Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peach Soup... So YUM!!

Yes, it is sooo Yummy!

I've never eaten a cold soup before or even thought about making one.  My Mom (thanks Mom!) gave me the cookbook, 5-Ingredient family favorites by Gooseberry Patch awhile back and when I saw the recipe for Peach soup, I was curious, so curious I just had to give it a try.

When I started making it, Nyla wasn't that into it, she said, "Mommy, soup is suppose to be hot." Halfway through the recipe (which is super easy by the way...so my style!) she tasted the peaches cooked with sugar, mmm can I have some more? wait, I need to finish the recipe, when I pureed it, she said, mmm, I don't know? wait let me have some more...when I added the whipping cream and apple juice she thought it was so funny that apple juice went in the recipe, she tasted a little spoonful, mmm, I don't...wait let me try again, the after taste mmm I like it.  after it chilled for 2 hours and was finally ready she ate 2 little bowls.  Then I finally got to take a picture!

I think that says it all...Kid and Mommy approved!

2lbs. peaches
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup apple juice or white wine
( I used apple juice only because I didn't have wine)
zest of lemon ( I forgot this)
garnish: chopped & sliced peach/ fresh mint

1.   Dip peaches, one at a time, into boiling water to cover one minute. 
2.   Plunge peaches immediately into ice water to stop the cooking process; Drain and slip skins off.
3.   Cut peaches into quarters.
4.   Bring sugar and water to boil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
5.   Reduce heat and add peach quarters; cover and simmer 5 minutes.
6.   Cool.
7.   Process peach mixture in food processor or blender until smooth.
8.   Stir together peach mixture,whipping cream, wine or apple juice and lemon zest.
9.   Chill for 2 hours.
10. Garnish as desired. Enjoy!

Serve with a salad and you are in summer heaven!   xxxxoooo Michelle

Since I don't have a lot of bowls I like to use things from my china cabinet.  It's funny even though, I guess I'm technically an adult I still feel like a little girl playing dress up with Mom's china but I love it! One "bowl" was from my wedding over 11 years ago (I use to keep change in it) and the other is the only thing I have from my Grandma Cleopatra whom I never got to meet.  

Thank you Gooseberry Patch for this yummy treat, for more delicious and easy recipes check out their website Gooseberry Patch

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Well, as long as I can remember my husband and I have always celebrated our birthdays for way longer than a day, sometimes we like to stretch it out a month, if we can.  Our birthdays are just 5 days apart with Father's Day right in between.

Generally, I'm a happy, positive person but I have my moments that can linger into days.  The day before my birthday, I decided that it would be the last day of feeling unhappy, ungrateful, unaccomplished and all the "un's". 

I thought, when I wake up I'm going to feel revived and new.  So, when I woke up on my birthday, I was mad that I didn't feel that way.  Andy joyfully woke me up with tons of birthday happiness.  He was so happy, inside I felt bad that I couldn't get caught up in his happiness for my special day.  

We quickly got going, he was leaving on a fishing trip and Nyla & I decided we would drive him.  We stopped at my favorite donut shop and they sang, "Happy Birthday" to me in the car as we munched on donuts.  The day continued on with Nyla wanting to play with anyone but me and me saying, it's MY birthday, I was grumpy and felt old.  

Earlier in the week when friends found out it was my birthday (realized Andy would be fishing), Nyla arranged for them to get me a birthday cake to celebrate later in the week, for my "surprise" party.  Its so cute as they were talking about it, I said, "I can hear you, I'm just pretending like I can't."

Well, Andy was still fishing and the day came for my party.  It was suppose to be a hanging out by the pool day with friends.  It turned out to be a monsoon rain that lasted all day and into the night!  Finally, we realized the rain was not stopping, we should go, normally I would just call it but since they were having cake for me, my girl loves cake plus she made all the arrangements; I felt I had to go.

Nyla and I raced to the car, as we climbed in soaking wet already, we watched the rain flow down the sidewalk and ripple in waves before we even started driving. The wind was howling, lightning was jaggedly sparking through the sky, thunder booming.  It looked dark way before night fall. 

Boy, there's something about storm driving that I love, as long as I don't have to be anywhere at a punctual time.  The road was flooded so we had to take an alternate route, I kept thinking WOW, I'll do anything for cake and a friendship pick me up. 

Funny, normally when Andy is fishing the phone rarely works, but on this stormy drive he called. We pulled over so we could talk, he was  happy that we were going to celebrate. I felt comforted and happy hearing his voice for those few minutes.   

When we arrived at our friend's house, soaked from the hot rain,  I peek and see my homemade birthday cake loaded with candles.  It was so sweet, especially since the electricity was off most of the day so it wasn't an easy task; it was a task of love.

Finally, cake time arrived, as my babies helped me blow out my candles and friends watched and sang "Happy Birthday", I felt the love surround me; my birthday funk was replaced with gentle happiness.  Instead of my "25" spankings, Stella suggested that I get 25 hugs.  Feeling those little arms hug me all at once I felt so great, only the feeling that the sweet, innocence of children can provide.

Thank you everyone for making my birthday & me feel super special!

Have a memory making great birthday, it doesn't matter when it is; just keep celebrating till its perfect for you! xxxxoooo Michelle

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Pageant Princess

Ever since Nyla watched the reality tv show,  Toddler's & Tiara's she has begged me to let her be in a pageant. To be honest, pageants really aren't my thing but Nyla asked me all winter to find her one and I couldn't put it off any longer.  I am surprised that a pageant is Nyla's thing since she really doesn't like anyone fussing over her

Well, our town was having a pageant, Little Miss Stafford and the Town Crier (for the boys) and when one of the contestants canceled, Nyla became the alternate and the excitement began. 

The pageant coordinator, Diane was just perfect.  The pageant was nothing like the TV show!  Whew!  Ms. Diane wanted it to be a fun experience for all and she did just that! Leading up to the pageant, the children had a bowling, pizza party with the "Miss Stafford" contestants, made chocolate dipped apples, learned line dancing and took a tour of Lucille's Chocolate factory (unfortunately Nyla was sick for that tour). 

Cutie Pies on the float, I love this picture!

Nyla, Caylee and he didn't know it yet but "the Town Crier"
The pageant was part of our town's Founder's Day festivities, the theme was a country hoe down. All contestants got to ride on a float in the parade that kicked off the day's events.  They were soo cute in their country attire! Nyla got the biggest kick out of throwing candy.  I got the biggest kick out of seeing Nyla and her school buddie, Caylee riding through the town waving, throwing candy and getting excited as they saw people they knew.  

The coordinator Diane stressed from the beginning every child was a winner, for the pageant each girl was to wear a dress that made them feel special and pretty; it didn't matter what style the dress was.

Funny, even though I'm not the pageant mom type, I found myself starting to become like one (well just a little but I can see how crazy I could get).
My Sweet Girl! I'm so proud!

Nyla knew from the beginning that she wanted to wear one of her dresses that she already had, she didn't want tights or fancy, little white ruffly socks, she didn't want to get her hair cut either.  I bought a bunch of fancy headbands and bows and she picked out exactly what she wanted.  I tried to sway her to wear her hair a different way but I had to real myself in...I had to realize this was her gig not mine and I didn't want to get her all freaked out before she went on stage.  I did however, lug a purse filled with bows, headbands, hairspray, wipes, tape, ruffly socks, shimmer glitter, perfume and who knows what else just in case, which of course none was used, shimmer glitter, I have no idea what I was thinking!  I was nervous and didn't know what to expect, this was my Nyla's first pageant.

I'm so proud of Nyla, she got up on that stage and answered the questions clear and  proud.  I don't know if she wants to participate in another pageant  but I do know that as her Mommy, I have to let her shine whether its my thing or not.  Nyla just has to know that I'm always going to be the big goofball that is going to cheer the loudest for her! Afterward, we celebrated with a "volcano" drink and funnel cake.

It was a beautiful day, every girl got her crown and trophy.  The winner was sweet, adorable Emmalie Thom, she was super pleasant and we are just pleased as punch that she won. 

Emmalie, Lil Miss Stafford
Special thanks to Ms. Diane, the pageant coordinator, all the Families and contestants, my husband Andy for making sure we were taken care of and friends who shared in our family excitement!

Have an amazing, dream accomplishing day! xxxxoooo Michelle

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Whats on My Counter top...

Just a glimpse...
Bagbalm I can't live without, Colonies- Costa Rican money (Andy just got back), black marker, phone, shells, squishy octopus...a little of us...my family. 

Most of the time I spend trying to clean and clear my cluttered counter tops but as I looked at it this morning I thought wow, this reflects my family!   So now I'm going to try to eliminate my frustration and embrace the beauty of what my family is into at that glimpse in time. 

That's my change in 5.  I'm changing my attitude - cause who needs frustration! I would love to know what's on your counter tops and how you enhance your life in 5 minutes.

Click here to read about my quick
5 minute changes  & 5 minute Love

xxxxoooo Michelle

Thursday, June 7, 2012

FUN oh YEAH!! Kids know where its at!

Our day went like this.  Friends pick us up. We go to an amusement park. Friends treat. The weather is just out of this world perfect. It wasn't crowded since its not quite summer.  There was a relaxed feel in the park.  Our kids are too big for the baby rides :(  aww, but not too small for the big rides.  They can go on rides by themselves now but still enjoy hanging with us for some.  It starts to rain.  We duck inside the arcade.  Nyla wins a few prizes.  Rain stops we go back on rides and go home.

As I looked around the amusement park, I watched Nyla and one of her best buds, Otto run around as they were frantically deciding which ride to go on first. Soon they were swooshing around on the Himalaya, one of my old time favorites. WOW, how cool is this day!

Yeah, this summertime pastime is pretty special. Later as I climbed in my cart solo (first time ever) on the Scrambler, I thought I wouldn't even be here without Nyla (one huge perk for having kids).  I wondered if grownups without kids ever went to a local amusement park or carnival. I probably wouldn't. Sure I remember being a teenager and in my early 20's going to the fair with my roller coaster crazed friend  (remember that one particular time, Susan) and boyfriends but after that as a real adult I don't think I did until Nyla came along.  

As my cart is still flying & zooming in, out & around I get a glimpse at Nyla and Otto happily hanging on, sliding all over their seat;  their eyes as big as saucers and smiles even bigger.  I'm so happy to get this tiny glimpse of them.  Then I see my friends in their cart sitting as a couple.  They look peaceful and happy as they are squished together on their mini date.  I can't wipe the smile off my face as I'm swooshing and holding on, feeling the wind on my face mmm...I almost felt a little queasy whoo...glad on the next swoosh that goes away.  I'm very happy in this moment in time. It's funny how much you can think about during a 3-minute ride.

My final ride was the Sea Dragon, a swinging high-in-the sky boat.  This time we got in the very back row. As we swing higher and higher then whoosh down, Nyla's whole body lifts off the seat, our stomach's drop to our feet as we swing up again.  I'm nervous, I'm excited, I can almost see the ocean, I could probably touch the clouds if I could pry my hands off the safety bar.  I'm lovin it!  The ride ends in perfect time.

As were getting out Nyla's saying, "Again, Again!"

I've got a dare devil of a daughter and that makes me so happy because I'm one at heart too!  Even though now I am a little embarrassed to admit I can't go on the spiny rides anymore.  I haven't thrown up all over somebody yet; but if I push it that's probably gonna happen.  I still get jittery with excitement for the rides that make your stomach drop to your feet even though I can't go on them 3 times in succession like I use to.  I still consider myself hanging with the amusement park champs, kinda.

Nyla created this photo - cool huh?!

Summer's almost here,
Kids or not don't miss this fun! xxxxoooo Michelle

Special Thanks to Mike, Maureen & Otto for taking us to Fantasy Island!  This day was perfect and will be a memory that I will always enjoy!  

(I took all the photos with my phone pretty cool huh? Also, Andy we missed you but we know you were having just as much fun in Costa Rica with Pop Pop)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pretty Shell Appetizer Plates

Hi Everyone!
Here is a simple, fun project that will make your summer time appetizers look like a million bucks!

Go on a treasure hunt to your favorite beach, shell shop or the internet world and find some pretty shells.

Since my shells were fresh from the sea (thanks to my super awesome fisherman husband, Andy) I gave them a sudsy bubble bath and a manicure to smooth the edges.

I chose silver for a glammy look and painted the edges like a french manicure.
Chocolate kiss, tomato salad, grilled pineapple and ceviche!

We're big on ceviche' in my house, click here for an easy, fab, perfect for summertime  CEVICHE' RECIPE

Special thanks to my husband, Andy for bringing me these beautiful scallop shells!

Thanks Surfer Magazine for providing an awesome mag and backdrop for my shell appetizer plates!

xxxxoooo Michelle

Sunday, June 3, 2012


 We were driving and I was behind a slowpoke. I don't get mad driving but this guy was soo slow and I couldn't pass him because everyone was passing us! After awhile, Nyla says maybe they are in the middle of a love scene!

hmm, I wasn't thinking that :) So don't get mad at those slowpokes today, their just having fun! xxxxoooo Michelle

For more funny words, click on Nyla's WOWme WORDS

Saturday, June 2, 2012

If I were a Giant...

If I were a giant, I would wear this necklace...                                                                                     

with these ROCKIN shoes...

I would always wear my super sunglasses that reflect the sparkly earrings that I love...

and I would hand you every rainbow so that you could always feel that "Ahhh awe"  and reach your pot of gold, I would also wear a t-shirt that says I'm BIG on friendship!

That's what I would do if I were a Giant today, I hope you have a Giant Style inspirational day! xxxxoooo Michelle

My "Necklace" is created by the awe-inspiring glass blower Dale Chihuly. (I am in love with his magical creations!) For more information about this amazing artist click here.  For a breathtaking website that educates & makes it oh so easy to buy one of Chihuly's works of incredible art zoom over to ARSTY.NET for a feast of delicious art culture!

You can find my "necklace" and other breath-taking Chihuly pieces at The Borgata Atlantic City, NJ.

My "Rockin" shoes are really my "Rockin" shoes that I love!

My "Sunglasses" reflect chandeliers hanging in the The Borgata Atlantic City, NJ

My "rainbow" is from this post, FABULOUS RAINBOW DIY