Friday, October 7, 2016

Lottie Lost Her First Tooth!!!!!!!!!! EEEEKKKKKK

Ya'll - not even going to lie!!!!!!!!!!  I totally shed some tears when my first born lost her first tooth!!!!  It's always the firsts that get me.  And while they seem so far and few these days - when they happen, it's such a BIG deal!!!! 

I'm kind of a spaz sometimes especially when it comes to Lottie.  She has literally done everything by the book since birth.  Every milestone, every everything has always happened exactly as the experts say it's supposed to happen.  BUT - not this time!!!!  I didn't think children were supposed to start losing teeth until the age of 6.  The later, the better right??????

Well, not this time!  At just a mere 5 1/2 years old, this kid lost one of her bottom teeth.  I will say that it was wiggly and loose for a good week before it actually came out.  I begged her to not mess with it and to let it fall out naturally, but everyone knows (including myself) that once someone tells you not to mess with something, all you want to do is mess with it!

After a week of wiggling, she was ready to pull it out.  Steve and I were sitting at our kitchen table talking when she came in with the tooth in her hand.  She had splatters of blood on her hands, forehead, mouth, arms, etc.  She was so excited, like a kid at Christmas.  Her mom - not so much, I secretly cried watching her show off her tooth so proudly.

I hate the fact that this kid is growing up!  Period!!!!!!!  Make it stop!!!!!

Here's a look at my sweet little Lottie and her missing tooth!!! 

And as if ONE tooth wasn't enough, she had to lose another one within the month!  OMG!!!!!  This better be it for a LONG time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We've got big, ADULT teeth coming in now and I'm scared!  This mama needs to take a chill pill or have a glass of wine. 

Let's hope no more teeth loss are in the horizon!!!!! 

How To Make The PERFECT Brtish Roast Potato

One thing I've learned living here in England is that on Sundays, you have proper English Sunday dinners!  It usually consists of either roast beef, chicken, pork or gammon (ham) with roast potatoes, roasted veggies, Yorkshire pudding and most importantly a huge heaping ladle full of gravy! 

You can't go out on a Sunday for a leisurely walk around town without smelling Sunday dinners being cooked in every household.  Mmmmmmmmmmm, it leaves you feeling hungry every time! 

While I have yet to perfect a home made Yorkshire pudding (I cheat and buy frozen ones), I am confident that I have perfected the art of making really great roast potatoes! 

Here's how!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F or 200 degrees C.  Get yourself a Pyrex rectangular glass dish and pour in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the dish.  I used Sunflower oil.  Then put the dish into the oven to heat up.

Step 2: Get yourself (depending on how many people you are feeding - family of four) 4 potatoes (washed) and ready to peel.  Chop into good size chunks.  You don't want them cut too small.

Step 3: This is key - you are going to want to par-broil the potatoes to get them a little tender before roasting them.  This is and reheating your oil will give them the crunchy texture on the outside, but the tenderness you want in the inside.  I would say par-broil them for at least 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 4:  After heating your glass dish with oil for around 15 to 20 minutes, take it out of the oven.  Once you have par-broiled your potatoes for 5 to 7 minutes, drain and add to dish.  Because the oil is so hot, step back, you are definitely going to get a little crackle and pop! :)  Stir the potatoes around in the oil, coating each one.  Then pop into the oven for 45 to 55 minutes.  I would say keep an eye on them around the 45 minute mark and take them out when they are brown and crispy on top!

And that's it!!!!!!!  Just sprinkle with a little salt and pepper when they come out of the oven!  Super easy and so perfect with any dish, especially with the holidays right around the corner!!!  

The perfect Sunday British dinner! 
Roast chicken with stuffing, roast potatoes, roasted veggies (carrots / broccoli) and Yorkshire puddings with lots and lots of gravy!!! 
Can't beat it!  I promise you won't be disappointed in trying these roast potatoes.  The key again is to make sure your oil is hot and your potatoes are par-broiled!
Enjoy!!!!  xxx

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Day Trip to London!!!

A couple of months ago, I found out that my cousin's husband was coming to London!!!!!!!!!!  Of course, I was ecstatic to hear the news!  Unfortunately, he only had a limited time to hang before he was off to work for the week, so we made the most of our day trip to London.  There was no way we were going to miss out on seeing a friendly face. 

It has been ages since we traveled to London to actually explore.  I can recall the countless times before kids that Steve and I would make the most of our last weekend in England spending our time in London.  I love London - between the parks, the history, the nightlife, the shopping, the theatre, just walking the streets leaves you with a pinch me moment! 

I certainly felt it when we were walking past Big Ben, the London Eye and St. James Park a few weeks ago.  I literally thought to myself, I can't believe I LIVE here!  Well, not London, but in this great country. 

If you haven't noticed, I've kind of fallen in love with it here.  While I miss "home", I am just so darn happy here. 

My cousin Ginger and I are pretty tight and have been for years.  She is like a big sister to me and I think of her husband like a big brother.  Unfortunately, my cousin had to stay in the states because my uncle was recovering from a bypass surgery.  I'm so looking forward though to next year when he's back and she can come with him!  I just heart these people so much!!!!

Here's a look at our little day trip to London! 

We met Shaun in Feltham and caught the train to Waterloo!  My girls loved riding the train!

Shaun and I - the vibe on this Sunday afternoon was amazing!  People picnicking, chilling out on the grass, watching live entertainment was amazing!

River Thames

My girls!!!  xoxo

A rare family photo!!!

Stella was obsessed with the "Green Man"

Big Ben

In the distance is Buckingham Palace.  We didn't venture over there this time around, but will definitely take the girls the next time.  Lottie kept asking if we were going to see the Queen, but I told her she most likely would be busy!  :)

We found a pub and had a meal!  You would think that pubs would be abundant in London, but they are not.  It certainly has changed over the last few years.  There are more cafes now which kind of saddens me because when in England, a visit to the pub is a must!  On a side note, the further you get outside of central London, pubs are everywhere!!

Walking the streets of London!

After our meal, Stella was DONE! 

Lottie was our photographer!  :)  She loves taking photos!

After being awake for almost 24 hours, we left my cousin to rest!  Typically when you fly to England, you leave the states around 6:30 p.m. and arrive around 7:00 a.m. England time which is 2:00 a.m. Carolina time.  You basically lose an entire nights sleep.  I've always struggled coming here (jet lag), but he was a trooper and hung in there. 
I can't tell you how happy I was to see a friendly face.  It's as if no time had passed.  Looking forward to seeing more friends and family in the coming years!  xxxxx

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Weekly Picnics

Who would have ever thought that I could be enjoying weekly picnics with my minis each week?  While I do miss my career and the adult brain stimulation that came along with it, I have to say that I've found so much happiness in enjoying the days in and days out spent with my girls.  Sometimes you just don't realize how quick the time goes and how you will never get that time back. 

I plan on soaking up every minute until my next career move! 

With that said, England has some lovely parks and places to take the kids.  While you can't always count on the weather here, one thing you can count on is that if it is sunny, everyone is outdoors!!!!!  :)

Loughborough park is the perfect spot for a picnic.  They have lots of green grass, a playground, a bird museum, an ice cream man, etc.  On that particular day, there were loads of Christian youth groups around providing free face painting and balloon animals.  It couldn't have worked out better!

Here's a few pics from our day out!