From the Kitchen of Kelsey Cross

baking a cake

baking a cake
Princess Hamburger Five-Layer Cake

Let’s just say Kelsey and I haven’t perfected the art of making a layered cake yet. The other day, we decided to bake a cake. We didn’t read any directions, we just decided to wing it. That made for half of the fun! We wanted it five layers (Kelsey’s choice) and all kids of colors (again, her call). We didn’t get rid of the ‘bubble’ on the layer that result in a fast bake time, instead we just stacked and let the cake lay where it may.

It was hilarious! No, seriously, this was the best part of baking. Allowing your four-year-old dictate the colors of the cake, not worrying about a mess and frosting with your fingers, and forgetting to tighten the lid on the sprinkles before pouring them on top of your cake. We really did have a great time baking together. After it was all done, Ryan walked in and said, “Is it supposed to look like a hamburger?” Well, no. It’s not. But since it does, we called this our Princess Hamburger Cake. And if you’re wondering, it tasted amazing.

baking a cake - mom blog

baking a cake - mom blogabaking a cake 5

baking a cake

Daddy Daughter Date and In-and-Out

many hats of a mom blog
many hats of a mom blog
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Colton and I were there too, but by the looks of it, you wouldn’t know it. Ryan and Kelsey were in their own worlds. About half way through dinner, she crawled under the booth to his side of the table and proceeded to smother him in kisses, then she jumped on him. Luckily, I snapped some photos of these two. Oh, and you see how there are only 3 burgers on the table … one for Ryan, one for Colton and one for Kelsey. I brought My Fit Foods to In-and-Out and ate that instead. Can you believe that? Ugh. Diets.

Differences between him and her

Mom Blog
Notice how Colton is helping dad. He so badly wants to help him hang up the swing and to really take charge.

Family
There he goes. What a big helper! He was all about the ladder and doing whatever dad is doing.

Family
Now, do you see how much she cares about this. Not even a little bit of interest. Okay, maybe just a wee bit. As for helping with the swing … “Dad can do it,” she says.

Más fotos de la ciudad de México

J&G Grill Mexico City
In no particular order, be prepared to be overwhelmed with photos from our marketing trip to Mexico City. Between all of the drinks, sitting all day, and the amazing food (no seriously, check out the food), I think I gained 10 extra lbs. Our team organized “fun runs” in the morning (do those words go together?) and yoga but I clearly did not take advantage of those events. Enjoy the pics!

I love the black and white image of Lauren with the whiskey. Do you know how many tries it took us non-Spanish speaking individuals to ask for whiskey with no ice. Rather, how many tries it took our waiter to get this one right. We had to take a picture to commemorate the occasion when we finally figured it out. How pretty are those twinkly lights? The perfect setting to end a great day.

Stop being so perfect, J&G Grill. You had me at your avocado pizza. Then I fell in love with you over a plate of your sashimi. If that wasn’t enough, you went on to serve me octopus that looked like that! Not to mention your super cool interior design and beautiful city view … just stop it right now.

And then there were chair massages. Yes, the St. Regis provided chair massages in between meetings. I’m telling you … this working mom gig isn’t all bad. You get to listen to some really great speakers and then you get the stress beat out of you. Not bad.

mexico city
You want to know if I went outside of the hotel, don’t you? The answer is no. But I did look out the window (and went to this museum). Notice anything in the photo above? How about the fact that everyone seems to be driving a different way. No judgment passed, it’s just not a traffic jam I want to find myself in the middle of. That, and the fact that I was a little hesitant to travel to Mexico. “It’s safe, it’s safe, it’s safe!” everyone says. I believe it. I just stayed in and lived vicariously through my colleagues who did all the cool stuff – museums, temples, the Mercado.

Mexico City
This was our welcome amenity. Are you seeing a theme here? Really good food. Sweet desserts. I gratefully gained 10lbs.

Mexico City
I have no idea how John managed to make this look like a selfie because I was taking the photo. But, props to him for that.

Mexico

See that photo of Heidi with the coffee? Heidi was drinking the best coffee each morning – it was sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and looked so good. As she walked by I literally asked her to stop so I could smell her cup. That’s not creepy or anything because we know each other really well. (I gave up coffee over a year ago and I’m clearly still missing it.)

If you’re in Mexico City go to the W Hotel. It is in one of the coolest parts of town (Polanco) and has some of the most amazing cocktails you have ever seen. I didn’t drink any but I watched in awe as the servers made these drinks. Again, I swear we worked on this trip. We worked hard. But who really wants to see pictures of notebooks, presentations, and breakout sessions. Anyway, hope you enjoyed scrolling through my recent work adventure. Now it’s back to the office and back to the grind.

Children Soothe the Soul

I’m convinced that no one can possibly be in a bad mood when swinging with children. The complete joy that comes from being around two of my favorite kids, while swinging outdoors in the summer sun … what could possibly beat it? Ryan and I are still trying to figure out a way to quit our jobs, still make money the same amount of money and do nothing all day except play with these two. So far, we can’t figure out how to swing that (bad pun alert). Meanwhile, these photos are from our summer vacation in the mountains.

swings3

Our family adventure. Continued.

I still haven’t had time to go through all of our summer vacation photos. (Sometimes I wish kids would take naps or let you play around on the computer while they cleaned their room or something, but that’s not how it works around here.)

In the free time that I have had, I came across these vacation photos. My aunt and I sat on the cabin porch, in near perfect weather, and watched the kids play in the yard. We made flower necklaces for the kids, which Kelsey loved. Colton? Not so much. He ripped his necklace to shreds about 2.5 seconds after we put it on. Then he tried to eat it.

colton mom blog

Both kids were in good spirits so I figured I would try to get a photo of them together. It’s impossible to do at home, but this time I thought it would be different.

I convinced myself that this is the day they would magically listen to me and smile at the same time. Just once. Just once! I would like a photo of both of them together. But on this day, a photo with his sister was the farthest thing from his mind. Oh well, the outtakes are kind of the best takes anyway.

Side note: How proud are you of Kelsey for holding her pose while trying to wrangle in her brother? That’s talent.

many hats of a mom blog

Guacamole without a side of guilt

I found a way to eliminate the guilt of eating an entire bowl of guacamole. You just switch out the chips for carrots (they crunch like chips so you get the same feeling) and then sprinkle something healthy inside, like dried fruit or pomegranate seeds (like I did below) and voilà … guilt be gone. You’re welcome.

food recipe guacamole

Summer Road Trip with Kids

My recommendation when taking two kids on a summer road trip is to:

1. Have their favorite song (on repeat)

2. Pack books and toys to play with

3. Load the car up with snacks

4. Put sunshades on their windows

5. Make mini pit stops along the way

We took the kids on a little road trip this weekend. We were on our way to our family cabin. We had the iPad with movies tucked in my bag but never needed it. The kids didn’t nap but to our surprise they kept themselves busy.

We also took mini stops along the way that really helped. Especially the last stop at Bison Ranch (a colorful spot between Phoenix and Pinetop). We got the kids cookies and cream ice cream; I was just about to grab a table inside when Kelsey said, “Mom it’s nice outside. Let’s eat out there.”

Bison Ranch Bison Ranch Bison RanchBison Ranch

Bison Ranch Notice anything about Kelsey? Yep, her new thing is to stick her tongue at me when I take a photo. Just you wait … our entire weekend looked like this.