Coffee in Paris: Telescope

Coffee in Paris: Coutume

Coffee in Paris: IBRIK

Coffee in Paris: Fragments

It seems to be a trend that I, with my family, end up enjoying coffee, literally, on the streets of Paris.

This coffee shop has a dark, romantic feel to it.  A great date spot, I would think.  But not with your 3ish year old and baby...and the stroller and the large diaper bag (and on this special day: the giant balloon + happy meal).  My husband and I really need to invest in a camel.

October Highlights

I know we're already a few days into November, but at least it's not weeks- so I wanted to share my October highlights with you.  They're mostly people related.  We had so many visitors this month and it made my heart sing.

Coffee in Paris: Dose Batignolles

Things to do in Boston

I have a few friends who have recently moved to the Boston area so I wanted to offer a few places I would suggest going when they have the time. I have to confess: I didn't get out a whole lot in the 6 years I lived there.  My first year, I was busy with an internship. My second year in Boston was my first year of marriage and my husband and I were homebodies. The third year, I was pregnant.  And after that.  Well. #momlife So I don't have tons of things to offer for entertainment, but I did figure out I love the coffee, food and enjoyed looking at pretty things. If I were there to take my friends around, these are the places I would take them:

  • Coffee Shops- I don't think I'll ever live in a city that has so much good coffee again...unless I ever move anywhere in Italy.  You can find my Boston area coffee shop suggestions HERE...oh wait.  I haven't made that blog post yet. hahahhaa #momlifeagain

  • The Arnold Arboretum: So beautiful anytime of the year.  You can walk around, bike around, or take a blanket and have a picnic.  They also have guided tours during special seasons and other fun events throughout the year--not that I got around to joining one, but if I had the time...and they have bonsais.

  • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: I love love love love this museum.  PLEASE try to go during one of their guided tours.  It's an amazing museum that you can appreciate if you know nothing about art or art history (me!), but these tours will take the museum to a different level for you.  You can get museum passes from your local library for $5 admission.  I liked going on Thursday nights because they're open later, and it's especially nice on a snowy wintery evening.  The snow covers the glass hallway entering the main exhibit hall, and it's magical.

  • Wingaersheek Beach- Not in Boston, but worth the drive.  The water is so clear and the sand is sparkly. What more do you need in a beach?  #dontforgetyourbeachumbrella
  • Gather Here- My favorite craft store.  Warning: You'll spend too much money. If you don't know how to sew or knit or whatever- take a class! yay for making things!
And this is the end of my sad, sad list.  Because I really only went to coffee shops.  And that post is going to take some time to create.  But it will be a great post :D

What things should I have done/ places should I have gone before I left the Boston area???

A Late Fourth (and Fifth)

Insanely late on the blog post, but I wanted to share a few photos (and lucky you) recipes from our fourth of July festivities.  My dad lives out in the country- which I didn't always love as a kid, but I think it's pretty swell now.  Mornings are so peaceful.  And come on.  That view of the giant satellite. Hard to beat.

Our fourth of July celebration blew up because a storm forced us inside.  Scary, scary storm.  It's what I imagine Dorothy experienced before she woke up in Oz (the winds got up to 85mph).  My sister and her family actually went out in it- thinking they could get home before it got too bad.  In the meantime, my dad, husband and I watched, appalled, through the storm door at what they had taken on.  Two minutes later they came crying because of all of the wind and dirt and a hat blew off of someone's head.  It ended up being a fun night for them though (and the hat was recovered by a brave daddy).  We let them watch a movie and they stayed up until 11 while the storm settled down.

The next night we enjoyed our fireworks.

The fourth of July was always my favorite holiday.  I spent every summer in Iowa and each independence day can be characterized by four things in my mind- cousins, sparklers, stuffed mushrooms, and bacon water chestnuts.  I'm posting them here so I don't have to ask my aunt for the recipes for the millionth time next year.

Stuffed Mushrooms

20 oz. Buttom Mushrooms- stems removed
1 Lb. Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
1/4 Cup diced onion
Dash Italian Seasoning
4 oz. Cream Cheese 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cook sausage, adding onion when most of the pink is gone.  Drain fat off of the meat.  Stir in cream cheese (add more if needed).  Fill mushrooms on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until hot.

Bacon Water Chestnuts

1 lb. bacon
2 containers of whole water chestnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut bacon in half and cook partially in microwave.  Wrap bacon around whole water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Bake until bacon is crispy.  Remove oven and drain excess grease.

Water Chestnut Sauce

1 C. Ketchup
1 C. Brown Sugar
Squirt of mustard and worcestershire sauce

Heat until boiling.  Pour sauce over water chestnuts and bake at 350F until hot.

West Texas BBQ

Yesterday we went to Evie Mae's BBQ in Wolfforth- ranked #9 on TEXAS MONTHLY'S list of top 50 BBQ joints in Texas. We had a party of 5 adults and 3 children.  We ordered a #12- which is a sampler plate with 1/2 lb of each meat and a couple pints of sides.  For the sides we ordered the green chili cheese grits (droool), regular and jalapeƱo corn bread, and beans.  For desserts we ordered a banana pudding, chocolate pecan pie and coconut cream pie. I wasn't sure there would be enough to fill all of us, but when we were through eating there were leftovers.

Everything is made gluten free (except for the complimentary bread and beer. Yes, beer).  They open at 11am, but you better get there early if you don't want to wait in line for an hour or so.  We arrived at 10:30am and all of the outdoor tables were already filled with people standing around. For the line-up, they let people sitting at the tables go first and then everyone falls in line behind them.

The ribs were my favorite, but I think I might need another visit to reevaluate.

38 Weeks

So many contractions this week- I've thought a few times "this is it."  But then it wasn't. Ready to meet our little girl.

The Muffin Recipe

I posted these muffins on my instagram a few days ago and then had a few people ask for the recipe.  It originally came from HERE, but I made a tiny adjustment so I'll include the recipe below. You can adapt this recipe with whatever you have around the house- I made some major adjustments HERE- they were tasty, but a little crumbly. So adapt as you find necessary and enjoy!



Blueberry Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
5 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Cups light brown sugar
2/3 Cup Ground Flaxseed
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 Cup vegetable oil
1 Cup whole milk greek yogurt
1 Cup whole milk
2 Cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or line 2 muffin pans. 

Whisk together dry ingredients (from whole wheat flour to cinnamon).  In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (from eggs to whole milk). Comebine dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

Fill prepared muffin pans and bake for about 20-25 minutes. A cake tester will come out clean. Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes in pans and then turn out.

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator (I haven't tried freezing them, but let me know if you do). Refresh leftover muffins at 300F for about 8-10minutes.

37 Weeks- Officially Full Term!

Feeling more uncomfortable than a beached whale these days.  The baby is turning into the right position, our house is getting cleaned tomorrow and I'm going to take the car in for a wash.  Now we just need the in-laws to arrive and we'll be all set! Come on bebe deux <3



The Twins

I met these two when they were starting out their freshman year at Harvard College.  We were at a home Bible study eating dinner together and I'm pretty sure they were holding pinkies while we ate. They're adorable.  And they make me laugh. And smile so hard it hurts. I want to say more about how wonderful they are and how proud I am at the women they have become, but I don't want to cry on my keyboard. So I'll just leave it at this: I'm so glad our lives crossed paths. They're two wonderful young women that anyone would be lucky to know.

So much love,