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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Virgin PInk Strawberry Pina Colada Popsicles

Since it's so blasted hot around these parts...we decided to make homemade popsicles because well, why not? I have a pile of popsicle recipes to try out and so this is the one Sage chose for our first trial run. It tastes like a virgin pina colada with strawberries so, I mean, you can't really go wrong with that!

Virgin Strawberry Pina Colada Popsicles
-4 cups chopped pineapple
-1 cup strawberries
-3 TBS lime juice
-1 15 oz. can coconut cream or milk (I couldn't find cream)
-1/2 cup sugar (try the mixture first, if it's sweet enough don't add the sugar)
***blend in blender and then divide into popsicle molds. Freeze. enjoy.


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Friday, September 12, 2014

Wanna Hang Out?

As promised...I am posting about my all time favorite restaurant I have ever gone to while on vacation. I have to confess something...we (aka josh and I) base our vacays around the food. It's sort of the highlight of our get aways; and so a good find is the best thing ever!

Anyways, we went to this place with all of the family (cousins, in laws...the whole crew) called the Hangout. The food was good, but what was even better was the entertainment and the restaurant itself.

If you're looking for a quiet romantic dinner...DON'T go here. But if you're looking for a fun place to take kids this is the place. It has a huge sand mound for them to play on and the there's a DJ up in some box high above everyone who plays music and gets people on tables dancing and singing. Plus the decor is amazing...every wall I looked at had a collection of new things (ex: old school lunch boxes, pez dispensers, rubber duckies...)

One of Sage's favorite things was the wishing wall. You write your wish on a small piece of colorful paper, roll it up, and stick it in a hole on the wall. It got me thinking I wanted one of these in my house one day! :-)

 ^^^how Sage felt about the humidity...she is my child for sure ha^^^
 ^^^Sorry the photos for the wishing wall are so blurry...I was holding a baby and taking a picture at the same time...c'mon that's a good excuse right?!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

White Sand and Blue Skies...

Well hello there! It's been a while since I've blogged. My little family and I decided to take a spontaneous vacation last week and it was a much needed time away from all things obligatory and work related. I am finally getting back in the groove of things...tell me I'm not the only one who has vacation hangover when you get back to real life?!

We met up with my sister in laws and their families at the Gulf Shores in Alabama. Then we spent the last day and a half of the vacation in New Orleans (which I'll post about some time soon...) For now, this post is for all things beach related!

This was the first time Josh and I have taken our girls on an "extended" vacation (aka longer than a weekend) to a completely new place. I was hesitant at first because of the long flight, the unexpected sleeping arrangements and a million other things that only moms think about when thinking about taking their kids on vacation.

But when all was said and done, I am so glad we went! Yes it was a lot of work trekking to and fro with little ones in tote...and Yes, the flight was a bit brutal and LONG, and yes there were some nights where we didn't get much sleep...and yes we ate way too much fried food and my kids ate way too much crap for their own good; but I have to say, the people, the places, the experiences/memories and the time together most definitely outweighed the cons (cons like Sage peeing the hotel bed at 1 in the morning, and beach rashes up the wazoo, and ridiculous humidity that caused my body to sweat 24/7)

So may I just say if and when you get the chance to vacation with your whole fam damily... do it. Whatever it may be...camping, staycationing, sight seeing. Whether it's close or far...cheap or expensive---all that matters is that you're all together with no other distractions!

This beach was so different then ours in So. Cal...the sand was white powder filled with seashells and the water was about 75 degrees. There weren't too many waves and storms would roll in every once in a while...it was awesome.

Here are a few photos from the Gulf Shores. It was hard to narrow it down...which only means that there will be more posts to come, one of which includes one of my favorite restaurants of all time!
^^^not sure what happened here, but apparently she wasn't as amused as I was?!^^^

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Coconut Mango Sticky Rice

WAIT! Ok, before you judge this delectable treat let me just say it was one of the most delicious things my taste buds have had in...a while!

I wish I could say I tried this for the first time while perusing the street markets in Bangkok...but instead it was at this mind blowing Thai food restaurant that our friends introduced us to. This place took Thai food to the next level; dare I say it has even become one of my favorites!

So back to the rice...It's warm, sweet and soaked in coconut milk. If that doesn't make you jump for joy...the soft mangos add a tangy and distinctive twist that'll have you coming back for thirds and maybe fourths. If it doesn't, well I guess we just can't be friends :-).

Here is the recipe (found below) and seriously don't judge it 'til you taste it...I promise it's a game changer. Plus, it's kind of nice to change it up in the dessert department?!

***This dessert is very popular among the Thai people where they take a lot of pride in the process; and cutting fruit is an art form. I have a new appreciation for anyone who can cut a mango and have it look pretty...I was having some mango cutting issues to say the least.

STICKY COCONUT MANGO RICE
1 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
3 mangos, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:
1.Combine the rice and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
2.While the rice cooks, mix together 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture; cover. Allow to cool for 1 hour.
3.Make a sauce by mixing together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the tapioca starch in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
4.Place the sticky rice on a serving dish. Arrange the mangos on top of the rice. Pour the sauce over the mangos and rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Early Bday Party for our little Cozy

A couple weeks ago my dear friend, Melanie from Caravan Shoppe, called me to see if I wanted to throw a "fake bday party" for a photoshoot using all of their newest Happy Birthday Printables.

I was beyond excited to help out under one condition, if I could bake the goodies, which she happily agreed to.  I wanted to try out this ombre cake I had been thinking about since, I swear, six months ago. Maybe I shouldn't admit that?!
 
It was perfect timing since my little Cozette turns TWO years old in just a couple weeks (how is that even possible?!). I'm a firm believer that any excuse to throw a party is a good excuse; so it seemed fitting to celebrate Cozy's upcoming birthday! 

-4 layered Buttermilk Cake topped with this ombre cream cheese frosting (see below for frosting how to)
-mini-decorate-yourself, rice crispy treat cakes (also see below for the how to)
-small cups of decorating ingredients (chocolate chips, sprinkles, teddy grahams, cocoa puffs)
-a whole lot of art supplies
-and best of all...a table full of the cutest girls you've every seen
Mini-Rice-Crispy-Treat-Cakes
-Make a batch of rice crispy treats. 
-Fill small and medium bowls tightly with the crispies (I've found that if you get your hands a little wet, it wont stick when you push down on them to get it in there nice and tight)
-Let them sit in the fridge overnight
***when they're ready to frost, microwave them for about five seconds that way you can take a knife and scoop each one out. Than set a small one on top of a larger one to give the effect of a cake, and lastly frost it with store bought (or homemade if that tickles your fancy) frosting. The little ones LOVED decorating these! 

Buttermilk Cake with Ombre Frosting
I used this cake recipe but I used four small round pans to make it a bit taller
***For the frosting you split your frosting into four bowls. Add about ten drops of whatever coloring you want into one bowl. Than take two TBS of that frosting and add it into another bowl. Than take 1/2 TBS of the lighter frosting and add it to the third bowl. Leave the fourth bowl white. Frost from darkest on the bottom to lightest on the top. 

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