January 31, 2011


In lieu of hand written notes this year, I created these to show our gratitude for this past Christmas season. Instead of throwing the typical hand written note in the trash, I thought our family and friends might enjoy a recent photo of these two...

I have this thing with thank you notes. I keep this list in my head of who I should be writing one to, and since I've had kids that list just keeps on growing. More kids equals less time, so my spare time to write those notes has dwindled and dwindled. I am old fashioned and still believe in writing those notes. I encouraged Emma to create her own thank you notes after her birthday last year. So, we busted out the stickers, paper, crayons, and glue, and she went to town. I think it's a great lesson for children...to be thankful for what they are given. We are SO blessed to have SO many people that do SO many nice things for us. But, just to keep it real, this was the photo taken right before the one that made the cut. So, if you got one of these in the mail, treasure it. Who knows when a decent photo of sister+buddy will arise again. It's a challenge, to say the least :)

Hang on y'all.
I'll be right back.

January 30, 2011

::recipe:: Peppermint & White Chocolate Heart Suckers

We've got leftover mini candy canes...do you?

I grabbed everything that you see below. Would you believe that, with the exception of the sucker sticks, I already had ALL of this in my house? I guess I'm officially a mom now :)

Preheat your oven to 250. Place your candy canes, in heart shapes, on parchment paper. Stick them in the oven. Mine took about 5 minutes to soften.

Once you pull them out of the oven, add the sucker stick, and pinch both the bottom and top together. Make sure that the sucker stick is sandwiched pretty well in between the candy cane.

You've gotta work kind of fast. Those candy canes start hardening pretty darn quick.

Melt some white chocolate in the microwave. I bought the Wilton pink variety. Spoon it into a gallon ziploc baggie, snip the end, and you are ready to go. Pipe just enough chocolate to fill the heart and cover the stick. Shake your sprinkles on pretty quickly too. The chocolate hardens just about as fast as those candy canes.

I packaged them in cellophane bags. And, yes, I already had those too. Just call me Miss Pack Rat.

While I was at it, I made a set of these too....

I have plans for them later...

Inspired by and adapted from: Skip to My Lou!

January 29, 2011

::recipe:: Our House Dressing

My favorite grocery store sells this fabulous dressing. The only problem is that it's seven bucks a bottle. And, we're not talking a big bottle, like the one you see here. It's a little bottle, and let me tell you people, it goes fast. So, I was in a mad race to figure this one out. How hard could it be to whip up a garlic essence vinaigrette?

This is what you will need...

Start with your garlic. You will need five cloves.

Do you know the secret of how to loosen the outer shell of the garlic clove? Put the clove underneath your knife, and give it a whack. The outer shell will loosen, making it much easier to peel.

Peel your garlic cloves. Garlic makes everything better...don't ya think?

And, then drop five of them into the bottom of your dressing jar.

For the next part, I use a big tupperware bowl that has a really good seal. Add your vinegar, oil, sugar, pepper, salt, granulated garlic, and oregano flakes to the bowl. See the recipe below. Give it quite a few shakes, until all is dissolved and mixed well. Pour the contents of the bowl into your dressing jar. Eventually, the garlic cloves will sink to the bottom of the jar...

The Douglas House Dressing {garlic essence vinaigrette}

5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. sea salt
2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. oregano flakes

Yields about 2 cups

It has a nice honey color, is sweet and tangy all at the same time and is WONDERFUL on salads. It can also be used as a marinade for meat, chicken, fish, and roasted veggies. I've used it on pasta salad and on a summer salad, filled with tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, red onion, and cantaloupe. Usually when I make it, I double or triple the recipe. We use it on everything, and it keeps well in the fridge.
If you give it a try, I hope you like it as much as we do. It's the only dressing that we want in our house these days.

So dear south Texas grocery store with your name of three initials,

I've got you beat on this one. All of the gourmet products that you sample, with all of the nifty little recipe cards, really are wonderful, but are also so good at turning a hundred dollar grocery bill into two hundred...fast. I'm done with your gourmet, over priced dressing, but I do plan to keep on shopping with you. I'll just be mixing my oil and vinegar at home, for at lot less dough.

mother of two
who on occasion does "eat lunch" via all of those samples...

Emma and Carson do too.

January 22, 2011

Just The Two Of Us

It's just been us this week. Sister's at her Mama C.'s.

We've had fun together...playing & snuggling.

And, every afternoon, I let him sit in my lap while we eat cheerios together. Oprah usually joins us too.

We've built block towers and knocked them over. And he even learned to wave and say "bye-bye" this week. Do you think that's coincidence? Or do you think it's because he's been my only one this week?

It hasn't been all fun and games. On this morning, we were shampooing our carpets. I get a little weird about my floors when my little ones start crawling. Well, he's crawling, so let the o.c.d. begin. Thank goodness for my sweet hubby who did most all of the work. It was a fun and very productive week, but I think we're all three ready for Sister to come home. It's just not the same without her.

January 20, 2011


let me start by tying up a few loose ends.

for starters, i've been working on the blog a bit lately...reformatting and whatnot, and i realized that i forgot to post about our thanksgiving week. so here they are...

i'm not really sure how that happened, but it did, so let's move on.

i promised y'all i'd let you know about the pioneer woman's meatballs, so here ya go...

they were fantastic! i'll admit that i was a bit skeptical. i mean, the ingredients were super basic, but in the end, that recipe is a keeper. it's sort of a man's dish. rob loved them and emma did too. it's not the fastest thing that you can make for dinner, but it will definitely be made again at our house.

okay, i think that's it. really.

i'm working on a few more things for y'all, so i better run...

January 18, 2011

you're eleven months, buddy

My time with you just keeps flying on by. Here you are in a nutshell...
  • you might want to read your 10 month post first. needless to say, i'm a little behind...
  • you can get up on all fours now, although you aren't crawling (like on the diaper commercials)...yet.
  • you can get anywhere you want by either rolling across the room, scooting, or doing this kinda weird army crawl thing. when you army crawl, your belly never leaves the ground, but somehow, you manage to make it work :)
  • we just celebrated your very first Christmas, which was oh so special.
  • you are still in 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. although once the 3's are gone, we are onto the 4's.
  • you cut your second tooth on january 3rd. it is the bottom, center, right one. so, now you have a pair. trust me when i tell you that teething is never a pleasant experience for either of us.
  • i was so desperate for teething relief that i bought you an amber teething necklace, and i think it's working.
  • you can say uh-oh now. and today, when you dropped your sippy cup, you chimed in with your "uh-oh." although it sounds kind of like "uh-ah."
  • da-da, ma-ma, and bye-bye are also a part of your repertoire.
  • occasionally, you will give me kisses when i say "kissy, kissy."
  • and your daddy says that you have signed "more" and "all-done," although i haven't seen it.
  • usually instead of signing, you scream. could you please stop?
  • on my birthday, you slept until 7:45 in the morning. can we say, "best gift ever?"
  • you have kept it up and continue to sleep 12 hours each night. 7:30 to 7:30. pure heaven.
  • about two weeks ago, i cut out a nursing session. so, we are down to a 7:30 am, 2 pm, and 7:30 pm feeding.
  • naps are at 10 am and 2 pm.
  • you eat all three meals with us now, and you just love people food!
  • you got your first haircut on january 5th. you can see pics here.
  • you can sit yourself up in your crib now which has been interesting. new tricks always are.
  • i've also seen you on your knees a few times trying to reach for something.
  • and because no post is complete without a photo, here you are with sister, just a few days before your 11 month milestone...

she's always got some sort of plan for you. i rescue you when i can :)

love you little fellow!

January 16, 2011

::craft:: rainy day valentine fun

emma started by decorating the window with her valentine's day gel clings.

while she did that, i got the stuff together to make these...valentine lollipop flowers for emma's preschool class.

this is what you will need: a bag of tootsie roll pops, 5 cupcake liners per sucker, green pipe cleaners, wire, and green painting tape (i found it at home depot), and a card for each lollipop.

to start, fold a cupcake liner in half and punch a hole in the center. you will need four of these per lollipop.

next, fold a cupcake liner in half, but this time, punch the hole half way off of the paper.

this way, when you open it, you have one single hole in the middle of the cupcake liner. you will need one of these per lollipop.

this is what you should end up with...

add the folded liners to the lollipop stick...

overlapping one quarter as you add each one.

keep going... once you have added all four of the folded cupcake liners, finish by adding the unfolded cupcake liner to the back.

you could always enlist a sweet helper to help out...

to make the leaves, sandwich a piece of wire in between two pieces of the green tape.

next, cut out a leaf shape.

after that, i added one pipe cleaner (that i had folded in half ) and one green leaf to each sucker. just twist to attach them both. the pipe cleaner served as our tag holder.

that's it...you can't beat spring flowers on a cold and wet wintry day! If you want something a little less involved, you could try the butterfly lollipop valentine's that we made last year.
Inspired by and adapted from: Skip to my Lou!

January 10, 2011

Dear Carson & Dear Emma

Dear Carson,
I owe you a 10 month post, but it's been a little hectic around here, so for now, this will have to do. You are the best little thing since sliced bread and we all love you to pieces.







Dear Emma,
You are so sweet. And, you have been such a big helper to me lately...cleaning up your and Carson's toys, clearing the table after your meals, using your m'ams and sirs, helping me in the kitchen. You are growing up, which just breaks my heart. You won't wear jeans. You. really. really. hate. them. You insist on leggings. And, leggings only. You are convinced that you taught Carson how to crawl, even though he's not crawling yet. And, your latest fascination is our food and where it comes from. Your prayer before dinner the other night was...

Warning if you are a vegetarian, a member of PETA or anti NRA, you might want to stop reading here.

Dear God,

Thank you for all of the animals, so that we can kill some of them and eat them.


I almost died. Before you eat chicken, it's ,"Mom, did this used to be real?" "Yes, Emma it was real." I think you're sort of okay with all of this, but you are holding onto the fact that we don't kill ALL of the animals, just SOME of them. Cam killed a deer, just before Christmas. Emma saw the pic, and the rest is history. So, dear Cam, thanks for the life lesson :)

And to the both of you,
The two of you together is priceless. Y'all crack up at each other constantly... It's fun to be your Mommy and I love each of you to the moon and stars and back :)

Now, onto the daily grind...My laundry is finally done. I do believe I will have to come up with some sort of laundry system in the near future. It. Just. Piles. Up. Any suggestions? My dinner is already semi-put together. I am giving the Pioneer Woman's Meatballs a go, so I'll let you know how they stack up. My house is in the best kind of order that it's been in since Christmas, but don't get too excited, we still have a ways to go. Anyway, we're not in shambles, so I thought I would catch up on a few old posts. I still have a few more Christmas posts to do, so I'll be back soon. I hope.

Here's what I've been working on...

And, just because I am type a, the above photos were taken on 12.31.10, not today :)

xxoxxo, j

January 5, 2011

snip, snip

my sweet little boy's hair was in his eyes, so i gathered up these and got to work...

we used sister's smock and the bumbo too.

sister was there for support. i didn't want to cut your baby hair, but i did want you to be able to see :)

i didn't dare touch the back. i have this thing with cutting baby hair. i prefer to wait. and wait. the proof? emma's first haircut wasn't until she was two years and three months old. well, buddy, you are boy, and sticking a pretty bow in the part that needs cutting just won't cut it. so, after the big ole wiggling fiasco, you can see, and i can see your pretty blue eyes again. a haircut at only ten months old. geez. thank goodness for the curly hair. i make no promises that it is straight.
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