Don’t Blink!

Don’t blink. Did you blink? I did, and now the summer is gone. I always start the summer off with sky high dreams of what we will do. Summer never fails to be an adventure for us. It speeds by in the blink of an eye and before I know it, I am writing their names on folders, pencil cases and notebooks. Having split custody makes summers difficult. I lose about 30% of time with the kids, plus some vacations. So I try to make the times that I do have them more special.

We started this summer with a BANG! My fiance of 2 years and boyfriend of 5 years (YES it is Goalie), moved in. It was a 75 mile move. Well worth the wait. Punk excelled at gymnastics camp and Bear rocked golf camp (4 weeks each). Plus we spend a week on the Cape. This year was extra special. Every year Nana rents us a house/condo. This year Bear, Punk, Nana (my Mom) and Gram (my Grandmother) all stayed in the same house together. This will be the last year that happens as there are some changes going on. While there Bear went to sleep-over camp at CCSC, Punk hit up the day camp. I think this place is Heaven on Earth. I went here as a kid, and I loved every moment. One of my counselors Lindsay Mead eventually wrote this in the Huffington Post about CCSC. She hit the nail on the head. Grab your tissues. In the evenings/afternoons Punk and I bond. We go to the pool or we hit up the trampolines where she did her first ever unassisted back handspring!! We visit, childhood friends of mine, who even after all these years, are closer than ever. We play mini golf and for 7 days, nothing is ever wrong. Bear shoots a BB gun while Punk goes for the bows and arrows at camp, they swim in a pool and the ocean and take nature hikes before  playing countless games of tennis. And then when we returned home Bear’s baseball team won 1st place in the Jimmy Fund 9 year old All Star tournament. I am one proud mama.

So tonight, as I sit here labeling things with their name and planning out their lunches, I think back on the amazing memories I have been a part of this summer. I think I am the rare mother, who hates to watch her children go back to school. Not only are they children, progeny, kids, siblings, they are my best friends.

But the fall brings some excitement also, weddings, baby showers, birthdays and back to school. Best of all Dr. Who will return! Apple picking is always a favorite of mine. I know no matter what is around the corner, it is an adventure we will take together.

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Holy Busy Week!!!

I had one of those weeks that just didn’t stop! I loved it. Sleep eluded me, but as long as I kept moving, I didn’t mind.When I sat down, that was a whole different story. I spent a few over nights baking, literally over night. When the rest of my house was sound asleep I was in my favorite place making my favorite food. Cupcakes. I COULD have done this earlier in the day, but then I would not be able to do things with my kids. I realized this week that the old saying “Work hard, party harder.” Takes on a whole new meaning when you have kids. I took a day off and spent 11 hours at a water park. Yes 11 hours. I destroyed my hair with chlorine, wrinkled my skin and killed my knee on stairs, I also worked at 5am the next day. I would do it all over again. It was worth every smile and giggle that day!!!

Let me show you my haven:

 

That is the main part of my kitchen. It is tiny, those 2 windows look out into a “jungle”. Ok so maybe they are overgrown weeds that no one will ever see behind my house before the giant rock face, but I love them because of how the sun filters thru on a summer day in the morning.

 

Meet my best friend and Roxy’s husband, Fritz. Without them, none of this would be possible.

 

My pretty girl, Roxy. She works as hard as I do.

My storage that makes it all possible.

So what did you do this week that scares you? Me? I participated in a farmers market. It was in Malden, MA. I sold my wares, and we did well for a first week. I was frightened on many levels. What would the heat do to my cupcakes? Would people buy them?? Was it worth all the prep work? Well, we did ok!!! I had Punk with me, and that was a long time for her, but she did ok. Nothing melted although I swear the heat shot up 20 degrees just before the start. I was also super happy that some of my friends came out to support me. It meant the world!! It was a LOT of work. The night before I took Bear and Punk to a Patriots game (her first) it was a late night to begin with, but this meant I had to work till almost 3am and get up and 6 and keep going to make sure everything was fresh. Was it worth it?? I don’t know.We will see how the rest of the season goes. It was a lot of woman hours, and it is just me. But with all the work I did, I still managed to find time for some fun with the family. Totally worth it!!! Leave a comment, what did you do this week that you were nervous to do???

 

Hot Hot Hot Fudge Sauce

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of ice cream. The toppings make the Sundae as they say! Or do “They”? Maybe that is just me. When I was a kid it was always a special treat to have ice cream before bed with my Mom. If it was a REALLY special night she would melt peanut butter in the microwave in the bottom of my bowl before she put the ice cream in. So, so, so good! I have always preferred warm peanut butter over hot fudge since then.

This week I decided that since Bear and Punk were with their Dad for the week and since I had been gone for a week with them on the Cape, I would do something special for Goalie. He started his new schedule and works until 9pm most nights. He also is picking up a TON of over time. I don’t suppose one can say thank you for that. I don’t have a job, I lost it a few years ago, I was laid off for being too efficient (true story) and basically worked my self right out of a job. I have the bakery but that is not steady enough to be reliable. So Goalie is our rock. I am not one who does well with this. I have stood on my own 2 feet for so long that having someone take care of me isn’t easy. I feel like I never live up to them and I can’t do enough for them. So I try. It isn’t always about gifts. Maybe some nights I let him play video games or zone out online a little longer than usual without me whining at him to change the light bulbs, maybe I have dinner on the table every night when he gets home, maybe I let him golf all day with his buddies while I stay home alone and don’t say a peep. To be honest, I don’t mind, he earns it. But that night I made him some hot chocolate sauce, I cleaned our bedroom (a feat in itself!), clean sheets, candles, the whole shebang! I even made our bed ( this only happens about 2x a year for “special occasions”).  I made a playlist on my phone (I had no idea how to do it and had to do a “quick learn” on youtube!) and I made some hot fudge sauce to put with fresh fruit. When he got home he got a full body massage, fruit and a nap!!! So here is, that amazingly impressive and totally deliciously easy Hot Fudge Sauce! What you do with it…. that is up to you. I am not responsible for any unplanned calories or children.

The one thing not listed on the board that I end up putting in EVERYTHING is vanilla. Good vanilla. Not the grocery kind. Splurge, if you can afford that scented soap by your sink, you can treat yourself to some good vanilla by Nielsen-Massey. Trust me, it will make a bigger difference than that soap!!! It tastes MUCH better!

First Melt your butter…. mmmm

Then mix in your sugar and cocoa… mix until smooth.

Add 1cup of Evaporated milk and a splash of vanilla… keep over LOW heat, if you turn up your heat it will not cook faster, it will just burn the chocolate. Keep your heat low so that it is just bubbling. It will seem to “grow” so be aware you may have to turn it down so it does not boil over. BUT you should be there stirring constantly for 5 min ANYHOW. Set a timer, do not skimp on this part. It is what makes it smooth and rich!

TADAA!!! You have HOT FUDGE SAUCE!! You can save it for a night in, or a fancy party, or a back to school/end of summer sundae bar for the kids. This recipe makes quite a lot so you should have enough for anything. Keep in mind it is HOT. I mean REALLY HOT. You can’t use it until about an hour after you have made it. You will get burned.

Soon after I made this Punk got hurt. She had trouble sleeping that night because her ankle bothered her. It was a really awesome Momma moment to be able to whip out some ice cream (store bought, that is my next project), put it into a giant bowl and add some home made hot fudge. 2 spoons, 1 blanket and some Olympic gymnastics on the TV while we watched Aly Raisman win   EARN a gold medal for her floor routine. Those are the nights that make all of the sleepless nights worth it.

So go.. make something small and quick… and make someone else feel special.

I just fainted!

Shhhh did you hear that? The ground broke wide open when I fainted!! CupcakeRehab put a link to me on her page! Admit it, we all have a blog crush. She is mine. Have you seen her amazing recipes? I drool at her pictures and she has some crazy awesome ideas! Oh yeah and she has a pink Kitchen Aid named Lola (it is Roxy’s twin separated at manufacturing). To top it all off, she is wicked nice. When I started this, I asked her help. I had never met her, just looked up to her. Without question, she said yes. I will be forever grateful. Sometimes someone we have never come face to face with, can make all of the difference in our life.

This weekend for me, is full. I don’t mean busy. I mean FULL. One of those weekends where I have to schedule time to breathe. I love those weekends. I had it scheduled, breaths and all. Tuesday thru Sunday, down to the moment. Until I drove 100 miles to pick up Punk for Prep Team. While changing her shoes, I noticed her ankle was swollen. Immediately my mind when dark places, sprains, breaks and all sorts of bad things. Straight to the doctor. He confirmed she has something called cellulitis. It came from a bug bite that she scratched and got infected. We caught it in time, but had to watcher her very carefully because it can spread to her blood stream. She isn’t supposed to walk on it. So in addition to being at the doctors most of the afternoon, I now could not get any of the supplies I needed for the week ahead. But what I DID get was a super snuggly Punk. One of those rare days where she needed me. I sang her the Christopher Robin Song that I sang to her as a baby, and she burst into tears not wanting to grow up. She itched a lot last night, so I let her have some ice cream out of the carton with some home made Hot Fudge Sauce (recipe in the next post!) and I let her stay up with me and watch the Olympic Gymnastics. It was worth it. Sometimes snuggles help antibiotics!!

Here is a photo of her before Prep Team, putting on her brave face!