Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend in portland

With spring break week coming to a close we decided to take the family and head up the coast for a weekend in beautiful Portland, Maine. We have heard so many great things about the town that we just had to check it out for ourselves.

Here are a few of the highlights from our trip...

Pizza at OTTO of South Portland- There are several locations throughout Portland. The pizza was delicious and service was fast. It was a great atmosphere for our busy crew and had an indoor bocce ball/corn hole court for some family fun while we waited. 

Saturday sanity at Tandem Coffee- I highly recommend Tandem to anyone staying in or around Portland. This cute little coffee and bake shop has such a fun modern and organic atmosphere. On warmer days enjoy your coffee and a book on the picnic tables outside of the shop. We made a second stop to Tandem on the way out of town where I ordered their Malt Coffee. If you like milkshakes and coffee this is a must have. It was so smooth and filled with that great malt flavor that seemed to enhance the profile of the roast. 

Sunday pick-me-up at Bard Coffee- I also highly recommend making a stop to Bard. Located in downtown Portland, this coffee shop did not disappoint. With an option for 12oz or 20oz... go with the 20. Their iced coffee was so smooth and full of flavor. 

Holy Donut is right! Also a must-have when visiting downtown Portland. With a line out the door they were serving up donuts on the fly. Our wait was about ten minute and every second was more than worth it. These gourmet donuts were like nothing we have had before. Bonus: You can find these delicious donuts roughly a two block walk from Bard Coffee!

Brew Tour and Tasting at Allagash- If you like good beer this is a great activity. Tours are free and were very kid friendly. Sample some of the latest beers on tap and juice boxes for the littles. The tour ran for about an hour. 

You can't visit Portland without visiting the ocean. Thankfully our last day in town was complete 180 from previous days. The sun was shining and the temperatures reached the mid-50s. We took the girls to the beach before heading out of town. They had so much fun searching for sea shells in the sand and surprisingly stayed pretty clean. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fun With Foodstirs!

Brian and I frequently joke that between the two of us, if all else fails, we will never go hungry. Every chance we get we are trying new recipes and have passed on that love of food and cooking to our girls. Whether it's trying to make their own lunches, cutting up veggies for dinner or baking dessert they are all hands on deck.

I frequently find the younger girls grabbing and mixing ingredients into inedible concoctions in attempts to make new "delicious" recipes. Their need to explore with foods can be trying at times and a bit messy to say the least. On more than one occasion several meals could have been labeled as "Death by Salt" thanks to our little helpers.

I find myself looking for fun ways to keep them involved without discouraging this curiosity. If a product can simplify prep and baking while encouraging fun I am all for it. Foodstirs kits do just that. Almost all of the ingredients were provided for us and those that were still needed were ones that can almost always be found in our house already (eggs, butter).

I enjoyed being able to take a step back and let them take the lead, aside from helping to read the directions for the younger girls and handling the oven. They enjoyed being able to do so much on their own and were so proud of the finished product.

Bonus: There was minimal clean up for me and I was able to eat a cookie or two.

This post is sponsored by Foodstirs.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend

It was a whirlwind weekend in the Ogle house. It seemed to fly by with how much we were able to pack into the two days. The weather was gorgeous and we practically lived outside. Between egg hunts, egg dying and Easter baskets, these were a handful of the beautiful moments captured.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rainy Tuesday Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

What is a rainy Tuesday without a fresh batch of oatmeal raisin cookies?!

My girls love to bake and are for the most part some of the most eager helpers. I am a sucker for things like cookies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes... okay, I am a sucker for pretty much any baked good. When Giuliana asked to make some rainy day cookies it was impossible to say no. Lidi was quick to jump on the cookie bandwagon.

They help take out all of the ingredients, and are working on their egg cracking skills. Lidi will ne a one handed egg cracker in no time. While fractions are a bit more than the younger girls can wrap their minds around, they still love to count the number of scoops for everything that we add. I am hopeful that one day soon I can just sit back and relax while they do all of the baking for me but not really. I love spending this time with them. They say some of the funniest things when they are filled with sugar! G frequently jokes that we should just eat all of the cookies and not tell daddy. She's a girl after my own heart. Ha!

Scroll down for the recipe!

Rainy Tuesday Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:


1 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milled flaxseed
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk (or water if you are dairy free!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brewer's yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup raisins

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix the coconut oil and sugar until soft. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing boil and mix again. Add the oats and raisins and mix until combined. Scoop out the batter onto an un-greased baking tray. Flatten the cookies slightly. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool and then enjoy!

Coffee rings and other things

I am enjoying the April showers this morning. The gray, the calm, the meditating sound of the rain on the windows. The quiet was much needed for me. There are so many loud moments when you are raising a family that it is all too easy to forget to take a minute for yourself. This time has been well spent reflecting on Brian, the girls, the past ten months and everything that is to come.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Weekends are for adventures

Some of my favorite dates that Brian has taken me on have been trips to museums. We have always had a shared love for the arts and history and it is one of the things that drew me to him. Our younger girls can still be a bit much for the "Do Not Touch" environment so we had yet to really take them to a space where this rule would be enforced. On a whim we decided to throw caution to the wind. We loaded up the car yesterday and headed out on an adventure.

Albany is roughly a thirty minute drive away and is the home of the New York State Museum, a free museum for with some permanent and other ever changing exhibits. We have never spent any time in the city other than driving through. Even though the museum website was leaving a lot to the imagination on what we could expect, we decided to check it out.

We went fully expecting our girls to be extremely bored and throw a fit to leave within minutes of arrival but that was not the case. While the art exhibit went as expected with security following our little brood, frequently reminding them to back up and not touch, the discovery center was an unexpected surprise. So many fun centers where the girls could run around, play and explore. However, as fun as the discovery center was, the favorite of the day was the huge carousel on the top floor.

It's safe to say we will be heading back soon.

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