Thursday, May 8, 2014

To My Girls

I took these photos a few weeks ago. If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen a few here and there. I have finally finished editing them and am excited to share them with you. As I finished posting them here, I realized that Sunday is Mother's Day. As I looked back through each and every photo, I am blown away. My girls are truly growing into beautiful young ladies. They truly amaze me. Their sweetness and kindness envelopes them. I am so proud of who they are becoming. In some ways they are alike, but in many ways different. I admire the quiet determination Addison has. She is a hard worker, sets goals for herself and works hard to achieve them. While quiet at times, she loves to laugh and is very witty. She can laugh at her mistakes. She is also sweet and sensitive. She has a heart gold, full of compassion, wanting to help those in need or less fortunate. Morgan is a spunky girl, she knows what she likes. Her style is her own. She is a social butterfly who loves to be around others. She has a smile that can light up the room. She is imaginative and creative. She is a lover to both people and animals. Both of my girls have so many special qualities and gifts. We are working to raise strong young women who will leave their mark in this world. They may each do it on their own sort of stage and in their own unique way, but I am confident, they will touch many hearts on their journey.

Spring In the Park

Spring In the Park

Spring In the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

Spring in the Park

To my girls:
Stay strong always. Let life's trials push you to push back harder.
Don't ever lose the sweetness and compassion you have.
Laugh a lot. It's good for you, but also for others who hear you laugh.
Smile. Your smiles can brighten anyone's day. Never stop.
Be giving, share what you have.
Be accepting of others.
Complain less, be grateful more.
Know that I will always love you. I am proud of you every single day you live.

Love, Mama


Linking up with Little Things Thursday Favorite Photo Friday Friday Photo Journal 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homework

I don't often post candid photos of my girls, mainly because they don't let me. These days it seems every photo needs their approval. Today happened to be an anomaly.  I started snapping and surprisingly didn't get much flack.

Reading Homework

Reading Homework

Reading Homework

I could have probably found a much more comfortable spot for her  to read her book ...

Reading Homework

... but she seemed pretty content right where she was.

Reading Homework

My session didn't last long. As you can see, my luck ran out. :)

Reading Homework

Happy Wednesday!

Linking up with Little Things Thursday Favorite Photo Friday Friday Photo Journal 

Friday, April 4, 2014

In the Kitchen: Making Alfajores

My daughter has been learning about Argentina in her seventh grade Spanish class. She had an assignment to make some sort of Argentinian food and bring it into school. This week's schedule was a bit on the busy side as we had our first high school track meet and first middle school soccer game, so I knew I wouldn't have time for anything too complicated. I found this recipe for Alfajores, from 2 Sisters Recipes ... by Anna & Liz, and adapted it.

cookiesDSC_7301

cookiesDSC_7297

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Alfajores

For the Dulce De Leche:
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the milk, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda and salt in a heavy-duty 8 quart saucepan or Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat and bring just to a boil. Be sure to watch closely, and as soon as the milk begins to foam up, stir with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat until the milk is just at a low rolling boil. Continue cooking milk, stirring the bottom and sides of the saucepan frequently, until the mixture becomes very thick and sticky and caramel colored (this will take about 40-60 minutes.) It is important to frequently stir the milk so it does NOT burn.

As the milk continues to cook, it thickens and gets darker in color. Once the Dulce de Leche has been reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, remove from heat and strain. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cool before covering and storing. The Dulce de Leche can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

Shortbread Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (2sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a lightly floured 2-inch round cookie cutter (I used a flower-shaped cutter), cut out rounds. Place on the baking sheets. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until cookies are brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Shortbread cookies will keep in an airtight container for about a week.

CookiesDSC_7275

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My husband preferred the shortbread cookies alone. We also used Nutella to fill some of the cookies, which Morgan preferred as she is our resident chocoholic. They were easy and yummy! I'm happy to have found and tried this recipe and will be adding it to my collection.

Have a great weekend! xoxo


Linking with Serendipity is Sweet
             Long Road to China



Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring is in the Air

This week brought us hope.

We finally saw temps climb out of the 20s this week and even had a few mild days in the 50-60 degree range!! It's really amazing what some sunshine and warmer weather can do for your mental state. I couldn't stay in the house. I found anything I could do to be outside. I took an extra walk, I took down the rest of the Christmas lights I hadn't been able to get to due to ice and snow, I shot some basketball hoops with my daughter and sat on the porch drinking an iced mocha latte. 

And after all that, I got the itch to do a little planting. 

Spring is in Air

I had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show for the first time with a group of friends last week. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and it sure didn't disappoint. All the beautiful flowers and greenery sure kicked my spring fever into high gear! It was wonderful to see the spectacular art exhibits made with flowers. Seeing all the bright colors, smelling the fragrance of the flowers and even touching the green grass; it was exactly what I needed!  

I found this adorable little pot from one of the many vendors and thought it would be the perfect addition to my kitchen windowsill. Then I bought these tiny potted greens to fill it with. I decided Tuesday was the perfect day to transplant them. It gave me just another excuse to be outside. 

Feels like Spring

I gathered all the supplies I would need and got started. 

Feels like Spring

It felt good to be out in the fresh air, working in the soil and planting, even if it was only for a short time. It made me even more excited for spring. 

Feels like Spring

I put some potting soil into the bottom of my little urn ... 

Spring is in Air
 
... and gently took my plants from their pots, transplanting them into the urn.

Feels like Spring

After adding a bit more soil, my little project was complete. 

Feels like Spring

I love it! The plants are so cute and the pot is just the right size to sit on the windowsill in my kitchen.  It's the perfect spot for me to see the plants everyday and enjoy their beautiful greenery.  

Feels like Spring

I think we may finally be on the downhill side of winter. I, for one, am certainly looking forward to spring and putting this miserable winter behind me.

Enjoy your weekend! 


Serendipity is Sweet
The Long Road to China
Little Things Thursday

Friday, February 28, 2014

Saying Goodbye to February

Our Kitty

I don't have much to say this week. It's been a slow, uneventful week. The weather has been bitter. They say we could get at least a foot of snow Sunday into Monday. But, today is the last day of February. I will be glad to say goodbye to this month. I'm holding out hope that March will bring us some warmer days. I'm ready to see the grass again and watch for signs of spring. Hopefully we don't have too much longer to wait ....


Linking up with Serendipity is Sweet and The Long Road to China

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