Monday, April 30, 2012

Project 366: Week 14

92 | 366 future backyard

92 | 366
April 1, 2012 - dreaming about what our backyard could look like
92 | 366 water boys

92 | 366
April 1, 2012 - we went to the Home and Garden show and there were a lot of water features all over the place...the boys were drawn to the water.
93 | 366 future gamer

93 | 366
April 2, 2012 - a vision into Sam's teenage years
94 | 366 sushi

94 | 366
April 3, 2012 - went out to luch for a co-worker's last day.  Learned afterwards that there is a salmonella outbreak related to Spicy Tuna rolls...thank goodness we weren't affected!
95 | 366 heaven

95 | 366
April 4, 2012 - on the way to school this morning, Little Max exclaimed from the back seat "Mom, I see Uncle Louie up in Heaven."  I was on the phone with my friend Laura at the time, and she snapped this photo and sent it to me because she overheard him.  I had tears in my eyes.
96 | 366 crafting

96 | 366
April 5, 2012  - some late night crafting to finish up the mudroom
97 | 366 baby box

97 | 366
April 6, 2012 - I was unhappy with the way Max's baby box was turning so I converted a plastic file box into his new baby box.  One hanging folder per year to hold momentos and artwork.  I feel so relieved now.
98 | 366 boy talk

98 | 366
April 7, 2012 - Sam and Daddy share a moment on the playground.
98 | 366 dying eggs

98 | 366
April 7, 2012 - dying eggs for Easter

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Project 366: Week 13

85 | 366 taking the plunge

85 | 366
March 25, 2012 - testing out the paint on the walls before taking the plunge...   
86 | 366 new haircut

86 | 366
March 26, 2012 - Mason went to the groomer today and got a new haircut.
87 | 366 looking good

87 | 366
March 27, 2012 - I finished painting the family room, and am liking the color!  Benjamin Moore, Mount Saint Anne
88 | 366 open amaryllis

88 | 366
March 28, 2012 - the amaryllis blooms!  It actually has two flowers that are back to pretty...and BIG!
89 | 366 sams room

89 | 366
March 29, 2012 - I know we won't rock in this chair forever, but I sure cherish those moments that we do now.
90 | 366 bread

90 | 366
March 30, 2012 - my first no-knead bread.  It turned out fantastic!
91 | 366 bday cake

91 | 366
March 31, 2012 - a homemade malted milk ball cake for Max's 37th birthday.
91 | 366 couch pile

91 | 366
March 31, 2012 - pajama pile up on the couch

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Time Flies....

When you're having fun!

Which we have been having our fair share of lately.  So, while I am woefully behind on editing photos and videos, I figured I'd share this video we captured of Sam the day before his official 2nd birthday....eek...HE'S TWO!!!

So, for now, enjoy!  I'll be back later to share some pictures of his big day soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Project 366: Week 12

Week 12 already!
78 | 366 ready to go

78 | 366 - March 18, 2012 -- Sam goes into the hall closet to get himself ready to go outside.  He *almost* got the scarf and coat on right! 
79 | 366 daddy chef

79| 366 - March 19, 2012 -- My husband is pretty awesome...AND he cooks!  Score!

80 | 366 yogurt and dates

80 | 366 - March 20, 2012 - my evening snack of greek yogurt with honey and dates.

81 | 366 future drivers

81 | 366 - March 21, 2012 - the boys decide to try to take the new Sienna for 'a drive'.

82 | 366 amaryllis

82 | 366 - March 22, 2012 - little Max and I planted an amaryllis bulb indoors this year as a science experiment.  He has been amazed to see how quickly and how tall it has grown!

83 | 366 olives at olive garden

83 | 366 - March 23, 2012 - we celebrated Daddy's birthday early because he was going to be in Europe on his official birthday. We went to the Olive Garden, and, of course, our little olive lover ordered OLIVES.  LOL
84 | 366 chocolate banana bread

84 | 366 - Chocolate chocolate chip banana bread -- SO good.  This lasted less than 2 days!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Foodie Friday: Amaretto Cake

99 | 366 amaretto cake

Are you drooling yet?

I mean, I know the title is what drew you here in the first place...Amaretto...Amaretto...AMARETTO!!! 

So let me assure you that this cake IS as delicious as it sounds.

The first time I tried it, I ate half of the cake...BY MYSELF.  It was embarrassing, yes.  And then I went for a run to 'justify' it....which probably only burned about 2% of the calories I had ingested...but I felt better about it, at least.

If you are looking for a low-fat, low-calorie cake recipe, then you are in the wrong place.  But if you are looking for a DELICIOUS cake recipe? Well then, read on...

The original recipe is called "Wine Cake" because the recipe calls for sherry wine...but I like to mix it up a bit in the kitchen (and my girlfriend who shared this recipe was out of sherry and made it with amaretto the time that I ingested half the cake, so I kind of had a little bit of a bias towards amaretto over sherry anyways).  You can make it however YOU want bold like that!

Wine Cake
 (shared by Natalie...who is not in the blogging or even **gasp** Facebook World!!)

1 box yellow cake mix (she recommends Duncan Hines Golden Butter Cake)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding (I used sugar free instant pudding cuz that's how I roll)
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c. Crm Sherry Wine (I used amaretto here instead....3/4 cup might be a bit much if you aren't big on a 'liquory' tasting cake...which we are FINE with in this house)
4 eggs

Beat all ingredients together for 5 mins
Bake at 325F for 40-45 mins.  I baked mine in a bundt cake pan that was sprayed with FLOURED baking spray (which I just learned about recently and SWEAR by now).

After baking it, I decided that this cake needed a glaze to it, so I decided to make an almond glaze to top it with.  I think it added a nice touch, but you can go without it if you so desire.

Almond Glaze
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 TBSP milk
1/2 tsp almond extract

Mix powdered sugar, almond extract and 1 TBSP milk.  Stir in milk 1 tsp at a time (I just went ahead and added the 2nd TBSP of milk and it was a perfect consistency), until of drizzling consistency.  Makes 1/2 cup or enough to drizzle over one 10-inch tube cake (or bundt cake in my case).  Let cake stand 2 hours before slicing.

Garnish with strawberries or other berries if desired.

And ENJOY! (Just maybe not HALF the cake, m'kay?)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Project 366: Week 11

71 | 366 sand box
March 11, 2012 - the cover is taken off the sand box for the season and little toes are itching to dig in...

72 | 366 spring 
March 12, 2012 - the first real signs of spring in our new yard --

73 | 366 grapes 
March 13, 2012 - delicious grapes

74 | 366 broccoli 
March 14, 2012 - at Sam's request broccoli is served with dinner tonight. Here Sam is telling his broccoli how much he loves it.  

75 | 366 life is random 
March 15, 2012 - a random snapshot of our kitchen counter; fits the randomness of our life right now.   

76 | 366 in the net

76 | 366 in the net 
March 16, 2012 - Sam decides to really get 'in the game'    

77 | 366 racing

77 | 366 racing 
March 17, 2012 - racing in the front yard   

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hill's® Science Diet® Ideal Balance™ cat food - Product Review

I am a member of BzzAgent and was lucky enough to be a part of the Hill's Science Diet pet food campaign.  For being a member, I was sent a free bag of pet food to test out and review.  I chose to test out the cat food because we did an earlier campaign for pet food that Mason got to participate in and we like to be all equal opportunity in this household....

I used to work for a that sold Hill's Science Diet in his clinic.  I know how strongly he recommended it to his clients...but I also know how expensive it is.  And, if your animals are anything like MY animals (and kids for that matter)...they can be picky eaters at times.  Some days they chow down like they haven't been fed in WEEKS and other days they just pick at their food like they think it's laced with arsenic or something (and yes...this applies to both the pets AND the children).

So, needless to say, I've always been a bit reluctant to dole out wads of cash for pet food that may or MAY NOT be eaten by my pets.  I don't like to buy the cheapest food on the shelf for my cat...I like to buy her something that I feel enhances her health and helps her live a more meaningful INDOOR life.  With that said, I was SO incredibly happy to be chosen for this campaign so that I could test to see if she liked it or not.

And she did...boy did she ever.  I poured some in her bowl the night I received it and she had pretty much eaten the entire bowl of food in the time it took me to run 3 miles on the treadmill ( that might be a bit of time but whatever).  No hesitation to the food whatsoever...she just dug in.  Since then, I have been mixing it with my normally purchased food and she has been eating it all up like I'm treating her to fresh fish or something quite as delectable.

Will I continue to buy it?  The jury is out.  It IS quite a bit more expensive...but it will last longer if I mix it with her normal food.  She doesn't really have any medical issues right we don't need speciality food at this point (for overweight, hairball, old age, etc).  But you can bet I won't hesitate to turn to Science Diet if the need arises...because I have nothing to worry about in terms of her rejecting it...and that was my main concern. 

Do you have a pet and would you like to try it to?  Well YOU are in luck!! 

Just go to: to check out their Competitive Cat and Dog Food Comparison tools, an easy way to compare your current pet food to Ideal Balance™, and download a Free Bag Rebate!!!