Monday, August 31, 2015

A Recipe for Kick-Off

Can I just tell you that our house is all excited this week!  Why?  It is that time of year again...time for Georgia football!!  You can almost feel fall coming in the air.  Its a tad cooler in the mornings and in the evenings and I love it.  I always hate to see summer end but I do love fall and everything that comes along with it.  Starting with Saturdays in Athens watching our beloved Bulldawgs!  And today I am going to share a great recipe on the blog that would be a yummy tailgating food.   Lets face it, tailgating is something we all look forward to.  And if your not tailgating at the game I know there are some fun parties being held at home to watch the game.   There's nothing better than being with friends watching your favorite team play football.
This recipe is for bruschetta and it was given to me by my mother-in-law, Lydia who happens to be one of the best cooks I know.  You name it, she can cook it and it is good!  She always goes all out on meals for her family and that includes appetizers.  When I tasted this recipe of hers I knew I had to have it.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes ( I used Roma tomatoes)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
6-8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 Baguette
1/4 C olive oil

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.
Make shallow cuts on top of the tomatoes
Place tomatoes in the water for 1 minute.   This softens the skin on the tomato and you can then easily peel it right off!

Next, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the juice and seeds.  I was not able to snap a picture of this with my hands so messy but this is quite fun!  Literally just squeeze that tomato and the juice and seeds come right out!  Then you are ready to chop your tomatoes.
In a bowl mix your chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.  Stir in the basil, salt, and pepper.  Now you have a yummy bruschetta!

Now on to the bread!
Preheat your oven to 400°
For the bread baguette, slice into 1/2" slices.
Brush one side with olive oil then place the oiled side down on your pan.
Toast for 4-5 mins

Now you are ready to enjoy!  I will say this...what made this whole recipe for me was that Lydia chose to serve it with cream cheese!  Is it just me or is cream one of the ultimate ingredients that can make anything better?  It's right up there with sour cream and cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup!   We chose to spread cream cheese on the bread baguettes first followed by the brushchetta.  YUM!
Now you are ready for some tailgate/game party fun!  If your like me I could eat my weight in these appetizer-type foods! Have fun cheering on your can bet this house will be cheering GOOOOOOOO Dawgs!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back in a Routine

We officially made it through the first week of school!  Both girls are loving it, except the early morning wake up calls.  I knew that would wear off quick and it did.  They seem to be fine once they get going though so that's good.  Last week everything officially started back, full days of school, baton, soccer, church!  I was reminded how wonderful summer is because there are no schedules but I do love all the fun that comes with our activities.  Cohen was back at baton on Monday and Thursday.  It is always fun to start back and see all the girls.  She really didn't have a break this summer but she didn't get to see a lot of her friends so she was happy to see them!

Storytime at the library started back on Tuesday.  Bryce is going to be much more active this year, so that should be very interesting.  Hopefully we will make it through with snacks.  I definitely want to enjoy this time for Kate.  She got to make a book mark this week and she had drawn a rainbow on hers.  I enjoy time with this girl so much!

Kate's bracelet provided a little entertainment

I don't have any pictures of Kate's first soccer practice because Kelly is the one who took her.  Tonight is her 2nd practice so I will be sure he snaps me a picture!  I can say that she enjoyed it and was excited to meet her new soccer team friends.  Her friend Autumn is on her team again so that was all she needed to know to get excited.
We ended our week with a fun weekend.  Kate's friend Brinley had a birthday party at the Greenville Zoo on Saturday morning.  If you know Kate you know this was right up her alley!  She is the biggest animal lover.  She asked me all week if it was time for Brinley's birthday yet.  The party was so much fun for everybody.  Before heading into the zoo they did get to have a close up time with a little screech owl.  Everyone got to learn fun facts about the owl and pet it.  Can I just pause for a minute and tell you who LOVES owls...Kelly!  I think he was just as excited as the kids were, and yes adults got to pet the owl too.  I'm pretty sure he wanted to take the owl home with us.  It was such a fun birthday party!

The "mist" station is always a hit

While we were in Greenville we met up with our friends Eddie & Misty, and their sweet girls.  We had not got to hang out with them in a while and it is always so much fun catching up.  We have missed them since they moved to Greenville.  We had a fun time seeing them!  We had lunch downtown and then let the girls ride the downtown trolley.  It was a great way to spend our Saturday. We ended it with a little shopping at the mall and dinner at one of our favorites...McAlister's.  By the time we made it back home we had some tired little kiddos.  Kate  had found her goodie bag from the party and had some fun with the stickers in there.  One isn't ready for bed until they have decorated their face!
shopping can be lots of fun!

On the trolley...Bryce was all in to the driver and what he was saying

someone was tired!
We ended our weekend on another fun note at our church's cookout and baptism at the lake.  We love this fun night each year!  The weather turned out to be great and it is always so beautiful at the lake watching everyone be baptized.  This year Cohen's best friend Josie was getting baptized.  I had to get a picture of these sweet friends together.  All the kids love playing in the lake afterwards too.  It is really just an all around fun night!

Someone was happy being with Denny and having big stick

running into the lake

Guess who had the stickers out again?!
On a little side note, Cohen has mastered riding her bike with no training wheels.  Last Sunday she decided she wanted to go with me when I ran.  I was hesitant because I run in town and she would not only have to ride the entire 3 miles, but she would have to be able to ride through town and cross streets.  She was up for it and I have to say, this girl did great!  She had no trouble whatsoever and she actually wanted to keep going!  I am so proud of her.  Kelly took her riding with him again on Friday at the Wellness park.  She is loving it.
Its not everyday that you get to run with a unicorn!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Product Review-The Otteroo

Recently I got the chance to try out a product called the Otteroo.  The Otteroo is a type of floatie that can be used with babies as small as 8 weeks old!  When I saw this product it peaked my interest because here we were in the middle of summer and it was something I felt could be very helpful with Bryce.  Bryce absolutely loves the water and at the start of the summer in May he was content in his floatie ring.  As the summer went on he became more mobile and active and was trying to climb out of the float.  He was still much too young for the Puddle Jumper and a life jacket did nothing but put him straight on his back.  Facing up straight at the sun was not going to cut it for him so the Otteroo really had my interest.  At your first look you would think the Otteroo goes against everything you have ever read or seen because it does fit around your baby's neck.   But the Otteroo actually stretches horizontally not vertically and then you simply click two straps.  There are 2 circular openings that allow for water to drain and avoid being splashed in baby's face.

Last week when we were at the pool Bryce got to try out his Otteroo and I am very happy to say he LOVED it.  The Otteroo has a comfy chin rest and the opening easily stretches out for a comfy fit.  The edges are smooth so I didn't have to worry about it scratching his neck and becoming uncomfortable.  And when we were finished swimming there was absolutely no red marks at all on him.
The Otteroo stretches horizontally to go on easy.  No over the head tugging and pulling!

Of course Bryce is at the age where everything goes to his mouth or he wants to lick it!  In the pool in his spring float he would try to drink the water which was starting to freak me out because I was afraid he would take in too much.  You can see here that he wanted to give his Otteroo a taste test, but no worries because the Otteroo uses the highest grade of toxin-free plastic.  No cheap plastic smell and totally safe for this lick happy baby.

At the pool I loved watching Bryce have so much fun.  This product allows for him to move his arms and legs and never once did he come close to flipping!  He was able to have the freedom of his arms and legs which would be beneficial in building his muscle strength.  (Uh-oh we may have a walker soon!)
All in all we were very happy with the Otteroo and can't wait to get more play time in the pool with it.  You can also use the Otteroo in the tub!  This product can be used on babies as young as 8 weeks and the flexible rim will expand with your baby as he/she grows.  (Up to 35 pounds!).  I know I look forward to Bryce using his not only the rest of this summer but next summer as well.  I would highly recommend the Otteroo to all Mommy friends!  You can get your very own Otteroo for just $35.  It is available at

Bryce was able to have fun playing with his feet!  No worries about turning over!

I would add that I was always with Bryce in the pool.  We are all about pool safety :)

Bryce 10 months

Bryce is now in the double digit numbers for months!  This means we are getting close to that one year mark.  This mama is just not ready for that milestone but I know it is coming and fast.  Bryce is growing so much and boy is he into everything!  I have even had strangers tell me that I am going to have my hands full when he starts walking.  Let me tell you, those are not the most comforting words to hear.  He is very mobile and active but he also wants to be held a lot.  He is a Mama's boy right now and I will soak that up as long as I can.  He now loves to crawl and pull up on everything.  He is so curious.  I have had to stress to the girls that they need to keep toys, especially little toys, put away because he also puts everything straight to the mouth.  It is pretty fascinating to watch how he loves to play with a ball.  He will crawl all over the floor rolling a ball around.  He is truly our little joy and I am loving every minute with him.  Now that the girls have started back to school we have 3 mornings a week to ourselves.  I know we will have fun filling those.
Here is a little bit about Bryce at 10 months:

  • He is pulling up on everything.  We have experienced several fall as well so you will notice some head bruises in pictures. 
  • Loves to play with a ball, and also his kitty that he can chase around  
  • Loves his sisters!  He will play more with Kate and she is home more with us, but he also can get irritated with her more.  He seems to have nothing but smiles for Cohen.
  • Is the world's best sleep fighter
  • Weighs just over 20 pounds
  • Wears 6-12 mos. clothes and size 2 shoes
  • LOVES the water.  I will be so sad to see summer go.  This boy loves the pool.
  • Still has no teeth but I'm sure they are coming soon.  He loves to eat his fingers and lately has had some very nasty diapers.  He also had a runny nose which the girls always did teething.  It has stopped so we will see if it was anything related.
  • Still loves his paci
  • Loves to be outside and take rides on the golf cart and in his push car
  • Can say Ma-Ma.  And he does know who he's talking about.   He can say a form of Da-Da too  but Ma-Ma wins for first word!  Ya-hoo!
  • He waves "hey" and "bye-bye" and loves to point his finger and just babble.  He thinks it is hilarious to point and say "no sir".  That may be a problem later! lol!
  • Takes around 2 naps a day.  Some are short and we are working on a new nap schedule with school.
  • takes about 3 bottles a day and is much more interested in food and table food now
Bryce is getting harder and harder to sit for his "monthly tie" pictures but the ones we do get he is precious!  I love my little boy!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Kate's First Day of Preschool!

Today it was Kate's turn to go to school.  Her preschool class started today and she was ready!  I think seeing Cohen start yesterday had her even more ready for her turn.  This will be her first full year of preschool.  She went to this class last year but she didn't start until after Bryce was born.  Having Mrs. Lori again made her even more comfortable.   We had a crazy rushed morning which pretty much sums up every school morning.  Between getting Cohen ready, Kate ready, and keeping Bryce occupied it is a 3 ring circus.  I miss those days when Bryce slept through it all!   After scurrying around I could not find Kate's new book bag to save my life.  I was almost in a  panic.  Why  I had not already pulled it out I will never know.  I guess I thought I knew right where it was and turns out I didn't.  Last year Kate carried one of Cohen's old book bags all year.  It had Cohen's name on it and all.  By the time she started several of our favorite book bags were back ordered for months.  She never said a thing and the next thing we knew the year was almost over so I decided to wait and just let her have a new one for this year.  So this morning when we couldn't find it anywhere I felt awful.  Of course Kate is my child that rolls with whatever so she was fine to take Cohen's book bag from last year.  Still new to Kate and I told her she would not have to do this every day.  She was fine with it and out the door we went.  Can I just say this is one big example of how different my girls are.  Kate handled the situation very calm and was fine with it while Cohen probably would have had the biggest melt down in the state.  Thank goodness it was Kate, right?!  When we got to the school Kate was all ready to go in.  She handed Mrs. Lori our little gift for her.  We had the most fun making teacher gifts this year.  I wish so bad I had a good picture but I didn't get one of Mrs. Lori's or Mrs. Shavers!  We painted flower pots black and then wrote the teacher's names on them in a white paint pen.  The pots were filled with little goodies like snacks, notepads, gum and sanitizer.  Just a little welcome gift to show our teacher's how much we appreciate them.
I took some pictures of my sweet girl then headed out.  She was already busy with a puzzle.  I knew she was going to have a great day.  When I picked her up Mrs. Lori said they had a great first day.  Her class is this year is all girls except for 1 little boy!   He actually wasn't there this first day but I know he is going to have his hands full with 9 girl play mates!  I am looking forward to a great year for Kate.  I know she is going to meet so many new sweet friends and she will still have her friends from last year too.  Two of the girls are staying back with Kate and the others will be in the 4 year room.  I hope it won't be too noticeable to Kate but I felt this was a good year to repeat to get her on track with her school class.

Mrs. Lori and Mrs. Cindy also took some pictures on the first day which I loved seeing!

8 sweet girls! 

This was Kate's sweet artwork from today and her "Kissing Hand" cookie.  One of our favorite books!