Sunday, September 30, 2012

Banana & Sweet Potato Pancakes

I'm 11 days into my Whole30/diet/challenge/whateveryouwantotcallit and I'm grumpy.  I miss bread.  I miss sugar.  I miss Diet Coke.  I miss being able to just throw together a meal.

I'm convincing you that the Whole30 is awesome, right?

In my head I know I'm doing the right thing for my body.  So I'm pressing forward.  But today I needed a little pick me up.  I have a couple of friends who are doing this with me and we've been sharing a couple of recipes.

Here is the easiest one so far.  What I love about it are these things.

A. It is only 2 ingredients.
B. I ate protein without feeling like it (sometimes it is hard to eat that in the AM)
C. It feels like a treat but it isn't.
D. The Little Guy will eat it too.

So...for these banana pancakes all you need is a large banana and 2 eggs.  If you want to add other things in you can, maybe a little nutmeg or cinnamon.  A tiny splash of vanilla.  But honestly they were great on their own.

You do want your ratio of banana to be a little bit more than your egg.  Otherwise they just end up tasting like banana scrambled eggs.

To cook them make sure your pan is on low heat.  Be patient.  Be very patient.  Not a recipe to try when you are starving.  The batter is pretty thin so you'll have to be careful getting it off of the pan.  But once you do....yum!

After I had banana pancakes for breakfast I realized I had not eaten my vegatable for the morning.  So I decided I wanted more pancackes.  I had 1/2 a sweet potato leftover so I put the sweet potato, 2 eggs, a little bit of coconut milk and some water in the food processor.  I just added water until the mixture was the consistency of pancake batter.  These also require patience.  If you make them you'll want to wait until they are cooked almost the whole way through before turning them.  But they seriously look and taste just like pancakes!

If you are trying to watch your sugar intake this is a great recipe!  It's also gluten free which is a bonus. I did pour a little coconut milk on them to up my fat intake since I'm supposed to have a healthy fat at each meal.  It was delicious!

I hope you enjoy these easy, yummy AND healthy treats!  Best of all, they are Whole 30 compliant!

Linking up here!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Insta-Adorableness Ahead!

I haven't joined in on an instagram post in a while and I have SO many adorable pictures to share.  I tried to pick out my favorites and I know I should probably do a little collage or something creative but I'm trying to be all about balance in my life and that takes too much time. they three favorite boys ever!!

We're practicing to Halloween.  I bought two monkey costumes last year for a grand total of $12 dollars (yes I am willing to be your personal shopper) so the boys will be monkeys and Daddy is going to be the Man in the Yellow Hat.  I figured the Little Guy would need some time to get used to being a monkey so we are practicing periodically.  I seriously can not wait!

Apparently someone in our house has been taking some self portraits.  The other day Peter found over 70 photos of this Little Guy on the ipad.  Hilarious!!  I've heard him taking them too.  He is slightly obsessed with Diego.  And if by slightly you think I mean out of control then you are correct.  He wants to "watch Diego" all the time.  And whenever he sees the camera or ipad he says "Say Click!!"--faithful Diego watchers will know what I mean. 
This child gets cuter and sweeter every day.  Here he is sporting his new legwarmers (Daddy is still warming up to them) and his C-17 shirt!  LOVE!!!

I just think he looks adorable here.  What a heartbreaker in the making!

He knows how to use my Nook to have children's books read aloud.  I loved how he was just sitting on the kitchen floor while I cleaned up after dinner with his little legs crossed.

Both my little ones are belly down, bottom up sleepers.  This one started early!

We didn't get to ride any rides but we had just as much fun at the fair as big brother!

Daddy and the Little Guy checking out the petting zoo at the fair.  Love these guys!

The Big Guy.  Isn't he handsome?  I'm a lucky girl!!

Happy Friday!!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Linking up with Rachel & Jeanette

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

I know you've all been checking your email all day to see if you won a set of Better Life Bag's awesome prayer cards!

I've spent the day hanging out with two very nice little boys and two very nice plumbers.  I have a huge whole in my kitchen ceiling to prove it.  So, I apologize for the delay!

The winners are....

Praying for your Children--AshleyG

Praying for your Husband--Jana R

Praying Through your Pregnancy--Angie

I've emailed the winners!  If you didn't win please please check out Better Life Bags and order these!!  They are such wonderful resources and you can make mulitple copies to give as gifts!!

What Animal Are You?

**We have this James Archambeault hanging in our house.  His photos will make you fall in love with horses and Kentucky!**

Don't you love those kinds of questions?  When I was little I always said a horse.  I thought (and still think) that they are beautiful, fabulous creatures.  They can run fast and have gorgeous hair.  What's not to love?

At MOPS this week we had guest speaker who helped us muddle through a personality test.  It's by Gary Smalley & John Trent.  I don't want to give too much of it away because it's really fun to take yourself.  You can find the test here.

It's interesting to see what category you fall under.  Our speaker suggested we also take the test for or with our spouse to see their type as well.  Certainly the categories were broad.  But it was interesting to see at our table that we could already see our little munchkins fitting into one of the four types.

The speaker also said that you can use the personability inventory to help you with parenting your children.  Children that fall under the "L" category might need a different approach to cleaning their room than children in the "O" category.

If you have children this is a fun and easy way to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.  I highly suggest taking it!

If you've taken the test before or look at it now tell me in the comments what you think I am!!

**Sorry about the delay for the giveaway winners!  I'll have them up tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

3rd Quarter Top Photos

Everyday I tell myself I am going to pick up my camera and take more pictures.  Thank goodness for Instagram otherwise my poor children would never be on film.  I've found taking pictures with two while trying to fit in everyday life is hard!!

This is one of my favorites ever.  This is my Little Guy and his cousin.  They are BFF.  Trying to get them to take a nice picture was comical.  I love their expressions and of course their cute matching outfits courtesy of my sister.

My Littlest Guy.  This is how he is most of the time.  Sweet, smiling and irresistable.  This is why people have tons of kids!

This is the Little Guy "sharing" with the baby.  Hmm...we need to work on that!

My Little Guy turned 2 in August.  I feel like he transitioned from baby to big boy all of the sudden.  He speaks in sentences, climbs tall play structures and says "excuse me" when we pass someone.  Sometimes I miss the cow saying "boo".

I just love this moment.  I didn't take it but I love it that he still loves to hold my hand.  And that we got to share this special adventure together.

Linking up with the sweet ladies!!  Every quarter you can share your photos too!  Make sure you check out each of their blogs as well.  They are super cute!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Littlest Guy--Play Time

I love watching both my sweet boys grow and develop.   A lot of the changes happening for the Littlest Guy right now involve learning new skills.  He has started rolling over both ways.  He gets up on his knees.  And he army crawls to get things he wants!  I am always surprised at where he ends up when he is playing on the floor.

He has also started being very interested in toys.  He sleeps with a little monkey rattle and enjoys rolling around and playing on his floor mat.  Big brother used to get frustrated on his tummy but this one will play on his tummy for a long time!  He pushes up with his arms to play with the animals that hang down from the mat.  Little Guys is learning to share with his little brother.

Ready to play!

Big brother let my play with his train.  I just love those little hands!

Argh!  This frog is yummy!!

I love his expression in this picture.  He looks very concerned about the train.

I've been trying to be better about capturing everyday moments for both of the boys.  Right now we are doing swimming lessons, gymnastics, MOPS, playdates, etc.  It's tricky to figure out the balance between the fun activities available and quality time at home.  My goal for the next month is to get my camera out at least once a day.  We'll see how it goes!

Linking with Two-In-Diapers

Monday, September 24, 2012

Miscellany Monday

I'm aging myself for real here but I have to say I'm so sad I missed my 10 year college reunion this week.  I also missed the 95th year celebration of my sorority.  I guess the good news is that my 15 year and 100th year celebrations will coincide.  Hopefully I'll be able to make those.

Aren't we adorable?  10 points if you can find me!
I have to stay that joining a sorority in college was one of the best decisions.   I keep up with at least 1/2 if not more of these girls in this picture alone (and this was just one year).  They have supported me through ups and downs and I love them all!


Have you entered my giveaway?  If you know someone who is a Mommy, Daddy, pregnant, loves kids or loves their husband than you'll want to enter!!  It still has fairly low entries and we are giving away 3 different sets!


If you are a chocolate & mint person you MUST check out the Creme de Menthe brownies I posted yesterday.  They are one of my favorite desserts ever.  


We took the kids to the fair this week.  I have to say I love looking at life through my babies eyes.  Watching the Little Guy ride his first "roller coaster" with his buddy Ethan was priceless.  He's been telling us that he rode a helicopter and a BIG tiger.  However when I ask him what animals he saw (expecting chicken, sheep etc) he says polar bear, beaver and tiger.  

Um, also how cute does he look in his little flannel shirt??


I don't have much to report yet on my Whole 30 challenge.  I'm finished with Day 4 as of Sunday evening.  So far I am hungry.  I'm not sure if I'm not eating enough or not eating the right things.  You are supposed to only have 1-2 servings of fruit a day and traditionally that is what I would snack on.  So I will keep working on it.  I will say that I have not been tempted to cheat--even when faced with a MASSIVE and YUMMY looking chocolate cake tonight.  

What have I learned?

Sugar is in everything.  Things that you wouldn't think of have sugar.  It's super annoying.  

I miss my scale more than I miss chocolate.  I am an obsessive weigher.  I don't know why because they numbers don't change that often but I'm kind of glad that the challenge encourages you to weigh yourself at the end of the month.  Peter hid the scale so I have no clue!

I don't want to eat like this forever...but I don't want to eat like I did before.  More on that later.


I hope you have an awesome Monday!  We are filling our week with swimming class, stroller fitness, picture taking, MOPS and new recipes!

If you are  new follower welcome!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

When Life Changes Forever...

Do you you ever think about those days that changed your life forever?

One Saturday night I got into bed.  I woke up the next morning and went to church.  And I met Peter.  And my life changed forever.

One day Peter came home with a diagnosis.  And my life changed forever

One morning I woke up and my water broke.  And my life changed forever.

One day I woke up in our house in Charleston for the last time.  And my life changed forever.

One night I couldn't sleep because of painful contractions.  And my life changed forever.

Last Friday Peter and I went on a date.  And our lives changed forever.

I can't go into details at this point in time but we're processing some big information in our house.  Don't worry, everything is ok.  But we are faced with uncertainty.  We are faced with the unknown.  We are faced with life changing forever.  And it is out of our hands.

What a wonderful statement.  Seriously!  We've come to LOVE and APPRECIATE the fact that our lives are not our own.  We really believe what we say we believe.  We serve a God of love.  We serve a Father that truly has our best interests at heart.  We serve a risen Saviour!

On Friday morning, before my life changed forever, I was reading Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon.  Spurgeon is pretty deep.  I'm not sure we would've been BFF in real life.  He is WAY smarter than I am, although I'm much funnier.  Regardless his words are powerful.

I can't stop thinking about what I read that morning.  He's talking about Psalm 73:22 which says "I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you."  That isn't a typical memory verse for your Sunday School class if you know what I mean.  It's pretty obscure and honestly kind of creepy sounding.  But the truth that Spurgeon gleans from this verse is priceless.

He writes...

"David.....had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such.  And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise!  Do you profess that we have attained perfection or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our willfulness out of us?.......Look back, believer; think of your doubting God when he has been SO faithful to you--think of your foolish outcry of "Not so, my Father," when he crossed his hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read his providences in the dark, misinterpreted his dispensations, and groaned out, "All these things are against me" when they are all working together for your good!"

Does it hit you like it hit me?  We do not know the mind of God.  How often to we say to him that we don't like what he is doing in our lives.  We complain of this or that.  We are frustrated.  We are scared.  We think we can not trust him.

But he is working out our lives for our own good.

My prayer is this.  That on those days when our lives change forever, whether the change is known or unknown, scary or exciting, painful or joyful, I will PRAISE him and continue to choose JOY!

Linking with Shell

Creme de Menthe Brownies

I really should have titles this post "Chocolate Mint Crack".  Not that I know what it is like to be addicted to crack.  But I guess I can imagine.  When I was pregnant I was addicted to orange juice in a really bad....need it NOW....all the time kind of way.  I feel like that about these brownies.  They are THE best dessert ever.  Ever.

Here is why I love these.

1. The "cake' layer is SO moist and spongy.  It's thinner than brownie and thicker than cake.  Perfect.

2. The middle layer is creamy and minty and sugary and amazing.  Enough said.

3. The top layer is chocolaty and a tiny bit crunchy.  Perfection!

Creme de Menthe Brownies

Bottom Layer
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 T. Vanilla
16 oz. can of Hershey's chocolate syrup
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Cream together the sugar & butter.  Make sure you let your butter set out for a while so it is a little bit soft.  Add beaten eggs and mix well.  Add the vanilla and chocolate syrup.  Fold in flour and salt and pour mixture into a greased AND floured 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Cool. (I like to put mine in the freezer.  If you try to add the second layer when it is still warm it gets runny.)

Middle Layer

2 cups powdered sugar
3 T. creme de menthe
1/2 cup butter
green food coloring

Combine powdered sugar, creme de menthe and butter.  Start with a few drops of green food coloring and mix until you get your desired shade of green.  Mix and spread over cooled cake.  Let harden. (Again, I like to put it in the freezer!)

Top Layer

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp butter

Melt chocolate chips and butter together.  Be careful when you do this.  You don't have to use a double boiler but don't burn your chocolate.  Stir stir stir and watch it the whole time!  Drizzle over mixture.  

You can do the top layer 2 ways.  The recipe above gives you enough chocolate to completely cover the brownies.  Sometimes I like to fix them with about 1/2 of the recipe above.  Then I just drizzle the chocolate over the top and you can see some of the minty green color peeking through.  They are delicious either way!

Chill at least an hour before serving.  I almost always keep these in my freezer when I make them for a treat.  First, I keeps me from eating all of them at one sitting and second I love how crunchy the top layer gets when it is cold.  If I am taking them to a party I always keep them in the fridge until it is time to go!

Try not to eat the whole pan when you make these!!

Linking to Dish it out hosted by Foodomania

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Last Hurrah

I mentioned in my post Monday that I planned to start the Whole30 today.  If by today you thought I meant tomorrow then you are correct.  Honestly I really didn't start today because I had some leftover feta cheese in the fridge and I REALLY wanted to make an enormous batch of that Watermelon-Feta-Avocado Salad that I posted about over the weekend.  I came home from a sweat inducing stroller fitness (I'm not joking here, these ladies are the real deal!) excited to make my salad.  I cut open the watermelon and it was bad.  I'm 0/2 for watermelons this week.  So in order to celebrate my last day of food freedom we walked down to a little cafe about a mile from our house for dinner tonight.  

I had a wonderful meal that included everything I would want to eat....bread, cheese, diet coke and chocolate.  

We ordered the "Pot du Creme" which is a favorite of mine.  For you Charlestonians who adore the chocolate pudding at the Hominy Grill it tastes just like that.  

The waitress brought out the dish and the Little Guy literally yelled at the top of his lungs...


It might have been embarrassing if it weren't so darn funny.  The look of sheer joy on his face as he ate as much whipped cream and chocolate as he could was priceless.  He kept pulling the plate closer and closer and getting up on his knees so he could get every last bit of chocolate out of that ramekin.  It made me smile.  

Enjoying his "cake"

It was as divine as it looks!

I made Peter snap a picture of my "last hurrah".  Here goes something tomorrow!

I'll be posting about my Whole 30 journey and that will include the ups and downs (hopefully less of those!) and recipes that are Whole 30 compliant.  Peter is going to take some "before" pictures for me which I MIGHT share if there is some significant improvement and he is hiding the scale.  One of the rules is you aren't permitted to weight yourself for the whole 30 days.  I'm more apt to cheat on that then I am with eating food.  So one last "before" in the am and here we go!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Hop!

Welcome to Follow Me Wednesday Blog Hop!
3 Four and Under
is proud to bring you {Follow Me Wednesday}

Please welcome this weeks co-hosts!
 Storybook Reality   The View from 510
Adventures with Captain Destructo
The Lily White English Rose 

Thank you for linking up each week, we really appreciate it!  
This is a wonderful way to meet new people and follow some awesome blogs!
Please remember to tell your friends! 
The more the merrier!

Here is what you do!
1. Please add your blog address to the blog hop list.
2. Please follow the host and co-host blogs!
3. We would love you to tweet about the blog hop.

4.  Please place the Follow Me Wednesday button somewhere on your blog
5.  If you are new to this hop, Welcome, and please leave us a comment and we will be sure to follow you back!  And make sure to visit this weeks co-hosts and show them some love.
 6. Then, visit the other blogs on the list. 
Follow them and I'm sure they will follow you back!
Please leave them a comment telling them you are visiting them from {Follow Me Wednesday}!
We all love comments!

Please link up family appropriate blogs only, any blogs that are not family appropriate will be deleted



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Better Life Bags Prayer Card Giveaway

I have to admit, winning free stuff is always fun.  I'm pretty excited when I get an email from a fellow blogger that says "you've won"!!

Well next week you might be getting that very email from me!  I've been DYING to give away a set of Prayer Cards made by Rebecca at Better Life Bags.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE these cards!  And this is only a tiny bit of what makes Better Life Bags...well....better!

Rebecca has a whole line of customizable bags....purses, diaper bags, clutches, re-usable sandwich bags.  If it ends with bag she makes it!  Sound better?  We're not even there yet!  This girl has a HUGE heart for ministry and making lives BETTER.  She invests some of her profit back into her community as well as in an organization called Kiva.  Kiva gives money to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries.  How cool is that?

And that's not all!  Just recently she has debuted her new line called Linen & Love.  She's hiring women in her area and giving them 60% of the profits.  You can read more about this new line here!

How cool that she is using bags (which we all love) to make lives BETTER?  

But that's not the very best part.  The best part is the heart that Rebecca has for Jesus.  She clearly loves the Lord and you can see that if you follow her on Facebook or read her blog.  And although I think each and every one of you should buy a bag you should also check out her prayer cards.  She has thoughtfully created three sets.  Pregnancy Prayer Cards, Husband Prayer Cards and A-Z Children's Prayer Cards.

I have all three and they are just so wonderful!  They each have bible verses and a prayer you pray with each card.  The Pregnancy Prayer Cards help you pray through each week of pregnancy.  The Husband Prayer card set has 31 cards so you can pray a different prayer each day and then start again each month!  The A-Z Children's cards include wall art cards that can be printed in either 5x7 or 8x10 AND a set of prayer cards.  What a great way to teach you children God's word and their letters!

Aren't they awesome?  Rebecca is giving away 1 set of each!!  Please enter the giveaway below and don't forget to check out her other products at Better Life Bags!

Giveaway ends of September 25th!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Miscellany Monday-Announcement Version

It's been a BIG week at our house.  Some of the developments include...

First bites for the Littlest.  He has been eyeing our food like a crazy person.  So he got to sample a little bit of applesauce this week.  I've got plans to make a few batches of homemade pears and sweet potato this week so we can get going on the solids.  I have to admit I'm kind of dreading it.  I thought it was fun with the Little Guy but now I really covet any extra time to myself during the day.  Having to get BOTH boys through breakfast and lunch each day seems like it might be a chore.  We'll see.

Speaking of is announcement #1.

Thanks to a few good sorority friends from college I am fully committed (especially since I'm saying it here on the blog) to starting the WHOLE30 this Wednesday.  What is the Whole30?  Well it is basically the paleo diet.  You can read more about it here.  Basically it's cutting out junk.  So you can eat fruits, veggies, lean meat, eggs and good fats (like most nuts and avocado).  You can NOT eat any type of sweetener (this includes honey, stevia etc), processed foods, dairy, legumes (beans), corn, grains and white potato.  Whoa!!  I am SUPER excited about it and I'll be blogging about how it goes along the way.  I'll also be sharing my meal plan and the recipes I use that are WHOLE 30 compliant.  I know it is going to be hard but it's going to be fun right?

The Little Guy has a girlfriend.  Ok not really.  But sort of.  This week we went to the market with my friend Ali.  We do a lot of stuff together and the kids having been hanging out for the past year.  Both big kids are finally at the age where we can let them walk independently as long as we are in a safe place.  So at the market we let them walk together.  We told them to hold hands and you would have thought there was an elephant on parade the way everyone oohhed and ahhed over these two.  It was pretty adorable if I do say so myself.  They looked like a little mini couple.  Anyway, this picture is of the Little Guy watching a video Ali posted.  He watched it over and over and over until I finally took the phone away.  He loves his little girlfriend!!

Announcement #2
I finally have my giveaway blog post ready!!!  YAY!!!!  Come back on Tuesday to find out and enter!!!

I just love these guys.  We are working on sharing in this house.  So far not-so-good.  Little Guy does not like it when Littlest gets interested in his toys.  I was trying to get him to "share" the video here and you can see how that turned out.  

Announcement #3

We're got some "stuff" going on and we would appreciate your prayers.  It's something we can eventually share with you here but just not now.  Right now we'd just love for you to pray for patience and that we will really trust the Lord with our lives!

Before I go here are two yummy Fall recipes!  Tomato Soup & Roasted Carrot Dip!

Have a wonderful week!!

Linking up with my friend Carissa today!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Watermelon-Avocado Salad

Last summer before we left Charleston my parents came to visit and we had a date night.  We hadn't had a night out since the Little Guy was born so we decided to try a really nice restaurant downtown. We were not disappointed.  Oh my word.  The food was amazing.  I had some type of fish with a watermelon & avocado salad.  It sounded so strange on the menu but I really wanted to try the fish.  Funny how the salad is what sticks out in my mind!

I decided to create my own version since watermelon is in season and we can't get enough of it!  We're always looking for ways to eat more avocado too since it is delicious and a healthy fat.

Watermelon-Avocado Salad

2 cups of cubed watermelon (mine were about the side of a game die)
1 small avocado cubed
1/2 cup feta cheese
6-8 basil leaves

Cube your watermelon.  I wanted the salad to look less rustic so I made precise cubes.  You can really do it how ever you want though.  Peel and cube (as well as you can cube) your avocado.  Chiffonade the basil.  Mix all four ingredients together.

That's it!  It may sound a little odd but this is SO good.  I mean, seriously good.  It is like salad and dessert in one.  It is fresh tasting from the watermelon, tangy from the cheese and fatty from the avocado.  Plus it is so pretty!!  I love green and pink together.

This would make an excellent dish to now!

Sharing this yumminess here!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Story So Funny... just might split your pants.  And if it doesn't you'll get a good laugh about one of the times I split mine.

One of the times?  Oh yes.  One of the times.  Because I can remember at least 5 times in my life that I have split a pair of pants.  Well, one time it was a skirt.  A suede skirt.  A peach suede skirt.  And I was at a funeral.  It was awesome.

My reference to suede ages me a bit and most of my pants splitting experiences did take place in late 90s.  Very late 90s.  I split a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans twice.  They replaced the first pair and the second pair did the same thing.  Either I don't know how to wear jeans or I was paying way too much for what I got.  The third time I split my jeans was in a bowling alley.  In the middle of my turn. It was not embarrassing at all.  Promise.

This leaves me with the best pants-splitting experience.  Why?  Well for starters they were black velvet pants.  Yes you read that right.  Black velvet.

My senior year in high school I had a favorite outfit.  It consisted of black velvet pants, a black velvet shirt and a dressy, tight, red, plaid vest with gold buttons and velvet faux pockets.  Yes, you read that right as well.  I was super, super cool.

For some reason when I wore that outfit I felt like I could conquer the world.  I wasn't a popular kid in high school.  I had a lot of friends but I was not in the "in" crowd.  But this outfit made me feel like the coolest girl in school.  Ha ha this just makes me laugh out loud typing it because it is so dang funny!

So....I was a little late to school this day and I was hurrying through the parking lot.  I drove a hand-me-down 1985 Honda Accord that I just loved.  I got out of the car, grabbed my black purse and headed inside.  As I was walking through the parking lot I dropped my keys.  I leaned over to pick them up and heard a sound that could only mean one thing.  Those pants had ripped from top to bottom.

I remember turning around and heading home because literally my whole rear end was hanging out of these pants.  I guess I changed and eventually went back to school.  I also remember being VERY thankful I was late that day.  Can you imagine the humiliation of this during the morning rush?

Sadly I don't think any pictures exist of this amazing outfit.  I plan to look for some when I visit my parents for the holidays.  But I googled a few combinations of red, plaid and velvet and came up with nothing.  Clearly no one else wants to be remembered in their red plaid and black velvet outfit either.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from high school instead and you can just imagine I have on "the" outfit.  I'm second from the left!  When I look at this picture I realize how much I've changed in the years following high school.  In my head I kind of look like this still....but in the mirror I don't!

I'm off to look for pictures of that outfit....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just The Boys

I never thought I'd be a good boy Mama.  I don't really like dirt and can't catch a ball to save my life.  But somehow God knew that I would be a good boy Mama.  At least I hope I'm a good one!

These boys just have my heart!

Little Guy looking at the waterfall at one of our city parks.  We have the nicest park system!

My Littlest and Biggest boy chatting with Mimi and Grandad
(no we did NOT leave him in the Bumbo unsupervised)

Little Guy reading.  I hope he always loves books as much as he does now!

Littlest before bed.  Melt my heart!!

Little Guy has learned to climb!

Littlest checking out the scenery.  Isn't this hilarious?  He didn't want to sit forward in his carseat so we tried him on his belly.  He looked at the window of the restaurant for the rest of the meal.

This is his "I had an accident in my outfit on Sunday morning at church during the service" face.

We stayed in a hotel during our road trip last month.  The Little Guy thought it was awesome and even though we don't have a house phone he knew exactly what to do with this one.  Answer calls from Pa and Ma all night long and take messages!

Thankful for my boys today!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mistakenly Yummy Vegetable Soup

What's this you ask?  A mistake.  A yummy mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

I consider myself a foodie and I'm pretty adventurous in the kitchen.  But I am by no means experienced.  I don't understand the dynamics that make a cake rise or why you should or shouldn't let something boil for a certain amount of time.

One of my favorite things to make is soup.  And I swear I do something wrong every single time.
I was excited this week to try a new version of vegetable soup.  With my trusty friend Giada (yes again) as my guide I set out to make what she calls Italian Vegetable Soup and I just call yummy!

Here's what you  need

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
2 garlic cloves
6 small zucchini
2 cans artichoke hearts
salt & pepper
10 cups vegetable broth
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 and 1/2 cups pasta

Here's what you do...

Chop your leeks and your zucchini.  If you haven't worked with leeks before they are kind of like an onion.  They are very tasty and flavorful and I prefer them to onions in many dishes.  You'll only use the light green and white part.  I sliced and quartered my veggies.

Saute your leeks and garlic in a pan until translucent.  That means you can see through them.  Stir in your zucchini and artichokes.  Make sure you use artichokes packed in water.  You'll want to drain them as well.  I bought whole hearts so I quartered these as well.

Season with salt and pepper and saute until the zucchini is tender.  This should take about 10 minutes.  Stir in the thyme and add the vegetable broth.  I actually used 8 cups of broth and 2 cups of water and it was fine!

Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.  Then add your pasta.

And here is where I went wrong.

A few weeks ago I found alphabet pasta.  We are obsessed with a capitol O at our house with letters so I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate learning into a meal and potentially get the Little Guy to try something new.

Have you see that alphabet pasta?  It is SO small!  There wasn't enough in the box for me to make the recipe twice so I added all of it.  Plus it was so small!  Oops!!  When I went back to check on the soup there was no soup.  Just mountains and mountains of flavorful alphabet pasta with leeks, zucchini and artichoke hearts!!

So, the moral of the story is...try this recipe and even fiddle around with broth and thyme and extra leeks but do not add that much extra pasta!!!

So, 1 and 1/2 cups of pasta is what you should add.  Giada suggests egg noodles or if you are particularly awesome fresh fettucine.  Because I certainly have some of that in my house.  Ha!

This soup is seriously good.  I know I say that about everything I put on here but what can I say!?  I love yummy food.  I will definitely make it again and will follow the pasta amount correctly.  Even with all the extra is still tastes fabulous, it just isn't as elegant looking.

The original recipe (in her cookbook) also suggests mixing butter, parmesean cheese and fresh thyme as a topping.  We skipped that because A. this recipe is so tasty on it's own and B. I am trying to cook healthy means so no extraneous butter!!

This is a fabulous soup if you are trying to eat healthier and especially if you LOVE artichokes like I do!!  I hope you enjoy!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Curry Chicken Sandwich

I've been on a Giada kick lately and she never disappoints.  I like to think of myself as being adventurous when it comes to food but I have to say curry isn't something I tend to try.  Clearly I've been missing out.  I'm not sure what motivated me to try this sandwich but hopefully I can motivate you.  It is super easy and super super yummy!!

Here's what you need...

  • 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, about 8 slices
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups diced chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
  • 4 ciabatta rolls

As usual I didn't have all the ingredients on hand so I made substitutions.  The more you cook you more you will become familiar with things you can switch in and out.  The original recipe called for pancetta but I had prosciutto on hand from the yummy melon soup.  She uses a roasted chicken from the store, I used chicken breast.  I also couldn't find radicchio in the commissary so I substituted arugula.

Here's what you do...

Set your prosciutto/pancetta on a foil lined pan and bake at 350 until crispy.  Instead of using a roasted chicken I boiled mine.  This is helpful for many reasons.  1. You can keep the chicken in your freezer and don't have to run out and get a roasted chicken.  2. The can save the water from boiling the chicken to use as stock in soups.  While your chicken is cooking and your prosciutto is baking mix the mayo, lime juice, honey, ginger and curry powder in a bowl.

I diced my chicken before cooking so it would cook faster.  But if you don't do this then take your chicken out of the pot and dice it.  Make sure you cut it against the grain.  Add it to the curry and mix well!

Toast your ciabatta bread and add your prosciutto, arugula/radicchio and chicken.

That's it!!  This recipe somehow manages to be hearty and delicate at the same time.  My husband loved it but I could also see serving it for a playgroup or lunch with your girlfriends.  The curry taste is mild so if this is your first foray into something using curry it is a great option!

I hope you enjoy this sandwich as much as we did!!

**Linking up with these fabulous food lovers today!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Truth Behind the Trip

Ever since I can remember I've had a picture of a waterfall that I kept in a folder.  I tore it out of a National Geographic in art class sometime I middle school I think.  I thought it looked like the most beautiful place on earth.

I don't know why but at the time I never read the article.  I just assumed the waterfall was in some exotic location like Bora Bora or maybe Hawaii.  Still, it seemed pretty far fetched that I would ever get to see it in person.  Until I realized it was in Oregon.  And we live in Washington.  

So we started planning this trip to Oregon and then I remembered the picture.  And of course Peter agreed so we set off to fulfill a childhood dream.

And it was SO worth it.

I was getting a little nervous on the drive.  It was 2 hours through a beautiful forest but totally out in the middle of nowhere.  I kept wondering if it would be as pretty as the picture and if Peter would be annoyed that we had driven so far to see it.

We got there and had a picnic.  There were a few cars parked along the side of the road and a bathroom/outhouse that was well maintained.  We started the hike.  After a while we could hear the water.  I was seriously so excited.  And then all of the sudden we could see it.  And it was beautiful. And I cried!!  Can you believe that?  Not big alligator tears or anything but I was seriously emotional about this waterfall!

Isn't it majestic?  These pictures do not even come close to capturing this experience.  My new goal is to get better and better at photography so I can come back here one day and take a frame-worthy shot.  Google "National Geographic Proxy Falls Oregon" to see more shots!  This place was amazing.

This Little Guy got SO dirty on our trek.  But he was such a trooper!  The hike was through lava fields and there were lots of rocks and stones along the path.  He hiked almost the whole way by himself and clearly got a little dirty in the process.  This was before he started jumping in puddles around the falls.  Clearly this Mama needs to dress her children in colors other than white when we are going to be traipsing about the woods.

Just another view.  I love it!

This was the perfect day.  We left the falls and went swimming at the pool at our hotel.  I did a load of laundry to try and get the massive amount of mud off of our clothes!  

If you are ever in Western Oregon I highly suggest you get off the beaten path and visit Proxy Falls. The hike was easy and the falls are breathtaking.

It was totally worth waiting over 15 years to see!!


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