Saturday, January 28, 2012


This guest post from Doris Dillon
My mom does not have the internet at her house. She said that she prefers to do things the old fashioned way. She would rather write a letter than an email and she would rather look at printed pictures than pictures on Facebook. I had my parents over or dinner and I made a recipe I found on the website Pinterest. My mom told me that she loved everything about dinner and asked where I got the recipes. I told her I got them from Pinterest and that there was a lot more you can get from Pinterest. You can find anything from house decorating, to recipes, even to party planning tips. My mom was really impressed and said that she might be interested in getting the internet so that she can use this website. I told her to get on my computer and go to to find out how to set up internet at her house. She had it set up last week and ever since then she has been calling me to let me know which new recipe she is trying or how she is decorating her house. There are many great reasons to have the internet, but I think Pinterest alone is worth having the internet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Ok, we're back! I thought it was important to take part in the SOPA/PIPA protest even though, let's face it, my personal impact was probably minimal... Solidarity after all. In case you haven't heard about these bills yet, they will change the internet as we know it. Severely limiting our abilities to share and research information.
For more about the bills and to sign the petition GO HERE:

Friday, January 13, 2012

A big announcement and a peek at our daily routine!

I have very exciting news:
On February 8th I will be boarding an airplane (my first time) and heading to Hawaii for a much needed vacation with my roommate/bestie Steph!
She won a contest at her job and they're sending us to the Big Island for four days!
We're calling it our Hetero-Honeymoon...
Ok, ok I'M calling it that.
Anyway, taking my little bean with us is out of the question, unfortunately. I'm sure she'd hate being stuck on an airplane 9+ hours and we'd never be able to pack enough for her to be happy in a hotel room for four days. Plus, let's face it, that's not really a vacation. She's going to be staying with Steph's parents while we are away. This is the first time I will be away from her for more than a day. I've never left her anywhere except for when I was hospitalized for gall bladder surgery last February. So... needless to say this is a little stressful. I'm not quite in full panic mode yet but I already have a two page (and counting) to-do list. I know she'll be in very capable hands, however the dormant overprotective control freak in me can't help but worry a bit.
I'm working on that. I'll probably be fine the minute I see the beach.
Now, Nana Poo hasn't taken care of a baby full time in about 25 years so I thought the best thing to do would be to write sort of an owner's manual for Aurora. I figure that way she'll have everything she needs to know at her fingertips and it'll probably make the transition easier for all of us. It'll include our routine and a meal plan as well as Aurora's favorite activities. Plus emergency numbers and all of that jazz, obviously.

The first order of business was sitting down and really thinking about what an average day entails. This is my basic rough draft so far, I figured I may as well share it...

-Around 9:30am or so: Aurora wakes up for her one and only bottle. 
This is technically her breakfast...
If everything goes well, she'll drift back off for an hour or so after! 

-In the event that she doesn't stay down after her bottle, we'll play for that hour instead. 
-If she does... Yay! More sleep.

-First diaper change/belly raspberries of the day as soon as she gets up.

-10:30am(ish): Breakfast/Lunch Time! 

-11:00-2:00: Playtime! 

-2:00:  Nap Time! Nap time doesn't always happen exactly at 2. She makes it pretty clear when she needs to go down so I usually wait for her signal. If she goes too early it takes forever to get her down. Same thing if she goes too late, compounded with sleeping too late which can mess with bedtime.

-After nap: More raspberries and usually another diaper.
Then it's Snack Time!
We usually watch a little TV while she snacks and has her juice box.

-Snack Time until 5:15: More Playtime! 
We try to take a walk if the weather is nice enough.

-5:15ish: Dinner Time!

-Dinner Time until 6:15: Even MORE playtime! I try my best to wear her out this hour as much as possible... Think chasing games and tickle-fights!!

-6:15: Bath Time (if needed) or  wind-down time. 
Books, puzzles, maybe a quick TV show.

- Right around 7:00 (sometimes a little earlier): Cranky Aura will make her appearance. 
This signifies Bed Time!

-Our Bedtime Routine
Diaper change/raspberries. 
Snuggles and Goodnight Moon (usually twice).
Big smooches!! 
Put Aurora down and explain it's bedtime and that I'll see her in the morning. 
Belly rub, light's out, baby monitor and white noise on, pull Lullaby puppy's tail... 
Make a quick exit!


That's it! Obviously Nana Poo's version will be a little more involved but those are the basics. Next up... a meal plan! I've got to come up with four days worth of breakfast/lunch, snacks, and dinners that's be easy and stress free. In an ideal world, I'll make everything ahead of time so Nana Poo can just open a container and pop it in front of her. We'll see how far I get with that... I have high hopes though. 
I'll be sure to post Aurora's menu for the week once it's all done as well as give you a glimpse of "Aurora's Owner's Manual"... 
Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Sorry they're late but here's the Christmas cookie recipes I promised!!

Here's what I made for everyone this year:
Toffee "Crack"
No-bake Cake Batter Truffles
Andes Mint Cookies
Reese's Krispies

The best part? All four of these recipes are super quick and easy to make!
The toffee 'crack' is hiding under the truffles! It's delicious, but not as pretty.
Here are the recipes:

Toffee "Crack"
Preheat oven to 350°

-1 stick of butter
-1 cup light brown sugar
-1 bag of chocolate chips

Line a rimmed cookie sheet (half sheet pan) with parchment paper and arrange saltines in a single layer on the bottom. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low/medium heat. Stir in sugar until just combined. Pour evenly over saltines and spread, making sure to reach all the edges of the crackers. 
Bake at 350° for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and scatter chocolate chips on top. 
Allow the chocolate to melt and then spread evenly to the edges. 
Refrigerate until well set and then break into pieces.

No-bake Cake Batter Truffles

-2 cups of Vanilla or Yellow Cake Mix
-1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-tiny 'nonpareil' sprinkles 
-white melting chocolate or almond bark

Combine cake mix, milk and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, fold in sprinkles. Add milk or more cake mix if needed to attain a firm bread-dough like consistency. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and then roll into small balls. Refrigerate until well set. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (45 seconds on high, stir and then 15 second intervals until smooth) dip each ball in chocolate sprinkle a few more nonpareils on top and set on parchment paper. Freeze for 15 minutes to set.

Reese's Krispies

-1 cup sugar
-1 cup light corn syrup
-1⅓ cup peanut butter
-4¼ cup Rice Krispies + pinch of salt
-4 Reese's peanut butter cups (chopped)
-small handful of chocolate chips 

Melt sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in a medium/large saucepan until smooth. Add cereal and pinch of salt, stir to combine. Add in chocolate chips and stir again. Wait about a minute or so and gently fold in peanut butter cups (Mixture will be hard to stir! It's okay, you did it right!) 
Drop rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper (or roll into balls like I did) and cool. 
I drizzled mine with melted peanut butter and chocolate, but they taste just as good plain!

Ok, I saved the best for last! These were so super easy and I LOVE chocolate and mint together. Just thinking about them makes me want to whip up another batch!! 

Andes Mint Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°

-1 pkg of Devil's Food cake mix
-2 eggs
-½ cup oil (I always use grapeseed, but vegetable or canola is fine)
-1 package of Andes mints - unwrapped

Mix cake mix, oil and eggs together. Drop spoonfuls (or roll) onto a cookie sheet. Cookies will spread a little so give them some room. Bake for only 6-9 minutes. You want them to be just cooked so they stay nice and soft, they're done when the tops look dry in the middle. Take out of the oven and place a mint on top of each cookie while they're still hot. Let them melt a bit and spread over the cookies like frosting. 
Eat them warm or cold. They are amazing!

Try some of these out, you won't be sorry I promise! Enjoy!!

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