I didn't know that Robbie was interested in swimming too! But I guess so!
After he played in the pool,  we put on a sweater to keep him warm.  How cute can you get!?


Little Jeddie is growing up!

Can you believe that time flies by so fast? This is Jeddie 12 months to now.

Here is this dessert... again!

If you didn't catch it the first time... here it is again. I always go for this one when there isn't any icecream in the house. (I'm an icecream fiend) This is a sweet alternative!

Coconut-Poached Mahi Mahi

Okay.  I'm not letting you slide on this one.  Here is the recipe. It is so delicious. You'll regret not setting this dish on the dinner table.

I was scared at first, (not a big fish fan) but it tasted like CHICKEN! (coconut-poached chicken, that is)

START TO FINISH 20 minutes

1 small lime
1 15-oz. can light coconut milk
1 Thai green chile, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 lb. skinless, boneless mahi mahi or other firm whitefish fillets
1 tsp. salt
1 small head bok choy, torn (about 3 cups)
   Crystallized ginger, green chiles (optional)

1. Finely shred peel from lime, then juice the lime.  Set aside peel. In a large saucepan over medium heat combine lime juice, coconut milk, green chile, and sugar.
2. Cut fish in 8 portions; rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Rub salt onto fish portions, then place in coconut milk mixture. Cook fish, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover; gently stir in bok choy. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes more or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Ladle fish with cooking liquid into bowls.  Top with lime peel and, if desired, ginger and green chiles. Makes 4 servings.

EACH SERVING 189 cal, 7 g fat, 83 mg chol, 744 mg sodium, 10 g carb, 1 g fiber, 22 g pro.

So easy... so yummy... we're definitely making this one again.


This is my older brother Drew.  He's the one on the right.  He is the typical big brother that picks on you until someone else tries to pick on you.  I miss him a lot. The past year or two he's been in Georgia... but now I hear he's coming home to Arkansas.  I hope that he has a safe trip and enjoys being back home with the family. 

I miss everyone so much! Christmas will be a lot of fun. I can't wait to be together again. 


Southwestern Chicken Waffle

It's actually supposed to be a Panini... but I didn't have a panini press. So we used our waffle press instead.    !!!

Very delicious.  Recipe anyone?

Oh. And that lovely bowl over there is Mango Slaw.  So fresh and delightful, I ate two bowls. 
Jed whipped up this dinner for me.  I'm so lucky!

Launching Madeline Mele Photography

I feel like I've gotten to the point where I can start plowing forward as a photographer.  {amongst all the other things I do for fun!}

I've started a NEW photography blog... solely for the fun of taking pictures!

Go visit Madeline Mele Photography and tell me what you think!


These boys.

Rarely ever did he fall asleep in the car while we drove to California and back. But when he did, it looked like that.

And this morning we did a quick little video...

Lil Jed is learning how to say "cheese!"  And Robbie is saying "dada"

Yummy Dishes

Lately I've been experimenting with some yummy recipes... (and some not so yummy- sorry, Jake and Candace)

But these two were really good!

Open-face Chicken Salad Sandwich

and a Good 'Ole Tamale Pie

If you want the recipe, then leave a comment and I'll post it for you.
Comment now or forever hold your peas.


In Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA- they have a fabulous shoppe called SEPHORA. Heard of it? Well... it was glamorous inside. They had one of those Hollywood dressing room mirrors, the ones that are lit on the frame? No? okay... well I thought it was cool. So I took a picture of what it did to my eyes.

Darn it! I sneezed on the photo. Sorry guys, I hate it when that happens.

Yellowstone and Zip-Line

When my family  came to visit, we drove up to Yellowstone National Park.  We had a nice little picnic and a stroll through the geysers.  haha 
I underexposed this photo so you could see how tall the water really reached.

In the pic above is Mike-my stepdad, my mom, hubsters, and his lil twin Jed.  Yellowstone is always so pretty. Who knew bacteria could be so beautiful?

Here are some fun pictures I never posted...
We all went zip-lining in Irvine, California at the Tait Family Reunion. 

I always joke that married couples take on each other's smiles or quirks.
This was taken from the same picture while we were zip-lining together- right before we were about to land.  I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for posting this one.

What a ride!  Good thing I survived.


a new recipe!

I really am not one for asparagus, sausage, or pine nuts for that matter. BUT! This is a must try if you feel your creative culinary juices flowing. This dish was a first on so many levels for me. First time with pine nuts, ricotta cheese, asparagus, and parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Yup. Can't say I've ever used that combo before. Or those ingredients for that matter...
Here is the recipe:

2 bunches small or medium asparagus or 8 oz. broccoli florets
1 lb. rotini or fusilli
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sheep's milk or whole milk ricotta
   Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
10 fresh basil leaves
   Ricotta cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325'F. Bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling. Cut top 2 inches from asparagus stalks (reserve asparagus stalks for another use,... see "What About the Stalks," below.)
Cook asparagus tips or broccoli in the boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes just until tender. Transfer to colander using a large skimmer or long-handled strainer then rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking.
2. Bring asparagus cooking water back to boiling. Add pasta and cook according to package directions just until tender to the bite (al dente). While pasta is cooking, spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and back about 10 minutes or until the pine nuts are golden.
3. Meanwhile, in large skillet cook sausage and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain fat. Add asparagus tips or broccoli, all but 1 Tbsp. of the pine nuts, the cream, and salt; simmer 2 minutes. When pasta is almost done, use a skimmer or long-handled strainer to transfer to skillet, reserving cooking water. Add ricotta, plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. increase heat to high; toss until pasta is well coated, about 30 seconds. Add Parmigiano and toss again. Transfer to platter; top with reserved pine nuts and basil. Serve with additional ricotta. Makes 6 servings.
EACH SERVING 701 cal, 36 g fat, 101 mg chol, 1,149 mg sodium 63 g carb, 4 g fiber, 29 g pro.

What About the Stalks?
This recipe calls for the tips only of the asparagus, so I used the leftover stalks for a side dish. Cut stalks in 2-inch pieces, cook in lightly salted water just until they turn bright green, drain, then transfer to a baking dish. Drizzle with a little melted butter, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake at 450'F for 6 to 8 minutes until cheese is crusty and browned.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Oh, and if you end up making it, please don't drown it in basil like I apparently did. Poor pasta never had a chance.... tsk tsk tsk.

This recipe was adapted from the book, Donatella Cooks by Donatella Arpaia.



A nice visit!

My Mom, her husband Mike, and Trevor-my little brother- came to visit this past week. They just left this morning and I already miss them so much! My mother loves spending time with her grandkids. It's usually few and far between that she gets to come visit. :) Here is a cute picture they took in the car while we were in Yellowstone.
She brought some yummy strawberry jam with her, along with some of her homegrown tomatoes. They have a little garden, despite the high heat of where they are from. It's reached 116 degrees in Arkansas, makes me glad that I'm not there! Although I do miss my family bunches and can't wait to go in the cooler times, like Christmas!

I love you guys! Thanks for coming to visit.


Disneyland, one of my favorite places!

Disneyland was just what we needed. It was so magical! Little Jed loved it, Robbie even loved it- and of course I LOVED it! It was my first visit too. Big Jed has always enjoyed it, too. 

This photo cracks me up.  Mainly Jake's face actually.   They were waving good-bye because they were about to ride on the Jungle Cruise of Death. I added that last part, sounded more interesting.
The magical Dumbo ride was a must photo-op.   I felt like a kid again.
Have you ever played those "Where's Waldo" games?  If so, Where is Madeline and lil Jed?
There were sOo many people. Apparently other people like this place as much as I do.

One of the MANY things I love about Disneyland is the detail. D stands for DETAIL. I can't get over all the nooks and crannies that carried the theme of all the rides.  Most theme parks I've been too don't care about all the corners and ceilings... but Disneyland does.  Every wall was textured, even every trash-can was themed!  A+  for sure.

There were obvious times that I felt like it wasn't worth it because of the boys screaming in the hotel room when they (and we) were supposed to be sleeping. And don't even get me started about the 13+ hour drive. But, that put aside- one of the best vacations ever.

A big thank you to Jim, Sharon, and Suzi for making that trip possible!