Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On her way...

Mornings aren't exactly a party in our home. It's a wild mixture of preparation, rushing, reminding, prodding, pushing, fighting, half-sleeping, cartoon watching, tooth brush procrastinating,
and one little miss
go to school.

 Believe it or not, we've endured the same struggle since early preschool days. But this girl actually LOVES SCHOOL. LOVE LOVES it. 
She was just awarded STUDENT OF THE MONTH at the student assembly for the trimester end. Now how's that for a little model citizen?!!!Woot woot!!
Was I the weird parent openly crying in the audience...explaining to anyone within a 1 foot radius that if only they had known her shenanigans at age three they would fully grasp the magnitude of this sort of miraculous event ? hhm not sure maybe i don't think so can't remember yes.

But despite any of that, she frequently protests just as we pull up to the curb each day.
I really think it just comes down to the initial separation. That first moment when she must step away from the car, from me, from her sisters. It's a bunch of crazy mayhem (i mean who wouldn't want a break? come on lily! i'll trade you!), but hey: it's ours

One morning, in an effort to build her confidence I requested in a morning prayer that the "angels would surround Lily" to help her during her day.
She loved that.
Now she often requests "the prayer with the angels in it".

and so I say it 

again and again.

 For her.

but really, for ME.

I always have. I don't know if the day will ever come, no matter how many mornings we repeat this same scene, when it won't feel like a little bit of a spontaneous gut punch heart combusting love washover each time i watch her run away with her over-sized backpack.

Dear Almighty, let the angels surround her. 

And then, she'll turn and flash me the Biebs* heart...

and prance away....

After which I yet again work to regather my consciousness, 
sop my sappy heart slowly back into its exploded shell,
 and turn to notice Ellie Jane stuffing cheerios up her nose.

* Justin Bieber. we're big lady fans. unfortunately. ;)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meal Planning Mondays: Haack Lady Mummy Spooktacular and The First Place Grand Prize Undefeated Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Pie That Was Technically Never Entered into any Contest.

SoooOoooOooo...as you can see....

 we are a mummy extravaganza this year!

and for once, i decided to not sit out and instead be the cool mom and join in...

a moment which culminated in all its shining cool mom glory when i
got myself ready first

then marched all zombie like out to the backyard where my girls
were jumping on the trampoline
and spookily proclaimed....

"Mmmmmmummy is RRrrrready Girrrrrrls......"

let's just say embarrassment over one's parent is
apparently not something only reserved for teenagers.

we won the family costume contest at our church's annual Trunk or Treat Party 
{except poor Tyler got held up late at work and didn't have time to dress up so instead got to come as the poor hardworking sticks out like a sore non mummy thumb Dad instead - yay! Don't worry, he'll join us on Halloween instead}


winning that definitely consoled me over the evening's previous devastation,
which leads me this:

Going along with my theme of joining in on the party full shabang style, I decided to actually bake a pie and enter it into the infamous pie contest. I won in 2010 and let's be real, once is never enough. I want the award line-up that home-cook church mama legends are made of. So, I got to work searching for the perfect new pie to enter.

I went to Target for supplies. Unloaded all the children. Realized after unloading all children that I had forgotten my purse. Reloaded all children. Drove to parent's office in town and begged for cash. Received cash. Went back to Target. Unloaded children. Bought supplies. Reloaded children. Drove home. Unloaded Children. Baked pie. Amazing pie. Reloaded children. Arrived at church. Unloaded children. Walked triumphantly in....
"oh, we aren't holding a pie contest this year. didn't you hear the announcement?"

{insert a load of W.T.FmormonFbombsubstitutes}


However, I was told by numerous folks who tried a slice that it definitely would have been first place no doubt about it.

and i'm sure the fact that they were telling this to a crying mummy mommy kicking and moaning on the floor had nothing to do with it.


You're gonna want to serve this at Thanksgiving. Promise.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Pie

You'll need:
9 inch pie crust (I like graham cracker myself)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  • Line a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate with pastry; trim and flute edge. Refrigerate while preparing filling. In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin, milk, sugars, eggs, flour, salt and spices until blended; transfer to crust.
  • In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon evenly over pumpkin layer.
  • In a small bowl, combine the first five topping ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts; sprinkle over filling. Cover edge with foil to prevent overbrowning.
  • Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 50-60 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Remove foil. Cool on a wire rack. Serve within 2 hours or refrigerate, covered, until cold. Yield: 10 servings.

Adapted from Taste of Home

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Sweet Life Presents: Oktoberfest 2012

Our good friends of The Andelin Family Farm
have been running a pumpkin patch for a few years now.

And let me tell you...i am always amazed because it just gets better and better every year.

So many good activities, and all locally owned and run by Dad Cameron, Mom Natalie, and their
4 strapping boys and 1 darling daughter.
Love this family.
I am so impressed with how well run and creative the whole event is. Puppet shows and hay rides and corn mazes and treats and pumpkins and art and the whole shabangy bang! Definitely worth your time if you're a local! They even had a chicken chase....a chicken chase I tell you!

Where else can you get down-home fun like this!?!!

Lily entered the contest.
Did she catch one?

pppshaw! what kind of mother do you think I am?
what kind of daughters do you think I raise?

of course she caught one.

Well done Andelin family! 
This is on our Oktoberfest tradition list for years to come!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

it shall be titled....



{or as london refers to it: splishy splashy. mom, can i go splishy splashy in the wada outside?}

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meal Planning Mondays: delicious but not necessarily recommended past bed-time.

green smoothie guzzling rae here, coming at you with a massive 9.8 magnitude headache resulting from a 2 am stint with the most amazing pumpkin cinnamon roll vanilla sheet cake. i felt like i'd been hit by a train when my alarm clock went off. that was a bad, bad idea. i thought. so this morning i will cleanse and share this recipe because it was suuuper yummy and got rave reviews from Uncle Al and Jocelyn {our special sunday dinner guests;)).  you just might want to finish off the entire pan in the early morning hours on a sleepless night while scrolling through the drudge report yourself. i won't tell anyone.
 this is a no-judge zone.

i'm also going to share a new spin on an easy lunch idea and a dinner entree with suggested side items that i've used many times...always a hit.



1. bored with the same old lunch? try this! you can easily double the recipe and stash in the fridge for a couple of days for quick assembly.

Open faced Chicken Taco Salad Sammies

2 cans canned chicken (We love the Kirkland brand at Costco)
1/3 to 2/3 cup light mayo (I don't like a lot of mayo...you could also substitute plain greek yogurt)
1/2 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
palmful of chopped fresh cilantro
palmful of chopped fresh green onions
sliced avocados
sliced grape tomatoes
toasted bread slices

Mix the first five ingredients in a bowl with a fork until nicely blended. Scoop onto toasted bread slices and top with as much avocado and tomatoes as your little heart desires.


2. I will go to the grave defending the culinary legitimacy of meatloaf.
food snobs be gone. 
meatloaf rules and i don't want to hear another word about it....

Ground turkey Meatloaves with feta/sundried tomatoes/and basil

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (reserve a small amount for garnish if desired)
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, 
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
Form into small loaves and set in a 13x9 baking dish. Bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about  35 to 45 minutes. About ten minutes before removing, drizzle ketchup over loaves. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Put on a serving platter, sprinkle with more chopped fresh basil and serve.

Serve with Roasted Squash
and a good green salad!
(click on titles for recipe links)


at long last!!:
it's like the perfect marriage of a pumpkin pie, a vanilla cake, AND a cinnamon roll.
i know, i know!!!! too good to be true, right?.....
i'm posting the pics from the site I got the recipe from, my pictures were ugly and didn't do the yummy-ness justice. 

click HERE for recipe.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Sweet Life Presents: Oktoberfest 2012

First event!
{see last year here}

used this recipe for caramel. I've never been fond of unwrapping 9 million storebought. Makes more sense to just make a big yummy pot.

cute, cuuuuute cousins...

it's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

Pop under siege....

a success!

Next event: Pumpkin Patchin'