i am not a chef. i have never gone to school and i learn so much from my sisters, my mom, and the food network. perhaps one thing i love the most to do in this world is to pour over cookbooks; the ones with the large glossy photos are my favorite. i would say that bags, shoes, scarves, and cookbooks top the list of my favorite things. okay, maybe Victorian homes, comedic love stories, and baby clothes rank up there as well.
my mother-in-law, or one the kindest, most generous women i know... thoughtfully orders two of every cookbook she buys that she thinks i'll like. she recently bought something called a Salt Box. it's used by chefs around the world for easy dispensing of salt or various herbs. i read in one of the many cook books that i read that your hands are your best gadget in the kitchen. ha. i'm pretty sure that's not how it went, but you get the picture. basically, you keep this box next to the stove for a quick pinch of salt when cooking. i LOVE it and i'm doing a giveaway for one on this post!!!
i'm also giving away
an amazing french salt to be used sprinkled on the food after it's been cooked and before serving.
good luck and next week i will be posting some of my favorite recipes on a more regular basis. I've had some requests for the chocolate cake
recipe with ganache frosting and that will be my first one!
sometimes, i think too much. i analyze too much. i feel too much. ha, i know that sounds funny, but it's true. i have so many thoughts running
through my head about my baby girl going to kindergarten in a week & my baby boy starting pre-k for a few days a week. those thoughts have
been violently invaded by my suitcases that remain untouched and resting in my closet since returning home from michigan last night.
my husband and i are in this weird transitional phase where we will have no kids in the house three times a week, for about three hours each
of those days. i look over at him and realize that we no longer devour one an other's words or go to bed at the same time with me being a
night owl and him an early riser (re rocks out the gym at five AM. every morning i wake up to his kiss goodbye and feel proud of him for getting
up and another emotion pops up...gratitude. i'm grateful that i'm not up that early. ha.
we've decided to reconnect with one another with date nights and chats throughout the day alone. we may start camping more often. we just
feel lucky to have what we do and we want to take it for everything it's worth. it feels good to make those kinds of conscience decisions together.
my mind has been a like a train station of thoughts and ideas. it's that time of year. fall is coming and i do this every year. i want everything
to be in order for fall. the season of both peyton and beckham's birthdays. i can't wait to begin planning those. so far we have a superhero
party and another princess party...but i'm sure this will change.
another train arriving and departing the station is my quest for health this season. taking care of my body is taking center stage this year and
i can't wait to set a better example for the babies. in baby steps, we will learn how to eat 'cleaner,' cook healthier, and become more active.
do you ever have good intentions on starting a program, but a few days in kids, laundry and dirty toilets take precedent---that chocolate cake
at midnight was earned. i know it was sistah friend. i feel ya!
stay tuned for a couple of silly girls signing up for 5k's. over a couple of beers and a smiling nella bean, my bestie and i decided to do it...
together...cause that's the way we roll. that way if one of us doesn't make it...we can drag each other over that damn finish line. yup, i'd do it
for her 'cause i know she'd kick, roll, or drag it for me.
i am so excited to celebrate the rest of the summer by celebrating my home and my family. i have this overwhelming desire to hang a few photos,
paint something in my house a bright, eye catching color (just one thing), and hand twinkle lights on my patio for year round ambiance.
in fact, if you can send me a photo of your patio or outside space that you have made special by decorating it a certain way, or by doing
something in that space that you just love and it makes you proud to show off, i'll enter your name one more additional time in the drawing for the
salt box and fabulously french fleur de sel. i just want some good ideas on how to make my outside space that is crowded and in need of tlc,
a little more lovely and comfy.
a couple of my favorite things:
this quilt that was made for me when peyton was born by one of jeff's clients. at the time, i didn't respect the beauty of this quilt. the time and love
that must have gone into sewing the little dolls and farmer boys onto this quilt just amazes me. i leave it in michigan, so i can enjoy it all over
again whenever we visit.
another favorite thing: peyton eating her favorite food, bacon on the couch at evergreen while slowly waking up looking out at the rolling beach.
this ugly blanket. i have complained for years that Evergreen needs to upgrade these blankets that sit on the beds in the cabins.
well, this year, after the 22 years we have been visiting evergreen resort, they have finally started replacing some of the ugly yellow blankets
with prettier pastel colored quilts. oddly, i panicked for a quick second, that our yellow blankets may not be there next year. those blankets
that smell of the beach and wood from which the cabin is made of. i never want to forget them.
fall 'stuff' being sold at all stores now!!! i can't wait to garnish my door with a fall flavored wreath.
a sito, who takes over bath time and the kids who take advantage of the extra time they get with her.
my niece, evie.
my goofy girl and how much she loves her mama.
this little guy!
and my last of my 'favorite things,'
these kids. i adore these kids. my kids adore these kids. carin's girls. kelle's nieces. i didn't know it was possible to
love someone elses children as much as i love these kiddies. they are creative, fun, witty, and keep me busy. they live in michigan and we
try to get together once or twice when i am in town.
the lazy river with an impending thunderstorm made that much more divine. it was a fabulous gloomy day!
and then, off to the movies to see beezus & ramona in our pj's!
the anatomy of getting that perfect photo.
sunset, golden light. check.
all kids within earshot of my call for a cousin photo. check.
two adults behind me; one to clown around and make the kids look and laugh and the other; to run and wrangle the little buggers back
when they get antsy. check.
a patient photog. check.
with no more than one minute to make a miracle happen, this is what i got and it makes me happy in that perfectly imperfect kind of way.
a little more of what we love about evergreen:
and to end this really long post, i will tell you a little story about an ice cream truck.
this one, to be exact...
i was in the house helping my sister, heather prepare for a bbq she was hosting for us. i hear a screech, a trip, and the screen door slam so hard
that it brougt back memories of my childhood grounding for slamming the screen door one to many times. anyway, the screeching was
coming from my two kids.
"mommy, we need money. an ice cream truck is coming. can you hear it? can you hear the music?" i heard it. i heard it and all the memories
came rushing like a wave that crashes into a peaceful shoreline. i don't know what came over me, but without even thinking it through, i started
running! running like a bat out of hell. I started screaming, "really?! an ice cream truck is coming?! yes, i hear it. it's coming!"
i start booking for the front door, nearly knocking over my two jumping for joy kids. in a movement that can only be rivaled by a jungle cat
attacking it's prey in the open savannah grasslands (don't be impressed. i googled 'where do lions live.' LOL).
in one swoop, i missed knocking out the two and five year old, grabbed my camera, slipped on my shoes, opened and slammed the screen and
started screaming to anyone who would listen, "we need money. we need money. the ice cream man is here!!!!!"
(thanks auntie heather and gido for the cash!)
good grief. it was rediculous to all those watching except for the kids who were so happy that mama felt the ice cream truck was as important
as they did. what can i say? i was afraid it would miss us. come on, you've been there. at one point in your life, you sat at the end of your driveway
waving dollars in the air that you worked your ass off for (you begged your mom who was cooking dinner in the kitchen) and then...bam. that
driver didn't see you. hello. what's worse than that? hearing the truck, but not seeing it. i had good sniffing abilities. i would run outside and
point my nose,ears, and money in the direction of the music. sure, i did my fair share of running frantically down each street looking for the
all in all, if you hear a truck and your kids come running in with little expectant faces...remember what it felt like to be able to CHOOSE your
own ice cream and then hand the money over to the driver. on a lucky day, you would get change back!!!!!
ha, happy summering.
email patio/space photos to email@example.com