Sunday, June 30, 2013

Homemade Creamsicles and Scenes from the Weekend

It's been hot, hot, hot around here lately. Well, I guess I should say that it's been hot, for this area. Around these parts, anything above 75 makes us break out the fans and get excited. This weekend it must have reached 90, which was enough for my kids to pull on their swim suits and spend almost the entire weekend playing in the pool.

Randomly, we made some Homemade Creamsicles and they turned out super yummy so, I thought I'd share the recipe. We're big on homemade popsicles in our house and creating new concoctions is always fun. I think you'll like this one. We do.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate with 1 cup water. When that's fully combined, add in 1 cup vanilla yogurt, stir well and then add in 3 tablespoons of honey.
 Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze for a few hours, or until frozen solid.
When serving, run each mold under warm water and then gently pull the popsicle from the mold. 
Homemade Creamsicles
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons honey

In a medium sized bowl, mix together frozen orange juice concentrate with water. When that's fully combined, add in vanilla yogurt, stir well and then add in honey.

Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze for a few hours, or until frozen solid.

When serving, run each mold under warm water and then gently pull the popsicle from the mold. 

Hoping your weekend was extra fun. Here are a few scenes from ours:
*Supergirl, taking a break.
** Saturday night dinner at my sister's. Isn't she beautiful with her 3 boys and my Batman?
*Quiet time in the morning sunshine. Reading the Bible, journaling and drinking coffee. Perfect.
**My scribbled notes from today's sermon. Words. They are SO powerful!  Use your words to worship     Jesus.....ALL the time! Ouch! I needed to hear that.
***Sunday afternoon naps.
****Shoes. We love shoes.
*I sit in the sun, Eliza sits next to me in the shade. I bounce her with my foot as she sleeps and the kids play in the pool.
**The way sunscreen makes Paisley's hair curl. Big happy sigh. 
***Ice cream for dinner, because when Daddy works 12 hours on a Sunday, we search for joy. And when you search for it, you can always find it. 
****Happy ice cream face. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Friday Adventure

I've come to realize that if I go too many days without fresh air, I start to actually crave it. Sure, we go outside all the time and spend time in our yard, but that type of fresh air is filled with responsibilities that surround me. Outside at home, I see weeds that need to be pulled, flowers that need to be watered, 100 outside projects that I'd love to tackle. To fully relax and enjoy, I have to get away from it all.

I love, love, love where we live and exploring our state with our kids totally excites me. I want my children to grow up with a love for being outside and a heart that craves adventure. Today we put our superhero capes on and ran through the woods with our cousins and a new friend.  Tonight my skin feels warm, from a mild sunburn and my kids have more freckles than they did this morning. I put them to bed after we laughed so hard that my stomach muscles hurt. I realized that those muscles are out of practice. Silly is so good and after a day filled with sunshine and adventure, silly came easily.

The absolute best part is that today we met some new friends. This little cutie was there with his Mamma, to meet up with their MOPS group. Since none of their group showed, they joined us for our walk and a picnic afterwards. We didn't know them from anywhere, but God made it clear that our morning was supposed to be spent with them.

I love how God puts us in the right place, at the right time!

Wishing you a happy, happy, happy, weekend!

Review: Cascade Platinum Packs #sponsored

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Now, more than ever, people eat with their eyes, and the evidence is all over sites like Facebook and Instagram. With that in mind, Top Chef judge and editor of Food+Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, has partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation.

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Recently I was given the opportunity to try out the Cascade Platinum Pacs for myself. I hate having a sink full of dirty dishes, but I also don't have a lot of time for doing dishes so, I love this product. With Cascade, I don't need to pre-rinse my dishes like I used to. Now I can load the dishwasher quicker and enjoy having an empty sink!
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Procrastination List

 1. Updating the kids baby books. I am SO behind and Eliza doesn't even have one. This haunts me daily.

2. Cleaning out the 2011 and 2012 papers from our filing cabinet. At this rate, I mine as well wait another 6 months and clean out 2013 while I'm at it.

3. Writing a new "About me" page. The current one doesn't even have any pictures of Eliza on it and I don't feel like it describes me well or my blog well either, for that matter. It's just awkward to write about yourself. Anyone want to do it for me?

4. Cleaning our bathroom. I'd rather not.

5. Clearing out the memory on my phone's camera card. There's over 1200 photos on there and I keep on deleting just two or three so, I can snap a few more. The problem is that I don't know how to delete more than one at a time. 1*1000, is a lot of time spent deleting photos.

6. Backing up my blog. I REALLY need to do this. Very important.

7. Getting rid of my maternity clothes. Whether we have more kids or not, I'm sick of those clothes. I need them gone. It's just a matter of going through them and finding a pregnant friend who wants them.

8. Giving the dog a bath. I don't even remember the last time we bathed Rosie. The funny thing is that she really doesn't smell bad at all. Or at least that's what we think!

And a couple favorites from today.....
He says he's going to take care of her forever. 

So, please tell me that I'm not the only one who's not totally on top of it. What have you been putting off?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

American Blogger and Bloglovin'

My appreciation and respect for bloggers has gone through the roof lately. I just love words and photos, that tell someone's story. It gives me goosebumps when someone is bold enough to put themselves out there, to get it off their chest and hopefully to encourage someone else. Often lately, I read something and I want to jump up from where I'm sitting and just squeeze the person that wrote it. Words....they are so powerful, aren't they? While I sit and feed Eliza and after the kids are in bed, I read and  it blows me away when someone describes something that I can so relate to. They say something that I couldn't have said better myself and by reading what they've wrote, I feel like I begin to understand myself better.

So, to wrap all of that up with a bow, what I'm saying is that I love the gal who's writing after her kids are in bed, who's telling her story and inspiring others. It's you, the person who writes her little heart out, for only 3 people to read or the person who's writing for thousands. The gal who's writing makes us stifle our laughter, while our house is asleep and the Mom who makes us tear up, because we can so relate. Your audience size doesn't matter. Get that? It doesn't matter. Because if you share your heart, because you feel like you're called to, then you're being faithful and faithful is enough. It's more than enough. 

So, have you all heard of American Blogger? The husband of one of my favorite bloggers just started traveling around the country, and over the next few months, he's interviewing 50 bloggers and filming what they do and why they do it. After he spends time with them, his trip will become a movie documentary called "American Blogger". Following his adventures on Instagram and reading about his travels on his wife's blog has been totally fascinating to me so, I thought I'd share it with you all.

The Wiegands: Blog
Chris Wiegand: Instagram

The second thing I wanted to mention and I'm sure you're aware of, is how Google Reader will no longer be, as of Monday. Yep, it's going bye-bye and I wasn't sure what I was going to use as a reader until last night when I joined Bloglovin'. Ok so, I'm going to be honest here and say that I've known about Bloglovin' for a long time, but it always sounded a little bit silly to me. I guess the name didn't ring well with me for some reason. Anyway- I was wrong (like I often am about first impressions). Bloglovin' is a great blog reader and I would totally recommend it. When I signed up, all I had to do was click a button and then it grabbed all the blogs I was following from my Google Reader. So easy. Who knew?

Wrapping this up with a phone photo dump.....

Happy baby.
Oh Eliza, you have our hearts! 
A two year old, caught trying to change her own diaper.  
A two year old, caught trying to clean up her spilled breakfast. Someday, she's going to be a world changer with her strong will and free spirit. 
A super hero, drinking a green smoothie, packed with super powers. 
4 years old has been especially good to us lately. We go in phases where parenting is hard and then miraculously a good phase comes along where the hard work seems to pay off. I couldn't have picked out a better kid to be my son. I'm so crazy about him that it makes my heart hurt. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Remember a few weeks back when I shared about those super easy, soft and chewy Birthday Cake Cookies? Well, I promised to come back and talk about the other side of what was on that plate.....the Lemon Cake Mix Cookies.

These cookies are so easy and they always turn out perfect. They're one of my stand-by I-can't-screw-this-up recipes, that I fall back on and believe me, I need to have a collection of recipes like that. These days, I can hardly get out of the house on time, let alone try to conquer something fancy in the kitchen. So, simple is the name of my game and in this case, simple tastes delicious.

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
1 (15.25 ounce) box Lemon Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs and oil. Put the powdered sugar into a small bow. Drop spoonfuls of dough into the powdered sugar mixture, roll it around and form into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for about 6 minutes, watching closely and removing when the edges just begin to brown.

Leave cookies on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies.

Wrapping this up with a few scenes from the weekend.

***Sleeping baby, after a fun-filled Saturday.
***A boy that's mastered the fire pole.
***Future BFF's


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