Saturday, October 31, 2009


Love, love Bakerella. Visit her site for baking inspiration at

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 3 of being sick.

We are sick right now, both B and I. It's that kind of sickness that has body aches, chills and stuffy noses with a side of cough. Ugh. I was pretty bad last night and wondered why is it always worse around the late afternoon and night?

We have been disenfecting everything, including bathrooms and bedrooms and leaving windows open to let the air circulate (benjamin franklin believed this helped people not get sick so much). I have never seen Brandon this sick. And it's pretty hard to take care of kids when you are both sick. We have been going in shifts and taking naps a lot. Ava was the first person sick and now I think she is on the mend. Sophia, thankfully, is not sick at all.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

chicken broth and applesauce

Hey guys! Making chicken broth and applesauce this weekend. Will post pics later. Go bucks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Check out this It has awesome electronics equipment at reasonable prices.

Sick kids

Sick kids
Ava was sick today with an ear infection. She woke up from her nap after the zoo saying, "Mommy, my ear hurts." Sophia has been not feeling well at all because of her teethies. She is up all night and just wants mommy. Not the bottle, not her sippy cup, just mommy. Anyways, sick kids can make your day long, but I am thankful for them, their cheekies and their sweet love.

Ava has been reading her Dora book about going to the doctors office. It was really helpful as we were going today because she realized where we were going. She kept asking about getting a "checkup" (I have never used this word around her).

Today as we went to the doctors office, Ava asked me, "Does sophia need a checkup too?" I was laughing so hard at how cute it was. She really cares about her little sister.

Sophia is still happy during the day, just grumpy at night. Hopefully, she gets her teething done soon and starts to take a bottle.

Food it up

Boston Market
Boston Market is having a special right now that you receive two free kids meals with an adult meal above $6. We got two whole meals and two free milks with our meals. So fun. I love saving money. The offer is good until Nov. 1.

Whole Foods
P.S. Whole Foods has honeycrisp apples on sale for 1.99/lb and Macintosh and Gala for $.79/lb. And the bone in pork chops looked amazing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Oh my! Pumpkin and banana muffins with brown butter icing"

Pumpkin and banana muffins with brown butter icing

Don't you love butter? It's wonderfully rich and makes everything taste well, better! I love pulling out this recipe for pumpkin cake every fall.
I simply make muffins out of them instead of cake. You could even do minis. How very cute.
I adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart.
And the icing. You have to make the icing. Make sure you don't burn the butter -- when you are heating the butter--stay put. Don't answer the phone, talk to your hubby or do the dishes. Just watch the butter turn from a bright yellow to warm, nutty brown.
The best thing about these muffins is that the icing is rich and cuts through the taste of the pumpkin. It makes my mouth sing.
Also, if you are like me, pumpkin can be a tad overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, I love pumpkin, but too much is not a good thing. I substituted 1/4 cup of mushed bananas for pumpkin and it was great.

Enjoy your muffins on a cold night with a warm mug of coffee.
Here's the link for the recipe.
"Oh my! Pumpkin and banana muffins with brown butter icing"
Serves 8 to 10.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup homemade Pumpkin Puree, or canned
1/4 cup of banana, mashed
1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk (no, i did not measure temp)
Brown Butter Icing
Caramelized Walnut Halves
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. Coat pan with flour, and tap out any excess.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.
Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake, and decorate with caramelized walnut halves.
First published

Pumpkin pics 3

Shannen and I
Avsy, my little cutie pie

Ava in color

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Talent Code

Brandon is listening to The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and since it's in his car so am I. I found some of the examples fascinating and would recommend this to anyone who is a parent or coach.

Basically, the author believes that our brains use different circuits to perform various exercises or tasks and that you can coach or teach a person using this system. Additionally, Coyle suggests that lifelong learning can help stave off Alzheimers and old age because it helps the circuits keep firing at the same rate as when an adult is in their 30s. It's not your muscles that get old, but the ciruits that fire the muscles at a slower rate.

Try out this book on cd. It's really interesting!

funny sayings

We always have fun repeating things our nephews, nieces and kids say. Here are some funny ones the kids have been saying recently.

Ava: "Where's mommy?
Brandon: "She's out with other mommies."
Ava after thinking a moment: "Can I go out with other Ava's?"

Brandon leaves every morning before we get up, and Ava is always very concerned about his whereabouts. She always says, "Daddy go to work? Daddy go to his house?" So, our house is "Mommy's house" and his work is "Daddy's house."

Mommy is a princess as is Sophia and Daddy is a king.

Ava loves to call milk--"Agi."

Well, she doesn't talk, but she loves to bounce on her little bottom, roar like a lion (rahhhh) and blows out air through her lips. She can say, "Mamma, Daddy and hi" if you listen closely.

She also loves to wave! She waves all of the time and gives a great big smile with it.

love those girls.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cave dwellers

Ava, Morgan, Wesley and Mathew

Here are the Shmidt cousins from this weekend. See Christina's post for more on our weekend! We did have a really great time with Momma and Poppa Shmidt and Christina and Troy and Cale. Cale is getting so big! He is 8 weeks and loves to snuggle on you and take warm naps. Ava can't wait to play with him.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Brandon

Happy Birthday Brandon!

Brandon's birthday was Oct. 10--Happy Birthday hun! We were in Hocking Hills for a family retreat, and I did not get a chance to post this earlier.

He's such a great husband and dad!

Ava and Ty at the petting area.
Ava, me and Sophia.

Ava in the corn box. Brandon and Sophia are trying to get Ava out to go home, but she did not want to leave.

Shmidties at the farm.

Our fam with our pumpkins we picked out and took home.

Leeds farm fun

Sophia and Ava -- sister love
Ava with Ty at the petting zoo.
Ava: "This is mine!"

Sophia: "Whichever pumpkin you drool on you get to take home!"

Tate, 11 months, Sophia's little friend who happened to show up right when we did!

Pumpkin Picking
The great joy of pumpkin picking is the cool weather and fun things for the kids. We went to the pumpkin patch at Leeds Farm and got some pumpkins, played in the corn box and fed some goats.
We had a great time and it was the perfect weather.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Best and Worst stores for kids

Have you ever went shopping with the kids in tow and realize that some stores just don't have a clue?

Narrow aisles that make it impossible to steer a stroller or inaccessible bathrooms make you want to stick to shopping by the internet. Below are just a couple of the stores and eateries that are the best and worst for shopping or eating with kids. I will update periodically.

Additionally, I would love to applaud and support the stores and eateries who make all moms' jobs easier with their friendly smiles and great help.

Worst offender:
Filene's Basement-

Not only did 3 store clerks step over my boxes without asking me if I needed anything (while I was with two kids), they only helped women who were by themselves.

Cons: Narrow aisles, bathroom too small to bring stroller, no help with products and baby section's aisles were so narrow, I couldn't reach it with my stroller.
Pros: I mean, the prices are so good. I may come back without kids.

Best of the Best:
Whole Foods- I love this store. You can say all you want about the high prices, but if you shop around a little bit, you will find great deals on items, including fruit bars for $1.67 and local milk and dairy products.


  • Tons of samples including, fruit right when you walk in
  • Trying toBold decide what to take to a shower, the bakery lady talked to me and gave me samples to help me see what tasted good. Yum!
  • Wide aisles and good selection of produce and products
  • Ava says, "this is the best pizza ever mom!"
Cons: Prices are higher on some items than normal.