Monthly Archives

September 2012


Picture Perfect Weekly #22 {A perfect day}

September 29, 2012

I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy little blogger when Instagram became available on Android devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media bandwagon and have developed a new love affair/addiction with it. Because of this love affair I have decided to start my very own weekly link up called… Picture Perfect Weekly!!!
I would love it if you would join me and share the treasures you captured with Instagram/phone camera/any other camera during the past week. I see a lot of fantastic, cute, funny and happy moments every day.

Share just one or many of your pictures and add a small description.

Just paste the badge into your post or sidebar and follow me… quick and simple. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and of course, Instagram!

I look forward to seeing your treasured moments!!!


I love days like today.

Nowhere to be, no rushing around, just a “lazy” day at home.

All of us together.

I started the day by baking homemade drop biscuits for breakfast.

Hubby made the gravy to go with them.

We all ate breakfast together.

I continued on my de-cluttering mission and cleaned and straightened up a bit.

The girls helped when they weren’t busy painting.

The boys went to get desperately needed haircuts. Finally!

Hubby jammed on his guitars while I snapped away with my camera.

Then I did some more baking.

A new recipe. Pumpkin Spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

I will share the recipe soon. They are divine and perfect for Fall!

Because it was a perfect lazy day we went fishing.

Hubby had to go to a birthday party.

Gorgeous evening.


The fish were biting. At least for me! I caught two catfish.

One of them snapped my rod.

After an easy dinner and getting everyone settled I soaked in the tub and lost myself in the pages of “New Moon”.

The house is quiet now.

I’m sipping tea and going through all the pictures I snapped today.

Can’t wait to show them off.

Hope you all had a great weekend!!! 🙂

Now it’s your turn to show of your perfect pictures!

Please, grab the code for the badge in the sidebar and show off your favorite shots of the week.

xo, Susi



A birthday (or two), some dancing, and a broken shoe…

September 28, 2012

It’s Friday and it’s more than welcome… today, there is nothing on my calendar, no alerts, no appointments, nothing.

I get to pick the kids up at normal dismissal time to start our weekend together.

No weekend plans either, for any of us… just time spend at home. I may finally do some yard work. I’m hoping my green thumb will temporarily make an appearance!!! 🙂

The week started with a birthday, actually two… first my MIL and the next day our little angel.

She’s 4 now. Not so little anymore and she lets us know it.

She has opinions about everything, from wearing her new outfit, to posing for the camera, to what’s for dinner.

Oh yes, a blonde, blue eyed little angel – with a little devil lurking inside!

And we love every part of her.

Don’t you just love those shorts?

Middle had her last dance performance at the last middle school home game for now.

She’s sad.

She wants to keep going and we are hoping that practice will continue and the school approves the team for basketball season.

If not, Spring isn’t that far away and there’ll be plenty more dancing to do…

I love watching her, the big smile on her face, the enthusiasm in her movements, the sheer joy she exhibits when she dances.

It brings back memories…

As for me, I’ll get to do some shoe shopping this weekend.

For myself.

Seems that my shoes are on strike and in the last few weeks three pairs of my “good” flip flops broke.

The last pair broke yesterday, at the school, walking to the field for Middle’s performance.

Have you ever shuffled along in a broken flip flop? Yeah, it’s not fun.

But, as always, looking at the positive side of things… new shoes, for me, yippie!!! 😉

I just realized, I need to take a picture of my boy with his new trumpet.

He’s loving it and enjoying being a trumpeter in the school band.

I can’t wait for his first performance…

Linking up with My Time as Mom and MamaTrack!!!

Essence of Now


Recipe Thursdays {Chocolate Muffins}… and a guest post opportunity!!!

September 26, 2012

A few days ago Middle asked me if I could make some chocolate muffins instead of the usual chocolate chip muffins. I was all for it since I needed a new recipe to share. You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting recipes my usual 2 Thursdays each month. I’ve just been a bit busy and also ran out of recipes to share. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of recipes – it’s just that I don’t have pictures to go along with each and every one of them. But all in due time!!! 🙂

So, here the recipe for my mini chocolate muffins with cream cheese frosting.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa powder)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400° F and grease (or line with paper) 12 regular or like I did, 24 mini muffin/cupcake cups.

Combine the flour, sugar, 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.

Whisk the egg, yogurt, milk, and vegetable oil in another bowl until smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and stir batter until just blended.

Fill the muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. About 20 minutes for regular size and 14 minutes for mini muffin size.

Cool completely and enjoy! Or spread with chocolate cream cheese frosting like I did!!!

Chocolate cream cheese frosting ingredients and direction:

1 8oz package cream cheese frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and gradually stir in the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. (You can add a little milk if it gets too dry or clumpy.)

Frosting can be stored in refrigerator after use.


And now I need a favor. I decided to not host this as a link up anymore but turn it into a guest post opportunity once a month. And this is where you come in. I’d love for you to e-mail me at if you are interested in sharing a favorite recipe with me and my readers. I’m thinking some holiday related recipes (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas) over the next few months but any and all recipes are welcome!!! If I get a good turn out I may even add another Thursday each month. So, pretty please won’t you help? I look forward to hearing from you guys!!! 🙂


My Birthday Girl

September 25, 2012

Today is one of those special days again. A day were we celebrate our beautiful, little girl.

A day were we realize yet again that time seems to just fly by and wish we we could just make it stop for a little while.

Happy Birthday to the youngest member of our family.

Youngest daughter, youngest sister!

We love you to pieces and wish you the best.


Four pictures for four years.






Picture Perfect Weekly #21 {Time with my girls}

September 22, 2012

 I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy little blogger when Instagram became available on Android devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media bandwagon and have developed a new love affair/addiction with it. Because of this love affair I have decided to start my very own weekly link up called… Picture Perfect Weekly!!! 

I would love it if you would join me and share the treasures you captured with Instagram/phone camera/any other camera during the past week. I see a lot of fantastic, cute, funny and happy moments every day.

Share just one or many of your pictures and add a small description.

Just paste the badge into your post or sidebar and follow me… quick and simple. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and of course, Instagram!

I look forward to seeing your treasured moments!!!

Here are a few pics from my weekend spent with my girls:

I’ve told you in my previous post that I was going to spend some one on one time with Little One.

After we sent hubby and the boy on their merry way, we headed to Tarjay for some groceries. She loved being my shopping helper and eagerly picked things out from the shelf and put them in the cart. She even managed to grab a gallon of milk and put it on the bottom of the cart. Such a strong little thing my princess.

I stocked up on my favorite coffee of the season – Pumpkin Spice – it seems that the K-cups in that flavor are running low and the only place I could find it are at our local Target. The minute we got home I brewed myself a cup too enjoy… 🙂

Today, we had lunch at McDonald’s. We woke up to gloomy, stormy skies and had to cancel our play ground plans. But I got lucky and was able to get an appointment with my favorite stylist for a quick trim. I was long overdue.

Mommy wasn’t the only one who got her hair cut. Little One got her first “big girl” shampoo and yes, that’s a chicken McNugget she’s holding in her hand.

And here we are, all done and Little One got a lollipop for sitting still and being a good girl. I was actually really surprised by how patient she was sitting and waiting for me to finish. I’d never taken her with me before because she doesn’t have the best track record with patiently waiting and sitting still!!!

After we got home from the hairdresser, I was finally able to walk the dogs since it had cleared up and the sun was shining. And then we had to head out to pick up Middle from her friends house where she had a sleepover. By the time we got close to home it was dinner time and I’ve been wanting some Pho in the worst way… so we stopped at 5 Spice and had us some nice Asian cuisine. Yum!!!

The best part of the night… getting the foot spa out and doing pedis. It was my turn first and the girls did a great job of scrubbing and smoothing. They thoroughly enjoyed their spa pedis and now they have blue colored toes!

Last but not least, a gratuitous photo of Daisy, middle’s hamster. She’s so cute and sweet and we just love to play with her.



One on One Time

September 21, 2012

I dropped off my two older ones at school like I do every morning. Only today, I won’t be picking them up. My dancing bee is going to her friends house for a sleepover. Middle and her friend have been begging for a few weeks now and we finally managed to find a weekend that worked for all of us. So, she’s off to her friend’s house after school, riding the school bus which she is super excited about. It’s a novelty for this car rider!!! 🙂

My boy is of for quick getaway with the hubby. They are heading to Cocoa Beach for the air show tomorrow. Hubby got really, really, really lucky and managed to get a room in a hotel that’s right on the beach in the middle of the flight line. How cool is that? And to make this deal even sweeter he got it for a great price. So, my boys will be hanging at the beach tomorrow watching some of our military might fly over.

Meanwhile, it will be just Little One and I until we have to pick up Middle tomorrow. Little One is super excited because she gets me all to herself and she gets to sleep on daddy’s side of the bed. 😉 We are hoping to head to the park later today but the weather may not play along.

If it does end up raining, like it’s threatening to, I may just take her to a movie. I think, she’ll love that. We’ll see… And if all else fails she can just do more of what you see in the pictures. “Steal” her sister’s laptop and play games on Nick Jr.!!! She just discovered Blue’s Clues on Netflix and has been watching, playing and acting it out. I’ve caught myself more than once singing the theme song. It’s been around this house for about 10 years after all! 😉

I look forward to some quiet time with my Little princess and a nice quiet dinner with our neighbor tonight. While everyone else is out having fun, I’ll relax and soak up the solitude and quiet. After the past few frantic weeks it’s just what the doctor ordered. And maybe, just maybe I’ll get some work done in the process too…

Linking up with My Time as Mom and Mamatrack.


Essence of Now


A farm in suburbia {Heritage Hen Farms}

September 20, 2012

“As for butter versus margarine I trust cows more than chemists.” ~ Joan Gussow 

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

I certainly enjoy some real, raw butter a lot more than some margarine you buy at the store.

Imagine my surprise when hubby told me that there was a place close by where we would be able to get such raw butter. Made fresh. Hubby and the boy had a boys weekend a while back and went to a local restaurant that is self-sustainable. (More on that later.) There, they found out about Heritage Hen Farm. A local farm that sells fresh, raw milk, eggs that are only hours and not weeks old, homemade kefir and raw butter to name a few.

This fellow welcomed us with his loud moos. He’s kind of pretty.

We pulled in through the gate and parked right on the side of the dirt road. Heritage Hen Farm is a family farm in Boynton Beach, Florida. The hens are raised outdoors with the highest welfare standards. The farm is Animal Welfare Approved — check the site to learn more.

While we looked around and waited for the store to officially open this fellow made it known he was not happy to have his snack interrupted. It was funny to see the kids react to his mooing.

Svetlana, the lovely lady who welcomed us, told the kids they could feed the bull if they wanted too. The kids were a bit skittish so hubby took a turn and gave him some banana to munch on.

Middle got over herself and finally managed to get one banana into his mouth.

Seems he was happy with his snack if that lip smacking was any indication.

Waiting for more? I think so…

Here are my city slicker husband and kids with the up close and personal bull. Certainly a bit different than seeing them in pens at the county fair!

And here it is, Très Frèsh, the farm gate store. After we were done feeding the bull and I had snapped enough pictures, I laughingly made a joke about my family not being used to having cows and chickens roam free… but that I had grown up near such things in Germany. So, Svetlana and I got talking and turns out she speaks some German and her aunt who lives in Germany was coming to visit. (Yes, I’ll be back to say “Hello” and get some of that raw yogurt the aunt makes.) 🙂

We bought a gallon of raw milk, a jar of homemade kefir, a dozen egss, only hours old and all different colors. Little One liked the “blue” ones best. We also got a mozzarella cheese making kit but ended up drinking the milk instead of using it! My favorite was the jar of raw honey with a piece of honey comb in it. Little One thoroughly enjoyed the milk, much more so than the normal milk I usually buy.

The chickens were roaming free and clucking around. While we were there a few more people came by to pick up their provisions and you could tell that they had been coming for a while by the easy banter between the owners of the farm and the customers. I am so happy that hubby found this place and we will most certainly go back to get more yummy goodness soon.

For more information check out Heritage Hen Farm’s Facebook page. The about page is very informative and explains the way the farm is run much better than I could.

Do you have farms like this in your area? Leave a comment and let me know!

*Note: This is not a sponsored post. The cow and chickens may have told me to take pictures and write about them but I was not compensated in any way other than with some yummy food which hubby happily paid for!!! 🙂


My Take {#CFLBlogCon}

September 18, 2012

I’ve told you about the pleasure side of my weekend trip… all that good food, great company and lots of laughter. If you haven’t read it, go here. I’ll wait. All done? Okay. Then let’s move on to the real reason hubby and I got a weekend off from the kids.

Saturday, September 15Th we attended the Central Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference at the Orlando Science Center. I loved the fact that it was a one day conference and that it was within driving distance from home.

Here I am, enjoying the view from our hotel room balcony, ready to get the day started.

I was very happy that my friend Nicolette who I met prior to the conference was going to be there and we stuck pretty close together all day and attended most of the same sessions. I found her sitting way up in the nose bleed section of the Cinedome  where the opening keynote was held.

See that little guy down there? That’s Lou Mongello, he’s host of the WDW Radio Show and he gave the opening keynote. Katy Widrick  who was on the planning committee for the conference introduced him and was as surprised as the rest of us when a flash mob broke out. What a way to start the day! I jotted down a lot of notes during Lou’s speech. There were two things that really resonated with me:

1) Treat your fans as friends!!!

2) BElieve in YOURself!

But there was so much more and I’m still digesting it all…

Hubby and I (and Nicolette) went to most of the same sessions. After the opening keynote we went to Callie Cowan’s session on how to built your media kit. (Sorry no pictures.) Something I’ll be working on this week and have been meaning to add to the blog. It was really helpful and pointed me in the right direction. Thanks, Callie!

After Callie’s session, we were able to stay in the same room to find out how to fit blogging into your life. The session was held by Jackie of Momjovi, Michelle of Crazy Running Legs and Christine of Cook The Story… all busy working moms. I wanted to see the session for two reasons, one, I had started reading Jackie’s blog before the conference and had made contact with her on Twitter. She seemed so sweet and friendly that I wanted to see for myself and also to say Hello (which I did) and the other reason was to see if I could find some time management tools to help me. One of the things that sticks in my mind was something Christine said… she recommends to work in batches, i.e. take a day during the month and cook up a storm! Something I’m definitely planning on doing.

For the next session we had to go to a different room and hubby and I ended up going to two different sessions. Nicolette and I ended up going to a session about SEO by Tom Jelneck… Let’s just say it’s still just as over my head as it was before I went into the session. I took notes, so I’m hoping after going over them I might have some clarity. If not, I’ll pester hubby about it! 🙂

After lunch which was served by Bahama Breeze and delicious we all went to a session on analytics by Mark Krupinski. Another one I would have happily skipped. I wish I had sent hubby alone and gone to the Twitter session instead. It wasn’t that it was useless information, far from it. But this is so hubby’s domain and not something I profess to understanding. Sorry, Mark. 🙂

The next session more than made up for it. Working with brands was presented by the lovely Julie Deily of The Little Kitchen. I found the session very informative and can’t wait to put some of her advice to use. Thanks, Julie.

By the time Julie’s session was over it was close to 4 pm and I was getting pretty overwhelmed with all the information I was trying to soak up. Can you say information overload? I’m glad I took lots of notes to go over at my own leisure.

Here is hubby getting a massage in the Recharge Room while Nicolette and I chatted about some of the things we had learned that day.

We ended up ducking out after this since we still had plans with my friend that lives in Orlando. Remember that good food and wine I mentioned in my previous post? Yeah, that… 🙂

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I’m so glad I went and had hubby at my side. I’m already looking forward to next year.

I have to say that I got more out of this conference than another one I attended prior. It was more organized, the sessions were more informative and the vibe as a whole was more positive and friendly.

Thank you to Bess Auer and the whole team behind CFLBlogCon as well as all the other bloggers there for making this a great experience.

If you would like to see more photos from the conference go here. Macbeth Photography of Orlando did a great job capturing the day!