frenchy french toasty toast & pancakes…

so, hubs & i were chatting last night before bed & the blog came up…i was telling him about my upcoming giveaway. i’m uber excited of course – he thinks i’m bananas. i asked, “you read the blog right?” his reply was, “yeah i read them. all except for the ones that start out with lines about “frenchy french toasty toast.” oh, that’s my guy… hence the title of this post. funny enough though, i then blurted, “hey! i was actually going to blog about french toast & pancakes today, but never go the time!” we both got a good laugh out of that. i informed him that i often incorporate stories & such into even the recipe blogs, so he should take a look. seeing that he will probably skip this one – i can freely talk all about him! hehe

so anyway, let me talk breakfast for a bit…

we’ll start with the french toast.

i’m always critiquing french toast. especially my own. i loathe soggy, tasteless french toast. mine has been just that for years, so i’ve been looking for the best recipe to really satisfy my taste buds. i think i’ve found it. however, like i’ve said before, i don’t follow recipes well & i’m always changing things, so here’s the gist…

* quality, sliced bread (i can usually get 5 slices coated out of this) – set aside
* spray/lightly coat your cooking surface with oil
* i warm my griddle pan over med/low heat. someday, i’d love a gas stove. our electric one is so difficult to adjust. i’m obsessed with the heat when making pancakes or french toast, b/c i think the perfect temp really makes a difference in the cooking process. just enough heat allows everything to puff up nicely. who likes french toast or pancakes that are overly browned on the outside & still goopy in the middle? save that for chocolate chip cookies…
* then, in a shallow bowl i whisk about 2 tbsp of FLOUR with about the same amount of a sweet, citrus JUICE (i’ve typically used orange, but this week i used pineapple orange, which is lovely btw & reminds me of our honeymoon…we drank fresh pineapple juice every morning & it was awesome…) try this – the juice makes a world of difference!
* next, in a separate bowl, crack 2 eggs & add milk (i use vanilla coconut milk, in which case i omit adding vanilla extract. otherwise, add a tsp of vanilla). i usually just add enough milk to cover the whites completely, so it looks like 2 yolks bobbin’ around in there…whisk well…
* combine the 2 mixtures together & add 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
* lightly coat your bread slice w/the mixture & place on pan. at this time i sprinkle the one side of the toast with cinnamon. i’ve found that if you add the cinnamon to the egg mixture, you just end up w/clumps.

voila – that’s it! enjoy!

and if you have any suggestions, let me know. as you know, i love experimenting & making things better!

ok, not quite finished – there’s still my pancake story to tell. keep reading hubs! haha…

{courtesy of pinterest}

absolutely. no one calls me “darling,” however…

so, i was making the usual pancakes yesterday morning for ava, myself & mr. wonderful. i know the recipe by heart now, so i just had at it. i make cinnamon banana ones for us gals & hubby gets chocolate chips added to his. {recipe here}

he always complains about the lack of chocolate chips. i personally don’t care for chocolate in my pancakes – i’m an extremist. it has to be triple chocolate, make you sick cake or nada. my favorite chocolate chip cookies are the last of the batch that you have to scrape from the sides of the bowl, so there aren’t any chocolate chips in them. weird, i know. my grandma’s the same way, so i think it’s hereditary. she shares her stash of chipless cookies when i come over. ๐Ÿ™‚ ok, rabbit trail, sorry. so, bottom line i ration 2 things in life…chocolate chips & gasoline. they’re too expensive!

i felt like pleasing him yesterday, so i loaded ’em up. see?

then, i tuck the chips into the batter w/my spatula, so the chocolate doesn’t burn. it’s like putting them to bed. aren’t i sweet? haha no, i just don’t like the smell or texture of burnt chocolate on the pan. i tried mixing the chips in with the batter in advance one time, but they sunk to the bottom & poured out in clumps & this ocd chick said, “oh no, no, no!” so i insanely sprinkle them evenly, tuck & flip. you gotta be quick if you do it that way though…

oh yeah, i was telling you i have the recipe memorized – well, no, i goofed it up. gloriously goofed it up, b/c i liked them better & they were fluffier! i was thinking, “how come you can make something the same way each time & get different results?” then, it occurred to me that i hadn’t done it “right.” i forgot to double the bananas. i only added one good-sized banana, rather than two. so do that. it’s better. ๐Ÿ™‚

this recipe turns out about 6 “daddy-sized” pancakes (roughly the size of my hand) & nearly a dozen of “girlie pancakes” (roughly the size of my palm). i stash the excess in the refrigerator for easy breakfasts over the next few days.

see my little pancake thief?

sorry it’s blurry, but i had to catch her in the act & the flash is broken, so i rarely capture great moments these days… she had no mercy…

oh what a day…

yep. what a day. that’s the phrase that’s been running through my head since 10 & that’s not even a whole morning! i think we’ve turned the page & began a new chapter in the behaviorisms of ava… we’re quickly coming up on 2 in just 1.5 mos & i agree it’s terrible alright…terribly messy! my daughter’s a gem, a little sweetheart, but boy i don’t get paid enough to clean up after her. oh wait, i don’t get paid at all! hubs, if you’re reading this, i need twice as much chocolate monthly, no weekly & at least 3 bubble baths…

so far today…

a tornado ripped through her bedroom evacuating every shelf & drawer w/in reach, tippy toes included…

she had an oatmeal facial, took a yogurt bath & a real one…

those were the last pair of clean undies btw, so the rest of the morning was spent in nakedness…actually, not really we. don’t know why i say “we” every time i talk about what my girls are up to…i just said to the dr. at her most recent check-up, “we use the potty now.” {BIG smile} he answered to ava…”i hope mommy uses the potty!” i really need to cut that out.

i wonder if the soy treatment is good for the hair…

hair bows went swimming in the potty…

i played a game of hide & seek / hot & cold with my cell phone that was inconveniently on vibrate…

somehow lola’s food ended up all over the floor, but kindly replaced w/an assortment of sprinkles…

that’s her furry tail in the corner…

now she’s napping…thank you Lord…but isla is crying & cluster-feeding.

i just noticed my coffee & balance bar are still sitting on the counter, looking at me pitifully. if they were animated, i think they’d be extending a white flag for me to wave…

b-man puked all over me.

oh what a day….

it’s 3 o’ clock & i think i need lunch…

happy monday, friends…

the time is now

i’m not getting any younger.
my kids are not growing any slower.
the space between the here & hereafter isn’t getting any further away.
i’m not being morbid or melancholy.
sometimes reality smacks you in the face & you realize the time is now.

the time to love my husband & enjoy our youth together while we have it is now.

stop yelling at him for where he leaves his dirty socks.
praise him in private & in public.
tell him at least once a day that he rocks as a father/husband.
smile at him. laugh with him.
hug him ’til he has to pull away to go do something dumb in the garage.
pray with & for him. he needs it as much as you do.
love him.

the time to enjoy & give my all to my children is now.

stop rushing.
bend down, look into their eyes & tell them you love them…you adore them…they are special…they are wonderful…praise them ALWAYS.
get silly, wacky even. who cares? you’re building their memories more than your own.
how do you want them to remember you?
“mom had it all together, all the time.” OR “mom was the best. she laughed & hugged & kissed me ALL THE TIME.”
i know which one i’d choose. the dishes can wait…read them a story.

the time to grow in the Lord, live completely Kingdom-minded is now.

i have 3 titles. that’s it.
i have only 3 things to do exceedingly well in my lifetime…
be a faithful, respectful, loyal, loving wife to my husband…
be a loving, nurturing, protective mother & role model to my children…
be a genuine daughter of the Most High God.

now is the time to get to it.

i don’t want to live as “a liar”

from my “daily blessing” e-mail today…

i need not add a thing…

are you harboring unforgiveness in your life?

Love Your Enemies

When I was younger I was confused by the statement I would hear in church, โ€œLove your Enemies.โ€ I distinctively remember thinking, โ€œWho are my enemies, and why am I supposed to love them?โ€ I will never forget the day that this command proved to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. That would be the day I learned what an enemy was. I remember thinking there is no possible way I can love him; he caused way too much pain and heartache in my life. This was a man whose desire was to bring me down, use me, abuse me, put me in danger, confuse me and pull me far away from TRUTH and LOVE and bring me into a life full of EVIL and LIES. Surely God had no expectations for me to love this person?

Take a moment to think about who your enemies are. There are times where we feel so hurt by someone that we feel completely defeated with the idea of loving them. We feel as though the pain is greater than the love that we can give them. We may even think it is impossible to forgive and love someone who did such awful things to us.

Well, time to flush out the lies; nothing is impossible with God. We have Godโ€™s love as a perfect example of how we are supposed to love our enemies. Our love is not perfect love like Godโ€™s love for us, but the more we grow in our relationship with God, the easier it is to gain God-like qualities.

You might doubt that loving your enemy is something God really wants us or expects us to do. 1 John 4:19-21 says, โ€œWe love because He first loved us. If anyone says, โ€˜I love God,โ€™ yet hated his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.โ€ God doesnโ€™t want us destroyed by the cancer of hatred.

I can confidently say that, with the Lordโ€™s help, I have learned how to love and pray for the man who still attempts to destroy me. I can even more confidently say that my God will never let that happen. It wasnโ€™t until I started loving my enemy by praying for him that I realized he has no power over me. 1 Corinthians 13:13: โ€œAnd now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.โ€ This reminds us there is nothing greater than Godโ€™s love. And He will empower us to love even those who hurt us.

a mother’s love letter…

dear isla rae,

let me tell you a story.

once upon a time, there was a mommy and a daddy. they had broken hearts. a baby the mommy had inside her belly was taken to heaven, and it made them very sad. the mommy cried and cried. the daddy held her tightly and told her everything would be okay. that was late august of 2010.

months passed and skies were gray for the mommy. in october, for the mommy’s birthday, God gave her a miracle. on her birthday, her 29th birthday, the mommy found out that God had given her and the daddy another baby. this healed their broken hearts.

the mommy was very careful and watched over this new baby for a long time. it took 41 weeks for this beautiful baby to grow inside of her belly. she ate lots of healthy foods. she especially loved blueberries, which were very good for the baby too.

on wednesday, july 6th, 2011, at 11:12am, the mommy gave birth to her little miracle. the miracle’s name is isla rae.

she was perfect and healthy, just like her beautiful sister, ava lee. her name means “bright and shining one,” and it couldn’t be more fitting, because her sweet eyes sparkle like sunshine.

the mommy and daddy took isla rae home. she made their lives more complete.

the mommy and daddy still love their “heaven baby” and will hold him/her someday when they go to heaven, but they are so very, very thankful that God turned something sad into something beautiful. He took the mommy and daddy’s hurt away and gave them sweet Isla to have and love for all the days of their lives.

we love you forever, isla rae. we thank God for you, sweet baby.

i journal for my babies.
one day, i won’t be here, but i can still share with them a bedtime story…
try it. i promise, you won’t regret it.

you are my sunshine, my little sunshine.
you make me happy when skies are gray.
i hope you know dear how much i love you.
you’re my sweet, little isla rae…

pretty lil’ projects…

so i have been meaning to post these for months now…basically since before isla was born, but you know how it is…life’s just a blur these days…

anyway, so i’m stubborn…kinda…ok…really, really, really stubborn. it’s a real pain in the butt sometimes, b/c once i see something i like or get an idea in my head, it’s like all over. i have to do it, get it, figure it out, whatever…

so while i was planning isla’s nursery, i found this fabric i fell in love with immediately. it was actually a shower curtain from target! i loved it, had to have it. then once i had it i had to do something w/it. that’s when i decided to make her crib skirt & pillow covering w/it. i probably showed you those pics already, but if not here they are again…

oops – no, that’s the giant, chocolate, mocha, bigger-than-your-head whoopie pie i made a few weeks ago…sooo good…made the icing w/powdered sugar, a little vanilla, caramel espresso & a smidge of crisco…aaaahhhh…the angels are singing & smackin’ their lips too…good stuff…

i’m too lazy to delete that picture…besides…it’s a really yummy picture…here are the right ones though…

it certainly didn’t start out pretty…mostly b/c i can’t sew like my mother…i have no formal training, so it’s kind of like this…

yep…exactly like that…i love that movie…i love those silly little fairies…merryweather…she’s too cute…

anyway…i pieced together a few remnants my mom had given me for the body & then divided up pieces of the shower curtain for the skirt…like this…

yikes!

yep…that’s what i said too!

oh & this is what ava was doing while i worked…

double yikes!!

yep…that’s what i said too! i thought she was bleeding…no…just stuck the magenta marker up her nose…she smells things…yep, it’s weird…but true. we’d spend 5 hours in yankee candle or bath & body if i ‘d let her…it takes 20 mins just to walk past the candle section in hallmark for crying out loud!

oh & these were baking…i was multi-tasking…

that’s p dub’s recipe…it was incredible. (the recipe) i highly recommend it. she’s awesome. whatever you do though…don’t completely melt your butter! just go with like a spread, so your filling’s like a paste. otherwise, your cinnamon loveliness ooozes all over the place, drips onto the floor & your kid’s sticking markers up her nose while you’re frantically trying to save what little you can. they were still good though…they freeze beautifully too…just wrap ’em up tight & pop it in the freezer…sit them out late friday night & then warm ’em up a tad saturday morning…brew some coffee & voila! yummo in the tummo!

the icing was the best part…

believe me…you’ll lick it out of the pan…

anyway…this was my little workstation…classy, huh?

the pillowcase was so much fun & “sew” easy…haha…i had to…yes, i’m fully aware…i’m a dork…

the laptop is up b/c i was following this tutorial. i LOVE this blog site. she’s “sew” talented! haha i did it again! ok…i’m done…i got it out of my system.

seriously though, it was a super easy project & i think the pillow looks great! the insert’s one i had from ikea…very cushy…garnet hill has good ones too…

i have another idea hatching to make use of the leftover fabric from the curtain. i’ll let you know as soon as i get it started…i think it’s going to be pretty wonderful…i’m “sew” excited! haha…ok…totally done now…whew! ๐Ÿ™‚

the S is SILENT

what does this remind you of?

how about this one?

if you said the “beach,” close…if you said “an island,” even better! now think of the word “island.” how did you say it? now, drop the n & d. yep, just drop them…throw them out the window. drop ’em. now say what’s left…”isla.” hey! what do you know…that’s my daughter’s name! “isla” say it w/me “eye-la,” “eye-la,” “eye-la.” yay! good job! now spread the word! haha i know it’s my fault, but i get “iz-la” at least once a week.

funny story…we’re sitting around the dinner table w/my in-laws (who sweetly brought dinner)…she’s like 4 days old & my father-in-law is holding her, lovingly staring into her eyes & says, “ice-la.” yep, he thought her name was “ice-la.” granted, we didn’t talk about her name much, nor did we frequently address her as isla until after her arrival…but even our own family didn’t say her name right. the doctor’s office butchers it monthly. i fear it will never end. sorry, sweetheart. guess i should have named you “apple.” ๐Ÿ™‚

no…isla fits you perfectly. in greek it means “bright/shining one” & this sweet baby surely does sparkle. her eyes light up my day. she has the countenance of an angel. i love her & i love her beautiful name. so i just wanted to share her beautiful name once again w/you, so maybe you can call around, throw it into random conversations you know at like the post office, school, grocery store, hair salon, gas station. like…”hey, yeah, i really like the shade of your car. it reminds me of the ocean. you know what else reminds me of the ocean? my friend’s baby’s name isla. it’s spelled w/an ‘s’ you know, but it’s silent, like in ‘island.'” they’ll probably look at you like you’re nuttier than a fruitcake…but you never know…that person just may encounter an “isla” in their lifetime & you may have spared them from calling her “iz-la.” better yet, it may be my little isla, or isla fisher, that you bump into at the grocery store b/c she’s in town filming “wedding crashers 2” or “confessions of a reformed shopaholic,” & you ask her for her autograph & you say it right & she’s like, “wow! no one says my name right!” & she gives you – i don’t know – i’m not witty enough to think of something fabulous, but she does & it’s all b/c you read this crazy blog…so worth it.

is it annoying that i took something that could have been stated in one sentence – “the ‘s’ is silent” – & turned into a whole diatribe…no not really a diatribe, b/c i’m not bitter about it, but it is a crazy ranting of sorts…anyway, i’ll make it up to you by showing you some more great photos from our honeymoon…you’ll like them…

like this one…isn’t it pretty? the church, not the mcdonald’s people…are you craving french fries now? sorry…

i like this one. i really like that man standing next to me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ i like that outfit. i can’t find it. i think it’s hiding in the closet i have to share w/ava…i think i stashed it in a bag of “i WILL wear this & look good in it again someday” clothes. i should try to find it…i should really be exercising…

oh & this one…

haha – sorry i had to…funny, though, huh? this was actually a popular look down there in mexico…i tried to talk my hubs into wearing one, but he was too bashful…good thing i guess…someone as cruel as me may have posted him on the internet! gosh i hope my mystery speedo man doesn’t come across this & scold me…or worse sue me! geesh…the things i’ll do to make you laugh! haha

ok, ava’s up from her nap…TWO hours early…there’s a downside to potty training…no longer will your child sleep peacefully in a semi-wet diaper…

isla’s been chatting w/me while i write this, which inspired me in the first place. we decided her nickname will be “izzie.” totally her idea… ๐Ÿ˜‰

a GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold. ~proverbs 22:1

it’s a mom’s life…

so, hubby’s big 3-0 bday is tomorrow. i had the fabulous idea to go out this morning with a 21 month old & a 2 month old to “get daddy a birthday balloon!” “yeah, ok.” that’s what my almost 2 yr. old says to everything appealing & she especially loves balloons. she cracks me up. as i type she’s actually sitting next to me coddling her sippy cup, “i hold you.” haha she’s a trip. guess nurturing comes before eating her chicken nuggets…

anyway, got said kiddos in the car…drove 15 mins, passing lots of backed-up traffic, to the party supply store that mysteriously closed down who knows when…on to plan b. the other supply store is now 30 mins in the OPPOSITE direction & i can’t throw in the towel b/c ava will ask about daddy’s balloon for the rest of the day. lovely.

break out the garmin. thank you, Lord for that little invention, (since i still have a “dumb” phone). find an alternative route to avoid that traffic jam i passed on the way…drive 20 more mins to the other store…spend waaaay too much on supplies, but rationalize it b/c my 2 yr old picked out a $6 balloon amoungst a truckload of other fun things, & what kind of a mom would i be if i didn’t get the stuff she picked out for daddy’s big day?! ok…leave the store w/2 kids in tow…forgot the double stroller btw…thankfully, i had the single & a free arm…

get the gang in the car…fight w/the ridiculously over-priced, but totally necessary balloons that wanted to follow the breeze out of the car…stinkers were persistent, but i won…buckle everyone in…baby cries…15 mins past feeding time & out of gas…adding to plan b…or would it be plan c now?

pull into nearest gas station….80 cents off! woo hoo! makes up for the ridiculously over-priced but necessary balloons…pump gas…overflow the tank all over my right foot trying to hit an even 50 bucks…baby now screaming…

find an inconspicuous parking spot…climb into the backseat w/the girls (my car has no middle seat mind you)…nurse screaming infant on a 10-inch-wide plastic hump while keeping the older one happy by discussing french fries…she really enjoys french fries…put baby back…hit up a drive thru to acquire promised french fries & chicken nuggets…forgo plans to grocery shop b/c it’s now past naptime…arrive home…eat fries…abandon chicken nuggets to nuture the sippy cup as mentioned above…too late now for naptime, b/c we have a doc appt in 40 mins…reality of evening errands & impending tantrums thanks to no nap set in…tis a mom’s life & i love it…

a-ya-ya

haha

yes. i am crazy. the title says it all…

ok, i have SO much to do today i just realized, but i’m feeling like blogging – i have a whole 5 minutes maybe btw, so bear with me, i’m typing e’s on the end of everything & i’m wired from suppressed panic & strong coffee… ๐Ÿ™‚

so here’s my to-do list today:

1 – take care of babies (2 are mine, 1 is my friend’s). that is first & foremost – burn the cookies, forget to eat, skip bathroom breaks…the kiddos are numero uno. check. they’re all sleeping & one just headed out w/nana for the day.

2 – ready maternity clothes for a friend who’s stopping by later today. check.

3 – finish baking incredibly awesome oatmeal cookies. check. my teeth hurt. (i’ll explain later. just whatever you do, refrain from adding fenugreek to your cookie dough. trust me.)

4 – catch up on e-mails. still undone. blogging just happened to happen first… ๐Ÿ™‚

5 – clean kitchen. it’s early & it’s already a disaster from numbers 1 & 2. bottle prep, breakfast & baking is a recipe for a kitchen atomic bomb…

6 – take tylenol. stupid fenugreek. i know, stupid is not a nice word, but i don’t like it very much right now. the things a nursing mother will do for her milk production…geesh.

7 – make meatballs before said infants rise & need fed & snuggled. (or at least try to have the ingredients ready for afternoon nap time.)

8 – laundry. nuff said.

(clipped to polyvore.com)

HAHA – did you like that? i did, too. see? i’m wired today…

ok – so i’m coming down from my caffeine high, but i still can’t type or spell. this is quite frustrating. hopefully, i can write again later. i’ll tell you all about the cookies once the tylenol kicks in & i can stop thinking the word stupid & tell you how AMAZING these things taste!

6 – take the cat downstairs to her lair & shut the door. don’t worry, people, it’s like her own little condo down there. the only thing lacking is a hot tub, but she hates water, so i don’t feel bad… if she rubs all over my arm one more time as i poorly speed type, i’ll give her the shortcut over the banister. just jokin’ – she’d land on her feet though, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

ava & isla’s first family vacation top 10 memorable moments…

10 – changing isla’s massive diaper explosion in a vacant lot across the street from “clay’s beach house” of one tree hill…

9 – major public milk leakage in a 50’s style diner…oh the joys of being a nursing mother…

8 – making smore’s in the microwave with my mother & sister-in-law while the kiddos snoozed & the hubby was pier fishing…a mess that was never more worth it…

7 – watching the dolphins swim & play every morning & spotting a sting ray in the shallow surf…

6 – seeing the girls in their matching bathing suits that i bought before isla was born & realizing this day had finally arrived… *tear*

5 – family game night…my in-laws are hilarious…hubby’s pretty comical as well…”sounds like coast ricky” (clue given for “costa rica” in catch phrase. hmmm…) ๐Ÿ™‚

4 – taking ava into the ocean & a wave hitting us in the face. thought she’d cry, but we laughed & licked our lips instead… ๐Ÿ™‚

3 – saying good-bye to the beach & “jesus’ pool” in the moonlight while fireworks went off overhead. perfect ending…

2 – strolling along the shoreline looking for shells w/isla sleeping peacefully in my sling…about the only time she slept btw…

1 – watching ava & her chubby little legs run & play on the beach w/her daddy & cousins…
i miss that scene so much already…

i love my girls & i’m so thankful we could take them on vacation. i can’t wait until next time!