Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Cotton Blossoms, 2011

Awesome....(and Adorable!)

Pretty Julianna, Cotton Blossom 2011

Bella Backstage, Cotton Blossom Pageant

The Cotton Blossom Pageant is Coolidge's own version of "Toddlers and Tiaras".  Ok not really, well, not exactly.  You do dress up and wear a crown, and some moms DO make their kids participate.    What, me?  I didn't actually MAKE them.  In my case, I told the director of the pageant that I was sorry, but Jules wouldn't do it this year because Bella couldn't.  (The rule is, you have to be three to participate and Julianna assured me that she would be happy to participate when her sister could do it with her.)  "What!?  Shona (the director) said, "That girl doesn't know who she is messing with, Bella is going to be in the pageant..."  :) 

So, much do Julianna's dismay and her mom's happiness, both girls were in the Cotton Blossom pageant this year.  As you can see from the photo above, Julianna is actually happier to be there than Bella is.  Really when our girls walked across the stage hand in hand it was, in fact, adorable.  They were both beautiful and their brothers (aunt and parents) cheered for them loudly.  (There are no winners or losers in this pageant, not even a talent contest.  You just dress up and introduce yourself.)

I guess if we're being honest with each other, this one little girl really has us all pegged.  She got up there, said her name, stated her age and then proceeded to thank her parents for buying "this ridiculous dress."  Out of the mouths of babes.  She called us all out....  But it was lots of fun anyway!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homemade Granola

I've been searching for an easy granola recipe for a while.  It seems like most of the recipes I find on the internet include various seeds, grains and nuts that remind me more of bird food than anything else.  Finally I asked a gal in my ward who I heard was "in the know" when it comes to granola.  No kidding, this stuff is basic and good.  I'm sure those of you that want to make it like bird food can, but this is a good place to start.  Warning... I'm pretty sure it's not super low fat, but it is filling and a little addicting... just sayin'.

6 C Quick Cook Oats  (Great price for this at the cannery.)

1 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes

1 1/2 c. maple syrup or honey (I used honey and it was delicious!)

1 c. crunchy peanut butter

1/4 c. oil

In a large bowl, Mix the first 3 dry ingredients. Add 1/2 t. salt (optional). Set aside.

In a medium microwavable bowl, mix the maple syrup and peanut butter, microwaving them about 1 minute to soften the consistency of the peanut butter. Stir in the oil.

Preheat oven to 300. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients. Grease 2 sheet pans. Spread evenly onto the sheet pans.

Bake 25 min. Stir. Bake 10-15 more minutes until light golden brown.

The granola was still soft when I took it from the oven.  I wasn't sure if that was correct but when it cooled, it had more of a "granola" texture.  Also, I didn't use any coconut because I didn't have it on hand.  Instead, I used a half a cup of trail mix that had raisins, sunflower seeds, and peanuts.  If you want to use chocolate chips or something else yummy, add it after the granola is cooled.

This recipe filled 3/4 of a gallon container, and it can double easily.  When you double the recipe, it uses a number ten can of quick oats.

Enjoy it, it's good and I believe that if it doesn't actually save you money to make it - it should for sure save you additives and sugar. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break 2011

San Diego, March 2011

Tsunami?  No worries...  Radiation Cloud?  Who cares....  We threw caution to the wind and just went!

OK, we just can't help ourselves.  (Or really, I can't help myself and my kids are starting to catch on and my husband just spoils me...) 

I love the beach.  I love the sand, the waves, the sounds and the smells.  I was raised by the ocean, I learned to swim in the ocean and it just brings me joy to sit by the ocean.  Add in my kids that now love to get out there and "boogie board" and body surf and I think feel complete happiness.  (OK, I am constantly counting one - six heads over and over, but I'm loving it the whole time.) So any time I think we can pull it off, we go to the beach.

We haven't been to San Diego for ten years, but I have a feeling we'll be going a lot more now... It's an hour closer to my house and the traffic is SOOOOOO much easier to drive in. Derek wasn't ready to give me away by the time we got there.  (Big improvement over the drives into Orange County/L.A.  I'm lucky to still be married after some of those drives... but that's a whole other story....)

I'll post more pictures soon...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Bella Baby!

So, how do you celebrate your Birthday when you are the baby of six in a busy family? 
First, sometimes you don't even celebrate your birthday ON your birthday... sometimes, you celebrate it a day early... because of concerts, or basketball playoffs, or scouts, Mutual or Activity Days or some combination of the above....
THEN, sometimes, your mom is at five different stores in a day and STILL forgets birthday candles, even when the entire day is dedicated to finding stuff for your birthday.  So you end up with two Glade candles to blow out.   I agree, pretty lame!
The fruit pizza was planned, (I promise!) we went with that instead of cake.  I think it will be Bella's tradition.  It's so pretty and pink!  :)
PS.  I am planning to have a little "playgroup" birthday party on Wednesday, but still there will be no celebrating on her actual birthday, just no time!  But isn't that picture awesome.  With that much love and adoration, do you really NEED a party on your birthday?  Didn't think so.
Two years went by so fast!  What would I do without this little girlie.  She just keeps me so busy and happy (and stressed, but that's well documented on this blog... she's getting better...)
I still remember looking at that pregnancy test and crying.  I was so naive.  I just didn't know how lucky I was!  She is such a beautiful little piece of sunshine for me.  Love you Baby Bells!

Bella's Birthday Fruit Pizza

(This recipe makes one large pizza stone sized cookie)
Two rolls sugar cookie dough 
One 8 oz. strawberry cream cheese, softened
One container cool whip
One cup sugar
Assorted fruit (I used grapes and strawberries.  I was also going to use bananas, but at the store I HAPPENED to remember bananas, they were all green.)  You can use any fruit that sounds good.
Directions:  Bake the dough into a big pizza sized cookie and cool
Beat together cream cheese, cool whip and sugar.  Spread across cooled cookie like frosting.
Thinly slice your assorted fruit and distribute across the "pizza."
Really rich and delicious!