Tuesday, August 31

Watermelon... for the adults

Just as in my life, this blog often revolves around children.  But every once in a while, there is a moment dedicated to the adults.  This is one of those moments... children sleeping snugly in their beds, relaxing with my husband, cocktail in hand.

This watermelon cocktail recipe has been floating around the blogs, having first come from Sunset Magazine.  However, here's my variation... a little higher juice to cocktail ratio.

Blend chunks of watermelon in a food processor.  Strain.  Rub a lemon wedge along the rim of a martini glass and dip the rim in sugar. Combine 6 tablespoons watermelon juice, 2 tablespoons brandy, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier. Stir. Garnish with watermelon.

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Monday, August 30

Watermelon Love

Summer lovin'... or at least watermelon love.  We are capturing the last vestiges of summer.  So this pas weekend was our watermelon weekend.  The easiest project was a little watermelon cutting.  My daughter loves using cookie cutters, and she loves watermelon, so why not combine the two.  The result...

more watermelon love...

some watermelon experiencing an identity crisis...

maybe a little clover action...

just a little summer fun

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Sunday, August 29

Preserving Summer

O, dear summer... I know I have lamented your heat and craved cooler breezes, but the truth is that I am not ready for you to end.  I'm not ready to acknowledge that another season has passed.  Despite the allure of Fall with its bounty of colors and apple picking and night around bonfires, I'm not ready to say goodbye to all your delights... playing in the pool, farm stands overflowing with peaches and blueberries, sundresses and sandals, popsicles melting on our hands and chins, lazy days moving at a slower pace.  I'm not ready to acknowledge that another season has passed.  I'm not ready for my babies to keep growing up.  I'm not ready for the busyness of Fall.  Right now, I just want to bottle this Summer and treasure it.

So I admit I may be a bit melodramatic here.  But it has dawned on me how quickly my little ones are growing up.  We're still too young for the start of school, but it won't be much longer before my little girl gets on that bus and waves goodbye.  And that little baby boy is quickly becoming more boy than baby.  Where has our summer gone?

In the spirit of capturing summer, what could be better than capturing the deliciousness of its bounty, in this case... peaches.  I came across My French Corner's Peach Confiture recipe last summer and found it to be a lovely third-trimester addiction.  I think I was eating the luxuriousness two meals a day in those last weeks.  This is a delightfully simple recipe... peaches, water, sugar, and lemon juice.  (I add a little less sugar than the recipe calls for.)  Now to just figure out how to bottle my children's childhood.

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Friday, August 27

Inspiration, my friend

Do you ever have times when you have an idea but get absolutely stuck?  Well, I have been spinning my wheels in a deep mud hole recently as I tried to gain some traction on my son's first birthday party.  I've known the theme since I found out I was having a boy.  (It all goes back to a joke I had with my husband that if I had a son in the Fall then we would have a Redskins Football party.  Guess what happened.)  However, I have had a really hard time getting an image in my head of what I wanted.  However, it is finally coming together.  After a visit to the fabric store, I finally have my inspiration fabrics and colors and am close to having my inspiration boards and project plans set.  Now to just get it executed in the next month...

Have you every gotten stuck on an idea?

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Monday, August 23

Peach and Prosciutto Pizza

Where has Summer gone?  Labor day is only two weeks away and then Fall will be back in force... apples, pumpkins, football, my son's first birthday, Halloween, crisp nights, beautiful foliage, wine.  As much as I am looking forward to Fall, I'm not quite ready to let go of the last vestiges of Summer.  And right now that means Peaches.  I cannot get enough.  The juices, the sweet flavor, that last reminder of summer...

I think pizzas are some of the easiest dinners to throw together.  Almost anything can be turned into a pizza.  So why not peaches.  Thus, our latest creation: Peach and Prosciutto Pizza.

This is an easy recipe.  Start with pizza dough (I use Trader Joe's crust, but you could make your own).  Then add a coat of olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, thinly cut prosciutto slices, peach slices, salt, pepper, and mozzarella.  I put the cheese on top, but that's my preference.  Just cook according to the dough instructions.  It's sweet and salty, and delicious all around.

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Sunday, August 22

Volunteer Board

We all have so many roles that we balance in our lives.  Just over three years ago, I had my first child, and ever since then I feel like I have been trying to figure out my life.  Every time things start to feel like they are falling into a routine, life changes... work situations, a second child, new social circles, etc.  When my son was born, I had to drop some of my activities because they weren't conducive to a new baby.  So now I am re-investigating how I can be involved in life around me.

One way I am re-engaging is on a team that is trying to let church members know about opportunities to get involved.  I was tasked with creating volunteer boards with sheets that people can take regarding current opportunities.  The creation was simple... a black foam board, plastic name tag holders to hold papers, and finally pictures, letters, and ribbon to dress it up.  

You could easily repurpose this for any informational board... PTA Meetings, craft and farmer's markets, home-schooling activities, etc.  If you do, let me know how it turns out.

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Thursday, August 19

Theme of the Week(end): Madeline

"In a an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived... Madeline."

This past weekend was inspired by two aspects of a recent vacation... (1) our mini-theme days which were much fun and (2) our visit to a favorite local bookstore where we added a number of new volumes to our personal library.  One of those books was the adorable classic... Madeline.  So when looking for something rather fun to do, our Madeline-themed weekend was born.

The house was full of yellow hats, french-inspired foods, and Madeline stories.  We painted and baked and counted and created.  We even tried to work on spelling, though that may have been over the head of my three-year-old.  Above are our Madeline Hat lemon cream-filled cookies.

For Breakfast, our version of a Croque en bouche made with donut holes and blueberries

A little sorting, counting, and grouping with red, white, and blue candies as we created the french flag.  Surprisingly, pieces kept disappearing.

Just a little coloring time... Madeline of course

Making our own Madeline style hat from a paper plate and bowl

With our herb tart for lunch, we made a french flag from blueberries, cheese, and grapes.

Madeline Memory Cards for spelling RED, BLUE, and YELLOW
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Sunday, August 15

Exploring at Home

We just finished a Madeline-inspired weekend, which I will post about soon.  However, I was also reminded this weekend that it is fun to explore my own home town.  We spent a lovely Sunday afternoon exploring Canal Walk in the River District of Richmond... old meets new.. interesting architectural elements...  all in all a fun excursion.  Have you played tourist at home recently?

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Monday, August 9

Theme of the Day: Planes

How could we visit the Outer Banks without talking about planes.  Afterall, we were just down the street from Kitty Hawk, home to the first airplane flight.  Even the state quarter proclaims the importance of flight to North Carolina.

1. Lunch snack of plane toast and cheese clouds
2. Painting Bread (Previous Tutorial here)
3 & 4.  Disney's Pedro Story
5. North Carolina state quarter depicting the first flight
6. Our butterfly glider (from the Sonic kid's meal)... our poor glider.  This guy went through a lot... nose dives in the sand, swimming in the ocean, and basically being man-handled by a three-year-old.

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Friday, August 6

Theme of the Day: Kites

Somehow kites and the Outer Banks seem to go hand in hand.  Perhaps it is all the hang gliding, or perhaps it is the history of flight here.  Whatever the reason, our next little mini-theme is... KITES.

Kites of all shapes and sizes...
outdoor kites flown together...

Indoor Kites made together...
(just made from a sheet of scrapbooking paper, a few pieces of ribbon, two long match sticks we found in the beach cottage (match end broken off), and some tape)

Kite songs sung together...

And, of course, dancing along the beach while singing the chorus "one more time" multiple times, all to the harmony of a toddler's giggles.

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