Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo Update

I've blogged several times recently, but did not include photos so here is a quick photo update.

The cupcakes I made for J's 5th birthday party:

He asked for a "pajama party" so I thought they were appropriate. The blankets are made out of Starburst. The feet are jellybeans. The faces are mini Nilla wafers and the pillows and bodies are halved marshmallows.

J eating his cupcake at his party:

J with his Lego Police Mobile Unit (his gift from us):He built the whole 400+ piece set by himself. It took several hours over two days and I was really impressed.

Finally, here is a picture of my currently one-sleeved sweater.
Hope to finally start the second sleeve tonight.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The luckiest girl ever!

For the last 35 years, I've been lucky enough to share my birthday with my best friend. Cat, I love you so much and can't wait to see you on Wednesday! Happy Birthday, my sweet twin!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Delicious Cheddar Dill Biscuits

I've been using the website for the last month or so to get new recipes to cook each week. You can print 5 recipes (each recipe includes an entree and a side) each week and the site also generates a shopping list for you. I have not made all 5 of the recipes most weeks, but I've tried a bunch and have really enjoyed it. I'm cooking more and enjoying it.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I made a Robust Vegetable Soup and Cheddar Dill Biscuits. The soup was okay, but the biscuits were delicious. Tonight I made a Peruvian Quinoa Stew. Instead of the suggested side, I made the Cheddar Dill Biscuits again--with a few substitutions. Anyway, the stew was okay, but the biscuits were divine. Just had to share.

Cheddar Dill Biscuits (makes 12-15)
adapted from the recipe on

1 1/2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

5 tablespoons butter, softened, cut into bits

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons freeze-dried dill (can sub fresh, chopped)

3/4 cup sour cream (can sub in plain yogurt, but it's not as good)
1/3 cup milk (I used skim)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer), mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheddar cheese and dill and mix until just combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and milk, then add to flour mixture and mix with a spoon until dough just comes together. Spoon tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto an ungreased large baking sheet (12 to a baking sheet). Bake until puffed and golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy! These turned out so light and fluffy and moist. Yum!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Knitting: Advice Needed

So, yes, despite the lack of evidence here, I am still knitting. I've finished the body of my turtleneck sweater (Tang) and have picked up the stitches and begun the first sleeve. This is my first time knitting sleeves like this (afterthought sleeves I think is what they are called). It took me a few tries to get the ratio right when picking up my stitches, but all is well now.

Anyway, today I was playing around on Ravelry and I saw an amazing new hat pattern called Courtyard by Melissa Thomson. It's really a quite simple hat shape, but the stitch pattern is just lovely. It's a twisted stitch pattern on top of a striped reverse stockinette background. The first one I saw was a bright yellow and white. I LOVE it!

I am thinking about using the stitch pattern to make a sweater, possibly for my oldest niece. I know I'll do a pullover and knit it in the round--probably bottom up. I'm thinking that set in sleeves or these after thought sleeves make the most sense.

For those of you who have designed your own sweaters before, any thoughts or advice? It's not going to happen immediately, but I wanted to go ahead and start planning this out.

If you're a Ravelry member, click here to check out this hat. Can't you just see this pattern on a summer sweater? Maybe a boatneck with 3/4 sleeves. So inspiring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Can't believe my little man turned 5 today!

He's gotten so grown up.

After he opened his presents (Playmobil and Legos), he told me that it was "his best birthday EVER!"

I told him that that made me so happy and that I loved him so much.

He told me, "This is my best birthday ever because I love you, N and Dad so much!"

Wish I could have had that on videotape. Will have to make do with this little post. Must remember to look back at this on a regular basis so I never forget how sweet my little man is.

Happy Birthday, J! I love you so much!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Houston Highlights: Kemah Boardwalk

For our last weekend in Houston, we decided to drive an hour to Kemah Boardwalk. Kemah is on the water and has lots of fun amusement park rides. Here are some pics from our trip:

The Ferris Wheel was our first ride.

LOVE their faces in this one!

This was N's favorite ride and the boys went on it multiple times.

The boys saw another mom on this ride and decided that I needed to come with them--so we all squished in and made silly faces at B when we went past.

J really wanted to ride these high plane swings, but B's not a big fan of heights so I got to go with him. We both loved it.

The ride went really high and we had a blast. J just made the height requirement and was the the only child on the ride when we went. It was fun to float so high above the park with him. Definitely a special J and Mom moment.

We had lunch at the Aquarium restaurant. It had this huge tank in the middle of the dining room complete with sharks, schools of fish and bright yellow-green eels. The boys loved it.

Walking along the boardwalk and watching the boats.

A two story carousel! (Picture taken from the Ferris wheel).

N rode the bunny on the second floor of the carousel.

J was really excited to ride the ostrich on the second floor of the carousel!

The view from the second story of the carousel. J really wanted to go on the mummy boat ride (the one that swings back and forth and eventually goes upside down), but he wasn't tall enough.

J LOVED this crazy ride that spun and twisted and turned about. B went on it with him. Afterward, J wanted to do it again, but B did not. J is an amusement park ride junkie! The faster and more spins the better! N was sad that he was too short for this one.

Our last ride was this one. It took us way up high where we got a great view of the Boardwalk and the water and land around it.

All around it was a really fun day. Glad we got this little mini-vacation before we settled back into life here in McKinney.

Houston Highlights: The Zoo

During our brief stint of thinking we were going to move to Houston, the boys and I spent several weekends there with B checking out the area. During our first weekend, we went to the Houston Zoo. Shockingly, this was the first place J wanted to go in Houston :). Here are some pics from that trip:

The first main attraction we saw: the sea lions. N loved watching them swim around. This is one thing that is missing from the Dallas Zoo.

I thought the trees in this park area near the zoo entrance were beautiful. There was a pool in the middle with animal themed sculptures.

The boys LOVED brushing this goat (one of many) in the children's area.

The boys were tired after a not so great night's sleep in B's one bedroom apartment so we decided a wagon was needed.

The male lions at the Dallas zoo are only 2 years old so they don't have full manes yet. It was fun to see this big male up close from the tunnels near the lion exhibit.

The female lions looked calm and regal as they relaxed in their part of the exhibit.

Even though this is all we could see, we were all excited to see a Maned Wolf after seeing them on Diego so many times.

Holy horns!

N loved the drums in the African section.

I loved how close this chimp was to the glass. He was interacting with the people watching him. Unfortunately, the boys were really tired at this point and did not appreciate how cool this was.

The big male rhinoceros. We just got a rhinoceros at the Dallas Zoo. I think they are so cute.

One of the trivia questions in the rhino area. Texans love their Dr. Pepper!

A "daddy" orangutan. The boys were captivated by his big round face.

An adorable baby Asian elephant!

A Red Panda!

J cheesing it up with a sea lion statue.

Our last stop was the aquarium that is part of the zoo. J loved the stingrays.

I loved these little luminescent jellyfish. There was a whole tank of them and they were just beautiful to watch.