Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday

It's time for Five on Friday again! Here is a SUPER RANDOM post but all fun things!

Hudson has loved taking pictures this week. He will do something cute or sit down and say, "Mommy! Cheese a picture!" These are horrible of me but I just love the faces he's making.

Exactly 1 year ago today, John and I came to Birmingham for his first set of interviews at our church. I can't believe it has been a year since we made a secret trip (only our parents knew) and left our babies to go and see if God was calling us to a new place. I am so glad we listened. This is the very first picture I took in Birmingham and it's of our church.

My brother is getting married in April and we just got their wedding invitation in the mail and it's the most beautiful wedding invitation I've ever seen. It is printed on wood. WOOD. And then wrapped in this gorgeous lace. 

And the calligraphy on the envelopes is just beautiful. 

Check out the Lemon Pound Cake recipe I posted yesterday! It's perfect for spring...March is tomorrow!

Speaking of spring...I've bought a couple new pairs of wedges in the last month that I'm in love with. 

I got these from Nordstrom. They are SO lightweight and comfy. I love them.

And I picked these up at Target. They are so cute especially for $29!

Happy Friday, y'all! Linking up here!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lemon Pound Cake

I love lemon. And lime. And orange. Really anything citrus. During the fall and winter I love all things pumpkin, spicy, and rich. When it starts warming up I love lighter (in flavor not calories) desserts. 

I saw this recipe in Southern Living a couple months ago and new I had to try it. The original recipe was "Lemon Lime Pound Cake" but I wanted to do just lemon. I added more zest and made a couple other small changes and the result was fantastic! I had 1 bite and then sent the rest to John's office. :)

If you love lemon then you have to try this lemon pound cake. It's perfectly dense, moist, and rich...just how a pound cake should be.

Lemon Pound Cake
adapted from Southern Living

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Sprite or 7-Up
Shortening & flour for greasing pan
Lemon Glaze
Candied Lemons

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with a stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat at medium speed 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in lemon zest and extracts.

Add flour to butter mixture alternately with Sprite, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased (with shortening) and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil after 45 to 50 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove cake from pan to wire rack.

Spoon Lemon Glaze over warm or room temperature cake. Top cake with Candied Lemons.

Lemon Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
3 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, in a bowl until blended and smooth.

Candied Lemons

3 medium lemons
4 cups water
2 cups sugar

Cut lemons into 1/8-inch-thick slices; discard seeds. Stir together water and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a light boil, stirring just until sugar dissolves. Add lemons; reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer 45 minutes or until rinds are very soft and lemons are translucent, turning lemons every 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in a single layer on a wire rack. Cool completely.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#woodslifeeveryday2014 week 8

So...does anyone else feel like it should already be Friday? I don't know why but this week is so slow. Not in a bad just doesn't feel like Wednesday. Anyway, here's what we were up to this week.

Day 50: Hudson was chasing Emma around the backyard with this rope yelling, "I gonna gatch you!"

Day 51: Emma James turned 16 months old today! Hudson was 16 months old when she was born. So crazy! 

Day 52: It was a beautiful day and we had a fun morning and lunch. I love these three so very much.

Day 53: my boys went to the zoo together today and had a blast!

Day 54: we had the Chapel Choir freshman and officers over for lunch after church today. It was so fun and Hudson and Emma loved all of the friends that came over.

Day 55: lemon pound cake with lemon glaze and candied lemons. {recipe coming soon!}

Day 56: this is the face she gave me when I started dancing while trying to cook dinner. ha!

Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Valentine's Weekend {a little late!}

Well this post is just a little late! ha! In my defense, Hudson didn't celebrate Valentine's day at school until the 18th because of snow. ;)

Emma woke up demanding bows and her necklaces. One bow was not enough. Love her sassiness!

For lunch on Valentine's day we went out to eat and then got Yogurt Mountain for dessert. These 3 loved it.

We had a low key Valentine's night. John and I went out on a date the night before but our tradition for Valentine's day is to make homemade pizza after the kids go to bed. So before bed that night Hudson was having a grand time with stickers.

This year we made a white pizza. It was so delicious! I also think I've finally perfected our crust recipe. I have one more change I am going to make the next time and then I will post it. I've already posted it 2 times but this might really be the final one. :)

This pizza had italian sausage, mushrooms sautéed with fresh thyme and then marsala wine, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic infused oil, and Italian herbs. SO GOOD!

And for dessert, I picked up a couple of these fruit tarts from Whole Foods. These are the best fruit tarts ever. 

For Hudson's valentines this year I saw this idea on Pinterest so I decided to recreate it. Super simple!

Hudson was so excited about going back to school that day and for his "valemimes" party. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Our Weekend

Hey, y'all! Happy Monday! We had a wonderful weekend. It was busy but good. :)

On Friday we ran a couple errands and then went to lunch. These guys just love their daddy so much.

After lunch we went into Books-a-Million for a little bit so they could play and look at books.

Hudson kept pointing to that picture of the little girl on the wall and saying "girl is pretty!"

Friday night the kids and I stayed home and John had a kids event at church that he led worship for.

Saturday John and Hudson went to the zoo. Hudson was SO EXCITED about his zoo adventure with daddy!

These little cutout things at the zoo are probably Hudson's favorite attraction. When he climbs up he makes the noise of whatever the animal is. Hilarious!

Hudson found this locked gate and picked up a stick to try and pick the lock. How on earth did he learn this!?!

Saturday night John and I went out with some friends for Brittany's birthday. Sadly I forgot to take any pictures but we had a great time!

The kids and I stayed home from church on Sunday because we were having the freshman from Chapel Choir and the officers over for lunch and I needed to cook. After lunch they were having a little meeting so I put Emma down for her nap and then Hudson got to sit on our bed watching a movie on the iPad and eating some ice cream. Tough life.

There were about 35 students in our tiny house! But we loved it and they are so wonderful.

I hope y'all had a great weekend!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday! I hope y'all have had a great week. Our week finally felt normal again and we had some warmer temps that put us all in great moods! Here's a random look into our week. :)

On Sunday I subbed for one of Emma's Sunday school teachers. When it was time for the lesson, the other teacher sat down and shook the sleeve of Saltines and ALL of the kids ran over to her and sat down. But they didn't ask for a cracker yet. They knew they would listen to the Bible story first and then get a cracker. I was in shock! Ha! I know the Pavlov's Dogs experiment all too well having a degree in psychology but seeing my almost 16 month old sit still and listen to a story was so sweet for my mama heart. 

Emma has just a little bit of a personality. She has this new stink eye. Well stink face. When she doesn't get her way or is mad she will let you know for sure. She was doing it the other day but when I tried to take a picture of it, she flashed her sweet smile. Oh this girl!

But later that evening I got a picture of it. haha!

My sweet boy LOVES LOVES helping in the kitchen. It's a little more work for me and takes me a little more time to cook dinner, but he has become a MUCH better eater because of this! He knows not to touch the stove and knives and is just so sweet when he's in there with me. 

Yesterday I was trying to get some things done around the house after taking Hudson to school and Emma was a major clinger. She was fussy and only wanted to be held. Enter The Lorax. I turned it on and she got SO EXCITED. Toddler Xanax. I know it's not the best practice to put your kid in front of the TV so no judgies. Sometimes you do what you gotta do. :)

One of Hudson's teachers sent all the parents a Shutterfly album with pictures they've taken recently. I am so in love with this sweet face. On another note, anyone know how to decently save a picture from a Shutterfly album? Obviously this isn't the best quality.

Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Emma :: 16 months old

Emma James,

You are 16 months old! I can't believe you are the same age that Hudson was when you were born! This is so so strange. Ha! I thought Hudson was SO BIG when he was 16 months old and you still seem like such a baby some days. But other days you are such a toddler. I guess that's just this age. :)

You are SO BUSY ALL THE TIME. You rarely sit still...unless The Lorax is on. The only other shows you really like are Yo Gabba Gabba, Strawberry Shortcake, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You love your babies and rock them all the time. The sweetest thing. When I drop you off in the nursery, the first thing you do is go and find the babies and those keep you entertained the whole time I'm gone. Love that!

You are still doing great without your paci during the day. There have definitely been a couple days this month that I've given it to you because I couldn't take the fussing. You had about 5 days of brutal teething and you got your paci anytime you wanted during those days. You call your paci, "pass." You have 8 teeth total. 6 on top (including 2 molars) and still just 2 on the bottom! haha!

You and Hudson play so well together. Y'all love to chase each other, build block towers, and play cars together. Hudson also loves to play with your picnic basket and you steal the food from him. Watching y'all play together is one of my greatest joys. Y'all also know how to annoy and fight with each other too. :)

You weigh 23.5 pounds and are 30 inches tall. You are slowing growing but I like that you are petite. You're just perfect! You've also started wearing bows like a big girl this month. You can't wear big ones because they are too heavy but you have a couple of smaller bows that we can clip in your hair. You just look so cute!

Emma, we love you so so much. You are just the perfect little toddler and we love watching you grow and learn every day. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#woodslifeeveryday2014 week 7

Day 43: Waiting on the snow. Doing all the puzzles. Ready for spring.

Day 44: By this point, they were done with the snow! But the sled John built was a lot of fun!

Day 45: a Valentine's Day lunch with my favorite people followed by Yogurt Mountain for dessert. I love my valentines!

Day 46: It's amazing how many games you can play with sugar packets while you wait for dinner. Easy way to entertain a 2 year old!

Day 47: E&B came over for dinner and Hudson was so excited to have his BFF here.

Day 48: he'd been "paying letters" for over an hour!

Day 49: Emma was in the happiest mood! We were all thankful for the sunshine and warmer weather. Visiting daddy at work and taking a walk that morning put us all in great moods!

I can't believe we only have a little over a week left in February! This year is already flying by!

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