Sunday, June 30, 2013

Recipe Sunday: Pasta with Zucchini Sauce

We love pasta in this house so I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try. This is the perfect summer pasta. Tons of flavor but not overly rich.
Pasta with Zucchini Sauce
via Kayotic Kitchen with slight adaptations by me

1 pound pasta (I've used spaghetti and penne)
2 zucchini’s, diced
1 large garlic clove
3 slices of bacon, chopped
2 oz butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup of milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt and pepper

1. Cook bacon until nearly done. Add zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until soft, but not smooshy. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Transfer mixture to your food processor and blitz.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. While your pasta is cooking, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and stir until smooth and bubbly. Add the milk and heat to just boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce hear to low and let simmer 2 minutes. Add the zucchini mixture and stir well, letting the sauce simmer for a few more minutes. Add the Parmesan and stir until melted.
4. Serve sauce over pasta.

Friday, June 28, 2013


We spent Day 2 at Disneyland and had another wonderful day. The kids were great, especially considering that we woke them up early and kept them up late.
I took these three to meet Aladdin and Jasmine. They were the only characters we got pictures with. I really wanted the girls to meet Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder but the wait was 50 minutes! No thanks. We just peeked in the room so they could see them.

I took the girls into the bathroom and when I came out of my stall, Abby wasn't there. I told her where I was going but she didn't hear me and left the bathroom. I ran and gave Clara to my dad and Sam and I went to find her. A guy saw me looking around and asked if I was missing a little girl. He said she was at the Dole stand and when I got over there, someone was already taking her to "lost children." We got to her quickly. She seemed pretty calm but I was totally freaked out. We joked that Disneyland is a good place to lose your kid because nobody wants an extra.

There were more rides for Clara to go on, which was nice. I was pretty miserable with my sunburn. Thank goodness for Ibuprofen!

Abby was so excited to steer the car. She told grammy, "I didn't know I could drive!"

Grant got to go on the Nemo submarines and a few other rides. He was a very good boy!

Abby was pretty excited to eat cotton candy for the first time! Thanks Uncle Philip!

At the end of the day, it was necessary to have a few treats.
We had an amazing trip! Thanks mom and dad! Now that Philip and Merrick live close, we will definitely be back!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

California Adventure

We spent our first Disney day at California Adventure. It was cool to visit the new Cars Land and to take my kiddos on all of the rides. I absolutely love Disneyland/California Adventure and it was so fun to share it with my family. Being there with kids takes the magic to a different level. Between Fast Passes and parent swaps, we were able to do a ton without ever waiting too long!
Luigi's Flying Tires. It's like being on an air hockey table.

The carousel is always a hit!

Abby took this picture and told them to make silly faces. I love it!

Clara got upset that Abby wasn't sharing the chips with her and while Philip was hugging her, she fell asleep. Poor girl got left out a lot because she wasn't tall enough for several of the rides. We tried to do some things to make it special for her.

The baby boys were little gems. They did a lot of snoozing but were able to go on a few rides.

These two are buddies! They kept each other quite entertained while we waited in lines. Unfortunately, this picture was followed shortly by a tackle and a head to a pole.

It was fun going on some rides with just grownups. We did a lot of switcheroos throughout the day.

Cooling off in the sprinklers.

While we were waiting in line to buy ice cream, a guy came up to my parents and Abby and asked if they wanted this giant wiener dog. He had won it but didn't want to carry it around anymore. Of course, the kids wanted it. We were quite the spectacle walking around with it. The dog will live at grammy and grandpas, thank goodness!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Day at the Beach

We spent our first day in California hanging out at the beach. The kids had a blast! We were out there for hours and they still didn't want to go home. Our Philly friends, The Flemings came to visit and Abby got to reunite with her buddy Garrett. They were a little shy at first but then got right to playing. That evening we went to Balboa Island to walk around and eat frozen bananas and Balboa Bars. YUM!
The water was pretty cold, as per usual California, so the kids spent most of their time in the sand.

Abby was so excited to get buried.

They did brave the water a bit. Clara definitely wasn't feeling it though.

Philip and Sam went boogie boarding. They did a good job catching some waves.


Hey look, I was there. I have the peeling sunburn to prove it.

Grant did a lot of this. He wasn't so sure about the beach at first. Luckily he settled down because we thought we'd have to take him home.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Three Months Old

Grant turned three months old while we were at Disneyland and, sadly, I don't think I took any pictures of him while we were there. He spent most of the time snoozing. So, I took this picture Sunday after church while I was hanging out with my guy. I couldn't get a picture of him smiling but he has the sweetest smile that melts my heart every time!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Family Pics in CA

We took a trip to California for a family reunion, the highlight of which was a trip to Disneyland/California Adventure (more on that later).
On our first night, we took family pictures. We kept getting right in the middle of some peoples' Ultimate Frisbee games...oops.
We had a hard time wrangling the kids. It's amazing the pic turned out this good (thanks to Merrick's Photoshop skills!)

Cute cousins!

Our family shot turned out pretty good. Do you think Clara loves her daddy?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recipe Sunday: Salami and Brussels Sprouts Pizza

I don't make the same recipes very often. I love trying new things. For a while, I was never really repeating recipes except for our super basic standbys (You know, grilled cheese, Ramen noodles--that sort of thing). However, I was starting to crave things I had made before that were just really good. I started a Pinterest board called Recipes to Keep as a place to store all of the recipes we thought were worth making again.
When I first saw this recipe in Real Simple, I was skeptical but I went ahead and gave it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. It's light and simple and so delicious. My whole family just gobbles it up!
Salami and Brussels Sprouts Pizza
via Real Simple, slightly adapted by me


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature (I use Pillsbury)
  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces sliced salami, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Heat oven to 450° F with the bottom rack set in the lowest position. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Stretch the dough into a large oval and place on the prepared sheet; brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sprouts, salami, and mozzarella with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper; scatter over the dough. Bake until the mozzarella has melted and the crust is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Recipe Sunday: Fudgy Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

When I eat something delicious, I find myself thinking, "Man, other people should really eat this!"

So, I've decided to start sharing some of my favorite recipes with you, on Sundays. We shall call it, Recipe Sunday. (Creative, I know.)

The first recipe I'll share with you is the delicious Father's Day treat I baked (with the help of my little sous chef). Oh my goodness guys, these are to die for. They are super rich and it makes a ton, so plan to make them for a crowd, or don't--the choice is yours.

Fudgy Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
via Mel's Kitchen Cafe

  • 2 cup graham cracker crumbs (one of the many reasons I love my food processor!)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
    Fudge Layer:
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 package (12 oz.) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (I used chopped up Heath bar)
        Cookie Layer:
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 package (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and butter until evenly moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. For the fudge, in a microwaveable bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for one. Stir. Microwave for another minute and continue stirring and microwaving until the mixture is smooth and melted. Pour the fudge mixture over the crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with the toffee bits (1/2 cup).
  4. For the cookie layer, in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), beat together the butter, milk, vanilla, and brown sugar. Add the egg and mix. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in the chocolate chips. Dollop this mixture by tabespoonfuls across the fudge layer and spread to form an even layer. Sprinkle with the toffee bits (1/2 cup).
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes (I did 25 minutes) until edges are puffed and the top is golden brown. Don't overbake or the bars will be tough and dry. Pull them out when the top is golden but the cookie dough still looks a bit soft. Cool completely and cut into squares.
You're welcome! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bumbo Time

We put Grant in the Bumbo for the first time. He wasn't so sure about it. He still needs to build up so more neck strength. I love when they can start sitting in the Bumbo so they can be part of the action.

And, for fun, here are both of the girls in the Bumbo for the first time:



As you can see, Grant is our biggest baby! It's fun having a little one with some chunk!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Ever since Clara was about two months old, the girls have been roommates. They really enjoy sleeping in the same room together. If they are misbehaving at bedtime, we threaten to move one of them into the other room and they shape right up.
Clara is sleeping in a big girl bed now. She has been pretty good about staying in her bed and the girls have been going to bed much better since we've been in Arizona too. I think the heat wears them right out.
Last night, I went in to check on the girls and found a surprise at the end of Abby's bed. I thought it was pretty cute.
(No, the girls don't sleep with the lights so bright. The flash sure brightens the room right up.)

When I asked them about it in the morning, they didn't seem to know it had happened. I guess they were just playing together and ended up passing out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Last Few Weeks

We gave Allyson her baby shower before we all left for the summer/for good. It was a Nautical Theme and probably the cutest shower we've done to date. Abby got to come be with the big girls. I promised her that if there was a shower on a Saturday she would be able to come and the day finally arrived.

We went to the Zoo with the Adams and the Padillas. The weather was awesome and we all had a blast!

We went over to the Adams' house for Mother's Day. Sam and Abby made chocolate covered strawberries and the girls loved them!

We had our annual Goodbye Picnic. The boys had fun playing volleyball. The moms had fun chatting and the kiddos played the day away.

Sam's class.

Sam's row in the pre-clinic.

The girls makind silly faces. They were cracking us up.

Grant enjoyed sitting up in this stroller. Such a big boy.

Feeding the ducks one last time.

At the :Liberty Bell with cousins.

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