Smell that?!

Did you know that coffee needs to breathe? Kinda like wine, but different.

Now, I know this because my brother, Will, was/is a coffee nut and he loves to know all the things that one can possibly know about the stuff he's obsessed with...at that particular time. And he loves coffee, loves it to the point that it's like an art form to him to make a cup.... or a pot in his case!

Now back to my other ramblings.... he told me that if you keep coffee beans contained(and beans they should be because it is WRONG to buy the pre-ground stuff, less flavor:)) they build up some sort of gas that makes the coffee taste funky when made. If you notice on your bag of coffee beans (again BEANS!!!) they have a little valve built into the bag to let the gases out. Now if they go through all that trouble to build it into the bag, why would we pour the beans into an airtight container and assume that they come out tasting the same?!? ....I think I might be a little too into this.....

Try it some time, let your coffee breathe a bit before you grind the beans and I promise it'll make a difference! Again...too into it! Zach and I have had may a crappy cup of funky tasting coffee before we figured out that it was because our beans were getting "gassy" in an airtight container!

Don't get me started on how the beans should be oily....another post for another day;)


Cookie Session with Grammie!!

Grammie is here and I don't know who's more excited, Aubrey or me?!
Aubrey has a constant playmate, but I, I have a helper!!
Pretty sure I win.
It's amazing how Grammie can come in with boundless energy and willingness to play....even if it means playing some random version of freeze-tag(Aubrey yelling 'freeze' at you when your running....that's it. She's not quite sure how to play, but she wants to play none the less!).
Today's project was cookie making/decorating.
Aubrey was in her glory! I think it would be safe to say that Grammie was too
(minus the regular cookie stress).

This is the look of sheer joy that is constantly on her face:)
And yes, she is gazing at Grammie.

She was bouncing off the walls all night--not used to a post cookie/icing sugar rush like that.
I just want to eat her in this shot! I'm loving the fact that I can put her hair in a ponytail:)

I call this, "diabetes on a cookie". Pretty sure it's going to magically disappear.... I don't want to know what this would do to her.... scary (or 'gary, as Aubrey would say).


My little "How To"....

I've had a couple people see this in my little sewing corner and comment on it's handiness. I figured I'd share it with you all so you can have a little handiness in your lives too:)
I was getting so frustrated trying to dig out my bobbins from a random container, and I don't want to even know how many times I filled a bobbin with some thread only to find I already had that color wound! grrrrrr! When I'm sewing little things tend to bug me to no end, winding bobbins, seam ripping.... when I'm in a groove, I want to sew!
Anyway, moving right along to the "how to"--it's super simple. I just took an existing frame that I had laying around from a garage sale, stuck some cork(also from a garage sale!!) where the glass used to be and used pins pushed in at an angle to hold the bobbins in place. I happen to have ones that had pretty colors on them so that made it look a little bit spiffier:)
See?!? Cute, right?

Now they are where I can see them and access them readily! The embroidery floss was there because I didn't have more bobbins at the time and, well, I thought the colors looked too pretty to be in some container:)



In the spirit of back-posting, as is (apparently) my custom, I want to show some pictures from our little trip to the Nation's Capital:)
Zach was invited to a conference in DC and instead of taking a flight there, he decided to forgo the paid ticket and drive and take us along for the trip! What a nice guy;)
It's only about 4hrs from where we live so it almost seemed like a waste to fly anyway.
The drive was great and we only had one night there so as soon as we got there the first day we went out exploring.
I LOVED it! There was something so amazing about how symmetrical everything was. I know, that sounds psycho, but I loved that part. You could walk from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument(past the Reflecting Pool, of the famed Forest Gump scene:)) and to Capitol Hill. It was all in a straight shot with these amazing public grass areas where people were playing soccer, football and just plain playing. Kinda cool to see that in amongst the famous buildings. And then off in a wonky direction was the White House which was kinda in a random place and strange to get to.
When we first arrived we saw these....
Segways?!? It just seemed so appropriate for some reason. But that didn't stop us from making fun:)
Lincoln Memorial. It was my favorite place, the giant statue of Lincoln was even bigger than I expected!
Aubrey chasing ducks, kinda a surreal moment when you look at all that is around her! Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool are in the background.
Good ol' Lincoln.
Capitol Hill in the background. Aubrey called this "High Tower" and was obsessed with it! (it's from a Dora episode)
High Tower, errr, Washington Memorial with (I believe) Federal buildings to the left.
The Smithsonian(or part of it... it was a bit confusing).
People working out in amongst these amazing places, kinda crazy!

We just saw the White House from afar, long story, so let's just say that I had a tough time finding it! I'm a little directionally challenged and was left to my own devices for a few hours. Not a good idea.
All in all, it was an awesome little two day excursion and I would HIGHLY recommend heading there as soon as you can! We both wished we had more time, and will definitely be back in the near future!


So nice, we got them twice!

So we decided that the cider and cider donuts at Riamede Farms were worth a second visit alone!
But in the end went and picked a few apples as well.
Nothing like an apple picked fresh from the tree, SO GOOD!

Aubrey, like her mother, is a bit of a donut monster.
She could have plowed through a few of these if we let her!

mmmmmm! Best. Cider. Ever.
....best guy ever;)

I was loving the sugared mess around Aubrey's mouth, so cute!

I think that my body was invaded by a 90 year old...or at least my hand was. Look at that hand??? I can't even use winter as an excuse.... oh man. Age.

She might have been a little curious as to why I was grinning like an idiot and saying, "Oh my word! SOOOO good!" every bite....

Then again, maybe not. She is my kid after all and was saying "mmmmm!! goooooood" after every bite too:) Like mother like daughter.Poor Zach was forgotten in all that donut craziness!

{remember how I hate mornings?? Aubrey was up 4:30 am!?? why me?? Any advice on how to get a kid back to bed, even when she's claiming she's super hungry and keeping in mind that I live in a multi-family home and would not be able to just let her cry super loud..... sorry, a lot of factors!}


What I feel like doing right now....

I had to drive Zach to the airport this morning at 5am.

That is an awful time to be awake, let alone be dragging your child out of bed!

I am not a morning person, I repeat, NOT a morning person. It takes me two

hours and a pot of coffee to wake up. If it wasn't for Nick Jr,

I'd be lost in the AM.

Zach is off on a whirlwind interview week and will be back on Friday.

I hate when he's gone, Aubrey hates when he's gone... just not fun for us.

Luckily, I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who likes being

home and is not one to want to leave at any given chance.

He was dreading the week long trip away from home

and, most importantly, dreading his time away from Aubrey!

Those two are going to go through some serious withdrawal!

....and I'm going to have a lot of time with a two year old....

Wish me luck!


Photo Shoot...

So we had our first professional family photo shoot...ever
(well, since our wedding, but Aubrey was not present then...)!
Crazy right?!? I feel like a bit of a failure as a parent.
Apparently we are the only family who doesn't get pro shots done ever three months...oops.
A shoot every 2 1/2 years will have to do:)
Well, we figured that it was high-time to have it done.
And with our good friend being a wonderful...amazing...fantastic....brilliant photographer,
AND it being the most fabulous time of year, Fall
(Let's hear it for Fall!!!)
all pieces fell into place!
You can have a look over at her blog....
They turned out AMAZING!
And if you live in the NJ area...
the Tri-State area.... heck, the East Coast,
you have to get her, she will not disappoint!
I promise.
I'm her number one fan(can you tell??), I was before,
but it has been solidified since the shoot.
So, to sum up;
Photographer Amy--AMAZING
Have her take your picture--YES!
The End.


Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink....

I drink two main things in my life; water, coffee and tea(oops, that's three).
Now, I can't figure out which I like better water or coffee(tea is what I drink just to mix it up)...
seriously, I LOVE both.
I live on both... well, technically I live on water...
but if coffee were to disappear of the face of the earth.... *shudder*
I just don't want to think about such awful things.
Point is, I like them both, and consume them accordingly.
Now a problem arose when we moved here to NJ.
The water out of the tap, well, it tastes like butt.
Maybe butt is a little harsh, but it definitely tastes like dirt.
And it might just be me seeing things, but it's looking a little murky lately... I'm just sayin'.
(I'm sure it is technically safe to drink, but yuck .)
Now I drink tap water everywhere.
I drank it in Grenada(unfiltered) and I lived to tell about it.
I drank tap water in Canada growing up, again, unfiltered(that wasn't such a big deal...I'm just trying to prove a point!).
I even had some in Mexico when I wasn't thinking and nothing happened...
and it tasted good.
I don't like paying for water(and Zach REALLY doesn't like paying for water)
but if my water is tasting like butt, I'm going to buy my water.
You can't filter out butt taste, you just can't.
Again I consume A LOT of water... I'm part camel.
I honestly will go with out, to get my water.
(Just ask Zach what I'm like traveling if I don't get adequate water. It's not pretty.)
All I have to say is that if there wasn't a Costco around, we'd be in trouble.
....same could be said for our coffee budget...


Eagerly Awaiting....

...my sewing books I ordered on the Borders Marketplace website!!
I went into the used section
(better than full price if you ask me, and the only way I could kinda afford them!)
and found books that I've been wanting for a while
being sold used for less than half of the original price.
And since I'm looking for ideas for Christmas presents,
I thought I needed a few books for inspiration.
Just looking through books get me so excited to make something,
and when I'm excited to make something,
I can actually(kinda) bring myself to cut into my wonderful fabrics!
Here's to hoping...
I really feel like I need a little push in the sewing department.
I've been slacking lately.
The books I got are,
Amy Butler's, In Stitches: More than 25 Simple and Stylish Sewing Projects...
Seems to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing...
and Bend the Rules of Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew.
They all come with patterns and instructions, so that's perfect for me because I don't really want to spend money on patterns(which are super expensive!)
I'll let you know how I like them...
hopefully they come today, I'm dying to see them!


Grad Party....from six months ago....ooops:)

I bet you're thinking to yourself, med school grad party pictures now?!?!
I know, I know... I'm about six months late, but I really do have a good reason...
...well, an okay reason.... okay, so it's just a reason.
Lame as it may be, I thought that these pictures were all ruined.
Really truly ruined.
See, I really love photography...well, I'm nowhere near the "photography"
stage. I love taking pictures, that's better, but I really have no idea what I'm doing.
Honestly, no idea. The real problem starts when I decide that I kinda know something
and I start fidgeting with the settings, iso's, etc.
Rewind to our trip to England(before Grad, in May).
I was fiddling with the settings and some how ended up with pretty much ALL
my pictures taken...
and I mean ALL--England, grad party, Canada trip, grad ceremony
(I cringe just thinking about it)--taken in 1600iso.
Why oh why would I have taken anything on that setting??
Anyway, Zach's mom printed a bunch of pictures from Grad and they were all fuzzy and
I thought it was because of the setting.
Well, turns out that Costco just printed them crappy
because I reprinted them all after a good friend, thanks Amy:), told me that it should not make that big of a difference, especially if they look okay on the computer.
And guess what, she was right! Dang you Costco and your
crappy printing ways!
So, here are the pictures.... only six months late.... better late than never right?!?
Zach's mom hosted a party for us and all our friends. It was so much fun!
So much yummy food a great friends/family to share it with.

Aubrey loves her Grammy and "Grant"(great aunt Saralie-get it Grant...great aunt....Grant...great aunt?!! Man we're good!)

So many friends came out to support Zach.
It was so amazing to have them all there with us to celebrate!

I made him cut the cake as though it was a wedding, he was not too pleased with me.

Happy to be having cake!

Aubrey's buddy M.

Auntie Anna was playing with the kids, as usual. I dare you to get her to stop playing when kids are around, I dare you.



If I'm the only one who can not stop watching the new show Sister Wives?!?
I've always been so curious as to how these women(Polygamists) deal with
having their husband off with another women(and ok with it!)?
Such a bizarre concept to me. Last night I was, at least a little,
relieved that they came out and said that there was jealousy....
and that one of the daughters said she could never do it,
she'd be the only wife in her family.... It's just so fascinating to me.
How about you?
Have you seen the show?
What do you think?


Just another day on the farm....

Zach, being Captain Fall, planned an apple picking trip for our little family this
last Sunday. Aubrey was so excited, her poor Sunday School
teacher had to hear about it the whole morning!
We decided to go here....

because it seemed as though the prices were good, it was a family run farm, and the Internet review said that there were low lying trees. Perfect for my short legged girl.....hmmm wonder where she got those from....

They had these waggons laying around and I thought that they'd be perfect to carry said short legged girl.

See? Short trees for short girls:) I don't have a fancy editing program so the shots are not anything fancy, I just played around with a few on my iPhoto.

I just love this shot! Something about how she's reaching is precious!
She was so excited to be there she just ran from tree to tree deciding on which apple to get. It was a very serious process.

As was the eating....

...maybe not so much.

They had pumpkins there too, so we decided to grab one even though we hadn't planned on it.

I could just eat this kid up!

My little poser. Seriously, she sees a camera and strikes a pose! Love it.

I love the action shots! Her arms we about to fall off it was so heavy for her,
but she insisted on holding it.

Can't believe this is my kid!!! She's the best!

There was a free hay ride to and from the pumpkin patch. Usually these places
charge an arm and a leg for these little random things, but not this place:)

Seriously, the two best people in the world... can't get enough... I'm not kidding... Love them.

{I was going to write about the FABULOUS cider doughnuts and apple cider we had, but I decided that they deserve a post of their own. mmmmmmm....*saliva dripping*... cider doughnuts.}