A little recipe

This is what you'll need...
First, sift together all the dry ingredients...
Then mix together all the wet ingredients..
Combine the two and add a cup of mini semisweet morsels (or not).
Grease what ever you are baking in and pour. I found this pumpkin muffin tray at HomeGoods and thought that one day Loulie might like the festive pumpkin shape...
Finished product...
Your people will gobble them up...
Here is the full recipe. I added my substitutions in parenthesis. I also put in less than a cup of mini morsels--I think the minis work best or I don't add any at all. If you do the healthier, more diet friendly route; I suggest putting them in the refridgerator or freezing them until ready to eat. The lack of oil makes them very moist so they will mold pretty quickly if you leave them in the pantry.
Dry Ingredients:
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1 2/3 c. all purpose flour
Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil (no sugar added applesauce)
1/3 c. water
2 eggs (1/2 c. egg whites)
1 1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
1 c. chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350*. Sift together first 7 ingredients. In a separate bowl, stir together remaining ingredients through pumpkin. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. When it is all combined evenly, add the chocolate chips. Grease your pan and pour in mix. Bake 15- 20 minutes for mini muffins, 30 minutes for regular muffins and about 40 minutes for a loaf. Bake until toothpick comes out clean.


This picture is worth a thousand words....

...because I am speechless!

This will be a short post since I am still in awe of my own idiocy. After Loulie's nap this afternoon, we went outside to finish up a little project I have been doing involving spray paint and some lawn furniture. I thought it would take about 15 minutes. Here is what went down in a matter of minutes, in chronological order:
Began spraying chairs (accidentally removed fan stop allowing paint to drip in way to large amounts all over my hand, the furniture and the ground)
Loulie heads over to her play ground in new shirt her Weesie just purchased (seriously, first wearing).
In the two seconds I am turned away, Loulie sits in her Cozy Coupe that is full of water and then rolls in the dirt and wood chips covering her white pants. Oh and let's not forget the bird sized mosquitos hovering over her head.
By this time, my hands are covered in paint. I encourage Loulie inside. Get out what I think is paint thinner and instead cover my arms in stinky grease remover. While I'm covered in goo, Loulie mosies over to the dryer and begins removing all the clean clothes (keep in mind she is covered in mud).
I CALL FOR BEEERRRRTTTTT!!!! But before he can finish his email and get downstairs, Loulie has completely unrolled an entire new roll of paper towels (which are not shown in the above picture but are right below the cut off in a big pile on the floor) and starts to make confetti out of them.
The picture above is what Bert walked in on. Needless to say, it was the biggest Charlie Foxtrot (aka Cluster) I have experienced in a long time. I think Loulie rigged that faulty spray paint can to paralyze her mother so she could have her way with the house. Little did she know, her Daddy was home and once again came to the rescue. Whew--life with a one year old--never boring!!!!


Happy Birthday Lovey!

I have always been one of those people that has to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to get to sleep at night. Ever since Loulie started walking, that has not been the case. Instead I find myself collapsing on the couch at 8:00 and by 8:30 I am watching the clock to see when it will strike 10:00 so that I am not going to bed at an embarassingly old lady hour. I don't know if exhaustion is a result of raising a rambunctious one year old or just one of the many symptoms of thirtysomethingitis. Regardless of the reason, our packed weekend was no exception.
Mom and Dad (aka Lovey and Grandaddy) were in town to celebrate Mom's birthday with us. I headed out to Sullivan's Friday afternoon to spend some time with Mom. We went for a sunset bike ride, Mom taught Loulie to kick a soccer ball, we had dinner and got Loulie ready for bed.
I headed home to get ready for Mom's birthday dinner. Bert and Bridget were out shrimping. Loulie went straight to bed so I enjoyed the house to myself. I played my music, took my time preparing all the food for the next night and read through an entire gossip magazine (unheard of). If you had asked me two years ago what an ideal Friday night would be I would not have named the above but things change and I must admit--the quiet was a little nice!
I woke up Saturday pretty impressed with myself for having dinner ready and bags packed to head out to the beach for the day. But God always encourages humility and it wasn't 30 minutes after we arrived that I realized I'd had a serious blonde moment and forgotten the Bug's diaper bag. Thank goodness I married MacGyver. We made do with some weewomp diapers and a makeshift sippy cup. Loulie didn't seem to mind too much...

It was a great afternoon of football, family and food. Between games, Meredith and I took Loulie for a long walk on the beach and caught up. The boys did manly things that I don't understand--I think they are fixing a shrimping net here...
Mom played with Loulie and enjoyed not being the one to cook dinner. I kept catching her with a big smile on her face, sipping wine as Meredith and I scurried around. It's okay--I think she deserves a break once a year ;)
Dinner was great. I have to say I've come a long way since I first quit work to become a stay at home mom. I could hardly microwave cheese grits. AT least now I can prepare an entire meal without smoke and fire alarms involved. The rule at the Owens house is the cook doesn't clean so here is the clean up crew...
I think Mom enjoyed her birthday dinner and having all of us together. We topped off Sunday with a first birthday party for one of Loulie's friends. I wish I had pictures from it. Loulie now hugs and pats everyone on the back when you tell her to say hello to her friend. There was a lot of Loulie love at the party. With Loulie being an only child, it is nice to see her being so loving and open to other kids. I love that in the midst of temper tantrums and food being thrown and requests being ignored, the Lord will give you a moment where you feel like you might actually being doing something right as a parent--enough to encourage you to keep trucking along and just loving each stage for what it is.
Okay, it's 10:30--I'm going to bed. Bert is shrimping again in the hopes that he will come home with a boatload and I can stop buying the frozen stuff from Japan. Before I go, here's a recipe for the pork I made Saturday night. It was really good and a nice switch from the regular. I don't know about you but I get sick of the same things over and over.

Honey & Sesame Seed Pork Tenderloin
1 lb whole pork tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp of fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup honey
2tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp sesame seeds, slightly toasted
Combine soy, garlic, ginger and oil in a plastic bag with tenderloin overnight.
Remove and pat dry. Mix together honey and sugar in a shallow plate and pour seeds in a seperate plate. Roll tenderloin in honey and then in the seeds. Roast in pan for 20-30 minutes at 375 or until thermometer reads 160*.


I'b a bittle stubfed up....

Last Thursday night, Loulie Bug woke up about midnight and never went back to sleep. Poor thing came down with a cold and couldn't sleep because she couldn't breath. It was extremely sad to see her so miserable and so tired and feeling so bad when there was nothing I could do about it. You could just look at her and tell she wasn't herself. (see below)
Loulie was feeling better by Monday though and back in good spirits.
We have lots to report about our fall happenings and some good healthy recipes too! See you in a few.


Back in Reality....

Like I promised (a week ago), here are pictures from the house we stayed in at Sea Island. It kind of amazes me that you can go to every beach along the southeastern coast and they all have a different style, feel and look to them. Even in Charleston, Folly beach is completely different from Sullivan's Island. What I love about the homes on Sea Island is how beautiful and lush the yards are even on the coast. Instead of seeing row after row of palm trees, it's twisted oaks and thick green yards. Most of the homes, even the massive ones, still have a charming, cozy feel to them.

Most people would not call a room this big cozy but the Hunt's house had so many beautiful details that added such a personal touch and connection to the area that it felt like a home instead of a vacation house. I could have moved in, I still may.
Like these...I love history and things from the past. I thought it was a fun idea to have old Sea Island postcards laying around and framed on the walls along with pictures of the Cloister from decades ago.

I could live in this kitchen! It was big and bright and easy to cook in--everything my own kitchen is not. Again, loving the details--chicken wire covering, boat hardware for cabinetry locks, and two of every appliance. Made me get inspired to cook for about two seconds. Then I remembered I was on vacation and went back to drinking wine and taking pictures...

Bert is slightly obsessed with antique tools so I took these pictures knowing he would like them and be able to explain to me what it all was.
The whole house had a very beachy, nautical theme...
I was obsessed with this bedroom that had shelves cut into the walls--what beautiful lines!!!
And I loved the old driftwood used around the house for mantels, benches, artwork...
Can i go back NOW????

I hope everyone has a great weekend. It is beautiful in Charleston. Loulie and I are doing the Komen race tomorrow on Daniel Island with my aunt, sister and cousins. If you're a local, I hope we see you there!!!


Early Halloween Costume and other fashion queries

We survived our first accident today. It had already been a tough afternoon for Loulie (no nap) when the accident occurred. She flipped out of Bert's hands landing on the floor head first, breaking out into shrieking cries. Thankfully, she is okay except for a tennis ball sized goose egg on her forehead that got more purple as the day went on. A profile shot of my sweet munchky now looks like an alien from Star Wars. Now when people ask her "what's wrong with you--did your parents drop you on your head as a baby?" She can say Yes.
The only good thing that came out of this unfortunate early halloween costume is Bert's guilt. ;) I did my best to make him feel better and let him know that it was not his fault but he still insisted that I go run a few errands while he spent some time with Loulie. Anyone that knows me knows that I would never argue Bert so I obeyed his commands and headed over to Towne Center for a bit of early Fall shopping. I never shop for myself anymore. Even if I did, there is a small midget with a short attention span that follows me everywhere. So I did my best to enjoy this spontaneous outing and decided to try on a few things which brings me to my two points...

1) I will be working out everyday this week. Hold me to it people!!! If you need me, Loulie and I will be marching back and forth across the Ravenel.

2) What the heck has happened to fashion?!? I know I have been living in a dark hole of workout clothes and beach cover ups but seriously why are adults wearing rompers??? There is only one Dasher girl that can rock a romper and she's 28 inches tall. The other article that I tried on in every style and size and still could not convince myself to buy is the skinny jean--why are they still around? Who brought back the skinny jean 5 years ago--a man, that's who! I don't care how stylish they are or that they fit so easily in my boot, they make me look like a giant ice cream cone. I can just see my sister reading this now and thinking "I'm getting her designer skinny jeans for Christmas. Someone should help her." I don't need help--what I need is an understanding from everyone that I will be sporting my trusty boot cut Hudsons again this winter. However, I will continue to be jealous of the girls that can pull off the jeggings, the skinny, the romper and the ankle boot.
The flip side is that Bert was thrilled when I came home empty handed. He may even force me out the door again next weekend.


30 is the new 20 and other lies we've told

It's Monday. I'm exhausted. I'm sore. My cheeks hurt.
Too much exercise?--Hardly!
Recovering from a weekend with friends--Absolutely!
In an effort to lessen the blow of turning 30, my college friends planned a reunion weekend at Sea Island, GA. A lot of times when planning a girls' trip, only a few people can come. With the exception of a few that couldn't make it, we had 17 show up with some flying from as far as NY and TX. The entire long weekend was incredible! It was so good to be around friends that I have known for over a decade now. We have been through break ups, birthdays, the loss of parents, marriage, job changes, moving, birth of our children and through it all have remained close. We may go for months without talking but pick right up where we left off within seconds of seeing each other again. There is absolutely no filter when we are together and I love that I can honestly be myself around them (and they love or at least tolerate me anyway). I am so lucky to have each one of them as friends and I am still on a high after a great weekend together...

Our sweet and very generous friend Floyd hosted us at her in-laws' amazing beach home. We were all able to stay together and just enjoy each others' company. We told old stories--the kind that get better and more exaggerated with each telling! We reminisced about old times and caught up on what everyone is doing now. We spent one day on the beach but mostly spent time on the screened in porch and around the hot tub...
We went to delicious dinners...
We went dancing.

But mainly we just hung out...
And laughed...
It was nice to not have the pressure of being somewhere, getting up early and having a to do list to complete. We just relaxed and had fun! I hope it won't be 5 years before we do it again. Love, love, love and best wishes to all these girls for a happy 30th decade of good times ahead!!!

I gotta go (baby climbing up my leg, dog who hasn't been fed in days and a pile of laundry--oh reality) but I'll try to post pics of the beach house later this week. It was definitely not your everyday beach shack!