Thursday, July 31, 2014

Red Berry Float

Desserts are a treat in our home. We try to only have them once a week so that way when we do have them we can enjoy them and not worry about having too many sweets. That being said, that means our desserts need to be really, really good since we don't get them often. 

This recipe was worth it! And as unhealthy as it may seem, there really are more berries in this than anything so it was nice that we got a lot of fruit with dessert!

I will tell you-the recipe calls for homemade whipped cream and I gave it a try and it was awesome. But really, if that doesn't sound enjoyable, or you're looking for a fast fix, then skip that step and buy whipped cream, you don't use enough to feel bad for swapping it out!

Red Berry Float
Source: Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Whipped Cream (If doing homemade you will need Heavy Cream, Vanilla Extract, and Powdered Sugar)
Frozen Mixed Berries, thawed*
Vanilla Ice Cream
Big Red Soda

To Make the Whipped Cream:
Mix together 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 2 tbsp powdered sugar in a bowl. Using a whisk whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Put in the fridge until you are ready to use this. 

To Make the Float:
Put a layer of berries on the bottom of the glass. Top with a layer of ice cream, followed by another layer of berries. Pour the soda into the glass until it reaches the top of the glass and then top with a spoonful of whipped cream.

Now you get to enjoy the easiest dessert!

*I used frozen berries because I love the juice it creates when it thaws, I think the juice with the ice cream and soda create a better taste than just using fresh berries. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nuby Tear Free Rinse Pail ((Review))

**Disclaimer: I'm a Nuby Mommy Blogger which means I am sent products from Nuby in exchange for a review on my blog. However, all opinions are my very own**  

Tyler is the one in our house who takes care of the bath time for the kids. It gives him time with the boys and it gives me a few free minutes to think my own thoughts. Usually, if he does baths then I do the dishes so it's a fair trade!

When he saw this product from Nuby he wanted to try it (anything to make washing the boys off easier!). He usually just uses a cup but he thought this would make it even easier to rinse their hair and avoid them moving around in panic that water is going to get in their eyes.

This Tear Free Rinse Pail is really neat and has a unique design. It was difficult to use at first as we tried to find the right angle to use it where water doesn't spill on their face. After many tries we figured it out and it was definitely hard to keep the kids still enough, long enough to figure that out. 

Tyler and I both agree that this is easier to use on an older child like Co because he could sit still and hold his head the way Tyler needed him to. Patch wasn't as still and so water still went into his eyes. 
But overall it really is a neat product that makes bath time a little more simple! 

And if anything my boys love playing and  scooping up the water with it!

If you want to pick one up you can find it at Kmart,,,,

 Nuby has a lot of other really cool products and you can find out more about them on Nuby's Facebook PageInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Treasure Find Tuesday

This week I don't have a fun list of internet finds for you, but I have for you my very own treasure!

Note to self: clean up the area in the background when taking a picture of a mirror!
I always have the desire to fix something up or to create something out of something old but I never have the guts to do it. I don't go to thrift stores looking for a project or a garage sale to find something that has magical potential. Again, I'm just not brave enough. 

But our dining area needed a large something on the wall, I just wasn't sure what. It had kids artwork and a family photo on it and I just wasn't happy with it. I wanted something a little less kid and a little more me (before you thing that statement sounds awful, you have to understand, there are kid things all over my house, I needed a grown up space). I searched Pinterest for large wall decorating ideas and came across a lot of mirror ideas. 

We were on our way to my parents house and saw this mirror on the side of the road that said "FREE" written in lipstick. I was ecstatic and asked Tyler to go back and check it out. It seemed sturdy and I could see a makeover in it's near future. We figured out how to get it home (this thing was HEAVY!) and parked it in the garage for a bit. Tyler nailed together the loose pieces and I took over painting it. 

I'm so excited with how it turned out--the color is perfect! It still has it's imperfections--the wood isn't straight around the mirror and there are some imperfections on the mirror. But I'm still planning on hanging a beautiful wreath (I'm thinking a greenery one would be gorgeous it) on the mirror and that will cover some of the imperfections. 

This area in our house is small and it the wall filled with mirror opens it up and makes it seem bigger. 

What was the first thing you ever fixed up and used in your home?

Get Your Grill On Recipe Round-Up

This past week I posted over at the Dainty Jewell's Blog a barbecue recipe roundup. This list includes interesting grilling recipes and it covers everything from your main dish, side dish and even dessert! That means the only thing you'll need your kitchen for is pouring tea (because who doesn't drink tea with barbecue?)!

Barbecue Recipe Roundup 

Friday, July 25, 2014

In Memory Of My Papa

Last Thursday we received the news that my Papa passed away. It was sudden and very unexpected and made the news even harder. He was a wonderful grandfather--he was loving, smart, funny, and he always made me feel important. One thing that I loved was when he came to visit and we went out to eat, he would sit with his grandkids and talked to us. He didn't make us feel like kids or that our conversations weren't important. He would sit with us and tell us jokes, draw funny pictures, and asked us questions about what we were doing. He had a way of making us feel special.

I don't want to fill this post with words today, I just want it to be a simple tribute as we prepare this week for his funeral. I miss my Papa and wanted people to know this guy is worth remembering.

Below is part of his obituary sent from my family to give a glimpse into his life.

Joe Butler of Rancho Bernardo, CA passed away on July 17th at the age of 81, from natural causes. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas to the late Elbert and Rowena Butler.

Joe was born March 4, 1933 in Corpus Christi, TX and lived there most of his early years. During his early childhood (summer, 1942) he survived the illness of polio. Joe’s early memories are living in the La Armada housing development in Corpus. This was a war time (WW II) housing area, provided the basis for his life style and life foundation and he felt it was a great place to be a kid. In 1948, his family moved to San Diego, CA where he attended three different high schools: Corpus Christi HS in TX; San Diego HS and Hoover HS in San Diego. He graduated from Hoover HS in May 1950. He earned a BA degree [1971] from San Diego State College (SDSC), San Diego, CA and a MBA [1985] from National University, San Diego, CA. He was as a member the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at SDSC and attended SDSC from 1950-53 and 1970-71. He was also a 1963 graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS.

Joe’s college education was interrupted when he enlisted in the Army on March 17, 1953 and was commissioned a 2LT from OCS (Ft. Sill, OK) on June 15, 1954. He was commissioned at 10:00 am and married Ginger Wright at 2:15 pm on the same day. They were married for 51 years when she passed away on April 18, 2006.

Joe retired from the US Army at the rank of Colonel, after serving 26 years. He commanded an artillery battalion in combat during the Vietnam War. The unit was a general support artillery battalion, 1/13 FA Bn, 25th Infantry Division, base camp at CuChi, South Vietnam. He and his family served two tours (1954-1957 & 1964-1967) in Germany. He also served two unaccompanied tours in Korea (1959-60) and Vietnam (1969-70). Joe was also assigned to the Washington, DC area for two different tours totaling 11+ years. Joe's last assignment was as Team Chief, Nuclear Weapons Inspection Division, Office of the Inspector General, Dept. of the Army.

Joe’s military awards included: the Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star for Valor with two oak leaf clusters, five Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and other US and foreign medals and citations. His military duty stations included: Ft. Sill, OK ('53-'54, '57-'59, '60-'64), Gary AFB, San Marcos, TX ('54), Ft. Leavenworth, KS ('63); Darmstadt & Hanau, West Germany ('54-'57), Kitizingen, and Wurzburg, West Germany ('64-'67); Chumgon- ni, South Korea ('59-'60); Cu-Chi, South Vietnam ('69-'70); San Diego State College, San Diego, CA ('70- '71); and Dept. of the Army (Pentagon), Washington, D.C ('67-'69, '71-'79). Joe was also inducted in the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at Ft. Sill, OK.

Following retirement from the Army in 1979, Joe and Ginger made their home in San Diego, CA area where he went to work as the security supervisor for Burroughs Corp and UNISYS Corp. in San Diego, CA. He retired from UNISYS in 1989. Joe served on the 1994-95 and 2008-09 San Diego County Grand Jury. He was a graduate of the 1996 San Diego LEAD, Inc. In July 1997, he was appointed to serve as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Voices for Children where he served in that capacity for five years. He and Ginger were active in San Diego Family Literacy Foundation and Meals on Wheels. Joe loves to chase the little white ball over green pastures -- some call it golf.

After Joe retired for good in 1989, he and Ginger traveled extensively. Their travels included Hawaii on numerous trips, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, Jamaica, Camayan Islands, and several four to six thousand mile auto tours of the US. They have visited all 50 states of the US. Joe has also been to Japan, Fiji, Korea, Vietnam, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Guam, Wake Island and the Panama Canal. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

White Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

In our house mac and cheese is one of our favorite meals. Just the other night Tyler and I were joking that we don't serve this as a side dish, we love it so much that it stands alone as an entree. 

And since we love it so much and I refuse to make the box stuff (I know, I know, it tastes really good but I can't in good knowledge make it!), I have to have a couple of different recipes on hand. 

This was a new one we recently tried out and it did not disappoint!

White Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Strongly Adapted from Martha Stewart Cooking School

1 box shell pasta (or whatever shape you prefer)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp butter
1/2 onion, diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1 cup Italian Blend cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, plus additional 1/2 cup set aside for topping
1 1/2 cups White Cheddar Cheese, grated, plus additional 1/2 cup set aside for topping
Salt, to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, boil noodles about 2 minutes less than instructed on the box (so when you bake them they won't come out mushy) and drain. Set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add the onion, cooking until the onion becomes transparent. Whisk in the flour and stir for about 45 seconds.

Add the milk and stir to combine the flour, bring to a simmer and occasionally scrape the sides and bottom, for about 4 minutes. The milk mixture should have thickened.

Add the Italian Blend, 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, 1 1/2 cups of White Cheddar, and Swiss Cheese, stirring until everything has melted and is smooth. Add in the salt and other seasonings.

Mix the pasta in with the sauce until evenly combined and pour into a lightly greased casserole dish.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and remaining cheeses, sprinkle on top of the macaroni and cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

If your breadcrumbs haven't browned then turn on your broiler and continue to cook for about 1 more minute, watching closely to make sure they don't burn!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nuby All Natural Teething Gel with Gum-eez Teether

**Disclaimer: I'm a Nuby Mommy Blogger which means I am sent products from Nuby in exchange for a review on my blog. However, all opinions are my very own**  

Co teethed early and very quickly. Because his teeth came so fast (I'm not joking, he broke in his first tooth at exactly 5 months and 6 teeth came in that month, he was completely done teething with every tooth including molars before he was a year and a half) we didn't need all of the fancy teething stuff. He had a bug-a-loop and that kept him happy.

Patch is now almost 10 months and he only has 2 teeth and those 2 were monsters coming in. We had fever, screaming, mood swings....teething problems we hadn't encountered before. He has a bug-a-loop that he loves to chew on but I wanted to be a little more prepared for the next round of teething. 

This Gum-eez Teether is really cool because he can handle it like a paci and the shape of it targets more of his gums at once. As soon as I opened it he figured it out very quickly and loved it.It reaches into spots that traditional teethers can always reach. I'm okay with having multiple teethers because you never know what's going to help your baby out in that moment--we use the bug-a-loop for all day situations, it works really well for him to just chew even if it's not necessarily teeth. The Gum-eez is perfect for those moments when he needs to bite really hard and focused. 

We haven't had another aggressive bout of teething just yet but I'm sure it's coming and we'll be ready!

As for the All Natural Teething Gel--I was hoping Patch would be breaking in teeth so we could give it a try, but we didn't get the chance. I'd hate to recommend that without trying it so I thought I'd test it out! Yep, you read that right. I have an awful sore on my gum right now and it hurts really bad! It hurts to talk, eat, you get the idea. So, I used the gel and it really is great. It numbs the gum for about 30 minutes and I get some pain relief. The taste isn't great, I'll be honest about that, but I'm not a child so maybe those fun kid-themed flavors have passed me over. But the taste doesn't last longer than a minute and then it's pain free my friend. 

And if you want to pick one up you can find them at Kmart. 

Nuby has a lot of other really cool products and you can find out more about them on Nuby's Facebook PageInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.