Wednesday, February 9, 2011

marinating in fun and friendship!

feels soooooooooo good to be sitting here. dedicating a couple hours to doing what i love. i'm kinda, a little ignoring the little guy in the other room. every few minutes i hear, "MOMMMMMMMMMY. i need some help, PLEEEEEEZE!!!!"

he's making a valentine gift for his sister! "can i make a present for peyton, mama?" then, he proceeded to go through box after box until he found one of those makit and bakit sun catching kits i had left over from a birthday party. he's proud and it cost me like one buck at michaels! we will wrap it in 20 sheets of tissue paper and presto...we will have one happy little guy and pressie for baby girl!

i know, i know...i kind of suck at organizing my time, but i am trying...that is for sure.

hey, you wanna see something ridiculous?


we are doing some work in the kitchen right now, so aside from the exposed drywall...
i had a work day where, clearly, i made it my day's mission NOT to pick up one thing in the kitchen...

i don't know how or why my kitchen resembled grey gardens (so intrigued by that story though!), but it did and on top of all that...a friend came by and wanted to see the work in the kitchen. i told her that i could rock out a clean up in twenty minutes. we call that a twenty minute shake-down around these parts.

instructions are simple actually:
1. set the microwave time for twenty mins.
2. put on some cleaning house music, up the volume.
3. give the kids a job to do too.
4. light some candles.
5. start running...

twenty mins later:


polished and smelling like gardenias! i thought i had more photographic proof, but afterward peyton 'rescued' a turtle that was walking in the middle of our street in the front yard, so we all bolted outside so mommy could show her i-can-do-anything skills and picked up the turtle (with very sharp claws) and found a new place for it in the lake next to us. yes, my mommy cape was flying high that afternoon. the kids clapped...i'm just sayin'!!!

some time later that week, i was trying to make a menu for a girls' night that i was hosting at my abode, but because i had a week to think about it, i came up with nada. give me a week, i can't think. give me five minutes...i can rock anything out. procrastination is my friend. we get along like peas and carrots.

while i was twiddling my thumbs and trying not to doodle, (because if i start's all over from there. there is something about making trees and love bugs that i find therapeutic. it's weird and a waste of time, so i try not to start) peyton made a 'festible' in our side yard...
"i'm the teacher, mama!"


a couple of little neighbors saw the set-up and ran right over to join the fun!

and speaking of fun, if we had one of those fun-o-meters, i am pretty sure that the little red indicator stick would have moved left through fun, funnier, and explosive kind of fun. mixed in with lots of work and obligations...we have found tidbits of time and have been lucky enough to have friends fly in from the blizzards of michigan to help us enjoy our florida winter!

sangria on the beach in january. check!




we took our fabulous and majorly fun friends to my favorite beach spot and sunday getaway! isle of capri! i'll never tire of it's quaint little sandy beach. jenn, actually requested that we go there. i knew i loved that girl!!!
if i didn't admire the blue and golden sky twenty times, i didn't do it once. it was STUNNING! the clouds looked like cushions beckoning each one of us to treat it as a hammock in heaven.
sea pencils, shells, birds, nature...









i thought it might rain, but it didn't and the feeling the gritty sand beneath my feet is to me the sign we are on vacation. a one day vacation!

we are waiting for the tooth fairy again...

(update: tooth gone! after much waiting, peyton is now asking 'shanta' for her two front teeth~we have a lisp folks...and it's really frickin' cute!)


more friends!!! my oldest and one of the friend chrissy and her super sweet daughter, marley are here with us this week!

chrissy and i have literally grown-up together. our mom's were buds back in the day. chrissy, my sister and i have been friends since we were three!!! special kind of friendship for sure! i'm pretty sure i remember some potty training going on at her in me potty training. i'm not sure how i remember that.

anyway, now chrissy has a little one of her own and we are pretty much in love with her...
***hi, grandma busia!!! i miss you.

we played it up with park visits and car rides in the front yard! please note: jeff's michael jackson glove. yes, his very own dancing glove! that pretty much sums up chrissy laughing her booty off!

chrissy without the glove. jeff wouldn't let her have it. he's possessive of it to say the least;)

ever see a kid on rollerblades swinging?





photo by beckham!



jeff scaring the pants off of these poor kids...look closely, you will see his hurdling legs in the air above the kids heads!


and i cooked...

to make my really good meatballs you'll need a few things, but mostly a bowl, good music, and your drink of choice. mine, red wine...but i'm tellin' ya, it makes my dinner experience better. not alcohol, but just anything you like to drink or have to make you relax and enjoy the cooking process. like lit candles!

lovely meatballs!
a pound of ground beef (i used ground round)
a pound or less of ground pork
1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup romano cheese, freshly grated is better but store bought will do.
a bunch of flat-leaf/italian parsley, chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
teaspoon ground pepper
flour (optional)

first, whisk the eggs in a separate bowl. then, place all ingredients including the eggs in a large mixing bowl. use your hands to mix very well all the ingredients together. then, form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inch in size. i think i made about 25 meatballs!

then, roll each one in a light dusting of flour. i rolled about ten at once.

in a skillet, put enough olive in the pan to cover the bottom. heat the oil and then put meatballs in the oil and brown them on all sides on med to low heat until cooked inside.

place the meatballs on a paper towel to drain excess oil.


i served mine with angel hair pasta and my bolognese sauce. it was fab and the kids loved it!

and for dessert:
strawberries and canoli cream

a bunch of strawberries, cleaned with tops cut off
a small container of whipping cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

i didn't put portions because, i kind of throw this all in a super cold metal bowl.
first, i make the whipped cream by whipping together a small container of heavy whipping cream, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a few tablespoons of of sugar and a dash of cinnamon. taste it as you go and see if you need to add more sugar. i used to use powdered sugar, but the last few times i have made it, i have used regular old sugar. you can choose.

whip until the cream forms stiff peaks...until it looks like whipped cream. stir the ricotta really well and then fold it into the whipped cream. done. keep in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. leftovers will last until the next day!

serve with your fave berries! or use graham crackers to scoop cream...yum!

make a pot of pasta, light a candle, and do something you love right now even it is just for two minutes.
i'm off to enjoy a naples sunset at the beach with my little toothless wonder and handsome boy, then, it's leftover night!


Amy said...

You are back!!!! I don't typically comment, but wanted you to know your blog always make me smile.. The picture of Peyton and Marley driving that car made me laugh out loud.. And Beckham is too cute for words. Thanks for the recipe! We will be trying it out tonight.

Loosy said...

I love this post so much I wanna marry it. Your photos bring so much sunshine to Seattle I actually didn't have to hook up to an IV of vitamin D today! THANK YOU!

Can you miss someone you have never met? ;)

Rhonda said...

Your post warmed me up from the cold northern weather we have been having!!
How many big chocolate brown eyes can be in one post!! My oh my, as much as I love baby blues...those chocolate lolly pop eyes get me every time!!
What a sweet little brother showing his love for big sister....can you spell...adorable!!!
You should enter Jeff into a high jumping competition...that is some great height he is getting....haha...That little car cracks me up...Too cute!
Have a great warm sunny day...I posted a beach pic for my fb profile pic, just so I can pretend :) Reverse psychology anyone

Anna Ruth said...

I've missed reading about what the kids are doing. I love how sweet Beckham is and how much he loves his sister. The pictures at the beach a beautiful.

Maria said...

Heidi,Heidi,Heidi~a few words from another stranger/
blogger/'re posts are so warm & fuzzy & bring such warmth to us cold folk up North. I so look forward to seeing beach pictures & sunny skies while I'm up here freezing my ass off! It's in the teens tonight. UGH! Anyway, I love that pic of Peyton in that gorgeous polka dot outfit..she looks so big! And could Beckham get any more cute? I don't think so. Just wish you would stop having so much fun down there & update more..we miss you! Great post.

April said...

I'm gonna be totally random here, 'cause that's how my comments usually go ... that's how I roll ... I am most definitely gonna have to try that canoli cream, sounds delicious! I loved your post title, so creative. I really like all of your pictures, but especially liked the b&w one of your reflection in Jeff's sunglasses. I can't believe your girl has lost another tooth, but then again I can b/c that's exactly what happened with El. I am just a teeny-tiny jealous of your Isle of Capri day, okay, maybe more than that! It is cold here and I am in a February funk. I love that my last comment made your day, that is just awesome! You are an inspiration, Heidi...

PS - Would love to fly south, but as of now, not in the plans ... hopefully, sooner rather than later, and we'd definitely be hooking up!!

Okay. Random enough for you?


Adrienne said...

Heidi, can I come for dinner one night? Your food always looks so inspire me to be a better cook and I especially love how it seems to come from your roots and your family. You are just the sweetest and your kids...adorable.

Loosy said...

You are famous. ;)

Loosy said...

Oh and one more thing. You and kelle are so oprah and gayle (respectively). You two need a show. Period.

J said...

I have used lots of your tips for photos and song ideas...
I wish we were friends!

Love from Canada!

Shaams said...

Hooray for posting! Love seeing your pictures, reading your words, getting some new recipies! Hope all is well!

Kelly said...

How in the world did Jeff scale that car!!?????? He needs to join the olympics!! Serioiusly! Peyton looks like SUUUUCH a big girl with the missing teeth! LOVE the lisp!!


GraceesMommy said...

oh friend you make me want to come and buy the house next door to you. if i were brave i would take a photo of my kitchen with all the valentine cupcake supplies spread from end to end and the crafts from making valentine's day cards blended in...i am sitting here trying to avoid facing that mess and let me tell you it is so good to see that there are others out there with the same thing going on in their house.
love your photos as usual but the one of the beach and the sky is wicked lovely. i am in one of those winter blues funk and it is so nice seeing sand, water and sunny have a happy ♥ day!!

Sarah said...

Cleary Jeff used to hurdle for real....that is good form!! I love it all! Florida looks amazing to me right now, but I'm home enjoying a snow day so it is all good, right:)

Eva Marie said...

Your comment was sweet today and totally made me smile..

my kitchen looks the same about right now, I need to invent the 20 minute shake down in my parts of town, problem is my daughter also has a 20 minute shake down maybe its more like a "shake up" where everything goes back to where I didn't want it :) haha

and sangria on the beach, now that I could do with right about now!

Sarah said...

PS Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and your thoughts. YOUR blog, life, pictures and words are always reminders to enjoy being a mother, our fleeting moments with our little kids, our friends and family.

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

Oh've done it again. Make me smile and laugh and want to eat food and straighten up my house all in one post. I never get enough of your photos. Keep them coming. Those meatballs sound HEAVENLY!

Daniele said...

aaah, I can just feel the warmth when I look at your beautiful pictures...thanks for the five minute vaca haha.
We had a huge blizzard here last week, but next week we look forward to a heat wave... high 30's and lower 40's- we will all be in flip flops :D

Rhonda said...

awww....Look at that new header!!! LOVE!!! Enjoy your Valentine Day weekend!!
We are off to a Winter Festival this weekend...Might as well make the best of all this snow!!

Amie said...

Aww, P looks adorable! And the sand? DIVINE. I am in desperate need of a beach.

Christy said...

Beautiful pics as usual.
I don't usually comment, either, but I wanted to let you know I made your meatballs last night and the flour trick is just what I have needed to know all these years! They were delicious and, best part, they didn't fall apart in my skillet!! Thanks for the great recipes!

April said...

Are you serious with that new header?

Happy Friday, friend, xoxo ...

LCR said...

Loved seeing a new post, Heidi! Your photos are always so beautiful, and there's nothing like a yummy new recipe:)

April said...

Happy Valentine's Day! High on life ... xoxo ...

Kristine said...

sangria on the beach in january! color me jealous! i feel like i am on a mini holiday when i peek in at your blog. i can almost feel the warm sun!!
love that close up of your scruffy hubby. :)
your recipes always make me hungry. what's better than spaghetti and meatballs? yum!

patsy said...

pics of so many beautiful babies ;)...and thank you for always sharing your recipes, so sweet! and wow can that jeff jump!!!

Kait said...

The strawberries and Canolie cream look amazing!! I can hardly wait to try it!

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