Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day Part 2

J picked out his T-shirt and I picked out the shorts.  He needed new cargo shorts bad but never wants me to buy him new if you didn't see it, here are his cargo shorts that inspired his halloween costume all ragged and torn up and stained.  Well those weren't just his pirate shorts, he wears them all the time...not anymore! :P  J liked the "reindeer" and when he got home from work on thursday told him 'I have a surprise for you daddy it's about a reindeer outfit!" so the past few days we have been joking about him getting his reindeer outfit on father's day...we started making him think it was a reindeer costume!  
 We made him homemade Chocolate Pudding, you can find the recipe in this post here.  It is one of his favorite desserts, anytime he finds out I'm making it it puts a big smile on his face...his mom used to make it for him growing up, and he's sentimental about his childhood and loves anything that brings back those memories, plus it is just really yummy!

 Doesn't this picture just make you want some of that pudding?

 The hammock was an early birthday gift that we gave him this weekend for father's day!
We Love you babe! 
Such a good Daddy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dad's in our lives!  I am so grateful for my Dad, he is a warm, gentle, loving, intelligent, good listener, caring father who is always busy and active, mountaineering, cycling, (doing many awesome landscaping projects around the house with my mom) great at planning fun activities for everyone when the family is all together! He is always busy whether he is serving others or engaged in his physical activities or other projects...I have never seen him sitting around watching TV (besides Star Trek growing up...oh how I was always so sad it was on the same time as Simpsons!!!) Some of the things I learned from my dad are patience, attention to detail, and being thoughtful and methodical when doing things to make sure it's done right....that last one has taken a while to learn, but I have always observed him doing things in a careful precise manner.  I have many times slapped things together, in a rush for the instant gratification of finishing a project...but over time, I've come to understand the value of taking time and being patient, because that time in the beginning planning things out and making it all right can save you a lot of time and frustration in the end, and not only that, but can produce much more pleasing results.  And that pretty much applies to life in general, not just projects.  If you are patient and methodical about the things you do, the choices you make, it can save you a lot of time and frustration in the end!  But most of all, my Dad has always shown me unconditional love and that is the best gift a parent can give.  I know he will always be there for me.
And not to mention he a great dad, he is a SUPER fun PAPA and the kids ADORE him!  He NEVER hesitates to stop whatever he is doing, to play with the kids and spend time with them.
This is my DAD.

And Here is the Father's Day card I made for him.  I am not a scrapbooker, but I did have fun making these Father's Day Cards.

 I am also honored to have a wonderful Father-in-Law as well!  He is also warm, loving, caring, generous and charitable-never seeking the credit for it, and also pretty goofy (must be where my husband gets it from!)  I love listening to his stories and he is full of wisdom and knowledge.  I have known him since I was a junior in high school so he has definitely been an influence in my life along with my own dad.  Many times we have gone back to Connecticut, where his is from, for beach vacations and east coast pizza eating adventures, and we always go to this lobster shack for a huge fresh lobster.  One year the lobster claw was the size of an oven mit!  I'm not much of a lobster fan but the tradition is fun....and I will never forget when 2 year old Jordan wanted to be like her uncle and was sucking the meat out of the little legs!!!  (And I thought I was being brave for eating lobster bisque on my honeymoon! haha-I'm glad she's turning out to be more adventurous than me in the food department).  My Dad-in-law is the kind of person who takes the time to get to know people, genuinely cares about them, remembers their name and their families and is always asking how they are doing.  He has a heart for helping and encouraging others and he is a big flirt - all the women at his mother's retirement center have crushes on him! lol.    His father's Day card is reminiscing on our East Coast Summers.

Grampa (my dad in law) is a joker.  The other day J found some of the gag gifts he'd given us in the past...probably in our christmas stockings...

And then there is Tyler, my hubby.  He is a lot like his own dad, warm, loving, loyal, devoted...goofy....He is such a supportive husband and he adores our kids.  No matter how tired he is when he comes home from work, he jumps at the opportunity to play and jump in there to help out with the kids or whatever else I might need help with.  He makes us so proud and we love him so much.  He'll cook dinner, vacuum, clean the kitchen, change the diapers...pretty much he does anything he sees that needs to be done without me asking (except laundry that's where he draws the  He is a great provider and is prudent in making sure all our needs are provided for now and in the future.  He is mature but also immature at the same time...but in the right ways...always being able to make us smile and laugh...even when I'm trying to be mad!  He's all hands on and super dad!

Here is a Slideshow I made for him on a previous father's day, I love the 2 songs on the sweet! and the poem about how little girls need their daddy's at the end is precious.  You can view that years father's day post here.  Slideshows always make a great gift!

Here is my kid's hot dad...

with J on the creepy caterpillar roller coaster at the carnival this weekend

Playing with the kids after work like always...tiring them out before bed!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Scrappy Saturday! Weekend linky!

Happy Scrappy Saturday! I am having lap top trouble this week, first my hubby took it to work, now it is back home but the power cord is messed up and I cannot get the thing to turn on! Err! And I have picture on there i've been wanting to post all week so bear with me! In other news, I have to say I am really enjoying Omaha (area) a lot! I really was skeptical about whether I would actually like it here but i've been so surprised to find out what a nice place it is to live! (that is until winter comes..we'll see how if I still like it then!). But it is just such a relief to know that God really does know best. When we were still in Dallas, I never wanted to leave, I loved the DFW metroplex and all our friends and associations there and just fell in love with the south. I knew there may be opportunities in tyler's future with his career coming up and I always would pray and ask the Lord that he could meet his career goals in texas so we would never have to leave....especially not to go to Omaha...which I knew might be a possibility At some point. The thought of leaving Dallas to go to Omaha just seemed WRONG! Like how could we do that to ourselves?!? So I would always pray that that wouldn't happen, that we could stay in Dallas, that I would love to stay there, but say "Lord, you know what is best for us and so I trust you with wherever you take us, but just so you vote is to stay here in Dallas!". Well, when the the job offer came, I was kind of freaking out, i thought "just because he could get this promotion if we go to Omaha doesn't necessarily mean that is what we are supposed to do! So we were praying about it, and tyler knew right away it felt right...I did not...or didn't want it to feel right...I remember being on the elliptical at the gym one evening pumping away stressing overall of this and frustratedly calling out in my mind "okay lord just tell me YES or NO!!! (please)" in my heart I already knew but I couldn't bring myself to commit to it...then as soon as I finally admitted to my husband it seemed like the right move, everything started falling into placeandworking out WAY BETTER than I could have ever planned or hoped for. I could see the lord's hand on every last detail, things I wouldn't have even thought of. And when it came to our house, my mother in law had suggested starting a list soon after J was born 4years ago, of what we wanted in a house and praying for it specifically. I honestly thought it was a weird idea at the why would I need to do that? But then over time as we thought of and dreamed the things we needed and wanted in a home, the list started itself and I did start praying for it. When we found the house we are now in, which happened so randomly and without much effort, it had everything and it just amazed me how much God cared about our needs and desires, even if they were not the most important things in the world, he cared and we have felt beyond blessed and The more I am here and learning about my neighborhood and meeting our neighbors, and the general area, I just am so grateful that I trusted HIM because HE knew WAYYYY better than I. Without being able to trust in HIM, I know the decision to move and the process would have been so much more stressful and difficult. I am so grateful we aren't left having to rely on ourselves. Everything happened in less than a month and it was pretty much not stressful at all, every little piece just fell into place.
We still miss Dallas and our friends there, but are grateful for that experience and the growing we did there and we are excited to see what God has planned for us here.

Tonight our daughter discovered lightning bugs for the first time and her and I had the best view of an amazing fireworks show from the top of a farris wheel.

Okay...and onto the featured linkers from Last Saturday (sorry I'm so extra chatty my phone died and my hubs had the charger with him on a trip and I have spent most of my week mainly talking to a 4 year old!)

Ps-sorry for the typing I am still trying to get used to the iPad and it doesn't always let me move around very well in blogger to edit.

I couldn't pick just one, all of these posts were great!

This menS dress shirt refashion is just neat! I can use my sewing machine but I don't think I could pull this off! See the before and after at second chances by susan

I am loving this simple no sew felt envelope! This would have been much easier and cuter than the play wallet I made j two years ago.
Cheek it out at c.w.frosting

Aren't these just so cute? What a cool idea!

Scalloped shorts From green egs and ham

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kids art lesson-first still life

Well I had two project reveals planned but my hubs had to take the laptop with the pictures to work for the next few days so I will have to hold off for now...but in other goings on over here, today I got Jordan out of a cranky addicted to the talking bird iPad app by pulling out the tempera paints, helping her mix up the colors (we only own the primary colors plus black and white) And set up her first still life at the table. I sat down and painted the basic shapes with her to make it more fun for both of us, before adding each object to her painting I would ask her what colors we needed to mix together to get the right color, if it applied, then have her plan her composition, just asking her first, "show me where you are going to put the banana" just to get her thinking a little about her composition before throwing the paint on there. Anyways, this was a super easy project to sit down and do and Anyone can set up a still life with their kids and help them learn about mixing colors. So if you are looking for a creative way to occupy the kids...have them do a still life drawing or painting. It was fun for her to pick out what objects to add to the still life and when we ran out of things, we looked at the grocery ad for ideas. .....

Ok I have to say blogging from the iPad is not as easy! I'm sure there are others who have mastered it, but I can't upload pics or videos, I posted a video of j and her painting on YouTube, but I can't even get the link to share it on sorry no visuals!

Here is my girl, proud of her still life :)

UPDATE: got my laptop to turn on finally here is the video

Friday, June 10, 2011

Scrappy Saturday Blog Hop!

It's time for round two of Scrappy Saturdays and as promised, I am featuring one of your fabulous posts!  This week I decided to go with HeARTworks featuring her flower collages and fashion forward barbie dresses! These are two of my favorite outfits she made for barbie, head over to her post to see the rest!

Can't wait to see what gets posted this week!  Make sure to check eachother out and come back next week to link up again and see if you've been featured! (feel free to grab my button below)  Also be sure to stay tuned this week for some project reveals I've been working on..nothing totally finished yet for today but getting close!

Linky Rules:

I'm not going to be on patrol removing links unless something is obviously spam or inappropriate.  Keep it family friendly please :)

I'd love it if you follow me when you join the linky, leave a comment or vote for me on top mommy blogs :)  

Try to visit at least 2 other people on the linky and leave comments, spread the love! It is a blog hop afterall :)

I'd Super love it if you grab my button and place it on your post, or on your blog hop list somewhere on your blog, or mention you are linking up to this party and linking back so other's can join. 

Linky will be open for submissions till next saturday's linky and I will be selecting one of your posts below to feature in next weeks linky as well!  Old and New posts welcome!

Candace Creations

Morning Mocha!

Morning Mocha...

I don't know about you guys, but when I wake up in the morning I want/need 3 things...A big glass of RO water (with my Swansons MultiOmega EFA's, New Chapter Organics Prenatal Vitamin (still nursing) and Swansons methylcobalamin B Vitamin), coffee and something to eat.  I have to eat breakfast.  I love my morning mocha because it is so good, easy, fast and saves me a bunch of money since starbucks is extra expensive for me since I always ask for soy milk.  I may never sleep through the night again (kids to blame), plus with having Hashimotos I really need something to pick me up in the morning to get going or I'm sluggish all day.

This Deliciously easy mocha only requires 3 things

Instant Coffee 
Vanilla Coconut Milk

Put the kettle on the stove with water. While heating water, put 2 Tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tsp (or however much  you want) of instant coffee granules in coffee mug.  Add boiling water.  Top off with Coconut Milk for a creamy, tempting mocha!  

And my favorite breakfast to go with my dairy free mocha is a chunk of my homemade Granola Bars that we keep stocked with.  I don't have to bother with reading labels on energy bars and protein bars to see if they are gluten and dairy free...I just always have a batch of these made and ready to go!  And they taste better than any packaged granola bar, protein bar or energy bar that I've had.  My BIL (Bro in law) said they reminded him of chex muddy buddies...which I've never had but I'm sure they are good...although I think these are a bit healthier :)  They are definitely filling and keep my hunger at bay, think of it as eating a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, but it tastes better and you are getting healthy almonds, flax seed, brown rice and protein from the peanut butter.

Chocolate Chip and Roasted Almond Granola Bars (modified to be GF and Dairy Free)
1 to 1 1/3 cup peanut butter
 (I just eyeball it..I probably do a bit decide if you like your granola bars more moist and chewy or more dry and crumbly when adding PB)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup Honey (or corn syrup if you don't have honey)
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups old fashioned oats (Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
2 cups puffed brown rice
1 cup cereal (rice chex)
3/4 cup cold milled ground flax seed (I order mine from Swansons)
3/4 cup toasted whole almonds
1 cup chocolate chips (ghirardelli semi-sweet or 60% both are dairy free but always check)

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 inch baking pan.  (i line mine with foil because it's easier to take the bars out and cut them up.)

Mix first 5 ingredients together.  Then add the oats, wheat germ and ground flax (optional).  Stir in chocolate chips, almonds and cereal.

Spread mixture into baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.  the let cool.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Farmhouse Potatoes

Hello friends!  I've been busy this week working on some stuff that I'm excited to share, but none of the projects are ready yet so stay tuned!  In the mean time, today was one of those stormy, stay in your PJs and watch home videos all day days...and when dinner time rolled around...this really hit the spot...

Farmhouse Potatoes
So, if I haven't emphasized it or if it hasn't been obvious to anyone, I'm a potato head!  My favorite food is potatoes...must be the Irish blood!  So when we came to Omaha to house hunt, we found this wonderful cafe called Farmhouse Cafe, the only bad part is they have an amazing bakery when you walk in and J and I can't have any of the amazing looking goods behind the glass cases!  We went for brunch and J and I got the only thing we can get when eating out for breakfast/brunch...bacon, eggs and potatoes.  Farmhouse cafe did not have your typical home-fries or hash browns, they had "Farmhouse Potatoes" and after we left, the rest of the day I was craving more. So when we made the long drive again from Dallas to Omaha for the actual move 3 weeks later, our first stop in town was the Farmhouse Cafe!  It was afternoon but we wanted that awesome breakfast again, and this time, I got TWO orders of the Farmhouse Potatoes!  Well, I've started making them at home too, and adding vidalia onion!  These are soooo good and I think baby B got more of my Irish genes than J did, he eats these up faster than I can keep replenishing his tray!  J-girl is like daddy, she's a fiend for Bacon, Taylor Ham (anyone from NJ know what I'm talking about?) and pizza (gluten free only now).  

Anyways, my farmhouse potatoes aren't exactly like the ones at the cafe, those ones are sliced a bit thicker and taste a bit richer, and it's always nice when someone else makes it!

Next time you want some comfort food, whip up some of these (I just made these for my dinner!).  Don't be deterred by having to slice up the potatoes!  You can do it! :)

Farmhouse Potatoes

Thinly slice up some russet or yukon potatoes.  I use the slicing blade on my hand held cheese grater.  Place slices in a bowl of cold water as you work.  Then drain and rinse with water. Shake off excess water and then spread potatoe slices over a paper towel.  Take another paper towel and pat them dry, removing as much water as you can.

Put a blend of 50/50 oil in the skillet (vegetable oil/olive oil) and heat over med-high, then toss in sweet onions.

Spread the potato slices around the pan, and mix up with the onions a bit so they are layered together.  Cover with a lid to help potatoes cook through faster.  

When the bottom layer of potatoes starts to get golden and crisp, flip the potatoes over, cover with lid and cook till golden and crisp on other side.

Sprinkle with coarse salt and paprika...


Note- some of the onions look rather black, but they didn't taste burnt or scorched...nope...tasted great!

Here is where I'm Hoppin'

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Coconut Streusel

Wow, my kitchen smells glorious right now!  I want to capture this aroma and bottle it or put it into a candle so my kitchen can smell like this all the time!  Something's in the oven...

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Coconut Streusel

I was inspired to make these because we had a big box of blueberries in the fridge and 3 of my husbands favorite things are blueberries, lemons, and coconut so I wanted to put it all together.  I found a basic Gluten Free Muffin Recipe over at Gluten Free Homemaker that you can see here.  It's a great basic muffin recipe with options so you can play with it to make any kind of muffins you want.  I pretty much followed her recipe except I didn't add xanthan gum because I already have xanthan gum in my Silvana's all purpose gluten free flour blend that I made a big container of. For my version on the  basic recipe I left out the xanthan gum and used 1/2 cup sugar, about 1-2 Tbls lemon juice, lemon zest of 1 lemon, and 1 cup blueberries.  The coconut streusel topping is as follows:

3/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup all purpose GF flour
1/4 cup sugar (50/50 brown sugar and granulated sugar)
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp Bestlife buttery baking sticks

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and cut together using a fork or your hands till you get a crumbly mixture, mine had quite a few clumps, it wasn't as crumbly as a typical crumb topping. Drop the clumpy, crumbly coconut mixture over the tops of the muffins before baking, then bake as directed in the Basic Gluten Free Muffin Recipe.

I am really happy with the height these muffins have, must be from the amount of baking powder! I've never used that much baking powder in a recipe before, but it's awesome, these muffins don't have the typical flat tops that most gluten free baked goods have.  Now...time for the taste test...

OH MY!!!!  I have been searching and baking my way to find the perfect muffin recipe for years, long before going gluten free.  I am in heaven.  These are by far the best muffins I have EVER made, and they are gluten free and dairy free!  MMMMMMmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Is all I can say right now! Go get some blueberries, a lemon and some coconut flakes quick and get baking right now! I can't believe how good these are!  I'm sure non-gluten free bakers could make this same recipe just using regular flour in place of gf flour and leaving out the xanthan gum!  The crispy coconut topping really sent these lemon blueberry muffins over the edge. Now I just need to have some will power to not eat anymore till hubs and daughter get home! I made the muffins for them! lol!

ps- and the verdict from my husband is...they are REALLY good...although he says he can still tell they are gluten free.  He thinks I just haven't had gluten for a long enough period of time I maybe don't remember how much better everything is with it.  He definitely thought these muffins were really good, but just said the texture was different than regular muffins, the texture was nice though, more like angel food cake.

Silvana's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend can be found on page 15 of Cooking for Isaiah
Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals