Downward Dog

Apparently, someone taught Claire some yoga.
She learned a new yoga position called downward dog & she mastered it over the weekend.

She gets on her knees,
puts her head on the floor,
puts her butt in the air,
flings her head back
then somehow springs her body up,
and then starts walking!
It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen & it is her current preferred method of standing up to walk.

My mom kept telling me to get a picture of her doing it. I have been trying for the past couple of weeks, but the pictures kept coming out blurry. That Claire is a speedy little girl.
What I really need to do is get it on video. The pictures don't do it justice.

Like every good big sister, Kate imitates (mocks) what Claire is doing.
All that yoga & walking wears a girl out.
Time to relax with her favorite dog!
Seriously, Boulder is the best family dog. She lets the girls crawl all over her & she just lays there.


I Heart Faces: Blue

One of my favorite blogs to visit is

They have a challenge every week and I am finally entering!

The theme this week is blue, and one of the first pictures that came to my mind was this picture of Kate playing in Lake Tahoe this summer. It is one of my favorite pictures of her.

If you are a native Californian, you know the slogan:
"Keep Tahoe Blue"

And look how Blue it is:



I LOVE fabric.
Especially this yummy Amy Butler French Wallpaper fabric.
I bought a yard of it last spring, just so I could have it in case I wanted to make something with it.
Why are you laughing?
Oh, that's right, you are laughing because if you know me, you know that,

I can barely sew a button.
But, that might change after Christmas.
My mother in law said she would get me a sewing machine for Christmas and, she is going to teach me how to sew!
(And, in return, I am going to teach her how to use Photoshop, since that is what we got her for her birthday.)
Sounds like a good trade off if you ask me!
I have been inspired to learn how to sew by some bloggy ladies.
Julie, Heather, Tegan, & Erin to name a few.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Their pretty.messy.headbands are courtesy of Julie at Joy's Hope. I saw she made these headbands with the frenchy fabric & I had to get them for the girls! I got these headbands for them last spring, you may remember Claire wearing it in this picture. Kate wouldn't wear any headbands at all until last month, so I was so excited when she finally decided wearing headbands was acceptable!
Heather made their cute initial t-shirts this summer. I emailed her one day to see if she would make the girls some since I had plain pink t's from Target & I had the fabric. Since she only lives 10 minutes away, I was able to drop them off with her & get them back the same afternoon! They turned out SO cute! Claire finally grew into hers, so I knew it was time for a photoshoot!
Here are some pictures I took last weekend of Kate & Claire with some handmade cuteness! They weren't very cooperative for me. I took these on our front lawn while Kevin was washing his car in the driveway. The girls would rather watch Daddy wash the car then look at the camera. Oh well!
This is my attempt at a "sisters" picture:
I tried having them sit on the grass & look at me, but it they just wanted to give eachother hugs instead!
Let's hope this sisterly love lasts many more years!


Apple Cake {with homemade caramel sauce}

Happy 1st day of Fall!
Too bad it was 102 degrees out today. And, it is supposed to stay in the 100's all week.
I call that a Fall FAIL.
Fall weather doesn't really start in California until October, so I have a couple more weeks of warm weather & then it will be Fall!
Fall is my FAVORITE season. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

You can read my Top 10 reasons for loving Fall HERE.

Since we get so many APPLES from our tree in the fall, that means I get to doing a lot of baking with our apples. My aunt is the apple pie master, so I don't even attempt to replicate it. I stick to making apple crisps & apple cake. I may even try applesauce this year!
The first time I had this apple cake was about 6 years ago. I found the recipe in one of our church cookbooks. This cake is delicious & one of my favorite things to make in the fall, so I thought would share it here! When it bakes, it fills your house with an aroma of fall, so even if it is 100 degrees outside, it smells like fall inside!
I think I mostly like this cake because you make a homemade caramel sauce to go with it. Who can resist a good caramel sauce?
Apple Cake with Homemade Caramel Sauce

Here is what you need for the cake:
1/2 cup pecans
1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 apples (peeled, cored & chopped)
Whipped cream for garnish

First, peel the apples:
Chop & Dice the apples:
In a food processor/blender, finely grind the pecans.
In a large bowl, cream the butter & sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs and beat until well blended.
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg together.
Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture just until blended.
Fold the apples & nuts until blended.
Pour into a 9 inch greased round cake pan.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes (or until center is cooked through).
Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, but place pan on a cookie sheet.
Carefully remove cake from pan to a plate (or cake stand)
While the cake is baking, you can make the Homemade Caramel Sauce!
Here is what you need for the Caramel Sauce:
1 stick of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat while stirring. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla & evaporated milk. Set aside & keep warm.
(If making ahead, the caramel sauce will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days)

To serve, ladle a large spoonful of the hot caramel sauce onto a dessert plate.
Place a wedge of cake onto the sauce and add a dollop of whipped cream.
(I make my own whipped cream, but you can use store bought if you prefer!)
Then, garnish with a few thin fresh apple slices & serve!
(I dip the apple slices in the leftover caramel sauce on my plate, yum!)



It has been a good ride for this infant seat.
It brought both my babies home from the hospital.


and then Claire:
I remember getting it as a gift for one of my baby showers when I was preggo with Kate.
Everyone at the shower said,
"You will only use that infant seat for the first 4-5 months"

Ha! They were SO wrong!
I used it with Kate for 13 MONTHS! (She didn't out grow it until then!)

I used it with Claire until a few days ago! (1 year)

Props to the Graco Snugride for carting my girls around for 25 months & for making a product that held up with that much use!

Thank you for 2 years of service & the wonderful memories. You will be missed.

Claire is now in her big girl carseat.
Can I just tell you how much I am loving the pink car seat!?! The infant seat was neutral & boring because we didn't find out what we were having.
And, since we needed 2 new carseats (one for each car) I got 2 new pink ones for my car & Kevin has the 2 grey ones we got when I was preggo with Kate (there was NO way he was allowing pink car seats in his car)
If you know me, you know I LOVE pink & I LOVE having things match!


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