Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cutest animals, like ever

Got to do a posting about all the cute animals we encountered on our last trip, right? Like so cute... It hurts.



Our very own donkey... So sweet

Aren't puffins the cutest? See more puffins here and here

All animals courtesy of Scotland, England and Ireland.

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Little Apple


Further proof that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

No sew {old} t-shirt tote bag made by Miss V:
  • Cut around the collar making sure to leave enough space between the neck cut and the sleeve, that will be your handle.
  • Cut off sleeves.
  • Cut strips along the bottom of the t-shirt. Your strips should be about 3 inches long and about 3/4 wide.
  • Pick up the top piece of fringe and the bottom piece of fringe that goes with it, twist, add a bead, tie a double knot.
  • Knot all until you've reached the other end making sure the knots are tight and there are no holes in the bottom of the bag.
Enjoy your new {High School Musical} bag... You are ready to go

Friday, July 27, 2012

Menu for the week

Vegetable Jalfrezi/Rice
Blackened tilapia/Cilantro rice/Salad
Vegetable and beans soup/Bruschettas - See my recipe here
Spaghetti squash with pesto and broccoli (friends, I have tried spaghetti squash and I can say with confidence... I am in LOVE. So, so good)/Salad

Breakdown:

Aldi $23
Costco $25
Kroger $23

This weekend we are saying goodbye to my brother and niece. Two weeks flew by. We don't have much planned this weekend. We are getting the house in order and hanging out with friends on Saturday. And on Sunday, we are planning on enjoying the day at home in our little backyard doing absolutely nothing. Now, that sounds good! No?

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pictures from the weekend

Sorry for the delay friends, things are a little crazy around here. I leave you with some {belated} pictures from our weekend:

Lots of bonding time with the kiddos and {a very special visitor - their cousin} in town visiting from Venezuela:

We did picnics in the backyard

Yummy fish tacos...
Enjoyed popsicles in the shade

Hung out and listened to music together

Went tubing down the river...


Ok, I took a lot more pictures... Tubing was super fun





Look what we saw along the river...

They also baked cookies, went to the movies, and the pool (a lot), and the aquarium, and Lake Lanier... Good times indeed! To put it in Miss V's words... "I want to spend all the time with my cousin... I have not seen her since I was two". So true!!!!

I am glad they were able to pick up where they left off.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Making cookies - A family affair


Ingredients:

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds good white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well.
  • Add the cocoa and mix again.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
  • Fold in the chopped white chocolate.
  • Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon.
  • Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly.
  • Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone).
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe from here

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anatomy of a traveler's day

6:15 AM Departed our cottage in England's Lake District to Wales to catch our ferry to Ireland
Goodbye cottage :(

10:00 AM Arrived in Hollihead, Wales. Returned our rental car an hour or so before the scheduled departure to Dublin, feeling relieved!

11:15 AM After fueling up on coffee we embarked on our ferry.
2:00 PM Arrived in Dublin, right on time

3:45 PM Departed from car rental place armed with a map and a GPS. Headed to County Tipperary.
5:00 PM Despite having coordinates and a map, got lost anyway. Stopped at a country store for directions and some sustenance for the following morning's breakfast.

5:15 PM Realized we had a flat tire... Bummer!!!. The husband changed the tire to the doughnut provided and started stressing about what to do since the following morning was a Sunday.
Glad someone is having a good time!

5:50 PM Found a tire place which was about to close. The nice man repaired our tire in no time and we were set back only by 15 Euros. We were back on the road in 15 minutes... Vacation saved!

6:15 PM Arrived at our cottage and got a tour by the mother of the owner. While waiting to meet the owner we made plans for the following morning while the kids ran outside in the beautiful gardens.
7:30 PM Properly met the owner of our cottage and got recommendations for dinner that night at a local pub, washed up and headed there in no time. We were all hungry.

7:45 PM Arrived at the local pub. It was completely full with locals watching the European Champions League's final {football - not the American kind}. Despite being full they got us a cozy table and we were surrounded by a lively group of fans... Had a delicious dinner while watching the game. We all got into it. Such a fun scene.
Dinner was delish... Can you tell?

10:00 PM Arrived to the cottage after a long day. Could not stop thinking about our whirlwind of a day and how much fun we had at the local pub. Went to bed with a smile on our faces feeling confident that the rest of our trip would be great, maybe we'll encounter few little bumps in the road but confident it will be good nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The breakfast project

This is my favorite breakfast as of late
Pina Colada Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
1/3 cup of light coconut milk (I use the Trader Joe's brand)
2 cups of fresh cut pinapple (I buy mine when it goes on sale and freeze it. I used it right out of the freezer, it gives the smoothie a slushy consistensy).
In a blender mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Enjoy for a very satisfying breakfast on the go...

But wait... Don't think I am done yet. I actually wanted to share an idea from the kids (Yes! Their idea, they are smart those two):

Pour the pina colada smoothie mixture into popsicle containers for a very delicious, healthy and cheapo snack. Ha! That's my kind of snack.

Enjoy friends!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lacing around in Dingle


Ha, Clever play on words, right?

It is hard to ignore how every other window in {beautiful} Dingle has its own personality... All dressed up in lace, some showing a little bit of personality...






All pictures from my trusty point-and-shoot

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pictures from the weekend

Some scenes from last weekend... A visit to my favorite Museum in the ATL - The High


A little pick inside: Kaws, so whimsical and fun, I hit with the little ones!

Revisiting the South:  Richard Misrach Cancer Ally


Have a great start of your week everybody!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Menu for the week

Oven roasted chicken/herbed quinoa/carrots and peas
Turkey lasagna/Salad
Vegetable stir fry/Rice
Shrimp tacos/mango salsa/black beans/green rice

Breakdown:

Aldi $20
Costco $8
Kroger $37

This week was all sorts of crazy with the husband being out of town and me doing the whole single parent thing... God, to be a single parent... Not an easy job.

Some things that kept me occupied this week:
  • Finally watched Bill Cunningham New York - Am I the last person in the world to see this documentary?... I LOVED this little film.
  • Caught up with friends at after school activities
  • Watched The Newsroom three times - My new favorite show as of late. Totally obsessed.
  • A cake making marathon with our neighbor and 5 kiddoes. Wowza, talk about intense (five kids making and decorating their very own cakes... Crazy town to say the least) .
This weekend will be all about a very special visitor. Some fun plans are in the works. More on that later.

Enjoy your weekend everybody

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blueberry Crisp

Made from the {insane} amount of blueberries we picked on our trip to the farm (as seen here)

Ingredients:

For the filling:

6 cups (3 pints) blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (or chopped nuts, such as almonds)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Make the filling: Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish.
  • Make the topping: Stir together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir dry ingredients into butter. Using your hands, squeeze topping pieces together into clumps.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake until bubbling in center and brown on top, about 1 hour. 
  • Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Martha's Note

Make and freeze extra batches of the topping. Whenever you have fresh fruit on hand, you'll be able to assemble the dessert quickly.

Recipe from Martha - Go here to get it.