Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Beary Good Finished Object

The bear is finally done! I sewed his face on today. Honestly that was the most challenging part of the whole project. I think it looks okay but it took me a few tries to get it right.

Now onto the other toys!

Homemade Donuts

Today we made homemade donuts. This was a recipe that E and his sister made when they were kids so E thought it would be fun to try with our family. The recipe is simple - all that is needed is biscuit dough, oil, donut toppings and a fryer. We used powdered sugar and chocolate frosting.

(Side note: I'm really excited about the fryer. Our old one was one my in-laws let us have that was older than E. It was a good machine while it lasted!)

The biscuits are placed in the fryer - only three or four at a time so they don't get crowded.

They are cooked for just a few minutes on one side until they are golden brown then they are turned to cook on the other side. They fry super fast so the whole batch only takes about five minutes.

Place them on a plate with paper towels to absorb the the excess oil and let them set for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle. The goal is to have them warm enough that the powdered sugar sticks to them but not so hot that the powdered sugar absorbs. If you are frosting them, they can sit for a little longer.

We did three variations - powdered sugar, chocolate frosted and powdered sugar filled with chocolate.

I think the chocolate filled was my favorite - it reminded me of one of the flavors at Dunkin Donuts. Happy donut making!

This post is linked over at I heart naptime

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Year New Resolutions (Part 14)

One of the items on my resolutions list was to try a new veggie. I'm not a big vegetable fan - I pretty much only eat salads, carrots, green beans and corn. I also like artichoke hearts, asparagus and celery but don't eat those as often. So i figured it was important to include it.

So today I decided to try beets. To be honest the only reason I tried them was because of this list. Beets just do not look appealing to me. I think it's the color.

Anyways...I went to a restaurant called Copper Blues tonight with some coworkers. The place is amazing; the decor is very warm toned and classy. They have a wide selection of beers on tap plus a few appetizers. A fellow coworker decided to order candied beets in a mascarpone cheese and she let me sample one. Gotta say it wasn't all that good to me. But at least I tried something new.

Now I just need to get cracking on the rest of the resolutions. Three months to go in the year and I've only done 14 of the 29 goals. Eeep!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An (almost) finished object

I'm just about finished with the Teddy Bear for my niece for Christmas and I couldn't wait to share it!

I still need to embroider the face on - hopefully I can get that done this weekend but I need to get some floss to do so. I plan on posting another pic when he is 100% done.

This has been an awesome pattern to knit with; the pattern is Baby Bear from Itty Bitty Toys. The instructions are super easy to follow. I think the only place I got tripped up on was attaching the feet to the legs. I did make a few modifications too. I wanted it larger so I went with a worsted weight instead of a sock weight and I adjusted my needles accordingly (I used size fives). I also made the body parts slightly longer since the yarn is heavier.

I can't wait to do something else from this book! However I have to get a few other things out of the way first. I've started on a Ladybug for my other niece for Christmas. I'm a little nervous about that one since only three other people have it in their projects on Ravelry. There's not a whole lot to compare to! Should be cute when it's done though. I'll hopefully have pics of that soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Phoenix Children's Museum

I had promised C a little while back that we would go to the Children's Museum sometime in September. Well today ended up being the day (yay vacation days!) Last night I told him that we would be doing something fun in the morning and he began to guess. Pizza? No. Play area? No. Mexico? Ummm, what?! The kid is creative, I'll give him that!

So this morning he remembered that I had told him we were going this month and figured that was my surprise. Of course he was really excited. We went once before, a year ago, and he still remembered some of the highlights and couldn't wait to go again.

The museum is absolutely amazing. It's geared for kids under 10 but grown ups can definitely enjoy some of it too. They have a three story treehouse, craft area, store, kitchen, fort building, trike riding, car racing and a noodle forest. C and I managed to spend almost four hours there!

Here's C cooking in the kitchen

Painting time! He somehow managed to even get paint in his hair!

The racing area - they have cars and motorcycles for the kids to sit on and giant race car tracks for toy cars. They also have a bus cutout where you can horn the horn, open the doors and more just like the song. This is C singing "the Wheels on the Bus" as he plays.

The fort building area was C's favorite. They have sheets, crates, traffic cones, giant clips and other things for the kids to craft however they want. (I may have gotten into it too.) C was very proud of his fort.

Here's my favorite photo from today:

Such a cutie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Family Blessings

I'm linking up with Gretchen's I'm Blessed party over at He Sows and She Sews today. One of the biggest blessings in my life this week has been spending lots of time with my family. E and I lucked out - we both had family in town this weekend.

Both of E's parents had birthdays this weekend and his mom's birthday was a milestone one too! So we all got together at my BIL's house to celebrate. Four of E's aunts and his grandmother came over - all from out of town. It was a great time of family, food and fun!

Here's J enjoying some yummy Mexican food.

C ran around playing with his cousins...

...and also enjoyed a little down time with a video game

Here's E and J with the birthday gal! (sorry the lighting is so crummy - it was getting dark outside)

Even if the party was the only thing that happened, the weekend would have been great. But we were also blessed with more family with my grandma visiting from out of state. So yesterday we went over to my mom's house to visit with everyone.

Here's J outside enjoying the cooler weather (finally!)

Here's C and one of his cousins

The kids also got a little silly with some costumes

Their grandpa had to join in the fun too!

We also managed to get a nice picture of the kids!

What a great (busy) weekend! I also realize that I am so lucky to be in my thirties and still have three grandparents around! And my kids still have four great grandparents. What a blessing to have family!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I want Chocolate!

So one of the things on my resolutions list was to give up Chocolate for a week. Chocolate is definitely my favorite food so I wanted to try a little restraint. So as of bedtime Wednesday night last week, I said no to Chocolate. Well it's now bedtime on Wednesday again and I made it! I think it was good for me. I was able to cut back on my sweets consumption overall. Occasionally I would still have something sweet (not chocolate of course) but it wasn't an even trade of chocolate for other junk. Sometimes I had something healthy instead and other times I realized I wanted to snack even though I wasn't hungry so I didn't eat anything. Will I give up chocolate completely? Nope! But it was good for me to show some will power. Now about that midnight pantry raid...;)

Monday, September 5, 2011

I'm Blessed

Today I am focusing on the blessings in my life as part of the Blessings Party over at He Sows and She Sews.

The first blessing is an easy one - I'm so blessed to have an extra day off this week. Work has been so busy lately that I can barely keep up (it did slow down a little last week though, yay). It's great to have an extra day to hang with the boys. And even though I'm glad to have the day off, I'm really blessed to have a good job. Many people have crummy jobs or worse yet, no job at all.

I'm blessed to have a good husband who loves me very much.

I'm blessed to have to have two energetic little boys (even if this post is taking me twice as long because J is "helping")

I'm blessed to have a great family. My sisters and I even hang out with each other voluntarily not just at family gatherings. Yesterday we even had a girls lunch.

I'm blessed that C goes to such a great preschool. I have a great admiration for preschool teachers (especially because my mom is one). C has learned so much at school!

And this is a silly one but I'm so grateful that J is showing interest in the potty. I don't want my babies to grow up too quickly but I can safely say I won't miss diapers when he is done with them!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Italian chicken

Last night I checked another item off of my resolutions list - I found something new to cook this month. I knew I was going to use chicken for dinner but I was tired of the same way of cooking it so I marinated it. Such a simple recipe!

First I poked holes in my chicken breast so the would really absorb the marinade. (Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I had a toddler that would not be put down while I was cooking.) Then I added a little salt and a lot of pepper to the chicken. Everything went into a gallon sized ziplock bag and I poured in half a bottle of Italian dressing. The next step was the easiest - let it sit in the fridge for two hours. Once it was done marinating I added some olive oil to my cast iron skillet and turned the burner to medium. I sautéed the chicken until it was golden brown on both sides. It paired really well with the cheesy flat bread I picked up at Costco that day.

The verdict: I really liked it. It was a little sweet but a nice way of cooking the chicken differently. E said it was good but prefers the other way I cook chicken more. Now here's the strange part - C actually tried it and J wouldn't. Total switch from the norm! Overall I think I will add this to my list of dinner ideas.

On a totally unrelated note, I joined Pinterest on Friday. I'm still getting the hang of how it works but I can see already that it's going to be totally addicting. I've already found two new ideas for my house!