Cold Stone Cinnamon Bun Batter Ice Cream. If you like cinnamon, you have to try this. I'm not sure how long it will be around so I got it in the "everybody" size, haha. I don't add mix-ins because Cold Stone's ice cream is just that good.
There are two kinds of dessert made in this house. Good for you desserts for the kids, and butter/sugar bombs for the mister and me. These are for the kids...
Anyways, these are slighly better for you than normal, and I'd even consider these a reasonable substitute for brownies (and I love brownies). I'm a chocolate person, and these were choclatey enough for me without being too much. Their good warm, room temperature, and cold from the fridge! These little guys are awesome! You could definitely make this in the traditional bananna bread way, but I love the mini-cupcakes for portion control for the kiddos.
Chocolate Banana Muffins
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup applesauce (the single serve applesauce cups are 1/3 cup!)
3 mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour (I use half whole wheat half unbleached)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 350. Spray bottom of muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Beat sugar, eggs, and applesauce in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla at low speed. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; beat into banana mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3 Spoon batter into pan. Bake 15-25minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
discovered that a tablespoon fills the mini cups perfectly. My six year old did this with hardly a mess!
I didn't actually come up with the main portion of this meal on my own, so I don't think it's too boastful to say that it was awesome. Ate-so-much-my-stomach-hurts kind of awesome. I found the recipe over at Cooking Classy She has a million amazing looking recipes and her pictures are gorgeous. My food never looks that pretty. You can see for yourself. Shredding the beef takes a little time, but other than that it's simple and quick to put together. I cooked mine for 7.5 hours and it turned out very tender. We had ours on corn tortillas with pico de gallo, sour cream, and cheese. We were also going to have guacamole, but Dallas ate my avacado.
A few weeks ago there was a demonstration at the PX where someone was trying to sale a food processor, and he made a pico de gallo that I got to sample and it was delicious. I made today's from memory, and whether or not I actually matched his, this was really good. Sam and Allie even liked it. I used my Magic Bullet blender to speed things up, so technically it may be salsa since it's runnier than it's supposed to be. You can always chop everything by hand if you need to though!
Anyways, here is the recipe although everything is to taste:
2.5-3 roma tomatoes
1/4 yellow pepper
1/4 red onion
juice from 1/2 a lime
small bunch of cilantro (I normally don't like cilantro, but here I did)
1/2 tsp salt
Jalepeno to taste. I wanted the kids to eat this, so I didn't use much as you can see(even this might be too much for some kids though)
I have a confession. I am a little embarrassed about my whole blogging thing. I started it about a year ago to help add a little adult interaction to my day (even if that interaction is just me talking to myself) and it's been a fun outlet. I know I'm not cool, crafty, or clever enough to ever have a popular blog (actually, I've never really tried to gain followers because I don't think I have anything new or interesting to add to the world). I do have a few friends that read my blog, and sometimes I feel kind of sorry for you, cause I bet it's a little boring. I really appreciate the support though! :) I was thinking that instead of always just talking about what my kids are doing, I'd make it a little more fun. What I like reading in other's blogs are recipes, crafts, and decorating ideas. I also really like when people show off stuff around their house. It's kind of like they're giving you permission to be the snoop everyone secretly wants to be. ;) So, I think I'll add some of that stuff to make this a little less dull. I'm also currently trying to lose a good chunk of weight so I think I'll do updates on that since knowing that other people know will keep me motivated.
Apparently I'm computer illiterate, because I have been trying to change the template on the blog and I cannot get it to work for the life of me. I can figure out how to modify the ones that blogger has but I can't get it to change correctly to one from another site. I follow the directions, but it comes out weird. I mostly like the one I have now except that it seems kind of gloomy. And boring. A problem I seem to have... Any suggestions? I will gladly take them!
Anyways, I wanted to tell mention one last thing from my little trip last week. These are called "everlasting love" roses. When a soldier went off to war, his lover would send him away with a rose made from palmetto tree leaves, which they were supposed to bring back. It's sweet and sad to think of a wife sending her husband away with a little rose, because obviously the meaning is that he will survive the war and come home to her. I thought they were really neat.
I also forgot to mention that our trip almost had a very bad ending. On the last day, I left the keys in the trunk and didn't realize my mistake until we were about a mile away on foot. Ugh. Obviously someone could have taken the car, or anything that we left in the trunk-like Joel's expensive laptop. We also happen to not have a spare key (really stupid, it's on my to-do list for the week) so if I had lost them, I'm sure it would have been crazy expensive. Thankfully someone took them to the parking garage security. The nice thing is that Joel was really nice about it the whole time.. I guess that's how you know you married a good one. :P
I wanted to save this post for when the kids were in bed, and I had plenty of time to get my thoughts out. When I was fourteen, my family and I were in a hotel in the middle of moving to Colorado, when Columbine High School was attacked. I think that's the first time I really understood how horribly soon and tragic life can be (I was also very happy when April 20th came and went without my little Owen being born)
Now, thirteen years later, Colorado has the movie theater massacre. I haven't watched much about it on the news, and honestly I hardly ever watch the news since becoming a mom. Maybe I'm naive, and maybe I'm being ignorant, but I feel as if I'm suffocating in the sorrow and horror I read about. I lose sleep over it. It makes me wonder what Joel and I were thinking bringing our precious children into this world. Obviously it's important to be aware of the suffering of those around us, but I don't know...is there such a thing as too much news? I think maybe there is.
I hardly ever talk politics, but I'm going to wander into it now. I've always voted Republican, I'm fine with people having guns, but I have to say, I can see why people want stronger gun laws. Why on earth are regular people able to buy automatic rifles that can shoot off 100 rounds?? If you can give me an answer I would honestly like to know. I know we can talk Constitutional rights, but the world is a whole lot different now than it was back then. They say we all need guns to fight off the crazies (or the government depending on who you're talking to), but doesn't that just escalate itself in a continual circle? I haven't put a lot of thought into the matter before this week. I'm guessing there is no right answer. Look at Sweden.
In one of the few articles I read, I saw a lot of people saying that the whole thing is a government conspiracy. Holmes was programmed by the CIA to do what he did so the government can take away our rights. I'll let you make your own decision on that one...
Anyways, my prayers are with all the victims, and friends and families of those affected in this tragedy...for those who will never again see their loved ones, and for all those who were in the movie theater who will forever live with the mental scars this event will leave them with. Finally, the girl in this article is a friend of a friend of mine. I definitely recommend you read this story. Absolutely amazing. http://bstrait.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/a-miracle-inside-the-the-aurora-shooting-one-victims-story/
Vacation went well! I absolutely love Charleston, the history of the city is amazing. I already picked out the house we'll buy if ever we become millionaires (Joel assures me that I don't have to worry about that happening, haha). Our hotel was what we were expecting, although we could have stayed until Monday free of charge which was nice even though we didn't do it. Turns out going to the beach with a bitty baby isn't easy, but we found a spot with a long pier that had lots of shade and camped there every day. I also realized that instead of all the cool, light clothing I packed for Owen, what he really needed was a long sleeve footed onsie to keep the sand off of him. My kids could have also had just a teeny bit more fear of the ocean, but I was glad they had so much fun! Also, baby powder works really really well at getting sand off, so thank you pinterest for that one. Haha, and finally, that swimsuit I mentioned in my last post-definitely not for the beach-it has a lining which traps sand. Not fun.
Fort Sumter-where the Civil War started
the flag that flew over the fort during the war
Owen and me hanging out under the pier
Sullivan's Island-gorgeous, but half of all the slaves brought to America came through here
We are headed to Charleston for a week long vacation this Saturday. We're thinking it will either be relaxing and a lot of fun, or a very painful experience. I'm guessing it will be a combination of the two because that's kind of how having kids always is (minus the relaxing part). Anyways, I though I'd share some of my favorite vacation things!
Value Place: This hotel is the only reason we're staying an entire week. We're only paying $260 after taxes for seven nights (compare that to the $80 we spent last year in the off season for a one night stay in a not great hotel in the same location and it's an amazing deal). It's not a traditional hotel in the that there is no daily housekeeping, but there is a full kitchen, so we'll be able to make meals while there and save even more money!
Assets by Sara Blakely Swimsuit (Target, $50): between the ruching and the built-in spandex, I actually felt more confident in this swimsuit a month after having a baby than in almost any other thing I owned, which is kinda crazy. The skirt is a short one so it's actually makes your tush look cute and doesn't look like your trying to hide.
ArizonaBrand swimsuit (J.C. P., $9): I don't think there is a single little girl swimsuit that I don't love.
Children's Place Gauze Cover-Up ($5)
Arctic Zone Thermal Tote (Walmart, $10): Charleston is only three hours away, so we'll be bringing along groceries. The bag claims to carry 50 soda cans + ice, and I believe it. We should fit everything that needs to stay cold in here with no problem.
Sylvania 7" Dual Screen Portable DVD Player with Dual DVD Players(http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sylvania-7-Dual-Screen-Portable-DVD-Player-with-Dual-DVD-Players-SDVD8791/16474467, $95): I wanted dvd players for the trip to Texas, but figured we might as well get them for this weekend, so we haven't actually used these yet. This set only plays one movie, but it comes with two players. One of the main reasons I bought this one though is that it comes with headrest mounts. I'm reeeeeally hoping that they'll last longer since the kids sticky little fingers won't actually be touching them. That's the theory at least. My car is pretty little so they'll probably still be able to reach.
We've had our mini Schnauzer for about eight months now, and I have to say that he has become a very respectable member of our family. He has turned out to be a really great little dog, and considering he's still a puppy, that makes him even better. I have always been a big dog person (I once tried hard to convince my husband to let me get a St. Bernard, but thankfully he has more common sense than I do) but I now see the appeal in smaller. Dallas is full grown at 20 pounds-he's got all the benefits of a small dog, but is big enough to really rough play with the kids. He's also not yappy like a lot of little ones, but something I like is that he "talks" a lot. If he's upset or excited he'll do a half howl/bark. The biggest issue we've had with him is that he's a submissive pee'er (peeer? pee-er?), so anytime we come home from being gone, he gets in trouble, or we want him to do something he isn't comfortable with, it all comes out. Super annoying, and getting upset about it only makes it worse, but we've found that completely ignoring it (the peeing) and him (when we get home) helps a lot. It seems a little mean not to greet him when he's so happy to see us, but it works. Hopefully he outgrows it ("they" say dogs normally do around 2'ish). That and eating all the kids toys. Anyways, we gave Dallas his first Schnauzer trim the other day (we did it ourselves so it's definitely not perfect), and looks like a totally different dog. I think we'll probably keep him in a more natural coat from now on, but we'll see :)
It was my sweet Annaleigh's third birthday yesterday! It's the first birthday that she has really understood what was going to happen, so I was excited for her, and she was excited for herself! She had a lot of ideas about what "kind" of party to have: donkey, Lightning McQueen, kitty, princess, Madagascar...but we finally settled on princess. I have to say Annaleigh's main present, a doll house, is pretty awesome, but I'm thinking it was a mistake. That thing is a beast. It's enormous, hopefully her next bedroom has enough room, or it may be going.
Annaleigh wanted a castle cake , and although it didn't turn out anywhere near what I was going for (originally it was supposed to be a square bottom and smaller circle cake on top) but it still turned out all right. Anyways, here are some pictures from the day:
Sam gave Allie his old spiderman scooter. We spraypainted it pink for her :)