Wednesday, March 27, 2013

sunny days and baseball

If you follow me on Instagram you may already know that we took a little trip to Florida earlier this month. Jason worked a couple of baseball games over the weekend and so Logan and I took a Saturday evening flight to Tampa and joined him for some family time in the sun.
It's become somewhat of a tradition for us over the years, to go down there, and while it almost didn't happen this Spring, I am sure glad we made it work.

Usually, we stay right in Bradenton but this time we used a few award nights at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach. When we first got to the area I was a little worried seeing all the high rise hotels and the hustle and bustle reminded me too much of Myrtle Beach (not a fan). I was extremely relieved when we crossed one last bridge to get to Sand Key and away from all of that crazy business.
The hotel was great, family friendly, nice clean room and newly renovated. 

The first few days were nice and warm so we went to the beach where Logan decided that all of the sand had to be returned to the sea and then adopted a few faded, little matchbox cars that had been long forgotten by another little boy. 

Naps were either a family thing, taken with the bright, early afternoon sun peeking through the curtains and enticing us to come back outside to play, or of course during many a car ride.

We ate pizza, creamy Italian gelato, pancakes, grouper sandwiches, shrimp salads, amazing mexican food and too many other delicious things to count. On a rainy morning we went to see Winter the dolphin and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 10 minutes from the hotel. We drove all the way to Bradenton to see our Buccos play and then out to Anna Maria Island to take a stroll, dream about living right on the beach and indulge in some of Two Scoops' famous Almond Joy ice cream. Delicious I tell ya!
We even got to visit old friends, see their new house and barbecue while doing a little catching up. 

The last couple of days were sunny but breezy and quite chilly with just around 68 degrees. We did some more exploring of the area by car, stopped at playgrounds, watched dolphins and admired the manatees who were enjoying the warm waters of the bayous. 

We weren't ready to come home yet, especially not to this awful Winter weather during what is supposed to be Spring. However, it is always so therapeutic for my soul to get away from it all, relax and just enjoy spending time with my two guys. I really needed this and I am thankful and blessed that we could make it happen once again. 

Now please Spring, let me box up those heavy coats, boots and thick sweaters, won't cha? I'm kind begging you here... 

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Monday, March 25, 2013

R.I.P mailbox

Jacket: Target, Leggings: Aerie, Cardigan: UO, Shirt: Gap, Boots: Banana Republic, Headband: Target, Necklace: Outfit Additions 
I wish you guys could see my mailbox right now as it is barely hanging on by a thread (or should I say screw?) once again. Our snow clearing crews are the best at making sure they hit as many as they can on their way down the road. It's a sad sight to see after each snow storm, a mangled, metal body at every other house and I've often asked myself if it's somewhat of a game for them. You know, trying to get as many as they can. Or maybe they're just mad they had to clear roads while the rest of us were sleeping? Can you tell I am just a tad bit frustrated with this situation? Negative Nancy right here today. 

So I guess today's nap time will be spent clearing my 150 feet of driveway so that Jason can actually make it up the hill when he comes home later this afternoon. Oh and then we'll buy yet another new mailbox and wait for a reimbursement check that, let's be honest, will never come.

Hope your Monday is starting off better than mine folks! 

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Giveaway Link-Up 7 and Life Lately

first vacation meal had to be five guys / first day on the beach and logan had a blast throwing sand into the ocean...goofin off a little and finally got to wear my new favorite shirt - in love / could have watched these two for weeks, so much love for and between the two of them it makes my heart hurt sometimesfirst (of too many) baseball game of the season for us. at least this one was all for pleasure / best ice cream ever. trust me! almond joy at two scoops on anna maria islandthe only family picture of the entire trip with a screaming child in the stroller and papa checking his phone. i'll take it / airport stuff. like waiting and chasing and sitting cute for about 2 seconds.we get bored and take pictures of ourselves at least once a day / look mama, we're right there!a lot of this sort of behavior is going on around these parts lately, this one wasn't connected to screaming and tears though / a little bit of lightening up the hair was done recently as well. at home, by me for the cost of a box of bleach :) #imcheapkisses for the most annoying, happy birthday singing, stuffed toy to ever exist / a little bedroom painting project leek and kale tart that tastes oh so yum but will give you the ferocious fumes. you were warned! / SNOW again. pretty? yes but we are sooo over it!Now onto the weekly biz...
Giveaway Link-Up 7

- Please only link up giveaways, you may link up giveaways that are not yours because you think they are just so rad and need to be shared!
- Link up as many as you'd like from the current week.
- Come back next Friday to link up again.
- Please, please, please link back to me from your giveaway post or sidebar, or share in some other way.
Enter a few giveaways :)
Thank you!  

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Disclaimer: The Forge is not responsible for content linked in this widget or prize distribution. This link-up is simply a collection of third party giveaways which are not in any way affiliated with or sponsored by The Forge. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

by the lake

Today is kind of random. Really the last few weeks have been a big blurry jumble of things and blogging has kind of been placed on the back burner. This is just always the weirdest time of year for our family, with all of the changes going on. 
So really I'm just sharing a few pictures from an afternoon we spent at lake Monrepos while we were in Germany in December. I've been wanting to post them but for one reason or another, it just never happened. So here you go, today is the day. 
Jason and I had some of our wedding pictures taken here almost 8 years ago. (8 years!! holy cow)
It's such a lovely and calming place to be and it makes my longing for Spring weather (and Germany) even greater.

Can you believe we woke up to snow again this morning? and 28 degrees!! What is up with that Spring?? 
In my frustration I stayed up until 2 am!! the other night and ordered myself some new clothes, because what else can you really do? When Jason came upstairs to go to bed (at a much earlier time, mind you) he just said: Uh oh, you have your wallet by the computer. That is never a good sign...

So yeah Spring, anytime you'd like to show up now is fine with us. Our bank account will thank you. 

PS: I did some Spring cleaning to my wardrobe as well. Check out my Instagram shop account @theforgeshop for some great deals :) 

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

recipe: potato&leek cream soup

With Spring not really wanting to make an appearance around these parts yet, I've been cooking a lot of soups and stews lately. We love ourselves a good Chili and I have the most amazing recipe for a sausage and bean stew that has been a favorite for me growing up. Have I mentioned my Dad is a mean cook? Anyway, this time I thought I'd change it up with something on the lighter (color) side. 

This recipe is quite simple and quickly made. It only requires a few basic ingredients and for once will give you a reason to buy leeks at the store ;) I love onions so I basically adore leeks and I always like to put them into a quiche or tart as well.

Ingredients you'll need:

1 32 oz carton of (organic) vegetable stock
4 large potatoes
2 leek stalks (I use all of the white part and also some of the lighter green)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup of half&half 
1 pkg. cream cheese (i use neufchatel because it's lighter)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt+pepper to taste
water, in case you want your soup less creamy

optional: brown some ground beef and add into the soup

Add the box of vegetable stock to a large pot and bring to a boil.
Peel and cut up your potatoes. Add them to the vegetable stock and let cook. 
Meanwhile clean and cut up your leeks. Make sure to wash them because dirt will get in between some of the outer layers sometimes. 

Add a tablespoon of butter to a large skillet an add the leeks. Let cook until leeks start to get tender. 
Add the cream cheese, let melt and stir frequently. 
Now add in the half&half, parmesan and salt and pepper. 
Let everything cook until the leeks are nice and soft but don't forget to stir. 

Add the skillet mixture into your pot with the vegetable stock and cooked potatoes. Stir and remove from heat. Use a stick blender to blend the ingredients. I usually make sure to get all of the potatoes but leave some of the leeks whole. If you don't have a stick you can also use a regular blender just be very careful since the soup will be hot. 

  • Add as much water as you like to make the soup your preferred consistency.
  • Brown some ground beef and add some meat to this meal. 


Would love it if you pinned it :)

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