Best Gifts of Christmas

Thanks to Pinterest (, we had a very homemade Christmas this year.

Aunt D made these for us:

Face magnets!!

Those darling faces are Frick, Frack, Frog, my nephews and niece.


I made these scarves in various colors for the ladies in our family:

and one for me in orange since Clemson is headed to the Orange Bowl.


T shirt scarves are super cute and easy to make.

I WILL be making more of these.


Also gifted this year:

Click the picture for the website and photo credit.

Go around the world with your kids!

Per the Little Passports website:

Little Passports is your child’s ticket to an exciting global adventure. Inspire a love and understanding of the world as your child learns about a country’s geography,

history, culture, and language in a fun and memorable way.

I am so excited about the boys receiving these each month.


While they receive that each month, I’ll receive a box from Birchbox!

Click the picture for the link and photo credit.

With Birchbox, you receive 4-5 beauty samples each month.

¬†I’ve seen this on friends’ blogs and thought it was the perfect gift that keeps on giving.


I hope that you and yours had a blessed Christmas.


Myrtle Beach 2011

We trucked it to Myrtle for a quick getaway with Uncle B, Aunt D, and the kids.

The weather? ¬†Perfect–in the 70s.

The pools?  Heated.

The beach?  Awesome.  No sweating whatsoever.

A far cry from our July Hilton Head trips.

Our time with family?  Priceless.

And Clemson won in a nail biter, too.

I haven’t mentioned that Clemson is 7-0 this season. ¬†What unfamiliar and exciting territory we roam!!

Some pictures of my growing boys and nephews:


Just Hangin' Out with Frick

80s Cover Album

The Whole Boy Band

We missed you Nini and Pops!

Beach Vacation 2011

Each year we take a working vacation to Hilton Head Island, SC.

Let’s be real here. ¬†The only ones on “vacation” are the kids.

I digress….

Nini, Pops, Uncle B, Aunt D, and the cousins join our family for loads of fun, sand, pools, sweat, whining, sibling fighting (kids ones and adult ones), etc, etc, etc.

What do you do as soon as you get there?

You head straight for the sand and water.

There’s nothing quite like a sandy crotch to start your vacay off on the right foot.


 We rented bikes this year and spent our evenings biking around the island.

And Frog chilled in the back with a book, some juice and his beloved pacifier.


This year, we had professional beach photos taken.

We used our camera for outtakes.

All of these shots were taken with BP’s iPhone 4. ¬†He used the Hipstamatic App.


Dontcha think?

As fun as going away is, it sure is good to be home.

Homemade Pancakes

¬†I’m on a roll here with my¬†homemade laundry detergent, clothesline, and now pancakes from scratch. ¬†It’s rather shocking!

Oh yeah, baby.

I started making this pancake endeavor with the help of my brother’s wife, Aunt D. ¬† Aunt D is incredibly gifted in the kitchen and puts up with my often ridiculous questions regarding all things that have to do with cooking. ¬†And let me assure you, I have thrown some wacky questions at her in the past.

The pancake recipe is from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook that belonged to my grandmother:

Old cookbooks really are little treasures!

I loved reading over this one with Aunt D during one of our visits.



1 1/4 C all purpose flour (or you could use 1/2 C whole wheat flour and 3/4 C all purpose for added nutrition)

2 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

3 T granulated sugar (I use brown sugar and it makes it taste like butterscotch!)

1 egg, beaten

1 C milk

3 T melted butter

1 t vanilla extract

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.  I whisk them together because my sift has not exactly been cooperating.

Combine egg, milk, butter, and vanilla and add to dry ingredients all at once. ¬†Mix with a spoon just until smooth (don’t over mix). ¬†If you use whole wheat flour, you may need to add more milk. ¬†Sometimes the batter is too thick and adding milk helps with that. ¬†Pour onto griddle and flip when you start to get bubbles.


I’m telling you, this recipe is delicious.

 My kids love them and they are cheaper and healthier than the frozen ones or the pancake mixes from the store.

Hmmm….What should I make next?

Things Learned Along the Way, Version 2.0

We just returned from a quick but fun visit to visit Aunt D, Uncle B, and their three kids in Pittsburgh, PA.

The last trip to Pittsburgh was quite eventful, too, compiled into list format. ¬†This just may become a Pittsburgh trip tradition. ¬†Here’s the latest and greatest version of the list:


1.  The first indication that you will spend more than 10 hours in the car is when your 6 year old  proclaims he has to use the bathroom after only driving 36 miles.

2.  Harnessing a child in a car seat for many hours on end drives your 1 year old insane as well as his parents and grandmother, too.

3. ¬†Purposefully not taking dramamine because you want to tend to your children instead of being knocked out cold is not a good idea. ¬†Getting car sick in while going through the mountains of West Virginia creates a major vacuum. ¬†Listening to your children argue and cry is even worse. ¬†Next time I’m opting for the dramamine. ¬†For everyone.

4. ¬†What’s even worse than your 1 year old acting fussy? ¬†Listening to him cry from West Virginia to Pittsburgh. ¬†That’s a lot of crying.


Now that sounds like we had a terrible trip.

But we didn’t. ¬†It was a fabulous trip.

5.  Holding your brand new and only niece quickly erased any misery of the car ride from H-E-double hockey sticks.

6.  Watching your boys run and play with their cousins and EVERYONE GET ALONG almost the entire time is pure joy.

7.  Having time to sit and talk with your sister in law in person is priceless.

8.  Visiting with family, eating delicious food, and laughing until you have tears streaming down your face is even better.


And then the car ride home…. *sigh*

It took 13 hours.




More traffic.


More crying.


I liken the trip to an oreo cookie.

The best part is in the middle.

Thanks, Uncle B, Aunt D, Cousin J1, Cousin J2, and Cousin A.

We can’t wait to see you again.

When you travel south.

I Heart Pink

My brother and SIL (Uncle B and Aunt D) had a baby today!!

And it was a she!

A girl!!

After 5 boys between us (my three, their two)

there is finally a girl in the mix.

A precious, sweet, lovable, and thankfully healthy baby girl!

Now please excuse me…

I have some major shopping to do for all things pink, fluffy, and frilly.



I brined a whole chicken on Friday.

Then roasted it.

This is a big deal for someone who lacks culinary skills.

Some of you may remember this post, comparing myself to Susie Homemaker, which I most certainly am NOT.

But for some reason, I wanted to brine and roast a chicken.

Enter Aunt D.

Everyone should have a sister in law like Aunt D,

who is a fabulous cook.

She talked me through the steps of brining.

Then the steps to roasting.

Then she probably hung up at laughed at me.

I wanted to be just like Amy Adams in the movie Julie and Julia (read the book…it’s even better!).

Instead, I think I came out looking more like Amelia Bedelia.


She made a date cake and instead of using dates (the fruit) she cut out squares of a calendar and added them to the cake batter.

Yep. ¬†That’s something I would do.

Actually, I did fine.

And the chicken was divine.

Brine, people.  BRINE.

Alrighty then. ¬†I’m getting a tad carried away with the rhyme….



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