Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My first visit to Sprinkles

It was about time.

My sister, my nieces, Elle, and I all took a little trip to Sprinkles this afternoon. I was anxious to get a peek inside the shop. It did not disappoint. Rows and rows of neatly decorated cupcakes lined up according to flavor... not a one out of place. Some with the signature dot, some with cool square sprinkles, and some with jimmies. Perfection. How to choose? How to choose?

Elle requested the Strawberry (after all, it was pink). I ordered the orange for Max and the chocolate marshmallow for Cal. I picked the peanut butter chip.

The verdict:
Strawberry- I never go with the fruit flavor, but this was pretty yummy!
Orange- The frosting was tasty (little bits of orange zest), but I didn't care for the cake!
Chocolate Marshmallow- Think Ding Dong. Dark chocolate cake filled with marshmallow cream and covered in chocolate ganache. I love me some chocolate ganache! Yum!
Peanut Butter Chip- My fave! I'm on a mission now to replicate this one! The cake was oh, so good!

And...we have to go back. I still need to try banana and red velvet, two flavors I just love!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gettin it down!

How do you get your recommended 3 servings of vegetables per day? Max's strategy involves gloves (broccoli is disgusting and should not come in contact with skin) and a little dose of nitrous oxide (he brought this home from the dentist and now uses it to mask the foul odor of veggies). With a little motivational talk and about 45 long minutes, Max finally gets it all down...oh, the drama!Have I earned the right to tease?

This is what I had for breakfast... and lunch...

and possibly for dinner.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Max has Croup (a viral infection of the vocal chords).
This is the quietest this boy has been since before uttering his first word.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

My kids love cinnamon rolls. This morning, I decided to whip up a batch. I took a hot-from-the-oven pan up to the kids' school and sneaked them into the teacher's lounge for a nice little hump day treat. The rest I kept for my kiddos and I to enjoy. Try this recipe! It is the best I've found...and I've tried a few! I use a bread machine to knead and rise, but you are welcome to do this step by hand if you dare.

Cinnamon Rolls
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 oz (1 envelope) yeast

-Let egg reach room temp. Gently melt the butter. Put the water and milk into bread machine. Allow that to reach between 75-85 degrees before proceeding (I totally guess). Pour the melted butter and egg into bread machine. Then, add remaining ingredients in the order listed above to the bread machine. Prepare using the dough setting.
-After the dough cycle has completed (and risen), roll and stretch the dough out to a 15 x 24 in. rectangle. (I do measure with a ruler!)

1 cup brown sugar
5 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

-Combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
-Spread butter over the dough with a rubber spatula and then evenly distribute the sugar mixture. Tightly roll up the dough so that you can end up with a 23 in. roll.Trim off the left and right ends. Mark the roll every 1 1/2 inches. cut the roll into 1 1/2 in. long portions using dental floss (unflavored, please!). You should get 15 rolls.
-Place 5 rolls into 8" square baking pans 1 in. apart~one in each corner and one in the center. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost double, about 1 hour. After rising, bake in oven in 335 degrees for 20 min.

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
(I double this because we like lots of frosting. Say sugar high!)
-Let cream cheese and butter sit in bowl to soften. Mix. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add vanilla. Mix at high speed for 10 minutes to get extra fluffy frosting (I know, a long time. But, it really makes is scrumptious. You can just ask Max. He takes his roll with an extra dollop!). Refrigerate.
-Once the rolls are finished baking, frost them while they are still very warm and serve them immediately!

Were you counting? 3 sticks of butter in this recipe and it only makes 15 rolls. That is nearly a quarter of a stick per roll. Ahh...as you can see, I have quite a love affair with butter...this rich, decadent delight.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Night at the ER

Last night, just as I was putting up the last post, I heard a bang, then scream, then cry! I turned and found Elle running toward me, blood running down the left side of her face. She was jumping on the bed with Cal when she fell, hitting her eye on the foot of my bed. The result: an inch-long gash, gaping open. We headed to the ER. I was hoping I had overreacted in jetting to the hospital. But, as soon as we walked in, the nurse at the reception desk insisted Elle would need stitches. Because of her age and the location, the doc decided to try gluing it with Dermabond instead of putting her through the whole tortuous stitching process. They basically superglued her eyelid back together. Afterward, the nurse brought Elle some cute little green sunglasses to cover her boo-boo. She looked up, through her swollen eye, and asked, "Do you have them in pink?"

Sunday, September 14, 2008


"Look, Mom! I can swing all by myself!"

No help needed! ?

I don't think I'm ready for this one to grow up, yet!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Photo Tag...

Yes, another tag. Go to google images and type in your own answers for the topics below. Pick your favorite image on the first 3 pages of results and post...

My first name...

My middle name...

My last name...

My age...

The place where I grew up...

My favorite food...

My first job... (I lasted one day!)

My favorite color...

My college degree is in...

but, if I could go back, it would be...

(I wanna host Hardball!)

A pet I have owned...

A past crush... (then, now, forever...)

Place I'd like to visit...


My favorite place to be...


My bad habit... Now, I tag anyone reading this and willing!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


This morning...
77 degrees...
ah, autumn is near...
I am growing impatient!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are You Doing Ok, Today?

What is better than getting home after a long, tiring day and finding this on your doorstep? Yes, by this, I mean the beautiful loaf of french bread marbled with rich, creamy chocolate that you see above. I didn't even put the soccer ball down before I ripped open the plastic bag and tore off a piece. Ah, heaven! Heather...you are the best!

Sad moments in our lives remind us of how lucky we are. I have been blessed with such loving people. Remembering that Sept. 8 would be difficult, so many of my friends and family made sure to remind me that they were there ...Thank you Ted, for the perfect white roses (Every girl loves flowers, Babe!). Thank you, Dad and Bri~ for the phone calls to check on me (There is a lot of "how are you doing?" between the three of us). Thank you, Jennifer and Sammi (and Huddy!)~ for the yummy cupcakes and hugs. Thank you, Max~for the sweet letter you wrote to Grandma. Thank you, Lindsay~ for the Hydrangeas...so pretty! Thank you to all of my friends and family that just told me they were thinking of me. It helps, really! And, thank you, Catherine (one of my mom's dearest friends) , for the evening phone call. It came just at the right time. Talking to you always makes me feel so close to my mom.

Thanks for getting me through the day!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Leaving flowers at the cemetery for my mom...

A letter for Mom...

Dear Mom,
It has been one year since we last spoke. Actually, it has been exactly one year and one day since we last spoke. I remember the last thing you said to me. You were getting out of bed and I asked you where you were going and you said, "I I don't know. I will go wherever you want me to go." You made me laugh. At such a sad time, you made me laugh. I miss your humor and wit. You were funny. We were funny together. Bri and I miss teasing you. Actually, we still razz you,but we miss hearing you say, "You're so mean to me."

Soon after you were gone and we were sorting through your things, we teased you. We pulled outfit after outfit from your closet and giggled that almost everything was rust-colored and made of linen. You sure loved your linen. And, the shoes, the SHOES~ so many and so cute. I still stroll through the shoe department, spy a great pair with ankle straps and a bow, and think to myself, "Mom would LOVE these!" I kept your red heels~ the ones with the leather bow and gold trim. They are a little small, but so worth the squeeze. I also kept your election buttons. I love them. I've added a few to the collection and plan to pass it down to my kids one day. I sure wish you were here for all the election coverage. You would love it!

Dad is hanging in there. He sure misses you, though. He has hung some beautiful pictures of you around the house. You would be proud of his homemaking skills. We laugh that, now that he is retired, he hangs out at Target everyday like the rest of us moms. The kids really miss you. Elle was playing on her toy cell phone yesterday. She said, "Call Grandma. Grandma died, but try to call her." They miss you so much, especially Max. He really feels your absence. But, I think you know that. He tells me about his conversations with you. Keep talking to him. He needs it. Can you come talk to me in my dreams? I am trying to be patient. I know you will come soon.

We are all trying to go on with our lives like nothing has happened. But, it is hard. I still pick up the phone once and a while to call you. I miss our late-night phone calls. I miss Sunday shopping. I miss coming into your house and seeing you cozy in your chair reading a magazine. I visit the cemetery sometimes. I never understood people going there for their loved ones until you passed away. I really do feel closer to you there. Maybe it is the silence. Maybe it is your name engraved on the wall. I talk to you while the kids play on the grass behind me. I will keep coming.

I know today marks one year, but it feels like just yesterday that you left us. It is overwhelming to think that we will one day mark a fifth anniversary, a tenth anniversary, and then a twentieth anniversary. I cannot imagine such a huge amount of time passing without hearing your voice and seeing your face. I miss you, Mom. I wish you were sitting right next to me now correcting my punctuation and grammar as I write. I am going to say goodbye now, but I will talk to you soon.

Meet me this afternoon at the stone bench at the cemetery. I'll bring you flowers...in your favorite fall colors.

I love you,

*Thank you, Maile, for the gorgeous flowers. My home smells amazing!

Friday, September 5, 2008

A pink room for elle...

Elle finally has a pretty room. My poor little girl. She was only a week old when we moved in with my parents. The four of us in one bedroom. No pink nursery for my baby. Seven months later I moved us into a rental house. I squished Elle's crib into the corner of my bedroom. Still, no adorable, little nursery for my girl. A little while later, we moved into this house. Finally, her own room. Squished for space, I crammed her old bassinet, crib, and new big-girl bed into a little bedroom. Not exactly cute or cozy! At last, I have cleared out the room, decorated, and given my sweet 3rd year old, pink-loving lady, her dream room.

I took this quilt from my Mom's closet. I love that a piece of her is snuggled up to Elle each and every night.

I glued 12 x 12 scrapbook paper squares to the walls in a sort of quiltish way.

My kids' Great-grandma Lucy made this blanket for Elle when she was born. I have one for each of my kids and they are perfect...so soft and comfy!
I had to hang book shelves. There can never be too many books!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Gift

My little man. Oh, this sweet boy has a gift...The Gift of Gab! By the second week of school, I was on the telephone with Max's teacher. She says he won't stop talking in class. Hmmm, sounds familiar. Why? Because Max spent half of his kindergarten year sitting at a table in the back of the room by himself. Why? Because Max's first grade teacher hopped him around the room constantly desperately hoping she'd plop him next to someone he wouldn't be interested in chatting with.
This is not news. This is Max. Let me be clear. He DOES NOT get this from me. I struggled with shyness for years and, in some ways, still do. So, while I don't want him disrupting the learning in his classroom, I am secretly a little pleased that Max is so friendly and social!