Friday, December 2, 2011


I had great hopes of an awesome 3 year old photo shoot.

So, did she!

And, just for the record.... 
This 3 month old sweetie is getting chubbier every day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

T minus 24...

Dear Santa,
We are waiting... :) We saw you riding the train at the mall and hope you are now back at the North Pole making toys and packing your sleigh.

Dear Gramma,
You rock! The countdown calendars that you gave us are soooo much cooler than our mom's.

Dear School,
Do we really have to visit you 15 more times before the holiday vacation?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Posting Party

Today, I have had fun posting over HERE....

I hope to have some 3 year old and newborn photos next week.

{Now that the baby is sleeping all night, I'm playing catch up ;)}

Fall Festival

Our good friends have made an annual tradition of raking leaves, harvesting sweet fruit, and gobbling yummy soups. We can't wait until next fall. Here are a few of my favorite shots, but click HERE for all of the photos. It is so hard to choose! _MG_8787.jpg _MG_8794.jpg _MG_8788.jpg IMG_8822.jpg

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just for fun...


Here's a favorite photo of our little darlin' when she was a couple of weeks old. Now she is 10 1/2 weeks.  

Below are the rest of the little goblins. 

As I was walking down the stairs one night, Maddie whispered to Trevin, "Shhhh, here comes a witch."

Trevin asked, " Who's the witch?" 

Of course she answered, "Mom." 

"Why is mom the witch." 

"Because she's mean." 

 So I guess I have some work to do.
  _MG_8957.jpg _MG_8989.jpg

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Saint's Day Resolutions

Here's a challenge, a battle of the wills (both of which are my wills), if you will (ha, ha.) If I commit to this publicly, I have to stick with it, right? So, if you decide to join me, leave a comment or send and email and we can discuss our success (and inevitable failures.)

For the past couple of months, I've been on a sort of self-restricted diet. No dairy, no chocolate. My baby seems to have a sensitive tummy. I've been thinking A LOT about sugar though. Hello.... and goodbye TWO bags of candy corns (which are totally gross and addicting!) I could probably use a little break from sugar.

Since tonight is Halloween, I've been planning on raiding the kids bags of candy for a final binge before beginning my "sugar fast." Well, the funny thing about it is that the cheap chocolate candy doesn't  seem taste as good and it has a nasty aftertaste. Now is the perfect time to resolve to NO sugar (and least for a little while.)

Here's my goal for 30 days...

  1. Begin by avoiding any food containing flour including white rice, wheat, pasta and any white or corn flour.
  2. Replace flour foods with whole grains, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, corn tortillas, barley and oats
  3. Next avoid any food or drink containing sugar including fructose syrup, soda or fizzy drinks, cane juice and glucose.
  4. Replace the sugar containing products with fresh fruit and don’t forget to include dairy products, meat and vegetables.
  5. Educate myself by reading and checking all food labels and packing especially where there may be hidden sugars or flours in readymade meals.
  6.  I am going to allow myself one treat/dessert per week. Oh, and on Thanksgiving, all bets are off!
So, are you in?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Asian Dumpling Soup

(photo from Real Simple)

I haven't tried this out on my husband or kids yet (except for my 3 year old,)
 but it's so easy that they WILL like it. ;)

I just combined some ideas from a couple of recipes with ingredients I had on hand.

  • Chicken Broth/Stock
  • Asian-type Veggies (mushrooms, edamame, matchstick carrots, green onions, zucchini, cabbage, bok choy) I think you can even buy frozen stir fry veggies that would make this even easier.
  • Spices (nutmeg, garlic, ginger)
  • Soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar (all optional)
  • Simmer veggies until tender.
  • Add frozen potstickers/gyoza during last 5-6 minutes.

If you want an official recipe for actual measurements, there are lots out there.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011


A friend recently introduced me to Kid History... This is so funny. But, I am easily entertained. We like episode 6 best.

Monday, August 29, 2011

10 days old...

Music by Elizabeth Mitchell
you are my flower

I found it on iTunes and love her music.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Little Sack of Sugar

Amelia Mary Wallin
August 18, 2011
8 pounds, 4 ounces
18 1/2 inches



Coming soon... more photos (lots more!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Independence Day

The 4th of July has ALWAYS been my favorite holiday. 

I love... 
pancake breakfasts 
small town celebrations 
salt water taffy 
grilled burgers
late night fireworks
warm weather

We had loads of fun celebrating this year.

I took a few "food" photos at a good friend's celebration. 

So goodbye my Sweet July. And, hello long-awaited August!
BTW, no matter the time of year, we love "Late July" cookies and crackers.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


My oldest daughter always has a way of engaging kids in lots of creative play. This day was a fun dress-up day including a homemade treasure map. These are some of the cutest pirates I've seen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Treat Night Revised


This is a follow-up post, or sorts to an infamous post from about a year ago. I think I've made amends with the offended ;). Anyway, we've established some ground rules (that change weekly) and I am learning how to deal better emotionally. Either that, or I've just given up! Last treat night, we made frozen chocolate-dipped bananas. I usually try to take something that our little one can eat since she's allergic to eggs and peanuts. I was inspired by The Little Red House.


Friday, June 10, 2011

House Projects

We've been working on our basement (even though we live in Morgan County and everything is flooding!) since December and are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We've done a lot of the work on our own and occasionally have a little helper or two. So helpful....

Yesterday the garage was off limits because of a staining and lacquering. Everyone assured me that they stayed out of the garage all day. Hmmmm.... who can explain this?

Friday, May 20, 2011


Scan 1
Eleven years ago this week, Trevin and I spent about a month in Europe. Aaaah, those were the days. This photo that I clicked with my phone reminded me of a similar photo from our European Holiday.


So many things have changed during the past eleven year...
Cross-country moves
3 kids (almost 4!)
Digital cameras

I have often longed for those days again. Traveling through Europe footloose and fancy free. But as I compared these images, I realized that I live in my own sort of "Switzerland" and the things that made me happy then are just a little different than the things that make me happy
now. And, if that's not the truth may Bocca della Verita bite off my hand!

Scan 2

And, although this is not exactly the same, this reminds me a lot of the thoughts I have had about Switzerland lately.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Insalata Florentine

I haven't been to Macaroni Grill for awhile. I think the last time was when I was pregnant with my son. He is 5 1/2. But I love this salad. I have fun finding a dish I love at a restaurant and then try to break it down and recreate it. 

After I recreated it and made my version several times, I found the original recipe here.

I like my version, but I think next time I make it, I'll try the original recipe.

And sorry, we ate this to fast to take any photos. :) But it looks a lot like this only with more spinach when it's finished.

Insalata Florentine
(Spinach, Orzo and Chicken Salad)

5 cups julienne-shredded fresh spinach

2 chicken breasts grilled chicken, seasoned, sliced and chilled

2 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced

¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut

¼  cup capers

½ cup sliced black or kalamata olives

5 ounces orzo pasta, cooked and chilled
½ cup balsamic vinegrette
1/4 ounce shaved Parmesan
Fresh cracked pepper, for garnish

In the order listed, place all ingredients, except Parmesan cheese, in a chilled mixing bowl. Toss and serve on a decorative wide bowl. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
pinch oregano
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of salt

Some more yummy recipes to come....

Great Harvest Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slow-Cooker Pork with Noodles

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Monday: Instant Chocolate Cake


At our annual family Easter Egg Hunt, there were snow flurries. But, we had a great time anyway and barely event noticed the cold.

* = new recipe
:) = recommended
:( = not recommended

  • ? (I don't remember!)
  • Egg-free vanilla cupcakes with Lemonade Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Easter Dinner/Birthday party with family = :) :) :)

  • Blackened Salmon
  • Roast Rosemary Carrots
  • Buttered 'Bruckle Brouts' (the baby's work for Brussel Sprouts)
  • Wild Rice Blend (Thanks Trader Joes! We miss you.) = :)
  • Tomb Rolls (Thanks Aunt B. We will make these again!) = :) :) :)


  • Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps = :):):)
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Instant Chocolate Cake (This wasn't out of this world, but it was really fun and worth a try when you have an "instant" chocolate craving. = :) :) :)
Instant Chocolate Cake

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs, 3 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk in a bowl until smooth. In a greased/sprayed ramekin/custard cup/mug, add a few chocolate chips, pecans/walnuts/marshmallow, etc. Scoop in 1/3 cup of cake batter. Microwave until puffed, about 1 minute (or less if you like gooey chocolate cake like we do.)
I didn't have the idea to add the extras like choco chip, marshmallows, and nuts until after the kids went to bed. I had some leftover batter, so I whipped up another for Trevin and me to share. I'm sure glad I did that!
*Note: I'm sure any cake batter would do. We will try an egg-free version next time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lady Bug Picnic

I know this isn't a food post, but I think you'll like this too. I discovered this artist while searching around iTunes for music for kids at my work. We love this new album

Lady Bug Picnic was my favorite song from Sesame Street when I was a kid. I had big dreams of being on Sesame Street someday! 

Crawdad is our boys new fav. He loves it. 
Our baby calls it the "honey song." 

Take a listen. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Monday: Carrot Muffins

Since I had two big cooking/baking weekends in a row,  I decided to play it down a little last weekend.

* = new recipe
:) = recommended
:( = not recommended

  • Leftovers = :)
  • *Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting = :) :) :) 
  • Pad Thai = :)
  • Spring Rolls (from Costco) = :)
  • Zucchini Spears = :)
  • Roast Dinner at mother-in-laws = :) :) :)
  • *Dessert - Fresh Strawberry Tarts (I made these, but I probably won't make them again. They were so-so.

Tonight (It's our boy's half birthday, so he got to choose.)
  • Hot dogs (Mmmm. Can't wait! ;)
  • French Fries (aka homemade roasted potato spears... sssshhhh... don't tell him!)
  • Raw carrots and ranch dip
The carrot muffins were a big hit with the neighborhood kids. I passed out mini muffins with a big dollop of frosting atop.

Carrot Muffins
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (can substitute with half white/whole wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar/honey
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil/canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans/walnuts (optional)
Mix wet ingredients. Slowly add to flour mixture, mix just until blended. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake at 350° for about 15-20 minutes

Frost with any cream cheese frosting recipe. Anything is good with cream cheese frosting!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whole Wheat Oat Pancakes on Menu Monday

I had another fun weekend trying some fun new recipes and using some good ole standbys.
* = new recipe
:) = recommended
:( = not recommended

Dinner tonight...
Left-overs! Yipee. :) :) :)

Dinner Sunday night...
  • *Insalata Caprese Salad with homemade mozzarella = :) (I'll explain the homemade mozzarella in another post. So easy, so yummy!)
  • No Knead Bread
  • *Asiago Frisco = :) :) :) 
  • Parmesan-crusted Chicken Breasts = :) I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but you'll get the point.
  • Tomato Basil Ziti
  • *Dessert/Lemon Curd in Phyllo Tarts and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries = :) (If you don't have the Joy of Cooking, trust me you would love it!)
_MG_6727Breakfast Saturday...
*Whole Wheat Oat pancakes = :) :) :)

Dinner Saturday...
Sushi with friends
Tuna casserole for kids. me = :) kids = :(

As promised, here is a favorite recipe. I adjusted this from a family fav that my kids call "Papa cakes." Every time we stay at my parent's house or cabin, my dad makes pancakes for my kids. They love them. I just tweaked the recipe to make them a bit more hearty.

Whole Wheat Oat Pancakes 
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar, honey, or sugar
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix to together. Adjust consistency with more buttermilk or flour. Top with fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Makes about 24 pancakes. So we eat left-overs on Sunday morning! = :)

*Note: You can just omit the eggs. The baking powder, soda, and buttermilk make them raise just fine. I usually cook a batch without eggs for my little one, then add a couple of eggs for extra protein for the big kids.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Menu Monday

* = new recipe
:) = recommended
:( = not recommended

Dinner tonight...
Pan-fried Lemon Dill Tilapia = :)
*Sweet Potato Pancakes = :)
Green Beans

Dinner last night...
Frozen Pizza (that had been in the freezer a few months too many!) = :(
Salad with vinegrette
*Dessert/Melon Gelatin = :( (The thought of gelatin as an animal by-product grosses me out. Last night as I was watching Chopped, I heard about agar. It's derived from algae. Is that much better?)

Lunch yesterday....
*Fresh Shrimp and Veggie Spring Rolls with peanut dipping sauce = :)
*Lemongrass Soup = :)

Breakfast Saturday...
*Whole Wheat Oat pancakes = :) :) :)

Dinner Saturday...
Sweet and Sour Pork with Couscous = :)
Steamed Asparagus
*Dessert/Frogurt in Ogden = :) :) :)

I'll share our :) (recommended recipes in the very near future.) Here's a recipe on the menu tonight...

Sweet Potato Pancakes
2 large sweet potatoes
1 tsp. hot curry powder
1 egg
1 tsp. salt

Grate sweet potatoes and mix with with other ingredients. Cook by spoonfuls in a greased skillet (we use olive oil, canola oil, or coconut oil.) Turn only once. Serve with plain greek yogurt

Note: These are still yummy WITHOUT EGGS. Just omit the egg. It's a little crumbly but that beats an allergic reaction. :) Also, use lots of oil so that it doesn't stick! BTW, our baby recently tested negative to an allergy to soy and shellfish. Now, we just have to watch out for eggs and peanuts.

so many new recipes in one weekend = :(  
too many dirty dishes!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Black Bean Soup

A few weeks ago, I was thinking it might be fun to post what we eat for dinner. Food is a big deal around here (at least for me!) So, last week I started posting dinner du jour on facebook and decided maybe to add worthwhile recipes here and there.

Tonight's Menu...
Black Bean Soup
No Knead Bread (Scroll to the bottom of this link to get the recipe.)

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Heidi Bleggi

1 tablespoon oil
½ cup yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon taco seasoning (I use unsalted)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with chili peppers
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
3 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained
1-2 cups beef broth
½ cup cooked pork, shredded
1-2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish with cheese and avocados.

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté about 3 minutes until tender. Stir in cumin. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. (I cook a pork roast or loin in the crockpot for 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.)

2. Add carrots, celery, broth, and tomatoes. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Add beans. Simmer for 5-10 additional minutes.

4.  Stir in pork and cilantro. Heat through. Stir in cilantro

Note: If you use 1 bag of beans, rinse and soak for 8 hours, or do the quick soak (read the bag.) Double all ingredients. Rinse beans again simmer for 1 1/2  hours with onions, spices, garlic, broth (increase to 6 cups), and tomatoes. Add carrots and celery. Simmer until carrots are tender. Add pork and cilantro. 

Note again: When the veggies are cooked, I give it a couple stirs with my immersion blender to thicken the broth. Or you could throw a couple cups into your food blender.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A friend of mine posted this quote on facebook today and I've been thinking about it all day.
"Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff." - Catherine M. Wallace
On this particular day, I think I listened. They wanted a fort. So we build one. It was a fun day. Now if I can just try my hardest to live it. Thanks E! You are always so insightful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Snowy School Morning

One day gray, snowy morning last week I sent her off to the bus stop and snapped a few photos. It just so happened that she packed her own lunch that same day. I was happy about the choices she made and also thought it looked so yummy, so I captured it. She came home that afternoon very proud of herself and announced that she ate everything in her lunch box. She's been making her own lunch a little more now.


Bus 2


P.S. Don't judge me for the white roll. She LOVES white rolls. Who doesn't? (They are a Walmart special.) 

Also, I found these yummy Baked Kettle Chips at Costco.

Baby Pears and Strawberries purchased through this CO-OP.

The turkey is Foster Farms (from Costco). It's nitrite-free. I think this link is right.

Coming Soon.....

Weeknight Dinner Menu Ideas