiiiiinnnnnnn aaaaaaannnnnndddddd oooooouuuutttttt

Sir, We GET IT

We live near a large park and in general have very active neighbors. I tend to see the same people out often in about a 1 mile radius around our house and especially jogging on the canal. I’ve noticed lately that I have seen the same guy running all over the place; near the mall, near the grocery, at the park, etc.

The reason I notice him is not for the reasons I think he would want to be noticed for. First, he always wears a beanie. It can be 60 degrees or 100+ and the guy always has on a beanie. Second, he’s never wearing a shirt. Third, he wears cargo shorts. And lastly but certainly not leastly, he has two LARGE Doberman Pincers on a joined leash tied around his waist.

The first time I saw this dude running by my car, my thought was “We get it! You workout! A lot! And you have tough dogs! You want everyone looking at you to think you’re tough too! But the dogs tied to your waist might be a touch overboard!”.

Every time I see him, I can’t help but think about what kind of person he is – because you can’t workout like that and not be a total and complete weirdo. I imagine him to be that guy in the office who is short and bald so he makes up for it by talking loudly and also condescendingly to his coworkers. He drives a BMW, but only makes $30k a year. He wears Ed Hardy shirts (when he does wear a shirt) and  he doesn’t have a conversation without texting on his blackberry.

In short, I hate this guy. It takes great strength to stop my car in front of him, roll down the window and scream “REALLY?!?!”. And on the outside chance someone reading The Goon Room knows Mr.Shirtless Waist Leash guy, do him a favor and give him the link to the blog. And a shirt. And a memo that says “enough already, we GET IT”.