Thursday, September 30, 2010


Can you imagine having to wear flip-flops this way? It's the way Remi likes to wear Dada's shoes!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


We agreed to go to Museum District Day and brave the crowds (CROWDS!) with friends to have some free kiddo fun. I avoid crowds like the plague, a trait given to me by my darling husband. We don't go shopping on the weekends, or to parks or pools. We enjoy attractions during the week when no one else is around. So going to a children's museum on not only the weekend but a free weekend seemed like complete madness to me, which it was. Scores of people lined up halfway around the block in the blazing sun. But what do you know, Remi had a blast! He has gotten a taste of independence and he loves it! Besides being a bit tired and having the tiniest breakdown when saw toys floating in the Flow Works water, we had a great time. He got to ride the elevator, play in a grocery store, play in the outdoor water feature, and play with an awesome train. Marshall was a dream and loved pushing buttons and especially watching brother Remi play. The only thing that could have made it betteris if Dada could have joined us!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The definition of "tasty yum-yum"

Apple season is upon us! I am a fan of Pink Lady Apples, but I can't stomach the $2.49/lb price tag so I try to find the next best thing. Enter Honeycrisp apples!

Honeycrisp fruit is characterized by an exceptionally crisp and juicy texture. Its flesh is cream colored and coarse. The flavor is sub-acid and ranges from mild and well-balanced to strongly aromatic, depending on the degree of maturity. It has consistently ranked as one of the highest quality apples in sensory evaluations.

Honeycrisp was produced from a 1960 cross of Macoun and Honeygold, as part of the University of Minnesota apple breeding program to develop winter hardy cultivars with high fruit quality.

And get this, the Honeycrisp has a patent, so if you want to grow them you have to obtain a license from the University of Minnesota!

Trust me, after one bite you will be hooked!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Discovery

Keith wanted "good sandwiches" for dinner the other night. A good sandwich to me includes alfalfa sprouts, so while at the store, I scoured the produce department in search of them. To my delight, I came across a variety of sprouts to choose from, including alfalfa. What really caught my eye was the manager special (clearance) sticker taped over a package of very large Daikon sprouts. Sixty-three cents! I love a good deal so I grabbed those instead. Having never eaten them, we were a tad bit skeptical. No worries! The sprouts had a delightful yet light peppery flavor, with a good amount of crunch. Upon further research, I found that Daikon is also called an Oriental radish. The only place I can ever recall hearing about this was on Iron Chef, so you know it's gotta be good!
I know I'm a nerd, but I wanted to share my food discovery with you anyway!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Behold, A Cupcake! With an Update!

I'm really digging the word "behold" for some reason. Forgiveness?

Anyhow, last weekend Keith and I had the ultimate cupcake extravaganza. It started with a trip to the famous/infamous Sprinkles Cupcakes in Highlands Village in Houston. I got 5 cupcakes. It cost over $16. I chose a Gluten-free red velvet(for Celiac sister,) a chai, a strawberry, a coconut lemon, and an almond dark chocolate. I know I'm gonna get in trouble, but they were all completely unremarkable. Except for the chai. The cake part was kind of standard spice cake. However, the frosting has the whisperings of something great.
Next day. We had a family event to attend, so I decided to continue the cupcake trend with the glorious Bakerella's Banana Cupcakes. The turned out really well, not at all like banana bread. They were light and lovely.

The next day we were invited to a very impromptu neighborhood cookout. Having been inspired by the promise of the Sprinkle's chai cupcake, Keith scratched his chin and said, "I'm making cupcakes." I begged him not to, simply because baking is the only thing on this earth that I do better than him, or so I thought. He really one-upped me with these life altering Vanilla Chai Tea Latte Cupcakes. They were simply divine. And they have changed the balance of our marriage so much, I'm not sure we can ever get it back to where it once was. Honestly. My man is a master at baking. I still might have the edge on baking bread, but I'm sure that won't last long.

A few days after I originally posted this, Keith was inspired enough to try his hand at making Red Velvet Cupcakes. I am a known hater of red velvet...or so I thought! These are quite possibly the BEST cupcakes I've ever tasted! So moist, so light and the frosting! Don't get me started! He made 24 and gladly I can say we gave half of them to family and friends. That left 12 cupcakes for 3 solid food eaters, one of which refuses to eat any sweets but cookies. I'll give you a hint as to who that is. His name starts with an R and ends with an emington.
For any fans of red velvet, the recipe is posted below.

Modified from Bobby Flay Throwdown Red Velvet Cupcakes
Ingredients - Makes about 20-24

o 3 1/3 cups cake flour or 3 cups all purpose (Use cake flour, trust me)
o 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
o 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
o 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
o 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
o 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
o 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
o 3 eggs, room temperature
o 2 tablespoons red food coloring (as red as you like it)
o 1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar ( white or apple cider can both work)
o 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
o 1/8 cup water
For the cream cheese frosting
* It's up to you, I prefer a more cream cheesy taste. This recipe is nice
and soft at room temp, it hardens up in the fridge.
Keep tasting as you mix in the powdered sugar. Stop when you like it.
o 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
o 1 1/2 packages of softened cream cheese, get the good stuff, like
o 1 lbs or so powdered sugar, sifted
o 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, I like the double strength stuff.

1. For the cupcakes:.
2. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
4. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.
6. Line cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners (fill the wrappers up almost to the top, leave about 1/4 inch of paper showing) and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. (Mine took 27 min) Let cool in the pan for 5 min, then remove and place on a cooling rack.
For the cream cheese frosting:.
8. Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
9. The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
10. Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Little guy patiently waits while I try to get his shirt and shoes collected from the car. Hurry, Mama! There are elevators to behold!
Once properly adnorned in the new elevator shirt, the hunt for fun ends up here:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Because he's two and a half...

I took Remi to Pete's Burger Place (our favorite little dive) to celebrate turning two and a half today. Marshall is part of the package deal so he came as well. It was so fun to have a Remi-date. To mark the occasion I want to highlight somethings about the past six months:
Remi has been such a joy since one of his molars broke through about a month ago.
He sleeps like a dream and he is always bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning.
He's been "real bowling" twice and he has a bowling set and goes bowling on the Wii.
His love for elevators and clocks has intensified.
He likes the moon.
Prefers a regular chair instead of a highchair now. If Keith is gone he points to the empty spot at the table and yells "Dada!"
He worries about my toes when I wear green nail polish.
He loves to sit in Daddy's helicopter.
Asks about Dada about ten times a day!
Discovered a love for swimming the day before the pool closed for the season.
Very good at helping me cook and plays pretend with the pots and pans.
Plays a game called "I have something for you" with clenched fists. We open his fists to discover a tickle!
Cries when forced to wear his Charlie Brown shirt (the one HE picked out)
LOVES brother Marshall.
Had a lovely visit to Utah and had many visitors come to Texas when Marsh was born.
Loves to help swipe my debit card at stores and pay at restaurants.
Can operate and play games on the Wii better than any grown-up. Especially likes to go to youtube and watch elevators, planes taking off or cuckoo clocks chiming. Plays bowling, sword fighting and bicycles like a champ.
Still hums a lot but with help is learning to speak. Despite that little hiccup, he is an excellent communicator.
Loves stickers as evidenced by the following pictures. He really likes the expensive scrap booking stickers!
He is an absolute delight and gives kisses and hugs to everyone in the family.
Posing with his first love: a clock.
Actually, I said "Say Cheese!" Not, "Say Please!"
Notice the little salt pile at the bottom left. He does that everywhere we go. He eats little grains throughout the meal. Yum.
Loves expensive stickers. I tell him 3 is the limit...see how well that goes over? He hides in my closet and frantically puts them on before I catch him.

Remi...DING! A Homemade Graphic T

After doing a whole-lotta research on how to do such a thing, the planets finally aligned and I found everything I needed to make Remi a homemade t-shirt featuring his one true love. Honestly, when would I EVER come across an elevator t-shirt in a store, I ask you? I want to share the step-by-step, otherwise I will forget how to do it the next time around.

It starts with freezer paper. It MUST be freezer paper, not wax or parchment paper. I found mine at an actual grocery store for about $4. Not to be found at Super Target.
Either trace or free-hand an image on the dull side of the freezer paper. Plan the negative side of the drawing carefully! Once you start cutting, you can't undo your dastardly mistakes!
Using a hot, dry iron, press freezer paper waxy side down onto clean article of clothing. I chose a plain white t-shirt that I picked up at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.
Place a piece of cardboard under the area to be painted to prevent bleeding through. Using a dry foam brush and a good fabric paint (I chose Tulip brand matte paint-a mixture of holiday green and classic blue $1.69 each at Michael's)dab the area with a layer of paint, dry on a flat surface for 4 hours and repeat with another layer of paint, dry at least another 4 hours.
Once dry, pull out the old iron again and cover shirt with a clean dry cloth. Iron over the cloth to set the paint. Shirt cannot be washed for 72 hours after this step.
As Remi said when he saw this for the first time..."DING!"
This elevator looks exactly the way the other hundreds of elevators look that Remi has made me draw over the last few months. I know this is amateurish but I was so excited a share a fun little project that can made your child's wardrobe unique and fun!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Marshall Newsletter: Month 6

Dear Little Marshall,

Today you turn six months old.

You are our little steamroller. Heavy. Cylindrical. A solid mass of kid. You really do roll, by the way. It was something that came quite easily. I have no worries about motor skills. You are right on the precipice of sitting up and crawling as well.

You began eating solids this month. The recommended one serving per day of rice cereal only cut it for one day and we have been forced to include applesauce and homemade sweet potatoes to your repertoire. Oh! What a glorious exisitence you have led since then. Sweet potatoes are your manna from heaven. What a stark contrast from Remi's slow and deliberate ways of eating. You positively inhale any food that dares come near your mouth. Dada's first response to hearing this was, "Wow! we're going to have to watch that one's intake!"

You are a dramatic child. Everything exciting is EXCITING to you. Being alone in a crib is LONELY! And makes you want to WAIL! You turn up the VOLUME of the household by a million. You coo at ridiculously high decibel levels. Once you see Remi you get even louder. You still YELL! yourself to sleep practically every night. You certainly do not appreciate being ignored, and you expect to be entertained by whomever you share the room with.

Brother Remi and I took you on a trip to Utah this month. Your first set of airplane rides went nearly perfectly and you didn't even poop! You met many many family members for the first time. You were completely spoiled both by family members that wanted to hold you constantly and by me letting you sleep in bed with me every night! You came home with a small cold and were miserable company for days.

Since recovering, you have turned back into the smilely boy that we know and love! Still having the tiniest issue with naps but other than that, you are a go-with-the-flow kinda guy. We love you for it!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, MOM!

Mom, Beth, Grandma celebrates a birthday today!What a special lady! We are her biggest fans! She has been the ONLY person to visit us everywhere we have lived! On top of that, she has been the first family member to meet both Remi and Marshall.
She was one of the two that attended our wedding!
She came to San Diego the first chance she got!
We have strolled the beaches...
Taken flight...
Carved a pumpkin or two in Pueblo...
She has inspected Keith's bird...
Held Mr. Remi for the first time...
Admired the beauty of a simple flower...
Explored space...
Witnessed a rodeo Houston-style...
Tried her hand at Rock Band...
And cared for Remi when this little nugget came along...
I am about the luckiest person alive to have her as a mother-in-law! She has fed us, housed us on numerous occasions, diapered the boys, spoiled us with creative gifts, cared for us when sick, lifted our spirits, given great advice, provided the most comfortable of places to lay our heads, made us laugh and much, much more. The reason I love her the most is because she has taught us to appreciate the simplest things in life, whether it be a bright red cardinal on the back porch, a plant with colorful blooms, or a quiet road trip through the country.
We are luck lucky LUCKY to have you in our lives.