Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bye Bye to Summer

I am so sad to see summer vacation ending... now comes the early wake up times for kids....fighting with Morgan to wake....making school lunches....fighting with Morgan to wake up.....doing homework....fighting with Morgan to wake up....UGH

But since we've had a few days delay of the school year ..... Hurricane Irene and subsequent power outages..... I have been given a few more days to enjoy my babies and to reminisce  about summer vacation :)

Here are some pics of the day we went to Virginia Beach with Joni and her kids Olivia and Alec.

Harry Potter Fanatics

We had a wonderful time that day!!  As you can see, we played in the water, made sand castles, relaxed under the shade and had a nice picnic on the beach.

Thinking back on this summer I realize how blessed I have been to have so many wonderful experiences.  Touring multiple battlefields (and trying to teach my kids a little bit of our country's history along the way) going camping..... going to Boston!!!  What a wonderful summer this has been!

Anybody have any ideas about waking up a teenage girl for school????? 


Monday, August 22, 2011

Please Vote For ME :)

A while back I shared some pics on my blog about our trip to Harpers Ferry and Antietam Battlefield.  I also submitted some of these pics to the Civil War Preservation Trust Photography Contest.

They picked one of my pictures to be included in the Peoples Choice category....

YEAH!!!  I am so tickled to have had my picture chosen!!!!

So if you would be so kind to go to this site right here .....

and vote for this picture....(it's picture number 2 on the contest site)

I would be much obliged! 

And then you could ask your family, friends and neighbors to vote for me too!! :)  Just kidding

Thanks for letting me share my good news with you!!



Sunday, August 21, 2011


Pronounced "kla-foo-TEE" ...

I found this recipe in my Clean Eating magazine....I think I mentioned before that we are doing a Biggest Loser contest at work and I am really trying to prepare healthier foods...

Well Clafoutis is a French desert...that's about all I know but you can check out this link for a Non-diet recipe which includes a nice blurb about the desert. 

I had a hard time assembling the ingredients for this...I went to all sorts of grocery stores looking for spelt flour....spelt is a grain that is similar to wheat but has grown in popularity because of it's "nutty flavor, high protein and nutrition content"  I got this information from a google search...I really am clueless about Spelt.  If you want to know more check this out.

So as I was saying I went to stores that I thought would have specialty organic items and could not find spelt flour...then one day I went to my friendly neighborhood Mars (which is where I usually shop) and there it was......right there in the baking aisle!!!  Mars didn't have cherries....fresh or frozen so I grabbed a can of cherries that were packed in water....I bet the syrupy kind would have been YUM but I resisted.

So tonight I made Clafoutis....

I added eggs, egg whites, spelt flour, organic cane sugar (recipe called for evaporated cane juice...could not find that ANYWHERE!! so I improvised)

 sea salt, skim milk and vanilla....

Quick story about the vanilla....you are supposed to use almond extract because apparently Clafoutis was traditionally made with cherries that contained the pit....probably hard to eat.  When the Clafoutis baked, the cherry pits emit an almond like flavor...so you're supposed to use almond extract but I wasn't sure I'd like that so I....improvised (again).
You add all of those ingredients to a blender and blend :)

Lightly spray a 9 inch oven proof skillet with olive oil spray cooking spray and add cherries and 1 Tbsp of the sugar.

Heat until sugar is melted and then add the blended ingredients...

Bake in a pre-heated oven (425 degrees) for 20 minutes and VOILA!!

Clafoutis!!  Some of the other recipes I saw were sprinkled with confectioner sugar....YUM
I didn't do that and mine was tasty.  I think it would be yummier with a dallop of vanilla ice cream..I mean frozen yogurt :) and/or a spoonful of cool whip.

The recipe adapted from the Clean Eating magazine

2 eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp almond extract...or vanilla :)
3 Tbsp organic cane sugar (they called for "evaporated cane juice" but I used what I had...the grainy kind)
cooking spray
pitted cherries....about 30 although I didn't count...
1 Tbsp organic cane sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Blend ingredients 1-6 in a blender...put cherries and sugar in a pre-sprayed pan and heat until sugar is melted and then add the blended ingredients.  Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Here's the nutritional information obtained from the Clean Eating magazine...
1/8th of recipe= 74 calories, 1.5 g total fat, 1 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 11 g carbs, 103 mg sodium, 5 g protein and 53 mg cholesterol.
Au Revoir!

:) Love,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Well, I am almost out of pictures of vacation to share!  One of our last days of vacation was spent at Jamestown. We had an awesome time that day...no whiny kids even though the temperature for the day was 102 degrees. 

I will let you in on a little secret....bribing WORKS!  I told them all...before they went outside and felt the heat....that the child who complained the least would get a special prize at the outlet stores.  And IT WORKED!!!!

The first place we visited in the Jamestown area was the very nice air conditioned visitors center and museum. 

We then visited the Jamestown Fort site "the heart of the first, permanent English settlement in North America"

They are doing an archaeological dig in this area and that was really neat to see...

We saw a statue representing Pocahontas....one of my kids (I won't reveal which one Morgan so you won't get teased) said..."So Pocahontas was real!?"  

We then went to see the glassblowing.  The men working the molten glass amazed me....It was, I repeat, 102 degrees that day....and even hotter near the glassblower ovens. 
The glass glob comes out of the oven at 2000 degrees!! 

 After they work on the glob and shape it into a cup or vase...

they put it in the cooling oven which is set at a cool 900 degrees.  This allows the glass to cool slowly so it doesn't shatter. 

 Pretty cool huh!?

After the glassblowing we went to the Jamestown Settlement area....via the air conditioned shuttle

 and into the air conditioned visitor center.  They have a huge museum here as well but we just walked through quickly.

We went to the Indian village and learned how to shape needles out of animal bones....

How to weave rope....

And how to pulverize corn into flour.

We also toured the ships in the harbor there

and walked through the English settlement area....by now we were going fast because the heat was getting to us.

If you would like more information on the Jamestown site click here.  It was a lot more kid friendly than the Colonial Williamsburg area and when we left each child got a special treat from the outlet stores.

Thanks for looking...we've had a busy summer but I can't believe that school starts soon!!! I'm not ready!


Monday, August 15, 2011

YUMMY!! Mexican Pasta Vegie Bake

I have signed up to participate in a Biggest Loser competition at work.....and I agreed to participate in the Baltimore Marathon as part of a relay team.  I used to run 3 miles a day in high school but now!!?? 
The shortest leg of the relay is a little over 5 miles...but that's also the hilliest!!  What was I thinking??  Thought it would be fun and it's sure to be memorable.

I went "running" yesterday and was able to do 1/4 mile without stopping......HA 

Well, everyone has to start somewhere.

I got off track a bit but because of the competition and my athlete in training status (hahaha) I have been looking through recipes....some I've had for a while but had never tried!

Like this yummy dish I made tonight.  It was SO good I wanted to share the recipe with all of my friends.

I originally got this recipe from the 3 fat chicks on a diet website.  I highly recommend you click the link, print the recipe and make this ASAP!!  Really....it's that good!!

Not a great photo but had to show you the cheesy topping
I used Natures Promise whole wheat rotini pasta added some cilantro....yum
salsa, corn, black beans and fat free cottage cheese
and then....low fat sharp cheddar cheese!!!  YUM
The recipe makes 8 servings at 300 calories each!!

I really hope my kids don't like it so I can have more leftovers :)

This...by the way...is what Morgan and Gabe were doing while I was making dinner...

Yes, that is blue eye shadow all over his face!!

Not sure if he was an alien...a smurf or just plain silly!

Thanks for looking! 

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Busch Gardens

I mentioned in an earlier post that we went to Williamsburg for vacation.  We bought the handy dandy7 day pass that allowed us the freedom to come and go to the many sites as often as we liked.....we went to Busch Gardens 3 times!! :)
We had a wonderful time and I just wanted to share a few pics of our day(s) at Busch Gardens.

We finished one of the nights with the fireworks show....

We had a wonderful time!!

Thanks for looking!