Monday, September 28, 2009

Newest Favorite Thing

My parents came over for a late birthday celebration last Thursday. Mom brought the cake (yum!) and I provided dinner. And the gift...the gift was my favorite! I've been eying these dishes for quite some time now and my parents were sweet enough to buy me the first set! I am so excited to add to my collection with contrasting colors. And now that I have fabulous dishes, I need glass-door cabinets to display them in. Sigh...maybe one day. Anyway, here is a picture of my newest favorite thing.

I Heart Faces: BLUE

It's been a while since I've participated but I thought I'd submit a picture this week. The theme is Blue and the picture you submit needs to have a lot of BLUE in it. This time I chose a picture of the daughter of a friend. There is quite a bit of red in this picture but I love the pop of blue in the background and the blue from the balloon. Be sure to stop at the I Heart Faces website to look at the other Blue pictures.

This picture is straight out of the camera. I started to edit it but decided not to. I like it just the way it is!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Show Us Your Life Friday: Dessert Recipes

Once again it's Saturday and not Friday but there is no way I could miss out on this post! As you know, I love, love, love to bake and I love desserts. It is virtually impossible for me to narrow it down to just one recipe so I've got a few delicious desserts for you. Check out Kelly's Korner for lots of other great recipes!

Oatmeal Crispies

I got this cookie recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I love her site and have gotten many fabulous recipes from her. If you haven't checked out her blog, I suggest you do!

1 c. shortening or 1 c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. quick oats
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

In a large mixing bowl cream shortening with both sugars until well combined.

In a separate bowl beat eggs together. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Add to the shortening/sugar mixture and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix carefully into the egg/shortening mixture until well combined. Now add the quick oats and mix well again. Finally add the finely chopped pecans and again mix well to combine.

Divide the dough in half and place each half of the dough onto a sheet of waxed paper. Roll the dough into a log and then wrap it tightly in the waxed paper. Now you can either chill or freeze the dough until later or you can go ahead and slice the dough evenly into cookie rounds.

When you are ready to bake them place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes until they are golden brown.

Cappuccino Caramel Oat Bars

These bars are ooey, gooey and perfect. They come highly recommended!

2 c. rolled oats
2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbl. instant coffee powder or instant espresso powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. caramel ice cream topping
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Coffee Glaze (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside. (I used a 9x13 and it worked just fine).

In a large bowl stir together oats, flour, the q c. pecans, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on med. to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat until combined, scraping the sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs, 1 Tbl. coffee powder, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the oat mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining mixture with a wooden spoon. Reserve 2 cups of the mixture for the topping.

Using floured hands, press remaining oat mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Spread caramel topping evenly over crust to within 1/4 inch of edges. Drop spoonfuls of reserved topping mixture over caramel topping; sprinkle with the 1/2 c. pecans.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until edges are set (do not overbake). Cook in pan on a wire rack. If desired, drizzle with Coffee Glaze. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars.

Coffee Glaze: In a small bowl combine 2 Tbl. very hot milk and 1 tsp. instant coffee powder; stir until dissolved. Stir in 1 c. sifted powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over bars in pan. Let stand 15 mins. to set glaze.

Berries 'n' Cream Brownies
These are an old favorite. It is the easiest recipe but yet so tasty! What's better than chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberries? Give these amazing brownies a try!

1 package fudge brownie mix (13x9-inch pan size)
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 c. quartered fresh strawberries
1/3 c. chocolate hard-shell ice cream topping

Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions, using a greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Spread whipped topping over brownies. Arrange strawberries cut side down over top. Drizzle with chocolate topping. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins. before serving.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

Much to my delight the newest season of Grey's Anatomy started tonight! Yay! To say the least, I am addicted. I can't help it. I have to know what's going on with McDreamy, Meredith, and the rest of the gang. You know where I'll be every Thursday night for the rest of the season and if, for some reason, I miss an episode I will watch it online. Thank goodness for internet! :) Any other Grey's lovers out there?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Show Us Your Life Friday: Dinner Recipes

I know, I know...this is Saturday not Friday. I'm just now getting around to posting so it's Show Us Your Life Saturday for me. Anywho, Kelly's Korner is featuring your go-to Dinner Recipes. Of course I had to participate. The only problem was figuring out which recipe to post. I decided on Savory Beef Fajitas. Yum! It is a crock pot recipe (can you say easy)and the meat is always perfectly tender.

1 beef flank steak (2 lbs), thinly sliced
1 c. tomato juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbl. minced fresh cilantro or parsley (I used dried)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 med. onion, sliced
1 med. green pepper, julienned
1 med. sweet red pepper, julienned
1 med. jalapeno, cut into thin strips (I left this ingred. out)
12 flour tortillas

Place beef in slow cooker. Combine the next 7 ingredients; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Add onion, peppers and jalapeno. Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Using a slotted spoon, place about 1/2 c. of meat-vegetable mixture on each tortilla. Add desired toppings.

I highly recommend this recipe. Try it. You'll love it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Day At The Fair

We took JJ to the Oklahoma State Fair today. It was the first time JJ has ever been at the fair and I think he loved it! We spent time looking at the animals, walking, eating fair food, walking, and checking out all of the exhibits. Did I mention walking? We certainly did a whole lot of that. It's all good though because I could use the exercise. JJ loved looking at the animals and every one we saw he called a daw-gee. We told him it was a horse or a goat or whatever but he insisted on calling them all daw-gees. ha! We all shared nachos and a corn dog soon after we got there and then we had an cookies and creme iced coffee and a fried snickers bar later. I've always heard about the fried oreos, snickers, and twinkies at the fair but have never tried them. It was good. Nothing fabulous but it's good once a year at the fair. Overall, we had a great day as a family! Here are a few pictures from that day.

Walking into the fair gate.

Looking at a big daw-gee. ha!

Sitting on a train at one of the exhibits.

Getting ready to eat the fried snickers.

I look very excited about this moment.

JJ loved it!

Our little boy was worn out by the end of the day.

Wacky Hair Night

Last night in Light Brigade was Wacky Hair Night. To say the least, I didn't play the piano for church. That woulda been interesting. A lot of kids and teachers/helpers participated. I didn't do anything to crazy but I did look pretty goofy. One of the ladies in the nursery did JJ's hair. I actually thought it was cute!

JJ and Mommy. Yes, I know. I'm just lovely! Every time I see this picture I think of Shrek. Anyone else???

My little cutie pie.

The kids in my class.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Well, today is my birthday. Now that I'm past my 20's, they are no longer exciting events. In fact, I'm beginning to dread them. They are just a reminder of how quickly time flies. My sweet Hubby made sure I had a great day though. He watched JJ this morning while I slept in and after I woke up we went to Jimmy's Egg for breakfast. He also gave me my gift: money to pamper myself with! In my opinion, that's the best gift any tired Mommy could get! The afternoon was pretty uneventful. Jorge went to work and I contemplated making myself a birthday cake (Mom would have done it but she is in Branson) but never got around to it. I got a coupon from Red Robin for a free meal for my birthday so JJ and I met up with Jorge for dinner. After that we headed across the street to Toys R Us and let JJ play while I picked up a couple things. Jorge had a meeting by Penn Square Mall so I dropped him off and JJ and I went shopping at the mall! I've been needing a new dress for a wedding I am playing the piano for so I spent my time looking for that. Macy's was having a great sale and I found my dress! We came home and spent the rest of the evening relaxing. Pretty good day if I do say so myself. Jorge's birthday is on the 25th so we decided to go out and celebrate both of our birthdays this weekend. I'll have to let you know how that goes. Anywho, I made it through another year by the grace of God. I'll end this post on the best of JJ! They both are of him playing in Toys R Us.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

JJ's First Hair Cut

Yesterday, Jorge and I took JJ to get his first real hair cut. I've given him small trims but he hadn't had a big boy cut yet. First, we went to McDonalds for lunch then we headed to Snip Its. They're a little more expensive than most places but they did a great job. After his hair cut we went to the mall. I bought make-up and JJ played in the play area for a while. It was a really great day and a really sad day. I watched my baby turn into a little boy right before my eyes. I actually cried. I didn't think I would but I couldn't help it. The tears just came. Here are some pictures from JJ's big day.

This was a picture I took of him at McDonalds. You can see how long his hair was.

Sitting in the chair. Patiently waiting.

Oh my goodness! There go his beautiful curls!

He's got the mohawk look going on.

My little man. He looks so grown up! It makes this mama very sad.

He seems pretty happy about his new look!

Such a handsome little boy!

He definitely looks older. It's amazing what a hair cut can do.

Playing in the play area at the mall.

I can't get over how big he looks!

I just love this little boy so much!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Parents Back Yard

My parents have a beautiful back yard. They put a lot of work into it the summer Jorge and I were married. It has grown amazingly since then. There are flowers and plants everywhere. Here are a few pictures I've taken. I hope they do their yard justice.

The garden area in the center is where we were married. It has grown so much since then.

I love the little shed. It's old and worn but I think it's quaint and looks perfect surrounded by plants and flowers.

This is the back porch sitting area. Such a peaceful place.

Another angle of the sitting area. If you look carefully you can see JJ peeking out.

Here are some close ups of flowers. No idea what any of them are I just know they're pretty!

I hope you enjoy the views as much as I do!


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