“I think the most significant work we ever do, in the whole world, in our whole life, is done within the four walls of our own home.” – Stephen R. Covey

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Best Vacation Blogger EVAH

(note sarcasm)
Terrible iPhone pic of creamy delicious LowCountry shrimp & grits at ACME LowCountry restaurant. 

Beach selfie. Not pictured: Very tacky but delicious bucket 'o chicken and contraband beers on a fancy Beach Towel Lunch. 

Charleston Distillery copper-topped bar. 
Where the booze magic happens! 
No, not ALL for me. We walked away with a cinnamon ginger liqueur that I can't wait to add to my iced tea or hot cider. I really don't drink iced tea but I found a good reason to start! 
Crab cake eggs Benedict. Minus the English muffin and I could totally make this Paleo! 
Holy City Brewing. We sampled many beers. The End.
These oysters were awesome. Luckily I didn't have to fight anyone to eat the majority of these gems. 
Selfie in front of a rare southern tree...  the oak. 
I told Chad I want a tree lined driveway. He said these people had to wait 200 years... 

Hope you enjoyed that detailed account of our Charleston getaway! ��

Now we're stuck in an airport waiting out a 2.5 hour delay. Helllloooo real world! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Brookies! (Brownie + Cookie)

I made these this weekend and they were a hit! 


    Brownie Cookie Batter:
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar (5 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (5 ounces)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour (7.25 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (1.5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Batter:
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (5 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar (5 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 10.75 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (mini size preferred)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with silpat liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. For the brownie cookie batter, in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes until light in color. 
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate while making the chocolate chip cookie batter.
  4. For the chocolate chip cookie batter, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. 
  5. Blend in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla, mixing for 2-3 minutes until the batter is very light in color. In a separate small bowl (you can use the same one as the brownie batter dry ingredients), whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter with the chocolate chips and mix until no dry streaks remain and the chocolate chips are evenly distributed. 
  6. Portion both sets of dough into about 4 dozen equal pieces; they will be small teaspoon or so sized balls (if you want to be super precise, I weigh about .5 ounce balls for the brownie batter and .65 ounce balls for the chocolate chip cookie batter). 
  7. Grabbing one chocolate chip cookie ball and one brownie batter ball, press them together and use your hands to gently form into a cookie shape, flattening and turning to smooth the edges and form a flattish but still thick cookie shape; they'll spread out while baking. See the simple picture tutorial below the recipe (via link), if needed.
  8. Bake the cookies on the prepared baking sheets for 8-10 minutes. Don't overbake or they will be dry and crunchy - underbake just slightly for a soft, chewy texture. It's ok if the chocolate side crackles just a bit. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes before scooping onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


Monday, July 20, 2015


Look at me, two weeks in a row! This week is really busy for a variety of reasons so I am going to post what I plan to make for dinner.
(Typically we eat a normal breakfast and lunch but like to make dinner mostly Paleo)

Monday: FFYS (Fend For Yourself) aka Drive Thru night
Chad had to work late and the girls and I helped a friend with a service project so it was dinner on the go!

Tuesday: Shepherds Pie (from Paleo Effect, pg 131)
Similar to this recipe. I despise mashed potatos (weird, I know) so I'm excited to see if the cauliflower topping will be our new normal!

Wednesday: Roasted Chicken Breasts with leeks, garlic and thyme
I'm going to use my favorite cut of chicken which is a bone in thigh. The flavor is always so good! 

Thursday: FFYS 
I have a church meeting this night so I think we will all eat leftovers! Yay for a night off from cooking and less dishes!

Friday: Bang Bang Shrimp (Paleo Effect, pg 165)
Similar to this recipe.

Saturday: It's our monthly Saturday Supper Club night. Let me know if you have a new favorite dessert recipe!

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Okay, the plan is to post my weekly menu on Mondays. Hopefully this will give me incentive to keep up with menu planning and as a record of how well we have been eating!
(Typically we eat a normal breakfast and lunch but like to make dinner mostly Paleo)

Monday: Paleo Chicken Divan 
I served this with roasted green beans. So good with olive oil and s&p!

Tuesday: Paleo Chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries. 
Roasted sweet potatoes are SO good with a heavy hand of Old Bay seasoning on top!

Wednesday: Potsticker Meatball Soup
I'm a sucker for potstickers aka asian dumplings! Bonus points for ingredients that are easy to find!

Thursday: Cracklin' Chicken with honey glazed carrots.
Always a favorite and doesn't take long to make!

Friday: FFYS (otherwise known as Fend For Yourself/leftovers!)

Saturday: Date Night

Does it stick?

Okay, lets see if this sticks this time! 
My plan is to start posting regularly again even if I have to schedule writing time. Currently the baby has been napping for almost 2 hours which basically means ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! 
My goal is just to post whatever comes to mind. Sometimes it might be deep thoughts. Other times you may get a rant or rave. Most likely you will read random thoughts or a list of my favorite things at the moment! I also may join a fun link-up to serve as an easy writing prompt!

Also, fair warning... I may change the name of this blog because my husband participates 0% other than as fodder. So there ya go!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day book (+ a goal)

My goal is to blog every day in May. Bwah ha ha! Watch me fail but at least I'll be blogging more often, I hope!

Outside my window... Dark sky, cold temps. Annoying but at least no snow (for now).

I am thankful for... A decent nap from Clara. A supportive husband. A comfortable house. The interwebs.

I am thinking about... Nothing. Trying to decompress and let the worries and stresses fall away.

In the Schoolroom... Sigh. Well, Chad taught Clara where her head, eyes, ears, nose, belly button, knees and toes are. I probably helped a but along the way but he quizzes her at night during bath. Honestly, I don't know what I should be working on with an eighteen month old. Colors? Animal sounds? Names of objects?

From the kitchen... Queso Taco Bake tonight. Warm carbs comfort food but pretty low on the healthy scale. Also realized that if I'm trying to reduce the amount and impact of plastic in our life then I probably should get rid of most of my kitchen utensils.

I am creating... Summer garden (Chad's project to build, but I will help in the planting, maintenance and harvesting.) Clara's toy box. Again, Chad building but I will do the painting/pattern design.

I am working on... Discipline. For both of us. Me figuring out how to handle things and Clara learning to accept boundaries and rules.

I am reading... Desperate: For moms who need to breathe, Nora Ephron- I'm sorry about my neck, various magazines and blogs.

I am praying for... peace and patience. A recurring necessity,

I am hearing... Quiet whir of the baby monitor. Thank God.

Around the house... Trying to stay on top of managing the pantry and freezer. Some how the freezer got very stuffed and so I've been trying to only make meals that require very few new ingredients. It's actually worked so far and I can progress.

One of my favorite things... Bought tickets and arranged a baby sitter so Chad and I can see a play this weekend. We've never had a non-family member baby sit so I'm nervous but I'm sure it will be fine.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Library time on Thursday and I'll have to think of something to keep us occupied on Friday. The cold weather has kept us from getting to play outside and Clara and I both miss it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday's 7 Quick Takes

Edition: Clara

1. We've been trying to establish healthy eating routines. Not always perfect but we're working on it. She doesn't always want to sit in her high chair. However, if there is food on the tray, everyone is happy, and she is set in from a squatting position usually it okay. If not all hell breaks loose and it's a wailing episode for the ages.

2. Also on the topic of eating... She sometimes won't finish a meal in the high chair but will eat it if given while toddling around. Discipline or Nutrition is the question here...

3. Tomorrow we have our second music class with the budding percussionist. She's close to the youngest one but last week she loved shaking the maracas and seeing the other kids!

4. Any tips on how to thoroughly strip and de-funk cloth diapers? And keep them that way? Inquiring minds (and noses) want to know.

5. New tricks: mimicking kissing, fish face, clapping, pointing and feet stomping. Also loves to "brush" (read: chew/slobber) her teeth with a real toothbrush.

6. Shopping cart tantrums = super fun. Apparently arching the baby back against the back of the cart seat does not feel pleasant. Luckily cheerios came to the rescue. Also, last week a grabbed a stuffed animal and put in the seat next to her which stopped the tears. Then I ditched it in the cereal aisle while she wasn't looking. Sneaky Mama!

7. A picture with a well placed hair clip to prove she's a girl when dressed in unisex colors. Approximately 2.3 seconds before it was yanked out with a disproving scowl.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reflection on silence

"Learn to be silent! Silent as the leaves that fall, silent as the blossoming flowers, silent as the moment before dawn. You are being summoned into the temple of silence. Practice silence, for this voiceless voice can be heard only in the shrine of silence. You are being chosen for the deepening places."
Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, Abide

I need to learn to add more purposeful silence to my day. Especially in the moments where it's actually possible while Clara is napping or playing peacefully. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day Book #1

Outside my window...
22 degrees and pitch black. Bright white stars against a dark blue sky. And old crusty snow-bergs I hope will either melt or be covered with fresh snow soon.

I am thankful for...
New friendships and the ease and quickness they were formed.

I am thinking about...
Bedtime. And hoping I can sleep soundly all night!

In the Schoolroom...
Need to hunker down and create learning activities and games for Clara. I really need to get on the Montessori Method band wagon but it seems like you have to have a PhD.

From the kitchen...
Breakfast for Dinner and Italian Wedding Soup the next two days. I'm on a mission to clean out the freezer and not let thing go stale!

I am creating...
I have a stack of fabric waiting for inspiration next to my sewing machine. At least some of it will hopefully go towards a Valentines onesie dress for Clara and something Eastery.

I am working on...
Household management. Its easy to ignore with just three of us and let things become neglected for a few days but that's really not how I want to live. Ah, priorities!

I am reading...
Janet Evanovich - Notorious Nineteen
Harvey Karp - Happiest Toddler on the Block
Dozens upon dozens of blogs
And usually the daily readings and reflections

I am praying for...
My brother, who is serving in Afghanistan.
A high school classmate.
The mothers and their babies who are considering abortion.

I am hearing...
The whir of the heater. Always set too cold but I bumped it up a couple notches tonight.

Around the house...
Toys that should have been straightened before bed.
Decorating projects that I need to devote time to.

One of my favorite things...
Clara graduating to real milk. It's been fun watching her slurp it down like a big kid :) We went with Organic Valley whole milk but I'd like to ask our grocery store manager if they can order the Organic Valley grassmilk (from grass fed cows). Probably mostly depends on the price point. I figured out that if she drinks her daily allotted amount every day we will go through 1/2 gallon every 4.5 days. At $4.50/ half gallon that's $30 in milk every month just for Clara! This also means that we are weaning soon and although I'll miss aspects of it, I think I'm ready too!

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Mid week trip to pick up a few grocery items. Try to connect with my brother. In dire need to bake some dessert or snack, chocolate preferably :) See above re: Household Management!

Clara giggling and feeding Daisy is super cute but not allowed. I DO NOT like stepping in middle-of-the-night dog puke.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Update update (written 12/7/12)

So I think I might start updating this blog again. Not to tell stories or thoughts for the amusement of others but just as a scrapbook for myself. Of our family and the things that make up this stage of our life!

For example:

Today is the real first snow of the season. I would have expected it to come earlier seeing as this is South Dakota but we have had crazy warm temps in the 50s and 60s.

There are 3 new houses going up on the street behind ours. Hopefully the hammering and heavy equipment doesn't interfere with nap time! It is strange to be able to make eye contact with the guy driving the front end loader at 7am while I am still in my robe!

Growing up there were a few stay at home moms on our street. As the kids waited for the bus in the morning the moms would stand in the street and chat in their robes drinking coffee. My dad drove my brother and I too school and he would say "Ewww, gross! Pajama Party!". We naturally took the same attitude but looking at it from a new perspective, I would love to say good morning to my neighbors as the kids left for school. That is... as long as the weather is above 60.

Clara has got to be the worlds worst napper but today... she surprised me. After a  diaper change she walked right over to the rocking chair and wanted up. I let her rock back and forth for a little bit and she started rubbing her eyes. Is this a sign she wants a nap? I put her in the sleep sack and started our little nap routine. Lo and behold... I put her down awake and I do believe she has fallen asleep peacefully! Unfortunately the video on our audio/video monitor went out this week so I can't spy and make sure she is laying down but I am very happy she is quiet!