Tuesday, January 27, 2015

E's 3 Year Photos

Little E turned 3 on Thursday and so, as is tradition, we went and had her photos taken at the JCPenney Portrait Studio. Here is a look back at the last two years up until today.


One Year

Two Years

Three Years

It's often hard for me to notice how her looks change over the years until I look back at these comparison photos. She did such a great job with the photographer. Lately she has the tendency to make an exasperated expression when you ask her to smile unless I specifically ask her to "make a pretty smile" and even then it may not be her natural look. However, we were very lucky to get so many fantastic smiles out of her and K as well.

Here are the collage photos we chose and the individual photos for a better view:

So there you have it. Another photo session done, until August when K turns 7. Ack!

Take care,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Third Birthday, E!

It sure has been a busy few days in the JAKES household. On Thursday it was Little E's birthday and Great Grammie and Grampie came over for lunch.

That evening we all went to see Disney's Frozen On Ice. It was a great show!

On Friday I spent all day getting things ready for her birthday party.
On Saturday we hosted her third birthday party. (More on that in another post!)

On Sunday the JAKES and Nana and Papa went to the JcPenney Portrait Studio for E's three year old photos as well as family photos. (More photos coming momentarily in another blog post.)

Little E, you are an amazing child, a sweetheart of a daughter, an incredibly funny person, and a wonderful little sister. Thank you for blessing our lives with you smiles, cuddles, and love everyday. This world is truly a better place because you are in it. We love you so much!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fun with Selfies: Photo Booth Style

Wow, it has been a really long time since my last post. Sorry about that :(

I have two Christmas projects and a couple of recipes I've been meaning to share but I just don't have the motivation to do them in the evenings. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that [A] and I have been binge-watching the show Dexter. It's disturbing but strangely addictive.

Anyway, to make up for lost time, and the fact that it's been since Halloween when I last posted any photos of the girls, I present Fun with Selfies: Photo Booth Style!

I simply followed [K]'s lead and copied whatever face she was making. People have told me in the past that we look alike and seeing these photos of us together definitely sealed the deal for me.

I hope you all have an wonderful Monday and in the ever memorialized words of Bill S. Preston, Esquire, "Be excellent to each other!"

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Recipe: Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

I'm probably a few days too late with this post but if you still have leftover Thanksgiving turkey and are wondering what to do with it, I highly suggest making it into this soup from allrecipes.com. (Or, you can plan ahead and keep some turkey from Christmas if you make it then too.)

We had everything on hand already except for the wild rice. I happen to be shopping at Cost Plus World Market and came across this grain and pasta medley. It was perfect for the soup. The surprise ingredient is the almonds and they give this soup a wonderful crunch. It's really delicious!

Serves 8

2/3 cup uncooked wild rice
2 cups water

6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups turkey (or chicken) broth
1/3 cup shredded carrot
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup half-and-half cream


  1. Bring the wild rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender but not mushy, 40 to 45 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid, fluff the rice with a fork, and cook uncovered 5 minutes more. Set the cooked rice aside.
    *Alternatively, follow the instructions listed on the wild rice of your choosing.*
  2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion and celery until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the flour to the turkey broth and pour in the pot. Stir in the carrot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook, whisking constantly, until the stock is thick and smooth and the carrot is tender, about 2 more minutes.
  3. Stir in the cooked wild rice, turkey, salt, pepper, and almonds. Return to a simmer, and cook 2 more minutes to heat the ingredients. Stir in the lemon juice and half-and-half; bring the soup almost to a boil, and serve hot.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fun Thanksgiving Treat: Hershey's Kiss Acorns

Hello! I'm sorry for the nearly one month break. I've been having a hard time juggling time with the kids and personal down time. I think about writing a blog post but then I end up watching back episodes of Pysch on Netflix instead. Anyway, a while back I came across these cute acorn treats on some blog site and thought they would be cute to make for Thanksgiving. If you do a quick Google search of Hershey's Kiss Acorns you'll find several variations of the same basic idea.

Here are the ingredients I used:

1. Some kind of icing or frosting
2. Thin pretzels
3. Hershey's Kisses
4. A small cookie with a hole in the middle

A couple of notes on my ingredients - When I make these for the actual Thanksgiving day, I'll be using pretzel sticks. Since this was just an experiment and I wasn't sure if anyone would like them, I wanted to buy the smallest bag of pretzels I could find and this Snyder's bag was it. Also, if you're ever in need of a small amount of Kisses, I found this little bag at the Dollar Tree. It was more than I needed but not by too much. Lastly, the 100 Calorie Packs of the Keebler Fudge Stripes has 10 cookies in it so if you buy a box of these you should have enough to make them for a crowd.

I didn't take step-by-step photos because it's just too easy. Break a pretzel stick into smaller pieces and feed it into the hole of your cookie. Squeeze (or spread) a small dab of icing on the bottom of the Kiss and press the cookie onto it. I put mine in the refrigerator for a few hours but I'm not sure you have to. The nice thing about this particular recipe is the saltiness of the pretzels enhances the chocolate and helps balance out the sweetness of the cookie. It's a great bite-size treat.

Plus, they're cute and very quick to put together. This is a great project to let the kids help with.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the JAKES!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Hello everyone. I hope you are all staying warm and having a happy, spooky Halloween.

This year, {K} & {E} are going as the most original costumes ever... wait for it... Elsa and Anna from Frozen. I know you're shocked. But they love that movie so much and it's what they wanted and with the plethora of available gowns, I didn't have to sew anything so a win for me as well.

Without further ado, I hereby present Queen Elsa and Princess Anna of Arendelle!

I actually took the photos above a few days ago when we had beautiful weather instead of the snow flurries we're having today.

The pictures below are from this morning. {K} didn't want to wear a wig so we braided her hair and used a can of gold hair paint to try and make it look a bit more like Elsa's.

This is from the parade at her school:

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween and stay warm! I think we'll hit one or two houses of nearby friends and then go to the library for indoor trick or treating. Brrr!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Muffin Tin Tuesday, On A Monday!

Hehe, my title reminds me of this quote by Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie: "Today will not be known as Taco Tuesday, it will be known as Freedom Friday! But still on a Tuesday!"

Ever since [K] started first grade we've had to give up Muffin Tin Tuesdays since she eats lunch at school now <insert sad Mom face>. However, since she had the day off today I decided to make it a Muffin Tin Monday.

This was [K]s:
Top row: pizza, grapes, cherry tomatoes
Bottom row: Annie's Bunny Fruit Snacks, mandarin orange, sugar snap peas
(I know it looks like she only had three bites of pizza but fear not,
the rest of the piece was cut up on a separate plate for her.
This was [E]s:
It's essentially the same stuff but in smaller quantities. I swapped out Ritz crackers
for the pizza and took the peas out of her pods but those are the only differences.

I also found these two in my blog photo archives and figured I'd share them as well.

This was [K]s:
Top row: blueberries, carrots, chicken, ketchup
Middle row: macaroni and cheese, blueberries, broccoli, mandarin orange
Bottom row: broccoli, carrots, macaroni and cheese, chocolate pudding
And this was [E]s:
Top row: slice of wheat bread, green beans, apple slices
Bottom row: chocolate cat crackers, apple slices, mini dill pickles
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day!