Thursday, May 31, 2012

colored denim.....oh my

Remember a few posts ago...when I talked about those AG pants that were making my life better every time I wore them? Well, apparently the purchasing of colored pants is addicting. Highly addicting. As of one month ago I had one pair of black pants in my closet. One. That is all I owned that was not blue-denim. Oh how far we have come (or fallen...your call). This is now what I have in my closet!!
Eight, count them, eight new pairs of colored pants. (well not all of them are "new" but they are all new to me...I am a lover of Goodwill and Salvation Army) I get slap-happy when I open my closet and see this rainbow display.  Funny to think that just about 30 days ago my legs had never seen these colors on them before...and now...we are going steady! A whole new world is open to me now that I have said YES to colored denim. So many new fun outfits I daydream about putting together....oh I feel my heart racing just thinking about it!! How about you? Have you taken the colored pants plunge yet? And if not why??

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Freshly Squeezed

Lemonade. Something quite straightforward and simple to make. Something quite divine and thirst-quenching to drink.

Why do people not make it from scratch? I mean really? I totally get not making..say-cinnamon rolls from scratch. Time is not something we all have oozing out of our schedules. But when making something from scratch takes less or the same amount of time and costs about the same amount...why why why not make it from scratch?

If your single reason for not making it is that you do not know how then I am here to help. Watch and learn. (it ain't me...I did it)

First, gather your ingredients. For some reason I have found that the organic sugar from Trader Joe's give the best sweetness without being too sweet...but that is of course all up to you and your taste buds to figure out.

slice your lemons...and please take a moment to really smell them...divine!!!
 Juice those lemons and pour the juice into a large pitcher of water and ice. Use as many lemons as you want-again, this drink is for you!

**Or you can make it the single glass serving way-one lemon half over a cup of icy water and sugar, cover the lemon and bottom glass with a large one on top and shake like mad. One lemon shake up made (and you didn't even have to go to the fair)**
 I sometimes like to add some frozen fruit as ice cubes in the adds a nice color and taste, while still keeping it cold. Here I used frozen blueberries. Pour in that sugar, little by little while stirring it to dissolve. Taste and repeat until you are happy with the sweetness.
can you tell why I thought they needed something to drink....hello rosy cheeks:)

he went a little overboard with the blueberries...especially because he decided he did not like them after putting every. into his glass

What is your favorite hot day drink?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

shopping buddy

I love to go grocery shopping because...
1. I am usually alone....just me, my thoughts and my cart
2. I am purchasing food I am excited to eat
3. I am inspired/excited by different foods and drinks
4. I am stocking up my house again (I love having options for meals-I am a mood based meal maker so options are my best friend)
5. I love shopping of almost (not car) any kind

Well, for some reason I decided to bring along my little bean. The other little bean did not get to go because he was having a REALLY hard time obey that evening!! We love disciplining don't we friends?

Isabelle and I had such a great shopping! Children can make something as mundane as grocery shopping become a fascinating and funny date. I love that about children. Isabelle gets energized about things the same way I do, so when I get to watch her enjoy life I feel like I am enjoying it even more. As a mother, when your child is getting all jumpy-excited over a peach you kind of just want to stop the world and smile at her.

I also love that at this particular grocery store they have little kid carts. (How come everything becomes adorable when it is a smaller size??) My girl went and got herself one about 10 minutes into our shopping and then the child within the child came out of her. She smiled ear to ear the rest of the time.

                       Man I love that girl. Grocery shopping will never be the same without her!!

Pesto is the besto

Pesto. I do not remember the first time I had pesto, I wish I did because it must have been life changing. If you have never made your own or if you (say it ain't so) have never had it at all...this is where you want to start. And you will remember this day.

Pesto has strong flavor to it. I am girl who loves strong flavor. I feel like it slaps my taste buds and says, "Wake up, there is good food to be eaten!!" And pesto can be used on anything and everything....well not dessert anything, but savory food anything. It can be used on pasta (my favorite), in place of red sauce on homemade pizza, on chicken, tossed with tomatoes and mozzarella....the list goes on and on. My kids love to eat it and love to help make it too. So pesto holds a sweet spot for me in the sauce category of things.

I love to experiment with it and find things that make it just that little bit more delicious. Fresh squeezed lemon juice, extra basil, different cheese, more get the idea. The beauty of cooking things is that experimentation rarely (but once in a blue moon) ruins a dish and can often make the dish!

Recipe: (I never go by a strict recipe, I always just eyeball and please view this recipe as a compass rather than a map)
1. take a big bunch of basil (if store bought I use one container), 2 tablespoons of pinenuts, a few chunks of Parmesan cheese and a good drizzle of olive oil-place it all in a food processor and blend-keep this up until it is might need to add a bit more olive oil, but be careful not to overdo it.
2. I love adding fresh squeezed lemon juice-it really brightens the whole flavor, if you do not have fresh than bottled is fine.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Boom, you are done. Simple and straightforward. (If you happen to be making this for pasta, save a little bit of pasta water when you drain it and add it to the pesto, it makes a real creamy delicious consistency!)

What do you like to put your pesto on??

Sunday, May 27, 2012

perfect days....

Sometimes things all fall into place in the most perfect ways.
So far this weekend has been one of those times.
Here are a few snapshots of my doings.

Breakfast with my mom and sisters at my favorite breakfast place good!
Watching geese out by the water with my little beans.

Playing at the park with Daddy and Mimi and Pa's dog Margot.

Shopping in our cute little downtown area.

Looking at adorable things (that are out of my price range) that make me happy and make me think creatively about my own wardrobe.

Dressing room of my favorite store in the world...Anthropologie.
Eating out at one of our favorite restaurants.
My hubby and dad finding an amazing grill on the side of the road-that works perfectly!! Jackpot!!
A night sky that looks like this!

A Red Mango run with my so so good!!

I am still relishing all the good that happened this was yours? And the best part...Nate has tomorrow off there is still more good to come:) So happy!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Wall

In our house's basement there is a wall. It is a plain wall with simple off white paint over wood paneling. Nothing too exciting. Nothing too exciting until I decided I wanted to have it be our wall of inspiration. If your kids are like mine, or you are like me then there is a constant flow of artistic pieces of paper flowing through your home. I hate to shove them all away in a bin, or to throw them away....but I am a little bit of a "too much paper clutter makes me want to crawl out of my skin" kind of person. The simple solution to this problem is to display it. There is no rhyme or reason to what goes on the wall-basically if a child does something they love or I love, it goes on our wall. I have a few photos, cards, drawings I did or drawings I like up on there too. It is the wall I stare at when I am sitting at my computer and without fail it makes me smile.

Pablo Picasso once said, " Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up."

Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for keeping the little artists alive...because this world always needs more people making artistic things in it!!

How are you cultivating creativity in yourself or the ones around you?? I love hearing how people do this!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Carla Rolls...aka the best breakfast treat ever

 Perhaps you want to start your weekend making this! Especially since for most of is a three day weekend!!! (since I get to be home with my babies, really what I am celebrating is that I get my husband home with me a whole day that is a treat indeed!!) So bring on the delicious breakfast delights.....the holidays are here!!

Food is almost always connected to a memory for me. That is kind of how I am wired as a person, I love putting things with memories. Always connecting experiences with something be it clothing, a scent, music, get it.
sorry the shot is blurry...I did not realize it until all the ingredients were put away

Well, this recipe is connected in my memory with holidays. Almost every holiday I can remember as a child, started with the smell of Carla Rolls drifting up into my bedroom. I loved grabbing one of the soft doughy rolls, smothered in butter and all things perfect, and eating as I built anticipation for the fun day ahead of me.
as the dough is starting to rise

I have never met anyone who does not like these. It is easy to know why when you see what yummy things are put into it, but truthfully how many recipes can you say that about?? So without further ado....

add a cup of coffee and you are set


1. spray bundt pan with pam or some cooking spray (very important or you will be eating your rolls out of the pan directly, not so fun)
**I often make this recipe without pecans, since nuts are not everyone's thing. If you do want to have the nut then lay them down after the spray and before the rolls.**
2. line about 22 Rhodes rolls in the bottom of the pan
3. sprinkle a package of cook and serve butterscotch jello over all the rolls
4. melt in a bowl (6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon) and pour on top of  the rolls as well
5. let rolls sit out overnight on the counter
6. next morning preheat the oven to 330 degrees and bake rolls for 30 minutes
7. remove from oven and place a cookies sheet or large plate over the top of the bundt pan, flip it over (carefully....contents are hot) and slowly remove the pan.
8. try to not eat as many as you know you could...and want to:) only because we want to have enough to share with others:)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dessert first

Today there was something in the air. A sneaky, fabulous breeze blowing....being so delicious that you were tricked into believing that it was Friday the whole day. Well, what can you do with a day like that? You get to dinner time and realize...drats it is only Thursday!

Well, we decided to take care of business our way....if it is only Thursday...well guess what-we are gonna eat ice cream before we eat take that Thursday evening! And all that kept playing in my mind was the phrase, "ice cream, ice cream, ice cream" so we had it.

I think few things are as adorable as little kids in ice cream parlors. I mean, if we are honest, ice cream parlors make us all feel giddy like a child. Rows of ice cream choices, flavors unlimited....I get smiley just thinking on it. So when I saw my little beans getting squirrely about a scoop of cold cream, my night was almost as fantastic as Friday nights are. Mission accomplished and all because we ate dessert first.

 And then Judah's cone started really dripping. Which was troubling to him, but no matter how many times you tried to tell him he needed to lick it fast-he just couldn't do it.
 So Nate helped him out....which made Judah think that his ice cream was being eating by someone other than himself....which made him have a meltdown. One. Huge. Meltdown.
                                                 At least we had dinner to look forward to;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sedum....say whaaaat?

Sedum. Do you know what that word means? Until Saturday I did not. And now not only do I know what it means...but I owned 8 of them.

noun: any fleshy plant belonging to the genus Sedum,  of the stonecropfamily, usually having small, overlapping leaves and yellow, white,or pink flowers.
  I chanced upon these plants at (wait for it) the library. Alright, it was the library plant sale-but still-probably not the first place you go to purchase plants right? Because I came so late in the day to the sale everything was half off and so well priced I almost high fived one of the librarians...not sure that would have gone so well. 

  Now, true confession...I am not exactly a gardener. I mean I get all excited when I am looking at plants and imagining myself having the best garden around...but when push comes to shove I am over the whole sit and sweat and tend your garden thing far too soon. That being said, I have successfully grown basil, tomatoes, jalapenos, and thyme-so don't judge me too harshly. (you real gardeners are laughing at me right now aren't you "ha ha those are the easiest plant to grow you amateur..try growing....(if I knew any other plants I would put their name in here, but like I said I am  not a gardner)" ) Anyway, here I am, me and my sparkly nails (OPI Designer-De Better) digging in the dirt and taking care of business the only way I know how, with the WHOLE family:)

In case you did not husband is a total hottie! Proof below. I love that man. So back off ladies-he's taken;)
Sweet Isabelle and Judah kept the dirt well watered the entire time!! Don't you miss those days when you could just strut around in your bathing suit in the front yard and no one thought twice about it, including yourself?
Sometimes the water did not get exactly where we were hoping...but you cannot win them all.
My sweetest little babe, sitting in the shade all nakey. Love that bald headed girl.

Yes, I wore a bandanna and pigtails. Sometimes I don't care....sometimes I try to guess which I was feeling on this particular day. Yes, people probably thought I was 12. (true story: the last time I did wear this look I went to a restaurant with my mom and brother and was offered a child's menu...for those who are 12 and under!!! I am almost 30 people!!) As I was rinsing off my hands I looked over and caught this adorable moment. Belle is so expressive that she could get Vera to smile just by holding up a rock. Sweethearts!
              And then we found this star garland in the garage...yard work with a star garland we are talking!!

If I had more star garland to share folks I would! Trust me when I say there is something quite empowering by having a little bit of sparkling bling wrapped around your head.