Monday, April 30, 2012

Pinteractive: Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

Until this moment, I thought this week was National Teachers Appreciation Week. It turns out that it's next week, which would be perfectly fine if I hadn't made some goodies last night and sent them with Em to school this morning.

Doh! On the bright side, it's never a bad thing to show your kids' teachers that you appreciate them anytime of the year.

If you're looking for something to send with your kiddos next week, consider this simple recipe for Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn.


I followed the recipes as written, and while it turned out great, I might prefer 30% more of the "sauce" next time. I'm a bit of a sweet fiend, though, so keep that in mind.

Your turn to link up!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For Your Amusement (Park)

This weekend we had the amazing sunny weather and were itching to take advantage of it. I remembered that this little amusement park that we had yet to visit was just a few miles from our house, so we headed out for a couple of hours.


Oaks Amusement Park offers wrist bands for unlimited rides, but we decided to stroll the park, figure out what rides we wanted to try and what Em would be up for and then buy single tickets for the rides accordingly.

Fun zone

We started with a little train that took us around the park. 

Then we found ourselves back at a small but speedy roller coaster that Em was enamored with. She convinced us that she wanted to try it, even after we sat and watched it scream by again and again. Brent had a tiny headache and I'm our resident roller coaster fiend, so I went with her. I'd say 95% of the riders were kids, but I'd guess that they were mainly 5 and older. Em met the height requirement, though, and was determined to try it. 

As soon as it took off, Em started screaming -- and not in the "wooooo, this is fun!" way. It was a "gaaaaaah, make it STOP!" kind of scream. The little coaster only made two trips around, so I knew it would be over soon. Brent snapped a couple of pics but none I'm sharing here. Me at high speed is not a flattering angle. 

After the shock of it wore off, Em agreed to ride a couple rides that were more her speed. 

Pew pew!


She really was having fun, though, despite the lack of smile you see. If asked, Em will tell you, "The roller coaster was TOO FAST, but I liked the train, rocket and car."

On our way out I convinced Brent that Em needed some sort of souvenir to remember our afternoon. There was an "everyone wins" game where players toss a whiffle ball at rows of colored glasses. The colored glass where the ball lands determines the size of the prize. Em tossed one ball and landed on a medium-sized prize. She chose this wee little whale, and she's still smitten with it. 


The park was cute and more of a pop-up carnival than Disneyland, but we'll definitely head back, especially since it's all so close to home. And all the fun above only cost $16! 

They have a miniature golf course and roller rink, as well as some fun summer events geared toward kiddos like Em -- all of which we look forward to trying. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pinteractive: "Craps"

Me: Em, we're going to do some crafts! That's why I've been saving these. For crafts!


Em: I want to do craps! Mommy, let's do craps! Can we do craps now? Is it time for craps?!


Em: Craps!

Me: Ok, we're going to do CRAFTS. And we're going to make these...


Me: No, super hero cuffs!

Em: No, I want to do craps!

Me: Ugh, let's just try this. These ARE craps! I mean, crafts!

Em: ....ok.

Me: Let's decorate them.



Me: Ok, try them on.

Me: Ohhh, we flattened them too much when we colored them. And now they're too big.

Me: Let's try this idea instead. Princess crowns!

Me: Err, maybe not.

Me: Well, we had fun trying!

Em: Mommy, craps! Let's do craps!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Steppin' Out: Brighter Than Sunshine

Me: Shirt, Banana Republic; Skirt, H&M; Shoes & bag, Target

Em: Dress, Carters; Leggings, Children's Place; Shoes, Target

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that today has been my favorite Portland day since we arrived, minus the awesome visits from friends and family. The weather was a gorgeous and sunny mid-70s. From start to finish it's just been the best of the best. 

It was Brent's turn to sleep in, and Em was in rare hilarious form this morning. She showed me how she "exercised" with her mock bench press.

Then it was off to Zumba class with my favorite teacher. Because of the sunshine, class was a third less full than it normally is, so I found myself in the very front row. That was a first for me, but it was a blast and I held my own. Em woke up asking to go to the gym because she loves the daycare there so much, so I took her with me while Brent went for a bike ride.
I love you, #Portland.

We came home, had lunch, and then Em asked to take a nap

After her rare nap we made our first visit to Portland's Saturday Market, which reminded us of the Venice Beach strand without the beach.

The Market was fun but packed, so instead of waiting in the long lines for shaved ice, we stopped at 7-11 for Slurpees -- or as Em dubbed them, icy drinks -- on the way home. We enjoyed them, sprawled out on our front lawn while we visited with our neighbors and their families who were out enjoying the sunshine, too.
Can I mouth kiss today? #brightbrightsunshineyday

We ended our pleasant day with dinner at Burgerville, a local burger chain. Brent has a thing for strawberry shortcake, and that happens to be their seasonal dessert. 

Brent received a last-minute invite to an industry conference today, but he declined. He told them, "My daughter has been extra cute lately. I think I'm just going to hang with my family instead." 

That was a smart move because it was one of those days he would've been sad to miss.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pinteractive: Flat Iron Curls

I'm late with posting this week as I'm happily recovering from hosting some friends lat week, so I haven't spent any time on Pinterest nor really thought a ton about Pinteractive this week. If I had planned to do any cooking, I would've absolutely turned to Pinterest for cooking inspiration, but we had a lovely time taking in many of Portland's best eateries instead. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

After our friends headed for the airport Sunday afternoon, I took a shot at this tutorial for creating curls with a flat iron

While the results weren't bad, per se, I think it'll take me a few more sessions of practicing before I don't want to throw the flat iron out the window when I can't get my hair to look just like the damn tutorial. 
 Top row: Just curled, brushed out, Bottom Row: in a cute ponytail, and this morning. 

I think my fav versions are the ponytail and the morning-after. 

Unrelated, but am I the only one who hates trying to get good self-portraits via your phone? Awkward, party of 1. Or maybe not.

Your turn! Grab the code. Link up. Yada, yada, yada. 


Monday, April 09, 2012

Steppin' Out: Em's Easter Style

I went back and forth this year about whether I should buy Em a special Easter dress. Then I reminded myself that half, yes HALF, of her wardrobe is dresses, many of which she's only worn a handful of times even though she insists on dresses daily. She just has that many dresses. I'm a sucker for cute dresses, especially when I find adorable ones for next to nothing at Target and Old Navy. So I ultimately decided to pull from her existing collection.

Yesterday she had her usual Sunday soccer class, so we waited until after her non-nap to get her dolled up for Easter. I think naps are history now, although we can get her to lay quietly in her room for a half hour or so. I'll take it. It was enough time for the Easter Bunny to do his job in our front yard.

It was a bit of a scramble getting her dressed before I started to panic about hard boiled eggs, which we planned to eat at some point, sitting in our sunny front yard. We managed to pull a sweet ensemble together, though.

Dress, cardigan and tights: Old Navy
Shoes: Target
Headband: Gymboree

She loved finding the eggs, and we loved watching her.

Easter 2012

Easter 2012

Easter 2012

Easter 2012

Easter 2012

Hope you all had a great holiday! 

Pinteractive: Pens & Eggs

This week I tried a couple quick Pinterest-inspired projects. When we dyed Easter eggs Saturday night, I wrapped a rubber band around one of the soon-to-be-blue eggs. I can't find the original pin, of course, so it was probably a drive-by inspiration I saw while perusing Pinterest at some point.

Sadly, I only had an industrial rubber band, so I knew it wouldn't come out as cool as if I'd used a standard rubber band, which I didn't have on hand. The result reminded me of Earth as seen from outerspace. I like it.

Rubber band egg 

The other Pinterest-inspired trick I started using this week was this pin to keep track of particular items in the wash. 

Here's a gander at mine. 
Riveting, no?

It's actually a really useful trick. In my case, the "SBs" are for the four sports bras in that load. I like to air dry them in an attempt to prolong their lives. This reminds me to take them out before loading the rest of the wash into the dryer. I also use it for some of Em's dresses I don't like to dry (some of her boutique dresses and those from Gymboree, etc.). Dryer's remorse is so annoying. Although I'm the main launderer in our house, it could also come in handy when I ask Brent to help me out with loads I've already started. 

Alright, your turn! Grab the code, add it to your post, and add your post to the link-up below! 


Monday, April 02, 2012

Pinteractive: Cauliflower crust

Brent and I started the 17 Day Diet again last week. During a search for recipes on Pinterest for the first cycle of the program, I found this intriguing recipe for a cauliflower "crust." I tried the recipe for myself Saturday night.

I didn't take any photos of my own preparation because I was in a bit of a rush to get out of the house for a night with the girls, but the blogger gives a great breakdown of how to do it yourself. I followed her instructions to make four crusts for pizza and breadsticks.

The first pair of pizza crusts turned out darker than I had planned, which I blame on our temperamental oven and the hybrid parchment/foil paper I used. I think the foil side of the paper may have conducted too much heat. But it was still quite delicious, prepared per instructions with cheese and low-carb tomato sauce. (Rao's is our favorite sauce, by the way, and is found at my local Safeway and Target.) I wasn't able to find fat-free mozzarella, per the plan, so I had to cheat and use a reduced-fat version. And I was able to find the nutritional yeast in the bulk section of a local health food store.

The breadsticks turned out a little less done than they probably should've been because I was worried about them ending up like the first pizza crusts so I took them out a little earlier, but they were fine when I used them as the "bread" for a sandwich yesterday.

Brent loved the pizza, and although it wasn't Em's dinner for the night, she loved the tastes she took. She ate a bunch of my sandwich yesterday when she saw I had used the breadsticks.

This recipe is a definite new favorite in our house.

If you got Pinteractive this week, now's the time to link up!