Wordful Wednesday ~ Photo Booth and my kids

I may have mentioned this a time or two but my kids love to play with PhotoBooth on my Mac especially when I walk away and leave it unattended. You never know what you’ll find when you open it up again…. for me it’s kind of fun to see what they’ve left for me.

Cait - 4 way

Caitlin seems to like the colorful pics! I’ll admit that I like to see the pictures she leaves me because she is much more serious than her younger sisters.


Now, Natalie here…. well there are more pictures of her than I can count in PhotoBooth. I mean there has to be close to 50 of them and every single one of them is silly and none of them serious.


Then we have Lauren the ham. I think that these pictures explain it all, don’t you think so too?

Andrew & Nat

And then there are the times that they get together and see what sort of mayhem they can create. This is when you should worry… multiple kids – siblings at that – playing together nicely. This is when I must go find out what they’re doing for fear of one of them hog tying the other… yes, this did happen.

Lauren & Nat

This one here… this proves that these two can get along once in a while. If they used half the energy they use when fighting for something else who knows what they could accomplish in the world!

Cait & Nat

I’ll admit that I take my laptop with me when I go camping…. and the girls got my laptop while we were camping this past summer. This is them in the camper snacking & being them….  and having fun!

Do your kids get a hold of your camera and take all sorts of pictures?


The year in pictures

While going through my reader the other day (Yes, I do go through it on occasion) I happened upon a post from Ashley from My Front Porch Swing and then the same one from Jessica over at Four Plus an Angel and decided to play along! I mean 12 pictures or my favorite posts from the year… how much easier can it get?


January brought Andrew’s first birthday! It seems so long ago but it was only a year…. and what a difference a year makes.


February brings Valentine’s Day… need I say  more?


March and my little girl turned 9 and brought Flat Lauren to the party!


April at my parents house for Easter and the girls were on a scavenger hunt that their grandma puts together every year for them.


May! And my first ever blogging conference! I made the trip…. all2 hrous of it to Holland Michigan for Gleek Retreat where I met some incredible women all from Michigan! That’s me along with Elena from Mommy’s in Timeout and Katie from Sluiter Nation!


In June all three of my girls took part in one of the parades that take place every year during the Curwood Festival. I was a proud mama watching all of them march!


The heat of July is only intensified by sitting by the ball field while you watch your kids play for what seems like hours on end.


August brought another conference for me and this time it was Bloggy Bootcamp. If you ever have a chance to go to one of these GO! Seriously it was incredible! Here I am with so great friends from Michigan! Dutch Being Me, Mommy is in Time Out, Daily Dribbles, and Buried with Children.


First day of school for September of course.


October was warm… on occasion and the day we carved pumpkins the kids all made their way outside and spent the afternoon playing together and carving pumpkins.


Every year in November the high school marching band puts on one final performance of the marching season indoors. Yes, indoors! Where it’s warm & we can enjoy it. It is truly one of the best events during the year.


And that brings us to December. And with it being the holidays and all I bet you’re tired of seeing all those happy holiday type pictures so instead of that I’ve decided to grace you with the Pimp of Greek Town. Now, I have no idea what his name is or if he really is a pimp but I HAD to take a picture of this. We took a trip to Detroit for my daughter’s 16th birthday and I have to say that this was probably the highlight of the day!

So there you have it folks…12 pictures from the past year. I do have to say that I loved going through all the pictures from the year and seeing how the kids have changed and grown, the places we’ve been, and all the fun we had. Picking just one picture for each month was hard because I wanted to share so much more with you all.

How was your year? Have you had time to sit and look back at all your pictures yet?

Wordless Wednesday ~ Camera Bandits

A word to the wise…… Never leave your camera unattended…..

WW - The letter

Children will get a hold of it and figure out how to use it. Whether it’s your phone, plain jane digital camera, or your prized possession… your DSLR.

WW - What?

Did she take this herself or did she let her little sister do it?

WW - The culprits

Look at them…. all cute and nice looking.  But don’t let them fool you.. they’re camera bandits.

WW - lauren

They sneak in when you’re Tweeting busy dealing with the toddler and start their game.

WW - deer in headlights

Picture after picture until the fun is done and then they place everything back exactly they way they found it. And one day when you finally pull pictures off of the camera you find them. The evidence.

Camera bandits have struck again.

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Monday Menu ~ Hot Fruit Salad

Welcome back to another edition of the Monday Menu! This week I have a special guest, Andrea from Good Girl Gone Redneck! I love having guests here and it’s even more fun when they share a great recipe. So give her a warm welcome and enjoy the recipe!

Thanks to Jackie for inviting me over to her magical place today so I can share a yummy recipe with you all!

I’m not exactly sure where I found some variation of this recipe. I think I was leafing through a crockpot cookbook, and when I saw something about hot fruit salad I figured I would give it a try. It’s a perfect treat during the cooler weather, and really warms you from the inside out. Plus it’s so simple even a lazy mom like me can make it while doing 900 other things around the house!

Hot Fruit Salad Ingredients

Hot Fruit Salad from Good Girl Gone Redneck

* 20 oz jar chunky applesauce
* 21 oz can cherry pie filling
* 15 oz can peach slices (drained)
* 11 oz can mandarin oranges (drained)
* 8 oz can of pineapple chunks
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 teasp. cinnamon (or more generous if you prefer – I don’t measure and sprinkle it in!)

Combine in crockpot. Mix ingredients.

Hot Fruit Salad

Cook on low for 90 minutes. (You can also bake for 90 minutes at 350*!)


This is a yummy breakfast treat, or a great snack, dessert, it can be served pretty much any time of day. Obviously it’s only really yum if you enjoy warm “fruit,” which I do, so it works for me. You can also try it with apple pie filling, or make your own to toss in if you’re adventurous and brave enough to do so. When you do that it reminds me of the breakfast apple toppings at Cracker Barrel or IHOP, which I could honestly live off of.

You can serve it with biscuits (Pillsbury is my friend), or tarts. Yum. You could also probably easily make a crepe or crepe/pancake/waffle topping out of it. Double yum. With cheesecake, even, if you do fruit with yours (I don’t, but I’m suggesting it anyway). Or just serve it solo, because warmed up it’s absolutely delicious … all by itself.


Andrea blogs regularly over at Good Girl Gone Redneck where she takes pride in sharing any and all Lazy Mom Recipes she comes up with or stumbles across!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Pictures in the Park

I wasn’t feeling up to writing the post that I had planned on so instead I thought I’d share some of the pictures from our little photo shoot at the park.

These are some of the more fun ones that I took of the kids.

Andrew in the tree natalie in the tree

Andrew & Natalie liked climbing into the tree…. although he had a bit more help than she did!

nat - scrunchy face

I shall call this one Lemon Face.

super mario girls

And this…. is the girls rendition of Super Mario Brothers.

The Kids

They were trying to get Andrew to smile and sit still!

A Family Recipe ~ Carrot Cake

Every year my dad’s side of the family gets together on Memorial Day weekend, in the thumb area of Michigan, for a family reunion and it is the one time of the year that everyone gathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandkids.

One year in particular my aunt came home from California and the holiday weekend is close to her birthday so one of my cousins made this incredible carrot cake. That year was special because it was the last time that she was going to be coming home and we made the weekend extra special sharing lots of old pictures, movies, and stories with one another.

Letting the kids put their fingers in the frosting

My Aunt showing the kids how to put their fingers in the frosting!

Now I have to say that the carrot cake is beyond amazing! There simply are not enough words to explain how good it really is, you just have to try it for yourself. Now this cake is not for those on a diet or anything like that and I wouldn’t suggest changing the recipe to make it healthier because it just wouldn’t be the same anymore.

I got the recipe from my cousin last year so I could make it for my dads birthday, and then again for my oldest daughter’s birthday as well. And now I will share it with you. I hope that you and your family enjoy it as much as we have.

Supreme Carrot Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
¾ vegetable oil
¾ buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrot
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple – drained
1 (3 1/2oz) can flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Buttermilk glaze
Cream Cheese Frosting

• Grease 3 9 inch round cake pans (I only use 2 pans)
• Preheat over to 350 degrees
• Stir together the first 4 ingredients. Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour into prepared pans.
• Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
• Drizzle warm buttermilk glaze evenly over the warm cake layers; cool in and on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans inverting layers, invert again glaze side up. Cool completely on wire racks.
• Spread on Cream Cheese Frosting and chill several hours before slicing. Store in the refrigerator.

Buttermilk Glaze
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup butter
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly until glaze is golden. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.

Note – I only make ½ of the glaze recipe, as the entire thing is really sweet.

Cream Cheese Frosting
This recipe is slightly softer than traditional frosting so I add more powder sugar till it’s thick.

1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (3oz) package of cream cheese, softened
¾ cup butter, softened
1 (16oz) package of powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer till smooth.
Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy.
Stir in vanilla.

A picture tells a story

Once upon a time… long, long ago there was a young girl and she was full of dreams for the future.

But there was still time to think about the future because at that moment she was living in the here and now. Her life was all about friends, fun, and enjoying her senior year of high school. Oh.. and the hair…. because it was 1991 and yea, the 80’s were over but big hair was still in! And her’s was awesome!

senior collage

It was an awesome hair day!

As you can see in her senior pictures that day was a good day… no, it was an awesome hair day considering it was a hot and humid day in Michigan. Her curls all fell into place perfectly and the bangs…. what can be said that the picture doesn’t explain? Pictures went well and the evening was filled with friends and parties afterwards and of course everyone noticed how great her hair was that day.

All to soon her senior year was coming to an end and the highlight of the year was fast approaching. Prom! Prom was a big deal because everyone went whether they had a date or not. She spent weeks looking for the perfect dress that was different than all the others that her friends would be wearing and she found it. Short and sassy was the best way to describe it.

Senior Prom

I Loved that Dress!

Prom was on a Saturday and she spent the day at the hair salon with her best friend getting ready for their big night. Hair & makeup were done and once their dates showed up they were ready to go. Their prom was held in Bloomfield Hills at a fancy hall and everyone went out to dinner before hand at The Fox and Hound restaurant (which is now closed). It was a great night… one to be remembered for years to come.

Graduation was bitter sweet. It was the end of high school and the beginning of a new page in her life. A life that has taken twist, turns, and different roads than expected.

Senior Party

Yes, I'm in a bathroom stall....

But there was one last party to be part of. The senior lock in after graduation where all seniors spent one night at the school together playing games, eating, and hanging out. It was another memorable moment in her  life. She had a lot of fun with all of her friends and wouldn’t have changed a thing about her years in high school.

Looking back at pictures she realized that she didn’t look all that bad… as a matter of fact… she was a Senior Hottie!


My Valentine Flowers

This year for Valentine’s Day my husband sent me this beautiful arrangement of flowers and I felt inspired to use my new DSLR camera (Christmas) and play with the various settings! Here are some of the pictures that I took.





Any tips or suggestions??