Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

So many presents!

Emily and her baby doll

Next year they're just getting a cardboard box... the box "Santa" brought the presents in was the best gift ever...

Yay Books! Best gift ever!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Santa...

Santa- Spreading Holiday Cheer Fear.

31 weeks!

31 weeks pregnant with baby boy... it's kind of a big milestone for me since it's a whole week longer than I was pregnant with the girls...

Total weight gain of 14 lbs. Starting to get pretty uncomfortable with the normal aches and pains of pregnancy but it'll all be worth it if little man stays put until he's full term!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Multiples and More QOTW: Favorite Fall Recipes!

 I LOVE everything about Fall!  The cooler weather, the pumpkins, the approaching holidays... And since it's not a million degrees in the house anymore- I love to bake! These are 2 of the many pumpkin recipes I love and the pumpkin rolls are a HUGE hit with the girls.

Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share with me? Leave a comment and let me know. I always love to try new recipes and my family is always happy to be my guinea pigs!

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing -


Makes about 6 dozen
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk,
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Make cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; mix until combined.
  3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until tops spring back, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  4. Make icing: Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add butter to confectioners' sugar, scraping any browned bits from sides and bottom of pan. Add evaporated milk and vanilla; stir until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon icing onto each cookie. If icing stiffens, stir in more evaporated milk, a little at a time. Cookies can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

roll dough adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes approximately 15-16 rolls


Roll Dough:
1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 stick butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar


In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Let rest for 5 minutes before stirring. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
Gradually add remaining flour (all purpose), a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Start with about 1 1/2 cups and increase if necessary. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl, set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16" x 12" rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices. Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Bake the rolls till they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20-30 minutes.
While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (I used 2 cups powdered sugar)
Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.
For night before prep: Prepare the rolls up to the point where you roll and place in the pan. Then, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and proceed with the instructions where you left off. Rising time may be slightly longer than noted in the recipe due to the dough being cold vs room temp.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's a BOY!

Profile shot of #3

I've been waiting until the 20 week anatomy scan to reveal this, but we're expecting!
Baby #3 is due in February 2011, which means we'll have 3 kids under 2 years old! (crazy).
Baby #3 was a total surprise but we're taking it in stride and now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little guy!

Friday, September 3, 2010

We did it.... we joined the minivan club....

I never pictured myself driving a minivan... it just didn't factor into the person I thought I'd be someday... I blame preconceived soccer-mom notions. But I love our new car. We ended up with a 2011 Toyota Sienna and it rides like a dream with enough space for all of us, including the dogs.

The girls testing it out before we moved their car seats in. 
Zoey loves it!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The new guy...

Our beloved Pug, Otis, passed away several months ago. Cody and I miss him terribly. Otis was one of our first rescue dogs... well actually his Mom, Jasmine, was. Unknown to us at the time, she was pregnant and later gave birth to six healthy happy pug babies on my pillow in our master bedroom back in '02. Otis can never be replaced, and his passing left a "small dog" void in our lives. We decided we would adopt another pug when one came along. Since all of our dogs are rescues, we figured it would take a while before "the right dog" came along.... silly us!

Meet Jockamo.
No, he's not a pug, he's a French Bulldog- or Frenchie.
He's 16 weeks old and a rescue from a puppymill in OK. Through some of my friends in the animal rescue world, we were introduced to the little guy and felt he'd be a good match for our active family. Thanks to some amazing volunteers, Jockamo caught a ride down to the deep South to join us!
He moved in to our home like he's lived here his whole life. He loves the twins, plays great with the other dogs and even has the cats warming up to him!
Jock and Monty 

Sleepy puppy
Checking out the pool
Zoey loves her new buddy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Went on down to the Audubon Zoo....

We finally brought the girls to the New Orleans Zoo! (and Aquarium). It seemed like every time we made plans to go, the weather decided it had other plans. I'm from New Orleans and love playing tourist in the city where I grew up. Some of my fondest childhood memories at the the Audubon Zoo and I hope my girls will grow up having many of the same experiences there. I've been to a lot of zoos around the world... and Audubon  truly is one of the most outstanding Zoos in the country. 

The girls LOVE zoos. Especially Emily, she loves to watch the animals and will sit quietly studying them (unless it's a big cat... the kid is crazy about felines and loves to proudly demonstrate her ability to identify "cats"). Zoey, on the other hand, loves to chase them and "hands-on" critters in the petting Zoo are her favorite.
Zoey and her Goat
Hot day at the Zoo! 

White Gator
Emily excitedly pointed at the Jaguar and yelled "kitty cat!"....
The next day we tackled the Aquarium of the Americas (and after the scorching heat at the zoo, the indoor A/C was heavenly). The Aquarium is currently housing several of the endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles that was injured by the BP Oil spill in the Gulf. We were able to see a couple of them on display while they recover. Eventually they'll be returned to the ocean, but it was very cool to see them.

Kemp's Ridley on display. 

The Kid's discovery Zone was a hit! Emily loved the Clownfish's Anemone zone... she would have played there all day if we let her.

Em, the clownfish...

We finished up with lunch at the House of Blues in the French Quarter... (and a quick trip to the NOLA Lush store for mama...)

Em being a camera ham...
Very sleepy girls....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

30 things to do before I turn 30....

I had an "OMG, I'm going to be 30 next year" freak out moment the other day and it inspired me to come up with a list of things to do before the "big day". Since I'm short on time (my birthday is in April), some of these are easily achievable, but I'm still looking forward to the challenge.

1. Learn to make caramels
2. Learn to make French Macarons
3. Go to an LSU football or baseball game
4. Go to a Renaissance Festival
5. Buy a new car DONE 8/31/10 Toyota Sienna! Joining the mini van club!
6. Attend an outdoor music festival
7. Create a personal cookbook of family recipes
8. Tour a brewery
9. Pay off my credit card
10. Make a pie from scratch, including the crust
11. Learn to knit and complete a project
12. Adopt a Pug or French Bulldog from a rescue DONE 8/20/10 Jockamo joins the crew!

13. Build a sand castle with my girls
14. Go on a family trip

15. Fly a Kite on the levee
16. Get a professional haircut/style
17. Spend a day at the spa
18. Cook a 5-course meal and have a dinner party with my friends
19. Read 10 books in 10 weeks
20. Visit a State Park
21. Have a baby (this is a topic for a future blog post, but we're expecting a surprise #3 in Feb, 2011!)
22. Go to a Comedy Show
23. Clean out my closet and donate all the clothes I never wear to Goodwill
24. Paint the House
25. Do a 30-day Yoga experience
26. Go Fishing
27. Take the girls to the New Orleans Children's museum
28. Visit a Zoo outside of my city DONE 8/21/10 Audubon Zoo and Aquarium!

29.  Design and build a chicken coop for my "urban chickens"
30. Volunteer with either Habitat for Humanity or the Humane society

wordless wednesday

Friday, July 16, 2010


Wow, I've been really terrible about updating this blog lately!

Life has been hectic/crazy/amazing as usual around here. The girls are getting so big! They recently had their 15 month check-up and are a whopping 23 1/2 lbs and 32 inches tall each.
Developmentally they're really taking off. It seems like they learn a new word each day and are "talking" up a storm.

Over the 4th of July weekend, the girls went on their first boat ride in Mississippi. You can tell from the pictures they're pretty comfortable on the water... they passed out soon after we left. LOL

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dinner with the twins....

How do you handle taking your multiples out to restaurants?
  • How often do you take your children out to eat, and how old are they? 
My girls are 14 months old. We go out to eat a few times a month, mostly on the weekends.
  • Do you have any tricks for keeping them entertained? 
Lots of toys, snacks and sippy cups. If they're being really fussy, letting them play with a straw usually does the trick. They're fascinated with straws. They love to chew on them and poke things with them. *go figure*
  • Which restaurants do you find are the most family-friendly?  
We've been pretty lucky and so far and haven't found any places that are not kid friendly. Occasionally we visit a place with dirty high chairs with broken safety straps, or rude waiters and we make a point to not visit again, but for the most part the places around here have been excellent. The girls even have their favorite waitress at the local Indian buffet and love to chatter with her when we go out to eat.  
  • How do you handle tantrums in restaurants? 
  Again, we've been lucky with this one, no tantrums (yet) *knock on wood*
  • Do you ever venture out to restaurants without having extra adults to help out?  
Not yet.
  • Do you think it's better to take your kids out to restaurants, and get them used to the experience, or refrain from eating out until they are old enough to understand the right way to behave? 
 Take them out now! The more accustomed they are to new places and new experiences, the better!
  • Be honest- do you pick up the cheerios?
(unless some have rolled under other tables/out of reach...) 
Especially if the waiter has been polite to us, I go out of my way to make sure the girls don't make a mess. It's not the waiter's job to clean up *my* cheerios, they were nice enough to let us bring in outside snacks for the babies, it's the least I can do.  It's one of my pet peeves when parents leave a huge mess behind them. You brought it in, you clean it up!