Sunday, April 29, 2012

this weekend we...

*Found a new hiking area very close to our house.  It would have been a longer hike had our little girly not pooped out shortly after we started. :)

*Went lawnmower shopping (but didn't make a purchase).  In an effort to cut costs, we let our lawn service go.  We are on the hunt for a lawnmower that won't break the bank, yet will last a while.  Yesterday Chris mowed the lawn with our neighbor's.  He actually really enjoyed it and is looking forward to having the new chore once we get the right equipment. :)

*BBQ'd 30 lbs. of chicken.  Yep.  30 lbs!  My parents came over and we combined our efforts with them taking home 10 pounds cooked, chopped, and ready to eat!

*Went to Claim Jumper for my belated birthday dinner with Chris.  I ordered a new menu item, deep dish pizza.  Would definitaly order again.  If you know me well, you know that I LOVE fun/interesting questions.  I found these online and Chris and I had a great conversation over dinner discussing each one. :)

*Took a walk this morning while the kids road their bikes to the donut shop.  They loved stopping at every rose bush and commenting on them.  :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

*While it was rainy here yesterday, it was beautiful at Disneyland. We had a fun time with my parents and despite the crowds, were able to go on several rides and see a parade.

I love this pic of my mom and Kendall. Kendall looks so determined in her steps. :)

*I've been doing a little research on the cake I want to make for Kendall's birthday next week. She loves Disney princesses, but specifically Aurora. I could be biting off way more than I can chew, but I'm going to attempt this:

*Tomorrow night Chris and I are going out for a belated birthday dinner. We are sticking with our two gift card options, Red Robin or Claim Jumper. Despite both being very casual, Claim Jumper seems a little nicer to us, so I think we'll go with that. :) Beforehand we'll stop by the cake decorating shop to look for the doll head for my Aurora cake. Chris is very excited that part of his night away from kids will include browsing the aisles of a cake shop. :)

 *I made a double batch of these today. We are addicted!!

 *Some friends and I were talking the other day and I asked them if they would rather have:
A. A free massage every week
B. A free pedicure every week
C. Unlimited Starbucks every week

They all wanted a massage and I was the only one that said Starbucks. :)

 *Right now Kendall is napping and I'm vegging watching some 90210 reruns. My friend Jen and I always wanted to drive around and find Kelly and Donna's beach condo. Ahhh...a dream that never became a reality. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

quick to forgive

Tonight when I was taking Kendall to bed she wanted a certain baby to accompany her.  As we were heading upstairs she changed her mind and wanted the baby to remain downstairs.  I didn't feel like going back down so I told her to just leave it on the floor.  For some reason she got upset and demanded it go back downstairs, to which I turned around and chucked it down.  Really, Kelly?  Did you actually think that would go over well??  :)

That started a spiral downward as she then screamed wanting the baby back (probably felt badly that I had been so violent with it!).  I got very frustrated and refused, then gave in, then got more frustrated because she still didn't calm down.  I was NOT the model of patience.

After plopping her in her crib without bedtime snuggles, she had HAD it.  I left in a huff and Chris went in to calm her down.  However it wasn't long before the guilt settled in and I felt really bad for how I had talked to her.  I went back in and told her I was which she immediately forgave me.  How nice.  I dread the day when she is a teenager and I have to apologize, only to be met with rolling eyes.  I'm so thankful little ones will forget wrongs in less than a second. :)

p.s. She was still talking after half an hour in bed, so I went back up for some more "ease my guilt snuggles".  :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

couple food things

*I decided to try my hand at making my own beans, rather than buying them canned. We go through quite a lot considering I eat them frequently for lunch and puree them often for the kids pancakes/waffles. I also like the idea of not having any added salt. It was quite easy actually and a pretty good savings cost-wise. Basically I would normally spend about 80 cents on a can of black beans. For the same amount that comes in a can, I spent only 25 cents. :) Not bad!

*Tonight's dinner (Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork)was a 10+++ for me. Chris gave it only a 7, but it could be that you need to have a liking for stronger tasting sauces. I honestly thought you could pour it over any meat and it would be amazing. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

some weekend stuff

*I like to think my kids eat overall pretty healthy. However I am by no means strict to the point that I don't let them enjoy treats and eating the dreaded "white flour" products occasionally. :) Case in point? On Saturday at breakfast with dad, check out the size of the donut Cameron chose. Holy cow. Is this not the size of his head???

*My mom caught her neighbor about to throw away a patio table umbrella and rescued it for us!! We had some company last night and used it and it was great! Now if I can only keep it up and have our family eat out there more often. I always pull the ,"But I have to wash off the table if we eat outside..." card. :)

*After Kendall's nap on Saturday we went to a Golf Expo in Ontario. Our neighbor had given us some free tickets. It wasn't qite as kid friendly as the brochure had said, but the kids enjoyed the free popcorn and running around acting WAY too hyper. Plus afterward we stopped by Chick Fil-A and they played for almost an hour. So that made the trip more worth it.

*I made some Cookie Dough Dip last night and it was quite tasty. Kind of a fun/different dessert.

*Today was hiking club day, but due to the weather and not a lot of people able to make it, we'll have to reschedule. :(

Friday, April 20, 2012

graphic design

A while back Chris designed a flyer for our friend Jeremy's work (a non-profit health clinic) fundraiser. He and Ana invited us to attend with them. There were a couple dozen restaurants who all offered their take on tacos. It was fun to try the different ones and I came away from the night having sampled THE BEST taco I have ever had as well as THE BEST cheesecake I have ever had. The taco was shredded beef with the most amazing macadamia nut sauce. Oh my goodness. The cheesecake was plain, but just perfect. I went back twice for the cheesecake and headed back for a third time but they were out. :)

Here is the flyer he created for the event.

Anyway, we had a really nice evening with them and it was a different date night than our typical, "browse Barnes and Noble in Redlands then hit Claim Jumper." Not that we don't enjoy those nights...this was just a fun change. :)

When I tell people that Chris is a graphic designer, they often ask what that entails. I thought I’d share some of his work and talk a bit about what he does. Basically, anything that a company, church, non-profit, or anybody needs put into print or on the web, he designs. From branding (logos), flyers, postcards, mailers, newsletters, websites, he has the capability to do it all. Besides that, he also handles the printing for the majority of his clients, which is actually pretty unique for a designer. I'm constantly amazed at what he comes up with. I'm so proud of how talented he is. If you want to look more at what he does, take a look at his website. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

my birthday

We started my birthday morning with a walk (kids road bikes) up to get donuts and Starbucks for breakfast (my donut complete with a candle brought by Chris). I didn't feel like going to speech so we played hookey and went to our library playtime. We are never able to go because of speech so it was neat to take the kids after it had been so long.

After school we all headed over to my parents' for a hike and birthday dinner. The hike was pretty warm so we weren't gone too long, but it's always fun to try new ones. Back at their house we enjoyed my choice for my birthday dinner and a yummy cake for dessert. Earlier in the day Kendall had requested that my cake have Tinkerbell on top, so my mom printed out a picture, colored it, and stuck it on top. Very cute. :)

I love how my dad looks like we added him in because of his wacky angle. :)

Overall I had a very fun day and felt very loved. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

new recipe

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about wanting to try this Soft Chewy Wrap Bread recipe. I finally tried them and they were delicious!!!!! They are soft and taste like a homemade roll in a tortilla form. They are a tad time consuming, but worth it considering you can freeze them. I know that part of the reason they were so soft and fluffy was because I used all white flour. But I'm determined to try them again with at least 1/2 whole wheat (shhh...don't tell Chris!)

p.s. If you do try these, don't cook them until they get brown spots. That's too long and they'll break rather than fold nicely. Bake them JUST until they start to somewhat bubble up.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Saturday morning I had about 4 hours to myself while Chris took the kids to breakfast and errands. It was VERY nice. In the evening we had some friends over for dinner. Both kids had a great time and even stayed up until 8:00 (gasp!) because of all the fun they were having. :)

Today we had some BEAUTIFUL weather. Chris took the kids to the park then home for lunch after 2nd service since I needed to stay late. I then met my mom at Michael's to get a few things. On my way I got my free birthday Frappuchino from Starbucks. Back when Starbucks changed their formula for frapps so you could customize them more, they also changed them to the point that I didn't really LOVE them like I used to. Well, I've finally discovered my perfect drink again: Coffee frapp made with soy milk.'s good to be back. :)

When I returned Cam and I did some baking during Kendall's nap. I posted a while back about Biscoff Spread, which I had seen on several cooking blogs. Chris bought me some yesterday morning at the store. It is pretty decadent. It tastes somehow like buttery, cinnamon cookies in peanut butter form. Anyway, we made these and they were SCRUMPTIOUS. The saltiness of the Biscoff adds quite a yummy layer to the cookie (I used choc chips instead of white choc).

Soon after I got back we went over to the friends whom had come the previous night. They had recently built a climbing wall in their garage and we wanted the kids to try it out. We stayed for dinner, which was delicious.

Friday, April 13, 2012

*A WinCo/Costo trip was on the agenda this afternoon. However the weather made me rethink the potential hassle of this trip (like Kendall insisting on carrying her own umbrella to and from places...however not quite grasping to carry it OVER her head). Instead we turned on Aladdin, which we had checked out from the library. I can't believe I still know almost all the words to every song.

*The other day at Bible Study our speaker asked a question to "all you gals in your 20's". For the first few seconds I perked up as I'm still used to considering myself to be in my 20's. But my 33rd birthday next week brings me back to reality. :)

*Generally people are "sweet" or "salty" when it comes to their favorite foods. I'm sweet all the way, however I will say that I am a sucker for plain tortilla ships. No fancy flavors, just regular. I could eat an entire bag. I especially like to dip them in plain sour cream. Yum.

*We were supposed to scout out a possible hiking trail for my hiking club tomorrow, but this rain will likely leave the trails too muddy. :(

*We are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night. Menu: BBQ chicken, rice, rolls. I'm thinking of swapping the rice for a veggie. I feel funny not serving a veggie. Should I?

*We ordered Kendall's bedding last night. I was so excited that my gift card covered the whole thing!

*Chris and I rented The Descendants for tonight.

p.s. In reading over this post, I realized I didn't remember if I would be 32 or 33. Wow. Without doing the math, I honestly could not tell you. Let's see...33. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ebelskivers, a.k.a. "pop-up puffs"

One of my birthday presents from my in-laws was an Ebelskiver pan. I had seen one on a cooking website and thought it looked very fun. I love it!! Basically they are little soft, fluffy pancake clouds. You can make them sweet for breakfast or dessert by filling them with a few chocolate chips, cinnamon apples, etc. Or you can go the savory route and fill them with cheese, chicken, etc. You can then dip them in whatever goes with your filling like syrup, BBQ sauce, ranch, etc. As cheesy as it sounds, the possibilties are endless!

Anyway, they were very fun to make and sooo yummy! The kids and I made them for breakfast this morning (I called them "Pop-up Puffs" for them) We put a few chocolate chips in each and the kids gobbled them up. I'm very excited to try lots of different fillings now. :) If you are interested in how they work, here is Rachael Ray to show you.

p.s. I've mentioned before that Cameron "threatens" Kendall a lot when she fusses or argues with him. His threats are very interesting. Here is one just spoken while they were in the bath.

Cameron: Kendall, if you argue you are NOT going to turn 3. You will have to wait until next year to celebrate because we will make your birthday then.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Easter weekend started with a trip to Chris' brother's house. We had a fun time hanging out, letting the kids play a ton, going on an Easter Egg hunt, and enjoying a delicious lunch. I altered one of my favorite cake recipes to make individual dessert servings. I don't think they came out quite as pretty as I had hoped, but they tasted wonderful. :)

I had extra brownie scraps which I formed into egg shapes and covered with white candy coating and sprinkles for the kids.

How adorable are these dresses my MIL bought for the girls? I love that they aren't the traditional pastel flower type.

Sunday morning we headed to church for a really neat service which included a very powerful video montage of the crucifixion and Jesus walking out of the tomb. Really moving. By the time we had made it to church, Cameron had mastered the, "He is risen!! He is risen, indeed!!!"

After church we went on a fun hike with my parents.

We came back to our house for lunch with my parents and another egg hunt (filling the eggs with the same candy they collected yesterday!). After my parents left Chris took the kids to the park .

Friday, April 6, 2012

*Last night some girls from my moms' group table got together for dinner. We had such a nice time and believe it or not, I didn't leave their house until almost 10:00 (gasp!!). :)

*Any of you who think this is the way to make brownies cannot be my friend. A brownie should be doughy and without edges. :)

*Easter plans:

Saturday: Head out to Chris' brother's place and celebrate with them and his parents.
Meal: Taco salad, a dessert I'm bringing that will hopefully be good enough to blog about later :)

Sunday: Church, hike with my parents then back to our house for lunch
Meal: Crockpot shredded beef for tacos, same dessert as Saturday

*Kids new favorite show: Doc McStuffins

*Chris' parents spent the night a couple nights ago. They gave me an early birthday present of some cute clothes and an Ebelskiver pan. I've seen these things for a while and they look very fun. They are basically a pancake you can stuff with either sweet or savory fillings. I'm excited to use it!!

*While the kids were looking at books at the library, I was browsing the magazines and started reading Consumer Reports. They did a huge super market/bulk store comparison and out of all our local stores, Trader Joes came out on top (meaning lowest prices). Trader Joes isn't THAT convenient for us, plus it's always sooo crowded, but maybe I should try a little harder to make it work. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cameron's rule for Kendall

I've written a lot about Cameron having a difficult time with Kendall when she cries. Lately he has been instructing her on how she should act once she turns 3. Take a look...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

snipits from our weekend

*Last week we checked out a book from the library entitled, Cupcake. At the end is a real recipe for vanilla cupcakes. As soon as Cam read it he was determined we make some of our own. I made it a little more fun by adding some candy to each one.

I was a tad grossed out at a couple of their candy choices...Smarties and Candy Corn :)

*I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that we ate at Wienerschnizel over the weekend. I'm not a fan of the healthiness of that choice but, A) It's cheap B) The one here is new and nice and C) The kids love it. Afterward we drove around and discovered a new hiking place to try in the next couple of weeks.

*Cam starting talking about insects today. During Kendall's nap we created an insect info sheet with facts about different kinds of insects. Did you know there are also pink, yellow, orange, and black ladybugs? Did you know killer bees are no more dangerous than regular bees? They just attack in groups.

*This morning I was in a very foul mood. I was short with the kids which made me frustrated with myself because they weren't even doing much, other than Kendall telling me 50+ times that she didn't want to wear the dress I had put on her. :)

*On the weekends we've started having Cam "rest" in our room while Kendall naps. He never sleeps nor even stays in bed. Yesterday he apparently got into my closet and came downstairs like this.

That is a hat on his head, not underwear. :)

*Friends have told me about the fruit/veg stand in Yucaipa. I finally went a couple weeks ago and I'm officially a fan. Check out what I boughtf for $9.64!!