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Friday, June 21, 2013
First Day of Summer and my car read 99 degrees.  My son is heading off to summer camp next week to be a counselor for my nephews age group.  They have so much fun together and have become such good buddies.  It's kind of cute to watch them together.  About a 7 year age difference but Cole looks up to Collin so much, hadn't realized it until right now, but their first names are very similar and they both have the same middle name. Love those guys, have fun at camp and at least it is about 10 degrees cooler than last year.  Glad there is a lot of water when they are playing out at the beach!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ultimate Frisbee

So my girls are getting ready to leave to go play Ultimate Frisbee with a bunch of kids that get together throughout the community to play Ultimate Frisbee.  First time they are going, this group gets together to play every Thursday at 10:00am.  So....the debate is it "no step" or three step" ultimate frisbee????  So got to thinking, this would be a great game to play out at the beach with the kids. 
Here are the basic rules - not official ones....
  • find an area to play and make your boundaries, think football shape
  • 7 players officially on a team, but this is for fun so just divide your players up and that is your team.
  • one team gets the "disc" aka frisbee to start.  They begin by throwing the frisbee in any direction but obviously to their own players.  If the frisbee is dropped, thrown out of bounce etc. then it is the opposing teams turn.  
  • Some rules allow the person to take no steps or 3 steps before you throw the frisbee.  However, you are not allowed to run with the frisbee any other time, otherwise it's a penalty and you have to hand the frisbee to the other team.  
  • Points are received by running into the end zone.
Sounds pretty easy and a lot of fun.  Now supposedly, you are not suppose to tackle, touch, or block the other team players, but if they look like these guys then I think it might be allowed....he he he he. 

Here's my girls getting ready to head off to play....go Gabs and Molly.  Yes they are totally goof balls, one more than the other can you tell?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hugs & Kisses Cheescake

I started making this recipe years ago, the "true" cheescakes are just a little to time consuming sometimes and my kids totally feel in love with this recipe.   In fact two of my kids always request this as their birthday cake, and you can make it ahead of time to take out to the beach. So why make things harder than they are right?  So her is the actual Hershey's recipe, the only thing I do different is I use a full 8oz package of cream cheese - heck why waste the last two ounces and the little packages are sometimes hard to find.  I have not made it with the Oreos as a crust, but my daughter did and said it was yummy!!  Another hint, make sure your cream cheese is room temperature otherwise it just doesn't seem to blend right and gets lumpy - which leaves it yucky.  PSS....I have also just placed this in a small rectangular pan or 8"x 8" square pan and served as bars.  Good Luck! 

Hershey's Hugs & Kisses Cheesecake:
  • 2 – (3 ounce) packages of Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon Flour
  • 1 prepared Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust (8 or 9 inch) OR make your own with 2 cups of Oreo Cookies and a tablespoon of melted butter.
  • Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses (optional on top as decorations)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cream cheese until fluffy; slowly beat in the Sweetened Condensed Milk until smooth.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
Toss chocolate chips with flour and stir into cream cheese mixture.  Pour into the crust.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched.  Cool completely.
Optional – Chocolate Glaze:  Heat 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips and 1/4 cup whipping cream in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until thickened and smooth.  Immediately spread over cooled cheesecake.
Optional – Decorate the edges of the cheesecake with chocolate shavings and / or Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses.   Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Best served chilled.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer To Do's

So what are your plans for the summer…I don’t mean vacations and such, but things to do around the house.  I always plan on getting organizing, decorating things, weeding, gardening done….somehow it doesn’t all get done.   Go figure.  So this is what I’m thinking.  I think we will just start going room by room, just doing touch ups on the pain, cleaning the trim and whatever else needs sprucing up.  You know some of it won’t take long at all and if we all (meaning my kids) pitch in we will be done in no time. Now just putting that into motion is a whole other story.  There are also task outside that need to be done, my patio furniture that is about 15 years old needs to be repainted so the debate is  what color….tried and true black or a fun jazzy color?  If I go with black, you can’t go wrong almost anything goes with it and it is always a classic.  However, a fun color, red, turquoise, green, even orange would be fun….but not as versatile.  I think I’m talking myself into black, I think the white would show to much wear and tear don’t you?  I really do need to get it done as my son’s graduation will be next year and you know what that means – PARTY!!  So might as well get it all done and then I won’t be stressing about it next Spring right?  I think I also need to pick up a couple of great wicker chairs from our BeachAndCottageLiving.com outdoor furniture line to add on our patio for a nice sitting area.  Hope you all have a nice day, see ya later on this week.  Let me know what color you think I should do.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A 'Lil bit of Chicken Fry

It may not be chicken fry but this potato salad recipe is awesome and Bar-B-Q’s are the ultimate sign of summer at the beach or anywhere.  So what is your favorite summer recipe?  Here is one that my step-Mom started cooking up a few years ago and it is so simple and yummy.  It sounds a little odd, but try it and you won’t be disappointed.  The only thing that would make it the ultimate is if you use homemade buttermilk (ranch) dressing.  I’m kind of a ranch dressing snob and really only eat the homemade version.  There is just something so delicious about it.  The store bought kind just doesn’t quite do it.  So here is the recipe, let me know what you think.
  • Potato & Sweet Potato Salad
  • 4   Potatoes boiled and cut into chunks (if you want to leave the skin on that is up to you) 
  • 4   Sweet Potatoes boiled and cut into chunks
  • throw the potatoes and sweet potatoes into a bowl after they have cooled, you don’t want them to mush together
  • scallions – one bunch cut up
  • bacon pieces cut up – amount to your liking, I say load it up, because I love bacon 
  • some salt and pepper to your liking approximately a teaspoon of each
  • a bottle of ranch dressing 

Toss the rest of the ingredients in with the cooled potatoes add in the bottle of ranch with all the other ingredients.  Refrigerate until right before you are ready to eat and watch the bowl disappear.  Yummy….

 So my picture isn't the best....I'll work on it next time.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma....Our thoughts and Prayers go out to you all.

Unbelievable destruction in Moore, OK.  Prayers out to all of those that have been affected.  I can't even imagine what those people are going through.  A few years ago my daughter and I were caught out in the tornado that went through our area, but we found our way into a grocery store.  We were driving home and this storm arrived literally out of no where and very, very quickly with almost no warning.  We knew we were not going to make it home as our car was being tossed around a bit and we could not see much of anything.  My daughter was suggesting that we pull into this neighborhood and was asking me if I knew anyone in the area and I really didn't and was concerned going to any houses because if there wasn't anyone home we were just wasting precious time.  So I pulled into a grocery store parking lot and told Taylor (my daughter) that I wasn't even pulling into a parking spot, but just driving up to the front doors and we were going to run in.  We both just jumped out of the car and I told her to run, I couldn't get my van door to shut because the wind was blowing so hard and I just left it open and went running with her into the store not knowing if my 4 month old vehicle would be intact when the storm was done.  As we were running from our van to the store there was an electrical box that was blowing up across the street from us.  There were men holding the store doors open for us and another staff person handed us meat locker jackets because they were telling us to run to the back of the store into the locker where we would stay during the storm.  I called my husband as we were running to the meat locker and told him we wouldn't have phone service and where we were at, he let us know that they were all fine and they loved us.  We were in the locker area for about 45 minutes.  When we were released from the locker area, we headed out to our vehicle - the van door was shut but there were some plants on top of the hood of our van and some water in our van.  All easy things to clean up.  There was a fence knocked down across the street and there was a semi turned over on the way home along with some trees knocked down and other items scattered everywhere.  
What we went through was scary, but nothing compared to what others have gone through especially the destruction that Oklahoma went through last night.  Prayers to all of them and a quick recovery to pick themselves up and put everything back together again.  

God Speed....
Friday, May 17, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

Wow, is it gorgeous outside, I was enjoying working out on my front patio,  Wi-fi is such an awesome invention.  My neighbors daughter and friends just came home (seniors who had their last day of school earlier this week) and they are going swimming, isn’t that the life….that was a long time ago, but definitely the more care free days. 
I was searching for some articles on the internet and came across this great one about Random Acts of Kindness, or as they are calling it Random Acts of Pizza after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  People are donating pizza to those who are housing others that were stranded in Boston and the Chicago tribune is  sending pizza to the Boston Globe for all of their reporting efforts at such a horrific time.  It’s simple, it’s pizza, but it is a random act of kindness that let’s others know you are thinking of them.  Random Acts of Kindness can occur anytime or anywhere.  What will be your Random Act of Kindness?  It was suggested that we all just do a Random Act of Kindness once a week Can you imagine how awesome that would be? 
Maybe your random act of kindness is helping a friend who has a child graduating?  Help them plant some flowers, make their food, decorate or just pick up around their home.  Graduation is such an awesome time, but can be very nerve racking for everyone.  Do a Random Act of Kindness for a friend and see how great it feels. 
We have a few graduations to go to ourselves, but we also need to head back to our stomping grounds and go to my husbands cousins daughters (twins) graduation.  Whew, that is kind of confusing huh.  It will be great to see the family, we will even hang out at the lake for a bit before heading back.  Enjoy your weekend.  See ya next week.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why I'm blogging.

This blogging thing….it’s amazing how much people blog and what they blog about, business, family, pictures, dogs, you name it, people blog about it. Honestly, why am I blogging?  I opened this online website for BeachAndCottageLiving.com and I had a choice, I could either write this business blog and bore the ever living daylights out of you and myself or write more of a personal blog and add some personal humor to it – as bland as my humor is.  So here it goes.  I’ve always loved home furnishings and beach and cottage furniture is so cute, fun, classy and it can also have vintage characteristics.  It can be shabby chic, and a little bit rustic.  You can paint a room almost any tone of white, place neutral couch and chairs in the room – then jazz it up with some coastal print pillows, colorful end tables , coffee tables add an eclectic lamp maybe a bookshelf with some cottage character and strategically place candles, books, pictures and personal items and  Bam!! – you’ve got a stylish room.  How much fun is that?  Drop me a note and let me know what you love to put on your bookshelves to reflect your personality in your home.  We would love to hear from you.  Enjoy the rest of your day, I’m off to get supper ready for the kiddos.  Here is a picture of a beautiful tulip out in our yard,  I just love tulips, but wish they would stay around a little longer….all summer would be fine with me. See ya at the beach!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

Summer is just around the corner, at least I hope it is.  It's so fun to watch the birds outside building their nest to prepare for their little ones.  Got to tell ya, there is this one mama bird that built a nest on our outdoor speakers....she kept flying back and forth with all kinds of nesting goodies, twine, thin spindly sticks, all kinds of dried up stuff, and by the end of the day....poof she had this unbelievable nest built.  There is no way I could even put that together with two hands and glue, let alone a beak and dragging everything back and forth.  It's amazing what they can do.  Luckily, the kiddos and I have been able to talk their dad into leaving the nest there until after all the babies are born.  Wooo hooo!!  He even suggested that we point the outdoor lights away from the nest so that we don't fry the little guys....ahhhhh.  I know, what a sweetheart.

Happy Mother's Day for all of you moms that create your own little nest for your little ones and not so little ones every day.  It may not be out of sticks and twine, but it's your own nest made with love.  Enjoy your special day this Sunday, maybe it will be a day where you can go and spend it at the beach, dipping your toes in the water and @33 in the sand.  You know what I mean.  Have fun, enjoy the day & hang out.  What are you doing for your Mom on Mother's Day? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Charlie!!!!

It’s Charlie’s birthday….he’s 8 years old.  Hard to believe that we rescued him a little over 7 years ago.  May 9th is the day that the Boston Terrier rescue group gave him for his birthday….who knows when it really is, but today works for us.  Happy Birthday Charlie.  If you are thinking about getting a dog, what about rescuing one.  We have two now and absolutely love both of them.  Junior is a little annoying….at least Charlie thinks so, ok so do we.  He acts like the little pest of a brother that he is, but Charlie puts up with him to a point and then puts Junior in his place.  Hope you all have a great rest of the day, go out and enjoy the beach.