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Five on Friday

1. I was out and back to Seattle in 19 hours.

My joys of the day included a run along the Puget Sound, Veggie Grill (tempura green beans!) and my favorite Republic.

2. My best friend has moved three hours closer (yay!) so they’re coming for dinner tomorrow night. I plan to celebrate with strawberry shortcake and this recipe for Lavender Lemon Whipped Cream.

3. It’s the time of year for breakfast goodbyes, so we did it up right at Bacon & Eggs.

4. We were talking about an upcoming trip and Miss Rae was very concerned about making it to the plane in time.

“How long will it take to get through surgery?”

It took us a minute, but we discovered that she meant “security” and all was well.

5. I wanted to end this post with a photo of J Man and I laying in the sun, but WordPress is telling me that I’m out of space for media uploads? What?

While I figure that one out, just imagine two pasty white figures, one making a toothless smile, one wearing a new black swimsuit #longliveTarget

Why not cookies?

Miss Rae is in this “why?” phase.

Specific, real-life example:

Scene – driving the kids to Staples.

Miss Rae: “Why are we going this way?”

Me: “Because this is the way to Staples.”

Miss Rae: “But why?”

Me: “Because it just is.”

Miss Rae: (irritated, because her mother is too ignorant to understand this question.) “But why is THIS the way?”

Me: (realizing she won’t settle for another generic answer.) “Because Staples is across town, close to Rooks park, so we have to go this way.”

Silence. Phew! Solved it!

Miss Rae: “But WHY?”


Even though she makes me crazy with her questions, I made her cookies.

The little peanut had her third and final preschool graduation last week and all the well-behaved moms brought treats to share.

I made these Chocolate chip cookies because they require one bowl and they’re vegan so you can eat dough without guilt.

And then I trashed them up. Why?

Because I needed my cookie contribution to be the first to go from the buffet.


Because I’m naturally very competitive.


Just because, ok???

And the riddler graduated and I hope she never stops asking questions.

Campfire Orange Cinnamon Rolls

Some things are just bad ideas and you know it from the start, yet somehow you convince yourself that with me it will be different.

Example 1: Giving up caffeine. I might be (absolutely am) back on the sauce. I have no other excuse beyond I like it.

Example 2: Believing that my children won’t notice when I do things like put coconut in their pancake batter or buy the bread with the seeds. They notice. And rather than buck up and eat it, they’ll just not eat. I sure showed them.

Example 3: Campfire Orange Cinnamon Rolls. Blast you, Pinterest.

So, we went camping which might seem like a bad idea but was actually a great idea. We went for two hikes (okay, walks, but we have short legs, what do you expect?), built a fire, slept in a tent, built a fort, and poked lots of bugs.

And I had seen this idea on Pinterest that was super intriguing.

Slice off the top of an orange (and save it- you need it later). Then hollow out the orange innards. That sounds gross. But that’s what they are, right?

Then you get one of those cans of refrigerator cinnamon rolls.

And you stuff a roll inside each orange. Wrap it in foil and throw into the fire for 12 minutes. And then, presto-chango, you have perfectly cooked orange scented cinnamon rolls.

Yeah, right. We cooked ours for 12 minutes and then checked one. Raw. Cooked for 5 more minutes. Almost there. Cooked for 5 more minutes. Scorched.

And it wasn’t that the roll itself was even overdone. It was actually still questionably soft.

But hanging out that long in the fire just does something to you and the charred flavor was prevalent.

I tried to mask the smoky flavor with frosting. Nope. 

Both kids took an obligatory bite and then turned up their noses in favor of marshmallows. Matty B wouldn’t even try one bite.

Pinterest fail.

If you really want to try this because you somehow believe that it will be different for me, here are my suggestions.

1. Get small cinnamon rolls. I bought big ones and that could have been the problem with the long baking time.

2. Double wrap your foil layer. That might prevent the scorching we experienced.

3. Or just don’t do it and bring stuff for smores instead. Winner.

So the oranges weren’t a success, but camping was. Sleeping too.

Love this sweet baby face.

Strawberry ‘n Cream Cake

From out of nowhere, this girl is super excited about her ABC’s.

Living in a world where her brother organizes football stats into complicated charts for fun, it’s no surprise that she has erred on the side of princess/Barbie/Elsa for her entertainment.

But somewhere we turned a corner. Without any nudging from us, she is super excited about practicing her letters.

I love her “g”.

And we’re taking baby steps, but I’m confident that when she enters kindergarten in a few months (a few months?!?!) she’ll be ready.

I’ve been taking some baby steps as well.

Baby steps back into the world of cooking. (Note the hippo photo bomb.)

And you might actually judge my choice of words when I call this “cooking,” but baby steps, remember?

One angel food cake, cut into three rounds. Four cups of sliced strawberries. One can of sweetened condensed milk. I looooove sweetened condensed milk.

And layer.

Layer it up real good.

I added a little cream cheese frosting on top, just to make it pretty.

Another, cuter photo bomb.

Who took a break from his excel spreadsheet to try and sneak a taste.

Baby steps…

A day I felt like myself 

Today was a day I felt like myself.

What does that even mean?

It means that for the past 10+ days I’ve been sicker than I’ve been in who knows how long. Although I did learn that having laryngitis means that everyone will just whisper back to you.

It means that I’m changing jobs (my choice) and finishing out one job and starting another at the same time is hard. And stressful. 

It means that I seriously, seriously, haven’t been cooking.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

It means that, because of above mentioned illness, I missed out on a family trip, Unk C’s birthday celebration, and Miss Rae’s first race.

Needless to say, I haven’t been feeling like myself.

Today I had a glimpse of my former self, and I miss her.

We took the kids to Dixie Acre Farms for some good old fashioned strawberry picking.

I told the kids the story of strawberry picking when Miss Rae was a newborn and two year old J Man plunked himself down in a patch of muddy berries and started eating hand over fist. Stems? No problem. Mud? Delicious. Bruised or bad berries? Great!

They found this story hard to believe, yet in washing our final haul, it appears they aren’t much more discerning when it comes to their berry selections these days.

We absolutely taste-tested.

And we ended up with a pretty good haul. I see some strawberry shortcake in our Memorial Day future.

But the strawberries weren’t actually the best part. The best part was being outside in the sunshine with my favorite people and taking a breath. Something I haven’t done in awhile.

There she is. There’s that girl I’ve been missing.

Date night

One week ago tonight, Matty B ran into the restroom at Brasserie 4 and threw up. 

Oops. Needless to say, “date night” took a rain check and we headed home, determined to try again this weekend.

Thanks to grandma and papa watching the munchkins, we had “take 2” tonight.

Bread with strawberry butter- interesting and somewhat addictive.

Brasserie 4 is known for their fries. They let us down a little tonight. Too crispy, too oily, too overdone.

I had the “verte” salad with avocado, mandarins, chèvre, radishes, and walnuts. Remember how I don’t like radishes?  I like these radishes. The mandarin + chèvre + avocado was awesome.

Thank goodness Matty B likes pizza. Otherwise, what’s a picky vegetarian to do at a French restaurant? He proclaimed the crust slightly burnt, and I might’ve typically called that blackened but it truly did taste a little burnt, so I have to give his palate credit for that one.

Afterward, we walked around the corner to one of my favorite WW haunts, the Colville St. Patisserie. I had the lemon tart. He had the chocolate caramel.

And it was a great night.

We made napkin drawings (just like the old days.)

We stopped at a bookstore and avoided the children’s section entirely. (Not sure the last time that happened.)

We made eye contact.
A great night indeed:)

Five on Friday

1. J Man and Miss Rae’s dreams came true today.

Remember how obsessed they are with Beanie Boos?

Aunt Glenda took pity on them and sent a care package today with the biggest Beanie Boos ever! They were ecstatic.

I didn’t even know they came this big. My house is slowly but surely being taken over.

2. I haven’t been doing much cooking, but I have been eating, and luckily, much of it has looked like this:

I think vegetables are so beautiful:) but I don’t, as it turns out, like radishes. Too spicy.

3. Matty B had his last softball game a few nights ago (he plays on a league)…

…and just like that, Spring is springing away! Also, this is his “I’m intimidating” look.

J Man tried to emulate.


4. Unk C’s birthday is coming up and we’re getting ready.

Miss Rae wrote these letters all by herself! Kindergarten here we come! And to clarify, this is a drawing of Unk C’s stocking cap…

5. She’s such a beauty…