Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Starbucks For Less!

I have a new obsession. White Chocolate Mochas from Starbucks. Iced or Hot. As I mentioned before, I'm not a "coffee" drinker, but I need the pick-me-up.

A month or so ago while I was at Starbucks, I randomly ordered a white chocolate mocha. First sip was like, "Whoa! Hello there, coffee!" But as I kept drinking it, I liked it more and more. Then, when we were driving back from Yosemite, Grant needed some caffeine, so I got him an iced version, which was so delicious. Since then, I've been getting a few here and there.

But, man! Those things are expensive! So I got the idea yesterday to try and recreate it.

I got a bag of Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee, and Safeway brand white chocolate hot chocolate mix. When I got home, I experimented a few times, but I think I finally came up with a winner. Well, I think it tastes the same. I'm sure if I got another one from Starbucks, I might find that it's not that close at all, but this version tastes pretty yummy.

Starbucks uses a white chocolate syrup, but I don't have that. That's where the hot chocolate mix comes in. The directions say to use 3 flat tablespoons for 6 ounces of water, but I changed it up a bit. I mixed 3 heaping tablespoons of the mix per 6 ounces of milk. Heat the milk first, then add the mix. That's a pretty thick, syrup-y mixture. The reason I used milk instead of water? Starbucks adds milk to their drink, so this is a good way to get the milk in there without adding extra water. Smart, huh? And the reason I heated the milk, is because I tried adding the mix to the milk while it was cold, and it didn't mix right.

As for the coffee, I pretty much know nothing about brewing coffee. But the instructions on the bag say to use 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water. So again, I did 2 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee.

Now the next part is key - at least from what I could tell from my few experiments, I've found it to be key. Refrigerate the coffee and the hot chocolate mixture over night. Because if you add the coffee and the hot chocolate while it's hot to the ice, it melts the ice way too fast, and that waters everything down. And you don't want that.

Then, in the morning when your kids wake you up way too early, you have everything ready to go! Here's how to put it all together.

Put a bunch of ice in a glass, then pour 1/3 cup of the cold hot chocolate mixture, and 2/3 cup of the coffee over the ice (my measurements are generous, so it's a little more than that). Stir together, and you have yourself a nearly identical cup of Starbucks Iced White Chocolate Mocha. Now all I need is one of those Starbucks cups to put it in!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Time at the Beach!

Last night, we decided to go to the beach, but we wanted to take Watley with us. So we went to the beach below Trump National Golf Course, which allows dogs. We had such a great time!

At the Beach from Kelly Spear on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Gloria Patri

We usually sing "The Gloria Patri" with Kendall just about every night as we're putting her to bed. I was putting her to bed tonight, and she was a little slap happy. I'll explain why she's laughing so much, and maybe, through the laughter, you can pick up what she's doing.

The first time I was singing it, she randomly started singing "Jesus Loves Me" during it, started cracking up, which got me cracking up. I happened to have my phone there, so I decided to take some video of this. So, I apologize for the bad quality of the video, but if you listen close enough, you can kind of hear her trying to sing "Jesus Loves Me." That's not the point of the video. The point is the laughter. I dare you not to laugh while watching this.

Ouch - A Lesson in Contentment by Kendall

While I was cutting up some fabric today, Kendall was playing with play dough. She said she wanted more, and I told her to be content with what she had. I then went on to explain what contentment means.

About a minute later, she says to me, "Mama, you be tent with fabwic. You don't get more fabwic. You be tent."

She told me!

Monday, July 19, 2010


We've been meeting up with a lot of friends lately, so I thought I'd put them in one post.

These are our friends from church - Peter and Matthew. Peter is 3 months younger than Kendall, and Matthew is exactly one month older than Cami. And they all really love each other! I wish I had gotten a better picture of Kendall and Peter together - the only one I got was when Kendall was, uh, not happy.

Next up was our friends, Jen and Maddy. Jen is Cheri's cousin, who used to live here, then moved to New Zealand for a year, then moved to San Francisco for 6 months, and currently, they're gypsies. They made a stop in LA, and we (along with Melissa and her girls) all got together.

This past weekend, Jason, Kerri, and their two kids were in the area, so we met up with them in Laguna Beach. Jason and Grant were roommates in college, but now Jason and his family live in the Grand Rapids area. Kyla and Kendall are about five months apart, and Joe and Cami are 3 months apart. Kyla and Kendall played so well together, you would've thought they'd known each other their whole lives!

It's always so much fun getting together with friends!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kendall Speak - Part 4

While "reading" a coupon...

"Once 'pon time, don't be fwustwatwed, and you be happy."

Monday, July 12, 2010


Okay, so I'm a little behind in posting...I've been busy with my new hobby. Check out my other blog for details.

July 4th weekend, we went up to Yosemite. To sum was AMAZING. We're already talking about when we can go back. We did about as much as you can do in the time that we had with 2 small children. We camped, hiked, drove, hiked, saw bears, saw deer, thing we didn't do a lot of is sleep. But it was worth it.

I won't post a lot about details, because I don't think too many people care about, I'll just say that the three main places we went is Yosemite Valley (that's with all the waterfalls and best views of Half Dome), Tuolomne Meadows, and Mariposa Grove (sequoias).

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Our Trip - Part 3

After going to Monument Valley, and Tony and Mere going to the Grand Canyon, we met up again in Sedona. We had been there before, on our move out here to California, but my husband and his wife had never been there. We told them that it was worth seeing, especially if you're basically right there. Anytime I make a statement like that, I get nervous, because what if it doesn't live up to their expectations?

I souldn't have been worried, because Sedona really is a cool place. Tony and Mere loved it. Meredeth even went so far to say that she wouldn't mind living there!

Here's some pics.

Okay, ready for some cuteness? When we came to Sedona on our move over two years ago, we took a picture of Kendall on this bench. She was about 3 1/2 months.

Needless to say, I couldn't resist getting a picture of Cami on the same bench. Here she is at 7 1/2 months.

And here's one of the two of them together.