Saturday, December 31, 2011

Foodie Pen Pals!

December was my second month participating in Foodie Pen Pals! It is so fun to pick out food for a stranger, mail it to them, and then read about what they thought on their blog! I also love getting packages of mystery food sent to me in the mail so Foodie Pen Pals is a double win!

This month I sent a package to Tara at Daily Dose of Fit and I was sent a package from Lea at Healthy Coconut Blog!

First up in my package from Lea was Mango Chile Jam. The other night I made Mahi Mahi and topped it with this jam and Brian really liked it. Tonight I plan on pouring it over cream cheese and serving with crackers at the New Years Eve party we are going to!
Lavender Sea Salt. I don't quite know what to make with this yet but I always see Kath sprinkling it on her salads so I might have to try that!
Taste of Nature Brazilian Nut Fiesta bars. These bars are so good! Usually I don't like bars that are made up of mostly nuts because they are hard to chew but these bars are soft and have a great texture!
Artisana Raw Coconut Oil, Raw Coconut Butter, and Raw Tahini. I love coconut oil! I have never tried raw tahini so I will have to make something fun with that. I will probably save the coconut butter for the next time I want a smoothie, I love strawberry, pineapple, and coconut butter smoothies!
Lea- Thank you so much for all the goodies!!
If you would like to participate in Foodie Pen Pals next month, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. *US Residents only please at this time- hopefully we can expand soon!*

If you’re interested in participating for January, please send an email to and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)

Email by January 4th as pairings will be emailed on January 5th!

Growth Spurt

Friday, December 30, 2011

This little girl has matured so much in the last few days. She is taller and can pronounce her words so well now!

She is doing awesome with potty training too! She is so independent! Usually she just goes to the bathroom on her own and then yells "I did it" and let's us know she wants her sticker and chocolate.

Sweet girl!

Kenley's Make-ups!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I made Kenley 3 eye shadows by popping the real eyeshadow out of some .97cent eyeshadow containers and pouring dollar store nail polish in and letting it dry. The nail polish took much longer to dry than I anticipated! If you plan on doing this definitely give it at least a week or two to dry.

I tried using nail polish to make the foundation too but it never dried. I was telling Barbara about my dilemma and she suggested I use felt! GENIUS!!! If I would have thought of that sooner I probably would have used colored felt for the eye shadows too!
I bought Kenley a make-up bag that is just like mine but in a different pattern and rounded out her make-up set with make-up brushes from the dollar store!
I am so happy with how this all turned out and even happier that Kenley loves it so much! Homemade presents rule!!

Christmas Festivities

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011 was so wonderful. I wish I had more photos to show for it! Brian and I stayed up way to late on Christmas Eve getting everything ready for the girls! It was totally worth it though!

Brian and I started a fun new Christmas Eve tradition for ourselves where after we get everything ready for Christmas morning we open our presents to each other. It was such a sweet time for Brian and I to be alone during all the Christmas craziness. He totally rocked my Christmas presents too!

Since we had Church on Christmas morning, we all woke up very early to let the girls open their presents. I kept joking that we were having "Big Plastic Christmas" this year. We got a climber slide thing off of craigslist, another climber slide thing for free off of craigslist, a pink plastic vanity from a consignment shop, and a cozy coupe the day before Christmas at Value Village for $8! I didn't intend for it to be "Big Plastic Christmas" but I am a sucker for good deals!

I picked up the pink vanity because I thought it would go great with the play make-up that I made for Kenley. She LOVES playing "make-ups". I would say that it is definitely her favorite present!
Sleepy sleepy Claire
The only non blurry picture of Kenley...
After presents we got ready and headed to Church! The girls had runny noses so they sat with us rather than being in the nursery. Kenley was a bit wiggly but overall they both did great!

After Church we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Ford's house for Christmas dinner then after that we headed to Gramma and Grandpa Ronk's house to open presents and have treats with the Carruthers and Kerrs.

It was a long day and the girls were totally spoiled! Next year I want to focus more on Advent and the birth of Christ with the girls since Kenley will definitely be able to understand more next year. I can't wait for next year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Happy 25th Birthday Brian!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Claire's Smash Cake

Friday, December 23, 2011

I based her cake off of this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and her frosting off of this recipe from The Edible Perspective.

I drizzled a little bit of melted chocolate over the cake for color. I also wrote a 1 on a piece wax paper with the chocolate, allowed it to cool, and placed it on frosted cake.

Smash Cake

9 Tablespoons Spelt Flour
3 Tablespoons Melted Coconut Oil
5 Cranks of Pink Salt
1/4 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1.5 Tablespoons Honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 16oz corning ware dish or small cake pan. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Smash Cake Frosting

2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (Solid)
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Almond Milk to reach desired consistency.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl and place in fridge. Once cake has cooled, frost cake.

Hopefully your little 1 year old enjoys the cake!

Claire's 1st Birthday Party!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Claire's first birthday was a success! We went with a Hot Cocoa theme since it is wintery and not too Christmasy!

I ordered these super cute invitations off of Etsy
The Set-up. I saw a picture on pinterest where they had made a ribbon rod for behind the cake and I loved it! I just took a dowel and looped a bunch of .79cent a spool ribbon around it!

I made a 12 layer Hot Chocolate Mug Cake! I doubled the recipe for The Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake. I used 1 cup of batter per round cake pan and baked each pan (3 at a time) for 11 minutes at 350 degrees. I frosted the cake with Meg's frosting and left a bit on top un-frosted to be "the cocoa" and placed a big dollop of frosting in the middle and stuck a bunch of marshmallows to it! The handle is actually cardboard from a Saltines box that I cut to size and frosted!
The Birthday Girl with Gramma and Grandpa Ronk

Claire didn't want anything to do with her cake. That is pretty typical for Claire though, if it isn't bananas, sweet potatoes, coconut water, or kamut puffs, she just isn't that interested.

Claire's Cake was a healthy little dairy free cake that I think is perfect for a first birthday smash cake! I will post the recipe tomorrow!
Leaning tower of cake! This cake was so delicious! I had to send all of the leftovers to work with Fred so that I wouldn't eat ginormous portions of it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Now I wish I had some leftover cake :)

Claire with GG
Papa Bob and Granny Brenda
This is what happens when we try to get pictures of Ronk kids and Carruthers kids together...

Skype partying with our Goodfellows!

Grammy and Gramma

At the end of the night we had one tired out blessed little 1 year old!
After party music with Kenley and James!
Thank you to everyone who came to Claire's birthday party! I know it isn't easy having another party to go to right before Christmas so it really means the world to me that people came!

Brian posted the slide show he made of Claire's first year on youtube! Check it out! Beware... there are nose hose pictures :)

We have a 1 year old!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What a year! I know I say this every month but she really is the sweetest little baby. She is such a watcher and is content as long as she is able to see everything that goes on. She is crawling all over the place now and is always headed down the hallway toward her room. Shockingly she hasn't gone for the Christmas tree or the presents yet! She still has just 2 bottom teeth.

I wonder if she will be talkative like Kenley or if she will remain as quiet and calm as she is now. She does throw out a few random Ma or Da outbursts every so often to keep us on our toes. Claire's entrance into the world a year ago was quite traumatic but I would do it again in an instant for this sweet little girl! I love you sweet girl! Happy Birthday!

Mom and I's Date Night!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mom and I went to Thrive's Dehydrating 101 class a few weeks ago.

The class was held at the Whole Foods Community Kitchen so we started the night off with Whole Foods salad bar since it is so talked up on food blogs.....
It was super expensive and not very good.... What's the deal Food Bloggers? Why is everyone obsessed with the Whole Foods salad bar?

The class was actually super boring. The "instructor" just wasn't very good. I actually felt like I was more knowledgeable about the topic than her. We probably should have gone to a Dehydrating 201 or 301 class instead.

Mom started playing Words with Friends to pass the time :)
Luckily for me, the "course packet" included a recipe for Onion Cashew Cream! It is one of my favorite things from Thrive so I can't wait to make a big batch and use it to make Onion Cashew Cream Kale Chips!!
I can't wait for another Mom and Daughter date!