The Blogwritings, musings and lighthearted banter



Wild Thing


{ Click to learn more about Strawberry Koi Photography }

There are times I want SO badly want to share with all of you the true, natural, and genuine SPUNK this little wild thing has. Because it’s unreal, seriously. But.. honestly, she moves so much that it’s simply too difficult to capture. With that said, we had to try after she was quiet for too long and we found her like THIS. As much as I was a bit horrified, I was also pretty impressed…

…I knew it the day I found out I was pregnant with Ayla, that she was a girl.. That she was a girl, and that she’d be extra feminine (it’s all about her nails, dresses and hair… and guys, up until I was 22 I NEVER wore dresses or makeup!). I knew she’d also have extra spunk, extra ornery-ness, and extra rottenness. My son has always been pretty reserved and laid-back, so their differences can be a little surprising at times. But I’m telling you… she can kick and punch, debate, and roll her eyes like nobody’s business. This girl… is truly a wild thing (OH, but ask HER, and she’ll politely command that you call her “Princess Ayla”!)

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Sweet Sundays // Waffle French Toast

wafflefrenchtoast_1 Ok, it’s a little early for a Sweet Sundays, but everyday should be a sweet day, I say. And lets face it, I’m a rule-breaker. This is probably my new favorite thing to make… maybe because it’s just SO easy, or because it’s a blast to make. But mostly because it’s absolutely, amazingly, and utterly DELICIOUS. Seriously… try it. It will blow yoh mind.

\\ What you’ll need //

  • About 6 oz of your favorite milk.
    (I use whole or heavy whipping cream, or a combo of the two. It makes the batter sweeter and creamier)
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • A splash of vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 6-8 slices of your fav bread (I like to use whole grain/whole wheat)

* Makes about 7 pieces

{ Photos by me, iphone and VSCOcam }

Yes, these are “eyeball-it” ingredients. Adjust accordingly to your needs. Just aim to make the batter creamy, but still runny. All the other things are to your taste! It doesn’t need to be perfect though, so don’t sweat the consistency too much because you can always add more of ingredients as you go.  Have left-over batter? Have no fear, simply fry it up at the end and serve the best scrambled eggs of your life as a breakfast side!

  1. Preheat your oven at the lowest temp. Use the oven to keep your finished pieces of toast warm while you prepare the rest of the batch.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron as well. (If you haven’t a waffle iron, prepare like traditional French Toast. Use a skillet over medium heat on the stove-top, useing unsalted butter to grease the skillet as you go. Flip the toast over after a minute or two)
  3. Mix the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a small baking dish or pan. Whisk together.
  4. Lay one-two pieces of bread in the baking dish for a few seconds to absorb the batter, turn it over and match the other side.
  5. Place the bread into the waffle iron (multiple slices is OK if you have a very large iron)
  6. Lower the top and allow the iron to do its thang!

When the waffle iron’s finished cooking, that’s it! Top with powered sugar, fruit, honey, maple syrup or even eat as a sandwich with those delectable left-over batter scrambled eggs in between.




Be Mine


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! We had a pretty low key one here… which was actually very lovely and caused me to forget updating the blog when I meant to. Sigh. I don’t know if I remember celebrating this day with just staying home before… we usually go out or have the kids babysat. But we stayed home, made fajitas for dinner, and watched TV. The kids and I made Valentine’s cards for daddy, and he brought home balloons and flowers for us. It was utterly romantic, and reminded me that we are so blessed to enjoy each other’s company so much…




Turkish Delight


We haven’t been eating out too much lately, it’s just something we’ve been doing less of to conserve and to monitor our diets… But it’s just such a lovely treat to go out and enjoy a nice dinner out together. We love the restaurants on 4th street, a long row of colorful and multi-ethnic options along both sides of the street as far as you can see. One of our favorites is a Turkish restaurant called Anatolia, such a delight! A Turkish Delight!











Princess Bride


There are some things that get me really riled-up to photograph (nothing too naughty mind you, well, not most of the time anyway..). As soon as I came across this dress, I knew I had to have it for the shop. Just to make everything that much more stunning. So here she is, in her full glory and ready to be passed on to the next Princess Bride (I’m not referencing the move ‘The Princess Bride’ though. Ok, so I am. Love that movie!).

Oh, and it fits me to boot! I’ll have take photos modeling it, if I can find the time. Hm.. Hey, honey… divorce me, so we can get married all over again? Wearing this dress, pretty please??






DAILY GRIND // Espresso Eggnog

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Would you guys have it any other way, than for me to be behind schedule and post everything a day late and a dollar short? I thought not. Ok, so.. Thomas originally came across this delightful recipe, and whipped me up a batch of the best eggnog I’ve ever had! We did a few minor adjustments though, which I just had to share…

BTW, this recipe definitely calls for espresso, but if you have no way of obtaining such, just brew some strong coffee. I highly recommend the Aeropress as a great way to make espresso-like coffee perfect for recipes like this – but waaaay cheaper than buying an espresso machine!


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3oz sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1oz brandy
  • 1oz spiced rum
  • 8oz whole milk
  • 2oz of heavy whipping cream
  • 2oz of espresso (or strong coffee)
  • Cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • Whipped cream (also optional)
  • A bit of ice (even more optional)


  1. Add the eggs into your blender, blend for two full minutes to really aerate and emulsify the eggs.
  2. After about two minutes, add the sugar and continue blending for a minute longer. During this time, pull your shots of espresso to have ready. (or brew your coffee)
  3. In a separate container from the blender, add the cream and milk, then the espresso, and the nugmeg last – which will help reduce “shock” to the espresso.  Stir well.
  4. Next, pour the mixture into the blender. Also add the spiced rum and brandy, and blend well for about 2 minutes.
  5. For best results, allow the eggnog to set in the fridge for about 3 hours… otherwise, place over ice if you’re in a hurry!
  6. Top it off with a bit of whipped cream, nutmeg and a cinnamon stick!



Reaching 10K Giveaway!



It was my goal this last year to reach 10K, and funny enough, IT HAPPENED just in time before the New Year! I did a little jig and sang a little song, and now I want to give a small somethin-somethin in return, hence… a GIVEAWAY! Hoot!  Enter for a chance to win a $50 off coupon to my shop, which never expires and can be applied to any priced item. Sorry non-instagrammers… open to IG users only! No worries though, I’ll hold more shop giveaways in the near future.

  1. Find me via Instagram… (here)
  2. Repost this same photo from my account… please link to me @strawberrykoi.
  3. For a second entry, you may leave a comment here on this post as well, just make sure to mention your instagram name so I know!
  4. Leave a comment on the associated Instagram post.
  5. A winner will be randomly selected with a number generator-bot.
  6. Entries valid until 01/01/14

Thank you, my dears!







Merry Christmas


A very Merry Christmas to all of you ladies and gents! I hope it was a good one. You can bet ours was as sweet as pie! Well… We didn’t originally expect a particularly “fruitful” Christmas, as this has been a bit of a down time in our lives, financially speaking. I think I’ve mentioned it a couple of times already… but if you know me at all, I tend to obsess, as well as talk very openly about the things weighing heavy on my heart. Honestly, it’s been a really rough year, and I’m just so so SO glad it’s over. I TRULY have high hopes the new year will bring many blessings.

..One blessing that always remains consistent in our lives, is my husband… I don’t mean to be cheesy, and yes, I AM bragging – but I was just so impressed with his passion and tenacity to provide us with a good Christmas this year. I had sort of let it go in my mind, thinking it all just didn’t seem worth the stress or heart ache.. I mean, if your budget is too tight, then what can you do. But he worked very, VERY hard and put in a lot of overtime with his other job. Seeing him lose sleep and still smile through it all plus enjoy the holidays really filled me with such a deep admiration… I can barely contain it.





Sweet Sundays // Chocolate Coffee Mousse


This recipe is so great though, because its just so FAST (no eggs!) but….Doh! I didn’t get this done in time for Sunday, so it will be a Sweet Sunday on a Monday. Well… seriously, you had a rough start to the week… right? Forget that this is a day or a month late. Make your self this quick, indulgent, fabulous treat.. sit down, enjoy yourself, and kick back while skimming through the rest of my blog. Yeahhhhh


  • 2 shots espresso (or about 4 ounces of strong-brewed coffee)
  • 8 ounces Ghirardelli chocolate chips (or any chocolate chips, but these are AWESOME)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Put your chocolate chips and espresso shots together in a small saucepan over medium heat, and stir frequently until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for now.
  2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a standing mixer and beat until the cream begins to thicken (or a bowl/electronic hand mixer).
  3. Slowly add the sugar, just a bit at a time until fully blended.
  4. Continue blending until stiff peaks form in the whipping cream.
  5. Mix the chocolate/espresso into the bowl with whipping cream and blend carefully on slow, or even just with a spatula (to keep the mixture from deflating).
  6. Spoon the mixture into small bowls or glasses, chill in the fridge or eat straight away!





Sleepy Head


Lately, Ayla has been skipping a lot of naps. So this set of photos really capture a special part of the day that I miss, to catch up on work and projects, and just re-energize for the next round of spinning heads and crawling on ceilings.

You know… I’m always a little envious of parents that say their four and FIVE year olds still take naps, or that they have early and consistent bed times for their little ones. We “struggle” with sleep in this house. Well.. maybe I should use the term “relaxed”, we are relaxed when it comes to bedtime. I think the majority of the issue is that we (as parents) are not very strict… well, when it comes to routines anyway (not morals or behavior, necessarily). Saying that though, sometimes as much as I’d really like for them to still take naps and go to bed earlier, I also think that we mostly hate cutting family time short; we all crave it so much on a daily basis. Just last night, both kids talked at the dinner saying that “their family makes them happy”… coming from a six and two year old, some how, that seemed very profound to me (not toys, doggies, or ice-cream?). Anyway… you can imagine how much it melted me. I love that it’s true for each member of my family too.