little things i’m loving this week

Bring on the coffee this morning!  Last night was a bit rough for Jon, myself and the little guy.  Sissy slept right through Bubba’s yelling – amazing how she can do that.  Yesterday the twins had their 6 month check-up, which of course came with their 6 month shots.  They are on a slightly delayed shot schedule, so they only got one, but it was still rough.  Both babies were fussy and didn’t nap well the rest of yesterday, so I was a little nervous about how last night was going to go.  First Linc didn’t want to go down at bedtime, which never happens.  Then he woke up at 12:30 and again at 3 and just cried and cried.  We ended up giving him Tylenol, which I always use as a last resort, and after I rocked and cuddled him for awhile, he went back to sleep.  Poor little guy.

So we shall all push through today, and make it the best we can.  The zoo with friends is on the agenda, and I’m debating about whether we should go or not.  But for now….it’s time for this week’s edition of all the little things that helped make this week great.


The Lumineers Album.  I’m sure you’ve all heard their song “Ho Hey,” and maybe I’m late to the party and everyone has already been rocking out to the album.  But if not – almost every single song is amazing.  I love their vibe and it’s just perfect for having on at the house when the twins and I are just hanging out playing all day.


I found this yogurt a couple of months ago, and I’ve literally eaten it almost every day we’ve been home since then.  My favorites are blueberry, peach and strawberry rhubarb.  I boil water in the tea kettle, pour it over 1/2 cup dry oats until the oats are completely covered, let it sit for about ten minutes until all the water is soaked up, and then add in 1/2 container of yogurt.  The result is smooth and creamy with little bits of sweet fruit throughout.  And let’s be honest, the packaging is beautiful.  But the best part is the company that makes it.  According to their website, it was created in Noosa, Australia, but is “hand-crafted daily, at a family-owned dairy farm of happy cows in Colorado, USA.”  The ingredients are simple and contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.  Check out their website if you get a chance – really great people with a great story.   Oh, yeah, and you don’t have to make an extra trip to the health food store to snag a container.  It’s available at Target!  Okay, I’m done now:)



One night this week, we were happily leaving Whole Foods after a delicious dinner when an employee approached us and thrust a beautiful bouquet of tightly closed tulips into my hand.  She mumbled something about closing, flashed a sweet smile and then disappeared back into the store.  All week they’ve brought brightness to our living room, and I’ve loved watching them open up a little more each day.

What was the best part of your week?

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last night’s dinner

Well, technically this is the night before last night’s dinner, but it just doesn’t have quite the same ring.

I must dedicate a post to our “it’s a busy night and there’s no time to cook favorite dinner.”  Jon and I love this dinner waaay more than I’d like to admit.  On the health scale it’s only mediocre, but it’s cheaper and healthier than eating out.  These days there are some nights where the stars align (read: the babies both take a good late afternoon nap) and I’m in the mood to cook something fun and fresh.  Those nights usually result in crispy blackened tofu, brown rice and veggies or something similar.  But on many of those other nights, this is our go to.

I simply cut a potato up, spray it with olive oil spray, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, pepper and a bit of cayenne.  Then I add two Dr. Praegers All American Burgers (the absolute best in veggie burgers) to the cookie sheet.  I broil everything for 8 minutes, flip it, then broil for another 8.



Sometimes we’ll have steamed broccoli on the side, but on this particular night I had been craving a cucumber salad I’d seen in a recipe book for days.  In the end, I actually used this recipe, but added chopped jalapeno pepper and onion.  It was so fresh…simple and delicious.  And I ate the entire rest of it the next day for lunch.


The best thing about this meal aside from how tasty it is, is that it gives us more time with these two:)







What is your favorite easy go-to meal?  I love getting new ideas!

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love and peanut brittle

Not too long ago, sometime before the chaos of the holidays set in, I packed the twins up one day and headed east.  My grandpa and grandma live just far enough away that we don’t get to see them as much as we’d like, but not too far for a day trip visit.  To some it may sound silly, but before I got pregnant one of the things I was extremely excited about at the thought of having a baby was giving my grandpa and grandma their first great-grandchild.  And the day we told them there was a baby on the way was up there on my list of best moments.



So not only did I want to take the twins for a fun visit, I had something else in mind as well.  To me, my grandpa has been known for many things.  Among them are working on planes at Tinker Air Force Base for most of his life, loving snickers bars, being able to fix any problem on a car, and making the best peanut brittle you’ve ever tasted.




As far back as I can remember, every year as the weather starts to turn cold and festive decorations begin to appear, everyone who knows my grandpa begins to anticipate the day they’ll receive their package of peanut brittle.  And believe me, it’s not just any peanut brittle.  It’s a recipe that was passed down from my great-grandma Loise.  Super thick, light, and fluffy – it really is in a league of its own.  But it’s not just the taste that makes it so special.  With my grandma overseeing and hopping in to help when needed, my grandpa spends hours in the kitchen watching the sweet, peanutty mixture begin to brown, dumping in the special ingredient, and then “stirring the fire out of it” before dumping it onto a baking sheet.  He makes nearly 20 batches a season, with each batch taking about 45 minutes…it truly is a work of love.



While the peanut brittle tradition is something I’ll always think of when I think of my grandpa George, I had never actually seen him make it.  This year when the time drew near I realized what an injustice it is that I’ve never had the chance to see how it’s done.  Helping him was every bit as interesting and fun as I knew it would be; seeing him work and having him teach me each step of the process was far better than just reading it on the recipe card.


While I told my grandpa he should hide away his recipe so that no one can ever make peanut brittle just like his, he insists that the recipe should be shared with anyone who wants it.  But I have a hunch that it’s not just about following the recipe, rather it’s about the perfect peanuts, the special pot that he uses, the certain way he stirs it and how he knows just the perfect moment to take it off the fire before it burns.




IMG_6727   IMG_6745

Our visit was a highlight of the holiday season for me, and as the twins get older I can’t wait to take them out to help their great-grandpa.  And it’s always a bonus to get cuddled by great-grandma in between batches.


Peanut Brittle

  •  1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white karo syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups raw peanuts
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda


Boil together sugar, karo syrup and water. Stir constantly until it spins a thread (about 12-15 minutes) (see spoon photo above). Be sure it spins a good thread. Add 2 cups raw peanuts and 1 cube margarine. Continue to cook and sitr until it turns the color of peanut brittle and peanuts begin to pop (about 10-15 minutes). Add one heaping teaspoon baking soda and stir rapidly. Let it foam up, then pour into a greased 9X15 inch pan while it is still foaming. Don’t press it down. Just let it roll into the pan and settle on its own.


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over the weekend…

   I’m not sure if it was because we haven’t just stayed home for a weekend in awhile or what, but this was one of the best weekends I’ve had in awhile.  We just hung around the house, had lots of photo shoots and play time, tried some new restaurants and cleaned out and rearranged our bedroom. (more…)

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little things i’m loving this week

Happy Friday!  I was feeling a little melancholy last weekend about the holidays being over, but once we got back home and got the Christmas decorations put away, I was more than ready to move on with the New Year.  We spent a lot of time at home this week recovering from holiday travel and getting the little ones back on their routine and rested up.  It was just what we needed.  And while the house seems bare, it also seems full of possibility and the opportunity for a new start.

Since Jon worked from home today, I took advantage of naptime this morning to go get a huge load of groceries.  Our fridge was so bare after being gone so much, so it feels glorious to have it freshly stocked with healthy food.  There’s nothing better than having trouble deciding which meal sounds best for dinner! I’m so thankful.

I thought I’d kick off the weekend with a list of all the little things that are making me smile this week.


This book I started reading en route to south Texas is captivating.  The Entertainment Weekly description makes me feel like it was written just for me.


This little basket we finally purchased after months of disarray around the bathtub brings a sense of calm to the bathroom that I’ve really been missing.


When we first built our house, our closet seemed so spacious, but now, a year and a half later it has become so cluttered.  We’d been eying this ironing board/laundry sorter for a long time and finally bit the bullet.  Laundry day is so much more simple now.


Jon surprised me with this little rocking bird for Christmas.  Every time I see him sitting on our mantle it makes me happy, and I love to walk by, tip his little tail and then watch him go back and forth.

 What little things are making you smile this week?

By the way, I wanted to note that last week my blog was infected with Malware.  If you came by you may have seen a red banner at the top that said my site was a risk.  We contacted these kind folks, and they have taken care of it for us.  There shouldn’t be any more problems, but please let me know if you stop by and notice anything unusual.  And now for my public service message of the day: make sure your passwords are strong!

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