at times the monotony of real life can feel boring or uneventful. let's face it, doing the dishes for an hour after planning, shopping for, and preparing dinner isn't exactly synonymous with the excitement of entering disney world, or in my world on occasion; sitting down to a slice of soft, velvety chocolate cake with extra dark chocolate frosting. i know you understand. ha.
after reading this post, if words like 'dark chocolate' or 'cake' and pictures of the moistest dark chocolate confection just won't stop bouncing around in your mind or if you need to make cupcakes for an upcoming birthday... try making these. i don't have a photo because someone and her sister practiced our magic disappearing act on them. you can frost them with store bought dark chocolate frosting or a better way to indulge is to make your own frosting.
this week has been the opposite of a boring or otherwise simple week. yes, there have been dishes and the unending laundry. there are bags to be unpacked (no, i haven't finished that yet as i just started today), things to be cleaned, loved on, caught up from being gone for 7 weeks.
forget all that important, yet equally less important bits and pieces of real life for things like...
not wanting to cheat myself and my family of the end of summer celebrations even though i am chomping at the bit for fall to arrive...
we finally sunk our teeth into the perfect, cold slice of seedless watermelon; we made blt's and corn on the cob for dinner, because that's how we roll during the hot months of this season; we invite friends over for impromptu swims; the kids made homemade lemonade with fresh lemons and real sugar and peyton even asked me for...hello, MINT LEAVES. ha. she is my child and has a monster memory!
note that i don't usually look this happy to be cleaning, but i looked up and saw peyton with my camera pointed at me. she knows better, but i love that she loves to take pictures. besides, i was cleaning up the lemony/sugary streaks of my kids independence. i've never seen a child look so happy and proud as when daddy and i both said that we loved her homemade lemonade so much, that we would like to have a glass for dinner. you woulda' cried at the pride on my
afterward, we read our fortunes...
nads, we adore this shirt so much. he's been wearing it for three days straight. ha. xo
and we stay up late because in a few days school begins for our oldest that means early bedtimes, but for this last week, we watch tv and eat drippy popsicles before dinner.
in truth, i am sniffing out fall like a hound dog hunts out a hare. i attack at the first sight or smell of the upcoming, chili-laden, candle-burning...finger crossing...crisp & cold season ahead.
so i am approaching our everyday life with new vigor and energy. my thoughts pump me up for a good and productive day as i think of freshly sharpened pencils, the smell of crayola crayons& elmer's glue. new shiny mary-janes for my girl and a sparkling new backpack that just arrived in the mail today.
peyton is starting kindergarten in a few short days and aside from a few random fits of tears over the fact that my little girl is slipping through my fingers and the official countdown to her high school graduation starts on monday, i'm good! i am looking forward to checking out her first real school desk that will be filled to the brim with brightly colored colored pencils and crisp lined handwriting paper. oh, and let's nor forget the brand spankin' new erasers.
is it just me or back in your elementary days, was an unmarked eraser like a present sitting in your desk just waiting to be made into a stamp? i used to draw hearts on them with red marker and then use it to stamp my work. on other days, my lack of attention was due to the fact that i would create a 'mural' on one side of the eraser and then use multiple colors to make it into a stamp.
i usually did these things during the math portion of my day which explains why i flunked college math for two years in a row...but that's an entirely different story. one the includes thick math books being pitched at my then-boyfriend and my-now husband, hours of tears, and deep and genuine prayers to God that included words like...
beg. never ask for anything else. i'll study every night. help. i love you. don't you want to help me? ha. yes, He gets the drama from as well. but it helped eventually.
i am keeping busy with setting out peyton's first week of outfits, note that my obvious energy and organization on this matter is sure to fade away as i will soon be knee deep dirty laundry, a smelly lunchbox, and homework.
and today we met peyton's new teacher! i already love her and we are so excited to learn together this year. peyton seems smitten with her teacher (shy smile and all) and that in itself couldn't have made this mama any happier tonight at meet the teacher at her school.
we marched in like the rest of the excited parents...
i felt special. being on that campus signified something big. something forever life changing. i wanted to tell anyone who would listen...
see that girl right there, she's mine and her first day of kinder is monday and we are so proud.
and she was excited and she felt special too... and we marched in with the rest of the families and i wondered how many of them couldn't wait for their kids to get back to school for a much needed break and how many mamas were finding it hard to let the lazy summer end and for school to begin.
her teacher says things like,
hello, beautiful. and
and va bene!
and she loves on my baby like an italian grandmother might. she's says things to me like,
why don't you come over one night?! we'll cook meatballs together. she had me at meatballs.
i hope she really does invite us over, because she reminds me of my childhood. of my own italian grandmother...but nicer;)
we saw friends. lots of em'. this little guy was part of peyton's play group that we started when she was only six month old. the whole lot of those little people are beginning k next week. it takes my breath away how quickly time is going.
and if your wondering why my little one has her hands to her mouth in so many of these photos...
she has her first loose tooth!!! a very exciting rite of passage if you will. she tells everyone. my little shy buttercup has come out of her little shell and proudly exclaims to just about anyone...
"i have a loose tooth. see!"
peyton, we are so proud of the little lady you are becoming. we aren 't perfect and we sometimes don't know the right way to teach you, but we do love you more than anything and we love you even more for the little person that you are. thank you for letting us live our young years again. for opening the window into our past that your new experiences have unlocked for us. xoxo
reunited & making up for lost time...
we had a fashion show where we both pretend like we have been styling vogue models for years when in actuality i have no clue what i'm talking about. just the same, kelle is taking a trip and we needed to style her up for it.
we laughed. cried and just...soaked in our kids playing together again.
from there we hit anthropology and when the kids could take no more retail fun...we did this right before a thunderstorm threatened to hit...
jeff came for pizza:
fast fresh margarita pizza
homemade crust is prob best, but i haven't tackled that yet so i just bought a pre-made pie to make it quick.
about 1/4 cup of EVOO infused with garlic.
two cloved minced garlic
fresh mozzarella cheese that you can slice into thin round pieces.
a few thinly sliced roma or ugly tomatoes.
a bunch of fresh basil, whole.
sea salt & ground pepper.
corn meal to keep the crust from sticking to your pizza stone or in my case, baking sheet.
iam big on a few thimiuutffcxzbeckhamuuuyuuuttrrrreeewwqsssszzaaheidi8pooiiuuuuyyyyytreertiooh...
i believe in a few tried and true rules when cooking. i don't have many as i'm not a pro and i learn better techniques all the time, however i am big on...
letting things simmer for a period of time long enough to let the flavors of the dish meld together.
using salt to bring out flavors.
and the one that pertains to this recipe...
slicing things thinly. it may break a cooking rule somewhere, but i find that i am very conscience of how thick or thin i am slicing ingredients to use in my food. i don't really have a good reason, but i do think about how hard it would be to eat cleanly.
if using a pizza stone, place it in a preheated 500 degree oven and allow the stone to heat up.
top dough with oil, minced garlic, fresh mozz, tomatoes, and basil. sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. (leave a one inch border around the pizza)
i used a baking sheet which you can do the same for. when heated, remove from oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. place the pizza on top and place it in the oven.
bake until golden and the cheese is melted. i would say i cooked ours for 10-15 minutes.
cut with a pizza cutter and serve with a salad.
note: you can make this pizza with basic tomato sauce in addition to the toppings above.
if you wanted to make your own i would throw something like this together and make it in a saucepan on the stove. something easy but super good.
tomato sauce for pizza
some diced onion, maybe a half or whatever you have left in the fridge.
three garlic cloves, minced
a can of whole tomatoes. do not drain.
heat the oil and soften the garlic and onion (med heat, if you go to high the garlic will turn bitter), about 5 minutes. add the rest of the ingredients and some salt and pepper. bring to boil, then let simmer for 30 minutes. you may need to add some liquid. 3/4 cup of water should do it.
...like a father looking for his teenage daughter after she passed curfew, at about 9pm, my husband called and asked if the kids and i moved in? ha. so we packed it up and headed home and promised to make our fall time bucket list the next we met up. it's gonna be good. first thing on the list...
1. make strawberry jam!
okay, to end this post, i leave with this sky. our sky lit up like a beautiful fireball of colors...oranges and reds. we raced outside when we caught a glimpse while we were opening our fortunes.
our imperfect and super beautiful life!
i will use random.org to choose the winner of the salt box and french salt tonight.
another giveaway in the next couple of weeks by someone super talented. loving her stuff so much.