Monday, February 14, 2011

A Chance Meeting - Military Monday

Last Friday, I received a very normal text message from my amazing friend, Kristy, seeing if she could ask me a “weird question”….. I had no idea that the question would be “would I like to come to a luncheon where the Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden would be speaking”?   My answer was “OF COURSE!!!”  What an opportunity.  A very few wives from each unit on Fort Stewart were invited and Kristy thought of me…..quite an honour to be chosen.  Oh, and I got to bring Jason too….a “BONUS” as Jakob would say.  Also, I should mention, that the wife of the Chief of Staff of the Army would be there as well.

Today was the day…lunch and a chance to hear the VP’s wife speak.  I dropped Aiden off at my friend, Tracy’s and headed over to post.   Met up with Jason, Kristy, her husband Dan, and the other wives of 1-30 outside Club Stewart.  We went in together…and too be honest I expected more security. LOL  I was expecting to have my ID checked, my purse searched, etc.  Apparently they were very trusting.  It was a smallish group of us…I would say about 70.

We ate while we waited for Dr. Biden and Mrs. Casey to arrive.  It wasn’t long before we were on “lockdown” as she entered the building.  She was welcomed with great applause.  She spoke of the strength of military wives, military mothers, and our military children.  She thanked us for our service…our sacrifice.  Then she made the rounds to all the tables and also posed for pictures, like this one:


It was a great day.  A great opportunity.  I am inspired to do more.  I am looking forward to getting to Washington, figuring out the new unit and getting involved in the FRG.  I miss being involved in the FRG. 

Oh, Jason and I were interviewed by a local news station…I am not sure if it aired. I will be staying up late to see if they show it, and will post a link if they do!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


Those of you who know the Army, you are not going to be surprised by my next statement.  LOL

Sometimes the Army just doesn’t make sense to me.  Tee Hee.  But seriously, Jason just found out that at the end of June he will be heading BACK to Georgia for two months for a course.  (Don’t ask me what course, I didn’t get too many details)  Crazy right?  We report to Washington March 10th, hopefully get settled quickly and then three months later he is gone for most of summer break, back to where we just left.   Seems a little silly to me.

I should be use to being dropped off in new places and then have him disappear to a course, or deploy.  He has “done it” to me at each duty station.  Not by choice, I understand this, but still…come on people!   This wont be as bad as when we moved to Colorado and he left within a few weeks and left me with no drivers license, no ability to drive for that matter, no friends, a dog, and NO IMMIGRATION status….I did it all by myself that year.  And gained so much independence.  It made me realize that if I had to, I could do it all alone.  Kind of like this last deployment.  I was really scared to be a single mother for a year, but it helped me understand my strength….that if need be we would be JUST FINE.  And now we are happy to have him home and dread the day when he leaves us again…which apparently will be the end of June.

Never a dull moment.  Thank you Army for making me say, HUH?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nutella Crème Brulee


I do not have any pictures for you today.  I made these later in the day, and after 4 hours chilling in the fridge and then getting the boys settled, it was too dark to get any natural light, and the lighting in this house is not photogenic AT ALL.

So, for the recipe, and pictures of said Nutella Crème Brulee….you will have to go HERE….and then go to Bella Nutella to see all the other Ah-Mazing things you can make with Nutella….you wont be sorry (well, maybe your waistline will!)


Day two of sweet treats for love day was a huge success….I love this recipe!  They are delicious.  Perfect end to a really good day.

What did you bake today?  Or enjoy?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blueberry Pie Love

It is a week until Love Day.  I adore Love Day (otherwise known as Valentine’s Day)!  Even though I try to Love BIG every day, there is still that spark of Valentine’s Day that fills me with even more love.

To celebrate this upcoming day of love, I thought that it would be fun to shower my loved ones with some of my favorite goodies… for each day of the week before the big day.  Fun and full of love right? 

So today I decided to make a couple of mini Blueberry Pies.  I don’t think the boys have ever tried blueberry pie…..a shame, I know. 


Mini Blueberry Pie (makes 2 – enough to share with little ones)

Blueberry Pie:


2 cups Fresh Blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp Flour

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 425 deg.

I will admit – I cheated and used a store bought crust – and this brings me a little shame (I suffer from sever pie crust failure).

Roll out the crust a little bigger than pre-made – you need it a bit bigger to cut out the right size for the bottom crust.  Use the edges of the pie dough to cut strips to make the lattice top.  I chose to cut out a few little hearts to celebrate the occasion.

Butter the cute mini pie plates, place the dough in the plate and make sure there aren’t any air bubbles under the crust.

Place berries in a medium sized bowl and gently stir in the sugar, flour, and lemon juice.  Let sit for a few minutes to merry before spooning into your pie shell.   Gently give the berries one last turn and then spoon the mixture into your pie shells. 

Take the strips of pie dough and create the lattice top.  Use a wet fingertip to secure the lattice to the bottom shell.  Cut off excess.

Using 1 egg and a tsp of water create an egg wash.  Brush the egg wash onto the crust and then sprinkle with some sugar.

Bake at 425 deg for 15 minutes.  Then reduce oven temp to 375 deg.  At this time check to see if the lattice top is getting too dark (mine was a little) – if it is tent the pies with foil.  Bake for another 30 – 40 minutes til filling is bubbly and crust looks baked.

Let cool before digging in.  I recommend eating Blueberry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream, if you have it.

Enjoy….and don’t forget to Love BIG.


Monkey Monday

I am working on figuring out a way for Jakob to say goodbye to his friends.  We are moving in less than two weeks.  He is very excited about the move, but a little sad about the friends he will be leaving behind.  Jakob is a well loved boy…he has made many good friends here, and they have voiced how much they will miss him.  So how do I do this? 

Maybe Jakob is old enough to start having pen pals.  I could help him write letters, we could put the stamps on together, mail the letter together.  I think it would be fun for both of us.  Could be as simple as a postcard, a picture, a special treat.  I have been wanting to do this with my cousin, Michelle’s little girls (she has three beautiful little ones), for a while, and I have decided now is the time!  As well as the friends Jakob is leaving here.

As I have mentioned before, my grandmother was the most amazing woman when it came to keeping in touch and corresponding with family and friends.  She started at a young age with friends in Germany, they kept a journal and mailed it around to each of them who filled pages with updates of what they were up to, how they were doing, etc.  What a wonderful idea.  For years and years, these women kept in touch.   My Omi was the best at keeping in touch with us grandchildren too, I always knew when I found an envelope from her in the mailbox that it would be filled with wisdom and love.  Now that she is gone I truly miss the anticipation of a letter from her.

Today I am looking for tips, links to ideas on how to get your child interested in being a pen pal, and of course cute boy stationary…LOL.   Help a girl out?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nutella Memories

Nutella….awesome chocolaty hazelnut goodness.  Oh, how I love thee.  Nutella holds  many memories for me.  I can remember eating it as a child, my mother would let us have it on toast as a treat.  Though I would always prefer to sneak it and eat it on a spoon…..savouring every lick.  But my fondest Nutella memory has to be when I was pregnant with my boys.  It started with Jakob, at about month 4 into my pregnancy I started having weird cravings.  I began my pregnancy with three months of the dreaded morning sickness, and couldn’t stand more than a sausage mcgriddle and coke slurpee….weird, I know, but it made me feel better.  Didn’t question it…just went with it.  After I started to get these cravings I rediscovered my adoration for Nutella…..on wobbly white toast…nothing whole grain, no whole wheat….but wobbly Wonder Bread - lightly toasted.  And I would eat a LOT…several slices in one sitting, with a tall glass of the much needed milk (have to get in those nutrients!)  I didn’t have the same morning sickness issues with Aiden, but the Nutella toast craving came back with a vengeance! 

These days my boys are enjoying discovering Nutella.  Jakob and Aiden often ask for “chocolate toast” for breakfast or snack.  They don’t get it every day….but I don’t have any qualms about giving it to them, it’s part of their history! LOL

Now I enjoy my Nutella on toast once in a while, but prefer to make desserts with it, like this cake:

cake and pie 009

It is a very dark chocolate cake, covered in Nutella and then decorated with a Nutella buttercream.  I made it in a Pampered Chef Torte Pan….and since it is so rich, you only need one layer…it is divine.  Seriously.

Dark Chocolate Cake

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl


1 oz Chopped Semi Sweet Chocolate

1/2 cup Hot Coffee

1 cup Sugar

3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa (it’s this cocoa that gives it the dark colour)

3/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Baking Powder

1/3 tsp Salt

1 large Egg (at room temp)

1/4 cup Canola Oil

1/2 cup Buttermilk

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract


  • Preheat oven to 300 deg F, grease torte pan.  Spray pan with nonstick spray.  I lined the center part of the torte pan with parchment paper and then sprayed again. (I am always so nervous about it sticking)
  • In a bowl, pour in the hot coffee….add chocolate and let sit for a few minutes to let the chocolate start to melt.  Stir until mixture is smooth and all chocolate is melted.
  • In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg until a little thickened – about 3 minutes.  Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and chocolate/coffee mixture to the egg.  Mix until well combined.  Add the dry mixture and beat together until just combined.
  • Pour batter into torte pan and bake for about 45 – 60 minutes….or until tester comes out clean.
  • Cool cake in pan until completely cooled.  I ran a knife gently around the edge of the cake before inverting onto a cooling rack – then I flipped it over again onto serving plate.

To Decorate Cake:

Warm jar of NUTELLA in the microwave until it is pourable consistency….start at about 15 sec and go from there.   Pour the nutella into the well of the torte cake and spread until it looks pretty.  Like this:

cake and pie 004

Nutella Buttercream

Cream together 1 stick unsalted Butter, 1/2 cup Nutella, and 1 tsp vanilla extract with enough powdered sugar until piping consistency is achieved.  Fill piping bag (with decorative tip attached) with the Nutella Buttercream and decorate cake.

cake and pie 014

Pretty, eh?

There is a new Nutella food blog that you MUST check out….BellaNutella.  It is dedicated to recipes using Nutella!  I can’t wait to bake pretty much everything on this site!  If you have a Nutella recipe that is a MUST make…you can submit it to this sight as well.  Cool, right?

What is your favourite way to enjoy Nutella??  Share links to your recipes….please!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monkey Monday….err….Tuesday

I totally meant to post this yesterday….oops.

After a brutal parenting week with the boys, we decided to put it all aside and try to have a wonderful day out together at the Jacksonville Zoo.  I told Jakob and Aiden in the car that I was going to try to not raise my voice (a.k.a yell) if they would try to not spend the whole day whining.  They both agreed, so we had a plan.  The whole family was on board for having a great day out.

I love the zoo.  I can remember going when I was young, seeing all the animals.  And the Jacksonville Zoo is beautiful.  We had a blast.  The carousel was fun, Aiden wouldn’t get on anything so Daddy held him.  Jakob grinned from ear to ear.  Aiden’s pleasure came from the train ride….there is a train that goes around the whole zoo – the boy loves his trains.   They also got to feed the giraffes.  SO cool.



They look like they are having fun right?


And this is my favourite picture.  It is very rare that I am in the pictures….isn’t that always the way for Mamas??  So this outing I gave the camera to Jason half way through and told him to make sure there were some pics of me and my favourite boys.  And this is what was taken…..we look pretty good.


It was a great day.  One that reminds me of how amazing these boys are, and how quickly they are growing up.  Time to not let the everyday get in the way of appreciating them.

Hope you all had as wonderful weekend….what kind of trouble did you get into?