Mother’s Day Weekend {2015}

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!  I hope you are treating yourself and enjoying your weekend.  We have had a nice weekend celebrating.


We enjoyed out to lunch with my parents yesterday with the girls and last weekend we celebrated with Jeff’s parents since his mom is out of town visiting her mom this weekend.  Today we are relaxing, went on a walk to the lake nearby and I am just about to head out to the front to plant some flowers I picked up and then settling in for a nice dinner together – Jeff’s grilling🙂.



We have been really busy over here and the blog has just finally fallen to the side.  We are remodeling our master bathroom, job changes, the girls and I started an Etsy cookie shop so I have been a little busy juggling everything, but it has been a really enjoyable few months.


I do need to make more time for the blog and my recipes!  I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the Spring!


Valentine’s Day {2015}.

Happy Valentine’s Day from our little valentines! 

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We hope you have a great day celebrating with your loved ones, eat chocolate and enjoy!  I love this day…

The girls have had a great week celebrating Valentine’s Day – a fun evening with dad’s side of the family for mom and Uncle Troy’s birthday last weekend, a play-date at Bellevue Square and lunch at Red Robin on Monday, Valentine’s celebration at their daycare / preschool on Thursday, a day with mom celebrating her birthday on Friday and today a nice morning opening gifts, breakfast together, playing and then a visit to Grandpa and Grandma’s house starting late afternoon while mom and dad celebrate mom’s birthday and valentine’s day by going to the Home Show and to Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle.  Not to mention the weather in Seattle has been a balmy 60 degrees and sunny.  Happy Days!

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Hard to believe last year at this time we had a newborn, sleep was non-existent and we were trying to get Leigh healthy from RSV.  Valentine’s Day and my birthday didn’t really happen for us so this year we are trying to make up for it!  A few pictures from the week:





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XOXO — Enjoy your V-day!!!

One Year Old {Leigh Stella}

Our precious little baby is no longer…Miss Leigh is ONE today!  Happy 1st Birthday sweet Leigh!

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You celebrated your 1st birthday this past Saturday with your family at your house.  You loved your cake and playing with your sister and cousins.  It was a wonderful celebration all for you!





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Yesterday you had another nice day celebrating by going to the park with your family and you enjoyed the swings with your sister and you even got to ride on daddy’s shoulders on the walk back home.  We had a great day all together!

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Now you get the day to hang out with your mommy and big sister – we are going to your 12 month check-up and then to Red Robin for a festive birthday lunch!  Mommy gets to think about the day you were born all day and sing happy birthday to you all day long…just thinking back to when my water broke on our leather chair at 8 am, then I had you promptly at 10:44 am…oh what a day and you came so quickly.  Our perfect chubby bundle!  We are so blessed to have you little love.

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Happy Birthday Beautiful Leigh-Leigh!!  We love you!

Holidays 2014 {Catching Up}

I am so far behind, I have no clue where to start!  I’ll just dive right in…I left off with Olivia’ 3rd birthday party back in November.  So now we have a three-year old and an almost one year old!  How did that happen?  Time goes so quickly – we are in the process of getting ready for Leigh’s first birthday party which we decided to do just family this time around.  We are excited to celebrate her on the 24th with her actual birthday on the 26th.  Not to mention celebrating being a parent of two kids for Jeff and I – it has been a busy year and rewarding year for us.

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Lets jump back a ways to Thanksgiving.  We had a nice Thanksgiving this year – we celebrated the holiday with family at Jeff’s parent’s house with his mom’s side of the family and my parents came too.  It was nice getting the kids all together and Olivia got to sit at the “kid’s table” this year, such a big girl.  She had a wonderful time playing with her older cousins and Leigh had a nice first Thanksgiving too.  Both girls had matching outfits that went with their cousin Natalie – they all three looked adorable.  I can’t get enough of dressing up the girls in coordinating outfits, it’s just so fun.  I love having girls so much.

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Jeff and I also went south to Palm Desert for four nights to celebrate our anniversary in mid-December.  The girls split the time with both sets of grandparents.  This was the longest I had been away from Leigh, but I think it was good for everyone.  It sure made Jeff and I refreshed and very special to get to celebrate our 7 year anniversary in a unique way for us.  We had the best time resting, getting sleep and just worrying about ourselves.  It took a day to decompress and realize that it was okay to just sit and relax more than what we normally do at home with the kids.  We enjoyed several hikes, some new happy hours, runs together, shopping, watching movies in the evenings…we loved where we stayed, the Westin Desert Willow Villas which were amazing.  Their heavenly beds are out of this world and it was nice to have a condo with cleaning service.  We could wash clothes and we even cooked-in one night for fun.

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We missed the girls so much and were happy to be home.  Leigh waited for us and ended up officially starting to walk (10 months old) the day we got back from our trip.  We are now counting down the days until our next visit to Palm Desert in a few weeks to visit my parents with the girls.  I can’t wait to be in the desert sun again and be able to explore with our little ladies.

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After Thanksgiving and our trip we had a few weeks to get ready for Christmas.  We did our annual visit to Santa and Olivia was so so excited it was awesome.  She loved every minute of visiting with the big guy.  Leigh on the other hand was a little skeptical…she sat on his lap for a minute or two before realizing that she was sitting on his lap and wanted no part of some big guy she didn’t know.  The photographer was able to snap a quick pick before the tears started, but no smiles because she was terrified!

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I had several weeks off for the holiday and enjoyed having some extra time with the girls.  We did end up all being sick for a good two plus weeks with colds, but it allowed us time to rest, cuddle and watch movies, which was nice.  It slowed us down from the normal running around during that time every year.  We also had a situation with our cat Jax.  He ended up falling from our loft bonus room which he has done many times and broke his leg.  We ended up having to get it amputated, but it was a difficult process deciding what to do, but in the end we couldn’t say good-bye to our buddy Jax.  He is healing well and gets the cone off this Sunday and can roam more freely.  We hope he lives to 25 with what we have done for this little guy!  Jinx on the other hand has been enjoying herself and her time – it will be interesting when Jax is fully back in action🙂 !


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Christmas was busy, but good.  We hosted Christmas Eve at our house for my parents – it was the first time I have ever hosted a family holiday and I loved it!  I had a blast cooking, prepping and decorating for it.  I loved having the extra time off to prep.  We enjoyed Christmas Eve mass at our church, filet prime steak dinner, opening gifts together and getting ready for Santa’s visit with leaving out cookies and milk.  This year Olivia was just so excited about Santa and understood everything so it made it really special.

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Christmas morning was nice, we had to wait for Leigh to wake up and then we did gifts together and stockings.  Olivia did pretty good with opening, but once she gets something she just want to play with it and doesn’t really want to keep opening so it took a while.  We got through it, had breakfast together and rested for the rest of the day.

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We celebrated Christmas day at Jeff’s parents with his immediate family.  It was nice getting the cutie cousins together and spending time together.  All the girls were spoiled with adorable gifts!  We also enjoyed an amazing crab dinner together, yum!  So nice getting that special time together and it makes it easy for us because we don’t have to travel far for the holiday.

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New Years was spent on the couch relaxing since we were all pretty sick at that point and dealing with Mr. Jax’s broken leg.

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Happy New Year to everyone!  Now we are moving on to celebrating our beauty #2 turning one – a recap of Miss Leigh’s first birthday to come.

Enjoy the weekend & Go Seahawks!

French Macarons.

I co-hosted a meet & greet baby shower this past Saturday for a dear childhood friend at my house.  I really enjoyed the months prepping for it and decided to try several new recipes (more posts on new recipes to come).  One of which was French macarons – the easy version!  Not only did I learn how to properly pronounce them (macaron instead of macaroon), but I learned how to make them!  This recipe is an easy macaron recipe and it worked great, even for my first try!  Before I decided to try my hand at the French macaron I called several local Seattle French bakeries and they charge typically around $2.50 per macaron – say what!?  After hearing what it would cost for half a dozen macarons I instantly decided to take on the challenge of making my own and now I will be making my own from here on out!

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I researched recipes for about a week before I settled on the one to try.  I had to purchase a few new ingredients to me; almond meal flour, gel food coloring and caster sugar.  Thank goodness all are sold on Amazon because I didn’t have to go out of my way to specialty stores to find them – just a quick order and they were placed on my front porch in two days, score!

I hope you decide to give them a shot – so fun for special events!  I actually made them a week before hand and they froze beautifully!  I will do the exact same thing the next time.  I also used my silpat which worked perfectly – love that thing.  The only thing I would do differently next is to get one of the paper templates for help with dropping the liquid shell mixture so that they are uniform.  Mine were pretty close in size, but would make them look a little more uniform.

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French Macarons ~ The Easy Version

Makes around 15-20 macarons — Prep time 25 minutes


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal flour
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • Small pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup caster / fine sugar
  • Gel food coloring if desired


  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Added flavoring, for instance vanilla extract or other

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Preheat oven to 300°F (no fan).  Mix the powdered sugar and the almond meal together well in a bowl and throw out any lumps.

In a separate large mixing bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks.  Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy.  Then add your gel food coloring to the desired color.  Gently stir in the powdered sugar and almond meal mix.  The mixture should become loose and less airy – this is what you want. 

Using a piping bag with a 1 cm / 1/3″ nozzle, fill with the shell macaron mixture.  Place the silicon mat or paper template onto a baking sheet.  Pipe a small blobs onto the baking sheet remembering that less is more because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.

Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes – the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny

Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 – 8 minutes minutes, open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 – 8 minutes.  The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.

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Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely before handling, this will prevent cracking.

Make the Filling – beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar.  At this point you can beat in any flavourings you may choose to the filling.

Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond.  Continue with the remaining macarons.

The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.  They also freeze very well as noted above.

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Three Years Old {Olivia Haven}

My baby is going to be three years old on the 10th!  How did this happen?  These last three years of being a mommy have been the best ever and I feel so incredibly blessed.  We have had so many wonderful moments full of giggles, smiles, hugs, kisses, tears, bruises, bumps and lots of love.  We have grown together and life with Miss Olivia is pure joy, with a side of the terrible twos-threes and we wouldn’t trade this journey for anything.  I have been so emotional lately thinking about her turning three.  She is such a precious blond curly blue-eyed little lady.


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We were able to gather our immediate family, friends and Livie’s little pals for a special lunch in honor of the birthday girl this past Saturday at a local pizza parlor.  We went with the pizza party theme and she loved every minute of it.  A special thanks to everyone who came to wish her a happy 3rd birthday and for all of the lovely gifts the little gal received.


Here are some special pictures from the day – most taken by Grandpa Jim.





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We love you so much Olivia and wish you a very happy 3rd birthday which we will be continue to celebrate throughout the next week.  I will always remember and relive the day that you made me a mommy on November 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm – best day of my life sweet girl.


Happy Halloween {2014}

Happy Halloween from my two little pumpkins!

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These dolls are getting ready for a fun day of Halloween festivities which includes having some family and friends over for some dinner and trick-or-treating and boy are they excited!  This is Livie’s third Halloween and Leigh’s first!  It is hard to believe this is the third for Livie and I have been pregnant with both girls the last several years during the holiday :).  This year it is extra exciting because it falls on a Friday so everyone can stay up a little later to celebrate the holiday.

The girls did have a great day yesterday celebrating at their daycare / preschool with a Halloween party with all of their friends!  They had an excellent day and earlier in the week we made pumpkin cookies with frosting and special Halloween sprinkles – Livie did more eating of the frosting and sprinkles than helping, but it was a lot of fun.

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Have a Safe & Happy Halloween!  xoxo