bye to summer....

How do I know we had a great and super fun summer?
1) My summer chore to-do list is not nearly complete.
2) Both the girls and I have substantial tan lines and Tony is as dark as ever.
3) My work out regimen went to the way side.
4) All of us are tired as hell and think mom going back to work will give everyone a break!
This summer we had a blast, got to see so many friends, family, and make great memories. The girls grew leaps and bounds and I fell that much more in love with these two little Angels being home with them 100%. I report back to the classroom tomorrow, but my job is great and hours are not bad and hey we live in San Diego, it's practically summer all year around.
Here are some pics of our last hurrah at Sea World... What a blast!

The New Horizon Dolphin Show was spectacular.

Lola LOVED this ride!
The Bay of Play at Sea World is a kids heaven...
Our Friends from Sesame Street were there....they both were a bit scared to meet them but after we left Ellie kept saying "Hi Elmo" Below Cookie Monster, Elmo, & Zoe are all crying because the girls don't like them :(

Play, Play, Play

(do you notice that both the girls are getting streamed in the face)

Play Hard, Sleep Hard!

Galapagos Expedition | Overview

Buenos días! Bienvenidos.

Galapagos baby sea lion

marine iguana in the Galapagos

Galapagos sea lions

We’ve returned from a fantastic tour of the Galapagos Islands, where the native language is Spanish, the currency is the U.S. dollar, and life moves at a rather slow pace... That is unless you’re on a boat where the activities are carefully organized into the 12 hours of daylight available. Our daily schedule looked something like this:

6:45 breakfast

7:30 panga to nearest island, hike to see... (flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies, red footed boobies, nazca boobies, albatross, sea lions, fur seals, sea turtles, penguins, marine iguanas, galapagos hawks, lava lizards, pink flamingoes, giant tortoises) or any combination of these critters, depending on the island being visited.

10:00 snorkeling. Look for... choices include: rays, sea lions, fish, sharks, penguins, sea turtles, man of war, jelly fish, starfish

12:00 lunch

2:00 panga to nearest island, hike to see... (see above)

4:00 swim or snorkel to see... (see above)

6:30 meeting

7:00 dinner

There were variations of this schedule every day. For instance, some days there would be a late breakfast. Breakfast would then be at 7am. One day breakfast was really late... 8am. On that day there was a hike scheduled for 6:30am.

This is the small boat, called a panga, that we traveled in to nearby islands each day.


For each activity the crew would ring a bell that was located in the dining area. We quickly got to know the “time to eat” bell from the “head out the door” bell, and would salivate like Pavlov’s dogs three times a day.

Our sweet server, Luis, not only served all our meals and snacks, he also made sure our sheets and towels were clean every day. And oh man could he dance! But that’s another story.


The Galapagos Islands are located just off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, on the equator. The sun drops below the horizon at 6pm, and it’s dark by 6:08. The sun pops up promptly at 6am. We were on a 70-foot yacht (the Daphne) which motored to one of nine islands during the 12 hours of darkness. It was best to get yourself into a horizontal position and eyes closed before the boat began moving to avoid losing your dinner. I took a couple dramamine at bedtime, which helped immensely. Some nights when seas were particularly rough, we would hear objects sliding off surfaces, crashing onto the shiny lacquered hardwood floors inside the boat. We quickly learned to tie things down before travel time. Most nights the gentle swaying rocked me to sleep.

sunset in the Galapagos

Sleeping berths on the Daphne are tiny, but cozy. Bunk beds are built into one wall. The lower bunk is a little wider than the top, so M and I slept in the lower bunk and stashed our gear on the top bunk. There is a small closet on one wall and two drawers under the bunks for storing clothes. Each bedroom has its own small bathroom with a shower, toilet and sink. You are not allowed to put any toilet paper into the toilet, that must be placed in a garbage can (this took a while to get used to).

During our morning hike, staff was busy changing sheets in all the cabins and leaving us fresh towels folded into animals or shells on top of the bunks. They always greeted us at the door after each excursion with freshly baked treats and/or fresh fruit and juice. After snorkeling they greeted us with steaming cups of mexican hot chocolate. Yum!

Next up: I’ll tell you about our pre- and post-Galapagos expedition (or how fun it is to fly the friendly skies these days).

Hasta mañana...

Chill'n in Balboa Park...

I am definitely soaking up every minute I have left of Summer Break. This is my second to last day before I have to report back to work. Man did this summer go by fast (that's what happens when you're having so much fun).
We started out the day at the playground in Balboa Park, then while strolling around Balboa Park we found this cool little ride that the girls loved, and then of course we had to head over to the train for a ride around the the "little village"
Lola and Ellie take on the Purple Dinosaur.
This Airplane went around and around (they picked the plane over the butterfly to ride).

Me and the girls riding the train.
Tony & I found our way into a picture today! to Sea World tomorrow to enjoy the last official day of summer break...

More !

Little T wasn't certain she could fit anymore jelly beans on her cupcake, but she was going to try her best....

New Videos

These girls have learned the "Wiggle" dance from watching "Gabba Gabba" Ellie will start to say wiggle and then Lola will join in with the motions it is so cute!

Uncle Drew brought over this 'toy' the other week. Yes it is a half blow up stadium that says Coors Light (it was from Uncle Drew's work) and it is one of the girl's favorite toys to date. Thanks Drew!

Pluot Clafouti

This week for Sweet Melissa Sundays the very sweet Michelle at Flour Child picked Plum Clafoutis with Almonds as our treat to try from Melissa Murphy's book The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. I was excited to give this recipe a try. Clafouti or clafoutis have been on my radar for years and I've had quite a few clafouti recipes book marked but never got around to making one until this week for SMS.

The recipe calls for plums which are sauteed in butter with cinnamon and sugar before being added to the clafouti batter (which is a kind of a mix between a custard and crepe batter). I was planning to pick up some plums at Sam's Club when I saw these Dinosaur Egg Pluots, a plum apricot hybrid that is supposed to be really sweet, so I had to give them a shot. They are in a little plastic container and I didn't touch them before I got home and then realized they were really soft and probably a day away from being over ripe. They were kind of hard to cut without squashing them all up, and there was no way they would hold up to being sauteed without turning to mush. So, I added the sugar, butter, and cinnamon that they should be sauteed with right into the clafouti batter and just gently placed the pluots in after pouring the batter into my cast iron skillet.

The recipe calls for a 10 inch cast iron skillet and even though my skillet measures in at 10 inches it must be super small or something, because I halved the recipe (ready to use my mini 6 inch skillet) and half of this recipe fits perfectly into my 10 inch skillet -- way too much for the 6 inch. There is no way the called for amount of filling would work in mine, I'm thinking maybe it has shallow sides or something? I don't know really, it looks pretty standard to me, oh-well.

before baking

Baking time on this is 30 minutes and at that time mine was far from done. I ended up baking a total of 45 minutes, but think an extra 5 or 10 minutes would have benefited my clafouti since my pluots were so soft and juicy. I believe the traditional French clafouti is made with cherries and they would have been perfect in this one. Even though the juicy pluots left my clafouti a tad bit softer in the middle than I believe it should be, it was still absolutely delicious.

the clafouti poufs up a lot in the oven but settles down once it is out

I especially loved the crunch from the almonds and the combo of textures in this. I was a little worried at first because I do not like "eggy" dishes, but this one did not taste eggy to me at all, a little custardy, but I think that's how it is supposed to be. I am eager to try some other clafouti recipes, since I really loved this one. Picky husband would not try it, and the kids had mixed reviews -- my 5 year old loved it, my 4 year old had one bite and was not interested, and my 3 year old ate all of his and seemed to enjoy it.

definitely rustic looking

I adapted this recipe quite a bit so I am going to share how I made it...pretty much a halved recipe from the original except for the flour, longer baking time, skim milk instead of whole milk and cream, and skipping the saute step.

Pluot Clafouti
adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
original recipe here at Michelle's blog

3 pluots, sliced into wedges
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup milk (I used skim, since that's what we keep on hand)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sliced almonds
powdered sugar and whipped cream to serve

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 10 inch cast iron skilled with cooking spray with added flour.
Whisk together eggs, sugar, almond, milk, and cinnamon.
Whisk in milk and cooled melted butter, add pluots and gently pour into skillet.
Sprinkle sliced almonds around the edges of the clafouti batter.
Bake for 45 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool about 10-15 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Home again !

We're back from our 5 week trip to the USA. Sad to be home, but happy also.

Journey fairly uneventful, although long. Little T did have a nosebleed on the plane and then again in the car on the way home this morning, but survived the ordeal quite well !

More photos will be posted soon of our last few days away (when the jet lag wears off !!!)

Farm Table

We had a fantastic breakfast again at Farm Table (which we also visited on our arrival in SF). This is a lovely little (and I mean little) cafe which has a single table that you share with other diners, or to take out.

They only have 3 meal choices, which they publish daily via twitter - click here.

She sure does love her fruit !

Little T was more than happy to pretend she'd eaten the entire thing herself. We all enjoyed this and the other exhibits at the SF Museum of Modern Art.

Mrs K/C/KC was delighted that Andy Warhol's work was part of the main exhibition.

Stopover in San Francisco

Managed to catch a few more sights before our departure. The dynamic duo had fun running around the waterfall and fountain at the Yerba Buena gardens.

Fishies & Friends

Today we spent the afternoon at the Stephen Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. The girls were very fond of some exhibits and scared of others. At first they loved all the fish and were very curious about the huge fish tanks, but then I think the darkness of the tunnel and some of the strange fish spooked them a bit... not to mention the stories their dad was telling them about the sharks that were hanging from the ceiling. Ellie kept saying "shark bite" after daddy scared them a bit with his antics... hey that's what dads are for right? They both learned a few new words today, whale, shark, star, & fishies. The mantra today was "Hi Fishies, Hi Fishies" so cute!

Ellie was daddy's girl today, she figured out that if she sat on her daddy's lap she was level with fish and could see them better. While inside Lola was attached to me the entire time.... she was a little spooked!

The girls loved this tank- it was full of so many bright colors and cool fish!
The aquarium has a nice lookout point and Lola was gazing at the ocean -probably wondering why WE weren't swimming instead of watching all these fish swim!
Ellie pointing out something very important to her daddy.
They even got to touch a star fish!
Lola loved the tide poles outside the aquarium.
The girls topped their day off by going swimming and eating dinner with their friend Bailey... nothing cuter than three little girls in diapers!

Lola, Ellie, & Bailey

Last minute fun with Grandpa

Little T and Little O managed to get some hugs and tickles with Grandpa before leaving for home. There was enough fun to hopefully last them 'til our next visit !