I will hang this in my house.

Credit: From Babies Don’t Keep by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

How incredibly precious is this? There are so many days when I feel like I am cleaning the house and trying to keep Wren off my heels just for a moment longer so I can bleach the counters or scrub a sink. For all you new mothers out there, 10 months has flown by in what seems to be 1 month. Put the scrub brush down and go play with your children! : ) 

Oh yeah, so the next time to come to my house and it's a wreck, you'll know why! 


Wren is 10 months!

My Wren turned double digits on Wednesday.  Our typical crib photo shoot doesn't work so well anymore because all she wants to do is jump around her bed and scratch her fingernails on the chalkboard  
The night she turned 10 months, she slept through the night!. She has continued this trend all week, fingers crossed.  
Wren, you are in 12 month clothes, 18 month swimsuit.  You are swimming almost every day.  
You are clapping your hands, shaking your head yes, dancing, playing with toys that require fine motor skills like putting your bracelets on.  You weigh 21 lbs and you are 29 inches tall. 
You are standing unassisted for a few moments at a time.  
You love Cheerios and black beans this month.  
You favorite toys are your little plastic bus and you mason jar lid ring that you use as bracelets. 
You have 5 teeth, all on the bottom!

                                                          Here she is with her favorite bracelets and necklace.  If you have noticed, my camera shutter won't open all the way.  Taking it in the shop today. 


Blueberry Crumb Cake

I had some frozen blueberries left over from last season that I wanted to use up.  I found the Barefoot Contessa's recipe from a Blueberry Crumb Cake that had excellent reviews. It was super super easy and I had all the ingredients in my pantry with the exception of the sour cream.  

This is hands down the BEST tea cake I have had. You could substitute it with any fruit.  I think a strawberry crumble cake would be wonderful  It is super moist and the next day it was still fantastic, so you can definitely make it a day ahead!

A few tips of mine: The recipe calls for room temperature eggs.  This is because eggs at room temp you can achieve the maximum volume when beating them.  Although, if you are needing to seperate the whites from the yolk, like in the Marshmallow recipe, a cold egg seperates much easier. Any who...I did not allow them to reach room temp and it still tasted fantastic.  The same with the butter needing to be room temperature.
This temperature allows the maximum amount of air to be beaten into your batter. This creaming or beating of your batter or butter and sugar creates air bubbles that your leavener (baking powder or baking soda) will enlarge during baking. I melted the butter in the microwave for about 8 seconds. So....theres your little home ec. lesson for the day. On to the recipe!!!!!!! 


For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,
crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Here is my finished tea cake! It came out of the pan perfectly!!


Great photo op!

The pool is filling up!! Lauren thought the depth was pretty perfect as it was at 2 inches. 
Lots of pool pictures to come! Thanks to Papa, she will be able to model all of her swimsuits this summer!


Our Pictures are Priceless!!

Just a reminder about this awesome deal from Snapfish. You can get 99 4x6 photos for 1 cent a piece. All you have to pay is the shipping (online only).  Enter the code JULYPENNY99 at the end of your transaction to get the deal!

Just a reminder, recently my computer crashed!! All of my photos were gone. Thank goodness I had "Snapfished" most of my photos.  Right now I am camera dumping 716 photos to their site right now just to make sure that all my photos are somewhere safe!!!  Whether you prefer Shutterfly, KodakGallery, or whoever else you use, remember to upload those photos so you always have them safe and sound!!


Smores Cookies....

Compliments of My Kitchen Addiction

My Kitchen Addiction, is my newest food blog addiction. I LOVE her website!! Please stop by and try out some of her fantastic recipes! This recipe is definitely a winner. Although, (a big although), it is pretty time consuming. This recipe teaches you to make your own marshmallows and a graham cracker like cookie. I have always wanted to learn to make my own marshmallows ever since Martha introduced them in a Christmas holiday edition 2 years ago. You have to use a double boiler (you don't need to go out and buy a fancy one, you will see my adaptation) which always made me nervous! These are soooooo good, you'll have to cut them in half because they are so rich and decadent.

Here are my tips to follow her recipe:
It states to bake the cookies for 8-10 mins.
Mine came out a little too chewy in that length of time. Watch them closely and let them bake a little longer.
It states that the marshmallow creme is best used right after it cools.
Make the cookies first and while they cool make the marshmallow recipe. It hardens just like marshmallow creme does when it sits out. So spread it immediately after it cools.
Since you are pairing up the cookies, work with a round cookie cutter, a scoop, or a biscuit cutter to ensure they are evenly shaped.

Chewy Graham Cookies, from My Kitchen Addiction
(Makes approximately 3 dozen, adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)

For the cookie dough:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For the cinnamon sugar coating:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick liner (or parchment paper) I used my Silpat, and set aside

To prepare the cookie dough, cream together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, honey, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add the egg and beat until incorporated into the creamed mixture. Stir in the flour.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar coating

Scoop out rounded tablespoons of the dough, shape them into balls, and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar coating. Place each one on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the cookie is just set and slightly golden. Be careful not to overbake!

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Wren drove over to taste test a cookie.
She said that she gives them two paci's up!

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

This recipe will make considerably more marshmallow fluff/frosting than you will need for the cookie sandwiches, but I’d recommend making the full batch! It will keep for a few days in the fridge, and it makes for some pretty amazing fluffernuter sandwiches!

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Add about 2 inches of water in the bottom of a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Combine all of the ingredients in a metal mixing bowl (one that fits in the top of the saucepan without the bottom touching the water). Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water, and beat with an electric hand mixer. The mixture will gradually become fluffy and then will thicken and turn white and slightly glossy (after about 8 minutes)


Remove the mixing bowl from the simmering water. Continue to beat on high for an additional minute or two. The marshmallow will thicken just a bit more. Allow the marshmallow to cool before using it or transferring to an airtight container.

After! It definitely takes all of 8 minutes to see the liquid turn into a marshmallow consistency. But once it is there, you will be so excited!

The marshmallow is best if you use it immediately, but it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. I piped my right away and then paired up the cookies to set, while I melted the chocolate.

Take 3 Hersheys Chocolate Bars and break them up. Using a double boiler or a fancy one like mine (a glass bowl on top of a saucepan filled with 2 inches of water) melt your chocolate.

Dip half of the cookie in the chocolate and let it harden on a bakers rack. I also took a spatula and drizzled the remaining chocolate over the whole cookie.

I can't believe that I don't have a final picture of the cookies!! Try these and let me know what you think. I promise you wont be disappointed!

Happy 4th of July (again)

It's a gloomy 4th here in my neck of the woods. I hope it's beautiful and sunny wherever you are. Here is my firecracker. She has definitely lived up to the name this weekend. She is a fireball of energy until I wrangle her into her crib. No fireworks for her just yet. If I would have kept her up that late she would be nuts! We will wait till next year.

A self taken shot of the two of us before a holiday lunch.
She never smiles anymore because she is too busy trying to grab the camera.


Spinach Pinwheels

You want an easy AMAZING appetizer recipe? Try these Spinach Pinwheels. I have seen the recipe on several sites but I modified it to my liking. I took these to a get together last night and everyone loved them!

These will take about 5 minutes to throw together. My advice is to mix up the ingredients and roll them up and let them sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. They are so much easier to cut that way. Let me know if you love them as much as I do!

Spinach Pinwheels

2 Crescent Roll Tubes
2 blocks of cream cheese
1 cup of Feta cheese (my favorite is sun-dried tomato and herbs)
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 tsp of garlic salt

Preheat oven for 350
Mix together all the ingredients, take half of the batch and spread it over the dough.
Repeat with the other batch.
Roll it up and store it in an airtight container for 2 hrs or more
Cut into 2 inch slices ( a serrated knife works the best)
Place on your Silpat (one of the best items in my kitchen) on a cookie sheet
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown

All rolled up after 2 hrs in the fridge

Before baking

Out of town guests

We have visitors in the neighborhood. Several neighbors have seen this family scurrying through our yards this week. We are the lucky ones because we believe they have made themselves a home in our crawl space thanks to the Mediacom man who failed to replace the cover when he left last week. Why do we think this? Our home smells like one HUGE SKUNK!!! I am soooooooooo angry!! We are going to have to call in the professionals. Does anyone around me have an air ionizer? I have read online that those do the trick. Please let me know!!!!!!!!1


Happy Friday

How about this pursed lip smile? Thats a new one....

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. I am going to make several fun recipes over the next few days. I will share them with you if they turn out as fabulously as promised!!