Wednesday, January 27, 2016

{Recipe Recap} French Toast Casserole

I kinda can't believe I'm 1) doing two posts in one week and 2) sharing a recipe with you guys.  I could look and see how long it's been since I did either, but that'd take too much time, something I just don't have enough of to spare on such frivolity.  I just know it's been a long time.

I like this recipe because it's simple, both in ingredients and preparation.  Oh, and because it's DELICIOUS!  I didn't mention that yet?
The recipe calls for 18 slices of bread, but the bag of bread I bought only had 15 slices and I made it work.  I'd do the same thing next time rather than buy a second bag of bread.  My other two adaptations were adding a little vanilla to the egg-milk mixture and not brushing the baked casserole with the remaining melted butter.  Mostly because I didn't have any since I used it all up on the bread prior to baking the casserole. What's that rule about always reading the recipe all the way through before you start...?

I was feeling optimistic about not going to work last week on Friday thanks to the winter storm so I assembled this Thursday night and baked it the next morning.  I like that the bread has time overnight to soak up the liquid, plus I'm not trying to feed a hangry toddler, a dog, a cat, AND get breakfast assembled and into the oven all at the same time.
You will definitely taste the nutmeg in this recipe so if you aren't a big fan, decrease the amount or leave it out altogether.  I liked the little extra flavor it imparted so I will keep it in the recipe the next time I make it (which will be sooner than later).

We ate this as leftovers the rest of the weekend and it was just as good reheated.  Of course, if you make this for more than 2.5 people, you may not get the opportunity to eat it the next day.

Bon appetit!  And P.S. I apologize for the not-great phone pictures.  Don't let my photography sway you more than my words; this thing is worth making.

{Recipe slightly adapted from here

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow Much Fun!!!

We had snow early last year, but we're calling this Connor's first snow because he was able to enjoy it.  He called it "ice," which was actually pretty accurate.  My office was closed on Friday, which is good because so was daycare.  So we holed up at home and had some quality time together.

The McHusband got the mower out, and I'm not really sure who was having more fun.

They took off down the driveway and up the street then did some donuts in the cul-de-sac.

If you can see in the picture above, there are tree limbs down in each driveway.  Fortunately neither driveway is ours.  We got lucky that we just lost small branches and none fell in bad spots.

Monte enjoyed the snow/ice only if we were outside with him or if he could find some to eat.  See, he had an infection last week and he's been on an antibiotic as well as Prednisone, which is making him incredibly thirsty. 

We walked around the house and as Connor followed the McHusband, he got sidetracked by this ice-laden holly branch.

A few random snow pics...

And I'll wrap up with a picture of Connor.  This is him at his monkey see-monkey do finest.  The McHusband was scraping some snow from the bench and deck and of course his apprentice had to do it next.  We're lucky to have such an awesome helper by our sides these days. :)
I owe you guys - and Connor - an update on how he's doing these days.  He is such a little person now and he picks things up left and right and he surprises us at least once a week with something he's learned.  His new favorite thing this weekend, besides playing in the snow and eat icicles, was having me sing "Happy Birthday" do him.  He just kept requesting "hoppy."  He is a happy guy the majority of the time and when he isn't, it doesn't last long.  He still has a very good appetite with oatmeal being a recent favorite.  And "dock," a.k.a. chocolate (in the form of frozen mini York Peppermint Patties), which he sometimes gets one of after he's eaten a good lunch or dinner.   

We had a lot of fun being stuck together for this cold long weekend and I was grateful for the quality family time.  Having the extra day meant we could still get stuff done (hello clean bathrooms and new shocks!) without feeling like we weren't spending enough time with Connor.  So, basically, I need an ice storm every Friday.  I know, I know, careful what I wish for...

Monday, January 11, 2016

Layla Jane

It appears that if it weren't for Chelle, I wouldn't have anything to blog about. :)

I am sorry for not posting regularly.  It's just that I don't have the drive to sit down and be that productive during my downtime.  I just want to veg in front of one or two screens, depending on if I'm "multi-tasking" by watching TV and perusing the internet at the same time.  But more on where my head is later.  Let's talk about something fun.

Meet Layla Jane!
Chelle's due date was the 17th, but Layla decided she was ready to see the world and arrived on the evening of the 8th, weighing 8 lbs 12 oz and measuring 22 inches long.  She has lots of dark hair and cheeks for days and she is perfect.

I visited yesterday and was lucky enough to be the only visitor once Chelle's parents left so I soaked up all those baby snuggles.  What is it about just sitting with a tiny baby in your arms that's so enjoyable?
We are all so happy to welcome Layla to the "framily" and can't wait to see her grow up alongside the rest of the kids.

Congratulations, Chelle and Jeremy, on your beautiful baby girl!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Chelle's Baby Shower

Heather, Vanessa, and I hosted Chelle’s baby shower at my house last weekend.  The three of us made a great team: we each fulfilled certain roles well, we figured out how to plan this thing without any drama, and we prepped the day of easily and with minimal stress.  Wanna see how things turned out?

I had the idea to use pinwheels as décor, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to affix them to the wall without messing up my newly painted dining room. I have no idea what turned the lightbulb on, but I suddenly remembered one day that I had window inserts/grills up in the attic, including a big one for the bay window in the dining room.  I super-glued the pinwheels to the grill and, well, I think it turned out pretty well.  I mean, I had two people who wanted to take it home with them so I guess that means it looked nice.
We used Vanessa’s wooden crates plus her basket and birdcages on either side of the food table to support our mason jars and birds theme.
I want to thank Bianca, Heather's daughter, who helped fulfill my last-minute vision to add a pennant to the window behind the drink table.  Thank goodness for otherwise idle hands!
And we used my sideboard cabinet for dessert.  Our invitations had mason jars on them and we used those in other ways  in the décor but nothing made as big as impact as Heather’s single-serving chocolate éclair dessert in small jars.
Other than the scrapbook paper, our main decorations were fresh flowers and Vanessa’s “BABY H” frames on the mantle.  Oh, and the birdhouses belonged to the McMom.
 I know, let’s see the guest of honor, huh?
 Each of us had to get a picture with Chelle individually, of course.
 Chelle with her (very excited) mom.
And with Amanda, who was at the shower because she was still pregnant even though the shower date was her due date.  Spoiler alert: she had Baby Emma the next day.
A couple of crowd pics for posterity’s sake.
And no shower post would be complete without a few pics of the mom-to-be opening her adorable (and sometimes alcoholic) gifts.
Before everyone left, we had to take a group picture of everyone who was there to celebrate Chelle and her baby girl.
Kim had to leave early so she missed the group shot, but luckily we got a photo of her and Chelle together earlier.
And finally, we had to document Chelle and all her loot.
That is one lucky girl!  The baby girl, that is. (But Chelle is, too.)

Chelle and I have known each other since we were about 11 years old; I can’t believe that in a decade, our kids will be the same age we were when we first met.  I can only hope that their friendships (and we’re including Karis here) stand the test of time like mine and Chelle’s has.

We can’t wait to meet Baby H next month!

(Sorry for any strange formatting.  I'm having to use Blogger for this post as opposed to Windows Live Writer, which is kinda like Word for blogging - it just made everything so easy and simple, but now it's not compatible with Google.  I hope to figure out a good solution soon.)