June 30, 2012

Birthday Morning #4

June 30, 2012

Happy Birthday says Daddy as he walks in the room snapping photos.  I always give strict instructions “remember if you go in the room before I do to take pictures!”

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It look like Daddy woke him up!

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He is the cutest four year old I know!

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And now he realizes it is his birthday!

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I realize this post is WAAAAYYYY over due, but at this point most things (aside from this baby kicking my bladder) is over due ;)


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June 29, 2012

Colton’s 4th Birthday Party

June 29, 2012

For Colton’s fourth birthday we had planned on having a family day doing fun stuff that he would enjoy.  He had been talking about his birthday for weeks and knew that after Claire’s party his was next.  Out of the blue while having lunch one afternoon (a few days before his birthday) he said to me with pure excitement in his voice, “everyone is going to come see me for my birthday!”.  I immediately got on the phone with Chris and said, “we have to have him a party!”

So… we made some last minute phone calls and then partied and celebrated my first born baby boys fourth birthday!!

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He looks so grown up in the picture – I am fighting back the tears! 

The party was so last minute that I had no time to order a cake… of course Colton did not mind he enjoyed helping make cupcakes and blue cream cheese icing!!  He is really into pirates right now thanks to Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney so he was thrilled when he saw his shirt!

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Colton loved everyone singing “Happy Birthday!”

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He is so loving and affectionate and he loves his momma!

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Colton is always happy to see this little princess!!

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Gift time!  As would any toddler (or adult for the matter) he thoroughly enjoyed opening his gifts!

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Nana bought him a doctor kit.  He loves it and put it to use right away!

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Iris and Mayela bought him Jake & the Neverland Pirate ship!  He loves it… he and Claire both play with it all the time.  Once he opened it he was not interested in playing with anything else!

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I think this smile says it all… he had a great birthday!

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love you baby boy!


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Easy Artisanal Yeast Bread–Deep Covered Baker

The quickest yeast bread you'll ever make. Warm, fresh, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, delicious home made bread in just over an hour and for about $1.

Ingredients:

5-6 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour for 1 or 2 cups)

2 tablespoons dry yeast (regular, NOT rapid rise, yeast)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups hot water (120° to 130°) Note: water temperature is critcial to proper yeast activation

Directions:

1. Grease the Deep Covered Baker and the bowl that you'll let the bread rise in. Set aside.

2. Combine  4 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot water and three minutes with a mixer (or 100 stokes by hand).  Add the remaining flour (I've never needed to add more than 1 cup) until the dough is no longer sticky.  Knead the dough for 8 minutes on a floured surface, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

3. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise 15 minutes.  Remove dough to floured surface, punch or fold down** (3 minutes should do it) and shape into a large loaf. Place the dough in deep covered  baker.

Cut a slit about 1/2 inch deep along the top of the loaf and several small slits on either side of the first slit. It will look a little like a branch with leaves when you are done.

4. Put the lid on the baker and place in a COLD oven. Turn oven to 400° and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, gasp in amazement, remove loaf from baker to cool on a rack.

Cook's Tip: to slice bread set it on it's side and cut with a serrated bread knife.  By cutting from the side you avoid crushing the flaky top crust.

Note: this recipe makes a VERY LARGE loaf (over 5 inches tall x 7 inches wide x 10 inches long). The Deep Covered Baker has a 3.1 QT capacity. If you use an alternate to the Deep Covered Baker please makes sure it's large enough for the recipe!


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June 28, 2012

Deep Covered Baker–Get It 15% OFF!!

June 28, 2012

The deep covered baker by Pampered Chef, also known as the “Magic Pot” by moms everywhere is one of the greatest time savers ever invented!  Seriously, I am not kidding!  Most people when they hear Pampered Chef think about their Stoneware – something they are known for the most.  Well, when they created the Deep Covered Baker they revolutionized their classic stoneware.covered-baker

Okay, so I know you are wondering… “what is so great about this item?”  How about chicken fajitas in 15 minutes, pork loin in 12 minutes, chili or pasta in 15 minutes or a favorite among my customers – brownies in 6 minutes!!  Yes, brownies that are melt in your mouth yummy in only 6 minutes!  I will be honest, the first time my director told me that I could make chicken fajitas in 15 minutes and brownies in 6, I laughed… out loud!

Here is the recipe for the Fast & Easy Fajitas.  I have posted a few other recipes you can find here:

Since that time the deep covered baker has become a must have item for all my host and many of their friends!  This item has been selling like hot cakes!  This is a must have item for all moms!!!  So here is what I’m doing … I have offering it to you for a limited time (now through July 8th) for 15% off!  You will not find this type of discount anywhere else!  To make it even better when you purchase the Deep Covered Baker you will receive our new and improved Ice Cream Scoop FREE!!  The new ice cream scoop is dishwasher safe.  Also, I will email you a 60 page booklet of delicious Deep Covered Baker Recipes when you make a purchase.

How to get your 15% off:

Go to my website: www.pamperedchef.biz/RockyTopKitchen

  • Select “shop online”
  • Type in “Believing” as the host name
  • You will now see “Believing Boldly” … click on that link and start shopping.

**Your discount will not show in your shopping cart, but your credit card will not be charged until the order is closed out on Sunday July 8th and your discount will appear then.  Make sense?  If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment here or send me an email!!!  My email is – believingboldly@gmail.com


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Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa–Deep Covered Baker

This recipe came from our "29 Minutes to Dinner" cookbook.  A fellow consultant changed it up and used her Deep Covered baker and the Manual Food Processor

Ingredients:

PORK

1 lb pork tenderloin

1 tbsp Jamaican Jerk Rub

MANGO SALAD (salsa)

2 green onions with tops

1 small red bell pepper

2 large mangoes

1 lime

1 tsp Jamaican Jerk Rub

Directions:

1.  Place pork into Deep Covered Baker, tucking narrower end under to create a uniform thickness. Evenly rub pork with Jamaican Jerk Rub.

2. Cover baker; microwave on HIGH 6-10 minutes or until Digital Thermometer registers 150°F, checking temperature at 6 minutes and then at every 2-minute interval. Remove baker from microwave; let stand, covered, 10 minutes (temperature will rise to 160°F for medium doneness).

3.  Cut green onions into 1" pieces.  Place in Manual Food Processor and pump a few times.  Peel bell pepper using Serrated Peeler. Remove top, bottom, seeds and ribs.  Cut pepper into chunks and add to Manual Food Processor.  Pump a couple times.  Cut mangoes using Mango Wedger.  Peel skin off with Avocado peeler.  Cut into chunks and add to Manual Food Processor.  Juice lime using Citrus Press to measure 1 tbsp juice.  Add lime and remaining 1 tsp jerk rub to Manual Food Processor and pump until you reach desired consistency.

4.  To serve, slice pork crosswise into medallions and serve with salsa.

Yield: 4 servings


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June 27, 2012

Wild Rice Pilaf

June 27, 2012

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup finely diced shallot

1/3 cup wild rice

3/4 cup long grain rice

1 can (14 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, OR 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

In Deep Covered Baker, combine water, shallot, and wild rice.  Microwave (high) for 3 minutes.  Cover with lid and bake in 350 F oven for 45 minutes.

Stir in long grain rice; add broth, sage, salt, and pepper.  Cover and bake until rice is tender and most of the broth is absorbed, about 35 minutes.  Stir in bell pepper and parsley.  Let stand 5 minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings.


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June 26, 2012

Beef Enchilada Casserole–Deep Covered Baker

June 26, 2012

To Speed up this family-pleasing dish, the ground beef mixture is cooked on the stovetop, then the whole casserole is heated in the microwave.  No oven is required!

Ingredients

1 lb 95% lean ground beef

1 tbsp Southwest Seasoning Mix

1/4 tsp salt

1 can enchilada sauce

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup medium thick and chunky salsa

12 (6-in.) yellow corn tortillas

1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro, divided

1 cup shredded Colby & Monterey Jack cheese blend, divided

Sour Cream and lime wedges (optional)

Directions:

1.  Combine beef, seasoning mix and salt in (10-in.) Skillet; cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking beef into crumbles using Mix 'N Chop.  Add enchilada sauce, water and salsa to Skillet.  Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

2.  As beef mixture cooks, place tortillas in a stack and cut into 1-in. pieces using Pizza Cutter.  Snip cilantro using Kitchen Shears.

3.  Arrange half of tortillas evenly over bottom of Deep Dish Baker; top with half of the beef mixture and half of the cheese.  Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the cilantro over cheese.  Top with remaining tortillas, beef mixture and cheese.

4.  Microwave baker on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Garnish with remaining 2 tbs cilantro.  Serve with sour cream and lime wedges, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

CHEF'S CORNER

Easily cut a stack of tortillas using Pizza Cutter

If desired, 1 tbsp taco seasoning mix can be substituted for the Southwest Seasoning Mix

For a variation in flavor, substitute ground turkey and green enchilada sauce for the beef and red enchilada sauce, if desired.

For a spicier kick, hot salsa can be substituted for medium salsa, if desired

If yellow corn tortillas are not available, white corn tortillas can be substituted.


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June 25, 2012

Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries–Deep Covered Baker

June 25, 2012

Here is an easy, delicious and healthy way to make use of leftover chicken or turkey.  This can also make a great side dish if you leave out the meat.

Around $2 per serving

Ingredients:

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

2 cups hot water

1 medium onion

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice (see Cook's tip)

1 tbs olive oil

2 3/4 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay

1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds

2 stalks celery

2 oz cream cheese

2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey breasts

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:

1.  Combine cranberries and hot water in Small Batter Bowl; set aside.  Coarsely chop onion usingFood Chopper.  Combine onion, rice and oil in Deep Covered Baker; stir using Small Mix 'N Scraper.  Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 2-4 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper; microwave, covered, on HIGH 13 minutes or until rice is still slightly firm, stirring once halfway through.

2.  Meanwhile, toast almonds in (8-in.) Saute Pan over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Slice celery.  Cut cream cheese into cubes usingUtility Knife.  Drain cranberries using (7-in.) Strainer; set aside.  Carefully remove baker from microwave using Silicone Oven Mitts.  Add chicken and celery to baker; stir.  Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until rice is tender and risotto appears creamy.

3.  Carefully remove baker from microwave.  Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated.  Fold in cranberries.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (about 6 1/2 cups)

cook's tips

Arborio rice is an Italian short grain rice that can be found in the rice or ethnic section of most grocery stores.

If desired, substitute an additional 3/4 cup chicken stock for the wine.


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My I Love You–Free Printable

Have you read Maryann Cusimano’s book“You Are My I Love You”?  It is such a precious book.  When I read this excerpt I knew I needed to make a printable for myself!  I just love it!

My I Love You

If you would like this printable for yourself click on the image – it will open up in a new window.  Then, right click and choose to “save image as…” and save it to your computer.

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June 24, 2012

Tasty Turkey Tetrazzini–Deep Covered Baker

June 24, 2012

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz uncooked spaghetti boodles
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup) divided
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 8-oz sliced oven-roasted deli turkey (1/2 inch thick), diced
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed

Directions:

1.  Break noodles in half.  Combine noodles and in Deep Covered Baker.  Microwave, covered, on HIGH 10-13 minutes or until noodles are tender, stirring halfway through cooking.  Meanwhile, combine soup, sour cream, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, milk, onion, pressed garlic and black pepper in Classic Batter Bowl; mix well.

2.  Add soup mixture, turkey, mushrooms and beans to baker; mix well.  Microwave, covered, on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until heated through, stirring halfway through cooking.  Top with remaining cheese.

Yield: 6 servings

From The Pampered Chef Weekday Dinners -- Done! Recipe Collection.


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June 23, 2012

Fast & Easy Chicken Fajitas–Deep Covered Baker

June 23, 2012

This is one of my favorite deep covered baker recipes!  It is always a big hit with my customers!

Ingredients:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1-2 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, or orange)

2 large onions

1 small lime

2 T. Taco Seasoning

Flour Tortillas

2 garlic cloves

Directions:

Slice bell peppers and onions with the veggie wedge. Put onions and bell peppers in the bottom of the Deep Covered Baker, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. Add the raw chicken on top of the peppers and onions, squeeze lime over the chicken using the citrus press and then sprinkle with another tablespoon of taco seasoning. Using the garlic press top chicken with 2 gloves of garlic. Cover with the lid and microwave for 15 minutes.

When the chicken is done (cut into pieces or check with the digital pocket thermometer to make sure it is done), cut it up in the baker using the salad choppers.

Fill tortillas and enjoy!


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June 22, 2012

Pasta Primavera–Deep Covered Baker

June 22, 2012

This pasta recipe is delicious and takes you about 25 minutes from start to finish!!  You can add chicken or shrimp if you would like.

Ingredients:

4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 jar (7 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, undrained
1 lb, 10 oz container of chicken broth
1 lb uncooked penne pasta
1 head broccoli (2 cups small florets)
2 medium carrots, peeled
4 oz regular or reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel)
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

    1. Thinly slice garlic. Place garlic and 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes into Deep Covered Baker.  If you are using dried sundried tomatoes just use 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place Deep Covered Baker in microwave and cook garlic for 1 minute.
    2. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets; place in a bowl.  (You can also use frozen broccoli) Cut carrots in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise or use a julienne peeler to julienne your carrots. Drain sun-dried tomatoes; pat dry with a paper towel. Slice tomatoes into thin strips. Add carrots and tomatoes to bowl.
    3. Remove garlic from microwave; add pasta, broth, broccoli, carrots and sun-dried tomatoes. Return to microwave and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir and return to microwave for an additional 8 minutes.
    4. Cut cream cheese into 6 cubes. Add cream cheese to Deep Covered Baker and cover, let sit for 5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to Deep Covered Baker.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated.
    5. Serve immediately. If desired, top with grated fresh Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil.

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June 20, 2012

My Pampered Chef Story

June 20, 2012
When Chris and I  found out I was pregnant for the first time it was a no brainer for the two of us that I would become a stay at home mom.  We lived a very frugal lifestyle and saved as much as possible our first five years of marriage which made it possible for me to stay home with Colton.  A decision that I have never questioned.

Around the six month mark I really started missing work.  I missed the sense of accomplishment, I missed starting and finishing tasks, I missed the adult communication, and oh yeah – I missed contributing financially.  As much as I missed all that I knew that working outside of the home was not what I wanted to do.  I tried a few odd things here and there, but nothing too successful.  I spent hours researching work at home jobs and nothing resonated with me.

Fast forward to 2011 - Early last year my sister in law Allison become a Pampered Chef consultant.  I hosted two catalog parties for her and loved the products that I purchased and really loved the ones I received for free!  She regularly told me how easy her “job” was and how much fun it was.  Finally at the end of the year I decided to sign up!  Immediately after signing up I ask myself, “What am I doing!  I am going to hate this!!”.  My starter kit sat in my dining room for several weeks before I even bothered to open it. 

Late January Allison made the long drive (7 hours!… Yes, she loves me!) down to see me and help me do my grand opening show!  That was the end of January and I have not stopped yet!  My schedule has stayed booked and I have been having SO MUCH FUN!  Prior to Pampered Chef my life revolved around my house and kiddos.  I rarely made it outside of my house without a toddler in tow.  Spending two-three hours away from home a few nights a month surrounded by those who love to eat (don’t we all!) has been the best therapy for me!  I have met a lot of new amazing people along the way, enjoyed lots of nice free kitchen products, and oh yeah made a little cash along the way!  I call it my “guilt free girls night out”.
Pampered Chef loves their consultants and they give you all the tools necessary to succeed.  Something you cannot say about all companies.  I set my own schedule, work when I want to work, and I LOVE my “job”!  Seriously, I love it… and I do not even love to cook!!!  They have so many incentives for hitting goals… to this date I have not purchased any business material or products – I have received $600 in free stuff just for hitting my goal!

One of my favorite things to do is set a goal for myself and to smash it!  I am knocking on the door of 15k in sales and would love to hit it in July!  Wish me luck!!
If you would like to know more about the great business opportunity with Pampered Chef please feel free to shoot me an email anytime!  If you would like to host a cooking party and you live within two hours of me just give me a call and we will set it up!  If you live away from the area, but would like to host an online show – we can do that too!!!  It is super easy!  Oh yeah, and if you have an organization that would like to earn some extra cash let me know – I have an amazing fundraiser for the month of July!!!

Meanwhile, hop on over to my website and check out our great products.  Be sure to check back here for lots of great recipes too!
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Link up your work from home story using the linky below.

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June 19, 2012

Home Management Binder–Check Register Free Printable

June 19, 2012

My home management binder helps me stay organized, but I recently realized I am not organized enough!  We have two separate checking accounts one of which is not used very often so I do not keep a register.  This ended up in an embarrassing bounced check while we were on vacation! 

Now that I am a Senior Consultant with Pampered Chef I do all of my work orders through the older (not used as often) account.  This account is also what I have set up to my PayPal account – for safety measures I do not want my PayPal set up to our main bank accounts.

I found a check register and then tweaked it a tad and added it to my binder.  I love using this register so much that I am not using one for our main checking account rather than using the small register that comes with our check.

Check Register - Blue SJB

Check Register - Green SJB Check Register - Orange SJB

If you would like this printable for yourself click on the image – it will open up in a new window.  Then, right click and choose to “save image as…” and save it to your computer.

If you are in need of setting up your own Home Management Binder you can check out some of my other printables:

You can also check out my free printables for making a Recipe Binder!

Check back for more Home Management Binder updates!


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June 18, 2012

Fun In The Pool

June 18, 2012
We have had such nice weather so far this summer.  We have not had too many incredibly hot days, but when we do there is nothing better than cooling off in the pool!  Claire completely agrees! 
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I am not a fan of inflatables or flotation devices in the pool, but Claire loves this little float!  She first used it at the beach and now every time were close to the pool she says, “I want my float!”
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On this hot summer day she made her way to the deep end for the first time… she loved every minute of it!  There is no way around it… she is a water dog!
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“Swim, swim, swim” she says.
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Colton is a different story this year.  We’re not sure what is going on with him, but he does not really want to get in the pool.  If you know him, you know he is a little timid anyway, but last year we took swim lessons and he was doing an amazing job in the pool.  He loved getting in and would go under water and swim to the side of the pool.  Chris says the swim instructor traumatized him – ha ha…. Colton says he does not want water up his nose, but I have never known that to happen.  Not to mention he has no trouble holding his breath under the water in the bathtub.  I think we just need to ease him and have some one on one pool time with him.
He does however like to stand in the little inlet in the deep end and splash…
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Claire quickly joined in on the fun.
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Splash!
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Splash!
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Splash!!
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“Come on brother!”
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She really wanted him to jump in with her!
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She had enough and jumped for it!
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Colton went on splashing by himself… he enjoyed every second of it too!
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How are you spending your hot summer days?


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She Loves Him

She loves him… she really really loves him…

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Who can blame her!?  He’s pretty awesome!

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June 16, 2012

The winner–Cookbook Giveaway

June 16, 2012
Update:  So obviously I counted incorrectly and informed the wrong person they were a winner - so I will be giving away 2 cookbooks!  So Joc Bink was the actual 5th comment.  Please send me your info!

_________________________________________________________________________________


The winner of the cookbook giveaway is….
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The 5th comment with from “agodlyhomemaker” … please contact me with your shipping info – summerjobrooks@gmail.com

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June 15, 2012

Claire’s Party

June 15, 2012
It has been almost a month since we celebrated Claire’s birthday and it is still hard to believe that she is two years old!  It seems like yesterday Chris and I were walking the floors of the labor and delivery unit – him cracking jokes and me worrying more about Colton than actually giving birth!

Claire loves Minnie so it was a no-brainer that we would attempt to pull off a Minnie Mouse Birthday Party!  Rebecca from Polkadaises has made all of our birthday shirts – she does a fabulous job!  I told her we wanted a minnie shirt using red instead of pink and she came through brilliantly!  The headband – well that was my creation and I have to say that I am kind of proud of it!

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Notice the princess cup?  We picked that cup up at the Tervis store while at the beach.  It’s a new design perfect for little hands – Claire loves it!!  She also enjoyed the Doritos someone gave her… can you say “cheesy mouth!?”
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I made red velvet cupcakes from scratch – they were delicious!  Especially the icing! 
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I think Claire really liked the icing!
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No, really, she loved it!
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She did not take one bite of the actual cupcake!
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Gift time!  She loved her princess castle and especially her baby carrier!
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Claire enjoyed the food and the gifts, but I think more than anything they enjoyed having their friends over to play!!!
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Someone for sure needed a nap on the long drive home!  Not sure if it was momma or the kiddos!
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Do you like Colton’s rain boots!  We found these on clearance while at the beach and Colton and Claire love them – even on hot days like this one!
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Claire’s face is priceless!  Totally priceless!
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It was a great day – we started with an unhappy birthday morning … squeezed in a great birthday party and ended with a fantastic wedding!

Happy Birthday to “our princess”!

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