Saturday, November 20, 2010

Marley & Me

"Dogs are great. Bad dogs, if you can really call them that, are perhaps the greatest of them all."
— John Grogan (Marley & Me)

Join John Grogan as he retells the story of his life with Marley, a playful "clearance puppy" purchased for his wife Jenny as they began their lives together. Marley was with the Grogan family from their trying-to-have-a-baby stage to the birth of their third child, from Miami to Pennsylvania, from chewing through walls and running wild during thunder storms to never leaving Jenny's side when she lost the baby. Filled with heartwarming stories, laugh-out-loud moments and life lessons this book is the perfect read. Pretty clean and good. Even if you've seen the movie the book is still worth reading (it's true- the book is always better)!

"A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his."
- John Grogan (Marley & Me)


(Hanging around the BBQ - one of her favorite activites)

Yesterday our sweet doggie Isabelle died. She was 16 years old and had been our family pet for more than half of my life. She came to us when my mom worked for Stanislaus County Animal Control. She had gone out on an animal abuse call and found a sweet, starving, beaten, scared puppy that she didn't have the heart to take to the pound. This little puppy and I loved eachother from the beginning. I would take her for walks and she loved to climb into my lap anytime I sat down, even when she grew into a large adult dog. She loved to be in the front yard where neighbors would stop and pet her and children would play with her (and on her).

You can learn a lot from a dog. Isabelle taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. She taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk around the block, sitting in the summer warmth, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as she grew old and achy, she taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, she taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty. (Marley & Me)

(Watching everyone carve pumpkins last year)

"Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them"
— John Grogan

The Nicest Old Gal On The Block

Old-Fashioned Southern Moon Pies

If you are looking for a classic dessert that will please both kids and adults alike try this Old-Fashioned Southern Moon Pie recipe. These moist and chewy chocolate cookies are paired with fluffy marshmallow filling for the perfect after-school snack or FHE treat.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (room temp)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. To Make Cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine and white sugar. Add egg, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Add flour mixture slowly to sugar mixture while stirring. Mix just until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Drop the dough onto greased cookie sheet by rounded tablespoonfuls. Leave at least 3 inches in between each one; dough will spread as it bakes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until firm when pressed with finger and top begins to crack. Allow to cool on wire rack at least one hour before filling.
  5. Marshmallow Filling: In a medium mixing bowl, blend together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, confectioners' sugar, flavored extract, and marshmallow creme. Mix until smooth. Assemble pies by spreading 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls of filling on flat side of a cookie crust, then covering filling with flat side of another cookie crust.
Happy Baking!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Way Back Wednesday

Next month will mark 11 years since our honeymoon to Catalina Island. When Michael and I left the island we promised each other we would go back every year for our anniversary. Things happen, as they always do, and between finals, birthdays and Christmas we have never had the time or the money to go back. We loved our time there and hope someday to return. Besides the Keys, Catalina is the only island we've been to. For us there is something magical about islands and who couldn't use a bit of magic in their lives this time of year? :)