Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

In lieu of not being able to spa over the weekend, David and I locked down a last minute babysitter to celebrate Jim's birthday. The Biltmore isn't a shabby second to Ojai.

Cheers Jimmy!
Doesn't my ear look funny?
And a date night with this guy makes everything better : )

Monday, January 30, 2012

Packing Light - To Be Continued

Remember that little upcoming packing light getaway I posted? I am going to have to get back to you on this relaxing and fun trip. 

Marcy had to cancel due to her twin boys getting the nasty flu that's been going around. Poor things were up all night with sickness. It just would not have been relaxing for her to leave Todd with 2 of the 3 kids being sick.

But the worst was my other friend, Melike. Her mother passed away early Saturday morning and she was hopping on a plane to Turkey that afternoon.

There was just no way Pernille and I would enjoy the trip without all the original members. We thought about going for the day to partake in our spa treatments and lounge around the pool. But we decided to just cancel too. The spa was so generous to let us reschedule everything at the last minute without penalty charges or higher room rates. 

In sickness and in health, friends stick together. It's that other silent marriage all girlfriends need. And although I was a bit bummed it was hard to be too down and out with a January day like this:

Not too shabby, huh?

Rescheduling this getaway just adds to the excitement of the future trips I have in store over the next couple of months. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Packing Light

Mid 70's and not a cloud in the sky. What's a girl to do? Pack up and head to the spa where the weather is equally as nice! So looking forward to a getaway with my girlfriends.

I think should about cover it ; )

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Well, actually it's Chunky Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Crumb Topping

I love muffins with a crumb topping. It's a weakness of mine. Well, one of that I'm willing to divulge. : ) My girls love the crumb topped muffins too. But I do try to limit their sugar intake, every now and then. 

I came across this recipe via How to Simplify. It's the perfect muffin. Not an overwhelmingly sweet topping, but just enough to savor with every bite. And I just love the bits of apple throughout the muffin.

For the muffins:
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped (reserve 3 tablespoons for the crumb topping) ~ I used a Fuji Apple and it was fine
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour ~ Next time I'm going to substitute some ground oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt ~ Not sure what the 2 pinches is about, I skipped it.
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk ~ Don't have buttermilk? Make your own by adding one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to one cup milk. Stir in and let sit for a few minutes.
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons reserved diced apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins.
  • Whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add chopped apples.
  • Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter in a small bowl. Gently add egg mixture into flour mixture. Do not over mix.
  • Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. Top each muffin cup with the crumb topping (To make crumb topping: Combine all ingredients except apples in a bowl and mix with a fork to create crumbs. Toss in the apples and coat lightly with the flour mixture).
  • Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool slightly, about five minutes, before removing them from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tennis Anyone?

Sophia and her 2 best friends, Jack & Luke, started their weekly tennis clinic at the club. How stinkin' cute these kids looked out there on the courts! The clinic is an hour long and the kids loved it. I didn't stay to watch because I know Sophia likes it when she is "dropped-off." Yes, at 4 years old, the whole, "Mommy can you drop me off and leave and pick me up later", has already started. sigh But I did manage to get a few shots without totally annoying her : )

How serious looking!
The 3 amigos : )
Looks like an ace to me! ; )
And if tennis doesn't work out . . .
She'll make a cute ball girl!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I know . . . not a very lovely title. But once you read and see, you will understand!

Darling Hubby bought me this last Sunday.

And on Monday, like just one day later Monday, someone did this . . 
Nice license plate imprint, huh?! 

And no note, of course. Seriously?! I mean, "she" doesn't even have a name yet. Yes, I name our cars. Yes, I know it's weird but that's not the point right now : ) But I am pleased to say, "she" is good as new after a little visit to the beauty parlor on Friday.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mini Oreo Cookies & Cream Orange Cheesecakes

My hubby is not a huge cheesecake fan. Therefore I never make it. Because let's face it . . . I would hate knowing I ate a whole cheesecake by myself! I mean just the thought of it makes me feel guilty and in a need of at least a 6 mile run. And even though I wanted to make a cheesecake for one of the Junior League meetings I chair, a whole cheesecake for 7 gals would still leave me with too much "temptation leftovers."

So why not make minis? My inspiration came from my friend Marina's blog, Yummy Mummy. And the recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart. Gotta give credit where credit is due! : )

Very important ingredient. DO NOT SKIP!
Find yourself a cute helper : )

The rest of the ingredients:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt
18 Oreos, left whole
8 Oreos, crushed
Zest of one orange

Line standard muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Place an Oreo in each liner. Preheat oven to 275 F.

Beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add 1/2 cup sugar, then vanilla. With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add sour cream and salt. Fold in crushed cookies and orange zest.

Pour batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the top. Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. 

Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012

We spent New Year's Eve with a few friends and their kids.
And I couldn't think of a better way to ring in the New Year (kid-friendly style) than with this:

My kids love cupcakes. Okay, so do I. Aside from the frosting, the girls hardly eat the actual cupcake. Except when it comes to funfetti cake. Something about those colorful sprinkles. Oh but please, don't buy the boxed stuff. I promise you it is so easy to make!

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe (taken from Martha Stewart)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 stick butter, room temperture
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add vanilla.

Add flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom.

Now, this next step is not from the above recipe: Fold in about 1/2 cup of sprinkles.

Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

To frost these colorful treats, I used my go-to buttercream frosting recipe from Magnolia Bakery.