recipe time!

gonna share some recent recipe successes and failures.
i'm pretty sure every single one of them was found on pinterest!

peanut ginger stir fry. blech. was really bland. even with all the ginger and scallions. ended up adding soy sauce, and that's never good!

linguine with bread crumbs. i used premade crumbs. too lazy to make my own. wasn't crazy tasty. but would work in a pinch.

honey garlic chicken. yum! the sauce was good alone on the noodles if you don't want to deal with the chicken.

spaghetti with tomatoes, olives, and feta. so good. nick couldn't stop eating it.

turkey sausages with beans. might be a repost. oh my god, so good. such a good, hearty meal.

spaghetti aglio. another possible duplicate. but worth it. ;)

cucumber boats. a hit. well, ben was confused about how to eat them. so it was a bit messy. but nick ate all of them. and requested more the next day. perfect since my dad's garden is a cucumber producing machine!

apple rings. fail. ended up chopping the apple and throwing it into the mix with some extra cinnamon. much better!

breakfast lasagna. maybe i posted this too. thumbs up from at least 5 men/boys. total keeper.

puffins. pancake + muffin. cute. fun.

trix-krispies. took for the fourth. was a bit hot for marshmallowy goodness. oh well.

chile colorado burritos. yum. i love mexican. this was a different alternative to chicken and pork that wasn't just ground beef tacos. not too spicy but that was remedied with some jalapenos.

crock pot ham. yes, i made ham in the summer. whatever. i don't care if it is a 'winter' food. ;P was good. we were impatient and probably should have let it sit a bit longer after basting but oh well. simple and easy and pretty tasty. ben couldn't get enough.



i'm a certifiable book worm. always have been. i remember when my family would go on month long vacations in the summer, i would max out the allowed number of books borrowed from the library and would be done with all of them about two weeks in.

love my kindle {yes, i upgraded. i'm in love. so small and cute. and the touch screen makes sorting amazingly easier. i made folders and sorted all of the books. my type a self is sooo happy!} but i love paper books too. am trying to prioritize what books i want to read on vacation. it's so overwhelming! i can't wait. so relaxing lounging near the ocean/pool with a cool beverage and a good book. and of course, my cute husband. ;)

i believe i have 450+ books on the kindle. i tend to download a lot of freebies. and maybe i'll read them and maybe i won't, but they're free, so why not. hence, the above sentence about organizing my folders.

was looking back on my pinterest board and saw that i had pinned this:

{source: bookfessions.}

it's beyond true!

i currently have no less than 15 new to me books waiting to be read on my shelf at home. and like 200 on goodreads.

i think i'm feeling overwhelmed because i'm trying to figure out what to take for vacation.

i am for sure taking: room, the fifty shades trilogy, heart of the matter {kindle}, to the moon and back {library}, then came you {library}, life, on the line {library}. i know, i know. it's a lot of real books. thank goodness for super light suitcases and mom's who give them as presents. i just can't justify buying a book unless i am sure that more than one person will read it. so that's why i tend to download freebies like crazy, i guess. 8 books in 6 days... i think i can, i think i can. ;)


wip 7.14.12

ben asked to go to braiden's park. {he meant the park we went to for braiden's birthday party.} so we did. ;)

thought it would be the perfect place to try out the rockets we bought at the children's museum.

ben showing daddy how the rockets go.

blast off!

very little time was spent at the actual park.

back to rockets!

 i swear it didn't hit him in the face!

we didn't realize when we headed to the park that it was movie night. i guess the town sets up a screen and shows a children's movie once a month. one of the families coming to see the movie, had a little girl that ben was smitten with! he totally stopped what he was doing and his mouth fell open and he just stared. so it begins, right?

sophia ended up coming over and playing with ben for a good 30 minutes. they were so cute. one would launch a rocket and the other would catch it and then take their turn. :)

and my view...


was a hot day. perfect for hanging out at the pool. yay for grandpa's pool!

the boys and their noodles.

kevin got a blue tattoo! apparently, the raft did not like his spf 100. 

mister fish.

and mister naked fish.

checking out the cucumbers. they are sooo good! seriously, i cannot get enough of them.


ben helping with breakfast. love that bed head. ;)

trying on his hat from gigi.

trip to target for a few necessities. and then some pool toys for grandpa's pool. ben asked to go back, and since we had no plans, we obliged. 

picnic lunch.

grandma reading a hot dog fact. i already forgot it.

blowing up my new swim toy. it's so awesome we bought another and are taking them on vacation. woot!

nick and kevin love that they have a little fetcher that they can lift over the edge of the pool to get lost balls!

nick trying to get a ball out of the neighbors yard. if only they believed in pruning their landscaping!

sharing a cherry popsicle. potsticle as ben calls it. with their matching blue goggles...

yup. it was warm and toasty in the pool. 

helping close up for the weekend.

back to target. might be a record for us. twice in one day. went back for more pool toys {for my parents and a few other odds and ends.}

ben hadn't napped yet. and rarely naps in public. i think we wore him out...

beaner napped the whole way to nick's mom's. we headed out that way to visit and spend some time with her after her procedure.

we tried to get ben to watch his own movie in his tent with headphones. 

we lost. as soon as we turned the movie on, he wouldn't stop watching. it was thor. and we know how he loves his super heros! probably not the best movie for a three year old. whatever. i blame nick. 

{sorry for nick's crazy red eyes...}

didn't stay long. just for dinner and a movie. was a long day and we were tired!


our friend luke.

has been on quite the journey.

i can't remember exactly when we found out he had leukemia, but i do know that we were at the super bowl in crown point. it was so surreal. i remember being with russ and jay and chris. maybe tom and rob?

i believe it was right after we got married. i think i'm right because i don't remember him being sick when the guys traveled to st. louis to visit him for nick's bachelor party.

i remember going to his benefit for his first transplant when i was pregnant with ben. he was too sick to attend but we went and so did almost everyone else in northwest indiana! :)

and for a non sick related bullet... i remember playing assassin and him falling asleep and randomly picking the lone assassin and loosing the game for us! seriously, i hate that game! {here's the only link i could find to explain the game. we used different wording and had more assassins if there were lots of people...}

okay, i'm off topic but that's okay.
luke has made the news in the past few weeks.

the first was this article/series in the new york times.  totally amazing. i cannot wait to talk to my sutent rep when he comes to the office next.

and then i found out he was on charlie rose!

i'm fascinated by all of it. not sure if it's because i know him. or because it's in my field. would totally suggest you check out the article and the clip if you have time!

and an oldie. 2004. maui, hawaii. for jason and christy's wedding.
we were babies!


wip 7.7.12 part two.


beaner slept out with us on his own little cot. apparently, he rolled off of it at some point. ;)

enjoyed another delicious breakfast from our hostess. she makes killer eggs too!

and then it was zoo time! i love zoos. still have a few within driving range that we haven't visited.
here we go! love that ben nabbed braiden's stroller and somehow convinced her to push him!

checking out the jellies. unfortunately, i had it on the wrong setting for the first shot. oh well. the second one is much better. just missing one cute boy. ;)

they had an area where you could touch sharks. ben actually did it. so proud! 

playing with the aquarium setting on the camera.  now if only i could figure out those pesky red eyes!

checking out mister polar bear.

oh there he is! was pretty funny because he sat with his head barely poking out of the water, i guess it was pretty hot out!

mister grumpy's face is hilarious. 

yay family time. minus me cutting off nick's head. oh well, had to pass time waiting for the dolphin show. ben wasn't interested at first. but when the dolphin threw and caught a football he was sold!

i forget what was in here. but i love the three of them.

aw. with a bear between em!

it was hot. so a snow cone was a must.

i have no clue what kind of tree this was, but i loved it. almost asked an employee but didn't. 


how do they do that? i need to find a you tube video and watch. even though i am so not a fan of snakes... i'm intrigued.

so very cool that they're so green.

we rode the train. ben was a bit disappointed that he wasn't tall enough to ride the roller coaster. maybe next time short stuff. 

 the coopers.

hello mister leopard.

thank you cooling mist station. however, we wish there were more of you!

they had a really cool bird house. you could buy little sticks with food on the end so the kids could feed the birdies. ben LOVED it. we would have stayed in there longer but it was uber hot. 

group shot. minus the photographer.

round and round time. 

gave the dora 4d adventure a try. ben was iffy. the girls did fine. i think it was just too loud for ben's sensitive lil ears! 

he climbed up on the playground and said, 'i did it. i did it.' thank you dora. ;)

watched a dog agility show. again ben was impressed because they caught something. i swear frisbees or balls are the way to his heart.

we finished with mostly everything and thought the kids deserved some running and fun time before we piled into the car to head home. let them hang out in the splash pad for a bit. {how cool that there is a splash pad in the zoo?!}

someone was quite the fan of laying on the one fountain.

nick convinced ben to look down in the hole since the fountain was off. he timed it perfectly. totally shot water right up into ben's face. was hilarious. 

changed the kids into dry clothes and headed out.
love that they had recycling everywhere.

the boys are still a bit wet from all of their fun.

group shot. thank you random strangers who barely spoke english. 

bye zoo! 

barely out of the parking lot and he was gone.
had a much better day and he didn't get a nap. 

i couldn't believe how dry it was down there. i know we've been having a bit of a drought but there's is pretty serious. nick joked that there is kentucky blue grass and indiana yellow grass. 

stopped for a starbucks pick me up and decided to grab some food for the road too. across from the starbucks was a burger king. and they had the bacon sunday. we had to try it. strangely good. nick even liked it. said next time we go to the scrambled diner he's gonna try the monkey pancakes. i can't wait!

one last parting shot of my favorite scenery. i guess there is more than corn in indiana. ha!

such a fun weekend. so glad to have the opportunity to travel with our friends. love that our travels are continuing now that we have children. hope that we continue to have many, many more adventures together.