Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Successes in One Month!

I kill plants. All plants. The only two plants I have ever kept alive for more than a week were a pot of mint and a pot of chicks and hens and the only reason these plants were magically staying alive past a week was because I set them in the path of a sprinkler. By the way, the mint is dead now. ha

Anyway, I am a proud, successful farmer now! Check the picture for proof!

You can barely see it, but I am holding my very first tomato grown from my topsy turvies. By the way, notice both of these plants are beautifully thriving!
My other recent victory came after I joined Bi-mart. I joined for the sole purpose of winning stuff on Lucky Number Tuesday.  The first Tuesday after I joined, I won a 2-Liter of diet Shasta cola. Adam thought it was a lame prize and begged me not to redeem it and embarrass him, but a win is a win and you better believe I walked out of the store with my prize. And of course, I made Adam document my giant win:
Success! Just ignore my look in this picture- I had just finished lap swimming and was still dripping!
So obviously August was a victorious month for me!

Happy Birthday to Adam!

This post is a little late considering Adam's 30th birthday was on July 23, but I wanted to talk about how good the cupcakes were that I made for his birthday.

For Adam's birthday, we went to Baker Bay at Dorena Lake with some of his family and friends to swim and have a picnic. Afterward, we went to an Ems game.  Here's my boys at the game.
As per Adam's request, I made three different kinds of cupcakes: strawberry, lemon, and lime.  They were so delicious and it was a nice change from boring chocolate and vanilla.

Thanks to the wonderful internet, I learned a simple way to make a box of cake mix your own. 

For the lime cupcakes you mix:
-1 box lemon cake mix (18.25 oz)
-1 1/3 C. vegetable oil
-4 eggs
-1 (3oz) pack of lime flavored jello mix (straight out of the box, in powder form)
-a couple drops of green food coloring (optional, the mix will already be a lighter green)
After you mix them, just bake by following the directions on the box.

For the strawberry and lemon cakes, I used the cake mixes that were already strawberry and lemon, but I bet following the lime recipe with any flavor of jello would be good.

As good as these cupcakes were (the lime were the biggest hit), the frosting was even better. The Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling Recipe can be found here. Thank you Our Best Bites for the recipe!

This picture is from the recipe's website.

I mixed fruit flavorings into the icings, topped them with lime and lemon zest, and cut out fondant '30s' for the top. 

Even if you don't like frosting, I guarantee you will like this recipe!

Also, did you know that the most amazing way to eat a cupcake is to pull the bottom half of the cupcake off and place it on top of the frosting to make a sandwich?! Blows your mind doesn't it!

Vegetables Adam will eat!

Recently, I have been trying to find new ways to cook vegetables so that Adam will try new things and not get sick of the only few vegetables he does like. (Sorry to embarrass you Adam, but we both know it's true). Plus I want Griffey to grow up liking vegetables too.

So anyway, I found an awesome recipe for yummy grean beans that have bacon, vinegar, shallots, and garlic in them. Yum!
I borrowed the picture from the same website with the recipe ( Their ranch turkey burgers are amazing too!

Shallots and Butter Green Beans Recipe


- 2 lbs green beans, cleaned & trimmed

- 1 cup sliced shallots

- 2 tbsp Hormel 50% Less Fat Real Bacon Bits

- 2 garlic cloves, minced

- 2 tbsp light butter (I used Brummel & Brown)

- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary

- 1 tsp salt

- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

(You can cook your own bacon and use that and use normal butter too.  This is just a lower calorie alternative and honestly, it tastes awesome this way.)


In a medium frying pan or wok, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, bacon, and shallots and saute for about 4 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 1/2 more minutes.

Remove from the heat and add in the grated lemon rind, chopped thyme, salt and pepper.

Cook the green beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes (or until crisp-tender); drain.

In a large bowl, combine the green beans with the shallot mixture and toss well to coat.

I can't believe Griffey is almost 1!

 It seems surreal that Griffey is now a one year old, well he will be on August 20th. It's crazy that my pregnancy took forever and then the his first year just flew by.

Last year at this time seems like a different life to me now.  I was all alone and just found out that Adam wouldn't be able to be here for Griffey's birth and I was excited, yet nervous about being a single parent for the first 8 months. That time in my life seems so unreal now, because now that Adam is here, it feels like he never left.

Anyway, here is a little look at everything my big one year old loves to do:
He loves sleeping with stuffed animals while striking model poses.  He loves this giraffe because it plays music and he has figured out how to wind it up.
He loves helping with the laundry and riding around in the basket.

He loves being outside, especially hiking and swimming.

He loves his cousins and his teddy bears.

He loves rolling his tongue.

He loves going to baseball games.

He loves the quarter machine cars at the mall.  He's a little scared of them too though.

He loves chewing on things, especially straws and lids.

He loves his family, dressing like his dad, and eating graham crackers.

He loves giving kisses.

He loves playing in the dirt...
..and I love him!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Anniversary Cruise

In June, Adam and I went on a Western Carribbean cruise to celebrate our anniversary and Adam being home.  Although it would have been fun to have Griffey there, we knew it would be a lot of work, so we left him behind with my mom.

Our cruise was a week long, starting in Miami and going to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel.

I really didn't think that I was going to be much of a cruise person, but it was so much fun and I would highly reccommend them to anyone! It was so nice to have our room cleaned twice a day, have delicious food, waterslides, pools, activities, and to wake up in a different place every day.

Our first port was Grand Cayman. Here's Adam on the shore with our cruise ship in the background.
Every night when we got back to our room, there was a different towel animal waiting for us.
In Grand Cayman, we went to a turtle farm on Botswain's Beach.  We got to hold the baby sea turtles and swim in a lagoon with the mature turtles. These turtles can get up to 600 lbs!
Our next port was Roatan, Honduras- a small island off of Honduras. This was our favorite place because the water was so warm and beautiful.  We snorkeled here around the reef, which is the second largest in the world, and also around a shipwreck.
In Roatan, there were little huts you could rent right along the ocean.
There were many wild monkeys, peacocks, and iguanas here. Here's Adam feeding one of the wild monkeys.
Next, we went to Belize where we went on an inner tube river tour through caves in the rainforest.  I don't have any pictures yet, because they were all taken on our water camera.
Our last port was Cozumel, Mexico, where we swam with the dophins and had matching friendship bracelets made.
June 23 was our third anniversary and we had chocolate covered strawberries brought to our room to celebrate.
In Cozumel, we went on a zipline course through the trees. There was no one else there because we were supposed to be back to the boat by then, so we got to go through the course twice.
Here comes Adam!
The food on our cruise was delicious and abundant.  Not only was there a huge selection of food, but it was available all the time.  Here is a picture of a fruit salad from one of our dinners.
Our cruise ended in Miami, where we had a day to relax, shop, eat, and swim on South Beach.  The people are way different can tell just by looking at this store mannequin!

Here we are at the airport ready to go home!