Monday, December 21, 2009

snow storm

Baby's first snowstorm, and, boy, was I unprepared! No winter jacket, no snow boots, no snow pants...( I did have hats, though!). Luckily for everyone, Grandma Gee Gee came through for her grand kids and went all over town picking up these essential pieces for our sleepover. Grandma Gee Gee and Lindsey joked about the Napoleon Dynamite-style snow boots they got for Reese being the ugliest things they had ever seen, but the only pair left in her size. But, Reese LOVED them. Once she got them on, there was no way she was going to take those things off. Even the next morning, when the ground was covered with snow, she just HAD to put her boots on over her footed jammies. On Saturday morning, when it was time to shovel the first layer of snow off the driveway, we bundled up the kids to come out and help us. Grandma Gee Gee had some little shovels for them to use and they got a kick out of it! Tyson mostly just wanted to eat the snow, but Reese was pretty excited to be walking around in her boots in the snow. She also loved touching the snow with her mittens on!

But, the real fun was on Sunday when we played outside after it had stopped snowing! (20 inches later) Reese LOVED sledding down the hill with Tyson and her Dad.

doll face!
Yes, that snow really is up to my knees!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

once there was a snowman

How fun are holiday cupcakes?! A couple friends and I had the greatest time making these darling snowmen (complete with trees from the forest) and Christmas ornament cupcakes. They were almost too cute to eat!

I still can't get over how adorable all the Christmas ornaments are that Lauren sent to Reese for her first Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

let her eat cake

Reese was so excited to eat some birthday cake on mommy's birthday! (can you tell by the look on her face?) And check out the size of that piece of complimentary birthday cake from Macaroni Grill! (a far cry from the sorry "birthday sundae" that Cheesecake Factory offered me for dessert later this evening) My friends and I had a couple bites each, and then Reese went to town on the rest. The cake was a deliciously dense and rich chocolate cake--so rich, in fact, that a couple bites were enough for me, but Reese handled it like a champ!
so excited to dig in!!

check out the size of that bite! that's my girl!
I love birthday cake!!! Who's birthday is next?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

like mother like daughter

As I have mentioned on this blog many times before, my mom and I LOVE to play all day in the kitchen when we are together...baking any kind of goodies we can think of! And when we are apart, we still talk food...sharing ideas, recent goodies we've tried and emailing recipes back and forth.
After trying a new recipe last week, and it turning out to be one that was enjoyed by all, I knew I had to send it to my mom. I almost died laughing when I got her response.

Here is the email I send to her:

Taryn: Do you get the 12 days of cookies from food network? There were about two of the twelve that I would actually want to make, and this was one. I made it for the kids' gift exchange that I went to yesterday and it was a HIT!!!! They do take some time because you have to bake the bottom layer and then let it cool completely before you can finish them...but they were really delicious! I broke my new food processor out of the box...and was giddy the whole time!!!! It was so much fun. I may or may not have pulsed too much, because mine didn't have the same size crumbles of those in the picture, but not a big deal. Everyone at the party raved about them!!

The next morning, I got this response from my mom and thought it was too funny not to share.

MommaCat: Oh my gosh - I made it too! I gave four gift plates so far, and have three more. They are super yummy - we love butterscotch, don't we? I giggled when I read your email, "like mother like daughter!" AND, I thought there were only about two of the 12 I would make, too. By chance, was the other one the Sunny's Crunchy PB S'more bites? :)

YES, THEY WERE! I guess in the kitchen my mom and I are two peas in a pod! Can't wait to get to Montana next week and get cooking!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

gift exchange

Does it look like these kids are having fun?!
(Braddock is still thinking about it.  Two out of three ain't bad!)
On Friday, Reese and I went to a gift exchange at a friend's house.  All the kids brought one gift for another friend at the party, and no one could spend more than $5 on said gift.  And all the moms brought a food item to share.  What a great idea!  The kids loved it!  

I made oatmeal cream cheese butterscotch bars and they were delish! (if I do say so myself)  A little more labor intensive than the desserts I normally make, but they turned out great.  Reese came home with a small, pink cat that "meows", a bottle of bubbles (her favorite!!) and a truck (her giver covered all his bases).  Such a fun way to spend a Friday morning!
How cute is this reindeer shirt?!  Baby Braddock is such a sweet baby and Reese loves to play with him too!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas decor with a twist

I love ALL of these ideas and looks.  My sister is so talented and has such impeccable taste!
To read more of Lauren's genius tips, go here

Saturday, December 05, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

With the help of a few of my friends, I got up the nerve to decorate Reese's Christmas tree! (Never decorated my own tree, ya'll.  It's embarrassing.) And with some Christmas tunes on in the background, and the snow that we got over the weekend to go with our new tree, it is beginning to feel like Christmas! 

Reese's Aunt Lallycakes sent her this beautiful tinsel tree, and all the girly, princess ornaments and ribbons to go with it.
a few of my favorite ornaments...
How cute are these pink, glass candies?  Reese goes over to them and kisses them--I guess she thinks that doesn't constitute "touching" the fragile ornaments.
I love these hot pink, glittery butterflies.  They are so fun!!
Can't have a Christmas tree in our house without a cupcake ornament!
Reese is a lucky girl to be so spoiled by her Aunt Lallycakes!

Monday, November 23, 2009

little turkey

I think these guys will be gracing my thanksgiving table this year...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

singing songs

Reese loves to sing songs!  When we tell her it is time to go to church, she says, "Go to nursery?  And sing songs?"  She sings all the time, it is so much fun!  She is starting to be better about singing for the camera, but she still gets a little bit shy.

I think these are the words:
Three little monkeys swinging in the tree,
(Teasing Mr. Alligator, "Can't catch me, no, you can't catch me.")
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be,
And snapped that monkey right out of the tree.

Sorry, my camera ran out of space before she could get the last word in there.

Popcorn Popping 
Like I said, sometimes it is hard to get her to sing for the camera.  In this one, she starts with a whisper (listen closely!) and is much too busy playing with the doors of her toy refrigerator to even look up.  This video is a few weeks old, and she is really much better at it now, but her favorite part is still "smells so sweet" (with the inhale).

I looked out the window and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise,
Popcorn popping right before my eyes.
I can take a handful and make a treat,
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to me,
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

As you can see, Reese likes to jump around a little bit.  But, it is so much fun to sing songs with her!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

granola bars

I was looking for a new recipe to make for my class of Young Women at church two weeks ago and remembered seeing Giada making this recipe for peanut butter granola bars the day before.  I had everything they called for on hand and they sounded so good, that I just had to try them.  I asked Michael to sample some of the batter before I baked it and he said it reminded him of no bake cookies (a compliment, to him!).  But, because they were for my girls, I didn't let him cut a piece of the bars before class.  Our numbers are generally small, so I figured there would be plenty after class for him to sample.  But, these granola bars turned out to be such a hit, that the girls in class (about 4 total) licked the pan clean!  So, I did what any good wife would do...I made another batch when we got home.  Two batches in one day--I think that speaks to how delicious this recipe really is!  Try it!

Here's what you'll need:
1 egg white
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to hang over the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Stir in the peanut butter, brown sugar, and honey. Add the melted butter, oats and almonds. Stir to combine, then add the chocolate chips.  (I also added some Reese's Pieces...a delicious addition, if I do say so myself!)

Using a rubber spatula, spread mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing lightly to form an even layer. Bake until the edge of the mixture begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1 hour. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and serve.

**Note: Maybe I used the wrong size pan, but I had to cook my granola bars each time for at least an extra 15 minutes or so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

happy halloween

This Halloween was so much fun!  I think Reese really started to get it.  The first time I tried her costume on her, she wasn't that into it.  But when we called it her "costume" and had her go look in the mirror at how cute she looked, then she started to really like it.  Typical.  She learned how to say "trick or treat" and then we practiced and practiced to get it down.  However, when it came time to actually say it to someone at our ward's Halloween party, she totally froze.  In fact, our trial run at trick or treating turned out to be a bust, as Reese would not only not say "trick or treat," but she also wanted to eat each piece of candy as she got it, which slowed us down considerably!

Reese and Jack working the neighborhood on Halloween.
Reese with Jack and Charlotte at our ward Halloween party.
Are we having fun yet?
Reese got pretty good at telling people that she was a Dalmatian and when I would ask her, "what does a Dalmatian say?", Reese would answer, "Say...woof, woof!"  She is so precious!

When she saw her costume in the laundry basket a few days later, she ran over to it and said, "My costume!" and just had to put it on again.  Love her!

Thursday, November 05, 2009


my sister scolded me for not posting enough video of I thought of this video from over the summer of Reese learning how to do cartwheels with MommaCat. good times!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

growing up...

Warning: This post may contain some "potty talk".

Guess who went peepee in the potty tonight!!!!! Yes, Reese! I think she was probably as surprised as I was, but she did it! Ever since she took her diaper off in her crib during a non-nap and pooped in her bed, we have been talking about going potty on the potty. Usually, she tells me after she poops in her diaper that she needs to go poopy in the potty. Other times she tells me she needs to go potty and she just sits there for a minute. She repeats all the things I tell her while she is on the potty, like "I gotch-you, I gotch-you" and "go 'head". But she never actually goes to the bathroom, so then we get off the potty and go get a new diaper.

Last night before bed, she told me she had to go potty. To be honest, sometimes it is a pain to strip her down (she can have nothing on her bottom half in order to sit on the potty) to sit on the potty for 90 seconds just to have to layer her back up afterward. But, I figured I shouldn't discourage any progress in this area, so I took her to the potty and let her do her thing. When lo and behold, some pee came out!!!! I don't think either of us was expecting it, based on the look on her face. I did my best to praise her and let her know what a big deal this is and what a big girl she is for going potty like a big girl, while also trying not to scare the little dear. For the rest of the night, she said, "I go poopy on the potty" and I had to correct her.

I'm not sure if we are really ready for pull-ups just yet, but I am so proud of Reese for being such a big girl! They grow up so quickly, don't they?

Friday, October 23, 2009

halloween fun

Reese and I had a few friends over this week to celebrate Halloween.  We had some cupcakes and sugar cookies for decorating and all the kids came in their costumes.  You cannot believe the cuteness!  Naturally, not all the kids wanted to wear their costumes for the party--especially since it was at least 75 degrees that day--but we did manage to get everyone in their costumes for a picture.  (you can imagine how that turned out)  On the other side of this picture are about 10 mommies all with her own camera trying to get the best shot.

I had to give Reese candy corns for her to sit still...and that still didn't last long.
The super-hero is tipping, the frog is about to lose it and the dalmatian is on her feet.
oh, boy...the wheels are coming off...

...and everyone is melting down.  But, it does make for a priceless picture!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

reese in georgetown

Reese and I had some new pictures taken by my amazingly talented friend Andrea a couple weeks ago and, as always, Andrea's work is fabulous!!!!  We went to a couple of Andrea's favorite shoot sites in Georgetown and Reese was a champ!  Passers-by were stopping left and right to say how beautiful Reese is, if I do say so myself.  Reese loves the soon as Andrea brought it out in our first spot, Reese froze and just started smiling at the camera!  I don't know where she learned that, I swear.  Reese was a real trooper for about the first hour and a half, with all the wardrobe changes and direction, but the last ten minutes were a little rough--not even M&Ms could help us then.
After the shoot, Andrea posted the proofs for me to choose my favorites, so I got a piece of paper and pen to write down the shots I liked best.  After one time through the entire list, I had written down 85 numbers--and I thought I was being selective!  But, after about a hundred more times through the list, I had it narrowed down.  Here are a few of my favorites:  

These are also the pictures I also submitted to the Gap Casting Call. (what have we got to lose, right?)  If you would like to vote for Reese so she can be the Fan Favorite, go here.

See more of Reese's photo shoot here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Granny's party

After our trip to Montana, we stopped in Utah for Granny's 90th birthday party. Reese was a champ for the entire 9-hour drive and we got to Utah just in time to see Granny play the organ at the Tabernacle! We heard a brief concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the full orchestra after their rehearsal, and when they finished Granny got to play the organ! It was really exciting and so special that we could be there to see it!

Family flew in from all over to celebrate with Granny and the rest of the weekend was full of golf, swimming, lunch at Sundance, BYU football, pool basketball, delicious brunches and desserts (and, of course, a trip to Cafe Rio), and catching up with cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and of course, Granny!

Here are a couple pics from the weekend:

This is what happens when you go swimming without a swim diaper. Her diaper was just getting bigger and bigger...until I was worried it would explode in the pool and changed her into another non-swim diaper. We only had to go through about 4 diapers before she was ready to get out of the pool.
Aunt Kelly/Mommacat was everybody's favorite in the pool...can you tell? Reese loved playing with her cousins, Ava and Eliza, and followed them all weekend long!

Naturally, Reese's aunts couldn't get enough of her and she can't get enough of them. I mean, can you blame her? Look how high they can throw her in the pool!
How's this for an action shot?!
It was such a fun weekend! It was so special to be able to celebrate Granny's birthday with so much family for the weekend. We need to have family reunions a lot more often! I love that Reese (and I!) have gotten to see so much of my sisters and brother and parents this summer. It is so much fun for me to see the relationships that they are each forming with her and how much Reese loves them.
Happy Birthday, Granny!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Dean turns 18!

...and I can hardly believe it!  We celebrated his birthday while I was in Montana last month and I had a blast trying lots of new cupcake recipes.

my two sous chefs hard at work.  Tessa is on the whipped cream and my mom is following with the sprinkles.
this is the finished product of the swirly cupcakes: chocolate cake discs with a mini scoop of ice cream, topped with swirly whipped cream and finished with colorful nonpareils--delicious!

Dean is an all-star baseball player, so naturally, we had to have baseball cupcakes.
these might have been my favorite: snickerdoodle cupcakes with the most delicious 7-minute frosting sprinkled with cinnamon mouth is watering
We pulled off a surprise party for Dean, despite the fact that Tessa, my mom and I were in the kitchen all afternoon making enough cupcakes to feed an army.  I guess we do that enough anyway that he wasn't too suspicious.  Dean is the best and we are all so proud of the man he has turned into!  Happy Birthday, Dean!
(Since we have been home, Reese randomly says "Surprise!" and then starts singing happy birthday to Dean.  It is pretty cute.)