Friday, July 31, 2009

White Chocolate

Tonight we were invited over for a potluck/pool party. White Chocolate Popcorn is my go-to recipe for such occasions when a main course type dish isn't needed.

1 (3.3-oz.) bag butter-flavored microwave popcorn, popped
1 cup salted mixed nuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (12-oz.) package white chocolate morsels

1. Place popcorn in a large bowl, discarding unpopped kernels. Stir in nuts and cranberries.
2. Microwave white chocolate morsels in a 2-cup glass measuring cup at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
3. Spread mixture in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Let stand 15 minutes or until chocolate hardens. Break into pieces; serve immediately, or store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

As always I had to get my kids involved in cooking, so I let Kayleigh dip the ends of pretzles in the chocolate and sprinkle with her favorite pink sprinkles.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My "garden"

Well, it doesn't look like much and it isn't. It's just one pot with basil (I make a great "Italian salsa") and mint (mojitos!). Yesterday I planted oregano and I have a rosemary shurb to plant as well as some aloe vera. The rosemary and aloe will go in the ground. I'm excited! Erika's Italian Salsa

8 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt.

Serve with soft cheeses and crackers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mini Fruit Pizzas

No recipe needed for this tasty dessert! It's a fun dessert for the kids to help with too!

It's easy, all you have to do is:
  1. Buy or make your bottom. I used premade puff pastry shells. But, a sugar cookie would work just as well.
  2. Mix 2 parts cream cheese to 1 part powdered sugar
  3. Spread the mixture over the bottom
  4. Add fresh fruit

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This past weekend Dave, Kayleigh, Shana, Cameron, Kona, and I went up to Mt Lemmon for a night of camping. It was so much fun to be with Kayleigh on her first camping and fishing experience. Her favorite things about it were the things to do with animals of course! Fishing, feeding the ducks, sleeping in the tent with Kona.

Dentist Visit

Last week Kayleigh and I went to the dentist. She was scheduled for 3 and I for 4, but they asked if Kayleigh would be okay by herself so I could get worked on at the same time. I'll let you guess what I anwsered by the looks of the pictures!

I'm happy to say that she still doens't have any cavities! She is good about brushing. :) So is Zoe... She is actually obsessed about it. She loves to brush her "teets"

Budding Artists

Dave and I like to draw and color so it's only natural that our girls do too. There isn't a day that goes by that Kayleigh hasn't shown us her lastest drawing, colored picture, or craft/creation of some sort. She'll beg me, "Can I do art with you Mommy?" and I'll have to rack my brian trying to figure out what we can do. I usually just come up with cutting and pasting and maybe a little painting and usually it's made with whatever recyclables that are around that day...

Above is what Kayleigh came up with today. The thing to the left with the dark ears is a cheetah, in the middle is her version of hangman, the green guy to the left is a mean face.
I have two goals for August. Join a gym and create somesort of a schoolish schedule/routine thing by buying a book teachers would use to teach Pre-K or Kindergarten and always have a fun craft/art project up my sleeve.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Spotlight on Zoe Jane

My dear crazy curly haired little Zoe... Since birth she's been two things. Loud and silly.

That girls makes me laugh every day. She loves her "boops" or books and "petchup" or ketchup. Tonight, she was having corn- just corn and she was grabbing the air for "petchup." yuck! And I'm all for reading to the kids, we do that every night, but my goodness. Zoe loves books. And the same ones... Row, Row, Row Your Boat and The Lady with the aligator purse. I've often thought about hiding them, but I think she'd look for them!

Zoe also loves to follow Kayleigh around and if you follow Kayleigh around, you'll get dressed up! Of course Miss Z is a little sponge and has picked up on my impatience... She started saying, "Om On! Om on! OM ON!" and she says it ever so impatiently while one arm is extended out towards you with her hand opening and closing. I'm just waiting for the day she says hurry up! ;o)

Friday, July 17, 2009

having a moment

While cleaning out my inbox I came across this picture of the girls. It's not the greatest picture, but as soon as I saw it I got emotional... I love those precious little girls so so so much. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about family life: "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."

I really hope that I'm doing a good mom-job. I want them to have great memories of being little girls and of being sisters. My life is so much better because I have sisters. They are so lucky and they won't realize it for many years. I say that because it took me many years to be so appreciative and thankful for my sisters.

With that being said... Kayleigh is off on an adventure to the airport with grandma to pick up grandpa then to Ihop for lunch. All things that make her so happy. Shana is in town and we all plan to go swimming later. Something we all love to do. On Saturday Dave, Kayleigh, me, Shana, Kona, and Dave's brother, Cameron are headed to the mountians for a over-night camping trip. It will be Kayleigh and Kona's first. I can't wait to experience camping through Kayleigh's eyes!

Zo bug just woke up. I better go give her a HUGE HUG!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Are you looking for a great book for kids? Our family favorite is "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

I checked out the "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" book and audio CD at our local library without knowing anything about it. I just saw the cover and thought the title was amusing. I thought we would listen to the CD while I was making lunch. Well we did and we listened to it at least 4 more times after.

In the story you are transported to the town of Chewandswallow where its weather is very unique. Instead of raining rain, it rains soup and juice. It's all rather amusing until the town gets over run with a food flood :o)

And to my suprise, I found out that "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" is being made into a movie and will be released this September- in 3D! This is a kids movie that I will gladly pay full price to see.

For more information the website is:

And for a sneak peak of the movie here ya go:

Friday, July 10, 2009

how to win cool mom points

This week I was cooking up a storm. Lasagna, Chicken Enchiladas, and Goat Cheese and Spinach Turkey Burgers (my favorite) with fresh sweet potatoes. By Thursday I wasn't feeling being creative in the kitchen, so I did what we usually do on those days. We feed the kids chicken nuggets! And of course we have to sneak in the healthy items like fresh corn and fresh pineapple (zoe's favorite!) This time I won cool mom points because I let them eat in front of the TV while cartoons were on! Kayleigh was so excited!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Today I did two of the worst possible household chores- clean the shower and hand wash the kitchen floor and base boards. EWWWW!!!

Two of my favorite cleaning products are Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (must be the name brand!) and the Swiffer Vac. Yes, I realize they are wasteful, but they make my life easier.

The Magic Erasers are pretty amazing. I love them for cleaning the hand prints around light switches and on doors. They are also great for anything white like our cabinets, the shower, closet doors, base boards. I love magic erasers so much I gave them as a Christmas present last year! LOL!!!

Ahh... the Swiffer Vac. It's light weight, no cord (only for charging), and does a great job especially picking up nasty dog hair. What ever the vac part doesn't pick up the swiffer cloth part gets. I use it all over the house. The kitchen, the bathrooms, and on the laminate flooring. It's $35 well spent!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monsoon Rains

We had a nice suprise after dinner- RAIN!!!!
It was so much fun seeing Kayleigh and Zoe play in the rain. It was just plain old good clean fun. Such genuine smiles. I love it!

What is one to do in these HOT Arizona summers?

Why try everything possible to cool off of course!

If you're lucky, your mom will buy you a really cool crazy sprinkler to beat the heat. And if your mom is lucky you'll like playing with it.

THE best way to cool off in the HOT Arizona sun is to find a pool. That's what we did for the 4th of July. We spent a good part of the day at my Mom and Dad's new house. Here the girls are having snacks on the patio. Popcicles are also a must. Kids love them because they are a treat and Moms love them because they keep kids quiet for at least 10 mintues! Another way to keep cool: strip down and SPLASH!!!

And put those go-gurts in the freezer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

dog days

Here is our sweet "little" pound puppy, Kona Flower Acorn. I am not a big fan of dogs, or animals, but the kids love her so she gets to stay. We adopted her from the Humane Society at the end of April 2009. When we got her she was 15 weeks old and weighed 30 pounds. She is a chow and australian shepard mix and will get to weigh about 60 pounds.

Kona and Kayleigh and Zoe get along so well. Kayleigh loves to pull and be pulled around with Kona's knot (a cloth toy that is tied in a knot). Zoe, oh, Zoe... She loves to give Kona treats (without us knowing) and share her food with Kona. Let's see... besides the food that Zoe accidentally (or not) drops on the floor a meal times, there has been a time or two that they have shared a milk bone. And this morning, when I was getting ready to take Kayleigh to daycare, Zoe decided that she would get the huge Costco bag of craisins out of the pantry and share those too!

There is never a dull moment with our 3 kids!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I love to cook

I love to cook. I love everything about it. From beginning to end. I look forward to getting the mail on Tuesday afternoon just so I can see what will be on sale for the next week at the grocery stores. I even have a handy way of making out my grocery list. I use a sheet of printer or notebook paper. On the left I write down the name of the store and the name and price of the items that are on sale that week. On the top right is the running list of groceries we will need or ran out of. On the bottom right I plan out the weekly menu. So, that is what I love about the beginning.

I think shopping is pretty fun, but it’s nothing compared to the excitement I get from taking random fresh and colorful ingredients to make something yummy for my loved ones to enjoy. To make the actual cooking process more enjoyable I have nice kitchen supplies. The items that I use on a daily basis are: Global chef’s knife, Cutco steak knives, bendable cutting boards, 12” stainless steel covered fry pan, and a copper bottom pot. Some people find cutting and chopping “work” but I find it enjoyable!

Since I’m usually cooking or making something new, I’ve decided to start taking pictures and blogging about my culinary adventures!

First up, Berry Berry Cool Pie. I made this delicious red, white and blue no-bake dessert for the 4th of July. Everyone loved it! The lemon juice made it. Next time I make this, I’ll try using different fruit combinations. *this is an eagle brand recipe*

1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup lemon juice 1 1/2 to 2 cups assorted fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 oz.) Keebler® Ready Crust ® Graham Pie Crust

1. MIX together sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice in large bowl until blended. Stir in berries. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. 2. FREEZE 5 hours or until set. Let stand 30 to 40 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brought to you by the letter "P"

P is for Posing. Both my girls are such posers. Kayleigh is a natural and Zoe learned from the best!

Today we had a Playdate with "girls" from Dance. We had a "P" theme. We packed lunches and had a picnic on a pink blanket. The girls dined on things such as pretzles, peanut butter sandwiches, and pudding. The kids (four girls and two boys) were instructed to bring 5 things that started with the letter P for a prize. Girls got pink plastic princess watches and the boys got puddy. We also painted. The girls painted their very own magnet and the littler ones got down and dirty with finger paints. To end the picnic/playdate/party we had storytime. The book was called, "The Bunnies Picnic" Oh and the girls even snuck in a pillow fight!

I was proud of my little girl for being well behaved at lunch, waiting to be last for show and share, and sharing paints. Now, if we can just work on not being so bossy at "free play time!"