Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

We have two roaring dinosaurs in our house today! The kids just love their costumes. I think these are going to be nice additions to our dress-up clothes. I'd have to say the pattern (Simplicity 1765A) is great and fits the kids just right. Their feet did get wet a bit, as we did trick-or-treat after it rained, but if it had been a dry street, there wouldn't have been any complaints. Juliana had to carry her tail as she walked so it wouldn't drag. If I made this again for a smaller size, I would somehow try to shrink the tail size. 

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mis Abuelos Coffee Finca

{getting ready for a tour this morning}

{coffee from the recent harvest}

{beans ready for some water to soak the outer covering off}

{after soaking and drying, the cherries are crushed in this machine}

{pulp from crushing the cherry fermenting on the hillside with chickens enjoying it}

{the Burns Jubilee Roaster, new to the farm six months ago}

{grinding the coffee before bagging and sending it to local grocery stores}

{owner feeding the chickens some cooked rice}

{coffee plant nursery}
{Juliana found a cherry in the driveway from the recent picking season}

This morning our friend Laura brought us up into the hills of Mayaguez to about 1000 feet elevation to where her neighbor owns a coffee farm, Mis Abuelos. It didn't take that long to drive up there, maybe 20 minutes. We had a lovely visit and a beautiful view looking across the mountains towards the ocean. We had a casual look around and saw them grinding coffee that was destined to the grocery stores along the west coast of Puerto Rico. We left with three bags of coffee beans to try out.

(Want to visit? Mis Abuelos Coffee, CARR 354, Km. 5.5, Bo. Rio Canas, Mayaguez, 787-265-2521)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Almost Done

I finished the body of Juliana's Triceratops costume. One more day to finish the hood and gloves. I've been so happy with my new sewing machine during this project. It does a great mattress stitch around all the applique. And my little dinosaur is quite the model!

Monday, October 27, 2014

One Down, One to Go

I'm definitely missing the thrift stores that we frequented so much in the US. When Halloween comes around, costumes are so easy to find for the little ones. There are lots of cheap ones in the stores here, but they are so flimsy. I decided to see if I could find a pattern for a costume and found this fun Simplicity pattern (1765A) with dinosaurs for Pieter. I figured Juliana could wear one of her fairy dresses. Well, when she saw me making Pieter's stegosaurus costume, she decided she really wanted one, too. I see a few late nights for me this week! Her mantra is "Make my costume!"

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chocolate Chili Spiced Nuts

Chocolate Chili Spiced Pecans, a delightful new recipe I just found. Walnuts are much easier to find here in Puerto Rico than pecans, so that is what my batch was made from. Go make these right now. They are that good! The caramelized goodness is making it hard to keep them from disappearing around here. Oh, and the better news? They are spicy, so only the adults in this house want them! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

French Toast

Just up the street from our home is a small panaderĂ­a where we having been indulging in fresh bread and the occasional treats. I sure do wish they used some whole grains in the their baking so I wouldn't feel so guilty about bringing it home. One thing I've enjoyed making more often now is French Bread. It is such a quick and easy breakfast if you have a loaf of french bread and a few yummy eggs on the counter. Making this is so straight forward it almost seems silly to write up a recipe, but it might be nice for someone that hasn't made any in a while.

French Toast
6-8 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk, cream or a mixture of both
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 loaf french bread

  • Beat together all the ingredients except for the bread
  • Slice the bread into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • Dip the bread on both sides, soak for a bit if necessary (not too long or the inside of the bread will not cook through). 
  • Cook both sides in frying pan with a little bit of butter over medium-low heat.

I've had a hard time taking pictures of everyday life lately. Just picking up the camera throughout the day and capturing those moments. Here is my resolve for starting over, trying harder, new habits. Pieter woke up this morning and had a hankering for wearing jeans again and his cowboy boots. We'll see how long those warm pants last on him today as the mercury creeps upward.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Surfing at Dogmans Beach

{Melissa and Jojo paddling for another wave}

{uncovering some driftwood}

{the kids loved playing with these hermit crabs}

{the girls enjoying some Cardamon Streusel Coffee Cake}

We've been so fortunate to find a small playgroup with some other moms in Rincon. It has been really nice to get to know other people in the area. One amazing mama that we've met is Melissa, owner of Puntas Surf School. She and her partner Nolan took us, and another family that we've met through the playgroup, out surfing yesterday at Dogmans Beach. This was a first for both Ben and I. It was so great to get out there are get over the fear of it. While I never stood up on the board, I had a few nice rides on the waves. And the paddling. Oh, the paddling. What a workout! I tried keeping up and Melissa, in her second trimester, would give me a push and even pulled me along for a little bit. She is amazing! And what wonderful instructors Melissa and Nolan are! Before we even made it home our ribs were hurting and my shoulders sure did protest this morning. I looked at Ben this morning over breakfast and asked him where he was sore. He responded with "where am I not?" That about sums it up! My thought on the matter was that I am so glad I'm not a tourist and I don't have to go out and do it again today. A bit of a rest before the next outing is good thing. 

While we took turns out in the water, the kids had a great time playing. We watched pelican, after pelican dive into the water head first for fish. Sand castles with moats were made to trap some hermit crabs. Scampering and exploring around the rocks with friends. It was a great day at the beach!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pool Time!

A few weeks ago we had our play group at a friend's house and swam the whole time in her pool. Oh, my. That little taste of coolness put us on the path to convincing Papa that we needed one in our backyard. We searched local stores and found that pools are a seasonal product here in Puerto Rico so the selection was pretty minimal. We looked at Amazon. We went back to stores. Finally we picked one up today and got it set up and have started filling it up!

Friday, October 17, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Monday, October 13, 2014

Play Dough, Again

The kids reminded me a few times that they didn't have any play dough yet. Finally today we got some made up with our favorite recipe. We left Spearfish in the beginning of May, so that left the kids for five months without play dough! I amazed at how quickly time goes by. They are really enjoying it again and I think we'll have to refrigerate it here to last. 
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