Friday, October 30, 2009

for your viewing pleasure...

{Portia de Rossi & Ellen DeGeneres}

{Halloween 2007}

PS- I'm featured today over at Pear Tree Events!
Go follow this fun, party-planning blog!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

goin' buggy



While we were away I got word that Chayse's 4th birthday party was featured here, at the Creative Party Place! Pretty cool!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

paradise

What is it about coming home from a trip that makes you feel like a really do need a vacation from your vacation?

Could it be going from 10 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night, right back to stress-induced insomnia?

Or maybe it's all those peaceful naps on the beach one week, then fighting a resistant toddler napper the next.

Whatever the deal is, I spent the last two days doing NOTHING.

Tired, achey, and pouting at the reality that life's no beach. It's not easy coming home from a trip like this...

Aside from lots of sleeping, eating, long walks, trips to the gym, and massages, we spent most of our precious time in Kauai...

Enjoying the incredible views from our room:
Surfing:
{and by surfing I mean me being able to finish two whole books alone in silence!}
Kevin was really in his element here and even tried paddle surfing with the locals.
Four-wheeling:
We had the coolest tour of Kauai, off the beaten path, via ATVs.
That's right, we did something dirty.
Beach-hopping:
We made it to eight amazing beaches.
And mostly, just feeling blessed to be alone together:
It's so important to make the time to "recharge" with your mate.
Thanks to good friends Tom & Carol,
my mom & stepdad,
sister Holly, and
brother-in-law Bobby & sister-in-law Amanda
for making this happen for us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm back!

...or should I say
ALOHA!
Kevin and I just returned from an eight-day getaway to Kauai!
That's right... over a week...
ALONE...
NO KIDS!!!
aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.
We're quite well-rested.
But glad to be back.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Into the Archives, VI

Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...
Happy Birthday Kevin!
I hope you enjoyed this week.
Something tells me you did!
{more on our big week tomorrow...}

Friday, October 23, 2009

Into the Archives, V

Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...

How about some more cookies...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Into the Archives, IV

Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...

Need a great fall canning recipe?
You can't go wrong with this one...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Into the Archives, III

Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...

An apple-pickin' good time...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Into the Archives, II

Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...

They look so little and cute!
Our pumpkin patch adventure last year...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Into the Archives, I

Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...

Here we are tackling pumpkin cookies!
Your kids will love the recipe, and you'll love that they won't be on sugar-overload with this fun treat...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

birthday week

Kevin's birthday is this week.
Because he fully expects a full week devoted to him I am an awesome wife, I'm disconnecting from my beloved blogosphere for a while!
Enjoy a peek back to last October, as I dig into my archives all week...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

you may not know...

Thanks, B.jane brewing, for the Kreativ Blogger nomination!
If you don't already, you should go read her blog! She's fun!

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated

So 7 things...here we go.
1. I used to teach preschool, but what I really want to do is teach elementary school. I'm over halfway to my BA. Why haven't I finished school after almost 10 years? Oh yeah, three kids.
2. Besides teaching, my past jobs have included hauling trees around at a Christmas tree farm (age 15-16), directing at a paint-your-own pottery studio (age 15-19), a very brief retail experience at Pier One (age 18), and custom painting for interior design companies off and on for the past 10 years.
3. I'm deathly afraid of throwing up, and it has been over 14 years since I have done so (knock on wood). I'd rather deliver my kids over again than throw up. And speaking of fears, don't ever expect me to get in an elevator. Ever.
4. I still drive the same Jetta I bought eight years ago (and three kids later), because I refuse to have a car payment.
5. Once I started sewing, my cooking took a huge blow. Sorry, family.
6. I almost never go to bed before 1am.
7. I enjoy all music, but I listen to 60's on Sirius all day long, unless it's December, when I have the Christmas station on 24/7.

Okay, enough about me...
I can't wait to hear juicy info from:

Heather at Angel Face Designs
Tegan at Baby Valone
Erin at Bringing Up Burns
Jessica at Brixton Lane
and
Mel at The Larson Lingo

{Who you should all be following already!}

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Next Food Network Stars

I borrowed Chloe's camera last night for the cookies, and when I uploaded her memory card I came across these. Here are two of many hilarious videos Chloe and Chayse have taken of one another recently. They LOVE making mud pies in the backyard, pretending they are using real ingredients. I guess they decided to produce cooking shows for each other, explaining their recipes. Can you tell the Food Network is popular at our house?
{Please excuse the mid-demo backyard o' dirt (good for mud pies, at least!).}

video

That was her very best host voice. How do you like the 'never white bread' comment? Good girl, Chloe. The smallest chef attempted to join it at 'oregano', but the boss quickly took care of that.

video

Not quite sure what 'powder' is!

Are you paying attention, Food Network executives?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cookie Monday

Remember Sugar Sisters bakery in Kansas?
Well that morning, Megan, Sarah, Julie, and I- over cupcakes and coffee... at 10am- discussed methods of concocting a replica of their
scrumptious peanut butter frosting.
So here's my version in cookie form, inspired by the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake, itself. And more importantly, named after the well-endowed (and clearly proud of it) Sugar Sister, herself.
Not just Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter, but...

Triple{D} Chocolate
Peanut Butter Cookies


You'll need:
1 cup a.p. flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup natural peanut butter (so it's not overly sweet)
1/4 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP milk

And then you:
1.
Preheat oven to 325. Sift together first four ingredients, and set aside.
2. Melt half the chocolate chips with the butter over a double boiler, and cool slightly.
3. Mix melted chocolate, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in an electric mixer until well-combined. Gradually add flour mixture. Add remaining chocolate chips.
4. Scoop walnut-sized balls onto lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 14-15 minutes, and cool on wire racks.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting: beat remaining ingredients until well combined.
6. Pipe, scoop, or spread the frosting onto cooled cookies.
7. Lick the frosting bowl.

{makes about 2 1/2 dozen}

Saturday, October 10, 2009

All I wanted to do...

was tell you how exciting it was to find this vintage-style Alexander Henry print...
at Joann's...
for 50% off.
So I made Camden model her new skirt.

Camden: "I haff to go potty."
Me: Okay, just one picture.

Me: "Wait, one more... hold your baby pumpkin."
Camden: "But I haaaff to go potty!!!"
{notice left hand placement.}
Me: Almost done!

{tinkle.}

Me: "Okay, WE'RE DONE!"

{tinkle...}

Me: STOP!!!

{flood.}

Me: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Camden: {big smirk.}

A two-year-old with the nerve to ask for a potty break during a photo shoot?
She obviously doesn't understand I have a blog to write.

So yeah, awesome fabric find, huh?

Now I'm off to make Chloe's.
Which hopefully won't ever be peed on.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Clever Chloe

I just had to share this! Last night, one of Chloe's homework assignments was to write a poem about something she had read. Chloe lives to read. She reads her novels over and over again. The Hannah Montana series are some of her favorites. We all wrote acrostic poems as a kid. You know, the ones where you spell a word downward and use those letters to create new words... usually one word per line? Chloe used the words Hannah Montana, but what she did with it seriously amazed me!

Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus
Are the same people. Hannah and Miley do
Not want to share their secret with anybody.
No doubt that Miley wants to live
A normal life.
Hannah is really famous, and if everybody knew she was Hannah

Montana,
Oh my goodness, after two seconds, BOOM!
No more Hannah for her! Miley,
Too, doesn't want
Anybody to know her secret.
No, not everybody doesn't know her secret.
And those people are her friends Lilly and Oliver, and her brother and dad.

Wow! Okay, I may be biased, but was that not pretty darn creative for a third-grader?!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Set your DVRs



{photo courtesy Blue Lily}

Nie Nie is on OPRAH today!
{sneak peek from Oprah.com}

If you don't know Stephanie, get over there and start digging through the archives! Bring your tissue box, and get ready to be forever changed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cookie Monday

I wanted to make a spicy, pumpkiny version of these today.
And yet- STILL no canned pumpkin at the store. So I would have added pumpkin puree to the filling, but here they are, partially adapted from their original deliciousness:

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

Filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beating well.
3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Add oats; stir well. Add to butter mixture; stir until well blended.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.
5. Make cream filling: Beat all ingredients in bowl of an electric mixer until light & fluffy.
6. Spread 1 tablespoon Cream Filling over each bottom side of half of cookies; top with remaining cookies, right side up

Makes 3 dozen, or 18 sandwiches.
Original recipe from Cottage Living.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

one more time

Summer is officially over. But with triple-digit temperatures, we decided to escape the heat for a final beach trip last weekend... our favorite Santa Cruz spot.

Perfecting the art of sandcrab-catching.


Is there any better feeling than being buried in warm sand?

A group of dolphins hung out just a few yards away from us the whole day, and a few sea lions were riding the waves, too. I told the kids that because of all the "nice" sea animals swimming around, there were likely no sharks in the area. I even spent a lot of time actually swimming in the ocean- like under water.
And then we got home and read this.