Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Reflecting On When My Girls Were Tiny

My Auntie Laila bought this gorgeous little dress right after we had Grace...and I couldn't wait to get her picture taken in it.

Let's see...she was about 7 weeks old here.

Then there's my little pixie Rose....we couldn't get her picture taken in the same dress until she was about 11 weeks old. (and the dress was still too big on her)

And NOW....These two little darlings are 5 & 3 (almost 4)!

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Weightloss Wagon…Where’d you go?! ~ Week 10.5

Alright, I’ve been avoiding posting anything about my “Battling The Bulge” for a few weeks…mostly because I frankly fell off the weightloss wagon. That wagon was still moving, hit a bump (namely the 4th of July), and I fell flat on my cushy tushy.

There is good news though…despite my fall and disregard for all things I should be doing to get back on board, I have not gained any weight! This morning the horrid scale in my bathroom showed that I was still at 223.5 lbs. I’LL TAKE IT! Are you kidding me?! There was so much gratitude flowing from me simply for the fact that I wasn’t seeing something like 230lbs staring me back in the face...

View complete posting: Weightloss Wagon…Where’d you go?! ~ Week 10.5

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tangy Apricot Syrup

My Grandpa (Ron) Garrison used to always have this incredible apricot syrup that he would jar every year. (with a small orchard of apricots and cherries he had to find something to do with all of them) It was one of those things that I looked forward to every year at Christmas time. We would drive up to Ogden, Utah and every morning my nose was greeted with the smells of coffee, bacon, sausage, eggs and banana pancakes. Let me tell you, when you couple banana pancakes with apricot syrup…well there’s just no better way to start your day! (I must confess that I do like to change it up with blueberries from time to time though)

Apricots are just one of those summer fruits that I absolutely love…and I love them even more when I can mix them into different platings of food. So this year I decided to make my own apricot syrup to use on pancakes, crepes, ice cream, over the top of pork chops (oh yeah, it’s good)…whatever I come up with.

If you’ve never attempted to make a syrup before, not to worry…neither had I. If I can do it, you can do it...

View complete posting: Tangy Apricot Syrup

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do Your Kids Stick Things Up Their Noses?

I was just watching today’s broadcast of THE DOCTORS and just had to share this information for any mom out there that has a child that loves to stick things up their nose.

Fortunately my little kiddles have never had a thing for sticking anything (other than their finger) up into their nose. That is not the case for so many other moms.

Let’s say that your littleone, for some unknown reason, decides to stick their big sister’s Barbie shoe up their nose…What do you do?!

Here’s what THE DOCTORS have to say about it....

View complete posting: Do Your Kids Stick Things Up Their Noses?

Do Your Kids Stick Things Up Their Noses?

I was just watching today's broadcast of THE DOCTORS and just had to share this information for any mom out there that has a child that loves to stick things up their nose. Fortunately my little kiddles have never had a thing for sticking anything (other than their finger) up into their nose. That is not the case for so many other moms.

Let's say that your littleone for some unknown reason decides to stick their big sister's Barbie shoe up their nose...What do you do?! Here's what THE DOCTORS have to say about it: If you can see the object and feel comfortable removing it with a blunt object, then you can attempt to remove it. If you do not feel confident, THEN DON"T ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE OBJECT! Take your child to the pediatrician, Urgent Care or Emergency Room. If you attempt to remove the object when it is not easily accessible, you can actually make it go further into the child's nose/sinuses. Which is the exact opposite outcome you are intending. Let's say that your littleone decides to stick some candy up their a jellybean or gummy bear. What do you do?! This is the suprising information that THE DOCTORS shared: Remember that candy is water soluable. Go into the bathroom and run a hot shower to create steam. (for pete's sake do not put your child in the hot shower!) Sit in the bathroom and allow the steam to loosen/melt the candy until it can be blown/pulled out. (of course if it's a chocolate chip, then it will melt fairly quickly and you'll just have a chocolatey runny nose to deal with) If you're not feeling confident with the steam treatment, then by all means call your pediatrician, Urgent Care or head to the Emergency Room for assistance. My fingers are crossed that I never have to worry about anything being stuck in my kiddles' noses, but at least I feel a little more secure in knowing that I don't have to go into panic mode. Thank you DOCTORS!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2nd Day Of Kindergarten ~ Not So Good

Yesterday my little Grace had her first day of kindergarten…and she did great walking in. There were no tears, no fears, just all out excitement. I was SO proud and excited for her.

Well, this morning was a different story. As we walked into the kindergarten’s play yard, she started expressing how she was scared of all of the “Stranger Parents” that were watching her…eventhough she was holding my hand the whole time. Shocker of all, she didn’t even want to go to the play yard to run around with all of the other kids! ...

Monday, July 19, 2010

The First Day of Kindergarten!

Today is a BIG little Grace is now a full fledged kindergartner.

You would think that the morning would have been filled with squeals of excitement and a rush to get dressed and hit that playground early.

Not in our home.
Oh no, we had an issue with the fact that breakfast had to be eaten.

"I don't want breakfast. My tummy is full already!!!"
"How can your tummy be full when you haven't eaten anything yet?"
"It is Momma...My tummy is FULL!"

In the end there was a half eaten bagel and an empty glass of chocolate milk on the table. That whole glass of chocolate milk somehow made it into her "full" tummy. I knew it always does....

View complete posting: The First Day of Kindergarten!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kransekake ~ Norwegian Crown Cake or Viking Wedding Cake

Baking Kransekake has been a tradition in my family forever...typically for Christmas Eve. But honestly, this should be made for many other family get togethers. In Norway this traditional wedding cake is served at other celebrations such as birthdays, 17th of May (Syttende Mai), which is Norway’s Constitution Day and other special events.
It's just so good with a big cup of coffee after dinner...or in the morning at breakfast time. The good news: It's flour-free! The bad news: It's half confectioners sugar. (powdered sugar) The other good news: It's fat-free & packed with almonds! (I try to find more good news than bad news in my desserts) This "cake" is not your typical you can see, it resembles a tower - which apparently inspired another name, Tower Cake (tårnkake in Norwegian). If you follow tradition, then the way to decorate the Kransekake would be to stick little flags and colorful candies into it.

 My family keeps it clean and forgoes the tradition of sticking things into the cake...we just want to get at it and eat it! How do you serve such a cake? I'm glad you asked. The way to serve Kransekake is every man, woman and child for themselves. You start by removing the bottom ring of the cake and break it apart...then work your way up the cake right up to the tippy top.

The cake is easy to make using the special baking forms. click the image on the left to order baking molds If you don't have the baking rings/molds, place baking paper on cookie sheets and form 18 rings in graduated sizes to build the tower. I have the rings that my grandmother always used...yes, they are old and I'm kinda wanting to get some new ones, but they work so well that I'll wait until I completely destroy them. Okay, lets get to baking these sweet & nutty rings.

Start off by taking18 oz. of raw almonds and pour those into a food processor. I like buying the 3 pound bag at Costco and just separating it into thirds…it’s perfect when I’m making Fyrstekake and Kransekake (Crown Cake or Norwegian Wedding Cake).
 You’re going to want to grind them up until they are basically crawling up the sides of the processor and you can see that the oils have released.
 Here’s what your processed almonds should look like.
 Then into the mixing bowl they go.
 The next step would be to add the confectioners sugar and give it a mix on low speed. Please, don’t try to rush it or you’ll have powdered sugar everywhere…take it from me, it’s not fun to clean up.
 Add in 4 egg whites and continue to mix on low speed until everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides and along the bottom of the mixing bowl just to make sure that there aren't any almonds that haven't been incorporated into the mixture.
Turn the attention to the forms. Taking a paper towel, apply a little butter or shortening to the surface of each ring form.
Then take the Cream Of Wheat and pour it into a medium sized bowl. Scoop it with the form and allow the Cream Of Wheat to completely coat it. Then turn it upside down and give a little tap to release any stray bits.

Repeat with all of the forms and set them aside onto a cookie sheet.
 Now to our dough. You can wrap it up in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for a couple hours to make it a little more pliable for rolling out. However, I tend to go straight from the mixer to the prep mat and start rolling out my ropes of dough. Start with about 5 Tbsp. of dough, or just a golf ball sized ball of dough, and roll it with the palms of your hands to form a rope the thickness of your index finger or thumb. Lay the rope of dough into the form...DO NOT press down...cut off any excess rope and pinch off the ends to make a complete circle.
 Place the rings on a baking sheet and into the preheated 350°F oven. Each ring has a different baking time, so you have to keep your eyes on them. However, you can set a timer for 15 minutes and then check every couple of minutes to see which rings need to be removed from the oven. (the smaller rings take between 10-12 minutes) You want them to be a light golden color. Watch carefully, they will burn quickly if unattended.
 Once removed from the oven, let the rings rest a few minutes before taking cakes out of the forms. (I tend to allow 10-15 minutes...those forms are HOT)  Do your best to refrain from taste testing them as they come out...its hard, but you should have plenty of dough leftover to make some just for you. (or to replace those that decide to break on you)

Turn the forms over and tap the bottom of the form with the handle of a table knife to release the cake. If they do not release easily, very carefully use a table knife and make your way along the edges of the cakes. Place on cooling racks until completely cooled.

While waiting for the forms to cool, throw together a little icing with complete ease. Take powdered sugar, almond extract and a little milk to make the icing as thin or thick as you like. Mix with a small wire whisk or teaspoon until the lumps of sugar have been broken down and dissolved.
 Then it's time for assembly. Start by making a ring of icing right under the largest cake ring. This will help hold everything in place. Then continue to place a layer of icing along the top of each ring, building from largest ring to smallest. Drizzle any remaining icing along the rings of the cake.
Time to jump in and start enjoying your creation. Tradition calls for the bottom ring (largest) to be broken and removed from the tower...and devoured first. Then work your way up to the smallest ring at the top.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Summer Blooms

These are just some of the wonderful blooms that I encountered at Disney’s California Adventure Park…

View complete posting: Wordless Wednesday ~ Summer Blooms

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cinema Sunday ~ Teacher’s Pet (1958)

Doris Day, America's Sweetheart of the 50's, seems to have the uncanny ability to brighten up any screen she's on...and Teacher's Pet is no exception. I had never seen this little jewel until today...and I LOVE it. Partner her with Clark Gable, the smooth operator of his day, and you've got a recipe for success. Now, Mr. Gable had my attention at a very young age when I first was introduced to him with his portrayal of Rhett Butler in Gone With The about a childhood crush. Smooth, cynical, confidence oozing out of every poor...dark hair and those warm brown eyes...I was smitten at 7. I guess between him and The Fonz lay the blame for my attraction to guys who are a little bit rebellious. Anyway, back to the movie...Clark Gable takes on the role of Jim Gannon a newspaperman who comes from the-school-of-get-your-nose-dirty/hard-knocks who hates journalism classes. Hates them, until he meets professor Erica Stone (Doris Day). What starts out as a command from his boss to appologize for an unsavory article on journalism classes ends up causing Gannon to put on the front of a student. Amazing what a man will do to try to win over the affections of a lovely lady, while proving his point of course. And I must say that I would have loved to have a professor who carried themselves with the class and personable professionalism that Miss Stone does. Being the best that he believes he is, Gannon sets to show that a real newspaperman posing as a student is better than "an ameteur teaching ameteurs to be ameteurs", soon becomes Miss Stone's prize pupil. Not exactly what he first desired to be...but it seems to work for him just the same. Just as a side note, "Why" is there always a Tess working for a newspaper? Seems that there's always one worked into the script. Watching Gannon and Dr. Hugo Pine (Gig Young), a psycologist and author of a multitude of books, spar for Miss Stone's affections is pure comedy. Everything seems to constantly backfire for Gannon...and I found myself laughing out loud at a number of instances. There's just something about that old Hollywood writing that I love. It's one of Hollywood's classic nods to journalism combined with a great dose of comedy. I think that I can even get Charming to admit that he liked the movie...or at least thought it was alright. There's no denying that I heard chuckles from time to time. (He's never understood my love of classic Hollywood, but I think he's coming around) The cast also consists of Mamie Van Doren, Nick Adams and Jack Albertson.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Interesting History Tidbits...Facts About The 1500s?

Have you ever wondered how a saying came into existance? We use phrases all the time without thinking of exactly what they meant when they were started. Here's a few that were recently sent to me...oh yeah, this has been circulating since April 1999 and most of it is balderdash (proven false), but it's still a fun read.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell …... brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Wedding bouquets were originally made of such strong herbs as thyme and garlic, which were meant to frighten away evil spirits, BUT they were also used to cover the stench emitting from people who had not bathed recently! There is no evidence that June was a popular month to get married until the last 100 years.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" It's possible that this is true...I haven't found anything that completely disputes it...

View complete posting: Interesting History Tidbits…Facts About The 1500s?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Choose Your Maddness

Okay, so this isn't really "wordless"...
Which madness would you choose now? Is it different from what you would have choosen as a child?

My choice today is still the same choice I would have made as a child…I’d choose to head straight for the Mad Hatter. Being part of an insane tea party is just as appealing to me today as it was when I was little. What can I say?

View complete posting: Wordless Wednesday ~ Choose Your Maddness

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Resurrection From Independance Day

Why is it that holidays always completely exhaust me? When I was a kid they didn't....and there was way more activity back then. But now it's like they completely drain me of every miniscule bit of energy that I have. So wrong.

Today is my official resurrection from the 4th of July. Today I finally feel like myself again. Today I am ready to take on the world...and DOMINATE IT!

Now I just want to figure out exactly what put me into a state that made today my resurrection day...

View complete posting: Resurrection From Independance Day

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fun Friday Follow & Social Parade ~ July 2nd

Alrighty everyone, I know that everyone is getting their grills ready, perhaps packing for camping trips or a jaunt to the beach, BUT we still have to have our Friday Follow Time!

If you haven’t heard of Follower Friday Blog Hop – it is a great blog hop designed to help you find new blogs to follow and help bring your blog new followers.

It’s easy to join. Simply click on the Social Parade image above which will take you straight to the blog hop. Create a post similar to this, then add your link to the linky at Smart and Trendy Moms. Follow as many blogs as you would like. See, super easy!

PLEASE leave a comment so that I know that you stopped by and so that I can come pay you a visit too! I love finding new blogs that share my interests…and I hope that you enjoy your time here at The Chatty Mom.

Welcome to Fun Follow Friday hosted by Simply Stacie and My Wee View. The goal of this hop is to get new Google Friend Connect Followers for your blog and be introduced to new blogs to follow! We wanted to keep it fun and easy so all you have to do is add your blog link and start blog hopping and following away! You aren’t required to write a post for your blog for Fun Follow Fridayunless you want to (but we really appreciate it if you do – to help get the word out).

View complete posting & list: Fun Friday Follow & Social Parade ~ July 2nd