Sunday, November 30, 2008


Yuck. So I had to say goodbye to two of my best friends. And you know who you are. It was so difficult. I cried all the way home tonight. Just having to say goodbye and leave is so freakin' hard. I was able to hold it together for the most part. But saying goodbye to those four little people just broke my heart. I know that when I am up here again in March they are going to have grown so much and be such new people, so much more grown up. And my two will have changed so much too.
So tonight I type with sadness. And want these wonderful friends to know that I love them dearly and will miss them everyday. But be prepared, there will be many emails, blogs, and phone calls. You can't get rid of me that easy. These are friendships I hope to nurture for decades to come.
Love you all!
Love Big, Bake Often

Getting Ready for the Move.

Well, this week has been a whirlwind of getting ready, packing, movers, tears, takeout, empty house, hotels, uhauls, shopping, Thanksgiving, friends. Oh where to start. Let's not go back to the beginning. Let's just talk about today. I am sitting in a hotel, with the boys napping in the other room, trying to figure out when to fit in a goodbye coffee with my friend, J. She and I have been playing phone tag, and it is my turn to call her, but I don't want to til I hear from Jason so that I can actually tell her when I will be free. We are also trying to get together with some other friends to say goodbye. Jakob and Natalie really need to see each other to say goodbye. It's so hard. I want to be able to find the time to fit in everything, but I am running out of time. We didn't plan this exit very well, and the plans we did make didn't really go according to plan. There have been sicknesses with friends, weather hiccups, timing hiccups, etc etc.
Saying goodbye to these awesome friends has been very hard. I did a bunch last week, I did some last night and I have two very important goodbyes to do today. And they are going to be so hard. How do you say goodbye to people who in three short years have become your best friends. Who have shared your joys and your sadness, your parenting triumphs and pitfalls. Not going to be an easy task. This afternoon is going to suck. Plain and simple.
Wish me luck, and hope there are Kleenex.
Love big, Bake often

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stepping Stones

There is a children's museum here in CT called Stepping Stones. We have only been three times, and hadn't been there in probably 8 months, but we went just over a week ago. Jakob had so much fun. I left Aiden at home with Jason, so that I could focus all my attention on Jake, and Aiden wouldn't be stuck in his stroller for hours. We met up with Janine, Natalie and Nathan. It was a great time. Janine and the kids left shortly after lunch, Nathan was melting down. But Jake and I stayed - he hadn't had a chance to play in the water area yet. So we hung out and I got some super fantastic pics of my big boy. Don't mind the "wife-beater" tanktop, I knew he was going to get soaked, so I took off his shirt so he would have someting dry to wear after his fun.

So happy. Gosh, I love this kid!

I truly forget how simple it is to just enjoy these kinds of moments. But it is so nice to be reminded.

Love Big, Bake Often

So Random

Strange, small world we live in. For grins I decided to google my boys names, and lo and behold, there is another stay at home mom with two boys named Jakob and Aiden. Spelled the same way too. She has a blog named All you need is LOVE. I haven't checked out all of her posts, but from what I have read, it is kinda similar to mine. Lots of stories about her boys, their adventures, and her love of her husband. It's a little surreal. I think I might follow her blog for a little while and see what she is like, are there any parallels in our lives. Her boys are cute, not as cute as mine of course. Check her out if you get a chance.

Love Big, Bake Often

Ok, Fixation Saturday...

Sorry I have been a little lax with getting my posts on the right day. Blame it on the killer cold I am fighting!

So, today I want to talk about the wonderful combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Whoever came up with this amazing pairing is genius. I love it. I love that it can come in several forms. Reese's has banked on it by making it into so many different kind of bars/cups. But then I think my favourite combination of these two is ice cream. I love chocolate ice cream laced with peanut butter. YUM.
But I digress... so last night after going out for mexican with some amazing friends, we went to one of our homes to watch a movie. The original plan was to go to the movies, but things had changed. But I had come prepared. I rarely buy chocolate at the movies and am usually known to carry some in my purse with me. Last night was no exception - I had raided Jakob's deserted Halloween candy, and my stash included mini reese peanut butter cups. We were watching the movie and I pulled out my bag of goodies and offered some to my friend. She was excited about the idea of a peanut butter cup. But when she didn't see that familiar orange package she got upset with me But it all ended well when I showed her that I had the mini ones in the gold wrapper. Peanut buttery goodness.

Ok - that last paragraph makes no sense - my brain is scattered. Forgive me.

More later.

Love Big, Bake Often

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I feel Icky, so Icky, oh so Icky!

This cold is kicking my butt. My throat is all itchy and sore. I can't seem to stop coughing, and every couple of hours my nose gets all stuffed up. And what is the worst part of this cold is that when I wake up in the morning I can barely swallow or talk. So Jakob has been getting away with more than I usually allow since I can't raise my voice and my energy level is in the pot. But the Dr. said that it didn't look like strep or tonsilitis (thank goodness). So I now just have to ride it out. So don't expect any earth shattering insightful posts from me til I can get out of this fog.

Hope all is well out there.

Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TWD - Aborio Rice Pudding - Vanilla!

I know that it isn't a favourite of everyone, but I love rice pudding. It is comforting, warm, yummy and reminds me of being little in the winter. So now that it is getting cold here in CT and I am feeling so crummy, rice pudding is a great recipe for me this week. I took the time to check out the q&a on the TWD site and decided to use a little less milk and cook the rice in the milk a little longer. The other thing I did differently was I used my homemade vanilla sugar in it. I really liked seeing all the little black specks of vanilla in the milk as I brought it to a boil. And the smell was fantastic, being able to smell it even though I was stuffed up was quite wonderful.
I decided to not go the chocolate rice pudding route - I love just plain old vanilla rice pudding, don't mess with what you like.

Here are some pictures:
The Vanilla Sugar...
The specks in the milk - cool, eh?
The finished product, not a good shot, late in the day
I haven't tried it yet, not going to be finished its six hours before I go to bed (early). But I am really, really looking forward to it for breakfast.
The only thing I have to say about this recipe is that I wish it made more. I was surprised that I was able to put it in a cereal bowl. Not what I would call four servings.
Will let you know how it tastes tomorrow.
Love Big, Bake Often


Sorry for the lapse in posts. I am not feeling so great. It started as a cold in my sinuses and now is in my throat and I have a bit of a cough. Yuck. Really shitty timing for me as the movers are coming to pack us up next Monday and we are pulling together a yard sale for Saturday. Not good. But what can you do, you pull it together, suck it up (sorry mom), and drive on.
Lots of thanks to catch up on,
Jakob - Natalie (his girlfriend), panda bears (Kung Fu Panda with the babysitter), Kristy (the babysitter).
Jason - Sunshine, and I am not sure what else, he isn't here to ask right now.
Me - Cupcakes (tour of cupcakes in NYC), Jamie (took the tour with me), drugs (for my cold).

That's all I have the energy to get into right now. Need to type up my TWD post.

Thanks for the understanding!

Love Big, Bake Often

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This is going to be short and sweet. It's late, I'm tired.

Jakob didn't get a chance to tell me what he is thankful for tonight, he went to bed before I got a chance to ask. We were out tonight and came home just before 8 and Jakob was extremely tired. So I am going to speak for Jake and say that he is thankful for his bed tonight. He looked like he really needed to get to bed and get some sleep.

Jason says he is thankful for his family. Simple and sweet. Really think he is to tired to think about it tonight.

Me, I am thankful for sarcasm. I love sarcastic humour. I love being sarcastic. And I love that I can be sarcastic with most of my friends and have a good laugh. And that most of my friends can take my humour.

That's all for tonight, busy day and more busy days to come.

Love Big, Bake Often

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday... thanks....

Well today was a good day - for the most part. I had a lousy night's sleep, I am feeling quite congested and have a bit of sinus pain. I took the boys for a playdate at a friend's house for a birthday celebration for two of Aiden's little buddies. They had a good time. Though I totally lost my cool with Jakob at the end - I didn't mean to, just was feeling crappy and had had enough. But then when we got home Aiden refused to nap again. He has been restless sleeping the past couple of days. I was hoping it was just his molars coming in, but wanted to be sure so we took both the boys in to the Dr. Turned out Aiden is fine - just teething so far. But Jakob, who complained of ear ache yesterday, has some fluid in his right ear - though the tube is in place and fine. So Jakob is on drops for his ear, Aiden is taking some tylenol and orajel for his teeth. But we can always find things to be thankful for. So here is today's rundown:
Jakob is thankful for Bees today. He likes that they fly, that the buzz, and especially that they make honey - because Jakob loves honey.
Daddy is thankful for playtime. Tonight while I was vegging out in front of the TV, trying to forget that my head felt like an elephant was sitting on it - or a rhino like Jake said, Jason was in the boys room (currently known as the Machine Room) playing with the boys. Totally ignoring bedtime, the boys played cars until 8:30. There were lots of giggles and fun car sounds coming from the room.
Now my turn, today I am thankful for .... ready now - try not to laugh too hard. BACON. I am thankful for bacon. I love that everything tastes better with bacon. I made some bacon tonight to go with some leftover frittata that I had made a couple of nights ago, and the bacon made it just like new. It is such a wonderful bit of salty goodness. There you have it, bacon.

Strange thankfuls today, well at least Jake and mine are pretty strange.

Hope everyone has a good night's sleep tonight, especially Aiden and I. I need it. And would like to not wake myself with my own snoring! Ahhh... sinus congestion - wonderful.

Love Big, Bake Often

michael j fox's marriage advice

"If a man says something in a forest and his wife isn't there to hear it, he's still wrong!"

Love it. Love him.

Donate to Parkinson's Reseach - Team Fox

Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday's with Dorie

ARG!!! I wasn't able to participate this week. I didn't read the recipe right, was missing ingredients, and totally didn't have the time to even attempt it. And when I thought about starting I realized that I would be fast asleep before I could do all it said before putting it in the fridge for the night. I feel like such a loser - I should have read it days ago, and been better prepared. No waiting on next weeks - I am going to do it on Thursday when Jake is in school! But you will have to wait for my post next Tuesday.
Sorry Dorie!

Love Big, Bake Often

Today's Thanks...

Jakob is really having fun with his giving thanks. The tree is made, the leaves are cut out and placed in an envelope waiting to be filled out and pasted on, and the past few days thanks are on there. I made different coloured leaves for each of us. Unfortunately Aiden is too small to participate, but I like to think that he will be able to next year. So Jakob is yellow, Daddy is orange and I am red. All the different colours of fall - our favourite time of year. I wonder what fall will be like next year in Georgia?
Thanks - Jakob told us he is thankful for Daddy - I think he likes having him around during the day. It's a treat. Daddy said he is thankful for tubby time. He gave Aiden his bath tonight and from the sounds that emanated from the bathroom they had fun. Both our boys love the water and really like taking tubbys. Ok, my turn. Today I am thankful for bedtime. You know those days when you are counting the minutes to the end of the day when everyone is tucked in their beds - me included. So tonight I am counting the minutes until I can lay my head on my pillow.

Love Big, Bake Often

Restaurant Neighbours

Do you ever find yourself sitting near parents at a restaurant, and you can't help but hear them parenting their child, and you just want to reach into the next booth and shake them? Tonight there was this family with a little boy about 2 years old - cute as a button. And he was in his highchair doing pretty well. He was eating, drinking and playing. But Dad was just picking on every little thing the little guy was trying to do. Apparently he wasn't eating right, and eating too slow, and then he was eating too fast. And I think if you don't want your child to play with cars while he eats, don't bring them or take them away once the food arrives.
We have our own struggles with Jakob when we go out to eat. But I like to think we roll with the punches a little better. We don't raise our voices in restaurants, we don't lay down all kinds of threats, and we don't (usually) give in to ice cream if dinner isn't eaten.
I love going out to eat as a family, we do it way too much - both for our wallet and my waistline. We need to really cut back, but it is just so nice to have someone else cook for me. Need to get Jason to cook more often. Maybe with him on vacation he can spend some time in the kitchen cooking for us.

Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday's Thanks

Again, Jakob is thankful for cupcakes. He ate two today, well... one full one, and the icing off another. So tonight I think he still had cupcakes on the brain.
I am thankful for my mother's generosity. Today she offered to pay for Jakob's trip to Korea. Which is pretty much saving Jason and I over 1200.00. So, for this and many other reasons, I am thankful for my mother.
Jason is thankful for being on vacation. He started his vacation and will now be off until he reports to Ft. Stewart in Dec. Wish me luck. Wish us luck that we don't kill each other. But for now, he is thankful for being off and I am thankful for him being off too.

Love Big, Bake Often

National Vanilla Cupcake Day!

Happy Cupcake Day Folks,

So for the beloved cupcake holiday I made some cupcakes for a playdate. And I think they turned out YUMMY! They got good reviews from friends, and hubby, and yums and oohs from the kiddos. I tried a new cake recipe that I found on, you can find it
here. It was a very rich, buttery cake, and yet still light and airy. And the vanilla flavour came through wonderfully - though I always use more than a recipe calls for.
The buttercream is Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Buttercream - as found
I took a couple of pics a little late in the day, but here they are....

Whatcha think?

Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Jakob is SO my kid. Today Jakob told me that he is thankful for Cupcakes. Love it. We had talked earlier about the fact that tomorrow is National Vanilla Cupcake Day, so maybe that had something to do with it. Either way, I love it.
Me, I am thankful that I can make my sons laugh. There is nothing like hearing the giggles from their bellies. My boys both have such a wonderful belly laugh, such pure laughter.
Jason, just coming off a boys weekend, is thankful for the wonderful friends he has made here. He is very sad that we have to leave them, but will have memories and long lasting relationships that I think he will maintain for a very long time. As I plan to do with the friends that I have made here.

Thankful. That is what we are these days. And it feels good.

Love Big, Bake Often

Crazy Cupcake Tshirts

So, I was browsing around Cafe Press and came across this shirt, it made me giggle. I knew a girl in Toronto named Michelle, and Michelle had a roommate named Jeanie. For some reason the girls would say "Are you naked? Or are you naked for Jesus?" It use to make me laugh so hard - for some silly reason. So when I saw this shirt it brought me back to those days. And it's just darn funny!

You can find this shirt here. $24.00 - not bad.

Love Big, Bake Often

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today's Thanks

Today Jakob decided he was thankful for robots. I thought for sure after spending hours at a friends house that he would have said that he was thankful for friends, or for that friend in particular. But no. Today he is thankful for robots.

Me? I am thankful for my friend Shannon. She is so much fun. She is smart, beautiful, funky, and an awesome Mom. Since our husbands are out of town tonight (boys weekend at the casino), she and I decided to get together with our kids for dinner and play. Jakob and Aiden had a blast playing with their friends, and they played beautifully, just the normal about of fighting over toys and such.

So that is what Jakob and I are thankful for today. Not sure what Jason is thankful for today. And Aiden is probably thankful for diaper cream today as he has a very angry bum.

That's all for now.
Love Big, Bake Often

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fixation Friday

So for this Friday's fixation I didn't bake, I didn't eat either.... I drank. While at the bookstore I headed over to Starbucks - I can't not go there when at BN. And I was really hoping to try one of their new hot chocolates, the salted caramel one, but they didn't have it. So I tried the Godiva hot chocolate that they were advertising. And as a bonus they were giving away free Godiva cookies with purchasing one of the drinks. The cookie was yummy, but not nearly as nice as the drink. I love hot chocolate. This one was rich, creamy and almost thick. It left a film of rich chocolate residue on my tongue - in the nicest way possible.

So my wish to you all is to head out and get yourself a cup, or to do one better and make yourself a REAL cup of hot chocolate at home with real cocoa - not the instant stuff. Or even better melt the chocolate - the best you can find, and mix it with some milk with a bit of heavy cream. Yum.

Love Big, Bake Often,

What are you thankful for?

While at the bookstore tonight we picked up a book for Jakob on Thanksgiving. I want him to start thinking about thanksgiving and what we are thankful for. The book touches on being thankful for our family, teachers, hot chocolate on rainy days, dogs and cats, friends, and of course turkey and pumpkin pie! Jakob talked about all the things he was thankful for and it got me thinking. I am going to start a project with him tomorrow. I am going to make a tree, and a bunch of different leaves and each day asking him what he is thankful for and then glue it on the tree. A simple project but I think it will get him thinking. Tonight he told me that he was thankful for apples. How simple.
And I have decided that each day I will blog about something that I am thankful for too.

So today... I am thankful for hot chocolate. Love a nice rich real cup of hot chocolate.

Love Big, Bake Often,

Looking for guidance

Ok, so I am feeling at an inpass. I know that you are thinking, what are you talking about you have this new adventure coming up in less than a month? But I am feeling restless. I need something to focus on other than this move and leaving friends. I need something to dive into and gobble up. I need to find something that is going to move me. I am feeling very disconnected from myself and need to re-center. Spiritually, too. So, I am looking for guidance, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have already started participated in several online baking events and challenges, which are so much fun, though not for my waistline. But it isn't enough right now.
And I really want to dig deeper in this, but Aiden is screaming waking up from his nap so off I go. Later, my friends


Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm a Rachael Ray Fan!

There, I admit it. I like watching her show, and watching her cook. And every so often there is a guest that makes me think. And today was one of those days. Gabrielle Reece was on talking about her "honeyline", her network of friends that have helped her through things and have always been there for her. She describes her network as a honeyline getting to the queen bee - working through her problem - what ever that may be. And it made me think, yet again, about the fact that I am leaving my "honeyline". This wonderful group of friends that I have are my honeyline. I know that the line will still be there when I go. We can always communicate through email and letters, and of course I know that there are several of the ladies that love to chat on the phone. But there is just something to be said for packing up the kids and heading over to a friends house at a moments notice for a quick fix. Making a new group of friends to have a local line (because no one will be able to replace this group of ladies - they are irreplaceable) shouldn't be too hard, and will definitely be necessary. I think I will just take some time to grieve leaving my friends behind for a little while before jumping to make new ones.

I love the bees in my honeyline - they are my "lifeline"

Love Big, Bake Often

Check this out!

Cupcakes done by: Zilly Rosen

Aren't they awesome?!?!?! All 1,240 of them!

Love it.


First Words

Why couldn't one, just one, of my boy's first words be Mama? Jakob started with Dada, and it wasn't until he was more than one year old that he said Mama. And now Aiden has started to talk, making sounds, etc. And his first word is GO. At least it's not Dada! :) So Aiden now crawls and cruises around the house saying "go, go, go". Very cute. And I try to get him to say Mama, I prompt him and smile, and he breaks into giggles and smiles - thinks it's hilarious.
Some day he will look at me and smile and say Mama - and that day my heart will melt again.
But for now we will "go, go, go"!

Love Big, Bake Often

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cranky Traveller

Oh boy, am I ever glad to be home! What a long day. What I thought was going to be a fairly easy and fun trip turned into a 12 hour drive and day. You see, Jason had to go to Albany to "clear" at battalion, his mother works/lives close by so we wanted to meet with her for lunch, and it was her birthday so it was a good day for us to see her. So we all piled into the car this morning (missing a playgroup with friends - boo!), and away we went. Aiden and Jakob did great for the first little while and then we had to stop and then Aiden didn't want anything to do with getting back in the car. But we had to do it. So off we drove with him screaming in the back seat for about 20 minutes until he crashed. We got up to Albany around lunch time and since the guys that Jason needed to see would be at lunch we called J's mother and met her for lunch. The boys we so happy to be out of the car and it was impossible to get Jakob to sit still through lunch - which was just fine, he danced around the table to Coldplay and Bob Marley!! Aiden was happy to sit and eat, alot! And then it was off to headquarters. What should have taken Jason 30 - 40 minutes to do, ended up taking 1 1/2 hours! So the boys and I spent a little time at Barnes and Noble and then sat in the car waiting for Jason. Unfortunately our DVD player in the car is having some problems with hiccups. It skips and pauses and jumps around. And each time it does this Jakob asks, "what happened?" - and after 25 times or so I start to go crazy! So I think tomorrow will be shop for a new DVD player day. Thank goodness the boys are asleep and we will be joining them shortly.

Love Big, Bake Often

Political Post

So, this post on one of my favourite websites, quirky cupcake, made me laugh today. Check it out if you are happy with the election results.

Funny Stuff!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

A while ago I was perusing the blogs that I like to keep an eye on and stumbled on this recipe for these delicious cookies. Bakerella posted this recipe and it totally appealed to me, I couldn’t wait to try them. So with a playgroup tomorrow morning, I decided that these would be perfect. A yummy treat for the moms and a cookie that actually had some vegetable in it for the kiddos. A perfect combination.
Here are some pics that I took:
First batch into the oven…

And after I re-consulted Bakerella instructions, I remembered to add in a couple of chocolate chips on top to make them look prettier when they bake. And we are all about pretty cookies…

I took some pictures of the finished project, but the light was gone and they didn’t turn out very well. I’ll take some more tomorrow when the light is better.

For now, here is the recipe:
2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Whisk together flour and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter.
Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla.
Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
Add flour/spice mixture to sugar mixture in three additions. Alternate with pumpkin in two additions, ending with flour mixture.
Stir in chopped pecans and chocolate chunks.
Drop on cookie tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes about four dozen cookies.
Let cool

Tuesdays with Dorie - Rugelach

So I attempted the second recipe for my new adventures in TWD. It wasn’t the easiest recipe for me. I had never made rugelach before, and it was tough. The dough was sticky, and rolling it out into a perfect circle was almost impossible. I managed to get it into close to a circle and divided it up into more than what Dorie called for. There was no way I could divide the circle into 16 parts!! I only had the time today to do half of the recipe – so there is still a disk in my fridge that I will have to make in the next couple of days. Today’s rugelach I did what Dorie suggested – apricot preserves, pecans, sugar and cinnamon, and semi sweet chocolate chips. But… I am really looking forward to trying a variation on the second disk – wait for it…. Lime and chocolate! I am going to try some lime curd and chocolate chips. YUM! I love lime and chocolate together. I also want to try Dorie’s lime tart with her chocolate tart crust.
Here are some pictures of my endeavours:
The dough before I cut it up and rolled it.

Rolled up and baked – nice and golden brown with the insides sticking out. YUM.

So glad I got the camera to work this week.

Ok... here we go again

So... I posted notes on my old blogs to direct people here. Very exciting. Now I just need to contact everyone who has me on their blog rolls so they can find me here. Fun right? Shouldn't be too hard, or take too long. So if you are looking for me.... you can find me here. Wish me luck as we embark on a new adventure here on Love Big Bake Often!

Take care!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Location

So I am moving in. I have been writing two seperate blogs for the past many months and am realizing that writing the two has been more work than it needs to be. I don't see any reason why I can't combine my "mother" blog with my baking blog. So here we go... as it says above, a blog about raising two boys, a husband and developing my obsession with baking.

See you soon,
Love Big, Bake Often