Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snow Day - Part 2!

Before I talk about the rest of our snow day, check out this super cute video from our time at the beach...

So, once we were done at the beach, we made our way to South Pasadena. We'd heard about this old-timey soda fountain place there (we saw something about it on the Food Network) that looked really interesting, and we'd been wanting to go there. It was a perfect time for Kendall to take her nap, too, since it's just under an hour to get there.

And to kill even more time, so she could get a few more nap minutes in, we'd gotten the addresses for some houses that were used in Back To The Future, and decided to track those down. (See this post for other Back To The Future hunts)

She woke up right in the middle of all this fun (honestly, I think she woke up hearing our excited voices saying, "There's George McFly's house!!!"), so once we got done with that, we went to the Soda Fountain, which was only about a mile away. It was such a cool little place! Grant got an egg cream (we didn't really know what that was, but he decided to try it anyway. It tasted like a Yoo-Hoo), and I got a chocolate-peanut butter malt. Yum!

After that, since we were in that area, we decided to stop by Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock for a couple more of those fabulous Red Velvet cupcakes (see the same link to the post I listed above)! My intent was to have the cupcakes today, since we already had some pretty sweet treats yesterday, but Grant couldn't wait to have his. I think he had half of his yesterday, and the other half today. I waited until today to have mine. One of these times, we're going to have to actually have a meal at Auntie Em's, because both times I've been in there, the smells are intoxicating.

So that's that. That's how us Californians spend a snow day. Sorry to those of you who are in snow- or ice-covered places right now, but I put in my 2 miserable winters, and am happy to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather!! Y'all can always come for a visit!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Snow Day!!!

Why, you may ask, did we have a snow day in LA? I might butcher this, so in a nutshell, the headquarters of the base (that's the part I don't know about - Grant said this affected everyone he knew) are located in Colorado Springs. They get a ski day every year, and since they get a ski day, everyone here got a snow day!

How, you may also be asking yourself, did we spend this snow day? Well, we thought about spending it snowboarding. But after realizing that the only way we could go snowboarding with a toddler would be to alternate turns, and that I really, really hate snowboarding by myself, especially when I haven't been in about, maybe, 3 years, and we really didn't want to drive about an hour and a half one way, I talked Grant out of it. He said that it would actually be nice to have a low-key kind of day anyway. So he suggested we go to the beach.

That was an absolutely perfect plan! The temperature was about as perfect as it could be, and since it was a weekday, there was hardly anyone there. We saw a ton of dolphins, and Kendall had a blast - overcoming her initial fears of the loud waves, and the ickiness of the sand. Seriously, she was covered in sand by the time we were ready to leave (and totally freaked out when we took her to the showers to clean off). She became Miss Independent took off all over the place in search of who knows what.

We had so much fun, I was thinking that it might be a nice little play date for Melissa and Mookie to join us on sometime!!

This was actually only the first part of our low-key snow day. So stay tuned for the second half.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slave Driver

Today's FlyLady mission was to dust the living room. So while I was doing some serious, serious dusting, Kendall caught on and decided I could use a little help.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Info

Okay, Jasmine's comment made me realize that I didn't explain some things about our little playdate.

So, Megan and I planned this thing a couple of weeks ago. Then, on Saturday, we called to finalize details. We'd had a few rainy days, so Megan checked the weather, and it said 50% chance of rain. We ended up saying that we would play it by ear, because, after all, this is California, and it really just doesn't rain that much.

So, the night before, I checked the weather again. Nothing really about rain, but it did say that the high would be 58 degrees. That's pretty chilly for playing-outside-weather, but I just planned to bring blankets, and sweaters for Kendall.

I wore a thick wool sweater myself, and as I'm driving into Laguna, I see people wearing tank tops and shorts, and I'm thinking I'm WAY too overdressed. Sure enough, I think the temp actually reached something like 75? How in the world they predicted 58, I have no idea. As you can see from the pictures, it was a GORGEOUS day. And even though I was doing some sweating, I had no complaints.

Laguna Playdate

Yesterday, Megan and I, along with the kiddos met up at a park in Laguna Beach. We've met here before with our husbands, right after Grant and I moved here, and Megan and I said how easy it would be for us to do this all the time. Well, several months later, this is the only other time we've done it. It's great, because since Megan lives in north San Diego County, and we live in south Los Angeles County, Laguna Beach is halfway for us. Besides me running about 45 minutes late (oops), we had a really great time, and have our next Laguna playdate already scheduled for next month.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Flight of the Conchords

There's this show on HBO called Flight of the Conchords. When we were still living in the hotel, before we moved into our house, the TV had HBO and I would see these commercials for the show, but I never caught it when it was on, but it looked really funny from the previews. So, I rented the first disc and laughed through the whole thing.

The premise of the show is these 2 guys from New Zealand that are living in New York City, and they're in a 2-man band, called the Flight of the Conchords. During the show, they'll break out into these random music videos. They're so not talented, but so funny!

Anyways, I've still only seen the first disc (there's only 2 discs for the first season, and they're on the second season now on HBO), so I've been kind of in a Flight of the Conchords rut, watching videos on YouTube over and over again. Here's one of my favorites.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yet Another Recipe

I actually got this recipe out of a baby cookbook that we have for Kendall. It's from the Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Baby book, and it sounded so good, I decided to make it for all of us. So, I increased some of the ingredients, and it was fabulous! But for the sake of the recipe, I'll post it as it was listed in the book.

Corn & Salmon Chowder

1/2 lb red potatoes
1/4 cup diced onion
1 celery rib
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 lb skinless salmon fillet
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
salt and pepper

Peel and dice potatoes and set aside. Dice onion, celery, and carrot. Mince garlic.

In a soup pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf and saute until vegetebales turn golden, 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth and potatoes, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.

Cut salmon into 1-inch pieces.

Puree milk and 1 cup corn in a blender. Add corn puree, 1/2 cup corn kernels, and salmon pieces to pot. Return to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, until salmon is cooked through and soup is hot, 5-7 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

**If you're making this for baby, the book notes that if the soup is too chunky, pass the baby's portion through a food mill or pulse in a food processor.

Seriously, Grant kept commenting on how good it was. He always says my food is good, but this soup is pretty incredible. So whether you have a baby or not, you should definitely give it a try!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I saw this recipe on the back of a bag of flour. The recipe name was "The Best Fudge Brownies Ever." I didn't believe them. I'm kind of a brownie snob - not to the point of making brownies from scratch - but just knowing what kind of store-bought brownie mix was my favorite. I didn't think these could really be that much better than those. So I tried the recipe out of spite.

I was proved wrong.

Yeah, you have to make them from scratch, but it really doesn't take all that long. And the extra love and time you put into them is SO worth it.

So here it is, courtesy of the back of a bag of King Arthur Flour:

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
12 ounces chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan

2) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

3) Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you've heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.

4) Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

5) Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

6) Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.

So there it is. Try it. You'll thank me later. The only I can say about the recipe is, I don't know what dutch-process cocoa is, so I just used regular cocoa. And as far as using the King Arthur brand flour - I'm sure any flour will do just fine.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I don't know how many of you have seen some of the commercials from Basically, it's encouraging dads to be involved in their kids lives.

This commercial cracks me up, and I can totally see Grant doing this someday...


So, as I mentioned before, my New Year's Resolution is to be a better wife and mother. Another big part of that is having a nice, clean house. Or at least, a cleaner house than I have. And it's not just because I have a toddler - I've never really been that tidy.

Edie introduced me to FlyLady back when I lived in Albuquerque, I didn't really keep up with it, and removed myself from the email list. But now, I've re-signed up, and am fully dedicated to it.

Even if you don't want to be a full-blown fly lady, and you have a spotless house, at least check out the shining the sink thing. The result is amazing, seriously.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Long Distance Friends

I was reading Jen's blog, and she posted some video of Maddy. I made sure Kendall saw it, since her and Maddy are friends, but now she lives in New Zealand, so they don't get to hang out.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


It's a long video, but it's funny.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Happy New Year....9 Days Ago

Okay, so per my usual style, I'm a little late in saying Happy New Year. But, it is a new year, people, and I for one am no good at keeping New Year's Resolutions. However, there are several things in my life that I'd like to change. One of them is pretty big: I need to be a better wife and a better mom. Okay, maybe that's two things, but you get the drift.

Something that's really been missing in my life is daily devotions. I know that giving God more attention in my day-to-day life will really help me in my efforts of being a better wife and mother. I've never really done a great job in devotions - and I've been a Christian a long time! This is not something I'm proud of, but in blogging about it, I'm hoping that will keep me a little more accountable.

So, this year, I'm really going to make a great effort into doing devotions. I found the Reformed Women blog, which might not necessarily be a daily thing, but it's a good place to start. They're also going to be reading through and discussing John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. If you're interested in doing this, you can send an email to By the way, you don't just have to be a woman to do this. Because I also saw it mentioned here. I think it's hosted by Derek Thomas, and alot of blogs are just kind of getting the word out about it.

So anyways, that's my New Year's Resolution, but this one, I'm really hoping to keep.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Doctor's Visit

Kendall had her 1-year checkup today, and I thought she looked so cute in her sweater and diaper, so I had to take pictures. These are with my cell phone, so the quality might not be that great.

She's just about 29 inches, and weighs about 19 1/2 pounds. I can't believe my little girl is getting SO BIG!!!

On another note, now that she's passed the year mark, it's time to try all sorts of foods that she wasn't "allowed" before. Yesterday, she was very interested in Grant's grapefruit, so he gave her a little piece of that. Then, later in the day, we gave her some orange, and she couldn't get enough of it. In fact, this morning, when she saw me peeling an orange, she went crazy! The orange was for me, but she ate most of it.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I use the word "home" so many different ways. When telling people where we were going for the holidays, I said, "home to Florida." But now that we're back in California, we're home. I guess there can be multiple definitions for the word. My Florida home has all of our family there (with a few exceptions - My sister and her family live a few hours away in Georgia, but they came down for a week; Grant's brother John is deployed to Iraq; and then of course, Grant's other brother Ryan is in our future Home). So many of our friends are still in Pensacola, too, so in that sense, it feels like home. I really enjoyed running into people I knew all over town.

But, then, there's nothing like being at our current home. Just the 4 of us (that includes Watley), in our own house, own bed, own kitchen, own space. It's just nice.

So, we're back home. We had a wonderful trip. I really felt that Kendall got to know so many of her family members. She established wonderful relationships with her Grandmas especially - many times preferring them to me.