Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Hooray for small victories!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Recipe from Sandra Lee:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 graham crackers, broken into quarters
- 1 ripe banana, chopped
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 (10.5-ounce) bag mini marshmallows
For Peanut Butter Sauce:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray an 11 by 7-inch baking dish or a medium sized oval baking dish with cooking spray.
Layer half of graham crackers, chopped bananas, chocolate chips, and marshmallows into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Bake in for 10 to 12 minutes or until marshmallows have turned slightly golden and chocolate chips are melted.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk and pumpkin pie spice. Once the milk is hot, whisk in peanut butter until well combined and smooth and let cook for another 3 minutes until thick. Drizzle sauce over top of baked S'mores.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Well, maybe not this first one, the "Little Man" party. I will most likely be borrowing lots of these ideas for Simon's 2nd birthday in October - this is absolutely adorable. Simon gets referred to as the Little Man around here pretty often, so it's perfect!
Love this pirate party! Complete with free printables! So cute.
And this astronaut party is awesome.
Party on, party people!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
- your favorite salad greens (I use a spinach & spring mix mix.)
- a can of mandarin oranges (You could use less, but why? They're so yummy!)
- candied almonds (heat a skillet...add slivered "raw" almonds + a bit of sugar & stir until toasted...it only takes a minute or two...cool on wax paper or foil)
You can also add...
- chopped green onion (I usually leave them out.)
Toss toss toss. The orange juice is the dressing, which is what I love most about it. Dressings are always too gloppy, too thick or too tart for me. The orange juice is a perfect dressing.
Never thought I'd be a salad girl, what do you know!?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
- Crock pot country style pork ribs (boneless or bone-in, both work) all day on low or half day on high with nothing on 'em. Nothing.
- An hour before serving, shred meat with 2 forks and squirt in a bunch o' Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. (Remove bones if using bone-in ribs, obviously.)
- Serve up on slider buns. Or regular hamburger buns. Or whatever.
That's it! Delicious & best of all, soooo super simple.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Cut some flower and/or whatever shapes you like from some craft felt & glue gun 'em on to whatever headbands you like. We chose the stretchy fabric variety...$3 for 6 @Wal Mart.
Monday, July 19, 2010
(Easy + cheap DIY party decor...how-to here. Even I can do it!)
Blogging, though, is one of those things that I'd love to do more of but that always falls to the bottom of my priority list. Vegging with a snoozing baby and watching Seinfeld reruns seems to have replaced it. When I do take the time, I'm reminded why I LOVE it so much. So I'm going to make an effort to blog more consistently, starting with....PARTY WEEK! All this while I've been collecting links to some really amazing parties that I want to share with you and bookmark for myself. So this week I'll be sharing those links with you, along with updates on the kiddos and whatever else I can muster.
Are you still reading this? You deserve a trophy. So...you ready to party?
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Hooray for Costco & easy peasy catering! Croissant sandwiches, chips & fruit. I picked up a few Texas-shaped things...crackers, tortilla chips. (Got to love living in Texas, the most in-love-with-itself state in the nation.) Of course, the requisite orange soda and treats. Oh, and a couple o' cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes, a Mason family favorite.
Yum yum yum. I'm a little too into food, I know.
Which brings me to my next point. I'd really love to lose that baby weight. 10, 15 pounds. Someday. Once this munchkin gets a little bigger. Perhaps I'll invest in a jogging stroller. Give up Coca Cola and my nightly cookies. Really get serious. Maybe. Or maybe the baby weight just isn't bothering me that much...we'll see.
A few random Natalie things:
- I'm trying to psych myself up to becoming a couponer. I've been reading a few good couponing blogs. Saving random coupons. No serious coupon action yet, but I did buy a recipe organizer to use to organize those coupons. Baby steps.
- I'm addicted to "Daily Deal" sites such as Groupon & LivingSocial. I get very excited to receive my daily deals in my inbox every morning. That is very silly, I know. Perhaps I need to get a life.
- Inception was the dopest movie ever. LOVED it. So interesting. Would love to wax eloquent with any and all of you about your thoughts. And while we're at it, let's discuss the Lost finale, too.
- "Everything" bagels, Toll House "Chocolate Lovers" break-n-bake cookies, County Line day old bread (toasted, with peanut butter), microwave peanut butter/chocolate brownies and salad greens w/mandarin oranges & candied almonds are my current favorite foods. Healthy diet, right? Hmm, see my "wish I could lose the baby weight" lament above...Hey, at least there is a salad on that list! Oh, and baby carrots with miso dressing to dip. Yumma.
- Seinfeld reruns are our distraction of choice around here lately. Never gets old. Other summer favorites: The Good Guys, Lie to Me and Burn Notice.
Look at this little chica! Smiling! Can you see that?! She smiles! She gurgles and tries her best to communicate via her eyeballs. (Seriously, you can almost see the words that she's trying so hard to burst forth from under them.) She's delightful. Sleeps until 5am-ish, usually. And takes great naps. (Usually. Not presently. Grrr.) She feels she needs to be constantly held. Which is sweet until you want to get anything at all done. But seriously, who doesn't love a fuzzy-headed snuggle with that girl? I've got more than my share of volunteer snugglers, and I hardly ever pass on the job myself! She's a goodie.
How about the little man? This guy kills me. He's such a combo of Maya & Mason. Independent and sure of what he wants (and completely capable of getting it, mind you), like his sis. But also goofy and silly like his bro. And he's so much himself, too. Quite a love, that guy. Obsessed with shoes. And food. Hmm, like his Mama.
So where are the others?
Oh, there they are! Chugging their orange sodas. Maya & Mason are quite the pair these days. They are so inventive...always up to something clever. Maya is the idea queen, and Mason is her perfect accomplice. And he's got some amusing things up his sleeve as well. They are noisy and funny and creative. Some randoms:
- Maya got to change out her earrings! She quite loves picking out a new pair each day.
- Mason had his first solo playdate! Although he prefers to have Maya along for the ride, he ventured out on his own. (On Maya's advice, of course. Thank goodness she's willing to help me out with the coaxing.)
- Legos are the big thing around here at the moment. Well, Legos and espionage. Never a dull moment.
- From here on out, it's all about summer camps! Mason has Little Gym camp this coming week (all on his own!). The week after that, there's art camp for both. Then Maya has a 2 week morning camp at her new elementary school, followed by a dance camp the week before school starts. Man, this summer has gone fast.
- Maya is LOVING summer basketball league. And we're loving it, too. I'm all in favor of indoor sports. I think Maya will do volleyball in the fall. Should be fun!
Hmm, who am I forgetting. Chris! Right! That guy is always behind the camera, so he's "not pictured", at least this time. Some Chris randoms:
- His latest wardrobe preference is the "vintage" tees that are the big thing. He's got Coca Cola. He's got Dr. Pepper. He's got some soccer shirt. And Texas Longhorns, of course. Vintage tees + lace-less Converse. Such a kid! A very handsome kid.
- Now that World Cup is over, he will have to turn his attention to predicting what College Football will hold this fall.
- His (and my) current favorite Band of Horses is playing everywhere but here. Well, they're playing here, but at the Austin City Limits festival. And we're too old for festivals. Sad times.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Since seeing Toy Story 3, we've been referring to Simon as "Big Baby". I have to remind myself all the time that this guy is, in fact, still a baby! He's just a big baby. A very sweet one, most of the time. He's starting to talk more. He says "Lucy" and "Maya" very well. Shoe. Please. Thank you. Buzz Lightyear. (Okay, it's more like "BzzzEEEE".) Cookie. Blankie. 'Rama. (Grandma, of course.) Choo Choo. And, you know, Mama, Dada, MommEEEEEEE.
Things Simon loves:
- His blankie.
- Shoes. (Especially mine.)
- Getting into the pantry and helping himself to snacks.
- Reorganizing the game cabinet. (By that I mean...dumping all the games out onto the floor.)
- His nap.
- "Reading" to himself.
- His sisters & brother.
Things I love: Simon. He's the greatest.
PS - Lucy is also in that picture! She's starting to coo! And smile! And sleep through the night sometimes! She loves her binkey. And her Mommy. And snuggling. We adore her too!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Simon had his first hair cut a few weeks ago...geez, I'm behind! What am I doing around here? ;) Anyway, that kid's job seems to be to throw me for a loop. I think I've got things figured out...he's my third child, I should know what I'm doing by now...and he likes to change the game. I put this hair cut off...and off...and off. He was growing a pretty sweet mullet. But I was just dreading it so much. After all, Maya threw down hard at her first hair cut. Mason was hysterical, and continued to be at every hair cut until...oh, a few months ago. (Okay, last year-ish.) It's a stressful experience, the hair cut.
And he sure does look handsome all trimmed up.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I tried to get a shot of the food table right before we ate...not a great one, but oh well. We had mini bottles of Martinelli's cider, Pelligrino Limonata & Aranciata (my current obsession...) and water to drink, my absolute favorite mandarin orange + greens salad (serrrriously my favorite salad ever), BBQ chicken, pina colada fruit salad (made by my mom, also amazingly yum!), caprese salad (a hit!), pasta salad (sis-in-law Jessica's...so good!), rolls, corn on the cob & watermelon. Yum YUM! We are definitely a family that LOVES our food!
The kids got a few party favors at their table...including some nose & glasses sets that they were kind enough to share! (Ben - Maya - Daniel - Jessica)