Saturday, December 13, 2014

Buh-Bye Baby Hair...

I had no intentions of cutting Rose's hair until she was closer to three.  Let's face it, she doesn't have that much hair and it isn't that long so why would I want to cut off that adorable baby hair?

Enter Cold-Season 2014.

See, Rose's hair kind of all falls forward.  It's constantly in her face and eyes.  Even worse?  It's in her nose.  Her snotty, crusty nose.  Which mean, I'm constantly pulling it off her her face and picking boogers out of it.  Yeah....that's not so adorable.  Put a clip in it, you say?  Sure.  That's a great solution except that her hair is so fine that they don't stay in well and the rubber bands for a pony tail pull or break her beautiful hair.

The logical course of action: haircut.

I made an appointment for Rose to see Miss Gwyn of Pengwyn Cuts after reading numerous reviews that were all glowing.   I'm so happy with the results.

As we waited, I snapped one last "before" picture...

Rose got to pick a movie to watch and pick a few toys to play with before Gwyn got to work.

All the ends got evened out....

Rose even did great with the blow-drier...

And here's the first "after" picture.

My little Sweet Pea got a Dum Dum afterwards.  I think she was most excited about that.

And I got a cute "First Haircut" certificate and a handful of the first clippings.

Gwyn did a fantastic job.  We will definitely be using her again.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Last Night, First Night

 On her last night in her crib she gave me big smiles...

And adorable poses...

 And discovered a little something special in her room.
(It's been there since before she was born.  A girl named Rose Tyler definitely needed a TARDIS in her room.  Simon made me proud when he recognized it and exclaimed, "That's from Dr Who!"  Aah...Raising little nerds...)

On the first night in her toddler bed she read a book.

And was so excited to be a big girl.

She made me kiss all her animals goodnight before tucking her in.

She read another book and I said goodnight.

And she went to sleep.
Well....I had to put her back in her bed and say goodnight again twice.

And she wakes up all cute and smiley and scrunchy faced like this:

And then she tries to make her bed.

Adorable little girl kind of loves her bed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Spiderman and the Bunny

I love Halloween.  What other night of the year is it perfectly acceptable for my kids to leave the house looking like this?
 And this...
And for me to look like this...

Let alone the walking around asking for candy....

We also attended a chili cookoff at my parents church...

 And after posing for pictures in front of the "Great Pumpkin" didn't pan out...
 ...we headed into the carnival to play games...

Eat carnival food...
 Pose for pictures...
 And run, bounce, and slide to an obstacle course...
And then there's my sweet bunny showing off her loot to Papa...

 When the bunny got tired, we called it a night and headed home.

Such a fun evening with Spiderman and the bunny.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Drama Queen

To the tune of "Dancing Queen:"

She is my drama queen...
She didn't want to sit on her chair.

Young and Sweet...Until she screams.
She wanted Duck-Duck.
Duck-Duck is right behind her.

Oh, Drama Queen... When I don't give in
I gave her pretzels when she asked for pretzels.
the tears will stream...Oh, yeah.
I don't even know what this drama was all about.

You can pout.  You can cry.
She didn't want to put on her jacket.
It won't work but you sure can try.
You'd think I was trying to feed her worm not pasta.
Ooooooh.  See that girl?  Making a scene?
Ironically she started smiling right after I took this one.
Hammed it up for the camera.
She's my drama queen.
First-class storm out.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Salad in a Jar

Who doesn't want a healthy, convenient lunch to take to work?  Grab and go.  I can't get better than that, can it?  I'd seen these make-ahead salads a few years ago on pinterest and loved the idea.  But honestly, I was a bit skeptical.  Prepping salads for an entire week and they're still good?  When it got the stamp of approval from a few friends I decided to give it a go.  I wish I'd tried it sooner.
There is a lot of prep that can go into these but it's worth it to knock it all out at once.  There's also a number of different combinations of vegetables, meats, and dressing to help keep things more interesting.  I'm on week five and have tried three different versions so far.

Not pictured but the first thing you'll want to do is cook your meat if you're using any.  I've used both chicken and taco seasoned ground beef.  You want your meat to completely cool before you put it in the jars or you greens will wilt.

Next up, measure your dressing and pour it into the bottom of the jars.  Pictured is Italian dressing.  (I splurged and bought the Olive Garden dressing.  Worth it!) Then chop your veggies.  I've got carrots, roma tomatoes, celery, and snap peas this time.  I also like to use cucumbers but forgot to the buy one this week.  I usually put these veggies right on top of the dressing.  Just keep in mind that whatever is actually resting in the dressing will marinate in it.

Add your fully cooked and completely cooled meat.  These 5 jars are getting shredded chicken breast.

The lat thing to add if your leafy greens.  Whatever leafy greens you like.   I've got kale, spinach, and lettuce in these jars. Cram as much in as you want. 

Screw the lids on and refrigerate.  I grab one in the morning before work and at lunch just shake it up and eat.  (Okay, so I usually shake it up and pour it in a bowl but that's not entirely necessary.) 
The longest I've had one in my fridge is 6 days and it was still delicious on day 6. 

I've made mine in three version: chicken and veggies (above), taco salad, and buffalo chicken salad.

Taco salad (in this order) salsa, dollop of sour cream, 1/4 cup each black beans, corn, tomato, seasoned ground beef or turkey, spinach, lettuce, and cheese.

Buffalo chicken: ranch dressing, shredded chicken soaked in buffalo sauce, celery, carrots, snap peas, spinach, lettuce, and cheese.

For the cheese I got these great little containers at the dollar store.  They hold the perfect amount of cheese and fit great on top of all the greens right inside the jar.

I made 10 jars this week.  It took about 1 hear of iceberg lettuce and 1/2 a bag of spinach.  I've never purchased or used kale before -- I'm trying a new recipe tomorrow that calls for it -- so it was just a randomish thought to throw a little in. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Earthquake Cake

My grandmother makes this amazing dessert called Earthquake Cake.  Coconut and pecans covered in a moist chocolate cake with pockets of sweetened cream cheese... Heavenly.  It's one of my favorite desserts and I always look forward to family events where Grandma will likely serve this amazing concoction. 

While I love the traditional version I had a thought a few weeks ago that a pumpkin version would be amazing as well.  I mean, pumpkin goes well with pecans, coconut and cream cheese, right?  Absolutely worth a try.  I just needed an excuse to make such a cake since I'm apparently the only person in my immediate family who likes coconut.  With Boss's Day last Thursday I had the perfect excuse.

The base:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut

The cake:*
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce pumpkin puree1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour

The "frosting":
1/2 margarine
1 8oz package cream cheese
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 pan.  Combine the pecans and coconut and spread them evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Set it aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin.  Mix until combined and smooth.

Add salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda.  Then add the flour 1/2 cup at a time.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Nobody likes a lumpy cake.

Spread the cake batter evenly over the pecan and coconut base.  Set aside.

To make your "frosting" combine butter and cream cheese in your mixing bowl.  (And I admit that I didn't even clean mine in between.)  Beat until smooth and then add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  The original recipe I have says to use 1 lb of powdered sugar.  That's 1/2 a bag.  Ultimately you want a smooth but not too stiff frosting.  Add your vanilla at the very end.

Once your frosting is complete drop by spoonfuls across the top of the cake.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You're cake should look something like this...
The cake bakes up around the cream cheese and then as it cools it all kind of falls a little bit.  The flavors all mesh and combine and it becomes a gooey mass of deliciousness.  How could you not love this cake?

 Apparently, my coworkers enjoyed it. It was mostly demolished by the end of lunch and there wasn't a crumb left to bring home.

*I don't make a lot of cakes from scratch.  This batter was altered slightly from one at Kitchen Meet Girl.