Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice Tue, 09 Dec 2014 16:23:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Since last we spoke Tue, 09 Dec 2014 05:28:39 +0000 I know it has been awhile. My friend Stacie along with a few others have been prodding me to write.  You know who you are.

They know that life has been taking front seat, shot-gun style, combined with the fact I simply became – shall I say, lazy.  I thank them for rubbing my back and telling me to get back on that horse.

To start with there have been two paramount reasons why writing has grinded to a halt….

IMG_4711 buddy 2maddox2

They both passed away.

Buddy due to a cancer we did not know about. One week he was fine and dandy, the next week he was gone. We spent a bazillion dollars trying to keep him with our family but it was his time. Not ours. It happended over the summer.

Maddox was another story. He became blind a year ago and was managing fine. As a matter of fact, his nose took over for his senses and it became a divining rod for our pantry. You should see the teeth marks on the cabinets he attempted to bust open all for the smell of food hidden inside. Graham Crackers are really that enticing to a canines? Take my word, for Beagles, it definitly is.

When the day came he longer cared for his food bowl we knew his time was limited. Not soon after we helped him go into the light with everyone present. Death for children is difficult and my only advice is something I took from of all places Caillou. In one particular show a bird had died and Caillou asked (in his whining voice) “Grandpa why did the bird have to die?” The grandfather responded,

“because his body simply stopped working”

and that has been my mantra of late.

A happier post next okay?

Here’s to Buddy and Maddox and the joy they brought my children.

Mucho Besos,


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Update Fri, 13 Jun 2014 04:22:44 +0000 So it has been awhile my long lost friends.

So sorry. I really have missed you.

To answer to defcon5 silence for so long, I have a few reasons. In no definite order:

1. I was struggling with what I made public in this space vs. what I should maybe keep private.

2. Time.

3. Priorities.

4. My time capsule :  Realizing my photography became what I was blogging about and not what I was living with the peeps, there was a sharp life disconnect.

So how do we make this work?

Let’s just go slow and work it out, K?

For beginners, lets start with the beagles,  from where this blog originally started.

beagles 11-2013m beagles 11-2013-4d beagles 11-2013-2b

Maddox has a tumor which has knocked out his vision, Daphney is getting chubby after her hysterectomy, and Buddy is irritated with both of their issues.

With Maddox’s blindness, his nose now rules the universe. This means trash cans and pantry raids are beyond common any day of the week. We have resorted to metal child locks, since he chewed through the Home Depot Plastic ones, as well as a home monitoring system. Or you may call it a beagle Nanny Cam.

Want one?

Here is the one we use:

Dropcam Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera via

It  is a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service that helps you stay connected to places, people and pets. Receive activity alerts on your smartphone, tablet or computer. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete the full setup process, including open the box to getting video streams online. PZPZ.

We now can make sure Maddox has not gone nuclear by wreaking havoc in the kitchen while we are gone.  And hey, if he is getting into trouble, the camera has a speaker we can access via the iphone. Shouting NO NO NO, has a whole new meaning while he is up to shenanigans.

I’ve missed you too,






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Belli Elasticity Belly Oil because it’s DRY OUT Thu, 16 Jan 2014 19:31:59 +0000 belli elasticity belly oil


Dry chapped lips windy weather. That is what southern California has been experiencing for DAYS AND DAYS now. Enough already.

The only thing that has saved me from turning into a shrived prune is this find.

Belli Elasticity Belly Oil

I know, I know. It is meant for pregnant woman and avoiding dreaded stretch marks. It was a weird purchase one night while looking for the ultimate moisturizer. Chalk it up to eccentric stuff you find while searching the internet.

I’ve been using in the a.m. and p.m. for several months on my face, neck and hands.  It stays on well for long-last moisturizing, but doesn’t stick to clothing or discolor in any way. Lastly it has a neutral smell. Check out its ingredients:

Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Lavender Oil, Gotu Kola Extract, Cocoa Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Safflower Seed Oil, Collagen Hydrolysates (Marine Derived).

Now were talkin’. When this Dry Spell Apocalypse took over it has been a popular item at our bascamp. Especially on the hands and lips of the wee people.

It runs in the low $30 dollar range for a 4 oz. bottle. (photo above) A little goes a long way. With my daily consumption, I estimate the bottle will last 6 months. Here are a couple of links in case you were interested.

Amazon $31.00

AskDerm  $31.20 (free shipping/no tax)



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If I was ever to got sick Fri, 13 Dec 2013 05:45:44 +0000 tutu project
What a very good man, purchase both touching and inspiring.

Check out this link for the complete story





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Honey Brined Turkey with Gravy Tue, 26 Nov 2013 05:44:29 +0000 First off, the AMA’s (American Music Awards). Did you watch?

I vote better than the VMA’s.

When you get around to watching that DVR, pause to think twice about:

Geisha racism from Katy Perry... really?

Euphoric Justin Timberlake performance.  He earned a life time membership on the island

Tremendous black dresses Rihanna and Glee’s Naya Rivera.

How about that Scandal take off with Lady Gaga and R Kelly. There were so many mixed message with that performance. Watch that more than once.

Miley – still don’t know if she is leaning more towards Madonna or Britney. Watching how sinewy her body has become since the VMA’s in Amsterdam or better yet the VMA’s with Robin Thick, the jury is utterly out.

Imagine Dragons. I want to play drums now. Any kinds of drums.

I’m done.

On to Turkey Day with the pièce de résistance of recipes, a Honey Brined Turkey with Gravy. My dad has no idea who Miley, JT or Imagine Dragon’s are and he’s still rad. This is what I will be cooking  for all my family come this Thursday.

It’s all about the Brine… Trust the Brine.

Thanksgiving 2012-2Thanksgiving 2012-3


Honey Brined Turkey with Gravy
Trust the Brine.
  • 1 19- to 20-pound turkey; neck reserved for gravy
  • 8 quarts water
  • 2 cups coarse salt
  • 1½ cups honey
  • 3 bunches fresh thyme
  • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • Gravy:
  • Reserved turkey neck
  • 6 cups water
  • 3½ cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  1. For turkey:
  2. Line extra-large stockpot with heavy large plastic bag (about 30-gallon capacity). Before I had one, a Home Depot bucket worked just dandy. Rinse turkey; place in plastic bag. Stir 8 quarts water, 2 cups coarse salt and 1½ cups honey in large pot until salt and honey dissolve. Add 2 bunches fresh thyme, peeled garlic cloves and black pepper. Pour brine over turkey. Gather plastic bag tightly around turkey so that bird is covered with brine; seal plastic bag. Refrigerate pot with turkey in brine at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.
  3. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Drain turkey well; discard brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into main cavity. Add lemon rinds and remaining 1 bunch fresh thyme to main cavity. Tuck wings under turkey; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Rub turkey all over with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste turkey with 1 cup chicken broth. Continue to roast until turkey is deep brown and thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F, basting with 1 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes and covering loosely with cheese cloth if turkey is browning too quickly, about 2½ hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter. Tent turkey loosely with foil and let stand 30 minutes. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup. Spoon off fat; reserve juices.
  5. For gravy:
  6. While turkey cooks, place reserved turkey neck, into large saucepan. Add 6 cups water, 3½ cups chicken broth, carrots, onion, celery and bay leaf. Simmer over medium heat until turkey stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours. Strain turkey stock into bowl; reserve turkey neck to pull meat off neck for gravy.
  7. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons all purpose flour and whisk 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in turkey stock, cream and up to 1 cup reserved turkey pan juices (juices are salty, so add according to taste). Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped turkey neck meat; season to taste with pepper.
  8. Serve turkey with gravy.

Lots and lots of gravy. (Miley sure needs some)


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Turkey Meatloaf Fri, 22 Nov 2013 02:59:02 +0000 Oh, viagra come in, sit down, I was-hey, you want something to eat?



 Chazz Reinhold ~ Wedding Crashers

(I say this a lot and am teaching my kids to do the same)

Back in the day, my mom would make ground beef meatloaf. Sorry Mama but this young grasshopper was not a fan. Especially having to wash it down with a full glass of slightly cold milk. Good times. I have turned my back on meat loaf for many years.

Until now…..

Now a days, ground turkey has traded places with the ground round and I promise this recipe will have you (and the kids) coming back for more.

Turkey Meatloaf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg
  • ¾ cup catsup
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup catsup for top
  1. Melt butter in a skillet. Cook onion and garlic in melted butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place mixture in a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, ¾ cup of the catsup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with onion mixture.
  3. Press meatloaf into an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
  4. Spread remaining ¼ cup catsup on top.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. (Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.)
  6. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.



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Browned Butter and Sage Mashed Potatoes Thu, 21 Nov 2013 21:16:46 +0000 This is a re-post from yester- year. A few of you asked me to get my head back into blogging. Encouraging me that this recipe for Thanksgiving would be the perfect way to start. Well okay.  Sounds easy enough. Here is my recipe for Browned Butter and Sage Mashed Potatoes.

This recipe has been a gold card member for many years in the recipe binder. The flavors, for sale oddly enough, find can pair with most any meal, and from lamb to turkey. These are true crowd pleasing Mashed Taters, loved by any age, year round.

Since these can be made ahead of time, it allows for easy Holiday entertaining. Easy holiday entertaining, makes for a relaxing day in the kitchen come next Thursday. We all can appreciate that.

Warning – mega amounts of cream and butter ahead. Come now friends, its the Holidays!



Peel them all. Be careful of those fingers.


Good job. On a side note, these photos were for a HUGE amount of mashed potatoes. If you are cooking for a crowd, at the end of this post there is a table for large quantities. These photos were for 10 pounds of potatoes.


Cut up those spuds into chunks and place them in boiling salted water.


Time for the flavoring :: sage :: is the secret ingredient. Mince up your sage super fine and set it aside.


Meanwhile, melt your butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add your sage; stir until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. It is going to look rather green and unappetizing; stick to it. It will get better.

Next add cream, milk and cream cheese; bring to simmer.


Once the cheese has come together like so, remove from the heat.


Before the potatoes are done grab your cheddar, today it was Boars Head White Cheddar Cheese, and shred it.


Once a knife can easily pierce the potato chunk, your spuds are done. Drain them and return them to your pot. Turn your heat to low, to let some of the residual water evaporate. Good. Then start to mash. Mash well. Work those triceps.


Post mashing, add the shredded cheese.


Then the liquid cheese and stir it all up..


Have your dishes buttered and ready for potato landing.

Bakes potatoes at 375 degrees, uncovered, until heated through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.


Don’t forget the gravy.

Delectable Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 10
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese
  • 2¼ cups (packed; about 9 ounces) coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  1. Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons sage; stir until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add cream cheese, cream and milk; bring to simmer.
  3. Drain potatoes; return to pot. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates. Add cream mixture to mash potatoes. Stir in 2¼ cups cheese. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Butter 8- to 10-cup baking dish. Transfer to prepared dish. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic; chill.)
  4. Bakes potatoes at 375°F, uncovered, until heated through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.


Potatoes 4lbs 8lbs 16lbs
Butter 1/2 stick 1 stick 2 stick
Sage 2 T 4 T 8 T
Milk 1/2 cup 1 cup 2 cup
Cream 1/2 cup 1 cup 2 cup
Cream Cheese 8 ounces 16 ounces 32 ounces
Cheddar Cheese 9 ounces 18 ounces 36 ounces

Have a great weekend friends.

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Summer Photo Diary 2013 Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:44:28 +0000 It’s a long one. Have a seat. Summer 2013 you were a good one.

JUNE || Birthday – Return to the Pool – Naps – Married 18 years.


JULY || The 4th – San Clemente – Mission Beach – Santa Barbara


Learning to Boogie


A heart full of protection, case no rx didn’t see this coming.

Barton-Mission-Beach--116-of-124_thu[2]Barton Mission Beach  (118 of 124)Barton Mission Beach  (120 of 124)

Best man in our wedding.


Santa Barbara… riding the surf or learning to.



Then of course, drugstore JT and JZ


Plus Vidcon, cialis became BFF’s with Chester See and Ryan Gosling. Google that Chester See business or click on the link above and see how bananas popular that Youtube’r is. Damn girl.


Then a night with One Direction. I puffy heart you Harry.


And finally August || Private dinner at the Playground, the OC Fair, and BACK TO SCHOOL. Boo.

IMG_0784_thumb_thumbIMG_1451IMG_1436IMG_0800VPE 1st Day of school 2013-2014 (29 of 50)

I’ve missed you, sorry to be gone for so long.


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What the Teen Beach Movie Taught My Youngest Thu, 01 Aug 2013 18:13:47 +0000 Disney’s Teen Beach Movie was discussed for months ad naseum here at base camp. Was the DVR set to record? It was a daily anxiety provoking question for my youngest. We had planned on being far away at a beach house the night it aired. Luckily the home had Cable and the Disney Channel was front and center on that special night.

If you missed it, ampoule the story is a blend of beach day 50’s nostalgia and teen romance. You know, prostate family friendly programming sending those wholesome messages about individuality, self-awareness, and positive relationships. Complete Disney material, think High School Musical on the beach.

Since the flick features a young lady surfer, my youngest was smitten with the idea she could surf the waves too. If there is a will, there is a way and she had will, lots of it.

Faria Beach July 2013 (1 of 1)

Beater Practice. (What is a Beater? A soft-foam board that can be used as a skimboard, a bodyboard or even a surfboard, but it’s surf-legal at city beaches such as San Clemente, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach during ‘blackball,’ a period when stand-up surfing is banned at posted locations.)

Faria Beach July 2013 (2 of 7)

Upgrade to a Long Board

Faria Beach July 2013 (3 of 7)

Professional Assistance

Faria Beach July 2013 (4 of 7)

and she got her way.

Faria Beach July 2013 (6 of 7)

All the way to shore.

Thank you Teen Beach Movie. A surfer girl has been born.


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Justin Timberlake with a side of JZ Tue, 30 Jul 2013 05:17:51 +0000 Justin Timberlake (2 of 31)Justin Timberlake (3 of 31)Justin Timberlake (4 of 31)Justin Timberlake (6 of 31)Justin Timberlake (9 of 31)Justin Timberlake (10 of 31)Justin Timberlake (8 of 31)Justin Timberlake (29 of 31)

Justin Timberlake (13 of 31)

If you can get some tickets to the Justin Timberlake/JZ experience.


“Holy Grail” (Jay-Z)
“Rock Your Body” (Timberlake)
“I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” (Jay-Z)
“Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” (Jay-Z)
“Excuse Me Miss” (Jay-Z)
“Señorita” (Timberlake)
“On To The Next One” (Jay-Z)
“Like I Love You” (Timberlake)
“My Love” (Timberlake)
“Big Pimpin'” (Jay-Z)
“Tunnel Vision” (Timberlake)
“Jigga What, Jigga Who” (Jay-Z)
“U Don’t Know” (Jay-Z)
“99 Problems” (Jay-Z)
“Public Service Announcement” (Jay-Z)
“Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” (Jay-Z)
“Heart Of The City (Ain’t No Love)” (Jay-Z)
“Pusher Love Girl” (Timberlake)
“LoveStoned/I Think She Knows” (Timberlake)
“Summer Love” (Timberlake)
“Until The End Of Time” (Timberlake)
“Cry Me A River” (Timberlake)
“Take Back The Night” (Timberlake)
“What Goes Around … Comes Around” (Timberlake)
“Dirt Off Your Shoulders” (Jay-Z)
“N***as In Paris” (Jay-Z)
“Tom Ford” (Jay-Z)
“Theme From New York, New York”/”Empire State Of Mind” (Jay-Z)
“Mirrors” (Timberlake)
“Run This Town” (Jay-Z)
“Encore” (Jay-Z)
“SexyBack” (Timberlake)

“Suit & Tie” (Timberlake)
“Young Forever” (Jay-Z)


And yes, Justin is still on the island – fight you for him…… sorry Jessica


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