Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy 11th Birthday Ian


Right now...

You are OBSESSED with legos. You love building sets and put them together really quickly.
You love making lists of your favorite things and stuff you want (actors, lego sets you want, characters).
You like to draw.
You like researching information about actors.  You are especially interested in knowing how tall they are.
You love just hanging out and relaxing.
You love dessert and treats.
You are really funny.  You are such a nut (see above photo).  You make us laugh all the time.

We love you Ian!!
Mom, Dad, and Katie 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mindy Gledhill - Hourglass


xoxo
Rachel

Friday, June 28, 2013

We're back!!


We got in at 1:00 am this morning.  We had a great vacation/celebration of our 20th anniversary.  I can't wait to tell you all about it next week friends!  

This weekend:
I will be unpacking. 
Doing laundry.
Cleaning.
Getting groceries.
Celebrating Ian's Birthday.

What are you all up to this weekend?
Have a great one!
xoxo
Rachel

Kim and Carl


Our family has been getting such a kick out of this commercial.  We hope it gives you a good laugh too!
xoxo
Rachel

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

20 years

To have and to hold.
I promise to laugh and cry with you.
"A cord of three strands is not easily broken." Ecc 4:12

I hope that you are all doing great!
xoxo
Rachel

Monday, June 24, 2013

My new Favorite Blueberry Muffin

Here's another great recipe from the archives.
I hope you are all doing great!

To say that my children love berries would be an understatement. I rarely get the opportunity to actually make anything with any type of berry, because my 2 berry monsters devour them before I get a chance. Well, last week I intentionally bought two packages of blueberries so I could make these muffins.


I was initially drawn to this recipe by the beautiful photograph of these muffins. They had a beautiful golden brown color and were studded with gorgeous purple berries and were crusted with white sugar. The recipe came from the Penzey's 2003 summer catalog. If you were wondering...yes, I held onto this recipe that long and finally made it. I'm sure glad I did, because it will become a permanent part of my recipe collection .
As you can tell, these are not your ordinary blueberry muffins. These muffins are not an overly sweet cupcake with a few blueberries. These muffins are more berry than muffin. The muffin is also not cake-like, but more dense. Really the purpose of the batter is to showcase the berry. The muffin is also not too sweet, the vanilla sugar is just the right touch and does not over power the blueberry flavor.
I made them for Saturday morning breakfast, but they are so pretty I think your company would be totally blown away by them. If you really want to be impressive make a batch, put them in a basket and take them to your children's school. I'm sure your teacher's will appreciate them.
Happy September!
xoxo
Rachel
Blueberry Muffins
As I a stated previously, these muffins are not too sweet. If you like your muffins on the sweeter side and your berries are not very sweet you might want to increase the sugar in the batter by a tablespoon.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
2 Tbs. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 eggs slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
5 Tbs. butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 Tbs. Vanilla sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 425. Whisk the flour, baking powder, 2 Tbs. sugar, and salt in a bowl set aside. In another bowl mix the eggs, milk and the butter until blended. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fold in the blueberries. Place muffin cups into a 12 cup muffin tin. Fill the cups to the top with the batter. Sprinkle generously with the vanilla sugar. Reduce your oven to 400. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, serve warm.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Josh Ritter - Temptation of Adam


Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
Rachel

Friday, June 21, 2013

Instagram week {9}


{1} A simple summer meal
{2} One of our first David Austin roses to bloom this year.
{3} Picking out outfits.
{4} Mani's and Pedi's for the ladies.

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
Rachel

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Warm Mustard Potato Salad


This recipe is from the archives (2009).  It is still one of our favorites. Enjoy!

Potato Salad seems to be one of those dishes that people just love or hate. I am in the love camp. I love, love potato salad, have since I was a kid. My mom makes a great potato salad, and it was my first potato salad love. She boils Idaho's in their jackets, then lets them cool. Then she cubes them and marinates them in Italian dressing. Then she adds onions, mayo, mustard, and sometimes eggs. Yum...I love it!

Over the years I have tried many different potato salad recipes. This one is a family favorite (minus Ian, potato salad is not his love) and has been for 10 years! Not only does it taste great, it is really easy to put together. In the summer, I'm not a fan of spending a lot of time getting dinner on the table. You don't need to peel the potatoes and better yet you serve it warm!


I have adapted the recipe to suit my family's taste, so feel free to do the same.


Warm Mustard Potato Salad

1 pound small red potatoes
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard ( I sometimes use grainy or yellow)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dry
salt
pepper
a little bit of fresh lime juice ( optional)

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Meanwhile combine the remaining ingredients. Cut potatoes into bite sized chunks; place in a bowl. Add the mustard mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Taking a little break


We had a great school year, but it was most certainly challenging. 

 Katie started high school at a new school knowing very little people.  God was good, she made some great friends and had some great teachers, and got involved in some new activities.

Ian was placed in a challenging class with none of his buddies.  Everyday for the first month or two he came home saying this "Too quiet, too serious, too lonely."  Poor guy.  The challenge was good for him and he did end up making some new friends.

So even though everything turned out good.  We need a break.  Plus Brian and I will be celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary soon.  

I've scheduled a number of blog posts for the next couple of weeks.  My plan is not to be around much.   I probably won't be on Facebook or Pinterest.  I might take a few photos on Instagram, we'll see.
I'll be back to regular blogging on Sunday, June 30th.

Have a great couple of weeks!  Take care.
xoxo
Rachel

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day 2013


Chai, coffee cake, strawberries.

Quick photos after church.



Steak, roasted potatoes wedges, mushrooms, red peppers, tomatoes, and garlic.

Hammock time

Chocolate mousse.

Hope you all had a great day!
xoxo
Rachel


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!


I hope you are all having a great day celebrating  the Father's in your life!
xoxo
Rachel

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros - Home



Enjoy your Saturday!
xoxo
Rachel

Friday, June 14, 2013

Instagram {8}




{1} Katie offered to make dinner once a week this summer (sweetheart).
{2} Art
{3} Roald Dahl characters
{4} I came home to find Ian in one of his Dad's t-shirts. He said he wanted to wear something comfy and that it shrunk so it doesn't fit Dad anymore.
{5} Ian requested a Kahlua cake for a family get together.  This was a new recipe that I came up with.  The kid's loved it rich and fudgey.

Weekend plans:

Lunch with Jen
Dinner with Friends
Block party
Church

What are you guys up to this weekend?  Enjoy the sunshine!
xoxo
Rachel

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The last day of school 2013


I can't remember what this was all about, but it was funny.

4th grade

Katie 9th grade with her favorite teacher (World History).

The  last day of school was last Friday.  Let the summer begin!
xoxo
Rachel



Monday, June 10, 2013

10 Things to make me feel good about my summer days 2013


(Galveston Island 2012)

I'm a list girl, I always have been and I'm pretty sure I always will be.  No matter how much technology advances I love taking a pen and crossing something off my list.  It makes me feel so good!
In 2011 I made a list of 10 things to make me feel good about my summer days.  It set the mood for me that summer and helped me keep on track and keep perspective.  I wish I had done that last year, and this year I reminded myself to make another list.

1.  Dedicate each day to God and read a little bit from the Power of a Praying Parent.
2. Make breakfast and dinner for my family.  Provide good and healthy options for them to put together their own lunch.
3.  Wash, dry, fold and put away one load of laundry a day.
4. Use this cleaning system as a point of inspiration.
5. Read books, read magazines, read blogs.
6. Go outside or at least on  the front porch everyday.
7. Take at least one photo with the "real" camera.
8. Spend quality time with each of my children.
9. Encourage my husband with my words and my actions.
10.  Take a walk outside, work out on one of the machines or go to a class at the gym. 

Do you guys like to make lists?  What do you do to make your days go smoothly in the summer?
xoxo
Rachel

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I will carry you


Have a beautiful day!
xoxo
Rachel

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Phillip Phillips "Gone, Gone, Gone"






"Gone, Gone, Gone"

When life leaves you high and dry
I'll be at your door tonight
If you need help, if you need help.
I'll shut down the city lights,
I'll lie, cheat, I'll beg and bribe
To make you well, to make you well.

When enemies are at your door
I'll carry you away from war
If you need help, if you need help.
Your hope dangling by a string
I'll share in your suffering
To make you well, to make you well.

Give me reasons to believe
That you would do the same for me.

And I would do it for you, for you.
Baby, I'm not moving on
I love you long after you're gone.
For you, for you.
You would never sleep alone.
I love you long after you're gone
And long after you're gone, gone, gone.

When you fall like a statue
I'm gon' be there to catch you
Put you on your feet, you on your feet.
And if your well is empty
Not a thing will prevent me.
Tell me what you need, what do you need?
I surrender honestly.
You've always done the same for me.

So I would do it for you, for you.
Baby, I'm not moving on,
I love you long after you're gone.
For you, for you.
You would never sleep alone.
I love you long after you're gone
And long after you're gone, gone, gone.

You're my back bone.
You're my cornerstone.
You're my crutch when my legs stop moving.
You're my head start.
You're my rugged heart.
You're the pulse that I've always needed.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum my heart never stops beating...

For you, for you.
Baby, I'm not moving on.
I love you long after you're gone.
For you, for you.
You would never sleep alone.
I love you long after you're gone.
For you, for you.
Baby, I'm not moving on,
I love you long after you're gone.
For you, for you.
You would never sleep alone.
I love you long, long after you're gone.

Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum, baby, don't stop beating.
Like a drum my heart never stops beating for you
.

And long after you're gone, gone, gone.
I love you long after you're gone, gone, gone.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Instagram {7}

{1} Big Crumb Coffee Cake
{2} Getting back into painting my nails again. NYC Prospect Park Pink
{3} Breakfast Cookies
{4} No matter how hard I try, this room turns into a wreck!
{5} Whole wheat blueberry muffins
{6} Quinoa, chicken sausage and a sunny side up egg. Breakfast for dinner that's how I roll.

Weekend plans:
{1} Help Jen get ready for her first born's open house.
{2} Attend, said open house.
{3}Last day of school party.
{4} Get engagement/wedding ring sized up. 
{5} Get new contacts or glasses.  Probably contacts.
{6} Church
{7} Get together at my parent's home.

I hope you all had a great week!  I love hearing what you are up to on the weekends, so please let me know in the comments.
xoxo
Rachel

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Easy meal ideas for your summer days


I love cooking and baking, but let's be real.  I live in the tundra. I don't get very many warm sunny days.  Those few beautiful days I do get I don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
So I created a board on pinterest with some quick and easy summer meals.  Maybe you will get some menu inspiration too.
Check it out here.
xoxo
Rachel

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Neapolitan Sundae/Roasted Strawberries


I love ice cream and really I always have. If you want to read a funny story about me, my middle sister and ice cream when we were little girls go here.
I usually only stock vanilla in our freezer, because I know that will make everyone happy.  Brian and I both love neapolitan ice cream, but I hardly every buy it.  A couple weeks ago, I actually had some chocolate in the freezer leftover from a dinner with friends.  I also had some strawberries and thought I would make my own neapolitan sundae.  These sundaes were really simple to put together and tasted fabulous.
If you have leftover strawberries you can stir them into your favorite yogurt for breakfast or put them in a smoothie or just eat them as is.  Yummy.
xoxo
Rachel

Roasted Strawberries
This is just a guide so adjust to your tastes.  I would recommend placing a piece of parchment on the bottom of your sheet pan for easier clean up.

1 pound of strawberries cut into quarters 
honey
orange juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cut strawberries onto the sheet pan.  Splash on a little orange juice (start with a couple of tablespoons and stir the strawberries.  Drizzle on a little bit of honey (a teaspoon or two).  This will depend on how sweet your strawberries are to begin with and how sweet you want the final product to be.  Stir everything around until well coated.  Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes.  Remove the strawberries and place in a small bowl until ready to use.

Neapolitan Sundae

Roasted strawberries
Chocolate ice cream
Vanilla ice cream

Spoon one scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream into each bowl.  Pour over a few spoonfuls of roasted strawberries.  Serve immediately. 



Monday, June 3, 2013

Ian's Birthday Party

Those of you that have been around for awhile know that Ian has a summer birthday.  We like to have his birthday party before the school year gets out.
 Some legos.



Presents


 PiƱata


 Hamburger Cake



A little Mario cart.
xoxo
Rachel

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Beauty


Have a great week!
xoxo
Rachel

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fernando Ortega "Give me Jesus" {Ruth Bell Graham Tribute}


In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus


Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

And when I am alone
Oh and when I am alone
And when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

And when I come to die
Oh and when I come to die
And when I come to die
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

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