Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Brothers: Part III

 Don't forget to link your appetizer or drink to our Virtual Cocktail Party on Thursday!
Day 3 of Brothers' Visit is in the books, and today was the classic Monterey visit to the Aquarium, during which I took two pictures.

 And then in the afternoon, these crazy men decided to go surfing and boogie boarding in the freezing cold ocean.
 Bennett watched on. Please note that his hair matches the white sands of Carmel.

 Tommy did get up on the board, but I was trying to stop Bennett the Sea Turtle from joining them, so I missed the picture and just got the aftermath.

 Most of the afternoon looked like this
 And just in case if you were wondering if Cullen was with us all day, he was, but this was the only picture he made it in to. Totally normal.

PS Want to read something inspirational? Go check out Lauren's Weekly Gratitude to see how we should all be living.

See you tomorrow at the link up!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Brothers are Here: Part II

Day Two of our brothers' visit was wonderful.

Cullen started the day off right by finding a shirt so he and Uncle Mike could match.
 After dropping Kev off at school, we took the big boys to see our church and the gardens surrounding it.

 And after a quick lunch trip, it was home for 4 boys to nap and one Momma to attempt to clean up.
Is this what I have to look forward to when my boys share a room one day?
 Bennett was the first to wake up, so he and I had a spirited game of throw the big ball into the laundry basket.

 In the afternoon, we picked up Kev from school and headed down the 1. Unfortunately, I had been messing with my white balance settings when I was taking pictures of Bennett and forgot to change it back, so these pictures are a little blue.

 We pulled over and walked down to a remote beach to play for a bit.

Then back to the house for dinner, bath, (a quick visit to birthday girl, Traci), and a movie with the big boys. Be back tomorrow with more adventures. We love having the uncles in town!

Weekend Update: The Brothers Are Here!

Good Monday to you! How was your weekend? My brother Tommy and Kev's brother Mike arrived late Saturday evening, making for some very excited boys on Sunday morning.
 But before they got in, we had a lot of weekend activities. Including fort building,

 Block Partying

 and Carmel Valleying

 Yesterday, we took our brothers to the motorcycle race at Laguna Seca

 And I learned the hard way that high of my list of anxieties is being stuck in even traffic leaving a parking lot and unable to get a hold of my babysitter. Luckily everything was fine, but I was not a happy Momma for the hour and a half it took us to get out of there and home to my munchkins.
Tommy and Mike are here until Thursday, so we have lots of fun things planned do to with them over the next few days.

Don't forget to get your recipes ready for our Virtual Cocktail Party on Thursday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Want to Party?

After reading all of your lovely comments yesterday about your favorite appetizers, I have decided to host my first link up: a virtual cocktail party.

The plan is that next Thursday, August 2nd, I will have a linky set up so you can post your favorite appetizer or cocktail to share. It will be a fun way to meet new bloggers and get ideas for new small dishes heading into the weekend. Plus, you won't have to think about what to post next Thursday since you'll take pictures and type it up this weekend and have it scheduled and ready to go (right?). It is a win all around!

So tell your friends, and promise me that you will link up so I'm not the sad kid hanging out at my own party with just my mom and blogger besties Lauren and Jenn (because I have already guilted them into participating).

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cranberry Goat Cheese Spinach Dip

Back in June, when I was in VA visiting my mom, we survived much on a diet of wine and appetizers (don't worry, that is how we like it). I love a good app, especially on the weekends, when I don't feel like cooking and hubby has finally accepted that a few appetizers and a cocktail definitely count as dinner.

One of my go-to dips is a spinach one that I developed over time and one afternoon, I went to make it for my mom and I, only to not find the ingredients that I normally use. So I improvised and came up with this delicious combination of flavor.
-Cranberry Goat Cheese
-Parmesan Cheese
-Cranberry Goat Cheese
-Cream Cheese (I mean, can you ever have enough cheese in one recipe?)
-1 onion
-Fresh Spinach
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. In one pan, preheat a few turns of EVOO on high high. Add spinach (I usually use an entire bag, it wilts quickly). Once it is wilted, add a few pinches of nutmeg, it gives the spinach a really nice flavor.

2. Dice onion.

2. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium high. Add onion and cook until soft.

3. Roughly chop cream cheese and goat cheese, add to onion and butter mixture (turn heat down to medium). Stir until creamy.
4. Stir in spinach and nuts.
 5. Put in a pretty bowl and sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on top. Pour a glass of wine if that hasn't happened yet.
 6. Enjoy with crackers or tortilla chips!

What is your favorite appetizer?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Update: Babies, Beach and Blessings

In light of the terrible tragedy in Colorado, my blessings seemed a little brighter this weekend. Everything was a constant reminder that this gift of life is good and we must cherish every moment.

So this weekend, we found the happiness that comes with licking the brownie bowl clean.
 and having the honor to be the first person aside from Mommy and Daddy to meet Baby Charli.
Followed by the appreciation that we live on the ocean,
 next to a beach full of seals
 and a view of sea otters (with a little help).
 We found simple pleasures in the candy store,

  Jesus was there to make a lighthearted joke.
And I spotted a nice thought for the essence of your home.
 We spent the rest of the weekend relishing in each others company

And celebrating Charil's new life
Proud new parents, Traci and Steven

 Followed by an evening out with music

 And love for new friends.
Cullen actually inform me during his nightly prayers that he 'loves Ms Caitlin, a lot'
 We spent a morning at the beach

 And I treasured every second of this little life that I am blessed with.