Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Relaxing Sunday...after being locked out

The morning routine almost always consists of your having to take a bath after breakfast. I'm sure I will miss this time one day in the near future, so I will have to remember to cherish it while it still lasts.

Today's lesson of the day is to always carry your house keys in your pocket while eating out in the backyard for you never know when you'll be locked out of your own home. The first time this happened, one of the girls was inside (I believe the younger one) and we talked her through the steps to unlocking the back door which involved her having to go get the stepstool.

Today, while we were eating a late lunch, our oldest daughter closed the back door as we all sat down to eat. It was hot - about 100 degrees - and we really should have eaten inside, but we love to take advantage of the warm Texas weather. So, I got up to go get something inside, as I do several times during our meals, and noticed that the back door was locked. One of the girls was playing with the lock at one point on the door knob which meant there was no way into the house. No windows or doors were unlocked and we thought we had to resort to breaking a window. After what seemed like an eternity, Papa saved the day and made it so that we could get inside. I'll leave out those details though...

You girls were then sent to your room and told that you were not going to get cake tonight, but in the end you did learn your lesson and thus got to eat cake.

You were eyeing the cake this evening, unsure of the smushed raspberries. Carefully, you ate around the raspberries but didn't seem to want to even try eating them.

Salt-kissed Buttermilk Cake from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog.

Summer in Texas is so warm and full of light, which makes going to bed at 8pm so difficult as you'd rather be outside running around and pretending you are a bird.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Fun Day

This day started out with an early morning birthday party for the younger sister of one of your preschool buddies. 

Your sister had fun riding the pony after you had your turn. 

You three had a great time making goodie bags for the pinata.

Sagey enjoyed the stickers and markers, even getting some blue marker on his face.

Seena was fascinated by the hat and kept it until we got home...

...unlike Sagey who kept it on for a few seconds before handing it back to his sister before she took a turn with the cupcake pinata.

The day ended with a trip to the AARL Field Day location at the Red Cross by the old airport to see what Papa was up to this weekend (that will be the topic of another post). It was a very hot 100 degrees today so we didn't stay too long although we did enjoy a delicious lunch at ZAX while sitting inside the air conditioned restaurant. Papa returned to the Field Day and we went home where we ended the day with some Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream (no, the extra "Chocolate" is not a typo). What a fun day!

Ice Cream and a Bandage

A day late in posting...but here is yesterday's little things captured in photographs.

The essence of Summer. My little boy, you've learned to carefully eat your ice cream although you still manage to make enough of a mess to warrant a bath afterwards.

It wonderful to see you enjoying your ice cream today after the past few days of your having been too sick to eat. It seems to have been an inner ear infection as you mentioned your ears hurting and your not being able to turn your neck to one side. You were so tired that you could not even manage a smile. So, it was a wonderful treat to me to see you smile this morning and run around the house and play with you sister and brother.

You tripped over the laces of your new purple sparkly shoes as we were leaving for the post, which Papa let you buy. :) Your fall wasn't too bad...a little blood and nothing that a fun bandage can't "fix", but I think it's time to learn to tie your shoes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Waiting for Pancakes

Monday morning started out much earlier than usual with my husband driving to Dallas for the week. Our oldest daughter was awake when he left and her sister woke up shortly thereafter.

They settled on the two sofas in our great room with one "reading" a German comic book...

...and the other simply waiting for our day to start. Sagey was still asleep in his crib.

I decided to use the Buttermilk Pancake recipe from William's Sonoma "The Cookbook for Kids". I was a bit hesitant to try a new pancake recipe since I had a tried and true recipe that I love from Cook's Illustrated, but I tried it even though the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients seemed to tell me that this was going to be a thin batter.

The three kids waited patiently while I took each batch of pancakes off the griddle and stacked it onto a plate.


A dozen pancakes resulted from this recipe...enough for all four of us.

The photo in the cookbook is deceiving as it shows fluffy pancakes. With the batter being so watery, the pancakes resembled crepes more than pancakes. I guess I should have read the one and only review of the book on Amazon where the reviewer suggests to skip this recipe. The reviewer apparently had the same issue with the pancakes...the batter was too thin which resulted in very flat crepe-like pancakes. In addition, there was a noticeable saltiness.

Regardless, my kids liked them and they were happy that we had something different for breakfast.  

Change is good and more change is on the horizon. I am looking forward to several new cookbooks arriving in the mail later this month. For now, we will look to our current collection of cookbooks and cooking magazines for more new recipes to try. It's a great time to teach children that being in the kitchen really can be fun.

Monday, February 28, 2011


The last day of February started and ended on a bittersweet note. It actually began yesterday with Sagey’s first pajama change which led into a more desperate pajama and crib linen change this morning when I heard him crying. I was sitting in my study ready to start knitting up a new hat for my new Spring Collection when, as I walked into the bedroom, I noticed Sagey holding his elephant pillow over the crib in order to avoid it getting dirty from the mess below. Into the tub he went and off went the crib linens into the washer.
At breakfast, the children were not too interested in eating. Soon after, they all fell asleep for a short while…Sagey on the floor in my study,

Seena on the couch with the early afternoon sun shining on her,

and Saffi in the oddest place of all…the stairs.

Later in the day we sat down to have a little snack. I went to the sink to get the plates for the girls when all of a sudden the wine glass that was on top of the plates, slipped out of my hand and landed below - broken. Then when I went to grab a salad plate from the cupboard for the diced avocado, the plate fell from my hand and crashed on the granite countertop. If that was not enough, when I finally sat down to have a bite to eat myself, the avocado somehow mysteriously flew off my fork and landed on my clean skirt I just put on hours before.
I should have guessed that the girls were still not feeling so great when they left the chocolate chips from the trail mix on their plate and went to sleep again, this time in the bedroom. They all piled into my bed and slept some more.

Dinner was uneventful as once again nobody was really interested in eating. I made vegetable soup that had somehow been forgotten on the stove during the day. When I returned, most of the water was gone. I quickly added some more and took out the veggies and added Acini de Pepe pasta. Sagey wanted nothing to do with the soup, Saffi ate like a bird, and Seena left the table to go back to bed – with a fever.

Fast forward to bathtime, putting on new pajamas on Sagey, and putting him on my bed with Saffi sleeping next to him. I retreated to my study to start my next project for the Spring Collection. Sagey started crying but then he was fussy so I gave it no further thought as I believed he didn’t like to be crowded by his sister sleeping at his side. A few minutes later, all was quiet and I went to check on all three. More mess awaited me, but thankfully I put a large waterproof pad on the bed before I placed Sagey on the bed. So, I had to wake up Saffi to wash her hair which didn’t really please her at all. Then I quickly washed Sagey’s elephant pillow (which needs to go into the machine after the current load finishes) before I stripped down Sagey and gave him yet another bath today. Another pajama change and another waterproof pad on the bed. Oh, I almost forgot that one of the kitchen lights went out as I walked into the kitchen this evening to fill up Sagey’s bottle. What a day!

The highlight of my day was receiving a phone call from my husband. He’s been on an extended business trip since early Wednesday morning and will not be returning home until close to midnight this coming Friday. The second part of his trip takes him to Calgary. He arrived around 3am this morning and sent me an email at that time letting me know that he arrived safely. I wasn’t expecting to hear from him all week long due to the exorbitant roaming fees, but he called late this afternoon. I told him about my day so far and he told me how he almost died from having to walk back to his hotel in -25 degree weather. I still think that I had a worse day than him and cannot wait until he returns.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cupcakes and half birthdays

Her first year at preschool and her first school birthday party. All Summer babies get to celebrate their half birthdays since they would otherwise miss out. Being an August baby myself, I know how left out one can feel during the Summer when nobody is around for your birthday party.

For this event, I made Devil's Food cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting - from scratch and working into the wee hours of the morning. Oh, the things we do for our children!

 I must mention that I am not a fan of cupcakes or frostings. I grew up in a Croatian home with Croatian traditions and desserts - cupcakes not being one of them. So I searched for a new chocolate cupcake recipe other that the one from Cook's Illustrated that I made for her third birthday.

I really should have stuck with the recipe from Cook's Illustrated as they are the best resource I've found for baking and cooking. They thoroughly test all of their recipes many, many times and have the best explanations as to why they chose one method or ingredient over another.

Which brings me to the recipe from Martha Stewart that I ended up baking instead. Mix cocoa powder with hot water in one bowl, the flour mixture in another bowl, the butter and sugar in a large saucepan which is then transferred to yet another bowl (of a stand mixer)...I have yet to clean up all of those bowls and kitchen counters! 

I'm a perfectionist, so I tend to find something wrong with everything - even when there's nothing to find. My biggest issue with this recipe is the use of coarse salt. Who uses coarse salt in cupcakes? Even though I used exactly the amount specified, the cupcakes tasted rather salty to me. I'm sure the ton of sugar in the buttercream frosting manages to mask some of the saltiness. I think I'll stick with Cook's Illustrated in the future.

Despite the saltiness, I think the toppers were really adorable...lions, giraffes, elephants, and zebras. Oh, and colorful sprinkles by request from the "birthday" girl herself.

In addition, I put together a few European treat bags for her classmates: Hanuta, Haribo mini gummy bears, Kinder Schoko-Bons, and a Duplo bar. I hope they liked getting something different!

I also put one of those treat bags in my husband's suitcase this morning as he left for California. I'm sure he'll love finding all of his German favorites while he unpacks his suitcase later tonight!

Hope you had fun today my little half-birthday girl!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Moment in Time

A moment in time is just that - a moment. You can try to recapture it, but it will never be the same.

This little guy makes me smile! How can he not with his big blue eyes so wide open with curiousity at everything he sees. This image was taken in my studio upstairs while I was taking product shots. My little son walked in to see what I was doing and I quickly reset the settings on my camera to capture this moment in time before it was gone. I'm so glad I did!