Be sure and check out my shop for a sweet summer sale!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, Wednesday

Well, I had great intentions of posting pictures of some things I've sewn lately, but the universe had other plans for me.  Apparently, the ozone layer is squishing all of the things my family is allergic to down on top of us and smothering us in snot.  My throat has been so sore, I've had a hard time sleeping.
So, I have decided to leave you with a funny photo to make you smile.

Are you smiling?  Good.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grab a cucumber!

I am so sure you are all waiting for me to stop talking about my vacation.  Well, I'm going to do it again.  But I promise, I am nearing the end!  I've been doing some sewing, so I will have some things to show this week.  The forecast is a rainy one this week, so I am sure I will be able to sew some more!

I'll get on with it now!  When I had my heavenly spa day, I was reintroduced to a refreshing drink! 
Cucumber water!
I've actually made this with fruit and heard of it with the cucumber, but never actually had it before!

Just slice up a cucumber, I like the seedless English type, put it in a pitcher with water and chill.  If you have some mint, toss some in, even better!

Mmmm, we are hooked.  It's a great way to get your 8 glasses in a day and it tastes good too!

I've made it with strawberries before and the spa also had it with pineapple!  Take your pick and be refreshed!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

W is for Wonderful Memories

While on our vacation, we got to visit with my younger brother, Stuart who lives in Florida.  He drove down and had some fun times with us.  It was awesome.  Being a part of a big family is so great.
I truly want my children to experience all of the love they can from my siblings, so any chance we get to meet up, even if just for a meal, I jump at it.
Here are some photos of what I feel will be wonderful memories of my girls' Uncle Stuart, eating sushi, trading silly bandz, and being silly!

I am playing along with Jenny for Alpha B Thursday!
Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Everyone knows Jimmy Buffett

Well, here we are back in reality.  We've made our way home from the Florida Keys and out from under the pile of laundry.  It took me a couple of days, but I think I've pretty much got it together.  Except for the fact that now my back is acting up again!  It seems as if long periods of sitting does it to me, so I blame it on the car ride to the airport and then the flight home.  Lucky for me it didn't happen until we got home!

Our trip was just fabulous!  We stayed in Islamorada, which I had no idea existed before last week.  It is just past Key Largo.  We stayed at the lovely Cheeca Lodge and Spa, which is apparently a favorite spot of George H.W. Bush.  It's funny, everything there is described with it's mile marker.  Cheeca was mile marker 82.  My brother says Key West is mm 0.  That's where we'll head next time.  That's where Jimmy Buffett has a home.  Everyone who had frequented these parts (that we spoke to) had a story about Jimmy.  I'm jealous.  I've loved Jimmy for years. 

Anyway, back to the vacation.  We arrived, checked out our digs and headed for the pool.  I was so doped on Dramamine that I could hardly keep my eyes open.  This was quite obvious when we went to dinner, as I almost fell asleep in my sushi.  I guess it's not wise to mix coconut margaritas and Dramamine.  Take note.

The next morning was great.  My birthday.  We had breakfast brought to the room and then I was off to my surprise spa appointment.  Ahhhh, wonderful.
Then some more pool time.  Then to a great dinner.  We had a beautiful table in the corner with a great view of the ocean.  These were waiting on the table for me.

My husband is so sweet.  He thought of everything.  After dinner, a whole key lime pie (what else?) arrived with fresh strawberries and "Happy Birthday Andrea" swirled around the plate in chocolate!  Oh my gosh it was so so good.

The lover boy and me.
Me and my big girl.
The little petunia enjoying some chocolate ganache.

I know this is getting boring for some of you, so I will just finish up by showing you the bathtub in the room!  We went back after dinner to watch a movie before bedtime and enjoy the cool tub!

The water came down from the ceiling!  This little area was open air.  It was right beside the patio and had the little curtains that closed it in for privacy.  We wanted to wake up and watch the sunrise from here, but we couldn't wake up that early!

I will share some more photos in the days to come!

Goodbye Cheeca, I will miss you!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Over the hill is not so bad...

My husband has swept me away to a fabulous birthday celebration.  I began my fortieth year in a spa!
Waking up to this and being with the three people I love most in the world makes forty oh so great.
See you in a few days with more photos and a recap!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yes, I guess I am a stage mom

Well, not exactly!  This past week my kids have been working hard to get ready for their big night of dancing for the season.  THE dance recital.

At last year's recital, my little petunia was two and a half and fussed the whole second half of the show saying, "Is it my turn now?  I want to dance on the big stage!"  So over the summer we worked on the potty training and signed her up. 
Well, now we know, the stage is her power button.  Once she walked on, she came alive!  It was so cute!
It seemed as if when she didn't know what came next, she made up her own moves and kept right on going!  I loved it.

That was the FIRST number!

posing in the hallway

I am so proud of her!  She did so well.

My big girl is a little pro at recitals now.  This is her third year.  She was fabulous.  She practiced all on her own at home and knew all the moves.  She decided that next year she doesn't want to do ballet and tap, she's going to try out jazz.  I think she will do wonderful!  (Umm, as any stage mom would, right?)

These are all during dress rehearsal.  That's the only time we can go up to the stage and take pictures. 

Each year during the 5-6 year old numbers, they choose one (ballet or tap) to be a "Daddy/Daughter" dance.  This year they chose tap and it was an event to remember!

Yes, that is...THE SPRINKLER!  The instructors have a great sense of humor!

Auntie Janine was here for the big performance!

Another year under our belts.  We are ready to go and frolic on some beaches and have a fun summer!  I am sure it won't be without some dressing up and dancing along the way!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sweet Potato Pancakes

If you are a mom, I am sure you've heard of the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld.  My older daughter has never been a real  picky eater, but my little one definitely fits the bill.  A few years ago, I asked for the cookbook and have found some real favorites inside of it!  My husband's all time fav is the pancake recipe.  The deception--sweet potatoes!  The flavor is not really hidden here, like some of the other recipes, but it really makes them taste great!  (if you haven't heard of this cookbook, the idea is that you puree vegetables and some fruit and add them to recipes like chicken nuggets, pasta dishes, soups, etc. and the flavor is hidden, resulting in your family eating more veggies)

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and I asked him what he wanted for dinner.  Here I am thinking he will say something like a fish dish.  Nope, he asked for sweet potato pancakes!  So funny.  So I am sharing the recipe with you because even if you only like sweet potatoes just a little, you will enjoy these pancakes!

You will need to puree' sweet potatoes for this recipe.  You can bake some sweet potatoes and puree, buy canned sweet potatoes and puree', use baby food (use a little less water if you do this), or buy canned mashed sweet potatoes.  Sometimes, I just don't have the time to do fresh which is ideal.

Pancakes from "Deceptively Delicious"

1 cup water
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional, but good)
1 cup pancake mix
nonstick cooking spray
1tbsp canola or veg oil
Pure maple syrup

1. In a large bowl, mix the water, sweet potato puree, and cinnamon or pie spice, if using.  Add the pancake mix and stir just to combine--the batter should be lumpy.

2. Coat a griddle or nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over med-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the oil and spoon the batter onto the pan using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.

3.  Cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancakes and the batter is set, 2-3 minutes.  Then use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook them until golden brown on the other side, 2-3 minutes.

Serve just as you would any pancake! 

This could become a family favorite and a dinner request!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to my hunk of burning love

Happy Birthday my sweet, gorgeous husband!
Oh, how I love that man.  Sigh.

Tonight, by request, we will be enjoying sweet potato pancakes for dinner, followed by chess bars.
If you are interested, I will post the recipes!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

If the house is a rockin'

Last weekend we attended a "back porch concert" at a local winery.  We were so excited to go because
the band playing was the same one that played at our wedding reception!
The weather wasn't too hot, we brought a picnic dinner and bought some wine to go along with it.
We had a lot of fun!

My little chickens had a ball.  They loved the grass, so soft on their little feet.

Towards the end of the night, the horns came down and played out front.  It was awesome.  I have a special love for horns since my dad was a musician.  He played the sax and trumpet.  He would have loved this band!

This is the band leader, Ezra Charles.  He has a son, 13, who plays the drums and one night a week they go together and play music at one of the hospitals in the Houston Medical Center.  (I can't remember if it's MD Anderson or TX Children's, but awesome either way!)

Check out this big tree!  The area behind the back porch was full of beautiful pecan trees.  It was a great night!