Friday, October 28, 2011

Getting Spoiled

Dropped the babes off in Manteca last night with the family, enjoyed this dessert, caramel pumpkin blondies...yum! & now we are on our way to our first HS staff retreat at Camp Nelson. Looking forward to this special weekend & I will be snagging this recipe as well & I'll try & get permission to share it :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Underwood Farms

We had so much fun here! This was one of those mommy moments for me...the kind I dreamed about having when I was a little girl looking forward to the future :) It brought me so much joy to see my kiddos having a blast at this sweet place! I am SO grateful for the gift of my family, one I don't deserve, but am ever so thankful for.

Look how proud he is "driving" this thing

First pony ride and he loved it!

Weston kept trying to eat the pumpkins!

...And kiss the pumpkins

He won't share his toys with his brother, but he will with the scarecrow!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti with Toasted Almonds

I love almonds- love them. And I found this Cooking Light recipe for Tuscan Almond Biscotti and thought I would try it but add pumpkin pie spice to make it a bit more fall-ish. Turned out yummy!

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Place almonds in a food processor and pulse ten times.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and almonds in a bowl.
In a separate bowl combine eggs and extract with a whisk.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture until combined. Dough will be crumbly.
knead lightly until dough comes together.
Divide dough into two equal portions, shaping each portion into a log about 6 in. long and about 1 in. thick. Place the logs about 6 in. apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375 for 25 min or until lightly browned. Cool 5 min on rack.
Cut each roll crosswise into 1/2 inch slices or desired thickness. Stand slices upright on baking sheet and bake an additional 14 min. The centers will be slightly soft but will harden as they cool.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Since the last room in our house (our bed room!) was complete in the bed bug removal , we decided to take a family day together just the four of us & head to Disneyland for much needed time together just hanging out! We had a great day. With life so busy, we are finding out the importance of sweet times like these. Thx to everyone who has advised us to pause sometimes & just be together :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nolan's Nautical Shower and a fun DIY project for me!

A little while back we had the great privilege of hosting a baby shower in our home ( a first for me!) for my sweet friend Melissa and her 2nd baby boy, Nolan. ( who is now here and a doll!) Her sister Jenny, I , and her friend Jana worked together to make a sweet, intimate and hopefully encouraging time of celebration! The theme was nautical to go along with the theme of the boy's room, and it turned out so cute. One Saturday Andrew and I were on a walk with the boys and we passed by a garage sale...out of the corner of my eye I saw a bunch of nautical stuff and ran over. After haggling a bit over price, I scored some real wood oars and captains wheels for $7 total that only needed a little work to make great shower decor...Yay DIY!

plain and boring, and the other side of the oars had cheesy art that had to go :)
Nothing a little paint can't handle!
Covering that up with Navy
Painting wood letters to personalize the oars with the boys names

Shower Day! Jenny is so creative and has an eye for little touches that make a perfect party!
Exhibit A:

My mom came and helped me with the boys since Andrew was out of town. Thanks mom!
Sweet baby Cooper!
Gabe and Cooper making friends

Sunday, October 9, 2011

11 months- playing peek-a-boo

Next month we will be celebrating Gabe's first birthday, wow! He has really grown in the last few weeks...he says momma, dadda, waves hello and claps his hands. He is also listening to commands like "no rolling over" when being changed :) and is able to eat soft finger foods without gagging. But my favorite new trick is that he plays peek-a-boo by himself with his blanket. It's so precious and he gets the biggest kick out of it! I caught the sequence below:
1) cute smile, thinking about it
2) up goes the blanket
3) I'm pretty hilarious!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Peace and Order once again

I am loving the fall and loving that our home is feeling like a home again :)
Here are a few shots of the front room that is finally clutter free and the rest of the house is almost there! I should have our bedroom done tomorrow or the next day, but we took a much needed break today and went to a pumpkin patch/harvest to come soon of our super fun day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homemade Rice Milk

Taking a break from bedbug posts :) We are almost done just getting our room back in order and a few more spaces to be re-organized...but life must still go on around that and it has been nice to have Bible study back here and we have a staff meeting tonight! Just no one open our bedroom door- it's scary! On to the rice milk...

Since Gabe was taken off formula and put on rice milk or anything non- dairy (except soy), it has been a budget challenge with the cost of rice milk being $2.50 a quart!!! That's $10 a gallon!!! And this guy drinks over a gallon a week, so you do the math :) Thinking of what can be done, I remembered my sister-in-law saying something about making your own rice milk, so I looked online for a few recipes and tried it out! It's easy but a little time consuming, but the price different makes it way worth the trouble. And both my kids like it. So now I am saving on regular milk as well as Weston drinks the rice milk most of the time too.

The cost of a gallon of homemade rice milk is literally pennies! Whatever the cost of 1 cup of rice is, I think it is 2 cents or something. I like this price.

Homemade rice milk
1 cup brown rice
8 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
pure maple syrup or agave syrup to taste
vegetable oil ( optional, a tsp per blender batch is what I use to give a creamy texture and some extra calories for my skinny boys)

Bring the rice and water to boil then cover and simmer on low heat for 3 hours with a lid.
Stir in salt
Fill up blender half way with rice mixture and half with water adding as much sweetener as you like and oil if you are using it. Blend till smooth.
Strain the milk 2-3 times through a fine mesh strainer discarding the pulp.
Repeat with remaining rice.

I like to use the agave syrup which is much cheaper than real maple syrup but has the same health benefits and a similar taste. This rice milk is a different flavor to get used to, but yummy!
I did like that the store bought milk is vitamin fortified, so I am now giving the boys some baby vitamins to make up for that. Let me know if you try it!