Monthly Archives: October 2012

Marshmallow Fondant

Ok guys. K is gonna do a dessert post. Those are usually M’s prerogative but she kind of bullied me into doing this one. Haha! Just kidding 🙂

I had never tried to make any kind of fondant before, but a friend gave me this recipe and it works SO WELL! If any of you have ever tasted fondant, you know that it’s more like pretty gift wrapping for a yummy cake rather than something delicious in itself. But this recipe totally changes that! Last year I made a birthday cake for a friend’s daughter’s 3rd birthday and used this recipe for the first time. I’m super bummed that I no longer have the picture due to computer crashes and getting a new phone, but you can see this year’s cake!

This particular birthday girl loves pink and Hello Kitty. So I used white cake (which is delicious!) and I used red food dye to make it pink. I don’t know why they call it red food dye, because I think you’d have to squeeze 12 of those tiny bottles of dye into something for it to actually come out red. They should just call it pink. But whatever. The cake was pink.

pink swirls!!

You can’t really tell til you cut it open. I promise, it’s pink. Hello Kitty pink.

Oh, I feel like I should warn you. This fondant making process is very messy. Fun, but messy.

It’s so soft! and really easy to work with!

kneads like bread!

See the counter? That’s powdered sugar and crisco. ALL. OVER. 🙂

After it’s kneaded, I rolled it out (using a rolling pin, not magic, M;) )to a half inch thick which is enough to cover a 9×13 cake that’s two layers thick.

Then, we move on to covering the cake with the fondant. Before you put the fondant on, you lightly ice the cake with whatever frosting you like. What’s wonderful about this part is that you can fix any not-so-pretty things that may have happened with the cake. For me, that would be one of the layers coming out of what I thought was a well-greased 9×13 pan in 5 pieces. The frosting now becomes the glue that holds everything together. And it turned out great. Not great enough to take close pictures of though, sorry. 😀 (I really just forgot again.)

See! you can’t even tell the bottom layer of cake was in 5 pieces 🙂

‘Scuse the huge mess back there.

Smooth everything out with the hands…..(after you wash the Crisco off)

Then use your pastry cutter/pizza slicer to cut the excess fondant…..

At this point, leave a little extra at the bottom just to be safe. When you’ve completely smoothed everything out to your satisfaction, cut that last little bit off.

Voila! Perfecto!

Now, M thinks there is some form of magic involved to getting the fondant to lay flat and look perfect. There’s not. I PROMISE YOU.

This is truly so easy, I don’t know what to tell you except try it yourself!

Here’s the final project!

The way I did the colored fondant was just by taking a small amount of the fondant, adding red (PINK) food coloring, and kneading it in my hands til the color was blended. Key point here. WEAR GLOVES. Food coloring + bare hands = stained hands that are very hard to get clean.

I just cut each piece out by hand and laid it on top! Then, to outline Miss Hello Kitty, I used the black spray icing that you can buy at any grocery store, and that comes with different tips.

This was such a fun dessert to make! Tasted delicious, looked cute, and was only at a level 4 difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10!

A few tips:

– the cake must be completely cooled. If possible, bake it the night before. Putting fondant on an even slightly warm cake is a bad idea.

– don’t try this for the first time on an actual cake for an event or person without doing a test trial first. It’s a good idea to make the fondant one time before you actually need it so if it gets messed up and you’ve promised someone a three tiered cake with fondant peacock feathers you don’t have a panic attack. Totally hypothetical.

– the recipe says to use Jet-Puff marshmallows (that name brand only). Listen! I tried a no name brand, and it was not nearly as pliable or smooth. Not worth the 50 cents you save.

– use a lot of Crisco!!

And have tons of fun 🙂


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College Visit Recap

Remember my midnight post from last Saturday? About how excited I was to take baby sister on her first CA college visit?

TOTAL success. We had so much fun!! And, er, learned a lot. We totally did though.










We left pretty early in the morning and began our 3ish hour drive up north to Chico. It was just barely getting light when we left, and Linds and I both decided early mornings are totally beautiful and the absolute best part of the day. Of course… maybe sometimes we aren’t as quick to praise the idea of rising early… but on this day, we were lovin’ it.

We had a wonderful drive up to Chico, and started out the morning with the President’s Welcome and some tours of the campus and housing. (I felt very responsible, making sure we got the important tours and not just spending the whole time in the downtown area- score big sister!)








The campus was GORGEOUS! Trees everywhere… a river… little pathways to walk on… and huge! I went to Dordt College out in Iowa with my dear hub- and totally loved it! But it was definitely small compared to this place. It was so fun to watch my little sister take it all in- imagining that this time next year she could be living in this place! She was so shy at first, which was a shocker to me- Lindsey?! SHY!? But I can remember those days, sizing up the place I’d spend the next few years, and being slightly freaked out that I knew next to NO ONE there. It’s a little scary! Pretty soon we got to joking around and after a few laughs and awkward jokes, she was good to go.










I was so glad that after a little while, she opened up and started to ask her own questions and got back to her normal goofy self- I could definitely see her loving going to school at Chico. We also went on a tour that focused on the major she is considering- Journalism. If she wasn’t sure before coming here, she loved everything she heard about their Journalism and Public Relations programs. We had students taking us around the buildings and talking to us, which was really fun!










Also, it was a total unexpected surprise to have a classmate of my sister’s up in Chico that weekend for one of her friends’ birthdays- Krista heard we were visiting Chico via facebook and offered to show us around the area if we wanted that day. Oh, we totally wanted! We got in touch with her after a few tours and we are SO glad we did- Krista and her husband were so sweet and fun!! They took their time and explained all the fun things to do in the area, as well as some great groups to get involved with on campus, and bible studies as well. They showed us some fun shops, and places where students go to hangout a lot… as well as a sweet lunch place where you can build your own salad! Sounds kinda typical when I describe it like that… but it was an awesome little joint. Totally wish they had one here- if you are ever in the area, it’s called ‘Pluto’s’!










After lunch, we parted ways for a while so Linds and I could go check out a few more things on campus. I was dying to see the famed Rec Center they boasted of- and dang, it was definitely worth the bragging. Heaven. Made my home gym kinda look gross. I tried to take more pictures, but got in trouble for taking pictures ( I guess it is weird to take pics of gyms while people are working out.. I totally sound like a creeper. Excuse me.) Anyways, it was AWESOME.










We also REFUSED to leave the campus without taking pictures by certain signs we had seen on our various tours. Here is where we get way immature.

notice the ‘Flame of Knowledge’ just above her head… 🙂











I wanted to get Linds with the flame of knowledge over her head. Nailed it.

Let me explain– on our first tour, the guide told us that the school seal was… get ready for this… The Flame of Knowledge. Are you kidding?? I actually snorted.. thinking he was kidding. Then Linds elbowed me and I realized the guide was not, in fact, making an Indiana Jones-like joke. So we decided we HAD to get a picture with the sculpture of the  Flame of Knowledge. Kinda made us think of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Bible… ha!

Anyways, after we got our final glimpses of the campus and cashed in on some college apparel, we were ready to head out. Wearing TOMS was probably not the best choice of footwear for a day of so much walking.










Before we left though, we met up with Krista and Tyler and their friends one more time for a special treat- the Tea Bar! I had never even heard of something like that! It was SO awesome, we wished K could have been with us for that~ it was exactly her type of thing! You could get any type of tea, any way you wanted it- smoothie, sparkling, steamed, regular, whatever! Krista ordered hers with Tapioca pearls… and it sounded super interesting so I ordered mine with that too- they’re kind of gel-like little balls they add in. Unfortunately, I was not a big fan. It was like chewing on fish eyes. Other than that though, Linds and I LOVED our blackberry lemonade tea smoothies!

See the little goober balls on the bottom?












After an incredibly fun-filled day, and after getting to know the place that Linds could be going next year, we were so pooped and ready to go home.

We didn’t think we’d make it home without falling asleep… but Enrique Iglesias saved the day for us.

And that, my friends, was a successful day.










It was such a fun experience to take my little sister on a college visit- I know my mom (and K) were disappointed big-time that they couldn’t be there… and we really missed them. I know the biggest thing for us is to have Linds find a place that fits her and helps her grow into the woman that God created her to be! She has so many gifts, we can’t wait to see how she uses them. I have to admit- when Linds first told me she was considering Chico, my first thought was oh no… total party school. But after the visit, and talking with Krista, her hub, and friends, I could see that college is what YOU make it. Krista made some amazing Christian friends at Chico and met her husband at a Bible study! Opportunities to shine as a Christian abound anywhere you go, and I was so happy that Chico might be the place where Linds shines brightest.


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Simplest Apple Tart

Ahh… Today is a BEAUTIFULLY gloomy day. It rained early this morning, and the sky is still gray and cloudy… and I’m nice and warm inside with my sweatshirt on and a hot cup of hot chocolate. Did I mention I love my Keurig? Namely because it doesn’t JUST brew coffee… I have apple cider K-cups, hot chocolate K-cups, tea… it just makes cold days absolutely wonderful.








I’ve been looking forward to cold(er) weather since the beginning of summer. Believe me, that is usually not the case! I love my summers. Ever since we found out Baby VS was on the way, my body has been working double-time to create that little pumpkin! And that makes my internal temperature skyrocket. Feels like, anyway. So this weather… it’s like Christmas, ya’ll. Christmas.

Anyways, on to other things! The other day we had some friends over for dinner, and I had the day off so I was looking forward to preparing a nice meal for us all. The girls that came over had just finished running a half-marathon that past weekend, and totally rocked it! I was bummed to miss this race, but they have promised to help me get back into tip-top shape after baby is born- these girls are awesome motivators!! Anyways, after such a long race, they totally deserved a hearty meal. I decided to go with sausage & mushroom stuffed peppers, with crusty sourdough bread and spinach salad. And it was delish… but this isn’t the part I’m excited about!

Fast forward to: DESSERT.










Apples +brown sugar + puff pastry = drool.










Oh my heart. Ree Drummond, you are amazing. Thank you for making the kitchen such a fun place to be. AND thank you for providing the rest of us with a dessert that is SO easy and looks like it took hours to make. I was able to throw this together in less than 10 minutes while I was prepping all the ingredients for the stuffed peppers, which is a total plus in my book! Usually, I either focus on dinner OR dessert…. one is fancy/requires total focus, and the other is something thats simple and doesn’t require lots of concentration. But with this tart, you can totally act like you had it all together and are able to accomplish great feats of genius in the kitchen.

This tart had only 5 INGREDIENTS!!! And I’m willing to bet you’ve got em all. But maybe not. I don’t know. Lucky me, I did!








So after we stuffed ourselves and chatted the night away, we dove into this tart- and even Renae and Katie said, “Mon, this is totally blog-worthy.” Haha! Love it. Well, it has already been blogged about by the Pioneer Woman, but I am more than happy to sing her praises once again!










Head over to her website for the fabulous recipe (and many, many more!)




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Road Trip!

Guys, I’m way too excited to sleep. Tomorrow, I’m taking my baby sister (she’s a senior in high school) to a college visit at Chico State University!! I feel totally honored that she would be okay with her dorky pregnant sister walking around with her on a college campus. Ill try not to say too many embarrassing things for her sake. The only thing that would make this trip even better than it already is would be if K could come too! She had to work though, so this task of watching over our infant sister falls to me.

Being that I have to wake up in 5 hours to pick her up, I should prob be asleep by now. But counting sheep just isn’t doing the trick, so to make myself more tired, I just got up and put together some snackies for the road! Gotta have snacks on hand at all times, dude. It’s a must.


Apple chips (only ingredient is apples!!) sour cream & onion smartpop, chocolate covered pretzels, dried mangoes, Dijon almonds, fruit and granola bars!!

I’m a nibbler on the road, so I come prepared.

Well I really need to focus on some shut-eye, so pray that the visit goes well tomorrow and that it helps Linds narrow down the choices for college! Also for safe driving. Lord knows I need that prayer, geez.

I’m pretty sure I’m putting more thought into where she’s going to college than where I did! I printed off like 30 pages of info on the school earlier today so I could sound smart to her on our drive there. Lets see if she falls for it.



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I don’t have a shoe fetish. My closet is quite small. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t venture into the unknown with expensive ingredients. But I have just come to terms with the fact that books are my guilty pleasure. It’s almost ridiculous, the amount of access I have to books in my house. Or let’s be honest now, on my phone, in my purse, car, or at work. I always have a book on my person in some way, shape or form. I. Love. Reading.

Our Grandpa used to record himself reading Hank the Cowdog  books (incidentally, I just discovered Hank the Cowdog has a WEBSITE?! Awesome.) when we were younger because we lived so far away. He’d send us stacks of tapes  and we’d fall asleep listening to them every single night. So that’s where my Audible account really comes into good use. Even now, I still fall asleep listening to books 🙂 So that’s the audio version of my book addiction.

M has been after me to get a Kindle, but until recently, I have stuck to my guns, maintaining that I love the feel of a real book in my hands. The smell (I’m weird, I know. Sorry.), the act of sitting in a comfy chair with a really good page turner (that I physically have to turn the pages of) just has that tingle running up my spine already. But I will concede now that there is something nice about having a compact way to carry a book around! I do not have a Kindle, but I recently joined the smartphone world and realized- there’s an app for that! 😉 So I caved. And it’s awesome. (Currently, I’m reading The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley. I’m loving it! Stand by for a review.) So that’s the virtual version of my book addiction.

This most recent story starts Wednesday. So I didn’t check my email before going to class. As a long-time college student, I should know better. However, I didn’t check it, so when I got to class….there was no class. And three hours to burn before my next class. A few friends have been telling me about this marvelous second hand bookstore, so I decided to give it a try. Here comes the physical book addiction part of my addiction. It is very nearly PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for me to enter a bookstore and not purchase something. Especially if the store in question is very cheap, huge, and organized, and extraordinarily well-stocked with books that are in great condition. And accepts credit cards (which a lot of smaller second hand bookstores do not).

The Book Barn (Clovis, CA) (They also have a website)

Downstairs, looking up

Upstairs, looking down











I texted this pic to M right away and her response was hilarious- ‘Are you in heaven?’ Haha…but seriously.

I ended up looking in the Children’s section (Auntie K mode kicking in) for books I loved when I was younger and I found so many! I had to hold back (I do have some restraint) but I got some of the best…..and some others that I haven’t read yet.

about $25 worth of books!

I have found a treasure chest in this store….$96.00 worth of books, and I paid $25.00. Makes it even better!

So. that is the story of my book addiction. I could have worse ones…..right? 🙂



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“Anything Goes” Pasta












The other day, I had the day off of work and it was glorious! I was scheduled to work, but we didn’t have a provider for the clinic, so we had to close. I feel almost guilty about being happy we had to close… but I’ll take it when I can! I was supposed to work 4 days in a row that week/weekend, and was somewhat dreading that because that’s just a lot of 10 hour shifts in a row. A lot.

Anyways, I celebrated the day by… staying home and catching up on numerous household projects. I know, you can’t believe how exciting my life is. One thing led to another, and it was dinnertime and somehow I had not the faintest idea what to make! So I raided the pantry… and was pleasantly surprised by the turnout!










My new favorite thing to add to pasta dishes is diced green peppers- it makes a heavy dish taste much more fresh and not so… well, heavy. For this particular dish, I just chopped up an onion, a green pepper, some “Oktoberfest” edition Bratwursts (aka DELICIOUS edition) and salt&pepper. I added a jar of our favorite creamy pasta sauce- 4 Cheese Alfredo (Classico brand) and let all the flavors simmer together for about 10-15 minutes.










I will admit, I’m a little bit of a brand snob only when it comes to certain grocery items. One of those items is pasta sauce… I stick to ‘Classico’ Brand because the ingredient list is so refreshingly made up of REAL food items! It’s not a bunch of chemicals to make it taste like real food. Also, sugar is typically in the first 3 ingredients of most pasta sauces, but in the Classico brand, it is one of the very last things! Perfect score in my book.

Anyways, mix the sauce with the prepared pasta, and you’ve got yourself a meal that took less than 20 minutes to prepare, and tastes fantastic. There’s really no strict recipe for this type of dish, because anything goes! I’ve used turkey kielbasa, chicken sausage, pancetta, sliced grilled chicken, or other things for the ‘meat’ portion, and a number of other veggies would taste great too! I’m partial to green pepper and onion because they are cheap and deliver the best taste without having to add tons of other spices.

This was so delicious. I have a hard time controlling myself when it comes to a good bowl of creamy pasta.

Enter= food coma.








That’s all for now, guys. Note the stretchy pants- very useful for wonderfully indulgent nights like this!


P.S. My little sister came over for dinner and brought us these!! We’re so spoiled. You can see I ate half of one poor cookie right away and saved the other half for after dinner 😉


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Excited Auntie K!!

I have been WAITING for that post!! 🙂 AAAHHHH I am beyond excited to be an auntie. Sorry for all the caps lock, guys. I can’t hold it in.


I’m just so excited!!

Excuse the flyaway hairs. It was early in the morning. Literally the face I had when I saw M FINALLY published her baby post.  🙂

I’ve already entered into ‘spoil-the-unborn-child-mode’, as is my duty. I find M’s patience in being surprised  extremely difficult to emulate- so I placate myself by taking pictures of everything tiny and cute and meandering the baby aisles of Target ooh-ing and aah-ing with Lindsey over every pink tutu and every miniature suit and bugging Mom for the name of every baby book we ever had.

I can’t wait to be an auntie. I know everyone is so excited to see what an amazing mom M is going to be. She already takes such wonderful care of herself and Joey and the tiny ‘flutterbudget’ in the oven 😉 and I know she is going to raise her children to love Jesus, read really good books,cook yummy food, use the talents they are blessed with,  and have as much fun as possible ❤

Did I mention I’m excited?

~Auntie K 😀


This week, I think it’s a boy.

Aren’t tiny clothes so precious?! (from Jack & Jill)


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Bun in the Oven







~~A Special Update from M~~

Joey and I are going to be parents!!! Just typing those words makes a huge smile come to my face. We found out in June that I was pregnant, and it was the best news of my life! This is our little kiddo up there in that picture, about 20 weeks and 3 days old. We had our ultrasound last week and our doctor said everything looks fantastic- which was the news that we were praying to hear!

My due date is February 19, 2013- which means I have about 125 days to go… seems like both a small and huge number at the same time, somehow! Now for all those questions everyone is wondering about…

How far along? 21 weeks, 6 days (basically 5 1/2 months)

Boy or Girl??? It’s a surprise!! We decided not to find out until baby is born… sometimes it’s a killer not to know, but we are so excited for it to be a surprise on the big day!

Maternity clothes? Here and there, I still wear my regular jeans but use the rubber band trick- but the comfiest clothes to wear are DEFINITELY the maternity clothes 😉

Stretch marks? None yet! I’ve always been a lotion lover, but I have yet to buy the special pregnancy stuff to prevent stretch marks. Oops.

Sleep? Sleeping wonderfully- besides waking up with a sore neck every now and then.

Any movement yet? Yes, yes, YES! I can honestly say it is the most beautiful thing I’ve felt in my life. Brings tears of happiness to my eyes a little too often when I feel those flutters and kicks!

Any cravings? No, not anymore. Now that I’ve been feeling better, I am back to my normal eating habits- minus my sweet tooth!!? However, the first trimester, I must have eaten my weight and more in Pizza Plus Sandwiches and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Yikes. Glad that’s over, couldn’t have ended very well.

Been feeling good? Feeling great. Once the second trimester started, it was like a cloud lifted and I just felt awesome! The first few months were somewhat miserable though- felt pretty icky all day and threw up quite often. My little sister was witness to my pulling over off the freeway once to throw up- it came that suddenly! So happy that is over, and praying to the dear Lord that the third trimester continues to be enjoyable!

Showing yet?? I’ve thought I’ve been showing for a few weeks now, but no one else really did- until this week I definitely popped! See for yourself!

Me at 19 weeks….

Me at 20 weeks!

Definitely feels a little strange to be gaining all this weight… but it doesn’t bother me because we have a baby growing in there! In fact, I have been able to exercise somewhat regularly during these past few months, but definitely less strenuously and not before work in the morning, like I used to. That’s one thing I’ve noticed too- I need my beauty sleep! Not much of a napper, but I have definitely snuck one or two in on my days off.

Now that I’ve been feeling better, I will say that I miss my daily coffees… now that the riskiest part of the pregnancy is behind me, I have a small cup of coffee on special occasions. And it is ah-mazing. I usually mix it with milk and a non-fat mocha mix for some added calcium for my babe! I also miss wine… but no indulging in THAT until well after Baby VS is born!

I’m looking forward to some stronger kicks from our little kiddo in there so Joey can feel it… He falls asleep with his hand on my tummy every night which I think is sweet. He’s already very protective of baby and me- he’s going to be an amazing dad. I feel very blessed to be married to such an amazing man who loves the Lord with all his heart, and takes such good care of me/us.

Quick little story about when I found out I was pregnant… in case you want to listen 🙂 I actually was getting a little frustrated with not being pregnant yet, even though it had only been a few months. I went to my doctor just for a check-up and she warned me that it could be a year or two before it happened for us- not for any particular reason, but just because sometimes it took people that long. I went home pretty dejected. Two days later I took a pregnancy test at work and it was POSITIVE!! God’s timing, maybe? I think so 🙂

I had always had a plan for how I wanted to tell Joey the exciting news… Joey, when he was a little kid, used to wait for his dad to come in from the dairy for lunch, and would make his Dad a ‘Daddy Sandwich’- which was just toast and jam made into a sandwich. How sweet, right? Well, that was my plan… to make him just that for dinner that night! However… my plans were waylaid when a coworker of mine found the wrapper to my pregnancy test in the bathroom trashcan. She asked me about it after she saw it- and the excitement on my face gave me away in an instant. So my coworkers found out even before my own husband!? I was pretty bummed at first. I couldn’t bear the idea of working for 6 more hours keeping that secret from Joey so I called him from work and blurted the news out right away! His reaction didn’t disappoint- the excitement in his voice almost brought me to tears! So, I didn’t get to do my exciting plan, but that’s life, I guess- and the important thing is that we are going to be a family of 3 in February next year!

Well… anyways, I could talk about this for 5,000 more words so I’ll let this be the end of this update 🙂 Thanks for listening! Again, I don’t think we could feel more blessed by God at this point in our lives. The idea of raising a child together is absolutely exciting and we already love this little peanut so much I can hardly stand it. We have such wonderful family and friends in our community- we just know this journey is going to be one of the grandest blessings we could imagine.

More on this later!

~M (for MOMMY!)


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A Day with My Sisters









Last Saturday, Linds and I drove down to Merced for most of the day to hang out with K. And I say this every time, but it was just the best day ever. K lives in Madera, and we live in Ripon area- so we designated Merced as the halfway point between our two cities and it makes it that much easier to get together since it’s so much closer for all of us!

Linds and I had so much fun even just driving there- we jammed to random songs the whole way and talked sister talk in between playlists. I could talk to either of my sisters for days without stopping if that was realistic- I’ve been so incredibly blessed to have two of the best sisters in the world. Of course, growing up we had our fights. And quite often. K and Linds seem to remember them a lot better than I do… unfortunately. They said I was the one who started most of them but psh… Doubt THAT. Anyways, K and I are about 22 months apart and Linds and I are 6 years apart. That did make it hard to get along sometimes growing up, because K and I could fit in the same clothes, so ‘borrowing’ clothes was a point of issue most times. As for Linds, she seemed so much younger than us all through high school- we figured out on our drive that it must have been because every time we got OUT of a stage of growing up, Linds was just entering INTO it. Which made us ‘older, wiser’ sisters annoyed that Linds didn’t ‘get it’ yet like we did. Anyways, through it all, we loved each other fiercely and our brothers made us get along most of the time. Now that K and I are married and working, and Linds is applying for colleges, we all are close enough grown up that we just put aside our age differences and just love being around each other.

We all met around 9 at Coffee Bandits- which is our new favorite little hole-in-the-wall. All of us tend to be late for a lot of things, but somehow, when we are meeting each other, we’re always either early or right on time! Imagine that. We each ordered our coffee of choice and sat outside in the perfectly cool fall weather. And didn’t stop talking until around 3:30 when we left Merced. Coffee Bandits is such a fun hangout because it has all mismatched furniture with funky artwork everywhere, and a piano in the back. Whenever we go there, I feel like I should become more artistic and wear glasses… coffee shops do that to me. And San Francisco, too.

Anyways. We finished up our coffee and then headed to Hobby Lobby. Have you guys been to Hobby Lobby? It’s dangerous. I would bring some sort of restraining device with you, because NOT to fill up your cart with all sorts of home decor and craft items takes some serious willpower. We probably spent around 2 1/2 hours going up and down EVERY aisle, putting things in our cart, then taking them back out, then going back to get them again, then forcing each other to quiz us on why we NEEDED each item we were buying. If we couldn’t answer the question satisfactorily, we put it back. Good system, don’t you think? We spent a lot of time in the fabric department because Linds was needing material for a special project. The fabric lady had tears in her eyes because she was laughing so hard listening to us pick out fabrics for Linds. I would share our conversations with you… but some things are just better left unsaid.  Anyways, K and I loved the fabric that she picked out so much that we all bought some. Ooooof course.

After that successful trip, it was lunchtime! We headed to our other favorite place on the same street as Coffee Bandits- Bella Luna Cafe.







This place…. if you guys ever go to Merced… please go here!! They have the best lunches EVER! I’ll let you judge for yourself.








Linds and K got the Bella Luna Club- which I usually get too because it is so. good. I decided to be the martyr and try something new- so I got the Mediterranean Sandwich. K and I decided we’d each eat half of our sandwich and then switch, because she wanted to try mine too, and I was nervous mine wouldn’t be as good as the club.






Obviously, we didn’t trust each other enough to actually LET GO of our sandwiches to share! We both loved our choices, so we stuck with what we had ordered 🙂

We all got the Bella Luna Minestrone too, and that is probably the best minestrone I have ever had. And I’ve had a LOT of minestrone. Its the perfect amount to offset the heaviness of the sandwich- and its super cute because its served in a little mug. How ‘Paris’.






We spotted this before we ordered, and K was so sweet and bought a blueberry lemonade for us all to share! We were a little unsure at first… but dang. It was scrumptious!! Very sweet though- we all shared it and couldn’t finish it. And then K spoiled us some MORE and had ordered a cappaccino cream puff for us all to share. At first, I was all, “I dunno, K… I’m so full… maybe just one small bite.” K rolled her eyes and let me take a bite, and it was a struggle from there who would get the last smidgen of this delectable treat!

SOooo. Good.
















My two lovely sisters. We had such a great time, and it was special because it’s not often that the three of us can all go to Merced at the same time! Linds is in school, and K and I work weekends a lot, so we made sure that we utilized every minute we could spend together!

My sisters are the perfect balance for me- if you ever overhear us talking, you’ll see that we all balance each other. If I’m talking about something and needing an opinion, I can always count on them to give me balanced views. If I’m complaining, they help me see the silver lining in the cloud. If I had a dilemma, K and Linds both work through the different scenarios of approaches I could take to deal with the issue. We laugh about this all the time- no matter what, we three just are a perfect balance. Our mom raised us to try to see everything in perspective, and thats what we try to do.

Now if we could just get our brothers to move back into the area… imagine how awesome THAT would be!

So that was our day. We were sad to leave but we figure, we can’t look forward to next time until we say goodbye!

Until next time-


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Happy Birthday Mom!

It’s our wonderful Mom’s birthday today! We are so blessed to have such an amazing woman for our mom. She has always been there for us in every part of our lives- cheering us on, lifting us up, and encouraging us in every way possible.

K and Mom

K and Mom 🙂

Lindsey and Mom ❤

M and Mom 🙂

Mom and M on her wedding day 🙂











All the kids together!











The whole fam 🙂








Happy Birthday Mom. We love you so much! You have been there for all of us in every part of our lives and that means more than we could possibly say.

Love, K&M


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