Thursday, April 29, 2010

Twinkle Toes

This past two weeks has been absolutely insane. It’s picture time at our dance studio. I really don’t mind the normal weekly rush… but when you have to do hair and makeup 5 times on two little girls, well, let’s just say I’m very ready for a break. :-/  Here’s a couple of shots that I took in front of our house :-) I’ll be the first to admit, these pictures don’t come close to how pretty they looked.  I’m guessing nothing really captures the sparkle in their eyes.

abby blue back                     Abby pink ballet

 Abby jazz



A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit,

a golden thread to the meaning of life.

- Isadora James



In the morning I’ll be off to Bloggy Boot Camp in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve never traveled alone before. I’m 32. And I’ve never traveled alone. Alone. A-L-O-N-E. I’ll call these two monkeys each night, but to be honest… it’s time for this Momma to have a little break.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You can tap your toes to it.

We took the kids to the Reliant Center to see Disney on Ice. Honestly, after a full day of school, then tennis lessons, then changing in the car on the way there… I was TIRED. I was really hoping they wouldn’t want to go… Really, REALLY hoping. But that didn’t happen.

While we were there, and I was guzzling down diet coke like an addict… I realized something very important… my girls, even the 8 1.2 year old… STILL LOVE DISNEY PRINCESSES. I mean they really love them. This show held their attention much better than even Demi Lavato and the Jonas Bros. could. It was amazing… the looks on their enraptured faces… Made me so glad we didn’t bail. They are still little girls… even if they get pressured to not be.

Something else I realized… the newest Princess… Princess Tiana from the Princess and the Frog? She’s a princess I can get behind. She’s more real. More accessible. More fun. Even after all of the mixing the Disney DJs could muster, the other princesses still seem sort of boring compared to the jazzy New Orleans sound of Tiana’s music. She’s hip. She’s full of sass. She’s F-U-N.

And when I saw my 8 1/2 year old waving her little heart out trying to get the attention of any of the princesses… it really REALLY made me glad that we went. And really REALLY ready for our Christmas Disney trip. We will for SURE get Tiana’s autograph. I simply must have it!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

I’m not Cuban

Or Italian… or French… or Mexican… but I sure do like those kinds of food. This is a great grilled pizza recipe for a weekend grill-fest. You can feed a few, or feed a lot with it. And it’s easy to change and add your own twist to. Oh, and did I mention that you can use leftovers to make it? Awesome.

Toppings for Cuban pizza:

We used sliced grilled chicken that we seasoned with the Chili Lime rub from Williams Sonoma. It’s fantastic on shrimp and pork too, so get some. It’s very tasty.

Mix up 1/2 of a large diced red onion, a can of whole kernel sweet corn, a can of rinsed black beans, the juice and zest of 2 limes, fresh cilantro (that I grew myself, thank you very much), salt, and Tabasco to taste. Mix all of this well and let it sit at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.

corn salsa

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese… because that’s Momma’s favorite kind of cheese.

Salsa… this is like the tomato paste base for regular pizzas… We made two versions today, one using Salsa Verde (the green kind) and the other using regular red salsa. The vote was split between us all as to which we liked the best, so use what you like… For the record… my pick was the Salsa Verde.

For the crust, we’ve used a prepackaged crust before… it’s ok… and it’s FAST. So I’m going to leave that decision up to you. Today, I felt like making my own crust. I use the Pampered Chef pizza dough mix that you can use to make really fantastic yeast rolls with as well. Like I said… depends on the amount of time you want to put into it. Both work fine.

Directions… sort of…

Heat your grill to 400-425.

If you are working with homemade dough, I think you should use a pizza stone in your grill. We have one from Sur la Table that sits on it’s own cast iron base. If you are using the prebaked crust, you don’t have to use one… We’ve put those directly on the grill before. For the unbaked dough, slide it onto your stone and allow it to bake for about 2 min. and then using your tongs turn it over. This will keep the dough from rising too much so you’ll end up with a nice thin and crispy crust.

Spread the salsa onto the crust, then top with the corn/bean mix and chicken. I always put the cheese on last… don’t ask me why. 

I grill the pizza for roughly 15 minutes with the cover closed. Keep an eye on it and let it cook until your cheese starts to brown just a bit.

To cut the pizza, transfer it to a baking pan or cutting board…

cuban pizza

Trust me… it’s DELISH… and then you’ll start getting all of these random pizza combinations churning in your head… fresh tomato, basil, mozzarella is EXCELLENT…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life with my 3 Boybarians

A day or so on Twitter, Darcy of Life with my 3 Boybarians threw out a question into the great unknown… Do any of you shoot with a point and shoot… Well, of COURSE I had to answer that call! I am still loving my Canon G11… and I’ve had it for longer than 6 months… which is usually well beyond the honeymoon stage for me and a camera. She asked for one or two of my favorite shots… and these are a few of mine…

This was our maple tree in early February… it’s an untouched shot… I could have played with the color and whatnot… but I just loved how this pic came out so close to the natural color of the tree.  It’s one of my all time favorite macro shots.


The second picture is from our trip to New Orleans during Superbowl weekend. We lived in Mandeville (across the lake on The Northshore) for 12 years. We spent countless hours wandering around the lakefront park… which found itself bearing the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. The beautiful old enormous house that stood facing the lake behind this fence for decades was swept away by the storm, but the wonderful old iron fence still remains.

fleur fix

And because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I had to put this one up again… I don’t know why I love this shot so much… other than it’s my baby’s typical grin and her hair is in her face… Love. It.

jillian fix

So there you have it folks. You don’t need to have a DSLR to take some really fantastic and lovely shots… just play with that point and shoot until you get it right!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail…

I hope you all are having a wonderful Spring day and are able to enjoy your friends or family.

We started our day by attending a special Easter service at The Pavilion here in The Woodlands. It wasn’t a sunrise service, but the outdoor venue was still a special treat for us.

girls on easter

This afternoon we are joining friends for an egg hunt. I’m sure said friend will have far FAR too many eggs, but they are looking forward to it.

The reserved dozen of regular cupcakes were saved for today’s festivities.  Just like the Cake Dr. said, you can indeed freeze unfrosted cupcakes! I took them out last night, and left them on the counter to thaw in their zipper bags. Surprisingly they seem to be more moist than the 8 dozen mini ones… It could be because they were frozen OR it could be that it’s so humid here today. Who knows.

So what does burlap, coconut, and cream cheese have to do with Easter? I’ll give you a hint…


Aren’t they cute! These sweet little picks were found at Sur la Table. They have lots of cute little picks… go check them out here

cakeI don’t have an Easter tray or anything cute enough to serve these guys on, so I took my trusty plastic snowman tray and cut a circle of burlap to cover it. Then I sprinkled on some leftover coconut “grass”. Really cute. Really sweet. Really delish.

Delish because these cupcakes have the Cake Dr.’s cream cheese frosting on them instead of the butter cream. And, because I chatted with the sales lady at Sur la Table, I knew that I needed the icing food coloring gel, not the drops. See what talking to strangers will get you? 


Happy Easter!