my girl.

geez, i’ve been a terrible blogger. resolutions? made ’em, sort of, one of which is to blog more? don’t hold me to it.

this girl has my heart. she turned two in november, and is only recently walking (assisted). many a night and day i worried about it, but she’s gonna be just fine. she is the most easy-going, lovable, snuggly girl. she wakes up happy and rarely complains. she adapts to any situation and location right away, and let me tell you, she is my girl when it comes to eating! it was my goal to post my kiddos’ favorites at every birthday, so i’m working on that for my girl. this is when i caught her discovery of my makeup drawer. let the fun begin!

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thirty days hath september…(and an update on august, too).

august and september

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while we enjoyed the end of summer, it felt like it was slipping away too quickly (doesn’t it always?). school began at the end of august, and with it football season started. our little guy is now an official football player, which he’s waited for since he was about 2.

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she blogged!

i’ve been away for awhile. i figured that someday, when my kids find this little space, they’d ask, “what did we do in that gap?”. and i would, too. gotta keep a record of the memories, so catching up will be picture-heavy and word-light. happy to be back blogging…

the hubz and i celebrated 6 years of marriage. we went to disneyland of course! so grateful to share my life with someone so loving and supportive. i truly feel lucky and blessed.

this summer was all about adventure locally. we went to the beach and aquarium and relaxed in our own backyard. the baby grew more and more independent, and j got ready for kindergarten. and that, folks, was july. weak update, i know. : )

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the fourth.

we celebrated the holiday in the most quintessential american way…parading, barbecuing, time with cousins, and fireworks. it was a busy, busy, day, but worth every memory…

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to the desert.

still trying to get back into the groove after a relaxing four days in the desert. we stayed here, and i can’t believe how much fun we all had. it’s totally kid-friendly (don’t go here if you want to get away from the family set) and was perfect in every way. definitely making this a yearly to-do.

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juice.

a few months ago i bit the bullet and bought a juicer. best investment ever. after doing a three day cleanse with nekter juices, i felt amazing, so now we’re on a juice kick! i make it every night, store it in mason jars (one for me and one for huz), and drink it for breakfast. no recipes to share because i basically just juice any produce we have, and we always have a lot  of produce thanks to our farm fresh to you csa box that’s delivered to our door. AND, the best part is, when i’m feeling a bit guilty that the baby hasn’t gotten her veggies (or that we had fast food for dinner), i feel great that she’s gotten some good stuff via juice!

p.s. this is the juicer that we have. it wasn’t expensive and does the trick! we found ours at costco for under $90.

now that i have more time, i start my morning off with a glass of water and lemon, my juice (this combo was cucumber, celery, green apple, mint, carrot, and spinach), and coffee (not ever going to give up my coffee…)

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summer so far.

seems like the first week of summer is spent running around getting errands down. it’s as if we are in a mad rush to get things in order so that we can finally reeeeeelax. as if. the huz and i have a million projects floating around in our head and no funds to back them all, but we are mighty resourceful. we are dead set on putting one of these babies in, after seeing this and this. we’ve got the tank and the pump/filter and are trying to get this up and running by week’s end. then there are car repair appointments, dentist appointments, physical therapy for s, dog grooming, the list goes on. we are slowly settling into a rhythm though, and that’s nice.

01. daddy’s pancakes make everyone happy

02. playing outside in the dirt

03. big brother starting to really enjoy the company of his sister. the big plus is that she thinks everything he does is hilarious.

04. her favorite past time, swinging. look at that joy.

05. tending the garden every day and impatiently waiting for that first perfect in-season tomato.

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cobbler

my mom first made this cobbler when i was kid. i think the recipe was passed to her from a coworker, but basically it’s so easy i’ve never even written it down. it’s so easy it’s embarrassing. it’s not healthy, it’s full of artificial this and that, but it’s a crowd pleaser for sure. so popular, in fact, that blogging about it is near impossible because it’s gone so fast. yeah, homemade cobbler with fresh fruit is amazing, and i feel a whole lot better about serving it, BUT, this cobbler allows you to relax and enjoy your guests. so there.

fruit cobbler

2 cans of pie filling (i’ve used all fruit fillings and they are all great. this time i used the cherry. blueberry is my favorite.)

1 box of yellow or white cake mix

1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted

2 handfuls of almonds (told you this recipe wasn’t written down, so, therefore, it’s not exact. use to your liking, and use whatever nuts you want!)

1. pour pie filling into a greased 9 X 13 baking pan.

2. pour dry cake mix over the pie filling.

3. pour melted butter evenly over cake mix.

4. spread almonds evenly over the top.

5. bake at 375 degrees for ? minutes. i actually have no idea since i stand by the oven and watch until the top is browned. i think it’s about 20 or so minutes. next time i make it i’ll edit this recipe and let ya’ll know.

don’t let my if-y directions keep you from making this. it’s delicious!

my step kids love this cobbler and ate it so quickly i couldn’t get a proper picture! : )

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playtime.

on the rare occasion that the little lady is screaming or fussy, he’ll pull me down to whisper in my ear, “i don’t think i want a baby anymore.” it breaks my heart, but i do get it. he remembers when he was the center of our world, when he didn’t have to share attention or toys or the arms of his parents.

and then there are other times, times when i watch them play together, when my eyes  fill with tears because i am so joyful, so overcome with the love i feel for them.

{here they were playing library, checking out books-my cookbooks-reading them, then returning them}

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chick. chick. chickpea.

i am a big friends lover, and have no idea why i remember this, but when george clooney visited rachel and monica’s house, and they served him hummus, i remember him saying, “gotta love the chickpea” or “god bless the chickpea” or something like that. random, no? but, seriously, i do love chickpeas, and when i saw this recipe on joy the baker, knew i had to try it out. besides, i have an annoying habit of not checking my cupboards before grocery shopping. as a result, i have about 10 cans of chickpeas that must be dealt with.

spicy chickpea salad

 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 to 1 whole  jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/3 cup roasted, salted cashews or almonds

1 ripe avocado, diced into chunks

small handful flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1 or 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped (2 cloves is for garlic lovers)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

heaping 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon agave or honey

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

2 cups clean baby spinach leaves

Start by making the dressing.  In a medium bowl, with a fork, mash together garlic and salt until it forms a paste.  Blend in the mustard, agave, red wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes.  While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until mixture is thick and emulsified.  Add salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need much at all).

In a large bowl, toss together chickpeas, onion, jalapeno, lemon zest and juice, nuts avocado and parsley.  Toss the dressing into the chickpea mixture and blend well.  Add the cleaned spinach leaves just before serving.  Serve immediately or store in a container in the refrigerator for up to three days

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