Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Beauty of Breathing Crisp Autumn Air

There is something so invigorating about crisp, cool air, especially when the sun is shining.  The ambiance of Autumn just seeps into your skin and sets your mind and body towards active living. May you drink in this Autumn and all it has to offer...

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Beauty of Inspiration


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Joy of A Little Exercise

Most of us women don't have the same bodies post-baby as we did pre-baby. I am one of those women. It is what it is right now but the women around me have always stated that it is important to look good not only for yourself but for your husband too.  My husband loves me regardless, as he should, but both of us have fantasized about looking physically picturesque.  Thus far, since baby, I have been content with myself most of the time and have been telling myself that I will just eat healthy and keep active during the day.  I have felt that I have been doing this somewhat and haven't felt the need to be too excessive about working out, not that I ever have been anywhere near excessive in that department. And then I went swimming with my sister, niece, and nephews...

 You know something is off when you can no longer do a handstand in the pool.

My sister got a pretty good laugh watching my feeble attempts.  At that point I realized maybe a little scheduled exercise really wouldn't hurt.  On the flip side, apparently my cannon balls have improved by immense proportions. I believe some mention of tidal wave may have been thrown around. Hey, if you can make big things happen you should wear them with pride. This year I have the best cannon balls. Next year maybe the best handstands?

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Joy of a Friend

What's better than a girlfriend who you share dreams, secrets, and books with? A friend that you create handsome men of your dreams with in Middle School and imagine what kind of castle you might live in, because it does happen SOMETIMES. Or plan a trip at the age of 12 to Costa Rica with a hot air balloon. Someday I think we really should take that trip...

There aren't many experiences that top two endless days of baking Christmas cookies to the point that you vow the following year you won't be doing anything in preparation for Christmas. Or painting together because we say it soothes us but really the entire time we curse under our breath. 


And who can beat a person who always backs you up even when deep down we may disagree, which probably happens more often than we let on. And who can salsa dance with you for probably five hours non-stop.

You can't really beat a friend like that. Miss you Friend.

Happy Birthday!

The Joy of Meal Planning

For some time now Hubby and I have been talking about planning meals ahead of time in the hopes of reducing the amount of food that goes bad in our fridge and saving some money.  This is our first week attempting the task.  We're starting off with planning dinners first.  The draft menu is as follows:

Monday- Swedish meatballs
Tuesday- Tortellini
Wednesday- Creamy Carrot Chickpea Soup see here
Thursday- Steak & Potatoes
Friday- Tuna sandwiches
Saturday- Leftovers
I think once a week we will have some sort of soup and once a week I will try one new recipe.

~What are some tips that help you with meal planning?~

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Joy of Mousse and Jell-O

While in New York my aunt made such a yummy dessert for my niece's birthday and it was made out of... ready for this? Jell-O. I don't even like Jell-O. But this, this was good.
So, for my godson's namesday I decided to put this dessert, along with some chocolate mousse, on the menu. I have to say though that the Jell-O wasn't as good as  my aunt's, most things aren't as she IS Pinterest. She's never been on it, doesn't know what it is, but she doesn't need to, because she IS Pinterest.  Plus, things just taste better when someone makes them for you.

2 large packages strawberry Jell-O
2 large packages raspberry Jell-O
1 cup cold milk
2 cups boiling water
2 pints heavy cream
5 packages frozen sliced strawberries in sugar (thawed)
(8 cups of liquid total)

-Put Jell-O in bowl
-Add 2 cups boiling water & mix well
-Add 1 cup cold milk
-Take heavy cream and whip stiff
-Mix Jell-O mixture into whipped cream
-Fold in strawberries
-Place mixture into Jell-O mold
-Refrigerate overnight

The recipe called for either raspberry or strawberry Jello-O so I decided to use a little of both. Also I only had one Jell-O mold and this recipe makes more than what could fit in one mold so I used my Bundt cake mold. This worked great except in order to get it out I had to melt it a little and I placed it in warm water for too long.  When I flipped it over it was more melted than anticipated and didn't look so pretty. To make it a little better I got to borrow my in-law's awesome instant whipped cream maker and added some to the top.  This thing is amazing. Somehow I've never seen one before but apparently the rest of the world is very well aware of this gadget.

The chocolate mousse tasted pretty good. I was nervous about the texture at first because of the egg yolks; by the way, had no idea there were egg yolks in mousse. You learn so many things when you start cooking...

4 1/2 oz dark chocolate chopped
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup whipping cream, lightly whipped

-Melt chocolate in bowl over simmering water (do not let bowl touch water)
-Cool slightly
-Lightly beat egg yolks
-Stir yolks into chocolate
-Fold in lightly whipped cream until velvety
-Beat egg whites into soft peaks
-Fold one spoonful of fluffy egg into mixture with metal spoon
-Gently fold in remainder

The recipe said to put the mousse into the fridge overnight in separate containers such as ramekins or wine glasses (covered).  I put everything into a large bowl as I quadrupled the recipe due to the amount of people we were having.  The above recipe serves 6.  My mousse also melted just a tad so it wasn't as firm as it was supposed to be. Our drive was 40 minutes or so in the car. Perhaps that also had something to do with it... Despite the presentation not being the best, I did receive one of the nicest compliments of my life. The complimenter (this should be a real word in the English language) may have been under the influence but in life you should take what you can get.

"I am so happy that you married your husband
so that you could be here today to make me this dessert!"
Overall, these desserts were easy, fairly quick, and probably will be repeated in the future.  The call for ramekins in the mousse recipe inspired me to actually use the millions of ramekins that I have (more like 12 but in our tiny cupboards they seems like they are overflowing) for ramekin purposes other than condiment holders on burger night. Perhaps individual servings of real chocolate pudding will be in my in near or perhaps far off future.
~What are some of your favorite desserts to bring to a party?~

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Joy of Infant Play

Three Short Activities:

1. Alouette Mirror Play- He got a big kick out of sitting on my lap in front of our long mirror while I held his hands and placed them accordingly on body parts while singing the song.

2. "Football"- A great gift now that he is learning to grasp was our holy football.  He was actually able to hold it and look at it and bring it to his mouth.

3. "Reading" a Book- Kill two birds with one stone and get some tummy time in while looking at pictures. We propped ourselves on our favorite Boppy pillow and read our book twice!

One Long Activity:

1. Baby Massage - We haven't been doing this as consistently as I had first intended but it's still nice every once in a while.  I do incorporate some massage techniques with some natural oil (purchased at Whole Foods) during bath time. He LOVES having his legs massaged!