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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

big, fat, chewy chocolate chip cookies

my girlfriend "c" had been raving, non-stop, about her favorite new cookie recipe. when i realized she was baking up a batch nearly every single day, i decided i needed to whip some up for myself, & they definitely did not disappoint. if you want a cookie that is big, fat & chewy, just like something you'd buy at a fancy bakery, then this cookie is for you.

big, fat, chewy chocolate chip cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour, "c" suggests you do 1 1/1 cups all-purpose flour & 1/2 cup whole wheat or oat flour (for oat flour simply grind up oatmeal in your blender)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, MELTED
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tb. vanilla extract
1 egg (room temperature)
1 egg yolk (room temperature)
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl & set aside
2. in a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
3. beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy.
4. mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
5. stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
6. chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 45-2 hours (to counteract the melted butter)
6. preheat oven to 325 degrees
7. drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto cookies sheet, cookie sheet should be 3 inches apart (i did 9 cookies per pan)
8. bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden brown. this is the key! they might still seem gooey in the middle, but just let them cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring them & they will be perfect. (trust me, i'm speaking from experience, i overcooked my first batch.)

makes 18-20 cookies

now grab a big glass of milk & enjoy. oh! & you might want to double the recipe, because they go fast!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

i'm starting to develop a complex.

yes, i realize that i just had a baby. yes, i realize that she was my third baby. yes, i realize that my body isn't just going to bounce back. these are all truths that i've accepted. however, i'm starting to develop just a bit of a complex, courtesy of my four year old gavin. case, or rather, cases in point...

* the day after i had charlie, the boys came to visit me in the hospital. at one point, i got up out of bed & immediately gavin said "oh good mom! you're almost skinny again."
* recently i bribed my kids with the promise of mickey d's happy meals (yes, i am that mom). we were waiting in the drive thru, when gavin randomly announced "mom, you can't eat mcdonald's. it will make you fat." funny thing is, he doesn't think the rule applies to him.
* just yesterday, gavin was giving the babysitter a tour of our house. when he got to our office, where my bike is set up on the trainer, gavin told her "& this is the bike my mom has to ride to make her skinnier."

if this keeps up, & gavin continues to be more concerned (than i am) about how skinny i am, i don't know if i'll have the nerve to get into a bathing suit this summer. personally, i've been pretty thrilled with my recovery, but gavin's got me doubting myself. oh heavens!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

drumroll please...

shout it from the roof tops, tell your friends, invite your neighbors, send an email, post it on your blog. anything & everything that will get the word out. i want EVERYONE in the world knows about the third annual favorite things swap. i hope you are as excited as i am! here are all the particulars...

it's really quite simple: as a participant, you will be asked to choose at least three objects (i don't think anyone would mind if you decide to send more) that are some of YOUR favorite things to send to your partner... maybe it's an apron you made, your new favorite book, or that favorite flavor of lip gloss. be creative & most importantly have fun with it! objects can be new or vintage, bought or handmade... just remember, it is best to send something the you'd be pleased & excited to receive yourself.

ready to join the fun? please e-mail your particulars to sign-ups will be open until friday, july 3rd... so get your friends involved! upon receiving your "rsvp" i will send out a confirmation email, if you don't hear from me, email me again, sometime emails can get lost & i don't want anyone left out in the cold! so here's what i need from you:

• your name.
• mailing address.
• email address.
• website / blog
(must be involved with at least one of these).
• a little something about yourself.
• please indicate if you are willing to ship internationally.
swap partners will be emailed to you shortly after the sign-up deadline. the delivery date for this swap is Friday, July 31st... please have it postmarked by then.

once you receive your package, be sure to post photos here, for everyone to enjoy! if you have any questions/ comments, just drop me a line at:

i'm so excited! i can't wait. i hope you are too!

the secret is the yogurt.

jeffy's favorite new breakfast recipe, is one i came across, courtesy of the 43rd pillsbury bake-off. you know the recipe is a winner when hours later, the hubby is still talking about how good breakfast was. (i really should point out that jeffy isn't a big breakfast-y kind of guy. i might love thinnies, french toast & german pancakes, but jeffy prefers his breakfasts to be a little less eggy.) & i guess the boys liked it too, because the licked their plates clean, literally.

orange-almond breakfast bake
1 egg
1/4 cup yoplait original 99% fat free orange creme yogurt
1 can pillsbury refrigerated orange flavor sweet rolls with icing

icing from can of sweet rolls
2 tb butter
1 tb orange juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup smucker's sweet orange marmalade
1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. heat over to 400 degrees. spray the bottom of a 9x13" dish.
2. in a small bowl, beat egg with fork or wire whisk, stir in yogurt until smooth.
3. unroll dough on cutting board. set icing aside. cut each strip in half, crosswise. dip each strip completely in egg mixture, then twist 2 or 3 times, & place in baking dish. bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
4. meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat icing, butter, orange juice, almond extrat & marmalade to boiling over medium heat. reduce heat to medium-low, cook 2 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened & shiny. remove from heat, stir in almonds.
5. loosen rolls from baking dish with spatula. drizzle with sauce, serve immediately.

Monday, June 22, 2009

please excuse us, we're tired & cranky.

i don't want to complain, because that's not really my nature, although, i have no problem making excuses... so, i'm sorry if i haven't called you back. i'm sorry if you've emailed & received no reply back from me. i'm sorry if you've commented on the blog & i haven't made the effort to visit yours. i can assure you this isn't typical kelly behavior. after all, my mother did raise me with manners, & just a touch of class. but these days, with two wild & crazy boys competing for their moms attention, one hyper dog, a few cases of thrush, several sleepless nights & a baby who wants needs requires to be held 24/7, all adds up to one mom who isn't exactly a happy camper. & i know, i know... "this to shall pass." i'm just hoping it will pass soon! until then, i just keep repeating to myself "keep calm & carry on." so again i must apologize... if we happen to chat & i'm not overly bubbly & enthusiastic, or if i'm not posting as much to the blog, as often as usual - just understand how hard it is to do all these things with a screaming baby in your arms, two little boys nagging at you to bake them cookies, all the while, all you want to do is sleep (& maybe take a quiet, peaceful shower). hopefully the "sun will come out, tomorrow." until then, i'm hoping i can "keep calm and carry on."

image via anne taintor.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

not your mama's rice krispie treats.

i went swimming again last night. & once again, i was starving when all was said & done. i was craving something i hadn't had in years... this peanut buttery, butterscotchy kix (as in cereal) mix that my friend's mom used to make when we were kids. i know, totally random. too bad for me, i don't have the recipe (although, i'm on the hunt, i'll let you know if i'm successful). so, i had to improvise. luckily, i did have this recipe scrawled in my recipe book. i'd never made it before, & had no idea where it came from, but it definitely caught my eye. so, today, the boys & i whipped it up. it was quick, easy & best of all - no baking was involved. i love not having to heat up the oven on a hot summer's day. & as they say... "don't just a book by it's cover," the same is true here. i'm the first to admit, they don't look mouth-watering. but, i promise, once you give them a try, you might not ever make rice krispies the same again.

not your mama's rice krispie treats
2 skor bars (or any chocolate covered toffee candy bars)
2 cups rice krispies
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
16 regular sized marshmallows (or 133 miniature)
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. using a rolling pin or mallet crush the candy bar into pieces. (personally i like kinda bigger chunks. if the pieces are too small you don't really taste them. but that's just me!)
2. place peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl & microwave on high until hot (about 45 seconds). add marshmallow & microwave until softened (about 30 seconds).
3. now this next part you want to do fairly quickly: combine the peanut butter marshmallow mixture with the rice krispies. stirring until all the krispies are evenly coated. then, add the skor pieces & chocolate chips, stirring until combined.
4. spray your hands with pam (or coating them with oil would work too), then shape mixtures into rice krispie balls. or, i'm sure you could do the typical "bars" too. but, i wouldn't actually know, because i just followed the recipes & made balls.

yum! yum! yum! these definitely didn't last long in our house. i'll probably be making another batch tomorrow (unless i can find that mysterious kix recipe). no biggie though, they only take about 10 minutes to make. i think i can handle that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

sometimes, being a "mom blogger" is a good gig...

like, when a HUGE & mysterious package arrives on your doorstep.

then, when you open it up, you find an ENTIRE potty training "kit" courtesy of huggies.
looks like i'm going to a very busy girl over the next little while, wish me (& owen) luck.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

before & after.

six weeks later, i am still amazed that i am no longer pregnant & that my little girl is finally here - ready to be cuddled & loved. as you can imagine, i don't get much done these days because most of my time is spent, simply staring at her. & although i usually try to avoid the camera's lens while pregnant, i have to admit i'm glad i was talked into encouraged to do THIS photo shoot. now i can always remember the before & after.

images via ana brandt

Friday, June 12, 2009

it was magical.

tonight, i was invited by disneyland to preview their brand new line-up of nighttime entertainment called summer nightastic! which includes a new & improved electrical parade; a bigger & bolder fantasmic! complete with ursula the sea witch & her pet eels; & a fireworks spectacular created especially to celebrate summer nightastic! called magical. and as you can imagine, the evening was, well - magical. the firework display is definitely one you don't want to miss. if i haven't already, this little video will definitely pique your interest. although it's not the actual fireworks spectacular, it's the next best thing... steve davison, vp of parades & spectaculars (i love his title! so fitting because he is spectacular!), reenacting the finale of the show. he is super animated & very entertaining, think "jazz fingers."

to see steve davison's complete reenactment go HERE, you'll be amazed. but don't forget to watch all 6 videos to get the whole experience.

p.s. If you want to catch disneyland's all new firework spectacular magical, & you are a southern california resident (residents who live in zip codes 90000 through 93599 & 21000-22999), you can purchase a 3-day disneyland park hopper ticket for just $99. hello?! that's just $33/ day! plus, the tickets are valid for 45 days from the first use, so you don't have to use all 3 days at once! for more information & all the details, go HERE.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

taking the plunge.

eleanor roosevelt once said "do one thing every day that scares you." so, with that in mind, today i took the plunge - literally... i went for a swim. no, not a casual, frolick-lick swim with the boys. but an intensive, calorie-burning, hunger-inducing swim. & unlike my boys, who are fish when it comes to the water, i'm the exact opposite. i feel more like a fish out of water when it comes to swimming. so, although it may have required several (internal) pep-talks, eventually i donned my bubblegum pink swim cap & googles and literally took the plunge. i have terrible technique, i'm still getting the whole breathing thing down, i can barely swim in a straight line, & i doubt i will ever master that fancy swim turn. but, today i did one thing that scares me. & hopefully, tomorrow, it won't scare me quite as much. as long as i keep singing "just keep swimming, just keep swimming," i think i might even start to enjoy this whole swimming thing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the break up.

i have to admit, this isn't a conversation i've been wanting to have. in fact, i've been putting it off for far too long. i always seem to find one excuse or another. & even though it's all i've thought about lately, even though i've played the scene over & over a thousand times in my head, even though i've planned out exactly what i've wanted to say... now that the moment is here, now that you & i are finally face-to-face, the words seem to escape me.

this definitely isn't an easy situation. but i have to admit, you were never right for me. i think, even in the very beginning, deep down, i knew that this would never really work. but, it was hard to ignore those sparks. even now, the sparks are still there. it's like i can hear them calling my name. & seeing you, just sitting there, looking soooo good, makes this even harder. i guess that's why they say "breaking up is hard to do."

i wish we could still be friends, but you & i both know that that never works out. no, no... it's not you, it's me. see, i'm just not that strong - occasional get-togethers, watching you with other people, all along pretending i'm no longer interested in you... yeah! i don't think that would last very long. pretty soon we'd be inseperable, once again. but i'm serious about it this time. that's why i think, no, i KNOW i need a completely clean break. you are just too much of an addiction for me to handle.

you've probably already noticed, but lately, i've been spending less & less time with you. slowly, but surely, i have been trying to ease you out of my daily life. &, i'm proud (although a little sad too) to admit, at this writing i have gone 1 week, 5 days, 12 hours & 37 minutes without you. honestly, you probably haven't even missed me, but i have missed you. & i will continue to miss you, every day of my life, because you will always have a piece of my heart. but this time, it really is goodbye. cherry coke, dr. pepper & regular coke, oh how i'll miss you, but really & truly, this has to be the end of our relationship, it's time to go our seperate ways. i just hope i have the strength to live without you... i'll definitely be in need of a re-bound relationship.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

D.I.Y. boutique wipes case tutorial

lately, my crafting time is either very limited or totally non-existant... which makes sewing anything completely out of the question. but giving up crafting cold turkey is definitely not an option. so, i've had to to devise some crafts that i can do standing up, holding a baby, in a very short time period. luckily, you can never have too many fancy-nancy boutique style wipes case - especially if you don't have to pay the fancy-nancy boutique style prices...

D.I.Y. boutique wipes case tutorial
supplies needed: one travel wipes case, some batting, a fabric scrap, mod podge & sponge brush, trim and hot glue.
time needed: 1/2 hour
crafting expertise: beginner... if you can wield a glue gun, you're good to go.

click on pictures to enlarge

Monday, June 8, 2009


it's the end of the school year & i'm excited (& a bit nervous) to have ALL the kids home ALL the time, but more on that later. right now we're talking about teacher thank yous. for gavin's teacher we filled an apothecary jar with gumballs & attached a card that read "thank you for 'chews-ing' to share your talents. gavin had a 'ball' this year!" for the office staff we did the same thing on a smaller scale using mason jars. (thanks for the brilliant idea julie!) then for all of each of gav's little classmates, we wrapped up big 'ole glittery bouncy balls with a note that said "hope you have a 'ball' this summer!" so what are you doing, or did you do, for your teachers this year?

Friday, June 5, 2009

FREE krispy kreme doughnuts today!

in case you didn't know, & i admit i didn't, the first friday of every june is national doughnut day. krsipy kreme is joining in the celebration by giving away a FREE doughnut to all of it's cutsomers! Hip Hip Hooray! no purchase necessary... all customers receive one FREE doughnut. find the nearest krsipy kreme location HERE.

p.s. i believe that dunkin' donuts is giving away a free doughnut with the purchase of any beverage.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

beauty advice from gwyn...

"beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. that, or a kick-ass red lipstick."
gwyneth paltrow

i'm dirty & i stink.

if you have boys & they like trucks, they will LOVE i'm dirty & i stink.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

sugar & spice & everything nice

it's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
without saying a word you can light up the dark
try as i may i could never explain
what i hear when you don't say a thing

the smile on your face lets me know that you need me
there's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
the touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever i fall
you say it best when you say nothing at all

all day long i can hear people talking out loud
but when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
old mr. webster could never define
what's being said between your heart and mine

the smile on your face lets me know that you need me
there's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me
the touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever i fall
you say it best when you say nothing at all

- alison krauss

snakes & snails & puppy dog tails

here's little o practicing his latest hobby... snail catching. i don't know what he loves more - finding a slimy little sucker or scaring gavin with them. yep! the big & tough 4 year old runs crying when he sees a snail, & owen the two year old screams with glee! i wonder if he'd eat escargot?

Monday, June 1, 2009

some new bling.

coconutty pudding cake & coconutty cream cheese frosting

so, i'm still pretending i'm in hawaii. unfortunately, our hawaiian feast has been devoured, & the chocolate haupia pie is long gone. not a problem though. i whipped up a light & fluffy coconutty cake to fill the void. i absolutely love & adore THIS coconut cake. (just thinking about it makes my mouth drool.) but, seeing as i'm trying to lose all this "baby fat" i'm carrying around, i figured i should avoid the 1 1/2 lb. of butter, 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream & 8 oz. of cream cheese that recipe calls for. (talk about a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!) instead i tried a new (& definitely less intensive) recipe that resulted in a very moist (i hate that word... it gives me the "willies" just saying it in my head), a very easy, & a very tasty cake.

coconutty pudding cake & coconutty cream cheese frosting
1 package white cake mix (told you it was EASY!)
1 package coconut or vanilla flavor instant pudding mix (4 serving size)
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 cup flaked coconut (optional, depending on how conconutty you like your cake)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

2 tbsp. butter
2 cups coconut
8 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

for cake: blend all of the ingredients, except the coconut, in a large mixing bowl. slowly add in the coconut (if you choose to) & slowly mix. pour into 2 greased & floured 9-inch layer pans or one 9 x 13 pan. bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean.

for frosting: cream 2 tbsp. butter with cream cheese. slowly add milk, sugar, vanilla & 1 3/4 cups of coconut. spread on top of cake & sprinkle with remaining coconut. if you want to get fancy, you could always toast the coconut.

make sure to have a large glass of milk on hand & enjoy!