Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Black and White Wednesday #7 - Guacamole

She's making her famous guacamole.

I played around with Picnik and first added the lomo-ish effect.

Then tried it in Black and White.

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{Remembering} The "Other" Disney Part 4-Exploring LA LA LAND

After spending four days in Disneyland we were ready to do a little more exploring. We were getting ready for the next part of our Southern California adventure so we rented a car in Anaheim and took a day trip to Los Angeles. First stop was The La Brea Tar Pits.  It's right in the middle of the city!  It is the one of the world's most famous fossil locations.  You can learn about Los Angleles during the Ice Age when saber toothed tigers and mammoths  roamed the LA basin.
A little educational side trip never hurt anyone (insert groaning teenager).

These two were excited about it!
You can walk around and look at (and smell) the tar pits.
We also took a tour of the Page Museum .
There were some interesting exhibits.
Comparing the heights of living species and simulating what it feels like to pull something out of the tar pits.

The Fishbowl where they work on the artifacts. You can see them cleaning and repairing the bones.
Then we headed to Hollywood Boulevard for a little walk around town.
First Stop:
Mann's Chinese Theater
Some of the Harry Potter cast (this was a highlight for us!)
El Capitan Theater
Hollywood Boulevard is CRAZY, you are accosted by dozens of celebrity impersonators hawking photographs with themselves,selling cds and just talking AT you.  It is wall to wall people and just nuts!  We were exploring the Walk of Fame and came to a  sudden stop where people were just milling about and not moving, we realized it was Michael Jackson's handprints and everyone was stopping to get a picture)
I could not wait to get out of there.  We headed over to the LA Farmers Market and The Grove.

You can just barely make out the Hollywood sign. We were in a parking garage!
Had lunch (the BEST Mexican food ever!) at the  Farmer's Market followed by our first Pinkberry yogurt. YUM!
Hung out in the super swanky LA shopping mecca..The Grove! (no, we didn't see Katie and Suri)

Then headed back to The Grand Californian for our last night in Anaheim.
to be continued...
Part 5

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teacher Gifts - Part 3

This year my daughter and I put together two end of year gift ideas for her primary and support teachers.
We  also wanted to show our appreciation to the other special teachers,the librarian, office staff, etc without breaking the bank.  One year we made jam and that was a hit but this year she wanted to make Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls. We had made them a few months ago and they were

Of course we wanted them to be warm when we delivered them so we made them up to the baking point and put them in the fridge overnight. We woke up way too nice and early the next day to bake and frost them with this creamy, sweet, maple flavored goodness.

Our kitchen sure smelled amazing!

We printed out some labels for the top and they were ready to deliver.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Watermelon Fountain

I saw this idea on cutie-patootie Katie Bower's blog in the winter and I couldn't wait for the weather to warm up and try my hand at the elusive watermelon fountain!
 This was our first attempt and we learned a few things for next time(but we'll get to that later).

Here goes:
First, make sure your watermelon can sit up on it's own. We sliced a tiny bit off of the bottom to give it a level surface. I liked the little bit of vine still attached to the melon, so I made that the top.
Cut a hole in the top back portion of the fruit. It's got to be big enough to get a spoon in there to scoop out the flesh.

This was a "seedless" watermelon but of course it was still full of those little white "non seeds".
Puree up the scooped out fruit in a food processor in batches or you will have a mess!

Use the watermelon puree to make lemonade in place of the water. I used one can of lemonade concentrate which makes a little less than two quarts
Use the remaining puree to make watermelon icecubes.

When the watermelon is as scooped out as you can get it, figure out where you want your faucet to be located and make a starter hole with a sharp object.  Push the faucet through the hole.

How cute?!
Attach the faucet coupling locknut to the other side of the faucet (inside the watermelon) to hold the spigot in place.
Strain the watermelon lemonade through a sieve and refrigerate until ready to serve. Fill up the watermelon and add the icecubes. Enjoy!

*Note: This worked perfectly fine for the first few cups of lemonade but as the pulpy icecubes melted, the faucet got clogged. We were able to ladle it out through the back so it wasn't a total fail. Next time I would definitely strain the watermelon puree before making it into icecubes.  Also we realized the hole in the back needed to be a little higher so the watermelon could hold more liquid and the spout needed to be a little lower. A larger watermelon would have been helpful too but that was the largest one we could find.*
It makes quite a presentation at a summer get together. Family Fun Blog Hop Tuesdays

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Saturday, June 26, 2010


I love hydrangeas!!!  You may remember my post about this souper centerpiece where I used my store bought Mother's Day hydrangeas to make a centerpiece like this with my home grown lilacs.

  A few weeks ago I posted this post with a photo of my almost ready to bloom flowers that looked like this.

Well now my own hydrangea bushes are in full bloom.This one is my most mature and gave me lots of blooms this year in a variety of gorgeous colors.

I finally got out there and cut some blooms to put around the house.
They are sitting pretty in my thrifty vase that I purchased here.

Here are some more next to my twig birdcage in a little white sea shell pitcher that I picked TJ Maxx.

I've been using this old blue mason jar for forever to display hydrangeas(and other flowers too), I love the contrast between the blues.(See my little kitchen fairy, I put her next to the jar because she's also got a hydrangea on her little garden bench).
This is one of my favorites, a recycled Pellegrino bottle with two smaller blooms is greeting people in our den entryway.

I couldn't forget my trusty soup tureen (I use a drinking glass to keep them from spilling out!) in the dining room.
I even put some outside for book club.

Are you as in love with hydrangeas as I am? Or do you have another favorite?

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