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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jack O Lanterns





This weekend was a perfect weekend. On Friday night we stayed home to carve our pumpkins. Poor Roman fell asleep before he got a chance to paint his pumpkin. The boys wanted to do something a little different this year and so they both carved their pumpkins to look like they were pumpkin eaters. Afterwards, we cleaned the seeds and roasted them in the oven. Pretty simple. First you wash them and try to take as much of the membrane out, then boil for ten minutes and pat them dry. We made two kinds this year. Salted garlic and cinnamon sugar. To make the cinnamon sugar you just mix the seeds with a quarter cup of butter, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a couple heaping tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 225 degrees. To make the salted garlic just sprinkle garlic and salt atop and bake for the same time as the cinnamon sugar. We have been crunching on these tasty treats all weekend long. Saturday, I hung out with a good friend of mine who is a photographer and she let me shadow her as she took some photos of our boys playing together. I think I am getting the photography bug. I love when I get a good photo. Then in the evening we went to our neighbors where we sat around a bonfire roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. The boys had so much fun hanging with the other kids from the neighborhood. Thanks to Laurie and Paul! Today after church we are just chilling. Cuddled with Roman as we watched. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Life couldn't get any better than this. Now we are just waiting for the sun to go down so we can go Trick or Treating. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Contrast

All I can say is thank goodness it is Friday. Wow! This week has been crazy, and I can't believe October is over in a few days. Before I know it, Christmas is going to be right around the corner. At least I have all my shopping done. Now I just need to work on the photos for the Christmas card. I still need to get a photo with all three boys together which is not such an easy task. Anyway, this week has been a week filled with contrast.











The week started off with rainy, hot, muggy weather with tornado warnings.
Now it is gorgeous, sunny, and cool.
Winston wasn't on his best behavior at German school and I had
talk to the principal. He got a yellow card like in soccer.
However, at regular school he was great and did
really well on some important test.
Sadly, my husband is out of town this week;
however, I enjoyed lunch with my friend Lisa and her daughter Ainsley
who I haven't seen in a year.
I sent off for new passports for the boys this week because we are going to the
Caribbean for Christmas on a cruise; however, Harris locked the keys in the car.
I didn't know any ones phone numbers because they were on my cell phone in the car.
Thankfully, my husband hadn't turned off his phone while in his meetings, so I was able to call him and he called my mother who came to our rescue.
I really wanted to make these with the boys this week, but didn't have time.
We made these instead. So tasty, and so dang cute!
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Georgian Fall

Winston


Roman And Harris


It seems like the weeks are just a blur as we soak in every last minute of sun shine and days of 80 degree weather. Every Wednesday Roman and I go to the park, the boys go on long walks with their papa on Sundays, and the rest of the week is filled with the boys activities. I haven't had much time to ponder as I have had one doctor appointment after another. It looks like all is good with my husband, so if my laproscopy comes back that I don't have endometriosis then I am off to a specialist to see if there is any thing they can do to help us in making our family complete. On Sunday after church, I did a little mini photo shoot with the boys. I am not 100% happy with the photos, but I think I am coming along. I just wish I could remember everything I learned at class, but I get out with the boys and my brain gets a little fuzzy with all their moving around. I think the next time I go I need to think about what aperature I need, ISO, and set the settings, so that I am ready to go when I get to the location. Hopefully, practice makes perfect. I wanted to do a photo of all three boys, but Roman got too close to the pond and fell in. Life is never boring here at our house. Oh, I made the yummiest rolls this weekend from the Pioneer Woman's blog. I served them with roast pork tenderloin, garlic mash potatoes, and home made apple sauce, and peas. I love fall cooking. Though I better find some time to get to the gym or I am not going to be able to fit in my pants any more. To see more corner views go to Theresa who has taken over until Jane comes back, and to see more Tuesdays around the globe go to Communal Global.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trunk or Treat 2010


This weekend has been a busy weekend. After German school yesterday, I took Winston and Roman to the annual cardiac party for all the children at the zoo. It was such a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. Fall has finally arrived to Atlanta adorning our streets with plum, fig, pumpkin, and curry colored leaves. The boys had a good time. Harris didn't go with us because he had a Boy Scout Clinic and spent the day earning merit badges. Then we rushed home to pick up the chili I had made the night before and the boys changed into their costumes to go to the church Halloween party. This year it was held out at a local farm. The children enjoyed going on hayrides, getting candy, and roasting marshmallows. Somehow, I didn't get a picture of Harris nor Winston because Winston had to stay home because he hasn't been behaving. Roman still refused to wear his costume, so he went as Hans from Hansel and Gretel. Everyone stepped it up this year and their were some really fantastic costumes. The boys are counting down the days to Halloween.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baked Memories

Magic Cookie Bars
1 3/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 stick or 1/2 cup softened butter
1 14ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of chopped nuts (I use Walnuts)
1 cup of chocolate chips or M&M's or Smarties
1 1/2 cups of flaked coconut
If you would like you could also add dried cherries
In a bowl mix butter and graham cracker crumbs
Press into a 13 by 9 baking pan
pour condensed milk over the top
then layer other ingredients on top of that ending with the coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes
The other day, I had this craving that just would not go away for Magic Cookie Bars. I haven't had one in a long time. They bring me back to my childhood. I can't really remember when I had my first one, but it seems like they have always been apart of my life kind of like mash potatoes. They are extremely comforting to me. It is crazy how one bite of something can bring you back in time. Like the other day when I was out with my girlfriends at lunch, and the guacamole had me sitting in my grandmothers kitchen eating avacado off of saltine crackers. My grandmother loved avacados. Ketchup on scrambled eggs reminds me of my cousin Warren who I just adore. Tuna fish sandwhiches with potato chips reminds me of my cousin Shawn who taught me to put the potato chip in the sandwhich. I know it sounds so weird but the chips make the sandwhich crunchy. What food brings you back to childhood?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Holiday Purchase

Usually, coming up with a post for corner view or Tuesdays at communal global is not so difficult. Aren't I the Travel Bug who has been all over the world? I have plenty of holiday photos. However, I just haven't been feeling in the holiday mood. See my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while and it just hasn't been happening. I debated showing you pictures of the black and blue marks that are up and down my arms as they have drawn blood from my arms doing test after test. You would think they would just do them all at once, but I guess it doesn't work that way. I know it sounds crazy that we want another baby. We have three beautiful children. That is more than your average American family and definitely more than your average European family. I never even wanted a large family. I am an only child. I thought when we had 2 we were finished; especially with two pretty wild boys. My husband wanted more and I obliged. Everyone teased us and said, "Oh, you must be going for the girl." Truthfully, we were. I had always dreamed about having a daughter who I would dress up in pink, indulge her with American Girl doll, and play tea party. Then when Roman was diagnosed with having a heart condition. I felt guilty that I hadn't just prayed for a healthy child. After he was born, this wave of love washed over me that I have never felt before. I also heard a voice that told me that I needed to have one more child, and not because I want a daughter. I know that if I have another child it is most likely going to be a boy. Our family isn't complete. I waited for a while to see if the feeling would go away because maybe it was just the post partum hormones. The ache did not go away. It is still here and it is roaring like a lion, and with each cycle I try to tell myself that if it is meant to be it will be. I am sad. What is even more frustrating is that they can't come up with any reason why I am not getting pregnant. I think it would almost be easier if there was a reason, so that I could just move on. In the end, I know I am blessed. I know that there are some woman who will never have an opportunity to be a mother. I have been blessed three times. Why the honey photo? Well, at the moment honey gives me joy, and I have started collecting it on my travels. The three honey's in my pantry right now are a lavender honey from Washington, a creamy honey from Savannah, Georgia, and a very mild flavored honey from Italy. Which reminds me, that I need to go to whole foods and buy some Sunflower honey from France. What do you collect when on holiday? To see more Tuesdays around the world go to Communal Global and for more Corner Views visit Theresa who is hosting Corner View right now while Jane is shooting photos of the bulls in Spain.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Weekend!


Yeah it is Friday! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am about this. Beside taking the boys to German school tomorrow,we are going to do absolutely nothing. You heard me right. I am not picking apples, going to pumpkin patches, travel anywhere, or buy anything. I don't even think I will get out of my sweats the whole weekend except for church. Maybe, we will even make this breakfast casserole. I made one a couple of weekends ago. It was so yummy. What is not to love about breakfast. Do you ever do breakfast for dinner? We call it crazy night around here. Well in accordance with doing nothing. I am getting off the computer.

Breakfast Casserole
1 12 oz bag of shredded hash browns
4 Tablespoons of butter
4 Italian sausages
salt and pepper to taste
veggies to taste
1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
1/2 onion
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
8 eggs
1 cup of full percent fat milk

Grease a 9 by 13 baking pan with cooking spray or cooking oil. Layer hash browns on the bottom of the dish and put the pieces of butter over the top. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown at 350 degrees. In the meantime, in a saute pan, saute onions in olive oil and any other veggies you might like to add to this dish like bell peppers or mushrooms then remove from pan when they are cooked through. Remove sausage from the casing and break into bite size pieces and brown in pan. Once the hash browns are done layer the veggies and sausage over the top. In a bowl beat the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together then pour over the top of the casserole. Spread cheese over the top and cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes. Bon appetite!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October Days

The other day as I was pulling in the drive way it struck me how pretty the contrast is of the deep mountain sage in my garden and the orange of the pumpkins. I love October in Georgia. The weather is perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. It is the time of year for going for walks in the forest. Now I just need to find time to do that. It seems like we have had very little free time. Hopefully, things will slow down this next week and I can head off to the forest. Happy Fall Everyone! To see more views on nature head to Spain Daily. Oh, I forgot! Winston told me a joke on the way to Karate last night. It goes like this. How does a bee comb it's hair? With a Honeycomb!



Monday, October 11, 2010

This weekend

This weekend was pretty awesome. It started with a Girls Night Out through my church where we had a craft night. I made these beautiful coasters to give away to my children's teachers. Afterward, some of us girls headed over to the movies to see that movie with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel with the added bonus of Josh Lucas in Life As We Know It. It was much better than I thought it would be. Saturday, I took the boys to German School and then went to a photography class with a good friend and local family photographer. I learned so much and can't wait to put my skill to the test. Sunday was another gorgeous day. The boys went on a walk with their dad and then we all went to church. Dinner couldn't have been more perfect. We invited some of my husbands work colleagues over and sat outside on our deck. I made Fettuccine with a pumpkin sauce and pine nuts, grilled Angus steaks with cracked black pepper, a simple salad with balsamic vinegar, and for dessert apple crumble made with the apples with picked last weekend at the apple farm. The children even loved the pasta. Go figure! They were angels too as the played outside with some of the neighbor kids touch football.

Pumpkin Sauce
In a saute pan in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil saute 1/2 very finely diced white onion. When that begins to turn translucent add 1 Tablespoon of chopped rosemary and 1 garlic clove minced. The add 1 can or 15 ounces of pumpkin puree, 1 Tablespoon of white wine vinegar (but could use chicken stock or just white wine), 1/2 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 and 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste or you could use red pepper flakes. I used toasted pine nuts to dress it up and give it another dimension. You could also serve this with Sweet Italian sausage, but since we were having steak I thought it would be too much. Serve over your favorite type of noodles.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Red





Apple Toffee Dip
1 8oz block of cream cheese
1 heaping teaspoon of sour cream
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of crushed toffee bits.
Combine the first three in a bowl and then add toffee bits.
Serve with sliced apples.

Last weekend after we finished picking out our pumpkins, and were in that general direction we stopped at BJ Reece Apple House to pick our own apples. The farm does not have all the glam of some of the other farms in the area, but offers cheaper prices for admission. Really you can buy apples cheaper in the store, but it is the experience that you are going for when you pick your own apples. The other thing that you will get is apples that have not sat in a warehouse for who knows how long. We have all ready made some apple sauce and this weekend when our friends come to dinner we are going to make an apple crumble. Yummy! It is kind of late in the season, so if you want to pick a certain variety check out their website to check for dates. Next year we will do it earlier in the season.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Orange "Cornerview"

Happy Orange




Fall isn't quite here yet. The trees are starting to get touches of yellow to them and some of the maples are starting to change, but no pile of leaves here in the south. The last couple of weeks have been busy since we came home from Italy. Filled with Karate, Basketball, German School, regular school and all its home work along with parent teacher conferences, dentist appointments, and doctor appointments. Thankfully, the tempetures have started to cool and I can run from one activity to the next without being soaked with sweat. We also moved Harris into his own room. He is so happy and so is his brother Winston. It was time. The boys have different sleeping patterns and it was getting hard to navigate around these. Harris can now sleep in. Each can listen to their own type of music and have a space to do their homework. It is a little bitter sweet because I really wanted them to share until the moved out, but I think this will be better for everyone now. Saturday after German school we made our annual trek up to Burt's Pumpkin Patch. This year the air was filled with the smell of pumpkin bread and pumpkin pies. It was intoxicating. We ended our trip with apple cider and hand held apple pies. To see more Corner Views around the world visit Jane at Spain Daily.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Baby Shower

My friend Debra is having a baby boy in a couple of weeks. We are so excited for her, and are throwing her baby shower tonight. When I saw these owl cupcakes, I knew that I had to make these for her shower. My friends and I decided to split up the tasks, and I so I will also be making this and this. It is going to be so much fun. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where we stay and discovery

The Marriott Park Hotel





This hotels interior is amazing; however, it does not come cheap. I am not sure I would recommend this hotel. It was great for my husbands work, but to get into the city it took anywhere from 30-45 minutes each way. The shuttle cost 10 Euros, and it does not offer breakfast or free Internet. There really isn't any where near by where you can eat. I would stay in the Rome city center if I were going to Rome.

Albergo Savoi-Positano

This hotel was wonderful. Not to far from the beach and parking across the street. The staff was friendly and the breakfast was wonderful. On our way home we stayed at The Seccy Hotel located near the Rome airport. Gorgeous interior and helpful staff. The hotel was clean and the breakfast was good. Convenient if you would like to sleep over before traveling to other locations in Italy.

Discoveries : Remember I said I got perfume in Positano. I love it! It is from a company called Carthusia out of Capri, but they have a small shop in Positano. It reminds me of being in Italy every time I put on. I got the Mediterranean one that smells like citrus.
The second discovery I made was Limoncello Torrone by Oliviero. Lemon nugget with chopped almonds covered in chocolate. Devine! It is been said to have been served at the royal courts for weddings. It also comes in other flavors too!
Thank you Italy for a fabulous holiday! I can't wait to come back and visit you.

Mt. Versuvius






Happy 39th Birthday to me! What a way to spend a birthday. I woke up to the fresh smell of the ocean and the sound of the vespa zooming zooming down our street. I couldn't have asked for anything more. After breakfast, we packed up our things and headed for Pompeii. For some reason, our navigation system was not working, but I knew that Pompeii was just right outside of Naples, so we headed in that direction. One word you should know is Scavi if you are driving to Pompeii. It is the word for ruins. In Rome they tend to use the word Antica. Since I don't speak Italian, I can't tell you why one word is used over the other, but I think they pretty much mean the same thing. I would suggest that if you want to go to Mt. Vesuvius you should do it in the morning while it can be a little foggy up there there are fewer crowds. You can catch a bus outside of the Pompeii ruins for 20 Euros that will take you there and back that includes the admission price to the volcano. While you can drive there, I wouldn't suggest it because the road it a series of switch backs and with all the buses coming up and down it can be kind of dangerous. It takes about 45 minutes to drive there from Pompeii. Then it takes about 20 minutes up to the top and about 20 minutes down, and maybe a little longer if you need to stop. It is a little steep. The views are amazing when the clouds clear away. You can see all of Naples. The volcano is amazing too with the steam rising up out of it's deep hole. No worries, you can't see any lava. The hole has filled itself back in. Before, we left the states we watched this really cool documentary on Mt. Vesuvius which helped us to understand really what happened and what danger could take place today. Back to Pomeii!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pompeii




Back in February, I came across a blog post made by Emily on traveling to Pompeii by train. I didn't realize really how close Pompeii is to Rome. At least for Americans three hours is nothing. Going by train would have been nice because we wouldn't have had to worry about anything; however, you can't get to Positano by train and with such a short time to spend seeing these two locations we choose to rent the car. I am glad we did! Pompeii is amazing. It is just so hard to wrap your mind around how sophisticated these people lived. While they may not have had the technology we have today nor the medical care, these people didn't live to shabby. The area is rich in food; especially fruit. While here in Italy we have had fresh fruit just about every day. My new favorite fruit are these little tiny grapes called fragolini that taste like strawberries. Not having to worry about food these people were able to have spend time in entertainment. The area is stunning. I could see myself living there. Sadly, in 79 AD the volcano erupted without warning. Pompeii was covered in about 25 feet of ash. Which made it easier for the archaeologist to dig Pompeii out. While you will see some bones, the bodies you see are actually impressions that where left by the bodies creating a mold. The scientist filled in the empty spaces with plaster. We spent 4 hours at Pompeii, but needed about another two. If you choose to visit Pompeii and choose not to do a tour, I would recommend getting a headset. We didn't get one and wished we had, so we could have had a better understanding of what we saw. Don't forget to get yourself a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice on the way out. It is amazing. Well, it has actually been two weeks now since we were there. I was ready to go home. I missed my children. I hope you have enjoyed reading about our trip to Italy. Tomorrow, I will post the hotels where we stayed and some of the things I discovered. Hope you are having a nice weekend. We are off to the pumpkin patch after German School. It is a perfect Indian summer day here in Georgia!

Positano




Our stay in Italy is all most over. I have had a fantastic time! My husband is finished working and now it is time to play. Where to go was not a question. I have always dreamed of going to Positano, but for one reason or another the opportunity did not present itself. My 39th birthday was around the corner and we decided to go for it. We made a splurge and rented a sports car and headed down the Amalfi Coast. It was amazing. The views were fantastic! It really was a dream come true. I only have to say that the bends and curves are not for the weak in heart or for those who get car sick. While normally I don't get car sick, I felt a little a sick, but then it could have been the fumes from all the mopeds. In the end I was rewarded with the cute little town of Positano, a dinner by the sea, lemon granita, and perfume from Capri that smells like citrus. I also bought some pottery. It was the best birthday of my life. Frank had a blast driving the car. He was like a kid in the candy store and at times I had to remind him not to drive to fast.