Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the weirdest, yummiest recipe...

the following recipe is going to knock your socks off for several reasons...
1. it sounds positively dreadful
2. it is absolutely delicious!!!

jeffrey has been doing this serious diet...which means meredith has been doing it when he asked me to buy kale at the store, i have to admit...there was a teensy bit of eye rolling...and gagging!!!!!! HA!

while i watched him fixing this, i thought to myself "ain't no way i'm trying that!"...but when he came in grinning from ear to ear and exclaiming that i would love them...i had to try!

OMG...oh. my. gosh.

they are actually edible...and tasty. it's hard to admit!!!! it seems that ava is addicted!!!! score one for the home team!!! without further is the incredibly simple recipe. i dare you to try it...and let me know what you think!!!!

kale crisps (kale chips)

wash your bunch of kale. tear into small pieces being sure to remove the hard, woody stem from the leaves.
mix 1T of olive oil & 1/2T of balsamic vinegar and pour over the kale pieces. mix thoroughly making sure all pieces are coated. place small pieces on cookie sheet (we lined ours with parchment paper) and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the pieces appear crispy. ***this is super important...because if they're not crispy...they're not tasty!!!***

go skeptical! i sure was! i can assure you that in all my 34+ years...kale has never touched my lips...but folks, these are like lays potato chips. seriously.

if i'm lying...i'm dying. :)

please try this & let me know how you like 'em...truly one of the craziest things ever!!!

my how you've grown...

look how much these two have grown...

you may have forgotten...but at one point in their lives...they were tiny enough to fit into one isolet.

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now they can play together...occasionally push each other's buttons (ava ashley...mmmhmm)...and grow together as friends...

that have literally grown up together since birth!!!!

"baking" memories...

i was in charge of making desserts and appetizers for our lake weekend...and i was very happy when i discovered that one of my little "pretties" wanted to help me! it is always more fun to have company in the kitchen! we waited until the little littles went to sleep and then ella & i got busy!!!! here is what we made all in one night...
white cupcakes with white icing
"everything but the kitchen sink" bars (to die for...!!!)
rice crispy treats
chocolate chip pie (thanks, was delish!!!)
black bean hummus (definitely a price family, so yummy!!!)
pepper jack salsa

i can assure you...we were not going to go the dessert department at least!!!!

ella was sooo precious...and it just made my heart want to burst! we talked and laughed together...and it just made me look forward to the day when she is older (ok...that part i don't really look forward to)...and we talk and laugh...and she shares with me. i desperately want my children to want me to know truly know their heart. and i want them to know that no matter...they can tell me anything...good or bad.

for now, i'll enjoy my beautiful 7 year old...and the memories we made while licking the beaters!!!!

i love you, ella elise! i'll "bake memories" with you anytime!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

camp "fun in the sun"

this past weekend, my little family was graciously invited down to lake bisteneau to spend some fun filled time with the varnadore family, kat & josh...and soon to be "baby august", along with aunt cookie & ben! we had a blast!

we started off the weekend with a yummy hamburger dinner and the kiddos enjoyed being chauffeured by "aunt jen" on the golf cart!

on saturday, we attempted to take the barge out for a spin and let the kids play in the lake...totally unaware that there was a "lake wind advisory"!!! even though we didn't learn of this until sunday didn't take us long to realize it once we got out there! we let the kids jump in, after we were anchored (or so we thought)...and the next thing we knew...the current was pulling them (along with mr. rodney!) one way and the boat the other! ella went into panic mode...which i can't say i blame her for at all...and "uncle ben" had to jump in for a rescue mission!!!!! whew!

once all of our crew were safely aboard, we made the executive decision to head back in for some pool/slip & slide fun!!!

during "quiet time", most of the adults played a devastating game (due to MY score) of mexican train...and then we decided to brave the lake again! ella, maddie, aunt cookie, ben, & i joined the roberts family on their barge for an evening swim! this time the conditions were perfect! mr. david took ella & maddie on their very first jet ski rides and i believe that ella is hooked! she said "let's go 70"!!!! heaven help me...this child is going to give me fits as she gets older...and her daddy just smiles from ear to ear!!!!

we had a delicious supper...and then enjoyed some of the BEST...i mean truly the BEST...homemade cookies and cream ice cream! perfection on a spoon!

after another fun morning on the lake sunday (celebrating all the daddies)...we cleaned up and headed home!

thanks varnadore family for including us this weekend! having grown up going to "camp fun in the sun" is so special to be able to share these same memories with my own family. if only those walls could talk...they would have some tales to tell!!!!

we can't wait to make more memories with you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

friendship & fish...

friendship = my dear "old" friend, megan and her precious family + my dear "new" friend, april and her precious family

fish = our KIDDOS!!!!

last week, the girls and i set out for tyler, texas bright and early to spend the day with some of our favorite people! we were going to attend nolan's bowling birthday party...and megan graciously invited us to come back to her house to enjoy an afternoon of swimming in their new pool! (which is absolutely beautiful!) the salleys came too and it was the perfect combination!

our children swam and swam and swam...except for poor malynn who had an accident the week before and broke her arm :( - and who wins the award for being the best sport out there!!!! all of our kids get along SO well and it was such a delight to be around ALL of them! they are so very cute!

megan and chris are fabulous hosts...and after a super fun day and a very yummy very tired crew headed back home to shreveport!

we are so very thankful for such great friends...and i consider every second spent with my "old and new" ones a blessing!

i also have to give chris a HUGE "thank you" for watching ava for me after nap time so i could enjoy the mommies and the kiddos...that is no easy task...and one which i don't take for granted!!!!
our "matching" princesses...and we didn't even plan it!!!
so cute watching all of them get ready to release this balloon!
we have "lift off"!!!
...all the way up to heaven - kids are truly the most precious things in the world!
look at these "cool dudes"...relaxing!
by far the cutest "buns" of the day!!!

sweet megan with ava!
this pic was taken almost exactly one year prior...look how much my baby has grown :(
last year at this same passes by so quickly...i hope i remember every precious moment...


this happens to be my most favorite condiment in the world...and it describes exactly what needs to happen on this blog! ok, so maybe not that kind of ketchup...but you know what i mean!!! i am SO behind...and have lots of activities to document...but it all just seems so overwhelming!!!

between my girls trip, the end of school, the loss of emma, and the mad rush of summer...i've sat down at my computer countless times...and just come up empty. *sigh*

i'm hoping to hop back on the "blogging train"...'cause there's lots of memories being made...

and i don't want to forget a thing!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011


that is at least one word i would use to describe this vacation!!!! in fact, i feel like i've been a bit "short circuited" since i returned home...i quite possibly became TOO relaxed...& have had to retrain myself to fit into our crazy life!!!!! ha!

this was truly an amazing experience...and one i won't soon forget!

i never could have imagined as i was agonizing over leaving my family behind that i would have such a wonderful time...but i sure did! it didn't take me long to get used to being pampered & waited on at one of the world's best resorts!

we arrived at grand velas riviera nayarit on a wednesday afternoon...not realizing how magical our vacation would be! i was in the company of some of my oldest & dearest friends...celebrating our "30th" birthdays...about four years late!

from the first "good middle of the night" text message received at 4:10 a.m. until we parted ways at the airport...the four of us had an absolute blast!!!! we laughed until we cried...and since we've been home...i've probably cried until i laughed thinking about all the wonderful memories made!

the views were breathtaking, the food was fabulous, the staff was amazing, the spa was incredible...and the company was unbeatable!

i put together a photo book for all of us...which i wish i could share here...and i might feel compelled to carry it in my purse...because i just want to show everyone where their next vacation needs to be!!!!!

i also feel the need to share my enormous appreciation for my husband! he somehow managed to take wonderful care of our girls (by himself) AND completely re-tile our bathroom...which was a complete surprise to me when i got home!!! he said he didn't want to take time away from ella, maddie, & ava - so he only worked at night while they were sleeping! what a keeper!

i definitely think it might be good for mommy to get away some...and if it involves home renovations each time...i'm all for it!

i can't say it enough - every day was exceptional...& i look forward to going back...when are we gonna book, ladies?!?!?

girls...there will never be adequate words to describe how special this trip was for me. what an amazing experience...celebrated with the best of friends...sprinkled with laughter...& oh so much FUN! i would presume that there are few people that go through this life with friendships so rich & i feel incredibly blessed to know that where my footprints have been made...yours have been made as well. from little girls to mothers, we've written many "chapters" together...and i so look forward to the rest of the story. here's to many more memories in's to forever!
te amo...mercedes