Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Will hasn't been around pools very much so he isn't too comfortable around them yet. But on his second trip to the pool this week, he seems to be having fun!

Monday, August 29, 2011


In the midst of sadness, we are glad to be with family...

The Darts out to eat: Beau, Kate, Rob, Lennette, Jessica, me, Matt, and Will at Catch 228 Thursday
This is how Will and Otto play together - near each other but not exactly with each other!

Sitting on the front porch at Uncle Don's

Will emptied the cooler bringing everyone drinks - whether they wanted it or not!

Uncle Don, Aunt Sherry, and Casey having dinner at Uncle Don's - there was so much food over there!
Aunt "Lulu" reading to Will and Otto Saturday night at Casey and Eric's new house on St. Simons!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Unexpected St. Simons trip

We've been in St. Simons since Wednesday, although it has not been a trip for fun - we've been to two funerals this week. Matt's Uncle Bob passed away last Saturday. We had just seen him a few weeks ago - he came to Will's 2nd birthday party and ran in the 4th of July 5k with us. Bob was a journalist and his writings appeared regularly in major newspapers. He retired to St. Simons a few years ago and has been writing for local publications. He also wrote a book a couple of years ago. You can read his full obituary here.

The Dart Brothers - Bill, Bob, and Don, with Matt and his cousin Rob (Bob's son)

We also lost Matt's grandmother, G-mom, who was his grandmother on his mom's side. She had lived with Matt's mom Cathy for several years. Cathy learned how to decorate cakes from her mom - and Matt's mom is a VERY talented cake decorator! The funeral for G-mom was in Cocoa Beach, FL yesterday. Shortly after Matt and I started dating in high school, I went to Cocoa Beach with him and his family to visit G-mom.

Both G-mom and Uncle Bob will be very missed!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our week!

Here is our week in pictures (and most of these are iphone pics)...

We decided last minute to take Will to Chuck E. Cheese's to play (we were near one)...he actually hated the few things that we put him on like the cars, but he liked running around looking at everything!

The balls were the only thing he could actually participate in, and he liked those! We thought he was a little too young to enjoy Chuck E. Cheese's, but ever since we got home he hasn't stopped saying "Play games?" and "Big Mouse!" (he saw the giant costumed mascot and loved him!).

We are SUPER sad that our friends Courtney, Dave, and Noah are moving to New York. Courtney and I are trying to squeeze in a few last playdates, and I am sure going to miss this little face!

Will is sad to be losing his friend too:(

Our typical weeknight meal! We buy so many veggies at the farmer's market that we usually just pick 3 for dinner each night! No meat needed! This night we had sauteed okra with smoked paprika, grilled corn with butter, lime, and chile powder, and orange ginger glazed carrots.

Matt took this picture on his phone leaving work last week. I was impressed...I love the light in this picture!

Tomato sandwiches. I can't get enough of them right now. Tomatoes are AMAZING up here right now, and Matt makes homemade mayo and grills the bread...SO good!

We had friends over Friday night for a cookout. We enjoy getting together with both of these couples for dinner and we rotate who hosts. We had pulled pork, slaw, and watermelon!

And I made a caramel cake for dessert! I used a yellow cake recipe from my favorite gluten-free cookbook, and then used Paula Deen's caramel frosting recipe (the best!).

I am SO going to miss this sweet friend! I'm still kind of in denial that she is moving!

My husband is a die hard farmer's market fanatic. It stormed Saturday morning (the only time the farmer's market is open), but we hopped in the car when the rain slowed down just to see if any farmers were still out there. They were, and Matt ran around in the rain grabbing whatever he could find!

Isn't it funny how little boys like to wear boots so much?

Today was our last day keeping the nursery - because Will is moving up to the 2-3 year olds class!!!

I love my little man!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eat your veggies!

I've never liked raw vegetables of any kind. In fact up until recently I didn't like cooked vegetables either...unless it was slathered in cheese and butter in a casserole (I'm a southern girl!). But I came across this recipe in Candace Cameron's book I was reading a few weeks ago and she said it was one of her favorites, so I gave it a try this week. It is GOOD! It is super easy to make (and doesn't require a stove or oven!) and it is very healthy.

So, I thought I'd share...

Chopped Veggie Salad
head of broccoli
head of cauliflower
a few handfuls of baby spinach
yellow bell pepper
2 ears of corn (raw from the cob)
2 hard boiled eggs

Chop everything (raw) into bite-sized pieces (smaller than in the picture above) and mix, adding pepper to taste. That's it!

Once it was plated we used our Misto (which we love by the way!) to spray a little olive oil on top. The avocado is key - it adds its own oil, so you don't need to add much, if any, olive oil. And you don't need to add salt because of the ham and salami. The flavors all work together nicely in this dish - it really is delicious!

I also think it's important to note that you should try to use fresh, in-season local produce if possible. Everything but the spinach and meat came from our farmer's market, and I really think it made a difference.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Will's going to school!

It's official: Will is going to nursery school this year! Matt and I met with the nursery school director this morning and felt really good about the school and our decision to let him start preschool this year. There is no such thing as Mother's Morning Out up here, which I know is really popular in the south. I thought I would be sad (and I still may be!), but really it is only 4 hours a week - 2 mornings for 2 hours. It will be good for him to be around other kids and to experience new things each week. And for me it will be nice to have a set time I can plan to run errands, schedule doctor and other appointments, and do other things that are hard to do with a toddler in tow! We really like the school - it meets in a church near our home and we can easily walk there. And the two year olds class meets on days that fit into our schedule really well, allowing us to still be able to go to playgroup and bible study. We're excited!

Here's a few of Will this week (for the grandparents!)...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lots of books!

I've been on a book reading frenzy for the past few weeks. Most of what I read comes from recommendations that I see on other blogs, so I thought I would return the favor and share a few of my own thoughts on what I've been reading recently. I'll start with fiction...

1. Violets of March by Sarah Jio
I really enjoyed this book. It's a mystery novel about Emily, who finds an old diary and sets out to uncover family secrets. This would be a great beach read - the setting is idyllic, it is easy to read and I found it hard to put down! I would rate this a 4 out of 5.

2. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
This novel follows the lives of two women, one in India who had to give up her newborn daughter to an orphanage, and one woman in California who is adopting a daughter from India. It is interesting how their lives intersect.  I thought the book was good - not my favorite, but still a good read. This would be a good choice for a book club. I give it a 3.5.

3. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
This is the story of Little Bee, a refugee from Nigeria, and Sarah, the woman who takes her into her home in London. I would describe this book as heavy, shocking and sad. To be honest, I really didn't love this one. I give it a 2.

4. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
This historical fiction novel is the story of a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl living in California during WWII. I didn't realize how Japanese people were treated during this time in our country - the Japanese were sent to internment camps. This is a love story, and a very sweet one. I liked it, and would give it a 3.5.

5. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
To be honest, I was really just curious to see what all the fuss is about in this series for teens - it's been a #1 bestseller for awhile (I also haven't read the Harry Potter series or the Twilight series, although I may!). The books take place in the future, and they are not for the faint of heart! All three of the books were good, but I thought the first was excellent (and will be coming out in a movie next March!). They are very fast reads - Matt and I both read the entire trilogy in 4 or 5 days. That said, I am not a science fiction fan and didn't appreciate these books as much as most people! I give them a 3.5 (Matt said he'd give them a 4!).

6. Reshaping it All by Candice Cameron Bure
I absolutely loved this book. I don't spend money on books - I always get them from the library, unless it is one I am going to want to read again and again and loan out to friends. This book definitely falls into that category. The content of the book is about a third her biography, a third about healthy eating, and a third about her faith. I grew up watching DJ on Full House, so I thought it was interesting to read her story! She talks about eating and weight loss in relation to her faith, and I found it to be inspiring and full of good ideas! I like how she focuses on living a life of self-control and discipline in all areas of life. I highly recommend! I give it a 5.

7. Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
The words on the cover say it all: this book is about satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food. I like that idea, and I really wanted to love this book. It's hard to put my finger on exactly why it didn't sit well with me. I think it is because she basically leaves no room for moderation - her diet is very all or nothing, and I don't think that is realistic. She doesn't eat any bread, pasta, corn, potatoes, rice, or sweets. And having even just one small treat on an occasion isn't an option for her. She does say that her own diet isn't for all people, but it is the only diet she talks about, and I couldn't quite figure out how to apply this to my own life...I only eat a treat once or twice a week - is this ok? After reading this book, I was left a little confused. I give it a 3. Who knows, maybe I'll read it again in a year and think it's wonderful:)

8. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
This should be required reading. Michael Pollan, who was featured on Food, Inc., goes through the history of 'nutritionism' and the affect on Americans: we're fat. His ideas are simple and straightforward: eat food, not to much, mostly plants. By "eat food" he means real, whole food, and not what he refers to as "edible food-like substances" - processed foods. This book, along with Food Inc.; Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; and the book below have completely changed the way Matt and I think about food. I give it a 5.

We also read Food Rules by Michael Pollan, which is a VERY short version of In Defense of Food. It is a very simple, easy to read, quick book. If you don't have the time or desire to read In Defense of Food, at least read this one!

9. Food Matters by Mark Bittman
The ideas in this book are similar to In Defense of Food - eat less meat, way less processed food, and much more fruits and vegetables. I also highly recommend this one. I give it a 5.

10. The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
This cookbook goes along with his Food Matters book - it features healthy recipes (there isn't even a meat section - the dinner section focuses on vegetables, beans and grains!). Every single recipe looks AMAZING, and the few that we've tried have tasted awesome! Bittman is a food journalist for the New York Times and cookbook writer and he is hands down mine and Matt's favorite when it comes to recipes and cookbooks. He's called the "minimalist" - he focuses on making things taste good in a minimal amount of time with minimal ingredients. I love that! I know this is a cookbook, but I still give it a 5!

Have you read anything good lately? I LOVE getting recommendations!!
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