Ellie Speak

Now if we only knew what she was saying...Lola might, but she's not telling!

Lovely surprise visit

Edinburgh L popped in with Little B whilst passing by recently. Can't believe it has been a year since we made the trip to Scotland for the wedding !

Little B is adorable and exceptionally well behaved (were our two ever like this ?)

Sibling love

Little T and Little O have been enjoying some quality time together recently. They do seem to get on very well and play together. Can't help thinking that this is the calm before the storm !

Cuddle Doll for Star

This cuddle doll was custom ordered for a little boy with carrot red hair and will travel to Montreal tomorrow.

Nature Table March - Jahreszeitentisch März

Der Hase kommt! Seid alle still,
Ihr Kinder haltet Ruh´!
Weil er euch überraschen will,
macht eure Augen zu!

Er hüpft zum Neste in der Nacht,
Springt fort in schnellem Lauf.
Was hat er schönes mitgebracht?
Macht eure Augen auf!

Hedwig Diestel

running on the beach

Last week was spring break in Portland. We were feeling a bit overwhelmed with memorial service details (me), and homework (Iz) during most of the week, so when our friends Chris and Hannah asked us to join them in Long Beach for a few days, we jumped at the opportunity. Two whole mornings of sleeping in. Three days of eating, movie watching, bakery shopping, eating, eating and, of course, running on the beach... ahhhhh. My daughter likes to run on the beach. Something about being barefoot on the sand says RUN to her. This fact became obvious as I went through some old and new photos of our many beach trips.









It has the same effect on Bailey...



... but then any open space has this effect on Bailey.


Notice the beautiful weather? Most people think it rains a lot at the beach, but the clouds have parted on most of our excursions over the years.

If I’ve inspired you to travel to the west coast, I recommend the Oregon beaches over Washington’s. In Washington they allow people to drive their cars on the beach, which, in my opinion is just not right. We spent too much energy trying to keep dogs and kids away from fast moving cars and trucks.


If you do take a trip to Washington’s coast, make sure you drive up to Oysterville (located 14 miles north of Long Beach on the peninsula). On a sunny spring day, this charming little town could make me sell the house, pack my bags and move to a little house on Willapa Bay... oyster capital of the world.


Coconut Tea Cake -- Tuesdays with Dorie

Time for Tuesdays with Dorie! Our treat today is Coconut Tea Cake, picked for us to try by Carmen of
Carmen Cooks, thank you Carmen. I adore coconut and also love tea cakes, slightly dryer than your traditional cake, with a dense crumb and soft but not too moist texture. Just perfect for snacking on a slice with a cup of your favorite tea.

I decided to bake this in my Nordic Ware Chrysanthemum Bundt Pan. I've only baked a few other cakes in this pan, and have to admit it is usually a little tough for me to judge how much batter goes in. You want to be able to see the details after baking but not overflow while baking. Dorie takes care of that guessing problem with this recipe and specifically calls for a 10-12 cup bundt pan, this is a 10 cup pan (it says so right on it) so even though it was on the smaller side of the suggested pans, I put the whole amount of batter in and hoped for the best.

Success! No overflow, yay! As you can see I did bake this on an insulated baking sheet, I know in the directions Dorie says not to bake this on a sheet because you want the hot air to circulate through the center of the cake, I went against the directions because I know that these darker pans tend to bake faster and I do not like my cake edges extra dark and dry. Also because this is a black pan I turned the oven temperature down to 325, and set my oven timer to check the cake right at one hour, and right at one hour this cake was perfectly done.

It released nicely from the pan, which I sprayed with Pam for Baking, any little imperfections were from the way it baked, not from sticking. It looked like the perfect springtime cake for sipping tea with.
I let if cool for about 4 hours before slicing and the inside was perfectly done, a nice tender and close-knit crumb. The first flavor I noticed was the coconut milk, followed by a nice little crunch of coconut. I couldn't detect the rum right away but I'm sure it helped to balance the other flavors.

Two out of three little taste testers liked this one, husband was a no try because of the coconut, and I personally thought it was great and fit the title of Tea Cake perfectly. I'm looking forward to some with some strawberry compote and whipped cream later, yum :)

Rose Velvet Bunting Doll for Lara

beautiful morning at the bay...

I love being off work!
Instead of waking up at 5:15 and frantically getting the girls and myself off by 7:00. I slept in until 7:00 and after a leisure breakfast and some morning cartoons, the girls and I were off to the bay for some roller blading and fun at the park.

They are still trying to perfect their skills at walking through sand.
We finished the day swimming with cousin Aiden and a going on a much needed family trip to the grocery store!

Spring Break!!!

Friday started my Spring Break... Off for a whole week... the girls and I are going to have fun!
We did not waist anytime getting the party started. After a late night with friends on Friday we spent Saturday at two birthday parties. First was their friend Declan's first birthday, it was such a fun afternoon at their outer space birthday!
The girls loved this water toy...I am going to have to search on Craig's list for one just like it!
I tried to get the girls to play in the jump house, but they wanted nothing to do with it. They absolutely love jumping on mom and dad's bed but when they are allowed to jump on something-No Way-
Here's the birthday boy just about to devour his cake.

Then we went to Emma's to celebrate Auntie Sara's birthday!
They love playing on this table, especially when Emma bring out the cards.

Yummy Time to eat!

Happy Birthday Sara.

99 Sales on Etsy

Thank You to all of my kind customers!
My 100th sale on Etsy will include a little Organic Felt Bunny as a free gift! I am really glad for all the opportunities places like Etsy are offering, allowing very little businesses like mine to realize their dream and get connected with buyers and sellers like my fellows over at the Etsy Natural Kids Team sharing the same interests all over the world.

pigtails and basketball

Ellie's hair is just now long enough for little cute pigtails. Tony thinks I'm crazy and Ellie might too, but a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do...pigtails are just too cute!

Lola on the other hand is looking very worried. She was watching March Madness with daddy and both her parents top pick were playing tonight. She was worried that dad's pick WV might loose, they ended up winning, but mom's pick to win it all was Syracuse and they lost tonight.
Since she is so into the tournament I will let Lola make my pics next year.

Dulce de Leche Duos -- Tuesdays with Dorie

First off, a huge thanks to Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake who picked these absolutely amazing cookies for our treat this week at Tuesdays with Dorie. I realize it's not Tuesday anymore, sorry, seem to be running late with everything lately. I was going to just post these next Tuesday along with the Coconut Cake, but these deserve their own post! We loved these cookies and I think that these are probably my favorite cookie we've done with Tuesdays with Dorie, yeah, they are that good. And that is coming from someone who almost didn't make these due to a dulce de leche making disaster...

I attempted making dulce de leche in the oven with the David Lebovitz recipe. My pie plate of sweetened condensed milk and a touch of sea salt, snugly covered with aluminum foil, was resting in a water bath, baking in the oven. After the time was up I took it out, it looked a little underdone to me, so I figured I'd pop it back in the oven, sans aluminum and water bath, just for a few minutes to get it a little darker, oops, big mistake...

After a self cleaning oven cycle and a pie plate that I ended up tossing after scrubbing for way too long, I went back to the internet to figure out another way to do dulce de leche. A lot of people recommended the crock-pot version but I read about there being a little rust ring in the bottom of the slow cooker after cooking the sweetened condensed milk in a can. One suggestion was to put the sweetened condensed milk in a canning jar and then put it in the slow cooker, covered with water, and cook for about 10 hours. I went with that method, and I have to say it was very easy and worked perfectly!

The cookies were easy to make and I loved their soft and slightly chewy texture -- slathered with the dulce de leche and sandwiched together, one delicious treat. I only made a few sandwich cookies at a time, and then kept the cookies in a zip top baggie and when we served some more I spread the dulce de leche on at that time.

Here is my little guy with dulce de leche on his face, asking for just one more cookie...

How could I say no?