Tuesday, November 30, 2010

By Far, the Best!

I'm not quite sure where I found out about Portable North Pole but last year I had messages sent to several kids and it was a HUGE hit (it even made a believer out of an 8 year old who was 'on the fence'!). If you've got any little ones in your life, create a special message just for them. Click here and enjoy!

Special thanks to little. lovely. for sharing the 2010 link to Portable North Pole!

Image via here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dress Love!

Several months ago I learned about a designer, Kayce Hughes, with the cutest dresses for little girls (order was placed pronto!). The dresses are not only cute, they are very well made with quality fabrics and attention to detail. I guess I was so focused on the Children's section back then that I didn't even look at the Women's offering... until today. I'm in love!
QUICK! Go check out Kayce's blog here to enter to win one of her Women's Dresses!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This Moment

image via here

I'm sitting here browsing a super, new-to-me catalog called Nova Natural Toys & Crafts based in Williston, Vermont. I love, Love, LOVE everything I see! Check out their website here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Every Little Bit Helps!

I credit my paternal Grandfather for teaching me the value of a dollar and for my thriftiness. I splurge every now and then, but for the most part I am a coupon clipping, promo code searching gal when it comes to making purchases. Lately, I've been using Ebates when making purchases online. It's a great way to get a little bit of cash back on just about everything I buy online. It's FREE! Sign up now and get a $5 credit! Check it out here!

image via here

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Visitor No One Wants!

Last year one of my friends had to deal with a case of lice that her daughter caught in school. I freaked a little at the thought and spent some time online looking for natural ways of getting rid of the little buggers, just in case we needed the information (didn't really find anything that I thought was worthwhile). Fortunately, we were spared the experience.

Recently I learned of a great product line called Babo Botanicals and they have a product combo that is all natural and 95% effective in clinical studies to PREVENT lice! How Cool Is That? I would say that this is a must have product for all families with children in daycare, preschool or elementary school. I'll be getting this gift set to be on the safe side!

image via Babo Botanicals

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oops, they can count!

We've been getting excited for Halloween and we are now in the thick of it: ballet party Wednesday (done!), school party today (done!), club party Saturday and Trick-or-Treating Sunday. Halfway through and I can't believe how much candy the girls have already collected! In the past Kevin and I would combine all of the girls' candy, put a few pieces of the candy we would allow them to eat in their treat bags, and then we would enjoy our favorite candies and Kevin would take the rest to work for his co-workers to munch on. I was assuming that would happen this year.... until both girls dumped out their candy today after school and counted each and every piece! The jaw of my salivating mouth dropped open and the hope of eating those delicious Reese's cups and Hershey bars at 8:05pm tonight were dashed. Oh well, I guess I'd rather see my girls happily counting than me sadly counting the pounds I would have put on eating all of their candy!

Do you allow your kids to eat all of the Halloween candy they've collected? I'm thinking I'll most likely do some filtering of the girls' stash (sending it to work with Kevin!) so it doesn't hang around for too long.

Have a very safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kitchen Confession!

Wow, things have been busy around here! I usually rely on the time my girls are in school to get my daily house chores and grocery shopping done, but that time during the past week and a half has been filled with multiple routine doctor and dentist appointments, a room parent meeting and other tasks. Since I haven't been shopping and our cupboards are pretty bare, I'm not sure why I started preparing French Toast for the girls this morning. It wasn't until after I had mixed the eggs, milk, cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract together that I remembered that we haven't had bread in the house for 3 days! So, in an effort not to waste perfectly good food, (I still can't believe I did this!) I cooked up that egg mixture into French Scrambled Eggs! To give myself a little credit I did ask my girls if they would eat it before I served it to them. They ate it all!

Head on over to Mama Seasonings and Shades of Sunshine for some much more appetizing recipes!

PS: I'm relieved to report that I managed to get to the grocery store this morning and we're well stocked once again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

White, Black and Red

Have you heard about RSA Animate? A friend posted a couple of videos on facebook and I'm hooked! Check it out here. Let me know what you think (& which is your favorite?~ I already know you won't be able to stop at just one!).

After you work up an appetite watching videos and thinking about them, head over to Bull in a China Shop where Tina has recipes for Spaghetti Squash Gratins and Apple Cider Donut Holes. YUM!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Number Seventeen

This morning as I walked down the steps of my girls' preschool the wind kicked up and the colorful leaves swirled and danced on the sidewalk. I couldn't help but think of Bert from a famous Disney movie and his quote:

"Winds in the east, mist coming in
like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
but I fear what's to happen all happened before."

A&O love the movie and this past weekend we went and saw the Broadway Musical of Mary Poppins. It was so much fun to witness the magic that occurred at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane and to see Mary Poppins fly! If the show will be coming to a theatre near you, get tickets!
My sisters and I had these spoons when we were little. My Mom saved them and two have been handed down to A&O!
Stop over to see what recipe Jennifer has in store for you as part of The Recipe Exchange at Whisk it Good!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mani-Pedi Mommy?

Being the worry wart that I am, I would not let my girls have their nails polished for the longest time (the toxins!). I finally caved when they were around three and I found this great line of products called Peacekeeper Cause-Metics. Not only do they make products with better-for-you ingredients, it is "the first cosmetics line to give donations to human rights issues for women who live in poverty or servitude". Learn more about this wonderful company here.

image via here

PS: I painted my girls' nails two weeks ago with Paint Me Grateful and their nails still look awesome. Unheard of with other nail colors!

Find another great recipe over at Scrumptious where Stephanie is making Crockpot Chicken Spezzatino which looks like it will be Saturday night's dinner at my house!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is it really October 19th already?!?

A&O's hand painted pumpkins. Black is a favorite color right now!

It seems as if we have been on the go ever since school started and I can't believe how quickly the days are passing! Fortunately I have been able to stay on top of most things and our Halloween costumes are ready (Mermaid & Little Red Riding hood) and the candy has been purchased for all of the Trick-or-Treaters we are expecting. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have snow for the 31st!
Next week my girls have their first ever field trip to a pumpkin farm about 40 minutes away and I have to admit that my heart was beating quite a bit as I signed the permission slips allowing them to go (buses and all). Parents are allowed to follow the buses and meet up at the farm. I was torn about whether I should stay at home and allow this to be a growing and learning experience for the girls and me, but then both girls found out that some other parents were going and thought they'd like me to be there. What a relief! I'll try to be less of a worrier and stay home for the next one, I promise!

Pretty Mommy's great fall Recipe Exchange continues... please stop by You+Me Equals for Elisabeth's Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas and Miya's Mexichoctofu Pudding, Domestic Reflections for Jora's Homemade Chicken Stock, and 5th Joy for Abby's Hearty Chicken & Cabbage Minestrone. All look soooooooo delicious!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heirloom Apron!

We headed over to my parents' house last weekend so I could help go through some things in their basement (my kiddos were busy in the kitchen with "Eema" while I was sorting and digging through boxes!). I was so excited when I opened a box from my Grandparents' attic and found one of my Mom's aprons from when she was a little girl! I ran upstairs and "O" was willing to model. This one is about 60 years old and the fabric is threadbare in places (lots of use from my Mom and me when we were little). I know there are more, and in better shape that my girls can actually use. I'll keep looking!

Today's recipe, Mediterranean Pot Roast, comes to you from Rebecca at The Reluctant Floridian. I'm planning on making this yummy sounding dish on Sunday!

Have you prepared any of the recipes I've been linking to? If so, let me know!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A great way to spend your loose change

This past weekend I was looking through ReadyMade magazine and saw a wonderful product from Greenaid: a seedbomb vending machine. What a great way to green the gray spaces in your community! Learn more about it here.

The recipe swap continues today over at Look Linger Love where Chassity has prepared some yummy White Chicken Chili. Yesterday Danielle of domestic dish shared a Pumpkin Lasagna recipe that I hope to make for dinner on Halloween! Check them out!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Holiday Headstart

Just wanted to give anyone interested in giving great natural toys as gifts this coming holiday season a heads-up: The Wooden Wagon is having a Columbus Day special of free shipping on orders over $25! Our family loves their products, like this Sunrise Stacking Puzzle (photo from The Wooden Wagon).

Please stop by Under A Pink Moon for Estelle's contribution to the Fall Recipe Swap Michelle is hosting (we hope you're feeling better soon, Estelle!).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delicious Apple Tart

Back in the Fall of 2005 I started what would become 4 months of bedrest while pregnant with my precious baby girls. One day I fell asleep with the television on and woke up to a cooking show (not sure which one) where the host/chef was preparing a yummy looking puff pastry apple tart. I was too tired (read: lazy!) to pick up paper and pen to jot down the recipe, but since there were so few ingredients and the instructions seemed simple enough, I thought I would remember it and planned on making it one day.

Fast forward 5 years.

I was grocery shopping last week and a box of puff pastry in the frozen section caught my eye. I remembered that I had a similar box somewhere in my freezer because a while back I had planned on making that Apple Tart and never gotten around to it. Fresh in my mind, I picked up some local apples and headed home to my kitchen to try it out. The whole process from start to finish was E-A-S-Y and the end result delicious! This will now be my go-to dessert for last minute entertaining!

Puff Pastry Apple Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed per package instructions)
3-4 baking apples
1/2 - 1/3 cup sugar
cinnamon (1 teaspoon or to taste)
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll puff pastry sheet, still folded, on lightly floured surface until it is a large rectangle about 9x13 inches. Place on baking sheet and set in freezer.
Peel, core, slice apples and toss in a large bowl with sugar and cinnamon. Let sit for several minutes.
Remove pastry from the freezer and brush with egg wash (keep wash 1/4 inch away from the edges).
Score (but don't go cut completely through the pastry) around the pastry with a sharp knife to create a 1 inch border that will puff.
Place apples inside the border (you can arrange them or just spread them evenly) and dot with butter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are puffed and golden. Cool slightly, serve with your favorite vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy!

photo from here

*We had some leftovers that we placed in the toaster oven to reheat and they were just as tasty.

Speaking of Aprons....

I love, Love, LOVE aprons! Not only are they practical, they also bring back wonderful memories of spending time in my Grandmother's kitchen learning the basics of cooking and memories of my Mom preparing our nightly family meals.
My girls have basic aprons they received as part of a birthday gift from a friend, and they love getting them on and helping me in the kitchen (they also make great preschooler bibs!). I hope to whip up some cute Anthropologie style aprons for my budding chefs soon... or maybe Mom has those old aprons of mine packed away somewhere? A project for a rainy, fall weekend!

Please don't forget to check out today's fall recipe offerings from Katie at 'the 30 girl': chicken pot pie and pumpkin apple breakfast muffins!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grab your apron!

Michelle from Pretty Mommy is hosting a Fall Recipe Exchange and I've signed up (something new and fun for me)! Yesterday Michelle shared a Taco soup recipe I know my whole family will love, and today Torrie at a place to share has a soup and salad that sound amazing!

Bring on the cool weather and stop by daily throughout October for some seriously good seasonal dishes!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Do you Babble?

My mail carrier, Terry, just rang the bell with a package for me and look what was inside:

Some super cool Hank & Jojo retro socks for my girls that I won on Babble. If you haven't visited Babble yet, you're missing out on learning about great products for family, kids and Moms. Check it out now here!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goodbye Summer 2010

It has been cool lately, so when the forecast called for sun and 71 degrees we headed to Nan & Dan's beach house for some end of summer fun and haircuts on the beach!
We're sad to have to say goodbye to summer, but what an amazing summer it has been!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dare Devils!

Overheard yesterday morning as A&O were looking out the back door before breakfast:
O: "I guess maybe that wasn't such a good idea."
A: "No."
Lesson learned: Don't attempt to ride your large snow tube down your Little Tikes slide or you'll end up in the ER having a CT scan and staples put in your head.

(for the record, I turned my back for 10 seconds to get food on the grill!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What a Summer We're Having!

Wow! We are having the most beautiful summer here in the NE. It has been hot and sunny 98% of the time which is wonderful for us. I'm doing all I can to take advantage of my time with my girls (they'll be in pre-K five mornings/week in Sept!) and the amazing weather. Not much time for posting! Here are some pics from our July 4th weekend.

Summer treats to keep us cool.

We love Parades!


Watching (loud!) fireworks.

I hope you're enjoying your summer as well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy early Independence Day!

We were gearing up for a big 4th of July weekend (the forecast is nothing but sun and HOT!) and one of my babes woke today with a fever, earache and sore throat. No ear infection at this point but our doctor has equipped us with a "just in case" script to help get us through the holiday if needed.

Wishing you a sunny, happy and safe weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1st day of HOT 2010!

...and we broke the pool! Another scorcher on tap for tomorrow. I hope Target has plenty of pools in stock. If it is hot where you are, what's your favorite way to keep cool?

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Simple "Hello"

Hello! Spring is in full swing here in the NE and we are loving every minute of it. I hope your day is a happy one, wherever you are!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pure Maple Sugar!

This weekend was Maple Weekend in much of the North East, which means many of the Maple Farms have open houses with tours and lots of yummy treats. We found a farm about an hour away that was perfect! The beautiful morning was filled with horse drawn wagon rides, treks into the woods to see the tapped trees and sap lines, a tour of the 'sugar shack' and the maple syrup making process, tasty maple cooked hot dogs and eggs (both are cooked in the vat with the steaming syrup), pulled pork sandwiches with maple BBQ sauce and sweet potatoes with fresh, hot maple syrup! After all that, we bought a bunch of syrup, BBQ sauce, maple spread and maple candy to take home with us! Great stuff!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My Grandmother wore an apron

Lately, when I'm casually browsing online, I find myself at Anthropologie loving each and every apron. Today I gave one of those aprons to my sister as part of her Birthday gift. I actually ordered two and tucked one away in my husband's closet with the words "Mother's Day" written on the package. Can't wait!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Winter Sun

Blowing bubbles in the late afternoon winter sun

The days are growing a little bit longer and a little bit warmer. Until the ground warms so it is comfortable in the shade, a good spot in the sun will do just fine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'll be back!

So sorry to have been MIA. We've been through the mill this winter with illness, but after double tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, and having ear tubes put in, we're praying for a better 2010 from here on out!

I hope you are all well and I hope to be back with regular posting in March!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Help Haiti

Total destruction.
Total devastation.
Please do what you can.
It is needed so badly.

One way to contribute is through the Red Cross.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I ♥ Faces... Best Face Photo

The blog I ♥ Faces is celebrating their 1st Birthday! This week's challenge is called Best Face Photo and I'm entering this shot of my dear O. Although I have several older pics of both of my girls that I would consider some of my personal Best Face(s) photos, this one was taken recently and also fits the bill.

Having fun splashing in the bath!