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Interior Motives

Decorating and DIYing our house to make it a home.

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Good Enough To Eat

Tried and true recipes my family loves.

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Life Lessons

Navigating motherhood through life's little lessons.

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I Heart Pinterest

When all else fails, go to Pinterest!

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Pretty As A Picture

Photography tips and tricks for the average person.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This Is Not My Idea Of A Getaway...

A few posts ago I wrote about trying to plan a getaway trip with Husband. After many hours on the internet, talking to bloggy friends and people IRL (which included a travel agent) I failed to accomplish this goal. :( Two reasons; time and money. Aren't those always the reasons? Anyway, instead we went on two mini trips (one was to Madison) and then to the Door County area. Why? So Husband could jump out of an airplane. Huh?


That's right Husband wanted to skydive. I did not. After a some Googling, he decided tandem skydiving was the way to go. I have to admit, the conversations were priceless:

Husband: Do you want to do this to?

Me: No, I don't want to die.

Husband: It's not like you're going to hit the ground...


Me: Of course not, I'd be dead from the adrenaline rush to my heart when they pushed me off the plane.


---

My mom: He has life insurance right?


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His mom: I wish you never told me you were going to do this.


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Our youngest: What are you going to do next Daddy? Swim with the sharks? They put you in a cage you know, and you can poke at them! (She's eight.)

So how does this work? You watch a video basically saying there's a chance you could die (but you will sign a waiver that you or your family will not sue the company) I'm serious. Next you get a little tutorial on how to do it.


Flap your wings (I'm joking.)


Yeah, suit him up, he's ready to go...


That's right, it's so funny (giving him his last rites...) who's going to be the widow with 3 kids?!?


All I could think of when I took this picture was Armageddon, with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck before they are about to board the space shuttle. Sheesh.


Thankfully, a safe landing after being 12,000 feet up in the air at cloud level!

Note to all females:

After, Husband made sure the rest of the day would be spent doing what I wanted to do. So we did some wine tasting, ate good food with good beer and walked around being all tourist-y-like. Our afternoon was much more relaxing than our morning. And even though we don't have a bucket list, we talked about other things we could do. I'm still waiting for the vacation where I can sit on the beach under an umbrella with a cold drink in my hand... *sigh* maybe next year.

(Thanks to SkyDive Door County for the very fun time and wonderful service.  If we ever want to do this again, we'd go back to you! You guys are awesome!)




Friday, August 23, 2013

Triple Berry Baked French Toast

If you want an easy, but elegant dish to serve for breakfast or brunch, try this baked french toast recipe. I used frozen berries and made it the night before which made it even simpler. Please note that I almost always use skim milk and I save the ends of bread loaves, freeze them until I have enough to make this recipe!
(No good photos I'm afraid, these are just from my iPhone!)

Triple Berry Baked French Toast
(made in a 13x9 pan)

Butter for greasing the pan
6 eggs
3 C milk
3/4 C maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon + 1 Tbsp for later
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Day old or left over ends of bread cut into cubes (maybe half a loaf?)
2 C fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
6 Tbsp sugar


DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the 9x13 pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest. Add bread cubes until fully coated. Stir in frozen berries and pour into prepared pan.

3. In a small bowl mix sugar and 1 Tbsp of cinnamon, sprinkle on top.

4. You can bake this right away, or refrigerate overnight. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

5. Drizzle with extra maple syrup when serving.

Adapted from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis' recipe.

Thanks to all the bloggers who emailed me or left a comment about wanting this recipe. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer

Aside from work and summer vacation for Husband and the kids, we've been pretty busy this month. I've still managed to paint a door, try some new recipes, take a few mini vacations and do a little shopping...


Right now I'm in the midst of planning our first beer tasting party. I'm kind of excited because we never really had a housewarming (with couples, that is) at the lakehouse, so it will be nice to have people over.

I've designed the invitations, we've decided on the menu and Husband has been busy growing his hops and making his beer. Life is never boring around here.

Here's my Instagram dump of what else we've been doing:

• Husband starting to condition our two swimmers
• I made Triple Berry Baked French Toast
• Our laptops lined up and ready for duty
• Husbands hop are growing
• A trip to Wisconsin Dells
• My stop at the Coach Outlet store
• Ingredients for delicious Zucchini Brownies
• New throw pillows for the living room
• Bucket-o-Salsa (homemade and delicious!)

Two weeks left until school starts in our neck of the woods! What's going on where you are?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zucchini Brownies With Chocolate Frosting

Wow, August has been busier than I thought it would be. Fortunately I've been able to paint, bake and squeeze in a trip to Wisconsin Dells with the family between working.




Anyway, one of our neighbors gave us a huge zucchini which prompted me to make these brownies. I have to say, in general, I'm not a big brownie fan, but these are the best brownies I have ever made from scratch.

I added frosting because you could kind of see the shredded zucchini on the top, (didn't want to scare our children) so I added the frosting! Delicious!

Zucchini Brownies
(made in a 13x9 pan)

1/2  cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2  teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini

Chocolate Frosting
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4  cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13x9 cake pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix oil, sugar and vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add this mixture into large bowl that has oil mixture. Fold in zucchini, mixture will seem dry and doughy but there is enough moisture in the zucchini to make these brownies moist.

4. Spread into prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brownies spring back when touched.

5. Allow brownies to cool, melt cocoa and butter in a small pot set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Add this to pot of butter and cocoa and spread over cooled brownies.


This recipe was adapted from Rachel's recipe.