Sunday, July 31, 2011


I'm not very good at them. Goodbyes that is.

I've recently said goodbye, for now, to a friend. I didn't think we'd ever say it but the time has come and circumstances are now out of my control. It makes me really sad.

I'm in the process of saying goodbye, to another friend, because she's moving. And it's hard. I'm not sure when we'll see each other again and I think that makes it even harder. I'm doing the best I can to maintain my composure but I'm pretty sure around noon on Tuesday you'll find me in a heap on my living room floor. Not even sure how to express how grateful I've been for this friend for the past couple of years. She lived across the street from me and we shared coffee, both hot and iced, together, almost every afternoon on my porch. It's be wonderful. Her kids are comfortable with me and mine with her. We know each other. Well.

Our two oldest and their "babies"

I think I'll just give her a hug and pretend I'll see her the next day, when we finally say, Goodbye. It'll be easier that way.

But for now, I'll cry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Washy washy washy

The other night I felt like putting the babes in the kitchen sink for their bath.

Greta loves "bubo ba" as she calls bubble baths, and so we loaded up both sinks with bubbles and warm water and let them go nuts.

Of course we snapped a few photos!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Deal of the Week

I couldn't resist sharing my "extreme couponing" moment of the week!

I had a coupon for $1 off Johnsonville Chicken Sausages. While at Target (one of my favorite places to shop! Usually with this gal) today I spotted the brat section. I saw Turkey Brats. And all Beef Brats. But no Chicken brats. Bummer. Well, I scooped up a pack that looked tasty and thought I'd try the coupon anyway. I continued shopping in the same meat department and noticed that they had specific varieties of the same brats on sale- like on sale for $1.27 a pack. I'm not kidding. So again, not knowing if the coupon would work or not- I just scooped them up and put the other ones back right there on the shelf ( I know, sorry). Once at the register I watched the total of my bill, something not uncommon for me these days as we live life on a budget! I handed Evelyn, the lovely cashier, my coupon and sure enough, it went through! I got an entire pack of smoked brats for $.27. That's 4 1/2 cents a brat. And the best part is- they were delicious!

Here's to scoring more deals like that! Anyone else grab anything for super cheap or free?

Ice Cream Flavor of the Week

I love making ice cream. I truly had no idea how much I loved it until Daniel's parents bought him us an ice cream maker. I've been mixing up different flavors almost weekly. Last week, while said parents were in town, I tried Nutter Butter Peanut Butter with crunched up pieces of the cookies mixed in and on top. It was gone within 24 hours. My go-to flavors are: cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, thin mint, coconut, raspberry chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip. Yum- I'm loving it.

So today a friend asked if I'd make him some ice cream using an herb that's incredibly in season and fresh right now... basil. Of course I said yes! In fact, I said, "Basil with mint, vanilla, or lemon?" To which he responded, "you decide". And so I went with vanilla. Knowing that basil could overpower the ice cream I eased into this batch but after tasting realized that as odd as it sounds, this ice cream is delicious!

Here's what you'll need:
  • An ice cream maker. Don't have one? That's odd. Go get one! This past Spring I saw one at Unique Thrift store for $6. I tried talking my man into getting it because it would be great to have two (don't have to wait for the one canister to refreeze!) or it would be great to give away. I have since been back to said thrift store and it's gone. However, keep your eyes peeled though! Maybe in the Fall/Winter/or Spring!
  • 2 cups of 1/2 and 1/2 (some people make their ice cream with milk. Boo. If you're going to have ice cream why use something with less fat?)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7/8 cup of sugar (you could probably use a whole cup but these are the rules I was handed down!)
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream (don't skimp on this!)
  • a handful of fresh basil finely chopped
Here's how I make my ice cream.
Pour the 1/2 and 1/2 into your blender.
Add the sugar, flavoring (vanilla in this case) and basil.
Mix it up.
Then, using a small bowl or, in my case, a leftover 32 oz yogurt container, pour your whipping cream in and beat with an electric hand mixer. This aerates the cream before you mix it in with the rest. Beat it just until it starts to thicken and look almost like whip cream.
Add the cream to the blender and mix all of the ingredients together.
Here's where this recipe diverts from the others I use. Usually I'd just pour the ice cream mixture into the frozen canister and start stirring but- I didn't want to have tiny pieces of basil in my dessert. So I strained the mixture first through my strainer with a piece of cheese cloth on top. Voila! Clean ice cream that tastes amazing.

My ice cream maker is a hand crank one but it only takes 30 minutes to get to the right consistency. I then scoop the ice cream into a freezer safe container and let it harden for a couple of hours. Of course, you can eat it right away, and of course, I do. But I try to save some for later!

Friday, July 8, 2011

DIY Baby Teether

My girlfriend Laura made this super cute baby teether the other day and posted about it on her blog! I just couldn't resist whipping one up for my little teether, Audrey Lou. I found this adorbable material I had lying around and started to work on it.

1 piece of fabric about 24" long and around 8" wide (mine needed to be wider than Laura's as I wanted to make it double the thickness)
5-6 wooden balls
Matching thread (or not!)

1. I pressed my material as I took Laura's advice to double it the second time around.

2. If you look closely you'll notice a piece of tape on my machine. We, Mama Hansen and I (can I just say how much I loved having her in town? Made things like this feasible with two small children) measured to see how much room each ball needed and then sewed the seam of the teether along that line.

3. I sewed a zigzag stitch along the edge of my straight stitch to reinforce this.

4. I then trimmed the excess of the strip and pulled it right side out. This took me quite some time. Next time I'll do something different to make this process a little faster. Also, I think that because mine was double the thickness I had some issues with it just slipping right on through.

5. Knot one end. Insert a bead. Knot the material as closely as you can to the bead. And repeat until you can't add another bead.

6. Wrap one end inside the other and sew like crazy over the seam to close it and insure that none of the beads fall out.

Audrey with her first taste. She loves it!

Big sister- just hanging out.

Thanks again Laura for the fabulous idea and the quick and easy project!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A couple of cuties...

Audrey Louise- hamming it up on my father's 53rd birthday. Love this baby. And her gushy body. And her ruby lips. She is heavenly.

Greta Elise- hamming it up while playing inside our pantry. In her diaper and t-shirt. I want to wake her up right now to kiss her sweet cheeks. Yummy.