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Sunday, November 29, 2015

What I Wore Sunday

How about another round of What I Wore Sunday??

Details on this outfit:

Shirt: Lands' End
Scarf: Kohl's
Vest: Kohl's
Pants: Kohl's
Boots: Target

I have decided that a vest is the perfect layering piece when you are trying to hide a little extra that you may have around the middle!  This could be the year of the vest for me!!  :)

Happy Advent everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Saint Rebecca Irene, pray for us!

Remember this summer, when I posted this story about my sweet little saint who loves to pray?

This weekend, I received the following email from a reader named Kim:

Hello Beth,

I follow your blog and wanted to share this short story with you. Today my 7-year old daughter, Sarah, lost a bracelet she recently received for her birthday. She was very upset. Normally we pray to St. Anthony for intercession when we lose things, but I told Sarah to pray to St. Rebecca Irene. Less than a half hour later, she found her bracelet resting on top of a yellow flower in our yard. :)

God Bless!
I was so happy to hear this!  I love that someone thought about my sweet Rebecca and asked her to pray for them.  (And I love that Kim's daughter's name is Sarah - with an h no less!)
I ask Rebecca to pray for me and my intentions all the time (and you would not believe how fast I get answers to some of these prayers!) and I love that someone else thought about her and asked her for help as well.  
So next time you are praying to God about something big or small, you might want to ask St. Rebecca Irene to pray for you as well.  She's a powerful little intercessor.

Saint Rebecca Irene, pray for us!

My beautiful Rebecca.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What We Wore Sunday

Don't worry - this is not becoming a fashion blog BUT, I have decided to try to start posting more of What I Wore Sunday.  I'm trying to get over the fact that I STILL weigh 20 pounds more than I did a couple of years ago but I'm not going to let that stop me from trying to at least look cute - even if I don't feel cute.

So, here's the latest WIWS.  I wore the same scarf as last week.  Shhhhh....I hope no one at church noticed.  The look is cute and casual and I was very happy with how it turned out.

Chambray Shirt: Target
Black Pants: Kohl's
Camel Booties: Target
Bracelets: Target

And here I am with my little fashionista.  She looks cute no matter what she's wearing. It was chilly so I threw on a black vest which also came from Target.

Sarah's outfit details:
Sweater: Kohl's
Tee: Target
Jeans: Target
Boots: Target can tell where we do all of our shopping!

Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What We Wore Sunday

Sarah and I both sported leopard print to Mass on Sunday.  And since we both thought that was cool, we took pictures.  So, here's an unofficial What We Wore Sunday:

 Sarah's entire outfit came from Target - even her super cute boots!

Sweater: Target
Tee: Target
Booties: Target

Sarah loves it when we are "matchers".  I've got a feeling that's not going to last long so I'm going to enjoy it wile I can!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The weekend. A recap.

Peter had a great birthday weekend in case you were wondering.

Friday was a half day of school.  And we also held our fundraiser, the Turkey Trot.  So Peter was in hog heaven - short day of school and when he was at school, he wasn't doing any work...except for a science lab where they tested marshmallow catapults they had teamed up to build:

Preparing to launch a marshmallow!

And here are a few pictures from the Turkey Trot:

Me and the other members of the PTO Board!

After the half day of school, he went to a friend's house who was celebrating his birthday.  His friend Daniel, just turned 13 the weekend before but because of the basketball tournament we were playing in, he didn't get to celebrate.  All the boys in their class went home with Daniel for an afternoon of playing in the woods.

Peter loves to play in the woods.  He came home a very tired but happy boy!

On Saturday, Peter skipped his basketball game to go to a Boy Scout event.  He went to Raven Knob and learned how to shoot a .22 rifle.  He advanced through both required rounds and earned his shooting badge!  He was so excited.  And Dan said Peter is actually a good shot!  Peter loves guns and has been begging for one.  I'm still not letting him get one but at least he was able to spend the morning shooting one safely.

On Saturday evening, we went to my parent's house for dinner.  They had some friends who recently went to Ireland so we got to hear about their travels and pick their brains for our upcoming trip in March.  No pictures but we ate ribs my dad had smoked in his smoker and I have to say - once you've had my dad's ribs, you will not want to eat any others!

On Sunday, we went to church and then back to my parent's for Peter's birthday lunch.  Here are some pictures of my little baby blowing out his candles.  And do you notice the fuzz on his upper lip?  It cracks me up every time I see it!

We measure the kids every year on their birthday .  Peter grew five inches last year!  FIVE INCHES!!!  He is currently 5 feet, 7 1/4 inches.  No wonder I had to replace his entire wardrobe this fall!

And the Carolina Panthers remain undefeated and the New England Patriots remain undefeated and that pretty much sums up our entire weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thirteen is..

Thirteen is...

hungry (always hungry)

Thirteen loves to...

watch YouTube videos
play video games
shoot hoops
 hang out with his friends
go camping
pick on his sister
learn about history and geography
Google anything he wants to know about
eat cereal, BBQ, wings, and pizza
eat Sunday lunch at Grandma and Grandpa's house
visit museums

Thirteen has my heart. 
Happy Birthday, Peter!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Souper Soup Recipe!

I love a good homemade soup.  And Dan loves meat, potatoes and bread.  So when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.

It was good. Very good.  Dan raved about it.  He had leftovers the next day and continued to rave about it.   

Dan never raves about anything I make.  

I am taking dinner to a friend in a few weeks and I think this is the recipe I'm going with.  However, I'm going to make it one more time just to make sure I don't screw it up.  And also, the biscuits were only so so.  I might use another biscuit recipe.  This one had good flavor but they were a little dry.  Perhaps I over worked the dough or over baked them.  Not sure so I guess I need to try them again before I completely rule them out.

Anyway, here's a really yummy soup recipe!  Enjoy! (Both recipes found on CookingClassy)

Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Parmesan Drop Biscuits
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: About 4 - 6 servings

  • 20 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded in to bite size pieces
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 (15 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (heaping) peeled and 1/2-inch diced russet potatoes (2 medium potatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried crushed rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 recipe Parmesan drop biscuits, recipe follows
  • In an enameled cast iron pot, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add in onion, carrot and celery and saute 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, potatoes, parsley, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, (press veggies down into broth) cover with lid, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15 - 25 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in chicken and peas.
  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter. Stir in flour and cook mixture, stirring constantly for 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat while stirring constantly, then remove from heat and stir in cream. Pour and stir milk mixture into mixture in pot. Stir in lemon juice.
  • Remove bay leaf and serve warm with Parmesan Drop Biscuits. 
Parmesan Drop Biscuits
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: About 10 biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 6 Tbsp butter (I used salted)
  • 2 oz finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper for 30 seconds. Stir in parmesan cheese. Add butter, and using your fingertips, rub butter into mixture until evenly distributed it comes together like the size of peas. Pour in milk and heavy cream and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined (batter should be lumpy and sticky). Drop about a scant 1/4 cup of batter at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I'm hoping there's not too much of a resemblance!

When we were in D.C. Sarah and I checked out the display of all the First Lady's dresses at the Smithsonian.  It's a favorite exhibit of Sarah's and she asks to see it every time we are at the Museum of American History.

As we were admiring the dresses, she noticed a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt and said, "Wow, Mom!  She looks just like you!"

Did my daughter just tell me I looked like Eleanor Roosevelt?  She did!

When I told my husband about it later, his eyes got wide and he said, "That is not a good thing!"

This is the picture Sarah saw that they had  beside her dress:

But typically, when I think of Eleanor Roosevelt, I think of this:

So maybe in another 20 years or so I'll look like this??? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Theme Thursday: Catchlights

It's Thursday so let's keep up the trend of the past couple of weeks and participate in Michaela's Theme Thursday!

This weeks theme is catchlights.   I have no idea what they are but she explained them an also linked to this helpful article.

Basically a catchlight is whenever you get the light source is reflected off your subject's eyes.

The kids are in school so here is the catchlight in GrayGray's eyes from a shot I snapped a couple of weeks ago:

Catchlights add depth and dimension to the eye, and gives the eyes life in a portrait or snapshot.  Next time I take a picture of the kids, I am going to try to make sure the lighting is right so I can get a good catchlight...don't want my subjects looking like Zombies!

Head over to Michaela's to see everyone's take on catchlights!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Washington, DC - Day 2

Day 2 of our Washington DC birthday trip began with a run to the Alexandria Farmer's Market.  It is a quick couple of blocks walk from Cathy's house and it is just the best little market. It's held every Saturday morning in the town square.  There are fresh flowers, produce, baked goods, fresh eggs, crafts...a little bit of everything!

We all chose our pastries and headed back to Cathy's to enjoy them.  I got a homemade cranberry and apple pop tart and it was wonderful.  I wish I had one right now!

Walking home with a big bag of goodies!
After breakfast, we hopped into the car and headed 9 miles up the road to Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington.  Unlike the activities from the day before, we had to pay to get in.  It wasn't outrageous and it was totally worth the price but you do get spoiled with all the free things to do in DC!

 We were at Mt. Vernon for almost 4 hours.  There's a lot to see and we honestly could have stayed longer.  It doesn't take long to go through the house - in fact, they whisk you through pretty quickly.  But the grounds are extensive and there's a bit of walking to see the fields, the dock area, and the outbuildings.  They have demonstrations along the way which are interesting - weaving, metal working, cooking, etc.  And the museum at the visitor's center was quite large.  It took quite a bit to work our way through there and we were rushing it because we were all getting hungry.

Around 2:45 we headed back to Alexandria for a late lunch at District Taco.  It was very good.  Apparently they started as a food truck and had quite the following in DC and have since opened quite a few brick and mortar locations.

Later that evening we went to Mass at St. Mary's and afterward hurried home so the Halloween festivities could begin.

On the street and ready for treats!

Do you see all these people?  It was like that for the whole length of this street.  They block off Lee Street and there were thousands of people out. It had the vibe of a street festival.  This picture does not do the massive crowd justice.

Sarah had fun handing out candy with Aunt Cathy before and after she went trick-or-treating. In Alexandria, there are so many people coming through that people that are giving out candy just sit outside.

 After trick-or-treating, we headed inside for dinner and then birthday cake for Peter!

On Sunday, Cathy made yummy homemade waffles and then we packed our bags and headed home.  As always, it was a great trip!  Thanks, AC for having us again!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Washington D.C. - Day One

When Peter was 8 at his request, we went to DC for his birthday.  The same happened when he was 10 and 12.  I wasn't planning to go again this year since we just went last year but he asked and it seemed like I had been say no to him so much lately.  Dan's sister, Cathy, was excited to have us so we told him we could go again this year.  

We headed to Washington, DC on Thursday evening when Dan got home from work. We arrived at Cathy's house a little after midnight, thanks to some road construction near DC. 

The next morning we headed to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.  This was one place we had not visited so we were excited to see how they print the money.  It was very fascinating.  The whole operation was not as big as I had expected and there is a lot of human inspection and hands on manipulation of the sheets of money.  You can't take pictures in side the tour but I did get a few outside.

After the tour of the BEP, the boys wanted to visit some of the museums.  We walked over to the American History Museum.

There's always something to see when you are walking in Washington. 

At the American History Museum, we saw exhibits on the Civil War and on  the American Presidents
among others.  And Sarah and I always visit the First Ladies Inauguration Gowns.  (The boys skipped this exhibit for some reason!)

After the American History Museum, we grabbed some lunch at Lincoln's Waffle Shop.  Peter was the only one who got waffles.  The rest of us got burgers.  It's named Lincoln's Waffle Shop because it's right across from Ford's Theater so after lunch, we took a tour to the museum there and got to see inside of the theater.  (When we visited last year, the theater was closed because they were working on a production.)  We were excited to get to see inside this visit.

 The actual gun that John Wilkes Booth used to shoot Abraham Lincoln.

 The box the Lincoln's were sitting in.

Colton aiming the gun!

After that we headed back to the Mall.  The boys wanted to visit the Air and Space Museum.  Sarah and I have been there enough to know that we did not want to visit.  I suggested that we go to the Natural History Museum but ultimately, after a whole day of walking (we basically parked in a garage at 9:00 and walked everywhere on Friday) we decided that we would get a treat (ice cream for her, coffee for me) and hang out and people watch in the museum while the boys did their thing.  They checked out the exhibits and rode in one of the simulators.

I have no pictures of any of this because 2 almost 13 year old boys do not want a mom chasing after them making them smile for photos.  I'm thankful for the few pictures they did let me take!

I still don't have problems of getting pictures of Sarah.

At this point, it was time to make the journey back to the car and head back to Cathy's in Alexandria.  When she got home from work, we ordered pizzas and relaxed  a little before time to take a ghost tour of Alexandra.  This is the exact same tour we took the kids on when we went for Peter's 8th birthday.  They were even still telling the same stories.  I was hoping we would get some different stories but apparently there are a limited number of ghosts in Alexandria!  It was still a fun thing to do, especially the night before Halloween! 

And after that, we walked to an ice cream shop in Alexandria (I can't remember the name of it but it's the one we always go to and the ice cream is always so good!)  And I realized that you can eat pizza and ice cream and not worry about it when you spend the whole day walking! I wish I had a Fit Bit so that I could tell you how many steps we logged on Friday! 

After ice cream, we came home and went to bed!

And that was Day 1!