Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #3 – Cardamom Burnt-Sugar Sesame

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum. The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR. The third chocolate is the Cardamom with Burnt-Sugar Sesame.


I never would have thought to put a sesame and sugar crisp on top of a chocolate bon bon, but there it was. I bit a tiny part of the crisp alone and loved it! It mixed well and the chocolate itself was rich and smooth with a light taste of the cardamom at the end. Although I don’t think I could eat a whole box of these, one or two more would be really great!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #2 – Chloe Truffle

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The second chocolate is the Chloe Truffle that has “dark chocolate with honey and vanilla”.


I think this might have been my favorite.  Well, that’s hard to say, there were several amazing chocolates.  This truffle has it all, gold flake, dark chocolate and a sweet rich center that just melts!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fragments – No News is No News

Wow this week went fast, and now here we are again on Friday.  Mrs. 4444’s day for us to purge our thoughts for all to see and get ready for a mindless weekend…or something like that! You can see what’s really up at Half Past Kissing Time!

Mommy's Idea
  • Still no home to live in.  Well, we have a home, just no heat or water yet.  Still waiting.  Several people including our parents have called find out what our updates are.  None. That’s it. Nothing. Still. Waiting.
  • I’m posting “A Chocolate A Day” this week into next.  Yum! (Oh, and I accidentally posted #3 a little early, so feel free to check it out.
  • New favorite website:  Totally hilarious!!
  • Other new fave, my BFF IRL Leanna’s new digs at her very own domain!! Her brother Bobby designed the layout and its fabulous!
  • I am really missing my big kids this week.  I left them with friends so they could go to school while our house it still being repaired.  I haven’t seen them since Sunday!  I’m sure they miss us too!
  • As much as I appreciate the couches I’ve slept on these last several weeks, I cannot WAIT to get into my own bed.  *sigh*
  • We visited Karma (our dog) at the kennel last weekend.  She misses us!!
  • Getting Aria ready to sell Girl Scout cookies for the first time…mmmmm, cookies!
  • Still taking a picture a day for Project 365!
  • I still need to get a netipot of my very own.  Not so sure about posting pictures of me USING it though.  I’ll leave that to Kristina P. and Mrs. 4444, who seem to have been thinking along the same lines last week!!  Was it netipot day and I wasn’t let in on the secret??
  • I feel a blog header redesign coming on soon….we’ll see!
  • And I just thought these were funny:

IMG_8365 IMG_8366 IMG_8368

  • Not much else to say, my weeks are are starting to blend together!

A Chocolate A Day #1 – Mexican Chocolate Truffle

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The first chocolate is a Mexican Chocolate Truffle “gently spiced with chile de arbol and cinnamon”.


I bit through the outer shell of dark chocolate and cocoa to a rich and smooth truffle center.  It melted in my mouth and once the truffle was gone, the light spice of the chiles remained.  I wasn’t sure I’d like the spicy chiles in my chocolate, but I really loved it!  I could definitely have eaten more of these!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Because who doesn’t need chocolate?

I have been so eager to post about these little beauties. I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum. The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR. I was able to choose 10 bonbons from their very diverse selection! I’ve never had such fancy chocolate, I told Trish the height of my chocolate experience is See’s Candy, which don’t get me wrong is wonderful, but this is a whole new level of chocolate!

The bonbons arrived in a cute little box:IMG_8204a

along with a gold sheet detailing which bonbons were included. Here’s a peek inside:


Here’s what I got: (top L to R) Mexican Chocolate Truffle, Chloe Truffle, Sabrina, Habanero Carmel Crown, Mint Meltaway, Ginger Ginger, Cardamom Burnt Sugar Sesame, Meyer Lemon, Thai Peanut Butter Cup, and a Rosemary Fleur de Lys. Throughout the week I’ll be sharing with you what I thought of each of these delectable goodies with “A Chocolate a Day”. Yum!!

Four words worth a thousand…

Guess what I got?


My dear husband bought this for me from Vintage Pearl.  It’s been patiently waiting for me at the post office.  I can’t tell you how much I love it!!

Have a picture worth a Thousand Words? Head over to TheMomJen’s Cheaper Than Therapy for more!

Cheaper Than Therapy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless / Wordful Wednesday - Hands

 Wordless Wednesday is hosted by the ladies of 5 Minutes for Mom.  Please head over to their site to see the Wordless pics and link up!!

Mom Blogs


~~~~~~~~~~~And now the wordful part!~~~~~~~~~~~

JC’s little hand.  I just adore this picture, the little dimples in his knuckles, the bottle in the background, the fuzz in his fingernails.  Its hard to catch those baby hands sitting still.  I know it won’t be long before they change so I try to catch the little things in photos now before I can’t remember. 

WordFUL Wednesday is hosted by Angie at Seven Clown Circus.  Please stop by her new diggs!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

To answer your question…





           from Yesterday


NO!    ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Its NOT ME living in a van down by the river

It’s time for another installment of “Not Me” Monday at MckMama’s.  I don’t do these too often, but I had a few things to “Not” get off my chest.  As if I did these sort of things.  Which I don’t…

I DID NOT spend the last 3+ weeks living at various houses with the kids.  Every time enjoying the gracious hosts but much more wishing I was at home instead.

I DID NOT feed my kids take-out all weekend because, well, we’re not home.

I DID NOT post to my Facebook account that we’re “living in a van down by the river” (to which some people laughed, others offered rooms!)

I DID NOT forget to mail out several Etsy orders from my Etsy shop.  I would NEVER wait so long to get my stuff in order, homeless or not!!

I DID NOT spend a night alone in a hotel with my husband….. while the kids were staying at someone else’s house!!

I DID NOT conceive baby #5 in said hotel room.  Really.  Did not.  I’m still holding to 4 is plenty.

I DID NOT order pizza at 10 am with my husband the next morning.

I DID NOT scream at the TV during the Vikings NFC game last night.  I don’t do that sort of “boy” stuff.

I DID NOT drive all the way back to our little town in questionable weather just to drop the kids off for school only to find out the next morning school had been cancelled due to weather.

I DID NOT hear that the schools were closed and promptly log in to see if the movie theaters were ALSO closed.  I’d never go out in such weather just for a movie!!

I DID NOT take some of my Project 365 photos from my camera phone.  I have a great camera, why would I use that crap-quality phone unless I was just being lazy?

I DID NOT forget the cord for my camera so I can’t upload my recent pictures anyway.

I AM NOT going completely insane and wishing I was back in my own home with ALL my kids.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fragments – Still Homeless

Today’s the day Mrs. 4444 urges us to purge our minds of all those tidbits… I should go to bed, so I’ll be brief!

Mommy's Idea
  • Still not back in our house.  There’s a big winter storm coming this weekend.  All I really want is to be stuck at home, with all four kids AND my husband. 
  • Mrs. M had the big kids again part of this week so they could go to school.  I am so very grateful for such a wonderful family!!! They have eased my mind about such a big challenge! I’d hate for the whole house thing to mess up their school career. 
  • There is at least a light at the end of the tunnel, but we expect it will be at least another week, AT LEAST, before we can get home again.  We are still waiting for everything to be ready so they can actually DO some work on our boiler, followed by the once-frozen plumbing.  Hurry up and wait.
  • We have word that we may be eligible for help with paying for the boiler.  Frankly, it would take everything we have and then some to do it, so this is truly an answered prayer!
  • Our friends have been so wonderful in letting us stay with them, yet I always fear wearing out our welcome.  We’ll be moving on this weekend….
  • I just want to be home.  Did I mention that? I’m tired.
  • I really hate all the details about the house, the heat, the plumbing, the insurance.  I don’t post it all because I hate it all.  That’s why I haven’t said much.  Maybe later when this is all in the past, I’ll feel more like its something to reminisce about.  For now I just plain hate it all.  I’m grateful to everyone who’s offered support, but I am terrible at asking for help and apparently not very good at being willing to accept it.
  • I’m still taking pictures. Pictures of good things, happy things, like chocolates :)  I’ll post those this week. 
  • JC hasn’t slept much, he’s calling me now.  Pack N Play’s just aren’t a good long term sleeping arrangement! Gotta go!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless / Wordful Wednesday

1/19/10Mom Blogs

Wordless Wednesday is brought to you by the lovely ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom.  Please stop by their site for more great photos and to link up!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ and now the Wordful part ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was the photo from my Project 365 yesterday.  We woke up to frost on every tree and every surface.  Not the kind that you have to scrape, the kind that is light and delicate.  I put my boots on over my bare feet and grabbed my coat and camera.  I wanted to snap a few pictures before it was gone.  As I walked through shin-deep snow the frost was already falling from the trees.  It looked as if it was snowing.  Really beautiful.  I’m glad I was able to catch a few shots!

Wordless Wednesday is hosted by Angie and Seven Clown Circus.  Please go check out her new and improved site!!


PS! I’m hosting my first giveaway HERE! Please stop by to enter!! Chances are good, the entries are still low!

IMG_8016a St. Eve Kid’s Cozy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What to do in the snow…

Sledding of course!! Around here 30 degrees in January is a heat wave, so we took advantage and went sledding with the kids!

IMG_7931a IMG_7933a IMG_7934aIMG_7942aIMG_7956aIMG_7961aIMG_7976aIMG_7966aIMG_7981a

Monday, January 18, 2010


outlook  (out'lŏŏk') n.  mental attitude or view; point of view: one's outlook on life.

We may be homeless.  We may be tired. But at least I was able to get these:


Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Voice of Reason

Daddy (driving the van): Look! A {insert politician here} bumper sticker! Should I ram them?!

Aria (from back seat): No, Dad.

Daddy: Why?!

Aria: Dad, if you smash the van then you have to buy a new one.  Is it really worth it, Dad??

It’s sad when our 8-year-old has become the voice of reason.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting it all out there

Mrs. 4444 offers a weekly chance to purge your mind with “Friday Fragments”, clearing away the mental clutter just in time for a weekend full of it! Stop by Half Past Kissing Time for more details!

Mommy's Idea
  • Day 14 of being homeless.  Not sure what I’m talking about? The story is HERE.
  • Max and Aria stayed with his teacher in town this week so they could go to school.  I am sooo grateful to Mrs. M for that!  I wonder how they will remember this whole experience? I’m hoping its all no big thing.
  • JC has been sleeping poorly, and in turn so have I.  JC, Piper and I are at my BFF’s this week.  I have him in the pack-n-play in my room.  Apparently a thin foam covered piece of plywood is not comfortable for babies to sleep on…who would have thought?  Unfortunately, there isn’t another room for him to be in, or a crib, so we’ll have to stick it out a little longer.
  • I’ve been doing Project 365 on Flickr.  Did you start one?  It’s a picture a day for a year.  You can see the set HERE.
  • Before Christmas, the Canadian Pacific Railroad Holiday Train came through town.  It comes every year decorated in cool lights through little towns along the railway line.  They stop and open up one of the cars for a concert right there on the tracks!  Our town collects food donations for the local food pantry and the Fire Department serves free hot cocoa and doughnuts.  You need lots of hot cocoa…the train usually get here around 9pm and seems to always be the coldest day of December.  This year it was about –10 degrees I think.  I didn’t bring the kids out this year, its a little chilly to stand around past bedtime for a concert.  We live close enough that I could hear it outside, though!!

IMG_7110 IMG_7106

IMG_7108 IMG_7109

IMG_7098 IMG_7112

Here’s a video from the 2006 train.  I had recorded a song during the concert, too, but the audio didn’t really work, I think it was too loud for my little camera.

  • I’m planning on revamping my Etsy shop this week.  Stop by!!! I’ll have new inventory, too!
  • I will also be having a few giveaways soon, yaay!!
  • After my first sad attempt, I made Snow Pops once again with my BFF this time.  They turned out SO much better!  We’re making some coated in dark chocolate tonight!!!


  • We spent all of last week at my sister-in-law’s place.  The week went fast.  It was nice to have the kids together.  Of all the cousins, these are the closest in age to our kids and they really got along well. Can you tell which ones are mine?!


  • Don’t forget to send up some prayers for the people and volunteers in Haiti.  My friend Erin (you saw her in the pics from MckMama’s party) was there during the quake, we’ve heard from her and she’s safe!  I just hope they can do some good and get back home!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretty sassy for someone with a face full of chocolate

Do you see this!? My three-year-old-going-on-sixteen? Do you see the sassy little hip cock as she poses for a picture?  Where did she pick that up?  She went into Princess Dress meltdown at the end of last week.  When we evacuated our house, I neglected to grab ANY of her multitude of princess dresses.  She woke up insisting that she wear a princess dress NOW!  Really, it was my bad.  I mean, she wears a princess dress every day of the week when we’re at home.  Why should our being homeless change the fact that she’s a princess and must dress accordingly??  Luckily, her cousin had a dance recital dress that fit the bill, and as a bonus, it was too small for the cousin so Piper could keep it.  Total catastrophe avoided!


Cheaper Than Therapy

Do you have a photo worth a thousand words?? Visit TheMomJen at Cheaper Than Therapy for A Thousand Words Thursday!

Snow Pops (again!)

My BFF and I went ahead and made several more batches of snow pops, you know, to perfect the recipe.  Here’s a few more shots…IMG_7827a IMG_7909a


IMG_7834crop  IMG_7902crop IMG_7837crop2

Mainly we cut way down on the cream cheese frosting in the dough mix.  We only dipped about 1/3 of the balls at one time, leaving the rest in the freezer (or outside!!) to keep them from getting soft before we had a chance to dip them and the chocolate got too thick.  Also, we tried really hard to refrain from making “ball” jokes and giggling from school girls.  We were largely unsuccessful with that last endeavor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Holiday Snow Pops

I got this little recipe from MckMama (who got it from Bakerella). We changed up the ingredients a bit, so I’m going to post my version here. Head over to their sites to see the originals! They were a big hit!

Let me start off by saying, my husband is the good cook, not me…aannnd I made these. The recipe calls for cake. I decided (with Aria’s help!) to go with a strawberry cake. Piper’s birthday cake was strawberry and it was SOOO delicious we haven’t had enough strawberry yet! You bake it according to the directions, them SMASH it up!!!! I didn’t bother with a knife or spatula, I just scooped the cooled cake into the bowl and crumbled it with my fingers!


I then mixed up a batch of MckMama’s cream cheese frosting. Bakerella says you could just use a can of premade frosting….but the cream cheese was calling my name!!

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
6 T. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla (we didn’t have vanilla, we used almond extract….FANTASTIC!!)
1T. cream (or milk)
3 cups powdered sugar


I then added the frosting mixture to the crumbled cake to make sort of a delicious play-dough! I think I added too much frosting, so they turned out a little wet. I rolled the “dough” into balls on waxed paper(sticky!!! definitely too much frosting!). There was no room in the freezer to chill the cake balls, but the benefit of being this far north is that the entire outside is a freezer in December. I set them on the patio!!


Once they were good and firm, we got the chocolate coating ready. I went with 2 bags of Nestle’s Premier White Chocolate Chips (you’ll probably want 3 bags). I had planned on using the microwave to melt each cup for colors. I’m bad at judging times, and I really don’t like making food in the microwave in the first place. After burning a bit of the first cup of chips, I dumped them all into an aluminum mixing bowl and heated them over a pot of water as a makeshift double boiler. My uncle (their house!) didn’t have RED food coloring, so we went with a sort of mint green color.


We poked sticks into each cake ball and dipped them and rolled them until the coating was smooth. Then we added sprinkles before the chocolate hardened (act fast!!). We had a lot of trouble keeping the cake balls on the sticks and lost several in the melted chocolate or nearby! Here’s what they looked like done:

IMG_7391a Sadly, most of them never looked this good. The recipe definitely needs perfecting on my part (yaay, more snow pops!!). We also ran out of chocolate before they all were dipped, so most of them were eaten just like this:

IMG_7392a I put them out for our New Years Eve get together. Even if they weren’t pretty, they were fabulous!! I am excited to make them again!

~~~~ UPDATE ~~~~

We made more, you can see the BEAUTIFUL pictures HERE!