Hello strangers, happy new year! I hope everyone had a great one and isn’t sick or drowning in rain…or both.

I left you with the best snickerdoodle cookie recipe and then ghosted you for the holidays.

Christmas eve had us cookie decorating, baking and prepping for Christmas day feasting.

The kitchen was busy, we made an eggnog cake, the ‘can’t have Christmas without sherry cake’, and creme de menthe brownies.

I also made this farro salad with apple, parmesan and arugula. You guys, this salad really is the best.

The girls had to wait until 7:00 AM on Christmas morning, how terrible of us huh?

Once we were cozied up and had coffee in hand, we started the festivities.

Halfway through the carnage we broke for breaky. and then we continued with the mayhem.

Out of everything Kaili opened, I think this was her favorite, sigh.

Her relationship with spicy chips is on another level.

Later that morning the family came over….. and with a baby black lab in tow.

This is Pluto, isn’t he the cutest?

Casey and Aileen were puppy sitting for a friend, and I can say that Pluto gave us all dog fever, well everyone except Shawna, pfft.

We spent the day opening more gifts, eating, playing games and saying “no” to the girls asking for a dog every other minute.

My dad and Casey put together Averi’s new Rainbow High doll house.

We played Right Left Center and Kaili won.

It was a great Christmas spent with all my people!

Those five days between Christmas and New Years is big question mark. No one knows what day it is or what they are supposed to be doing, it’s like existing in confusion.

I took the girls to Coronado for an afternoon.

We had a delicious lunch, enjoyed a walk along the water, more puppy love and some swimming.

The weather was perfect until the sun went down, and then it was time to head home and warm the bones.

Holiday Break

Christmas came a few days late, it had to wait for all of us to get back home. Once we were all back together, it was off to the races.


Santa brought way to much this year, waayyy too much. I’d like to say it’s all put away by now, but I’d be lying.

Wearing her new Sombrero, Averi helped me make cinnamon rolls. I made a semi-home version using pre-made bread dough and then just whipped up some cream cheese frosting. They were amazing and the pan was empty by the end of the day.


The week felt like 10 years, I swear you guys. We went to plenty of parks, we cooked, and we made this weird candy that Santa brought. There was sushi, donuts and waffles;  I am actually shocked the girls ate it, strange stuff.


AND we also sang Karaoke, yes we have apologized to the neighbors.

My family came over for a nice family belated Christmas. We had a taco bar, the annual Sherry cake and played games. Sadly everyone chickened out on their time to be a singing star. Averi however has found her niche.

Averi also got what she asked for from Grandma and Grandpa, a horse. It’s getting a lot of use.





I can not believe that Averi just turned TWO years old,  I also can not believe that it’s been two years since she came home. It’s hard to imagine life without her and it’s hard to believe I haven’t spent a night away from her.


We didn’t have a big party and  I haven’t finished going through all the photos, so this will be a short post.


But a bragging post about how much this child is loved. My heart is full and I hope she understands one day how my heart aches for her.


She is a perfect half girly girl and a perfect half dare devil!

She is TWO!


Late Birthday

Finally, pictures of the Avester’s first birthday, next up, the thank you cards…I promise.

It was a small affair with just family and close neighbors. In other words, the second child gets screwed. Let’s face it, the first few birthdays are really for the parents anyway, and since we go overboard on Kaili’s, Averi will have to wait for her big shindigs.

I made a DIY taco bar with ground beef and shrimp tacos. Easy rice and beans from the Mexican market and doctored up a cake mix for a delish cake.

Chocolate cake mix cake, with a home made chocolate ganache filling and coconut cream cheese frosting.
Chocolate cake mix cake, with a home made chocolate ganache filling and coconut cream cheese frosting.

The cake was for the adults and I bought two cupcakes for the girls, I really wanted to make it easy on myself.

Averi enjoyed her first cupcake, she even made a wish before diving in. In Love with this picture.

"Make a wish"
“Make a wish”

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After a quick scrub down she diligently opened her pressies.


Happy birthday sweet girl.

*Photo credit-Brian Kerr


Kaili woke up another year older. Three years old. In some ways it seems like time has passed at lightening speed but when I look at the picture below, well, it seems like three years ago.


Kaili knows her birthDAY, if  you ask her when it is, she will say “April 29.” But she couldn’t understand why their wasn’t a party going on. I tried explaining it to her but it went way over her head and in the middle of my sentence she wanted to talk about something else. Typical girl.

She LOVES animals but most of all dogs. She talks about the next-door neighbors dogs as they are her own. When she sees letters in their names she will say R for Roxie, her own visualization. It doesn’t matter where you go, if there is a dog she wants to “meet’ it.

She LOVES cookies, chocolate and cake, who doesn’t? “Kaili, what do you want for breakfast?” “Cookies.” She is a good eater when she is really hungry so I find that starving her throughout the day makes her the best eater EVER at dinner. She will eat spicy food that some of her family members wouldn’t even touch and knows she needs to try everything at least once, that works about 95% of the time. It just so happens that she ends up liking it…95% of the time.

She is still a great sleeper but has an internal alarm clock than canNOT be reset. We are lucky to have her sleep to 6:30. It doesn’t matter what time she goes to bed. Actually she sleeps in a tad longer the earlier she goes down.

She might ask to see your nipple and I apologize for that…awkward. She doesn’t actually want to see your nipple, she is just performing a routine skin test and wants to check out your freckles and pimples. I don’t know why she can’t get that word out of her vocab, probably because it makes me laugh every time she says it.

She enjoys the beach but won’t go near the ocean…still. I try to get her to put her feet in each time we go but she clings to me as if I am dropping her off at a concentration camp. One day she will let go.

Kaili woke up to a present and then we hit the beach.

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photo 3

photo 1


After we were all tan and covered in sand we walked to Belmont Park for a ride on the Carousel and some ice cream.

photo 3 photo 5


She was wiped at the end of the day. I would say she had a pretty good birthday, even if it was with just mom.

Happy birthday my sweet girl, I love you to the moon and back!