Thursday, September 22, 2011

Owen and Markers...

I really should learn...dont turn my back on Owen. He is the sneakiest kid I have ever known! He never stops amazing me. So here is the story. The boys go these super cool Thomas the Train coloring pads. They just love them. So one rainy day we pulled them out and they sat at the counter coloring away. (Owen will do anything that Jaxon wants to do!) 
Look how nice they are coloring together!



Jaxon has been working hard at holding a marker the correct way. he always really tries to stay in the lines now. He is so grown up!
So to continue the story... I was sitting with Owen supervising the marker coloring time. I have not forgotten what he did to my kitchen table. Owen was doing great. He colored on the counter once but I caught him and he seemed really upset by the mistake. So he was back on the paper doing great. Staying on the paper, even putting the lids back on the markers... So I had a thought... yeah I know bad move... I decided Id leave owen to color with Jaxon and Id walk the whole 5 feet to the sink and do some dishes. I made a point of turning around and checking up on him every time I washed a dish. he was still sitting there coloring the paper... after about 6 dishes I realized something... he was still using the same colored marker.That is really rare! Just has I realized that Jaxon goes "OWEN WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!?!" Owen acts all surprised and I look closer... he was colored all over the barstool and his leg... awesome. Apparently he was watching me and would color on everything but the paper while my back was turned and then continue coloring the paper when I turned... nice eh? What kind of 2 yr old does that!?!?!


Oh so proud isnt he?!

At least the barstools are dark colored... I think I got all the marker off... at least all that shows!
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Welcome to the Terrible Twos!

 Owen had his birthday a little while ago... ok almost a month a go... I figured it was time I blog about it. In case I havent mentioned it before; Owen loves trains, particularly Thomas the Train. So it was only natural that we have a Thomas the Train party. It was so fun! Since Mama and Papa werent going to be able to make it to Owens party they gave Owen his present early.
He worked so hard on getting it open


It's a big stuffed Thomas! Owen was thrilled. He is always wanting to take his trains to bed with him and now he can! The extra bonus it has a huge tag! (another one of owens loves) so now he snuggles beside thomas everynight and plays with the tag. Good Times!

I just did a simple cake for Owens party... but he did get two new trains out of the deal. Ferdenand is the blue one and Victor is the Red one


I sure do love my two year old!!! where has the time gone???
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Transition time


The last few weeks Owen has been trying really hard to not nap. So at first I thought he was ready to give up napping... but then at 5:00 pm when I was cooking dinner Id always find him snoozing somewhere. Awesome... then since he naps so late it makes it a late night... boooo... I now have two options I can either not make dinner at 5:00 so I can keep grouchy pants awake... or I need to really enforce 2 pm nap time! I really hate this transition time, not only because it makes for some unpleasent evenings but also because it means that soon my 2 yr old will not be napping at all.... hooray.  Im sure come winter time when he is no longer outside running around and soaking up the sunshine that he will be completely done napping....

Good thing this kid is so darn cute!



Owen can sleep anywhere at 5pm is seems.... I had folded up his little napping couch so that he wouldnt have a place to crash.... but he made it work anyways...
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jaxon's New Room!

I have been on a kick all summer to decorate my house. I just started feeling like it was kind of plan and boring. So I wanted to spruce it up. I always up for change. Tim and I make a great team too because I'm creative but not very good at figuring out how to get to my end goal, thats where tim comes in! So I wanted to paint these Squares on Jaxon's wall but I am not good at measuring and straight lines. So Tim took my idea and put it on the wall! YAY! he did it while we were in Edmonton at the beginning of the month so that Jaxon wouldnt be sleeping in the stinky smell of paint. but he did have to save one square so that Jaxon could help too!

Ready to Paint... scary isnt it!



Carefully painting



All Done!
I love this wall! I think its awesome! the picture really doesnt do it justice! Jaxon loves it too!
Now... what next???

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Missing Mesa Monday???

ok.. Im sure I already posted the recipe I did on Monday... I distinctly remember writing about how I love recipes with only 3 ingredients... but I cant find it now... so sorry if it somehow got lost in cyber space!
  This past monday was my last Mesa Monday... I have now tried all the recipes I am willing to try. There are a few more that If I went to the restuarant Im sure Id love to try but they require way more effort then I am willing to put in at dinner time...
  So here is the one I did... It was super yummy bytheway!
Chipotle Honey Glazed Rib Eye Steaks
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp Chipotle Chili Puree
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp canola oil
dash or garlic

Mix all those together and then pour over 4 rib eye steaks. Allow to marinade for a few hours or over night. Then gril them up to perfection! Super Yummy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Painting

I have been wanting to decorate my house for a while. Tim and I have been married for almost 7 years and I still often look around my house and think it looks like a bachelor pad or a student couple's place... I wanted to spruce it up. But I had a few issues... first I lack the talent and eye for interior decorating. (any advice is greatly appreciated) Two I often changed my mind on what I wanted and Three a lack of funds! Its hard to decorate when you are on a budget. But I was hit with some wonderful inspiration when I was in Vegas with my mom and Sister.

This is a painting the Vdara has hanging in its lobby by the elevators. Gorgeous right??? I fell in love with it. The best part was I know I could make one really really simply! Thats when I decided I would make myself one and find a place in my house for it! So when I was at moms this past week. Thats what I did. We went to Michaels and bought some canvas and paint and brushes and I set to work. (side note..I have also started doing the Personal Progress program again since I am back in YW and this is one of my Value Projects...it didnt take me the full 10 hours so Ill just have to paint another one too!)
Here is mine! I know there are less circles then the orginal... but I still love it! I think I did not too bad for my first painting. I have fallen in love with painting abstract art... Ill have to do lots more of it!



 
And just because I couldnt resist... look at my handsome little owen. How can you not love this man!
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tomorrow is Mesa Monday!

Ok... so I spent last week up at my parents house in Edmonton. We did do a Mesa Recipe, but it wasnt on monday and Im not typing it out... it was insane! when I say we...I mean mom... bytheway... We did Shrimp and roasted garlic corn Tamales... They were super yummy... but they took like 3 hours to prepare... so I have kept the recipe and may make them... once a year... but there is no way Im taking the time to type out that one for you... it was intense... so if you really want to try them and you have 3 hours to prepare dinner then get the book and turn to page 98.... there ya go!
  Tomorrow I am going to stick with Mesa Monday... I have a few more recipes to try... This time its.....
Red Chili-Honey glazed Shrimip
(bobby flay uses salmon....but I dont have any in the house and I have shrimp... so voila!)
1/3 cup Honey
1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
 (nothing beats a 3 ingredient recipe!)
So since Im using Shrimp Ive had to tweak the method a bit... here is my plan
1)Whisk everything together.
2) Pour over shrimp and allow to marinade 4 hours
3)Grill
DONE AND DONE!
Hmmmm.... what can a tell you about Edmonton... it was fun! My boys always love seeing mama and papa... I love having them baby sit for us! YAY date nights. Tim and I went out and say Captain America... Yep i was just that desperate to see a movie... I really want to see Harry potter 7... Tim say it without me and that makes me sad....after the movie we went to Montanas for dinner... it was awesome! I had this massive burger with Onion strings and deep friend Jalapanos adn Tim got this dinky wrap... I laughed so hard because when the waiter brought it out he totally thought tim had the burger and I had the wrap! BAHAHAHAHAHA
   Owen is starting to talk more... He currenlty can say; Dad, Bro (jaxon), Cracker, Cookie, No, Papa, Pop, Cheese and Holla... oh and his newest two work phrase Im sad... when he is crying and throwing a fit if you are ignoring him he will start whining... Im SAD IM Sad over and over until you acknowledge him. Its cute! Also... no I did not forgot to put Mom on the list... he wont say it... loser
   Jaxon is pretty sick of summer holidays and is ready to head back to school... I told him we still have another month. He  was sad... but I think he will perck back up now that his BFF Krysten is back in town. he sure has missed her.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sick of the Rain

Hello Hello! Did you think I forgot about Mesa Monday... here is what happened... Tim went a head and planned a HT BBQ for Monday night... which meant I had to push Mesa Monday off until Last night. The shrimp with the Chili butter... it was a pretty decent recipe. But I found it lacking when eaten on its own. so i whipped up a salad and topped it with the shrimp. then it was WONDERFUL!
  So next week... is still a mystery. I am heading up to Edmonton to spend sometime with my parents since they are up from TX... ok... My boys are dying to see Mama and papa so we are going to hang out! Plus Im always up for the help that grandparents have to offer! So Im waiting to pick a recipe until I see what my mom wants to do and what she has in her kitchen!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Mesa Monday

Ok... so I know its really a few days past monday and I havent posted how monday went. Life has been a little insane the last few days. Tim got home late-ish on Monday... in time to put the kids to bed. Then tuesday Tim had to work a 14 hour day (boo) and didnt get home until 10pm and then Wed we had an ice cream date night (thx Ashley for watching the boys) and I had a YW Pres. Meeting... and top it all off... I am supposed to be writing my talk for sunday... Keywords;Supposed to be. if only I could find the time! HAHAHAHA I better work on it soon though... Sunday is right around the corner.
So.. Mesa Monday.. last monday was the grilled prawns with Habanero-Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette. It was ok. I enjoyed it... but I wasnt blown away like I was with the other recipes Ive tried. So I probably wont make that one again... So onto This coming up monday....
Grilled Shrimp Brushed with Smoked chili Butter
1 1/2 lbs large Shrimp, shelled and deveined.
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
juice of 1 lime
1) Heat oil in a small saute pan over med. heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
2) Put butter in a food processor and add shallot mixture, chipotle chiles and lime juice. process until smooth. Scrape chipotle butter into a bowl
3) Brush shrimp with oil and put onto the grill. grill shrimp brushing with chipotle butter every 30 seconds. (should take about 1-2 minutes per side)
Sounds good to me!
While tim was away on his "Dudes reunion" I had the boys all to myself. it was exhausting and we had some pretty long days... but we all survived and even had a little fun! One day we went to get slurpees... yes it was a rainy day but we went anyways. This was Owens first Very own Slurpee... he wouldnt let go of the cup!



this is his "Touch it and Die" look



Also while tim was gone We went to Jaxons buddy Elizabeth's bday party. That was an adventure. They had a bouncy castle with an Elephant on it... While owen is terrified of cartoon elephants (yeah I know totally weird) So he was in hysterics the entire time we were outside. it was not awesome at all. Then we went in for cupcakes and to make a craft. The kids made masks. Ashley had Princess ones for the girls and pirate ones for the boys. But Jaxon insisted on doing a princess one.. I was a little worried about my boy until he said "if I make a princess one I can bring a girl home with me" now Im worried but for a whole other reason!
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Friday, July 15, 2011

My Little Monster

I have been blessed with two very wonderful, very different boys. While its after hard to tell them apart in pictures since they look so much alike they have two very distinct personalities. Jaxon is my little buddy. He tries so hard to be good and helpful and is so dissappointed in himself when he gets too out of control or makes me upset... then there is his brother Owen... My Little Monster. Dont get me wrong owen can be really sweet and loving.... when he wants to be. But for the most part he takes great joy is tormenting me. He refuses to listen and will simply ignore me. you can watch his eyes and he will purposely go cause trouble... then I put him in time out and he laughs until I say "You are not getting out of time out until you feel sorry for what you did" Then he fake cries and tries to give me a hug. He is a non talker... or so he would like you to believe. I have caught him speaking in his sleep and if I ignore him long enough he will bust out words I never knew he had... but those moments are rare...stinker.

But how can you not love this guy....



He has also inheritated my dads perma-gel hair. for those of you who dont know my dad... he has never used hair products (at least in my lifetime) yet his hair holds almost any shape you put it in. He runs his hands through his hair and it stands on end... I am constantly surprised at what I find when owen wakes up from sleeping. Its a wild mane to tame on my little monster
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rainy Day Craft projects

It was bound to happen... after weeks of nice sunny, hot weather the rain has come and we have been stuck in the house the last few days. My Kids are going CRAZY and so am I... so in order to relieve my cabin fever I have started crafting again. My mind has been a little scatter lately so I have not done any big projects that would require me to concentrate. So I have returned to Felt Food... it always does when I want to be crafty but only have short periods of time to whip something up... here are the latest additions to the felt food gallery.

Pepperoni Pizza



Broccoli and Cauliflour



Doughnuts
Then yesterday my uber talent friend Ashley came over with her kidlets and taught me how to make a necklace. Jaxon and Owen were thrilled to have playmates and I was thrilled to get a gift made for my cousin Kinsey who is getting baptized on Saturday. I am super excited to learn how to make necklaces... I may have to start doing some up for gifts! Thanks so much Ashley for helping me learn this skill... although Im pretty sure Ill be calling you often to ask; "How do I do this again?"



its not the greatest picture... but its really pretty... I actually want it... but alas its Kinseys..LOL
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Great one

Mesa Monday yesterday was another real good one. I think i still like the Yucatan chicken better. But those two I had last night were awesome too! Plus i made use of my Mandoline which is always fun! Oh I will say... when I made the Potatoe Gratin... there was no cheese... so I added a layer of grated cheese on the top of it... I know I know... Im sorry Bobby Flay... but it needed CHEESE!
So whats on the Mesa Menu for next monday...

grilled Prawns with Habanero-Toasted garlic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup, plus 3 Tbsp canola oil
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
salt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 habanero chile, chopped
2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 pounds large prawns

1) heat 1 tbsp oil in a small saute pan over med. heat. add garlic, season with salt and cook until golden brown on both sides (about 4 minutes)
2)Transfer garlic to a blender and add vinegar, habanero, honey and thyme. Blend until smooth. With blender running slowly add the 1/2 cup of oil and blend until emulsified. (hmmmm I wonder if I should use my blender or my food processor....)
3) Preheat grill to high. Toss prawns in remaining 2 Tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 minutes on each side.
4) Transfer to a platter and immediately drizzle with the vinaigrette.


So these pics may be repeats... I can remember if I added them here or on facebook or both... But I love them!

Jaxon at the zoo!





Jaxon making paper towel butterflies. When we made them he insisted on making to take over to his friend Krysten. He Adores her and reminds me every day that she is his best friend!



Owen enjoying a popsicle. My Kids LOVE LOVE LOVE popsicles and freezies. Owen (the non talker) actually busted out Purple when I gave him this popsicle... has he said it again... of course not
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Success

Yesterday was our first Mesa Monday. It was awesome! I think I am really going to love Mesa Mondays! I started by making the BBQ sauce... it was amazing... then I marinaded the chicken and man... that combination of Chicken and BBQ sauce was AMAZING!!! i even used the left over bbq sauce for dinner tonight! It was wonderful! So Next monday I am making Ancho Maple glazed roast turkey and Potato, sweet Onion and sage Gratin.
Here are the recipes
Ancho Maple Glazed Turkey
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
2 tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp ancho chili powder
1 (18 lb turkey) Ok... Im not cooking a turkey... so I will lower the recipe quantities and do it on chicken breasts!
20 Sage leaves
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1) Whisk together the maple syrup, mustard and ancho powder.
2) loosen skin on the turkey... or chicken... and place sage leaves under the skin. Rub entire surface with melted butter... I may not do that... hmmmm...
3) They do a bunch of different stuff here since they cook an entire turkey... but Ill place chicken and glaze in a baking dish and back at 350 degrees... basting every 5 minutes until cooked through.
Yes I know Im altering this one alot... it makes me nervous.. wish me luck!

Potato, Sweet Onion and sage gratin

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large sweet onions
3 tbsp finely chopped sage
4 large idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups heavy cream (I always cheat and use whole milk)

1) Preheat over to 375 and butter a 9 inch baking dish
2)heat oil and butter in a large saute pan. Add onions and cook until soft and caramelized. Stir in sage
3)Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of baking dish. Top with 1/7 of the onions and 3 tbsp of cream. Repeat for 7 or 8 layers. Press on top to submerge potatoes in teh cream. Place dish on baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil.
4) Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 30-45 minutes.

YUMMY

Another Summer time success... the splash park in Okotoks! LOVE IT!!! We went last wed with some friends and have now decided to make it our Wed ritual. Jaxon LOVES it... owen not so much... but he will get used to it. I was actually quite shocked how much Jaxon enjoyed it. Normally he doesnt like splashy water. but he was all for this!




owen sat on my lap the entire time... wearing my shades no less. I was hoping that tomorrow would be a better time for Owen... but today he burnt his soles of his feet on our deck box... so he cant walk on them.. so I think it will be another snuggle with mommy day.



jaxon was running every where. He LOVES this picture of his running... "Im super fast mom"



Yeppers... we Love summer!
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Introducing....

MESA MONDAYS!!!!
   Ok... so here is the back story to my latest and greatest project that I am super excited about! In April I went on a girls trip with mom and Rachel to Las Vegas. LOVE LOVE LOVE VEGAS! It was a blast! We did so much fun stuff and since you know me and my love for food (which is shared by my whole family) you can only image how much I stuffed my face... I gained 5 lbs in a week... yeppers it was awesome. One place that we didnt get to go eat, which we really wanted too, was Mesa in Cesears Palace. For those of you who dont know, Mesa is one of Bobby Flay's restuarants. So needless to say I was a little bummed that I didnt make it to Mesa.
   BUT.... I was on the library website searching for books and I found this awesome cook book called "Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook" I was super stoked to read it! as I flipped through the recipes there was TONS that I wanted to try and so I invented Mesa Mondays. I am going to try a new recipe from the Mesa Grill cook book every monday... maybe Ill get a taste of what the restuarant would have been like!
  By the way I think this is a much better idea then how my mom spends her Mondays... Meatless Mondays... Bleck!
   So then I thought Maybe someone out there wants to play along with me... So Ill post the recipes Im going to try before the monday I try them... then if you want to try them too you can! FUN FUN!
   To start off I needed a recipe that I had all the ingredients for since I had spent out June grocery budget!
Yucatan Chicken with Peanut-Red Chili BBQ sauce
*in the book they make these as chicken skewers...but Im way to lazy to do that... so Im leaving it has breasts

1/2 cup fresh Orange Juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
3 cloves garlic, coursely chopped
4 Chicken breasts

1)In a large shallow baking dish, whisk together everything but chicken.
2)Add chicken to marinade. Allow to marinade for at least 1 hour, or upto 4 hours.
3)Preheat the grill to high
4)Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, until just cooked through.
5) Serve with Peanut red Chili BBQ sauce

Peanut Red Chili BBQ Sauce

1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (they use their special BBQ sauce... again too lazy to make it up and then add to this sauce)
2 Cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1)heat oil in a medium sauce pan over med. heat. Add the ginger and cook until soft, 1-2 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the BBQ sauce and stock and cook stirring occasionally until reduced by half.
2) Whisk in say sauce and peanut butter and cook over med heat until thickened, 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
*this can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.

THANKS SO MUCH BOBBY FLAY! Im not looking forward to mondays!
Who out there wants to play with me?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jaxons Preschool Grad

Last week we had a big day in our house. Jaxon had his last day of three year old preschool. I am super excited for summer... but Jaxon is already asking when he gets to go back to school. It may be a long summer... or I will be exhausted from planning Tons to keep him Busy. Jaxon loved Leap n Learn so much. We are excited to start with them again next year.

Playing cars on the circle mat



Music Time



He just got his certificate and is about to Jump!



jaxon and the lovely Miss Sara. Jaxon adores her and will miss her very much. he tells me every day how much he loves miss sara!
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome Summer

I live for Summer. Yes I know I live in Calgary and I know that I will only get summer weather like 3 weeks of the whole year... ok thats an exageration but its close. but i live for the sun and warmth. All my friends know... Amanda HATES winter and cold and rain and wind... I like to lay in the sun and burn and sweat and yeah.... SUMMER.
   Today it was summer! After days and days of rain the sun came out and spread some love! YAY! To celebrate we had an awesome friend get us into Lake Chaparral. Its a glorious thing! but the down side is it makes me miss all my chaparral friends like mad... how I wish I lived in chaparral! Anyways... Thanks Brooke for the super fun morning! My kids and I both had a blast! I wish every day was and beautiful as today. It just makes me happy!
  Another fun warm weather activity that my boys love is water guns. these Pics were taken a few weeks ago... but hey... why not share them right..
owen shoots all gangsta style with his gun all tilted to the side... cracks me up!

Jaxon likes squirting me... I try to convince him that getting the grass, or car, or fence is way more fun the getting mommy... but so far he doesnt believe me

Owen loves his slide.

Oh and an added treat! I have an ice cream maker... LOVE IT! I was lacking the ingredients to make ice cream... but I was craving some soooooo bad... so I looked around and I thought... sorbet would work and I have everything I need for that!
 So I made Peach Starberry Sorbet... yep it is even better then it sounds... and its crazy simple
here is the recipe

Peach Strawberry Sorbet
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups peaches
2 cups strawberries

make a simple syrup by heating the water and sugar in a pot until the sugar is completely dissovled. then add the cut up fruit. (I used frozen... fresh would be fine too) Allow the fruit to simmer in the syrup for a fwe minutes until the are really realy soft and mushy. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend mixture until smooth... I used my blender... but an immersion blender would work too. Then refridgerate for 3 hours... or over night. then just pour into the ice cream maker and press start... Mine took only 10 minutes! YUMMY!!!!!
  
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