Monthly Archives: September 2015

if you work out AND eat your salad, you can have a cookie…



tennis match.

nike headband on point.


earned him a dinner at the purdy, washington taco truck.

neither of us had eaten there.

it says “authentic” on the sign.

and it’s always packed.

so, we pulled over and ordered.  two items we remembered from our mission trip in mexico years ago.

it was sooooo yummy.  and cheap.  and brought back the best memories.

and i count the tostada as a salad.  hey, it looks like a salad.



which then earned him (us) a cookie from my favorite fancy store in tacoma, wa.

the metropolitan market.

oh, that cookie.

that cookie!

happy thursday.


pumpkin muffins. with cinnamon sugar on top, please…

sept22four muffins

so, i have this thing with brookie.

we send each other a “photo of the day”.

she told me she missed my cooking.

funny because i haven’t cooked much since she’s moved to CA.  shhh… don’t tell her.  i like being known as a good cook.

between tennis and baseball and youth group and dances and friends… oh and I’ve started painting again after taking the summer off… i don’t feel like cooking because there isn’t anyone here to appreciate it.

i cook twice a week now.  a good meal.  a great meal, greg and mason tell me.  i cook enough for left overs; so technically they get 4 decent meals a week.

since we love having “breakfast for dinner”, i thought i’d try a new recipe.

in honor of my halloween baby (mason); who loves loves loves anything pumpkin.

and brooke, i promise to make you some of these when you come home this december.

they are sooooooo yummy!



1 1/2 cubes butter (3/4 c.)

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 large eggs

1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (from a can… i do not like the organic one… use the regular good ol libbys)

3 c. flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

preheat oven to 350.  in large bowl, mix butter and sugar.  add vanilla and eggs.  mix.  add pumpkin puree.  mix until smooth.  add flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  pour into simply baked muffin cups.  these muffin cups will rock your world.  trust me.  bake for 22 minutes (25 min if using larger muffin cups).

sept22simply…. order these today!!!

remove from oven and do the following…


now… EAT!

this recipe will go in my file as a favorite.  that’s for sure.

happy wednesday.


we stole her car…


yesterday was warm and sunny.

greg had the day off.

we looked at each other.

and laughed.

“let’s do it!”

we stole her car.

technically we borrowed it.  needed to make sure it was running ok while she is off to college.  haha.

put the top down.

and cruised over the bridge.


for hot dogs at RED HOT in tacoma.

mine was cream cheese, onions, mustard, pickle, sweet hot peppers and tomato.

greg’s was peanut butter and bacon.


then we went to the mall and bought her two pair of running shorts and some care package stuff.

after all, we were borrowing her car.

happy tuesday.


would you go to homecoming with me?

mason homecoming

he asked.

she said yes.

omg…. so cute!

I can’t wait to help dress him, take photos, go to the party he was invited to…

oh wait, he’s a boy.

brooke let me do all of that stuff.

mason just says, “mom!” and I know to silently take a step back and just enjoy watching the show from afar.

i’ll try though.

trust me.

i’m a mom.

we do that, you know (message to kids).

happy monday!


dinner with my bestie…

sept17julie barber

our husbands out of town.

our first two kids off to college in southern california.

our second two kids got homecoming dates to their first high school dances.

time to celebrate us.

the best burgers ever are at DUKES (

it’s our place.

to be honest with you, I’ve been going there with greg since we started dating and lived in seattle.  and her husband loves it too.  it’s OUR place.  all 4 of us now.

but the other night it was just us two…

us girls.

we get the mini burgers.  and look how mini they are!

with fries too, of course.

lots of conversation.

many giggles.

one big hug goodbye.

love my time with seahawks Julie.

can’t wait to see you next month, girl.


happy sunday.


my kids version of the best burger in the world (aren’t they sweet)… MOM’S FAMOUS BURGERS…


she called from college last night.

we talked forever.

i loved it.

she ended it with a request…

could i please make good food for her when she comes home for christmas break?

for instance, my famous hamburgers.


so funny how something that i take for granted on a weekly basis as a food to make when running out the door is her wish for a meal.

love that girl.

TRACY’S FAMOUS BURGERS (per our kids):

1 bag of hawaiian sweet rolls.  the plain original ones.

1 lb. hamburger.  the cheap kind.  15-20% fat.  sorry all you dieters.  fry or bbq.  use salt, pepper and a little johnny’s seasoning.  must cook until crispy edges and no red inside.

mayo and ketchup for brooke.  no cheese. ever.  don’t even ask her.

mayo and ketchup for mason.  cheddar cheese.  must be tillamock brand.  and caramelized onions if i have a chance to make them.

mayo and mustard and crunchy pickle slices for greg.

mayo and diced onions and shredded lettuce for me.  oh, and crunchy pickles on the side.

CARAMELIZED ONIONS (since you are probably wondering):

one sweet onion.  chop into little pieces.  or thin strips.  but little pieces cook faster and i am impatient.

1or 2 tsp. butter

1 or 2 tsp. vegetable oil

(the butter and oil depend on how big your onion is.  i usually start out with 1 tsp. each and add a little as they are cooking if needed.)

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar (from trader joes)

melt butter and oil in pan.  add onions.  cook on low until soft.  it takes about 20 minutes.  watch it so it does not burn.  i find that those expensive fancy stoves tend to run hotter.  good thing we have a cheapo version that came with the package with the refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave.

turn up heat to medium high and add balsamic vinegar and fry really quick until dark on edges.  my friend adds a little sprinkle of brown sugar at this time.  i do not.  i’m trying to be heathy.  hahahaha.

once they look well done (not burned), remove from heat.  ok to top hamburger at this time.

or, you can make a double batch and cool some of the onions and add to a French onion dip.

CARAMELIZED ONION DIP (since i’m on a roll now):

2 c. sour cream.

1 c. best foods regular mayo (do not use olive oil or light versions)

1 pkg. lipton onion soup mix

1/4 c. caramelized onions

mix all together.  refrigerate at least two hours.

serve with plain ruffles with ridges potato chips or plain baked lays.

you are welcome!

happy monday.







i want X 7…


i need this for my house keys.  i’ve always been intrigued by people who tell stories of living in hotels instead of homes.  i swear i’ve met a few.  i personally think it would be fun.  must have a pool and white robes though.


cookies would be so much better in this cute cookie jar.  or i could hold my stash of candy in there.  yep, that’s a better idea.


if i could have these i promise i would work out.  really.  i would.


i want a book like this to write down my gratitudes.  i used to write 3 a day.  i’ve gotten out of the habbit.  maybe if i could get a cute book like this i would start up again.  must have on my christmas list.


dingle balls.  that’s what i call them.  the comforters out at our family beach house used to have little dingle balls on all of the white throws that covered the beds.  i miss them.  i think they got thrown away years ago.  note to self… find some new ones.


oh, a classic black watch.  this one could be worn with gold or silver.  so sleek.  so what i need.  greg???


after helping brooke set up her new dorm room last weekend, i realized how awesome black and white is.




i see why she and her roomie decorated that way.

(forgot to get a photo.  i’ll get one when i see her in november.)

so, got me thinking… i need a little black and white simpleness in my life.

i want. i want. i want.


happy thursday.