Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Don't Kiss Me..I'm French.

St. Patrick's Day is next in line and I'll be honest.  It's my least favorite holiday.  I don't have red hair.  I'm not Irish.  And I don't drink alcohol.  

I DO however...like to celebrate just about ANYTHING and....thanks to Pinterest...it's got my mind turning.  I MAY just have to add a little flare to St. Patrick's Day this year.

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the web-o-sphere:

Tip Junkie

Adorable.  She used candy molds for the lips.  I suppose you could go to a candy store though and buy some of those wax candy lips too.

Wouldn't this be a fun treat to take to any type of shin-dig around the 17th?  

Thoughtfully Simple

Rainbow straws made out of Fruit Loops!  Clever!  {Not to mention the green milk....LOVE!}
Jesse Kate Designs

Definitely going to be sending my kids on a Leprechaun hunt this year.  I envision Sprite and gold coins at the end of the fun.

Make and Takes

Speaking of Sprite....how cute are these 'Leprechaun Floats'? 

This may be the very first year I attempt corned beef and cabbage.  ONLY because  Secrets of a Super Mommy has provided us with a recipe that's good for the crock-pot.  {She also has LOTS of other adorable and clever little ideas on her site!}

It's official.  I'm addicted to holidays.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Disneyland Tips N' Tricks.

It's no surprise that we are {somewhat} Disneyland obsessed over here.
We like to go.  A lot.
And each time we go...we pick up new secrets and tips to help us along the way.  See HERE and HERE.

Here are the latest TIPS N' TRICKS we've discovered at the DL.
{Yes...we're on an initial named basis with the park}.

* If you get a Fast Pass...which you WILL have to do at some point....that Fast Pass is good ANY TIME after the start time.  So if your pass says:  Come back between 11:00 - 11:50 .....you are actually allowed to come back ANY TIME after 11:00.  Which is good.  Because a lot of times you get caught up in other rides and you miss the time slot allotted.  They won't tell you this.  But you're allowed.  We did it all day long.  So don't stress about making it during that 50 minute time span.  

* If you have kids that are too scared to ride Pirates of the Caribbean...try out the Tarzan's Tree House right next door.  We did this for the first time ever and we were pleasantly surprised.  It gave my Carson something to do to waste the time while waiting for his older brother.

* And while we were 'wasting time' we discovered that Princess Tianna from Princess and the Frog hangs out in New Oreleans Square...back by those cute little shops. There was NO line to see her and we even got a picture!

* The very best place to watch the parade at night is right across the street from The Penny Arcade.  It's a little house front with a bench and two chairs perched up on a few stairs.  Get there early and you've got a GREAT seat!  Plus..the Gibson Girl Ice-cream Parlor is right across the street so you can grab a Mint Chocolate Chip sundae while you wait.  Mmmmmmm.

* Single Rider Passes.  Have you ever used these?  If you don't mind riding by yourself...it's the best!  You literally get RIGHT ONTO the ride.  All you do is walk up to the 'cast member' who is standing outside of the ride and tell them that you're a 'single rider'.  They give you a pass and you literally go straight to the front of the line.  My sister and I did this together on Screamin' a couple of times. So fun and so worth skipping the line over!!

* I discovered a new app for Disneyland wait times.  It's called Mouse Wait.  Check it out.  
Very handy.

*If you are planning on doing the Princess Lunch or...any other character dining...you must make reservations.  And the sooner the better.  We usually go on the 'off' seasons and we make our reservations about a week in advance.  If you plan to go during the 'busy' season however I would make those reservations as soon as you find out you are going.  We have also dined at 'Goofy's Kitchen' for breakfast and Yum-O....they have the most delicious breakfast buffet spread.  

*Definitely ALWAYS do a fast pass for Star Tours.  That line gets LONG!  I can honestly say I've never seen a Star Wars movie from start to finish {bleh!} and I was thoroughly impressed with this ride. My boys LOVED it!

* If you are thinking of visiting Disneyland anytime soon...my advice would be to WAIT until the middle of June OR after.  {Preferrably after because who wants to wait in those long summer lines?} Cars Land opens on June 14th as well as everything that has been under-construction at California Adventure.  Everything will be up and running by then!!  So excited to see all of the changes. Is it too early to start planning our fall trip?!?

Linking up to:
Be Different Act Normal

Friday, February 24, 2012

Disneyland....Part 1...the Fun!

Yes..I had to divi up our Disneyland vacation into 2 different posts.  This one is all about THE FUN we had.  Part 2 is all about the TIPS and TRICKS we've discovered around and about the park.  {And we've been there.  A lot.  So we {almost} have good ole Walt figured out to a T}.

Here's how it all went down:

We loaded up the fam + 2 nephews and 1 aunt and headed to Cali on Monday to celebrate London's birthday.  She turned three so what better way than to celebrate with her idols, right?

We splurged and did the PRINCESS LUNCH at Ariel's Grotto.  A tad expensive and totally worth it.  If you have a daughter who is OBSESSED with meeting princesses...this is the way to go!

Plus...you get to dine on food like herb crusted chicken, tilapia, cheddar garlic mashed potatoes....

...and in London's case.....cheddar Mac n' Cheese with Goldfish sprinkled on top.....

And the dessert...OH THE DESSERT....

We were totally happy.  And so were our bellies.

As for my people watching fans out there....I only got ONE GOOD people watching picture.  And this man was MORE than happy to pose for me.

Sad thing is....we saw him again on DAY 2....decked out in the SAME EXACT attire.
Such a proud Mickey fan!

London got ahold of my phone while we were in line waiting for Mickey's Fun Wheel and little did I know...she's a People Watcher in training....check out the pic she snapped of some scantily dressed girl...

Nothing makes me prouder than a child who I can people watch with...wink!

We rode {to just name A FEW}:

Splash Mountain {Joe and the boys did...I don't like to get wet on rides}
Star Tours {so not a Star Wars fan but I LOVED THIS NEW REVAMPED ride.  FuN! FuN!}
Space Mountain {with my nephews and sister...Joe and the boys were too chicken}
Peter Pan {why on earth is that always the longest wait in Fantasy Land?!?}
Pinocchio {somewhat dark...for a 3 year old.  That whale!}
Screamin' { my nephews rode this consistently for about 20 times.  I tapped out after round 3.}
Soarin {an all time favorite!  Never gets old!!}
Small World {Jimmy Kimmel was filming right outside on one of the days we were there.  I love Jimmy Kimmel}.
Rode the train around the park {They really need to get rid of that 'Grand Canyon' tunnel thing.  It smells.  And is totally outdated}.

I may not have taken one single picture of Joe and I on this trip BUT.... I did manage to catch this footage of Cruella de Ville calling my husband out of the audience to dance on  Main Street Plaza.  It's a gem.  See for yourself.

I married him for his moves.  Can you blame me?

The best part about each and every one of our trips to Disneyland?

The smiles on our kids faces.  Totally worth every penny.

We left having had the time of our lives.  Our feet hurt...our backs ached...and we were pooped.....

....all TRUE signs of a FANTASTIC vacation!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hap-Hap-Happiest Place on Earth.

It's this sassy diva's birthday week!

We are celebrating with Mickey.  And Minnie.
And Rapunzel, Belle and Ariel.

Doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lick the bowl dry GOOOOOD.

Last weekend when we had our 'adult' Valentine party...my cute friend Rachel brought the MOST DELICIOUS cupcakes.  Ever.  I'm {sorta} a frosting snob when it comes to cupcakes.  And let me tell you....this FROSTING was T.D.F. {to die for}! 

I had 2 the next morning for breakfast.  They were THAT good.

Lucky for us...she found the recipe on Pinterest!  Originally found HERE on the delicious blog Savory Sweet Life:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Random Wednesday {posted on Friday}.

* Why do men find it necessary to walk {and-or} jog in short shorts?  I know, I know....they're supposed to help you run faster but come on?  Are these booty shorts really necessary for a jog around your hometown neighborhood?  Word to the male joggers out there....your friendly neighbors don't want to see your kibbles n bits hangin outta your shorts.  One or two more inches of material on your legs is NOT going to make that big of a difference.  I'm just sayin....

* Have you ever ordered a LARGE {anything} at Del Taco?  I made the mistake of this the other day and no joke...my crinkle cut fries came in a 32 OUNCE cup.  32 OUNCES!!!  Who on earth needs that many fries?

* Speaking of fast food....is it me...or do fast food items NEVER look the same when you order them...as they appear on the drive thru light up menu?  The burgers usually look so succulent and meaty but in reality...when you order that same burger and get it home...it's usually withered up and dry.  They need a small print on those light up menu's that say:  Don't get your hopes up...our food really doesn't look this good.

* I find a lot of things {obnoxious} in life but you wanna know what I REALLY find obnoxious?  Loud talkers at pedicure places.  You know...the people getting their feet {and-or} hands worked on who feel the need to tell their nail tech how their weekend was and what restaurant they tried for the first time....at about 10 decibels louder than everyone else who is speaking?  When I think of Nail Salons...I think of peaceful...airy-esque music playing, a vibrating chair {that never seems to work!} and the chance to MAYBE fall asleep for a few minutes.  You loud talkers are taking this away from me.  And it really bugs.

* Why doesn't Paradise Bakery have a drive-thru?  I mean really.  They're already making boat loads of money off of me.....if they wanted to 'up' their revenue ANY more...that's all they'd have to do....make it more convenient for us 'on-the-go' and 'too-lazy-to-get-outta-the-car' MOMs.

* The other day I went to the mall.  By myself.  With NO kiddos.  After the initial shock of bliss that I felt...I soon realized that I didn't have a stroller to hold my Diet Coke!!  I am seriously thinking that the next time this happens....I'll use my stroller to push my purse...just so I have an excuse to have something to hold my drink.  Because that cup holder is kind of a big deal when I shop. Who care's if it's a double stroller and ginormously huge?  People won't look at me funny, right??

* It's really sad when you have to put 'SHOWER' on your daily to-do list.  Yup.  That's me. I need the reminder sometimes.

* Yesterday at Subway I noticed that next month's 'Sandwich of the Month' is Jalapeno Tuna.  Jalapeno Tuna??  If that doesn't scream 'diarrhea' then I don't know what does!!  Who on earth orders that?!?

* If I could make up a job for myself...and get paid....hands down I would start a new position called 'People Watcher at Circle K' person.  I sat outside of one today while I was waiting for Joe to get our drinks and man do people fascinate me.  All they have to do is walk in....and then out....and I am mesmerized. {Not to mention....there are some straaaaange people out there}.  I shoulda taken pics. 


These are two MUST try recipes.  Yes...you must make them both together.  On the same night.  You will not be disappointed.

Baked Ziti

1 pound ziti
1 onion
1pound ground beef or sausage - I use sausage...it's got more kick!
2 jars spaghetti sauce - I like Ragu's Onion, Garlic and something or other...
6 oz. sliced provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6-9 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Boil pasta 8-10 minutes.  Brown hamburger and onion and then add the spaghetti sauce.  Use a 10 x 13 dish and layer as follows:

Half the pasta, all the provolone, all of the sour cream, half the sauce mixture, remaining pasta, all of the mozzarella, and the remaining sauce mixture.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes covered with tin foil and then 10-15 more minutes uncovered...until cheese is bubbly.  

Cheesey Garlic Bread

1 stick butter, softened
Chopped green onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Romano parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise * add this last!

Mix butter with onions.  Add cheeses, garlic and lastly, mayo.  

Place on cookie sheet and BROIL on 400 Degrees until cheeses start to bubble.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day O' Love...

Another holiday has come and gone and I'm pooped.
Here's how our day played out:

We woke up to our annual festive Valentine's Breakfast.  
Cupid gave London LADY AND THE TRAMP and the boys each scored a new golf club {golfing is their latest obsession...}

 The kids were on a sugar high before school even started.

I helped out with both classroom parties.  Talk about a double sugar high! 

Decorating cookies....Grant's teacher...and .all of the junk festive party food.

We stopped by Grandma and Grandpa Lamoreaux's house for a little more Valentine love...

That mom of mine...she's so clever...

....these cards she made remind me of the cards I used to get from MY grandma!

I came home with sore feet and an aching back {how do you teachers do it each day??} to this...

...from my loves.  Anticipating our next upcoming trip to the big DL. Yes...I'm probably just as/if not more excited than my kids....  

And we finished the night off by making our very own pizzas....

We talked about WHAT WE LOVE in life and the kids were in bed and asleep by 7:30.  My kind of night!

the Coombs family

Teacher Valentine's.

I can't let a holiday go by without expressing my LOVE for the boys' school teachers.  They have the BEST of the BEST!

Here's what we came up with:

A Baskin and Robbins GIFT CARD....

...With this simple little tag. 
{I had wanted to make it more fancy but it was midnight last night.  And I was running out of time!}

Wrapped up in a POLKA-DOT bag and wa-lah!

Happy Valentine's Day 
Mrs. Avery and Mrs. Munoz!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Carson's Valentine.


Plus this........

Equals this....

But since it's Valentine's day tomorrow...it actually all equals this...

23 of these babies are packaged and ready for Carson to hand out tomorrow.
Happy Valentine's Day EVE!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine Dinner.

Last night we hosted a small Valentine's dinner with some of our favorite peeps.  

Allow me to give you a small taste of the evening....

I scored these porcelain bud vase napkin holders at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago on CLEARANCE!  I felt like I had hit the jackpot!!

Name settings...because yes...most of my parties include these...

As for the food....everyone was asked to bring something with the color RED in it.  

For the main dish I baked up my very favorite recipe of...

...and I can't serve my Baked Ziti without my very favorite recipe for this....

{Recipes of these will be posted next week!}

We also had {not pictured} a yummy jello salad and to die for chips and salsa!

As for the party favors...yes...again...every party needs them... I made up some of these:

So super simple and quite fun to make!  All that's needed is:

1 Clay pot
1 Clay pot saucer
1 Small glass fish bowl
Spray Paint
and of course....CANDY!

We also asked each couple to bring TWO white elephant gifts.  ONE that was NAUGHTY....and ONE that was NICE.  What a hoot we had opening these up!  

Stephanie P. Was the proud recipient of Joe and I's 'naughty' gift.....I told you we were classy!

{You can't tell but these 'fundies' have holes for FOUR legs!....I'll leave it at that!!}

I also made up a NOT-So-NEWLYWED game and we laughed our heads off playing that as well.  {Congrats Catmull's....you two REALLY ARE in love!}

Such a fun evening.  With such fun friends.

Linking up to Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime