Sunday, May 15, 2016

Swedish Feta Stuffed Meatballs

Last summer when our Swedish friends where here visiting, Sofie made the best dinners for us. I would be with the kids at soccer practice and walk into a delicious meals waiting for us. After having them here I really started to get the whole Sisterwife thing. I mean, if they are going to make dinner for me on crazy nights..I get it sister wives, I get it. 
When  Jones Creek Beef  asked me share a recipe using their ground beef I thought it was the perfect time to try out one of the delicious meals Sofie made while here.
In Swedish its called biffar, which I guess translate to steak, but when I think of steak I think of something entirely different, so I'm going to call these Swedish Feta Stuffed Meatballs
2 table spoons onion powder of 1/2 chopped yellow onion ( I used powder)
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
4-5 tablespoons bread crumbs (add more if it doesn't form well) 
salt/pepper/garlic powder 
feta cheese, I used one small container for the meatballs and the feta sauce I made to serve with it

Mix all the ingredients except the feta together in a large bowl. Then form the meat mixture into large meatballs, they will shrink down some. Once I had the size I wanted them to be I flattened them a bit in my hand so they looked like hamburgers, grabbed a big chunk of feta and pressed it into a meat, then formed a ball around the feta so the feta is in the middle. 

Then stick the meatballs in a pan on medium heat and turn gently every few minutes so they don't fall apart. Mine took about 20 minutes before they were cooked all the way through. 

Serve with a salad, potatoes and a yummy little feta dip which is just feta and sour cream mixed together. So good! The kids even asked for left overs for lunch the next day. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

White Water Rafting!

White Water Rafting is one of those Colorado things Drew and I have been saying we are going to do for a decade now. But I can't to it while pregnant (that knocks of three summers) and its usually a half day adventure and I basically don't leave my kiddos for more than 1-2 hours the first year it seems like so that takes care of at least 1-2 more summers...but this summer I think is finally the year!

I was send an email about American Adventure with the following information to share with my readers if any of you guys in Colorado is also interested! 

Your next great Colorado Adventure starts here! Offering whitewater rafting trips on Colorado's most popular river, horseback trail rides along the Continental Divide, guided ATV tours throughout the High Country, and Ziplining over rugged Colorado canyons. Let us help you plan the vacation of a lifetime. Call 719-395-2409 or book online at

If we actually line up a sitter and get to go through with this I'll make sure to share! Wouldn't it be super fun to do a go pro video of it?!?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nowvel Photobook!

Hi my name is Darlene and I take too many pictures. 

And never print them.

Seriously it's bad. Every year I say I'm going to print lots and lots of pictures, even just a tiny fraction of the pictures I've taken, and it never happens. When Jasper was a baby I printed EVERYTHING. We seriously have at least 10 full photo albums from his first two years of life. And basically nothing after that. It's just so expensive to print pictures when you want to print a billion. And its a big project to sit down and decide what to print. But I'm a photographer, I encourage my clients to get those pictures printed and on the wall or in a photo album...can you say, hypocrite? I have a bunch of frames ready for a wall gallery when we move this summer, so I'm GOING to get better at printing pictures!

Luckily though Nowvel has a solution for getting pictures off your phone and into your home. They contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I wanted to check out their new (free!) app and make a photo book. I jumped at the chance, but then took forever to getting around to actually doing it because of spring break and sick kids. I thought it was going to take forever and I just didn't have the time. Finally I sat down with my coffee after putting Soren down for a nap and taking the big kids to school...and literally 20 minutes later I had a book ready to go! It took basically NO time at all and was super simple. 

I decided to make a photo book of our European Vacation in 2014, and guys, I'm So impressed with how it turned out! 

They are 20 pages and you can choose how many images you want, you can even add text to the pictures! Printed on a stiff board book. Did I mention how impressed I am with the quality? Now I need to go make one for every vacation! How perfect would that be? And maybe after almost 6 years I should make one for our wedding pictures so I have some of them printed somewhere...

These would make an amazing mothers day present! 

These books printed are only $20, and for the next 30 days you guys can get $5 off your photo books by using the code CMAMMATALES! I'll be taking advantage of this deal as well! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Age Spacing

Linnea and I were talking last week about different things we wanted to blog about, and came up with some topics we want the other person to blog about. Fun huh?
So Linnea's first topic for me to blog about is the age spacing between our children and why we chose the age gaps we did.
Jasper is almost 9, Tindra will be 4 next month and Soren just turned 1. 
So given the fact that we were 20 when we got pregnant with Jasper you can probably figure that he wasn't exactly plannedWanted and loved very much from the start? Yes. But not planned on at that point in our life. 
After we had him, and his rather traumatic birth I wasn't even positive I wanted more children. Till he was about 2, then I realized I definitely wanted more. And I wanted a lot more! But we wanted Drew to finish college first, and to get married. 
I never had a desire to have my children super close in age together. 3-4 years seemed (and has been) perfect for us and what we have continued now for our 3 kiddos. 
Having that age gap (4.5 between Jasper and Tindra and just under 3 between Tindra and Soren) has given me lots of one on one time with each child during that super demanding first couple of years. By the time I had Tindra, Jasper was in preschool and I had a couple of hours a week with just Tindr. Then he started full time kindergarten in the fall. And when I had Soren, Tindra started preschool a few months later and I get those 6 hours a week with just Soren. 
Another benefit for their spacing, is by the time I've had another one, the older one(s) are more independent. They were each potty trained, dressed themselves (at their insistence) and could play by themselves for a while. During those first few months and nursing around the clock I was able to set the older ones up with an activity to keep them at least momentarily occupied. 
Another pro for us for having the age gap we do, is we were able to really involve the older ones i the whole process. Shopping for new baby, going to doctors appointments (Tindra went with me to all but one of my OB appointments with Soren) going to the ultrasound appointments to see baby on screen. They both got it and were so involved and excited! They were the first ones we told at about 9 weeks after a good ultrasound, and they were the first to meet their new brother. We didn't share names with anyone either time till Jasper (and Jasper and Tindra with Sorens birth) was told first. It was important to us that they were involved every step of the way, as they were going to be the most important people in new babies life. 
I'm not sure if this is the case when kids aren't as far apart in age as ours are, but we have never had a second of jealousy bringing a new baby into the house. I was fully expecting it, each time, but I think their age played a big part in that. I feel like they were secure enough with their relationships with both Drew and I, they knew their place in the family, they knew they weren't being replaced by a new baby, maybe because they didn't see themselves as babies anymore? Whatever the reason, we didn't experience any of that and I'm So grateful. I've heard some horror stories of the jealousy! 
Another big bonus that I always mention jokingly but I'm actually Not joking, is by spacing my children out I'm delaying having an 'empty nest'. My youngest is 12 months and I am still already dreading the day that I no longer have children in the house. My husband jokes (or maybe isn't joking?) about being excited for that day. I will tear up in an instant at the thought. Yep tears started right this very second. I can't stand the thought of an empty home. So even if my children only live at home till they are 18, by spacing them out I'm getting 26 years of having children living at home, needing me. I also semi joke that I'm going to have another one in like 6 years... then I'm at like 32 years of kids in home! Thats not in the plan, but a bonus to having your first child a week after your 21st that you have time to take a big break and 'come back' to having a baby later on. At least thats what I'm telling myself so I'm not super depressed about Soren turning one a couple weeks ago. 
The only cons I can think of with the spacing we have is we were kind of out of the 'baby stage' before having the next one. Once you are done with diapers, and late night feedings, and having to actually pack a bag to go out the door you forget what that stage is and we have had to dive right back in three separate times now. I can see how having them close together you maybe aren't as phased by doing it all again because you aren't out of it yet. 
The other con is when you have older kids you have a lot of little toys. It just comes with the territory of having kids ages 3+. With Jasper I never had to worry he was going to put something small in his mouth, because we didn't have a bunch of small toys for him to get into. With Tindra and now Soren that's my biggest fears. Tindra has to keep her toys with small parts in her room, and Jasper has to keep his in his room, and Soren doesn't spend time in either of their bedrooms for this reason. But if I'm being completely honest, we think Soren swallowed a bead from Jaspers bracelet once... I'm constantly paranoid they are going to forget or accidentally bring a small piece out into the living room/play room and Sorens grabby little hands will get to it before I do. 

What about you? Whats your spacing between kids? I'm sure every spacing has so many pros and cons! 
Published first at my other blog- make sure you check it out!  

Monday, March 28, 2016

British Soccer Camp

Spring Break has started here in Denver! Having Jasper home during the week day has me thinking of things for him to do this summer to keep busy. He's going to be attending a week long sports camp through my SIL's church that he's super excited about, and he's going to be doing a week of Soccer camp as well! 

Here's some information about the soccer camp he's going to be doing, in case you need something to keep your little sports lover busy with as well! They have tons of locations through out the country.

British Soccer Camp is the most popular camp in North America - 150,000 campers! With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, British Soccer Camps provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!
Enroll you child in a British Soccer Camp today Enroll in British Soccer Camps Today! FREE Water Bottle with code: USFG16 .@ChallengerCamps .@usfg

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

He's One!

This has been beyond the fastest year of my life. I literally have no clue where the time has gone. Maybe its because I've been a daze of lack of sleep? Could be it. But really, time flew way too fast. 

I cried putting Soren to bed the other night, his last night before turning 1. I climbed into his crib and laid with him and just sang and cuddled, not wanting the moment to end. 

But it did. And then he woke up and at 7:57 AM yesterday we had a one year old.

Anytime I describe Soren to anyone I just tell them he's the sweetest baby ever. And he really is. I'm sure everyone says that, but I actually MEAN it! He's so sweet, and content, and loves just observing everyone and everything, especially his big brother and sister. 

He loves rolling balls across the floor and then (army crawling) to get hem. 

He loves cuddling. And books. And nursing. 

He loves eating. Everything. I have yet to find anything he doesn't want to eat. 

He had ONE night where he slept all night three nights ago...but then went back to his at least twice a  night still nursing sessions. But I don't even mind. I like the extra cuddles. 

He's just the sweetest little soul and we are all so blessed to have him in our life. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

1 Year old Birthday Wish List

Soren has been helping me make a birthday wish list since his birthday is in just over a week (sob)

I think he needs This car

And These blocks   since everyone in the family is in love with them so we definitely need more!

He's obsessed with balls, so these are on his list.

How fun would this be?

And he definitely NEEDS this bag

What were your favorite gifts for your toddler?