Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies (You NEED to make these)

Trans fat lovers, this is serious.  These cookies are the best I have ever tasted.

I have had the recipe printed (off Pinterest, naturally) for a few weeks.  However, in all the moving mayhem I've held off on baking just about anything.

Yesterday, while emptying more of my kitchen, I decided to bake the pantry away.  I grabbed this recipe, and went to work.

When these bad boys came out of the oven, I was only sorry I didn't double the batch.  They are large, hold their chunky shape, chewy with a hint of crisp around the edges and soft  in the middle.  

Can you even imagine a combination?  

It must be the cornstarch.   Which translates to I now love cornstarch.

3/4 butter (salted)
3/4 light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chunk chips

Beat butter on low speed until fluffy and smooth (2 minutes).  Add sugars, beat medium high speed until creamed (2-3 minutes).  Scrape bowl.  Add egg, vanilla and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy (3 minutes).  Slowly incorporate flour, cornstarch and baking soda with mixer on lowest (crawling pace) speed.

Add in chocolate chunks, stir by hand.

Chill dough 10-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350, and scoop heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges look done but centers look a bit gooey.  Remove from oven, and allow cookies to set on pan for another 2-3 minutes before transfer to wire rack.

Makes about 18 large cookies.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Final Stretch

This week we are finishing up everything we need for our move.  Along with broken nails and filthy floors, this move has forced me to eat many many carbohydrates.

These include simple and complex carbohydrates.  It is not helping my current quest to stop jiggle before I slide into a pair of shorts.

Yesterday, my mother came over with more boxes.  She also forced me to attack the bedrooms I was avoiding so well.  This included the girls' room (holy hair ties) and my son's room.  If you haven't noticed, my mother is a saint.  She moves at warp speed and before I knew it we were stacking more boxes in the garage.

I strive to be just like her when I'm a grandma.  Except I'll wear plenty of corny holiday sweaters, but only because I love giant knit Christmas trees and cotton Halloween ghosts.

Don't ask.

The current state of my house is disarray, but we're getting there.  Three more trash bags are by the door, and two more bags of donations.

Baby steps.  Always baby steps.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

State Championships

Today my Gymnastics Queen competed in the New York State Championships.  It was rather exciting.

It was also rather far.  And expensive.

The ride to the meet was three and a half hours, of which I rode in the third row of a small SUV.  I had to hitch a ride with teammates who were kind enough to drive me and my daughter.  We met Hubby there, since he was driving to the meet from work.

I will admit I was like a kid on Christmas morning on the drive home.  The front seat was heavenly.

Along with the expense of the entrance fee, we were forced to stay in a hotel because my daughter's start time was 8am.  Thank heavens for help from friends and family, because planning an overnight with one child meant three other children needed supervision.

I had to figure out bus stops, school dances and sleepovers.  I even tossed in a W-2 drop off from a coworker for sh*ts and giggles.  Thank you to the small village that helps raise my munchkins.

While at the Hilton in the middle of nowhere, my daughter and one of her gymnastics buddies lived it up.  They ate at the Olive Garden (holy breadsticks!), did crafts in the hotel room and practiced gymnastics in the hallway.

It was a mini-vacation with gymnastics splashed in.  Hubby drank beer in the room and I treated myself to the free cookies in the lobby.

The night was grand and the Hilton pillows were delightful.

This morning at the meet, there was very tough competition.  We saw scores we've never seen, and we were prepared for a shutout.  We even bought a small pillow pet in the lobby of the host gym to take the edge off in case our girl didn't place.

Gymnastics is no easy sport, and the parents are serious business.  Everyone puts in crazy amounts of time in the car and at the gym; spending money on fees, training and leather gymnastics shoes.  The girls train hard and the mental aspect is grueling.

One pointed toe can cost you the gold.  And it burns every time.

Today, our girl put up her best uneven bar routine ever.  She couldn't have picked a better place to perform it.  I couldn't believe my eyeballs when they flashed her score.  I did the whoop whoop dance right there in my chair.  There was only one rotation left, and she had the highest uneven bars score of the meet thus far.

But like all things, stardom doesn't last.  We just finished celebrating her 9.425 when a girl in the last bars rotation put up a 9.45.


Gymnastics teaches us more about life every year we compete.  Striving to be the best can be a slippery slope.  There will always be someone who will come up behind you and do better.


Striving to do your best is where it's at.  Because no one can take that hard work away from you.  No one. 

Congrats to my girl, it was an amazing routine.  Best ever.  And now you have a silver medal, the label of State Champion, and a new pillow pet to rest your head on every night.

Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Walt Disney World: Planning, Packing and More

In January of 2014, I published my book Walt Disney World Tips n' Tricks.  All my posts have been modified and are now chapter previews.  To read all my best advice order my book on Amazon or paperback currently through CreateSpace.

 Thanks for reading!

Shhhh.  I have a secret.  We're going back to Walt Disney World. 

I decided I needed some sun.  Hubby decided he needed to hear the Epcot music.  We both decided we will not tell our munchkins about this trip....yet.

We are advocates of telling kids when they are able to count down within reason.  If we tell our kids too soon, they ask hundreds of thousands of questions and ask how long until we leave every. single. day.

It's rather exhausting.

While I have been to Disney every year since I can remember, I know most families are overwhelmed with planning the trip.  Here, I want to outline how I prepare.  It's nothing fancy, just some tried and true tricks that save us money and keep us sane.
Chapter 6: Preparing, Planning and Counting Down

Disney is overwhelming. There is an overabundance of fun waiting at every turn. Planning a “first ever” trip to Disney is no small task. When you add in the cost, the planning, the logistics of getting around and the ages of everyone on the trip, Disney planners usually want to throw in the towel and cry.
            It’s just too much to figure out. 
 What parks? When? Why? Who put me in charge of this?
            Stay with me, and let’s get this show on the road.
Three Months Away or More
            If you plan on eating meals in Disney restaurants, you need to make advance reservations. You can make these reservations online ( or via telephone. I cannot stress this enough, especially if you have the dining plan. Choose where you want to eat, and reserve your tables. If you wait too long to make reservations, you will be eating at 9pm with Chef Mickey.
            Even worse, you won't be eating with Chef Mickey at all.
            Do yourself a favor and take time to think about where you want to eat, and reserve your tables online. To date, Disney restaurant reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. Considering there are many Disney planning fanatics out there, the sooner the better. I keep a separate folder in my email for all trip related confirmations.  
Two Months Away
            Around this time, I finalize plans. I buy park tickets and check park hours. I make an outline of what time each park opens and where our meals are for the day.
            Remember my folder full of email confirmations? I make an itinerary with the tentative plans for every day of the trip. I list the day, what park we are going to, what time it opens, and any dining reservations WITH the confirmation number.
            On my itinerary I also add flight information for beginning and end of stay, and hotel reservation confirmations. This becomes our guide for the trip, and keeps us sane. Every night of the trip, Hubby asks where we are going the next day. He asks what time dinner is and what time we have to leave the villa in the morning. Having an itinerary is essential for us to function in Disney World.
            Disney’s website has an excellent
“My Disney Experience tab that will keep track of your family, reservations, desired attractions and more. This is quite possibly my favorite planning feature on any website in the universe.
            I swear.

Order Walt Disney World Tips n' Tricks for the full chapter and much more Disney advice for families!

Monday, January 21, 2013

More Relocation Stuff

Anyone who knows us, or who reads my blog regularly knows we are relocating.  Hubby found a better job, near very dear friends and he is thrilled with his new position.

It's been awesome.

We are closing in on relocating, currently preparing to move in with my parents while we look for a house in Pennsylvania.  For the past few weeks I've been sorting, tossing stuff we don't need and packing.  It's been a slow process.  I have been packing around us, boxing up stuff like pictures and holiday decorations.  I wanted to feel as though I was accomplishing something, but I didn't want to pack anything I would need.  Most notably, I avoided packing the storage room in the basement. 

Just looking inside gave me agita. 

Yesterday, my mother dropped in to give me boxes.  She loaded her trunk with some garbage, and peeked around my house at my progress.  When she walked into the storage room, she gasped.

A lecture followed about how fast moving day comes and how I better start cleaning. 

I have spent the better part of my day really getting into the nitty gritty.  The storage room in the basement could wait no longer.

My day has involved dozens of trash bags, dust, sneezing, boxes, trash bags, more dust, a scratchy throat from basement debris and more energy than I care to disclose.
The good news is that I made some major progress, and I feel cleansed.  The less I pack, the less I have to unpack.

And something tells me I won't mind shopping for things I need in our new house.

Wishing you all a productive week.  I'm wishing myself one as well.  Hope these munchkins are ready for paper plates, forks and cups.

The kitchen is next.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Nook Reader (and me)

For Christmas, Hubby very graciously gave me a Nook Reader.  Nothing fancy, just simple.  Like me.

Just recently, I loaded my first book on my new gadget.  It did take me a few days to figure out how things work, kind of like my mother when she learned to use the internet.  For Hubby, it must have been painful to watch. 

Although I'm pretty sure he paid me no attention.

Before long, I was reading away, finally enjoying books again in the quiet of my bed.  I turned off the television, turned on my Nook, and read until I fell asleep.

I did this every night for the last few nights.

Recently, Hubby has been complaining about ice cream spills and stains on our bedding.  There were even some rainbow sprinkles stuck to parts of the quilt.

I plead the fifth.

Aren't rainbow sprinkles grand?

I was feeling extra motivated yesterday morning, so I stripped the bed.  I washed the blanket.  I asked Hubby to retrieve it from the dryer last night.  He did.

When he went to open the washer, and toss in some laundry, he yelled at me with both names.  I knew this was serious.  I was hoping the kids were involved and it wasn't me.

No kids involved.  Just my Nook Reader, in the bottom of the washing machine.  Extra clean, and extra broken.

Just when I was starting to love it, it's gone.  To rectify the situation I went out and bought a new one this morning.  I loved that Nook too much.

Check your sheets before you wash everyone. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Rules

While every house is different, all parents have some type of rules.  Whether strictly enforced or understood, there is a code of conduct the kids must abide by.

Over here in Mommyhood it's no different.

Last night before bed, "military mom" reared her ugly face.  "Military mom" is my term for when I play no games.  As the clock ticks toward 9pm, I can feel her rising.

I start to order, rather than ask.  My sentences are shorter, my voice is harsher and according to my Gymnastics Queen, my eyes get "really big."  It must be because my bed  and my ice cream are right around the corner.  My time to vegetate and watch my DVR is closing in.

Along with my downtime, I look towards the next day.  When my kids are tired, their functionality is quite poor.  They look run down, they whine and they can't handle any of life's disappointments.  I am a firm believer in well-rested, well fed kids.

All of this together makes bedtime serious business over here.

In no particular order, these are my rules.  Some are understood, some are constantly enforced.  Either way, this code of conduct keeps me semi sane, and my kids happy and adjusted.

For now, anyway.

1.  Bedtime is bedtime.  We do not mess around with water requests and whining.  The more the clock ticks past 8:30, the more impatient and irritable Mommy becomes.

Expect big, scary eyes.

2.  Read.  Every day.  If you can't read before bedtime because you have activities and homework after school, read when you wake up.  Reading is your responsibility, and I will sing you many praises if I catch you reading on your own without my reminder.

3.  No ipod until you have read and homework is complete.  Your only ipod time without reading or homework complete is if we are going in the car.

4.  Make your bed.  We provided you with the bed and the room, keep it clean.  This earns no allowance, I will not pay you to clean up after yourself. 

5.  I will pay you to help clean up after the family.  Garbage, recycling, shoveling and poop scooping will all earn you a small wage over the course of a week. 

6.  Eat at the table.  I have enough dog hair to sweep, I don't need crumbs all over as well.

7.  If you make your sister cry, you are in trouble.  If you are making her whine, you are in trouble.  If something you are doing is bothering your 3 year old sister, you are in trouble.  If you bother her, she bothers me.

When the house is calm and quiet I am happy and my eyes are not big.

Make her cry and you answer to me and my eyeballs. 

8.  Do not snack from the pantry all day.  One or two snacks is fine, but if you are truly hungry choose or ask for real food that isn't processed in a factory.

9.  Moderation is the key to all things.  As long as homework is done, reading is done and you've played outside, you can watch television and play video games.  Just don't watch television and play video games all day.

10.  Hug and kiss your mama.  It makes her happy.

Any rules you would like to share?  What keeps your house running smoothly?

One last thing.  It's Thursday.  We are almost to the weekend!  Happy Trails!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Icing on the Cake

Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I posted a video of my daughter winning her gold medal on the uneven bars over the weekend.  She was the youngest competitor in her age group, and we were over the moon with her performance.  Even though I've seen her routine hundreds of times, I continued to watch my own video, amazed.

I say this because I could never do a pull up.  I was the girl who hung from the bar every year during physical fitness testing.  I dreaded that day.  I dreaded everything except the sit n' reach.

As a dancer, that I could handle.

Competitive sports is no easy business.  It's tough to know when to push, when to keep your mouth shut, when to approach coaches and when enough is enough.  It's tough to remove the filter I see my daughter through, the filter that dulls the errors and the deductions.  With so much time and money invested, it's important to breathe and separate yourself every once in a while.

It's also important to avoid the drama that revolves around the parents of athletes.  There are practices the tension is so thick it's tough to breathe.  I can say with certainty the parents are more competitive than the kids.

While we aim to keep grounded, we've had our troubles.  I've waited tables to pay the training bills and I've urged her to work through skills she struggled with.  I've cooled down after simple errors and cringed when she lost a gold at the State Championships by .025.

Like a roller coaster, there are constant ups and downs.

As I said, being a competitive athlete is no walk in the park.  They practice hard, give up playdates and work on homework before practice.  What they don't finish, they take out again after practice.

I'm so very proud of my daughter, and all my kids.  All kids excel in different areas, and parents need to nurture what their child shows interest in.  Encourage them, but don't force them.  Don't compare and don't put them down.  They see their faults before anyone else, and they need no reminders.

What I've learned the most about parenting a competitive athlete is to keep perspective.  My daughter is strong and skilled, but there are thousands of girls just like her.  What will set her apart is her attitude and her ability to function as an adult.

What will serve her most is confidence and an understanding of what matters most. 

At the end of the day gymnastics will be a part of her, not who she is.  And as I navigate when to push her, when to step back and when to call it a day, I will always give her love. 

That's all any kid is looking for, love and acceptance.  It's our job to give it to them, freely and as much as they need.  Raising a successful, happy well adjusted kid is what we all strive for, no matter what our kids participate in or don't participate in.

The rest is just icing on the cake.

Monday, January 14, 2013


I've had an eventful day thus far.  It started with the "middle school bus alarm," which is set for 6:30am.  I only dread this wake up call in the winter, because it's cold and dark and dull outside.

There is nothing beckoning me, such as the morning sun or birds chirping a hello. 

How many days until Spring?

Shortly after the dreadful alarm, I was hunting for my middle school-ers lunch sack.  This is not his regular insulated lunch bag, because he lost his insulated bag a week ago.  He was toting around the extra I keep in the garage.

Turns out, he lost that too.  Or maybe it's in his locker.  Or maybe it's on the bus.

Well then maybe I have no more lunch sacks.  Maybe all I have is this, which for the record I did feel awful about.  Although something tells me I'll see a lunch sack appear when he empties his backpack this afternoon.

After packing this non-insulated, quality lunch bag, I waited by our front door with my oldest for the bus to appear in the distance.  While we were waiting I heard my younger son's door creak open at the top of the stairs.  I turned to see him, chipmunk cheeks and all, running to the bathroom.

Nothing else was needed to alert me he was about to puke.

As my oldest headed out for the bus, I went to tend to my little guy.  I know the puke feeling all too well, and unfortunately all I had for him was , "I know its awful...I know its awful..."

It is.

After the worst subsided, he munched on some dry crackers and took a hot shower.  He had just enough zest to accompany me to the store for a few necessities.
We are now happily home, ready for a nap.  During which I will disinfect the premises.

Hope all is healthy in your neck of the woods! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


There is something about this time of year that makes me want to eat carbohydrates. 

All the time.

I try my best to nibble on the apple slices I feed my kids, or to convince myself I need a carrot.  Truthfully, I need neither.  With no sun, and no warmth to bask in, I just need carbs.  It's starting to concern me (and my thighs).

On another note, we traveled an hour north today to watch my Gymnastics Queen compete.  Her report time was 7:40am.  I'm thinking these meet organizers aren't concerned about my winter blahs.  I like to sleep past 6am on weekends.  Although we always look forward to meet days, since there is so much time and training that goes into competitive gymnastics.

After the routines, we were fairly certain she would see the podium.  When they started announcing the awards for the 9 year old group, it was clear my daughter was skipped over.  I was about to demand a refund, until I remembered this meet last year.

They go by your age at the State Competition at the end of the season.  States is in May.  My daughter turns 10 three days before this meet.  Therefore, she was technically competing as a 10 year old.

Which made her gold medal on bars even sweeter.

I finished my morning with a hot pretzel from the concession stand.  Heavenly carbs.

Wishing you a restful Sunday.  Back to the grind tomorrow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Scoliosis Breather

A few months ago, I posted about my daughter's Juvenile Idiopathic Scoliosis.  To sum up a very long post, her pediatrician discovered her scoliosis at her 9 year well check.  It was fairly concerning, and we were sent for X-rays and to see a top notch Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon.

Que the mommy panic.

My daughter is a gymnast, which made this whole scenario even more disturbing.  Not only were we dealing with a complicated medical condition, we were dealing with the possibility she may lose the ability to participate in something she loves.  A double whammy.

Our orthopedic surgeon decided to brace my daughter on her first visit.  He wasted no time.  He explained what we were dealing with, and that this brace gave us no guarantees.  I left in a mommy fog, wondering what the heck just happened.  I forged ahead, taking her for a brace fitting and explaining as best I could what was going on.

My daughter has been in this brace for the past several months, removing it only for gymnastics and to shower and change.  Isn't she a love?
We've bought new clothes, and had clothes altered to fit comfortably under her brace.  She goes to school and playdates without complaint.  Kids are much more resilient than we are, and my daughter's good spirits despite her constant plastic companion are an inspiration.  Life is what you make it, and she has proved this day after day.
At our last appointment in November, we were warned again that she may need some type of surgical correction.  While the brace was doing its job, the chances her curve will progress were significant.  We were to return in two months for another check.

We forged ahead.  Praying and wearing this brace. 

On Monday, we had another x ray.  My daughter was without brace for 24 hours, and they x ray-ed to check her curve.  When I saw the image on the screen, I breathed a sigh of relief.  While I am no doctor, her spine looked amazing compared to her first x ray.

On Tuesday, we had our appointment with our magnificent pediatric orthopedic surgeon.  With the new x ray, and the test results of her Scoli Score, we were sent on our way for six months.  Her curve held steady for the past six months, and her brace is doing its job. 

No surgery in the immediate future.

No appointment in two months.

I finally feel like I can breathe.  Finally, at least for now. 

Wishing you good news, from whatever it is that you need.  Happy Trails! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Pups

Our pups like to hang in their crates.  We often find them resting on their fleece blankets, crate door wide open.  It's their happy place. 

Sometimes they are bold and they rest in the wrong crate just to see how long it takes the other dog to realize the space invasion.

Last night, we had a battle of the crates.  There was a power struggle between our stubborn Bullnese and our happy-go-lucky-I-love-to-annoy-you Beagle.  This crate belongs to our Beagle.  Her bed is more plush because she didn't crap all over it a month ago. 

Our Bullnese crapped on her bed, and I threw it out.  She's been pretty annoyed since.

Hence, she has been caught resting on her sister's bed.  Last night, Penny was not impressed, and neither pup would budge.
I'm thinking this one goes to the Beagle. 

Life is so much the same for dogs.  They love to eat and sleep.  They thrive on love and attention.  And they love to tick each other off.

Sibling rivalry at its finest.

Monday, January 7, 2013


While I love having a big family, there is one constant hurdle I jump over with my four munchkins.  As they get older, they are invited places.  They are able to try new things.  They may have a playdate, a birthday or an opportunity that enables them to go somewhere there siblings cannot.

This makes siblings very disgruntled.

Yesterday, my oldest had an invitation to go snowtubing.  He was thrilled.  Ecstatic.  His siblings?  not so much.

LLG, our seven year old, was extremely vocal in voicing his displeasure.  "Why does he get to go....I never get to go...he gets to go everywhere...This is terrible......"

After listening to him for a hot minute, we decided Hubby could take him on his own.  Hubby could meet the boys at the park, sled with LLG and take our oldest home afterward.  Our Gymnastics Queen was invited to a birthday party the same time the snowtubing was to take place, which gave me the birthday pickup assignment.

Even though our Gymnastics Queen knew she was spending an afternoon with friends at a birthday, there was still a request for the snowtubing to happen after she was picked up.  Naturally, she wanted to go too.  After a quick no way from us, she quit requesting.  We can only please so many people at once.

My saving grace in all of this is that Moopa, happily existing at three years old, has no desire to do anything that requires her to be cold or have her clothes get wet.  Hallelujah.

Last night, after we all returned home, Hubby told me that LLG spent his time on the sledding hill, because when they got to the park the line for tubing was an hour long.  Of course my oldest was already tubing, which didn't sit well with LLG.  Regardless, according to Hubby, LLG and his buddies had a grand time sledding, and they went down the hill dozens of times. 

During our bedtime snuggles, LLG mentioned it wasn't fair he didn't get to tube.  I told him we would go as a family anyway, no need to get upset.  He did, after all, have a great time sledding.  LLG persisted, claiming it wasn't fair.

My response, in a nutshell?  Tough nuts. 

After a few more minutes discussing our day, LLG went to bed happy.  My oldest went to bed happy, and my girls went to bed happy.  And because it was bedtime, I was happy.  A successful day indeed.

Siblings are grand.  They teach us so many things.  Yesterday, my kids learned once again that the world does not revolve around them.  They had a reminder that life is not fair.  Just because one of you is invited someplace, that does not mean that everyone is welcome to go.  If we can accommodate some of your wishes, we will.  But we offer you no guarantees. 

We need to be thankful for what we have, and thankful for what we're able to do.  Everything works in circles, and there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to try new things.  We just have to wait our turn, and be resilient when things don't go our way.  Life is too short to take personally.

Happy Monday everyone...wait your turn...because next time you may be the one invited snow tubing. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013


Sometimes, I sleep in my clothes from the waist up.  I remove my, er, undergarments and change into jammie pants.  I do this because I'm freezing all winter and I just can't bare the three seconds it would take me to remove my warm sweater.

I'm currently blogging in my slippers, hot pink jammie pants, long sleeve hunter green tee and a J.Crew wool sweater.  I just woke up.

Yesterday, Moopa had a scoop of cookie dough ice cream with breakfast.  I have my reasons.

I'm not a fan of washing floors.  It's so much work for the five minutes they are clean.  Vacuum, yes.  Mop, no.

Lately, since we're moving, my method of cleaning up toys is throw them out.  Unless of course, they are brand new and shiny from Christmas.

If Hubby is not home, I only make pancakes, grilled cheese, PB&J or pasta for dinner.  Take your pick.  One day, I was feeling crafty so I made meatballs.  That was two months ago.

I strongly believe that a fiber bar, an apple, a pack of fruit snacks and a yogurt is an acceptable lunch.  Sandwiches are overrated.

Our school disagrees.  The second day of first grade the school called me and asked me if my son was supposed to be buying lunch.  "Did he forget his lunch money?  His lunch is a fiber bar, an apple, a yogurt and a large cupcake?"

(Cue forhead sweat) Er, I must have forgot his sandwich?  Am I in some sort of trouble with the school lunch police?

I love shower cap days.  Drying my hair is so eight minutes too long.

I feel better now.  I've been cleansed, and I enter into my weekend happily wearing clothes from the waist up and jammies from the waist down, while walking on semi-clean floors. 

Happy Friday.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


S'mores are just about the best summer dessert.  After a barbeque, you toast them up over the grill.  Or you make them camping.  Or you make them after dinner for no reason at all.

Over winter break, we made them in our oven.  After two snowstorms in seven days we needed something to pick us up out of our "snowed in" mode. 

I put graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate chips on our kitchen table.  Each munchkin sat in front of a piece of tinfoil, and they were allowed to assemble own their s'mores.

LLG prefers very little marshmallows, and more chocolate.

The others like a good balance of chocolate and marshmallow.

I don't care how it's made as long as I get to eat it.

Either way, s'more making was super easy and fun.  No major prep, no major cleanup, and the kiddos enjoyed making their own dessert.  After everyone had assembled their s'mores, we wrapped them tight, marked the tinfoil with an initial, and tossed them into the oven.

Just five to ten minutes later, we had dessert that took us back to lazy days and warm nights.  Fabulous.
A few more weeks and we'll be closing in on Spring.  The birds will be singing and the sun will be shining.  Until then hang in there.  And make some s'mores.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In Need of a Vacation

This morning the alarm jolted me awake from a sound slumber, at 6:30am.  Outside the sun was just rising, and the snow still covers the ground.

I decided as I lay in bed, fighting the urge to blow off the bus and sleep that I'm in need of a vacation.  I need to go where the sunshine is plentiful, because this body is in some serious need of vitamin D.  This happens every year, right after Christmas.  Life returns to normal, and there is nothing but winter outside.

Cabin fever sets in.

Since we're relocating at some point this year, vacation planning is rather tricky.  I don't know if we're switching schools midyear or staying this whole year.  I don't know if we'll find a renter tomorrow, next month or next year.  It's no easy task trying to get away when I don't know when we even can escape for awhile.

Time for on of those lamps that doubles as sunshine.  Do those work?

Today, a Starbucks and a little house cleaning will have to suffice.  Happy Trails everyone, we are officially back to the grind here.