Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Life lately

We are enjoying our last day of vacation!!! And rather than whine about not wanting to go home, I will leave you with a few pics of our last few days ... 


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Citrus Sangria

The abundance of citrus trees at our fingertips is one of my favorite parts about our family home in Palm Springs. Maybe it's because citrus trees are pretty non existent in our area, but nevertheless we had a nightly patio happy hour featuring cocktails using fresh squeezed juice. One favorite? Citrus sangria! I can't wait to make it again this summer - and even though our citrus will be purchased rather than freshly picked, I still think it'll be a delicious treat.

Citrus Sangia - makes one pitcher
1 bottle red wine
1/3 cup brandy
1/4 cup triple sec
2 Tbl fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbl fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 orange thinly sliced 
1/2 lemon thinly sliced 
Sparkling lemon lime soda, such as 7-Up

Combine all but the soda. Cover and let chill in refrigerator, 2+ hours. Add soda when ready to serve. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday morning sunshine

There's just something about a Monday on vacation that isn't so bad. Toes
 at the edge of the pool and coffee in hand?? Yes, please!! If you aren't sick of my vacation pics yet, then continue on (and follow along on my Instagram, @kkgisme). 

I can already tell that it's going to be hard to pack up and head home in a few days.  

We've been continuing our relaxing getaway with slow mornings and happy hours in the afternoon. During our happy hour, the kids "perform" various made up songs while hopping on a mini trampoline. If that isn't quality entertainment, I don't know what is!!

Hope you all had a nice weekend!!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Names & Personalities

I posted earlier this week about baby names and how we chose our kids' names, but it got me to thinking - have you ever learned a person's name and thought "YES, that person does seem like a _____."

Long ago, we played this funny game in my office (it was an office of all 20-30 something women if that tells you anything), where we decided what name each girl looked like (like if you had to guess someone's name just by looking at them). They decided I looked like a "Courtney" or "Brooke." Ha!! So fun. Do you feel like your name "fits" you?

I love looking up horoscopes and name charts, and this link totally caught my attention! First name meanings! 

For instance, here's what it says for "Kaitlin" - 

"Generally cautious and wary, but this isn't always obvious since they appear cheerful and light-hearted most of the time (true!). However, they are actually quite introverted (true again!) and tend to keep their problems to themselves. They like to show their best side and hate to bother others with their problems. This could mean that their external appearance contrasts with their true personality and they seem more easy-going than they really are. 

They were born on the 4th, 13th, 22nd (ding ding!), or 31st of the month." 

This is so true for me, AND, I was born on the 22nd.

What does it say for your name? Is it spot on? Do you think names can influence our personalities? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Brunch Menu

As we're away enjoying the desert sunshine and not-so-fancy menus, I wanted to share a very "Pinterest" inspired brunch we hosted recently. Although, wouldn't you know in the haste of hosting I didn't take many great pictures. I did, however, want to share the recipes. It was a nice mix of make-ahead and simple items that were filling and delicious.

Crustless Quiche
Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake
Sweet Potato Hash
Mixed berries

Grant's been on a "meatless" kick lately, so normally we would have had bacon or sausage as well but it wasn't too noticeably missed ;)

I made the coffee cake cake first thing in the morning before our guests arrived and prepped the others so I could just pop them in the oven.

Here are the recipes I based mine off of:

Spinach, Mushroom, Feta Crustless Quiche (Mine actually had mushrooms, cheddar, green onions and cherry tomatoes instead, so I could use up items I already had - the nice thing about this recipe is you can put whatever you want in it!)

Spinach Mushroom Crustless Quiche

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Sweet potato hash

These Sweet Potato Home Fries are simple and absolutely delicious.

What's your go-to brunch menu? I always try to make as much in advance as possible, so I love "overnight" stratas and make-ahead sweets, but this menu was pretty good as well.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Baby Names!

Today I'm linking up with Momfessionals for "Show & Tell Tuesdays." Today's topic? How you chose your baby names! I LOVE baby names. I'm actually kind of weird about names and nothing's harder than choosing a name for your own child! I was never one of those gals that had her baby names planned in advance. In fact, I couldn't even narrow it down or choose until after our babies were born! We had short lists, but we didn't have the name planned and shared until after we saw them.

So, here's how we chose!

LILA VICTORIA. (meaning - "night," "dark beauty")

Our darling girl. We knew both of our kids' genders before they were born, so at least that narrowed the choices down. For her, I wanted a vintage name with no associated nicknames (fun fact, most of my family members have always called me "Katie" although nobody else does, including Grant). We actually chose her middle name first - Victoria is Grant's sister's name and we just love her, so that was an easy choice for the middle name. The "L" names seem to be popular for girls now - Lila/Lola/Layla/Lily, etc. Lila was apparently a top name in the 1800s and again is now in the top 100. I liked that it was simple, easy to spell and pronounce and I think it's pretty. Also on our list for first names was Violet. I thought "Violet Victoria" would be pretty. Grant's top choice was "Fiona." He was 100% sold on that from day 1, and if I'd left it up to him that would have been her name. I do like that name but it wasn't "the one" right away for me. We decided to wait until after she was born to choose, so we went to the hospital with either Lila or Fiona as the final choice. After she was born, my doctor said "So, what's her name?" I looked at Grant and said "Well?" (I was so tired at that point I deferred to him!). He said "it's Lila" - and I can't image her with any other name!

OWEN GRANT. (meaning - "young warrior," "well born")

The sweet boy! Before we knew if Owen was a girl or boy, I assumed he'd be a girl since we already had one, and figured we could repurpose Fiona or Violet. I also liked "Cora" for a girl (ala Downton Abbey!). I  had NO clue on boy names. Then we found out it was a boy - uh oh. We didn't even talk names for a long time. Then I had an idea - Leo!! I loved Leo and Lila together. Short, no nicknames, not too popular, and I thought it was so cute. Grant hated it. Boo. So, back to the drawing board. Grant really wanted him to have a "G" name so he'd have "GG" initials like Grant does. But ... we couldn't find any "G" names we liked ... at first, I thought Gavin would be a cute option, but for some reason it just didn't seem like the perfect choice. Finally, we made a short list. It had - Owen, which I'd always liked. I also loved Harrison and Henry. I also considered pairing those together as first/middle name options - Henry Harrison or Harrison Henry. I loved both of those choices. We went back and forth and ultimately chose Owen. We gave him his Papa's name as his middle name. After he was born I tried calling him Harrison a few times to try it out ... I still really like that name!!

There won't be any more Goodall babes so no more naming for us! But if any of you need any help I LOVE researching baby  names for other people!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pure Bliss

Palm Springs California


Just checking in from the desert sunshine. Vacation is pure bliss, isn't it? Waking up with no work to do, coffee on a sunshiney patio, warm desert air, fresh squeezed OJ from the tree on the porch, two wild toddlers running around squealing with glee, and nothing on the agenda but a day by the pool.

Hope you all are having a great Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

So long for now!

Anna Bond is President, Co-Owner, and Creative Director of Rifle Paper Co., an international stationery and gift brand based in Winter Park Florida

We're off today for a glorious 10 day vacation in the California sunshine!! I am SO ready for some R&R. This week was not the best. Grant was gone on a work trip from early Sunday through late last night and on Sunday Lila came down with the stomach flu and was SICK all week. She's finally on the mend, but she'd never been sick like that before, and as you can image (great visual), a toddler with the stomach flu is NOT pleasant! Poor girl!! 

I'm looking forward to sunshine ... books ... pool ... breakfasts on the patio ... fresh oranges ... fresh grapefruits ... long walks ... fresh air ... NO WORK ... did I mention sunshine? 

I'll be checking in here along the way and have a few other fun posts scheduled for next week, but otherwise hope you  have great weeks and are prepared in advance to see probably way too many of our vacation photos!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I'm in packing mode this week to get ready for our trip (yes, I'm the type that packs as far in advance as possible). It's crazy how much "stuff" we always end up bringing for the kids. The nice thing about staying in a house with a washer/dryer and Target closeby, forgetting something isn't the end of the world. 

I put all of the kids' stuff in one large soft-sided carryon. I still have a few things to pack, but the essentials - water wings, ice cream and donut floaties, and a princess snorkel mask, are ready to go. ;)

I'm slowly packing my stuff as well ... I always overpack and this year I don't want to. I'm trying to pack just the essentials - a few sundresses, lightweight tops, pair of jean shorts, sandals and of course, a couple bathing suits.

Just need to throw in a few more things and we'll be all set! 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

In my quest to be more prepared for dinnertime, I made this delicious and easy chicken pot pie recipe recently and threw both of them in the freezer. So - full disclosure, I did not try the finished product of this batch, however our sweet neighbors made this for us when Owen was born and I immediately asked for the recipe. She used turkey, which was also delicious, but we always have chicken on hand so that's what I used. (Also, I had several cups of the filling leftover and ate it plain - and it was delicious!! Which actually is a semi-healthier way to eat a pot pie, however, the pie crust is the best part so forget that idea!)

Chicken Pot Pie makes two pies
4 frozen pie crusts (I bought two "two packs" - you actually use two of the crusts upside down as the top of the pie crust. You could also make your own ... (and if you have time for that, good for you!) 
Three chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I cooked mine in the crockpot, frozen in chicken broth, on high for four hours). 
2 cups potatoes, diced into small bite sized pieces
2 cups carrots, diced into small bite sized pieces
1 can peas
1 can corn kernels
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
2 sticks butter (yeah you read that right - ignore it, this is comfort food!)
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes and carrots until they are tender. Then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, put both sticks of butter into a large saute pan/pot). Add the onions. Once soft, add the flour, milk and chicken broth and stir constantly. Once it's thick, add some salt and pepper to your heart's desire. Lower heat and add peas, corn, potatoes, carrots and chicken. Mix well!

Then, fill your pie crusts (I actually had a lot of leftover "filling" so you could potentially even do a third pie if you don't overfill your crusts). Once full, place the two remaining crusts on top (upside-down). Cut four "slits" in the top.

If you're ready to cook now, put in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes (after 45 minutes, check the crust to make sure it's not too brown - you may need to cook for another 10 minutes or so).

I froze mine. TO freeze, the recipe says to top with foil and wrap in plastic wrap. When ready to bake, don't thaw first. Remove plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter while your oven heats to 425. Cook for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 and bake another hour and 15 minutes or so until the crust is golden brown.

Write those instructions right on the pie for easy use when ready to cook!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Good Morning!

Motivate Me Monday- Sick Days

Trying to stay positive around here and think happy thoughts! As if we hadn't been hit hard enough lately, Lila started puking yesterday. H-E-L-P!!! And Grant is out of town on a work trip. If there were a magic "reset button" to push, I would hit it over and over.Thankfully, we made it through the day and I'm hoping it was just a 24 hour thing that nobody else catches. 

Deep breaths - we'll be on vacation soon. 

Anyway! Despite our Sunday, the rest of the weekend was enjoyable! 

We had a little Thai food and despite my dedication to coffee, I ordered a Thai iced tea. If you haven't had one, you must try - they are creamy, sweet and delicious! The ginger salad wasn't bad either (not pictured, two giant platters of Thai noodles. 

On Saturday we had a "bulk celebration" with Grant's family to celebrate several birthdays this month. We feasted on brunch, drank lots of coffee and even played in the yard. 

I've always wished I were a morning person. I've never been one to spring out of bed despite my wishes. However, this weekend, I got up and ready early to get brunch going. A little Saturday morning baking? Yes! 

And got a crustless quiche in the oven ... 

And of course, playing in the yard is pure joy!

Sunday there wasn't much time for pictures ... Lila made it to the park in the morning before getting sick, and this sweet girl, who ALWAYS drags her feet when it's time to go inside actually asked to go home after about 10 minutes. And since we weren't quite ready to go yet, she then sat on a park bench and watched until Owen was ready to go! That should have been my first clue - poor girl felt so crummy! 

Sunday night, this was my view - bathtub, last week's People (yes, I'm behind), and Easter candy. Much needed after a not-so-enjoyable day. 

Hope you all had a great weekend!!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Favs!

Needed to be added, especially that it's just 12:14 on a boring Monday afternoon. #Monday #quotes #Friday
why yes, yes it is!! (image)

Happy Friday!! It's feelin' like spring around here and I just love it! Open windows, sunshine, warm breezes. It's the best. ALSO! This is the final countdown to our vacation! Hooray!

This weekend we're having a family brunch to celebrate many April birthdays and then Grant is leaving on a work trip bright and early Sunday so this Mama will be flying solo with two crazy kiddos. #sendhelp

Here's what we've been up to this week...

+ Summer Nights. Ok, so it's not summer yet but we've been having such nice weather that every night after dinner we head to the yard to play. It's so nice and the kids love it! It's also nice for them to get a big dose of fresh air before bed - puts them right to sleep! 

+ SICK of being sick. I tell ya. This winter, Lila's first in preschool, has been BRUTAL! Here I am, finally going to the walk in clinic this week after having the WORST cold ever going on 10+ days. They even made me wear a mask! I must have looked fabulous ;) The worst part? I was diagnosed with "a bad cold on top of another cold." Aka, nothing to help. Thankfully it's FINALLY going away, but I noticed Lila was a bit sniffly again this morning. UGH! Anyone have any tips to fend off the preschool germs? 

+ Tulips! Every spring we have beautiful purple tulips bloom in our lower yard and every year I get so excited when they  seemingly appear overnight!! 

+ Vacations. Speaking of vacations, in anticipation of heading there next week, earlier this week I shared one of my favorite family getaways we do every year. There's always something special about somewhere you've gone for years, and it's my happy place!

+ Cheeese! Owen's officially a goofball and loves to make people laugh. Here he was chewing his sweet potatoes all crazy and then LAUGHING so hard he got really bad hiccups! It's just so fun to be a toddler! 

+ Coffee Treat. The other day Lila "begged" for a Happy Meal for dinner. Grant wasn't home, so I figured what the heck. While we were there, I decided to get my own treat - a blended coffee!! Gasp! From McDonalds? The coffee snob in me does not approve ...however, I must admit - it actually was pretty good and only $2! I won't be adding this to my weekly coffee trips anytime soon, but when in Rome, right? 

Hope you have a nice weekend!!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Random Musings

Happy Thursday! In my sick stupor this week, I've come to realize many things - the main one being that Moms don't get sick days. Especially when you have sick kids. AND, that really, "corporate America" doesn't allow for a sick day. If you're home sick/not working, you're just more behind at work when you come back. So, despite trying to push through I've allowed myself a bit more zone out time on Pinterest ... Here are some random confessions/musings/facts/funnies that have caught my eye recently. 

... I love this! I feel this way about my fam.

I hope you had a great mothers day mom! You mean the world to me! I love you! @Sandra Pendle Pendle Pendle Vanderbeck Heyrich Khan.

... contemplating this hair color ... too blonde?


... using spaghetti squash or "zucchini noodles" in place of pasta just doesn't cut it for me. I've tried. I prefer something like this.

Creamy, cheesy packed chicken Alfredo pasta bake with three kinds of cheese and plenty to go around. Lots of gooey, stringy cheese in this fall casserole!

... this menu is hilarious! I feel like this is 90% of restaurants now.

... I hate the term "bae" ... I mean, what is that? An abbreviation for babe?

... I like to pretend we're real-life friends with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, and like, get invited to their dinner parties. 

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon  behind-the-scenes of Sunday's Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary special

... for me, this is my ideal lifestyle

Best Caribbean Resorts and Hotels: Galley Bay Resort & Spa: On the World’s Best List, Galley Bay Resort & Spa sits on 40 tropical acres fronted by a three-mile-long stretch of sugary sand. Stately acacia-wood furniture adorns the 98 rooms, which have vaulted ceilings and offer perks like outdoor showers or private plunge pools. The all-inclusive rate includes drinks at three romantic bars and meals at three restaurants. See the resort’s lagoon and bird sanctuary.

.... or this. 

12 of the Most Anticipated Books of 2015, aka the Titles We Can't Get Our Hands On Soon Enough

... and in terms of my classic style ... this ... 

Haha ....  as i sit here in my yoga pants.  All i need is some wine

... or really, this. 

Oh so very true.

to Top