Monday, January 31, 2011

Bringing Your Kids to Starbucks: Glimpe into Motherhood Week 4

So yesterday our day consisted of going to the park, the outlet mall (living this close to Tanger should be illegal), and a quick stop at Starbucks for a treat for everyone.

The park was fun. The mall was fun. Even Starbucks was fun after I got over the dirty looks from everyone for having two kids in there with me.

I needed the coffee. I really did. I needed to hear the steamer in the back going off every few minutes. I needed to be tempted with all of the goodies in the display case. I really needed to see my sweet Ryder flirting with the two college girls on the other side of the window, blowing kisses and batting the eyelashes too. I needed Starbucks yesterday. Kids or no kids, I was getting it.

Here is my entry for Simply Modern Mom's Project 52 : Glimpse into Motherhood.
This is just a double chocolatey chip frapp. Pretty much a frozen chocolate milk. No caffeine

My sweet Nolan enjoying some Madelines.

Vanilla Sugar

How often do you use vanilla beans? For me, it's at least once a week. Whether they are being used in chocolates, cakes, or candies I always have the empty pods left over and I hate to waste them! $8 for two vanilla beans is too much for me to waste! I don't want to use them to make an extract because there are little to no little seeds in there. (I'm a master pod scraper) So lately I've been using them to make vanilla sugar.

For my birthday this past year my parents got me two wooden racks from williams-sonoma along with enough spices to fill them up. One rack is full of baking spices, while the other is filled with some of my favorite savory spices. My mom wanted to buy me the vanilla sugar so bad but they were completely sold out! Oh well! Now I just make my own in bulk.

I use 1 cup of regular granulated sugar per pod. You just put both in an airtight container and let it sit for a few weeks. I give mine a shake about once a day to prevent some of the clumping. If I only use about half of a vanilla bean, I only add 1/2 cup of sugar.

You can always use whole vanilla beans, just cut down the middle (long ways), scrape the seeds out, and place it all into the container along with the sugar. If you do this though, use 2 cups of sugar as the seeds are more potent than the actual pod.

This stuff is great for putting in your coffee. Or maybe using it to create a topping for your favorite muffins. What about using it to make cinnamon rolls? YUM!! So many possiblilites!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Making Biscuits: Glimpse into Motherhood Week 3

Ever since Ryder was about a year old we make homemade biscuits at least once a week. This normally used to be on Wednesdays when we were back in Hawaii with Tyler. I would wake Ryder up early and we would get to work. Talking, measuring, mixing, kneading, rolling, and cutting. It was a great bonding experience. My kitchen was always covered in flour. The biscuits were sometimes very lopsided. But they always tasted great. So the hour of cleaning was definitely worth it to me.

This is a picture of Ryder and I making biscuits earlier this week. Since we've moved here he has gotten better at it. Please excuse the no make-up and pjs!

Also, if you would like to make biscuits with your loved one, here is the recipe that I use and have been using for my marriage. They are great with honey! Tyler loves his smothered in Tomato Gravy. Ryder loves his with bacon and eggs stuffed inside. Nolan just plain loves them. (Have you seen his pictures? He loves any kind of food)

This makes about 12 biscuits

1 cup of all pourpose flour
1 cup of cake flour
1 Tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, cut into cubes, very cold (to cube i just cut the stick in half longways twice and then slice)
3/4 cup of whole milk or as needed

Preheat the oven to 400 F

Sift together all purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Use two knives, or a pastry blender, to cut in the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in just enough milk to make a soft, moist dough. I don't always need all of the milk so add slowly. And be sure not to overmix.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 6 to 8 times just until smooth. Pat the dough down to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a bicuit cutter (I sometimes use the tops of my cups) dipped in flour to cut out biscuist close to each other to minimize scraps. Pack together and reroll the scraps to cut out additionsl biscuits.

Or you could pat the dough into a rectangle and cut into 12 squares. This pretty much eliminates scraps.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and serve either hot or warm. Enjoy!

If you would like to participate in Simply Modern Mom's Glimpse into Motherhood Project please click...

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Look Mom! Two of um!!! - Glimpse into Motherhood Week 2

I walked into Ryder's room this morning and found this:

We have been potty training for a few days now and everytime he uses the potty he gets a sucker. Apparently he's been saving them. Ryder understands numbers and has a grasp on quantity. He knows what "a lot", "many", and "few" mean but he insists that if there are more than two things of something that there are "two of um"!

Here is my photo for Simply Modern Mom's Project 52, Glimpse into Motherhood, Week 2
He's almost crawling! He will stay like this for a few minutes just rocking back and forth before finally flopping forward. His face perfectly depicts his fear and excitement about learning something new.

Ever since he cut those two bottom teeth he has been making this face. I think at this point in time he was grunting at Ryder for not sharing suckers with him.

This would have been a very cute picture if I would have just tilted my camera a little more. Oh, well. I still love his face and the way that his blue eyse shine.

All of these photos were straight from the camera with no editing applied.

To participate in Simply Modern Mom's Project 52 please click:

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ahhh, The Kids are in Bed

Man, ever since Tyler left for Iraq my life has been one big blur. The kids are growing up before my eyes. Time is flying by. I remember before Nolan was born how I would sit and wonder in fear about how I would go to the grocery store with a two year old and a new born. Or how I would ever have time for myself. I'll tell you what though, it's easier than I could have ever imagined.

I make it a point to wake up AT LEAST an hour before either of the boys wake up. That way I can grab a shower, drink my coffee, and catch up on the news. By the time Nolan wakes up, I'm clean, caffeinated, and caught up. I fix him a bottle and cuddle with him before Ryder wakes up. I love those little moments when the house is quiet and we get one on one time with each other. Once big brother wakes up I am constantly going, going, going. He wants breakfast. And chocolate milk. And for me to play with him. Sometimes I can't wait until naptime. I put both kids down in their rooms and let out a sigh of relief. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids dearly, but I also enjoy a break every now and then. And normally this is the time that Tyler gets on Skype and we can talk in peace. (The kids get to Skype him regularly too. I'm not a "Daddy hog")

I am lucky if I get an hour of peace before one of them wakes up. But not too much longer and it's bedtime. I hook the computer up to the stereo, play some Pandora radio, and get my house clean. I like to wake up to a clean house even though I know it gets trashed within a few hours. (Thanks boys!!!) If we are planning on having cinnamon rolls the next morning this is when I make the dough. I also do laundry. TONS of laundry.

Once all of my chores are finished I get to relax. I drink coffee all day long. I'm seriously addicted. I get horrible headaches if I don't drink it. And so to wind down at night, I like to enjoy a small glass of wine. Well Moscato d'Asti to be exact. Doesn't matter which brand, though I do prefer the one in the blue bottle. Sometimes I catch up with friends, read a book, or take a nice long bubble bath. But most of the time, I sit on couch curled up in a blanket and watch movies.

I can not wait until Tyler is home and he can enjoy this quiet time with me. (And to watch the kids so I can go sit at Starbucks!!!) Love you honey!

Monday, January 10, 2011

This really happens?

Ok, maybe I wasn't very imaginative when I was a kid, or maybe it's because I am a girl. I don't know. But when "Toy Story" came out when I was a child, I didn't believe that kids actually played with their toys like that. And then "Toy Story 3" came out and the opening scene is an adventure that is being played out by Andy's toys. All I could think was, "Yeah right, who really plays with their toys like that?" Well, today I have answered my question. MY KIDS!!!!

Nolan has just recently started to get up on his hands and knees and of course Ryder thinks he is acting like a horse. So today Ryder was a cowboy, Nolan was a horse/prisoner, and I was the mean sheriff. Ryder had this entire adventure played out for us. He would ride his horse(Nolan) into town, followed by other [invisible] cowboys on their pillow pet horses, and start riots. Buildings (blocks) would get knocked over, money (many stacks of baby wipes he found in the bathroom) would get stolen and put into a loot bag, boulders (balls) would run over and crush the trains of the town, and the cowboys would stand on top of buildings (Storage cubes) and shoot people. When Sheriff Mommy realized what happened she captured one of the cowboys (Nolan is both a horse and cowboy now) and put him in jail (upside down laundry baskets work great for this). Soon after, Ryder shoots the sheriff and rescues his horse. ha!

We had acted out this adventure for about an hour and half. Only interrupted by Ryder having to go potty. When he had finished his "business" he wasn't interested anymore and moved on to his room to play with his train table.

How many of you have children who play with their toys Toy Story style? What has been your favorite adventure?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Glimpse into Motherhood: Week 1

I've decided to participate in Project 52: Glimpse into Motherhood hosted by Simply Modern Mom, one of my favorite blogs to follow. So every week I will post a few pictures that depict my life as a mother.

This particular set of photos is from a few weeks ago actually. Before all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season (I make candies from my home remember?), I took the boys to the Houmas House here in Louisiana to practice my photography and get new photos of them. I really killed two birds with one stone because I also brought along my best friend and a model we were both shooting pictures of. More on that later though.

Trying to get this picture was SO HARD. This was towards the end of our TWO hours at the Houmas House and he was getting very bored. So I told him that kisses = candy. And he was more than willing to kiss away.

I love this picture. He is the sweetest little baby ever. All I have to do is kiss his tickle spot and he lets out an immediate little chuckle.
This picture depicts my everyday life perfectly. Two kids who are constantly going turns me into a crazy mommy. All I can do sometimes is sit back, watch it all happen, and smile.
This is my favorite picture of the day though. It represents their brotherhood to a tee. Ryder didn't want to sit next to Nolan. He had to be in the front and in this picture he was turning around to tease Nolan about it. But of course Nolan thinks anything that Ryder does is hilarious so he was cracking up.

Project 52: Glimpse Into Motherhood

J of all Trades

I am Janae. A definite J of all trades. I'm a baker, chef, photographer, chocolatier, crafter, mommy, and military wife.

I started baking when I was about 13. Creating various cakes for different people. My first mastered recipe was for yeast rolls. I think I made them twice a week for my mom.

When my hubby is home we rarely eat out. I cook everything homemade. That include basic staples that a lot of people wouldn't think twice about buying in the grocery store such as chicken stock, cream of mushroom, salad dressing, bread, etc. I am, by all means, NOT one of those moms who is organic crazy. I just like to know what goes into the food that I cook for my family.

I've always liked photography. I remember being a young child, around 7 or 8, and setting up photoshoots with my stuffed animals and a disposable camera. Lame, I know!

My first job (besides babysitting and occasionally making cakes) was working at a wonderful confectionery. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's pretty much a fancy name for a candy or bake shop. I absolutely loved my job. I like to think of my boss as being my mentor. I fell in love with the process of making candies and other sweets. So after I got married and had my first son, I picked it up again. I bought myself a book and two really good chocolate molds. From there, I taught myself how to temper chocolate and then it was game on. I now am working on all that I need so that I can open my own store front at the hubby's new duty station.

I like to sew as well. I made the cover for my newest sons carseat. I'm working on a quilt for my oldest son right now. I might not be great at it but I like to believe I am!

My kids are awesome. Ryder is two, will be three in May. He has red hair and a personality to match. He is definitely a daddy's boy and that gets hard sometimes when Tyler is gone. Nolan is 7 months old and as sweet as he can be. A fat little chunk too. And since Tyler has been gone since he was 5 weeks old, he is a momma's boy and I am certainly not complaining.

Now to Tyler. He is the love of my life and my best friend. We were highschool sweethearts that got married young. He joined the army when Ryder was 6 weeks old. And after he finished with his training we were shipped off to the great state of Hawaii. Being married to him as brought me great happiness and wonderful opportunities. We are officially halfway through this deployment and I can't wait until he finally comes home.