Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sweet Times with Sweet Kids!

I LOVE my Sweet Kids....

I have had so much fun hanging out with them this summer!!  

I hate thinking about the fact that it's already half over.  Before we know it, we'll be back to early mornings, crazy schedules and homework. However, in the mean time, I'm going to savor every minute I have to be with these sweet kids of mine 24/7!! 

We still have a lot of fun in store.  A family trip to visit Yellowstone National Park and family in Utah.  A day at the OC Fair. More time at friends pools. The beach. Eating bowls of ice cream.  Consuming countless Otter Pops.  Doing crafts. But best of all, hanging out in our pj's all day, doing absolutely nothing!

Eric, Megan and Katie have brought several smiles to my face since summer started. They say and do the cutest things all day~thankfully I haven't missed a thing. 

I am truly grateful I get to be home with them daily. Sharing this sweet summer with them. Really, I'd have it no other way.

Because ultimately we are creating memories I know we all will cherish. Forever.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pancakes! Sweet, Sweet Pancakes!

Pancakes.  Stacks and stacks of pancakes.  When we lived in Boston, it was the go-to breakfast EVERY Sunday morning.  Then my griddle, well it died.  And for some reason, I stopped making them.  I did buy a new griddle.  But I made other things on it~like French Toast~the other family favorite.  After countless delicious delights I made on that griddle, it died too.  The french toast and pancake breakfasts came to a screeching halt.  No more pancakes.  No more french toast.  That is until two weeks ago when I broke down and bought a new griddle with a Target gift card my smart husband gave me for Mother's Day this year.  Yes, this man of mine, knows the way to a woman's heart.  Through Target!!

So for the past two weeks, we've made Pancakes every weekend. I've discovered something in the process.  Pancakes are really yummy!  Really. Really. Yummy.  The first batch of pancakes were made from a delicious mix from Lehi Roller Mills.  Blueberry.  Mmmm...They were so very good. I should thank my big brother, Chris, as his family is the one who gave it to us for Christmas last year. You can find an array of delicious mixes from Lehi Roller Mills here:

However, this past weekend, I used my favorite recipe.  The pancakes come out perfectly. Everytime.  Fluffy.  Light.  Subtly sweet.  Yep.  We are going to make pancakes every weekend until my sweet new griddle dies. Again.  

Ultimate Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pancakes

2 Cups Bisquick
1 Cup Milk
1 T. Sugar
2 T. Lemon Juice
2 t. Baking Powder
2 Eggs

1.  Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375; grease with cooking spray.

2.  Stir all ingredients together until blended. Pour batter onto griddle (I use a 1/4 cup for each--makes a nice sized pancake).  

3.  Cook until edges are dry.  Turn; cook until golden.  

PS:  This is a great recipe.  But too small for my family of 5, so I have to double it.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  And pancakes inevitably make it special. For everyone.  One more thing about pancakes.  Fortunately they aren't just a breakfast food.  You can eat them for breakfast. Lunch. Or dinner.  We love a sweet pancake dinner at our house too. 'Cause breakfast for dinner, is always fun.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sweet Sisters

I adore my sweet sisters. All 3 of them.  There's Jan, Pam and Stephanie.  I am the last in my family. My mom and dad had 5 children, 4 girls and 1 boy!  My brother, Chris, was stuck inbetween 4 girls!! Poor thing.  However, in my opinion, he is a very wonderful brother, husband  and father because of it!  A week ago my sister, Stephanie (the beautiful one in pink), who I am the closest to in age came to Southern California from Utah to visit with her adorable family.  It was good seeing her and the entire Nielsen brood.  But, just one thing. The visit was simply too short. The really good part~3 out of 4 sisters were fortunate enough to spend some quality time together.  Chatting away.  What sisters do best. We had so much fun!  I just wish my oldest sister, Jan could have been with us. Then this sweet photo, which I cherish,  of me with two of my sisters, would be complete.  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sweet Shoe Confession....

Alright.  Confession time.  I am obsessed with shoes.  I L-O-V-E shoes. Love. Love. Love them!  But what female doesn't? Somehow I know I am not alone.  We all know shoes make THE outfit.  And for me, since I'm not tall and statuesque, I need shoes with a good heel on them to give me the extra height I need to fit into my clothes, PLUS it makes kissing my six foot two husband easier.  Today my favorite sale started.  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  It's the one department store sale I trek to yearly.  We all know that Nordstrom has a killer woman's shoe section.  (I have to add that this is the sale I take my kids to, to let them pick out a few things to add to their Fall wardrobe for the coming school year~such great deals!!  So really I don't go JUST for the shoes).  I find shoes completely irresistible.  Just like a good dessert.  Shoes finish the outfit like a good dessert finishes a delicious meal.

Here are some of my favorites....

#1 Favorite~Nordsrom Here I Come...

Love the Flowers~Cute Casual!

Guess What?  I ADORE flip flops too.  I love how you can just slip them on so fast and run out the door to where ever it is you're going.  Target has some I like, for 2.99 which remind me of my childhood.  Funny thing, despite how inexpensive they are, they are also VERY comfortable! And an added benefit of these Target flip flops, I can just hose them down if I get something on them.  However, it's nice to have fancier ones too!  I like these:
Aren't these sweet? 
Then again, I love animal prints!

I could have pages and pages of shoes pictured here on my blog.   Of course, they are all on my sweet shoe wish list.  But I will be good and exercise some self control.  I think you get the idea. Once, while walking through Nordstrom, my sweet husband said to me, "I think if I gave you $10,000 to spend, you could spend it all easily on shoes!"  You know what?  I think he was right.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sweet Vintage Guitars...

Music. Guitars. Amps. Eric Clapton.  Stevie Ray Vaughn.  My husband feels very passionately about these things!  I have come to love and appreciate them too, but of course I would venture to say, not to the same degree he does!  Eric Clapton is HUGE at our house.  He inspires my husband musically.  When I first met Gary in college, his guitar was always with him. The two never separated.When we started dating, he always serenaded me with many of Eric's songs.  Tears in Heaven. Layla.  And the list goes on. I was sold.  I would marry this man that brought a smile to my face every time he played his guitar just for me~singing every song from his heart.  After Gary and I married, three years later we decided to start our family.  During our much anticipated first ultrasound, with our first born, we were told that it'd be a BOY!  What would his name be, you ask? Why Eric, after Eric Clapton!  And if you're wondering what his middle name is, it's Taylor, after Taylor guitars.  So Eric Taylor, my 10 year old son's name, is entirely musical.  And one more thing...Gary's band, Woodshed, covered many of Eric Clapton's greatest songs during many of their shows.  So with that, now you all have a pretty good idea of just how important it was for us to go to this Vintage Guitar Show...we've seen Clapton in concert twice.  Now to get up close to Blackie, for Gary (and me), was a priceless experience.  
Recently, Guitar Center in Hollywood had a Vintage Guitar Road Show featuring two of Eric Clapton's most famous guitars--Blackie and his Gibson ES 335.  Both of which were purchased for close to a million each by Guitar Center at an Auction for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Rehab Center.  One of Stevie Ray Vaughn's Guitars was also on display~"Lenny".  Although these were the ONLY vintage guitars on display...they were the sweetest guitars to see up close.  This was a sweet exhibit which we made a very special trip up to Hollywood to experience together as a family. 

Before I go, I would like to add that Guitar Center Hollywood is one sweet place for music lovers and musicians alike.  They have an amazing Vintage Room anyone would drool in....

Music is a powerful force in our home.  I love it when Gary brings out his guitar.  He is one sweet musician.