get your green on

lucky ass

Happy St. Patricks Day but more importantly….Happy birthday to my younger and handsome brother Brandon and my Amazing father-n-law who also both were born on this celebratory day!  Turns out I have had this shirt since 2011 and wear it every St. Patrick’s Day, also turns out I wore the same exact earrings today, not planned but shows what a creature of habit I am though;)

I was so greatly touched yesterday by the encouraging comments left on my blog post.  It seems I reach some of you readers out there but I wonder if you know how deeply you touch me.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a comment left.  I don’t want to say it’s because I’m insecure and I require cheering but I have found that the way I work best is with positive reinforcement and simply a pat on the back and “job well done” is all I need to keep trucking.  I have always been this way. A few encouraging words go a very long way with me so I have also become somewhat of an encourager myself.  Maybe too much at times….or so my kids think.

Favorite thing I heard today was from Dylan aka Moon Rebel “I want to learn to do a back flip, and I know I can do it because I’m athletic and capable, I just need to commit”  I like it.  He also found a butterfly with a broken wing.  Picked it up then placed it in our garden.

and the very last thing shared today here in this space is the inspiration and free bookcase that was delivered to my driveway by Uncle Don and scouted by Aunt Lynn and if it hadn’t been for my father-n-law knowing I was on the search for a bookcase then it would not have fallen into place so perfectly.  Let’s just say it will include yellow paint…such a very happy color and peacock-blue.  More to come on that later. I hope you will come back to see.

Color makes me happy!

carrot cake

My mom had a birthday this week.  So we decided to make her favorite cake and invite mom and dad over for her birthday dinner this week.  In August of 2012 my friend Staci Lee posted an amazing recipe for carrot cake on her beautiful blog where she even shows us the most incredible pictures of the process.  I have had it in my head ever since I read her post.  Me, I’m not a big fan of carrot cake but I know it’s my mom’s favorite so I kept this in the back of my head until this week two years later, we try her recipe.   Basically Sister Sarah came over to help us with the baking a few days before our gathering.  All Sarah and I did was shred the carrots and my littlest and only girl baker did the rest all by herself.  The blog and it’s pictures and directions made it nice and simple for my girl.  My mom had got us these really groovy baking caps from Italy when she was there so I thought you may just want to see what they look like as well as the baking team.  The smell was just amazing.  It smelt like a cozy fall day, only it was 98 degrees outside.  I can’t wait for it to drop a some degrees around here.

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IMG_9122IMG_9170and when you run out of napkin holders, heart-shaped rocks do a fine job.

The day couldn’t be more perfect.  I had ordered my mom a picture book from our summer trip to her Arkansas home and it wasn’t supposed to arrive until next week. When I got home from work yesterday it was sitting in on the front porch.  Hello AMAZING!  Then we had a vacuum problem.  My vacuum sucks so much it sucked a pair of Abbie’s socks right up and plugged up the hose.  So this gave me and Moon Rebel a little challenge.  It took us a while to figure out how to take the vacuum a part but when we did, he had a plan!  We couldn’t seem to push the socks out with the little golf club we used but his idea was brilliant.  He got one of grandpa’s fishing hooks, some string and a drum stick, made a little tool thing and fished the socks out of the tube.  We laughed and sort of had a bonding moment of sorts.  My cleaning got sort of pushed back a little but mom didn’t mind watching me finish up my vacuuming while she visited with our first to be born who is rarely around these days being 19 and all, so it was also great honor to have him there.  He even ate dinner and dessert with us and then watched the movie I made for my mom.  It was a very, very good night.

IMG_9165IMG_9162Why do my most favorite pictures end up blurry!!! I should do myself a favor and keep my camera on auto when we have family gatherings.

IMG_9173 This picture makes me so happy.  You have no idea.

Abbie and her cousin did a most excellent job decorating the carrot cake.  I couldn’t have made it look as nice.  Abbie sort of went decorating crazy and I found little bits of her frosting art here or there.  I think we have a baker on our hands:)  or at least a decorator.

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Thanksgiving

 

Table set so pretty, under the white tent lined with white and orange mini lights, a very pretty day in California & perfect for outdoor feast. 

We just had a wonderful family dinner at Uncle Don’s and Aunt Lynn’s this afternoon and today Aunt  Lynn makes the bulk of the family meal all the important stuff, like the yummy juicy turkey, the mashed potatoes and gravy, the stuffing, green beans, rolls and fresh salad with pomegranate seeds, homemade cranberry sauce. The great thing about Aunt Lynn is you can be guaranteed she uses only the best ingredients, all natural, organic and made with pure love.  We offered up the famous 5th grade apple pie and a spin on a Martha Stewart’s sweet potato recipe.   Mimi made her delicious coconut cream pie and lemon meringue, and Lynn made her homemade pumpkin pie because how is it Thanksgiving without it.  I love how all the pies are from scratch and again made with such LOVE.  Yummy!  I was also glad I could have a tiny bit of it all on this day.

 

Uncle Don mashing the potatoes, fresh green beans with bacon, salad with a light citrus dressing, gravy and organic butter for our rolls, the table setting, stuffing and homemade pies. 

There is so much that goes into a meal like today, preparation and timing it all just right. I can’t imagine I get all in a fuss just having to contribute a few dishes for this day.  I wake up have a cup of coffee with Rich by the fire  and I begin to get all jumbled in my mind like, when should I start to cut up the sweet potatoes, when should Abbie and Austin begin the apple pie process?  When do I wash my hair and Abbie’s hair and blow our hair dry and wash my jeans and transfer them to the dryer , will I have time to wash the dishes before we leave?  All these little things so I mean preparing for a meal for 14 people…well sort of blows my mind. Today though what I decided to do is send up a little prayer about my time management and to keep my calm.  It all worked out, all of it, we got it all done, even the pile of dishes. It worked out so perfect I had time to make the most yummy cranberry smoothie to gulp down before we got on our way…IN TIME.  All in TIME!  So Today I want to be grateful to my Mom, my Grandma, Aunt Lynn and Mimi for putting all these big family meals together for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Easter.  It’s a very big deal…like HUGE.

Below, my dirty pile of dishes that got done before we left for the Thanksgiving feast and you can find the recipe and pictures for sweet potatoes on my recipe page.