i love a good doughnut and when ivan told me he had fractured prune doughnuts at the suns game last week i knew i had to try them.  they are as delicious as he told me they were, if not better.  they are made to order so they’re hot when you get them.  eat them there while they’re still warm.  you can pick your glaze and topping or pick from one of their favorites.  we did both.

DSC03594 DSC03601 DSC03607  DSC03627

ivan and i loved the salted caramel which is caramel glaze + sea salt.  i also ordered a create your own with vanilla glaze + sea salt.  both reminded me of my favorite butter + salt doughnut from sidecar in newport beach.

we also ordered

carnival- honey glaze + rainbow sprinkle

this was the kids favorite, i liked it too

chocolate covered cherry

cookie + cream

oc sand- really good if you like cinnamon

blueberry hill

maple + bacon- we didn’t love the bacon on this one




these are my absolute favorite brownies.  i make them probably once a week.  they are so soft and moist.  everyone i make them for loves them.  i promise they’ll be a favorite.  they are not super chocolaty which i love.  they are so easy and delicious you will never make boxed brownies again.  try them out.


line up of ingredients


i like to chop my own pecans.  i think they have more flavor that way


bake for 30-35 minutes depending on your oven. i like mine a little more on the raw side so i cook them closer to 30



In a bowl mix
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 c. butter

4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

then by hand mix in (stir until just combined, do not over mix)
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

top with
3/4 chopped nuts

pour batter into a greased 9×13 pan
top with nuts
bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes

for a more chocolatey brownie sprinkle chocolate chips on top along with the nuts



we often get asked by friends and family where they should eat or what they should do on their upcoming vacation.  this site is the perfect place for us to share our favorite restaurants and vacations.  ivan and i both love food and really enjoy trying new restaurants.  they don’t have to be trendy and cool.  we love a good hole in the wall.  we want this to be a place where we can share with you the things we like to do and places we like to visit as a family.

i always have friends asking me how i travel with four kids.  we decided that we want to experience new cities as a family.  this decision made us look at traveling in a whole new light.  for us its not about how many landmarks we can visit in a day or how many places we can see in a city.  its about creating memories in that city.  its about slowing down and taking it all in.  enjoying it the way a local would.  when we take the kids with us we go at a much slower pace.  we will share some tips along the way.  follow along on our adventures.


Vancouver, Canada


Goldfield Ghost Town, Arizona


Astoria, Oregon


Seattle, Washington


Cannon Beach, Oregon


Portland, Oregon


Pine, Arizona




Huntington Beach, California


Depoe Bay, Oregon


Yachats, Oregon


Santa Barbara, California


Phoenix, Arizona

Back Bay Newport

Newport Beach, California


Boston, Massachusetts


Rocky Point, Mexico


Sundance, Utah

San Fran 012

San Fransisco, California

GrandCanyon 2004 (13)

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Hawaii 2004 (26)


Hawaii, Hawaii



it was a christmas miracle, we actual stayed in town this year.  it’s the one holiday i want to make sure we wake up to at home.  we’ve traveled for christmas and its just not the same.  christmas is also henri’s birthday and we’ve tried to make christmas day more about him and less about christmas but it doesn’t work out.  i’m still working out the kinks on how to celebrate the two events.  so far i haven’t found a good solution.  i’m still trying.  we took the train to the polar express.  we go every year and we all love it.  this year we took the 3:30 train and i don’t advise it.  the sun was blazing through the window the entire time and it just wasn’t as magical.  jack didn’t nap that day either so that contributed to the chaos. i like it much better when its completely dark outside.

annual christmas jammie’s

the train.
that face.  she’s the sweetest.  i have so much anxiety about her starting kindergarten next year.  its gonna be hard.
jack has a love hate relationship with trains.  he loves to watch them on t.v. he loves to talk about them. he even loves to ride on them.  but the one that we can hear from our house scares him to death.  if he’s outside and hears it he will come screaming in the house.  last time he tripped on his way in and was crawling through the door in tears.  or he’ll stop where he’s at drop to the floor, curl up and cry.  its pretty sad and a tiny bit comical too.
gosh these kids are getting big.  i don’t like it one bit.
ivans christmas gift.  a ranger, its become more of my daily driver.  i think i’ll get a scooter once my kids are grown.  really i hate having a big bulky suv.
we went to a cabin with friends a few weeks before christmas and honestly i think this was the first time i had seen snow fall. actually fall and build up.  not just melt off.  the kids loved every minute.
ava had her christmas concert.  to celebrate we got donuts.
henri’s concert was during school hours so i got him all dressed up before school only to have his teacher call me and tell me i was a day early.  he was not happy to wear “church” clothes all day.  i think i gave him so much anxiety making him spread his nervousness over the course of two days that he called me to get him early on the actual day.  complaining of not feeling well. oh well, theres always next year.  now if i can just get the day right.
we spent new years eve in mexico.  that doesn’t really count as a holiday, right?  so only not real holidays can be spent out of town.  real holidays we have to be home.  thats what i’ll tell the kids so i can get in a few extra vacations.
we sewed blankets to bring down to the hospital.  i  love getting the kids involved with these kinds of projects.  pch will always be our hospital.  i hope to teach the kids how much pch means to our family so they can carry on these traditions with their own.
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