73 In Life

October in November

Hello patient blog readers! My goodness life has apparently taken over the time I used to have for blogging. What on earth has happened to me? I certainly want to update more than once or twice a month. How did I used to blog several times a week? Times have changed, our little children are growing so fast right before my eyes and I’ve been busy with them, trying to cherish every moment. I know the time I have with them at home is so fleeting, its hard to make computer-time any kind of priority. On the other hand, I want to record these precious moments that we have together. I need to find a balance between the two… or maybe I just need to find a house keeper! 🙂


First, today is Morgan’s 7th Birthday! I am so thankful for her sweet life, what a blessing this angel is to our family. Smart, sweet, helpful, and kind! She wanted a horse for her birthday… being the good parents we are, we got her one.


I’m so thankful that my sleepy eyes aren’t in this picture! Besides liking horses, she’s also into being “teacher”. It’s funny how often she and Paige remind me of Erika and me. I often send Erika text pictures of the girls and say, “Look, it’s Darby & Erika!” I’ve also been reminded lately that I do things that my mom used to do… like raid their Halloween candy loot for Almond Joys. Would you believe that NONE of them got a single Almond Joy! All that trick-or-treating for nothing!

So, back to the teacher business. I was shopping at Claire’s and spotted some “fake” glasses. I could not resist. Erika, Cousin, and I used to wear fake glasses {from Claire’s} when we were little so when I saw them I knew the girls would love them. I figured every “teacher” needed glasses and I couldn’t leave her pupil out. This is about how excited they were about their glasses…


This certainly wasn’t the stellar response that I was hoping for. I’m sure my pre-gift-opening pep talk of, “I got you something you’re going to love,” didn’t help! They were like, “Sunglasses? You got us sunglasses?” I was all, “No girls, these are fake glasses, aren’t the cool!?” Then I had to beg them to put them on for a picture. Thank goodness they were on the $1 rack. I feel certain they’ll realize how fun they are really soon!

Here’s our teacher in action and we’re still waiting for her to give Paige a turn at being teacher.


Do you see that table behind Paige & JM? That’s the coffee table. Here at the rental house we’ve had improvise a “play area” in this little space in the back of the family room. So, the coffee table has become JM’s “town” as he calls it. We’re not sure if he has a future in city planning or hoarding.



The scary thing is he knows if something is out of place!

In other things to report, the girls were chosen from their classes to ride in our town’s old firetruck for a parade during Red Ribbon Week. My kindergartener & 1st grader are both proud to be drug free, and Morgan told me she had better things to do than drugs. I won’t get on a soapbox about teaching kindergarteners & 1st graders about drugs. I tried to tell myself that sadly in our world there are some kindergartners & 1st graders out there who do know about drug abuse and hopefully educating them about the dangers is beneficial to their little souls. I really just tried to be thankful that at this point in their lives they are clueless about drugs.



One night I roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar & maple syrup…


Justin walked in from work and said the house smelled like a “dead mammal”. Awesome! Eat up! 🙂 Thankfully they tasted way better than they smelled. I read sooo many recipes, have heard rave reviews and not a single person mentioned that your house would smell like a “dead mammal”. They taste like baby cabbages, so I’m not sure why I didn’t realize they’d smell like them too.

Being at the beach in the fall looks a little different than it does in the summer. We’ve been enjoying beautiful sunsets and had  great “family” night this past weekend, it included a “bonfire”, freshly caught fried fish, and s’mores.







Speaking of fresh fish, I think this may be the most hilarious fish I’ve seen Justin pull from the bay! It’s a Sheepshead, it looks awesome and tastes even better!



With these killer braces my teeth might be straighter than his now!

Speaking of fishing, this is how Paige fishes. She has a new friend, Georgia, who let Paige borrow a few “ballerina” outfits for Halloween. Paige wore them everyday until Halloween and for Halloween!


Justin’s also been diligently baiting our crab traps, and he patiently steams & cleans the crabs so we can enjoy unbelievably good crab cakes! {I used Paula Deen’s recipe with far less oil in the pan and omitted the green pepper} They’re a delicious labor of love!


I took JM to the dentist last week to have a cavity filled. He was a total champion! His reward was a matchbox car & trip to the farmer’s market where we enjoyed a lunch of boiled peanuts & satsumas!!!



I’m pretty sure that brings us to Halloween…


We have a farmer, a ballerina, and a fireman. And it looks like our fireman has a fake head. Not sure how he pulled that one off, no pun intended.

We hit a local neighborhood where the homes are close together and aren’t vacated {a common occurrence when you live at the beach}…






We were even fortunate to meet up with some of our new friends!


Then we came home and analyzed the loot and broke the news that they couldn’t eat it before bed.





I believe that brings me up to speed! Time to get busy preparing for a weekend celebrating 7 years of life for Morgan back at the brown house!!

13 In tshirts



I just put the short & long sleeved owl-o-ween tees on sale at Honey Bee Tees! We {or should I say, Lindsey} ships super quick and if you order today it should be to you within just a few days and in time for all your Halloween festivities!!

The fall fun isn’t over yet… we also have sweet tee pee t-shirts!! These are perfect for Thanksgiving & year  round for your little cowboys and indians!


47 In Recipes

Pumpkin Bread & Brownies

Hello folks, hope this finds you well this Monday! I have two recipes to share with you today. Both come from my friend Tami and are what I deem share-worthy! Also included below is a coupon code from the kind folks at Kelapo who sell fantastic coconut oil and other coconut oil products!


Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

In the past I’ve had a hard time getting great results when I bake exclusively with whole wheat flour. It’s usually a challenge to get a smooth texture, as the whole wheat flour tends to be a little more “gritty”, turning out sorta dense baked goods.  Well this recipe is certainly the exception!

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour {I used King Arthur’s organic}
1 1/2 cups sugar {I used organic evaporated cane juice sugar}
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients.


1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
4 eggs
1 cup coconut oil {I used Kelapo and warmed it so that it was a liquid, this take just a few seconds in microwave}
2/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Mix wet ingredients.


Pour wet ingredients in the center of dry.  Mix together until well incorporated.
Pour into 3 bread pans that have been greased & floured.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-1 hr, until a knife comes out clean.


As I mentioned above, the folks at Kelapo have set up a promo code for y’all to use! Use code “FTOW20” (case sensitive) and you will receive 20% off your order valid through 11/10/11.  They also have a great page dedicated to recipes with coconut oil.

Now, back to that pumpkin bread… it’s delicious by itself, but it may be even better when topped with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese.


I got the idea when I saw Marla frost a cake with cream cheese sweetened with maple syrup. I couldn’t whip some up fast enough to spread on the pumpkin bread. This is what I came up with:

Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread

8 ounces of cream cheese {softened to room temperature}
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a couple drops of vanilla
3 Tablespoons real maple syrup {or more to your liking}

Whip cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Mix in cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. {You can add more maple syrup but my opinion is 3 T is just right sweetness-wise.} Refrigerate until set and the best part is it’s always spreadable even straight from the fridge.

 Next up…


Health Nut Brownies {aka Paleo}

This is my new “go-to” brownie recipe. It’s officially a “paleo/caveman” recipe, but I think “health nut” sounds more timeless and fitting since the main ingredient is almond butter. Just in case the paleo trend dies, I’m hoping my “health nut” brownies won’t die with it! Again, this recipe is from my friend Tami and they are delicious… no one can tell they’re flourless!

16 oz of almond butter {this is about a jar + 1/3 of jar, I use creamy
2 eggs
1 cup honey {don’t scrimp}
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 of a 3.5 ounce dark chocolate bar {I use 70% cocoa}, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

Using mixer blend almond butter, eggs, & honey. Add in cocoa powder, salt, & baking soda. Fold in chopped dark chocolate. Spread into a greased {glass has best results} 9×13 pan & bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Just to be sure we’re clear… this brownie recipe calls for no sugar and no flour. Until you try it, you’re gonna have to believe me that they taste divine!




And since they’re healthy, I like to serve them warm with chocolate coconut milk ice cream {which you can even find at Walmart now!}